Tomato Florentine Soup

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tomato Florentine Soup

I love making my own healthy version of tomato florentine soup. I serve it with a toasted cheese sandwich of whole wheat bread of part-skim mozzarella, and it is healthy and satisfying.

Photo@ Kimberley K. Eggleston, licensed to About.com, Inc


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Shrimp Fajitas

Monday, February 27, 2012

Although higher in cholesterol than many other types of seafood, shrimp are low in saturated and total fat, and can certainly be enjoyed as part of a low fat diet. These low fat shrimp fajitas are a nice alternative to the usual chicken or beef variety.

Prep Time: 20?minutes

Cook Time: 8?minutes

Total Time: 28?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 medium, onion sliced vertically
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap tortillas in foil and warm them for 15 minutes.

Combine cilantro, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and garlic in a glass bowl. Add shrimp, stir well and marinate for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Saute onion and pepper for a 3-4 minutes, until softened. Remove vegetables from skillet and keep warm. Add shrimp with the marinade; saute until just pink, about 3 minutes. Return vegetables to the skillet and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until heated through.

Spoon mixture on to warmed tortillas, top with fat-free sour cream and salsa as desired.

Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 312, Calories from Fat 51, total Fat 5.6g (sat 1g), Cholesterol 170mg, Sodium 555mg, Carbohydrate 36.9g, Fiber 4.4g, Protein 28.4g


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Southwestern Shrimp

Monday, February 27, 2012

The great thing about shrimp is that they're quick and easy to cook. The biggest mistake people make is to overcook them so that they turn out tough and rubbery. Enjoy this southwestern shrimp dish with a side dish of rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (about 2 tbsp)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 6 ounces), chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Preparation:

Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Sprinkle chili powder and cumin over them; add lime juice. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Saute onions and jalapeno over medium heat until onions are softened—about 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp, chopped tomato and cilantro. Cook shrimp for three minutes, until pink and opaque, turning them occasionally. Serve over hot whole-grain rice.

Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 162, Calories from Fat 22, Total Fat 2.4g (0.4g), Cholesterol 170mg, Sodium 183mg, Carbohydrate 10.5g, Fiber 2.2g, Protein 24.5g


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Baked Fish Sandwich

Monday, February 27, 2012
Many types of fish will work well with this recipe including cod, sole, or halibut. Perhaps use whatever is on sale when you are grocery shopping. This dish is accompanied nicely with spicy cajun mayonnaise.

Prep Time: 15?minutes

Cook Time: 10?minutes

Total Time: 25?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 5-oz. portions cod fillets
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups corn flakes, crushed fine
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Garnish:
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced pickles

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. To prepare the fish, sprinkle both sides of each fillet evenly with the salt and the pepper.

3. Place the egg whites, flour, and cornflakes each in seperate, shallow dishes near eachother. Dredge each fish fillet first in the flour, then the egg white, and finally the cornflakes, to coat the fillets evenly. Place the fillets on a baking sheet, coated with cooking spray.

4. Bake the fillets for 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

5. Top each bun with one fish fillet, and garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.

Serves 4

Per Serving Calories 276


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Holiday Wild Rice

Monday, February 27, 2012

If you're looking for an alternative to mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving or Christmas, try some nutty wild rice with sweet cranberries, apples and heart-healthy walnuts.

Cook Time: 45?minutes

Total Time: 45?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wholegrain rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 4 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Rinse and drain wild rice with cold water. Place wholegrain and wild rice in a large saucepan with the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender and broth is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Transfer rice to a large bowl and fold in cranberries, diced apple and walnuts. Serves 6-8.


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Curried Quinoa and Peas

Monday, February 27, 2012

If you enjoy rice or couscous, then try quinoa, which makes a wonderful alternative to these grains. And if you suffer from wheat allergies or gluten-intolerance, then quinoa makes a nice change from rice and potatoes (check ingredients of chicken broth in this recipe to be sure it's gluten free). Enjoy this low fat curried quinoa and peas warm or as a salad. Finally, to make this completely vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Cook Time: 15?minutes

Total Time: 15?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Preparation:

Rinse quinoa in cold water to remove its bitter coating. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine rinsed quinoa with curry powder and turmeric. Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Add peas, then cover and simmer until the water is absorbed—about 12-15 minutes. The quinoa will be soft and translucent. Serve as a side dish with your favorite broiled or grilled meat and fish.

Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 208, Calories from Fat 27, Total Fat 3.1g (sat 0.3g), cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 81mg, Carbohydrate 36.9g, Fiber 5.3g, Protein 8.4g


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Low-Carb Lent

Monday, February 27, 2012
tofuDo you follow certain food traditions for Lent? Perhaps you forgo meat on certain days, or animal products altogether. There's no doubt that the tendency is to substitute high-carbohydrate foods in place of the protein, but it needn't be that way. One thing to do is to eat more fat if you're cutting back on protein. For example, add more oil in your salad dressings and vegetables. Also, find high-protein substitutes for meat dishes. I have recipes on this site to help, and you can also check out this collection of Lenten recipes compiled by About.com's Guide to Catholicism, Scott Richert. There are some good low-carb ideas as well as those higher in carbs.

Photo c Nicola Stratford

Low-Carb Lenten Resources:


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Creamy Low Fat Polenta

Sunday, February 26, 2012
If you're looking for an alternative side dish to potatoes or rice, consider this creamy polenta dish. Looking a little like yellow grits, polenta in its simplest form is basically a cornmeal mush, but it's a mush that can be put many culinary uses. Soft polenta can be enjoyed as a side dish or as the base for an entree. Firm polenta can be sliced and served as a pasta substitute with sauces or in casseroles. In northern Italy, polenta is seen as a great comfort food--the equivalent of pasta in the south, but its preparation can be laborious, involving constant stirring to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

This doesn't have to be the case. Unless you're someone who finds the stirring of polenta to be particularly therapeutic, try this simple, low maintenance method of cooking polenta. The end result is still a satisfyingly creamy dish.

Creamy polenta c Fiona Haynes, licensed to About.com


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Thousand Island Dressing

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thousand Island dressing can be used for so many things - on burgers (many restaurants use it as their "special sauce"), with shrimp, or, of course, on a salad. Most Thousand Island dressing has quite a lot of sugar, but this sugar-free and low-carb version is just as good. Feel free to vary the balance to your own taste.

Prep Time: 5?minutes

Total Time: 5?minutes

Yield: 1 cup of dressing

Ingredients:

  • ? cup mayonnaise
  • ? cup sour cream
  • ? cup sugar-free ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sugar-free relish, such as Mt. Olive Brand
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Preparation:

Mix ingredients together and adjust to taste. Depending on the exact ingredients, you might want to add a little more ketchup or even some sweetener.

Nutritional Information: One tablespoon has half a gram of carbohydrate and 35 calories.


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Sweet/Spicy Dipping Sauce

Sunday, February 26, 2012
This super-easy dipping sauce is great with coconut shrimp, chicken wings, tofu chips, or whatever your imagination can come up with!

Prep Time: 3?minutes

Total Time: 3?minutes

Yield: A little over half a cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar-free apricot jam
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce OR any other Asian chili or chili-garlic sauce OR just use your favorite hot sauce to taste

Preparation:

Mix ingredients together, taste, and adjust the flavors. Thin with water to desired consistency.

Nutritional Information: Carbs and calories mostly depend on the jam. I like to use Jok 'N' Al brand, which is 2 grams of carb per tablespoon, so I count that amount for the sauce.


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Low Calorie Waffles

Sunday, February 26, 2012
We prefer to cook these low calorie waffles in a Belgian waffle-maker as they come out so crisp and irresistible. Then we top them with a fruity blueberry syrup. It just doesn't get any better.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preparation:

1. Preheat the waffle iron.

2. In a large bowl, combine the two flours, the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the flour mixture, and add the milk, egg, and oil. Stir with a whisk until the mixture is well combined. Fold in the blueberries.

3. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each compartment of the waffle iron. Cook until waffles are lightly browned and crisp.

Makes 6 Waffles

Per Serving (1 Waffle) Calories 144


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Vegetable Panini

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The strongly-flavored feta cheese adds tremendous flavor to this roasted vegetable panini.

Prep Time: 10?minutes

Cook Time: 8?minutes

Total Time: 18?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced fine
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup peeled, thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup sliced portabella mushroom
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 8 1-oz. slices italian bread

Preparation:

1. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and mushroom, and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the red wine vinegar and salt.

2. Heat a two-sided skillet or panini press. Top 4 slices of the bread evenly with the vegetable mixture, and 1 oz. of feta cheese. Top each panini with 1 slice of bread, and grill for about 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is crisp.

