Shepherd’s Pie has always been a comfort food of mine. After all, meat, corn and potatoes… what’s not to love? Not to mention all the salt and gobs of butter.
While dieting in the past I would never even think of letting myself eating Shepherd’s Pie. With my new lifestyle change (I’m not calling it a diet) I have been giving my favorite recipes — especially the comfort food — low-calorie makeovers with better nutritional values.
While I am not doing a no-carb, or even a low-carb diet, I try to limit them whenever I can. I love, love, love mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, once you doctor them up, there are a ton of carbs and even more calories. I found a recipe for mashed cauliflower and — like always — made it my own.
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut cauliflower into chunks
Cook cauliflower until soft
Put cauliflower in food processor with milk and garlic and blend until smooth. You will probably have to scrape the sides clean at several times during the process.
Microwave until warm and serve with your favorite mashed potato toppings
You can add more milk if you like your mashed potatoes runnier and less milk if you like them less runny.
A 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes is about 150 calories. A 1/2 cup of mashed cauliflower is about 30 calories. You pick! Plus, As you can see by the Nutritional Analysis, the cauliflower is SUPER good for you.
I was craving Shepard’s Pie tonight. Full recipe for that coming later). I avoid eating anything canned — there’s just too many preservatives and salt, so I had to come up with my own recipe for cream corn. It was super easy and tastes really good — not the same as the canned stuff, but good nonetheless.
This recipe has about half the calories than the canned version and is much, much lower than sodium.
2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (more if you like the corn runnier)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put cooked corn, milk and salt into a food processor
I stumbled upon a recipe on Pinterest for a lower calorie lasagne using strips of lasagne instead of pasta. I like lasagne. I like zucchini. Clearly, I had to try this. I find it difficult — it not impossible — to follow a recipe to the letter. Instead, I use them as a guides, throwing in my own ingredients and substitutions along the way. Here is how I made my delicious dinner:
5 zucchini or summer squash (I used a combination of both)
1 pound ground lean turkey
15 ounces of low fat ricotta cheese
2 cups of low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 can (10.5 oz) tomato sauce
1 pint fresh mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350
Start by grounding the turkey in a skillet with Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons of garlic stirring occasionally
Slice the zucchini in thin slices to be used as the “noodles”
Boil sliced zucchini for about 3-5 minutes
Drain the fat out of the turkey
stir in tomato sauce
Stir in mushrooms
Line bottom of a 13×9 pan with the sliced zucchini
Add the turkey/mushroom/sauce mixture for the next layer
The next layer should be ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
Place another layer of zucchini followed by another layer of the sauce mixture
Top off with remaining mozzarella cheese
Sprinkle Cayenne pepper on the top before placing in the oven
Bake for 20 minutes
The Cayenne pepper is optional. I cook with it a lot because I’ve heard it can help boost your metabolism. I’m not sure if that’s true, but either way I’m OK with it because it tastes good and is calorie-free.
I really, really enjoyed this recipe. It is really filling and serves a lot of people. I served mine with Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
That’s what my aunt said to me when I told her I tried to make her soup recipe — with a few modifications.
She sent me the recipe yesterday, explaining it was delicious and, even better, very low calorie. I’m willing to they anything that fits that description.
Here is her recipe:
1/2 large red onion sliced and halved
2 cups cubed turnip or rutabaga
2 cups sliced carrot (fresh or frozen)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups cut green beans (fresh or frozen)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 large can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1/2 head med. cabbage cut in med. shreds
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
6-8 cups fat free beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cubed zucchini
In large pot- spray bottom with nonstick spray.
Saute first 4 ingredients for 10 min.or until turnips are el dente. (use some of the broth if necessary to keep from sticking).
While sauteing, prepare next 4 ingredients and combine in bowl.
When turnips are ready, add broth, cabbage mixture, oregano, basil,salt and pepper.
Bring to boil over med heat.
Simmer 10 min.
Add Zucchini and simmer another 10 min.
And here’s what it turned in to…
Kick-ass low-cal Soup
1 large sweet onion
5 large carrots
2 pints of mushrooms
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
15 ounce can of tomato sauce
8 ounce can of sauerkraut
1 summer squash
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
8 cups fat-free beef broth
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic
Add mushrooms (quartered)
Saute for 5 minutes
Add squash, zucchini, carrots, 1 cup of broth
Saute for 5 more minutes stirring occasionally
Add remainder of broth, the rest of the ingredients and two cups of water
stir, cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes
I’ll have to compare it to the original recipe next time I go home, but I was repay happy with how it turned out. It is super-healthy and filling. The only down side is that it is pretty high in sodium (thanks to the sauerkraut and tomato sauce).
This makes a LOT of soup. I’m guessing about 12 1-cup servings. (The nutrition label is for 10 servings). I had some last night and will have some for dinner tonight. The rest I am going to put in single-serving bags and freeze for quick meals when I’m in a hurry.
