Category Archives: Lowfat

Lemon Berry Tart

lbtOriginally published March 22, 2015

It has come to my attention that not everyone loves to bake and that easy holiday dessert recipes are something that many people really appreciate to get them through Easter. I saw a video for some lemon tarts yesterday on YouTube on the Simple Cooking Channel. Lots of fun videos to watch!

I decided to try my hand at the Lemon Tarts. I did make two modifications to the very simple recipe.

Lemon Berry Tart
6 mini graham cracker crusts or one regular size one
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp of Knox plain gelatine – not in the original
Fresh or frozen berries of your choice – also not in the original

1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and plain gelatine and beat until a little fluffy.
2. Spoon into crusts.
3. Refrigerate for a few hours until set.
4. Top with berries of your choice and serve!

The original recipe didn’t call for the gelatine but I decided to add it because I was skeptical that the tarts would set. I knew that if I added a tiny bit of gelatine they would. Of course, this addition makes them unsuitable for Passover. But have no fear! My Mini Pavlova are perfect for Passover!

Holidays can be such a blessing. Gathering with family and friends to celebrate your faith is a gift, even though it is often fraught with stress and angst. I hope this simple recipe can help relieve you of some of that stress.

Enjoy!

Shrimp and Scallop Saute

sssI’m on a mission to clear the freezer this week. I don’t mean throw things away. I mean eat them. I have a very good friend and cohort to join me in my little game. My Faithful Assistant has great kitchen sense. He can come up with meal ideas very easily using ingredients on hand. The gamification of dinner It should be a fun week!

I thought I had seen a partial bag of shrimp in the freezer and I was right! I also found a partial bag of scallops. The refrigerator yielded a red pepper, spinach and onion. And my Aero Garden has some lovely basil! Score!

Shrimp and Scallop Saute
1 cup shrimp
1 cup scallops
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3-4 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper

  1. Saute the onion in a little olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the shrimp, scallops, salt, pepper, and wine and cook for about ten minutes until the shrimp and scallops are done.
  3. Add the red pepper and cook for another five minutes. Then add the chopped basil and spinach. Cook for another few minutes until the spinach has wilted.
  4. Serve!

You could serve this over pasta or rice. I ate it plain. It was delicious. I don’t get to have seafood at home very often so I really wanted to savor the flavors.

Have I enticed you into returning to this space to see what else we conjure up this week? I’m going to assume that you are shouting, “YES!!! YES!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MORE CLEVER CREATIONS FROM YOUR KITCHEN!!!” Well fear not my adoring audience. We will not disappoint.

Enjoy!

Spinach and Citrus Smoothie

scsAs we near the end of the citrus season, every bag of clementines purchased is a gamble. Will they be juicy and sweet? Will they be tough and flavorless?

Every good purchase gives me confidence to make another. But that fateful day will come. And then, you’ll need a way to get rid of those grainy clementines. Or oranges. Or tangerines.

Smoothies (and soups) are an excellent way to quickly get rid of produce and other food that hasn’t met your expectations. Combining multiple flavors can often mask the lower quality ingredients. Now in this case, the clementines I have on hand are still quite tasty. But the flavor of this smoothie wouldn’t have been hampered if they weren’t.

Spinach and Citrus Smoothie
1 cup orange juice
1 container of yogurt of your choice – I used Nosa Blood Orange yogurt
1-3 peeled clementines
1 handful of spinach – about a cup
1 handful of ice

  1. Put the ingredients in a blender with the ice on top.
  2. Blend starting on low and slowly increase speed until smoothie reaches desired consistency.
  3. Serve!

I shared my smoothie with one of my kids. He agreed with me that it was quite tasty and refreshing! As he heads back to school after spring break, he will have all the ingredients he needs to make this himself!

Enjoy!

Easiest Black Bean Soup EVER!

EBBSEI still remember the taste of the Black Beans and Rice I had at a restaurant in Ybor City. We were visiting my grandparents in St. Pete Beach. It was a very difficult time for our family and our mom decided that several weeks in Florida were needed. As a parent now, I can only imagine what was happening in her world that caused her to make that decision. Whatever it was, it must have been awful for her. And sadly, she is no longer with us so I can’t talk to her about it. The difficult times she experienced trying to raise five kids largely alone make me appreciate all she did for us. Of course, typical of a kid and then a young woman with my own life and issues, I never said those words to her. I regret that very much.

Back to the restaurant and the Black Beans and Rice. Delicious. I remember the bite of the vinegar and the saltiness of the ham. I had never had Black Beans and Rice before. We are descendants of Eastern Europeans, and beans and rice weren’t in our family cuisine.

Thankfully, they are now. My Faithful Assistant will make them as an after school snack! For years, I have been on a quest for the quintessential Black Bean Soup. I scour the internet looking for something easy and flavorful all the time and after reading dozens of recipes, I have come up with one that I think combines the best of them all into one super simple recipe.

Easiest Black Bean Soup Ever
3 cans black beans
2 cups salsa
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Cumin
Cayenne

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until translucent.
  2. Combine everything in a slow cooker or stock pot.
  3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Did you notice I didn’t say drain and rinse the beans? I read up on that too. It’s water, salt and starches from the beans and can be a nice way to give your Black Bean Soup a little thickness.

As the soup heated and all the aromas started filling the house, I was in heaven. The smells didn’t bring back bad memories of our struggles. They brought back memories of new experiences, the warm Florida sun, the beach, and many other things. I think it’s safe to say that I will never suffer as a parent the way my mother must have. She had a very difficult life that was sprinkled here and there with some brightness. I’m going to choose to remember the brightness.

Enjoy.

Super Fast Red Beans and Rice

SFRBRIt’s been a very long couple weeks. Finally this weekend, we have almost nothing to do. I couldn’t be happier. I felt it was important to welcome in this stress-free weekend with a healthy and delicious dinner. Of course, with a starving teen at home, speed is life.

This morning, I decided to make a more concerted effort to have more meat free meals. My initial plan was to make some Vegetable Wontons but alas, no wonton wrappers. Plan B was nonexistent. That left me wandering. I meandered around, when the Vegan meats in the refrigerator case caught my eye. I decided to grab some Tofurky Andouille Sausage, veggies, and make a colorful, healthy dinner.

Super Fast Red Beans and Rice
1 cup rice, cooked, and set aside – about three cups
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 red pepper and 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
I can red kidney beans
2 cups vegan broth
4 andouille sausages, sliced

  1. Saute onions, celery and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until slightly softened.
  2. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, and cooked rice. Heat through.
  4. About five minutes before you are ready to serve, stir in the sliced peppers and heat until they have warmed. They’ll still be crisp. You’ll love it!

If you have never tried vegan sausage, the first thing you will notice is the texture. It’s very different than traditional meat sausage. After a few bites, you should be able to move beyond it. As for the flavor, it was great! You may have noticed that I didn’t add any spices to my dish. You could easily add some salt and pepper and maybe a little cayenne; maybe even some cumin. I didn’t because I wanted to really taste the flavors of the sausage. I was not disappointed at all. And for those in my household who are actually afraid of a little heat, there wasn’t too much of that at all!

With Lent right around the corner, you may be looking for some meatless meals. I encourage you to try some vegan sausage or other vegan meat substitutes. If you’re worried about protein, you shouldn’t be. The Tofurky Andouille Sausage has 29 grams of protein per serving! And it appears to be a pretty good source of iron too!

Have a great weekend, everyone!