Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cumin Bean Cakes

Dipping.  It seems to be the quintessential catalyst for toddler food consumption.  You don't want to eat your  ______ ?  How about some ketchup with it?  Here you go persnickety toddler! Eat up!

And since I have now established the attractiveness of dipping things to children, let's move onto dip worthy food.  I find that cakes (as in pancakes) of some sort usually tolerate and accentuate the dipping experience.

That being said, I will introduce you to the recipe of today.  Cumin Beans Cakes.  These are a take on a recipe that I found and altered in "Toddler Menus" by Penny Preston.
Toddler Menus: A Mix-and-Match Guide to Healthy Eating

I have used a couple of her recipes, and have shared reviews of them on this blog.  So, you may be familiar with that image.  I took her already healthy recipe and amped it up a bit.  I will explain my alterations.
First off, I halved the recipe.  This is a precaution I like to take when trying a new recipe that can be halved.  You can always make more if it is a well received dish, but you cannot go back in time and waste less if no one will touch it (including yourself).  For those of you who are shy about trying new recipes in the fear of wasting time and ingredients, this can temper the blow and help you take that plunge into exploration with food.
Regardless of how the dish turns out, you will learn something so your time is never wasted.  Keep telling yourself that when you are begging your kid to swallow that chipmunk cheek of stored and resisted food.
Cumin Beans Cakes

1 c. corn kernels.  I am a huge fan of Trader Joe's Organic Super Sweet Frozen Corn.
1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed.  To save time I used canned. (Originally, red kidney beans)
2 Tbsp. of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 Eggs, beaten
Spices to taste: Black Pepper, Cumin, Onion Powder and Salt.  I used about two pinches of each.  I used a Red Chili infused Sea Salt.
Salsa, cilantro and Nonfat sour cream.

1.  Mix your beans and corn together in a bowl.
2.  Stir in flour, wheat germ and beaten eggs, and spices.
3.  Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet.  I used spray oil.
4.  Put about a tablespoon of batter in skillet.  Flip after a couple of minutes and brown the other side.
5.  Mix up some minced or pureed cilantro with sour cream, and serve it with the cakes and some salsa.

My take on this recipe?  Well... I had to change it a lot to make it work for me.  I added another egg to the halved recipe b/c the original one batter wasn't binding well enough to make a usable and realistic patty.  I used black beans because I like them more than Kidney beans.  I also used the specific spices I did because I am not a big fan of bland food, and the original recipe only used pepper.  I also added the wheat germ, and changed the flour from all purpose to whole wheat pastry, to add more nutrients.
As for the sour cream, to compensate for the fat free-ness I took a frozen cube of pureed cilantro from this summer and thawed it, and then mixed it into the sour cream.  It added freshness that compensated for any heaviness the pastry flour and oil from frying added to the dish.
I LOVED eating my version these little cakes.  And any extras you make can be frozen, pulled out, and heated up later for easy feeding of the family.

This entire recipe yields 12 points and I would say about 4 servings.  So, each serving is about 3 points.  You get vegetables, protein and whole grains in this one item.

Wheat germ: The germ at the center of the wheat seed is a concentrated source of nutrients. Two tablespoons provide a good source of thiamin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Sprinkle over cereals, yogurt and salads. Or use it in muffins, cookies and pancakes. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/49475.php

Black Beans:  There is a plenitude of information on these little guys.  From fiber and protein to antioxidants, these beans pack quite a nutrition filled punch. Here is a great website if you are interested.

Corn: This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Ravioli

I am a member of Costco, and so somewhere in my head I thought that meant that I could never join another megalomart superdooper shopping warehouse club store.  I attribute that irrational thought to an excessively frugal woman I once knew who balked at the idea.  Somehow that little ditty of misinformation lodged itself in my brain.

That being said, I received an invitation to visit BJs Warehouse Club.  Even though I think the name of that place was not thought out well enough, I took a trip to the store and checked it out.  While perusing the goods I found a new cookbook to buy and bring home to my excessive collection.  So I joined the club, and now I am welcome at two different mega-buy-a-lot-o-shit stores! Gasp!

The cookbook that I bought is titled "Double Delicious".  It is the younger sibling of Jessica Seinfeld's first cookbook titled "Deceptively Delicious".  I have mentioned that book a few times on here, as all of you loyal and attentive readers know....yeah.  Anyway, here is a link to the book if you want more info on it.

Double Delicious!: Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives

The first recipe that I decided to work on was for pumpkin ravioli.  'Tis the season, right?  While making these ravioli I kept thinking to myself.  "These better be good or I am going to do my first negative review of a recipe on my blog and BLAST IT, simply because of the tedious work this recipe requires."  *See photo of my counter below.

However, the minute I took my first bite all that labor was forgotten.  It was like giving birth to a tiny little pumpkin pocket of ravioli love and forgetting all about the hours of work.

So... my assessment of this recipe?  MY HELL, YUM!

My assessment of this book?  BUY IT!

Not only are the recipes easy and interesting, but Jessica Seinfeld included the nutrition information.  I went through and calculated all the points for the recipes so I know what I am getting myself into when I start to slobber and lust over a page of cherry jubilees brownies.  Ahhh.... YUM!  That will be coming to the blog soon, by the way.

So, for this recipe one serving is six ravioli, and you end up with about 6 servings.  Each serving equals 7 weight watchers points and is about 352 calories if you follow Mrs. Seinfeld's recipe to the T.  I, however, am not capable of doing this.  I made mine a little less calorific by taking away one ingredient and lessening another.  You'll see as you check out the recipe.

Pumpkin Ravioli

Ingredients: (my changes are noted below the bold typed original items)

1 (15-0unce) can low-sodium white beans, such as navy, rinsed and drained.
I used about 7 ounces of pureed garbanzo beans instead, because that is what I had and garbanzo are a little higher in calories than navy beans.
1/2 c. canned 100% pumpkin (not the pie mix) 
I put in 1 full cup to make up for bulk of the beans I didn't add.  Pumpkin is lower in calories than both garbanzo and navy beans.
1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
It is rumored that somewhere in the universe there is nonfat ricotta.  I have yet to discover this animal.
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
3/4 tsp. garlic powder  
1 large egg
72 wonton wrappers, about 1 1/2 (12 ounce) packages 
I only used about 60 of them to make 30.  Froze half the ravioli uncooked, and put the rest of the filling in rolled whole-wheat tortillas that I baked, and then froze for later consumption.
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. jarred marinara, warmed up.
I didn't use the marinara to save myself some calories.  Instead, I used fake butter spray, sea salt and ground pepper for flavor. 


1. Fill stockpot with water.

2. In small bowl, beat egg with about a tablespoon of water.

3. Set wonton wrappers on a clean counter.  Put about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each one.  
I have also seen online where someone used less filling and just folded the wrapper in half to form a triangle.  

4. Turn burner to high to boil your water in the pot sitting on the stove already.

5. Brush the edges of the wonton wrapper with egg wash.

6. Put another wonton wrapper on top and make sure that the two are sealed around the filling.

7. Use the bottom of a can, or a stainless steel measuring cup, to make the ravioli circular if you want.

8. Sprinkle them with cornstarch.

9. Put them in the boiling water to cook.  When they float they are done and need to be fished out gently with a slotted spoon or a skimmer.
Calphalon Stainless Skimmer 
I do not have a skimmer, yet.  I will get one today to remedy my feelings of inadequacy after having to use a slotted spoon, the indignity. 

10. Put ravioli on a plate with marinara, or put them on a plate and spray with that lovely toxic low calorie spray butter crap (selling you on that one aren't I?) and sprinkle with pepper and salt.

11.  Eat, YUM!

Nutrition Facts:

The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Iron and Manganese.

The bad: A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars.


Garbanzo Beans:
The good: This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Folate, and a very good source of Manganese.

The bad: This food is high in Sodium. *if taken from a can
Part-skim Ricotta:
The good: This food is a good source of Calcium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Protein.

The bad: This food is high in Saturated Fat.

Interesting post on Parkay

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pear Breakfast Cobbler

Have you ever heard of "Cupa Cupa Cupa?"

