Low Fat Diva Blog

Low Fat recipes,cooking with beer/hops, adventures

Eat This Not That June 24, 2013

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog,Salads — lowfatdiva @ 3:14 pm

I know there are books out there with this title but I just love the saying so I “borrowed” it ūüôā¬† I had a request from a reader about Cobb Salad and how to make it more low in fat.¬† She loves to eat them but knows with some of the ingredients on a Cobb Salad can really adds up in the fat content.

Here are a couple of quick tricks.  Use Skirt or Flank Steak, omit or cut the amount of avocados used, omit the yolk of the boiled egg and use only the white, use a low fat feta cheese or low fat blue instead of full fat and try out this dressing idea.

Remember to DRIZZLE a bit of the vinaigrette on not POUR it on.  A typical Cobb Salad can have as much as 37 grams of fat in it Рouch!

Dijon Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar; 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1/2 teaspoon sugar; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Add 1/4 cup olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly.  This vinaigrette should be enough for lots of other salads not one serving!

How To “Mix” Up Your Salads

Filed under: Salads — lowfatdiva @ 2:47 pm

I love salads but many people I know say they get tired of  eating boring salads.   Seriously?????  With so many different types of lettuce that is available to us as well as different herbs, like Watercress which offers a peppery taste to salads, how could any one be bored with a salad?

Here is a wonderful salad recipe that is perfect for those hot summer evenings when you are just not in the mood to cook a big meal.  Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

2 tablespoons  apple juice or apple cider
1 tablespoon  olive oil
1 tablespoon  cider vinegar
2 teaspoons  honey
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon  ground black pepper
12 ounces  pork tenderloin
1 ounce  pancetta, chopped
1 medium red apple/Granny Smith, cored and thinly sliced crosswise into rings
2 cups  watercress, large stems removed

2 cups mixed Spring Greens
3/4 ounce  goat cheese (chevre), crumbled (about 1-1/2 tablespoons) or low fat Feta

For apple-honey dressing, in a screw-top jar, combine apple juice, the 1 tablespoon olive oil, the vinegar, honey, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Cover and shake well; set aside.

Cut meat into bite-size strips. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In a very large skillet, cook pancetta over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon; transfer to paper towels. In the same skillet, cook and stir pork for 3 to 4 minutes or just until done. Remove with slotted spoon. If necessary spray skillet with Pam Olive Oil. Add apples; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender, turning occasionally.

Combine greens and watercress together. Arrange  on four dinner plates; top with pork and apples. Sprinkle with pancetta, and goat cheese. Drizzle with apple-honey dressing.


NOTE:  I did splurge and put a few candied pecans on my salad but normally I do not add them.  I enjoy adding dried fruits because it keeps the fat content down.  If you are not careful you can add a ton of fat to your salad with the dressing, nuts, meats and cheese (which can add up to as much fat as a trip to fast food restaurant).


Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad June 10, 2013

Filed under: Salads — lowfatdiva @ 11:34 am
Tags: ,

I love salads and now that the weather here in the Mitten is hopefully going to warm up, I can make a salad for dinner tonight.  I like to use this salad as a side to some grilled meat because it contains plenty of vegetables and my husband is happy!  You can even add some red pepper flakes to give it a bit of zing if you want to.  I try to plan ahead and make this a day in advance, the flavors have a better chance to blend together.    Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


1 cup of frozen corn thawed
1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 – 1 teaspoon of cumin (depending on your taste)
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup minced red onion

Whisk lime juice, oil, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the corn,  beans, cabbage, tomato and onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

black bean salad


Broccoli Salad April 4, 2013

Filed under: Salads,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 12:34 pm

This month as we try to look at things that are “green”, obviously we need to look at green veggie and see how to get more of them into our diet.¬† It drives me batty when people say “I don’t like green vegetables or I don’t like broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, beans, bla,bla,bla”. ¬† I find that when I ask people more questions about their likes or dislikes it is usually because they have only tried the vegetable once (which may have been when they were 5) and had a bad experience.¬† Many times it’s the way a certain item was cooked!¬† There are countless times my mom literally destroyed certain vegetables because she over cooked them and I too thought I would never like some things but when I was offered to try the same vegetables (or other foods) prepared differently, well let’s just say WOW what a difference!

I f you don‚Äôt like broccoli, then you need to give it a chance by trying the vegetable done different ways, like the salad I’m sharing with you today.¬† Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables.

The problem might be that broccoli on its own isn‚Äôt¬† the way you should try it. The vegetable is delicious when it’s placed with other foods, like in a stir fry, salads, roasted with other vegetables or in a soup.¬† Not smothered in cheese sauce, that is what people do to hide the flavor not entice the flavor ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† Enjoy!!! ¬† For comments/questions please email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com










1  clove garlic, minced

1/4  cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/4  cup reduced-fat sour cream

2  teaspoons cider vinegar

1  teaspoon sugar

4  cups finely chopped broccoli crowns,

1  8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped

3  slices cooked turkey bacon/ prosciutto, cut up small or Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits

3  tablespoons dried cranberries

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Whisk garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. Add broccoli, water chestnuts, bacon, cranberries and pepper; stir to coat with the dressing.


Quick Balsamic Bean Salad February 6, 2013

Filed under: Salads — lowfatdiva @ 8:59 pm

This salad is quick and if you only add the feta cheese as you eat it, you can keep it for a couple of days.  I try to make it in the morning for the day I want to serve it so the salad has ample time to infuse all the flavors.  You can add or subtract some of the ingredients (like putting corn or having more than one type of canned bean).  By putting a little red pepper in the dressing you can have a bit of a zing to the flavor also.  Delish!!!      For comments/questions please email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced


5 cups (1-inch) cut green beans (about 1 pound)

1 cup finely chopped tomato

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 (15-ounce) can black beans or navy beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup (2 ounces) low fat  feta cheese, crumbled

Combine first 7 ingredients which are for the dressing, stirring with a whisk. Set Aside

Place green beans into a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 5 minutes. Drain and plunge beans into ice water; drain. Place beans in a large bowl. Add tomato, dill, and black/navy beans; toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and chill at least 1 hour (The longer the better to infuse the flavors)



Lets Talk Lettuce August 23, 2012

Filed under: Salads,Soups & Veggies — lowfatdiva @ 11:53 am
Tags: , , ,

In the farmers market you should be seeing a great deal of lettuce, no not your iceberg you can find in the store, but really awesome flavorful lettuce.¬† Some of the different types might be leaf, butterhead, arugula or even romaine and of course spinach.¬† These types of lettuce are great for salads and sandwiches, you will probably never go back to the boring iceberg again.¬† Once lettuce that you might not see is radicchio (it’s purple in color) but one you definitely need to pick up for making great salads. ¬† Colorful lettuce just seems to make a sandwich or salad pop with flavor and appearance.¬† You actually will feel special…….ok, maybe not special but it will put a smile on your face!

I know that farmers usually wash the lettuce before they bring it to market but you will want to wash it again and then put it through a lettuce spinner to clean it and remove all the water.¬† I am going to give you a bit of the “taste factor” with the different lettuces that I recommended for you to try in your salad or on your sandwich.¬† Arugula – has a peppery taste (great for making aioli too), butterhead – has a bit of sweetness in taste, leaf – has just a hint of nuttiness, radicchio – is a bit bitter when eaten alone but blended is wonderful, romaine¬† – really has no distinct flavor but is awesome on sandwiches and blended in salads and of course spinach – I like to use baby spinach which has just a little bit of bit to it.

Here is a recipe for a salad that you can make and it can be your entire meal because it has so much goodness to it.  The best part is you can use any vegetable that suits you or that you have in your frig and any low/no fat dressing will pare nicely with it.   Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Veggie Nicoise Salad

1 pound small red potatoes halved

1 pound asparagus trimmed

1/2 pound fresh green beans cleaned and trimmed

1 can of kidney or garbanzo or black beans drained and rinsed

1 red onion halved and thinly sliced

Assortment of lettuce (romaine, arugula, baby spinach &  leaf)

3 oz marinated artichoke hearts drained, placed on paper towel and quartered

I do not use eggs in mine but if you want to add 3 hard boiled eggs that have been quartered it will be a nice addition of protein (at 12 grams of fat if you ate them all)

In a  sauce pan put enough water to cover potatoes, bring to a boil.  Turn heat back to med and cook for 9 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp tender. Drain and spray with Pam Olive Oil to cover potatoes.  Set aside.

In a steamer (or in a saucepan) cook the asparagus and beans until they are crisp tender.  Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, drain and set aside.  Spray each with a bit of Pam Olive Oil spray.

