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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sweet Potato Cheese Fries

I'm sort of at the point where I've cut so many things out of my diet, that things I once hated are now delicious. Example: sweet potatoes. So how did I manage the cheesy mess that is pictured directly to the left?

Enter cheesy sweet potato fries. They aren't actual fries, though I suppose you could cut them into fry shapes. However, if you're like me, you won't care, and will choose to simply have your husband cut sweet potatoes into slices.

The following recipe will let you treat yourself with a healthier version of cheese fries that tastes suspiciously similar to it's fattening alter ego.

You will need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 4 tsp garlic
  • Cheese (cheddar, mexican blend, etc)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and cut your sweet potatoes into slices that are roughly 1/4 inch thick. Place the slices into a bowl, pour in the olive oil, salt, and garlic, and toss until the slices of sweet potato are covered.

Spread the sweet potato slices out on a tray (it's okay if they are overlapping) and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping them with a spatula halfway through. After 30 minutes, take them out, and cover with your chosen cheese. Bake for about 2 minutes, and remove from the oven.

We ate ours with some chipotle ranch dressing. It was amazing!

You may also enjoy:
Peanut Butter Fruit Dip (great with apple slices and strawberries)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

Finding a low carb or grain free alternative to pizza is not the easiest task, but if you like (or don't mind) mushrooms, this may be the answer to your pizza cravings. There are no measurements, as this is a fairly straightforward recipe using a few simple ingredients:
  • Portobella mushroom caps
  • Pizza sauce of your choice
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza toppings, if desired
You need to cook the mushrooms before adding the toppings. You could probably cook them for a few minutes in the oven, but I chose to grill them using a counter-top grill/sandwich maker. First, wash the mushrooms, removing the stems and gills, which should come out easily with a spoon. Coat with olive oil, and grill for 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.

Add some sauce, your cheese, and toppings, and cook for about 5 minutes in 350 degree oven, or until cheese is melted, Then, enjoy!

These little pizzas are filling, low carb meal or snack, or could even be served as an appetizer.

You may also be interested in:

Moussaka Casserole

This moussaka-style casserole is made with lean meat, eggplant, and feta cheese for a tasty casserole that is even better the next day. This recipe was inspired by the one found here, though the one that I actually made, detailed below, is slightly different.

In my effort to eat more veggies, the husband and I picked up two eggplant about a week ago at the grocery store. Not wanting to waste it, after I found it still sitting in the refrigerator, I scrambled to find an eggplant recipe that looked intriguing, but wouldn't take up the greater part of the day.

You will need:

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey, or other lean meat
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large eggplant
  • 2 pounds of cauliflower (I thawed and salted a bag of frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Shredded mozzarella & feta cheese
  • Jar of Alfredo sauce
First, I recommend salting the eggplant to draw out excess water, in order to avoid a soggy casserole. To do this, peel and cut up the eggplant into slices, and then bite sized chunks. Place the eggplant pieces into a colander, over the sink or a bowl to catch the water underneath. Shake about two tablespoons of salt over the eggplant, tossing the pieces so that everything is coated. Let sit for at least half an hour. Then, rinse the eggplant with fresh water, and press between paper towels to absorb the moisture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ground turkey in a large pan, and drain the grease. Add the eggplant, cauliflower (thawed and pressed between paper towels to remove moisture if you are using frozen), olive oil, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, oregano, garlic, and diced tomatoes to the ground turkey, cooking on medium heat until most of the juices have evaporated.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 13" x 9" casserole dish. Pour Alfredo
sauce over the top of the mixture, completely covering it. Sprinkle a light layer of mozzarella and feta cheeses over the top of the sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until the top is bubbly and golden. Let cool.

In my opinion, this recipe was even better the next day, when I took leftovers for lunch, which means it would be a great "make ahead" dinner. The cauliflower is used in place of chopped potatoes, which cuts down drastically the number of calories, and carbs. They are close enough in texture that you shouldn't really miss them in the finished product.

You may also be interested in:
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken
Buffalo Chicken Chili

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip (Made with Greek Yogurt)

Peanut Butter Dip
If you are looking to add a little something extra to your fresh fruit, but you don't want to pack on the calories, you should definitely try this simple and amazing peanut butter fruit dip!

Why should you try it?
  1. It's delicious.
  2. It's easy to make.
  3. It's low carb.
  4. It's gluten free.

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup of plain, non fat greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tbsp of peanut butter (room temperature works well)
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar or sweetener (I used Truvia)
To make the peanut butter dip, simply mix everything together. The peanut butter was a little hard to mix at first, but blended after a few stirs. Serve with sliced fruit, such as apples or bananas!

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