Thursday, May 31, 2012

Savory Salmon (or Chicken) Souffle

Pin It In the midst of my cleaning marathon yesterday, I decided I better whip up a quick dinner so I could get back to my cleaning.  I was sick of my usual go to foods and  I was in need of something new.    In the spirit of my cleaning marathon, I decided to do a little bit of a fridge clean out.   Some of the bazillion eggs cluttering up my fridge, a handful of spinach on the verge of going bad, and a can of salmon I've had laying around for quite some time.  Eggs? Spinach? Salmon?  What could I possibly make with that?!  How about a Salmon SoufflĂ©!  Protein and omega-3 packed and of course delicious!  For my my favorite picky-eater fans, you can probably substitute about 1-1 1/2 cups small cup-up pieces of chicken breast (already cooked), but you lose the benefits of the omega-3s so I dare you to try the salmon. :)


6 Eggs, separated
1-2 tsp Basil
1 tsp Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 oz.) can Wild Alaskan caught salmon
2 cup Fresh spinach, ripped into smaller pieces


1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
2. Separate the yols from the egg whites in two bowls.
3. Mash the canned salmon really well in a small bowl after removing the large pieces of bone.
4. Whisk the yolks with the basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
5. Add the salmon to the yolk mixture and mix.
6. Beat the egg whites (an electric mixer works best unless you want to do it by hand with a whisk and get a good arm workout in :P) until they form soft peaks.
7. Gently fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites.  Be careful not to over mix and deflate the egg whites.
8. Pour soufflé mix into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
9. Drop little spoonfuls of cottage cheese across the top.
10. Bake for  10-12 minutes.
11. Let rest for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Makes 9 servings. (Or more if you are pairing it with something else for your meal)

Nutrition Facts:
(Based on 9 servings)
Calories: 120
Total Fat: 7.3 g
     Sat. Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 154.4 mg
Sodium: 262.1 mg
Potassium: 92.6 mg
Total Carbs: 0.6 g
     Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
     Sugars: 0.1 g
Protein: 13.6 g
Vitamin A: 16.8 %
Vitamin C: 3.4 %
Calcium: 10.1 %
Iron: 5.6 %

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fudgesicle Bars

Pin It Being deprived of making anything all week, I jumped on the first chance I got to do some recipe creating this past weekend.  I was thankful for the chance to get out of Winona away from work and the organic chemistry class I am taking this summer.  I got to spend the weekend with my family and grandparents relaxing at "The Shed."  For those of you don't know what "The Shed" is, long story short it is what most people consider their cabin. 
To go with the 90+ degree weather, I decided to make something cool and refreshing.  The end result? Fudgesicle Bars!  I wasn't sure what I was going to call them until I tasted them for the first time.  They tasted just like Fudgesicles! Creamy, chocolaty, cool, and delicious (and in this case nutritious!).  My mom even made the suggestion of pouring the batter into popsicle molds to make them more like the classic fudgesicles on a stick.  Yum yum!

Like the flower?  Haha.  I thought it was pretty.  :P Don't mind the frostiness of the bars.  I forgot to cover them when I put them in the freezer after cutting them so they got a little frosty.  No worries, they still tasted the same!

4 tbsp Coconut oil, soft but not completely melted
4 packets Stevia
1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 scoop Chocolate protein powder*
8oz tub Fat free cool whip, thawed in the fridge**
About 6 sheets Graham crackers

*If you don't have protein powder, you could try adding another 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder.  You might want to up the amount of stevia too then.
**Cool Whip isn't health food, but the fat free kind is relatively low in calories and can be enjoyed in moderation.  Moderation being the key word here.  As much as you want to you probably shouldn't eat the whole tub in a sitting. :P

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the stevia, cocoa powder, and protein powder.
2. Stir in the softened coconut oil (coconut oil softens really fast so be careful).  You might think the mixture is too dry, but keep stirring to get it all incorporated. 
3. Beat with an electric mixture for about 30 seconds.
4. Add the cool whip to the bowl and beat until just combined (30-60 seconds).
5. Line a 9x9 dish with foil or parchment paper to make it super easy to get the bars out.
6. Line the bottom of the dish with graham cracker sheets.  You may need to break a few to get the bottom covered.
7. Pour the batter on top and smooth the top.
8. Freeze until firm.
Makes 16 bars.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 92
Total Fat: 4.4 g
     Sat. Fat: 3.1 g (from the coconut oil)
     Poly. Fat: 0.3 g
     Mono. Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 2.8 mg
Sodium: 38.4 mg
Potassium: 13.8 mg
Total Carbs: 10.1 g
     Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
     Sugars: 3.2 g
Protein: 2.3 g
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 0.6%
Iron: 2%

