My Blog List

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Healthier Chicken Pot Pie

I decided to try my hand at a healthier chicken pot pie.  The tough part was coming up with a tasty crust.  I used a mixture of whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour which has a lighter consistency than the whole wheat flour.  The label on the pastry flour said it could be used as an alternative to conventional white flour.  I didn't want to use only butter in the crust, so I tried a blend of 1 Tablespoon butter with 3 Tablespoons olive oil.  I've heard it can be difficult to use olive oil as a substitute for butter in cookies, pastry and/or cake recipes.  I didn't notice an overwhelming taste of olive oil in this mixture or that it overwhelmed the taste of the crust.  With the whole wheat flour crust this pie is healthy and filling.  As prepared each slice of this chicken pot pie has approximately 360 calories.

Crust for Chicken Pot Pie

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (Bob's Red Mill from Soft white wheat)
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons Olive oil (I used Felipo Berrio Virgin olive oil for Sauteing & Grilling)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Lowfat Buttermilk

In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.  Cut in butter and olive oil until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Add the Buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened. Place dough onto lightly floured surface and knead lightly about 4 or 5 times.  Set aside.

Chicken Pot Pie

3/4 cup diced potatoes
3/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup diced mushrooms
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free Half and Half
1 Tablespoon White wine (I used Chardonnay)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle of pepper
2 cups Chopped cooked chicken

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Saute onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in olive oil for about 10 minutes.

Add pastry flour to sauteed vegetables stirring well and cook about one minute.  Combine chicken broth and half and half.  Gradually stir into the vegetable mixture.  Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.

I cooked the chicken on my George Foreman grill which is a great time saver.

Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Pour into a one quart casserole dish.  Roll dough and place over chicken mixture.  Cut slits in pastry to allow steam to escape.  I sprayed the crust with Olivio Buttery spray halfway through cooking to keep the crust tender.  Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly.

This recipe yields about 6 servings at 360 calories each.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pear and Oat Bran Walnut Muffins

I came up with a recipe for pear walnut muffins using oat bran, whole wheat flour, and fresh pears. I added Organic Pear Juice with no added sugars for some additional flavor.  The result is a light muffin with a mild pear flavor.  As prepared each muffin contains approximately 98 calories.  If light brown sugar had been used instead of the Xylitol (Ideal Brown), the calorie count per muffin would be about 108.

Pear and Oat Bran Walnut Muffins

3/4 cup unsweetened Pear Juice
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup natural applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Ideal Brown sweetener (or light brown sugar if preferred)
1 cup Oat Bran Hot Cereal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pears (I used 1 Red Anjou Pear)

My local supermarket sells R.W. Knudsen brand Organic Unsweetened Pear Juice.  I found it in the Health Food Section. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl mix together pear juice, egg, honey, sour cream, vegetable oil, applesauce, vanilla, and ideal brown sweetener until smooth.

In a seperate large bowl mix together Hot Oat Bran Cereal, Whole Wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and chopped walnuts.

Add sour cream and egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine.  Gently fold in chopped and peeled pears.

Add muffin liners to a muffin tin.  Add muffin batter until each is about 2/3 full.

 Place in preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

This recipe yields about 24 muffins containing approximately 98 calories per muffin.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thanks for Reading this Blog

It is wonderful knowing that there are many like minded people who share my interest in eating healthy and staying in shape.  I love when I post a new recipe and I see that there are actually some people reading them.   I realize I am not alone, that many people do care and are trying to eat more healthy and nutritious foods.   The challenge is in thinking of new ways to enjoy my favorite foods without sacrificing taste and flavor to prepare them healthier.  I am having a great time and I would love to hear from you.

We are fortunate to live in the digital age where information is so readily available.   I started thinking about how difficult writing this blog might be if I did not have access to the internet. Just a simple blog recipe for example. Often I do not know the calorie count of foods that I incorporate in a recipe. I estimate the calories per serving, whenever possible, of the recipes I post. The simple solution is that I google the name of the food in search of the answer. What if I did not have access to a computer or the internet? I can't imagine how disconnected I would feel without it.  It is a great resource as well as motivational tool in that it brings us into contact with others sharing our goals and interests.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Healthy Potato Salad

The summer is fast approaching and I am looking forward to outdoor barbeques.  I love a tasty potato salad, but I don't want to eat one loaded with fat and calories.  I experimented and came up with a healthier alternative which replicates the taste, flavor and consistency of a conventional potato salad.  I combined non fat cottage cheese and sour cream to replace the mayonnaise.  This recipe uses 3/4 cup each of cottage cheese and fat free sour cream which contains a total of 255 calories.  If 1 and 1/2 cups of mayonnaise had been used instead, this would mean a total of 840 calories for lower fat mayonnaise or 1,374 calories for regular.  This substitution results in a calorie savings of 585 for 7 servings of potato salad.  Each serving of this salad as prepared contains about 200 calories.

Healthy Potato Salad

7-8 med/large red potatoes
3/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
3/4 fat free sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/8 - 1/4 cup fresh dill  (I used about 1/8 cup)
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijonnaise
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste
salt to taste

Boil red potatoes with skins on for about 10-15 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat and rinse with cold water. Place the cottage cheese in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

After potatoes have cooled slice into thin slices with skins remaining.

Mix the cottage cheese, sour cream, white wine vinegar, dijonnaise, celery seed, fresh dill, and salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth.

Next add the celery, onions, and green pepper to the mixture.

Slowly add the sliced potatoes until the desired consistency is reached while gently stirring to combine.

