Category Archives: Comfort Foods

Cheeseburger Rolls

I love spring rolls…probably too much. I also love a good pub treat that you can serve at a game night table. I’m loving this idea of putting anything you want into spring roll form. I mean who hasn’t indulged in the occasional pizza roll? I was introduced to sausage rolls and thought….couldn’t we put a burger in here? So, I figured I would give it a go. I put in some of the things I like cheese burger wise and ran with it. The result is delicious and great for game night, whichever kind you indulge in. In my case it’s board and card games. Keep these in mind for International Tabletop Day if like myself you don’t have a local event to go to. Celebrate with friends and tasty treats!
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  • 6 phyllo dough sheets
  • 1 tsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg white
  • 8 ounces extra lean ground beef
  • 1 pkg lipton onion soup mix, dry
  • 1 mini dill pickle, minced
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 30g shredded light cheese (I went with mozzarellissima light because it melts wonderfully)
  1. Preheat 350F
  2. Mix the ground beef and soup mix together. Brown in a pan.
  3. Add mustard, ketchup, and pickle to the beef and stir.
  4. Layer three phyllo sheets, brushing with butter between the layers. Brush egg white on the top layer. Cut the sheet into columns. I get six.
  5. Place a tablespoon of the beef mixture at the bottom of each column. Top with a bit of cheese, make sure you have enough for 12 rolls. Lift the bottom of the column wrapping filling, fold in the sides, and roll up.Click here if you need some visual guidance. It’s not my site but the method is the same.
  6. Brush on top with egg white. Place on a lined or greased sheet.
  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have made all twelve and bake for 20-25 minutes. they should look nice a golden brown.

Makes 12 omnom worthy rolls. Each roll is 87.5 calories, 4 grams fat, 6.9g carbs, .3 grams fibre, 5.7 grams protein, .1g sugars, 1.7 g saturated fat. 3 SP each or 2 PP for you weight watcher folks.

Mac and Cheese now with covert veggies

Yes, I messed with that classic, the precious macaroni and cheese. Yes, I added vegetables. Hear me out though! Years ago kraft came out with a healthier mac that included cauliflower in its sauce. I tried it, it was ok…except that cauliflower upsets my tummy. Notice you don’t see me using it much? Well, I finally got to thinking there must be a better way. After a bit of playing around I have found it. I was torn for awhile between pumpkin and carrot,  but in the end carrot won. Mostly because I used up all my pumpkin making all my other delectable treats.

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  • 227 grams high fibre dry macaroni
  • 370 grams carrots, cut into chunks (I just washed them and left peels on)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 cup light shredded cheese (I blended some cheddar and mozzarella but have fun trying out new things, I would include a sharp cheese in the blend though)
  • 1/4 cup light shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbl light cheddar cheese spread
  • 3 tbl shredded romano or parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven 375F and spray a 9×9 baking dish.
  2. Cook the pasta as directed to al dente, drain and reserve 1 cup of liquid.
  3. Place carrots in a microwave safe container. Add 1/2 cup water. Microwave for 4 minutes or until soft. Add reserved water from the pasta and puree until smooth.
  4. Add the carrot puree to the pasta and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the “sauce” thickens.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add the mustard powder, 1 cup of shredded cheese blend, cheese spread and romano/parmesan cheese. Stir until creamy and season to taste.
  6. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the 1/4 cup light cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling.

Serves 4. Each serving contains 338 calories, 8.2 grams fat, 53.3 grams carbs, 2.6 grams fibre, 17 grams protein. A great comfort food, I forgot about the carrots in it after the first bite and just carried on loving a creamy noodle dish of num. A little side salad and you have accomplished so many of your daily veggies or better yet cut this into smaller pieces and have it as a side dish. A 6 serving side dish is 225 calories, 5.4 grams fat, 35.6 grams carbs, 1.7 grams fibre, 11.3 grams protein.

