Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat Lifestyle Recipes & Lowfat Cooking Tips

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry February 29, 2012

If you are just starting out learning about stir fry cooking, this recipe is very easy.  Remember by having your husband/children/friends help you when making Asian foods, they are more likely to try what they make.  I also add red pepper flakes to this recipe because we enjoy things a bit on the spicy side.  Enjoy!  For comments/questions please contact me at ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken & Broccoli

¼ cup chicken stock

1 Tlb. soy sauce

1 Tlb. tomato paste

1 Tlb. Hosin sauce

1 Tlb. rice vinegar

1 tsp. brown sugar

½ tsp. minced ginger

2 Tlb. cornstarch

1 pound chicken breast cut into slices or pieces

1/ 2 pound broccoli cut into bite size pieces

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup carrots and mushrooms optional

Combine the first 8 ingredients and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch together in a bowl, stir well and set aside. Spray a skillet with Pam olive oil.  Toss chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.  Cook chicken over med high heat for 7 minutes.  Add garlic, mushrooms and carrots (if you use them) and sauce mix.  Cook for about 3 more minutes.  Add the broccoli and cook until it’s crisp tender.  Serve over Basmati or Jasmine rice – Delish!

 

Delectable Easy Asian Recipes

When my children were small I introduced them to Asian foods.  I was lucky for the most part because both my children liked vegetables but I found when I prepared Chinese or Japanese foods they were intrigued by the variety of vegetables in the recipes (I mean who doesn’t like little baby corns).

Have you been to a restaurant that serves “Asian” food or tried some at a friend’s house only to think it’s too involved and you could not prepare it at home.  Many times when we go out to a restaurant we are getting the Americanized version, so before you close your mind to Asian cooking I want to explain some of the differences between Japanese and Chinese cooking.  For instance, the Japanese style of cooking involves a great deal of fresh ingredients (vegetables, fish and seafood) and it is cooked for a very short time, which is why they do tend to eat things raw like Sushi.  They use seasonings sparingly like soy sauce (Plumb’s Market has Gluten Free Soy Sauce) to enhance the flavors of food and Japanese recipes tend to not mix items together but foods are served separate.  Chinese, on the other hand love to use seasonings (hot or mild) and they will mix different ingredients together (meats and vegetables).  Chinese cooking is known for unusual types of meat and many dishes are prepared by frying the ingredients over a high heat and it can involve a great deal of oil (but there are ways to use less and that is what I will show you this month)

There is no need to worry about a special pan like a wok to prepare the Asian foods, I currently use a really large frying pan and it works quite well.  I also don’t have a rice cooker but many of my friends swear by them.  It is important to use good rice like Basmati or Jasmine for recipes (you will like them so much better than Minute Rice).

Cooking Asian food has a tendency to bring everyone into the kitchen because it’s fun to prepare.  Getting your family involved with the cooking will help entice them to try what they have been working on.  You can purchase sauce mix in the store but if you have anyone in your family with allergies that may not be an option for you. Sun Bird and Lawry have some pretty good mixes (I like the Hot & Spicy Szechwan) or you might try a sauce that does not need mixing and you just add to your food as it cooks.  One of the best suggestions I can make is to not overcook your vegetables!  Mushy is not good, they should be crisp yet tender.  In the picture with my blog I made chicken with broccoli, plus I added a few more vegetables, which is the beauty of Asian cooking – use what you have on hand.  I’m sure you noticed I have a great deal of spices, mixes, vinegar, sauces, mustard, etc. because I make Asian at least once a week. In my blog, lowfatdivablog.com, I will give you some recipes for easy Sushi, egg rolls, pot stickers, spring rolls and a lot more.   Enjoy!  For comments/questions please write to ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

 

 

Calzones For Dessert???? February 25, 2012

I’m a big fan of calzones and if you make them yourself you can enjoy the deliciousness of them because you can help lower the fat content in the calzone!   By making your own pizza dough, using no fat or low fat mozzarella cheese, turkey sausage, mushrooms, low fat marinara sauce, onions, green peppers, hot peppers,etc. you are well on your way to having a mouth watering, tasty calzone.  Wahooooo!!

