Monday, August 27, 2007

Garlic and Herb Oven Fried Halibut

With the ongoing renovations, we've slacked off on our normally healthy diet. We decided that we were going to get back on track, including eating out less, eating more fruits and vegetables, and eating more fish.

I remember when I saw this recipe, I had thought that it would be something that we would like. So last night we decided to make this with a couple of changes. We couldn't find panko so we just used regular italian breadcrumbs. Also, after reading the reviews on the CL website, I added more garlic.

All in all I thought this was really really good and we would make this again!

Garlic and Herb Oven Fried Halibut

Coat fillets with crumbs and bake at a high temperature for a crisp texture similar to fried fish. Fresh herbs and other seasonings heighten the flavor. Total time: 42 minutes.

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Place egg whites and egg in a shallow dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in flour. Dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 fish fillets; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining fish. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 fillet)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 293(29% from fat); FAT 9.6g (sat 1.4g,mono 4.9g,poly 1.8g); PROTEIN 39.4g; CHOLESTEROL 90mg; CALCIUM 89mg; SODIUM 446mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 1.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.2g

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berry Topping

Last weekend we stopped off at a farmer's market on our way back from Marc's parents chalet in the country. We bought freshly picked organic strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, and a basil plant! Of course, there was no way I way going to be able to use up 2 pints of strawberries and a pint of raspberries in a week so I froze half the strawberries and raspberries. I went on a search for the perfect recipe to use the berries for and my search ended when I came across this recipe! The reviews were good, it's relatively low in fat, we love cheesecake, and we love we were invited to our friend's Ida and Max (my taste-testers extraordinaire!) on Friday night so I had the perfect excuse to try out a new dessert!

I made a few minor changes. I didn't use homemade ricotta, instead I bought 2 cartons of low-fat ricotta (I like the Saputo brand the best). I also didn't use any blueberries, instead I used 1 pint of strawberries and 1 pint of raspberries - it was more than enough! I also didn't measure the lemon rind, I just grated the rind of one lemon directly into the bowl - I think I might have had about a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon - it was a big lemon! This was also super easy to make, it took 10 minutes to put together before it went in the oven! It was ready after an hour and 10 minutes.

So after trying it, I have to say I wasn't impressed. Maybe it was just because it wasn't what I was expecting. The flavour was awesome but I wasn't crazy about the texture. Max loved it but I think the rest of us weren't in agreement! It just wasn't creamy enough, like a cheesecake should be. Perhaps, if I decide to make this again I will replace half the ricotta with cream cheese. This dessert should definitely be paired with berries though, it definitely made the dessert!

Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berry Topping

You'll need to make at least 1 1/2 batches of Homemade Ricotta Cheese for this luscious dessert. Although cream cheese-based cheesecakes are served chilled, ricotta cheesecakes are often enjoyed warm or at room temperature. If you've made this dessert in advance, cover and refrigerate, then let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. While a shiny metal pan makes a delicious cheesecake, a dark metal or nonstick pan consistently gave us a taller, lightly browned cake.

Picture Courtesy of Cooking Light


4 cups (2 pounds) Homemade Ricotta Cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

2 cups quartered strawberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Mint sprigs (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cheesecake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into a 10-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around the outside edge of cheesecake. Cool slightly; remove outer ring from pan. Sprinkle cheesecake evenly with powdered sugar.

To prepare topping, combine berries, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and juice; toss gently to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve berry mixture with cheesecake. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 cheesecake wedge and about 1/2 cup berry mixture)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 286(32% from fat); FAT 10.2g (sat 5.6g,mono 3.1g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 18g; CHOLESTEROL 101mg; CALCIUM 353mg; SODIUM 328mg; FIBER 2.5g; IRON 0.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.7g

Cooking Light, APRIL 2005

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Double Chocolate Cookies

A better title would have been "chewy chocolate chip cookies". At first I thought these would be a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips but after reading the recipe I realized that the only reason they are called "double chocolate" is because they have semi-sweet AND white chocolate.

I thought these were really good for a low fat version of a chewy chocolate chip cookie! I think they key to this recipe is the type of pan that is used. For the first batch I used a shiny aluminum baking sheet and the cookies weren't done until after 16 minutes. After cooling this batch was just okay. For the second batch I used a regular non-stick baking sheet and the cookies were done after 11 minutes. This batch was more like what I was expecting! Golden around the edges, slightly crispy on the outside, and chewy inside! I will have to remember this for the next time!

