Monday, February 20, 2017

My absolute favorite fish is Tilapia.

The light flavor of Tilapia and it's versatility has made it my favorite fish to cook. It can be baked, used in fish tacos, makes a great fish sandwich and is yummy in seafood fettuccine.

Since fish is such a healthy choice I try to keep the added fat very low, but just a little adds a nice little crunch on the outside and the fish is moist and delicious on the inside.

In this recipe I use frozen Tilapia from Costco, I have been very happy with the quality of this product. I keep a bag of the frozen fish on hand, and can quickly prepare it on the spur of the moment. It is an excellent choice for those counting weight watcher points, only 2 points for 3 ounces cooked.  Each fillet is about 4 oz and made with this recipe would average to about 3.5 points. So let's get started.

4 Defrosted Tilapia fillets. (defrost in microwave if necessary)
2 Tablespoons melted Original Smart Balance
McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning
McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400
Spray baking sheet with Pam.
Place defrosted fish on baking sheet.
Melt Smart Balance in microwave. (a custard dish works well)
Brush lightly the melted Smart Balance over fillets.
Heavily sprinkle both McCormick Grill Mate Seasonings over each fillet.

Place in hot oven uncovered. Bake 30-35 minutes. Serve with cocktail sauce, tarter sauce or just as is. It is delicious. Reheat leftovers the next day. (if there are any)

This is also a great recipe for cod. Cod is a perfect for fish tacos and fish sandwiches too.  The two types of fish can easily be swapped for each other in recipes.

Here is a delicious way to use any left over fillets:
Toast a bread roll, Best Gluten Free Sandwich Rolls, will be perfect for a gluten free fish sandwich. Warm up a left over piece of seasoned fish, add some lettuce, tomato and tarter sauce, and that's a delicious and healthy fish sandwich.


Start with a good quality Tilapia. These come individually wrapped, which is really handy. You can grab as many as you need for any meal.

Remove from individual wrap and defrost if necessary in the microwave on a plate for 4-8 min.

Place defrosted Tilapia on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam. Brush melted Smart Balance over each fillet and season generously with McCormick Grill Mates, Montreal Chicken and Roasted Garlic & Herb.

Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve.

Okay...does that not look absolutely delicious?

 I hope you enjoy this recipe over and over again.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

This Is Not My Mother's Beef Stew...

I was never a huge fan of Sunday stew, I have to admit. But now that I am older and wiser, I find myself enjoying a nice hearty bowl of meat and vegetables a few times a year. It wasn't my mom's fault her stew made me sick, it was the package mix that had gluten in it.  I've tried to find a really good stew recipe over the years without using a purchased seasoning package, and they have all been pretty much blah.

Until I found this one....

 I'm not even sure how I came across this recipe. I doubt I was actually looking for a stew recipe, especially since it's spring now. But somehow I ended up with it. I made a few changes to suit my gluten free diet and my taste. I loved it....I ate two bowls.  My husband loved it too. It's so nice to be able to make one meal we both can eat and enjoy!

This is gluten free and ok for those of you on the yeast free diet as long as you leave out the mushrooms.
Weight watcher followers can give each 1 cup serving 7 points.

Here is the recipe I came up with, using a large slow cooker instead of a dutch oven as the original recipe suggested.

 Recipe should make about 8 cups.

 Not My Mother's Beef Stew
1 lb round steak cut in about 1" cubes or to your preference.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
2 or 3 potatoes, cut to your preference.
6 carrots, sliced
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4 tsp. rosemary
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 tbsp. minced garlic
10 oz green beans
1 - 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
3 cubes Herb Ox Bouillon (this brand is gluten free and has no MSG)
2-3 cups water
1 tbsp. tapioca flour (use regular flour if gluten free isn't necessary)
2 tbsp. cold water

Brown meat in hot oil for 3-5 minutes.
Transfer to a slow cooker.
Add all ingredients except the flour and cold water. Stir.
Combine flour and cold water in a container and mix well. Add to stew. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or on high for 7-8 hours.

Serve up and enjoy.

 I suggest serving this stew with some of my incredibly flaky biscuits.

Mmmm…warm, tender biscuits.

Or for the gluten free an amazing roll that taste like fresh baked bread, The Best Gluten Free Sandwich Rolls.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Perfect Salads - Dressing Up An Every Day Salad With The Fresh Fruits Of The Season

I love to add fresh fruits to my greens.
I try to eat a giant salad of greens and raw vegetables for one meal a day. I like to add a large variety of raw vegetables to my salads. I combine about 7 or more different raw vegetables including romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper, mushrooms, cabbage and purple onion.

I also add garbanzo beans, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. During the winter months I enjoy grapes and oranges on my salads, but in the summer my salad rises to a whole new level with fresh berries, cherries and kiwi. The variety of flavors and textures are fantastic, sweet, crunchy, chewy.... and this is so great for our bodies.

Instead of unhealthy croutons, I crunch up Trader Joe's Lentil Chips, Sea Salt & Black Pepper flavor.  These chips are full of flavor and baked with only 3 grams of fat per serving.

I make a giant salad once or twice a week and store the whole thing in a recycled lettuce or spinach container or fill mason jars, as you can see in my Food Tips. This keeps my salad as fresh as the day I made it. I don't add the beans, sunflower seeds or fruit until ready to serve.

Meat eaters can add cut up leftover chicken and turkey with some cheese as another addition to a salad.

