Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat recipes,cooking with beer/hops, adventures

What I Have Learned In The Test Kitchen For November! November 29, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 4:38 pm

Dear Readers,

I decided recently that I was going to share with you at the end of each month what I had learned in my “Test Kitchen” and I was going to be honest about all the flops, disasters, un-edible foods and the surprise discoveries that I made!

The theme for my article in WLS was what to do with leftovers so most of the month I played around with new recipes that I could make with left over turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, etc.  Turkey is like chicken, you can make anything with it unless of course you over cook it!  Which is exactly what I did.  I always try to tell people “low and slow” that is my motto for cooking turkey.  Well, one day I was trying to major multi-task and put a large turkey breast in the oven on a low temp.  It was seasoned to perfection and I was trying a new glaze to share with you.  I proceeded to do a bunch of other tasks that day including going into town to run some errands……yup you guessed it, I totally forgot about the bird.  Low and slow was probably a great lifesaver for me because even though the bird breast was a charred mess – at least I didn’t burn my house down 🙂  I guess I really should have pics of my mess ups too!

I have to say the best results I had this month was the stuffing balls.  They were delish!  At first no one wanted to try them because of the whole concept but once they got over the fact I was rolling stuffing into balls, dipping it in egg beaters and then rolling it in Panko things went a bit smoother for my taste testers……ok, sort of.  Some felt the balls were not done (they forget that stuffing is not suppose to be dry) so that weird-ed them out.  But others who didn’t have to have their turkey stuffing slathered in gravy during dinner realized the balls were moist like stuffing should be.  I always put wild rice in my stuffing so that too was a nice texture in the balls.  The dip was very easy to come up with.  I just took cranberry relish and added some red pepper flakes – Yummy!  A bit of sweet and a nice hint of spice, perfect.

I tried a sweet potato casserole that was ok but didn’t exactly blow my bangs back.  The topping which really made the dish was really good with roasted pecans in it but …well that totally defeated the purpose.

I made a pumpkin pie for our Faux Thanksgiving dinner (daughter married into divorced family so we have our dinner a couple of days later so we can still get together) and actually made two.  One was for my daughter that was Gluten Free and the other a traditional pumpkin pie.  I was so excited when I served it to everyone, I even sat the whole GF pie in front of my daughter who was thrilled.  I should have captured the faces of the people at the table when then took their first bite…..resembled something like the first time I fed my babies Gerber spinach!  Ok, I was totally confused.  The pies looked beautiful – what could be wrong?????  I learned that putting sugar in pumpkin pie is quite important!  Oooops.  Luckily I had some rice pudding and a cherry pie to give to everyone.  After everyone had gone home and I was sulking in the kitchen, I came up with an idea to see if I could solve the bitter taste of the pies.  I polked holes in the pumpkin with a tooth pick and then sprinkled a bit of white sugar on the top.  I then covered the pie with foil and tried to wait to see if my creative idea might work.  I took a bit from a sample piece about every half hour (didn’t swallow the first few bites).  In the morning just before I dumped the pies out, I tried one last time and jump back Batman it worked!  The sugar had dissolved and worked it’s way down into the pumpkin to sweeten it up. Hooray!!!!

Well, I already have some stories for next month and it’s only the end of November!  Believe me there is never a dull time in my test kitchen!  See you next month 🙂



Creamy Chicken Asparagus Soup

Filed under: Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 3:55 pm

Ok, I”m so done with leftovers, how about you!  Actually if you have some turkey left you can use it in this recipe.  I was in Manistee with my editor recently at a really quaint pub and this soup was their special of the day.  I knew it was going to need a “make over” to lower the fat content but it was very delish!  As soon as I got home I started doing research and developing a low fat version for the soup.

I have sampled with out with friends who are not crazy about asparagus but really liked this soup.  Sometimes people have preconceived notions about things like the taste of  asparagus.  Maybe they had it as a child and it’s a taste/vision they can’t move beyond 🙂  I personally feel like that with beets, but anyway I digress.  This soup is very easy to make, yes it takes some time but you can make it in stages if you have to and eat it the next day.  I hope you enjoy it and please send your comments/questions to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

Creamy Chicken Asparagus Soup

1 pound asparagus

1 large  potato peeled and diced

1/2 onion chopped

1 celery stalk chopped

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1 carrot chopped

1 garlic glove minced

14 oz  chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 cup chopped chicken breast

1 cup no fat half & half

2 Tlb. low fat margarine- Blue Bonnet Lite

1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper – (optional but it gives the soup a great zing effect)

1-2 Tlb. flour

Cut the tops off the asparagus spears.  Set tops aside.  In a pan place stalks in water, enough to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.  Strain the 2 and reserve 4 cups of the asparagus water.  Discard the stalks.  In a saute pan melt 2 Tlb. of  oleo.  Saute the potato, carrot and garlic until tender.  Add 1-2 Tlb. flour and a bit of your asparagus water to make a rue.  Stir mixture into a large pot with the chicken stock, by leaf and the asparagus water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.  Remove the bay leaf, let cool enough to use an emulsion to puree the stock.  Add the chicken as well as the half & half.  Stir to combine.  Add the asparagus tips and cook over med heat for 5 minutes or until tips are tender.  Serve – Delicious!!


More Thanksgiving Ideas November 18, 2011

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks — lowfatdiva @ 3:22 pm

By now most of you are at least thinking about what you will be cooking for T-day dinner. I am getting lots of requests for ideas on how to lower the fat content in family favorite recipes. Be sure to check out the ‘staples” list on my web site. Print a copy off and hang it on your frig so that you will have it when you make out your grocery list or start preparing your menu. Using the some of the items on the staples list for substitutions in your recipes will definitely lower the fat content. Using No Fat Half and Half in recipes does wonders. Be sure to purchase it by the half gallon so you have plenty on hand for your holiday cooking.

