Low-Fat Creamy Mango Slush with Fresh Mint

mango slush 1

This is a recipe for a wonderful mango slush from one of my old diet cookbooks. I thought the addition of the fresh mint sounded odd at first but it actually makes this icy refresher taste even better! The banana adds creaminess without adding fat. Serves 2 (you can double this recipe if you desire).

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup mango cubes
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint OR 1/8 teaspoon dried

Combine the pineapple juice, mango, banana, and lime juice in the blender. Whirl until smooth (about 30 seconds). Add the crushed ice; pulse until the mixture is slushy. Pour into two glasses and sprinkle with mint. Serve cold.

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Coca-Cola Cupcakes – Vintage 1970s Recipe

cola cupcakes

My late father LOVED Coca-Cola. In fact, he was the first person to introduce me to it when I was a little girl, and it was love at first taste! I used to drink a lot of it, but I stopped several years ago. I guess I outgrew it, but I still like to have it occasionally. Thankfully, my little girl has never had any yet – except in these cupcakes!

Because yesterday was Father’s Day, I decided whip up a batch of yummy Coca-Cola cupcakes to not only celebrate my husband (who is also the father of our daughter) but also as a way of remembering my own father who passed away 5 years ago.

I love collecting vintage recipes, and I found this recipe for classic Coca-Cola cake in a 1970s cookbook. Unlike many recipes for Coca-Cola cake, this one doesn’t call for marshmallows and nuts to be used in the cake batter, and this made it perfect for making cupcakes. I decided to pass on the original frosting for this recipe and just use chocolate buttercream because I wanted to make a swirl with the frosting (using an icing bag for decorating and Wilton’s 1M decorating tip). When I think of Coca-Cola cake, I always think of it being topped with chocolate frosting, but of course you can use just plain old buttercream (white) or whatever you prefer. I did include the original frosting recipe.

Here is the recipe for the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil (It is up to you if you would like to substitute something else that you consider to be more healthy than oil. I wouldn’t try to replace the oil completely because you will end up with a dry cake! You do need some of the oil. I wouldn’t try to use applesauce for this recipe, BUT you can try to replace a little of the oil with PLAIN yogurt – either whole, low-fat, or nonfat. I have tried replacing only half of the oil with lowfat yogurt and I think it came out pretty well, but not quite as good as using all oil. I don’t think nonfat would be a good choice.)
  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate (melted)
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (NOT self-rising)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 10 oz. of Coca-Cola – or 1 1/4 cups (NOT diet Coca-Cola – yuck!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream together sugar and oil (I use an electric mixer, of course). Add eggs, melted chocolate (after it has cooled down), and vanilla. Sift flour and add to the mixture. Add Coca Cola and baking soda last. Bake at 350 F. I baked cupcakes from this recipe which yielded about 32 cupcakes. Baking time can be anywhere from 15 to 22 minutes for most ovens (mine is 12 minutes to perfection). Or you can bake it in a 9 x`13 inch pan. The original recipe says to bake for 30 minutes, but PLEASE NOTE than not all ovens are the same and cooking times may vary. You may either have to adjust your oven temperature or the cooking time. Of course, I keep close watch on whatever I am cooking or baking, but my nose usually lets me know when something is done and needs to come out of the oven, so you can’t always rely on what the recipe book says. Trust your nose and your instincts. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Here is the ORIGINAL FROSTING for this recipe, but I used chocolate buttercream instead. Here is the link to my chocolate buttercream recipe which I posted in the past https://wordpress.com/post/maryssweetaddiction.wordpress.com/156

You can use whatever icing you choose.

  • I cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (I tend to use low-fat milk)
  • 1/4 margarine (or butter if you prefer – I prefer butter)
  • 1 square unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in sauce pan and boil for one minute. Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat until cool. Spread on cooled cake.

I decorated my cupcakes using maraschino cherries. Of course I NEVER eat maraschino cherries. They are just for show as far as I am concerned. You can omit them if you prefer or maybe use real cherries (I haven’t tried that)? I also used these cute straws that I found in Walmart (as seen in the pictures). Just cut them in half and sick them inside each cupcake once it’s decorated.

Yum!

 

 

Low-fat Vegetarian Lasagna with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Cheese

lasagna 2

Hi everyone! It’s been about a year since I last posted a recipe. A lot has happened during the past year. I’ve been busy as always. My husband, daughter, and I just returned from a 2 1/2 week trip to Europe. I also finished a screenplay a few months ago and I am currently adapting it into a novel.

I have a recipe for delicious VEGETARIAN lasagna from one of my old diet cookbooks which I think everyone will love. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love this dish – it’s delicious! It uses fresh roma tomatoes for the sauce and it’s very simple to make. Serve it with a salad and perhaps bread or a light dessert for a satisfying meal! You can also serve the sauce over pasta instead of making lasagna if you prefer.

Here is the recipe for the tomato sauce:

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 12 plum tomatoes, chopped – about 3 cups (I always like to make extra sauce because I always feel as if I don’t have enough, so I buy extra tomatoes and I usually end up using about 16 or 17 tomatoes – which equals about 5 cups (and I use 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil).
  • 1 garlic clove, minced – or to taste (I use two because I use extra tomatoes in the sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a nonstick saucepan, then add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for 15 minutes.

And here is the recipe for the lasagna:

  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • tomato sauce (from recipe above)
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  1. Combine the ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg white, and pepper.
  2. Preheat the over to 400 F (you may have to adjust your oven temperature or cooking time – I do for my oven).
  3. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Spread some sauce on the bottom of the pan. The original recipe in the book says to use 1/2 cup, but that’s not quite enough in my opinon (that’s why I always make more sauce). I use enough sauce to cover the bottom, but I do so very sparingly.
  5. Top with 3 lasanga noodles. Because I use the no-boil lasagna, so I make sure the noodles are covered by the sauce (or cheese) so that they are fully cooked during the baking process. (You can also use regular lasagna that you have to boil if you prefer). Spread about 1/3 of the cheese mixture on the top of the noodles.
  6. Spread about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the cheese mixture, and then sprinke 1/4 cup of the mozzarella over the sauce.
  7. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles, and repeat the layers, ending with the last 1/4 of mozzarella (I use a little more mozzarella on the top).
  8. Cover with foil and bake about 25 minutes; uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

P.S. I find that when I am using no-boil lasagna noodles, they often don’t fit perfectly into my dish, so I have to break a few of them to make them fit. You can use the type of noodles that you have to boil if you prefer, but I like the no-boil because it elminates those extra steps of having to boil them, drain them, lay them out, and then have an extra pot to clean.

Enjoy!

lasagna 1lasagna 3

 

 

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.

 

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.