Sunday, September 19, 2010

Super-Light Pumpkin Pancakes

Can you tell I'm obsessed with breakfast? This, my favorite meal of the day, can be packed with useless calories if I'm not careful. This morning, I whipped up a batch of these fantastically light, full-flavored pumpkin pancakes as a sign that Fall is around the corner. I hope you'll give them a try and that you'll enjoy them as much as we do.

Pumpkin Pancakes
Makes 14

1 1/4 C buttermilk
3/4 C pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin will do - NOT pumpkin pie filling)
4 large eggs, separated
2 T granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T canola oil
1 1/3 C cake flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, egg yolks, sugar, oil, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture and whisk to combine.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in glass bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter.

Lightly oil or butter heavy large skillet set over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto skillet; cook until bubbles form on top, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until second sides brown, about 1 minute. Transfer pancakes to plates. Sprinkle with nuts and serve with syrup.

Nutritional Info (per pancake)

Calories: 100
Fat: 3.73 grams
Cholesterol: 61.2 mgs
Sodium: 43.5 mgs
Potassium: 92 mgs
Carbohydrates: 13 grams
fiber: .7 grams
Protein: 3.8 grams

Copyright What's Cooking Sunday, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

One of my favorite ingredients is buttermilk. Whatever I make with it has a tender texture and tangy taste. These wonderful muffins are no exception.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins
Makes 16 muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1.5 C buttermilk
1.5 C rolled oats
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C canola oil
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1.5 C all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C raisins

Spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or line with muffin liners.

In large bowl, soak oats and raisins in the buttermilk for 15 minutes. Stir in eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to oats mixture and stir just until moistened.

Fill prepared muffin tins until cups are three-fourths full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Nutritional info per muffin:

Calories: 164
Fat: 4 grams
Cholesterol: 1.5 mgs
Sodium: 43 mgs
Potassium: 101 mgs
Carbs: 3.5 grams
Fiber: 1.3 grams
Protein: 4 grams

I just love when pastries are good for you, don't you?

Copyright What's Cooking Sunday, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chocolate Black Bean Cake

The other night my husband and I were wishing for dessert but, as grocery shopping was a long-overdue chore, the larder was missing the Usual Suspects. What we did have were eggs, cocoa powder and a lonely can of black beans. I dug out this forgotten flourless cake recipe and what came out of the oven was light, moist and loaded with flavor. It was so low in calories that I treated myself to a second piece, completely guilt-free!

Chocolate Black Bean Cake

Serves 8
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 C splenda
2 T strong brewed coffee OR 1 T instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 T hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T canola oil
2 T chopped walnuts (optional)

Spray an 8" x 8" baking pan with cooking spray. To make the cake easier to remove, you can line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray that.

Blend the egg yolks, splenda, baking powder, oil, vanilla, coffee and salt in a blender. Add the black beans and puree until smooth. Transfer the bean mixture to a mixing bowl.

With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until still peaks form. fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the bean mixture with a spatula to lighten the batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites in two portions with the spatula. It's OK if there are some white streaks left in the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the chopped nuts. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to release any air pockets. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: If you don't like the taste of the splenda (it CAN have a bit of an aftertaste), you can substitute granulated sugar. Just add 45 calories per serving to the nutritional info below.

Nutritional Info Per Serving:
Calories: 148
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 320 mgs
Carbohydrate: 19 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Protein: 5.7 grams

If you want a variation for a Vanilla Bean Cake, substitute a 15 oz can of canellini beans and leave out the cocoa and coffee flavorings. If you come up with other variations, please let me know - I'm always looking for low calorie snacks.


Copyright What's Cooking Sunday, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wheat Berry-Chick Pea Stew

Here I am, several weeks into my newly discovered resolve to shed (NOT lose) these pesky pounds. They've caused my immeasurable discomfort of the physical variety, not to mention the mental anguish of losing, then finding, them time after time.

My method this time is similar to the last: I'm combining principles from the 1980's Weight Watchers exchange plan with The South Beach Diet, as well as tracking every calorie that wanders into my mouth. So far so good; I'm down nearly 5 pounds in 5 weeks. AND that includes a week of vacation! Whoot!

This week, I made a wonderful vegetarian stew which proved to be nutritious as well as delicious. I hope you'll try it and that you enjoy it as much as we did:

Wheat Berry - Chick Pea Stew
Serves 4

6 oz wheat berries
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 C finely chopped onions
1 C diced carrot
1/2 C finely chopped celery
1 large garlic clove minced
3 C reduced sodium vegetable broth
1-3 tsp chopped chipotle chile pepper
1/2 C finely chopped tomato
1/4 C thinly sliced scallions
1/4 C finely chopped fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 tsp dried oregano

In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the wheat berries until lightly browned about 4-5 minutes. Stir often. Set aside.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add oil and heat another 30 seconds. Add onions, carrot, and celery. Saute until onion is golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

Add broth, chick peas, chipotle, and the toasted wheat berries. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer 2 hours until wheat is tender, adding additional water or broth if necessary. Note that the wheat should remain slightly chewy.

