November 24, 2013

Great light Carrot Cake recipe from "nutritionist" friend!

Defiant Health & Fitness (Christy Seguin)

Today's recipe----Lower-calorie CARROT CAKE!

As you all know, I also have a business called "Cakes ROCK!!!" where I indulge my creative passion of sculpting really rockin' cakes. Of course, there is nothing 'healthy' about cake, but there are some that are fewer calories than others. This is my recipe, put together from the best of several other recipes I have tried, for a really good lower-calorie & lower-fat carrot cake (NOT LOW-fat, mind you, but low-ER!), that will fool just about anybody. I get rave reviews on it.

Now, adding icing will up the calories big time, especially if you use cream cheese, buttercream, etc. The nutritional information is just for the cake.

Don't omit the cayenne pepper. It's the secret ingredient that brings the flavor out amazingly! (I got that from the Sweet Genius himself, Ron Ben-Israel.) The zucchini has something in it that makes a wonderful binding agent, giving a great texture, & is undetectable as far as flavor.

Lower-Calorie Carrot Cake

3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 Tbs Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
6 eggs
7 oz carrot baby food (2 Gerber packs)
1 Tbs vanilla flavoring
1.5 cups packed dark brown sugar
1.5 cups granulated white sugar
¾ cup coconut oil, melted
1 pound shredded carrots (peeled)
½ pound shredded zucchini (peeled)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices & salt in large bowl. If using the nuts & raisins, toss them in the flour mixture until well-coated. Set aside.

With mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, oil & sugar until smooth & creamy, approximately 3 minutes (don't skimp on this). Add carrot baby food & vanilla & beat well. Fold in carrots & zucchini.

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, mixing on low speed & scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Mix until well-blended. Batter will be thick.

Grease & flour your 8" cake pans (Makes either 2 thick or 3 thinner 8" layers), & line the bottom with butter wrappers or parchment paper to ensure it won't stick. Spread the batter in the pan, filling no more than 2/3 & bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, approximately 50-60 min for 8” cakes.

Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool.
Serves a minimum of 25, which is the number I used for the nutritional calculations.

Per serving, for cake only (with raisins & walnuts--omit for fewer calories): 267 calories, 40 grams carbohydrates, 11* grams fat, 5 grams protein

*without walnuts, 8 grams fat

November 19, 2013

Potato Soup, (Garlic) Cheese Biscuits, Pumpkin Pie

It's what's for dinner! ;)

I started making the pie first because it takes longer to bake:

Pumpkin Pie

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened (I leave mine sitting out of pkg in the large 15 cup mixing/measuring bowl)
2 c canned pumpkin, mashed
1 c sugar (I added 1.5 cups)
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg + 2 yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-n-half (cream found in refrigerated section next to coffee creamers)
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla (I used 2)
1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)
Pie Crust (Ritz or the like), deep dish, or two regular
Whipped Cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat cream cheese with hand mixer. Add pumpkin and beat until combined. Add sugar & salt and beat until combined. Add eggs, half-n-half and melted butter and beat until combined. Add vanilla, cinnamon and ginger and beat until combined.
Pour into (warm) pie shell, and bake 50 minutes to 1 hr 10 minutes until center is set.
Place on wire rack to cool. Slice and garnish with whipped cream.

Potato Soup

(Suggested toppings: chopped green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, cooked crumbled bacon)
3 c cubed potatoes (don't rinse too much, I only rinse after peeling to get the dirt off... the starch helps thicken the soup)
1 can chicken broth
1 small carrot, grated/shredded
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 Tb parsley (I added 1.5 Tb)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
COMBINE above ingredients, cover and simmer 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
3 Tb all-purpose flour
3 c 2% milk
COMBINE above 2 ingredients well, stir in to soup, bring to a boil stirring, 2 minutes.
Add 8oz shredded cheddar cheese
Stir well until melted, serve, and garnish.

(Garlic) Cheese Biscuits

1 1/2 c bisquick (or any brand baking mix)
3/4 c buttermilk (or 2% milk)
3 Tb sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder, optional
2 Tb chopped basil, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine all ingredients and stir just until combined. Scoop into muffin pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook 12-15 minutes.

November 04, 2013

Chili Chicken over Savory Rice & Cheesy Broccoli

I cut up 3 chicken breasts, added 2 Tbs olive oil and 1 tsp minced garlic in a pan to heat, then added 1.5 Tbs Kikkoman Thai-style Chili Sauce. Added the chicken, cooked several minutes on medium, stirring occasionally,  while prepping the rice.

1 cup rice, 2 c water, salt, oregano, chicken bullion cube, garlic powder.

Broccoli, steamed in 1/4 c water in the microwave on 5 minutes. Made some cheese sauce in a pot by using three 1/2 inch slices of block-processed-Velvetta-type cheese, 'crumbled', and 1/4 c milk. Warmed and stirred over medium heat in small pan, poured over broccoli. Salted and peppered everything on the plate.