Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Here is a great recipe for Pumpkin Soup! This would be a great pre trick-or-treat meal for tonight!

Hints:
1. This soup freezes well and won’t change consistency when thawed! (gotta love that)
2. For a lighter you can always substitute Half and Half for the heavy cream. (but the nutritional information below is calculated using heavy cream.)
3. Remember to use pure canned pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling!

PUMPKIN SOUP
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups pumpkin puree (I used canned pumpkin)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
5 whole black peppercorns
Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
Puree the soup in small batches in a food processor or blender. (about 1 cup at a time)
Return to pan and bring to boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.
Serves 9
NI: 93.2 Calories; 5.4g Fat (3.2g saturated fat); 18.1mg Cholesterol; 725.9mg Sodium; 11.0g Carbohydrates; 3.5g Fiber; 3.7g Sugar; 2.1g Protein

I WANT PIZZA!!

This is mine and Keith’s version of healthy pizza. We enjoyed this with a side salad for dinner last night. A gluten-free pizza crust from Whole Foods, Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce, Organic Valley Italian Blend Cheese, and Boar’s Head Deli Roast Beef.

Ready to go into the oven…

BAKE FASTER!!!

AH….GOODNESS!!!

Great New Find

I am in love with Zico Coconut Water! It is called “Nature’s Sports Drink!” It contains more potassium than a banana and has only 60 calories, beating artificial sports drinks for healthy replenishment and hydration. Great for athletes!!! It also has 0g fat and no added sugar. It is ALL NATURAL with 5 essential electrolytes and low acidity. You gotta try this!! I have seen it at Whole Foods, HEB, and the Natural Grocer! It is SO yum!

What is Trans Fat?

Everyone is always talking about Trans fat (also known as the bad fat), but do you really know what it is?

Trans fat is, in fact, the worst kind of fat for your health because it both raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. Trans fat is formed when oil is hydrogenated, or processed to become solid.

When hydrogenated fats like margarine and shortening were first invented, they became the ingredient of choice because they were cheaper, more shelf-stable, and thought to be healthier than butter. It was only recently confirmed that this fat is especially unhealthy.

Trans, or hydrogenated, fat is found in stick margarine, vegetable shortening, and fried foods. Until recently, it was also found in most commercially packaged baked goods, crackers, pastries, cookies, and many other products. However, in 2006, when it became mandatory for companies to list trans fat on food labels, many manufacturers changed their formulas to reduce the amount of trans fat their products contain.

Therefore, ALWAYS check the ingredients list on a product for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil of any type. If such an ingredient is present, there is still some trans fat in the food. And if the trans fat ingredients are near the top of the list, drop the box and run the other way!

Gluten-Free Goodness

Keith and I were talking the other day about Halloween and treats our parents used to make for us as kids and we both agreed that rice crispy treats were always a winner. Ever since then we have both been craving them! So I made gluten free crispy treats for us today!

First, I used Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps (found at HEB) and I know you can’t see but at the bottom it says, “made with gluten-free ingredients”. And the Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows are gluten-free too….WHAT A DEAL!

Marshmallows, butter, and rice crispies…is there really anything better?

Ta-Dah!! I wonder if I can wait for them to cool??

Muffin Make-Over!

I will admit that I am a muffin LOVER! I could not live a life that didn’t include these tasty little treats. But traditionally muffins are TERRIBLE for you because they are made with lots of oil, sugar and butter!!! Most store-bought and bakery muffins are actually worse for you than donuts! YES! They just hide behind the name “muffin” making you think they are healthy. But really they are just glorified pieces of cake! But WAIT don’t give up hope! I love to re-create the muffin so they can be enjoyed on a regular basis in any diet! Today is the perfect baking day…rainy and cold! So here you go…your breakfast never had it so good!!

STRAWBERRY OAT MUFFINS

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a muffin pan or use paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine oats and buttermilk, and let stand 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the egg, applesauce, brown sugar and vanilla. Blend in the oat-buttermilk mixture. Stir in the flour mixture, just until moistened. Fold in the strawberries.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serves: 12

133 Calories; 1.2g Fat (0.4g saturated fat); 18mg Cholesterol; 310mg Sodium; 27.8g Carbohydrate; 2.2g Fiber; 15g Sugar; 3.7g Protein

Spinach Filled Fish Rolls

This was Sunday night dinner…so yummy! Enjoy everyone!

SPINACH FILLED FISH ROLLS

1 lb sole, orange roughy or flounder fillets (I used orange roughy)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup garlic-flavored croutons, crushed (I didn’t use these)
Lemon wedges, if desired

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. If fish fillets are large, cut into 4 serving pieces.

Place spinach on fish; sprinkle with garlic salt. Roll up each fillet, beginning at narrow end. Place rolls, with points underneath, in baking dish. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise and mustard; spoon onto each roll. Sprinkle with croutons.

Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

1 Serving: Calories 120; Total Fat 2.5g (1g saturated fat);Cholesterol 55mg; Sodium 360mg; Total Carbohydrate 5g; Dietary Fiber 0g; Sugars 2g; Protein 20g