Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chocolate Brownie With Raspberries and White Chocolate Chips

Serves 9
Calories per serving: 291

1 heaping cup fresh raspberries
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and finely grated
1/2 cup white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
1 cup ground almonds
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cocoa powder, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Line the pan with parchment paper. A big square placed over the top is enough, if you then cut into each corner to make a neat pleat. It's also a good idea to dot a tiny bit of oil on the base and sides to help the paper stick down.

3. Add the eggs and sugar into a large bowl, and using a handheld or standing mixer, beat on medium-high speed 4 to 5 minutes, until pale, fluffy and quadrupled in size.

4. Add the grated butternut squash and the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Beat until well incorporated. Pour half of this mixture into the prepared pan. Scatter the raspberries and chocolate chips over the top. Top with remaining batter.

5. Bake for 20 minutes until just cooked.

6. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes and garnish with sifted cocoa powder before serving.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sauteed Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos With Mango-Pineapple Salsa and Spicy Black Beans

Serves 4
Calories per serving, shrimp tacos: 413
Calories per serving, mango-pineapple salsa: 76
Calories per serving, spicy black beans: 110

For the shrimp tacos
2–4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp, deveined
3 tablespoons high-quality tequila
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
2–3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
4 whole-wheat tortillas

For the mango-pineapple salsa
1 large ripe mango, chopped
1/4 cup red onions, chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1–2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Salt, to taste

For the spicy black beans
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 14-ounce can black beans
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

1. To make the shrimp tacos: In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the cumin and red pepper flakes, and let the flavors blend together. Add the shrimp and toss. Carefully add the tequila and flambé. Season with salt and add the dried chipotle powder. Once shrimp are cooked, add the chopped cilantro and toss.

2. In a separate nonstick skillet over low heat, heat a whole-wheat tortilla until pliable, about 2 minutes on each side.

3. Plate one tortilla per person and serve three shrimp in each taco.

4. To make the spicy black beans: In a saucepan over medium heat, add the chopped onion and chopped garlic clove. Sweat the onions for about 2 minutes. Add the cumin and the black beans. Stir and add the red pepper flakes. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

5. To make the mango-pineapple salsa: Peel the mango and chop into small dice and place in a bowl. Chop the yellow and red bell peppers and add them to the bowl with the mango. Add the drained pineapple tidbits and chopped red onion and toss together. Squeeze some lime juice over and toss. Add the chopped cilantro, salt to taste, and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Serves 10
Calories per serving: 222

For the cake
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces beets, peeled and finely grated
4 ounces low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons strong black coffee
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar

For the icing
1/2 cup dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons strong black coffee
2 tablespoons honey

For the top (optional)
Organic, unsprayed rose petals

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly spray an 8-inch springform baking pan with cooking spray.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, salt and baking soda, and set aside.

4. Using a standing or handheld mixer set at medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar for 4 full minutes until pale and fluffy. On low speed, beat in the grated beets, followed by dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and coffee, and beat until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour into the pan and place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted for doneness; it should come out clean. Bake for an additional 5 minutes if needed.

6. Cool for 10 minutes or so in the pan and unmold onto cooling rack. Cool on a wire rack until cold. 7. To make the icing, prepare a double boiler.

8. Combine all the ingredients and gently stir until the chocolate is smooth. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens.

9. With the cake still on the wire rack, pour the icing liberally over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Transfer onto a plate or cake stand for serving and garnish with rose petals.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Healthy Potato Skins

Serves 2
Calories per serving: 420

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bag baby spinach
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 slices turkey bacon
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and onto an oven rack. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork-tender.

3. Meanwhile, in a deep saute pan heat the olive oil and cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the entire bag of spinach and scallions, cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.

4. In another saute pan cook the turkey bacon until crisp and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. When cooled, chop the bacon into small pieces and reserve.

5. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, let them cool for 5 minutes. Carefully slice each one in half and scoop out inside of potato into a bowl. Add cream cheese, buttermilk, salt and pepper, and mash together until smooth.

