Category Archives: Craving Buster

Brown Rice Dessert Roll

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.

100_2903

  • 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
  1. Melt margarine/butter using either a microwave (10 second bursts) or in a pot on an element.
  2. Add marshmallows, stir and melt in micro (10 second bursts) or on the element.
  3. 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.
  4. Combine peanut butter, jam and honey in a bowl.
  5. Turn out the cool rice mixture onto a plastic mat or plastic wrap.
  6. Spread the peanut butter mixture onto the rice treat.workingwithjam 004
  7. Roll, using the plastic to help you keep it all together, like a sushi roll.workingwithjam 005
  8. 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.

Easy Eggs Benny

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
  1. 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.
  2. Crack an egg into a blender. Add a tsp of the melted butter to the egg and blend.
  3. Add the rest of the melted butter, the lemon juice, and seasonings. Blend until thickened and slightly frothy.
  4. Serve immediately.

Serves 4. Each serving of sauce contains 69 calories, 7 grams fat, .3 gram carbs, no fibre, 1.6 grams protein.

Nobu Halibut

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
  1. Mix the last four ingredients in a container you intend to marinate the fish in. Preferably a container with a lid.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Transfer the fish to an oven preheated to 400F. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

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!

 

 

Almond Cupcakes with Orange Glaze

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
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a bowl cream together the margarine, egg, almond extract and splenda.
  3. In another bowl combine the baking powder and flour. (yes, sometimes I’m lazy and skip this step too…it’s o.k.)
  4. Slowly alternate between adding the flour and the almond milk while beating the creamed mixture on low. Continue until all combined.
  5. 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.
  6. While the cupcakes bake, combine the zest and icing sugar in a bowl.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Hardcore Hobbit: Fruit Roll

What an exciting week! I was successful at completing the first phase of my training, so I am now a certified pilates instructor. Boldly going where no geek has gone before. Now Isengard is live on LOTRO!! Woot! I myself don’t get to play yet because all this schooling means very little gaming money right now. Can’t go running off and buying it yet. Still all this exciting stuff deserves cake…it deserves hardcore hobbit cake. In the game the fruit roll is made of honey, blackberries, and barley flour. ! It also gives that boost of will power that we all need. This to me says lemon cake with a blackberry cream cheese filling. Shall we?

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey or splenda
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 blackberries, fresh or thawed
  • 2 tbl light strawberry cream cheese
  1. Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  2. In another bowl combine the eggs, water, lemon rind, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until all one colour. Add the honey or splenda and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the liquids to the well in the flour. Add the dry around the sides of the well to the liquids until smooth.
  4. Grease a jelly roll pan very well, for extra care line with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out evenly.
  5. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it is done. Immediately loosen the cake from the pan and upend onto a clean tea towel. Roll the cake gently like a jelly roll using the towel. Allow to cool.
  6. Combine the blackberries and cream cheese. I don’t get to worried about a smooth texture. I think its more fun to have little pockets of cream cheese and berry. Unroll the cake. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the cake giving about an inch of space from the edges.
  7. Roll the cake back up carefully. Slice into 16 pieces and serve!

Each slice contains (with honey) 91 calories, 1 gram fat, 19.8 gram carbs, .4 gram fibre, and 1.8 grams protein. With splenda each slice contains 43 calories, 1 gram fat, 8 grams carbs, .3 gram fibre, and 1.8 grams protein. Sure you can frost this cake but with the way that cream cheese berry filling is you really don’t need the extra calories and fat to enjoy.

Hardcore Hobbit: Blackberry Jam

This tasty jam can certainly be enjoyed in a variety of ways. This is an ingredient recipe in LOTRO. According to the game it is made with blackberries, water, and mixed spice. This then goes on to be the ingredient for so many other hardcore hobbit recipes. I can’t wait! I have been anxiously watching our blackberry bushes all summer. You won’t believe how busy the bees were! Now we have oodles of blackberries and the first thing that absolutely had to be made was this blackberry jam. I like the tartness of the berry so I did not add much sugar at all. If you like a sweeter jam you may want to add more than I did. With the success of this basic jam I am definitely going back to make more. I think the next will be a blackberry lavender jam and a blackberry passionfruit jam. Num! Definitely harvest season around here.