Apprently this dish has been around in the south for quite a while.  
If I had anything to do with my father's side of the family, who are all pure southerners, or had paid attention to "Steel Magnolias" when I was 11 years old, I may have been familiar with this recipe.  Instead I was introduced to this by my friend Jody.
The basic premise is you mix a cup of self-rising flour, a cup of sugar and a 15 oz. can of fruit salad with syrup and bake. 

Of course, I had to try to make this my own with extra nutrients thrown in.  So, here are some of the modifications I made.  

Instead of self-rising flour, I used whole wheat pastry flour and steel cut oats with leavening added in the form of 1 tsp. of salt and a half tsp. of baking powder. 

Instead of a cup of sugar,  I used 2/3 c. of agave nectar.  Instead of a can of fruit salad with syrup, a c. of skim milk and a c. of diced fresh pears. 

And to add more levels of flavor, some freshly grated nutmeg, some ground cinnamon and some ground ginger.  And there you have it!  But, I call this a cobbler because that is how I serve it.

Pear Breakfast Cobbler
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray/grease a Baking Dish

1 c. of diced pear (usually one medium pear)
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon (freshly grated if you are feeling rather culinary)
1/4 tsp. of freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1/4 tsp. date sugar

Coat the pears in the spices and date sugar and set aside.

1/4 c. steel cut oats
1 c. skim milk

Mix oats into milk and let them soak.  This helps to soften them.

3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Whisk these dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Add the milk/oats and the pears and mix together.
Pour mixture into baking dish.

Bake for 45 minutes.

You can serve this as a cobbler with lite whipped cream on top, or as I like it, with a little bit of milk poured on.  When served like this it is almost as if you are having a glorified version of cream of wheat.  It's a great breakfast for a cold morning, almost like a dessert.

It makes about 6 servings, depending on who you are feeding and how much they want.  This WeightWatchers breakdown is based on six servings.

Information on Recipe Nutrition

"Whole wheat pastry flour is produced from soft-wheat and it has a finer texture than whole wheat flour and a high starch content. Not all of the bran and germ portions of the wheat kernel have been removed during the milling process so it is considerably more nutritious than white flour."

When researchers looked at how much fiber 35,972 participants in the UK Women's Cohort Study ate, they found a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as oats, and fruit offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as oats, helps prevent heart disease.
Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Since 1963, study after study has proven the beneficial effects of this special fiber on cholesterol levels.
 Click on the image below for information on agave syrup.

Date sugar, not really a sugar at all, is made from ground, dehydrated dates, so it contains all the vitamins, minerals and fiber found in the fruit. It can be used in equal parts for sugar in most recipes, especially baking, and is a great substitute for brown sugar. However, because the tiny pieces won't dissolve, it can't be used to sweeten beverages. Why it's better: Unlike refined or concentrated sweeteners, date sugar is rich in nutrients and is metabolized more slowly.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Num Yummy Jell-O Shake

Having a love for whole foods and a big heap of faith in the WeightWatchers program often presents me with a bit of a conundrum.  Here's the thing, when you are counting "points" you start to think of ways to work the system.  One effective way of doing this is using food substitutes.  You know what I am talking about: artificial sweeteners, churned oil imitating whipped cream,  some spray butter flavored substance in a spray pump bottle. 

Items like these have little to do with whole foods, other than serving as their impostors.  I naturally cringe from picking these things up, until I started to hold my food passions and cravings hostage to point counting.  Then a little spray of butter flavoring on some nice homemade whole wheat bread seems a little less harmful.  After all, I am eating that whole wheat bread!

So, in saying this, I am going to address this issue by presenting two options for this specific recipe.  One is a regular jello shake recipe, and the other is the sugar free jello shake recipe.

Regardless if you go for the sugared or non sugared option on this recipe, the reality is that this is a lower calorie, and lower fat, substitute for other thick and creamy drinks.  My son drank this down like it was a delicacy.  It was fast and easy.  A word of advice?  As soon as you are done with your blender fill it with hot water.  That will ease clean up later if you can't do it right away.

Here is some info regarding the nutritional benefits of gelatin.

