Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat Lifestyle Recipes & Lowfat Cooking Tips

I’m Just Not A Gardener July 29, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 3:29 pm
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I had every intention of moving some flowers in one of my 8 raised flower beds and start a vegetable garden.  My vision was about enjoying some major production from my tomato plants, summer squash, cukes, etc. in August………….ok, stop – reality check – the garden never came to fruition and I will not be harvesting any vegetables from my garden of good intentions.  Instead I will be doing what many of you do and hit the local farmers markets or my local Plumb’s Market to get my vegetables.  This is ok because I really enjoy listening to the venders and it’s a time to catch up with long lost friends.  It’s been fun for me at the markets this year because many of them know what I’m doing now and ask me what creations I’m working on.  Some even copy my recipes and put them up to show people what can be done with locally grown fruits and vegetables. I found people were amazed there were a great deal more things you can do with summer squash other than frying it or making numerous loaves of bread!  Another thing I have noticed over the past couple of years is the amount of people who are getting back into canning (like jams and salsa).  I remember my mom canned a great deal when I was a child, everything from fruits to meats (this is another area where I didn’t pay a great deal of attention when she wanted me to learn).

One day on a whim I decided to give canning a try and I knew exactly what I was going to try and create.  I went out and found 7 pounds of tomatoes and headed to the “test kitchen”.  Eventually my mom stopped laughing hysterically when I told her what I was doing and she gave me some good pointers about tomatoes.  It only took 3 attempts for me to develop the recipe that I’m going to share with you this month.  I have to say when you make this Tomato Jam and try it on your bacon, lettuce sandwich your tastebuds will be doing the happy dance (my taste testers liked this so much they were eating it off  the spoons)!

So the next time someone at work or a friend offers you some vegetables from their garden don’t cringe, just head to lowfatdiva.wordpress.com to find some interesting new recipes and ideas for vegetables!

 

Spicy Tomato Jam

1 ½ pounds of Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped coarsely (you can use other tomatoes for this recipe but be sure to peel them first and you will find the consistency will also be a bit different)

2 T. fresh lemon juice

2 T. brandy (optional)

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp red chile flakes (more if you want is zestier)

1 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized heavy bottom pot.  Cook over medium high heat until bubbling.  Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture is thick and syrupy (this will take quite some time, at least 1 hour). Cool the jam, season with more salt & pepper or chile flakes if necessary.  Store in frig or you may opt to can to keep it longer.

NOTE: Here is a tip for you on making the most delectable sandwich you have ever tasted.  In ½ cup lowfat mayo add 1 tsp fresh lemon juice.  Toast 2 slices of ciabatta bread, spread each half with lemon mayo, top with tomato jam, place 3 slices of turkey bacon and a some field greens on one half.  Place other piece of bread on top.  Take a bite and enjoy pure blistfulness!!!!!

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Some Great Jam Recipes! July 25, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 4:06 pm

Before Summer slipped away from me I wanted to try canning some jam.  I have noticed for a couple of years now, at the farmers markets that I have been going to, that many people are back into canning.  After finding out the basics of what I needed (and my mom stopped laughing as well as giving me the “I told you so” look), I took out some recipes that my good friend Dawn gave me.  The recipes do have liquor in them but remember it isn’t much and it looses all the alcohol content once the jam is cooked.  The liquor only makes the fruit “pop” with flavor.  I”m going to give you all three recipes that I have.  Most of the fruit is in season right now and what better time to give canning a try?    Enjoy:)   Comment’s/questions  1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

Pear With Frangelico Jam

4 cups chopped Bartlett or Anjou pear pulp

2 T.b lemon juice

1 1/2 packages powdered pectin or 2/3 cup from bulk

5 cups sugar

1/3 cup Frangelico

Pear pulp – Wash pears, core and slice them up.  Place them into a food process unpeeled.  Chop them for a few seconds.  The additional roughness of the chopped skin in the jam provides a nice texture.

Put the pear pulp and the fresh lemon juice into a large nonreactive pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add the pectin and return to a boil.  Slowly addd the sugar, stirring constantly.  When the mixture begins to boil, add the Frangelico.  Bring the jam to a boil again and boil for about 1 minute or until the jam sheets off the spoon.  Pour into how sterilized jars.  cover with new, clean, hot caps.  Process in a boiling water bath for about 10 minutes.  Remove jars from bath, listen for the “ping” sound so you know the jar has sealed.  Let the jars cool completely. Store in a cool, dark place until you enjoy them or give them away.

