Friday, August 28, 2009

Crustless Lemony Goat Cheesecakes

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I got the idea of making a goat cheesecake after spotting it on the menu at Abattoir on Wednesday. I didn't order it, for I thought I could make my own lower-carb and higher-protein version. It has double the calories of my usual fat free cheesecakes; I wasn't able to find any reduced fat fresh goat cheeses. I used some fat free cream cheese, but not enough to cover up the slight tang and the sweetness of goat cheese. If the calorie count is too high for you, use smaller ramekins and reduce baking time, use fat free sour cream, and/or use a reduced fat goat cheese.

Ideas for toppings: reduced balsamic vinegar, fresh blueberries and blackberries, lemon curd, fresh whipped cream

Tips when making this:
-Be careful when placing and removing the roasting pan from the oven. It is pretty heavy, and you don't want to splash water in the cheesecakes. You could line the ramekins with tinfoil, but I was too lazy to do this.

-Be careful when removing the ramekins from the roasting dish. I accidentally dropped one because my hands are too small to hold one at a time, and I dipped the thumb of my oven mitt into the cheesecake :(.

-Food processor
-Plastic spatula
-Food scale
-1/4 t measurement
-4 4-6 oz ramekins
-Cooking spray
-1 large roasting pan

-6 oz fresh goat cheese
-4 oz fat free cream cheese
-1 serving egg substitute
-1/2 cup Splenda granular
-1/2 cup light sour cream
-zest of 1/2 lemon
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-3/4 t vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
-Pinch of kosher salt

1) Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) Place cheeses in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary.

3) Add egg substitute and Splenda to food processor. Pulse until combined. Scrape down the sides as necessary.

4) Add the light sour cream, zest, juice, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until combined. Scrape down the sides as necessary.

5) Coat each ramekin with cooking spray and then fill each with equal amounts of cheesecake batter. Arrange them in the roasting pan so that they don't touch, and then fill the pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

6) Place roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, and let them rest for 30 minutes at room-temperature. Cover with saran wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Each cheesecake has
190 calories
10g fat
8.75g carbs
16.5g protein

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Crustless Orange Rum Cheesecake with Dark Chocolate Shavings

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Craving a cheesecake, but bored of the pumpkin variety, I opted for something fruity this time. This is the first time I've made a cheesecake on my own sans recipe, but I think it turned out pretty good. Some changes I'd make: 1) skip the marmalade and make a real orange syrup 2) use real rum when cooking the glaze, because for some reason the imitation rum extract was strong at first, but the flavor cooked away as the glaze thickened 3) put the cake ingredients in the food processor before pouring it in the pan, because the cheesecake was a little grainy.

Here's what I did to make this cake. Feel free to tweak it since I have some qualms about it. Out of a 4-person vote, 3 (including me) thought the cheesecake was pretty tasty. My dad thought the marmalade was bitter.

Sorry for the bad pictures; the lighting at my parents' house is not great.

Servings: 8
Cake ingredients:
-2.5 packages of softened fat free cream cheese (8 oz each)
-1 cup Splenda granular
-2.5 servings egg substitute
-1 cup light sour cream
-zest from 1 orange
-1 t vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract or 1/2 t vanilla powder
-1 t imitation rum extract
-1 t orange flavor

Glaze ingredients:
-juice from 1 orange
-3 T sugar-free orange marmalade
-1 T Splenda granular
-1 t rum extract
-pinch of kosher salt

-dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) Cream the cream cheese and Splenda on medium until smooth.

3) Add the egg substitute and beat until smooth.

4) Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until combined.

5) Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the cake jiggles a little in the middle. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes.

6) Heat the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally. Cook until the glaze can coat the back of a spoon but can still be smeared gently over the cake.

7) Smear over the cake, and let it cool to room temperature.

8) Wrap with tinfoil and let chill in the refrigerator. Before serving, add some chocolate shavings.

Each slice has
130 calories
2.5g fat
10.6g carbs
13.7g protein

Friday, August 7, 2009

High Protein Crustless Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

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I found a healthy pumpkin cheesecake recipe and made it last week. It was too cheesy, and not pumpkin-y nor flavorful enough. I've tweaked it a bit, and here's my version.

It has no fat, very few carbs, and lots of protein for a dessert! Plus, it's delicious!

