Fall & Football Favorites

Touchdown! All these fall favorites – apples, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, chili, cornbread – score big time at your next celebration or tailgate party.

Intercept ho-hum tailgate sides with a batch of Maple Apple Baked Beans. Pass the apple and pear slices for my Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip. Huddle for more whole grains with my Skillet Cornbread. And tackle that bag of apples you bought by turning them into Homemade Chunky Applesauce.

Forward pass to my Recipe page for all four recipes and get in the game with great taste and good health for your tailgate party!
(Cornbread photo courtesy My Indiana Home magazine/Journal Communications)

 

Kim’s Whole Grain Skillet Cornbread
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter or shortening for 10-inch cast iron skillet plus more for melting over top of cooked cornbread*
  • 2 cups whole grain stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup corn oil
Instructions
Heat oven to 425°F. Add butter to skillet and place in oven to completely melt. In a large bowl, whisk together corn meal, flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and corn oil. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until combined with a wooden spoon. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven and spread cornbread batter evenly in skillet. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean or with just a smidgen of crumb. Immediately after removing from oven, rub top and edges with butter stick, melting it as you rub. Do this several times! Makes 8-10 pieces.

*A 10-inch skillet that is 10-inches across the bottom and 12-inches across the top rim.
Tips & Hints

  1. Find wholegrain cornmeal right near the other cornmeal and flour. Always store it in the fridge to keep it fresher.
  2. Corn oil is exactly the same calories and fat grams as other oils, and it works great for any baking, including corn bread, corn muffins and corn pudding.
  3. Lately I’ve been using full-fat buttermilk in my cornbread, but low-fat works well too.

Homemade Chunky Applesauce
Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce
 
Author:
Serves: 10 servings of ½ cup each
Ingredients
  • 4 ½ pounds apples (combination of any favorite cooking apples)
  • 1 cup 100% apple juice (such as Simply Apple)
  • 2 tablespoons to ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
Instructions
Peel, core and cut apples into 1-inch chunks. In a 4 to 5 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine apple chunks, apple juice, sugar, lemon and orange juices, zests, allspice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining desired cinnamon. Using a fork, wooden spoon or potato masher, mash apples slightly, leaving some chunks. Refrigerate in tightly covered container.

Tips & Hints

  1. Kim likes a less sweet applesauce, Jeff likes it sweeter! I use at least ⅓ cup brown sugar when I’m making a big batch for Jeff’s lunches.
  2. Use more or less spices and zests depending on how you like your applesauce.
  3. Best apples include Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh….just about anything other than red delicious.

food
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Apples & Pears
 
Author:
Serves: 11 servings of ¼-cup each
Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 oz.) ⅓-less fat cream cheese
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon ground Saigon cinnamon
Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Enjoy immediately or chill one hour before serving. Serve with thickly sliced apples and pears.

Tips & Hints

  1. I normally make a double batch for parties or get-togethers. Use 2 cans (15 oz. each) rather than 1 big 29 oz. can.
  2. Use as much or little of the spices as you want!
  3. If you don’t have time to slice pears and apples, just use gingersnaps, vanilla wafers or graham crackers. Even shortbread cookies.

Maple Apple Baked Beans

Maple Apple Baked Beans

Maple Apple Baked Beans
 
Author:
Serves: 15 servings of ⅔ cup each
Ingredients
  • 5 cans (15 oz. each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2¼ cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple (2 very large apples)
  • 1⅔ cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped, cooked bacon
  • 1½ cups hickory barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup stone ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Pour in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated throughout.

Tips & Hints

  1. Kroger’s new Roasted Bacon that only takes 2-4 minutes is an absolute timesaver for this recipe! Just look for boxes of it in near the refrigerated bacon.
  2. Definitely use hickory barbecue sauce to compliment the maple syrup.
  3. Tarter apples, like Granny Smith, really help balance the sweet maple syrup.

