My Blog List

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lighter Broccoli Cheese Soup

I love broccoli cheese soup.  I was trying to come up with a lower fat recipe my family could enjoy. I experimented and after a couple of tries was pleased with the outcome.  I added a blend of 3 different cheeses to this recipe.  I added 1 cup each of Jarlsberg Light Swiss cheese, non fat cheddar, and ultra sharp regular cheddar.  It helped to add 1 cup of regular cheese for a smoother texture.  Using all non fat or light cheeses made it too difficult for the cheeses to melt and combine well for the soup.  This recipe yields 9 servings at approximately 250 calories per serving.

Lighter Broccoli Cheese Soup 

1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 whole wheat pastry flour (or regular flour)
4 cups lowfat milk
2 cups fat free half and half
1 cup chicken broth
sprinkle cayenne pepper
sprinkle nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fat free cheddar
1 cup light swiss cheese (I used Jarlsberg light)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
4 cups chopped broccoli

Saute chopped onions and carrots in 2 Tablespoons olive oil until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the 1/4 flour to the sauteed vegetables and stir to combine.  Add milk, half and half, chicken broth, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and cheeses.  Stir gently until cheese is melted.

I placed the mixture in the blender once the cheeses melted and before adding the brocolli to make the mixture smoother on the medium setting for about 2 minutes.  Chop the broccoli into small bite sized pieces.

Add the chopped broccoli to the soup mixture and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes until the broccoli is tender.

This recipe yields about 9 servings at 250 calories per serving. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I hit a milestone - 100 blog entries this year!

I just realized this past week when I posted my "Healthier Chicken Pot Pie" recipe I had reached a milestone of 100 blog entries since August of 2011.  Wow, I can't even imagine how many hours have gone into this labor of love.  I hope there has been some interest in my posts and others have enjoyed or perhaps even tried some of the recipes.  I started this blog in August, 2011.  At the time I wasn't sure of the direction I  wanted to take this blog.  So this has basically been a work in progress.

I have shared some of the trials and tribulations I have gone through in maintaining a healthy weight.  For me emotions have definitely played a role in my weight fluctuations over the years.  I struggled with seasonal depression shortly after I moved to the Buffalo area.  I have discovered what works best for me is to stay very physically active and this helps me cope.  My friends at the Buffalo Athletic Club are wonderful and I love the exercise classes offered.  Lately I am taking a break from my favorite Zumba classes as I have suffered an injury to my toe.  I am hoping I will be able to enjoy them again very soon.  I am relieved it is spring and I am able to take long walks outside which I love.  I have been spending time at the gym lifting weights and calisthenics for strength training.

It helps me to share my experiences and I hope this helps others with some of the same struggles.  As a busy Mom I can certainly understand the difficulties of finding the time and energy to exercise.  Thanks for reading and I hope the year ahead brings you joy and fulfillment.

Berry Granola Muffins

I made some blueberry muffins using whole wheat flour and Bear Naked Fit Berry Granola containing freeze dried strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  This yielded a sweet and tasty healthy muffin.  This granola is low in fat and sugar.  It contains 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber in a 1/4 cup serving.  I added 3/4 cup of this granola to the recipe.  I was expecting the muffin to have a crunch from adding the granola, but suprisingly it did not.  This recipe yields about 24 muffins at 112 calories each.

Berry Granola Muffins

1 cup lowfat milk
1 cup Unprocessed Miller's Wheat Bran (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sweetener of choice (or sugar)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/4 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 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Bear Naked Fit Triple Berry Crunch Granola
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix milk with the wheat bran and stir to combine.  Set aside.

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

In another bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture, wheat bran and combine.  Gently fold in berries and granola and stir until mixed.

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

Place in oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until done.

This is the Granola I used to prepare these muffins.  I found it in the Health Food and Organic section of my local supermarket.

This recipe yields about 24 muffins at 104 calories each.  Enjoy!