Low-fat Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

banana choc chip chookiesMy little girl adores chocolate chip cookies! I don’t make them very often because they are too tempting to have around the house. Thankfully, these banana chocolate chip cookies are a less fattening variation of the original. Replacing some of the butter, margarine, or shortening with banana cuts down on the fat and calories. This variation is very moist and has a cake-like texture.

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar  until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, banana and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by tablespoon 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray (I use parchment paper instead of cooking spray). Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Please note that not all ovens are alike and you may have to adjust your oven temperature and cooking time.

 

Advertisements

Low-fat Blackberry Cobbler

blackberry cobbler

I love cobblers because they are not only tasty but they’re also very easy to make! They’re very similar to pies but without all the work that goes into making a pie. This particular recipe is a lower-fat version of a much-beloved classic, comfort food dessert! Blueberries and peaches will also work well in this dish!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

DOUGH

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup low-fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt (I’ve used fat-free plain yogurt in a pinch and it worked out fine)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk (or low-fat if you prefer)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, tapioca, and allspice. Add blackberries and orange juice; toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes. Spoon into a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt. Combine the yogurt, milk, and butter; stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Spread over the berry mixture.
  3. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. This dessert is delicious served warm or cold. It actually tastes even better the next day! Refrigerate any unused portions.

*Please note that not all ovens are the same, and you may have to adjust your oven temperature and baking time accordingly (I always have to).

blackberry cobbler 1

 

Low-fat Strawberry Tapioca Parfait

parfait_6

This dessert is light and scrumptious! Fresh blueberries also work well!

  • 3 cups low-fat or skim milk
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • mint sprigs (optional)
  1. In a large nonstick saucepan, combine the milk, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the tapioca and egg white. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens, 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the sugar; refrigerate, covered, until chilled, 1-2 hours.
  3. In 6 parfait glasses, alternately layer the tapioca mixture and the strawberries, making 2 layers of each. Serve at once. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired.

parfait_3

Low-fat Spinach and White Bean Lasagna

veg lasagna_5

This is a very delicious and light version of an old classic that everyone loves! Replacing the meat with fresh veggies cuts down on the fat and makes it a much healthier dish!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup carrot matchsticks (julienned)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach (about 9 ounces) – BLANCHED and squeezed dry
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the carrots, onions and garlic, cook, stirring as needed, until softened. about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and BLANCHED spinach (see my note below about blanching spinach); bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Spoon 1/4 of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9″ baking pan; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Repeat the layering three more times, ending with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes longer until bubbling and golden. Let stand 10 minutes before standing.
  • TO BLANCHE SPINACH: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the spinach stems first and then push the leaves down to submerge them in the water. Blanch until the stems are no longer rigid (about 40 seconds) and then drain the spinach in a colander. Squeeze out excess water using a dish towel.

Low-fat Linguine with Turkey Sausage

turkey pasta 3

This low-fat recipe for linguine and turkey sausage is so easy, satisfying, and delicious!

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 4-5 hot or sweet Italian turkey sausages, casings removed (I think 5 sausages come in most packages)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce  can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 cups hot cooked linguine
  • grated parmesan cheese
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the sausage, onion, and bell pepper together (there is no need to add any oil or use cooking spray). Break up the sausage into small pieces using your spoon. Cook the sausage until it is browned on the outside and no longer pink inside, and vegetables are tender.
  2. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil (I drain just a little juice out of one of the cans of tomatoes before adding them). Cover, reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir the meat mixture occasionally while it is simmering.
  3. Serve over linguine; top with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese.

And enjoy!

turkey pasta 6

 

Grilled Low-fat Turkey and Cheddar Burgers – My Weight Loss Journey

turkey burger

These low-fat turkey and cheddar burgers have long been a favorite of my husband and me! Ground turkey breast tends to be dry because of the lack of fat, but adding grated cheese, minced onion, and shredded zucchini to the mixture make them tender, juicy, and flavorful! We don’t have a charcoal or gas grill, so we use a countertop grill (using the contact method with two grill plates). I have also pan-fried these in a large frying pan with a lid and nonstick cooking spray. (If pan-frying, you need to use a lid to make sure the burgers are thoroughly cooked. At some point during the cooking process, you’ll probably want to take the lid off to brown the burgers on both sides).

Here is what you need:

  • 1 pound ground skinless turkey breast
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to your taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper or to your taste
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 4 whole-wheat buns
  1. Heat a nonstick grill over medium heat. (I use a countertop grill, and I set mine to 350 F and that seems to work okay for me. Please your best judgment when grilling these – especially if using a charcoal or gas grill (I assume everyone has grilled burgers before).
  2. Combine the turkey, zucchini, cheese, onion, salt, and pepper in a bowl until blended. Shape into four equal patties.
  3. Grill the patties until browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 7 minutes for each side, I use both ridged plates on my electric grill, so my grilling time is only about 7 minutes. I’m very cautious about meat so I usually cook these a little longer just to ensure that they are completely done.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the ketchup and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
  5. Layer the lettuce, burgers, and tomato slices on the bottoms of the hamburger buns. Top with ketchup mixture and then bun tops.

special sauce

 

Low-fat Angel Hair Pasta with Plum Tomatoes and Fresh Basil

angel hair pasta

This is another recipe from one of my old Weight Watcher’s cookbooks. It’s very light and simple to make. The little bit of balsamic vinegar adds just the right touch!

You will need the following:

  • 6 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh, minced basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, set aside, and keep warm.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring as needed, until softened, about five minutes. Stir in the basil, salt, and pepper; cook until the tomatoes are very soft, about five minutes. Pour over the pasta; toss with vinegar. Serve topped with the Parmesan.