 

3 Reasons Canned Foods Fill My Pantry

Kim's Canned Fruit SaladWhite Bean Bruschetta
1. Budget-friendly and nutrient-rich.
Not only are canned foods one of the most affordable ways to meet the Dietary Guidelines goals on MyPlate, they contain comparable nutrients to fresh, frozen and dried forms. Think about it. They are picked at their peak and packed immediately which means valuable nutrients are retained. In some cases, however, canned choices may have even more nutrients than their fresh counterpart. Peaches are my favorite example. Research shows that canned peaches have 4 times more vitamin C and 10 times more folate than fresh peaches.

2. Convenient and versatile.
Buy. Place in Pantry. Open. Pour. Maybe a draining step in there, too, but look how convenient! Real time-saving ingredients for recipes – something we all appreciate when time-pressed. Canned foods work in all kinds of recipes, too, and that’s the versatility part. Oh sure, canned tuna salad is a staple and favorite in most of our recipe repertories, but Bruschetta?! Who would ever guess an appetizer so easy, elegant and upscale came from canned beans and jarred sundried tomatoes! Try this White Bean Bruschetta.

3. Earth-friendly packaging.
Cans are highly sustainable food packaging. In fact canned foods are packed in the most recycled food and beverage container – steel cans. Steel cans contain a minimum of 25% recycled content. And the steel industry is a leader in recycling. Find statistics and more facts about this sustainable packaging at
http://www.mealtime.org/

Kim’s Favorite Fruit Salad
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits in 100% juice, drained*
2 cans (15 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
1 large red apple, chopped
1½ cups red grapes
2 medium bananas, sliced and halved

Combine mandarin oranges, pineapple, peaches, apple and grapes in a large bowl. Stir in bananas right before serving. *Reserve a couple tablespoons juice if desired and stir into fruit salad.
Makes about 8 cups (16 servings of ½ cup each)
Recipe created by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

White Bean Bruschetta
1 French baguette, cut in 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato juliennes* in oil, drained
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, halved
*Juliennes are matchstick strips.

Heat oven to 400°F. Brush one side of each bread slice with the olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, oil-side up. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Meanwhile, mix beans, sun-dried tomatoes and basil in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork and mix well. Season with salt. Rub the cut sides of garlic over the tops of the toasts. Cover each toast slice with 1 tablespoon bean spread. Serve immediately.
Makes 16 servings
Recipe from www.Mealtime.org

Red Velvet, Green Apple & Hot Wings on Game Day

HotWingsHummus     food

MapleBeansLR1

Still haven’t figured out the line-up for your Super Day of Eating menu? Consider these crowd-pleasing ideas.

Dessert: Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing. Simple to make and so much easier to cut into bite-size portions than a huge Red Velvet Cake. You’ll still get rich red velvet flavor with irresistible cream cheese icing, though.

Appetizer: Hot Wings Hummus. Fast, easy and a fantastic substitute for the more calorie-and fat-laden but oh-so-delicious Hot Wings or Buffalo Wings Dip. Nutrient and protein-rich chickpeas are blended with antioxidant-rich spices and seasonings. Serve with fresh celery sticks – a winning way to get more vegetables on the plate!

Side Dish: Maple Apple Baked Beans. Oh sure, you could put out bowls of grapes, Cuties, kiwi, bananas and berries for everyone enjoy. But can you really imagine enjoying your Porter or Stout (my faves) along with fresh fruit? Probably not. Score big-time by adding apples to baked beans, maple syrup and barbecue sauce.

Touchdown: Crock pot on for Pulled Pork with a lean pork loin, skillet on the stove for Hot & Spicy Beef Burrito meat and some whole-wheat buns and corn tortillas….maybe a batch of my Zesty Black Bean & Corn Salsa for extra veggies ……and Touchdown! The perfect menu for blending and balancing great taste with good health. Even on this Super Sunday of Eating.

Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Brownies
1 cup butter
2 ounces bittersweet baking bar, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 (1 ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Frosting
1 (8 ounces) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter or shortening.
Microwave butter and bittersweet chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl on high 1 ½ minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.
Whisk in sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition.
Add red food coloring, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk until thoroughly blended.
With a wooden spoon, gently stir in flour, cocoa powder and salt. Pour and spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan on wire rack before frosting.

While brownies cool, make frosting. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla. Frost cooled brownies and store in refrigerator.
Makes 36 small brownies. Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

Spicy Three Pepper Hot Buffalo Wings Hummus
2 cans (15 to 16 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1 cup chickpea liquid reserved
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
3 (or more!) tablespoons cayenne red pepper hot sauce
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
¼ cup tahini
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor. Add ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons reserved chickpea liquid. Puree until smooth and creamy. Add additional chickpea liquid if you prefer a thinner hummus. Serve with celery sticks, waffle-style pretzels, pretzel crisps and/or whole-grain crackers.
Makes about 14 servings of ¼ cup each (3 ½ cups total hummus). Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

Maple Apple Baked Beans
5 cans (15 oz. each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2¼ cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple (2 very large apples)
1 2/3 cups chopped sweet onion
1 cup coarsely chopped, cooked bacon
1½ cups hickory barbecue sauce
1 cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons dry mustard
½ teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Pour in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated throughout.
Makes about 10 cups (15 servings of 2/3 cup each). Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

 

Zippy, Zesty, Super-Saver Salsa

Zesty Strawberry & Mango Salsa

Zesty Strawberry & Mango Salsa

Zippy and zesty because it packs a punch of jalapeno pepper, lime and cilantro.

Super-saver because it features in-season mango and strawberries. And in-season translates to “at their most budget-friendly price right now.”

So it makes perfect cents to take advantage of both antioxidant and nutrient-rich fruits over the coming weeks.

But instead of just enjoying them “as is” for a snack or side dish, or adding them to yogurt, smoothies and cereals, try this easy-to-make salsa. You’ll find yourself scooping up more of the salsa and eating less of the corn tortilla chips – it’s that good and refreshing. You can even make a batch and serve it as an accompaniment to grilled or roasted fish, chicken, pork and beef.

Isn’t it nice to know you’ll be saving money AND giving yourself a dose of phytonutrients to promote heart, brain and skin health, optimal immune function and possibly even help lower cancer risk?

Happy springtime to all!

Zesty Strawberry & Mango Salsa
1 pound strawberries, hulled and diced (roughly 3 heaping cups diced)
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and diced (roughly 1-2/3 cups diced)
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and very finely diced
Zest from 1 lime
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 – 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

In a large bowl, gently toss strawberries, mango, red onion and jalapeno pepper together. In a small bowl, whisk together lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, salt and garlic powder. Pour over berry mixture and toss lightly to blend. Serve immediately or refrigerate in tightly covered container.
Makes about 5 cups salsa (10 servings of ½-cup each)
Recipe created by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

Per serving: 42 calories, 10 g carbohydrate, 0 fat, 0 protein, 112 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 39 mg vitamin C (65% of Daily Value).

Dining with the Guys at Korn Country: Boost, Sub, Switch

Time to visit the guys at Korn Country 100.3 FM and talk all things nutrition! And celebrate registered Dietitian Day, too! I’m taking them a variety of foods, and all have been changed a little to boost nutrition or cut calories/fat. I boosted nutrient-rich onions and garlic in my Zesty Guacamole. I substituted lower-fat and lower-calorie cheese and cream cheese and dressing in my Hot Buffalo Dip and I switched to all whole wheat flour in my Oatmeal Raisin Date Bars. Still rich flavor, but more nutrients. The perfect way to eat and balance all your calories. Enjoy!

Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

 

1 package (8 oz.) Neufchatel 1/3-less fat cream cheese

½ cup light reduced fat Ranch dressing

1 cup (4 oz.) finely shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup cayenne pepper sauce (such as Frank’s original)

2 cups shredded cooked, boneless skinless chicken breast

 

Heat oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese in a deep baking dish. Stir until smooth. Mix in dressing, cheese and hot sauce. Stir in chicken. Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated throughout. Garnish with fresh celery leaves, if desired, and serve with celery and carrot sticks, whole grain crackers or pita chips and pretzels. Makes about 4 cups dip (16 servings of ¼ cup each)  (Using fresh chicken reduces overall sodium in dish and the reduced fat Ranch dressing and cream cheese cuts fat and calories.) Recipe adapted from Frank’s original by Kim Galeaz, RD CD

 

Zesty Chunky Guacamole

4 medium ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 to 1 cup finely chopped onion
1 large vine-ripened tomato, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ to 1 teaspoon salt

Cut the avocados in half and remove the seed. Scoop out the pulp and place in bowl. Mash slightly with fork, leaving some chunks. Add garlic, jalapeno pepper, onion, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice. Mix well; stir in salt to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate in covered container. Makes about 4 cups guacamole.

Enjoy with multigrain tortilla chips, baked tortilla chips, pita wedges or fresh cut up veggies such as bell pepper strips (red, yellow, orange and green), carrots, cucumber, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower and celery. Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RD CD

 

 

 Whole Grain Oatmeal Raisin & Date Bars

 

½ cup butter (1 stick), softened slightly

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 extra large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ cups white whole-wheat flour (prefer King Arthur brand)*

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked

2/3 cup raisins*

1 package (8 ounces) chopped dates

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 10x15x1-inch jelly roll baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter, oil and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt and mix thoroughly. Add oats, raisins and dates and mix until blended. Spread or pat batter in pan and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Bars may appear slightly sticky in center with toothpick and they will appear a tad “puffed”. They’ll deflate once cooled. Be sure not to overcook, as bars harden slightly as they cool. Cool on wire rack; cut into bars and store in tightly covered container. Bars can be frozen. Simply wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and place all bars in zippered freezer bag. Makes about 24 bars (4 x 6 cut)

 

*Use ¾ cup all-purpose and ¾ cup regular whole wheat flour if you can’t find the white whole wheat flour. Toss raisins in small bowl with about 2 teaspoons flour before adding to batter. This helps separate all the raisins.  Enjoy with a glass of 1% low fat milk for a calcium, vitamin D and protein boost!

Recipe Created by Kim Galeaz, RD CD

 

 

A Dietitian’s Football Party Strategy: No Fumbles, All Extra Points

     3BeanChiliBY2

Formation for Winning Strategy: Flavorful + Nutrient-Rich Foods

Forward Pass: Lean Beef in Chili & Burrito Meat + Lean Pork Tenderloin

Field Goal: Vegetable-Rich with Beans, Corn, Tomatoes, Chilies & More in Chili & Salsa

Touchdown: Fruit for Dessert with Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Celebration: Fantastic, Flavorful and Colorful Foods = Happy Party Guests

Hearty Three Bean Chili with Beef

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ½ cups chopped onions

1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 pound ground beef (sirloin or round – 10% fat maximum)

1 can each (15 – 16 oz. each) red, pinto and light kidney beans

2 cans (14.5 to 15 oz.) petite diced tomatoes

3 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 to 12 drops hot red pepper sauce

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and ground beef. Cook until beef is crumbled and cooked thoroughly. Carefully drain grease. Drain all canned beans and rinse to remove sodium. Add beans to onion-meat mixture along with all other ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.