Picture Courtesy of Cooking Light

Double Chocolate Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
2 1/2 tablespoons premium white chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Combine butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg white; beat 1 minute. Stir in flour mixture, dried cherries, chocolate chunks, and white chocolate chips.

Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Place pans in freezer for 5 minutes. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Yield : 2 dozen cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 98(30% from fat); FAT 3.3g (sat 2g,mono 1g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 1g; CHOLESTEROL 7mg; CALCIUM 12mg; SODIUM 63mg; FIBER 0.4g; IRON 0.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 16.6g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2002

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Molten Mocha Cakes

A friend asked me for this recipe last week and reminded me that I haven't made these cakes in awhile! I had the perfect excuse to make them this weekend since I needed a dessert that could be made in advance and then popped in the oven after supper. So I made these Friday night as we were packing for our weekend away in the country at Marc's parents chalet.

I love love love this recipe! Did I mention that I LOVE this recipe! Ok, so it's not low-fat but considering that I hardly make any full fat desserts, this is the perfect splurge. I love that it is soooo easy to make yet elegant enough to serve to company. I also love the fact that it can be made the night before and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many people we are expecting.

I also discovered that the kind of chocolate that you use makes a HUGE difference! I have always been skeptical of using gourmet chocolate in place of the Baker's brand. I always knew that better chocolate would improve a recipe but I wasn't convinced of how much. You'd think that considering my love of chocolate, that I'd be a connoisseur of gourmet chocolate but...unfortunately, no. I guess all of that is about to change! I bought a bar of Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% Cacao to use in this recipe as a treat, not really expecting it to really make a noticeable difference! Wow, I was soooo wrong all this time! This recipe was already amazing with plain old regular baking chocolate but the gourmet chocolate made this recipe super rich and decadent!!! Served with vanilla bean ice cream, it is heaven in a bowl!

Picture Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Molten Mocha Cakes
Martha Stewart Everyday Food Mag
Serves 2; Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 35 minutes

If you want to double or triple this recipe, just add 3 minutes or so to baking time. To make ahead, cover ramekins with plastic wrap after step 2; refrigerate up to 1 day. Bake 14 to 16 minutes.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for ramekins and serving
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch salt
3 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Butter two 6-ounce ramekins, then dust with sugar. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20-second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt. Add chocolate mixture; whisk to combine. Add flour, and whisk just until combined (do not overmix). Pour batter into prepared ramekins. (Recipe can be made ahead up to this point.)

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted 1/2 inch from edge of ramekins comes out clean, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out wet, 10 to 12 minutes (do not overbake). Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around inside of ramekins to loosen. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Dust with sugar; serve immediately.Note: To decorate, cut out a heart from a piece of parchment paper, and lay stencil over warm cake. Over stencil, tap a fine-mesh sieve filled with confectioners' sugar; carefully lift stencil.

Per serving: 424 cal; 24.2 g fat (13.8 g sat fat); 7.8 g protein; 47.2 g carb; 1.8 g fiber
My notes: I baked for 17 minutes. Use 1 bar of 100g when doubling the recipe.

Mixed Fajitas with Peppers and Onions

Fajitas! We absolutely LOVE fajitas! This weekend we are going to Marc's parents chalet and seeing that it is one of the last weekends of summer we decided it would be a BBQ only weekend!

I read from the reviews on the Cooking Light website that the marinade is exceptional! I have another recipe for Fajitas that has been my go-to recipe so far but once I saw that this recipe had chili powder (our favourite spice!), garlic (we love garlic!), and beer (my hubby's alcoholic beverage of choice!), I decided that I would try it out and see how it compares to my other recipe from CL. Since we were planning to have steaks on Sunday we decided that we would make this with all chicken. The only other change I made to the recipe was that we BBQ'ed the onions and peppers instead of grilling on the stove.

Marc and I agree that this is our new go-to recipe for fajitas! I agree with the reviews on CL that the marinade really makes the recipe. It definitely does taste like the restaurant versions! We served with sour cream, salsa, and Jalapeno Monterey Jack cheese. Very easy and very delish!