And finally in this salad I've added sweet peppers cut in rings, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and a yummy quinoa & brown rice mix from Seeds of Change. Love this one! 

There are so many options it's fun to experiment, and the salads are gorgeous as well as nutritious!

So, come on!    Eat those greens!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mark Walkley's Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake

This amazing cheesecake is from a  firefighter/gourmet cook, and a friend. It is worth every minute it takes to make.

Be aware…this is a rich and addicting dessert, you won't want to put your fork down!  I promise.

Each layer is just as delicious as the next…in fact each layer could be its own separate dessert!!

Mark Walkley's Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake            
You will need one 9" or 10" springform cheesecake pan.

1 cup unsalted, dry roast peanuts, chopped.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs, gluten free if needed.
1/2 cup brown sugar.
1 cube (1/2) cup butter, melted.
Combine and press onto the bottom of pan. Chill one hour.

Chocolate Layer:
2 cubes (1 cup) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
9 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs, melted chocolate and vanilla.
Spread onto crust and chill one hour.

Peanut Butter Layer:
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
1/2 cup sugar
1 cube (1/2) cup butter, softened
Whip heavy cream and vanilla until close to somewhat stiff peaks...kind of between soft and stiff. Set aside.
Mix cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and butter. Add to cream mixture. Spread over chocolate layer. Chill 1-2 hours. Until firm enough to spread ganache over.

3 oz semi-sweet chocolate.
1/2 cup heavy cream.
In a small sauce pan heat chocolate and cream. Bring to a low boil and stir until mixture thickens. Watch carefully and stir continuously. Pour warm ganache over chilled pie.
Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the ganache. Chill 1 -2 hours or freeze until ready to serve.

Remove outer ring of springform pan and serve.
We cut this dessert into smaller pieces, serving about 12.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Saturday Market Muffins

I'm so excited about this new muffin! I have been really looking forward to making them.  I call them Saturday Market Muffins, because they are full of a variety of healthy ingredients.

Cut these muffins open and you can see all the yummy carrots, apples, nuts and raisins. But what you can't see is the oat bran and flaxseed they are full of as well.

No added fat in this recipe. Your teeth will sink into a tender muffin just bursting with flavor.
Weight watcher points are 4 for each muffin.

Saturday Market Muffins
Prepare muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
Preheat your oven to 350.          Recipe will make about 20 muffins.
1 1/2 cups flour (gluten free if needed) I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
*1 tsp xanthan gum if gluten free flour was used
1 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots
1 medium peeled and grated apple
1 medium peeled and chopped apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup milk (or milk substitute)
2 eggs (or egg substitutes)
1 tsp vanilla

In a large mixing bowl add flour, flaxseed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and xanthan gum (if needed).  Mix well.
In a small bowl add milk, (or milk substitute) eggs, (or egg substitute) and vanilla. Mix well.
Add grated and chopped carrots and apples, raisins, and nuts to dry ingredients. Stir together. This will  be very thick.
Add liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir. Be careful not to over mix.
Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.  Enjoy.  They get better as the day goes on, so save some for later!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fat Free Hummus

I'm never buying hummus again! And I'm eating it without any added fat.
I would much rather save my fat for dessert anyway!

This took just a few minutes to make. It's great with crackers, veggies, and on sandwiches.

My favorite type of cracker to dip into hummus is a baked salt and pepper flavor.  I also use these crackers crunched up on my salad instead of high fat croutons.

For those counting weight watcher points you might like to know these tasty baked crackers only have 3 points for 22 crackers. 

This awesome recipe is from the book, The Engine 2 Diet, written by Rip Esselstyn. Love it! I actually have all his books, every recipe I have tried is yummy.

Fat Free Hummus
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp minced garlic
2-3 Tbsp fresh or bottled lemon juice
1 tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce (I used gluten free San-J Organic Tamari)
3 Tbsp water or vegetable broth (I use water)

Place all ingredients in a food processor. I just used my small one. Whip it all up and grab something to dip!   Store this hummus in the refrigerator for up to a week.
I make a batch every week so I have a good quality snack all ready.

You can see here all ingredients are added at once in a food processor.

Whip it all up, maybe scrape the edges once or twice.

And it's ready for veggies, crackers, chips or to go on a sandwich.

For weight watcher points, this entire recipe has 11 points. Divide as you like to figure out the points for your serving. I would probably have about 1/4 cup for a serving.

Here are some other variations:
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and chopped
1 roasted, seeded, and chopped red bell pepper
1 cup dark or Kalamata olives
1 bunch fresh mint
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup cooked eggplant

I love the original recipe so well, I haven't tried any other flavors.....maybe you will!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

GF Date N' Honey Muffins

Inside these golden, honey muffins are dates, carrots, and pecans.

GF Date N' Honey Muffins                  Makes 24 muffins
2 3/4 cups Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix - gluten free (or another favorite GF blend) or try my GF Self Rising Flour Blend on this previous post.
2 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 eggs, or Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/2 cup milk, or non dairy milk substitute
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
2/3 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tin with a non stick cooking spray.
Mix eggs or replacer, milk or substitute, honey, and  vanilla together.  Stir in carrots. Add flour and chia seeds, mix with a spoon. Fold in Pecans and dates. Spoon into muffin tin.
Bake for  20-22 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Store a couple days in an air tight container or freeze.

These are sweet & delicious.