Makes about 7 8oz jars of jam

 

Blueberry Jam

4 cups chopped blueberries

3 Tlb. of fresh lemon juice or lime juice

1/2 cup water (or key lime liqueur)

1 1/2 packages powdered pectin

5 cups sugar

Combine the chopped blueberries, lemon/lime juice and water/liquor in a large nonreactive pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add the pectin and return to a boil.  Add the sugar slowly, stirring constanntly to prevent scorching.  Bring to a boil again and boil for 1 minute or until jam sheets off the spoon.  When ready, pour into how, sterilized jars.  Cover with new, clean, hot caps and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from water bath and place on rack to cool and listen to the “ping”.  When jars have cooled and everyone has pinged, store in a cool, dark place.

Makes 7 8oz jars.

 

Strawberry Jam With Triple Sec Liqueur

4 cups chopped, fresh unsweetened strawberries

2 Tlb fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 packages powdered pectin

5 cups sugar

1/3 cup Triple Sec Liqueur

Place strawberries and lemon juice in a large nonreactive pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add the pectin and return to a boil.  Add the sugar slowly, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil again and boil for 1 minute or until jam sheets off the spoon.  When ready, add the triple sec and bring to a boil once more.  Pour into hot sterilized jars.  Cover with new, clean ,hot caps and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from the water bath and place on rack to cool.  Listen for the “ping”.  Once jars have cooled, store in a cool, dark place.

 

Grape Salad You Say?

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog,Salads — lowfatdiva @ 3:05 pm

My son came home from DC this last weekend and we had a bit of a “family reunion”.  As you know with reunions everyone brings a dish they have been dying to try.  This is what happened with the Grape Salad my mom brought.  My mom, who is 80 years young, tries to understand the whole low fat lifestyle way of thinking but ….well…..not so much.  Her comment to me as she was handing me the recipe “here is the way I make it, now go fix it”.  Gotta love mom!  The salad was very refreshing and the simple fixes that I made didn’t really change a think except lower the fat content.  My two granddaughters loved this salad but then again, who doesn’t like grapes!  Enjoy 🙂  Comments/questions 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

Grape Salad

Wash and dry 2 pounds of each red and green seedless grapes.  Place in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 8 oz of no fat cream cheese and 1 cup of no fat sour cream.  mix together until well blended.  Add 1 tsp. of vanilla.  Take mixture and fold in with grapes.

This salad works best to spread it out in a 9 x 9 baking dish or a larger dish, not a bowl.  You can sprinkle with some chopped pecans (which my mom did) .  The salad only will keep 1 day but if your family likes it as much as ours did, no worries because it will not last!

 

There Is Such A Thing As A Good Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting!!!!! July 21, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 3:21 pm

Oh my, oh my…………to say this recipe is deliciously fabulous is an understatement!  So far this recipe totally rocks anything that I have found/created so far!!  Just wait until you taste it…..that is if you can.

This weekend we are having a “family reunion” of sorts with my 2 children.  My son is coming home for the weekend from DC so my daughter and her family are coming to stay with us too.  I decided that my son misses so many birthdays that we would celebrate all of them during the weekend.  One request that I had was for Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Oh boy was all I could think.  How was I going to make those be low fat and still be delicious.  I have tried with cream cheese frosting before and didn’t have the best of luck.  Just not happy with consistency or taste.  So it was off to the test kitchen and internet!  Problem was, we are having a huge heat wave (like the rest of the nation) and I had that to contend with also.

In my search, I found a way to take my old recipe and put a few different ingredients.  Made a batch and couldn’t believe that it was so wonderful!  It is not totally fat free but is a great deal lower in fat than my original by a great deal.  I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese so that I could still get the cream cheese flavor (lets face it the no fat has very little flavor), so were are still looking at 48 grams in the batch but you can limit the amount you have on your cupcake!    Enjoy 🙂  Comments/questions  1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

1 – 8oz package of 1/3  low fat cream cheese

2 tsp. cornstarch

6 oz of no fat/low fat whipped topping  thawed(I made the old fashion kind where you add no fat  1/2 & 1/2 to the dry mix and added less liquid – 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup sugar ( can cut back if you choose for a more tangy cream cheese flavor which I love)

Beat cream cheese, cornstarch together in bowl.  Add sugar and mix well.  If you are mixing up the whip topping do so in another bowl.  Take your whipped topping and gently fold it into the cream cheese.  Be sure it’s all incorporated together.  Place in frig for 30 – 40 min. before you frosting your cake/cupcakes.  Once you have frosted your cake/cupcakes be sure to store in frig…….so yummy!