Serves 4

Per Serving Calories 230


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Low-Carb Oscar Party

Sunday, February 26, 2012
red I love movies, and I'll admit that I also get a kick out of the Academy Awards. My husband and I have now seen well over a thousand movies together, and have a yearly Oscar ritual where I make our favorite low-carb pizza, some snacks such as spicy nuts, and a fun drink like a Sugar-Free Strawberry Daiquiri. Then we settle in to alternately admire and make fun of people, and cheer on our favorites.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Related Resources:


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Spice-Rubbed Salmon

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Yes, you can enjoy enjoy salmon as part of a low-fat diet. Keep portions small and accompany it with low-fat side dishes.

Prep Time: 5?minutes

Cook Time: 10?minutes

Total Time: 15?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 4 ounce pieces wild salmon fillet
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon fillets skin side down on a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Combine spices. Sprinkle then pat gently on to salmon fillets. Squeeze with lemon juice. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Roast for 10 minutes pre inch of thickness, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 179, Calories from Fat 68, Total Fat 7.4g (sat 1.5g), Cholesterol 51mg, Sodium 74mg, Carbohydrate 2.7g, Fiber 0.9g, Protein 25.1g


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What Happened to Lard?

Saturday, February 25, 2012
lardFrom my last blog about cheese, let's move on to another maligned high-fat food. I don't know if you've noticed, but the humble lard is making a comeback in food circles (and, of course Paleo circles).

Lard was once a fat commonly used in household cooking, but as the 20th century progressed, it was largely replaced by vegetable shortening, touted as "pure" and "digestible", but actually containing partially-hydrogenated fats which turn out to be the worst of the fats for our health. (Lard is mostly made up of monounsaturated fats and saturated fats.)

Recently the Planet Money team on NPR aired a piece called "Who Killed Lard?", with an accompanying written story. I thought it was pretty interesting. Also very interesting was this story about a 64-year old can of lard that was tested and found still edible!

Photo: Lisa Fain/Getty Images

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Sausage and Mushroom Stew

Saturday, February 25, 2012

While I prefer to use lean chicken sausages in this recipes, lean turkey sausages work just as well. These are the starting point for this delicious Sausage and Mushroom Stew, which is a great winter dish that's both quick and easy to make. Full of protein and fiber, this is a filling dish that manages to be healthy too.

Sausage and Mushroom Stew c Fiona Haynes, licensed to About.com


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Low-Carb Coconut Shrimp

Saturday, February 25, 2012
This sugar-free version of coconut shrimp can be used as an appetizer, party food, or main course. There is a little sweetener in the coating, because the popular restaurant versions are sweet, but this is optional. You may find that the Spicy Sweet Dipping Sauce has enough sweetness.

Yield: 3 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (thaw if frozen)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1 teaspoon ancho pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Optional sugar substitute equal to one tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut - unsweetened
  • cooking oil of your choice

Preparation:

1. Mix coconut flour with red and black peppers, and salt.

2. Whisk the eggs with a fork in a small dish, and mix with the 2 tb water. Add sweetener if desired.

3. Put shredded coconut in a separate dish.

4. Put oil in a large skillet to about 3/4 inch depth. Heat to 350 to 360 degrees, or until the end of a wooden spoon handle dipped into the oil collects bubbles around it.

5. Holding shrimp by the tail, roll in coconut flour, and shake to get most of it off - you just want a thin coating. Then dip in egg, again shaking off the excess. Finally, roll in coconut.

6. Fry the shrimp until golden on each side, about 2 minutes per side. I usually put each in the pan as I prepare them, but you have to watch the ones in the pan closely if you do it this way. An alternative is to bread a few at once and then put them all in the pan at the same time. Don't crowd the pan, which will lower the temperature of the oil - this makes them absorb more oil and end up heavy and greasy. Tongs are the best tool for turning and removing the shrimp.

7. Remove from the pan to a paper towel or cooling rack. Serve with sweet and spicy dipping sauce, if desired.

Note: It's probably not possible to get exact nutritional numbers. Frying temperature will affect the amount of oil absorbed, and the exact amount of coconut breading will vary. The following is my estimate, from the best I can tell.

Nutritional Information: Each of 3 servings has 3 to 4 grams effective carbohydrate plus 4 grams fiber, 36 grams protein, and 434 calories.


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How To Make Oven Fries

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fill a large bowl with the four cups of water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then, drop the sliced potatoes into the water, and allow them to soak for 5 minutes. This will help to draw out some of the water from the potatoes to result in a crispier fry!

After 5 minutes, drain the water off the potatoes, and pat the potatoes dry with a towl.