6. Using a pastry brush, coat the outside of each potato skin with the vegetable oil. Fill each of the shells with the filling and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Transfer each skin back to the baking sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the skins are crispy. Top with bits of turkey bacon and serve.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Candice's Easy to Make Asian Marinade

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Stuffed Shells

Serves 10
Calories per serving: 331

12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (approximately 40 shells)

For the tomato sauce
1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1 14-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup roughly chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 sprigs fresh basil

For the stuffing
1-pound bag baby spinach
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
2 scallions, chopped
2 cups (16 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat, part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch grated nutmeg
1. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shells, and partially cook 6 to 7 minutes — they should have started to become tender but will still be firm to the bite. Drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to the oiled baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer so that they don’t stick together. Let cool.

2. For the sauce, pour the tomatoes into a bowl and mash with your hands, or pulse in food processor to chop. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to very low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. (Check a few times during cooking; if vegetables begin to brown, add 2 teaspoons water and stir.) Add the tomatoes with juice, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently 5 minutes. Then simmer very gently, partially covered, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Scrape into another container with a rubber spatula; set aside.

3. Add the spinach and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Place over medium heat, cover and cook, tossing every now and then with tongs for even cooking, until wilted, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, and let cool, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can, and chop. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

4. In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring every now and then, until tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add scallions during the final 1 minute. Add to the bowl with the spinach. Add the ricotta, the ham, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the parsley, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the nutmeg, and stir to combine.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of two 9-x-13-inch baking dishes. Fill the cooked shells with the cheese mixture, about 1 tablespoon per shell, and arrange the shells side by side in a single layer in the prepared dishes. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells, and then sprinkle each with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

7. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Delicious Fruit Smoothy

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Pasta Primavera

Serves 4
Calories per serving: 445

3/4 pound whole-wheat or whole-grain penne
1 pound (1 bunch) medium asparagus, cut into 1 1/2-inch sections
1 15-ounce can chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons extra for serving
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 red onion, chopped small
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and cut into quarters or sixths, depending on size
1 cup frozen peas
2 pieces sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6-ounce bag baby spinach
2 scallions, chopped

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.

2. Combine the asparagus, 1/4 cup of stock and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat until al dente, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with any remaining stock. Set aside.

3. In the same skillet, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil with the garlic and onion over low heat. Cover and cook until the vegetables soften but do not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes. Add the mushrooms, and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook until the mushrooms are lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes. If mushrooms begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 tablespoons stock and stir to release. Add the peas, the rest of the stock and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook about two-thirds of the way, about 6 minutes.

5. Remove 1 cup of pasta water and add it to the skillet with the vegetables. Drain the pasta in a colander, and add it to the skillet. Bring liquid to a boil; cook until reduced by about one-half. Add all but about 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, the asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the spinach. Cook, tossing with tongs, until the liquid is reduced and thickened and the spinach is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls, and sprinkle with scallions and sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle each with 1/2 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sesame Peanut Noodles

Serves 6
Calories per serving: 308

For the noodles
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti

For the dressing
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 lime
1/2 cup hot water

For assembling
1/2 bag store-bought coleslaw mix
1/2 cup red pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, squeezed
1/2 cup apple
1/2 cup jicama
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
2 scallions, julienne
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, for garnish
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta, and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and run under cold water.

2. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir together with a whisk. Add the dressing to the pasta and toss. Stir in the coleslaw mix, red pepper and cilantro. Squeeze a half of a lime over the mixture, and toss.

3. Add the remaining ingredients, toss and refrigerate for one hour. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Serve.

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Candice's Candy Salad

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Ultimate Breakfast Burito

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Sweet & Sour Pork Chops

Serves 4
Calories per serving, pork chops: 290
Calories per serving, brown rice: 175

For the pork chops
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound 1-inch-thick boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of any fat, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 red onion, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 red (or 1 red and 1 green) bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
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For the brown rice
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups chicken stock

1. To make the pork chops: Combine sherry, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar in a medium bowl. Add pork and gently toss until well coated. Let marinate in the refrigerator.

2. Stir together pineapple juice, ketchup, vinegar, the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, and remaining teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl until well combined.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned but still a little crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large dish. Heat another tablespoon of the oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned but still a little crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the same dish.