On a large platter tear enough mixed greens for 4-5 people.  Arrange the vegetables in sections onto the plate (ie, the potatoes in one area of the lettuce plate, the beans over on one side, the asparagus in a separate area, kidney beans, etc.  This is a good time to let your children be creative as they help make this salad )

Once you are finished, serve!¬† Some of my friends who make this salad will actually mix the salad greens with a dressing before they place the greens on the large platter and build the salad.¬† I don’t like to do this for a couple of reasons, one being I think the lettuce gets soggy quickly and I like the crunch of everything and the other reason is not everyone likes the same dressing.¬† Vinaigrette types of dressings really work best for this salad.

NOTE:  You an easily over do your fat intake when you make this salad or any salad by using certain dressings.  Believe it or not some dressing has over 10 grams of fat in just 1 tablespoon!


Fabulous Summer Salad June 20, 2012

The uniqueness of the salad will allow it to accompany anything including a sandwich.¬† My daughter’s friend Meryl Aja Humphrey Lotz shared this recipe with me.¬† Meryl put some pics of the salad on face book and it looked so wonderful I wanted to make it myself.¬† Meryl is a fantastic cook and uses a lot of fresh vegetables/herbs in her recipes.¬† The pics she sends us make the food look so beautiful and inviting, you just want to try them no matter what the ingredients and that is what happened with this recipe!¬† The base of the salad is Quinoa (keen’ wa), I know, probably not something you have sitting in your pantry.¬† I was actually not even sure what it was until I did some research on it (and checked out my pantry).¬† I knew that it had to be Gluten Free because Meryl, like my daughter, has a Gluten intolerance.

I can’t really describe Quinoa except it’s a cross between rice and a cereal grain.¬† It sort of “pops” in your mouth.¬† Quinoa is a very healthy food and is used in a variety of ethnic dishes. When I received the recipe I noticed there was olive oil and avocado, which yes I know is “good fats” but I would have to do a bit of converting with.¬† Meryl told me whatever I did, I really needed to keep a bit of the avocado in the recipe so I did and she was right, it really does help make the fantastic taste come alive in the salad.

If any of you tried the couscous breakfast parfait I posted , remember you may have been skeptical with that too and in the end you found it to be delicious!¬† As you will with this wonderful salad that can be a meal or eaten as a side.¬† If you have texture issues….get over it…..you are missing out on some great food finds!¬†¬† Enjoy!!¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† And thank you Meryl for introducing me to Quinoa and sharing this tasty recipe. ¬†¬†¬† For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Quinoa Summer Salad

Make a batch of Quinoa according to package directions except instead of water use chicken stock.  Allow to cool to room temp. I had Red Quinoa in my pantry.

The amount of Quinoa as well as the vegetables for the top will depend on how many you are serving.  I made enough for 2 people.  You can adjust the amounts of vegetables to your liking.

1/2 pound (or 5 slim stalks fresh asparagus) cut and trimmed into 2″sections (after removing the bottoms, cut remainder in half)

1 small onion roughly chopped

1 carrot julienne into 2″ pieces

1 cup sliced portabella mushrooms

1 clove garlic minced

1/4 cup diced red onion

fresh chopped parsley

avocado slices

fresh lemon

After Quinoa has cooked and is cooling, liberally spray a saute pan with Pam Olive Oil. Add the white onion that was roughly chopped.  Saute until just starting to become translucent, add carrots, garlic and mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes(they should be still crisp ) add asparagus pieces and cook for a couple more minutes. Be sure to not to over cook any of the vegetables and keep moving the vegetables around to cook evenly.  They should still be crisp tender when finished. Remove from heat.  If you have a Mister for your olive oil, this is the time to use it.  I actually found white truffle oil in a mister and used that for this portion of the recipe.  Mist/spray a little olive oil or you can add a 1/2 Tlb of butter to melt over the warm vegetables.

Arrange some of the Quinoa onto a plate.  Top with your sautéed vegetable mixture.  arrange a couple of very thinly sliced avocado on top of vegetables, sprinkle  red onion and some chopped fresh parsley.  Squeeze  fresh lemon juice over the entire salad (maybe a 1/4 quarter of lemon for both salads).  Now, Enjoy!!!  Delish.


Lose Weight By Eating

with Audrey Johns

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