Monday, July 17, 2006

Basic Pesto

A while back I read somewhere that the best pestos are stone-ground. Now, I've only had pestos made with a food processor, so I decided to take the advice and give it a go. Turns out, it does make a bit of a difference - the flavors infuse into each other more, and the basil flavor is stronger because you've mashed the hell out of it and the juices have released.

A special thanks to my sister, who gave me this mortar and pestle for Christmas a few years back, and now it's become one of the most used items in my kitchen.

Basic Pesto

2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In the mortar and pestle, grind the garlic with the salt until it becomes a foamy paste; add the pinenuts and grind until they become a paste. Add the basil and grind until the basil is fine, then mix in the oil, pepper and, finally, the cheese. Refrigerate for up to a week.

I served mine over pasta with warm tomatoes - it was lovely. No calorie count on this one, I don't even want to know.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sliced Orange Salad

Summer has been hot, but fun. We even had a garage sale at my mom's house, last weekend, which turned out to be CRAZY. So many people. Anyway, I'm back, if you can believe it, and I'm cooking/making a lot of things I haven't tried before, so yay for getting out of my cooking rut.

Sliced Orange Salad

Peel and slice a few oranges into rings, then toss with finely chopped parsley and green onions, and drizzle over a little red wine vinegar.. and season to taste with salt and pepper. Different, low on calories and yummy. Maybe I'll add some nuts, next time, I dunno.

I hope everyone is having a lovely summer, or whatever the season is where you live. My basil is alive and kicking, so I think it's pesto time...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Two Summer Salads: Chick Peas, Radishes, Cucumber

Oh, lovely heat. My basil died because I forgot to water it for 1 day, but that's ok, I'm not the biggest basil fan, anyway :)

I'm starting to think that I can't cook without using fresh thyme, it's a sickness, really - most things don't seem complete without it.

I've been eating a lot of garbanzo beans, lately. I'm generally not all that much in love with beans, aside from green beans, but, for some reason, I love my garbanzos. They're great with a little dressing of ranch and chopped jalapenos, but here's a salad that's got more than 3 ingredients:

Chick Pea Salad

1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)(385)
2 roma tomatoes, diced (36)
1/2 cup black olives, halved, about 90 g. (150)
1/4 c. chopped vidalia onion, about 45g. (19)
1 TB. mayonnaise (100)
1 tsp. lemon juice (3)
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (3)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 TB. fresh chopped basil (1)

Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour over the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat.

Makes 4 servings, 174.25 calories per serving.

Cucumber Radish Salad

10-12 med. radishes, about 220g., sliced (36)
1/3 lg. vidalia onion, about 75g., chopped (32)
1 med. English cucumber, about 325g., sliced (50)
1 TB. fresh lemon juice (3)
1 TB. olive oil (120)
1 TB. balsamic vinegar (10)
leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme, about 2 tsp. (2)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Serves 4, 63.25 calories per serving.

This salad was really, really good, but I don't recommend making it a day ahead - the vegetables lose a bit of their crunch, and the radishes bleed into the rest of the ingredients, as you can see by the picture. This is best served within several hours of making.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Creamy Corn Casserole

This recipe comes from my husband's family cookbook. I'm not sure where it originated, but it's been in his family for years and years. I think there is probably a way to make this without wasting calories on cream cheese, because the cream cheese flavor doesn't really come through, as it is completely overpowered by the chilies - maybe a simple white sauce would suffice? It's one to work on...

Corn Casserole

3 (15 1/4 oz. cans) white corn, drained (630)
8 oz. cream cheese (1/3 reduced fat) (560)
1/4 c. milk (I use fat-free Lactaid) (23)
1 4-oz. can diced green chilies (20)
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar (1/3 reduced fat) (285)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the milk and cream cheese together, adding salt to taste, if desired, then add the chilies and the corn; stir to combine. Pour the mixture into an 8x8" casserole dish and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the temperature up to 400 degrees and bake for another ten minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is browned.

Makes 9 servings, 169 calories per serving.

We added this as our side to our lean grilled burgers, and it worked out nicely. I'm not the biggest fan of this recipe, but everyone else who tastes it loves it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Basic Lasagna with Turkey and Mushrooms

Getting back to food blogging...

I've made several lasagnas over the years, always trying something different, but the best reviews I get are when I add too much salt to the sauce, and not quite enough to the other elements. There's something about the salty sauce that makes up for the salt missing in the other areas, and it's great.

Basic Lasagna with Turkey and Mushrooms

1 26-oz. jar tomato sauce (540)
1 c. canned tomatoes (53)
1/2 c. tomato paste (120)
15 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions (1260)
1 large (about 325 g.) vidalia onion, chopped (136)
1 8-oz. package fresh mushrooms, rinsed and roughly chopped (57)
1 TB. + 1 tsp. fresh thyme, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped (16)
1 TB. olive oil (120)
1 1/4 lbs lean ground turkey (1100)
1 30-oz. container part-skim ricotta (1120)
1 c. (50g.) (1/3 reduced fat) sharp cheddar (160)
1 c. parmesan (400)
1 1/2 c. (1/3 reduced fat) mozzarella (480)
1 jumbo egg + 1 egg white (116)
3 roma tomatoes, sliced into 15 slices (45)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Add the tomato sauce and canned tomatoes to a sauce pan over medium-low heat, stir occasionally while preparing the other elements. Salt to taste.

Saute the onion and red pepper flakes in the oil over medium-low heat until translucent; add the mushrooms, garlic, 1 tablespoon thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat up to just above medium and continue cooking until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add the ground turkey and mix thoroughly, cook through; add the tomato paste, mix thoroughly and cook for another minute, or so. Remove from heat.

Whisk together the cheddar, ricotta, eggs and the last teaspoon of thyme, and plenty of black pepper.

