Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lamb Tagine in a Whole Roasted Pumpkin

Cutting a "pie pumpkin" is difficult, but the rest of the recipe is pretty easy, and it looks fantastic when brought to the table!

Adapted from Leite's Culinaria (online)

For the whole roasted pumpkin--
One 4-pound cooking ("pie") pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the lamb tagine--
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, well trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
3 tsp thai sweet chili sauce (or 1 tsp harissa, or tabasco, or other spicy sauce, to taste)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
One 15- to 19-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
Hot cooked couscous, for serving

Prep the pumpkin in advance, but do not put it in the oven to bake until ~2 hours before serving

1. Using a sturdy paring knife, cut into the pumpkin top around the stem to create a lid about 6 inches in diameter. Lift off the lid and set aside. Using a large metal spoon, scrape out the fibers and seeds from inside the pumpkin and discard them. (If you wish, remove the seeds from the fibers and reserve the seeds for roasting.)

2. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Place tinfoil on a rimmed baking sheet and spray with Pam.

3. Season the inside of the pumpkin shell and lid with the salt and pepper. Return the lid to the pumpkin and place the pumpkin on the baking sheet. Bake until the inside of the pumpkin is tender when the interior flesh is scraped with a spoon (remove the lid to check), about 1 1/4 hours.

While the pumpkin bakes, make the lamb tagine
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In batches, add to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. (The lamb should be rare at this point.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate.

2. Add the broth to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring to release the browned bits in the bottom of the pot. Pour the broth into a large glass measuring cup or heat-proof bowl and set aside.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ginger, cinnamon, and crushed hot pepper and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and half the reserved chicken broth (about 1 cup), and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Return the lamb and any collected juices to the pot, and stir in the garbanzo beans. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook just until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Transfer 1/2 cup of the remaining broth to a sauceboat or small bowl and stir in the chili paste/harissa/tabasco to make a very spicy seasoning sauce for the finished tagine. Set the spicy sauce aside.

5. To serve the lamb tagine, carefully transfer the roasted pumpkin to a serving platter. Remove the lid, ladle in the tagine, and replace the lid. (There will be more tagine than can fit into the pumpkin; just reserve it in a serving bowl.) Present the pumpkin at the table. Spoon the lamb tagine onto individual plates, and scoop out the pumpkin with the tagine (atop or next to the couscous); add the spicy sauce to taste.

Spicy Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

Adapted from a recipe I found online

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
1/3 cup Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 c sweet Thai chili sauce (or combination of sweet Thai chili and sambal oelek if you like it spicier)

1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Place chicken (trimmed of visible fat) into slow cooker.
2. Mix together peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, and chili sauce; pour over chicken.
3. Cook on Low 8 hours or on High 4 hours.
4. Serve 1 piece of chicken and sauce with chopped peanuts and cilantro as garnish, and 1/2 c rice on the side.

Weight Watchers = 6 points per serving

Remember that you won't be using all the sauce, so the calories and fat that are listed are higher than what you will actually be eating!

Number of Servings: 6

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Red, Black, and Gold Chili

We happened to have a bag of bulghur wheat and needed to find some recipes for it. This one was surprisingly tasty; the whole family likes it. (Not that we need yet another chili recipe, but this is definitely different from our others. The bulghur adds a nice nutty flavor and chewiness that makes it almost taste like a meat chili.)

Adapted from Moosewood Cooks at Home

1/2 c bulghur wheat
1/2 c hot water
3 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 c chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
2 red bell peppers (or green, if you want to add another color to the chili)
2 c canned (drained) or frozen cut corn
14 oz can black beans, drained/rinsed
14 oz can red kidney beans, drained/rinsed

1. Place the bulghur, hot water, and 1 c juice from the canned tomatoes in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently (stir occasionally to prevent burning)
2. In a large saucepan, heat oil and saute the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt. When the onions are soft, add the bell peppers and saute for 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, corn, and beans, and heat thoroughly on low heat.
3. When bulghur is cooked but still chewy, add to the saucepan and stir well. Cover saucepan and simmer 10+ minutes until desired texture.