Read over your recipes ahead of time because it’s just like reading labels on the foods that you use. Knowing the fat content in the items you use in a recipe or ones that you are preparing will help you make any adjustments that you need to. Don”t get me wrong, you can still make your holiday favorites, you will be just “tweaking” the recipe a bit 🙂

I can tell you that certain things can not be “tweaked” and one in particular is pie crust. I have tried countless times to make it lower in fat. In the test kitchen so far the only thing I have been able to do is to cut down on the butter by using Blue Bonnett Lite. Your crust will not be quite as flaky but it does work. Also doing more one crusted pies versus two crusted will also help such as pumpkin (the pumpkin filling is very doable for low fat). If apple pie is your family favorite, try the apple crisp recipe that is on this site or the baked apples. You can still enjoy the great apple taste with a lot less fat 🙂

Have you ever tried a pumpkin mouse? This can be another great alternative to pie. Ginger cakes, or a low fat cheese cake (available on this site) can be a part of your dessert menu. I’m including the recipe for a Pumpkin Mouse Trifle with this blog. It is low in fat and it will give a new spin on pumpkin.

The more that you make homemade the better chance you have to keep the fat content down in your recipes. This includes gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, bread, etc. If you find that you just do not want to hassle trying to re-vamp your old recipes then maybe now is the time to develop or find some new ones. I made a corn souffle’ last year and even my little girls enjoyed it.

Remember the sky is the limit when you are developing your menu for Thanksgiving. You can be as traditional with your meal as you want but without all the fat!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

If you have a favorite gingerbread recipe prepare it or purchase a box mix (remember to use substitutions to make it low in fat) and pour the batter into a 8” square pan that has been sprayed with Pam. With the remaining batter make mini cupcakes to use as another dessert. Bake the cupcakes and the pan of gingerbread in your oven according to directions. When the pan is cooled, cut up into bite size pieces.

In a glass bowl prepare a box of Pumpkin Pudding by using only 1 cup of No Fat Half & Half for the liquid.

You will also need an 8oz container of either Low Fat Cool Whip or No Fat Cool Whip that has been thawed. Gently fold about half of the container of Cool Whip into the pudding mixture. Set aside

You can make the trifle for individuals or you can put it in one of your beautiful glass pedestal bowls. Place a bit of your Pumpkin “mouse” in the bottom of your bowl (s) , sprinkle gingerbread pieces to cover all of your pumpkin mouse. Spread a thin layer of Cool Whip over the mouse, sprinkle with gingerbread and then another layer of mouse and top with Cool Whip. You can make more layers if you have enough toppings. Chill for at least 1 hour to allow flavors a chance to blend!

Enjoy! So delicious 🙂


What To Do With Leftover Stuffing??? November 14, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 12:57 pm

When I first heard about this idea I”m going to share with you I was not really sure it sounded all that great but I headed to the test kitchen anyway to try it out. Stuffing balls?  Seriously, how good could they be?  I mean I like stuffing – mine- but to roll it into balls and add more “stuff” to it….humm, not so sure.

Since  I have not had our Thanksgiving dinner yet or our faux Thanksgiving, I didn’t have any stuffing to use so  I had to rely on the boxed stuff (sorry if you use this for your stuffing).  I did make the stuffing mix with chicken broth and added some extra touches like shredded chicken breast before I went on with the recipe/idea.  After the stuffing has cooled to room temp, roll some of the stuffing into balls and place on wax paper (so it will not stick).  In two small bowls, put about 1/4 cup of egg beaters and in the other Panko Bread Crumbs.  In a small sauce pan add just enough Canola oil or Olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan  so you can fry the stuffing balls.( I know you are shocked at this point, but trust me the recipe does not use much oil ).  Warm up the oil but be careful not to burn it.  Dip each stuffing ball into egg beater then into the Panko then into oil.  Repeat with all the stuffing balls you made.  Brown the stuffing balls in the hot oil, remove and set on paper towel or news paper.

With your left over cranberry relish, add a bit of red pepper flakes and some orange juice to make it more of a sauce.  You can slightly warm the “sauce” or leave it at room temp but not cold from the frig.  Serve this with your stuffing balls.

I have tried the stuffing balls out on a lot of people and I think for Thanksgiving day, I may even use them as an appetizer!  The inside of the stuffing balls will be very moist just as your stuffing is, please don’t cook them until they are dried out.  Only brown the outside with the Panko.  The stuffing balls are crisp and really quite differently fun!

NOTE:  You can spice things up a bit by adding red pepper flakes to the stuffing too.  Plus I have found if I let the dressing sit overnight the flavors can blend together a bit more 🙂  Enjoy!  For comments/questions contact me at 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com


Hello Pumpkin Yumminess! November 9, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 6:13 pm

Yes, yumminess is a word and if not then it should be!  I have expressed numerous times how much I love Better n’ Peanut Butter and now I have just discovered yet another great way to enjoy it!  Thomas has brought out a Pumpkin Bagel and when you toast it (or not) apply Better n’ Peanut Butter, well the two flavors are sensational!

When I make one for breakfast tomorrow, I will be trying the Chocolate Better n’ Peanut Butter!  Oohhh I can’t wait.

Be sure to check out your local grocery store for the Thomas Pumpkin Bagel and of course Better n’ Peanut Butter!

Enjoy 🙂


Lose Weight By Eating

with Audrey Johns

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