To assemble: Spread 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" pan, then lay 5 noodles out over the sauce, top with half the meat mixture, then spread half the ricotta mixture over the meat, then sprinkle on 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Spread 1 more cup of sauce over the parmesan, then lay on another 5 noodles, followed by the meat, ricotta and then sauce. Top with the last 5 noodles, then the last cup of sauce, then sprinkle the mozzarella and the other half-cup of parmesan. Add 3 rows of 5 tomato slices, so each serving has a slice in the middle.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Makes 15 servings, 382 calories per serving.

This lasagna cuts very well, but if you like really saucy lasagnas, then you should serve this with a little extra sauce on the side. Serve with a small salad to make a great, lower calorie meal :)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Kalyn's Egg Muffins

Like Michele and Cindy, I was inspired to make Kalyn's Egg Muffins. I made a few alterations based on what I had on hand, but these are wonderful, and, like Kalyn says, these microwave/freeze very well. I typed up my steps just so that I could remember what I did for next time - I'm sure I'll be making these weekly for my husband and me.

Egg Muffins
-adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen
13 Jumbo eggs (1170)
20-30 drops Tabasco
1 TB. olive oil (120)
1 pkg. (275g.) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (59)
2 big handfulls arugula, about 55g. (17)
1/2 med. onion, chopped, about 95g. (40)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (35)
1 TB. fresh chopped thyme (3)
16 slices ham (640)
1 1/2 cups reduced fat cheese (480)
salt and pepper

Whisk up the eggs with the tabasco and a little salt, set aside.

Saute the onions in the oil and then added the mushrooms with salt and pepper; when the mushrooms are cooked through, add the arugula and toss for a minute, or until the arugula is wilted. Remove mixture to a fine mesh sieve and press to get the excess moisture out*. To the same pan, add the ham and cook until browned and all of the moisture in the pan has cooked out/evaporated.

Toss the ham, cheese, green onions and mushroom mixture together and fill your muffin pans 3/4 of the way. Pour the egg mixture over the mixture, filling to the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

*Kalyn said that the muffins tend to let go of a little liquid when they're being microwaved, so I went ahead and cooked the ham until it was brown and the liquid had completely evaporated, and strained the mushroom mixture.

Makes 16 Egg Muffins, 160 calories per muffin.

Original Recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen:

(makes 12)
10-12 eggs
2 T fat free half and half
1 1/2- 2 cups diced meat: canadian bacon, ham, cooked turkey sausage or cooked veggie sausage
1 1/2- 2 cups grated low fat cheese (I like sharp cheddar or feta)
Optional, but highly recommended, 3 green onions diced small.

Preheat oven to 375. Use regular or silicone muffin pan, 12 muffin size. If using silicone pan, spray with nonstick spray. If using regular muffin pan, put two paper liners into each slot, then spray liner with nonstick spray.

In the bottom of the muffin cups layer diced meat, cheese and green onions. You want the muffin cups to be 3/4 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Beat eggs well with the half and half (you could use milk). Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is full to the brim, nearly overflowing. Bake 25-30 minutes until muffins have risen above the rim of the muffin cups and are slightly browned and set.

These freezer well. For best results, thaw in refrigerator before microwaving. I like to wrap them in a paper towel when reheating in microwave to soak up some of the liquid that is sometimes released.

I'm going in to have my wisdom teeth removed today at 8 am, yippee! I'm glad I have a few of these muffins waiting for me when I get home.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Grandma Marilyn's Mormon Muffins

I don't know exactly why these are called Mormon Muffins (a friend suggested that it's because there's one boy muffin and a dozen girl muffins), but, since I live in Utah, I can take a guess. My grandma has been making these muffins for years, and I've always loved them. They taste great, not overly sweet, and are perfect for breakfast with a banana or a pear.

I halved the original recipe and added ground flax seed, replaced the majority of the sugar with splenda, replaced some of the flour with whole wheat flour, and used applesauce instead of shortening.

Mormon Muffins

1 c. boiling water
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (600)
1 c. whole wheat flour (400)
1/2 c. applesauce (50)
1/2 c. splenda (48)
1/4 c. sugar (192.5)
2 extra large eggs (170)
2 c. buttermilk (200)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. Grape-Nuts (bran buds) (800)
1 c. Grape-Nuts flakes (bran flakes) (147)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (500)
1/2 c. ground golden flax seed (240)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Add the baking soda to 1 cup of boiling water; set aside to cool. Whisk together the applesauce, salt, sugar and splenda, then whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the buttermilk, then flour; mix well. Fold in the bran cereals and walnuts.

Very lightly spray silicone muffin pans with cooking spray, then fill each mold to the top with the batter mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mixture no longer looks moist. Allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then pop out and let cool completely before storing. These freeze really well.

Makes 15 muffins, about 224 calories per muffin.

Original recipe:
Mormon Muffin Mix

2 C. boiling water
1 tbsp. + 2 tsps. Baking soda
1 c. crisco shortening
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk
5 c. flour
1 tsp. Salt
4 c. 100% Bran Buds
2 c. 40% Bran Flakes
1 c. chopped walnuts
Dried fruit, if your desire

Add soda to hot water and let cool. Whip shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly. Mix well. Add the buttermilk and flour; mix well; slowly stir in the soda water. Fold the two bran cereals into the mixture very slowly with the chopped walnuts. Spoon into greased muffin tins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely.

**If you're using regular pans, the cooking time will probably be less - these silicone pans seem to hold the moisture in, a bit.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Grandma Marilyn's Stuffed Cabbage

Monday's dinner: stuffed cabbage. This is something I've loved since childhood, I can't believe I haven't made it before now. I'm glad that my husband is someone who likes sour stuff like I do, cos I basically live on lemon juice and vinegar - nothing seems complete without it. I'm not sure on the amounts in the original recipe, but I just talked to my grandma, and she said that the original meat is ground lamb - yum. Today, I used ground turkey, and I actually counted the calories...

