Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8 good size servings. Can be stretched to 12.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I like pumpkin, I like cheesecake. Why wouldn’t they be good together? My better half doesn’t mind pumpkin as long as it’s not overwhelming. Well this recipe fits the bill. I’ve modified the original recipe to reduce calories and fat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 packages of light cream cheese (500g total, or 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix the graham crackers and applesauce until well moistened. Then put in a 9’’ pie plate. Press out evenly. If you press too hard the crust will be very tough.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix until well creamed.
  4. In a smaller bowl, take 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture and add pumpkin puree and cinnamon and mix well.
  5. Pour cream cheese batter into pie crust.
  6. Gently pour pumpkin batter over cream cheese batter.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes
  8. Refrigerate 3 hour or more before serving.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 out of 8 slices)

  • Calories 245
  • Sugar 21 g
  • Carbohydrates 27 g
  • Protein 5.9 g
  • Fiber 1.0 g
  • Fat 12 g

You really have to make sure that you serve this cold. This was well received. You can add a little cinnamon if you like or sub it for pumpkin spice. You can not use fat free cream cheese. It doesn’t cook as well. You can sprinkle some cinnamon on top if you like. Or if you want a little crunch, you can sprinkle brown sugar on over the top. Be careful for the calories and sugar content. If you don’t have concerns for either have fun and make it your own.

Rice Pudding Made Light

Rice Pudding Made Light

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I love rice pudding, but with anywhere between 250-300 calories per serving, my waist was not liking rice pudding. I used a recipe from a friend and modified it to make this lighter version of her famous rice pudding.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1-3/4 cups of water
  • 1-1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of raisins

Directions

  1. In a small stock pot, put water and rice and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
  2. Add 1-1/2 cups of the milk and sugar, and cook over medium low until thick and creamy. Some liquid must remain or it will be too thick. This should take about 20 minutes. Stir frequently.
  3. During that time, beat the egg and temper with the remaining 1/2 cup of warm almond milk. Add the raisins and vanilla to the mixture.
  4. Once rice is at desired consistency, add egg mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Put in 8 ramkin bowls or dessert dishes that can be reheated in micro.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 160
  • Fat 1.3 g
  • Sugar 13.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 38.2 g
  • Protein 3.9 g
  • Fiber 1.0 g

Hint: Tempering an egg is the process of beating an egg and adding a warm liquid a little at a time so the egg does not cook. If you were to drop the beaten egg right into the rice mixture you might have an omelet start to form.

Using unsweetened almond milk keeps the pudding creamy without the fat of whole milk. If you use skim milk it will be watery. Besides almond milk has less calories than skim milk. The calorie count listed is with raisins but if you don’t like raisins you can omit or sub for dried cranberries. Be careful which dried fruit you use as some are excessively high in sugar. This is best served warm.

My first attempt was way too thick so I added about a tablespoon or two of almond milk when I reheated them in the micro. For those who like something sweeter, you can serve with a 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup but if you are counting calories remember that those are extra, put a little less raisins and you should be fine.

You can dress them up with fresh berries. You can even make this healthier by using brown rice. Have fun and make it your own.

If you want to make this into a vegetable sauce, because you have green peppers growing and need to find another use for them, you can add them, including celery, or any veggie you wish. Have fun and make it your own. If you have suggestions, let me know. I like trying new things too.

Basic French Crepes

Basic French Crepes

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Here is a basic crepe batter that is easy, tasty, and can be ready in minutes. The ingredients are usually readily available in any house. These are low in calorie, it’s up to you what you put in them

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Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of margarine

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk milk, eggs, water, butter
  2. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl
  3. Gradually add the flour to the milk mixture while whisking until smooth
  4. In a nonstick 8 inch pan over medium heat pour 1/4 cup of batter and tilt the pan in a circular motion to coat the bottom evenly with batter
  5. Cook for approximately 1-1/2 minutes until bottom is light brown and flip and cook for another 30 seconds
  6. Place each crepe on a plate separated with wax paper

Nutrition Per Serving (one crepe)

  • Calories 103
  • Sugar 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 13.2 g
  • Protein 3.6 g
  • Fiber 0.8 g
  • Fat 3.6 g

Now for the fun part. As a dessert, as seen in picture you can add 1/2 cup of fruit with 1/3 cup of greek vanilla yogourt and this is approximately 180 cal. That is one of my favourite ways to do this. For someone where calories and fat don’t matter you could do it with whipped cream. You could do it as a breakfast crepe where you would heat it for 20 seconds in microwave and put Nutella and bananas in it. The possibilities are endless.

