Posted April 3, 2011
Today I am cooking with recipes from the Taste of Homes Comfort Food Diet Cookbook. This one is the family classics collection, featuring remakes of many old familiar recipes.
There are 416 recipes, with new takes on casseroles, meat loaves, pizzas, and fried chicken. The color cover picture of a 30-minute skillet lasagna looks good enough to rip off and eat!
This cookbook makes it easy to eat healthy: Just follow the suggestions and use the calorie-friendly recipes in the 6-week plan spelled out in the front of the book.
It’s all the comfort foods you love, without the guilt.
The first recipe I tried was bananas foster sundaes. Wow, I can’t even describe how delicious they were — they may very well be the best sundaes I have ever eaten. I have never tried to make bananas foster because just looking at them stopped me in my tracks. They certainly looked too fancy and complicated for me to take on. But this is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made.
Regular bananas foster has a ton of calories. This recipe has only 233 per serving, but you won’t believe it’s a low-cal version — there were four of us here when I was cooking, and the platter was licked clean.
One of the samplers, a grandson home on leave from the Air Force, said he liked the healthier version better because they’re a little less rich and filling than the original. In other words, he was able to eat more.
If you never try any other recipes from this column, try these. The first 5 recipes below are from the Taste of Home Diet Cookbook Classics, with permission.
Bananas foster sundaes
Yield: 6 servings
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1,4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 large firm bananas, sliced (rounds)
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
3 cups reduced-fat vanilla ice cream
In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in brown sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, until blended. Add bananas and pecans; cook, stirring gently, for 2 or 3 minutes, or until bananas are glazed and slightly softened. Remove from heat; stir in extract. Serve with ice cream. Each serving — 1/3 cup banana mixture with 1/2 cup ice cream — equals 233 calories, 7g fat, 68mg sodium, 40g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g protein
Sweet and spicy
Yield: 20 drumsticks
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
20 drumsticks, 5 ounces each
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne. Add the drumsticks, a few at a time, seal and shake to coat.
Place chicken in two greased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pans (cookie sheet with sides). Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. (A small amount of meat juices will form in the pans.)
Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees.
Favorite skillet lasagna
Yield: 5 servings
1/2 pound of turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 small onion, chopped
1 jar (14 ounces) spaghetti sauce
2 cups uncooked whole wheat egg noodles
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat no longer is pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce, egg noodles, water, and zucchini.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, and parsley. Drop by tablespoonfuls over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
1 cup equals 250 calories, 10g fat, 783mg sodium, 24g carbs, 3g fiber, 17g protein.
Yield: 6 servings
1/2 bulk pork sausage
3 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
1 cup 2 percent milk
2 tablespoons minced chives
3/4 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
Additional minced chives, optional
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
Arrange half the potatoes in a greased 8-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and half the sausage. Top with remaining potatoes and sausage; sprinkle with pimientos. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, chives, and thyme; pour over the top.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center, comes out clean. Uncover, bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
1 serving equals 202 calories, 11g fat, 407mg sodium, 18g carbs, 1g fiber, and 9g protein.
Caprese tomato bites
Yield: About 3 1/2 dozen
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
6 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Scoop out and discard pulp of cherry tomatoes. Invert tomatoes onto a paper towel to drain.
In a food processor, combine the whipping cream, mozzarella cheese, basil and garlic; cover and process until blended.
Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or heavy duty resealable plastic. Fill with cheese mixture.
Turn over tomato halves; drizzle with vinegar. Pipe cheese mixture into tomatoes. Refrigerate until serving.
3 appetizers equal 63 calories, 5g fat, 27mg sodium, 2g carbs, trace fiber, 1g protein.
Simple salsa chicken
Makes 2 servings
2 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup salsa
2 tablespoons taco sauce
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
Place chicken in a shallow 2-quart baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt. Combine salsa and taco sauce, drizzle over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear.
1 chicken breast half equals 226 calories, 7g fat, 601mg sodium, 5g carbs, trace fiber, 3g protein.
Hamburger hash skillet supper
1 pound boneless beef sirloin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1 bag (1 pound) frozen potatoes, carrots, celery and onions
1 jar (12 ounces) beef gravy
Cut beef into thin strips (beef is easier to cut if partially frozen). Heat oil and garlic pepper in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil, stirring occasionally, until brown.
Stir in vegetables and gravy; reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add water or beef broth if more liquid is needed.
NOTE: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and chicken gravy can be substituted for the sirloin and beef gravy to create a whole new delicious dinner. The frozen potato, carrot, celery and onion mixture called for in this recipe may be labeled “vegetables for stew” or “stew vegetables.”
1 serving equals 240 calories, 670mg sodium, 16g carbs, 3g fiber, 27g protein.
Readers are always asking for slow cooker recipes. Here is one of my favorites. I will have more soon!
Slow cooker pork chops with
Makes 6 servings
6 boneless pork loin chops, about 1 inch thick
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 bag (16-ounce size) cornbread stuffing (3 cups)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 medium apple, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 medium onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Cranberry relish (see recipe below)
Place pork chops in large resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add seasoned salt; shake bag to coat pork.
Spray 5- to-6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix remaining ingredients, except pork chops and cranberry relish. Arrange pork chops on stuffing mixture.
Cover; cook on low heat setting 4 to 5 hours. Serve pork and stuffing with cranberry relish.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
2 cups washed raw cranberries
2 cored tart apples, cut into sections
1 large, whole (peel on) seedless orange, cut into sections
1 to 2 cups granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you like your relish)
Place ingredients in a food processor and chop. Do not over pulse or it will be mush.
NOTE: I have used Splenda in this, but it does not release the fruit sugars as well, and it’s a little dry — but not bad if you are watching your sugar intake.
Tip of the week (from of Alex Paschal): When peeling a banana, hold it upside down and pinch the bottom end between the thumb and forefinger and squeeze. The peel will split and make it easy to remove.
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