My taste buds are getting tired of the same old fish and vegetables every day (sometimes twice a day) so I have been experimenting with different recipes that are still on my diet. The ones I think turned out well I will share with you.
My lease is up at my house so I am trying to eat at least everything in my freezer so I don’t have to worry about moving it to my new place. I am starting to get to the stuff that isn’t my favorite, so I have to get creative to make it tasty. That’s how I came up with peach curry pork chops. I’m not a huge fan of porkchops and I have never cooked with curry before, so this had the potential to go horribly, horribly wrong.
Luckily, it didn’t.
Here ya go…
Peach Curry Pork Chops
2 pork chops
2 fresh peaches
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
When oil is heated, place pork chops skillet. Brown both sides.
Peel two peaches, remove pits and place in a food processor.
Add 1 teaspoon of curry, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 cup of light coconut milk to the peaches.
I was craving pizza all day today, and even though it is my “cheat day” I didn’t want to blow all the work I have done this week by ordering a pizza, so I decided to make one. I remembered seeing a recipe on a blog or Pinterest for pizza with a cauliflower crust and decided to give it a shot.
A quick google search brought me to several recipes. I picked one that looked pretty good, modified it a bit, and it turned out great! It has a different consistency than I am used to, but I really enjoyed it. Sorry pizza fans, you can’t pick this up by the slice and eat it, you are going to have to use a fork and plate. It’s worth it though!
This recipe serves three people.
Healthy (yummy) pizza
1/2 head cauliflower riced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Tomorrow’s payday, so today is “let’s see what I can invent for dinner based on what’s in my fridge” day. What did I come up with? Stuffed peppers. I don’t like (and am a little allergic to) tomatoes, and I’m not a huge fan of peppers once they’ve been cooked, so stuffed peppers was the obvious choice! lol (Thanks to my grandma for leaving the tomatoes at my house during her last visit!)
I have a LOT of fish in my diet, and am starting to get a bit sick of it, so even though it is a lot higher in calories, I went with sausage for my protein tonight.
Stuffed peppers with rice and cheese are super high in fat and calories so I modified the recipe a bit to make it more healthy.
I’m not really one to sit down and eat breakfast in the morning, I need something quick and portable. For a couple weeks I have been experimenting with different smoothie recipes and I have finally come up with one I really enjoy.
I have a citrus allergy so I have to be very careful with the types and quantity of fruit I eat. Every day I have been introducing more and more fruit into my diet. When I feel myself having a reaction (my face turns bright red and takes on the texture of a strawberry, it’s really quite attractive) I pull the amount of citrus back and try again in a couple days with more.
I FINALLY found a fruit juice I can drink without having an allergic reaction at all — watermelon juice! I didn’t even know they made such a thing until I found it at Walmart the other day.
Here is what I came up with that takes good and I don’t have a reaction to. This is a recipe for a double batch of smoothies. I drink the whole batch in a day, 1/2 for breakfast and the other 1/2 about 30 minutes before I go to the gym. I make a week’s worth at a time and keep them in the freezer.
1/2 cup fat-free greek yougurt
1/2 cup blueberries
3 rings of canned pineapple
1 cup of watermelon juice
Peel and slice peach
Combine peach, blueberries and pineapple in a Ziploc bag and place in freezer.
The night before you want to drink the smoothie, take the Ziploc out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, combine contents of Ziploc, juice, yogurt and a sliced banana in a food processor/blender.
Blend until smooth.
I prepare a week’s work of the peach/blueberry/pineapple bags at a time and keep them in the freezer so it is super quick to put together in the morning.
Here is the approximate nutrition I have come up with. This isn’t a really low-calorie recipe, but it is a meal replacement in my case so it still works for weight loss.
I love carbs. I’m addicted to pasta, rice, bread, you name it, I love it.
Unfortunately, carbs do not like me.
The most successful diet plan I have ever tried (until now) is the Atkins Diet, but I found it very hard to stick with. Also, while I was losing weight, the diet just didn’t SEEM healthy.
Now I am just trying to keep the carbs to a minimum rather than try to cut them out completely.
I still get cravings for rice and pasta several times a week, but I have found healthier alternatives that are (almost) as satisfying.
Here’s my recipe for a rice substitute. It is healthy, low calorie, and SO easy to make.
1 head of cauliflower.
Wash the cauliflower
Break it apart into chunks
I put it in my Ninja Food Processor . (I am going to be mentioning this a LOT in my recipes so get used to it. I use it a minimum of once per day, generally at lease twice.) No I don’t get paid for the endorsement, I love it THAT much.
Put the lid on and hit the button for 4-6 pulses. (I tried chopping the cauliflower by hand before I got the food processor, it took about 5 minutes rather than 5 seconds).
Put the riced cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and microwave for two minutes. Don’t add water, it makes the “rice” too mushy.