Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: French Onion Soup

Let me tell you, French Onion Soup is some serious business ya'll. I had no idea what I was getting into until I started doing a little research. There are entire websites dedicated to this one little soup. Many "French Onion Experts" have spent so much of their time testing various techniques and ingredients, on the mission to find THE perfect French Onion Soup recipe. Well, my healthy French Onion Soup recipe may not be the best according to this soup's toughest critics, but it passes the nutritious and delicious test in my book. Here is what I did...


FRENCH ONION SOUP
Makes 6 Bowls


INGREDIENTS:


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 onions, sliced (Yellow are said to be the best)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon WHOLE WHEAT flour
8 cup FAT FREE/ LOW SODIUM beef stock
1/4 cup white wine (Additional glass for the cook...optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of LIGHT whole wheat bread
6 slices REDUCED FAT Provolone cheese



DIRECTIONS:




Saute onions in oil over low heat until tender and golden yellow. Sprinkle flour over onions, cook a few minutes more, browning the flour well. Add stock and wine and bring to a boil, add thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Toast slices in toaster until golden brown. Ladle soup into an ovenproof bowl, add toasted bread and cover with 1 slice of cheese. Place ovenproof bowl on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Bake at 350 degrees or 5 minutes under a hot broiler.

RESULTS:


It was not bad for the first time. My husband and I both added a little salt and pepper to ours, but not much. Rudy used a slice of regular bread, but I used the sandwich thins. I really like these for a few reasons: they are only 100 calories per roll (only 50 calories per bowl), they come in 100% whole wheat, and they satisfy the carb craving in a healthy way. For the soup, I placed 1/2 a roll on top of the soup cup and covered with a piece of cheese. It was pretty close to the real thing, just not as much cheese as you would get in a restaurant. This is one of those soups that is even better the second night too. Save the rest for a warm lunch the next day. It's what Campbell's would refer to as, "Mmm, Mmm Good!"


Click here to see Paula Deen's original French Onion Soup recipe. ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 267.67 calories;  12.41g fat;  25.87g carbohydrate;  12.69g protein;  5.82g fiber

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice is nice when it comes to these potatoes. What is really fun about them is that they are totally open to your very own unique interpretation. For example, I know that my audience loves cheese and bacon. Therefore, I added turkey bacon and reduced-fat cheddar to my potato filling. The options are endless! You could add broccoli or maybe even grilled chicken to make a complete meal...it's up to you. Have some fun with it! Here is what I did to add some flavor to this nutritious and delicious power-food.


TWICE BAKED POTATOES
Serves 6



INGREDIENTS


6 large Idaho potatoes (as large and oval as possible)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat (about 1 tablespoon; divided)
2 cups FAT FREE sour cream
1/2 cup FAT FREE half & half (or milk)
Salt and pepper to taste (more pepper than salt)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Paprika
4 slices Jennie-O EXTRA LEAN TURKEY bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1/2 cup 2% shredded Cheddar cheese


DIRECTIONS


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash potatoes, pat dry, prick sides gently with fork, and coat each potato entirely with EVOO. Place on foil covered pan. Bake for at least one hour. Remove the top third portion of each potato. Using a spoon, scoop out the potato and place in a large bowl. With mixer on high, mix potatoes, sour cream,half & half, salt and pepper. Add parsley and continue mixing until smooth. Mix in cooked bacon.Gently stuff the mixture back into the shells, being careful not to break them. Top with cheese, Paprika and additional salt & pepper (if desired) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. When they are ready, they should be lightly browned on top.


RESULTS


They were beautiful! Not only did they taste really good, but they came out looking nice too. My only complaint had nothing to do with the potato, but that my stomach just didn't have the room to finish it all. Oh well, that's what Tupperware it for! Gotta love those leftovers.


Just as a side note, this recipe can be frozen for future use. Wrap them up just after filling the potato shells. Now you know you can make them ahead of time and whip them out later for a quick and comforting side. ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving; one potato): 393.17 calories;  5.23g fat;  73.26g carbohydrate;  13.7g protein;  8.85g fiber







The original recipe for Paula Deen's Twice-Baked Potatoes can be found in The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook; published by Random House, New York. 1998.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Cheese Biscuits

The very first real vacation my husband Rudy and I took together was to the wonderful beaches of Hilton Head, South Carolina. On one of those cloudy/rainy days, which you can always count on having at least once during the week, we hopped in the car and took a short road trip to Savannah to visit with some friends. Now, at the time, I was very oblivious to the world of cooking. Cooking to me meant boiling some noodles and throwin' a bottle of Ragu on top. But, that was the mindset of a 24-year-old women living on her own. Needless to say, I really didn't have much knowledge of TV cooking personalities.


