Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat Lifestyle Recipes & Lowfat Cooking Tips

Quick Cookies August 31, 2011

Filed under: Desserts — lowfatdiva @ 1:26 pm

To be honest I don’t really have a name for these cookies and I could just name them after my daughter because she gave me the recipe (without a name) but I decided to call them Quick Cookies because they are!  My daughter is gluten intolerant and she found this recipe somewhere.  She told me that since I used to love Rice Crispie  Squares, I would probably love this recipe because it did not call for any butter 🙂  She can eat them because they only have oats and rice so its a win, win situation for us.  I do hope you enjoy them – WARNING:  These cookies are addicting 🙂  Please send comments/questions to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

1/2 cup Better n Peanutbutter

1/2 cup honey

3 Tlb. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 cups Rice Crisp Cereal

2 cups Old Fashion Oats

3/4 cup raisins or cranraisins

Spray an 8×8 pan that has been lined with foil first.

In a pan melt the Better n Peanutbutter, honey and brown sugar.  Do not boil but be sure they are melted together and warm.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Add the oats and cereal and stir well.  Add the raisins and cranraisins last.

Put mixture in prepared pan and carefully smooth out the cookie mixture because it will be warm.  Place in frig to cool.   Cut into squares and enjoy!  Keep the cookies in the frig if you want a firmer cookie or leave at room temp.

 

Spicy Vinegar And Spicy Honey – Ooh Sweet/Spice! August 29, 2011

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks,Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 4:30 pm

I was looking through the internet trying to find the difference between peppers for a recipe and found a couple of posting for Spicy Vinegar and Spicy Honey (hot honey just does not sound quite right).  The recipes are simple.  Thinking ahead to Christmas – what great gifts for you to give your friends/family that like to cook!  The guy that posted the recipes was Mike…..so thanks Mike for the insight and since there are lots of peppers right now at the farmers market, I will definitely be trying out your recipes!

Spicy Vinegar – by Mike
Every year, I use a few dried peppers to make up a stock of hot vinegar. I use a good bit of vinegar for cooking, and hot vinegar is an easy way to add a bit of “bite” to a recipe. It is also particularly good on french fries and other types of prepared potatoes, as well as salads and cooked greens.

Hot vinegar is easy to make. I usually use white wine vinegar, but you can use pretty much any type of vinegar. The only restriction on the type of dried pepper that you use is that the peppers must fit into the vinegar bottle.

The acidity in vinegar may kill some types of pathogenic bacteria, but it won’t kill all of them, so I always pour the vinegar into a saucepan and boil the peppers in it for about five minutes to kill any bacteria on them. Since boiling vinegar can fill your kitchen with some really irritating fumes, I strongly recommend that you keep a lid on the saucepan. Once the boiling is done, allow the vinegar to cool, and then pour it back into the bottle, along with the peppers.

Cayennes are good for making hot vinegar.

Spicy  Honey: by Mike
This is a quick, easy way to use up some of that bumper crop of Habanero. Get five or six one-pound bottles of honey (preferably a good local clover honey) and 20 to 25 fresh Habanero pods. Wash the pods well, and then, wearing gloves, slice four of the peppers into 1/2″ wide strips. Using tongs, put the strips into a one-pound jar of honey and use a butter knife to submerge them and to dislodge any air bubbles that have gotten trapped in the honey. Allow three to four weeks for the honey to extract the heat and flavor from the peppers. The result is well worth the wait: a  hot honey flavored with that fruity Chinese flavor. Use liberally on toast and biscuits, in glazes and marinade.

