Hope you had a nice weekend. I have the day off today, and whenever I have a day off, I find that it’s fun to concoct some new creations in the kitchen. Not out of a cookbook, but just something you play with on your own.
Today, I made a super simple dessert…I’m so excited for dh to taste it :bounce: Basically, you just take a few spoonfuls of ricotta cheese (low fat preferrably if you’re counting calories) Then, in the same bowl, add maybe a teaspoon or a little more of POWDERED sugar. Stir, and add on top berries of your choice. I added raspberries, and blueberries…OH MY GOSH, I was moaning it was so good. :rotfl: I let my dd stay home with me today, she was like…okay mommy, I get it…it’s good. lol
So…what have YOU come up with lately in your kitchen, that you thought up on your own, and it turned out fabulously?
OK, I just made this up last weekend. I had it at a restaurant a while back and it was really good, and thought “I could do that.” This is NOT diet food. But, man was it GOOD
Chorizo Stuffed Chicken Breasts
4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 pkg chorizo sausage
queso quesedilla (which is mexican melting cheese, or get a Mexican cheese blend in the shredded cheese bags at the grocery)
veg oil for frying
flour and egg for dredging chicken
preheat oven to 350
Butterfly and pound thin 4 chicken breasts
Cook chorizo in frying pan, drain **well **on paper towels (chorizo is greasy)
Empty the fat from the frying pan, but leave some pan drippings, add enough oil to reach depth of 1-2 in
Stuff each chicken breast with some chorizo and some cheese. Roll up the chicken breast envelope style (like folding up a burrito) and secure with toothpicks. Dredge the chicken in flour, then in beaten eggs, then coat in breadcrumbs.
Heat oil/pan drippings on med high. Fry breaded chicken breasts until brown on each side, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Transfer to baking pan and bake uncovered on 350 for about 30 minutes or until internal temp reads 180 on a meat thermometer.
If you have chile con queso, or any melted spicy cheese then spoon it on the plate and set the chicken on top of it. That’s what I did and the sauce was awesome with the stuffed chicken.
Hmmm…maybe adding chocolate chips for a few bites of a mock cannoli would do the trick, too. Seriously, low fat ricotta is not bad …from a calorie standpoint…and you throw in some fruit, and voila…a quick, light and airy dessert. Yummy. Cannolis are something else though, if you get them in an authentic Italian bakery. :o
This is a favorite dessert/snack of ours. We’re very conscious of whole grains, healthy fats, watching sugars, etc. When I absolutely must have something yummy and filling, this is it in our house. It’s also quick and easy.
Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Bars
Spray a 9 x 13" pan with vegetable spray. Preheat the oven to 350.
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup Splenda/brown sugar blend
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute (I usually use the substitute)
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (King Arthur makes this, and I use it all the time; much lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
dash salt (optional)
2-1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1-2 cups (6-12 ounces) dark chocolate chips (depends on how naughty you want to get!)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Beat oil and Splenda blend/sugar; mix in the eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the wet mixture. Stir in the oatmeal, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well. Spread in pan (you may have to press it down.) Bake about 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. The bars are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and cut.
This is filling and tastes much more decadent than it is. I have to try really hard not to eat half a dozen when they are still warm.
I use that white whole wheat flour for almost all my baking; I like it so much better than the regular, heavy whole wheat flour, and things come out so much lighter.
fantastic and a favorite lo-carb dessert, I use full-fat, oooooh, also try this simply with the sugar and cinnamon–a secret addiction, and good when you get that taste for cheesecake
my new breakfast–I have to loose weight fast for knee surgery–icy mocha latte
Atkins dark chocolate shake, cup of strong coffee, 1 tsp cinammon, whipped in the blender with ice until it has a frozen consistency, topped with carb-free whipped cream (land o lakes).
I have started to make my own salad dressing to reduce sodium, use the good seasons bottle add the vinegar and oil where it says, but don’t use their mixes, where it askes for water, add dijon mustard, which acts as an emulsifier as well as adding flavor.
tarragon vinegar & sunflower oil (I used cold pressed organic oils), with feta and olives
raspberry vinegar and walnut oil (you can mix the flavored oils half and half with olive oil or canola oil), with walnuts and blue cheese
apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, canola oil, Italian seasoning, with parmesan and pine nuts
or simply sprinkle your salad with a few drops of olive oil, sprinkle with sugar or splenda (a pinch or 2 is enough), garlic powder (not salt) go litely, and pepper, toss, then sprinkle with rice wine vinegar, with slivered almonds and mandarin oranges
salads taste so much fresher this way than with bottled dressing
sprinkle the chopped nuts, grated cheese, chopped dried fruit separately rather than mixing them in the dressing
GOTTA have those oatmeal bars with choc–heart healthy what’s not to like?
Healthy Breakfast Tacos (when I am allowed to eat again)
hi-fiber tortillas, warmed on griddle
fill with egg-beaters or omega-3 eggs scrambled with diced onion, pepper and cilantro
mix in soy chorizo
1/4 c egg beaters and one inch or so of chorizo makes 2 tacos
you can use ground red pepper or add hot sauce
Is there anything you can do to ricotta to make it bad? I doubt it. If you put it on a flip flop it would taste good.
WG I love ricotta in pancakes when I make them (not often b/c I’m totally grain free) with blueberries and cinnamon infused maple syrup.
