Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Penne with Seafood in Garlic Tomato Sauce

2 oz Fiber Gourmet penne
1 cup frozen seafood medley (paella mix or shrimp, mussels, calamari and imitation crab)
1/4 cup water

1/4 cup passata di pomodorri (or stewed and strained tomatoes)
1/4 cup Lucini Tomato Sauce (or any tomato sauce of your choice)
1 TB Trader Joe's red pepper spread
1/4 cup nf, low-sodium chicken stock (college inn)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh wild mushroom
Garlic and Basil Mr Dash
salt, pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, microplaned

Cook pasta according to instructions (12 mins). In a saute pot, add frozen seafood and water, and heat so that the seafood thaws and heats up. Once thawed, discard the cooking liquid. Place saute pot back on stove, and add the remaining ingredients, and simmer on medium heat until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta, and add to the pot. Mix well and serve!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Swordfish with Pepper & Mango Curry

This vegetable side is very flavorful and exotic.

4 oz swordfish steak
1/2 cup of sliced bell pepper (can be frozen)
1/4 cup of mango slices (can be frozen)
1/4 cup passata di pomodorri or 1 large fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup non-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 TB ground cumin
1 ts ground coriander
1 ts ground tumeric
2 dried chilli peppers
1 ts hot chili sauce
salt to taste
1/2 ts brown splenda

Grill swordfish in hot grill pan, with salt and pepper. In a pan, heat all the ingredients on high heat for 2-3 min, and then turn down heat, and simmer for 10 min with a covered pot. Serve, and sprinkle with nigella seeds.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Home-made Greek Yogurt

This is an inexpensive way to make Greek yogurt (similar to the taste of Fage) at home. Fage yogurt is made using the active yogurt cultures L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus. It gives the Greek yogurt its distinctive tangy taste, and on the positive side, a low milk sugar and high protein content. The Yogourmet product contains those cultures freeze-dried, and so it is the perfect basis to make Greek yogurt at home, and less expensive at that (6 packages for 1 quart of yogurt each is about $5). I use a Salton YM9 1-Quart Yogurt Maker (about $21 on Amazon.com). Now, let's make 0% fat Greek yogurt.

1 quart skim milk (fat-free)
1 package yogourmet freeze-dried L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus active yogurt cultures
1 thermometer
1 yogurt maker

Heat the skim milk to 180F on the stove, then it fill into the yogurt container inset, and let cool down to 108-112F. Turn on the yogurt maker, and let warm up. In a small container, stir the yogurt cultures into a bit of lukewarm milk and let rest until the milk cools down. Once the milk reaches the desired temperature, add the cultures to the milk, and stir gently and well until it is all mixed. Put lid on yogurt container, and pace into yogurt maker. It takes 4-5 hour to make firm yogurt. Remove from yogurt maker, and place in fridge to stop the process.

After chilling the Greek yogurt over night, it can be served. An alternative is to strain the yogurt first using cheese cloth and a sieve to remove some of the liquid, or use a straining device. This makes the yogurt texture more creamy and similar to store-bought fage. It will reduce by half.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fage with Strawberries and Banana

A great idea for the breakfast protein and fruit, almost a meal in itself.

1 container Fage 0% fat Greek yogurt or Oikos 0% fat Greek yogurt
fiberfit (liquid sweetener)
5 strawberries, washed and sliced
1 mini banana, slices
1 ts Hero sugar-free strawberry preserve (or any brand of your liking)

Mix Greek yogurt with sweetener, and serve with fruit.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pasta Salad

One of my favorite pasta salads: penne and arugula. The rest changes each time. Today, it was a tomato, green olives, pine nuts and jicama with a lemony vinaigrette.

1 oz Fiber gourmet penne (prepared according to instructions)
1 tomato, cubed
6 green olives with pimento, sliced
a handful of cleaned arugula salad
1 thick slice of jicama, finely cubed
1/2 TB pine nuts, toasted

Optional: summer squash, zucchini, bell pepper

zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 fiberfit (or liquid sweetener)
1 ts oregano
salt, pepper

In a bowl, add the vegetables, and mix with the 'vinaigrette'. Set aside for 15 min. Add the hot pasta, stir and serve.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Four Cheese Pasta

Four Cheese Pasta
2 oz FG penne

2 TB ff cottage cheese
1 TB part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 TB shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cp low-sodium crushed tomatoes
1/4 cp low-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
salt, pepper
1 TB grated Parmesan

Preheat toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the pasta according to instructions, but slightly undercook (ca. 10min). Drain. Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta, and mozzarella in a bowl and stir with a fork and set aside.