Servings: 8
-2 1/2 packages of fat free cream cheese (8 oz. each)
-1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
-4 egg whites
-1 cup Splenda granular
-1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 t cinnamon
-1/2 t allspice
-1/2 t vanilla powder or 1 t vanilla extract
-1/2 t nutmeg
-dash of ground ginger
-dash of ground cloves

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, Splenda, and vanilla from low to high until smooth, about 1 minute.

3) Add pumpkin, egg whites, and spices. Beat from low to high for another minute.

4) Spray a 9'' cake pan with cooking spray. Pour in the batter, pick up the pan, and tap on the counter to release air bubbles and smooth the top.

5) Optional: using a toothpick, make a decorative swirl from the center of the cake to the edge.

6) Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the top of the cake browns a bit. I baked for 65 minutes.

7) Let the cake cool to room temperature, and then cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

8) Serve with fat free whipped cream!

Each slice has
103 calories
0g fat
6g net carbs
1.5g fiber
and 14g protein

Heavenly Chocolate Rum Cupcakes

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I haven't had rum cake since I was 9 years old and visiting New Orleans. I found a low fat chocolate rum cake recipe at this vegetarian site, but I tweaked it a bit. I try to avoid soy products, so I replaced the tofu for fat free ricotta cheese. Calabro brand fat free ricotta is the best I've tried so far; it is available at Whole Foods. I lowered the sugar by using sugar-free maple syrup and rum extract instead of rum. I increased the amount of protein by substituting 2 T of whole wheat pastry flour for chocolate casein.

I ordered vanilla powder and chocolate extract recently from Fante's. These were used in my cupcakes, but you may use vanilla extract instead and forgo the chocolate extract. I've found that vanilla extract is sometimes bitter, so I decided to buy vanilla powder. Real vanilla beans are quite expensive :p. The bottle of chocolate extract smells heavenly; I've read that it enhances the flavor of chocolate-y goods.

I opted for rum extract since it's a "free" food, and rum isn't available at Whole Foods, or any grocery store, where I went last night for whole wheat pastry flour. Georgia is very particular about alcohol: no alcohol sales on Sundays, except in restaurants, and beer isn't allowed to be "on sale" at liquor stores.

The inside is very moist and cake-y. They are a heavenly treat, and for only 46 calories to boot!

Servings: 12
Dry ingredients:
-1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 scoop (15g) of chocolate micellar casein
-2 T Splenda granular
-1/2 t baking powder
-1/4 t baking soda
-1/8 t cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
-1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup sugar-free maple syrup
-6 T espresso
-2 T water
-1 t rum extract or 2 T rum
-1/2 t chocolate extract (optional)
-1/4 t vanilla powder or 1/2 t vanilla extract

Rum glaze ingredients:
-2 T sugar-free maple syrup
-2 T espresso
-1/2 and 1/4 t rum extract or 1 1/2 T rum

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) Put the wet ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth.

3) Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium-size mixing bowl.

4) Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together until smooth.

5) Divide mixture among a 12-cup muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray.

6) Bake for 30-35 minutes; a toothpick will not come out totally clean.

7) Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes.

8) Meanwhile, combine the rum glaze ingredients. Microwave for 10 seconds, and then brush onto the cupcakes. Apply 2 coats.

Each cupcake has
46 calories
1g fat
5g net carbs
1g fiber
and 3g protein

Thursday, August 6, 2009

So Good Spicy Fried Chicken and Tomato Salad

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We southerners sure love our fried chicken. This is a healthy, low calorie, somewhat low carb, and high protein comfort meal you can make in 20 minutes.

I found this hot sauce and low fat sour cream at Whole Foods. The sauce is spicy and tangy, with flavors of vinegar, carrots, sweet potato, cilantro, garlic, and onion. This is my favorite brand of low fat sour cream; it is really rich, and it is a great substitute for creme fraiche on the cherry tomatoes. I combined the hot sauce and sour cream to make a tasty dipping sauce for the fried chicken.

-1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, fat trimmed and pounded to 1/4-1/2'' thick
-2 T panko bread crumbs
-Egg Beaters for dipping
-pinches of your favorite spices, such as sea salt, pepper, and paprika
-3 T low fat sour cream
-1 1/2 T hot sauce
-handful of cherry tomatoes
-balsamic vinegar to taste
-sea salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat a medium-sized skillet to medium-high heat.

