Archive for the ‘Eggs-Cheese’ Category

BROCCOLI-QUINOA CASSEROLE


 You remember this dish… from every church pot luck, community cookbook, and Gramma’s table.  Yes, THAT broccoli-rice casserole.  Bubbly, cheesy, rich, and so very good.  Old-fashioned comfort food, personified.

Since I love using quinoa in everything calling for rice (less starchy, more protein) I thought I’d give it a try in this one.  And it worked just as well.  As you can see in the second photo, it’s the same creamy-dreamy texture and flavor we loved before – only this time it’s not full of rice-carbs that can wreck havoc with blood surgar.  AND the quinoa gives added protein.  How ’bout that?!

I can’t believe how great this turned out!  It’s the perfect side dish for all your meats or a vegetarian option on it’s own.  The old version was a favorite in our house – and now this will DEFINITELY be!

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One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup (or mushroom), low-sodium if you prefer (*see note for gluten free)

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (original called for 1 full cup. WOW.)

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)

1/2 teaspoon Splenda/sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

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2 cups cooked broccoli

1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa (see note)

Feshly grated Parmesan cheese

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To cook quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

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Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 199,  Protein 10 g; Fat 9 g; NET Carbs 14 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 297 mg

*NOTE FOR GLUTEN FREE…Progresso makes a Creamy Mushroom Soup that is gluten free…or  here is a recipe for a Cream of Anything Soup.  Haven’t tried it, (a comment-er  below did and loved it…) but it’s been a big hit on a Celiac/Gluten Free forum.)

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Condensed “Cream of Anything” Soup

1 cup cold milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

Instructions
In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended.
Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken.
Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP:
Stir in a drained 4 ounce can of mushroom pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP:
Stir in 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
Stir in 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Celery Soup.

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SPINACH-GORGANZOLA QUICHE CUPS

 

I love quiche in any way, shape, or form.  It’s comforting to me…the possibilities are innumerable…and they are protein-filled while being fairly low in calories.  A complete meal in a finger food!  (I love LOADED quiche, so I added a little more spinach in the ones photographed.)

These freeze wonderfully, so make lots.  It’s not any more work to do a double batch!

(This is my interpretation but, thanks to Shelly of TheWorldAccordingToEggface for the inspiration and tons of variations!)

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1 medium sweet onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons butter

One 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

6 eggs

1/2 cup skim milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon salt-free Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

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In a small saute pan, heat the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened.   Transfer to a bowl and stir in the spinach and cheeses.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs until frothy.  Whisk in the milk, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a regular-sized muffin pan (12 count) with vegetable cooking spray.  Divide the spinach mixture amongst the cups.  Pour the egg mixture over the spinach.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and just set.  Makes 12.  (Can also be done in a deep dish pie plate,  mini muffin tins, or custard cups – depending on what serving size you prefer.)

Per each “cup”:  Calories 101, Protein 8g, Fat 6g, NET Carbs 3g, Sugar 1g, Sodium 112mg

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EASTER BRUNCH MENU

Everything can be made ahead and gently reheated for a quick meal on a busy morning.

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SWISS ASPARAGUS QUICHE   

 

Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
5 slices turkey bacon , cooked and crumbled (OR veggie version:  5 Morningstar Breakfast strips)
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch pie plate with vegetable cooking spray. In a saucepan, place asparagus into boiling water and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain well. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and asparagus into pie plate. Top with cheese.

In a bowl beat together, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and onion powder. Pour egg mixture on top of cheese. Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes or until golden and just set in the center. Makes 8 servings.

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Per Serving: 151 Cal; 11 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 3 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 165 mg Sodium

LEMON GLAZED OATMEAL-BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

 

Vegetable cooking spray

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup Whey Low Granular OR Splenda Granular in a pinch
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a regular or mini muffin pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a small bowl beat, with electric mixer, the butter and Whey Low Granular. Beat in, until combined, the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and buttermilk. Stir in, just until moistened, the oatmeal, almond flour, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 12-15 minutes or until tester comes out with moist crumbs. Drizzle with lemon glaze while still warm. Makes 12 regular or 20 mini muffins.

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Per mini muffin: 59 Cal; 2 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 6 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 2 g Sugar; 41 mg Sodium

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup Whey Low powdered OR Splenda Granular
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 drops vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together the Whey Low powdered, lemon juice and vanilla. Drizzle over warm muffins.

SUNRISE NOG

 

1 tub Orange Sunrise crystal light powder (the tub that makes 2 quarts)
4 cups water (not the full 8 cups that’s called for on the drink mix container)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup fat-free or regular half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest
One 4-serving size instant sf vanilla pudding powder

To a blender container add drink powder, water, milk, half & half, vanilla, orange zest, and pudding powder. Process until smooth and frothy.
Pour over crushed ice if desired. (This mixture will seperate when allowed to sit in the fridge for a couple hours. Just give a quick whisking or blend again and it will be perfect!) Makes 10 servings 2/3 cup each.