NOTE: Remember you do not have to add quite as many peppers/pods as Mike did and you can still have that bit of spice that you like 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Corn Chowder

Filed under: Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 4:02 pm

August is one of those months where you really don’t know where the weather will be.  It could be blistering hot or it could be cool , so that is why I want to give you this recipe for corn chowder.  Right now corn is plentiful at the farmers market so using fresh corn is always a plus.  If you live in a state where you are not ready to even think about chowder/soup, just keep the recipe idea on the back burner of your mind and bring it out when things cool off a bit 🙂     Enjoy!  Send comments/questions to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

4 oz of turkey bacon cut into 1 in. pieces

2 cups chopped onions

3 stalks of celery chopped

2 Tlb. flour

2 cups fat-free chicken stock

3 cups of no fat half & half

2 large potatoes peeled and chopped

4 cups of corn kernels

2 Tlb. sugar

3 scallions trimmed and chopped

1-2 Tlb. fresh cilantro chopped

In a large pot, cook the bacon over med heat until slightly crisp.  Reduce the heat and add onions and celery.  Cook and stir occasionally so it does not stick (about 10 min.)

Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add chicken stock, 2 cups of the half & half and the potatoes.  Bring to a simmer over med heat and then reduce heat slightly.  Cook until potatoes are crisp tender.  Stir in corn and sugar.  Remove about 2 cups of the mixture to puree then add it back into the pot (you can also use an immersion blender in the pot).  Stir in the rest of the half & half.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bring back to a simmer and add the scallions, cook for about 5 more minutes.  Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve!  Sometimes I will add red pepper to the chowder for some color and if you choose to add it when you add the scallions.

 

Jeff’s Stuffed Peppers

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks,Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 1:39 pm

We had a small dinner party last Saturday evening with some people we recently met.  Jeff, brought over some appetizers and they were delish!  But as usual, I needed to find a way to make them a bit lower in fat and still taste great.  Jeff and his wife Diana share a garden with some of their friends so they went and picked a variety off peppers.  There were jalapeno, small yellow, green and red peppers.  Remember not to be afraid of a jalapeno pepper because once you take out the seeds, the peppers are quite mild.   We baked the peppers on the grill with a pepper holder to keep the peppers upright.  You don’t need to purchase this handy little item unless you have the room to store it and you know you will make these a lot!  I decided to put the peppers on a rack that I had sprayed with olive oil spray.

 

6 – 8  various peppers that are long and tapered (jalapeno, banana peppers, poblano pepper, etc.)  Remove seeds and clean out core

6-8 oz of  low fat mozzarella cheese (you can use string cheese if it’s low in fat)

6-8 slices of turkey bacon

tooth picks

 

After you have removed the seeds and core of your peppers be sure to wash your hands thoroughly!  Cut the mozzarella cheese into long 1 inch pieces to fit down the center of your peppers.  Wrap each pepper with a slice of turkey bacon and secure with a tooth pick.

Place the peppers in a pepper holder and put over direct heat on grill or put the peppers on a rack that has been sprayed with olive oil over direct heat.  If you use a rack, be sure to roll your peppers so they receive an even roast on the grill.  The cheese will not melt but soften up and glisten and the bacon will sizzle (yes, even turkey bacon sizzles).

Remove the peppers from the grill and place on your serving plate.  Try and refrain from eating the peppers right away because the cheese is super hot!  Wait about 5 min. before eating.         Enjoy!   Send comments/questions to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

NOTE:  my thanks to Jeff and Diana for the intro to their idea of jalapeno poppers!  Delish!!!

 

 

I Have To Step On The Soap Box For A Bit August 23, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 5:57 pm

I stopped into a little Amish store that is close by where I live today to pick up these great graham pretzels that I love for “treats” (it is the only place I can find them and the Amish lady was so nice to find out the nutrition content on them for me).  Walking around the store was a family with two small boys (5 and 7) and the boys were both a bit over weight as well as the parents.   Each little boy was carrying a 1-2 pound bag of caramels and the other had circus peanuts.  This was their “snack” the father told them!  Seriously…….their “snack”?

Not long ago I was invited to a meeting called 1 in 21 Healthy Muskegon.  I was asked to help out with meal plan ideas that could be posted on a web site for moms/dads/ caregivers to read.  This group is very concerned about the health of their county and especially their children.  The stats for obese adults and children was staggering and so was the diabetes rates.  When I looked at this family and their snack choices all I could think of were the numbers I heard about at the meeting for Healthy Muskegon!

