Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat Lifestyle Recipes & Lowfat Cooking Tips

Rich & Creamy Turkey Lasagna October 31, 2011

Filed under: Main Dishes & Sandwiches — lowfatdiva @ 12:20 pm

Sometimes you just do not want to make soup with your left over turkey so this recipe gives you a wonderful alternative.  Your family will not complain when you tell them it’s  “turkey again”.  Enjoy!

Rich & Creamy Turkey Lasagna

¾ lb. lasagna

Noodles

1 28 oz can plum tomatoes

1 lb.  turkey breasts

1 red chopped red onion

2 ½ Tlb low fat  margarine

3 Tlb flour

1 ½ tsp. dried tarragon

1 tsp. dried basil

2 tsp. dried thyme

1 cup low fat chicken stock

1 ½ cups no fat half & half

3 carrots, sliced

1 cup frozen peas

2 Tlb fresh chopped parsley

¾ lb. grated low fat mozzarella

 

Cook noodles in boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain and rinse in cold water, transfer to a sheet and lay flat.  Drain and chop the tomatoes.  Drain and squeeze out all excess juice.  Generously shred turkey breast meat.  Spray a large skillet, cook onion with the low fat margarine until the onion is soft (2 min).  Add flour and stir over low heat for 1 min. Slowly stir in stock, add all dried spices, add half & half.  Boil 1 min. and add carrots.  Cook about 4 min. add chicken and peas.  Remove from heat.  Spray a 10×12 baking dish with Pam.  Spread enough sauce to just coat the bottom.  Lay 1/3 of the noodles over the sauce, pour ½ of the remaining sauce over noodles, and sprinkle tomatoes over sauce, sprinkle ¼ of mozzarella over all.  Top with a second layer of noodles and repeat process ending with a noodle layer.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover with foil and bake in 375 degree oven for about 40 min.  Remove foil and bake another 5 min. Remove from heat, let stand for about 5-10 min. before serving.

 

 

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Delicious Baked Apples

Filed under: Desserts — lowfatdiva @ 12:17 pm

Delicious Baked Apples

Perfect to make right now because of the abundance of apples we have available!  Enjoy

 

2 apples (Jonathan, Mutsu, Courtland)

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 Tlb flour

3 Tlb low fat margarine

3 Tlb brown sugar

½ oatmeal  (either old fashion or quick)

1-2 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 tsp. apple pie spice

apple juice

 

Cut apples in half and scoop out a bit of center so you remove the core.  Rub apple with lemon juice to prevent browning.  To create the toping in a separate bowl combine the flour, margarine, brown sugar, oatmeal and cinnamon.  Topping should be crumbly.  Divide the topping among the apples.  Place the apples in a baking dish sprayed with Pam.  Pour some apple juice in the bottom of the dish to just cover it.  Bake 350 degrees for about 35-40 min.

NOTE:  You can make a crisp with the same recipe by doubling the ingredients, slicing the apples and placing the slices in the baking dish, top with crumble.  Omit the apple juice!

 

 

 

Making A Low Fat Thanksgiving Feast

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 12:10 pm

I was out with some friends recently and was asked “what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving”?  I gave her my deer in the headlight look and thought she was jumping the gun a bit, I mean come on, Thanksgiving, seriously, it’s only……oh no, it’s already the end of October!  We all laughed and my friends proceeded to ask me how I was going to lower the fat content on my Thanksgiving dinner this year?  The subject eventually came around to the issue of leftovers.

At my house we have a pretty non-conventional Thanksgiving meal.  My daughter married into a divorced family so many holidays are a struggle to get around to see everyone.  About 7 years ago I came up with the idea of having our Thanksgiving dinner on the day after, this way there was no juggling of households, all of us could cook together and have a relaxing, fun meal.  Since then I rarely have leftovers (ok, maybe a carcass to make some soup)!  Every year I do a turkey but always prepare it differently.  I’ve made tur-duck-in, smoked, fried, roasted on the grill and brined my turkeys.  My family always thinks we could feed a shelter with all the food I make (there is only 7 of us) so the kids usually bring their containers and happily fill them up with our leftovers!

I would like to help with suggestions for lowering the fat in some of the favorite holiday dishes my readers ask me about.  On my blog site lowfatdiva.wordpress.com you can find a list of “staples” to keep in your pantry/frig and this will help you lower your own recipes quite easily.

Green bean casserole is one I get asked about a great deal.  Use low fat soup and use no fat half half (go easy on your crunchy topping too).  Stuffing is pretty easy also to lower the fat content.  I use shredded chicken breast for the meat, no fat broth, wild rice and make my own bread crumbs.  Squash – just use more of the low fat margarine.  Gravy is also very easy (if gravy is ever easy, you know, lumpy).  Make your own turkey stock, add your flour/cornstarch, seasonings, mushrooms, etc.  But to me the biggest challenge is the dessert or should I say PIE!  The filling is not the problem it’s the crust – scary, big time high fat.  I know fat is what makes the pie, I mean my mom used lard to make her delicious pies forever but so not good for us.  I have tried to make pie crust with low fat margarine but it just does not work, so I have included a recipe for baked apples that if you closed your eyes you think you are eating apple pie – yes, they are that good!  For the turkey, I’m sharing one of my favorite “non-traditional” ways to use leftover turkey and that is a rich/creamy turkey lasagna.  Enjoy!

Comments/questions 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com or lowfatdiva.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

Fast and Easy Dressing for Salads October 24, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 7:51 pm

Since we are closing up our cottage most of the food has been brought back home.  I was making a salad this past weekend and discovered I didn’t have any dressing 😦  So, as I was rummaging through the frig and cupboards I found two items, jam and balsamic vinegar.  Working on a ratio for the two, I finally created a great low fat dressing.  I even put in some red pepper flakes into the dressing to give it a bit of zest.  My husband thought I had bought more dressing at the store and wanted to know who made it?  Boy was he surprised when I said I did and told him how!