2) Mix the Egg Beaters, pinches of spices, and 1/2 T of hot sauce in a small bowl. Spread out the panko on a plate or on wax paper. Put these near the stove.

3) Dip both sides of the chicken in the Egg Beaters mixture, shake the excess off, and then cover with panko. Spray the skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray, and add the chicken. Cook for ~4 minutes per side.

4) Meanwhile, wash the cherry tomatoes, halve them, and sprinkle on sea salt and pepper. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar, and then drop 1 T of sour cream on the tomatoes.

5) Spray the chicken with cooking spray and flip over.

6) Mix the remaining 2 T of sour cream with the remaining 1 T of hot sauce. This will be the dipping sauce for the fried chicken.

7) Remove the chicken from the pan when the panko is golden and crispy.

8) Plate everything, and savor it!

Depending on the size of your chicken breast, your meal will have roughly
200 calories
3g fat
12g net carbs
and 30-35g protein

Flourless Macadamia Nut Cookies

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My dad is a big fan of macadamia nuts, and he's on a low carb diet. These cookies should probably be avoided by calorie counters. They are absolutely delicious, and stopping at one might be difficult for some :).

The dough is very easy to make: there are only 4 ingredients, and you just use a food processor. It needs to chill overnight in the fridge. I found the recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen and altered it slightly, substituting macadamia nuts for pistachios.

I used a cute, inexpensive mini-muffin tin from Fante's for the majority of the baking time, and then I removed the cookies and finished baking them on a jelly roll sheet. The dough is dense and doesn't spread much when baking, so you can use cookie cutters and trust that the cookies won't look like random blobs in the end.

Servings: 27
-2 oz macadamia nuts, plus 27 nuts for topping
-1/2 cup & 1 T Splenda granular
-3/4 cup & 4 t almond meal
-1 egg

1) Grind 2 oz of macadamia nuts and 1 T Splenda in a food processor.

2) Add the almond meal and the rest of the splenda, and grind until combined and sticky.

3) Add the egg to the mix and process again until fully combined.

4) Wrap the dough in saran wrap and chill overnight in the fridge.

5) Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

6) Fill a teaspoon with the dough, remove and top with a macadamia nut. Push on the nut slightly so it will stick to the dough. Do this 27 times.

7) Put the cookies on a jelly roll sheet (no need to grease; the dough is already quite oily) or put it into a tin like I did. Or, skip the nut topping, roll out the dough, and use cookie cutters. If using a jelly roll sheet, bake for 15-18 minutes. If using a tin, bake for 15 minutes, blot and then pop out the cookies, and finish baking on a jelly roll sheet for 5 minutes, or until the cookies are golden on the edges.

Each cookie has
50 calories
4.5g fat
1g net carbs
0.6g fiber
and 1.3g protein

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Flourless & Low Cal Peanut Butter Cookies

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I got a recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies from Kalyn's Kitchen; I followed the recipe to a T for my boyfriend, but I wanted a lower calorie version for me.

I substituted the egg for Egg Beaters and the peanut butter for various low fat peanut butters. The cookies are a little crisp on the outside and soft on the inside; they don't crumble easily.

Use the cookies in an ice cream sandwich, or flip one over and cover the flat side with banana slices. Add chunks of dark chocolate and/or chopped peanuts!

Servings: 8
-1/2 serving Egg Beaters (30g/2 T)
-1/2 cup granulated Splenda
-1/2 t baking powder
-1/4 t vanilla extract
-1/2 t tap water
-8 T creamy reduced fat peanut butter substitute*

*I used 4 T Better 'n Peanut Butter, 2 T SnacLite Power PB, and 2 T PB2 powdered peanut butter.

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) Put Egg Beaters, Splenda, vanilla, and baking powder in a mixing bowl, and beat from low to high for 1 minute.

3) Add water and peanut butter substitute, and beat for another minute from low to high.

4) Put parchment paper on a jelly roll sheet, and use a tablespoon to measure out 8 cookies. Smooth the tops with the bottom of the tablespoon.

5) Bake for 15 minutes.

Each cookie has
59 calories
2g fat
5g net carbs
1g fiber
and 3.6g protein