Grandma Marilyn's Stuffed Cabbage

This is an edited version of the ingredient list, to be sure:
16 cabbage leaves (the large outer leaves) (50)
1.25 lbs. ground turkey, 15% fat (1100)
1 med. onion, chopped (46)
4 lg. cloves garlic, sliced (12)
1 TB. olive oil (120)
1 c. minute rice (400)
1 32-oz. jar sauerkraut, 3/4 liquid drained (150)
1 quart canned tomatoes, 3/4 liquid drained (200)
juice of 1 lemon (12)

The original recipe reads:

Cut core out of a not-too-solid head of cabbage. Steam until the leaves pull off easily.

Brown ground meat (beef or lamb) and onion; season with garlic powder or garlic, salt and pepper, and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Add rice.

Cool cabbage and separate leaves; place hamburger mixture in each leaf, leaving enough room to fold and roll the cabbage around the mixture.

Layer cabbage rolls in pan, alternating layers with canned tomatoes and sauerkraut. Sprinkle with ¼ c. lemon juice. Cook slowly, until rice is done.

Amount of hamburger mixture is determined by how much you are going to fix. 1 lb. of hamburger goes a long way.

My version makes 8 servings, 262 calories per serving.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Grandma Iona's Banana Mallow Pie

Another recipe from my grandma's cut-outs. This is really decadent and a little bit of a stretch, crust-wise, but it is delicious and really fun to eat. The toasted coconut gives a real crunch, and I'm all about marshmallows, so this is great for me :D

Banana Mallow Pie

2 c. shredded coconut
1/3 c. margarine, melted
1 3.4oz. pkg vanilla pudding
1/2 c. cream, whipped
1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows (or 15 lg.)
2 bananas, sliced

Combine coconut and margarine in a skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until coconut is toasted and golden brown. Press into a 9" pie plate to form crust; chill.

Prepare pudding mix as directed, but using 1 3/4 cups milk. Cover with wax paper and chill. When the pudding is fully chilled, fold in whipped cream and cut the marshmallows into the mixture using scissors that have been dipped in cold water.

When the crust is chilled, place the sliced bananas all over the coconut, forming a
single layer. Pour the pudding mixture over the bananas and chill for several hours before serving.

Grandma Iona's German Potato Salad

I've been lucky enough to have both of my grandmas around until just recently, when my grandma on my father's side passed away... so now that I'm writing up her recipes, I'll be posting more foods that aren't really diet conscious, so bear with me.

This recipe was never written down, but my mom has made it for as long as I can remember, so here's her version of Grandma's recipe:

German Potato Salad

10-12 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 c. chopped dill pickles Thanks to my sis for pointing out my accidental omission of the pickles)
3-4 TB. minced onion
6-8 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 1/2 - 2 c. Miracle Whip salad dressing

Add the potatoes to a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until tender enough to mash, but do not mash; turn off the burner. Drain the potatoes well and return to the pan; place the pan back on the burner, but do not turn the burner on; let sit for 5 minutes (this ensures the potatoes are dry enough to absorb the dressing). Add the onions, pickles and Miracle Whip to the potatoes and stir until combined, then stir in the eggs. Serve warm.

*In the picture I posted, I used red-skinned potatoes and left the skins on, cos I love them. I also didn't boil the potatoes down as much, and I added a little more onion.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Classic Pork Loin Roast with Root Vegetables and Gravy

On Saturday, a good friend of mine made a fabulous corned beef roast (not that he's updated about it), using, of all things, a pressure cooker. Now, I'm like a lot of other people (said friend included) and am terrified of pressure cookers, which is mainly because of my lack of knowledge. I guess I should quit being a sissy and just buy one - yeah, that's gonna happen.

I didn't take the time to tally the calories on this, but this total meal is not over my 500 calories if you eat about 2 cups of vegetables and don't over-indulge on the gravy.. good luck.

Classic Pork Loin Roast with Root Vegetables and Gravy

1 2-lb pork roast
2 TB. olive oil
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
salt and pepper

Season the pork roast with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Lay the thyme on the meat, top and bottom, and truss so that the meat keeps it's shape. Brown the meat on all sides in the olive oil, then place the pan in a 350 degree oven for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cut up some potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onions, place in a large stock pot with about 2 cups of vegetable broth and several sprigs of thyme; salt and pepper liberally. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cover. Cook until the vegetables are almost tender. About a half hour before the roast is done, add the vegetables (make sure to reserve the liquid for the gravy) to the pan with the roast and let roast until the meat is finished.

*I don't know exact amounts of what I used, but it was, roughly:
2 med. sweet potatoes
4 lg. red-skinned potatoes
1 huge onion
2 med. parsnips
1 2-lb. bag mini carrots

Remove the meat from the pan, let rest for 15 minutes. Remove the vegetables and reserve any liquid. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan drippings, and add about 3 tablespoons flour to make a roux. Pour in the reserved liquid and add as much chicken/pork/vegetable broth as you need to get your gravy to the proper consistency.

Serves 6.

I'll post a couple of my grandma's recipes tomorrow - both are indulgent and definitely not written for calorie counters.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Egg Noodles with Arugula, Peppers, Peas and Herbs

I have a big love for simple dishes, any kind of pasta with vegetables works for me. Tonight, after a loooooong week, I decided to throw another simple pasta dish together. I love using loads of fresh herbs, so I threw in thyme, parsley and chives from my grandma's backyard - the chives were overpowered by the flavor of the peppers, but other than that, this was a deliciously simple dish.