Serve plain or topped with grated cheese and fresh cilantro (Monterey Jack or "Mexican 4-cheese mix" are good options).

Harvest Lamb Stew

Adapted from BHG Fast-Fix One-Dish Meals

Serves 4

1 lb boneless lamb shoulder
2 c cubed, peeled sweet potatoes
1 med parsnip and 1 med carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces (2 c total)
2 small cooking apples, cored and cut into 1/2" slices
1/2 c chopped onion
3/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 c apple juice or apple cider
1 c chicken or vegetable broth

1. Trim fat from lamb; cut lamb into 1" cubes
2. in a 4 quart slow cooker, layer lamb through onion, sprinkle with spices, and pour cider and broth over all.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7-8 hours or high-heat for 3 1/2-4 hours.

Nutritional info:
336 cal
8 g fat
7 g fiber

Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Cooking Light; was a big hit! Makes 2 loaves, 12 slices each

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 15 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2/3 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin puree)
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through allspice) in a bowl.

Place sugar, egg whites, oil, applesauce, buttermilk, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add 2/3 cup water and pumpkin, beating at low speed until blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.

Spoon batter into 2 (9 x 5-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle pecans evenly over batter.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutrition Info:
198 cal
6 g fat
1.2 g fiber

(Note: I also need to try this one and see how it compares)

Curried Chicken and Ramen Noodles

Adapted from BHG Fast-Fix One-Dish Meals

Serves 4

5 c water
2 or 3 3-oz packages chicken flavor ramen noodles (but use only one of the spice packets)
4+ c mixed frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
1/2 can (~8 oz) light coconut milk
2 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
12 oz cubed, cooked chicken breast (I use 1 can of Kirkland premium chicken breast, drained)

1. Boil water in large saucepan; add 2 (or 3) noodle packets (but only one spice packet!) and frozen vegetables. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender (~5 min).
2. In a medium bowl, stir together coconut milk, curry powder, and pepper flakes; add chicken.
3. For a Pho-style noodle soup, pour most of the water from noodle-vegetable mixture and add coconut-curry-chicken mixture. For a spaghetti-style dish, drain all the water, return the noodle-vegetable mixture to the pot, and add the coconut-curry-chicken mixture. Heat through and serve.

Nutrition info per serving (if using 2 ramen packets):
333 calories
8 g fat
3 g fiber

Best. Cornbread. Ever.

I swear you'd never know this has almost zero fat in it. So moist and yummy.

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 egg whites
6-oz cup Lite-n-Fit vanilla yogurt (non-fat) or similar
1/2 c pureed pumpkin (book suggests sweet potato or butternut squash are other options)
(1 T canola oil - optional, but I find it really makes a difference)
1 c cornmeal
1 c white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Spray 8" or 9" square baking pan with non-stick spray (butter-flavored Pam works really well)
3. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, egg whites, yogurt, pumpkin, and oil with a beater until frothy
4. Sift in the rest of the ingredients (cornmeal through baking soda) into the mixing bowl, then gently combine until fully mixed
5. Pour batter into the baking pan and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nutrition per 3 oz serving (makes about 8-9 servings):
156 calories
5.5 g protein
.5 g fat (without canola oil)
1.4 g fiber

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rice Custard Pudding

Adapted from Mom and Mama; serves 8

1 cup cooked rice (generous)
4 cups milk
4 eggs (or 2 eggs & 4 egg whites, or egg substitute), beaten
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (or powdered Splenda)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins

(If rice is "dry," soak in milk overnight)
Mix first 5 ingredients together, pour into 2 qt casserole, sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 350 for 1 hr or until done (butter knife comes out clean)

Made with Splenda, egg whites/egg substitute, and skim milk, 1 serving = 3 WW points

