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.
To make dessert time easy and on track I like to make my desserts ahead of time and freeze them for the week. It makes me less likely to omnom the whole tray justifying to myself that they might go bad if I don’t. Really, who hasn’t used this excuse one time or another? After the holidays I had some leftover marshmallows, can’t let those go to waste. What does one do with marshmallows? Make rice cereal treats of course! We can’t make the same old treats around here though. After spending a bit of time fantasizing about a sushi dinner I was looking forward to I realized just what had to happen. Numminess followed.
- 4 tbl light butter or margarine
- 16 marshmallows
- 4 cups brown puffed rice cereal
- 4 tbl light peanut butter
- 2 tsp reduced sugar jam (I used my hardcore hobbit blackberry jam)
- 1 tbl honey
- Melt margarine/butter using either a microwave (10 second bursts) or in a pot on an element.
- Add marshmallows, stir and melt in micro (10 second bursts) or on the element.
- Remove from heat and add brown rice cereal. Add the treat mixture to a greased baking sheet. Press down and into edges to create a flat rectangle. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. It should still be pliable if you list the edges but not too tacky to the touch.
- Combine peanut butter, jam and honey in a bowl.
- Turn out the cool rice mixture onto a plastic mat or plastic wrap.
- Spread the peanut butter mixture onto the rice treat.
- Roll, using the plastic to help you keep it all together, like a sushi roll.
- Put the roll into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
Makes 16 “dessert sushi” each one contains 155 calories, 4 grams fat, 25 grams carbs, 1 gram fibre, 2 grams protein. You can keep these in the freezer and take them out to eat immediately. A fun twist on a classic that you can customize with any filling you feel like. My husband suggests the chocolate and almond butter.
Hollandaise sauce can be pretty hard to get just right. Traditionally made. I am fond of a shortcut that I use though. For those special treat brunches when only an egg benny will do. Now, the simple parts I’m sure you can figure out on your own, toast an english muffin (multigrain is best!), pan fry a piece of canadian bacon, and poach an egg to medium. Layer them up and then top with this delicious sauce…proclaim yourself the god or goddess of brunch and enjoy.Keep in mind this is a totally bastardized version of making hollandaise but, num.
- 2 tbl unsalted butter
- juice from two lemon wedges, more if you like a really tart hollandaise
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a microwave safe dish melt the butter in the microwave until it boils slightly. About 30 seconds maximum, watch the butter for the right moment.
- Crack an egg into a blender. Add a tsp of the melted butter to the egg and blend.
- Add the rest of the melted butter, the lemon juice, and seasonings. Blend until thickened and slightly frothy.
- Serve immediately.
Serves 4. Each serving of sauce contains 69 calories, 7 grams fat, .3 gram carbs, no fibre, 1.6 grams protein.
This is usually made with cod but Halibut was what was locally in season at the time I made this. With that season about to begin again I figured now is a good time for other folks to give this a go. This is a new spin on a centuries old Japanese recipe usually done with black cod. The first time I tried this was in a usually reasonably priced restaurant, I was blown away by the flavours….and then the price…15.00 for a tiny piece of fish, this was an appetizer portion. Yeah. Well, you can probably figure out what happened next. I craved this fish, this tasty expensive fish. It had drawn me in with it’s full amazing flavour, I was a slave to my need to have another taste but my frugal side screamed at me that there must be another way! So here we have it. My solution to the nobu cod dilemma with local fish. Note: the miso here is key, no miso no nobu. Say that last bit out loud…it’s kinda funny. Come on, now give it the Miyagi voice. There you have it. See? Now, to the nobu!
- 2 or 3 pieces fresh halibut (total about 1 lb)
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 5 tbl white miso paste (white only,the other colours just won’t be the same)
- 2 tbl sugar or honey
- Mix the last four ingredients in a container you intend to marinate the fish in. Preferably a container with a lid.
- Pat the fish dry and place in the container. Spoon some of the marinade on top to get full coverage. Cover and allow to sit in your fridge overnight or for 24 hours.
- Lightly wipe off the excess marinade. Lightly grill or pan fry the fish on both sides to sear, just until that surface turns brown you aren’t cooking it here.
- Transfer the fish to an oven preheated to 400F. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Oh what a tasty delight you are about to have! This is my new favourite fish dish. Loved it so much I made it for my family on christmas eve and now my fellow foodie sister wants the recipe. Sorry it took me so long to type it out for ya Laura! Each serving contains: 363 calories, 6.7 grams fat, 9.1 grams carbs, 60.5 grams protein, no fiber sadly. Have a nice high fibre side dish to compensate. I made us a tasty quinoa and edamame bean pilaf on the side. Goodtimes! A fun variation is to add 1 tsp sriracha sauce to the marinade, spicy nobu! Keep in mind you can do this recipe with pretty much any white fish you like, go nuts!
How about a tasty somewhat naughty festive treat? I was making cupcakes for a potluck that my yoga teacher training group decided to put on. I made these vegan friendly and oh my, they were tasty! The recipe below is the healthier way I would make them but I will include the recipe variation to make them vegan friendly too. They were originally going to be gluten free and vegan friendly but that challenge is going to be saved for another day. These were so tasty even my meatatarien husband has been enjoying them. For those who are curious I’m an omnomnomivore. Food is tasty.
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 12 tbl low fat cooking margarine
- 1 1/2 cup splenda
- 10 tbl egg substitute (like egg beaters)
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened original
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 tbl orange zest, grated fine
- Juice of 1 orange (usually about 2 ounces)
- 2 1/2 cup icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a bowl cream together the margarine, egg, almond extract and splenda.
- In another bowl combine the baking powder and flour. (yes, sometimes I’m lazy and skip this step too…it’s o.k.)
- Slowly alternate between adding the flour and the almond milk while beating the creamed mixture on low. Continue until all combined.
- Spoon batter into cup pan and bake for 20 minutes. You can tell they are done when they spring back when you touch them and are golden.
- While the cupcakes bake, combine the zest and icing sugar in a bowl.
- Slowly add the orange juice to the sugar mixture while beating on low. Once it is all combined at the desired consistency (you do not have to use all of the juice) beat for 2 minutes on high. Chill the glaze for 1 hour.
- Glaze the cupcakes when they have cooled.
Makes 16 cupcakes, each cupcake with glaze contains approximately 176 calories, 2.4 grams fat, 39 grams carbs, .9 gram fiber, and 2.2 grams protein.
To make this vegan friendly I used powdered egg substitute ( a local brand from the health store), vegan butter (earth balance buttery spread), and brown sugar instead of splenda. The nutritional info for this version is much higher of course. To make the cupcakes you just add the extra step before you cream of adding the required amount of water to the powdered egg substitute and stir. Other than that it is straight forward and the baking time is the same.