So, if that is possible just think of how awesome it will be to make a rich chocolate, ricotta calzone for dessert one night for your friends/family!  I gave you a great recipe for homemade pizza dough (the one with the honey as part of the ingredients), the recipe is listed under the bread tab.  Use this  for the calzone recipe that I”m going to share with you.  Have your family help prepare the calzones, they will have fun and it’s another way to teach them the importance of learning to meals and desserts that are lower in fat content.  This doesn’t mean you can sit down and eat the plate full of calzones because the fat content is lower, it means you can still have a piece of dessert while you are living a lower fat lifestyle.      Enjoy!      For comments/questions contact me ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Chocolate Ricotta Calzones

1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese

1/4 cup low fat mascarpone cheese

3 Tlb. egg beaters

2 Tlb. powdered sugar

2/3 cup Chocolate Better n’ Peanut Butter (local grocery store or you can purchase it in my aStore on this site)

6 (2 0z) pieces of homemade pizza dough (needs to be cold to work with)

2 Tlb. of no fat half & half at room temp.

2 Tlb. egg beater

Blend the ricotta, mascarpone, 3 Tlb.  egg beaters and powdered sugar in a bowl and be sure the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Cover bowl and place in frig for at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl stir the chocolate spread with the no fat half & half to blend.

Position your baking rack in your oven to the center.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Roll out each pizza dough into a 7″ circle.  Spoon the ricotta mixture on the center of the lower half of each round.  Spoon the chocolate mixture on top of the ricotta mixture.  Brush the lower edges of the dough with your remaining 2 Tlb. of egg beater.  Fold the plain dough half over the filling to from half circle.  Pinch the edges of the dough firmly together to form a good seal (this is important or your filling will leak out all over the place).

Place the calzones onto the baking sheet lined with parchment and do not let them touch.  Brush the tops of the calzones with any remaining egg beater you have left.  Bake in 450 degree oven for about 10 min. (this will depend on your oven).  The calzones should be puffy and golden brown.  Cool about 15 minutes before eating – filling will be warm.  You can dust with powdered sugar or leave plain……..delish!

 

Gluten Free Coffee Spice Cookies February 22, 2012

Filed under: Desserts — lowfatdiva @ 3:35 pm
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I know there are a bazillion different Gluten Free websites/blogs/support groups out on the web but I wanted to share a recipe that my daughter has pretty well perfected.  She has been Gluten Free for about 2 1/2 – 3 years now and is finally off all the crazy meds the doctors had her on for stomach issues.  Right now other than being sleep deprived from her 3 year old, she is feeling better than ever since we figured out she was unable to tolerate gluten in her diet.   I wanted to include a pic of the cookies because they are really pretty.  Enjoy!  For comments/questions send to ramona@lowfatdivablog.com
Coffee Spice Cookies (adapted from Crisco’s website)
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee/espresso powder (espresso powder is much stronger, but delicious for coffee lovers!)
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • Delicious Rich Gluten Free Coffee Cookie!

     3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  •  1/2 cup amaranth flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate sprinkles (or shavings, I chopped dark chocolate chips)

PREPARATION DIRECTIONS:

  1. DISSOLVE instant coffee in hot water. Beat shortening, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and coffee mixture in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  2. DIVIDE dough into two equal parts. Shape each half into a roll 7-inches long x 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Roll in chocolate, pressing lightly. Be patient, the dough will be slightly tacky. Wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  3. Note: Works excellent to freeze at this point and bring out at a later time!
  4. HEAT oven to 375ºF. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.
  5. BAKE 6 to 8 minutes or until set (mine baked in 9 minutes because I have a light-colored baking sheet. Cool on rack.
 

Homemade Pizza Crust

Filed under: Bread & Muffins — lowfatdiva @ 3:18 pm
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I have used this recipe in my bread machine and it does require a bit of tweaking (depends on the bread machine).  The unique twist to the crust is the honey that is added to the recipe!   Remember you can “flavor” your pizza crust when you are putting your ingredients in the bread machine nut just when the crust is being baked.  For dessert type crust you can add coconut flavor, banana, butter, almond, etc.  But keep the honey in the recipe even if your crust is going to be used for a savory crust.     Enjoy!   For comments/questions email me  ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Recipe for Homemade Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water

3 cups flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons dry yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine as listed.  Use the dough setting for your machine.  When cycle has completed, put dough on lightly floured surface.  If the dough is too sticky, knead in some more flour to make a moderately stiff dough.  Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and let rest for 10 minutes.  This is also the time you can form the dough into a ball, place into a freezer bag  and freeze if you do not want to use all of it.