Health Benefits:
  • Gelatin appears to be beneficial to athletes for muscle growth and metabolism.
  • Gelatin promotes a feeling of fullness.
  • Gelatin helps maintain regularity
  • Gelatin's high collagen protein content helps keep your skin smooth and firm. Many creams contain collagen to moisturize the skin but it is more effective when taken through food.
  • Gelatin strengthens the hair, keeping it looking shiny and healthy.
  • Gelatin is also excellent for the nails because it makes them stronger, so they do not break easily.
  • Gelatin is excellent for your bones because of its high concentration of glycoprotein and proline amino acids. If you have a deficiency in both amino acids, you can have joint pain. When it is taken orally, it travels directly to your blood and from there; it goes to its destination, the connective tissue. By adding at least 10 grams of gelatin to your regular diet, your joints will quickly regenerate in case you overexert yourself.
Now that you see the benefits, let me inform you on the less-than-appealing process by which that little package of powder gets in your kitchen.

Commercial Making of Gelatin: To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up the various animal parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. After pre-treatment, the resulting mixture is boiled. During this process, the large collagen protein ends up being partially broken down, and the resulting product is called gelatin.

Both of these excerpts are taken from the same website:

The recipe that I am working from comes from the cookbook that accompanied by Blendtec Blender (boyfriend).  I adapted it to make it lower in calories, but really, it is super simple.  This recipe does require that you have a capable blender.  I think any blender that can mix ice up well is good enough.  I use the Blendtec Total Blender.  Isn't he handsome?  Sigh.... it's true love.

Blendtec TB-631-20 The Professional's Choice 1560-Watt Total Blender, Red

Num Yummy Jello Shake 
(I used lime for the sugar option, and a box of lime and of lemon for the sugar free option)

1 C. Boiling Water
6 oz. package flavored gelatin (any flavor)*******
Put those two items in the blender and blend on a medium/low speed for half a minute.

Add 3 cups of ice to blender carafe.
Blend for another half minute at a little higher speed.

Add 1 c. Cold Skim Milk

Blend for another half minute at same speed as last step.
Pour into a glass, put in straw and enjoy.

*******Sugar Free option
Instead of using one 6 oz. package of regular Gelatin, use two .30 oz. packages of sugar free jello.

Other options for the recipe are to pour the shake into a container and allow it to set in the fridge for a fluffy/whipped treat, or use a version of whipped cream instead of skim milk to add more creaminess.

WW/Calorie Info.

Recipe yields about 7 cups, or 7 servings.

Regular Jell-O:
WW points: 2 per serving
Calories: 108 per serving

Sugar Free Jell-O:
WW points: .5 per serving (the website calculator will tell you it is 0, but when you do the math on the 7 cups and then divide by the number of servings you get .5)
Calories: 23 per serving

For more information on the artificial sweetener in sugar free Jell-O, aspartame, go here:


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves (5.5 WW/Serving)

Three servings pictured.  One mini loaf= one serving.
This recipe is a good way to revamp meatloaf and add extra nutrition to it.  It is full of ingredients, like most recipes of this sort.  I am a bit of a loaf of meat person.  I think that the terminology isn't particularly appetizing.  But, I love these little loaves because they pack quite the nutrient rich punch.  I devised this recipe based off of two other recipes found in the following books.

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite MealsDeceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food

At the end of this post I will include some info on why you should be pleased to serve you and yours this dish based on each healthy ingredient.

Mini Turkey Meaf Loaves

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees.

1 c. Homemade Sprouted Wheat Bread Crumbs (You can use your own homemade or store bought)

2/3 C Wheat Germ
2 Whisked Eggs
20 oz. 93% Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 C Ketchup
1 Stalk Chopped Celery
1 Large Chopped Onion
1 C pureed carrot
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 C Freshly Grated Parmesan

Spices added to your own taste:
Dried Oregano
Dried Thyme
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Garlic Salt
Onion Powder
Ground Mustard
Herbes de Provence

Add all the above ingredients in a large bowl.  I use a masher, as pictured below, to help mix it without overmixing.  If you overmix you can change the texture of your meat into something less appealing.  I just lift up and down slowly and fold it all together.  You can go old school and just use your hands, but again, don't overwork the meat.

Form into 14 mini loaves and place on a foil lined baking sheet with sides.  If you want to be even healthier use a broiler pan.