Makes about 16 cups (8 servings of 2-cups each)

 

Zesty Black Bean & Corn Salad with Lime Dressing 

Bean & Corn Salad           
2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 bag (16 oz.) frozen sweet corn kernels, thawed (roughly 3 cups)

1¾ cup chopped red onion

1½ cup chopped green onion

1 very large red bell pepper, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, finely minced

2 cups chopped tomato

2/3 cup chopped cilantro

Lime Dressing

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

Zest of 1 large lime

1½ tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour over salad and toss lightly to thoroughly coat all ingredients. Chill several hours before serving.  Refrigerate leftovers in covered container.

Makes almost 12 cups (about 16 servings, ¾ cup each)

  

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Apples & Pears

1 package (8 oz.) Neufchatel 1/3-less fat cream cheese

1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 

Apples, pears and Asian pears, cut into thick slices

Combine cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a food processor until thoroughly blended. Chill at least one hour before serving. Serve with slices of fresh pears, apples and Asian pears. Makes about 2 ¾ cups dip (11 servings of ¼-cup each)

Latin-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

The spice rub can be made ahead and stored in a covered jar on the pantry shelf. For a healthy, quick weeknight meal, the pork can be rubbed and set aside for as little as 20 minutes….just do it while the grill heats!

2 pork tenderloins, about 2 pounds total

Latin Spice Rub

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Mix together Latin spice rub. Rub spice mixture over pork tenderloins. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. Prepare medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, preheat gas grill to medium-high, or set large grill pan over medium-high heat on stovetop. Spray grill grate with vegetable oil spray. Grill pork, covered, turning as each side sears, for total of 12 to 14 minutes. Using instant-read thermometer, check internal temperature of pork; the pork is done when it registers 150 to 155 degrees. When done, transfer pork to cutting board. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

  

Hot & Spicy Burrito Meat

1 pound lean ground beef (no more than 10% fat content)*

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

10 drops hot pepper sauce

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef. Add green chilies, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Cook until all ingredients heated thoroughly.

Serve in flour or corn tortillas, with taco shells or with tortilla chips.

Can also serve as a dip with tortilla chips.

Makes about 2 2/3 cups mixture (8 servings of 1/3 cup each)

*Or one 12 oz. package meatless soy burger-style crumbles for a meatless filling. If using soy crumbles, do not drain diced tomatoes.

Holiday Party Foods with Perks

Holiday Party foods – great tasting and filled with nutrient perks….the perfect choice to please holiday guests. Add some red to your spread – with antioxidant-rich tart red cherries and make a sweet-tart punch with half the calories of a regular punch. Triple Cherry Sauce pairs well with lean pork tenderloin or lean ham. Add green to your holiday spread with Super Spinach Dip filled with more spinach and lower-fat versions of sour cream and mayonnaise. Happy Holidays to all.

Merry Cherry Punch

6 cups 100% tart red cherry juice

3 cups pure-pressed natural apple juice (Simply Apple)

5 cups Sprite Zero ®

Starfruit slices or lemon and lime slices for garnish (optional)

Combine two juices in large pitcher or punch bowl. Add soda right before serving. Garnish if desired.
Makes 14 (1 cup) servings

Per serving:  75 calories,19 g carbohydrate, 25 mg sodium.

 

Super Spinach Dip

2 packages (10 oz.) Kroger frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 ½ cups reduced fat sour cream

1 ½ cups light mayonnaise

1 cup Kroger low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt

1 cup chopped green onion

1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 package (1.4 oz) Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix (dry mix)

 Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir well.  Serve immediately, or chill at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend together even more. Serve with fresh vegetables and whole grain crackers.

Makes about 6 cups dip (approx. 24 servings of ¼-cup each).

Triple Cherry Sauce

1 can (14.5 to16 oz) Kroger unsweetened tart cherries

2 tablespoons cornstarch

½ to 1 cup tart cherry juice

¼ cup brown sugar                       

3/4 cup dried tart cherries

2 teaspoons stone ground mustard

Drain cherries and reserve juice. Add enough tart cherry juice to make 1 1/3 cups total. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into ¼ cup juice mixture. Add cornstarch to a small saucepan along with drained cherries, remaining juice, brown sugar and dried tart cherries. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in mustard.  Makes about 2½ cups.

www.choosecherries.com  for other great cherry recipes.

