Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Skinny Strawberry Angel Food Cake

Finding fat-free desserts is hard to do. As I've talked about before, my dad had a heart-attack pretty recently so cooking for him can be a challenge, especially in the dessert area! This shortcake is easy, low cal, and most importantly-- fat & cholesterol free. I first attempted to make a strawberry shortcake recipe from one of my cookbooks, "Cook Yourself Thin Faster." The shortcakes were TINY and still contained fat-- very unsatisfying. I knew Angel food cake is inherently fat-free, so I decided to use that as my shortcake base. I re-worked the filling from that recipe, substituted angel food cake, and changed the topping completely. And the result was.. amazing! This recipe makes a lot-- 12 servings and they are a pretty generous serving size so you definitely won't be left hungry. At under 200 calories a serving, it's certainly the guilt-free dessert everyone can enjoy. Everyone in my family loved it-- which is rare! We make this pretty often now.


  • 1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix (We used Duncan Hines)
  • 3 C. Non-fat Vanilla Yogurt
  • Orange Zest to taste
  • Lemon Zest to taste
  • 6 tsp. Baking Splenda
  • 3 lb. Strawberries
  • 5 tsp. Orange Juice
For the Strawberry Topping:
1. Cut up strawberries into bite size pieces. 
2. Toss with 3 tsp. Splenda (add more or less depending on ripeness of your strawberries!)
3. Add 5 tsp. Orange Juice and toss. Cover and refrigerate.

For the Angel Food Cake:
1. Follow directions on box-- if high altitude, make adjustments listed. Cook until DARK golden brown and dry, do not undercook!
2. Turn upside down and cool completely.
3. Cut into 12 pieces.
Note: You can totally make angel food cake from scratch that's even better but I don't usually have that may egg whites just laying around. Also, you could use store-bought angel food cake but I hate it. Okay, thanks for listening.

For Filling:
1. Mix Yogurt, 3 tsp. Splenda, orange and lemon zest.
I first tried 3 tsp. lemon zest and it was WAY too lemon-y. Then I tried 1.5 lemon and 1.5 orange, which was still too lemon-y in my opinion but my mom loved. So adjust to your liking, start small and work up. Sometimes when I'm feeling wild, I beat in a little light cream cheese. But then it's not fat free anymore and everyone loses. 

Spoon yogurt mixture over cake and top with strawberry mixture. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Roasted Asparagus w/ Lemon Dipping Sauce

Almost everyone loves asparagus, especially when it's soaked in butter and smothered with hollandaise sauce. My brother always orders it when we go out for steak. Side note, has anyone seen those GIANT asparagus stalks? Are they on steroids or what's the deal with that?!  That pretty much ruins this side dish as a healthy vegetable. When I was making this dish for  lunch for my dad,  I knew I needed to omit the butter and fat as much as possible. This dish is tasty and the sauce is a much healthier substitute for hollandaise, but as always, don't drench your vegetables in the sauce! Just use it for dipping, okay? That is what sauce is for. Dipping.

  • Asparagus
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Paprika
  • 1/4 C. Low-Fat Mayo made with Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
To Make the Asparagus: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  1. Remove the "tough ends" from asparagus by cutting off about an inch from the end.
  2. Peel remaining bottom half of asparagus with a peeler.
  3. Line asparagus up on a foil-lined baking sheet so that there is no overlap.
  4. Brush with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with salt (I used salt substitute since this was for my dad), garlic, black pepper, and paprika.
  6. Bake until tender but still crispy. About 25-30 minutes.

To Make Lemon Dipping Sauce:
1. Mix mayo, lemon juice, white wine vinegar in a bowl.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baked Sweet Potatoe Fries

Do you want to hear something gross? When I was younger (like 12-ish) I used to get the extra large fries from McDonalds (Think an extra large soft drink cup filled with fries) and a large milkshake and call it lunch. Isn't that awful? I didn't realize at the time that was like 6000 calories but to be honest I probably didn't care. Oh, young/fast metabolism. Come back to me. Anyways, I still LOVE fries and splurge occasionally  However, these sweet potato fries easily fill that craving and are the perfect side dish for sandwiches/burgers/etc. Because some things just NEED  a side of fries and no salad can substitute that. So here's my go-to recipe for fry emergencies.

1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.
2. Peel one large sweet potato and chop into (somewhat) equal strips. I have a horrible time trying to make the strips equal. Sigh.
3. Coat with sea salt and 1 tbsp. EVOO. You can experiment with different seasonings here, like rosemary or chili powder or pepper. I prefer the classic way, though. Because some things are fine the way they are, okay?

4. Place on a cooking sheet and spread out so that the fries aren't overlapping.

It's pretty embarrassing when you state not to let the fries overlap and then you post a picture where some fries are in fact overlapping. Just try to get past it.

5. Bake about 10 minutes (or until soft)
6. Broil on low for 2-3 minutes or until crispy. Be careful they don't burn!
7. Enjoy! This made about 3 servings.

Nutritional information: 100 calories, 4g fat.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Turkey Burgers

Sometimes I really want a hamburger, you know? While nothing could ever REALLY be a substitute for a good hamburger, this turkey burger comes pretty close. It's definitely a nice hearty lunch option that actually tastes good. And that's all any of us could really ask for, isn't it? By swapping out turkey for that fatty ground beef and using sandwich thins instead of carb bombs hamburger buns, you get a much healthier version of a hamburger but with much of the same satisfaction-- especially if you make some sweet potato fries to go alongside it.

First, you'll need some patties. Look, mine are on sale!  Now your meal is healthy AND cheap. Win, win. Make sure you look for patties that say lean because, surprisingly, a lot of ground turkey options have a ton of fat, which I didn't even know was possible because I thought turkey was like 98% fat free? Mysteries. 

Now we need some "buns." It's also helpful if you warms these up over a grill or in the oven before serving. Gives it a little somethin' extra.

Now, grab some EVOO and put it in your skillet on medium heat. While that heats up, season your patties with salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, & paprika. You can change any of these or add others if you prefer. I just had a brilliant idea of using actual burger seasoning but it's too late now. Ugh.

Put the patties in the skillet and let cook 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally. It looks like I poked holes in these patties, but I swear that I didn't. They just came that way.

You'll be able to see when they're done. If you're feeling fancy, use your meat thermometer. I don't have one so I can't help you with that. Turn heat to low and add a slice of provolone cheese on top till melty. My spell check is saying saying "melty" isn't a word but there's just no other way to describe it.

Garnish with 1 tbsp Light Mayo made with Olive Oil, spinach, pickles, sweet onions, & whatever other veggies you like! Some people don't like Mayo (how?) so feel free to use mustard or whatever your little heart desires. Toast the sandwich thins if you want to make them extra yummy. These go great with baked sweet potato fries, recipe coming up next!

Nutritional info: 395 calories, 30g protein.