UPDATED – Baked Alaska – An elegant dessert for a celebration

New Year’s eve is coming soon and to celebrate the day, I thought it would be fun to make something special like Baked Alaska. This is a family favorite that I have been eating since childhood and making for almost 30 years.

Who invented Baked Alaska?

Alaska was purchased in 1867 from Russia for $7.2 million (a little over $100 million in 2016 dollars).  To celebrate the acquisition of the new territory, Chef Charles Ranhofer at Delmonico’s steakhouse in New York City created this dessert.  (March 30 1867)

When did I first eat this amazing dessert?

One of my first memories of eating Baked Alaska was at summer camp when I must have been about 10 years old.   I still vividly remember the waitresses (counselors) parading through the mess hall with Baked Alaska for all of us to celebrate some special occasion I can no longer recall. What an introduction to this wonderful dessert!

My mother started a new tradition of making Baked Alaska at home as a special birthday treat soon after I regaled her with tales of what had happened at camp.   This was certainly a tradition I endorsed.  Back then she made it with regular meringue with unpasteurized eggs, not the Italian meringue I now use in my recipe.  We didn’t worry as much about food safety in those days.   I guess we didn’t know as much about the potential perils of eating raw unpasteurized eggs as we do today.

Start a day or two in advance so the cake and ice cream are fully frozen

To make this dish you need to start a day in advance (or more), and before you start make sure you have adequate space in your freezer for the individual desserts.  Be forewarned, once you make this one time for your friends or family, they’ll never let you off the hook again.  In fact, you’ll probably find yourself making it over and over again for birthdays, holidays and the occasional family treat.

Do I personally eat Baked Alaska?

In case you are wondering, yes, I eat Baked Alaska on special occasions, despite being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).   Some things in life are just too good to miss…savor every moment and I hope you always enjoy good food, good health, and good friends.

 

Happy New Year!!

Have a wonderful 2020!!

 

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Baked Alaska - An elegant dessert for a celebration
A festive dessert for nearly any celebration. To cut down on the preparation time, use slices from a commercially prepared pound cake.
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Course Dessert, Holidays
Cuisine American
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 15 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cake Bases
Italian Meringue
Course Dessert, Holidays
Cuisine American
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 15 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cake Bases
Italian Meringue
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Instructions
prepare cake bases
  1. check your freezer to make sure you have enough space for three trays (4 to a tray) desserts.
  2. cut 6 parchment paper squares approximately 6" x 6"
  3. In the meantime, sift the cake flour and set it aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add 1/4 of the beaten egg whites to the yolk and stir gently. Carefully fold the remaining egg whites, flour and salt into the yolks. Do not over mix.
  6. Place batter in parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until done.
  7. Set cake aside to cool. While the cake is cooling, cut a new parchment sheet into twelve 4″ squares.
  8. When the cake is completely cool, cut into 2 3/4″ rounds. Place one cake round on each parchment square.
  9. Working quickly, place one scoop of ice cream (approximately 1.5 oz. size scoop) in the center of each cake round. I often use coffee flavor, but you can use any flavor you prefer.
  10. Place tray of cake bases with ice cream in freezer for several hours to re-freeze the ice cream.
Italian Meringue
  1. Place sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot on the stove and heat until boiling.
  2. Continue to heat. When temperature of the sugar syrup gets close to 220 degrees F (use the candy thermometer) begin beating egg whites in mixer until soft peaks are formed.
  3. Slowly add 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. When temperature of sugar syrup reaches approximately 240 degrees F, pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites while the mixer is on high.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per serving): 189 calories; 17 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 107 mg cholesterol; 173 mg sodium; 67 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 10 grams protein (values are approximate).

Individual Cheesecakes for Dessert

Cheesecake is a favorite dessert for many people that is often served this time of year. It is traditionally made with full fat regular cream cheese, whole eggs, sugar and sometimes even heavy cream.  It is delicious – however, it is not very compatible with a healthy eating program, at least when it is made in the traditional manner. As a result, it should generally be reserved for special occasions and eaten in small amounts.

cheesecake Cheesecake is a favorite dessert for many people. It is traditionally made with full fat regular cream cheese, whole eggs, sugar and sometimes even heavy cream.  It is delicious. However, it is not very compatible with a healthy eating program, at least when made in the traditional manner. As a result, you should reserve it for special occasions and eat it in small amounts.

