This is a very special time of year, and I pray that each one of you is truly blessed with the spirit of giving! One of my favorite things this time of year is to indulge in baking all the treats I dream about throughout the year! One way I try to combat all the sugar and extra calories is by using some simple substitutes when baking. Try these and let me know how it turns out!
* Applesauce for Butter or Oil (if not in whole then try at least half)
* Avocado for Butter
* Stevia (all natural plant based no calorie sweetener) for all or part of sugar
- if recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar try 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup Stevia
* Date Sugar for Sugar (this has just as many calories but has a low glycemic index and will not cause a spike in blood sugar)
* Agave nectar in place of sugar (this is a liquid similar to honey also a low glycemic index)
Also when baking, share some with friends and neighbors! When you have extras left at home you are more likely to over eat:).
During the month of December many of us are surrounded by good tasty food more often than at other times of the year. It is also a busy time of year, and it is easy to pick up food for a quick meal. A good way to stay on track is to be prepared and have meals planned ahead of time! Remember the food will taste better, be better for you, and you will burn more calories cooking! This month’s recipes are from www.eatingwell.com.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup marinara sauce, heated
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a large wire rack on a baking sheet and coat with cooking
2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Combine
Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Toss tenders with Italian seasoning,
garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any
excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place
the tenders on the prepared rack. Generously coat the top of each tender with cooking
3. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and coat with cooking spray. Continue
baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes
more. Serve the tenders with marinara sauce for dipping.
Try with a side of green beans and/or roasted sweet potatoes (sautéed with rosemary and
Turkey Burgers with Mango Chutney
1 16- to 20-inch-long baguette, preferably whole-grain
1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, divided
1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
4 tablespoons mango chutney, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
2. Cut baguette into 4 equal lengths. Split each piece horizontally and pull out about half of
the soft bread from each side.
3. Finely chop enough onion rounds to equal 1/3 cup. Combine the chopped onion with
turkey, 1 tablespoon chutney and salt in a medium bowl; gently mix with your hands until
well combined. Form into 4 burgers, about 1/2 inch thick and oval-shaped to match the
shape of the bread.
4. Oil the grill rack. Grill the remaining onion rounds until softened and
blackened in spots, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Grill the burgers until cooked through and an
instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Grill the bread, cut-side down, until just beginning to char on the edges, about 2 minutes.
5. To assemble sandwiches, spread the remaining mango chutney on the bottom pieces of
baguette. Top with a turkey burger, grilled onion and lettuce. Cover with the remaining
Bacon Egg and Asparagus Pizza
1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
2 strips bacon
3/4 cup sliced shallots
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet.
Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until crisped on the bottom, about 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain
on a paper towel. Add shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until beginning to
brown, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to
3 minutes more.
4. Spread the vegetables over the crust and crumble bacon on top. Whisk eggs, salt and
pepper in a medium bowl until combined; slowly pour over the vegetables, trying not to
let any run off the crust. Sprinkle the pizza with cheese. Bake until the eggs are set and
the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.