Friday, November 12, 2010

Impossibly Easy Cranberry Relish

I couldn't believe how many people have never had cranberries this way. So citrus-y and fresh tasting. Love it over my turkey and on my deli roll ups.

1 bag cranberries rinsed and drained (pick out the mushy ones)
1 tangerine (slice and take out seeds, but don't peel it)
1 apple (cored, but not peeled)
1 cup Splenda (or your no-calorie sweetener of choice)
1 tsp cinnamon

Process all of this in a food processor until the consistancy of relish. You may have to do this in batches. Let it sit overnight and it is so yummy! NO COOKING!!! Isn't that great? Adding an orange liqueor or nice sherry would be good too. If you want to add some crushed walnuts or pecans, do it before serving so they don't get mushy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake.... Yea I went there :)

This will impress your family and friends! Add in the fact it's sugar free/low fat - What could be better?

2 boxes 1/3 fat cream cheese - bring to room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 - 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Sugar Free Caramel topping (Smuckers is one brand)

Graham cracker pie shell or pie shell of your choice

Beat the cream cheese until soft. Add eggs, vanilla and splenda individually until mixed well. Remove one cup of batter and set aside. Pour the remaining batter into the pie shell. Drizzle about 2 Tablespoons of the caramel topping on this. Add the pumpkin, reserved batter and spice together and mix well. Pour this on top of the caramel topping.  It's sometimes a good idea to put the first layer in the refrigerator for about a 1/2 hour so the top layer doesnt mix into it. (if you have time - if not just be careful when you pour it)

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Don't overbake. Remove when the center is still a little jiggly.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Breakfast Treats!

Who doesn't love to sit down on the weekends to pancakes? Well, with this easy, low carb, super high protein recipe, you can have them every day!

Joni's Protein Pancakes
1/4 cupTVP rehydrated with
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup Splenda (or less - this makes them VERY sweet) - feel free to substitute your no calorie sweetener of choice
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup water (or less - add this at the end to get the thickness you want)
Optional - 1/4 cup ground flax - this makes a "cakier" pancake - leave out if you like a thinner pancake

Mix all ingredients in a blender and process for 45 seconds or so, until there is a little foam on the top.
Cook like a regular pancake. MUCH easier to flip than the normal cottage cheese pancake.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Stuffed Portabellas! YUM

No picture, but I had to put recipe to paper because if I don't my hubby will kill me! He REALLY liked this and said, "This isn't one of those things you just threw together and can't make again, is it?" Well, ya, sort of.... So here I am trying to put quantities to a really yummy throw together. So easy and SOOO GOOD!

Crab Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

1 small can crab meat
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup light mayo
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 heaping tablespoons feta cheese
4 portabella mushrooms, cleaned w/ stem and gills removed

Mix the crab, garlic, crumbs, mayo, feta and divide evenly in the mushroom caps. Top with some extra feta and a some fresh ground pepper. Bake in a shallow dish at 350 until the mushrooms are soft (they tend to weep a bit when they are done) and the top is browned.

This could easily be divided among smaller mushrooms for appetizer. We used the big ones and they were our meal with a salad. I had one and hubby had two. Very filling.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Low Carb Creamy Burrito Bake

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey, lean,
  • 1 pkt taco seasoning (there are low salt versions you could use)
  • monterey jack cheese, 8 oz - grated (or chedder)
  • 1 can Healthy Choice cream of mushroom soup (chicken is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream 
  • 4oz (half a jar) taco sauce, mild 
  • low carb tortilla, 8 tortillas


 Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.  
Mix together the can of soup, sour cream and taco sauce.
Spray a 9 x 12 pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 of the soup mixture into pan. Divide meat mixture evenly between the tortillas and sprinkle cheese in shell before folding and putting into pan.

 Reserve about 1/2 - 3/4 cup cheese. 
Spread rest of soup mixture onto the shells and top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

 Number of Servings: 8

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yummy Italian Casserole

This is almost three ingredients, if you don't count the topping. I used to have a three ingredient cookbook and most the dishes were meat, noodle, and some sort of cream of whatever soup. I can guarantee you this is MUCH healthier and better tasting.

1/2 pound of lean hamburger or ground turkey browned
1/2 cup of chopped onion browned with the meat
1 can of diced Italian tomatoes, drained
2 cups of cauliflower florets
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Place the browned meat/onion mixture in the bottom of an 8x8 casserole. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 3 minutes. When it is done, dice it small and mix into the meat. Top it all with the tomatoes and mix up a bit in the dish.  Top all of this with the cheese and bake at 350 for 25 minutes until the cheese is browned.