Little did I know, but we were going to be dining at one of the best places ever...Paula's Lady & Son's Restaurant. Like I said, I had no clue who this Paula Deen women was, but everyone else was so pumped up about being there and raving about how good her dishes were, so I just went along with it. Oh I wish I knew then what I know now! Isn't that just the way it goes? I was eating in the restaurant of one of my now favorite cooks and was totally clueless. Well, one thing was for certain. I enjoyed that experience and ended up falling in love with two things that day; The Lady's Cheesy Mac and CHEESE BISCUITS.


CHEESE BISCUITS
Makes 8 biscuits



INGREDIENTS:


1-1/2 cup Reduced-Fat Bisquick
1/2 cup FAT FREE or 1% milk
1/2 cup 2% Sharp Cheddar
1 teaspoon SPLENDA



DIRECTIONS:


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


In a medium bowl, mix Bisquick, milk and splenda; using a fork. Add cheese and mix. Spoon the biscuit mix onto a sprayed baking sheet using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Bake for 7-11 minutes.


THE RESULTS:


It has been awhile since having Paula's Cheese Biscuits at her restaurant in Savannah, but these took me right back after the very first bite. They are lite and delicious; best served warm right out of the oven. Not only are they yummy, but they took no time at all. My husband couldn't believe I was offering him one so soon! This recipe is good to have if you are just 15 minutes from serving dinner and realize that you forgot to get dinner rolls. They can be thrown together in no time at all. Another dinner roll crisis averted.


My version of Cheese Biscuits leaves out both the butter and shortening that are called for in the original recipe. This cuts a total of 58 grams of fat from the overall recipe! ENJOY!!


NUTRITION FACTS (per biscuit): 61.5 calories;  3g fat;  7.5g carbohydrate; 2g fiber

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

THE LEAN DEEN RECIPE COLLECTION

This list  includes every Paula Deen recipe that I have made "lean", to date. Just click on any item from the list below to find out what it takes to make a fabulous "Lean Paula Deen" dish of your own. ENJOY!!

APPETIZERS


Black Bean Salsa

BLT Appetizer

Brie en Croute #2

Cheese Straws

Chicken Empanadas

Fig Blue Cheese Crostini

Hot Asparagus Dip

Italian Chicken Sticks

Loaded Deviled Eggs

Pimento Cheese Finger Sandwiches

Santa Fe Wraps

South of the Border Mason-Dixon Dip

Sugar Spice and Everthing Nice Mixed Nuts

Warm Mexican Crab Dip




BEVERAGES


Mixed Berry Bellinis




BREADS and COOKIES


Cheese Biscuits

Chocolate Chip Cookies


BREAKFAST OR BRUNCH

Bananas Foster French Toast

Brunch Stuffed Peppers

Hashbrown Quiche

Ultimate Coffee Cake



DESSERTS


Baked Chocolate Custard with Butterscotch Whipped Cream

Banana Pudding

Better Than Sex? YES! Cake

Caramel Apple Pie

Coconut Flan

Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake

Holiday Whoopie Pies

Peanut Butter Balls

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle




MAIN DISHES


Alice Jo's Spaghetti

Apple and Grilled Chicken Pizza

Bacon-Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Ham and Cheese Chicken

Barbecue Meatloaf

Beef and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo

Beef Stroganoff

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

Bobby's Goulash

Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Sauce

Chicken a La Gaynor

Chicken BLT Wraps

Chicken Boudine

Chicken Divan

Chicken Fried Steak with Parsleyed Cream Gravy

Chicken Georgia

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken & Rice Casserole

Crispy Chicken with Creamy Orange Sauce

Faux Crab Cakes

Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise

Homestyle Chicken and Bacon Gravy

Hot Chicken Salad

Jamie's Chicken Salad

Mexican Chicken

Pumpkin Baked Penne

Raspberry Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Savannah Sloppy Joe

Sour Cream Pork Chops with Vidalia Onion Gravy (video)

South-Meets-West Quesadillas

Spring Vegetable Pizza

Three Meat Pasta

Tomato Sandwiches (video)




