Friday, November 19, 2010

Here's my famous dinner roll recipe that many people have requested -

Basic Roll Dough
This recipe will make about 12-14 rolls.

3 ½ cups flour
1 package yeast
1 ¼ cups milk (I use water)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening (I use butter or margarine)
1 t salt
1 egg

Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Heat the liquids till about 115-120 degrees. If you don’ have a thermometer, heat the liquids till you can put your finger in the pan and it hurts a bit to keep it in the hot mixture. Add the liquids to the dry mixture and mix, add the egg and mix for about 3 minutes. Pat the dough out on a floured surface and cut them out, a thin edged glass dipped in flour works just fine. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The secret is not to overcook the rolls; you want them just beginning to brown on the bottoms, and the tops will hardly looked cooked. As soon as they are out of the oven, rub the tops with a stick of butter so that they stay soft after they cool.

Cinnamon rolls– double the sugar and after you pat out the dough on the board, pour on melted butter, sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Then roll the dough into a long log. Take several pieces of thread and tie them together at each end, put it under the log, cross the pieces on top and pull hard to cut thru and make a spiral roll. Make the glaze with powdered sugar, vanilla, melted butter and a little water. Yum.

Whole wheat rolls, use all whole wheat flour and honey instead of sugar.
Most people will consume about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. How about a healthier approach with fresh ingredients? I've calculated points for people eating on a point system.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Feeds 6 people
12 points each

Spinach and pear salad with honey balsamic dressing
Butternut squash soup with cran-apple relish
Turkey, roast or ham
Oven roasted asparagus
Baked sweet potatoes
Whole wheat dinner rolls
Pumpkin mousse with vanilla pudding and nutmeg

Spinach salad
6-8 cups fresh green spinach
2 fresh pears cut up (canned if you can’t get fresh),
1 red onion thinly sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup good balsamic vinegar (more vinegar if you want)
2 T honey
1-2 T water
Lemon pepper to season (optional)
Combine in a jar and shake.
Combine the spinach, pears, onion and toss with the dressing, sprinkle cranberries on top. Combined point value of entire salad is 6 points (it’s the dressing mostly).

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls,
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour – use Gold Medal Heart Healthy, it’s 4 points a cup
1 package yeast
1 ¼ cups warm water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter
1 t salt
2 egg whites
Combine dry ingredients, warm water and margarine in microwave till 115-120 degrees, add to dry ingredients and mix, add egg and mix for 3 minutes. Pat out dough with flour and cut out rolls. Let rise about 1 hour and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. When the rolls are hot out of the oven, rub butter over the top so that they will be soft dinner rolls. Do not over bake. Makes about 12-14 rolls. One roll is 3 points.

Butternut Squash Soup
1 (2-3 pound) butternut squash peeled and seeded – Costco sells it ready to go
1 medium chopped onion
4 cups chicken stock
1 apple, cored and chopped
½ cup Splenda (optional)
Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper
Cut squash into chunks. In large pot add the first 5 ingredients and boil. When the squash and onion are tender, blend in small batches in a blender. Add the cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Each serving is 1 point.

Cran-Apple Relish (this is from Rachael Ray)
1 apple finely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ red onion finely chopped
½ t cinnamon
2 T lemon juice
1 t Chili powder
1 T honey
Add together and stir; add to butternut squash. This is a strange combo but is wonderfully delicious. The entire batch is 3 points.

Meat – turkey, ham or a lean roast – 2 ounces of your choice = 2 points per serving

Roasted Asparagus
Heat oven to 400, toss asparagus in about 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning, roast till desires tenderness. The olive oil is 3 points for the entire batch.

Bake sweet potatoes – 1 small potato, 3 oz., is 1 point. I top with I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray

Pumpkin Mousse – topped with vanilla pudding and nutmeg
¼ cup Splenda
½ t salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t ground ginger
¼ t cloves
4 egg whites
1 can 15oz. pure pumpkin
1 ¼ cups almond milk (soy or mild work too)
Mix all ingredients together and bake in 9” pie plate at 425 for 15 minutes and then lower over to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes.
Top pie with Sugar free-Fat free Vanilla Jello pudding. If you make the pudding with plain almond milk you lower the calories by a lot.
Dish up the pumpkin mousse into a serving dish, top with pudding and sprinkle with nutmeg.
The entire dessert is 10 points.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Amylu's Mango Chicken Sausage

Costco and Trader Joe's both sell Amylu's Mango Chicken Sausage. Each link has only 90 calories with only 3 grams of fat; but the best part is that they are delicious. A couple of posts ago I gave a recipe for a balsamic vinegar dressing, tonight's dinner is pan seared sausages and a spinach salad with red onions and the balsamic vinegar dressing. Peaches round out the flavors nicely. This is another very healthy, inexpensive, fast and delicious dinner, and it's pretty on the plate!