It was everything I could do to refrain myself and not go up to the parents, take them by the hand and show them where to find some pretzels  or other healthy snacks.  But not wanting to make a scene and make sure I still have the ability to come into the Amish store, I just shook my head and paid for my pretzels.  As I walked to my car my mind was racing with questions, “when do we try to help each other make better food choices”, what will those boy’s health be like in 5 years or the parents for that matter, when will they learn to make better choices, who will teach them if the parents don’t”?

In many ways we should all be asking ourselves these same questions.  Some may say it’s the parents responsibility and we should leave it to them but what if they are not teaching their children because they  do not have the tools to make good food choices.  As a society we will be paying for huge health costs because we are not using the tools we should regarding our food choices.  I heard once the children right now have a lower life expectancy than their parents or grandparents do.  Now that people, is very sad.

Thanks for the opportunity to share with you and to “step up on the soap box for a bit”.  For comments/questions please send them to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

Vegetable Pasta Salad August 22, 2011

Filed under: Salads — lowfatdiva @ 12:47 pm

Sometimes I know it can be hard to get your family to eat vegetables so this salad is a great way to mix pasta and vegetables together.  It might remind you of a Greek salad but definitely with a great deal less fat!   You can add shrimp or chicken to make it more of a meal in itself or you can just use it as a great side for almost any meat you are preparing for dinner.  Enjoy!  For comments/questions please send to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

Vegetable Pasta Salad

2 1/2 cups dried shell pasta

1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved (I buy both red and yellow for color)

1/2 English cucumber, sliced into 1/4 in slices and quartered

1 yellow bell pepper cut into small pieces

1 cup cannelloni beans that have been rinsed and drained

1/2 red onion chopped

2 oz of low fat cubed Feta cheese

1/8 cup finely chopped fresh mint

1 Tlb. olive oil

2 Tlb. red wine vinegar

2 Tlb. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. mined garlic

1 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Cook past according to package for aldente, rinse and drain in cold water.  Drain well.

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, beans, onion, and mint in a bowl.  Add the pasta  and gently mix.

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey, mustard, oregano, salt and black pepper. Pour over the pasta and vegetables and gently mix together.  If you are serving right away add the Feta cheese, if you are making the salad a bit ahead, add the cheese just before you serve the salad.

Note:  You can incorporate almost any fresh vegetable you want into this recipe.  Experiment and enjoy!

 

 

Easy Bruschetta

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks — lowfatdiva @ 12:28 pm

Recently I was looking for a quick appetizer for some people coming over to the cottage.  I was given some beautiful Roma tomatoes so I decided to throw together a quick batch of bruschetta.  Sometimes choosing a good bread for the base of your bruschetta can be interesting when you are trying to keep the recipe low in fat.  I like to use ciabatta  bread if I have it around the house but when that is not available then a loaf of long french bread can also work very well.  You will notice the recipe has 2 Tlb. of grated Parmesan cheese, no worries, by using only that small amount the fat content added to the recipe is very minimal.  I hope you enjoy this quick and easy brushetta recipe as much as I do.  Enjoy!  Please send comments/questions to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

1 1/2 cups chopped seeded Roma tomatoes

2/3 cup finely chopped red onion

2 Tlb. minced seeded jalapeno pepper

2 garlic cloves minced

1/2 tsp. fresh basil finely chopped

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

1 Tlb. cider vinegar

1 Tlb. red wine vinegar (this is also a fun time to be creative if you have other wine vinegar in your pantry)

French bread or ciabatta bread cut into 1/4 in. slices

2 Tlb. grated Parmesan cheese

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients but the bread and cheese.  Lightly whisk them mixture together so the flavors can incorporate while you are preparing your bread.

Slice the bread into 1/4 in. slices (with French bread but ciabatta your can cut your slices in half so they are easier to handle).  Place the slices onto a baking sheet and spray one side of the bread slices with olive oil spray.  Bake until the bread is crisp or crisp tender (your preference).  Remove the bread from the oven and place on serving tray.

Using a slotted spoon, top each piece with some of the tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve 🙂  Yummy.  I find that even people who think they are not fond of tomatoes will like bruschetta.

 

 

 
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