Sunday, May 20, 2012

SUPER Easy Vegan Fajitas

Pin It
This post goes out to my picky friend again.  She is not a vegan by any means, but she's not too big on eating meat.  I'm always nagging her about getting more protein in her diet (sorry!), so I've come up with a recipe to help her.  I don't know how she will feel about the beans, but I hope she will at least give it a try.  :) 

I have been craving fajitas for awhile now, but haven't had much time to cook this week.  My organic chemistry class just started and I've been working every single night at my new job, which leaves little room for cooking and blogging.  Once I found a few spare minutes, I quickly whipped this recipe up in the slow cooker and continued about my busy day.  It's so easy anybody could do it!  Once it is made it can be stored in the fridge for quick easy meals for the rest of the week.  You eat it on a wrap like a normal fajita, eat it in a bowl with cooked brown rice, quinoa, or shirataki noodles, or even eat it straight up!   You can also customize it by adding things like red or green peppers to the slow cooker.  Yum yum!  Enjoy the delicious taste of a fajita with the nutritional benefits of fiber and protein. 

1 can (15 oz.) Black beans, no salt added or reduced sodium
1 can (15 oz.) Diced tomatoes
1 cup Onion, sliced into strips (I just used one onion which was around a cups worth)
15 slices Jalapenos
1 cup Lentils, dry
1 cup Water
1 package Fajita seasoning mix, reduced sodium

Low carb tortilla shells
Lettuce, sour cream, salsa, or any other toppings you might want
Brown rice
Shirataki Noodles

Directions: (SUPER EASY)
1. Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and stir together.  Make sure you rinse the lentils and black beans!
2. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 hours until lentils are tender, but now mushy.
3. Serve on a tortilla shell with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Makes about 5 cups or 10 half cup servings.

Nutrition Facts:
(Based on 1/2 cup servings)
Calories: 95
Total Fat: 0.4 g
     Sat. Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 256.9 mg
Potassium: 121.4 mg
Total Carbs: 20.5 g
     Dietary Fiber: 6.7 g
     Sugars: 2.5 g
Protein: 5.9 g
Vitamin A: 6.3 %
Vitamin C: 7.7%
Calcium: 3.6 %
Iron: 11.4%

Sunday, May 13, 2012

50 Calorie Cheesecake?! Too good to be true!

Pin It This post is dedicated to one of my favorite roommates and is part of my Birthday Cake Challenge.  Ever since I began the challenge, my roommate has been dropping hints of what she wants for her birthday cake.  Her one request was that it be some type of cheesecake.  I went back and forth on what I wanted to do for her birthday for quite awhile.  Should I make another Cottage cheese cake?  Cheese cake parfait? Chocolate cheesecake?  Strawberry? Peanut butter? Blueberry? Turtle? SO MANY OPTIONS!  Finally I came up with a Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake and a low calorie one at that.  I don't know too many people that can say they have had a 50 calorie piece of cheesecake.  I will admit this doesn't even begin to compare to the deliciousness of a 900 calorie slice of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, but it will definitely help satisfy your craving in the meantime. 

Before I share the recipe, I want to share the birthday "pie" I made for my dad's birthday just a few days earlier.  I am not sharing the recipe quite yet because it needs a few modifications.  But if and when I perfect it I promise to share with you!

Now here's the recipe!

