Cranberry Chutney

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This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law about 20 years ago – I make it every Thanksgiving, except nowadays I use Truvia Baking Blends rather than sugar. The ginger gives it a nice spicy kick and the texture and taste is wonderfully rich. Not hard to make — just chop, measure, mix, simmer, refrigerate.

2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup Truvia baking blend
1/4 cup Truvia brown sugar blend
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup peeled and chopped ginger root
4 cups cranberries
8 cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients into a medium stock pot; stir until well combined. Bring mixture to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to simmer; allow chutney to simmer until the texture is almost as firm as jello, about 15 minutes or more. Pour into serving bowl and refrigerate for several hours, or preferably, overnight. This makes plenty for a large Thanksgiving meal plus leftovers! It freezes well if you want to make some ahead for Christmas.

Shrimp Pasta

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A yummy and light pasta dish adapted from a recipe in Better Home and Gardens. Don’t leave off the fresh parsley, it really makes the meal!

Serves 4

8 oz spaghetti/linguine
12 oz cooked shrimp, deveined, peeled, tails removed
Sea salt
Coarse black pepper (freshly ground if available)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 fennel bub, trimmed, cored, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with mild green chilies
8 oz white wine (or, one of those little wine bottles that come in a 4-pack!)
4 tbsp fresh Italian flat parsley leaves, chopped
Parmesan
Red pepper flakes

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente texture; drain and set aside. Season shrimp with sea salt and coarse black pepper.

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In large skillet heat 2 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add onion and fennel. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in remainder of oil, add garlic and Italian seasoning; cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in Rotel tomatoes and the white wine. Bring to boiling.

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Boil gently, uncovered, 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; add shrimp and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pasta. Divide among four pasta bowls and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, parmesan and red pepper flakes to taste.

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Warm and Nourishing Leftover Stovetop Casserole

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I grew up on leftovers, and I find it easy to throw them together to create a meal in a hurry. But not everyone sees opportunity inside the Tupperware in the back of their fridge.

If your leftovers tend to die a slow green death, this recipe may make life easier for you on evenings when you’re too tired to start dinner from scratch. The amounts are very flexible to accommodate whatever you’ve got on hand. It should take about 20 minutes to make this, from start to finish.

In the pictures on this page I used leftover pork roast, green beans, and red bell pepper.

1 tsp olive oil, or: spray the bottom of a large frying pan with spray oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked meat, cut into 1″ pieces (chicken, turkey, pork, or beef)
About 1 cup roughy chopped veggies (leftover or frozen)
1 can 98% fat-free Cream of Mushroom Soup
An empty mushroom soup can filled 2/3 full with any milk
Coarse ground black pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Brown onion, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cook about 1 more minute (don’t let garlic burn). Add meat and brown, about 4-5 minutes, stirring often so onion and garlic do not burn. If meat sticks, add a little more oil. Add veggies and stir thoroughly.

In a small bowl, stir together soup and milk thoroughly. Pour soup mixture into the pan until the meat and veggies are completely covered (you may not need all the soup mixture, depending on how much casserole you have). Stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer. Add cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve over rice, potatoes, or biscuits.

Serves 2-4

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Minestrone Soup

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Just made this soup for hubby and he loved it! It’s so fresh and easy to make, especially if you use a high performance blender like a Vitamix to chop the veggies.

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb. hot italian turkey sausage
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 carrots, chopped
32 oz chicken stock or broth
1 tblsp tomato paste
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, mild
1/4 cup red wine (optional but yummy)
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1/2 pound green beans
1 1/2 cup baby spinach, rinsed
1 zucchini or yellow squash, halved and sliced
1/2 tblsp dried or fresh oregano
2 tblsp fresh basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan and basil for topping

In a large stock pot over med heat, heat 1 tbslp olive oil and brown turkey sausage. If needed to reduce sticking, add another tblsp olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add celery and carrots and sauté additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Add chicken stock, Rotel tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Add red wine.

Reduce heat to med low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach, zucchini, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, half the basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or longer.

Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle Parmesan and fresh basil leaves on top and serve.

6 + servings

Adapted from allrecipes.com

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Light Almond Cheesecake

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Well I’m on a roll … a dessert roll! This yummy cheesecake substitutes low-fat, low-sugar, and low-carb ingredients whenever possible to make this cheesecake lighter and healthier. I started with a recipe on Solo.com and modified it. Obviously it’s not as healthy as celery sticks, but when you want a nice dessert to serve company or your family you can feel a little better about it than the usual lardy cheesecake.

Crust
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6 graham crackers, crushed (run through a food processor)
1 1/2 tablespoon Truvia baking sugar
3/4 cup finely ground almonds (run through a food processor)
5 tablespoon margarine, melted

Filling
1/2 package (4 oz) low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 oz) low-fat Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
2/3 of a can Solo Almond Cake and Pastry Filling
1 to 2 oz Truvia baking sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract

Topping

3/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Truvia baking sugar
Almonds for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9″ springform pan and set aside. Combine graham cracker crumbs, ground almonds, and Truvia in small bowl. Add melted margarine and stir until well blended. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and party up sides of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes in oven. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack (do not turn oven off).

To make topping, stir sour cream, Truvia, and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Set aside in refrigerator.

To make filling, beat cream cheese, yogurt and Truvia in medium-size bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add almond filling, flour and almond extract, beat until well blended. Pour mixture into cooled crumb crust.

Bake 1 hour or until center is set. Remove the cheesecake from oven, let cool for five minutes, then spread sour cream mixture over top. Return to oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until topping is set.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Top with a handful of almonds, arranged in a “daisy circle” in the center. Refrigerate several hours or until ready to serve. To serve, run tip of sharp knife around inside edge of pan and remove side pan. Place the cheesecake on serving plate.

Lo-Cal Peanut Butter Cup “Ice Cream”

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I got this from the South Beach Diet … was it the book? Online? Can’t remember. This is my own approximation of measurements, but in truth it’s hard to ruin this recipe. Add ingredients in whatever amounts you want, it’s awesome and better for you than Haagen Dazs!

1 No Sugar Added Fudgsicle pop
2 Tbslp. Fat-Free Cool Whip
1 Tbslp. peanut butter (I prefer Laura Scudder’s Old Fashioned Nutty)

Soften the Fudgsicle by leaving it out of the freezer a few minutes or softening in microwave. Remove stick, throw it away (obviously), add Cool Whip and peanut butter and stir in bowl with a spoon until fully mixed. Eat. Yum.

Calories: 165

Hummus Veggie Wrap

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Ok, here it is,  a whole new twist on the wrap!  Not.  Actually all I did was substitute hummus for the cream cheese and turkey in the last post.

But hey, at least I’m posting, people!  Where are all the recipes I hear about but never see on this blog!?  Come on. :)

1 low carb tortilla

3 tblsp. hummus

Handful of baby organic spinach

2 tblsp. sliced black olives

3 oz. shredded carrot “sticks”

1/4 avocado, sliced thin

Tomato, chopped

Red onion, sliced thin

Spread the hummus over the tortilla and then layer remaining ingredients.  Roll, cut in half, eat!  About 340 calories.