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Curried Coconut Vegetable Soup

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Fast-Fix One-Dish Meals

3 c cauliflower florets
3 carrots, cut into 1" slices
1 med onion, diced
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 c frozen cut green beans
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
3 c vegetable broth
15 oz can lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place first 5 ingredients in crock pot. Sprinkle spices over top. Pour broth on top and stir.
2. Cook on low heat 8-10 hours, high heat 4 hours.
3. Turn crock pot to high heat, remove any excess liquid (if it looks too liquidy), and add coconut milk.
4. Serve in bowls with cilantro for garnish. Very tasty with naan for dipping.

Banana Bread (Low Fat)

This is a surprisingly good and moist recipe, considering it has such little fat...

3 bananas, mashed (I freeze and then thaw mine; seems to make them sweeter)
1 c Splenda sugar substitute (baking version)
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
2 T pareve margarine (all vegetable/lactose-free)
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees*.
2. In a mixer, mash bananas, add Splenda and mix.
3. Mix in rest of ingredients.
4. Pour ingredients into a bread pan sprayed with non-stick spray (butter-flavored Pam works well).
5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes*; cake tester should come out clean when done.
6. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

*If using a dark coated pan, bake at 325 degrees and bake a little longer.

Serves 8 (or more, depending on size of slice)
Per 1/8 pan: 134 cal; 28 g carb; 3 g fat; 3 g protein; 22 g sodium; 7 g sugar

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Moroccan Salmon

Adapted from Cooking Light

Sweet peppers, tangy lemon slices, and heady spices come together in this simple dish that yields tender fish and vegetables in a flavorful sauce. Serve in bowls over couscous or basmati rice to soak up the tasty juices.

Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I used Italian parsley)
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) salmon or steelhead trout fillets with skin
Cooking spray
Topping (to mix with marinade, after marinating the salmon)
1 lemon
3 cups thinly sliced, bite-size mixed bell pepper (some combo of red, yellow, orange, and green, for flavor and color)
2 Tbsps water
1 large plum tomato, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine first 10 ingredients ("marinade") in a large bowl. Add salmon, turning to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Remove salmon from bowl, reserving marinade. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Cut lemon in half lengthwise; cut 1 lemon half crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Reserve remaining lemon half for another use. Add the lemon slices, red and green bell pepper slices, 2 Tbsps water, and tomato slices to marinade; stir gently to coat. Arrange lemon mixture in an even layer over salmon; cover dish with foil. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.
4. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 1/2 cup lemon mixture, and drizzle each serving with about 2 1/2 Tbsps pan juices.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 319
Fat: 15.6g
Protein: 37.5g
Carbohydrate: 6.7g
Fiber: 2.3g
Cholesterol: 87mg
Iron: 1.5mg
Sodium: 383mg
Calcium: 50mg

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tuscan Lamb Chops

From Better Homes and Gardens Fast-Fix One-Dish Meals

Serves 4

8 lamb rib chops, cut 1" thick (about 1 1/2 lb)
ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 oz can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried crushed rosemary
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

1. Trim fat from chops, season with salt and pepper.
2. In a very large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chops and cook for 8 minutes or until medium doneness, turning once (4 min/side). Transfer chops to a serving plate and keep warm.
3. Stir garlic into drippings in skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute, then add beans, undrained tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and dried rosemary. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
4. Return chops to skillet; cover and cook for 2-3 minutes to heat through.

Per serving:
266 calories
11 g fat
6 g fiber

Note: the beans are almost worth making solo; not sure how they'd taste without the lamb flavor, though. But they were yummy!

