For my chocoholics out there, I found another low calorie but rich tasting dessert from my new favorite Everyday Food Light Cookbook.  Each cheesecake has only 147 calories and 8 g of protein.  If you like, you can use cottage cheese in place of  ricotta cheese.  I warn you now, you will not be able to stop at just one.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups nonfat ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

graham crackers, crushed

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 275 F.  Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.

2.  In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for graham crackers, and blend until smooth.

3.  Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups and sprinkle graham crackers on top.

4.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until fillings are set.  Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely, then refrigerate (in pan) for at least 2 hours.

5.   When ready to serve, invert cakes onto plate and peel off liners. Enjoy with a strong espresso!


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Tofu is so versatile, low calorie and packed with healthy protein that I’m always looking for new recipes.  The cilantro sauce really makes the tofu stand out.  It’s also delicious served with grilled summer squash, mushrooms or other grilled vegetables.  I mopped it up with some crusty bread, like a baguette.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups cilantro leaves

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 jalapeno chile (remove seeds for less heat)

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 scallions, white and green parts separated and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tsp agave nectar

1 package (14oz.)extra firm tofu pressed* and cut into 1/4 inch slices

Directions:

1.  Heat grill pan to medium.  In a food processor, combine cilantro, 1/4 cup oil, jalapeno, ginger, lime juice, agave nectar and the green part of the scallions.  Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

2.  On a baking sheet, place the tofu slices and brush with oil.  Season with salt and pepper, repeat on other side.

3.  Lightly brush grill pan with oil and place tofu slices and scallion whites on pan.  Grill for 4-6 minutes, turning occasionally;  brush with cilantro sauce and grill 30 more seconds.  Transfer to platter and serve slices with the remaining cilantro sauce.

 

*Pressing Tofu

Place tofu on a plate and wrap with paper towels.  Place another plate on top and place canned goods or heavy pan on top.  Let drain for at least 2 hours, replace paper towels as necessary.


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PorridgeAmaranth seeds may be tiny but they are nutrition powerhouses.  These tiny little seeds are a great source of protein ( 9g per 1 cooked cup) as well as contain iron, magnesium, zinc and fiber.  Unlike other grains, they also provide the essential amino acid, lysine.  Most people get enough lysine from meats, cheese, fish and eggs but if you are vegan or an athlete you should make sure you get sufficient amounts of this protein builder.

It’s also gluten free, for those sensitive or intolerant to gluten.

Instead of the same cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, try this great nourishing breakfast.

Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Amaranth

1 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup skim milk, unsweetened soy milk or unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbsp of honey or agave syrup

1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Add water and amaranth into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Add milk, honey, dried fruit and nuts.  Serve.

 

 


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Socca

I was going through my old recipes when I discovered this delicious treat.  Socca is popular in the south of France, where it’s eaten hot off the griddle with a cool glass of wine.  Besides the fact this recipe only requires 3 ingredients (not counting the salt and pepper), it’s so easy to make.  The thinner you make them, the crispier and better they taste.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups garbanzo bean flour

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. In a blender mix flour, olive oil, water and salt until smooth.

2.  Heat a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.  When pan is hot enough for a drop of water to dance on surface, brush generously with olive oil.  Pour enough batter into skillet until surface is covered.  It should be as thin as a crepe, about 1/8 inch thick.

3.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the top is dry and bottom is lightly browned.  You can use a spatula to lift part of the Socca to look underneath.

4. Flip over to other side and cook for about a minute.  Slide onto plate and eat while hot. You can also cut it into random-shaped pieces, which is how it’s done in France. Serve with a leafy green salad and some wine.

 

Per serving: 162 calories, Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 0g, Sodium: 19mg, Carbohydrates: 18g, Fiber: 5g,  Sugar: 3g, Protein: 6g


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These pancakes are not only easy to make, but they are also high in protein.  I like to make them on Sunday mornings with a big pot of hot tea or coffee. If you don’t have fresh blueberries, you can also use them frozen; they will defrost when cooked in the skillet.

Ingredients:

Makes 6 pancakes

1 3/4 cup or 15 ounces of skim or part-skim ricotta cheese

1 Tbsp sugar

1 whole egg

1 egg white

grated orange zest from 1 orange

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 Tbsp Canola oil

 

Directions:

1.  In a medium bowl, add the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, orange zest and mix.

2.  Whisk the flour into the ricotta cheese mixture until all the flour is incorporated. Now gently mix in the blueberries.

3.  Heat 1 Tbsp of Canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once heated, add about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into the skillet and flatten into a 1/4 inch circle. Depending on the size of the skillet you may be able to fit 2-3 pancakes into the pan.

4.  Cook until small air bubbles appear, then flip onto the other side. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve hot with maple syrup.

 

Per serving: Calories: 187, Fat:9 g, Cholesterol: 57g, Sodium: 108mg, Carbohydrates: 16g, Fiber: 1g Sugars:4g, Protein:11g

 

 


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