A Lighter Heathier Cheesecake

I’ve adapted this recipe in an effort to provide a somewhat lighter, somewhat healthier, version of this treat. I’ve substituted reduced fat cream cheese for the regular cream cheese. I also replaced one of the eggs with egg whites and used nonfat Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream.  I also used nonfat sweetened condensed milk which does add sweetness from the sugar but saves on the fat.  The crust is graham cracker crumbs and olive oil – the topping a simple raspberry compote made from frozen raspberries, a little sugar, water and some lemon juice.

Inspired by The Hotel Portillo in Chile

chile

The inspiration for this recipe came from the chef at the Hotel Portillo in Portillo, Chile who makes cheesecake with full fat cream cheese, regular condensed milk, sugar in the graham cracker crust and no yogurt.

A Great Dessert for a Weeknight or Get Together

Because I have adapted the ingredients in this recipe to create a somewhat healthier version of this cheesecake, this dish is a good option to serve once in a while as a weeknight dessert for your family after a home cooked meal.

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Happy Holidays! Individual Cheesecakes for Dessert
Individual Cheesecake
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Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20-30 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
cheesecakes
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20-30 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
cheesecakes
Ingredients
Individual Cheesecake
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Recipe Notes

Approximate nutrition information per serving (without topping): 400 calories; 18 grams fat; 4.6 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 36 mg cholesterol; 310 mg sodium; 50 grams carbohydrate; 0.7 grams dietary fiber; 9 grams protein.

Ratatouille to celebrate Bastille Day

Storming of the Bastille
The Storming of the Bastille. Artist: Charles Thevenin. ca.1793. etching. Source: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/384288

ratatouille ingredientsSaturday, July 14 is Bastille Day, the French national holiday that commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. This date marked  the start of the French Revolution. Some of the factors which fueled the revolution, were “discontent with the monarchy and the poor economic policies of King Louis XVI” (The French Revolution).  The extravagant lifestyle of the king and queen (Marie Antoinette) no doubt also played a role in inciting the the population.

My First Bastille Day in Paris

One of my happy memories is when I was a student in Paris. This was back in my early 20s and I had occasion to be there for the Bastille Day celebration.  It was a wonderful day and night of festivities, with many revelers filling the streets with joyful celebration.  I’ll never forget how glorious the Champs Elysses looked all lit up on that special night. Was it the magic of Paris? Or the magic of being 20-something celebrating my own independence with friends in the city of lights?

Bring Paris to You by making a classic French Ratatouille

Many of us can’t get to Paris by Bastille day. Instead, we can bring a little Paris into our homes and make French cuisine to celebrate.  Ratatouille is a wonderfully easy summer dish.  If you are trying to lose some weight, at 40 calories per 1/2 cup serving, Ratatouille can be included as part of a healthy eating plan to help you reach your weight loss goals.

The Many Variations of Ratatouille

Ratatouille goes well with grilled fish, chicken, or beef. It can also be served as an hors d’oeuvre. Just add it to a toasted slice of crusty baguette or toasted whole grain pita. There are many variations of this classic dish, for example, many recipes add red or green bell peppers into the mix.  You can also make it more savory or less by adding more garlic and other herbs — what’s your favorite variation?

If you don’t have the olive oil or spices on hand you can purchase them in the shop.

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Celebrate Bastille Day with Ratatouille
Ratatouille to celebrate Bastille Day
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Course Vegetarian
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
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Ingredients
Course Vegetarian
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Ratatouille to celebrate Bastille Day
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Recipe Notes

Approximate Nutrition Information per 1/2 cup serving: 40 calories; 2 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 0 mg cholesterol;  80 mg sodium;  6 grams carbohydrate;  2 grams dietary fiber;  1 gram protein.

Harvest Farro Salad with Lemon Dressing

 

Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet and research shows that most Americans do not get eat anywhere close to the recommended amount.  One grain that many people have traditionally overlooked is farro. Farro is a type of wheat and can be used in many different ways including salads, soups and side dishes.

The Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent (www.ancient.eu/image/5435/)

There are three types of farro, einkorn, emmer and spelt. They can be purchased as whole grains (which must be soaked before cooking), pearled (cooks the quickest but can be gummy as all the bran is removed) or semi-pearled (less gummy than pearled since some of the bran is left intact).  According to NPR, it is thought to have originated in the fertile crescent and it has been found in tombs of Egyptian kings.

