Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trim down with new recipes

For my birthday last month, I requested several of those cooking magazine special editions found at checkout counters in grocery stories and in our favorite bookstore.

I do love looking through new cookbooks, and although I have enough of them, it's fun to me to have new recipes to choose from.

I especially like Taste of Home's Comfort Food Diet Cookbook. Although I've seen many of these recipes before in the company's magazines, it's nice to have them assembled in one book.

The book, which sells for $9.99, has more than recipes in its 144 pages. There's also plenty of information on how to eat healthy and get into shape.

I enjoyed reading the snacks section and getting ideas on easy afternoon snacks. Did you know there are only 45 calories in a cup of whole strawberries? And 2/3 cup of Cherrios teamed with 1/4 cup fat-free milk has just 93 calories. And, this is my favorite, you can have a 49-calorie snack when you enjoy two Hershey's Kisses.

There's a two-week meal plan using recipes found in the book, and the book's recipes are grouped by calories. For instance, breakfast recipes are divided by under 100 calories, 101-200 calories and 201-300.

One of the recipes I'm most interested in trying is in the breakfast section, Crunchy Apple Salad.

California Pizzas, in the lunch category and weighing in at 245 calories, is a delicious recipe I made several years ago. When my garden tomatoes get ripe, I'll be making that easy dish, which starts with a flour tortilla.

I also really look forward to trying Makeover Frosted Banana Bars. Yum.

The recipe I've already made from this book is Garden Primavera Fettuccine. This is a super-easy side dish, which I made even easier by using a bag of Steam Fresh mixed vegetables instead of fresh. This is the first recipe I've ever made using a jar of Alfredo sauce. I thought the sauce was very good and teamed nicely with the vegetables.

I'm always looking for a new side dish to serve my family, and I thought this was a very good alternative to a green salad.

Garden Primavera Fettuccine
  • 1 package (12 ounces) fettuccine
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflowerets*
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrot
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 small yellow summer squash, sliced
  • 1/2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
In a large saucepan, cook fettuccine according to package directions, adding vegetables during the last 4 minutes. Drain and return to the pan.

Add Alfredo sauce and basil; toss to coat. Cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Yield: 10 servings. 165 calories per serving.

Taste of Home

*Instead of using fresh vegetables, I made this recipe with a package of Steamfresh broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend. I cooked the vegetables in the microwave, then added to the cooked and drained pasta.

Cappuccino Smoothies
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cappuccino or coffee yogurt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows, divided
In a blender, combine the yogurt, milk, sugar if desired and chocolate syrup. Add ice cubes and 1/4 cup marshmallows; cover and process until blended. Pour into chilled glasses; top with the remaining marshmallows. Serve immediately.

Yield: 3 servings. 166 calories

Taste of Home

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