Tag Archives: low-fat gourmet

Healthy Whole-wheat Banana Muffins

Today’s Menu: Low-fat whole-wheat banana muffins with coconut, flax seed, oats and honey

banana-muffins

We eat a lot of bananas in our household but with the Florida summer heat now in full effect our bananas ripen faster than usually. Today I had a few that were on their way to the bin so I decided to repurpose these and make us a nutritious snack for the weekend. Bananas themselves are packed full of potassium. Potassium is an important mineral for the correct function of tissues, cells and organs in the body, especially normal digestion and muscular function.
Unfortunately muffins tend to contain too many calories, fat and refined flour and sugar but you can still enjoy this breakfast favourite by just replacing a few ingredients. I swapped out the sugar with honey, bleached flour with whole-wheat and added a few non-traditional ingredients like flax seed, oats and coconut for an extra boost.

Makes 12 small muffins
Prep time: 10 mins. | Cook time: 15-20 mins.

3-4 ripe bananas, smashed
1 c whole-wheat flour
1 c oats
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp honey
1/2 skim milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 c unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp milled flaxseed
1/4 c chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl and transfer to a slightly greased muffin pan. I like to fill mine just above half way to make my portion sizes slightly smaller 🙂

Sources: http://www.livestrong.com/article/230722-banana-nutrition-guide/#ixzz2WIolEfX4

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Grilled Glazed Pork, Baked Sweet Potato and Asparagus

Tonight’s Menu: Grilled Honey Mustard Glazed Pork with Cherry Tomato drizzle, Baked Sweet Potato with caramelized onions and Asparagus.

Now that spring has sprung there is no reason to not fire up the BBQ. Grilled meat  over an open flame is a flavourful and healthy alternative to cooking in a pan as the excess fat drips from the food during the cooking process. Though, it is very important to keep your grill clean and make sure it is quite hot before starting so you do not need the excess fat to avoid sticking. Rub grill or spritz with oil instead of pouring directly on the meat. 
I try to avoid having too many carbs during the dinner hour and reserve them for lunch instead. But today I went to the gym for over 2 hours so I felt I needed the extra nutrients plus I was starving by dinner hour. I decided to bake sweet potatoes as they are excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and a very good source of vitamin C, they also have healing properties as an antioxidant food.  I added flavor and dimension to the potatoes by topping them with rosemary infused fat-free sour cream and caramelized onions instead of traditional butter, SC and chives.

Serves 4
Approx. cooking time 1 hrs. 

8 lean pork cutlets
4 tbsp. honey mustard
1/4 c. grape tomatoes
1 tsp. olive oil
2 shallots (Brunoise or fine diced)
juice of one lemon
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 c. chicken/vegetable stock
S&P

4 large sweet potatoes
1 large spanish onion (sliced thin)
1 tsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
sprig of rosemary (chopped)
S&P

One bunch of asparagus

Set oven to 400º, pierce washed sweet potatos with a fork and place directly on the oven rack (unpeeled). Set timer for one hour.
Heat a small skillet to medium-low an add the oil and onions. Season with S&P, let cook on low stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and golden brown. Remove from pan and return the skillet to the heat and increase heat to medium high. Add oil and shalots, saute until lightly browned and deglaze with wine. Add lemon juice, stock and tomatoes. Reduce until approx. 1/4 c. liquid is remaining and season to taste. Set aside.
Rub pork with S&P and place on a hot grill when there is 15 mins. left on the potato timer. Use a pastry brush to glaze the pork with the honey mustard. After one side is cooked, flip and glaze the other side.
Bring a deep skillet of water to a boil, salt and add asparagus while pork is cooking and remove the asparagus when bright green and still slightly crisp.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut a slit down each. Mix the sour cream and rosemary. Reheat tomato drizzle sauce.
When plating, top each potato with sour cream and caramelized onions then spoon tomato drizzle over pork and ta dah!

This meal was very filling, if you are not super hungry I suggest only eating half a potato. Btw, sorry for yesterday’s missing post. I was out and about for St. Patty’s day and swapped the Good-for-You Gourmet for beer and wings 😉 So worth it!

Enjoy xO

 

Stuffed Artichokes with Squash Soup

Tonight’s Menu: Artichokes stuffed with ground chicken served with butternut squash soup.

 

I found these huge artichokes yesterday and was determined to find a great use for them. I have never stuffed artichokes before so I decided to give it a shot. Artichokes are a great source of fibre and when stuffed with lean ground chicken, low-fat cheese and vegetables provide a very balanced meal especially for those with fitness daily on their agenda. As it was my first time stuffing the artichokes I decided to boil them first then remove the inedible parts. This became a challenge as they fell apart slightly and I had to serve them in ramekins but they tasted lovely and still looked quite delightful. The ramekins also worked out well as you could still pull out the leaves to eat the meat of the artichoke on the ends without it completely falling apart.

I decided to serve the meal with a butternut squash soup that I made yesterday. Soup always tastes best the next day! This soup is very low in fat as I omitted the cream and butter that is usually added and completed it with only a few ingredients. That’s the thing, we tend to add a lot of unnecessary fat into recipes without even trying the result without first. Only a great cook can create superb dishes without adding excess fat; as we all know fat = flavour. Next time you create your favorite dishes take a second to think of flavourful replacements for fatty additives such as fresh herbs, spices, lemon, low-fat cream cheese and sour cream etc.

Serves 4
Approx. cooking time 1 hrs. 

Butternut Squash Soup:
1 medium butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
1 small onion (diced)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 c. white wine
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tetra pack of reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (great for digestion)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
S&P to taste

Saute onion on low with oil in large pot. When onion is softened and lightly browned add the squash. Turn heat to medium high and stir for approx. 5 mins. Deglaze the pot with wine and add the stock and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for approx. 20 mins or until squash is quite tender. Take of the heat and blend until smooth with a hand blender. Return to heat and add spices. Let simmer without a lid for about 10 mins. to reduce. Season to taste. Serve with fat-free sour cream quenelles and toasted pecans if desired.

Stuffed Artichokes:
4 large artichokes
1 lb. ground lean chicken
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion (Brunoise or fine diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
10 large brown mushrooms (sliced)
1 zucchini (diced)
1 can of diced tomato
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 c. low fat ricotta cheese
S&P
1/4 c. Parmigiano (grated)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a few pinches of salt (always add salt to blanching or boiling water!). Add the artichokes and cover. Let simmer for 1/2 hr.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high, when hot add the chicken and one clove of garlic. Cook until there is no pink left and season with S&P. Spoon into a bowl with a slotted spoon and discard excess juice and fat remaining. Return skillet to heat, add oil and onions. Cook until translucent and add remaining garlic, mushrooms and zucchini. Cook for about 10 mins. stirring occasionally. Add chicken, tomatoes, thyme and ricotta; simmer until almost dry. Season with S&P to taste.

Remove artichokes from water with tongs and let drain upside down in the large bowl.

Cut off tops and pull out middle leaves with tongs. Remove hair from top off heart as it is quite bitter. Spoon out the hearts and set aside. Cut off the stem and place in ramekin. When all are cleaned, chop hearts and add to meat mixture. Return skillet to heat for 5 mins. to make sure it is hot and spoon into cleaned artichokes. Sprinkle each with parmigiano and broil on high until cheese is slightly browned.

Serve straight from the oven with soup on the side. Remember to remind guests that they can eat the large soft ends of the leaves, I like to dip them in my soup 🙂 Pheww that was a long one but well worth it. Hope you enjoy, Good-for-You Gourmet!  xO