I love ricotta cheesecake…I think there is a recipe on foodtv.com
Another similar simple desert is ricotta FULL fat, spread out in a 1/2 inch layer in a dish, sprinkle with cocoa powder and drizzle with honey and some berries, I like blackberries or raspberries. Use some biscotti for dipping…YUM.
I love to make my own ricotta once in awhile too…there is nothing like fresh ricotta!!!
I thought it was impossible to do something bad with ricotta, too, but I managed. I cooked some cherry tomatoes in olive oil until they burst, added garlic and fresh basil and ricotta and mixed it all with cooked pasta. It turned to cement. I had to eat it anyway, because we can’t afford to throw food away these days, but I won’t be making it again.
The delicious thing I did with ricotta, I called Cannoli Cream. I took full fat ricotta, added powdered sugar, orange zest and mini dark chocolate chips. I was debating about whether to add cinnamon, but I chickened out and didn’t. I think I’ll go have a spoonful right now!
I’m thinking about adding orange zest to my next batch of brownies. I love my microplane zester!
This isn’t exactly recent, but I haven’t shared it yet. Well, as I might have said once or twice, I love playing around with stuff and making pasta sauces. So, one day I wanted something a bit different but still somewhat traditional, so I cut up say, two morsels of ham, fried them a bit in a pan until they were crispy, and then fried them with tomato paste and an apple or two that I cut into small pieces, adding some juniper berries if I recall correctly. It turned out very tasty and indeed different from the pasta routine.
Some other day, I wanted something really different, so I took some curry, some oil and some honey and made a sauce for tuna and rice. Yeah, honey turns out great in curry sauces - the last time I’ve made some was for a simple tomato salad. I had some Thai oil and some Chinese pepper, so I threw them in with a bit of water and some curry and honey. Turned out a very nice tomato salad, though something went wrong and I ended up with way too much sauce.
For a dessert, put some raisins or blanched almonds or some such in a nice dessert cup and pour some rum over it. Leave it for a couple of hours. Then make instant coffee using milk instead of water, or pour a super-strong shot of espresso in that milk if you prefer, then throw in some gelatin (don’t overdo it; it takes much time to gain some density) and pour into the cup. Use whatever decoration you like. This isn’t my own recipe, but I forgot half of what the book said and had to play by intuition.
Since you mentioned ricotta…I’ve been using a LOT of ricotta cheese lately. It’s one of those ingredients I just always thought was for ravioli filling and I never used it for anything else. But it’s soo versatile.
First, in baking I make a lot of scones and I found a recipe for ricotta scones w/ cinnamon online that’s just awesome. I’ve made this recipe several times so I can tell you it’s good. My only changes are I use butter instead of shortening, and you may have to increase the amount of milk that the recipe calls for, just slightly.
Sometimes I also like to mix some ricotta cheese (seasoned with salt, pepper and maybe some dried herbs) in with tomato sauce. It’s even better if you add an equal amount of grated parmesan cheese. Turns a regular everyday spaghetti sauce into a rich, cheesy creamy tomato sauce.
As for things that we just “come up with” in the kitchen…Several months ago I was making a baked pasta dish in the oven and I left it in a ltitle too long. The top layer of rigatoni and pesto sauce was overcooked and the pasta was almost burned on top and on the corners. I thought it was ruined at first…but then I tasted it and the crispy pasta was actually really, really good! Now if that happened by accident, I figure if I did it correctly/on purpose with al dente pasta I might come up with something amazing.
So I’ll make a simple pasta and sauce, using a tubular pasta like rigatoni (the best) or penne, and a simple sauce like butter and parmesan, sauteed vegetables, pesto, etc., etc. (I don’t imagine a tomato-based sauce would work very well with this.) When the pasta is al dente I’ll add the pasta to the sautee pan with the sauce and continue to sautee over medium heat. Don’t continuously flip and stir the pasta-- just let it be for a few minutes so the pasta can “fry” and get nice and crispy. If I’m doing it that way I usually will only crisp up one side. The contrasting texture that way is amazing!
An alternate way to do this is to add the cooked pasta to the sauce and then put the pan under the broiler for maybe a minute or two. If you do it this way be very careful and make sure you don’t burn the whole thing!
You know, I’m so glad you mention this about Atkins. Not trying to plug his diet, but to lose weight (healthfully) in a short amount of time, it’s a great diet. It’s even a great diet for ‘maintenance.’ I followed it years ago, when I wanted to lose baby weight…and since, have always “tried” to follow the southbeach diet, which is atkins, on maintenance I think. I get a little annoyed with people who totally discount Atkins. Now, granted, you shouldn’t eat a dozen eggs and a steak for breakfast…obviously, he’s not saying that, but lowering carbs, the white ‘death’ of one’s diet is key to keeping weight down, and just feeling good. I am going to try your ‘dishes’ here, thanks for chiming in. :)*
Oh great, now I have to bake these too. :p:D Sounds yummy…and the splenda doesn’t make them dry or anything, huh? I cook with splenda sometimes, in pies for the holidays…but in cakes, and cookies…hmmm…not so good. But, it doesn’t adversely affect these bars?
I would never use Splenda in bars, cakes, cookies by itself (yukky texture) but the splenda/brown sugar blend, combined with the 1/2 organic sugar, cuts down on the carbs while keeping a nice texture.
I have used something called Natur Baker’s Blend, not yet widely available, which is low carb yet has essentially the same results as sugar in cookies, bars, etc. It is quite expensive, and has a bit of a problem with caking (easily fixed), but I have had terrific results. It should be available more widely within a year.
I did go ahead and make the oatmeal bars last night Came out nicely!