Double Dark Brownies

When life gets crazy, make brownies. Life around here has definitely been crazy, you might have noticed the absence of posts. Well, to comfort myself I made a fudgy style of brownie and felt I should definitely share. Accept my chocolatey, tasty, less than guilty apology? Wait till you see the secret ingredient…don’t let it turn you off. My husband, the surly dwarf, didn’t even notice. Definitely try it.
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  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup splenda, truvia or other sugar substitute
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup nutri flour (or unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 7 egg whites or 1 cup egg substitute
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Spray 13″x9″ pan, preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa, flour, and baking powder.
  3. Add egg whites, pumpkin, coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir until moistened.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into 24 squares.

Makes 24 brownies. Each brownie contains 58 calories, .9 gram fat, 14.5 grams carbs, .7 gram fibre, 1.8 grams protein. Yeah, I know. I had to double check, I was so surprised. Definitely a go to brownie for those chocolate comfort cravings.

 

 

Cheeseburger Bubble Pizza

A friend of mine approached me to try to make a healthier version of this tasty dish. Most of all she wanted to avoid the use of pre-made dough which is full of preservatives. I had to admit, I had no idea what bubble pizza was. Apparently it’s when you take dough in a can and mix it with pizza ingredients to make a delicious kind of deep dish meets casserole experience. After playing around with it a bit I found a combination that not only worked but we have now added to our own list of favourite not so naughty dishes. The best part? Leftovers can be frozen and reheated. They taste just as good as the original baking. For you freezer cooks this is definitely one I would add to your menu. Alright, enough talking about the holy grail of pizza lets get down to the details!

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  • 1 tbl honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbl water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (I actually used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 tbl light butter
  • 10 oz extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar tomato sauce of your choice or homemade (16 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup light mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup light cheddar
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Pizza toppings of choice (optional, not included in nutritional info)
  1. Grease a 9×13 baking dish, preheat oven to 350F
  2. Combine the first ingredients in either a breadmaker according to your directions or knead together on a floured surface to create a dough. Proof twice.
  3. In a deep skillet brown the ground beef, break up any big bunches.
  4. Add garlic and onions. Continue to cook until onions are soft.
  5. Stir in tomato sauce and basil.
  6. Grab small (thumbsized) balls of the dough and add them to the sauce mixture. 100_2984
  7. Stir the mixture very gently until all the dough balls are coated with sauce.100_2986
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the cheeses and another other pizza toppings you want to include. Bake for another 10 minutes (longer if you really load it up).
  10. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 really large portions.100_2997

Makes 6 servings. Each serving contains 339 calories, 13.8 grams fat, 34.6 grams carbs, 4.2 grams fibre, 19.9 protein. So filling and so easy to make into a feast by adding a side salad. My surly dwarf was impressed with how full it made him feel after a long day of work. This might actually find a special place in our freezer to take care of those, aarrgh, let’s just have pizza kind of days. 2-3 minutes in the microwave is faster than delivery and so much cheaper.

 

Hardcore Hobbit: Mince and Taters

What a lovely Scottish dish this one is, some of you might know this better as mince and tatties. In LOTRO you make this comforting food using leek stock, carrot, taters, herbs, and beef. Like the description says this is a simple and extremely satisfying meal. A traditional approach to this tends to be a bit of a…well…rustic presentation. I’m going to pretty it up a little but I feel it’s still rustic and so tasty. I played around a bit with my usual gravy recipe too, instead of flour I worked with potato starch. A very successful experiment, I have to say as a thickener, potato starch is pretty awesome and of course, gluten free for those who worry about that.

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  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 red potato
  • 2 cups leek or beef stock
  • 2 tbl potato starch
  • 2 tbl light butter
  1. In a bowl combine beef, carrot, onion,worcestershire sauce, cloves, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Form into small, slider sized patties about 2-3 oz each.
  2. In a med-high heat pan sear each patty for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan melt the butter.
  4. Add the potato starch and stir to create a roux.
  5. Whisk continuously as you pour the stock slowly in.
  6. Allow the gravy to come to a boil for 2 minutes then lower the heat to a simmer. Season gravy to taste. Add the patties and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile wash and cube potatoes. Bring water to a boil in another pot. Add potatoes, cook until fork tender (about 10-15 minutes). Drain, add a bit of stock and mash.
  8. Serve your mince patties, with a mountain of tatties (having a close encounters moment like I did is not required), and gravy. Enjoy!