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Curried Chicken Salad

Monday, February 20, 2012
Perfect as a sandwich filling or as part of a regular salad, there's plenty to please the tastebuds here. This is also a great way to use a cold rotisserie chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt, drained
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (skin removed)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Preparation:

Blend yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine chicken, raisins, almonds, apple and celery. Add dressing and blend well. Top with cilantro.

Serve on top of a bed of dark green salad leaves or spinach, or use as a filling for pita bread.

Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 227, Calories from Fat 60, Total Fat 6.6g (sat 0.8g), Cholesterol 52mg, Sodium 250mg, Carbohydrate 18.8g, Fiber 2.3g, Protein 23g


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Curried Chick Peas and Tomatoes

Monday, February 20, 2012
Going meatless once in a while is good for our bodies, and a great way to eat cheaply. This curried chick peas and tomatoes recipe is super-fast and super-flavorful, thanks to the curry spices and especially the fresh ginger. Enjoy this healthy curried chick peas and tomatoes dish over microwaveable whole-grain rice.

Curried Chick Peas and Tomatoes c Fiona Haynes, licensed to About.com


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Carb Counts for Olives

Sunday, February 19, 2012
Olives are a flavorful addition to almost any diet, and are good for us, too! Since olives right off the tree are too bitter to eat, they must be cured in some way to make them palatable. With some exceptions, olives change from green to black as they ripen, although canned black olives were harvested when green, and then cured and exposed to oxygen to turn them black. Olives contain very little carbohydrate.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Olives

There is a little variation among various types of olives, but not much at all.
  • 1 oz. olives equals about 10 small, 5 large, 3 jumbo, or 1 ? super-colossal olives and has: about 1 gram effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 26 calories

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz.) olives: 3 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 81 calories

Glycemic Index for Olives

As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of olives.

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Estimated Glycemic Load of Olives

  • 1 oz olives: 0
  • 100 grams olives: 1

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Olives

The health benefits of olives lay not so much in vitamins and minerals as in the rich abundance of phytonutrients in them, particularly those which have antioxidant properties, as well as anti-inflammatory ones. These include flavonoids, phenols, terpenes, and anthocyanidins. In addition, the oil in olives is widely-regarded as being heart-healthy.

Low-Carb Recipes with Olives

More Information About Olives at Calorie Count.

Sources:

Ben Othman N, Roblain D, Thonart P et al. Tunisian table olive phenolic compounds and their antioxidant capacity. J Food Sci. 2008 May;73(4):C235-40. 2008.

Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21.


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Low-Carb Explained by Dr. Mary Vernon

Sunday, February 19, 2012
MaryI am a real fan of Dr. Mary Vernon, co-author of Atkins Diabetes Revolution. I've heard her speak many times, from Nutrition and Metabolism conferences to the Low-Carb Cruise. Often, she is educating other physicians about how to effectively use a low-carb approach with their patients.

If you can't get to a conference, I have a video for you: Swedish physician Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt interviewed Dr. Vernon for his blog. It would be helpful for your doctor to see as well, as she explains what led her to begin to use a low-carb approach with her patients, and her clinical experience with them. Dr. Vernon says such provocative things as: "Nobody needs to count calories." "Everybody should eat low-carb" (but the amount of carbohydrate a person can eat varies according to the individual), and that she doesn't care about a patient's weight (though people usually do lose weight); instead she focuses on their about metabolic health. Intrigued? Catch the Interview Here.

Photo c Jimmy Moore

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Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sweet potatoes and apples complement each other nicely in this hearty, mildly spiced, low fat soup.

Prep Time: 10?minutes

Cook Time: 35?minutes

Total Time: 45?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups fat-free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup nonfat milk

Preparation:

Heat oil on medium in a large pot or Dutch oven. Saute shallots, onions and carrots for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle curry powder and stir until fragrant. Add sweet potatoes and apples followed by vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Transfer soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot or Dutch oven. Stir in milk, then heat through.

Serves 6

Per Serving: Calories 176, Calories from Fat 26, Total Fat 2.9g (sat 0.2g), Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 60mg, Carbohydrate 33.8g, Fiber 4.8g, Protein 3.8g


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Is Cheese Bad?

Sunday, February 19, 2012
French The vegan group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is at it again, this time with big billboards implying that cheese makes you fat, vividly illustrated with fat limbs and bellies. What reason do they have to make this implication? Oh, undoubtedly the vegan circuit in their brains is very active and self-reinforcing, but apparently this particular salvo was launched in upstate New York because the schools include cheese in some of their lunches. (They've also apparently put similar billboards up in Wisconsin, a particularly ballsy move.)

