Food court

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With all the heavy eating throughout the holidays — Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, it’s time to start thinking of a lighter menu to make you feel better.

Banana Pudding Squares

35 reduced fat Nilla wafers, finely crushed

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted

1 8-ounce package Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat than cream cheese), softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 8-ounce tub Cool Whip, sugar free whipped topping, thawed, divided

3 bananas

3 cups cold fat free milk

2 4-serving size packages Jell-O, vanilla fat free, sugar free instant pudding and pie filling

1/2 square semi-sweet baking chocolate, grated

Combine wafer crumbs and margarine, press onto bottom of a 13-by-9-inch dish. Mix Neufchatel cheese and sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping, spread onto crust. Cut bananas crosswise in half, then lengthwise in half. Arrange over cheese mixture. Pour milk into large bowl, add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes. Spoon over bananas. Spread with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with chocolate. Refrigerate 3 hours. Serves 24. 120 calories, 5 grams fat, 16 grams carbohydrate.

Frozen Raspberry Shortcake Square

1 pint (2 cups) frozen raspberry nonfat yogurt, softened

1 4-serving package Jell-O raspberry flavor sugar free low calorie gelatin

1 8-ounce tub Cool Whip sugar free whipped topping, thawed

1 10.75-ounce package reduced fat pound cake, cubed

Beat yogurt and dry gelatin mix in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Add cake cubes, mix lightly. Spoon into 8-inch square pan. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Cut into 12 squares to serve. Store leftovers in freezer. 180 calories, 6 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrate.

Low Fat Orange Dream Cheesecake

1 Honey Maid honey graham, crushed

2/3 cup boiling water

1 4-serving package Jell-O brand orange flavor sugar free gelatin

1 cup low fat cottage cheese

1 8-ounce tub fat free cream cheese

2 cups thawed Cool Whip sugar free whipped topping

Sprinkle crumbs onto bottom of 8- or 9-inch spring form pan sprayed with cooking spray. Stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Cool 5 minutes, pour into blender. Add cheeses, blend well. Pour into large bowl. Gently stir in whipped topping. Pour into prepared pan, smooth top. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Remove rim of pan before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator. 100 calories, 3.5 gram fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams protein.

Swiss Chicken Cutlets

2 thin slices reduced fat Swiss cheese (about 2 ounces)

4 4-ounce chicken cutlets, 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine

1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Chopped fresh parsley and fresh oregano springs for garnish

Cut each cheese slice in half, place 1 half on top of each cutlet. Starting with a short end, tightly roll up cutlets, jelly roll style. Tie securely with string. On waxed paper, combine flour and pepper. Mix well. Add cutlets, toss gently to coat. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add cutlets, cook, turning frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add broth and dried oregano to skillet. Increase heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Place on a serving plate, remove string. Garnish with parsley and oregano springs. If you can’t fine cutlets, simply pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of waxed paper to a 1/4-inch thickness. 223 calories, 4 gram carbohydrates, 7 grams fat, 84 mg of cholesterol.

Mom’s Best Brownies

1/2 cup cake flour, sifted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites

1 large egg

3/4 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa and salt. Mix well. In a large bowl, whisk together, egg whites, egg, sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just blended. Do no over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake until just set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes. Cut brownies into squares and place on a serving plate. 112 calories, 18 gram carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 4 grams fat.

20-Minute Chicken

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Cooking spray

1 teaspoon margarine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon zest

In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, basil, pepper and garlic. Set aside. Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten to 1/4 inch thick using a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Spray both sides of chicken with cooking spray. Dredge chicken in bread crumb mixture. Coat a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray and melt margarine over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook four minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add lemon juice, broth and lemon zest to skillet and cook 1 minute. Spoon sauce over chicken breast. 169 calories, 4 grams fat, 5 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams of protein.

Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut

Cooking spray

1 pound low-fat kielbasa, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 15-ounce can of no salt added diced tomatoes with juice

1 2-pound jar of sauerkraut, drained

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Coat a large, deep non-stick skillet with cooking spray and sauté sausage over medium heat until it begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add tomatoes and increase heat to high. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add sauerkraut and brown sugar and simmer 10 more minutes. 168 calories, 7 grams of fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams of protein.

Pepper Steak Over Rice

1 cup brown rice, uncooked

Cooking spray

1 pound boneless top round steak, cut into thin 1-inch slices

2 large green bell peppers, sliced into 1/2-inch thin strips

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup water

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt. Coat a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray over high heat. Add steak and sauté for about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add peppers to pan. Sauté another 5 minutes. Add steak and any juices back to the pan. Add salt, pepper and water to pan. Sauté for 2 more minutes and serve over rice. 324 calories, 7 grams of fat, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of protein.

Crispy Cod

Cooking spray

1 1/2 cups cornflake crumbs

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon onion salt

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 4-ounce cod filets

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a shallow baking pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine cornflake crumbs, garlic salt and onion salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg and egg whites. Add hot pepper sauce and mix well. Place filets in baking pan. Spray filets lightly with cooking spray and bake 18 to 20 minutes. 216 calories, 2 grams fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, 25 grams protein.

Jell-O Strawberry Mousse Cups

3/4 cup boiling water

1 4-serving package Jell-O brand strawberry flavor sugar free gelatin

1 cup ice cubes

2 cups thawed Cool Whip Free whipped topping, divided

2 cups strawberries, sliced, divided

Stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large serving bowl; stir at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add ice cubes, stir until completely melted. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups each of the whipped topping and strawberries until well blended. Spoon evenly into 6 small dessert dishes. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Top remaining 1/2 cup each whipped topping and strawberries just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator. 70 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein.

I hope these recipes will help you stay on your healthy eating plan for 2013. You can reach me at judyd2313@frontier.com or drop a line to my attention to the BCR, P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356. Happy New Year!

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