Catherine Zymaris, RD, originally wrote this post a few years ago as a Dietetic Intern at Rutgers School of Health Related Professions.  She is now a clinical Dietitian at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

This is her wonderful recipe for Harvest Farro Salad that is a whole grain salad. It is delicious, nutritious and easy to make.  It stores well in the refrigerator and makes a great addition for weekday lunches.

PLEASE NOTE:  Farro is NOT a gluten-free grain. It is a type of wheat and should not be eaten if you have celiac disease, gluten allergy or other gluten sensitivity, etc.

Harvest Farro Salad with Lemon Dressing

by Catherine Zymaris, RD

The ancient grain of farro

The past few years has seen a rise in the popularity of ancient grains, like quinoa, amaranth, freekah, and farro. These grains are appearing on restaurant menus and on grocery store shelves. Ancient grains are featured prominently in blogs, social media, and on television. The ancient grain that I love the most is farro. It is a delicious, nutty grain that is a great source of fiber (more than any ancient grain), protein, vitamin B3, zinc, magnesium, and iron. A half-cup of cooked farro has double the protein of the same amount of brown rice!

What type of farro is best?

The only pitfall to farro is the type to buy; this grain comes either as unpearled, semi-pearled, or pearled. Unpearled has the bran fully intact on the grain, which requires an overnight soak and a long cooking time. Pearled (the bran is completely removed) has the shortest cooking time but leaves the grains gummy and unappealing. For the best results in both texture and cooking time, try semi-pearled – the bran is partially intact, providing a good amount of fiber but a 20-30-minute cooking time.

What are other ways to use farro?

Use farro in a variety of ways. It can be a replacement for rice in risotto or pasta for soup. My  favorite way to use semi-pearled farro is as a base of a cold salad that is perfect as a main vegetarian course or as an easy side dish. This Harvest Farro Salad with Lemon Dressing is a nod to the flavors of the season and highlights farro’s hearty chew. I hope you enjoy!

Check out the shop to purchase your farro online.

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HARVEST FARRO SALAD WITH LEMON DRESSING
Farro can be used in a variety of ways, from a replacement for rice in risotto or pasta for soup, but my favorite way to use semi-pearled farro is as a base of a cold salad that is perfect as a main vegetarian course or as an easy side dish. This Harvest Farro Salad with Lemon Dressing is a nod to the flavors of the season and highlights farro’s hearty chew. I hope you enjoy!
Harvest Farro Salad
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
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Ingredients
Harvest Farro Salad
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Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per serving): 300 calories; 15 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 410 mg sodium; 36 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams protein (values are approximate).

Breakfast? Whole Wheat Crepes with Fresh Berries

 crepe with berries

I don’t know about you, but there are some mornings when you want something a little different for breakfast such as whole wheat crepes with fresh berries. This is something easy to make, but nutritious. It’s something special, but does not involve cooked eggs, cold cereal, yogurt, oatmeal or muffins.  Not that I don’t enjoy all of those foods, but sometimes you want something more.  These crepes are a healthier version than traditional crepes, and they are fun to eat as you imagine yourself in a sidewalk cafe on the banks of the Seine in Paris.

If you are a little unconventional or a confirmed vegetarian or vegan, you might go with a vegetable soup or salad for breakfast. For example, a traditional breakfast in Japan includes steamed rice, miso soup, grilled fish, vegetables and Japanese pickles. It takes a little getting used to, but a Japanese breakfast packs a lot of nutritious food into a low sugar start to your day.

If a Japanese style breakfast is not for you, and you are seeking a more conventional choice,  think about making these homemade whole wheat crepes.

Whole Wheat Crepes are Nutritious and Easy to Make

I understand that making crepes from scratch may not be one of those things you currently do. However, if you’ll stick with me for a moment you’ll see just how easy they are to make. They also freeze well, and can be quickly reheated for breakfast on another day. Since they are made with whole wheat flour, two crepes provide 8 grams of protein. I made them using egg whites to reduce the amount of cholesterol and make them more “heart friendly.”

Add cottage cheese for Protein

To boost the protein, try adding a tablespoon of nonfat cottage cheese or lowfat ricotta as a filling in each of your finished crepes.  This brings the protein up to 11 g per two crepe serving. Adding a 4 oz. glass of nonfat milk and a tablespoon of walnuts will provide another 6 g of protein. This will bring the total protein for the dish up to 17 g.

The importance of protein

Why is protein important? It helps build cells, tissues and muscles throughout your body and helps your immune system.  Protein helps keep your bones healthy as shown in many research-based studies (along with calcium and vitamin D).  However, it’s important to not overdo it with protein.

 The recommended daily amount for protein is 46g for females age 14 to 51+, 52g for males age 14 to 18, and 56g for males age 19 to 51+ (US Dietary Guidelines, 2015).  If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have certain medical conditions or are very active, your protein need may vary from these recommendations.  If you have a question about how much protein makes sense for you, consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for help.

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Whole Wheat Crepes with Fresh Berries for Breakfast
Whole Wheat Crepes with Fresh Berries
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Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
6-8" crepes
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
6-8" crepes
Ingredients
Whole Wheat Crepes with Fresh Berries
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Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and mix well.  
  2. Spray 8" skillet or crepe pan with canola oil and preheat on stove.
  3. Using a  1 to 1-1/2 ounce scoop or measuring spoon to drop batter into pan and allow it to spread to fill the pan and cook.
  4. After 2-3 minutes, flip gently to cook the other side.
  5. Remove from pan and hold crepes in gently warm oven until ready to serve.
  6. Serve with fresh berries or your favorite fruit. You can also use maple syrup or other condiments as desired.
  7. To freeze: Allow finished crepes to cool completely. Place in stack separated by squares of parchment paper. Place entire stack in freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, label and freeze.
  8. To use a frozen crepe, remove from freezer, place on microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per serving (2 plain crepes):  170 calories; 8 grams fat; 1.5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 115 mg cholesterol;  260 mg sodium;  17 grams carbohydrate;  2 gram dietary fiber;  8 grams protein (values are approximate).

Black Bean and Corn Salad

black bean and corn saladHappy Cinco de Mayo! This holiday is a recognition of the Mexican army’s victory over France in the 1862, Battle of Puebla. In Mexico, it is a somewhat minor holiday.  In the US, with many people who are always looking for a reason to celebrate, Cinco de Mayo parties pop up in many places.

Not just for Cinco de Mayo

If you want to incorporate Central or South American cuisine into your repertoire of dishes, this black bean and corn salad is an easy recipe to make. I make it year round as it keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator, can be made quickly in advance or just prior to serving, and uses ingredients that are staples in my pantry.

Plant-based Protein from Beans and Corn

Many Central and South American cuisines combine corn and beans in their recipes. Although corn is an incomplete protein on its own, according to Old Ways Whole Grains Council, corn and beans have complementary amino acids and create a complete protein when blended in a dish. Due to the combined nutrients within the two ingredients, recipes with corn and beans make a good source of plant-based protein.

Easy to prepare and expand

If you know you have a busy day coming up, you can make it a day ahead of time and serve it the next day. It is also a very easy recipe to expand if you are serving a large crowd. This makes it a great addition to the menu for picnics or tailgate parties. Simply double the ingredients to create a larger dish.To spice it up a bit, you can also add some chopped red, green or yellow bell peppers. Since it doesn’t contain any mayonnaise, it is also a good choice for outdoor dining when the weather turns hot.

How to serve this black bean and corn salad

You can serve this black bean and corn salad as a hearty side dish with grilled chicken or fish. Or if you are following a vegetarian diet pattern, you can enjoy this salad as a main dish. This will add to your healthy intake of protein for the day. Need an easy to make weekday lunch?  Black bean and corn salad makes an excellent choice.

Make it once or twice and it will soon become a staple in your menu lineup!

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Black Bean and Corn Salad
Black Bean and Corn Salad
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Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
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Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
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Ingredients
Black Bean and Corn Salad
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Instructions
  1. Rinse beans and drain.
  2. Cook frozen corn in a little water for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  4. Adjust seasonings, if needed.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per serving): 140 calories; 4 grams fat; 0.5 grams saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 21 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams protein (values are approximate).

Black Bean Hummus

black bean hummusThe creation of hummus is claimed by many different middle-eastern countries but it is difficult to pin down the exact origins of hummus. Nevertheless, hummus is a staple of middle-eastern cuisine and has grown in popularity around the world. It is now made with a diverse range of ingredients and in many different cuisines. This black bean hummus recipe offers a nice change of pace from a traditional chickpea hummus.

How many ways can you make hummus?