One of the joys of being a poor college student is being limited in kitchen tools.  Although I probably have more than the average college student I don't have a round pie dish; hence, the square pie. Sad day. :-(

1 envelope Knox gelatin
8 packets Stevia
1 cup Boiling water
8 oz Fat free cream cheese*
1 block Soft silken tofu
1 tbsp Vanilla
3 tbsp Sugar free chocolate pudding mix
3 tbsp Sugar free vanilla or cheesecake pudding mix**

*I might try add another block of cream cheese to this next time.
**This is optional.  I didn't use it, but I think next time I will use the cheesecake flavor pudding.
1. In a small bowl mix the stevia and gelatin together.
2. Stir in the boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes or more.
3. In a large bowl beat the softened cream cheese, tofu, and vanilla together until pretty smooth (it may appear a little bumpy, but that's ok.)
4. Scoop half of the cream cheese mixture into a medium bowl.
5. In one half beat in the the chocolate pudding mix and if you want add either vanilla or cheesecake pudding mix to the other half.
6. Slowly stir in half a cup of the gelatin into each half of the batter.
7. Pour one half into a greased 9x9 baking dish.
8.  Pour the other half on top and swirl together.  You could also layer the two, make spots, or whatever you want. Be creative!
9.  Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in fridge for a couple hours until firm.
10. Enjoy!
Makes 9 servings.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 51
Total Fat: 0.2 g
     Sat. Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 4.4 mg
Sodium: 277.8 mg
Potassium: 0 mg
Total Carbs: 4.2 g
     Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
     Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 6.1 g
Vitamin A: 5.3%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 4.4%
Iron: 2.7%

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"My sister is making dinner tonight... #Lordhelpme"

Pin It Going home and cooking dinner for my family when they come home from work/school is one of my favorite things to do.  I love to try new recipes on them and get their honest opinions (my sister being my biggest critic).  More often than not, she will eat her own plain buttered noodles for dinner while my parents and I enjoy the delicious meal I cooked. 

This past week when I was home making dinner I received a tweet from her saying "My sister is making dinner tonight... #Lordhelpme" I laughed at that one. Challenge accepted. Little did she know that she would actually like what I made!  She just about cleaned her plate when I made my lightened up version of Shepard's Pie.  To have her of all people eat the dinner I made is a huge accomplishment!  It must have a winner.

After my good friend made my Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies, she decided I needed to add an "Alyse Stamp of Approval" to my blog.  Along with my sister, she is one the pickiest people I know, so an "Alyse and Kailee Stamp of Approval" would almost guarantee that 99% of the worlds population would like my recipe.  That's pretty good if you ask me.

This recipe is a nutrition packed version of the classic Shepard's Pie you might have enjoyed growing up.   Annndd unlike a lot of lightened up recipes there is no lack of flavor here.  Enjoy!

1 lb Super lean ground beef (or ground venison)
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
1 cup Zucchini, chopped
2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup Water (save a splash
1 1/2 tsp Chicken soup base, low sodium
1 tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp + 1 pinch dried Rosemary
Scant 1/4 tsp + 1 dash dried Sage
1/2 tsp + 1 pinch dried Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 head of Cauliflower
1 Egg
1/2 cup Lowfat cottage cheese

1. Prepare vegetables by chopping, mincing, and slicing and set aside in a medium size bowl.
2. Brown the meat either in the microwave or in a skillet until just about done. Drain any liquid in the pan to remove the extra fat.
3. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms to the skillet, mix, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened.
4. In the mean time, boil some water in a medium pot.  While waiting for the water to boil, chop the cauliflower into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
5. Once the water is boiling add in the cauliflower and cook until pretty tender. (Sorry I don't have an exact time.)
6. Preheat oven to 400 F.
7. In a cup whisk the chicken soup base and cornstarch into 1 cup of boiling water.  Save about 2-3 tbsp of this in a small bowl.
8. Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the chicken soup base/cornstarch mixture (minus the little bit you are saving).
9. Turn off the heat and mix in 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, scant 1/4 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp thyme, and salt/pepper to taste.
10. Pour mixture into a 9x9 greased baking dish (make sure it is not too shallow) and pat down into an even layer.
11. Drain the water from the cauliflower.
12. Add the egg, saved chicken stock, and cottage cheese to the cauliflower and mash until the mixture is pretty smooth and combined.
13. Add in the last of the seasonings (pinch rosemary, dash sage, pinch thyme, and salt/pepper to taste). Mix well.
14. Pour the cauliflower over the meat mixture in the baking dish and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.
15. Bake for 15 minutes on a middle rack.
16. Turn the oven to broil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden on top.
17. Let pie stand a few minutes before serving.
Makes 9 servings.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 114
Total Fat: 4.3 g
     Sat. Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 52.8 mg
Sodium: 157.4 mg
Potassium: 212.4 mg
Total Carbs: 8.4 g
     Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
     Sugars: 3.7 g
Protein: 14 g
Vitamin A: 15.1%
Vitamin C: 31.6%
Calcium: 3.3.%
Iron: 9.1%

Saturday, May 5, 2012

HEALTHY Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pin It *Pinch.*
No you are not dreaming, you are actually about to read a recipe for nutritious and delicious chocolate chip cookiesNo lack of flavor or nutrition here.  These cookies are packed with the health benefits of flax seed, olive oil, and whole wheat.

