Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat recipes,cooking with beer/hops, adventures

Gluten Free White Bean & Pasta Soup September 30, 2013

Filed under: Gluten Free,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 11:59 am

It’s getting a bit chilly in the Mitten so I like to try out different soups and when I find recipes that are gluten free/dairy free that is a bonus!  My friends at Living Without  recently sent me this recipe so I wanted to share it with you.  The recipe is dairy free as well as gluten free, however, you could add a bit of no fat half in half in place of some of the chicken stock but be sure to do it at the end. Enjoy!!!

“Different versions of this delicious soup are found throughout Italy. This traditional recipe, refashioned without gluten or dairy, is loaded with light, crisp flavors. Garnish with green onion and crumbled bacon, if desired”.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter or dairy-free  butter replacement
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
1 can garbanzo or white cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
2 bay leaves
1 cup gluten-free small dried pasta, such as fusilli or elbow
Parmesan cheese or dairy-free cheese replacement, grated, optional

1. In a Dutch oven or soup pot, cover bottom with a combination of olive oil and butter and heat over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and simmer, about 3 minutes. Add carrots and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are light brown.

2. Add broth, beans, squash, salt, pepper, thyme, sage and bay leaves.

3. Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring and tasting to adjust flavors. Salt and pepper according to taste. When vegetables are tender but still firm, remove from heat. Remove bay leaves before serving.

4. Cook pasta, rinse and drain. Place a small amount in each bowl and ladle soup on top. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese or dairy-free cheese replacement, if desired.




Sausge And Rice September 18, 2013

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog,Main Dishes & Sandwiches — lowfatdiva @ 2:51 pm

I have been so busy playing with beer ice cream recipes that I “forgot” I had to feed my husband last night 🙂  He usually bikes on Tuesdays night so I have some time to figure it out but unfortunate for me his biking buddy didn’t show again so when 6:30 rolled around and he gave me the look of “what’s for dinner” , needless to say I was scrambling!  No, he was not interested in just sampling out the new beer ice cream flavors  – bummer!

Anyway, I had some orzo in the pantry, a bag of baby spinach that was almost beyond it’s point of being fresh and some turkey sausage I was going to use for meat balls.  Hummmm.  Well, here is what became of my stuff and it was good stuff because we ate all of it.  Enjoy!!!

6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage, casings removed or any lean turkey sausage you may have
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1  package fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup freshly grated  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Make orzo according to directions (4 servings) be sure to cook to al dente’
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with Pam Olive Oil. Add sausage and cook 4 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly be care full not to “burn” your garlic or it will have a very bitter taste. Add spinach; cook 30 seconds or until spinach begins to wilt, tossing constantly. Stir in orzo; cook 1 minute or until heated. Sprinkle with cheese.



Grilled Fruit With Honey Mascarpone Bruschetta

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks,Desserts,Gluten Free — lowfatdiva @ 2:32 pm

After going to the Farmer’s Market in Muskegon I have developed a friendship with a great family from Bailey.  They have orchards and I love trying to find things to make with their fruits.  I have been developing some beer ice cream ( sorry not sharing the recipe ) and thought about making a peach wheat beer ice cream but things didn’t turn out as I had hoped because the peaches have too much juice/water in them.

So, I decided to make some grilled fruit for dessert one night and I love bruschetta so I played with some honey and mascarpone (low fat of course) and the taste was out of this world!  You can use any fruits that are in season.  I used peaches and nectarines ( I wanted some color so I used a bit of sweet cherries too).    Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

NOTE:  This can be made Gluten Free by using a different bread for the bruschetta.

1/4  cup sugar

4  large apricots, halved and pitted (not too ripe)

4   nectarines, halved and pitted (not too ripe)

hand full of  sweet cherries, pitted

2   tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2  teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1   tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1   cup  low fat mascarpone

2   tablespoons honey

8   1-inch-thick slices of cibatta  bread


In a large bowl, combine the  sugar with the apricots, nectarines, cherries, lemon juice, orange zest, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss well and season lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir the mascarpone with the honey and season with pepper.Spray  the bread slices on both sides with Pam Olive Oil Spray.

Light a grill.  Grill the bread over high heat until lightly charred and crisp, about 30 seconds per side. Grill the fruit over moderate heat, basting a few times with the reserved juices, until lightly charred and just tender, about 4 minutes per side.