PerServing: 30 Cal; 1 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 3 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 150 mg Sodium

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CHEESE BLINTZES

My low-carb crepes are good for so many things, but this is the original use I had in mind.  Sweet, rich, yet light and fluffy – an indulgent treat that will make you feel very special!

Add any flavoring or extract you like to the cheesecake filling and top with berries, sliced fresh peaches, chocolate sauce, or warm orange marmalade. There is no bad way to serve these!

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Crepes:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Splenda
Vegetable cooking spray

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In a medium bowl beat the Ricotta with the eggs. Beat in the flour, salt, milk, vanilla, and Splenda. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Coat with vegetable cooking spray when hot. Pour in 2 tablespoons of batter and swirl the pan to coat the entire surface in a thin layer. Allow to cook, without turning, until completely done. The top should be no longer shiny and when you touch it it’s not wet. The bottom will be have a very slight golden color. If it’s too dark, lower the heat. (These can be impossible to flip and they don’t need to be, so you don’t have try!) Gently loosen the edges with a spatula and slide out of the pan onto a plate. Very lightly spray the top with vegetable spray – this way you can stack them on top of each other.

Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray before each crepe. Proceed with above directions until batter is gone. Allow the crepes to cool to room temperature and then wrap the plate tightly with plastic wrap. These keep well in the fridge – unfilled – for several days.

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Filling:
One 8-ounce pkg. fat free or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup fat free half & half
3 tablespoons sugar-free instant cheesecake or vanilla pudding powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Splenda

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In a medium bowl beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of the half & half, pudding powder, vanilla, and Splenda. If it becomes too thick add more half & half. It should have the consistency of the ‘whipped’ cream cheese you can buy in a tub. Not soft like pudding, but not as hard as regular cream cheese.

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Extras:
Fresh or frozen berries
Chocolate sauce
Whipped cream

To assemble blintzes: Place 1 tablespoon of the filling on the edge of the crepe. Fold the crepe in half over the filling dollop and then fold the empty side over the dollop so that it is folded in fourths. Place two crepes on each plate and scatter with berries, drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream. Makes 6 servings (2 blintzes each)

Per Serving: Calories 180; Protein 16 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 11 g; Sugar 5 g; Sodium 415 mg

 

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SOUTHWEST DEVILED EGGS

I mean, really…can you have too many deviled eggs?!  This is on old recipe that I’ve made for a long time and love.  How spicy depends on your taste, but when the snack attack comes around, you’ll be ready with a plate of these in the fridge.

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10 hard-boiled eggs

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/2 tablespoons salsa

1 tablespoon chopped black olives

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Dash cayenne, chipotle pepper

Salt to taste

Fresh cilantro or parsley, minced

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Peel boiled eggs, slice in half length-wise and scoop out yolks into a small bowl. Mash yolks with a fork until smooth. Stir into yolks the mayonnaise, sour cream, salsa, black olives, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Divide yolk mixture among the egg whites and arrange on a plate. Garnish with fresh herbs. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Makes 10 servings, 2 pieces each.

Per Serving: Calories 90; Protein 7 g; Fat 5 g; Carbs 1 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 24 mg

 

 

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MY FAVORITE EGG SALAD

Super simple…Plain Jane, no frills.

This is the egg salad that I keep in the fridge to wrap in lettuce leaves or to eat with a spoon out of a bowl.  Nothing fancy.  You probably have a favorite way of making yours…this is mine.

One secret that makes it super quick is to grate the eggs on a cheese grater.  I use the large holes and in 5 or 6 swipes a boiled egg is reduced to shards that mix up quickly with whatever you put with it.

(The sweetener just gives a rounded taste – that yum factor – and makes savory things extra good!)

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9 large eggs, boiled, peeled
1/3 cup regular or  reduced-fat mayo (my preference is regular…just ’cause)
2 tablespoons fat-free half & half or milk
1/2 teaspoon Splenda or sugar (brings out the salty flavors!)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt – to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
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Shred or dice the eggs and, in a small bowl, combine with the mayo, half & half, Splenda, salt, and pepper.  Cover and chill.  This will become less ‘wet’ as it chills.
Makes approx five 1/2-cup servings.
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Per Serving: 186 Calories; 10 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 2 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 353 mg Sodium

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CARAMEL PECAN BRIE

For your Holiday parties, or when you want to feel a little more up-scale watching the game – this quick appetizer is easy and impressive.

I’ve used it with Cinnamon Bliss and it’s wonderful…if you have that, it will be truly sugar free.  If not, the Whey Low Gold, and my caramel sauce will still put this in your ‘favorites’ files.

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One 7-ounce wheel Brie cheese

2/3 cup my Caramel Sauce OR Cinnamon Bliss

2/3 cup chopped pecans, or any nuts you prefer

Assorted fruit (grapes, sliced apples or pears) and crackers

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Remove rind from Brie, if desired. Cut into wedges and arrange on a plate.