While chickpeas are traditionally used for hummus, you can use many varieties of legume to make hummus. You can also try my recipe for white bean hummus when you want something different. Eating a wide variety of different foods is essential for a healthy diet. It can also allow you to add diversity of taste, color, and texture to a dish which can make your meals more interesting and enjoyable. Try making hummus with your favorite legume and see how you like the results.

Black Beans: A Rich and Fibrous Bean

Black beans are high in fiber and have around 7 grams of protein in a 2 oz serving which makes them a nutritious legume to use for hummus. They also have a richness of flavor that is an interesting contrast when paired with fresh vegetables. Black bean hummus can make a unique addition to your lunchtime sandwich or wrap, adding flavor and texture to your meal.

To add more vegetables to your diet

Try serving this hummus with raw carrot sticks, celery, slices of cucumber, slices of red, green and yellow peppers, or slices of jicama.  Use your imagination to come up with other new items to dip. You can make a colorful platter if you use a variety and get a broad range of different nutrients by eating vegetables of many different colors.

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Black Bean Hummus
Black Bean Hummus
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Prep Time 10 minutes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
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Black Bean Hummus
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Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain canned beans.
  2. Blend all ingredients in food processor.
  3. Adjust seasonings if needed.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per 2 oz. serving):  180 calories;  9 grams fat;  1.5 grams saturated fat; 0  grams transfat; 0 mg cholesterol;  220 mg sodium; 18 grams carbohydrate;  6 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams protein (values are approximate).

Chicken Pot Pie

chicken pot pieThis Chicken Pot Pie is a wonderful addition to your freezer, so if you get home late, you can have dinner ready in about 30 minutes.  Freezer to microwave, microwave to oven, oven to table.  Since it is full of mixed vegetables, it can really be a one-pot meal on nights when you just don’t have time to cook.

Store bought pie crust and frozen vegetables

This Chicken Pot Pie recipe uses a pie crust topping that you buy in the freezer case at the grocery store.  Some crusts are slightly more healthy than others, for example, some are made with whole wheat but nearly all of them include palm oil, butter or lard.  These fats are high in saturated fats, which is why they are solid at room temperature.

Generally I recommend that as much as possible you should avoid commercially processed foods. On this one, I’ll make an exception due to the food science behind how to make the perfect pie crust.  Pie crusts, even those you make at home, will have a better texture and flakiness if a saturated fat is used. Saturated Fat is bad for your heart health, and in general should be avoided.

If you try to make a pie crust with canola oil or olive oil, the texture can be tough and unappealing. I do make crusts using various oils for certain things, but that is a topic for another day. You can also make them with a different type of topping, for example panko bread crumbs, or a soft doughy roll batter, but I’ve yet to find a solution to this problem.  If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

An old fashioned “stirred” crust is another option  to make at home

One homemade crust that I will sometimes use is a “stirred” crust that includes whole wheat flour, canola oil and skim milk. That is the type of crust I sometimes make when I have time. It’s a very old, traditional recipe I originally learned from my mother, but is based on a version you can find in the classic Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

Make your pot pie in advance for a quick meal after a long day

Chicken pot pie is a dish that is super easy to make, freezes well, and at least in our house, never has any leftovers.  So every once in a while I will make them, usually two at a time — one to serve and one to freeze.

This is also a tasty “comfort food” that is good to make when you are undergoing chemotherapy or other treatment for breast or other cancers.  When you’ve been out at the doctor all day, the last thing you want to do when you get home is start cooking dinner.  Having a homemade chicken pot pie in the freezer solves this problem if you make it in advance.

Bechamel, a mother sauce of French cuisine

The only slightly tricky part (not really) is making the white sauce (bechamel) that holds the whole thing together.  Since white sauce is one of the “mother sauces” used in many, many French dishes, it’s not a bad idea to learn how to make it. It really only takes about 5-10 minutes to put together if you have the ingredients which are typically part of your basic pantry anyway.