SIDE DISHES


Boursin Cheese Potatoes


Broccoli Casserole


Cheesy Broccoli Bake


Cottage Potatoes


Creamy Macaroni and Cheese


Fried Bacon Mashed Potatoes


Moroccan Couscous


Roasted Cauliflower


Roasted Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese Dressing


Stuffed Cranberry Sauce


Squash and Zucchini Cakes


The Lady's Cheesy Mac


Twice-Baked Potatoes


Zucchini & Corn Casserole




SOUPS and SALADS


Almond~Raisin~Broccoli Salad


Avocado Chicken Salad


Broccoli Soup


Confederate Bean Soup


Creamy Cheddar Soup


French Onion Soup


Ham, Broccoli and Potato Soup


Jamie's Chili


Oriental Chicken Salad

Taco Salad


Quick Crab Stew


TEENY-LEANIES (RECIPES FOR KIDS)


Breakfast in a Cup


Cheese Quesadillas


Chicken Nuggets With Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce


Crispy Rice Treats


Mini Mummies


Wagon Wheels and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli






Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Jamie's Chili

The things that go with fall: changing leaves, back-to-school, cooling temperatures, football and CHILI!



This past weekend, my husband was way more excited for college football than usual. After being away for almost three weeks for work, he was finally back with family and friends, ready to support his Alma mater, Virginia Tech. Nothing gets my husband more pumped-up than college football. It's like a kid at Christmas when the Hokies come running out of the tunnel to Metallica's "Enter Sandman". It's a little bit ridiculous, but it is my husband. Need I say more?
Back to the food. On a cold and rainy day as this was, the perfect food to get the fans fired-up was none other than Jamie's Chili. It is a warm, filling and delicious recipe that makes any tailgate complete! And the added bonus; it makes your house smell wonderful as it simmers on the stove all afternoon. By the time it's ready, everyone can't wait to get a bowl.


JAMIE'S CHILI
Serves 10 ... or more!


INGREDIENTS:


FAT FREE shredded cheddar, FAT FREE sour cream, chopped green onions, for garnish
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoon ground cumin
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped jalapenos
2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon Hot-Mexican Chili Powder
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 small(6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 can chili beans
2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 lb ground beef (95/5), browned and drained (meat is optional)



DIRECTIONS:


Brown ground beef in skillet and drain. Spray large pot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, and celery and saute briefly. Stir in the diced and whole tomatoes; add tomato paste. Add cumin and chili powder, to taste, and cook for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the beans, browned meat, and remainder of spices. Partially cover, and let simmer for 4 hours.


Serve with Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions.




RESULTS



The football game...not so good. The chili...FANTASTIC! The fans were definitely lovin' the chili and the fact that was so good for them. Almost every ingredient in this chili is naturally FAT FREE or about 1 gram of fat per serving, with the exception of the meat. I used the leanest ground beef out there, but if you wanted, you could leave it out completely and not lose hardly anything. Vegetarians will be happy to hear that!


So if everything is naturally good for you, how did I make this lean? Well, by leaving out the sausage and using lean beef, this saved a great deal of fat. But I also made savings in another important area when trying to eat well, and that is with sodium. Chili mix packages are generally packed with sodium, which is why I created my own combination of spices that added flavor...not salt. It is important that we be conscious of our salt intake because too much can lead to high blood pressure; which then can then lead to stroke, heart attack or other illnesses. It's not just all about the fat and calories. They are only part of the "Cookin' Lean" equation.


To sum it up, I have found my official Chili recipe. I hope you like it too! ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):
Vegetarian~ 229.2 calories;  1.21g fat;  46.17g carbohydrate;  12.92g protein;  10.54g fiber
With Meat~ 291.2 calroies;  3.48g fat;  46.17g carbohydrate;  22.63g protein;  10.54g fiber

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Broccoli Soup

When I think "broccoli soup", I immediately picture a bowl full of creamy, cheesy soup, with bits of broccoli thrown in; mostly cheese and cream. Broccoli isn't usually the main ingredient, but we feel good about eating it because, after all, broccoli is packed with vitamins. It must be healthy! Right? What I have come to find is that although this classic soup is loaded with great flavor, it is also loaded with fat and calories...not so much the healthy cup of goodness we were looking for. So, I am so excited to share this true Broccoli Soup recipe with you. Using only three main ingredients, one of them being broccoli, you are sure to get a healthy soup that will warm you up as we make our way well into the fall season.