This recipe yields about 7-8 servings at approximately 200 calories per serving.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Coconut Fruit Smoothie Bran Muffins

I came up with a recipe for mango muffins using Naked Mango Juice Smoothie drink which contains no added sugars.  This drink has mango and banana puree and juice from apples, lemons and oranges.  The muffins have a mild fruity flavor.  Each muffin has approximately 105 calories. 

Coconut Fruit Smoothie Bran Muffins

1 Naked Mighty Mango Fruit Smoothie (10 oz. container)
1 cup Unprocessed Miller's Wheat Bran
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup preferred sweetener (or sugar)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup natural applesauce
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (I used Bob's Red Mill)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

This is the Mighty Mango Fruit Smoothie drink I used to prepare these muffins.  These drinks are sold in the Organic and Health Food Section of my local supermarket.

Add the Mighty Mango Fruit Smoothie drink to the bran.  Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl mix together the preferred sweetener (or sugar), vanilla, honey, eggs, vegetable oil, natural applesauce, and sour cream.  Stir until combined.

In a large bowl mix the whole wheat flour, baking soda, and baking powder together.

Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture. 

Then fold in bran mixture and shredded unsweetened coconut. Mix together.

Add muffin liners to a muffin tin.  Add batter until about 2/3 full.

Place in preheated oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until done. Recipe yields 24 muffins at about 105 calories per muffin.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

White Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust

I experimented and made this white pizza using a whole wheat crust, fresh basil and oregano, and a fat free ricotta and part skim mozzarella cheese blend.  This made a large pizza with 9 servings at approximately 211 calories per slice. 

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon honey

In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, yeast and salt.

Blend in water, oil and honey.  Stir vigorously until all ingredients are mixed well. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise to desired size.

Spray pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Roll out dough and place on pizza pan.


1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic clove
1 and 1/2 cups part skim mozzarella
1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh basil
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1 Tomato, sliced
3 TBS. fresh parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine olive oil with garlic.  Spread over pizza crust.

Mix 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese with the fat free ricotta cheese.  Spread over the pizza dough.  Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella over the ricotta mixture to evenly distribute cheese on the crust.

I used a spice grinder to grind the fresh basil and oregano.

Sprinkle the fresh herbs over the cheese toppings.

Slice a fresh large tomato into thin slices.  Add to top of the pizza. Sprinkle with the fresh parmesan cheese.

Place in a preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until pizza is heated through. Remove from the oven.

This pizza contains 9 servings at approximately 211 calories/slice.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Peach Oatmeal Pecan Muffins

I came up with a healthy recipe for peach oatmeal muffins which have a hearty, nutty texture.  Each muffin has approximately 98 calories.    If brown sugar is used instead, the calorie count per muffin increases to 111.  I used Xylitol (Ideal Brown no calorie brown sugar substitute) as a sweetener. This sweetener contains 101 calories per 1/2 cup.  Packed brown sugar contains 415 calories per 1/2 cup. 

Peach Oatmeal Pecan Muffins

3/4 cup lowfat milk
1 egg
3/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup natural applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Ideal brown (Brown sugar substitute)
1 cup Old fashioned Oatmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped peaches
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together lowfat milk, egg, sour cream, vegetable oil, applesauce, vanilla, and ideal brown in a small bowl until blended.

In a seperate bowl mix together oatmeal, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and chopped pecans.

Add the milk and sour cream mixture to the flour and dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Fold in chopped peaches and gently mix together.

Add muffin liners to a muffin tin and add batter.

Place in preheated oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes until heated through.

This recipe yields about 24 muffins at 98 calories each.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lightened Up Fettucine Alfredo

I love fettucine alfredo, but normally it's something I would never eat because of all the fat and calories.  I tried to come up with something we could enjoy, minus the guilt. This recipe does not use butter or regular cream.  I used chicken broth for flavor and olive oil instead of butter.  It still is creamy and my family enjoyed it.  This recipe yields 4 servings at about 241 calories per serving.

Lightened up Fettucine Alfredo

1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
Half package of whole wheat fettucine pasta

I used a spice grinder to chop the fresh parsley.

Prepare the chicken broth.  Add the half and half, parmesan, fresh parsley, olive oil, and sour cream.  Heat to a low boil and remove from heat.

Boil the pasta as the package directs and drain.

Add the pasta back to the pot and add the sauce.  Stir to combine.

Serve immediately.

This recipe yields 4 servings at 241 calories each.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Banana Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes

I was in the mood for some healthy banana nut pancakes for breakfast this morning.  I added whole wheat flour to hot oat bran cereal with fresh bananas and walnuts.  I am pleased with the outcome.  This recipe yielded approximately 14 pancakes or about  6 servings.  There are about 365 calories in  one serving.  I served them with sugar free pancake syrup and fresh sliced bananas.

Banana Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes

2 cups lowfat milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup mashed bananas (or about 2 bananas)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon Natural Applesauce
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup Hot Oat Bran Cereal (I used Bob's Red Mill Organic)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix lowfat milk, eggs, sour cream, mashed bananas, vegetable oil, and applesauce in a small bowl until blended.

In a separate large bowl mix together whole wheat flour, hot oat bran cereal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Add milk and egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir until combined and add walnuts.

Preheat a griddle on low medium heat.  Add non stick cooking spray and a light coating of oil to the griddle.  Add small spoonfuls of batter.  Flip pancakes when small bubbles appear.

Repeat until pancakes have cooked through on both sides.

Serve immediately with sugar free or light syrup and fresh bananas.

This recipe yields 6 servings at about 365 calories.