Heat the oil in a larger saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Return cheese mix and pasta to saute pan, and mix gently. Spray a small baking dish, and transfer pasta mixture to baking dish. Top with the parmesan, and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 minutes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Penne with Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce

2 oz Fiber Gourmet Penne

1/3 cp Lupini Tuscan Marinara sauce
1/2 ts extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 summer squashed, halved and sliced
handful wild mushroom, sliced
1/2 hot pepper, finely diced
1 ts red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 ts fiberfit (or other liquid sweetner or agave nectar)
salt, fresh black pepper.

Prepare penne according to instructions. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil, and add the bell pepper, summer squash, hot pepper and the mushroom, and saute on high for 3-4 min. Add the marinara sauce, water, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and the sweetener. Saute on high for 1-2 min, and then turn heat off, and let simmer. Drain pasta, and serve with sauce.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pasta with Saffron Lemon Lobster

Pasta with Saffron Lemon Lobster

2 oz Fiber Gourmet pasta

4oz cooked lobster meat
1/8 cup chicken stock
few strands of saffron
1 ts cognac
1/2 TB creme fraiche
salt, pepper
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 ts sugar or fiberfit (liquid artificial sweetener)

Prepare pasta according to instructions. In a skillet, heat the lobster meat in some water. Once heated, discard the water, and add the chicken stock, saffron, cognac and stir in the creme fraiche. Heat for 1-2 min, and reduce slightly. Add the lemon zest and the sugar as well as salt and pepper to taste. Add drained pasta to the skillet, mix and serve!

Also great with a seafood mix!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Past' e Broccoletti (Pasta with Broccoli Rabe)

A wonderful, flavorful, yet simple dish: pasta with broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe looks like a bouquet of flowers, and the flowers look like broccoli flowers. Unlike broccoli, however, it has a pungent and slightly bitter taste, but it looses the bitterness during the cooking process. The pasta and broccoli rabe are simmered in the same pot, and served with a spicy garlic sauce and parmesan slices.

1/2 bunch of broccoli rabe (washed and sliced)
2 oz Fiber Gourmet rotini
1 garlic clove, grated
1 ts olive oil
1/2 ts red pepper flakes
1/4 cup low-sodium, ff chicken stock
parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring sufficient water to a boil. Salt the water, and add the pasta and broccoli rabe. Saute until the pasta is al dente (ca. 12 min).

In a separate saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until fragrant (1-2 min), and add the red pepper flakes. Add the chicken stock, and stir. Reduce for 2-3 mins, and take off the stove. Once the pasta is ready, drain the pasta and broccoli rabe, plate, and spoon sauce over the pasta. With a vegetable peeler, peel thin slices of a piece of parmesan or pecorino cheese. Serve!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Low-Carb Deli Rye Sourdough

This is a low-carb bread based on the Bob Mill's low-carb bread mix. However, it is also low-fat and has several ingredients that convert it into a deli rye sourdough bread. Great for grilled breads!

Low-Carb Deli Rye Sourdough

1/2 package Bob Mill low-carb bread mix (for a 1 pound loaf)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1 TB deli rye (King Arthur, powder)
1 TB Heidelberg sourdough (King Arthur, powder)
2 TB caraway seeds
2 TB Baker's milk powder
1/2 cup carbalose flour
1/4 cp vital wheat gluten
3 TB resistant corn starch (Hi-maze)
2 TB yeast dissolved in a 1/4 cp of warm milk with 1 ts sugar.

Recipe 2 (using real sourdough):
1/2 package Bob Mill low-carb bread mix (for a 1 pound loaf)
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sourdough (like King Arthur flour sourdough)
2 TB caraway seeds
2 TB Baker's milk powder
1/2 cup carbalose flour
2 TB yeast dissolved in a 1/4 cp of warm milk with 1 ts sugar.

Mix all the flour ingredients in a bowl. Add the buttermilk and/or water to the bread machine first. Then, add the flours. On top, pour the bubbling yeast. Bake at firm loaf setting with normal crust.