 

Thanksgiving Favorites

 SmashedPotsLR2I’m not one to tamper with tradition too much when it comes to holiday foods. Stuffing still needs to be made with white bread/stuffing mix, mashed potatoes still need butter and maybe even cream cheese and sour cream, and pumpkin pie needs a pastry crust.
But with just a few minor tweaks, I’m able to keep all the traditional taste and save a few calories and fat grams. Simple substitutions. Great flavor.

Comparisons:
Stuffing: 75% less fat and 65 fewer calories

Smashed Potatoes: 50% less fat and 80 calories

Pumpkin Pie: 40% less fat and 50 calories

 Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Asian Pears and Apples: a fast, easy, tasty and Vitamin-A-packed way to add more fruits to your Thanksgiving offerings. One serving (about 1/4-cup) gives you over 100% of your Vitamin A for the day!

Happiest Thanksgiving to All!

 

Savory Stuffing

Makes 12 servings

1 package (14 – 16 oz.) herb seasoned stuffing mix

2 1/3 to 3 cups fat free, lower sodium chicken broth

¾ teaspoon poultry seasoning

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1 ½ cups each finely diced celery and onion

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.

Combine stuffing mix, 2 1/3 cups chicken broth, poultry seasoning and pepper in a large bowl.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, celery and onion; sauté 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Add sautéed vegetables to stuffing mix; toss lightly to combine. (Add additional chicken broth for a moister stuffing if desired) Place stuffing in baking dish and bake about 30 to 35 minutes, or until completely hot throughout.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Asian Pears, Apples & Pears

 

1 package (8 oz.) Neufchatel 1/3-less fat cream cheese

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Chill one hour before serving. Serve with apple and pear slices.

Makes about 2 ¾ cups (11 servings of ¼-cup each)

 

Smashed Potatoes with Chives

 Makes 12 servings (1 cup each)

5 pounds red potatoes

½ to 1 cup reserved potato cooking water

1 package (8 oz.) reduced fat Neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature

1 ¼ cups reduced fat light sour cream, room temperature

6 tablespoons light trans-free margarine

2/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Wash and cut potatoes into equal-size large chunks. (Depending on potato size, either halve or quarter potatoes.) Place potatoes in a large 7 quart stock pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently about 25 to 40 minutes or until tender. (Knife or fork inserted in chunks will have no resistance.) After reserving 2 cups potato cooking water, drain potatoes thoroughly. Add ½ cup potato cooking water and all other ingredients. Smash lightly with fork or potato masher, leaving some chunks. Add additional potato cooking water in ½-cup increments, to obtain desired smashed consistency. Serve immediately. Can be warmed in microwave.

 

Kim’s Favorite Light Pumpkin Pie

Makes 1 pie (about 8 slices)

1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin

1 can (14 oz.) Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

1 pie crust (9”) unbaked, frozen deep dish, refrigerated or homemade

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients, mixing well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 35 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pie before cutting. Refrigerate any leftovers.

 

Perfect Halloween Menu for Procrastinators

food      KimBlogChili

Beef & Black Bean Chili.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Pears & Apples.

Ghosts in the Graveyard Pudding Dessert.

No tricks – only treats with this fun, tasty and nutrient-rich Halloween menu. I’m reposting these recipes, because I realize many of you have waited until the very last minute to decide what to serve for your Halloween party. Plus, this also works for a quick dinner before the kids head out for Trick or Treating. Or for busy weeknights.

Get the kids involved with the shopping, prep and cooking. They can help by opening cans of chili ingredients, draining and rinsing those beans, stirring the ground beef in the pan, working the food processor for the pumpkin dip or beating the instant pudding with a whisk. Let the kids help pick out which apple and pear varieties you’ll buy and cut up. Steer them to the Asian pears – sometimes called Apple Pears – and encourage them to try this crunchy sweet-tart fruit which is somewhat like a cross between an apple and a pear. 