Of course, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would question this association. When you look at a list of countries where people consume the most cheese, at least 14 countries have a cheese consumption higher than the U.S., and as far as I can tell every one of them has a lower obesity rate than the U.S. (Here's a graph illustrating some of them.) As far as I can tell, there is zero evidence of a causal relationship between eating cheese and obesity. France, in particular, tends to lead the pack in their love of cheese, without any signs of negative effects.

Is it possible to eat too much cheese? Of course. For one thing, cheese has carbs, and many low-carbers find they are better off being careful, because it can be all too easy to eat too much. Also, there are those (notably many in the Paleo community) who think we would do better not to eat dairy at all. I tend to think that following the example of the French in savoring some cheese as dessert has merit.

Photo of French woman c Ariwasabi at IStockphoto (Behold the horrific effects of cheese consumption!)

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Sweets For Your Sweet

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Flowers are lovely and a box of chocolates delicious, but there's something extra special about a treat you've made yourself. If you're looking for something on the lighter side, here are 10 Low Fat Valentine's Day desserts to choose from. From strawberries dipped in dark chocolate to delightful heart-shaped meringue cookies, there's something for everyone.

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce c Fiona Haynes, licensed to About.com


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Low Calorie Panini

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Panini, or the great grilled Italian sandwich, has endless possibilities when it comes to stuffings and varieties. Usually, in panini recipes, you would find a collection of meats and vegetables enveloped in layers of melty cheese, all pressed between two slices of hearty bread and grilled to perfection. You may wonder if a panini sandwich fits into your low calorie lifestyle, and the answer is yes, so long as a few guidelines are followed.

First of all, use lean meats such as chicken breast, lean beef, or lean ham for your meat filling. Avoid a lot of processed meats such as salami or pepperoni which will easily pack in the fat and calories Second, take advantage of low calorie vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, or tomatoes. Other great vegetables fillings include grilled or roasted peppers, eggplant, and squash. Use plenty of veggies for extra filling.

A panini just would not be a panini without the melty cheese, so don't leave it out in an effort to save on calories. Instead, use a reduced-fat variety such as 2% milk sharp cheddar, or part-skim mozzarella which is naturally lower in calories than its higher fat counterparts. Or, you may just opt for a highly flavored variety such as gruyere or asiago, and use only a small amount to achieve a real taste bud pleaser.

Lastly, don't allow extra calories to pile up when you go to grill your panini by smoothering the bread with butter or oil. An easy solution to this is to use a panini press with a non-stick surface where very little to no oil is required for grilling. If you do not have a panini press, a simple grill pan or even a heavy skillet will work as well. If you choose this option, just be sure to use non-stick cooking spray as opposed to mounds of butter or oil when grilling your panini.

Here are just a few low calorie panini recipes to get you started on your panini-making endeavors!


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Baked Tempeh Recipe

Saturday, February 18, 2012
This is Terri's method for making tempeh. It mellows out the flavor, which makes it compatible with a variety of sauces and marinades. What is tempeh?

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Nutritional Information: Each cup (about 166 grams, about 6 oz) of tempeh contains 8 grams of effective carbohydrate plus 8 grams fiber, 31 grams protein, and 320 calories.

Terri's directions:"Put the tempeh on a lightly oiled baking dish and pour a little tamari/soy sauce on the top surface and spread it around. Put it in the oven at about 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. Then turn it over and put some tamari/soy sauce on the other surface, and bake it for another 15 minutes. This takes any sharpness out of the tempeh. Then dice the tempeh up small and stir-fry it alone until it gets a bit crispy, before adding any of the vegetables."

Terri especially recommends her peanut sauce with tempeh - see directions on that recipe.


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Chicken Ceasar Salad

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ceasar Salad

Making your own chicken ceasar salad is easier than you think.? A simple recipe for a light ceasar dressing, crispy croutons, and perfectly grilled chicken breast is all you need to throw together this very popular salad.? I like to serve this salad when I'm having friends over for lunch, or for a light evening meal for my family.

Photo@ Kimberley K. Eggleston, licensed to About.com, Inc


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Fish Tacos

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Halibut and cod work especially well with these low fat fish tacos. Bake, broil or grill the fish after briefly marinating it, and serve with your choice of low fat or fat free garnishes on top of warm corn tortillas.

