Have Your Cake and Eat It Too?

OK, I know that cake is not the best option but it is nice to have a bit healthier recipe for birthday sor other special occasions. One of my favorite websites is http://www.everydayfoodstorage.net/. In a couple of recent posts, she has been exploring using bean puree as a substitute for oil in cookies, brownies and cake. I have been wanting to try it but have been skeptical about trying it.

I was taking dinner to a friend who just had a baby last night and needed a dessert to bring along. The night before I had cooked up a pot of white beans so that I could use them in a soup and a new mac n' cheese recipe. (I will post this later because it was delicious too.) I pureed the beans and substituted a half cup of bean puree for the half cup of oil that the recipe called for. I reserve a bit of batter and baked it alongside of the big cake so we could taste test it before we gave it away. Don't worry, I don't experiment blindly on friends.

Well, as for the taste...
It was wonderfully moist, chocolately and you couldn't tell the difference at all. Who would have thought this could be done. Well whoever came up with it is a genius. I fell just a little bit better about eating cake knowing that there isn't any oil in it. Try it!!!

I think that I might try it on a low sugar cake mix in the future. I really only plan on making cake for birthdays because there is no reason that we should have it laying around here. My little girl's birthday is right around the corner and I plan on using this substitution for her party cake.


Tortilla Pizza - 3.5 pts

made this last night. homemade pizza is a weekly meal in our house. to be honest in the past the topping pretty much consisted of ham and pineapple or pepperoni and olives. i have a great garlic pizza dough recipe but really adds to the points because it has quite a bit of oil in it. i can swing the points if i only eat 1 peice. that was not the case last night.

i decided to dig through the veggie drawer in the fridge and pull out a bunch of veggies that i could top the pizza with. i came up with peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms, and zucchini. for the rest of the family, i made regular pizza with all the veggies. last night, because i was really hungry, so i threw my toppings on two mission carb balance whole wheat tortillas instead and made a regular pizza. i got this idea from the world according to eggface and have done it a few times before. Here are the pizzas pre-oven. i was so anxious to dig in there were no pictures of the finished project. (seeing this picture make me realize how bad i need a better camera) remember, both pizzas are only 8 pts.

Tortilla Pizza
3.5 pts
1 pizza = 1 serving

1 tortilla (Mission Carb Balance)
2 T spaghetti sauce (Ragu Traditional)
1/2 oz finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 oz lean ham, cubed
3 olives
assorted 0 pt veggies

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put tortillas on a baking sheet and toast 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

2. Spread spaghetti sauce over the top of the tortilla. Top with meat and veggies. Sprinkle cheese to cover sauce and toppings.

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Makes 1 serving.

Egg Drop Soup - 2 pts

Try adding this as a starter for your next Chinese meal at home or as a warmer on a cold day. I find that when I use it as a starter I can skip most or all of the rice that I usually serve with the meal. The corn add a pop of sweetness while the egg gives the soup a nice texture.

Egg Drop Soup
2 pts
2 servings

3 c chicken broth
2 T corn starch
2 T cold water
1 egg
1/2 c corn

Bring broth to boil. Mix cornstarch and water in a separate bowl. Add cornstarch mixture while stirring broth. Let thicken a little. Break egg into a small bowl and combine yolk and white by stirring with a fork. Slowly pour into soup while stiring soup. This will produce long strands of egg in the soup. Let cook until broth is clear. Add corn and cook until warm. Serve hot.

Grain Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce - 5 pts

i love my better homes and gardens cookbook. it is the one that can be found in almost every kitchen in the country. lots of basic of recipes and they all turn out delish. many are not very figure friendly though. i know that several recipes in there have contributes to me gaining weight.

while perusing the cookbooks at costco earlier this week, i came across another bhg cookbook, "eat well, lose weight". as i flipped through it, most of the recipes looked pretty easy, they all had pictures (which i love), and it had all the nutritional information for them so it would be easy to figure points. i tossed it in my cart and excited headed off to the check-out so i could go home and really look through it.

well i love it as much as i thought i would. great recipes. it is a 3 ring binder, like the classic, so it lays open nicely. all of the recipes are geared towards healthier eating. i have gone through and calculated the points on many of the recipes that i want to try and written them in for easy reference. if you come across this cookbook, take a peek.

well enough about how great this cookbook is. here is the recipe. it has a strawberry sauce which i didn't make even though it looked delicious. i prefer yogurt on my pancakes. i know, strange, but something that my dad got me hooked on as a kid. now i use dannon light n' fit 0 plus smoothies as syrup. only 1 pt for the entire smoothie and i am getting my dairy from it. i had fresh strawberries on the side.

the texture was a great. i like a nutty pancake. i used whole grain oats instead of instant and substituted splenda brown sugar for regular. points are figured on original recipe.

Grain Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce
from Better Homes and Gardens' cookbook "Eat Well, Lose Weight"
5 pts

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup uncooked yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1 egg
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tbsp canola oil

1. In am medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a small bowl combine egg, milk, and oil; beat with a fork or wisk until combined. Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter shoul be lumpy).

3. Lightly coat an unheated griddle or large skillet with momstick cooking spray. Preheat griddle over mdium heat. For each pancake, pour a scant 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot griddle. Spread each to a 3 to 3 1/2 inch circle. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each sie or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfarces and slightly dry edges.

4. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a blender or food processor combine 2 cups strawberries, granulated sugar, and canilla. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan, heat sauce until warm. Quarter remaining 2 cups strawberries. Serve pancakes with sauce and berries.

Makes 6 servings. (2 pancakes per serving).