While the stew simmers, prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine tomato, scallions, parsley, jalapeno, and oregano.

To serve, divide stew evenly between 4 bowls and top with one-fourth of the topping.

Nutritional info for 1 serving (1 C stew plus one-fourth topping):

1/4 Fat
1.5 Vegetables
2 Proteins
1.5 Breads
15 Optional Calories

Per Serving:
402 calories
5 grams fat
261 mgs sodium
74 mgs carbohydrate
13 grams dietary fiber
18 grams protein

Copyright What's Cooking Sunday, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Big Chocolate Cookie

Way back in the day (about 25 years ago) I was deep into Weight Watchers. Every week, I'd walk into the meeting and there'd be a new, interesting recipe written on the board for us to copy and try at home. One week, this recipe for a Big Chocolate Cookie was up there, and I thought, "wow, what's not to like about this one?" The recipe makes one giant cookie. The cookie has loads of good nutrition in it, and can serve as a main meal. I love it for breakfast. Who wouldn't want chocolate cookies for breakfast?

Big Chocolate Cookie

Makes One cookie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 packet chocolate ALBA shake mix**
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 C rolled oats
1 T peanut butter
1/2 tsp honey
2 T water
2 T raisins

combine all ingredients in small bowl and form into a big cookie on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 8-10 minutes.

**The tricky ingredient is the Alba shake mix. You can probably find it in the grocery store with the other milk shake mixers.

Nutritional info:

Calories: 340
Fat: 10.25 grams
Cholesterol: 0 grams
Sodium: 180 mgs
Potassium: 310 mgs
Carbohydrates: 73.5 grams
Fiber: 9 grams
Protein: 15 grams

And if you use Weight Watchers old exchange program, like I do:

1 Bread
1 Fat
2 Proteins
1 Fruit
10 optional calories

Copyright What's Cooking Sunday, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's been hotter than blazes here in North Carolina and I am loathe to turn on the stove.

In keeping with my newly gained resolve to lose these extra pounds, it seemed fitting to make a batch of this wonderful cold, healthy soup.

Serves 5

2.5 C tomato juice (you can also use V8 juice for this)
1 C peeled, seeded, finely chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 C finely chopped celery
1/2 C finely chopped cucumber
1/2 C finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C finely chopped scallions
3 T white wine vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (not aluminum!). Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Each serving:

117 cals
2 g protein
13 g carb
6 g fat
690 mgs sodium
0 cholesterol
4 g fiber

Note: If you don't have fresh tomatoes, you can substitute a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes. If you do this, eliminate the 1/2 tsp salt.


Copyright What's Cooking Sunday, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken W / Mushrooms & Swiss Cheese

Wow... it's been a while since my last post. I've been so busy cooking up polymer clay jewelry, that I haven't paid attention to what I'm stuffing down my gullet. I saw myself in some recent photos and thought, "who's that fat girl in the picture?". Imagine my shock and distress as I figured out it was ME! Definitely time to pay attention and get back on the South Beach Diet.

I dusted off the notebook which holds all the recipes I've collected and created for this diet plan. First up: Chicken Breasts With Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese. Yummy: succulent white chicken meat smothered with portabello mushrooms, onions, and a light piece of Swiss. The drizzle of vinegar lowers the glycemic index rating for the dish, and the olive oil adds flavor and gives one the illusion of feeling full. A real winner:

Chicken Breasts With Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese
Serves 4
preheat oven 350 degrees

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 T olive oil
1 T Cajun-style seasoning
1 8-oz package sliced mushrooms (I chopped up some portabello caps)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 T red wine vinegar
1 C chopped green onion
4 slices low-fat Swiss cheese

In a 9 x 13 inch pan, combine oil and garlic. Add chicken breasts, and turn to coat with oil. Sprinkle with the vinegar and Cajun seasoning. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove pan from oven, and cover the chicken with the green onions and mushrooms. Add a few more sprinkles of oil and vinegar and return dish to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and immediately place one slice of the Swiss cheese on top of each breast. Allow cheese to melt, and serve immediately.

**Note: I didn't have green onions on hand, so I sliced up a white onion and sauteed it until slightly caramelized. It was delicious.

***Also, in the above photo, the red juices are from the roasted beets I served on the side, NOT poorly cooked chicken.

I hope you'll try this and let me know how you liked it.

Copyright What's Cooking Sunday, 2010