BROCCOLI SOUP
Serves 4



INGREDIENTS


1/4 cup  FAT FREE shredded cheddar; garnish

2 cups FAT FREE chicken broth, or more for thinning
4-5 crowns of broccoli, cut into florets and steamed
1/2 cup FAT FREE half & half
Salt and pepper



DIRECTIONS


Place steamed broccoli in a blender and blend until pureed. Transfer to a pot and add chicken broth and half & half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


RESULTS
Delicious! I am blown away by the flavor packed into this soup. I was a bit sceptical at first, afraid it may be a bit bland. How is this going to be any good without spices? Isn't the broccoli taste going to be too strong? Should I add something to it for flavor? Resisting the urges to meddle with the recipe any further, my questions were quickly answered after that very first bite. No heavy spices necessary! All I added was a little pepper and that was it. There is a perfect balance of flavor with the broccoli, half & half and chicken broth. Perfect.


Now, Paula behaved with this dish and didn't mention anything about cheese. But I just couldn't help myself. I needed a small pinch of cheese to top off my cup of broccoli soup. To me, cheese and broccoli just go together, like "peas and carrots". So, I guess my weakness has been revealed...CHEESE. Just a little doesn't hurt, especially if you use fat free or reduced-fat cheese(my way of reasoning). I thought my goal was to cut things from Paula's dishes, not add. Oooops! There is always an exception to the rule. This will have to be one of those times.


I hope you ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):  240.75 calories;  2.67g fat;  44.07g carbohydrate;  21.68g protein;  15.8g fiber

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Crispy Rice "Candy Corn" Treats

I have been making Crispy Rice Treats since before I can remember. They may actually be the very first thing I learned how to make, involving a stove (PB&J doesn't count). I chose to make these fun treats, not only because Paula is featuring them as a fall festive specialty, but because my friends at MY GIRL PAULA are making them this month! Normally I stick really close to the original recipes; only replacing ingredients with their low-fat or low-cal version. However, my spin on this recipe is missing a main ingredient...the candy corn! See what I did to give the Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats a nutritional punch!

CRISPY RICE "VERY BOO-BERRY" TREATS



INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"
4 cups marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups puffed organic whole grain rice
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried fruit (Recommend: Welch's Berry Medley-blueberries, cranberries, cherries & golden raisins)


DIRECTIONS:


Spray a 13x9 glass baking dish and rubber spatula with baking spray.

In a medium sized sauce pan over low heat, add butter to melt. Once melted, add marshmallows, salt and honey. Stir continuously until the marshmallows have reached a smooth consistency. Remove from heat and fold in cereal and dried fruit until completely coated.




Add the mixture to the greased baking dish and smooth out evenly. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

THE OUTCOME:

These treats turned out great! Even though I left out the festive candy corn, the colors of the dried fruit are very "fall-like" and still suit the season perfectly. Plus, instead of just adding pure sugar to the treat, now you can feel good about getting a serving of fruit instead. Plus, almonds are so good for you and add to the overall nutrition in this recipe. I feel like this is now a childhood treat that you can feel good about eating. ENJOY!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Boursin Cheese Potatoes

Before you end up like me at the grocery store, circling the cheese section near the deli, asking yourself "what in the world is Boursin cheese?", ready to give up and order in...let me tell you what Boursin cheese is. Boursin is a brand of soft, gourmet cheese. You won't find it with the regular shredded, block or sliced cheeses. Since it is gourmet, you will find it with all the specialty cheeses. And yes, since it is gourmet, you will pay a little more for it. My grocery store sells 4.4 oz packages of Light Boursin for $6.99. A little steep, but sooooooo worth it. Not only does the light version contain 80% less fat than regular gourmet cheese, it is flavored with garlic and fine herbs. So delicious, so low-fat and so fantastic in Paula Deen's Boursin Cheese Potatoes. Here is how I made it, lean-style.


BOURSIN CHEESE POTATOES
Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

3 pounds red potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup LIGHT cream
1 cup FAT FREE half-and-half
One 4.4 oz package of LIGHT Boursin cheese
Fresh chives or parsley, chopped


DIRECTIONS:


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and slice potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Toss the potatoes in salt and pepper. Heat cream, half-and-half and cheese together, on top of stove or in microwave, until cheese has melted. Stir mixture until thoroughly blended. Layer half the potatoes into a 2-quart baking dish (best in a deep dish as opposed to long). Cover potatoes with half the cheese and cream mixture. Repeat with remaining potatoes and mixture. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle top with chopped chives or parsley.