Spread the honey mascarpone on the grilled bread and half each slice. Transfer to a platter. Top with the grilled fruit and drizzle any left over sauce you have.  My friend likes to drizzle just a bit of reduced flavored balsamic over the finished plate 🙂






Mushroom Ragu September 17, 2013

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks,Gluten Free,Main Dishes & Sandwiches — lowfatdiva @ 3:27 pm

I love mushrooms and I don’t think that I’ve tried one I have not liked yet!  I don’t go out and hunt for them here in the Mitten because I would be the person who would find the wrong one and poison my meal – uggg.  So I leave the hunting to the market where I purchase my groceries or to the wonderful young man who I ment who recently started growing gourmet mushrooms.

I found this recipe for Mushroom Ragu and with a few tweaks it’s taste wonderful and can be placed on anything from baked potatoes to fresh pasta or just eaten right from the pan 😉   Enjoy!!!!    For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


Mushroom Ragu


2   tablespoons unsalted butter

4   pounds mixed wild mushrooms (be sure to include some portabella for a great “meaty flavor)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 white onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1   cup dry white wine

1   cup beef stock or low-sodium broth

1   tablespoon chopped tarragon

2   teaspoons chopped thyme


In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter . Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are deeply browned, 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Stir in the stock, tarragon and thyme and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.


mushroom ragui




Delicious Blueberry Sauce! September 13, 2013

Filed under: Breakfast — lowfatdiva @ 5:21 pm

Blueberries are still available here in the Mitten and even though the berries are smaller they actually have more taste!  Go to the Farmers Market and make a batch of this awesome blueberry sauce, then make a batch of pancakes and serve with the sauce on top!  Your mouth and stomach will thank you!!!!!    For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablob.com


2   cups fresh blueberries
1/4  cup honey
1   teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2   tablespoons lemon juice

Stir blueberries, honey, lemon zest and juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes; serve warm.

NOTE:  I have switched things up and used lime juice and zest – very yummy!  This is also great on frozen yogurt as a topping!!!




Mashed Cauliflower

Filed under: Gluten Free,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 4:52 pm

My mom was a bit over zelious one day at the Farmers Market and purchased a large head of cauliflower.  Being alone, I couldn’t imagine what she needed the big head for but being in the generation that she is “big is better”.  After we got home I asked Mimi (what we call my mom) about the cauliflower and she told me someone from her pool group gave a recipe out for mashed cauliflower.  Mimi told me I could “fix” the recipe so she could share it with her friends.  So here is the improved recipe that  I came up with.  So if you find yourself purchasing a very large head of cauliflower at the Farmers Market, try this out – it is delicious!    Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


Mashed Cauliflower

8   cups bite-size cauliflower florets, (about 1 head)
4  cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/3  cup nonfat buttermilk

2   teaspoon butter

1/4 tsp of sea salt & ground pepper



Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor or Magic Bullet.  Add buttermilk, 2  teaspoons melted  butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot.  You can sprinkle some fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top or you can experiment with some chopped fresh herbs like basil, parsley or even lemon basil.





PIzza Bites/Turnovers September 9, 2013

Filed under: Appetizers & Drinks,Main Dishes & Sandwiches — lowfatdiva @ 3:35 pm

We all know that giving our families processed foods is not good for them.  The fat content is high, sodium is quite high  and there is not a great deal of healthiness in any way shape or form.  So, when you kids want pizza roll ups or anything for that matter that is pizza based, make your own.  Don’t panic, they really don’t take long and you can freeze any leftovers to pop in the oven at a later time.

I get my pizza dough by the case at Sam’s club.  I like the dough because it’s versatile, not sweet and is quite cost effective.  The pizza dough out of the store is expensive, not as large as the dough balls and quite high in fat.  With this recipe you can make pizza bites/turnovers of calzones.   Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

All you need is some pizza dough that is thawed, your favorite pizza sauce, low fat pepperoni, low fat mozzarella shredded or in slices.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.   Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large square.  If you are making turnovers cut the dough into 6″ squares.  If you make pizza bites.  Cut into long 3″ strips (enough so you can fold the dough over in half .

Spread pizza sauce with in 1″ of edge of each square.  Place some pepperoni slices onto the sauce, sprinkle with some cheese or place a slice on.  Fold each square in half to form a triangle. Crimp to seal edges well so your filling does not come out.

Bake on a greased, dusted with corn meal baking sheet 13-15 minutes (depends on oven) or until golden brown.

turnoverNOTE:  you can put any combination of meat or vegetables that you have room for in the turnover/calzone .


Lose Weight By Eating

with Audrey Johns

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