IF USING my Caramel Sauce previously-made:  in a small saucepan add nuts to sauce and bring to a boil.  Boil for 30 seconds and allow to cool slightly.  Microwave the Brie 30-45 seconds – just until it starts to melt.  Spoon over warmed Brie and serve.  (If making the sauce at the same time, measure out 2/3 cup to a small saucepan and add the nuts.  Bring to a boil and boil 30 seconds.  Cool slightly.  Pour sauce over warm Brie and serve.)

IF USING Cinnamon Bliss, in a small saucepan add nuts and bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool slightly. Microwave Brie for about 35-40 seconds or until just starting to melt. Spoon sauce mixture over cheese. Serve with fruits. Makes 8 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 130; Protein 6 g; Fat 13 g; Carbs 6 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 156 mg

 

 

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CHOCOLATE-MINT CHEESE BALL

Just in time for the Holiday dessert tables that are everywhere you go.  You can’t escape this time of year – the buffets, the lunch rooms, the office parties, and hundred and one other occasions to eat…each filled with stuff we shouldn’t have.

This one everybody will love – whether they like to eat low-sugar or not!  Most bigger grocery stores carry the sugar free star-light peppermints, or you can order from an on-line candy store.  One of my favorites is Perfectly Sweet.  Or there is Candy.com, but they sell in bulk.  I don’t know…you might want 425 star-light mints.  Who am I to judge?!

I serve it with the Murray’s Double Chocolate Cookies – or graham crackers – or off of a spoon…

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One 8-ounce pkg. reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup Splenda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
One 4 ounce package sugar-free peppermint candies
1/4 cup Hersey’s sugar free chocolate chips or other sugar free chocolate, finely chopped

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, Splenda, vanilla, 3 tablespoons finely crushed candies, and chocolate. Place in a small plastic wrap-lined bowl and chill 4 hours or overnight. Unmold cheese ball and place on a pretty plate. Gently press 1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candies onto the surface. 

The candies tend to get “wet” if left in the fridge too long. I would press them onto the surface just before serving.

Makes ten servings, 2 tablespoons each.
Per Serving: 118 Cal; 3 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 4 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar

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Crepes

(Low-carb, higer-protein)

I use these in so many more ways than just “crepes”.   In both sweet or savory recipes, as wraps, tortillas, noodles – they are a great way to still make those dishes you love without the unneeded carbs.

Don’t be afraid of making crepes – and you don’t need a special pan.  The first one may flop, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.   Then you can use them for enchiladas, burritos, lasagna, sandwiches, or just roll up with a sprinkle of Cinnamon-Splenda inside.  They’re a very versatile thing to keep on hand.  (They also freeze great.  Just put a piece of waxed paper, or plastic wrap between each one.)

You can add 1 tablespoon Splenda, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or sweet spices for a sweet version.  Or herbs and other spices for savory.

These are very tender and will be more moist than regular crepes.  They are what I use in my Chicken Pot Pie with Crepes, which has been very popular.

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1/2 cup ricotta cheese (stats are for Part-Skim / lowfat)

4 eggs

1/4 cup flour

3 tablespoons milk

Pinch of salt

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In a medium bowl beat the Ricotta with the eggs. Beat in the flour, salt, milk.   Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Coat with vegetable cooking spray when hot. Pour in 2 tablespoons of batter and immediately swirl the pan to coat the entire surface in a thin layer. Allow to cook, without turning, until completely done. The top should be no longer shiny and when you touch it it’s not wet. The bottom will be have a very slight golden color. If it’s too dark, lower the heat.

(If you are a new crepe-maker, these can be next to impossible to flip and they don’t need to be.) Gently loosen the edges with a spatula and slide out of the pan onto a plate. Very lightly spray the top with vegetable spray – this way you can stack them on top of each other.

Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray before each crepe. Proceed with above directions until batter is gone. Allow the crepes to cool to room temperature and then wrap the plate tightly with plastic wrap. These keep well in the fridge – unfilled – for several days.

Since these are so moist, letting them sit uncovered for a half hour or so will help them get that dry, ‘lacy’ edge.

Makes approx 12 crepes.

Per Crepe:   Calories 57; Protein 4 g; Fat 3 g; Carb 6 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 35 mg

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RICOTTA APPLE PANCAKES

These little wonders are light and fluffy. They actually hold together like pancakes should!

I’ve only used apples, but zucchini would work well, too.   Change up the spices or add some different extracts…

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3 eggs, separated
1 whole egg
1 cup part skin ricotta
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice OR cinnamon
1 tablespoon Splenda
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup grated apple – can leave the skin on

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Beat 3 egg whites until stiff; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients just until blended. Fold in egg whites. Spray skillet with non stick spray and heat over medium-low. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into hot skillet and cook until golden brown, turning once. Make 8 – three pancakes servings.

Per Serving: Calories 94, Protein 7 g; Fat 5 g; Carbs 4 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 119 mg

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