Posts Tagged ‘low calorie’

Unrecipe of the Week: Cauliflower Rice

October 1, 2014

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Cauliflower is the chameleon of vegetables. We have mashed it instead of potatoes with great success, and have used it to create a crust for pizza. It is delicious roasted, and makes a creamy soup that doesn’t require any cream.

Tonight, cauliflower is sitting in as rice to become layered with a spicy, saucy chicken dish. It’s an easy substitution, resembling rice in color and texture, while saving about 220 calories per cup.

Cauliflower Rice:

Wash one head of cauliflower, and break it into florets. Allow it to dry.

Place the florets into the food processor and pulse until they resemble the consistency of rice. It is best to do this in 2 or 3 batches so they don’t get too finely minced.

Cook your “rice” either by steaming it briefly, with very little liquid, or by sautéing it in a little butter or olive oil for about 4-5 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned, but not mushy. You can doctor it up by adding a little sautéed onion and garlic, and a little chicken stock for flavor. Use as you would rice, and enjoy!

photo:Glasshouse Images

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Kohlrabi

January 9, 2014

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It’s hard to walk into a restaurant these days, and not find some type of kale on the menu. Over the last few years, it has become one of the trendiest foods on the planet, and one of the best for you.  Chefs are serving it up raw in salads, sauteed as a side dish, shredded in soups, and macerated into juices and smoothies. Sometimes it’s treated better than you are, and massaged to make the sturdy leaves more tender.

Well,move over kale, there’s a new kid in town: kohlrabi.

Food experts are predicting that this ugly root, not commonly found in American cuisine, will be the next big vegetable to hit the food scene.

The bulb, which comes in stylish shades of purple or pale green, sprouts stalks and leaves. Although the entire plant  is edible, it’s the crunchy bulb with a slightly sweet yet tangy flavor similar to a radish, that gets the most attention.

Kin to the more popular broccoli and cauliflower, kohlrabi was just that that perplexing root found in CSA boxes that people were not sure what to do with.

In Asia, it’s often pickled, and in other areas, it is grated into pancakes and fritters. Chefs on this side of the world are experimenting with it, due to it’s unusual flavor, and high nutritional content. At just 36 calories per cup, this  high fiber, potassium and vitamin C rich vegetable is worth looking into.

Peel away both the hard outer skin and the underlying fibrous skin, to reveal the crisp flesh.

Cut it into sticks and bake them into healthy “fries.”

Julienne the bulb, and use it as you would raw cabbage to create “kohl-slaw.”

Puree it as you would mashed potatoes, or slice it and bake it au gratin.

Use it in soups, or fry it into pancakes. The options are vast.

Have you tried kohlrabi yet? Share your recipes in the comments below!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Zucchini “Pizza”

December 30, 2013

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The holidays have taken their toll, and we would be hard pressed to find anyone who is not interested in “reeling it in” a little bit, on the indulgence side. This quickie vegetarian dish could be the centerpiece to a meal, or a great appetizer. The zucchini base functions in lieu of a crust, and is topped with tomatoes and cheese like a pizza. It has all of the flavor, and none of the guilt of the real deal. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it replaces traditional pizza, I will say it’s a darn good alternative when the craving strikes and the scale is recommending abstinence!

Zucchini “Pizzas”

Slice open a zucchini lengthwise, and shave a little off the bottom so that it lays flat. Place it on a cookie sheet, brush it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle it with finely diced garlic. Top with thin slices of tomato, and sprinkle with some shredded basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top it with mozzarella cheese, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. For an even lighter version, use Parmesan cheese instead of the mozzarella.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Start the year off right:

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Substitutions Welcome

September 10, 2012

I am extremely health minded when it comes to fitness and nutrition. I don’t believe in using anything fake in my food to make it lower in fat, calories, sugar or even gluten. I prefer to avoid these things on a regular basis, and indulge in the real deal from time to time.
Recently, I have started experimenting with substituting a bit, and have been creating recipes that still use all natural food based ingredients, but make things just a bit healthier in the process.

When last night’s gluten free cheesecake with an almond meal crust drew rave reviews from people who preferred it to my usual cheesecake recipe, I realized that I was onto something.

Butter is a mainstay to baking, and I would never consider using margarine or “fake butter” instead.  There are lots of healthy and even vegan foods that can be substituted that will still yield moist, rich baked goods without sacrificing taste.

Applesauce is a great alternative to butter in denser baked goods, such as muffins and banana bread. Substitute ½ the butter for the same quantity of applesauce. You can use all applesauce if you like an even moister, heavier texture.

Avocado is also a good butter substitute. Use ½ butter and ½ of the equivalent amount of mashed avocado. It creates a softer, chewier texture, making it a great choice for cookies.

Greek yogurt is a rich creamy dairy product that can also be used instead of butter. The rule of thumb is replace ½ of the butter, with ½ the amount of yogurt. (If the recipe asks for 1 cup of butter, use ½ cup of butter and ¼ cup of yogurt.)

You may need to experiment a bit to find the consistency you like best.

I have made an amazing lemon yogurt loaf cake that is one of best versions of a lemon pound cake around. It uses both yogurt and canola oil, instead of butter.

I will continue to experiment and share some of my successes here on indigo jones.

Remember that even with substitutions to make baked goods a little more virtuous, they still are not “diet foods.” With a little practice, you may actually come up with something better than the original recipe!

photos: Glasshouse Images 


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