I hope you enjoy creating some fun new dressings with your family with this idea.  Enjoy!  For comments and questions 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

 

Dressing For Salad

Whisk together 2 tablespoons of your favorite jam with 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.  You  can add different spices depending on the jam you use.  I make mine with Raspberry Jam and added just a bit of red pepper flakes, letting it sit for just a couple of minutes, letting the flavors combine.  The pepper flakes gave it a sweet/spicy flavor – yummmm

 

 

There is a new creamer in town! October 21, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 2:35 pm

I was at the grocery store the other day because I’m working on my ideas for the December article in Women’s Lifestyle and came across a new fat free creamer!  Bailey’s has a fat free Irish Cream that is pretty good.  Has the full flavor of  Irish Cream unlike some fat free flavors that are really lacking.  So if you are tired of Vanilla, Caramel Vanilla or White Chocolate fat free creamers, give this a try.  I have already thought of some great baking that I can do with it.

Thank you Baileys!  Hopefully there will be others to follow 🙂

 

Can There Be Healthy Halloween Treats? October 18, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 2:01 pm

A friend of mine recently forwarded an article about schools choosing not to have Halloween parties but changing things and having Harvest Festivals.  By having the festival you eliminate the issues with parents who can’t afford costumes, tears from children who have no costume or can’t get into their costume because of the complexity and of course the tons of candy the children consume:)  After reading the articles and of course the comment section at the end, I was amazed at the amount of adults who were not happy with the decision.  Comments like “taking a way a tradition, parents should have had a say in this drastic change” and there were some religious issues too.  Wow, all this over the changes in no “Halloween Party” the changing it over to a Harvest Festival and no parade.  I sure hope all these adults are equally as vocal when it comes to the education cutbacks for their children.

I personally like the idea of the Fall Festival and the healthy outlook it takes on.   The  schools, who choose to do this were going to focus on fall foods, health education and activities.  Many children never get the opportunity to make pumpkin seeds, try different apples, possibly take a hayride, or try fresh apple cider.  The children are learning about a variety of things, being exposed to many things and enjoying themselves.  Isn’t that what we want for our children, to enjoy their childhood and who says that can only be done dressed up in a costume?  Most children get the opportunity to go out on Halloween night in their costumes and reap the benefits of trick or treating.

There is also the consideration of all the food allergies schools have to contend with and believe me there are so many it can be overwhelming.  Recently my granddaughter wanted to take treats to her class for her birthday, after we went through the list of “do not bring in the building” the only thing that was left was popsicle or certain candy  – but be sure there is no red dye number 5 (her birthday is in October not July)!  The school does not allow anything homemade because of the allergies in the school/classroom.  So, I’m thinking yea, a Harvest Festival instead of a Halloween party is a pretty cool idea.

If you are looking for some fun ideas to give out to people you know for Halloween there are other options than candy.  We need to help teach our children there are healthy alternatives that are just as good as all the candy they think they need to ingest.  Do you make up a lot of trail mixes for the holidays?  Why not make some up just for Halloween?  Pop up some low-fat kettle corn, add some fun pretzel shapes, a bit of candy corn and some peanuts?  The possibilities are endless.  I add dried apple chips to mine instead of the candy corn and even adults love it.  In many ways it’s like a caramel apple.  Placing it in a small plastic bag also makes it easy for a mom to see everything is “safe”.  Maybe you have a great healthy muffin your family likes, put that in a little bag to hand out or the low-fat granola bars that I have given the recipe out for.  They are loaded with dried fruit and kids think they are cookies, they are so good.  More health conscious choices are out there if you choose to make the effort, but we are part of an “immediate gratification” society and that can mean we want things easy and simple.  Purchasing a big bag of candy is easy, costly but easy.

However your area schools are celebrating Halloween (Fall Festival or costumes), try to make the attempt to find healthier alternatives.  It takes a whole village to teach our children to choose a healthier lifestyle 🙂

 

Brussel Sprouts, Love Them Or Hate Them? October 17, 2011

Filed under: Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 1:44 pm

I like most veggies and I also feel I’m pretty opened minded to try most foods but when it comes to brussel sprouts – Yuck!  I have tried these little cabbage type veggies a variety of different ways and my taste buds come up with the same reaction each time, not favorable.  A while back I was discussing cooking (imagine that) with some friends we met on our lake and the subject of brussel sprouts came up.  My husband and I both looked at him and gave the same disgusted look.  Jeff could immediately tell we were not big fans of the vegetable.  He asked us to give his recipe a try and I told him I would (although my husband acted like I had just agreed to host a party for 3 year olds)!

Last weekend was my mom’s birthday and I thought this might be a good time to try one of the recipes that Jeff gave me.  There would be enough of us there to give brussel sprouts the old college try.  We all took at least one and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor.  Jeff told me that brussel sprouts have a nutty flavor if roasted and he was right.  In the past my mom had always boiled them and slathered on some gross cheese to try and cover the nasty flavor :)….Ok, well that was my view on the way she prepared them.  I was surprised my mom liked this version and even my husband changed his mind about them.  My daughter was still not sold on the idea and neither were my granddaughters but hopefully they will at least approach the idea of brussel spouts a bit differently now that they have tried them without all the sauces people like to put on them.

Brussel Sprouts

Cut sprouts in half, mix in bowl with olive oil flavored Pam, garlic and red pepper flakes to taste.
Put in rim pan cut side down.

Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Turn and continue cooking until browned – Be sure to not over cook or the sprouts will become mushy.

 

 
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