Prep Time: 30?minutes

Cook Time: 15?minutes

Total Time: 45?minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 pound firm white fish fillets such as halibut or cod
  • 8 corn tortillas

Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cumin, olive oil and cilantro. Place fish in a glass baking dish or in a resealable plastic bag. Add marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place marinated fish on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Alternatively, broil or grill fish, allowing 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Warm corn tortillas according to instructions on package.

When fish is cooked, cut into strips or chunks and divide among corn tortillas. Add shredded cabbage, low fat or fat free sour cream and salsa for garnish.

Serves 4.

Per Serving (without garnish): Calories 329, Calories from Fat 53, Total Fat 5.9g (sat 0.9g), Cholesterol 36mg, Sodium 72mg, Carbohydrate 40.6g, Fiber 4.5g, Protein 28.5g


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Super Bowl Lite

Monday, February 13, 2012
Super Bowl Sunday looms, and for many, it has less to do with the two teams on the field and more to do with the ads, the half-time show and, of course, the food. Second only to Thanksgiving, Super Bowl food consumption is staggering. About 8 million pounds of popcorn will be eaten, 28 million pounds of potato chips, 90 million pounds of chicken wings, and millions of pizzas will be ordered, all washed down with 50 million cases of beer. But if you're trying to cut down on fat, what can you do? Try some of my tips and suggestions for planning a lower fat Super Bowl Party.

Sloppy Joes Photo c Fiona Haynes, licensed to About.com


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Chili For All

Monday, February 13, 2012
No question, chili is one of America's favorite dishes, especially around Super Bowl time. But it seems that no two chili dishes are alike. We all have our own idea of what chili should be, whether it features red meat, white meat, no meat, the type of beans to use, the amount of heat, and so on. So here are six kinds of chili, all of them low fat. Enjoy these chilis with some cornbread, and with a little spoonful of low-fat sour cream or nonfat Greek yogurt on top.

Chicken Chili Photo c Fiona Haynes, licensed to About.com


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New Atkins Cookbook

Monday, February 13, 2012
atkins Last year saw the publication of the book The New Atkins for a New You by Drs. Westman, Phinney, and Volek, which I highly recommend. Now the companion cookbook, The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook by Colette Heimowitz has been released. Last week I had the opportunity to chat for a few minutes with Ms. Heimowitz, and also chef and Food Network personality Donatella Arpaia, who is using the Atkins diet to shed weight after having a baby last year.

Ms. Heimowitz is a nutritionist who was the Director of Nutrition for Dr. Robert Atkins and now serves as Vice President of Nutrition and Education for Atkins Nutritionals. I asked her about the current goals of Atkins Nutritionals and of her new cookbook. She said that the company is doing very well, and is now outselling all of its competitors in the weight loss product category. I think that says a lot about how low-carb eating is progressing in the minds of people. For the cookbook, the main focus is on simple, quick and easy meals that can be made in half an hour. She said the 150 recipes all have ingredients which are easy to find, and no more than 10 ingredients in a recipe. The cookbook includes a wide variety of dishes for all phases of the Atkins Diet, including vegetarian dishes.

Ms. Arpaia said that she was enjoying the Atkins diet. As countless people before her have found, she is not hungry as she was on her former diet. Since she is breastfeeding her baby, the diet is modified (it sounds as though she basically skipped the Induction phase). She says, "my carbs are coming from the right place" (mainly non-starchy vegetables) and that Atkins is "forcing me to eat extremely healthy". Two tips that she shared are to eat every few hours, and to keep a food journal.

Since part of Donatella's upbringing was in Italy and she travels there, I asked her about carbs in Italy. She says that she always loses weight when she goes to Italy. As I have written about, pasta portion sizes are actually small there (and al dente) and there is an emphasis on fresh, local, seasonal food.

It was fun to chat with them and to find out more about the cookbook. I have the book and am planning on trying quite a few of the recipes.

Links to competitive prices on both of the "New Atkins" books are here:

Image Courtesy of Pricegrabber

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How to Make Meringue

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pile the Meringue on to the Parchment?Paper

Making Meringue - Pile Meringue on to Parchment

Pile Meringue on to Parchment

Fiona Haynes

Using a clean spatula, pile the meringue on to the circle you drew on the parchment paper. Spread the meringue and leave the edges higher than the center.


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How to Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

I made some delicious mashed potatoes, substituting cauliflower for some of the potatoes for savings in calories. They were delicious, and the recipe was simple! I was happy to see my kids eating lots of cauliflower, although they had no idea they were doing so.

Photo@ Kimberley K. Eggleston, licensed to About.com, Inc


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