My ten year old said "It tastes like spaghetti". That's a pretty good compliment when you take into consideration her love affair with spaghetti :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Joni's Sugar Free Crowd Pleasin' Baked Beans

If you're taking this to a large gathering, double or even triple it! No one will know (or care) that these are sugar free because they are so good! (I didn't get to take a picture of the beans, so I used this stock photo - IGNORE THE BIG PEICE OF TOAST!!:) )

2 cans pinto beans rinsed and drained (or use a variety of beans including great northern)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 T cooked chopped bacon (You can use the Oscar Mayer or Hormel brands)
1/4 t smoked paprika (just omit if you don't have this)
1/2 cup sugar free pancake syrup
1 T yellow mustard
3 T tomato paste
1/4 cup beer (any kind)
1 T Splenda granular (or two packets)

Combine all ingredients and cook in a slow cooker on low 3-4 hours. Remove lid during the last hour to thicken. You can also bake at 350 for 2 hours and remove lid the last 1/2 hour.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kids in the Kitchen!

One of my 10 year old daughter's favorite dinners is a big salad bar. Tonight I gave her my cute little divided server and told her to fill each area with something for our salad. She did a great job - tomatoes, mushrooms, ham, cheese, cucumbers and our own homemade salad topping in the middle. We also had some hard boiled eggs. Everything went on top of some crisp romaine lettuce. You couldn't ask for an easier or more delicious dinner. We love the Cape Cod fat free balsamic dressing and find it at WalMart. She was so proud of her creation.
Here is the how we made the salad toppings in the middle -
2 T each of soy nuts, sunflower seeds, fresh grated Parmasean cheese, bacon peices and seasoning salt. This is great and much more economical than the store bought kind. Store leftovers in an airtight containter in the refrigerator.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Grilling Without the Fuss!

I totally *heart* foil packets!! Remember them from girl scouts? Little dinners assembled in foil and put to cook on the open fire? Well, this makes camping soooooo easy. I make them ahead of time, throw them in a cooler and while we are all enjoying the lovely campfire, dinner is cooking. And the best part? How much more healthy and low carb can you get than meat and veggies? If you aren't in to camping, throw them on the grill.

The pictures are of the assembly and cooking - no recipes involved, but you can put anything you want in these. Don't forget to season them before you seal them all up. I used ground beef and mixed some seasoning salt into the beef before cooking it. This is our own beef which I had ground VERY lean, so if you're using beef make sure to get 80% lean or better. Otherwise, the grease will be nasty.

Here are my ingredients assembled - from bottom left - green beans, yellow squash, carrotts, turnips, mushrooms, ground beef. Somewhere there was onion too!

Here is the packet all assembled and waiting for the heat!

Have fun with these! Make them up the night before for a really fast/ no mess/ quick dinner!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Memorial Day picnics are soon to be here. This is an easy recipe that is a sure crowd pleaser. I adapted the Paula Dean recipe floating around the internet. Those cookies were always a little too dry for me. These are best if baked until just "done" - browned on bottom - if baked too long, you'll be playing hockey with them.

Joni's Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup smooth peanut butter

2 eggs

1/3 cup almond flour (ground almonds)

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup granular splenda

Mix all together and form into little balls. Cross hatch and flatten with a fork dipped in some additional Splenda. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes. (It took 12 in my countertop oven. It may take longer in a big oven). Remember, bake just until done. Cool thoroughly on a rack and store in air tight container. If not being eaten right away, freeze or refrigerate due to no sugar to act as a preservativie.

I got about 20 cookies.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fruity Granola

I absolutely cannot be trusted around Linda F's Nutty Granola ! It is worse than crack. (OK, not that I know what a crack addiction is like, but... well ya'know.)
So, I came up with a plan to trim the calories just a bit. The final product is not bad at all. Actually, it's very good.

Joni's Fruity Granola
Spray coat the bottom of a large roaster with cooking spray. Heat oven to 250 and add the following:
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup soy nuts
1 1/2 cups oats

In a saucepan melt:
1/3 cup smart balance margarine
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup cherry sugar free preserves
1/2 cup splenda
1 tsp vanilla

Pour over the nuts and seeds and mix well. Put in oven and stir every 20 minutes or so until dry. Mine took about 2 1/2 hours.

Thanks again to Linda F and her awesome recipes!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ricotta Muffins

I want to write this down before I forget the recipe. These are really GOOD! Picture is of them filled halway up, then I put a little SF cherry preserves. (Of course you need to fill them the rest of the way up!)

1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used lowfat)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon butter/margarine - melted
1 tablespoon milk (I used skim)

1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup ground flax
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup Splenda
Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a mini - muffin pan
Mix wet and dry and then add the wet to dry. Combine with spoon. Fill 12 of the muffin tins with the batter and bake for 12-15 minutes until set and the edges are brown.

Cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. I store these in a zip top bag in the refrigerator. They seem to keep more moist there.

