Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweet Potato Bread

I found this recipe on All Recipes. It is really good- similar to pumpkin or carrot bread. I replaced half the oil with applesauce. Next time I make it, I want to replace all the oil with applesauce,reduce the sugar, and use some whole wheat flour. We will have to see how that works out! The only picture I have is of half of the mini loaf- oops. I am posting my version below. The original is here.


* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup applesauce
* 2 eggs
* 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/3 cup water
* 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. Combine sugar, applesauce, and oil; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes and chopped nuts.
2. Pour batter into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees F for about one hour. You may want to check it earlier.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these to send Josh for Christmas because they are his favorites- mine too :) And I suppose Nick likes them pretty well too. I have made a few adjustments to the original recipe to make them healthier. My version is below. (This recipe makes a lot of cookies- like 5 dozen or so small ones)

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1. Mix together eggs, sugars, butter, applesauce, pumpkin, vanilla until creamy
2. Mix together dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.
3. Stir in chocolate chips
4. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
5. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 pound 96% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
16 ounces tomatoes, canned
1 cup celery, diced
2 medium carrot, diced
1 large potato, diced
8 ounces frozen corn kernels
8 ounces frozen okra
16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
12 ounces vegetable juice
chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

In a 5-quart pan, over medium heat, saute the garlic and onion in a small amount of oil until tender. Add the ground beef and cook until brown, stirring to break up meat. Drain if necessary, then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, vegetable juice to the meat. Add enough chicken broth to cover . Add the carrots, potato, and celery to the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then add the frozen corn and vegetables and cook for about 10 more minutes or until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Shrimp with Basil, Feta and Orzo

This recipe is from Cooking Light- easy to make and delicious! I usually serve with green beans. My changes are in parentheses.

2 servings (serving size: 1 cup orzo and about 5 ounces shrimp)

* 1 regular-size foil oven bag (or just make a foil pouch)
* Cooking spray
* 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
* 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided (I only use 1 tsp)
* 1 cup diced tomato (I use canned diced tomato with basil and oregano)
* 3/4 cup sliced green onions
* 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (I use fat free feta)
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 450°.

Coat inside of oven bag with cooking spray. Place the bag on a large shallow baking pan.

Cook the pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon oil and next 7 ingredients (1 teaspoon oil through pepper). Place the orzo mixture in prepared oven bag. Combine shrimp and basil. Arrange shrimp mixture on orzo mixture. Fold edge of bag over to seal. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until the shrimp are done. Cut open bag with a sharp knife, and peel back the foil.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Penne Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Vegetables

This pasta dish is from Cooking Light, but I make a few modifications so my version is below. It is even better the next day because the flavors meld. Yummy


* 1/2 pound hot Italian turkey sausage
* Cooking spray
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 cup mushrooms, quartered
* 1 small red bell pepper,diced
* 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
* 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
* 1 small yellow squash
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
* 1/4 - 1/2 cup fat-free greek yogurt
* 4 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne (about 1/2 pound)
* salt and pepper


Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, bell peppers, squash and zucchini; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sausage is done. Stir in tomatoes; cover and cook over medium-low heat 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Add pasta and salt and pepper; stir well. Cook over medium-low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

I made this for November Goodie Day. It is one of my favorite desserts and really easy to make. I want to try it with sugar free pudding in the future.

* 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
* 1 (8 ounce) container light cool whip, thawed
* 3 cups milk (I used 2%)
* 1 (16 ounce) package graham cracker squares
* 1 (16 ounce) package prepared dark chocolate frosting


1. In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk.
2. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
3. Spread the frosting over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. (It is much easier to spread if you microwave the frosting for about 30 seconds, then pour it and spread on. You won't need the whole can of frosting). Cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving.