Monday, January 30, 2012

Low Fat Pigs in a Blanket

When my mom and I lived in a farm town full of cornfields and silos, she would set aside her hardhat for a day and make "pigs in a blanket". This meant, defrosting a can of high-sodium, store bought crescent rolls. Paired together with high fat hot dogs, this was not a healthy meal. With the above modifications, you can enjoy comfort food with low fat and low salt.
Photo Credit: Flickr 4 Jazz Pigs in a Blanket

Low Fat Pigs in a Blanket
1/4 cup reduced fat Mexican Four Cheese Mix
1 pack low fat turkey franks
4 cups all purpose flour
2 medium eggs

1 cup powdered reduced fat milk
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups warm water
2 TB yeast

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 TB Herbs de Provence (optional)
butter-flavored low-fat spray

Note: You can lighten the recipe further by reducing the shortening and using a portion of canola oil. You can also reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup and use 2 egg whites and 1 yolk. You can add fiber to the dough by using whole wheat flour and add seeds instead of herbs to the bread.

Step 1:  Mix dry ingredients such as the sugar, flour, salt, powdered milk, herbs and yeast in a large bowl.
Step 2: Add 2 cups of tap water that is warm to the touch. Add eggs to the mixture. Stir and cover with a clean  damp towel.
Step 3. Let the dough rise for an hour. Depress the air and allow to rise for 30 minutes more.
Step 4: Separate the dough into 4 loaves. Use spray butter to lubricate the inside of 4 freezer-safe zip top bags. Use a buttered spatula and slide the loaves into the bags. Freeze until you are ready to use the dough.

Step 5: Defrost a loaf of dough so that it is easy to handle once again. Take a 2 TB pinch and wrap around a turkey frank. Repeat for all the franks. Lay the wrapped franks on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Preheat the oven for 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 6: Spray the wrapped franks with the butter spray and sprinkle with a tsp of cheese on each roll. Bake for 22 minutes until each roll is cooked through.

Bon Apetit!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quinoa with Artichoke Orzo

My sister introduced me to the virtues of Quinoa when she went vegan during her months of pre-nursing classes and nutrition courses. 

Photo Credit: Flickr Mary Thompson Quinoa
Quinoa with Artichokes and Orzo
8 oz orzo pasta
10 oz quinoa
6 oz canned artichoke hearts
3 TB olive oil
1 tsp butter (optional)
3 TB parmesan cheese (optional)
4 cups of water
Photo Credit: Flickr Foodista Blog Orzo with Chicken
1/2 tsp condensed chicken bullion (optional)

Step 1: Rinse the quinoa three times in clean, cold water before boiling according to package directions.
Step 2: In a skillet, brown the dry orzo pasta in butter and olive oil as if you are making pilaf.
Photo Credit: Flickr Adactio Artichokes
Step 3: Add the water, bullion, drained quinoa and artichoke hearts. Cover with lid and simmer for 17 minutes.

Serve with lean protein such as fish or poultry. Add capers if you'd like.

Bon Apetit!

Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie

Photo Credit: Flickr Lori NY Smoothie
I was a Lead Smoothie maker for two years at a popular chain so I'm a pro at modifying recipes for lower fat and lower sugar. Ask me about fresh squeezed orange juice, wheatgrass and carrot juice anytime. I'm very glad to have had the 24 months of experience learning about health, wellness and nutrition. This retail job also allowed me to be near my dad for the last years of his life during his battle with stomach cancer.

Photo Credit: Flickr ChuckWaters83 Lap Swimming Open Water
This is a great post-swim workout recovery drink of about 16 oz. My husband and I drink this, low fat chocolate milk or chocolate soy after our swim exercises.

Peanut Butter, Banana, Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie
3 bananas frozen in chunks
6 oz soy milk
10 oz frozen organic blueberries
1 TB reduced fat natural peanut butter
2 pieces of dark chocolate at room temperature