 

What To Do With Plums July 18, 2011

Filed under: Bread & Muffins,Breakfast,Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 1:49 pm

When it comes to fruit, I think plums get a bum rap.  Nobody ever says “hey I just made a cool recipe that called for plums”.    I decided to see what coffee cake recipe I had that I could turn into a more lowfat item and use plums in it.  I found one that I have not used for years and things turned out pretty good.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  Enjoy 🙂  For comments/questions contact 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

1 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup of white sugar

2 Tlb. brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. ground cardamon

5 Tlb. low fat margarine

1/2 cup no fat half & half

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup egg beaters

1 1/2 pounds of plums (pits removed and sliced)

1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

1/8 tsp. ground alspice

Spray a 9″ round metal cake pan with Pam.  In a bowl place flour, 2 Tlb.  white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and cardamon.  Stir with a whisk.  Cut in 4 Tlb. of low fat margarine with a pastry blender until mixture is like a course meal.  Combine the half & half, the vanilla and the egg beaters in a bowl.  Whisk until combined.  Add to flour mixture and mix but just until combined – do not over mix.  Spoon into your prepared round pan.

Arrange your plum slices on top of the batter in a circular pattern.    Combine the rest of your white sugar, lemon zest and allspice in a small bowl.  Add 1 Tlb. of melted lowfat margarine and stir.  Sprinkle over plums.  Bake at 400 for about 25 min. (depending on your oven). Cool in pan 1 hour on rack.

You can make a glaze from powdered sugar if you want to drizzle over the top before you cut into wedges.

 

Summer Fruits July 12, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast — lowfatdiva @ 12:04 pm

Versatile Parfait

¾ cup no fat half & half

1/3 cup uncooked couscous

1 cup no fat yogurt (your choice of flavor – vanilla, lemon, Greek with honey)

¼ tsp. fresh lemon/lime/orange zest

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh quartered strawberries, whole raspberries or black berries

In a small saucepan, bring half & half  as well as zest to a boil.  Stir in couscous.  Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 10 min. or until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff the couscous with a fork and let cool.  Spoon yogurt in a  small bowl  and gently fold in  cooled couscous.  In a parfait type glass put some fruit  in bottom of glasses, layer with couscous mixture and top with remaining fruit.

 

Fruit Brochette July 11, 2011

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks,Desserts,Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 11:44 am

Last weekend I had some fun making foods that were good but didn’t require a great deal of time.  Our days were busy, the weather was hot and that is not always a good combination to try and develop new recipes!  When the temperature and humidity reaches the high 80’s, food just does not sound good but the Fruit Brochette I made was not only tasty but fun too.  We found it pared well  with ice tea or even white wine – now that is a winner!

For the base I used a loaf of french bread.  The fat content was very low. Thinly slice the bread and  spray both sides  with butter flavored Pam.  On a heated grill (325 degrees) place the slices over the heat.  This is a fast process.  You only want to lightly toast the bread but still get the beautiful grill marks.  Once you have “toasted” your bread, it needs to cool.

In a small bowl mix 8 oz of no fat cream cheese with a mixer or a fork until it’s smooth.  Add enough fruit preserves to give color and flavor (not too much or the mixture will be runny).  Let this mixture sit a bit while you prepare your fruit.  Clean and dry some blueberries, sliced strawberries, whole raspberries or even some nectarines (that are thinly sliced).

Take your serving plate and place all the toasts on it.  Using some small bowls place your fruit (which should be in separate bowls), the cream cheese mixture and set by toast plate.  Be sure to have some small knives for your guests to apply the cream cheese mixture.  I made a couple up to show my guests how they would look 🙂  I also like to have a variety of spreads so I did a cream cheese mixture of some pear jam I made as well as some blueberry jam.  What ever jam you put in should compliment the fruit you put on top so the flavors are not competing.

This is a wonderful dessert or snack or even an appetizer!  Lots of fun for your guests to make and create their own Fruit Brochette.   Enjoy!

For comments and questions 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

 
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