Tag Archives: recipes

It’s finals week: Procrastinate

Here at Fredonia, it’s finals week. And what better way to fail your exams than procrastination? A lot of times when I get stressed, I need to stop the studying for a little and take a break. I’ve found a great activity that keeps my mind off work is cooking! I will prepare a few meals at a time, time an hour or two to think about something else. Here are some healthy, awesome things you can cook while relaxing for a while!

Stuffed Peppers:

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Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers (any color)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces 90-percent lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, parsley or 1/4 teaspoon dried mint

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tops off each pepper, reserve them and hollow out the insides of the peppers of any seeds and seed walls. Sprinkle the insides with a pinch salt and a pinch pepper and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and onions. Cook until softened, 3 minutes, and then add the beef, oregano, cinnamon and cumin. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste until it coats the meat and is slightly darkened. Stir in the broth, rice and lentils. Remove from the heat and set aside until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is cooled slightly. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Divide the filling among the peppers and place the tops back on. Set the peppers upright in a small baking dish, such as an 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk 1 1/2 cups water with the remaining tablespoon of tomato paste and olive oil. Pour into the dish around the peppers. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and the rice and lentils are cooked through, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer the peppers to a serving dish and pour the cooking liquid into a medium nonstick skillet. Boil over high heat until the sauce is thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat and add the dill. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the sauce with the stuffed peppers.

Per Serving: Calories: 320; Total Fat; 11 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Protein: 20 grams; Total carbohydrates: 37 grams; Sugar: 5 grams Fiber: 8 grams; Cholesterol: 37 milligrams; Sodium: 426 milligrams

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/lightened-up-stuffed-peppers-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

 

Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo:

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-fat (2%) milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Neufchtel or low-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 ounces fresh fettuccine
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions
Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.

Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan and pepper.

Per serving: Calories 490; Fat 15 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium 734 mg; Carbohydrate 66 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 20 g

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/low-cal-fettuccine-alfredo-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

 

Crispy Baked “Fried” Chicken:

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Ingredients

  • 8 chicken pieces (preferably 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs and 2 wings)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground sage

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet.

Rinse the chicken in cold water; pat dry. In a wide bowl or on a plate, season the flour with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge each chicken piece through the flour so it’s fully coated, tap against the bowl to shake off excess flour and set aside. Discard the flour.

Here comes the part kids like best: Crush the cornflakes by placing them in a big resealable plastic bag, carefully pressing the bag to push out the air. Seal up the bag (with as little air inside as possible) and run over the flakes with a rolling pin. Open the bag and pour the crushed flakes into a wide bowl or onto a plate.

In a large bowl (big enough to dredge the chicken pieces), mix the buttermilk, mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and sage. Give each floured chicken piece a good buttermilk bath and then roll in the cornflake crumbs.

Arrange the chicken pieces on the rack and place in the hot oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, lower the heat to 375 degrees and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through and crispy. The juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife. Serve with Easy Greens.

Per serving: Calories 520; Fat 22 g (Sat. 6 g; Mono. 9 g; Poly. 5 g); Cholesterol 136 mg; Sodium 1,040 mg; Carbohydrate 41 g; Fiber 1.5 g; Protein 40 g

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cat-cora/crispy-baked-fried-chicken-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

 

Enjoy, and happy finals everyone!

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Little changes equal big results: Sauces

 

In an earlier post I talked about how little changes can lead to big success. One of the things you can easily change in your diet is sauces. Whether for salads, veggies, or pasta, it is a no brainer area to cut out fat and carbs.

Below is one of my favorite recipes I make all the time. It is something I quickly whipped up once, but I find myself coming back for more. There isn’t exact measurements, so just go with it!

Olive oil pasta 

Cook your favorite type of pasta (I like wagon wheels and ziti) to the directions on the box. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, sauté two cloves of garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add half an onion, diced. Let both cook down, for about 7 minutes.

