Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cooking Light ALL DAY!

F'n Thanksgiving.  I got on the scales today.  I'm never celebrating this holiday again.  I'm just sayin.

So, because of the overindulgence of the past three days, Mr. B and I had "Cooking Light All Day" instead of "Cooking Light Tonight"  It actually turned into one meal, but considering what we've eaten for the past three days, one meal was all we needed.  It started with Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Dip.  I know....that doesn't sound like a light dish.....but, I've always wanted to make my own potato chips and this was the perfect recipe to try.  One of my favorite restaurants in Birmingham is Bottega and my favorite appetizer there is their homemade chips with blue cheese dip.  So I was thinking this might me a great way to recreate that recipe in a much less fattening way!!

While the dip was not quite as rich and satisfying as Bottega's, it was still quite good....and, I'm sure, won't make my jeans quite as tight.  I will say that to make the chips as crisp as chips should be, you really need to have a mandoline in order to slice the potatoes thin enough....which is necessary for them to be crisp.   (I think a mandoline is a necessary kitchen tool anyway...if you can keep from slicing your finger tips off!)

Here's the recipe:

Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Dip
 
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) finely crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup fat free sour cream
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound russet potato, thinly sliced (about 1 large), divided
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place baking sheet in oven

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring well.  Cover and chill

Place potato slices on paper towels; pat dry (dry slices are important).  Arrange half of potato slices in a single layer on preheated baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn potato slices over; bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden.  Repeat procedure with remaining potatoes and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Serve immediately with blue cheese mixture.

Calories:  117
Fat:  3.7 g
Protein:  4.2
Carbohydrate:  16.8 g
Fiber:  1 g

I will absolutely serve this again as an appetizer....even if I don't make my own chips.....but I probably will.  I would make sure that I can time this to serve the chips within an hour of coming out of the oven.  Just make sure that all of your chips are fully cooked and golden brown.  Crispy homemade chips are much better than just barely crispy homemade chips!!

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The main course on Cooking Light All Day was Seafood Risotto and this was YUMMY!!  This is definitely a risotto house......Mr. B loves it so much he is willing to stir at least half of the 20-30 minutes it takes to make this creamy deliciousness!!  

And this was......creamy deliciousness!

Here's the recipe:

Seafood Risotto

2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (I used 3 cups)
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice (I used 1/2 bottle)
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 1/2 lb)
4 ounces bay scallops (I eliminated...Mr B hates scallops!)
2 tablespoons whipping cream (I inadvertently omitted this and it was delish without it!  Holla...less calories!!)
Chopped fresh parsley (I omitted this, also...sue me)

Bring broth and clam juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil).  Keep warm over low heat.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallots to pan; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.  Add rice and saffron to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add lemon juice to pan; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/2 cup of hot broth mixture; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20-30 minutes, total).

Stir in tomatoes; cook for 1 minute.  Stir in shrimp and scallops; cook for 4 minutes or until shrimp and scallops are done, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; stir in cream.  Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Calories:  400
Fat:  10.1g
Protein:  30.2g
Carbohydrate:  49.1g
Fiber:  2.6g

This was a fabulous low-cal risotto.  This was just enough for two people so if you want to serve it to more (it would be a great dinner party recipe, served with a roasted vegetable and a salad) you need to multiply accordingly.

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The dessert on this low-cal night was Butterscotch Pudding.  Yeah...I said Butterscotch Pudding...light!!

I'll have to say that this didn't taste light...at all.  Really good.  Mr. B ate two servings just to negate the light factor.

Here's the recipe:

Butterscotch Pudding

1 cup packed dark brown sugar (all I had was light brown sugar, so I added a tablespoon of molasses)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided (I used fat free)
1 large egg lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first 3 ingredients in a suacepan.  Gradually add 2 cups milk; stir with a whisk until blended.  Cook mixture 180 degrees or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil).

Combine remaining 1 cup milk, egg, and egg yolk in a bowl; stir with a whisk.

Gradually add 1 cup of hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk,  Add egg mixture to saucepan.  Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla.  Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 20 minutes or until mixture cools to room temperature; stir occasionally.  Cofer surface of pudding with plastic wrap.  Chill.  Serve with whipped topping.

Calories:  281
Fat:  6.3g
Protein:  5.5g
Carbohydrate:  51.5g
Fiber:  0.1g

This took about 15 minutes after boiling to thicken, which is not unusual for pudding for me.  I omitted the "ice-filled bowl" procedure and just let cool on the countertop for about 20 minutes and then put on the plastic wrap and put into the fridge.  It thickened up nicely.

I added packaged toffee chips to the mixture before I put it into the fridge and then sprinkled them on top before I served the pudding.  I didn't bother with the whipped topping....the pudding could stand on it's own.  

Quite good and I'd make it again!!


All-in-all not a bad "Cooking Light All Day" day.

I recommend all of them!


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