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Adapted from BHG Fast-Fix One-Dish Meals

2 lb lean boneless lamb
3 large carrots, cut into 1" pieces
2 large onions, cut into wedges
3 medium tomatoes (Roma works best), chopped
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 c chicken broth
1 c dry couscous
1/4 c currants, raisins, or golden raisins

1. Trim fat from meat, cut lamb into 3/4" cubes.
2. In a 4 quart slow cooker, combine lamb through spices, and pour broth over all ingredients
3. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours
4. In a separate pot, boil 1 c water and 1 c lamb juices; stir in couscous and dried fruit and remove from heat. Stir after 5-7 minutes to fluff couscous, and serve (on plates or in bowls) with lamb.

Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind

Adapted from

Note: this recipe takes about 3 days to make, but most of the work is on the third day. Start on a Wednesday night, or at the beginning of a 3-day weekend.

About 4 qts. cubed watermelon rind
3 tbsp. salt
3 1/2 c. vinegar + 1/2 c. water
6 c. sugar
4 sticks whole cinnamon
1 tbsp. whole cloves

Evening 1:
Pare outer green peel from the firm white inner rind of 1 small watermelon, discarding any pink flesh. Cut in 1-inch cubes. Cover with cold water, add the salt and let stand overnight.

Morning 2:
Drain, rinse with fresh water and drain again. Cover again with fresh water and bring to boiling. Simmer over low heat until cubes are just barely tender: DON'T OVERCOOK. Drain.

Combine the vinegar with the 1/2 cup water; add sugar; tie the spices in a small cloth bag (or place in a tea strainer) and add. Bring to boiling and cook 5 minutes. Pour over the rind cubes and let stand 24 hours.

Morning 3:
Drain off the syrup and bring it to boiling, then pour it again over the cubes. Let stand 24 hours.

Morning 4:
Bring all to boiling and simmer 5 minutes. Fill hot sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 7 pints.

Butternut Squash Soup

Adapted from Food Network


1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
Nutmeg and Cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Brown sugar (optional, to taste)


Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add brown sugar to taste. Serve.

Note: freezes well.

Zucchini Basil Lasagna

Adapted from Cooking Light


2 cups fat-free cottage cheese or ricotta
1 cup chopped fresh basil
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray
4 cups chopped zucchini (1/2" cubes)
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups pasta sauce (e.g., Ragu)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
9 oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, garlic, and onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sauce and pepper flakes; remove from heat.

Spread 1/4 cup zucchini mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over zucchini mixture; top with one-third cottage cheese mixture, one-third zucchini mixture, and one-third mozzarella. Repeat procedure with the remaining noodles, cottage cheese mixture, zucchini mixture, and mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until lasagna is thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 227 (24% from fat)
Fat: 6g (sat 3.1g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 17.8g
Carbohydrate: 26.4g
Fiber: 2.9g

Monday, July 5, 2010

Peach Soup

From Rebecca Hertzman

2 lb ripe peaches
12 oz peach yogurt
2 Tbsp tawny port
1/2 c dry white wine
1/4 tsp dried ginger
3/4 tsp Chinese 5-Spice powder

* Blanch peaches, peel, cut, and reserve 1/4 c for garnish; puree the rest in a food processor. [note to self: would canned peaches work? if so, this would be quite the easy recipe...]
* Pour into medium mixing bowl and blend in the rest of the ingredients
* Chill and serve

Probably quite good paired with Cottage Cheese Pie. Like two desserts in one dinner!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tropical Gazpacho

From Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 peeled, seeded, and diced cucumbers
1 1/2 c diced red bell peppers
1/2 c diced red onions
1 c diced tomatoes
1 c canned unsweetened pineapple chunks in juice
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 c French or Italian bread, crust removed, torn into chunks
3 c tomato juice
salt and ground pepper to taste

1. In food processor (or large blender) combine garlic, 3/4 c diced cukes, 3/4 c diced bell peppers, red onions, 1/2 c of the tomatoes, the pineapple and juice, vinegar, cayenne, cumin, bread chunks, and tomato juice; puree until smooth
2. Transfer puree mixture to a bowl and stir in remaining diced cukes, bell peppers, and tomatoes
3. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate at least 1 hour, until chilled.

Note: tastes better if you let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 day

Serves 4-6

Nutrition per 10-oz serving:
111 cal, 3.4 g protein, .9 g fat, 3.0 g fiber

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Adapted from Moosewood Low-Fat Recipes

1 1/2 c Israeli couscous (the larger, tapioca-sized version)
1 3/4 c boiling water
10 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 c boiling water

2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt (or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper (or less, to taste)

1 1/2 c peeled, diced carrots
1 1/2 c diced zucchini
3/4 c diced red pepper (~1 pepper)
1/2 c diced red onions
3/4 c diced celery
1 tomato, diced

1. Place couscous in pot with boiling water; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, ~12 minutes until water is absorbed and couscous is light and fluffy
2. Place sun-dried tomato in heat-proof cup, soak in 1/2 boiling water until softened, then cool, drain, and chop
3. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside
4. Cook carrots in boiling water for 5 minutes, then add zucchini for 1 minute, then add red peppers and cook 2 more minutes (8 minutes total), to blanch the vegetables
5. Drain and cool the vegetables, then add to couscous along with celery, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and dressing
6. Cool salad in refrigerator at least 1 hour, then add diced tomato just before serving

Makes 4-6 servings
Per 9.5 oz serving: 238 cal, 8.7 g protein, .9 g fat, 5.7 g fiber

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Orange Passover Poundcake with Raspberry Sauce

From WW; makes 16

3/4 cup(s) matzo cake meal
1/4 cup(s) Manischewitz Potato Starch, or other brand
12 large egg(s), separated (yes, that almost made me faint...)
1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
1/4 cup(s) fresh orange juice
2 tsp orange zest, finely chopped
1/3 cup(s) preserves, raspberry-variety
1 cup(s) unsweetened frozen raspberries, or fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Sift matzo cake meal with potato starch over a large bowl; sift again and set aside.
3. In a large bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer on high power, whip egg whites until stiff and glossy; set aside.
4. In a large bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer on high power, whip egg yolks with sugar until light and satiny; add orange juice and zest and blend well.
5. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture until just blended. Sift in matzo cake meal mixture; fold delicately to combine. Carefully pour batter into a 10-inch, 2-piece ungreased angel food cake pan with feet or a sponge cake pan.
6. Bake until center of cake springs back to the touch, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and immediately invert pan onto a wire rack; cool cake completely in pan. (If you do not have a pan with feet, invert pan over a wine or beer bottle.)
7. Meanwhile, to make topping, heat raspberry preserves in a small saucepan over low heat and toss in raspberries; mix well.
8. When cake is completely cool, run a sharp knife around the outside and inside rings of the tube pan to loosen cake; transfer to a serving plate.

Slice into 16 pieces and drizzle each slice with sauce just before serving. Yields 1 slice of cake and about 1 tablespoon of sauce per serving. 4 WW points per slice w/sauce.

Dutch Apple Pie

Modified from a WW cookbook

Pastry dough

1/3 c Splenda (or sugar, if you prefer)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 large apples, about 1.5 lbs, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4"-thick slices
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 c flour
1/4 c wheat flour
2 Tbsp rolled oats (old-fashioned style)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Roll out the pastry dough between two large squares of parchment paper or wax paper, to ~12" diameter; ease dough into a 9" pie plate, pressing it against the side of the plate. Trim off any excess dough (I didn't have excess, fwiw)
3. Combine Splenda/sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add the apples and juice and toss to mix well. Spoon into the pie shell.
4. Place topping ingredients in a medium bowl and stir with a fork. Squeeze mixture to form a loose ball, then break into small pieces and sprinkle evenly over the pie.
5. Bake pie 40 minutes, then loosely cover the pie with tinfoil. Bake another 15 minutes, until filling is bubbly and topping is golden. Let cool on a rack
6. Serve with vanilla ice cream ("lite" of course!) or fat-free whipped cream.