Bake for about an hour or until your meat is browned on the outside and 170 degrees inside.  Make sure to bake thoroughly since you are dealing with poultry (even if it is functioning like ground beef).

My lunch today.  5.5 points all together.
Here are your nutrition fact so you can see what your giving yourself and your family to eat.
Double click each image to open up a window with a legible chart.

Calories and WeightWatchers Point Breakdown:

Calories: 3247
Fat: 141
Fiber: 27

76 Points, 14 Servings
5.5 WW Points per Serving
232 Calories per Serving
After baking each loaf is around 3.5 oz.

And each loaf has lean protein, dairy, vegetables, and whole grains!

Nutrients MATTER!
Sprouted Wheat Breadcrumbs: "Flourless bread is made with grains and legumes that are sprouted before grinding into flour. Sprouted grains have increased vitamin and nutrient content because the seed is first sprouted, making it alive and active in its growth process."

Wheat Germ: "Wheat germ is one of the most nutritional products available. In fact, wheat germ contains 23 nutrients, and has more nutrients per ounce than any other vegetable or grain."

Eggs: "Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein, providing 5.5 grams of protein (11.1% of the daily value for protein) in one egg for a caloric cost of only 68 calories."

Lean Ground Turkey: "Turkey is a very good source of protein. A four ounce serving provides 65.1% of the daily value for protein, along with 11.9% of the daily value for saturated fat, about half the amount of saturated fat found in red meat."

Celery: "Celery leaves has high content of vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids."

Onion: "In animal studies, there is evidence that onion's sulfur compounds may work in an anti-clotting capacity and help prevent the unwanted clumping together of blood platelet cells. There is also evidence showing that sulfur compounds in onion can lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, and also improve cell membrane function in red blood cells."

 Parmesan: "Parmesan contains 33% protein compared to 20% in lean beef and that animal protein takes 4 hours to digest while the protein in Parmesan takes just 45 minutes. Other benfits to the digestion include Parmesan's ability to promote the development of Bacillus Bifidus, which is useful for the maintenance of a healthy gut, and also the fact that there is no lactose present - good news for the lactose intolerant or those with gastro-intestinal inflammation."

Carrots: "Carrot contains a very complete nutrition to provide our body the essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals. For each 100 gram, the carrot has 7.6 gram of carbohydrate, 0.6 gram of protein, 0.3 gram of fat, 30 milligram of calcium and 0.6 milligram of iron. Also, it is a good source of fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, biotin, potassium and thiamine.
Carrot also offers an excellence source of beta-carotene, which is 3.62milligram (equivalent to 1981 international unit for the value of vitamin A) in each 100 gram of carrots. Many studies have shown that carrot provide us the highest amount of beta-carotene among the list of vegetables we always consume everyday.
The best thing of carrot is that it is easily assimilated by our body. Chinese practitioners said that carrot tastes sweet, and it is good for the health of spleen and stomach. It is also believed to improve impotence (lower sexual drive), sexual dysfunction, night blindness, long term cough (or call hundred days cough in Chinese medical prescription) besides strengthening kidney and eliminating excessive wind and cold in our body.
Carrot has proved its outstanding role in anti-cancer effect. The research revealed that people with lack of beta-carotene were more likely to have 2 times higher risk of cancer than normal people. It is wiser to eat an appropriate amount of carrot per day to prevent cancer. This is because beta-carotene in the carrot can be easily changed by our body into vitamin A, which is essential for healthy cell growth, strong immune system and protection against muscular degeneration."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Homemade Corn Chips (3 WW pts./serving)


I can't put words to my chip fetish.  Recently I have shed quite a bit of weight from restricting my diet with WeightWatchers, so chips aren't really a big part of my diet.  But, I did find a recipe for homemade baked corn chips in a book that focuses on health. And the outcome is rather tasty!

In "The Sneaky Chef" Missy Chase Lapine has a recipe called "Crunchy Corn Chips".

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals

She states that this recipe is good for kids because it packs more nutrients, and less calories, than prepackaged fried corn chips.  The recipe yields 48 chips, six 1 oz. servings.  One oz. is composed of 8 chips.  It comes out to about 3 points per serving for those doing WeightWatchers, and about 96 calories per one oz. serving.