 

 

 

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Chicken Pot Pie
This is a quick and easy way to make homemade chicken pot pie. I try to keep one in the freezer most of the time so that I always have dinner waiting in a pinch.
Chicken Pot Pie
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1.5 hour
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1.5 hour
Servings
people
Chicken Pot Pie
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray an oven-safe pan and bake chicken breasts at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until thoroughly cooked. This can be done in advance.
  3. After the chicken cools, chop it into bite-size pieces.
  4. Make the bechamel sauce by mixing the olive oil, butter, flour, milk, nutmeg, thyme, and black pepper.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Rinse the frozen vegetables under cold running water to defrost them.
  7. Spray a deep dish pie pan with canola oil. Add the chopped chicken, vegetables and bechamel sauce.
  8. Cook the pie for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  9. After 15 minutes, lower the oven to 350 degrees F and continue to cook the pie for 30 min.
  10. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer (internal heat should exceed 165 degrees F).
  11. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per serving:  472 calories;  21 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat;  90 mg cholesterol;  255 mg sodium; 35 grams carbohydrate;  6 grams dietary fiber;  35 grams protein (values are approximate).

Peach Berry Cobbler with Oatmeal Streusel Topping

peach berry cobblerWith the chilly weather outside, I start to think about warm peach berry cobbler for dessert.  I don’t quite understand the connection, but it probably goes back to some long forgotten childhood memory of my mother making peach cobbler at this time of year.

Frozen fruit works fine, when fresh is out of season

Fast forward to 2018. Always pressed for time, I’ve adapted this recipe to use frozen fruit instead of fresh.  To improve the nutritional profile, I use olive oil in the streusel, instead of butter.

Brown sugar in this cobbler

This recipe uses brown sugar with the fruit filling to enrich the flavor. Nutritionally, brown and white sugar are similar, and it is more a matter of personal preference.  Brown sugar has molasses in it, which provides slightly more minerals than white sugar.  However, since you are only using it in small amounts, the amount of minerals you’ll actually get from brown sugar in this recipe is minimal. In general, a healthy diet should not include a lot of added sugar as it doesn’t add much nutritional value but does add calories.

Peach Berry Cobbler as part of a healthy diet

In my opinion, everyone should be able to fit the occasional dessert into their healthy diet.  Sugar is not evil, you just need to be careful to not eat it too often or in large quantities. Watch the portion sizes and savor something that is a little sweet when you are enjoying a meal with friends and family.

 

 

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Peach Berry Cobbler with Oatmeal Streusel Topping
Peach Berry Cobbler with Oatmeal Streusel Topping
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Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 50 minutes
Servings
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Ingredients
Peach Berry Cobbler
Oatmeal Streusel Topping
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 50 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Peach Berry Cobbler
Oatmeal Streusel Topping
Peach Berry Cobbler with Oatmeal Streusel Topping
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Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per serving without ice cream):  240 calories; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 70 mg sodium; 45 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams protein (values are approximate).

Grilled Romaine “No Egg” Caesar Salad

grilled romaineIt seems like everyone loves Caesar Salad.  The classic dressing is made with raw eggs and contains a lot of salt.  While salt may taste good, most Americans consume way too much salt in their normal diet compared to recommended amounts.  Too much salt in the diet may lead to elevated blood pressure.  Extra salt in your diet may also lead to damage to your heart, kidneys , brain and other organs.

A Caesar Salad with No Raw Eggs

I got to work in my kitchen and made this revised “no egg” recipe.  It  relies on a raw cashew cream to provide the body and consistency normally provided by the raw egg.  I also cut back on added salt, and ended up with a delicious “no egg” alternative that contains 290 mg of sodium (still a little high, but not impossible) and 150 calories per serving.

What are the risks of eating raw eggs?

Eating unpasteurized raw eggs is not recommended due to the risks of getting a food borne illness such as salmonella. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths occur due to non-typhoidal Salmonella annually in the United States. In order to stay safe traditional caesar salad doesn’t typically make the cut, unless it has been made with pasteurized eggs.

 

 

Print Recipe
Grilled Romaine "No Egg" Caesar Salad
Grilled Romaine "No Egg" Caesar Salad
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Rating: 0
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Rate this recipe!
Course Salads, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Grilled Romaine "No Egg" Caesar Salad
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with water to soak for 1-2 hours.
  2. Pre-heat grill to a high temperature.
  3. Drain cashews and blend in a food processor or blender with vinegar, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, mustard, garlic, lemon juice and anchovies until smooth.
  4. Lightly spray romaine hearts with canola oil and place on grill to cook, turning 2-3 times until lightly cooked.
  5. Place one romaine heart on an individual plate and top with a small dollop of dressing.
  6. Garnish with parmesan cheese, cherry tomato halves, croutons and pepper, if desired.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information (per serving without tomatoes or croutons): 150 calories; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 290 mg sodium; 6 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams protein (values are approximate).