As prepared (with Splenda, but not including ice cream or whipped cream), 1/8 pie is 5 WW pts.

Pie pastry dough (single crust)

From Weight Watchers

1 c all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp ice water

In a food processor, "pulse" the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the oil and butter, and continue to "pulse" until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Combine the water and vinegar in a separate bowl, and pour through the food processor feed tube while continuing to pulse the mixture, just until dough forms.

Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled (at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hrs).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vegetable Kugel (aka Kugel Cake)

My boys love this so much they will eat it 4x a day during Passover (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert...). The original recipe uses more margarine, but I find it tastier with a reduced quantity (as shown below). Enjoy!

Adapted from The Jewish Holiday Kitchen

(note: using a food processor makes this really easy to prepare, given all the grating...)
1 C grated raw apple (1/2 lb)
1 C grated raw sweet potato (1/4 lb)
1 C grated raw carrot (1/4 lb)
1 C matzah meal (or ~2 C flour)
1/4 C margarine (or butter)
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 C sugar (optional, or use Splenda)

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 10-inch casserole or muffin tins.
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Pour into baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. If using muffin tins, bake 30 minutes.
4. Raise oven to 350F, remove cover, and bake an additional 15 minutes. Slice and eat hot as a vegetable, or for breakfast or lunch in place of Matzoh during Passover. Tastes like unfrosted carrot cake—yum!

Note: if you make a double, triple, or quad recipe (which we often do) and bake in a larger casserole, you will need to bake for an hour or more, depending on size.

Sunken Apples and Honey Tart

From Kosher by Design (seen in Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

1/3 C honey
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 medium tart cooking apples, each peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
3/4 C sugar
6 T margarine, softened
1/4 C dark brown sugar
1 t vanilla
2 large eggs
1 t lemon zest (optional)
1 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 T sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350OF. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick baking spray.
2. Combine the honey and lemon juice in a large nonstick skillet, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the apples and cook 12-14 minutes until almost tender, stirring occasionally to coat the apple wedges. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the 3/4 cup sugar, margarine, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium until well blended, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Beat in lemon zest, if desired.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter. Beat on low speed just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
5. Remove apples from the skillet with a fork or slotted spoon, discarding the liquid. Arrange the apple slices in a concentric spoke-like design on top of the batter. Combine 1 T sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tart.
6. Bake for 1 hour. Place on a rack to cool completely in the pan. Release the sides of the springform pan to serve; makes 8-10 servings.

Note: great for Rosh Hashanah. Not at all dietetic, but very tasty! If you think your oven runs hot, be sure to bake at a lower temp, or the tart will darken too much.

Lokshen Kugel (Sweet Noodle Kugel)

From Layah Greenwald (aka Mama)

12 oz pkg broad egg-style (with or without yolks)
2 eggs
8 oz cream cheese (nonfat or lowfat)½ stick margarine
½ c Splenda or sugar
2 c skim milk
½ c golden raisins
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
topping of crushed corn flakes

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Cook noodles until just done (not too soft); drain and return them to the pot
3. Add eggs, cream cheese, butter, and sugar to the noodles and stir
4. Heat milk in microwave and add to noodle mixture
5. Stir in raisins and pineapple
6. Pour into 9x13 baking pan, top with about 1 cup of lightly crushed corn flakes
7. Bake 1 hour, uncovered, or until golden brown

Green Tomato Cake (Sukkot Cake)

Adapted (and lightened!) from; serves 24.

4 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp margarine (I use pareve/lactose free)
1 cup granulated sugar AND 1 cup Splenda (or, for those who don't like sucralose, 2 c sugar)
2 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Place chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Place in a colander, rinse with cold water, drain, and puree.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
3. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until creamy.
4. Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add raisins and nuts to dry mixture; add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Mix well.
5. Add drained tomatoes and mix well. Pour into the prepared 9 x 13 inch pan.
6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Nutrition info (based on adapted recipe)
114 calories, 3 g fat. 1 g fiber (2 WW pts per slice, not including frosting)

Flourless Banana Chiffon Passover Cake

Serves 12 to 14. If serving the cake within 24 hours, wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. For longer storage, wrap with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 10 days. To thaw, remove foil and leave at room temperature for about 3 hours.

