January 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm , by Sonia Harmon
Who’s ever heard of a healthy brownie? Not me—at least not one that tastes good—until I saw this recipe in our February issue for “Brownies Made Healthier.” I love baking, and most of my favorite recipes include more butter and sugar than I’d like to admit, so I knew I had to give this whole healthy brownie thing a shot.
The ingredients certainly surprised me. The health boost mainly comes from a few sneaky ingredient swaps, including squash and olive oil instead of butter and whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. As for the recipe itself—it was a piece of cake! (Or brownie?) The only trouble I ran into was defrosting the squash. I forgot to leave it in the fridge that morning so it could defrost while I was at work, but if it weren’t for that little hiccup the prep probably would have taken me only about 5 to 10 minutes. Next, the brownie batter went into the oven at 350 degrees for 23 minutes.
January 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
Slow-cookers are like magical dinner-making fairies. Or really awesome sous chefs. Seriously, I throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, set it on low, go to work and come home to a fantastically yummy meal? Best thing ever. Someone needs to give its inventor a medal. Or at least a hug, on my behalf.
All that said, I don’t use my cooker as often as I intend to, mostly because I want the prep to be as simple as possible and I balk at anything requiring more than 5 ingredients and 10 minutes. (It’s tough enough for me to get up extra early to get the ingredients together. Added thinking or excessive time cannot be required, or I will go right back to bed.) So when I saw this taco recipe from our fabulous food editors, Tara and Khalil, in our February issue, I couldn’t wait to make it!
A small disclosure: The recipe called for pork loin, which is lower in fat than the cut I used, pork shoulder. I happened to have pork shoulder in the freezer and wanted to use it, so my tacos were a bit less good-for-you than Tara’s version! (Hers is above on the left, and mine is on the right. I could have benefited from some better lighting.)
Prep could not have been easier. I cut the meat in half, chopped up onions and carrots in my little food processor, minced some garlic and a chipotle chili and plopped it all in the pot with the rest of the ingredients: cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Besides the spices and cilantro, there are only eight ingredients, and I already had most of them!
January 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm , by Catherine LeFebvre
3 sticks light string cheese
Six 6-inch corn tortillas
2 dashes salt
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup jarred pizza sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
17 slices turkey pepperoni (like the kind by Hormel), chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet or ovenproof platter with nonstick spray and set aside.
Break each string cheese stick into thirds and place in a blender or food processor — blend at high speed until shredded/grated. (Or tear into pieces and roughly chop.) Set aside.
To make the chips, stack tortillas and cut in half. Cut each stack of halves into 3 triangles, for a total of 36 pieces.
Evenly lay tortilla triangles flat on the sheet or platter, and cover with a generous mist of nonstick spray. Sprinkle with a dash of salt. Flip triangles and sprinkle with another dash of salt.
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Carefully flip triangles and bake until crispy, about 5 minutes longer. (Leave oven on.)
Meanwhile, bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add veggies and, stirring occasionally, cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Add pizza sauce and garlic powder. Mix well and continue to cook until hot.
Evenly top chips with sauce. Sprinkle with Parm-style topping and shredded/grated cheese. Top with turkey pepperoni.
Return to the oven until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
HG Alternative! For a meat-free option, feel free to swap the turkey pepperoni for some sliced black olives.
PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, 9 loaded nachos): 213 calories, 5.5g fat, 744mg sodium, 28.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 10.5g protein — PointsPlus™ value 5*