Monday, September 28, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia

Well folks, it is officially fall! This time of year is my favorite! The weather is just perfect, football is in full effect and all the leaves are starting to turn. But one of the best parts about this time of the year...the food! Nothing tops walking into the house and being greeted with the sweet smell of apple or pumpkin pie. Something about it just instantly puts me in such a great mood. To create this sweet smell in my kitchen, I chose to bake Paula Deen's Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia.

Serves 16 to 20


PAM Spray, for greasing the pan
2 cups SPLENDA
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples


Vanilla LIGHT ice cream or FROZEN YOGURT
SUGAR FREE caramel topping

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a tube pan.

For the cake: in a large bowl, combine the SPLENDA, eggs, apple sauce, orange juice, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract; and mix well. Fold apples into batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.

When you are ready to serve, cut a slice and top with a scoop of LIGHT or FAT FREE vanilla ice cream. Then lightly drizzle caramel topping. Cake is best when served warm. If eating later, reheat a slice in the microwave for about 20 seconds before topping with ice cream and caramel.


Take away all the sugar and oil, and it is still a really tasty treat. The ice cream and caramel top it off perfectly. It makes a great dessert, but is also a good compliment to your morning coffee (without the ice cream...or with).

Just for fun, I figured the amount of fat I was saving just by substituting apple sauce for the vegetable oil. Get ready to be shocked!

For the entire recipe...

Veggie oil- 336 grams of fat/ 2,880 calories
Apple Sauce- 0 grams of fat/ 150 calories

When my sister, husband and I did the math on this, we could not believe it! A simple change like substituting apple sauce for oil had saved such a significant amount of fat and calories. Plus, it still tasted great! Try out this "sinless sweet" for yourself and let me know what you think. ENJOY!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Chicken Boudine

At a loss with what to do with left-over grilled chicken? How does a creamy, noodle-y, cheesy chicken dish sound? It sounded like the perfect solution for me and that is why I chose to make Paula Deen's Chicken Boudine. With an $8.00 trip to the grocery store, I was able to make a delicious, nutritious and filling meal that was plenty for dinner and enough for lunch the next day. Cheap and doesn't get much better than that! And as a mother, I also love that it is "kid friendly" too.

Yields 10 Servings

1/4 cup drained, chopped pimentos
2-1/2 cup grated 2% sharp cheese, your choice, divided
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cup chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup FAT FREE chicken broth
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans 98% FAT FREE cream of mushroom soup
2 cup cooked NO YOLK noodles (a substitution for Egg Noodles)
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together the noodles, soup, broth, and sherry. Add the chicken, 2 cups of the cheese, pimento, mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss gently to combine. Transfer the mixture to a greased 13-by-9-by-2 inch casserole and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

My husband and I were really happy with the results of this recipe. It was a great use of the left-over chicken, which otherwise we may have just let sit in the fridge and go to waste. It is always fun when you can take something from one meal and use it to make something totally different! I will let you know that the grilled chicken was seasoned with a Cajun spice, which probably altered the flavor a bit. In my opinion, you could use plain grilled chicken and it would still be awesome! ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 219.3 calories;  6.74g fat;  14.23g carbohydrate;  26.52g protein;  .93g fiber

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paula Deen's "Already" Lean: Black Bean Salsa

Salsa, salsa, salsa! One of the best-tasting, naturally healthy foods out there. Believe it or not, even Paula Deen makes a healthy version of this fantastic condiment. Whether you decide to serve it up with grilled chicken as your main course or with tortilla chips as an appetizer, salsa is a healthy treat that is best when made fresh from the kitchen. Paula Deen's Black Bean Salsa was a great addition to our tailgate this weekend in Blacksburg (GO HOKIES!) and I am sure you will find the perfect time to make it too!

12 Servings

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 17-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large avocado, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover and chill overnight. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lime juice as necessary. Serve with baked tortilla chips as an appetizer, or with grilled chicken breast as a meal.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you like your salsa to have a little more of a kick, you could always add some chopped jalapenos. It would definitely up the "hotness" factor, without adding tons of extra calories. ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 312 calories;  4g fat;  55.2g carbohydrate;  17.3g protein;  13.4g fiber

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Creamy Cheddar Soup

I am so excited to have a guest chef on my blog today! This lean southern recipe was made over by my wonderful and supportive husband, Rudy. This is actually a recipe that he has been using for a few years now. Only this time, he really made an effort to lean it out and the outcome was AMAZING! If you like a good comfort food for those cold fall and winter days, look no further. This soup is just what you need to warm you up...body and soul.



2 large potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes and boiled
1 small onion, diced
2 large pimentos, diced
3 tablespoon "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!"
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cup FAT FREE and REDUCED SODIUM chicken stock
3/4 cup grated 2% sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green onions
Salt and black pepper, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)


In a saucepan, saute onion and pimentos in butter for 5 to 7 minutes. Blend in flour. Add stock and half & half. Cook until thick. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add 1/4 cup green onions, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne if desired. Garnish with remaining green onions.