  • 4 cups crushed blackberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice (I made my own by juicing a few fuji apples)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp light cooking margarine
  • 1 pkg no sugar needed pectin (I call it insurance in case my apple juice doesn’t come through)
  • 1 cup sweetener of choice (I used splenda but honey would be divine)
  • 4 small canning jars
  1. Boil the jars, lids, and seals to sterilize and prep for the jam. Keep them hot until ready for filling.
  2. Strain 2 or 3 cups of the berries to remove the seeds. Blend the strained liquid with the remaining crushed berries in a pot.
  3. Add the apple juice, margarine, cinnamon, and cloves to the berries.
  4. Stir in the pectin until dissolved.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the sweetner of choice.
  6. Stir constantly while boiling for 3 minutes then remove from heat.
  7. One at a time remove jars from the hot liquid, ladle in the jam, leaving about 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rim clean. Top with the sealing disk. Screw down the top. Repeat for the rest of the jars.
  8. Return the filled jars to the boiling water, make sure the jars are covered by atleast an inch of water. Boil for 10 minutes or longer if you are at higher altitudes.
  9. Remove the jars from the water without tilting them. Allow to sit upright and undisturbed for 24 hours.

Makes 4 250 ml jars. 1 tbl of jam sweetened with splenda is 7 calories, .1 gram fat, .5 gram fibre, 2.1 carb, and .1 gram protein. 1 tbl of jam sweetened with honey is 22 calories, .1 gram fat, .5 gram fibre, 5.7 carbs, and .1 gram protein. Contains all the num needed to last through winter for two hungry hobbits.

 

Banh Mi

Otherwise known as the Vietnamese sub. This is one of those times that food network helped me find a new food to try. The show that clinched me having to try these subs featured a food truck named nomnom (you can already see why my curiosity was piqued.). Everyone flocked around this truck to get their unique sandwiches. I had to try it. So on our next visit out to Vancouver we hit vietsub, which many claim makes the best banh mi in Vancouver. I’m not a connoisseur yet but that was definitely one tasty sandwich.  It was spicy, the pickled veggies had a delightful crunchy pungency that coupled blissfully with the creaminess of the dressing. Oh yes, I am a banh mi fan. I can’t go toddling off to Vancouver everytime I crave one though. So, this is my attempt at my bon ami the banh mi.

  • 2 sub buns
  • 1 tbl light mayo
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce (optional, I like my bahn mi to bite back)
  • 2 tbl liverwurst
  • 2 tbl fish sauce
  • 2 tbl soy sauce
  • 2 tbl canola oil
  • 2 tbl brown sugar, unpacked, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 lb thin flash fry top sirloin steak
  • 1 carrot, thinly julienned
  • 2 oz daikon radish, thinly julienned
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbl rice wine vinegar
  1. Combine the mayo and sriracha, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, canola oil, 1 tbl sugar, garlic and pepper in a bowl. Add the flank steak. Cover, refrigerate and allow to marinate for atleast 4 hours.
  3. Combine the carrot, daikon, remaining sugar, salt, and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Cover, refrigerate and allow to pickle for 4 hours. Turn once during this process. Drain.
  4. Heat a skillet to medium. Sear the steak for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain.
  5. Cut open the rolls, spread the cut top side with half the spicy mayo mix and the bottom half with 1 tbl of liverwurst.
  6. Top with the beef and the pickle mixture. Repeat with the other bun. Serve.

Serves two bon ami. Each serving (without bun) contains 216 calories, 10.8 grams fat, 1.4 grams fibre, 8.7 grams carbs, and 20.3 grams protein. Check out that protein! This is a great post workout treat.

Frozen Yogurt Cake

I made this for my husband’s birthday. You can get all sorts of ice cream cakes out there, they are indeed nummy but the nutritional info on them is…less than nummy. Some places make a frozen yogurt cake such as Ben and Jerry’s but the one around here closed a year or so ago. So, getting a lower fat style of frozen cake was looking like a no go. This has never stopped me before! Time to figure out how to make one. Surprisingly, not very hard. Once I figured out what I wanted in the cake it was just a matter of assembly. I know that we love the fudgy layer in those cakes, the cookie crust, and overall creaminess. A little culinary architecture and tada! A tower of num. My husband loves his mocha so for this one I went with a chocolate and coffee style of cake. Go with your favourites and change it up! Soon you too can have your own customized frozen cake dessert.