So here is the recipe, more or less:

Baked Corn Chips

12 Small Corn Tortillas (I used white)
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt (1 tsp. recommended)*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush both sides of the tortillas with olive oil and salt.
Cut up the tortillas into quarters (or if you want you can get creative and do stripes etc.)

Put in a single layer on a cookie sheet (I used two sheets to get them all baked in one go).
Bake 10 minutes.
Flip (I just utilized my cat-like reflexes and used my fingers.  You could also use a wimpy spatula).
Bake another 8-10 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.


*Personally, I can NEVER use a recipe as it is given.  So I used two different types of flavor-infused salt.  One was wild garlic sea salt, and the other a red chili sea salt. YUM!!!

Ok, some more info on this recipe.

From my online research, the typical serving size (one oz.) of corn chips is 4 WW points.  That means, you save yourself some points with this recipe.  That would be one point per serving, to be exact.

The other option here is to use a butter substitute spray to save yourself some points and calories, but don't forget that there are calories in there regardless of what the bottle tells you.  They use a labeling loophole to reel you in.


I have a hard time trusting anything that claims to be butter-ish and has little calories.  As said so eloquently by a website, "The main ingredients are water, soybean oil, buttermilk, and salt. Plus a bunch of chemicals that give it a thick, creamy texture, a buttery flavor, and a pleasant yellow color. Basically, you can think of it as a spray butter."  


Since I am a whole food kind of girl, I will take the calories over the chemicals and colorants.  (Just don't hold me to this when I am stuffing sugar free jello down at the end of a night when I have already eaten almost all my points.  I KNOW! I KNOW! I am a hypocrite!)

So, try these out!  Don't forget that spices are a free for all, and can make these chips much more tasty and individualized.  I am thinking of doing a cumin and ancho chili version next!

Warning: I do not recommend making these little bitches unless you want to eat and snack all day.  Right now they are taunting me from the pantry.  I would put this recipe in the "Get Together/Party" file in your brain.  Pull out the recipe and make these more healthy, and more originally spiced chips for friends or family. It's nice to know that they are a step up from the usual in more ways than one.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Homemade Bread Crumbs

I am a big fan of homemade breadcrumbs, simply because it is a great way to use surplus bread before it goes bad.  Recently I bought an extra loaf and wasn't sure what to do with all the extra bread.  I think next time I plan to do some healthy bread pudding, but this time I made three bags of breadcrumbs.

The bread that I used was Trader Joe's Sprouted Grain Bread.  So, it is a rather healthy bread full of lots of nutrients.  I took the entire loaf, laid it out and let it go stale.  Then I used my food processor to grind all the hard slices into crumbs and added a nice helping of wheat germ to the mix, to add more nutrients.

Then I put the mixture into labeled ziploc bags and threw them into the freezer.  I figured this was the best way to keep them.

So today I used my crumbs for the first time!

This recipe that I used is a variation on one I found on the Weightwatchers website. I changed a lot in the recipe, so it was basically a jumping off point.  For those of you with access to the website, this is the title.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

4 six oz. fillets of Mahi Mahi
1 egg white
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 package of Hidden Valley Ranch Powder Mix
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
Salt (I used Rosemary Infused FalkSalt)
Freshly Ground Pepper
Spray oil or Olive Oil

Spray baking dish or cookie sheet with Spray Oil or rub Olive Oil on with paper towel.

Place whisked egg white in a shallow wide dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs, ranch mix and Parmesan, and put in a shallow wide dish.

Salt the fish with a tiny bit of salt.

Dip fish in the egg white, completely covering it.

Dip it in the crumbs, completely covering it.

Place on the dish/sheet and place in the oven for 12-14 minutes or until the fish is no longer translucent in the middle.

Salt and Pepper to taste and serve.

Serve with tzatziki sauce, or a nice homemade nonfat plain yogurt dip made with dill, garlic, salt and lemon zest.

UGLY Cookies (2 pts. per cookie)

My son wanted me to make him cookies today.  I really think his insistence came from the smell of the scent pod thingy that I was melting in the kitchen... sugar cookie, go figure.  So I decided I would make some for him that were tasty and healthy.  Unfortunately, asking for them to also be pretty is just asking too much.  It's just too bad I look like I am holding a piece of poop.  Now, onto trying to sell you on these little turds of goodness!