The bread came out very well, crusty, tasty like a deli rye sourdough bread, and has about 70kcal per slice.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Moroccan Mac'n'Cheese

Mac and Cheese, Moroccan Style
1 serving FiberGourmet Mac'n'Cheese

1/4 cup Morning Star meal starters (ground beef)
1/4 onion, diced
1 roasted red bell pepper (rinsed from a jar or fresh roasted), diced
6 kalamata olives, halved
1 ts brown splenda
1/2 ts ground cumin
1/8 ts cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper

Cook mac and cheese according to instructions in a separate pot. In a PAM-sprayed skillet, sautee onion and vegetarian ground beef. Once onions are translucent and beef browned, add roasted bell pepper and olives as well as the spices. Add 1/4 cp of water, and sautee until water is mostly evaporated. Add in the mac and cheese, and mix. Serve!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's Sunday -- time to relax

It's Sunday. It is at least time to dream about mini vacations, spas on Bora Bora, summer, and a retreat from the daily life, and slowing down..

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mango & Bell Pepper Curry

1/2 ts olive oil
1/3 sweet onion, diced
1/2 garlic clove, micro-planed
1 ts fresh grated ginger
1/2 hot cherry pepper, small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 mango, peeled and diced
1-2 TB Asian Mango Grilling Sauce or (2 ts curry powder, 1 ts ground cumin, 1/2 ts red pepper flakes, 1 ts agave nectar, 2 ts cider vinegar)
3 TB passata di pomodorri (or tomato sauce)
1/2 - 3/4 cup ff, low-sodium chicken broth
1 ts creme fraiche or sour cream
pepper, and salt substitute

2 skinless boneless chicken tenders

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic, ginger, hot pepper, and red bell pepper and cook for a couple more minutes. Add fresh mango, and saute for a minute. Add the remaining ingredients (but not the chicken and the creme fraiche), and saute on low heat for 15 min, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat, and scoop half the sauce into a blender. Purée the sauce, pulsing until smooth. Return the puree back to the sauce in the pan.

Add chicken to the pan. Return to a low simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Chicken should be just cooked through.

Stir in the cream. Let cook at a very low temperature for another minute or two, uncovered. Adjust seasonings. Serve with basmati rice or pasta.

Low-Carb Wheat Bread

I finally managed to come up with a satisfying recipe using low-carb flour making bread in the bread machine. The key is to add oat or wheat bran, and wheat gluten so that the bread rises more. This is a basic bread recipe; it can easily be made into a sweet bread or walnut or sunflower seed bread.

Low-carb Basic Wheat Bread

1/3 cup lf milk
3/4-1 cup warm water
3 TB eggbeaters
1 cup carbalose flour
1/4 cup resistant wheat starch
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 TB sugar
1 TB rapid rise yeast for breadmachines
1 ts salt substitute (like Morton salt substitute)

Place all flours in a bowl, and stir well. Add the liquid ingredients first in the breadmachine; then, add the flour mix. Third, make a small dip in the flour, add the sugar and yeast. Sprinkle the salt substitute outside of the sugar/yeast layer. Use firm bread setting with normal crust. A few hours later, voila, low-carb bread fresh out of the (breadmachine) oven!

Detox a la Gwennie

Gwennie P. has an interesting, macrobiotic based 7-day detox program on her new website goop.com. Just the right thing to for lent, and for some inner spring cleaning. This is a slightly modified version of her detox blueberry and almond smoothie.

Raspberry Almond Smoothie

1 scoop of a complete nutritional, whey protein fortified powder (like GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein) (40kcal)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen/thawed blueberries or mango or raspberries (40kcal)
1 scoop of a ProGreens type of powder (preferably with probiotics) (40kcal)
1 1/2 cups organic, unsweetened almond milk (50kcal)

Blend everything in a blender or magic bullet.

Taste and looks? Abysmal. But hey, it is healthy, right?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Single-Serve Light Muesli Roll

I was in the mood for something sweet today. A mix of a trail mix muesli and a roll? well, why not both, a muesli roll, would be just the right thing. This roll is low-carb and low-fat plus high in fiber. With the fresh ricotta and strawberry jam, it brought spring a little closer.

Low-carb Muesli Roll

2 TB carbalose flour
1 TB wheat resistant starch
1/4 ts baking soda
1/4 ts baking powder
1 ts brown splenda
2 TB Post vanilla cranberry trailmix cereal (or trail mix of your choice)
3 TB vanilla soy slender
1 ts egg beaters
1 ts butter flavor extract

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, fill into a sprayed single serve pan and bake at 400F for 20 min. Cut in half, and serve. I like mine with lowfat ricotta and sf strawberry jam.

1 roll: 140 kcal.