4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the pork cubes, arranging in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until a golden-brown crust forms on the bottom, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the cubes over and cook until a golden-brown crust forms on the other side, about 1 1/2 minutes. Return onion and peppers to the pan and toss to combine. Add pineapple juice mixture and cook, stirring, until sauce evenly coats everything and thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

5. To make the brown rice: In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil and add the rice. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the grains and serve.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oven-Baked Crispy Chicken Tenders With Coleslaw

Serves 4
Calories per serving, chicken with coleslaw: 519
Calories per serving, tartar sauce: 27

For the chicken
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 pound chicken tenders (about 12)
1 1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed to medium crumbs
Nonstick cooking spray

For the tartar sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon drained nonpareil capers
1 tablespoon chopped sweet gherkin
1 tablespoon water

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For the coleslaw
1 1/2 (10-ounce) bags cabbage slaw mix
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
2 tablespoons thin-sliced red onion
1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
2–3 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. For the chicken: In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, spices and buttermilk. Add the chicken and turn in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

3. For the coleslaw: In a large bowl, combine the cabbage slaw mix, bell pepper, onion and shredded herbs. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.

4. For the tartar sauce: Whisk together all of the ingredients in a separate small bowl.

5. Place the cornflake crumbs on a plate. Drain the chicken tenders. Pick up a chicken tender with one hand, and turn it in the cornflake coating, using the other hand to gently press additional coating onto the sides. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue on in this way to coat all of the chicken pieces, arranging them on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees until firm, about 15 minutes.

6. To serve, divide the coleslaw among 4 bowls. Arrange 3 chicken tenders, standing up with wide ends at the bottom and overlapping slightly, at one side of each mound. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken. Garnish bowls with chopped cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Cook Yourself Thin Premiers Today (May 4)

Cook Yourself Thin is an all-new series on Liftime offering viewers the skills and the confidence to give their favorite indulgent meals a healthy makeover by cutting the calories and doubling the flavor!

Based on the successful British series and popular cookbook, culinary experts Harry Eastwood, Allison Fishman and Candice Kumai show guests how to lose their unwanted inches by replacing extreme dieting with clever cooking. Each half-hour episode follows one guest as she learns simple ways to transform her favorite high-calorie meals into delicious, healthier fare.

The meals are prepared step-by-step, comparing the calorie count of the original recipe to that of the "Cook Yourself Thin" version. The guest is then sent home with the ingredients, tools and tips necessary to make healthy changes in the kitchen. After six weeks of living the "Cook Yourself Thin" lifestyle, each participant is visited at home by the hosts to check on her progress.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sneak Peak of Cook Yourself Thin

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Serves 12
Calories per serving: 200

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups reduced-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-muffin tray with paper liners. Set aside.

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Chicken Caesar Salad
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2. In a standing mixer, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, ground cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mashed banana, and blend on low speed for 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and reduced-fat buttermilk, and blend for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

3. Using an ice cream scoop, portion the batter evenly into the muffin tin, and top each muffin with 3 to 4 chocolate chips. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Once muffins are baked through, remove them from the oven and let cool. Serve.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cook Yourself Thin Cookbook

Cook Yourself Thin is a healthy, delicious way to drop a dress size without all the gimmicks.

For some of us, losing weight has always been a struggle. The challenge: figuring out how to cook healthy, low-fat foods that won't leave you hungry, bored, or running for a gallon of ice cream! Cook Yourself Thin shows how to cut calories, change diets, and improve health without sacrificing the foods we love.

Cook Yourself Thin is not a fad diet. It gives skinny alternatives to your cravings. You can't live without your chocolate cake or mac 'n' cheese? You don't have to! (See Very Chocolate Cake, page 200.) There's never enough time to cook? Cook Yourself Thin keeps it simple--with easy instructions and fun recipes you'll want to make again and again.

What are you waiting for? Cook Yourself Thin!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Don't Miss Another Episode of Cook Yourself Thin!

Watch Cook Yourself Thin on your cellphone! FIND OUT MORE HERE.