Friday, September 24, 2010

Delicious Low-Point Apple Salad

I am always grateful when my mother and mother-in-law keep me in supply of lots of delicious recipes! This wonderful apple salad recipe from my mother-in-law has been slightly altered to make it even more low calorie. It has the same wonderful taste with fewer calories (and fat) for those of us counting our points.
If you would like a reminder of how to calculate how many points your body should be consuming on a daily basis, feel free to revisit one of my earlier blogs, What Are Food Points and How Do I Use Them.
This apple salad is perfect for a gathering (although you might want to double the recipe for a larger group) or for your own family. Either way, I know you'll enjoy this great-tasting light apple salad.

Low-Point Apple Salad
2 Tbs. Fat Free Mayonnaise
2 Tbs. Reduced Fat Sour Cream
1 Tbs. Splenda granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
Mix ingredients together, then add:
1 chopped apple
1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes (cut in half)
1 cup Fat Free Cool Whip
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Mix and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Low-Point Pineapple Muffins

You know a recipe turned out great when your kids love it! It's not often you find low-point muffins that taste this good! That's why I was so excited when I came across this easy recipe for pineapple muffins. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Low-Point Pineapple Muffins
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup Splenda granulated sugar
1 egg
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1 can crushed pineapple - (8 oz.)
1/4 cup brown sugar
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Spoon into muffin tins or paper muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 17 to 20 minutes.
Total Servings =12
Serving Size = 1
Total points per serving = 1.8
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Low-Point Fruit Bars

The only problem with making a delicious low-point baked good, is that counting the points becomes "pointless" if you eat the entire pan. That's just how good these Low-Point Fruit Bars are! These are wonderful with a cup of coffee! They're also wonderful to share with family and friends... if you have any left to share, that is. Enjoy!

Low-Point Fruit Bars
3/4 cup Quick Oats
1 cup Bisquick reduced fat baking mix
1/2 cup Splenda granulated sugar substitute
1/4 cup reduced calorie margarine
1/4 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup spreadable fruit spread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with butter-flavored cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine oats, baking mix, and Splenda. Add margarine. Mix with fork until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup crumb mixture. Stir milk into reserved mixture.
Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips to the large bowl of mixture. Pat mixture into prepared baking dish. Carefully spread fruit spread over crust. Evenly sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over fruit spread. Lightly spray top with butter-flavored cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and cut into bars. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total Servings = 16
Serving size = 1
Total points per serving = 2.6
Tip: Fruit bars made without walnuts and chocolate and made with sugar free jelly = 1.6 points per bar

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Taking a Low-Point Food Item Break?

Sometimes you need to take a break from posting low-point food items and recipes and a puppy? Huh??
My husband and I purchased our first puppy. We had no plans to buy a puppy... until I saw THIS puppy, a girl, just what I wanted. Well, we had thought about getting a dog, but we both agreed we'd wait awhile (whatever that means since we have been married almost 20 years already.)
Our neighbor breeds Maltese and Pomeranians; and the result is the most adorable little "Maltipoms" you've ever seen. Still, we had no intention of buying one at this time. We did have fun picking out the perfect little girl names for our "pretend" puppy. Since our family has always been beach and snorkel lovers, our daughter came up with the name Coral. We loved it; and so then it was settled, we now had the perfect name for our pretend puppy!
When a friend asked if I'd like to go see our neighbor's newborn Maltipoms one day, I surprised myself by saying, "No." I knew I would just be torturing myself seeing these precious puppies, knowing we weren't going to get one right now. However, I did ask if any of the puppies were "girls". One, out of three, was a girl. Shoot... maybe someday.
Then it happened one day, when I returned home from the grocery store; my neighbor walked over and said "Come over for a minute, the puppies are in my garage." Hesitantly, I went over for just a second, which was just about how long it took for me to see her and fall in love. "My Coral". She NEEDED to be mine. Asking if I could borrow her for a minute, I took her home to show my husband. Looking at me, then at the puppy, then back at me, it was obvious he didn't know which one of us was being most successful in giving him those pitiful puppy dog eyes. Needless to say, MY puppy dog eyes won him over (well maybe that and him thinking it over for about a week) for him to give in and say, "Yes, we can have her." :)
Coral is now "home" with us! Not ever having a puppy before, I am amazed at how quickly you tune in to their needs and schedule. She is such an adorable sweet puppy and the perfect addition to our family. It has also been fun going into our local pet stores; and I'm in disbelief at how many precious pink puppy accessories they have that I "need".
We love our new puppy and know our love for her will grow as she becomes more a part of our family...and finally finishes potty training. - xo

Monday, September 6, 2010

Low-Point Plantain Ideas - A great source of nutrition

While enjoying my Boca Veggie Burger one evening for supper, I thought about loading up on chips to go with it, but then realized this would defeat the purpose of eating the low-point burger. Remembering I had a "green" plantain in the refrigerator, thinking that someday soon I'd like to look up recipes for how to cook with plantains, I decided to do just that. I discovered a recipe for deliciously frying green plantains and turning them into plantain chips. Depending on the ripeness of the plantain decides what kind of dish you make with it. Plantains look like bananas but are actually a vegetable. The "green" (or unripened) plantains are very starchy and taste like a raw squash or potato. Recipes for green plantains requires you to either cube and boil like a potato or slice and fry like small chips. The "yellow" plantains are slightly sweeter and can be used for recipes like sauteing them with brown sugar and cinnamon; whereas the "black" plantains (or ripe plantains) are very sweet and are used in the baking of breads and cakes. Since I had a green plantain, I decided to turn mine into low-point chips. I did this, not by deep frying in oil (because oil has a lot of points) but frying them in a skillet sprayed with a heavy layer of High Temperature Pam Cooking Spray. They were delicious, healthy, and have very few points. The perfect replacement for potato chips, and they went very well with my veggie burger.

Plantain Chips
1 large green plantain
Bowl of salt water
High Temperature Pam Cooking Spray
Seasoning (I used Adobo, one of our favorite "must-have" seasonings).
Cut the ends of the plantain off with a knife. Score the skin vertically around the plantain to make it easier to peel. Hint: Plantains that have not been refrigerated are easier to peel. After peeling, slice plantain into 1/2 inch slices. (I got about 15 slices out of one plantain). Soak slices in salt water for about 15 minutes. Blot dry with paper towel and lay in hot skillet sprayed with Pam. Season with Adobo seasoning (or seasonings of your choice). Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove slices to plate. Take the back of a wooden spoon and press each plantain slice to flatten. Place slices into a bowl of fresh cold water for 1 to 2 minutes. Return to hot skillet and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes (you will need to reapply the Pam cooking spray first). Season to taste and enjoy!
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings = 15
Serving size = 5
Points per serving = 1

Boiled Plantains
I was talking to a friend about boiling up some green plantains. They suddenly got that look like they may get sick. The thought of boiled plantains sounds very unappealing to some people. When I asked what they thought boiled plantains tasted like, they replied, "I'm not exactly sure what plantains even are but it sounds gross!" I told them if they like potatoes, they may like boiled green plantains and can even use green plantains for some recipes that call for potatoes. Try boiling one or two peeled and cubed green plantains, add a little salt and butter and you have a very healthy, low-point side dish! One boiled green plantain only has three points when using "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray.

Did You Know
You can use unripe bananas in place of any recipe calling for green plantains; however, plantains contain ten times more beta carotene than bananas, as well as having a good supply of Vitamins A, C, B6, Potassium, Folate, Iron, and Magnesium. How's that for healthy?