  • 12 reduced fat oreo cookies
  • 1 tbl cold coffee
  • 7 scoops vanilla low fat frozen yogurt
  • 7 scoops cappuccino low fat frozen yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fat free dark chocolate sauce
  • plastic wrap
  • 8″ springform pan
  1. Line a springform pan with 2 sheets of plastic wrap that hang about 6 inches over the sides. Drap one sheet and then drape the other crosswise.
  2. Crush the oreo cookies, cookies and filling together. Add the coffee. Press the mixture into the pan (on top of the plastic wrap you used to line it)
  3. Once the crust is down begin scooping the vanilla frozen yogurt on top of the crust. Then, using a spoon smooth out the frozen yogurt to create a seamless layer.
  4. Top with the fudge sauce, then scoop the mocha frozen yogurt on top. Use a spoon to smooth the layer as before but more carefully to prevent the sauce from moving around too much.
  5. Optional: Top with some extra chocolate sauce to add words or a picture.
  6. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and foil for extra protection. Freeze for atleast 4 hours or overnight. To serve take out of the freezer and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Unwrap and spring the pan off. Heat knife under hot water and slice.
  7. We sliced ours into 16 pieces. They are tall and ever so decadent. Enjoy!

Serves 16. Yes, That is a 16th of the cake! Nutritional information totally depends on the brands you choose for yourself. Although with this one you can rest a bit easier knowing that this cake is certainly not as bad for you as most of those ice cream cakes out there.

Toasted Coconut Pie

No hardcore hobbit today, but really, what hobbit would say no to pie? We had this tasty pie this weekend and I just had to share. For years I have been buying all sorts of coconut cream pies for my husband. It’s his favourite but I’ve never tried to make one because I just didn’t trust myself to get it right. Each store bought pie I got for him was a store bought disappointment. We just weren’t achieving an acceptable level of coconut flavour. So, it’s time I gave it a go. To us the best kind of coconut is toasted coconut. If making it on our own is the only way we can make this happen, then we are going to bring it! I did…and epic coconut flavour was achieved.

  • 10 reduced fat oreo cookies, crushed (creamy center and all)
  • 1/2 unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup splenda
  • 2 egg whites
  • 370 ml can evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tbl cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
  1. Press the crushed oreos into a pie pan to from your crust.
  2. Mix together the cornstarch, splenda and brown sugar in a pot. Slowly add the egg whites, vanilla extract, coconut extract and milk while whisking to keep smooth.
  3. Heat the mixture on medium heat, whisking frequently, until it thickens.
  4. Stir in the toasted coconut, reserving some of it to sprinkle on top of the pie.
  5. Pour carefully over the crust. Top with remaining coconut and allow to cool.
  6. Best if left in the fridge overnight.

Serves 8. Each serving contains 147 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 30.4 grams carbs, .5 gram fibre, and 5.8 grams protein. I have figured out where they were hiding all the coconut flavour in all those store bought pies….it was in my cupboard all this time.

Tonkatsu

Another one of my favourite ways to enjoy pork. Our trip to Vancouver to once again enjoy a tonkatsu japadog just won’t come fast enough so I had to make some here at home. So nummy, so easy, and really not that bad for you. Avoiding the deep frying really does that. I also modified the breading so that we get more fibre out of it. It’s been so busy and hectic over here, with japanese being my comfort food I guess it comes as no surprise that here is another japanese style recipe to share. Hehe. I love the crunch of this dish, it tastes and sounds like naughty! Being a huge ketchup lover that tonkatsu sauce is nothing but epic win for me.

  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 tsp dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 12 oz pork tenderloin chops or stirfry strips (I went with the strips)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup potato flakes
  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the panko and potato flakes in a plastic bag.
  3. Add the chops or pork strips to the bag and shake to coat.
  4. Arrange the coated pork on a baking sheet and bake at 450F for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of the sauce you made.

Serves 4. Each serving contains 244 calories, 7.9 grams fat, 13.9 grams carbs, 2.4 grams fibre, 26.2 grams protein. Great on a nice sticky rice or shredded cabbage.