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp matza cake meal
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp potato starch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 small or 1 large)
6 large eggs, separated
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 2 TBs canola oil
2 tsps finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325°F. Have ready an ungreased 10 x 4 1/4-inch tube pan, preferably with a removable bottom, and a long-necked bottle or large heat-resistant funnel for cooling the cake.

2. Sift together the cake meal, potato starch, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the bananas, egg yolks, egg, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, incorporate the banana mixture with the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth, thick and well blended.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-low speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Continue whipping until glossy-white, stiff-but-not-dry peaks form, about 2 minutes. Using a clean rubber spatula, fold 1 cup of the whipped whites into the cake batter to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whites just until combined. Spoon the batter into the tube pan, spreading it evenly with the spatula.

4. Bake the cake until just golden, the top springs back when touched lightly and a round wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately invert it over the long-necked bottle. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.

5. To remove the cake from a pan without a removable bottom, slip just the tip of a thin metal spatula or paring knife between the cake sides and the pan, slowly tracing the perimeter. Tilt the cake pan on its side and gently tap the bottom against a counter to loosen the cake. Rotate the pan, tapping it a few more times as you turn it, until the cake appears free from the sides of the pan. Place a wire rack on top of the cake, invert the pan and tap firmly on its bottom. Lift the pan from the cake.

(Note: I used a regular 9" springform cake pan, and the center was a bit mushy but it was still OK. A real springform tube pan would be preferable.)

Passover Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Maida Heatter

 Countess Toulouse-Lautrec’s French Chocolate Cake

from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts
by Maida Heatter, 1995, Random House

10 portions
Note: It is best to make it a day before serving or at least 6 to 8 hours before, or make it way ahead of time and freeze it. (Thaw before serving.)

Cake ingredients:
1 pound semisweet chocolate
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) sweet [unsalted] butter, at room temperature
4 eggs (graded large or extra-large), separated
1 Tbsp unsifted all-purpose flour (or matzo cake meal, for Passover)
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar


1.     Adjust rack one-third up from bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees [F.] Separate the bottom and the sides of an 8-inch spring-form pan. Cut a round of baking-pan liner paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of the pan, and butter it on one side. Butter the sides (not the bottom) of the pan. Put the bottom of the pan in place, close the clamp on the side, and place the buttered paper in the pan, buttered side up. Set aside.

2.     Break up or coarsely chop the chocolate and place it in the top of a large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Cover until partially melted, then uncover and stir with a rubber spatula until completely melted. Remove the top of the double boiler from the hot water.

3.     Add about one-third of the butter at a time and stir it into the chocolate with the rubber spatula. Each addition of butter should be completely melted and incorporated before the next is added. Set aside to cool slightly.

4.     In the small bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg yolks at high speed for 5 to 7 minutes until they are pale-colored and thick. Add the Tbsp of flour and beat on low speed for only a moment to incorporate the flour. Add the beaten yolks to the chocolate (which may still be slightly warm but should not be hot) and fold and stir gently to mix.

5.     In a clean, small bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites and the salt until the whites hold a soft shape. Add the granulated sugar and continue to beat only until the whites hold a definite shape but not until they are stiff or dry. Fold about one-half of the beaten whites into the chocolate – do not be too thorough. Then fold the chocolate into the remaining whites, handling gently and folding only until both mixtures are blended.

6.     Turn into the prepared pan. Rotate the pan a bit, first in one direction, then the other, to level the batter.

7.     Bake for 15 minutes and remove it from the oven. With a small, sharp knife, carefully cut around the side of the hot cake, but do not remove the sides of the pan. Let the cake stand in the pan until it cools to room temperature. Then refrigerate it for at least several hours or overnight. The cake must be firm when it is removed from the pan.