Options - fill muffin tins halfway up, add a dab of SF jelly or a chocolate chip and then fill the rest of the way! yum!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fluffy Veggie Frittata

I'm not sure this is exactly a traditional frittata, but it was good and it was made with eggs. Now that our hens are laying a whole heck of a lot of eggs every day, we'll be eating a lot of them. But, "On no!" you say, "Eggs are bad for you!". Nope, they aren't. Studies show there is no association between consumption of dietary cholesterol and your serum cholesterol levels. It's the saturated fats that will get you. It's the incredible edible egg! :)

Fluffy Veggie Frittata

5 eggs
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup mozzarella
1 cup cooked broccoli, chopped fine
1 cup shredded zucchini
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together eggs, milk and cheeses and then add in the vegetable. Spray nonstick spray in a large skillet with high sides (make sure it is oven proof). Add the egg mixture and place on a medium-low heat, covered until set. Then uncover and place under the broiler until the top is browned.
We all really liked this. The ricotta makes it fluffy. Experiment with different cheeses and veggies.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookie.

Boy, I've had a lot of fun with the breakfast cookies! So easy and quick to make. I made a version using pumpkin and some diced apple. I'm sure raisins would work. (Though I'm not a big fan of the little wrinkly guys- I mean if you're going to let a grape rot, you might as well turn it into wine...)
Let me know what variations you come up with!

Pumpkin/Apple Breakfast Cookie

¾ cup plain pumpkin
1 egg
(Mix and set aside)

½ cup Splenda
½ cup unsweetened coconut
½ cup ground flax seed
½ cup protein powder (choc or vanilla)
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 small apple – peeled and diced

Mix dry and add to wet ingredients. Pile on a well greased cookie sheet, parchment paper or silicone sheet. These retain the shape you put them in and don't really rise. So keep them spread out in a cookie shape. Then bake at 350 for 20 minutes. These don't “bake” as much as they “set up”. So when the cookie is firm to touch in the middle, they are done. This makes 9 cookies. I don't have the stats on them. They are probably similar to my other breakfast cookie.
Let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (There is no sugar to preserve them). I also have a request to make these without the coconut. I'll try and let you know.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cauliflower Rice

I had a question on how to make the cauliflower rice. I'll tell you how I do it. I'm sure there are fancier methods using "ricers" and such, but I don't own one and this is easy enough I don't need to buy one.

First, start with a fresh head of cauliflower. (Frozen would not work, though you could make some yummy mashed cauliflower with frozen...)
Next clean it up and chop into sizes that will fit into your food processor. (Not a mini processor, that would NOT work). I use the stem and the florets.
Then put the shredding blade on your food processor. Just start shredding up all that yummy stuff.
When you're done, heat some oil in a pan with high sides - either a large skillet or soup pot. Lower the heat to a medium and add the cauliflower, gently cooking and stirring until it's tender (doesn't take very long - maybe 5 or 10 minutes) You don't want it to brown, just get tender.
Now you can use right away or refrigerate or freeze for later on.

Easy peasy!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crunchy Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

This was VERY yummy served over a bed of shredded cauliflower instead of rice. My kids love the shredded, cooked cauliflower and actually in our pre-low carb days, were never regular rice fans.

Heat 3 cups frozen broccoli in the microwave and let sit.

In a big glass or stainless steel bowl stir together

1 1/2 pounds cut up chicken
2 TB corn starch
1 TB soy sauce
1 tsp ginger powder

Let this concoction sit while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, stir together

1/2 cup chicken broth
4TB cooking sherry
2TB soy sauce
1 TB corn starch
1 tsp sugar (or sugar sub)
pepper and salt

Now heat 1 1/2 TB oil in a wok. Add in 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes and cook until browned. Add in chicken mixture and cook until done. Add in sauce and broccoli and cook until bubbling and thick. Stir in 1/4 cup slivered almonds just before taking off the heat. Serve over the cauliflower or rice.

VERY TASTY - 5 out of 5 stars from the family.

Here's a tip - I always make my cauliflower on the weekend. I shred it up, cook it up and freeze it for use later in the week or whenever.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ricotta Custard - Who Needs Lasagna?

A nice cheesy custard topped with your favorite pasta sauce and melted mozzarella - sound good? It is!

Ricotta Custard
16 oz low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesean
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/4 tsp each - onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, salt (more of whatever you like)
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
mozzarella for topping
Oven 350 degrees
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick coating.
Mix all the custard ingredients together (NOT the sauce or extra mozarella) and pour into baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until the top is set. Remove from oven and top with sauce and cheese. Return to oven for 15 minutes. Turn on broiler for last 5 minutes to brown the top.
Let this sit for about a half hour before serving. It sets up nice and you wont burn your mouth!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quick Chicken Alfredo Soup

I need a very quick dinner and this fit the bill. I love the whole "open and dump" preparation! This was really tasty and I know I could make a better version with homemade Alfredo sauce, but it's a weekday for crying out loud. This was quick because I always keep cooked chicken in my freezer. I cook a whole chicken over the weekend to have the meat and broth for the week. It's easy and cheap - try it!

