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.