Add corn (either canned or frozen) to the mix

Add chopped sun dried tomatoes (dried are much healthier than the ones packed in oil) 

Add about 2 more tablespoons of oil, as well as 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Make sure to season your mixture with plenty of salt, pepper and other spices or herbs (onion/garlic powder, cilanto, basil, parsley)-whatever you have on hand.

Add two large handfuls of fresh spinach as well as the pasta.

Let cook for another 5-10 minutes until everything is combined well.

I’m not sure of the correct nutrition information about all of this, but the only things that aren’t great for you in this are the olive oil fat (which isn’t actually bad), the small amount of salt, and the carbs in the pasta. If you find your own things to substitute, you can make the nutrition better! 

Feel free to use whatever veggies you want, these are just my favorites 🙂 

I think that with the light “sauce” and fresh veggies, the dish tastes amazing and cuts out on so many calories and grams of fat.

Let me know if you try it!

 

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Low cal cupcakes

Having one of the biggest sweet tooth’s ever, I cannot completely cut out chocolate and baked goods out my diet. Finding other things to substitute gets annoying, but I recently found  this huge list of insanely low calorie and fat cupcakes. I’ve posted my top favorites below, but click on the link at the bottom to find the rest of the list! Credit to Daily Spark for this article.

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

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This Banana Chocolate Cupcake recipe makes 24 regular-sized cupcakes which is perfect for a large gathering or birthday party. The batter is a snap to make because you just stir the wet ingredients together in one bowl and the dry ingredients together in another bowl. Mix the two and you are done. The batter is quite thin so use an ice cream scoop or small ladle to fill the muffin cups. Now while the recipe calls for cocoa powder, it doesn’t specify which kind, which means you can use either regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed. As always, keep in mind that the type and brand of cocoa powder you use will determine the flavor of the cupcakes, so use the best you can afford. The other ingredient in this batter to take note of, is that the fat is in liquid form (canola or corn oil). The reason I bring this up is because oil makes for a moist and tender cupcake that stores very well, with the added advantage that they can be refrigerated and still stay soft.

Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 20
Number of Servings: 25

Ingredients

 

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (45 grams) cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1 medium sized banana)

1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water

1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

1/4 cup (60 ml) canola or corn oil

3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line 24 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. Pour or scoop the batter into the muffin cups, about 3/4 full, and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Frost with the Ganache.

Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes
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Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 15
Number of Servings: 12

Ingredients

For cupcakes:
2 cups moist-style yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup water
2 T. low calorie maple syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

For topping:
2 T. fat free caramel apple dip

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all cupcake ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whip with a fork or whisk about 2 minutes until well blended.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and/or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly distribute batter between the 12 cups.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until cupcakes are puffed up but still appear a little gooey on top. Remove from oven and let cool.
When cupcakes are cool enough to handle, arrange them so that they touch each other. (This makes the next step easier!)
Heat caramel dip in the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften. Drizzle caramel evenly over cupcakes.
Enjoy!
Number of Servings: 12
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View the entire article here:
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Side Dishes on a Budget

A question I get asked a lot is what I eat as a side dish. Since I try and stay away from carbs, I usually stick to veggies. This can get old, fast, so here is an awesome link to some creative, easy and healthy side dishes to try.

Being a poor college kid, I need to find ways to make my food as cheap as I possibly can. The way I’ve gone about getting my veggies in is by buying them frozen or in a can. I used to cringe at this idea, but I’ve learned to doctor them up pretty well. Besides using them in recipes, I will sauté them. I being with heating the pan first, then putting in a little olive oil. (Heating the pan first is an important yet often forgotten step in cooking.) After that, I will caramelize some onions and garlic, then add the frozen or canned veggie. Salt and pepper are a must, as well. I’m excited to try some of these, let me know what you think!

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http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/quick-recipes/dinner/vegetable-side-dishes/?page=1

Credits for the article and photo go to Fitness Magazine

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