Makes 6 patties, a whole bunch of potatoes, and more gravy than you actually need…I’m a gravy eating monster and I couldn’t finish it. Each patty contains 142 calories, 9.7 grams fat, .4 gram carbohydrate, 0 fibre, and 10.6 grams protein. Each 1/2 cup of potato contains 117 calories, .1 gram fat, 26.7 grams carbs, 4.1 grams fibre, and 2.9 grams protein. Each tbl of gravy contains 12.5 calories, .8 gram fat, 1.4 grams carb, 0 fibre, and .1 gram protein. *phew* That was a lot of math today. You know what would finish this dish even better? An english pea puree. That is another story though.

Hardcore Hobbit: Rarebit Muffins

For those not in the know, Welsh rarebit is a tasty dish of a melted cheese sauce (usually cheddar and mustard) poured over toast and devoured with gusto. In LOTRO rarebit muffins are made with black barley flour, goat cheese, milk and an egg. All fabulous starting points as usual but this time I decided to use some extreme guidance from Nigella Lawson. Her recipe is simply delicious, I lightened it up, changed a few things around and it still came out delish…my husband, the Surly Dwarf, ate about 6 of them. I call that a win! Want to make some too and not feel the guilt? Let’s go!

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  • 275g flour (I used the nutrigrain flour, hurray whole grains!)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 100g rathtrevor cheese (this is a great local cheese made by Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, if you can get it go for it! If not a nice sharp cheddar is good too)
  • 1/4 cup melted light cooking margarine
  • 150g 0% fat greek yogurt (use the kind with no gelatin)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbl worcestershire sauce (keep the bottle on hand for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mustard powder. I don’t always sift but for these I always do. They work out best this way, totally worth the effort. Here I will prove it, I actually sifted.100_2962See? Told ya.
  2. Add the cheese, reserving a couple tbl worth for topping later. Toss to coat the cheese.
  3. In a measuring cup combine the remaining ingredients.
  4. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour, stir until moistened. Don’t over stir, the lumps help make this airy when you bake it instead of dense.
  5. Scoop into a greased 12 muffin tin. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven top with remaining cheese and a sprinkle of worcestershire sauce. Back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve while warm but not piping hot. Cheese burns are lethal.

Makes 12 servings. Each serving contains 142 calories, 5.3g fat, 17g carbs, 2.3g fibre, and 7.2g protein. Pretty great for a super tasty savoury muffin. I paired this with a salad topped with my garlic dressing for dinner. Good times. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe. I keep getting asked how it is I make mine so healthy without sacrificing tasty classic flavour. It really is my go to cookie, I’ve made them quickly before we settle in to watch a movie, takes me less than 5 minutes. I never buy premade cookie dough, you can just freeze this stuff instead. I’ve been told by folks that they like this version far better than anything some puffy commercial icon provides. So, here is my healthy version of that good old classic cookie.

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  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar substitute (I like either truvia or splenda, both work nicely)
  • 1/2 cup light butter or light cooking margarine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 prepared serving vegan egg substitute (you can sub an egg but it changes the values, this substitute is fat free and only 15 calories for an egg, wow.)
  • 1 cup nutri-flour (this is a blend of flour and ground wheat bran, great stuff much healthier than white flour and bakes better than whole wheat in these cookies)
  • 4 tbl dark chocolate chips (I use 70% when I can find them but 50% works great too, if you can find mini chips, Do IT! the coverage is great for so little)
  1. Cream together sugar, margarine.
  2. Add salt, baking powder, extracts and egg substitute. Combine until light and fluffy.
  3. Fold in nutri-flour.
  4. Add chocolate chips.
  5. Measure out the dough using a tsp. You can either drop them on the sheet or roll the dough out in your palms and pat to form a small disk. Depends on the look you are going for.
  6. Bake 350F for 10 minutes.

Makes 24 cookies. Each cookie contains 52 calories, 2.8 grams fat, 7.6 grams carbs, .7 gram fibre, .8 gram protein.