Egg Noodles with Arugula, Peppers, Peas and Herbs
1/2 med. onion, chopped, about 145g. (61)
3 lg. cloves garlic, sliced (9)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (12)
1 TB. olive oil (120)
1/2 recipe Marinated Bell Peppers (this batch was roasted and the skin removed)(120)
1 c. frozen or fresh peas peas, about 110 g.(85)
6 oz. egg noodles, prepared and set aside in a large bowl (630)
1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme (1)
1 handful parsley, about 10g.(4)
2 TB. butter (200)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/4 lemon (3)
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful chives, roughly chopped, about 9g. (3)

Saute the onion, cumin, thyme and garlic in the olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste. When the onions are translucent, add the marinated peppers and peas; heat through, then toss in the arugula. Remove the vegetables and toss them with the pasta; throw the butter into the same pan to melt. Remove from head and stir in the parsley, then pour over the noodles and toss with the lemon juice, lemon zest, chives, salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings, 312 calories per serving.

This weekend, I intend on getting my herb garden started. There's also the Japan Festival in SLC, so I think we'll try to go for that, too. Man, I love Spring.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Well hello there!

Yeahhhh, so, I've been totally missing in action over the past few weeks. Life has been chaotic, and, with the loss of my grandmother on the 13th, food blogging has been the least of my worries. Her death came as a surprise, really, we thought we would have so much more time with her, but I guess we always do. She was a lovely woman who loved to cook.

The day after my grandma's funeral, I was given a book/binder that belonged to my grandma. It is filled with magazine and newspaper recipe cut-outs, as well as many, many handwritten recipes. I feel very fortunate to have roughly 75 years of recipes, some written in her own grandmother's hand, and many coming from our German heritage. We've decided to put together a cookbook, with all of the recipes typed up, as well as pictures and scans of the handwritten copies. The plan is to have them hard-bound and send them out to all of my grandma's children and grandchildren for Christmas. The hardest part is that we don't have a lot of her recipes written down - she really didn't use a recipe for her most common and most loved dishes, so now I'm in experiment mode. Luckily, over the past years, my parents were been able to get a few of the most cherished recipes out of my grandma, even though she was not big on sharing recipes, lol.

If you're wondering, yes, I'm still eating low-calorie. It has been harder because we have not been home, much, but it is very important to me, and I'm learning to make better choices when eating out - I'm down about 30 pounds, so far, which feels great. I made a big grocery store produce haul today, so the updates should be frequent and I should be getting right back on track.

I did make Kalyn's Brown and Wild Rice
with Pine Nuts and Thyme
the other day, and it was lovely. You wouldn't think that macadamia nut oil would make such a difference, but it really does!

Alrighty, I'm off to nurse the finger I sliced while making Grandma's German Potato Salad. I hope you are all well, I will have to get caught up on everyone over the next few days/weeks.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Erin Cheats: Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Strawberry Peach Coulis

Happy Birthday Matt!

Today was my little brother's birthday, he turned 23 (sigh, 23 seems so long ago...). I haven't had a lot of time, lately, to go shopping for his regular(ish) gift, which is generally a shirt or jacket, or something, so I decided to do the next best thing - make him his favorite dessert. Matt has always been a cheesecake lover, and my intent was to make him a classic cheesecake with a classic strawberries-in-sauce topping, but I flubbed the topping and had to come up with something else. Luckily, I had saved some cake rounds and cake boxes from a few years back, when I made everyone cheesecakes instead of buying presents for Christmas... ahhh... the good old (money tight) days.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Cheesecake Filling:
2 8-oz blocks cream cheese (1600)
3 XL eggs (255)
1/2 c sugar (387)
1/4 c splenda (24)
zest of 1 large, or two small lemons
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 vanilla beans, seeded

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup blended into powder, the rest coarsly crushed, about 120g (533.5)
4 TB butter, melted (400)
*You can add 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, but I don't.

Preheat your oven to 325° F.

For the crust:
Spray the inside of a 9" silicone (or springform) pan. Pour in your graham cracker powder and turn the pan on it's side, rotating to cover the walls of the pan with the graham crackers. In a medium bowl, pour out the excess graham cracker powder into the cracker crumbs, and pour in the butter, making sure to mix until the crumbs are well-coated. Sprinkle the crackers evenly over the surface of the prepared pan and press them down (I use the flat bottom of a wine glass) to form a compact crust. The crust will be fairly thin, so if you have to use a few extra crumbs to fill in any gaps, go ahead. Place your crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

*If you're someone who loves crust, I'd add another 1/2 cup of crumbs to the mix.

For the filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it's smooth. Pour in the eggs, one at a time, and beat again until the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar and, once again, mix until completely smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and give the mixture one last whirl to combine everything.

Bake in a water bath for about 1 hour (if you're using a springform pan, make sure to use a large, heavy-duty piece of aluminum foil to ensure that the water doesn't get inside your cheesecake), or until the top is slightly golden. Turn off the stove and open the oven door to let the heat out. Let the cheesecake rest for 4-5 hours in the oven, then chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.

Serves 8, about 400 calories per serving.

This cheesecake is not... tall. It's only about an inch tall, so if you want your cheesecake to have more height, use an 8" pan instead of a 9", or double the recipe.

Strawberry Peach Coulis
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced (114)
1 quart peaches in syrup, not drained (776)
2 TB Splenda (12)
1/2 c. sugar (386)
2 TB honey (128)
1/4 c. vanilla vodka (or 1 TB vanilla extract)
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1/2 lemon, juice and zest (10)
4 TB cornstarch mixed with 4 TB water (122)

In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries (reserve 1 strawberry for the top of the cheesecake), vanilla vodka and lemon juice and zest; bring to a boil and simmer until the strawberries turn light-pink and get mushy (this was my big flub, I cooked them too long, so I had to fix it, I also added juice from half a GIANORMOUS lemon, so it was far too sour). Add the peaches (making sure to reserve 8 slices for the top of the cheesecake) and syrup, splenda, sugar, honey and vanilla seeds, simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and sieve the fruit over a medium bowl.