Also this recipe, and this post, are not targeted at my weight watchers or calorie watcher friends.  Instead they are targeted at my whole food friends, who just may fit into the other categories as well.  :)

This recipe is a jump off from the original recipe located at this link:

I will mark the elements that I altered with an asterisk.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix these dry ingredients together in a bowl:
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. Wheat Germ*
3/4 cup craisins*
3/4 cup chopped dried pineapple*
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Blend these items in a blender:
1/2 c butter, softened
2/3 c. agave nectar*
1 egg
1/8 cup pureed spinach*
8 oz. tofu (I used silkened, and you can even use lowfat tofu if you like)
1 tsp. cinnamon (I used saigon cinnamon)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (I used a "nut", it's actually a seed, and a grater)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract (the real thing)

Mix wet and dry ingredients together

Drop by spoonful onto a parchment lined sheets.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, keeping an eye on them. Let the bottoms be golden brown, but no darker.

Yields 3 Dozen Cookies, at just 2 Points per cookie.

Like I said, these are ugly.  But, they taste great and are rather healthy.  Just think about the ingredients: whole wheat flour, wheat germ, agave, spinach, dried fruit and tofu!!!!

My taste tester approves!

Mouth full of cookie!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spinach Feta Turkey


Ok, I'll be honest here.  This is a recipe for a turkey "loaf".  But, I just think that word "loaf" is so unappetizing.  And, this recipe is not.  So... if you have any idea for a better name for this dish I will be happy to hear it!  I suppose you could actually turn this into a turkey burger recipe.  But, for all intents and purposes I will post the LOAF recipe.  :)

First off, here are the details.  Eight ingredients (counting salt and pepper), two dairy products, protein, whole grains and even your greens go into this little ditty.  Also, this entire loaf equates to 19 points and 12 ounces post baking.

That means for you weightwatcher users:

4 servings= 4.75 pts. per serving
5 servings= 3.8 pts. per serving
6 servings= 3.2 pts. per serving
8 servings= 2.4 pts. per serving

As for the nutrient/calorie breakdown, the calories are 954 for the entire dish and that means:

4 servings=  238 calories per serving
5 servings= 190 calories per serving
6 servings= 159 calories per serving
8 servings= 120 calories per serving

If you want to view the nutritional breakdowns below just double click them.
So, let's get down to business:

Spinach Feta Turkey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 Egg
1/4 C. Italian Breadcrumbs* (you can make your own if you want, see below)
1 Tbsp. Wheat Germ
1 oz. or about 1/4 C. Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/2 C. Frozen Chopped Spinach
Salt (fancy if you like)
Pepper (freshly ground if you like)

Take the first four ingredients, and some of the black pepper, and mix them in a bowl.  I use my hands.  Try not to overwork the meat.
Lay half the mixture in the bottom of a bread pan.

Mix the next two ingredients together.  I like to use a fork instead of a spoon here to help break up the feta chunks. 

Lay the spinach/cheese mixture on top of the first layer of meat and then cover the filling completely all around.  Sprinkled the top with some black pepper and salt.  I used wild garlic salt to add a bit more flavor.
I remembered halfway through adding the top to take a pic.

Throw into the oven for about 45 minutes or until your meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.  When is baked let it cool a little before you serve it.  I like to serve mine with tzatzeki sauce.  It's a cucumber yogurt sauce.  You can make your own with fat free plain yogurt, cucumber, some lemon zest, garlic, dill and sea salt.  That recipe would be about .5 point per 2 Tbsp. serving of sauce.  The tzatzeki sauce I used is 2 points per 2 Tbsp.

My review on this recipe (one I came up with on my own) is that it is easy, full of nutrients, filling and very tasty.  My two year old and my husband adore this dish.  I hope you and yours do as well!

*Breadcrumbs.  If you like, you can make your own breadcrumbs.  It is a great option when you find that some of your bread may go bad before you get to it.  I am currently drying out a loaf of sprouted wheat bread.  It is only 1 point, and 90 calories, per slice.  It is high in fiber and low in fat as well.  I'll post more about that soon!