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups of your favorite frozen veggies (I use a mix that has broccoli, cauliflower, carrotts, zucchini and squash)
salt and pepper to tast (I like a LOT of pepper in this)

Dump into a pot and simmer until everything is cooked (25 mins or so)
YES that is it... This is a tasty, satisfying soup. You'll like it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This is a great basic sauce that can be used on fish, chicken or steak. I even took the leftovers, mixed them with a can of pureed tomatoes and some half and half to make a wonderful tomato soup.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1 medium ONIOIN, diced (Sorry for the typo, Georgene!!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 jar of roasted red peppers
1/4 cup chicken broth for thinning in the blender
Saute onions and garlic in a few tablespoons of the chicken broth until onions are soft and translucent. Add in the red peppers (DRAINED) and the rest of the 1/2 cup chicken broth. Simmer and reduce broth by half. Put in blender or food processor (be very careful, this is hot) and pulse until a nice texture of smooth with some bits of chunk. Add the additional broth to thin to desired consistency.
I think I'll use some white wine next time.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's not ALL sugar free

Tomorrow is my oldest's 16th birthday. He loves all things Transformers. I found a link on how to do fondant and decided I'd make him a cake. So, this is how I spent my Friday night. If you want to know, here is the link to make your own fondant. It was surprisingly easy and FUN! I love to try new things. If it works out, you can say "I did it". If it doesn't work out, you can say, "I tried."

Here is the final product. Alex is pretty excited.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mexican Chicken Chowder

This was a satisfying soup. It came together quickly. My only ispiration was the contents of my pantry!

Mexican Chicken Chowder
2 Cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cans chicken broth
1 can diced chiles
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup half and half (I used fat free)
1 cup Taco Cheese (Mine was a mixture of cheeses w/ some taco seasoning)

Simmer the chicken in the broth and add the chiles, corn and salsa (I wanted to use black olives too, but the family isnt keen on them). Simmer for about 15 minutes, turn off heat and add the half and half and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Top w/ cilantro, sour cream, olives or nothing at all. It's all good.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Breakfast Cookie

I like the idea of a quick breakfast. One of the posters on the bariatric tv boards mentioned a breakfast cookie. Taking up the challenge, I came up with this tasty treat. SO easy to make and really a nice, sweet, filling little thing.

Breakfast Cookie
Nutritional Info
Fat: 4.8g
Carbohydrates: 7.3g (2.6 g fiber)
Calories: 88.9
Protein: 7.2g

3/4 cup applesauce (UNSWEETENED)
1 large egg
1/4 cup almond slivers
1/4 cup UNSWEETENED coconut
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (I use Nectar Chocolate Truffel)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (flax meal)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup splenda
Oven - 350 degrees.Toast the almonds and coconut in a small pan on the stove until golden. Set aside to cool.Combine the applesauce and egg, mix well and set aside.Combine the dry ingredients and add the almonds, coconut and applesauce mixture. LET SIT for 5 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone cooking mat. Drop by big spoonfuls onto the sheet. These will cook in the shape they are dropped, so make sure they are a cookie shape, dont mound them up too much. It's a very runny batter. Dont be tempted to thicken it up. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Makes 9 large cookies.Number of Servings: 9

Monday, January 11, 2010

Irish Cream Cheesecake

I adapted a recipe to make a cheesecake for the holidays. This turned out excellent and I'd be proud to serve it at any gathering. I think with Valentines coming up, this would be a lovely dessert.
1 cup of broken up sugar free shortbread cookies, broken up
1 1/4 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup Splenda
6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 lbs low fat cream cheese room temperature
3/4 cup Splenda
3 large eggs
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 - 6 ounces sugar free white chocolate (use either a bar or baking chips - I found SF white choc baking chips at our local bulk food store)

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1/4 cup Splenda

Preheat oven to 325°.
Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.

Combine the cookies, Splenda and almonds in a food processor and grind until fine. Add the melted butter and blend, using on/off turns.
Press mixture on the bottom of the pan.
Chill for 20 minutes. (You DONT bake this crust ahead of time - I have never made one this way, but it turned out yummy)
Prepare the filling: With a electric mixer, beat cream cheese and Splenda in large bowl until smooth. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, Baileys and vanilla extract just until blended.
Beat mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, mixing every 30 seconds until melted; add to cheese mixture while mixer is running.
Pour filling into crust.
Bake for 45 minutes. Mix greek yogurt and splenda and spread evenly on top. Return to oven for another 10 minutes.

Remove and cool completely. Serve chilled (best if overnight). Garnish with white choc shavings if desired.