Rudy topped off our soup with some chopped TURKEY BACON, a little chopped green onion and just one pinch of cheese. Although we didn't have any last night, a drop of FAT FREE or LIGHT sour cream would be a nice topping too.


Like I said earlier, this creamy "potato" cheddar soup is fabulous! With or without adding the potato, the flavor is simply amazing. By the looks of my husband's juggling act in the kitchen last night, I wouldn't say this recipe is easy. I might label it as moderate difficulty, but it all depends on the cook, I guess.

I am very thankful for a night off in the kitchen. It's great to have someone else cook for you, especially when that cook is a good one! Thank you, Rudy!

Check out Paula's original Creamy Cheddar Soup recipe to see how Rudy's lean version compares. ENJOY!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 358.25 calories;  12.58g fat;  49.59g carbohydrate;  14.35g protein;  5.78g fiber
**Looking to cut carbs? Leave out the potatoes and save about 28g carbohydrate per serving.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Chicken Georgia

After years of working hard to fix and eat healthy meals, grilled or baked chicken has become a regular in my house. As good for you as it is, it just gets a bit boring after a while. So, in my search for a better way to make chicken, I found Paula's Chicken Georgia recipe. Taken from the Savannah Country Cookbook, this recipe brings unique flavor to the oh-so familiar baked chicken dinner. Here's how I did it...

Serves 4


2 tablespoon "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!"
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh bella mushrooms
2 tablespoon minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan and Romano cheese

Melt the "butter" over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Remove veggies with slotted spoon. Add chicken to pan and cook 10 minutes on each side, or until tender. Transfer the chicken to platter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Top with mushroom mixture. Cook and let stand 5 minutes or until cheese melts.


It was great! The flavor was delicious and it satisfied my craving for tastier chicken. To go along with this dish, I served it over WHOLE WHEAT spaghetti, tossed in just a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. For a low-carb option, baked asparagus would be a nice compliment as well. Once again, it was easy to make and took only about 35 minutes to get from the fridge to the family. If you would like to see where the fat and calories were cut for this dish, check out the original recipe at!


NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 181.75 calories;  6.22g fat;  3.94g carbohydrate;  27.59g protein;  2.25 g fiber

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Chicken Pot Pie

Hey ya'll! This dish is a genuine classic. Chicken pot pie is one of those dishes that just makes you feel good. Growing up, it was a dinner that my brother, sister and I absolutely loved. Soooo, when I found Paula Deen's version of this kitchen classic, I couldn't wait to make it over! With a few little changes, I made this dish a healthy, well-balanced meal.I hope you enjoy!!
Serves 6


2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can CAMPBELL'S HEALTHY REQUEST cream of chicken soup
Salt and pepper, optional
1 1/2 cup instant REDUCED FAT BISQUICK mix
1 cup SKIM or 1% milk
1 cup FAT FREE chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a PAM coated 2-quart casserole, layer the chicken, carrots, and peas. Mix the soup, chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour over the layers. Stir together the biscuit mix and milk, and pour this over the casserole. Bake until the topping is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

It was delicious! Originally, this recipe
calls for butter to be drizzled over the top. It doesn't need it at all! The flavor is wonderful and you won't believe it is a low fat dish. For a little added kick, I seasoned my chicken with pepper and chili powder for baking. We like things spicy around here. Give this chicken pot pie a try. If you liked it as a child, get ready to fall in love with it all over again. ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 345 calories;  5g fat;  46g carbohydrate;  26g protein;  2g fiber

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Savannah Sloppy Joes

If you want to feel like a kid again, make some Sloppy Joes! Paula Deen's southern swing on this classic meal is something you are sure to enjoy. Made up of mostly meat, BBQ and steak sauce; the flavor is anything but boring and traditional. Follow these easy (and I mean REALLY easy) steps to a filling sandwhich the whole family will enjoy.


3 pounds 95/5 LEAN GROUND BEEF
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
6 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 jar BBQ Sauce (15-18 oz)
2 tablespoon Onion Steak Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
8 Sandwich WHOLE WHEAT hamburger buns, split and toasted

Cook ground beef, onion and pepper until beef is no longer red, stirring to break up. Sprinkle flour over beef; stir to blend thoroughly. Add BBQ Sauce and Steak Sauce and simmer, stirring often, for 15 to 25 minutes, or until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Note: If mixture becomes too thick, just add a little warm water to thin out. To serve, top the toasted buns with a large scoop of the hot sloppy joe mixture and a single slice of cheese.

The original recipe can be found at

It took me no time at all to whip this dinner together. The peppers and onions are all that really need to be done before throwing it all together. In a pinch, this gives us busy cooks a great option for a healthy, home-cooked southern specialty. ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 447.88 calories;  11.49g fat;  35.81g carbohydrate;  47.52g protein;  3.36g fiber


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