And please. Don’t fret about the calories or sugar in this menu. This Halloween, be a good role model for your kids, and talk positively about all the foods and ingredients – even the candy. Help your kids learn that no one food or ingredient is bad or off-limits, but instead, can be enjoyed, savored and balanced with all the right amounts of nutrient-rich foods and plenty of physical activity.  Just FYI: this menu is packed with nutrient-rich foods: pumpkin, beans, onion, garlic, tomatoes, very lean ground beef, milk in the pudding and even spices like red pepper and cinnamon. (Did you know 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as ½ cup blueberries?!) 

Happiest Halloween and Safe Trick or Treating! 

Bloody Beef & Black Bean Chili 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ½ cups chopped onions

1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 pound ground beef round, ground beef sirloin, ground pork or ground turkey

1 can (15 oz.) Kroger light kidney beans

2 cans (15 oz.) Kroger black beans

2 cans (14.5 to 15 oz.) Kroger diced petite tomatoes

3 cans (15 oz.) Kroger tomato sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 to 12 drops hot red pepper sauce

Whole grain crackers and/or whole-wheat spaghetti or macaroni (optional for serving)

 Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and ground meat. Cook until beef or turkey is crumbled and cooked thoroughly. Carefully drain grease. Drain all canned beans and rinse to remove sodium. Add beans to onion-meat mixture along with all other ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with whole-grain crackers and/or whole-wheat spaghetti or macaroni if desired.  Makes about 16 cups (8 servings of 2-cups each) 

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Apples & Pears 

1 package (8 oz.) Kroger Neufchatel 1/3-less fat cream cheese

1 can (15 oz.) Kroger pumpkin

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Asian pears, pears and apples, cut into thick slices 

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Chill one hour before serving. Serve with apple, Asian pear and pear slices.  Makes about 2 ¾ cups (11 servings of ¼-cup each) 

Ghosts in the Graveyard Pudding 

6 boxes (small 4-serving size) instant Kroger sugar-free chocolate pudding mix

12 cups 1% or fat free milk

24 Oreos®, coarsely crushed

6 to 9 Halloween ghosts (peeps) 

Make pudding according to package directions. Spread in 9×13-inch pan. Refrigerate 2 hours. Right before serving, top with crushed cookies (dirt!) and place ghosts on top. Secure with a pretzel stick or toothpick if necessary to make ghosts stand up. Makes about 20 to 24 servings.

Spinach Dip Sans Bread

Most spinach dips are a little too sparse on the spinach and way too overloaded with fat, in my opinion.  So I took the traditional recipe and doubled the spinach and increased the onions – all to boost antioxidants and nutrient richness. Then, I switched the sour cream and mayo to low fat/reduced fat versions, and even replaced just a tad of it with plain yogurt to boost the calcium a bit.

Now I realize that most people prefer to serve spinach dip in the hollowed out Hawaiian bread and it’s almost sacrilegious to suggest otherwise. But since I want to promote as many nutrient-rich foods as possible – even for party fare – I prefer to serve this Super Spinach Dip in a bowl with fresh baby carrots, fresh sugar snap peas, fresh broccoli and cauliflower florets and fresh strips of red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers. Oh, and whole grain crackers, too.

 And besides, think of omitting the Hawaiian bread this way: you can enjoy a few extra bites of your favorite holiday dessert!

 Super Spinach Dip

 2 packages (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 ½ cups reduced fat sour cream

1 ½ cups light mayonnaise

1 cup low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt

1 cup chopped green onion

1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 package (1.4 oz) Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix (dry mix)

 Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir well.  Serve immediately, or chill at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend together even more. Serve with fresh vegetables and whole grain crackers. Makes about 6 cups dip (approx. 24 servings of ¼-cup each).