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!
- 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)
- Preheat 350F
- Mix the ground beef and soup mix together. Brown in a pan.
- Add mustard, ketchup, and pickle to the beef and stir.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brush on top with egg white. Place on a lined or greased sheet.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Preheat oven 375F and spray a 9×9 baking dish.
- Cook the pasta as directed to al dente, drain and reserve 1 cup of liquid.
- 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.
- Add the carrot puree to the pasta and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the “sauce” thickens.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Spray 13″x9″ pan, preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine sugar, cocoa, flour, and baking powder.
- Add egg whites, pumpkin, coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir until moistened.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- 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.
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!
- 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)
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish, preheat oven to 350F
- 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.
- In a deep skillet brown the ground beef, break up any big bunches.
- Add garlic and onions. Continue to cook until onions are soft.
- Stir in tomato sauce and basil.
- Grab small (thumbsized) balls of the dough and add them to the sauce mixture.
- Stir the mixture very gently until all the dough balls are coated with sauce.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
- 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).
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 really large portions.
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.
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.
- 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)
- Cream together sugar, margarine.
- Add salt, baking powder, extracts and egg substitute. Combine until light and fluffy.
- Fold in nutri-flour.
- Add chocolate chips.
- 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.
- 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.
I found myself inspired by a book I received for review. The book is ‘Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet’ by Erica Kerwien. What a thorough book this was! SCD is an option for those who are trying to work with delicate digestive situations such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, Celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis to name a few. I have spoken to so many people dealing with these conditions who find themselves restricted by their guidelines, all so that what they eat does not end their day. We eat to nourish and make ourselves happy (in far too many cases for me), can you imagine what it would be like if many of the foods you ate made you want to just curl up and wish the day or in many cases, week would end? So, when this book crossed my desk I was interested. Ofcourse, this book is not just for those looking to control a condition, it has a wealth of creative recipes and basics for anyone trying to eat sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free and she even offers dairy-free alternatives.
One of the recipes that caught my eye was a sweet cashew cream, basically a whipped cream alternative for folks. My recipe is not all that similar in the end but it was an inspiration. To check out the original recipe and the many other delicious healthy dishes I suggest you check out this book. Not being a gluten-free or grain-free follower myself I am happy to say that these recipes even appealed to my grain addicted self.
- 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts (if you can’t find ground just get regular and do them up in a blender or coffee grinder, like I did)
- 1 cup fat free evaporated skim milk
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (or icing sugar)
- 2 tbl light butter or margarine (I used the stuff with plant sterols to add extra nutrition)
- Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Refrigerate overnight (it will thicken with time and cold), stir and only serve chilled.
Makes 24 servings (about 1 tablespoon in size). Each serving contains 30 calories, 1.2 grams fat, 4 grams carbs, .2 gram fibre, and 1 gram protein. A great nutty flavoured alternative to plain old whipped cream. Amazing with chocolate cake.
I woke up one day and decided it was a day for molasses. So, so I made molasses cookies. then I got tired of rolling them out and cutting them. There must be an easy and lazy way to make these right? What about a cookie crust? My inner lazy cook offered. But what do we put in it? It can’t be too sweet. I whined. So, time was meant thinking until finally “Cherries!”…and I realized I had spent quality time talking food…with myself. Obviously, I was experiencing molasses withdrawal and needed to bake this up stat. I did…and it was delicious.
- 1/4 cup light cooking margarine or light butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses of choice
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries, cherry flavoured)
- 1 cup water
- Cream margarine and sugar in a bowl until soft and fluffy.
- Add sugar, molasses, and egg. Combine until smooth.
- Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in another bowl. Add slowly to the creamed mixture. Combine until a smooth dough forms.
- Press dough into a 9×9 glass pan.
- Bake at 375F for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven. Lower heat to 350F.
- Combine the cherries and water in a saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Pour mixture over the cookie crust and distribute evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before slicing into 12 bars. Serve warm or cool. Tasty either way!
Makes 12 servings. Each serving contains 134 calories, 1.9 grams fat, 29.5 grams carbs, .9 gram fibre, 1.7 grams protein. These are fabulous with a cup of chai tea.
I don’t often do Mexican food (or my interpretation of Mexican food). for some reason, Surly Dwarf just doesn’t trust it. Occasionally though I rebel and push for something Mexican around here. Usually, it’s tacos but lately I’ve been wanting these enchiladas I used to make when I was a teenager. I wanted to change them up though, I figured doing them like a lasagna would not only be easy but fun too. I was right. Instead of a meat filled enchilada I decided to make a simple bean filled one, great for those meatless nights. Total success, it was so good even Surly Dwarf went for seconds on this one. It may not make for the best picture but it is full of delicious.
- 5 corn tortilla (warmed according to directions)
- 398 ml fat free refried beans
- 1 tsp smoked applewood seasoning
- 1 tsp ground ancho chili (I freshly ground mine from a dried chili)
- 120 grams light tex mex cheese
- mole sauce of your choice (I used packaged stuff due to time constraints)
- Combine beans, applewood seasoning, chili, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Spoon a couple of tablespoons worth of sauce into a 9×9 glass pan.
- Cut a warmed tortilla in half, dip in the warm mole sauce. Once pliable but not over soaked place in the pan. Repeat to create the tortilla layer using two of the tortillas.
- Top the tortilla layer with the refried bean mixture and half the cheese.
- Layer the rest of the tortillas, pour the sauce remaining carefully on top, and then top with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes covered with foil. Remove foil and bake for an extra 5 minutes.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes, slice into four slabs and serve.
Makes four servings. Each serving contains 275 calories, 7.9 grams fat, 38.8 grams carbs, 7.3 grams fibre (I know!), and 15.1 grams protein. So filling, so nummy, and far less fat than a Mexican restaurant would wallop you with. Enjoy!
“I love cheesy poofs, you love cheesy poofs, if we didn’t eat cheesy poofs, we’d be LAME.” the immortal words of Cartman.
Alright, so these aren’t quite the fabled South Park junk food but they are so very nummy. The beauty of these is that you can use any cheese you have on hand to make it suit your taste. My favourite version of these is a toss up between the smoked gouda or my goat cheese ones. The goat cheese is my healthiest version so I will go with that one today. The perfect snack for entertaining guests, as part of an afternoon tea platter, or just because you want them. Remember, you can’t share them with kitty…they are YOUR cheesy poofs.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or buttermilk
- 4 tbl butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 ounces low fat goat cheese
- 1/8 tsp ground mace
- 1/8 tsp dry mustard powder
- freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a saucepan combine the milk, water, and butter. Bring almost to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly until a smooth dough forms. Once it begins to pull away from the edges of the pan remove from the heat and allow to cool for one minute.
- Add one of the eggs, beat in until the dough is smooth again. Repeat with the second egg.
- Stir in the cheese, pepper, salt and mace until smooth.
- Transfer the dough into a piping bag (or in my case a freezer bag that I cut a corner off of). Pipe the dough into desired shape on the parchment covered pans. I go with little round cushions.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and slightly golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 40 cheesy poofs. Each poof contains 22 calories, 1.6 grams of fat, 1.2 grams of carbs, 0 gram fibre, .6 gram protein. Why not have a few? Then pat yourself on the back for making a choux pastry. You top chef, you.
This past week or so I have definitely been on a meat, sauce, and sticky rice as comfort food kick. So good, so easy, and so filling! So easy to stick in veggies of choice with dishes like these. The more veggies you stick in the more you can have. The more you can win at eating healthy really. Anytime I think about dishes like these I’m always reminded of what my uncle said to my one day as we considered having leftover Chinese food for breakfast one day. “Hey, 1.3 billion people can’t be wrong.” So true, so tasty. I have said “so” a lot in an intro for General Tso chicken haven’t I? This particular dish is a north American invention, it did not really come from china granted it claims its inspiration from there. Just like so many other dishes we tend to order. Did you know the typical serving from a restaurant tends to include 1,300 calories, 11 grams of saturated fat? Yeah. Let’s see if we can do better than that.
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks
- 5 tbl white wine
- 2 tbl cornstarch
- 1 tbl oyster sauce
- 2 tbl water
- 2 tbl soy sauce
- 1 tbl honey
- 1 tbl rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 tbl grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- 2 stalks celery, chopped (or carrots, or broccoli, any of these or all are tasty additions)
- Add 2 tbl of white wine and oyster sauce to 1 tbl cornstarch. Add chicken, toss to coat and set aside to marinate.
- Combine the remaining white wine, water, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, sriracha sauce, and cornstarch in another bowl. Set aside.
- Heat pan over medium high heat. Don’t be shy, the heat helps the chicken stay moist with a quick sear. When pan is heated add the coconut oil and swirl.
- Add the chicken mixture to the pan. Stir-fry until browned and cooked through.
- Add ginger, garlic, and shallots. Stir-fry until fragrant.
- Add celery (or veggie mix of choice), stir fry until slightly tender but still crisp.
- Stir in the sauce set aside earlier. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens.
Makes four servings. Each serving contains 158 calories, 3.1 grams fat, 10.4 grams carbs, .5 gram fibre, and 16.9 grams protein. Delicious over steamed rice. Yup, this is definitely a win for north american style chinese food. A guilty pleasure and comfort food without the sad weight in the next week.