Cherry Chocolate Crust Dessert

I love desserts; and I love chocolate. Eating healthy does require passing on dessert at times, but there are those times when chocolate is a necessity. One night we were all craving some rich goodness to please our needy taste buds so I created this goodie. I call it, "Cherry Chocolate Crusty Dessert," doesn't that make you hungry? Try only using a measuring cup and the pie plate so there is less clean up.

Measure into the pie plate:
1 cup flour (next time I am going to try a mix of white and whole wheat)
3-4 T cocoa
3/4 t baking powder
1/8 t salt

In the measuring cup combine:
1/3 cup canola oil
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup Splenda (sugar would be more delicious)

Pour this mixture into the pie plate and combine with the dry mixture, spread out the crust to cover the bottom of the pie plate.

Top with about 1/3 cup cherry pie filling.

Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes - just long enough to cook the crust.

You could omit the cherry pie filling and top off the crust with fresh strawberries - so many options!!!

Dinner Salad with Whole Wheat Pasta, Chicken and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Years ago I was watching a food show and they gave out a recipe for a spinach salad - balsamic vinegar, honey, water, olive oil, and lemon pepper. The combo for the salad was spinach, red onions, pears, candied nuts and some sort of cheese. Well, the dressing is wonderful but it made me thirsty so I have omitted the seasoning and most of the oil to make the calorie count friendlier to my hips. Now I use the dressing on lots of dishes including this one.

Salad contents:

Cook some whole wheat pasta

Grill some boneless, skinless chicken, or mahi mahi

Stir fry broccoli, sweet peppers, carrots and some onions


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 T honey, or Splenda, or brown sugar

2 T Water

pinch of salt or 1/4 t lemon pepper

Maybe a little olive oil

Combine these and shake them up, this will store in your fridge for a few days or more and is delicious on lots of salads.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust with Spinach Salad

This was Stacie’s request for her birthday dinner; unfortunately it came a day late since I forgot this was what she wanted and made something else instead.

If you’re on WW and counting points, the crust recipe is enough for two pizzas, 1/8 of the pizza crust is 3 points. The topping points will vary depending on what you use, but the BBQ recipe below is one point.

We have the dairy allergy to deal with and I found a fake cheese at 99 cent store that we can tolerate so that's what I use. To cut the calories use a low-fat mozzarella and as little as possible.

For the spinach salad dressing I combined balsamic vinegar (about 3T) olive oil (maybe 1 T or less), water (1 T) and honey (1 T or less). Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and mix thoroughly. If you dress the salad in a large bowl you can use less dressing and yet still flavor all the spinach. Use as little dressing as possible to save on calories and remember to salt and pepper because it adds tons of flavor.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust – makes two pizzas when using a large pizza pan or a large cookie sheet

4 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 pkg dry yeast
1 t salt
1 T sugar or honey
1 c milk (I use water)
1 c water
¼ c oil

Mix the dry ingredients together. Heat the liquids till hot enough to activate the yeast and then mix into the dry mixture and knead for 10 minutes. If you have time you can let the dough double and knock it back down before you make the pizzas. I’m usually too impatient so I just make my pizzas right away. You could also let the dough rise a bit to make a thicker crust pizza. I make one pizza at a time and freeze half the dough for a later dinner.

BBQ Chicken Toppings
1/3 c favorite BBQ sauce – spread it over the dough
1 c cooked chicken – grilled is best and be sure to s&p
1 thinly sliced red onion
Mozzarella cheese

Top with fresh cilantro – after the pizza comes out of the oven.

Cook the pizza at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grilled Peaches and Potatoes with Spinach and Chicken Salad
Grilled fruit is delicious and with the fresh crop of peaches you should give them a try this summer, plus it's an easy side dish.
This was another easy dinner - I grilled chicken, golden yams and peaches to have with a spinach salad that I topped with cranberries. Here's the dressing for the spinach -
1/2 cup fat free mayo
1 t lemon zest
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 T water
1 clover of crushed garlic
with salt and pepper to taste