There are a lot of "healthy" chocolate chip recipes that sub applesauce for the butter or oil, but the end result is pretty cakey.  I don't know about you, but I like my cookies chewy, ewwy, and gooey.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with using olive or coconut oil unless you are looking for a low calorie cookie.  I tried using half applesauce and half oil to find a happy medium and found that I liked the end texture.  If you want really ooey gooey non-cake like cookies, try using all olive or coconut oil. 
1 cup White whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Golden flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
Dash salt
2 tbsp Olive oil (coconut oil may work as well)
2 tbsp Applesauce (for less cakey cookies add another 2 tbsp oil)
1/3 cup Brown  sugar, unpacked
8 packets Stevia
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Peanut butter extract (optional)
1/3 -1/2 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In large bowl mix together the flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In another smaller bowl stir together the oil, applesauce, brown sugar, stevia, egg, and extracts.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined (do not over stir!). 
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 7-10 minutes.
Makes about 17 cookies.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 86
Total Fat: 3.9 g
     Sat. Fat: 1.2 g
     Poly. Fat: 0.2 g
     Mono. Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 10.9 mg
Sodium: 67.8 mg
Potassium: 13.5 mg
Total Carbs: 11.1 g
     Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
     Sugars: 5.8 g
Protein: 1.8 g
Vitamin A: 0.4%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 0.8%
Iron: 3.6%

Tried of the Same Old Breakfast? Try This!

Pin It Being a busy college student, I know how it can be hard to eat a good breakfast in the morning when you are in a rush, but it is super important that you do.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it is what gets your body going.  Think of it like this...You wouldn't hop in you car and go on a long road trip with the gas gage close to empty right?  Running out the door in the morning without a good breakfast is close to the same thing! Food is fuel; it is what our body needs to get us through our busy days.   It is important to make sure you are fueling your body with the right stuff.  There is a reason it is called break-fast.  You need to break  the fast your body endured all night long as you slept.  Breaking that fast will jump start your metabolism for the day, improve your overall concentration and performance throughout the day, give you more strength and endurance for the day, and lower your cholesterol. Although breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than lose who don't, eating healthy is not all about losing weight or being "skinny."  Eating healthy is about providing your body with the nutrients it needs to keep you strong, feeling good, and free of disease. 

For those of you who are going, "Ya ya Kara.  I know this already," I am sure you are ready for a change in your breakfast routine.  I know I was getting pretty tired of my routine oatmeal in the morning, so I decided to come up with something new.  I knew I needed something that was quick to whip up in the morning, so I prepared the quinoa ahead of time.  All I had to do in the morning was slice the banana and throw it all in a bowl.  Simple, nutritious, and delicious. I really hope you enjoy this new breakfast as much as I did!

1/2 cup Quinoa uncooked
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups Water
2-3 packets Stevia (Could probably sub another sweetener such as honey or agave)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Can of coconut milk (I used lite)
Sliced strawberries

1. Mix together the quinoa, water, stevia, and vanilla in a small pot.
2. Bring mix to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer (about medium-low).
3. Stirring every once in awhile let quinoa cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
4. In the mean time slice the strawberries and bananas and shake the can of coconut milk to mix it up.
5. Cool quinoa in the fridge a bit before serving.
6. When ready to serve put a 1/2- 1/3 of the cooked quinoa in a bowl with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, 1/2 of a sliced banana, and 1/4 cup coconut milk (you can also add another packet of stevia if you like sweet).
Makes 2-3 servings.
Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 210
Total Fat: 5.3 g
     Sat. Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 19.3 mg
Potassium: 391.3 mg
Total Carbs: 41.5 g
     Dietary Fiber: 5.4 g
     Sugars: 12.4 g
Protein: 5.3 g
Vitamin A: 1%
Vitamin C: 89.5%
Calcium: 5%
Iron: 11.7%
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