Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce, Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing & Other Salad-Like Things

Creamy Cucumbers

Great summer recipe. If using as a side dish, cut recipe in half. 

1 cup mayo

1/4 each of cup of sugar and vinegar

1/t tsp of salt

4 cucumbers

  1. Slice cucumbers
  2. Combine mayo, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Add cucumbers. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

I wouldn’t let this salad sit for more than 4 days in the fridge. As a single person, I make all the dressing on Sunday, but only slice two of the cucumbers. Then I mix the cucumbers with half the dressing in a large container and pour the remaining half of the dressing in a small container. Wednesday evening I slice the second pair of cucumbers and mix with the rest of the dressing. This recipe makes enough for me to have 6 good-sized portions for lunches and 4 smaller portions to accompany dinner.

 

Stuffed Apple

A great thing to bring to work for lunch or with you on a hike.

2 Tbsp of peanut butter

1 Tbsp of honey

1 tsp of raisins

Apple

  1. Core the apple. I don’t have an apple corer so I just use a paring knife. The tunnel needs to be a decent size.
  2. Combine peanut butter, honey, and raisins in bowl. Spoon into the center of the tunnel.
  3. Wrap in saran wrap for transport.

 

Low(er)-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing

My salad of choice for this is: assorted baby greens, grated red beets, yellow bell pepper, blueberries, blackberries, halved red grapes, walnuts, dried cherries, assorted seeds, blue cheese

1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup of fat-free plain yogurt

2 Tbsp of chopped onion

2 garlic cloves

4 Tbsp of blue cheese

  1. Mince garlic cloves.
  2. Combine cottage cheese, yogurt, onion, garlic, and 2 Tbsp of crumbled blue cheese in blender and process until smooth. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp of blue cheese (crumbled, obviously).
  3. I also add another couple Tbsp of blue cheese to the entire salad because I love blue cheese, obviously.

 

Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce to Cranberry-Apple Salad

I wanted to make this salad for my friend who can’t have any kind of processed sugar. I originally started making this salad with store-bought canned cranberry sauce, but over the years I have learned how to make cranberry sauce at home that is WAY better (probably because my recipe entails brandy, rum, Grand Marnier, and amaretto), but it still contains sugar. This was an experimental recipe that I deemed successful! 

Bag of frozen cranberries

3/4 cup of pineapple juice (make sure it’s 100% juice and no sugar added)

1/2 cup of applesauce (again, make sure it is UNsweetened with NO sugar added)

Orange

2 apples

2 ribs of celery

1 cup of chopped walnuts

  1. Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce, and 1/2 cup of water in pot and bring to boil.
  2. Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce to a simmer. Zest the entire orange. Add zest to sauce. Cut orange in half and squeeze both halves to add juice to sauce as well. You can use a juicer if it is easier, but I don’t have one.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  5. Cool completely and then store in fridge for at least 4 hours prior to mixing with remaining ingredients.
  6. Dice apples. Don’t peel them.
  7. Thinly slice celery ribs.
  8. Combine cranberry sauce, apples, and celery. Cover and refrigerate.
  9. Chop walnuts.
  10. When ready to serve, stir in walnuts.

I’m used to things being a little sweeter, so I will probably add 2-3 Tbsp of honey to the cranberry sauce next time, but that is totally optional.

Go Bananas – $3.22/loaf

2 pkgs of banana muffin mix

Bananas

Walnuts

Milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop 1 1/2 cups of walnuts.
  3. Peel and mash 3 bananas in a large bowl with a fork.
  4. Add walnuts, 3 cups of milk and the 2 pkgs of muffin mix to mashed bananas. Combine until just blended. Spoon into three or four greased loaf pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 3-4 loaves.

It seems like a lot. We’re 2 people and we easily eat 2 loaves in a week. You can freeze one or two loaves or give them away to neighbors or as gifts or bring to the next function you go to. Everyone loves banana bread! Just make sure to warn people that it contains nuts!

Cinnamon Nut Twists

2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls (like the Pilsbury Doughboy ones found next to the dairy section in the grocery store – get reduced-fat ones if you can)

Stick margarine (preferably reduced-fat as well)

Brown sugar

Cinnamon

Walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Finely chop walnuts
  3. Unroll both tubes of dough. Press perforations and seams together to form two rectangles. Spread with 2 Tbsp of stick margarine. Combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 Tbsp of cinnamon. Sprinkle over dough. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of walnuts.
  4. Fold each rectangle in half, starting from a short side. Cut into 8 strips. Twist each strip. Tie into a knot. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve warm.

Excellent served with a hot cup of coffee or cold cup of milk!

Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares (Dinner for Two Week 7)

Breakfast: Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares

Lunch: Corn Salad, Orange Buttermilk Salad, Ham, Nectarine or Peach, Nuts

Dinner: Italian Chicken Dinner or Peachy Pork and an endive

Dessert: Cool Waters Shake

Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking pan with oil or non-stick spray.