Picture Courtesy of Cooking Light

Mixed Fajitas with Peppers and Onions

1 1/4 pounds flank steak
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
2/3 cup beer
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breast
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 large onions)
2 cups red bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
2 cups green bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
12 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups diced seeded tomato (about 1 large)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro


Trim fat from steak, and score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak.
Combine juice and next 7 ingredients (juice through garlic) in a small bowl. Divide marinade equally between 2 large zip-top plastic bags, adding steak to 1 bag and chicken to the other. Seal bags, and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight, turning bags occasionally. Remove steak and chicken from bags, discarding marinade.

Prepare grill or broiler.

Place steak on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook 10 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place chicken on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into thin slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté 10 minutes or until onion mixture begins to brown.

Warm tortillas according to package directions.

Spoon steak or chicken, onion mixture, tomato, and cilantro down center of each tortilla; roll up.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 tortilla, 2 ounces meat, 1/2 cup onion mixture, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 2 teaspoons cilantro)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 378(30% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 3.5g,mono 5.3g,poly 2.3g); PROTEIN 26.8g; CHOLESTEROL 57mg; CALCIUM 97mg; SODIUM 444mg; FIBER 3.3g; IRON 4.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 38.7g

Cooking Light, MAY 1999

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And Apology and Chocolate Mousse....

I apologize to all my readers if I've been slightly neglectful of my blog over the last month or so. The renovations have restarted on my house in full force - not only has it been too hot to cook or bake, I've also been tired and mostly uninspired! I guess stress can do that! Anyhow, this past week we've been shopping around for the renovations we are doing in the kitchen (ceramics, backsplash, faucet, paint, sink, hardware) so all this talk about a BRAND NEW kitchen has brought my inspiration back! I was also under the impression that the new kitchen cabinets were only being delivered late fall but apparently we will be receiving them by the end of August, beginning of September! I'm soooo excited! What's also added to my excitement is the trip we recently booked in Cuba for one week in September - we definitely NEED a vacation!

Soooo...with my inspiration back I starting flipping through recipes I've saved to try. I came across a chocolate mousse but it had 30 grams of fat per serving so I was on a mission to find a lighter recipe that had less heavy cream. Finally, I found a recipe from Cooking Light that uses tofu instead of heavy cream. Low in fat and high in protein - that's what attracted me to the recipe! I must admit though, I was a bit hesitant since I had read some reviews that the mousse had a slight after taste but I decided to made it anyways. I only ran into one little problem... the recipe calls for a candy thermometer but I only had a meat thermometer who's max temperature is 200° so I improvised. I brought the sugar and water to 200° and let it boil for about a minute and a half longer and figured it should have passed 238° by then. The other change I made is I used Mori-Nu silken soft tofu instead of firm tofu after reading other reviews. I let it set overnight and I snuck a taste this morning - it was amazing! You can't taste the tofu AT ALL! I was a bit worried it wouldn't set up like a real mousse because when I poured the mousse into the glasses it was really liquidy but it set up nicely and it had the exact consistency of a mousse....airy, light and creamy! I might tinker with the recipe next time since I found it just a tad too sweet and it needs more chocolate, possibly half dark, but all in all it was really really good! There is a similar recipe from Ellie Kreiger that uses 3 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder so I will substitute those for the chocolate chips and probably reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup.

Stay tuned - I will be trying out a chocolate/hazelnut panna cotta recipe this coming weekend!

Picture Courtesy of Cooking Light

Chocolate Mousse
Cooking Light

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 (12.3-ounce) package reduced-fat extra-firm tofu
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Fat-free whipped topping, thawed (optional)
Grated chocolate (optional)

Place chocolate and tofu in a food processor or blender, and process 2 minutes or until smooth.

Place salt and egg whites in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238°. Pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed. Gently stir one-fourth of meringue into the tofu mixture; gently fold in remaining meringue. Spoon 1/2 cup mousse into each of 8 (6-ounce) custard cups. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped topping and grated chocolate, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

CALORIES 147 (34% from fat); FAT 5.6g (sat 3.3g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 5.2g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 26mg; SODIUM 134mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 22.5g Cooking Light, MAY 2001