Add the fruit pulp to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to the sieve and stir until most of the liquid is gone, discard the small amount of pulp and ground seeds that are left over. Add the reserved juice and the pureed mixture back to the pan and stir in the cornstarch slurry. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and free of lumps. If you get lumps, return to the (clean) sieve, making sure to strain the mixture and throw out the lumps.

*I made this pretty thick to ensure that it wouldn't run during the drive to deliver the cheesecake, it would taste the same with half the cornstarch.

Pour the mixture in a large bowl and cool over an ice bath.

Makes about 16 1/4-cup servings, 98 calories per serving.

Yeah, so, with the topping, 1 slice is 498 calories, ouch. I took a pic of a slice with my husband's craptastic camera, I didn't get a decent pic because I was being rushed, heh, so here's the best of the bad pics: A SLICE. Good thing Matty's birthday isn't more than once a year. I guess the most important thing is that my brother loved it and had some leftover for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Penne with Ham, Squash and Green Beans

I cook for fairly picky eaters. My husband hates things like olives, asparagus, artichoke, whole grains, rice, peppers, celery, eggplant and especially squash. My mom and sister, the other people I cook for, also dislike squash, along with various other strange things (like onions and rice, how do you not like onions or rice??).

As far back as I can remember, my gramma has grown yellow squash and zucchini in her garden. She and I are the only ones that love squash, so, even as a younger kid, I was slicing up the squash and cooking them (usually boiled with butter) all for myself. I really have tried to get others to like the stuff, but I'm currently 0-4, so I've given up. I'll keep the squash for myself and I will enjoy every last bite.

Penne with Ham, Squash and Green Beans

1 medium onion, about 180g, chopped (75.5)
2 med. cloves garlic, chopped (5)
3 small zucchini, about 400g., 1/4 inch slices (64.5)
1 med. yellow squash, about 200g (33)
3/4 c. (150g) frozen carrot slices (an experimental buy, fresh is preferred) (61)
2 handfulls fresh french green beans, about 236g (73)
6 ham slices, cut into squares (240)
5 oz. pasta, about l40g., prepared (525)
1 TB plus 2 1/2 tsp. olive oil (220)
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped (1)
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

In a nonstick pan, saute the onion, in 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of olive oil, making sure to season with salt and pepper. After about 5 minutes, add the garlic and thyme and cook for about 1 minute - just to take the edge off the garlic; stir in the lemon zest and add the onion mixture to the cooked, drained pasta, combining well.

In the same pan, brown the ham and then add to the pasta. Still using the same pan, saute all of the vegetables (I sauteed them individually, each veg in 1/2 tsp. oil) until tender, and add them to the pasta. With the carrots and green beans, I place them in a zip baggie and microwave the carrots for about 7 minutes, and the green beans for about 4 minutes, then saute. Make sure to salt and pepper each layer as you go. Combine all ingredients, taste for salt, and serve warm or at room temperature.

1298 total calories, 5 2-cup servings, 259.6 calories per serving.

I've been tagged by Kalyn, so I'll work on that and post it a bit later.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

White Chocolate and Blackberry Tartletes

Tonight, after having had a simple dinner of Hot and Sour soup, we were jonesing for something sweet, so I threw this together. I was going to add pine nuts and a kiwi fruit coulis, but I decided to just keep it simple.

White Chocolate & Blackberry Tartletes

1 package phyllo cups, 15 cups (600)
7/8 pieces of a 4oz. bar of white chocolate (the first piece mysteriously disappeared...) (503)
2 pkgs. fresh blackberries (about 1 1/3 c.) (108.5)
1 TB Splenda
2 TB water
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp. vodka (slurry) (25)
2 TB Vanilla Extract

Heat the chocolate over a double boiler just until melted; drizzle a spoonful of the melted chocolate in each phyllo cup, and pour out the excess, leaving enough to coat the entire surface of the inside of the cup; chill in freezer until the chocolate sets up.

*This step is important because it ensures that the phyllo doesn't get soggy from the berries.

Set aside the 15 prettiest blackberries, these will be used fresh in the dessert. In a small saucepan, combine the rest of the blackberries, the splenda, the water and the vanilla; bring to a simmer and continue to simmer until the blackberries break down and liquify. Pour the cooked berries through a sieve into a small bowl and use a spatula to press the liquid through the sieve, pressing until all that is left is the seeds, which you can discard, and return the reserved blackberry juice to the pan. Stir the cornstarch and water mixture into the blackberry juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat.

Remove the phyllo cups from the freezer and place about a half-teaspoon of the thickened blackberry juice into each cup, or halfway up the side of the cup. Place a fresh blackberry in the center of each cup. If you have leftover white chocolate, you can drizzle a little over each berry. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

These are great because they can be made well in advance and won't get soggy.

Makes 15 tartlets, 82 calories each.

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

One of our favorite foods is Chinese Hot and Sour Soup. I've tried making it a few times, but have never been able to get the right combination of flavors. Tonight, I decided to try this recipe, which had great reviews. The soup turned out pretty good, though there was still something important missing, and it wasn't the tofu that I replaced the chicken with. I tried to perk up the flavor with extra soy sauce and a splash of white vinegar (I like it more sour than hot), but it still didn't do the trick.

Does anyone have a killer, authentic Hot and Sour Soup recipe? I'd give my first born for something I could easily make at home.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Simple Salad Lunch

After having had a lovely dinner at Kalyn's, I decided I'm in love with the mini-peppers she tossed in the arugula salad and I went to Costco to find the ones she'd used, but I couldn't find them, so I settled on regular-sized bell peppers, and then posted about marinating them a few days ago. I've been eating them with just about everything, but yesterday's simple salad was the best, yet. I just chopped the peppers and tossed them (along with a bit of the marinade) with some fresh baby arugula, inspired by Kalyn's Arugula Salad, of course. I buttered up a toasted english muffin and voilà! Lunch was ready in about 4 minutes. I have a feeling this salad will be something I crave often, and when pepper season comes, I'll be picking peppers and marinating them all summer long.

