Friday, June 12, 2009

Fettucini with Vegetarian Marinara

Again, it is Fiber Gourmet pasta night, like almost every night because the pasta is truly light: high fiber, 40% less calories and tastes just like regular pasta, and, because of thehigh fiber content, it keeps me full for hours.

2 oz Fiber Gourmet long fettucini

Vegetarian Marinara:
1 ts extra virgin olive oil
1/3 red onion, diced
2 TB Morning star breakfast starters (ground beef, vegetarian)
1/2 can of salt-free diced stewed tomatoes
splash of olive juice (from a jar of green olives)
salt, pepper, Mrs Dash garlic & herbs
1 TB ketchup
1 ts liquid chicken stock extract
1 small branch of fresh rosemary
a few basil leaves
a splash of liquid sweetener

Cook pasta according to instructions (12 min in boiling water, don't rise, just drain). In a skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the onion and the Morning star vegetarian beef. Then, add all the other ingredients, and simmer until the pasta is cooked al dente. Drain pasta, and serve on plate with sauce. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Swiss Roesti with Kalamata Olives

Roesti is a traditional Swiss potato dish, made from grated potatoes that have been cooked or steamed before. Traditionally, they are fried in clarified butter until crisp on both sides, and served with a fried egg or a meat dish. I updated my version, and mixed in some bacon, a bit of parmesan cheese, and kalamata olives. It was delicious, flavorful and quite skinny! However, no way to get around the clarified butter in this dish!

1 Yukon gold potatoes (ca. 100g)
1 ts bacon bits
1 ts low-fat parmesan cheese
salt, pepper to taste
5-6 kalamata olives, sliced
1 ts clarified butter (ghee).

On the day before, steam or cook the potato until half cooked (they should still half raw, so that they keep some texture when grated. They will finish cooking when fried), ca. 10 min. Cool and set aside.

Peel the cooled potato, and grate on a coarse grater. Handle gently. Add the bacon bits, salt, pepper, parmesan and kalamata olives. In a skillet, heat the clarified butter, and distributed over the bottom of the pan with a brush. Add the roesti mix to the skillet and form them into a patty shape. Fry for several minutes, and then break up the patty and mix the potatoes again so that some of the brown bits are inside the roesti, too. Then, press into a patty again, and finish frying. If you are skillful, you can turn the roesti around and fry it from the other side, too (I can't!). Serve!


Low-Carb Artisan Sourdough Bread

This bread is one of my favorites. It tastes great, is light in calories and low-carb and it is fool-proof to make (and I am a novice bread baker!). I make 2 versions of this bread, one in the bread machine and for the other one I prepare only the dough in the bread machine and bake it in a clay bread baker for a crispier crust and artisan bread shape. The ingredients are the same. (Note: I do not prepare the low-carb bread mix according to instructions, since it calls for high fat ingredients like eggs, butter and cream. However, since this low-carb bread mix typically has more problem rising, I add twice the regular amount of yeast and the Baker's dry milk, which work great.)

Bread ingredients:
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup King Arthur sour dough
1/2 package Bob's Red Mill low-carb bread baking mix
2 TB King Arthur Baker's special dry milk
2 TB linseeds
2 TB caraway seeds

2 TB Red star active yeast
1 ts sugar
1/4 cup warm water.

Mix the yeast with the sugar and warm water in a small container and proof (wait until it is all bubbly).

Meanwhile, layer the ingredients ordered like in the list into the bread machine (wet ingredients first, then dry, the yeast mixture should only touch the dry ingredients). You can mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add them to the bread machine, or just stir them lightly inside the bread baking basket.

Bread machine version: For this version, set the setting to regular bread with light or normal crust.

Artisan version: Uses clay baker.
  • Set the bread machine to dough setting.
  • While the bread machine is making the dough (around 1.5 hours), water the clay bread baker in warm water for 30 min.
  • When dough has ready, drain bottom of clay baker and pat dry.
  • Grease sides and bottom generously.
  • Punch down dough, and shape into loaf and place in clay baker.
  • Let stand, covered with waxed paper, in warm place until dough nearly reaches top of cooker, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Cut diagonal slashes, 1/2 inch deep, in top of dough with razor blade or sharp knife.
  • Soak top of cooker in water about 15 minutes; drain; pat dry and grease.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Place covered cooker in hot oven.
  • Bake 25 minutes.
  • Remove cover, bake until top is brown, 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from cooker and cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Greek Strawberry Cheese Cake

No, it is not a 'greek cheese cake'. I am not even sure there is such a thing, but since the Greek claim to be the originator of Western culture, there likely is one. This is a cheese cake that uses Greek yogurt for the cheese layer, and in my case a low-carb biscuit mix (carbquik) for the base layer, and fresh strawberries in the middle. So, skinny, low-carb, low-calorie, you name it. But it all does not matter then this cheese cake is delicious !

Base layer:
2 TB carbquik (or any low-cal/low-fat biscuit mix)
1/2 TB any whey
2 TB non-fat butter milk
1 Tbsp egg beaters
¼ ts almond extract
¼ ts baking soda

Cheese cake filling:
1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt (I used Fage)
1/2 ts vanilla
1 TB eggbeaters
1 TB splenda
1/2 TB Big train pancake mix (or any other low-cal/fat/sugar pancake mix)

Strawberry layer:
1 cup frozen strawberries, fresh, sliced
1/2 ts vanilla
1 TB splenda

Make the batter and the fillings in separate bowls. For the cheese cake filling, mix greek yogurt and other ingredients until it is a really smooth, creamy texture. Mix the strawberries with the vanilla and splenda.

Fill batter in a small, sprayed spring form, and bake at 400F for 5 min. Take out of oven, pour strawberries over solid surface of the cake base, and pour cheese filling on top of strawberries. Bake for another 20-25 min at 400F. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

entire cheese cake: 1 breakfast + 1 fruit (190kcal)

Note: as you can see in the photos below, I used fresh sliced strawberries, which I had frozen for a few days and then thawed. Beautiful juice, but not so great for the cheese cake because the cake layer gets too soggy. Next time, I use fresh strawberries.