8.     To remove the cake, cut around the sides again with a small, sharp knife. Remove the sides of the pan. Cover the cake with a small cookie sheet or the bottom of a quiche pan or anything flat, and invert. Then carefully insert a narrow spatula or a table knife between the bottom of the pan and the paper lining; move it just enough to release the bottom of the pan. Remove the bottom and peel off the paper lining. Invert a serving plate over the cake and invert the plate and the cake, leaving the cake right side up.


Optional ways of serving:

·      Cover the top generously (excluding the rim) with whipped cream. (If you do not plan to serve it all at once and you might want to freeze the leftovers, that is not the best plan.)

·      Cover the top generously with large, loose, free-form chocolate shavings made with a vegetable peeler and a thick piece of milk chocolate, and sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top of the shavings.

·      Cover the top of the cake with a generous amount of fresh raspberries or strawberries or Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, and, if you wish, pass soft whipped cream as a sauce.

·      Cover the top with peeled and sliced kiwi fruit and strawberries.

·      Cover the cake with whipped cream, cover the cream generously with chocolate shavings, and pass brandied cherries separately to be spooned alongside each portion.

·      Mound about two-thirds of the cream on top of the cake. Cover the cream generously with chocolate shavings, or dot it with candied violets or rose petals. Fit a pastry bag with a star-shaped tube and use the remaining cream to form a border of rosettes around the rim of the cake.

·      One final option: Cut the top of the firm, chilled cake, removing the raised rim and making the top smooth. Then serve the cake upside down, either just as it is or with confectioners’ sugar on top.


Whipped Cream recipe:
2 cups heavy cream
3 Tbsps confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract, or 2 Tbsps framboise or kirsch

In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters whip the above ingredients until they reach the stiffness you want, depending on how you will use the cream.

Serve the cake cold, in small portions – this is rich!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One-Pan Ratatouille

Adapted from Sunset Magazine

Note: aside from all the chopping, this is an easy recipe. You can also chop most of the ingredients ahead (except the eggplant, as it will turn brown).


* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and diced (1/2 in.)
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
* 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes
* 8 ounces eggplant, rinsed and diced (1/2 in.)
* About 1/2 teaspoon salt
* About 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 pound red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and diced (1/2 in.)
* 8 ounces zucchini, rinsed, ends trimmed, and diced (1/2 in.)
* 8 ounces yellow summer squash, rinsed, ends trimmed, and diced (1/2 in.)
* 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


1. In a 12-inch frying pan with sides at least 2 inches tall, or a 5- to 6-quart pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir frequently until onion is limp, about 5 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes (with juice), eggplant, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer (takes up to 10 minutes). Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft when pierced, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until squash is tender when pierced, 20-30 minutes longer.

4. Stir in basil. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or hot, as preferred

Serves 4

Nutritional Information (3 WW pts per serving, or 2 if served as a side dish)

Calories: 165
Protein: 5.6g
Fat: 4g
Carbohydrate: 28g
Fiber: 6.4g
Sodium: 634mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Monday, January 18, 2010

Corn Frittata

8 eggs, lightly beaten (I used egg whites)
1 tablespoon sliced fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup diced zucchini
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped roma tomato
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used fat-free)

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and basil; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet.
Add the corn, zucchini, and green onions. Cook and stir for 3 minutes
Add tomatoes and cook uncovered over medium heat about 5 additional minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Pour the egg mixture over vegetables in skillet and cook over medium heat, 10-15 minutes, until egg mixture is almost set; the surface of the frittata will be moist.
Sprinkle with cheese and place the skillet under broiler 4 to 5 inches from heat.
Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until the top is set and cheese is melted.

Makes 4 servings

By my calculations using egg whites and fat-free cheese, this was about 3 WW points per serving.