After the 10 minute rest, pat out your dough into a circle that measures 10″ (more or less depending on how thick you like your crust).  I place my dough on a lightly Pam sprayed baking sheet (unless you have a pizza stone then omit the spray) and put in an oven for about 3-5 minutes at 400 degrees.  Then I pull out pizza crust and place my toppings that I like on the crust.  I find my toppings don’t dry out and get over cooked while waiting for my crust to brown up.  You basically give your crust a head start.

This crust is also the one that I use when I make my grilled pizza during the Summer/Fall!

Homemade Pizza Dough

 

 

 

Sinfully Gooey Chocolate Marshmallow Sandwich!

Right now you are thinking, seriously, you can make a Sinfully Gooey  Chocolate Marshmallow Sandwich low in fat???  Come on…stop teasing 🙂  Well, I’m not teasing and yes, we  can make them low in fat and believe me they taste out of this world – however there is a bit of prep work, but so worth the wait!  Yummm – Delish!   I have made these sandwiches twice, once using the chocolate swirl bread I gave you the recipe for about a week ago and the other just using my regular homemade white.  Both are very good but obviously one far richer than the other, so your preference will depend on what you are in the mood for – right?  I wish I could say that I have pics but I don’t, the camera is out for repairs (I knew there was a reason it would not hold a charge ).  So just close your eyes and imagine a toasted sandwich that contains rich chocolate flavor along with  warm gooey marshmallow, all on two slices of your homemade bread………..ahhhhhhhhhh.     Enjoy!   You may never go back to eating a s’more again.  Please send comments/questions to ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

Recipe for Sinfully Gooey Chocolate Marshmallow Sandwich

1/2 cup Chocolate Flavored Better n’ Peanut Butter

4 – 5 Tlb. of Marshmallow Creme – Fluff

8 slices of homemade bread

Pam Butter Spray

On one piece of bread, spread at least 1 tablespoon of the Chocolate Better n’ Peanut Butter. On another slice of bread, spread 1 tablespoon marshmallow creme.  Join slices and spray the top slice with Pam.   Repeat with the remaining slices of bread.

Warm a medium size nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Place the sandwich sprayed side down in the pan.  Spray the top with Pam.

Cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown and flip to cook another 2 minutes or so on the other side.  Remove from skillet and serve immediately.

You can easily make cut the bread in half and then in half again to make a bite size dessert for family or guests.

NOTE:  I have tried making this without the marshmallow creme and using marshmallows.  I have not had good results because they have to cook for so long to get the marshmallows soft enough.  So grab a jar of creme and it will work much better.  Also if you are not able to find the Chocolate Better n’ Peanut Butter you can find it in my aStore on the right hand side of the page.  Other chocolate spreads add a great deal more fat to the sandwich.

 

Another Bread Tip February 20, 2012

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — lowfatdiva @ 5:35 pm
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I have been making and creating bread like a baker lately, which has been a great deal of fun!  But I was having a few issues with my breads when I added wheat flour to the recipe.  My mom’s always rose nicely and looked awesome (she is 81 and bakes bread at least 2 times a week) so I broke down and called her.  She first gave me “the weather makes a big difference” spiel and then asked how much wheat flour I was using (of course she also asks if I’m using the proper flour too).  I discovered by our conversation that I was in fact using too much wheat flour, you should only use about 1/2 cup in your recipes and you do need to add a bit more yeast but this will depend on how your family likes their bread.  I like mine a bit heavier but my husband likes his so light you hardly have to chew it.

I also have better luck using white wheat flour when I want to put a bit of wheat in my bread making.  And yes, mom is correct you really do need to use Better For Bread Flour.  She is very particular on the company she uses for her flour and will not compromise!  Hey, what can I say the woman is 81 so I guess she can be fussy all she wants, right?

Hope these tips help you!  For comments/questions email me ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 

 
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