RESULTS:

I loved these potatoes. Now, I was only making dinner for two...so I didn't make 3 pounds of potatoes. I used about 1-3/4 lbs. and adjusted the other ingredients accordingly. We still had some leftover, but
they were great the next day warmed up in the microwave. This dish takes a little time to bake, but the prep is so simple. We had them with steak and baked asparagus...an amazing meal! I hope you ENJOY!!


NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 206.75 calories;  9.46g fat;  31.43g carbohydrate;  6.5g protein;  2.89g fiber


This recipe was taken from The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook; written by Paula H. Deen. Published by Random House.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Santa Fe Wraps

These little nibbles are a lunch, a snack or an appetizer...all wrapped up into one! I made these Friday evening, as an appetizer for my sister, her husband and a friend of ours. But with so many left-over (the recipe makes a ton), they became a quick "go-to" snack or lunch all weekend long!


SANTA FE WRAPS
Makes 15 Servings



INGREDIENTS:


2 (8-ounce) packages REDUCED FAT cream cheese, softened
1 cup FAT FREE sour cream
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (4.25-ounce) can chopped olives
1 cup (4-ounces) shredded 2% MEXICAN cheese
3 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons salsa
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 (.25-ounce) packages LOW-FAT/LOW-CARB tortillas(Suggested Brand: Toufayan Bakeries)
Salsa (optional)



DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in spinach. Spread mixture evenly over the surface of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and cut each tortilla crosswise into 6 slices. Skewer each wrap with a wooden pick. Serve immediately or chill. Serve with salsa for dipping.


RESULTS:They were delicious! The next time I make them, I might try adding some tiny pieces of chicken or maybe some black beans. Santa Fe Wraps are best when served with salsa, as suggested by Paula. Don't worry about the added calories from the salsa. Salsa is one of the healthiest, lightest and nutritious condiments you can add to your meals. Just 10 calories are all it costs for adding tons of flavor to your food. Try it some time on chicken, salad or baked potatoes. ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 139.6 calories;  7.2g fat;  15.9g carbohydrate;  9.3g protein;  8g fiber



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Baked Ham and Cheese Chicken

Yum! This dish is so good and even though it is "fried" in a skillet, it's still a healthy version of this southern-inspired specialty. Paula's Baked Ham and Cheese Chicken is also really easy to make, which is a major plus for me. In about 15-20 minutes, I had a hot, tasty chicken dish for dinner. Here is how I made this dish lean.

BAKED HAM AND CHEESE CHICKEN
Yields 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:
4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts
1 cup WHOLE WHEAT flour
2 teaspoons Paula Deen House Seasoning
2 EGG WHITES, beaten
Hot sauce
2 teaspoons Greek Seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Olive oil
4 slices 97% FAT FREE DELI SLICED ham
4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
4 slices 2% REDUCED FAT PROVOLONE cheese

Greek Seasoning:
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder



DIRECTIONS:
Dredge the chicken breasts in WHOLE WHEAT flour seasoned with House Seasoning, then dip in EGG WHITE wash with hot sauce, to taste, then dredge in a mixture of Greek Seasoning and Parmesan. Brown the chicken on each side in a skillet with olive oil on medium high heat. After frying, transfer chicken to a sheet pan. Top with 1 slice of ham, 1 teaspoon chopped parsley and 1 slice of Provolone cheese. Place in oven for 8 minutes, just until cheese melts and starts to get bubbly.
Greek Seasoning:
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


THE OUTCOME:
For someone that spent way too many years just baking or grilling chicken, I am easily impressed by recipes that deviate from the norm. But honestly, this dish was really good! I left out the bread crumbs (cuttin' those carbs), but the Parmesan cheese, egg and flour created a wonderful outer layer to the chicken all on their own. No bread crumbs necessary. Extra virgin olive oil was also used for browning the chicken in the skillet. Yes, it has 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, however, these are "heart healthy" fats. Only 2 of the 14 fat grams come from saturated (saturated fats are the bad ones). The FDA makes a Qualified Health Claim (NOV 2004) stating,"...scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil." If that isn't reason enough to fry up this dish, I don't know what is! Do your taste buds AND your heart a favor. I loved it and I hope you do too! ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):  470 calories;  18g fat;  23g carbohydrate;  54g protein;  3.5g fiber