Combine 1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour, 3/4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 cup of oats, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ground cloves, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg in a medium-sized bowl and stir well. Stir together 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 3 Tbsp of molasses, 2 tsp of vanilla, and 3 packets of Stevia in a larger bowl until a smooth mixture forms.

Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnut pieces.

Scrape the batter into the greased pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool before trying to remove the cake. Lift it out of the pan with a large flipper and cut into 9 squares.

Orange Buttermilk Salad

Bring a can of crushed pineapple to a boil in a pot. Remove from the heat. Add a package of orange gelatin and stir to dissolve. Add 2 cups of buttermilk and mix well. Cool to room temperature. Fold in carton of thawed whipped topping. Pour into a dish. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Cut into squares. Great side dish to ham.

Creamy Corn Salad

Combine a drained can of whole kernel corn, a seeded and diced tomato, 2 Tbsp of chopped onion, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, and 1/4 tsp of dill weed in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Peachy Pork

Cut 1 lb of pork tenderloin into 1/4 inch slices. Saute in a large skillet in 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil for 4 minutes. Add 4 minced garlic cloves. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in a jar of salsa and 1/4 cup of peach preserves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve over rice.

Italian Chicken Dinner

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up a 3 lb fryer/broiler chicken and place in a greased baking dish. Cut up 1 lb of red potatoes into chunks and arrange around chicken. Drizzle with 3/4 cup of Italian salad dressing. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning and 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover. Bake 20-30 minutes longer.

Cool Waters Shake

Combine 3/4 cup of cold milk, 2 Tbsp of berry blue gelatin, and 3/4 cup of vanilla ice cream in a blender. Cover and process for 30 seconds. Pour into a glass and drink immediately.

Stovetop Snacks

Saute 2 cups of nuts in 2 Tbsp of oil or melted butter over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Sprinkle with your choice of seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, curry powder, etc], tossing the nuts with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto paper towels to cool, then store in an airtight container.

SHOPPING LIST:

Almond milk

Buttermilk

Parmesan cheese

Red potatoes (at least 2 lbs)

6 nectarines

6 peaches

Tomato

3 endives

Onion

Garlic

Ham

1 lb pork tenderloin

Broiler/fryer chicken (3 lbs)

Vanilla ice cream (at least 1 quart)

Frozen whipped topping (8 oz)

Salsa (16 oz)

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of crushed pineapple (20 oz)

Peach preserves

Pumpkin puree

2 pkgs of berry blue and 1 pkg of orange gelatin

Rice

Walnuts

Italian seasoning

Dill weed

Ground ginger

Molasses

Stevia

Chocolate chips

Potato starch

[Also needed: nuts, vegetable oil, butter, favorite seasoning, milk (at least 1 L), mayonnaise]

Week 50

Shopping List:

Caramel ice cream topping

Chocolate ice cream

Malted milk powder

Pecans

Baker’s chocolate

Unbaked deep-dish pastry shell

6 tomatoes

Bacon

4 oz cheddar cheese

Mayonnaise

Blackberries

Bananas

Greek yogurt

Eggs

Walnuts

[Buy a 1/2 L of milk this week. Also needed: whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil, agave syrup or maple syrup, vanilla]

 

Breakfast: Doughnut and scrambled eggs

Lunch: Greek yogurt with blackberries and banana and 1/2 a sliced tomato drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper

Dinner: Tomato pie

Dessert: Chocolate malt

 

Banana Bread Doughnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat the doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside. Note: If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can either make these “doughnut muffins,” or pour the batter into a bundt pan for one giant doughnut! 

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of coconut oil, 2 ripe mashed bananas, 1/4 cup of agave or maple syrup, 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 lightly beaten egg, and 1 tsp of vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir until just combined.

Now it’s time to fill the pan: Pour the batter into a resealable plastic bag (or a pastry bag). Cut off one corner of the bag, and squeeze batter into the prepared doughnut pan, making sure each indentation is about 3/4 full.

Top with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts pieces, and lightly press them into the batter.

Bake for 14-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes, then carefully turn out into a wire rack and cool fully. (Note: Baking time will vary if using a different type of pan. Cook until golden and spring back when touched.)

 

Tomato Bacon Pie                                                 (This is one of my favorite recipes!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake a deep-dish pastry shell according to package directions. Cool. Slice 3 tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place tomatoes in the crust. Cook and crumble 10 strips of bacon. Sprinkle on tomatoes. Combine 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mayonnaise in a bowl. Spoon over bacon in the center of the pie, leaving 1 inch around the edge.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. You may want to cover the edges with foil to prevent overbrowning.

 

Chocolate Malts

Combine 3/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping, 2 cups of chocolate ice cream, 3 Tbsp of malted milk powder, and 2 Tbsp of chopped pecans in a blender. Cover and process until blended. Pour into chilled glasses. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired.