Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crepes with Strawberry/Raspberry Mascarpone Filling

Growing up, one of my favorite breakfast dishes was something our family calls "palacinkas." Pronounced palah-chinkas, these are basically crepes, but with an awesome Croatian name :) You fill them up with anything you want. My favorite fillings were cottage cheese, peanut butter, jelly, and some cinnamon sugar. 

This past week, an online "Biggest Loser" competition I'm participating in had a challenge of creating a healthy recipe using strawberries. The obvious choice was a low-calorie strawberry shortcake or something like that, but I decided to go outside my comfort zone and try to put a new twist on one of my old favorites. And that brought me to create these crepes. 

First thing you should know is I've never worked with three of the major ingredients, raspberries, mascarpone cheese, or crepes. I had never in my life made a palacinka, that's dad's job. But last night I made an attempt it, and it turned it deliciously! 

Here's the nutrition information:
Nutrition info for 2 crepes filled with about 1/5 cup of the filling (in each):
Carbs- 7
Fat- 13
Protein- 4
Sugar- 3

Ingredients you'll need are:
1 package of mascarpone cheese (you'll only use half of it, about 8 tbsp)
fresh strawberries and raspberries (as many as you want)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup of original almond milk (or whatever milk you want)
2 egg whites
1 tbsp of oil
1/4 tbsp of salt
and a juicer.

To make the filling: 
In a bowl, mix together the juice from about 4 strawberries and raspberries (4 of each that is) with the mascarpone cheese.  
Fold in any extra sliced strawberries or raspberries you'd like.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

To make the crepe batter:
Combine flour and salt, mix.
Whisk in milk, egg whites, and oil. 
Stir until well blended. M
My batter had chunks in it that looked like cottage cheese, I don't know why, nothing was spoiled, lol, but that's just how mine mixed!

In a well sprayed pan, pour just enough of the batter to make a very very thin layer. These should be like super thin pancakes. Let the batter brown on one side, flip, and let it get browned on the other side. Badabingbadaboom you have a crepe/palacinka. 

This is what mine looked like

Take those, fill them with the filling, and top with raspberries and/or strawberries and enjoy!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pan Seared Peaches

Does it get any better than fresh summer peaches?

Yes, it does, believe it or not. 

Imagine those delicious peaches simmered in butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sugar. 

Just thinking about that makes me drool almost as much as this does:

Back to the topic at hand, these peaches. 

Here's the damage from these bad boys:

And your ingredients
I left out the vanilla extract in the picture because that was a last minute addition, but SOOOO neccessary, so don't forget it!!

Here's what you do!

Optional: Peel your peach. I don't like feeling like I'm eating a mustache so I peel mine.
Not optional: pit your peach. 
Slice your peaches. *See note at bottom! You can either halve them or do lots of little slices.
Put the butter and vanilla extract in a pan, set it on medium high heat and let the butter melt.
Toss in those peaches!
Sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. 
Let them simmer in all that goodness and then pour it on a plate.

They'll look like this:
And taste like this:

*Note:This recipe is called pan seared peaches because originally I just halved the peaches and placed them face down in the pan and let them get seared. They looked like this:
See the golden goodness on top? I wanted that all over the peaches so I sliced them and got that goodness on both sides of all my slices. Yummmmm.

English Muffin Melt

I have a confession.
I have a deep, passionate love for flatbreads.

I looked in the commissary yesterday at some flatbreads. And guess how many calories there were in ONE. 250. Yep. 250 calories. For one flatbread. With no toppings. 

No thank you. 

I've used pita bread before, but today I decided to try out English Muffins as flatbreads. I was pleasantly surprised! I think you will be, too :)

Here's the nutritional info:

And in case you can't read, here's a visual of our ingredients
I accidentally ate the last slice of tomato I had, hence the sign, lol.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice your tomato so you have two slices. Or you can dice them, whatever tickles your pickle!
  3. Slice or open your english muffin.
  4. Okay, now you're prepared. 
  1. Spread one wedge of the cheese on each half of the english muffin.
  2. Place 1 slice of tomato on each half.
  3. Place as much spinach on each half of the muffin as you like. I did two leaves per half. 
  4. Sprinkle as much parmesan cheese on top as you like. I did about a tbsp. 
  5. Place on baking sheet, in a casserole dish, whatever you want, and put it in the oven.
  6. I cooked mine for about 7-10 minutes. I just kept checking on it and took it out when I felt like it was ready :p 
And when you take it out, it'll look like this:

JK, I don't know who that is. It'll look like an english muffin flatbread. 

This was so cheesy and delicious, I loved it, I hope you do, too!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zucchini Chips

We all do it!
At some point, we all have bought TOO MUCH of one vegetable. You see it in the store, you think, wow, I love this stuff! I can make so much with this! So you scoop it up, take it home, and it sits in your crisper until...well..who knows how long! 

I have this problem with zucchini. But tonight I found the PERFECT way to get rid of my zucchini. 

Zucchini Chips

See my yummy cucumber salad and tofu along with it?

Nutritional Information:

1 zucchini
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 raw egg white
1-2 tbsp of almond milk or any milk
Seasoned salt, onion powder, pepper, Parmesan cheese (the kind you shake out)
You should also have a wire rack to bake the zucchini chips on.

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
Slice the zucchini
Mix the egg white and milk together in a container, then dunk your zucchini slices in this.
Mix the breadcrumbs and any spices together in a bowl, then dredge the zucchini chips into this  mixture so they are fully covered.
Place zucchini chips on a greased wire rack, place that onto a cookie sheet*, and bake for 25 minutes.
*If you want to add Parmesan cheese, I would add it at this point.

These were even better than I could have imagined! And for the calories they are a nice treat and seem naughtier than they really are ;) 

Cucumber Salad

Looks yummy, right? It is! This cucumber salad is a great side dish that's light and crisp and delicious all over! 

Nutritional Information:
 (now you can see about how much I used of everything! Everybody wins!)

Here are some of the ingredients we'll be using for this:
  • Mayo (optional, I wanted my salad to be slightly creamy. I used about 1/2 a tbsp.)
  • Rice vinegar
  • Dill weed
  • Red onion 
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Egg
I also added salt and pepper to taste. 

Note: If you don't like eggs, don't put them in your cucumber salad! I LOVE eggs and love any excuse to include them in a dish. When added to this salad they give a pretty significant egg flavor so keep that in mind!

While I'm pretty sure you can figure out how to make this salad, I'll tell you how just in case.


  1. Hard boil your egg.
  2. Peel your cucumber if you want. You don't have to! Slice it. I sliced mine into circles and then sliced those again to make more bite-friendly pieces.
  3. Dice your tomato into small pieces.
  4. Slice your onion. I sliced my onion into rings and then sliced the rings four ways.
  5. Once the hard boiled egg is cooked and cooled, slice it also.
  6. Mix the mayo and rice vinegar in the bowl you plan to serve the salad in. 
  7. Mix all sliced ingredients in the bowl.
  8. Add dill weed and salt and pepper if desired. 
  9. Mix it all together!
  10. Serve chilled and enjoy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The 411 on me and my cooking

So there are a few things you should know about the things I cook:

They don't contain meat. Ever. At all. :p 
I'm a vegetarian. Why? Well mostly because of this:
That's Star. She's my baby. She's also an animal. Would I ever eat her? No. I love her. Would you eat her? I hope not. So if I wouldn't eat her, why would I eat other animals who have feeling just like she does? 
I'm not trying to convince anyone to stop eating animals, that's your issue, I'm just explaining why I choose not to eat meat or cook it! I really want people to warm up to the idea that vegetarian dishes don't have to be bland and boring. 

I don't usually measure things.
The only reason I measure things is to get nutritional information on them. When I'm cooking, usually I just add however much of an ingredient looks good. Then when I calculate the calories, I guess how much I put in. Why then, you ask, can't you just go and tell us how much you used? Because I already forgot, sorry. Be brave, add however much looks good to you, live a little!!

I try to keep my meals under 500 calories.
After I married this hottie,
I gained a lovely 15-20 lbs. I was at an overweight BMI and feeling like poo about myself. April of this year I decided that I couldn't take it anymore and started counting my calories and exercising. I've lost 14 lbs so far and I want to keep them off! So I try not to go crazy with the calories. I think everyone can appreciate that. 

The End. :)

Panko Crusted Peanut Butter Tofu Fries

First post, yay!

So back home, there was a Chinese buffet that had one of the most amazingly delicious dishes ever. Breaded, fried, sliced chicken sitting in a pool of yummy peanut butter sauce. It was the first thing I would go to there. 

I was craving Chinese food today and got to thinking, why not make my beloved peanut butter chicken, but with tofu? I think it turned out wonderfully and with way less calories and murder :p I know it seems like a lot of fat, but the fat comes from the tofu and the peanut butter, not from grease, so that's our excuse!

Nutritional Info for Tofu: (1 Serving, Serves 1)
Calories: 348 Carbs: 26 Fat: 17 Protein: 26

Ingredients you'll need for the tofu fries: 
Half of one package of extra firm tofu
1/3 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp of peanut butter
Some extra light tasting or extra virgin olive oil spray
powdered ginger

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Begin by slicing your tofu (already halved since you are only using half the package) into slices about as thick as an iPhone (I'm so scientific). Then slice those slices in half. Basically what you want in the end are slices of tofu the size of fish sticks.
  3. Next, I sprinkled salt and pepper on each side of the tofu fries and sprayed the oil on them.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet by topping it with a layer of tin foil greased with whatever cooking spray you feel compelled to use.
  5. Measure your panko breadcrumbs into a container of your choice, and add powdered ginger. I didn't measure, I rarely do, just add how much you think would be tasty :)
  6. Coat each tofu fry in the panko mixture.
  7. Place the fries onto the baking sheet and put it in the oven.
  8. For our peanut butter sauce, I added one tbsp of peanut butter to a microwave safe tupperware container and added water. Again, I didn't measure. You want the sauce to be the consistency of a cream of chicken soup (again with the scientificness!) when you're done. 
  9. Put that mixture into the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time until you can mix the peanut butter and water into a smooth sauce.
  10. Don't hate me, but I didn't time the tofu fries. I checked on them every few minutes. At some point, the panko crumbs will start to turn golden brown. That's when you take them out and flip them. They should look kinda like that first picture up there. 
  11. Let the tofu fries cook as long on this side as they did on the other. 
  12. When the tofu has cooked on both sides, take it out and brush your peanut butter mixture on each fry. 
  13. Back in the oven they go until you deem them ready! Enjoy!