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Ultimate Coffee Cake

I look forward all week to Sundays in my house. Sleepin' in a little (8:30 if we are lucky), spending time as a family and...BREAKFAST! I just love Sunday breakfast! It is the one day where we can take our time and really eat something good. Everyone needs a day off from the usual breakfast bars, oatmeal and bananas. French toast is usually the dish of choice, but this Sunday I wanted to try out something a little different. Since we were heading over to my in-law's for Chip Beef Gravy, which is in no way "lean", I didn't have to worry about cooking the main breakfast dish. So, I made Paula's Ultimate Coffee Cake for a little something to nibble on while talking and drinking our coffee. Here's how I leaned it out.

ULTIMATE COFFEE CAKE
Yields 6 to 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS

16 to 18 unbaked frozen dinner rolls
1 (3-ounce) package FAT FREE/SUGAR FREE butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup SPLENDA BROWN SUGAR, packed
1 stick (1/2 cup) I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, melted



DIRECTIONS

The night before place frozen rolls in well greased (with cooking spray) Bundt pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over rolls. Sprinkle SPLENDA brown sugar over pudding mix. Pour melted butter over all. To prevent the dough from forming a hard crust while its rising overnight, cover with a damp towel or tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Let rise overnight at room temperature, about 8 to 10 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn pan over onto a serving platter to remove. Serve by pulling apart chunks with forks.

THE OUTCOME

Well, I feel that I need to mention that this was not my first attempt at Paula's Ultimate Coffee Cake. The first time I made this was not so great. Actually, it was awful and the entire thing ended up in the trash. What did I do to mess this up so bad? Well, just remember that when the recipe calls for a Bundt pan...use a Bundt pan. I didn't know what one was at the time, so I just used a bread pan. I also put in more rolls than needed (24) and it rose over the pan. When it baked, all the sugar and pudding poured out over the sides. It was a mess! This was a good lesson for me. There are just some things about a recipe that can't be changed. But of course, being me and refusing to accept defeat by the Coffee Cake, I tried it again and this once disaster became a success. I used a Bundt pan, only used 16 rolls and made changes to the ingredients that cut tons of calories and saturated fats. In the end, everyone liked it and I will definitely make it again. ENJOY!!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Paula Deen's Lean: Fried Bacon Mashed Potatoes

I know what you are thinking. How is a dish that begins with FRIED and BACON going to be made lean? That is just impossible! Well, it did appear to be a challenge at first, but don't you worry. With only a few little adjustments, this southern side dish is now sure to be welcome on any health conscious eater's plate. These potatoes taste so good, your family and guests will be begging for the recipe...mine were! And the best part is that they just can't believe how something that tastes so good can actually be good for you. Try them and you will see!


FRIED BACON MASHED POTATOES
Yields 6 Servings



INGREDIENTS


3 pounds red potatoes, with skin and cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"
1 shallot, finely minced
1 1/2 cups FAT FREE half-and-half
1/2 cup FAT FREE sour cream
4 pieces TURKEY bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives, 1 tablespoon reserved, for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper



DIRECTIONS


Place the potatoes into large pot and cover with cold water. Salt generously. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for roughly 13 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.


While the potatoes are boiling, melt 1 tablespoon of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" into a sauce pot. Add the minced shallot and saute until soft. Add the LIGHT cream, being sure not to bring to a boil.


Drain potatoes in a colander. Return to pot and mash with a potato masher. As soon as they are mashed slowly add in the hot cream and butter. Stir slowly and do not overwork or the potatoes will be heavy. Add the FAT FREE sour cream and the TURKEY bacon and fold in the chives. Add salt and pepper, to taste.


RESULTS


These Fried Bacon Mashed Potatoes were incredible! We had ours with steak and baked asparagus; a perfect meal. I have never been known to make "great" mashed potatoes. For some reason, they always come out a little bland. Probably because I try to make them low-fat by leaving out all that butter. However, with the flavor from the shallots, chives and bacon in this recipe...the butter is not missed in this dish at all (and I cut 5 tablespoons). This recipe allows me to easily cut fat without cutting flavor. A true success when you're cookin' lean like Paula Deen! ENJOY!!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 249.5 calories;  4.02g fat;  45.48g carbohydrate;  8.34g protein;  3.9g fiber

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