1 c. arugula
1/4 recipe Marinated Bell Peppers
2 TB Marinated Bell Peppers marinade


Serve with 1 toasted english muffin slathered in 1 tablespoon yummy, salty butter.

300 calories, total.

*It's not that I'm uninspired to create new dishes, lately, it's just that it's been a rough few weeks for my family, so doing simple, somewhat classic recipes is a lot easier on my brain and on my time.

Happy April Fools Day, heh.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Roasted Celery Root, Parsnip, Carrot and Fennel

This vegetable roast marked a couple of firsts for me - my first taste of fresh fennel and of celery root. I love carrots and parsnips, but I had ambitiously purchased a lovely organic fennel bulb and celery root that I was dying to try, yet had no idea how to prepare. I searched online for recipes, most of which were soup recipes, or gratin recipes that called for heavy cream. I really just wanted to taste the purity of each vegetable, so I went ahead and tried them raw (yay celery root, boo fennel - a lil strong for me) and decided to roast them, hoping it would turn out. Obviously, this would be must tastier with 3 times as much oil and a good bit of Parmigiano Reggiano, but my reality being what it is, this was good, tasty, and low cal.

Roasted Celery Root, Parsnip, Carrot and Fennel

1 sm. Celery Root (80)
1 med. Parsnip (59)
3 med. Carrots (106)
1 med. Fennel bulb (84)
1 TB + 1 tsp. olive oil (160)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and cut root vegetables into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove the top portion (making sure to reserve enough fronds to garnish) and the tough outer layer of the fennel bulb; cut into 1/4-inch wedges.

Toss the root vegetables on a cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet and toss the fennel in with the root vegetables and 1 tsp. olive oil. Continue baking for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are golden and tender. Toss with chopped fennel fronds and serve while warm.

Makes 4 servings, 122.25 calories per serving.

Fast Italian Chicken Pasta

This is just one of those somewhat uninspired meals.. for the night when you don't feel like cooking, but don't want to resort to a drive-thru or box meal, either. Don't get me wrong, it tastes good, but it's on a line with things that are common enough for a regular cook not to need a recipe.

Italian Chicken Pasta

5 oz. egg noodles, prepared (525)

Ground Chicken
1/2 med. onion, chopped (30)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (1.5)
1 clove garlic, julienned (4)
1 tsp. olive oil (40)
1 lb. lean ground chicken (600)
1 TB. fresh parsley, chopped (3)
1 tsp. paprika (6)
salt and pepper

In a nonstick pan, saute the onion and red pepper flakes in the olive oil just until translucent; add the garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute. Crumble the ground chicken into the pan and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of parsley, 1 teaspoon paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Brown the meat until just cooked through; remove from pan and continue on to sauce.

2 TB. tomato paste (30)
1 c. chicken stock (15)
1 tsp. dry basil (2)
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (2)
1 TB. fresh parsley, chopped (3)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (4)
salt and pepper

In the same pan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir in the ground chicken mixture and let simmer for a minute or two. Add the pasta and combine.

Makes 4 servings, about 316.5 calories per serving.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pasta with Peppers and Asparagus in Balsamic Butter Sauce

I'm the queen of over-reducing pan sauces, but I've finally made one that I'm proud of, though I can't claim much credit, as Balsamic vinegar is just another one of those magical ingredients that perks up just about anything it touches - sweet or savory.

Earlier tonight, my mom and sister came over, and I decided to cook dinner. I made Tilapia with Tomatillo Salsa, vine tomatoes with salt and parsley, and french green beans in the style of Elise's Perfect Asparagus (minus the parmesan), it was lovely and light, and I didn't even bother to count the calories because it didn't come near my 500 calorie limit, which is probably why I was ravenous at 11 pm. The asparagus got a little over-powered by the vinegar and the peppers, but it was still absolutely heavenly.

Pasta with Peppers and Asparagus in Balsamic Butter Sauce

110 grams (4 oz) salad macaroni, prepared (420)
1/4 recipe Marinated Bell Peppers, chopped (60)
14 stalks asparagus, about 170g. (34)
1/2 med. onion, about 50g. (21)
20-25 small cocktail onions, about 50g. (20)
1 large clove garlic, julienned (10)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. olive oil (40)
1 TB. butter (100)
3 TB. balsamic vinegar (30)
salt and pepper

Chop asparagus into 1/2-inch rounds, making sure to set the tips aside; place rounds in zip-top bag and microwave for 1 minute. Saute the onions (both types) in 1 tsp. olive oil for about 4 minutes; add the peppers and continue sauteing for another 3 minutes; add the garlic and asparagus tips and salt and pepper to taste; saute for 1 minute. Remove vegetables from pan and add 3 TB. balsamic vinegar; simmer for 45 seconds (don't reduce the vinegar too much, it gets too sweet) then add the butter, lemon zest, parsley, and salt and pepper; remove from heat and swirl until butter is melted. Toss the vegetables and pasta with the sauce and serve.

Makes two servings, about 368 calories per serving.

Marinated Bell Peppers

Marinated Bell Peppers

1 each: red, yellow and orange bell pepper (20 cal ea)
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar - only 1/4 cup will be consumed (40)
1 Tbsp. olive oil (120)
3 large cloves garlic, minced (20)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Combine marinade ingredients. Slice peppers 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick and toss in marinade. Put in food storage bags and marinate in the fridge, turning every time you open the fridge, within reason. Will last up to a week. You can grill, saute, stir fry, or just add them to salads, they're really tasty.

Makes 6 servings, each about 40 calories.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Utah Food Bloggers Dinner: Mascerated Berries with Vanilla Mascarpone

What a fun night! I joined Vanessa from She Craves and Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen for a Utah Food Bloggers dinner, hosted by Kalyn, who made a lovely dinner, whilst Vanessa brought wine and flowers, and I brought dessert. We had a lot to talk about (everything under the sun, really) and I couldn't have been in better company. Kalyn is lovely (and skinny!), and very warm and welcoming. Vanessa is gorgeous and has a wicked sense of humor. Actually, all the words I just used to describe these two women apply to both of them.

Kalyn's dinner was just so damned good. She prepared:

Curried Chicken on the Grill, with cilantro chutney
A perfect chicken recipe, it was awesome with the cilantro chutney.

Perfect Asparagus
The name doesn't lie.

Brown and Wild Rice with Pine Nuts
So good!

Arugula and Sweet Mini-Pepper Salad
I hadn't had these mini-peppers, but I'm a convert and will pick some up this week.

She has the recipes linked in her post about the dinner here.

I didn't know what I should bring - I have no clue when it comes to wine or cheese or, well, stuff to bring - so we decided on my bringing a dessert. I chose to bring Mascerated Berries, but wanted to dress them up a little, so I added lemon juice to the recipe, and used sugar instead of splenda. To top off the berries, I made a Vanilla Mascarpone, which is really very simple:

Image courtesy Kalyn.

Mascerated Berries with Vanilla Mascarpone

Mascerated Berries
1 package fresh blueberries, washed
1 package fresh raspberries
1 package fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
2 tsp. sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 Tbsp. Vanilla Vodka
1/2 lemon
Seed the vanilla bean and add to a small bowl; pour the vanilla vodka over the seeds and stir to break them up and mobilize them. In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, sugar, vanilla vodka, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Refrigerate, and add the rest of the berries before serving. If serving right away, gently add the blueberries and raspberries, making sure not to break them up.

Vanilla Mascarpone
1 container Mascarpone cheese
2 vanilla beans, seeded
1 1/2 tsp. honey

In a small bowl, combine the three ingredients. Keep refrigerated.

All-in-all, I couldn't have been more impressed with the dinner or with these two fabulous women. There's nothing like being with strong, intelligent, funny people (women, especially) to make you feel like the world may not be in as much trouble as you'd imagined.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

WHB25: Vanilla - Beans and Extract

So, here's my first post dedicated to Weekend Herb Blogging. I've been meaning to participate for a while, now, and I'm finally getting around to it.

This may or may not sound weird, but I am passionate about vanilla. It's just one of those ingredients that rounds out every recipe it goes into and can kick any dessert into high-gear. I've never been bold enough to try it on fish, or other savory dishes, but I'm working my way toward it.

Making vanilla extract is very simple, and worth it. Get yourself a bottle of vodka, split several (5 or 6) vanilla beans down the center (I scrape out the seeds and use them in other dishes) and slip the beans into the bottle. Let your bottle sit for a few months, shaking every so often, and you've got real vanilla extract. Early on in the process, it makes a great vanilla vodka, but after a week, or so, it's too strong for drinking. I top mine off with more vodka when I notice that I'm making a dent in the bottle, so I've always got a full bottle, and it just gets better and better with time.

Pour a little over fresh berries with a sprinkling of sugar, it's lovely.

Tilapia with Corn and Greens

Last night, I only had about 20 minutes to prepare dinner and eat before we had to be somewhere. I hadn't had anything planned, aside from having thawed tilipa fillets in the fridge, so this was one of those throw-together meals. There are a couple of things I would change, but, for the most part, this was yummy, and only took 10 minutes from start to finish.

Tilapia with Corn and Greens
2 5-oz tilapia fillets (137.5 ea)
3 TB. dried cranberries (97.5)
1 1/3 c. frozen corn (defrosted, if you have time, I didn't) (200)
2 tsp. olive oil (80)
3 cups assorted greens (70 calories, about)
1/4 c. fresh dill (1)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar (6)
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season tilapia fillets with salt and pepper, then brown in the oil just until fish is done (3-4 minutes per side). Remove fish from pan to rest; and add the corn and cranberries and warm through. Toss in the greens and dill; drizzle the balsamic over the mixture. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the greens are just wilted. Serve fish with half the greens and a lemon wedge.

Makes 2 servings, 364.75 calories per serving.

There are a couple of things I would change the next time I make this:
1. I wouldn't use bitter greens - they just get more bitter. Spinach would work great.
2. I would try replacing the cranberries (also bitter) with chopped apricots or apples.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Recipe on the fly: Banana Blueberry Bread

I wanted to make a banana bread that didn't have much fat and had a lot of fiber, so I took my gramma's basic banana bread recipe and then kind of just threw everything in the pantry into it. For a bread that's full of oats and fiber, this was surprisingly moist:

Banana Blueberry Bread

1 c. all purpose flour (400)
1/2 + 1/8 c. whole wheat flour (250)
3/4 c. Grape Nuts cereal (300)
1/2 c. quick cooking rolled oats (150)
1/4 cup ground golden flax seed (160)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder (1.25)
1/3 tsp. salt
1/4 c. chopped walnuts (196.25)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen would work, too) (83)

3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce (75)
1 c. splenda (96)
1 XL egg + 2 egg whites (125)
3 bananas, two mashed, the other mashed, but left chunky, about 1.5 cups (300)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (12)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine dry ingredients, toss blueberries and walnuts so they get coated in flour. In a separate bowl, Combine splenda and applesauce, whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then stir in the banana.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir, just until combined and
moistened. Pour (more like dump) the batter into a 9x5 inch silicone loaf pan.

Bake for 65 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling on a wire rack.

Makes (12) servings, 179 calories and 4 grams of fiber per slice.

*This was pretty sweet, it could use a 1/4 cup less splenda, honey would be a good option, too, but it's got calories that splenda doesn't. We loved this, I was glad it didn't have an overwhelming healthful flavor.

*Next time, I'll probably throw in an extra 1/4 cup of flax seed and another egg white.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Erin Mimics: Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

A little while back, Kate at Accidental Hedonist posted this Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup recipe. I was intrigued, mainly because I love yogurt, and since I've been on this new eating plan, I have been eating more yogurt than I ever have before. I was skeptical, but decided to try it anyway, and I'm glad I did, it's fantastic and easy.

*My husband didn't like the soup, he said it was, "Just a little too.. different.." for him, so I guess it's not for everyone.

Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup
-- Recipe copied from Kate @ Accidental Hedonist

1/2 cup golden raisins (260)
2 cups unflavored yogurt (300)
1/2 cup half & half (140)
1 cup ice water
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (17)
4 scallions, chopped (10)
Salt and (white) pepper, to taste (I used black pepper)
6 ice cubes, about 4oz
fresh dill, chopped (I didn't have dill)

In a small bowl, place the raisins and cover with cold water. Allow to set for 5 minutes.

Place the yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Add the half & half and ice water and stir in slowly but thoroughly.

Drain the raisins. Add them to the yogurt along with the walnuts, cucumbers and scallions. Flavor with the salt and pepper.

Stir in the ice cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Serve in the bowl and sprinkle the freshly chopped dill on top.

Makes about 5.5 cups, 154.5 calories per cup.

I served this with 4 Ham and Cucumber Rolls, for a total of 409.5 calories.

Ham and Cucumber rolls

These are great for an appetizer or snack, or to go along with a cold soup like gazpacho. Don't worry about spreading the cream cheese all over, just work in a line in the center, otherwise you'll tear the ham.

Ham and Cucumber Rolls

Thin-sliced ham, about 20 g. per slice - (26.25)
cream cheese - (35)
cucumber, cut into matchsticks, about 20g. per roll - (2.5)
salt and pepper to taste

Spread each slice of ham with 2 tsp. cream cheese. Line 4 cucumber sticks in the middle, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roll.

63.75 calories per roll.

* This recipe is for full-fat cream cheese. We actually used nonfat cream cheese (an accidental buy, I don't compromise with my cream cheese, heh) in this recipe, which was a huge mistake.. ick! I really don't recommend it, it tastes horrible.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Lower Calorie Avocado Dip

A lot of us, when dieting or when changing our lifestyle habits, cut out too much fat, and end up eating a really high ratio of carbohydrates and proteins to fats. I'm totally guilty of this, so here's a good, easy way I get in some healthy fats without going overboard.

Lower Calorie Avocado Dip
2 Haas Avocados, about 272 grams when removed from skin (435.2 calories)
juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup (12 calories)
2 TB rough chopped parsley (1 calorie)
1 clove garlic (4 calories)
20 drops tabasco (0 calories)

Remove avocado flesh from skin, cut into chunks with fork, mashing about half of the avocado. Add the rest of the ingredients, making sure not to over-mash the avocado, unless you like your avocado smooth.

Makes 4 servings, 113 calories per serving.

I serve this with 1 serving of baked corn chips, for a total of 253 calories.

Don't get me wrong, I love my guacamole, with loads of tomatoes and onion and sour cream and cheese, but I was trying to come up with something that was full of healthy fats and not heavy enough in calories to be counted as a meal.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Seafood Stew with Saffron, Fennel Seed, and Lemon

I bought a new stock pot from, and it arrived on Tuesday, so I had to use it on Wednesday, right? It's a great pot, I'm way, way happy with it, and it only cost me $29.99, when the pot was originally $110. Thanks to Simply Recipes for the link.

Here's my first seafood stew recipe, though I'm not very experienced with cooking seafood, this turned out great. The ingredient list is a little awkward, but I wanted to list the items in order of use.

Seafood Stew with Saffron, Fennel Seed, and Lemon

2 tsp. olive oil (80 calories)
144g. onion (1 small), chopped fine (60.5 calories)
216g. carrots (4 small, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds) (72 calories)
120g. celery (2 large ribs, sliced into 1/4 inch slices) (17 calories)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fennel seed (ground to dust, using 1/4 tsp salt as an abrasive)
7g. garlic (about 2 cloves), chopped fine (10.5 calories)
zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp) (2 calories)
1/2 tsp. saffron (1 calorie)
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)(12 calories)
2 cups chicken broth (30 calories)
1 quart cups canned tomatoes (210 calories)
1 185g. salmon fillet, cubed (320 calories)
1 60g. tilapia fillet, cubed (53 calories)
400g. shrimp, peeled and de-veined (423.5 calories)
1/4 c. rough chopped parsley (5.5 calories)

2 tsp. olive oil
144g. onion (1 small), chopped fine
216g. carrots (4 small, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds)
120g. celery (2 large ribs, sliced into 1/4 inch slices)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fennel seed (ground to dust, using 1/4 tsp salt as an abrasive)

Sauté for 10-15 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add:

7g. garlic (about 2 cloves), chopped fine
zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
1/2 tsp. saffron

Sauté for a minute, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add:

juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)
2 cups chicken broth
1 quart cups canned tomatoes

Keep on a low simmer until carrots are as tender as you like them. Add:

1 185g. salmon fillet, cubed
1 60g. tilapia fillet, cubed
400g. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 c. rough chopped parsley

Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the seafood is just cooked.

Serve with a lemon wedge and a piece of crusty bread.

Makes about (6) 1.5 cup serving = 204 calories per serving (370 calories with a 60g. piece of french bread).