Let your imagination go, have fun and make it your own

Best-Ever Blueberry Buckle Cake

Best-Ever Blueberry Buckle Cake

  • Servings: 15
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Who doesn’t like blueberries? Put that into a cake and you have a recipe for success. A little high on the calorie count but sometimes it’s just worth it.

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For Topping

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For Cake

  • 2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of buttermilk (if you don’t have use regular milk with 2 tbsp of vinegar)
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9 by 12 pan. If you use a different size pan, adjust your cook time by testing every five minutes. The bigger the pan the less cook time.
  2. Make topping: in a medium bowl stir to combine all ingredients until no dry spots remain
  3. Make cake: in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, beat to combine butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Slowly add to dry ingredients until all is incorporated. Gently fold in blueberries until just combined. Transfer to prepared baking pan.
  4. Add the topper sporadically across the cake. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 220
  • Sugar 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates 20 g
  • Protein 4 g
  • Fiber 1.3 g
  • Fat 7 g

You can add some nuts to the top when you put the topping on. You can serve it with ice cream, if calories don’t matter, that is. I also could see it with a blueberry coils or some whipped cream. Have fun and make it your own.

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Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

  • Servings: 12 Muffins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I know it’s not the time of year for pumpkin anything, but when you go to your pantry and see a can of pumpkin pie filling that is about to expire you say, “Time to make the muffins!” You can also make this with pumpkin purée, see note for adding spices.

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Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup of white flour (I use unbleached flour)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 540 ml can of pumpkin pie filling or 15 ounce can
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line standard muffin tin with paper liners
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. In another bowl whisk eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir together. Do not over mix. Just make sure everything blends together.
  5. I use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter. It’s also quite easy with less spillage.
  6. Bake for 22-28 minutes until toothpick comes out clean


If you are using pumpkin purée add the following spices: another tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 256
  • Sugar 25 g
  • Carbohydrates 41 g
  • Protein 3.4 g
  • Fiber 2 g

I thought about this after, I could have added some raisins, or some walnuts, or chocolate chips. So whatever time of year it is, it’s always a good time for pumpkin muffins. Have fun and make it your own.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites

  • Servings: 20 Balls
  • Difficulty: Easy
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A great little treat for children of all ages. It is quick and easy to make. So let’s get to it, shall we.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup of toasted shredded coconut (if you only have flakes, toast them, then chop them)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of mini semi chocolate chips (if you only have regular chocolate chips or bakers bar chocolate, you can chop or grate to small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Roll and compress the mixture into balls from one heaping tablespoon and place on parchment paper
  3. Refrigerate a few minutes until firm and transfer to air tight container
  4. Refrigerate and enjoy for up to a week

Nutrition Per Serving, one ball

  • Calories 88
  • Sugar 2 g
  • Carbohydrates 10 g
  • Protein 2 g
  • Fiber 1.2 g

The original recipe called to add chia seeds, being allergic was not an option for me but feel free to do so. One tablespoon would add very little calories and about 0.2 g of protein to each ball.

This is where you can fun. You could add cinnamon or chopped walnuts, or use chunky peanut butter vs smooth, chopped almonds. If you are calorie conscious watch how much you add of nuts and also the consistency so it can hold together but have fun and make it your own.

Best Fudgy Chocolate Cake

Best Fudgy Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I used to make cakes from scratch and then I got lazy. Yes I admit it, I was using cake mixes. Seemed easier. I still did a lot of baking but standard vanilla or chocolate cakes, I was using mixes. So a couple of weeks ago, a sweet young man was telling me of desserts he was making his dad. Got me thinking, ok maybe I should make a dessert, so I did. I made a vanilla cake. Turned out quite good. So this week I made a chocolate cake. I think that will be the end of my making cakes from cake mixes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup boiling water with 2 tsp instant coffee

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 baking dish
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.
  3. Beat the egg, sugar, oil, sugar, milk and vanilla extract together in a large bowl until smooth.
  4. Pour in the boiling water with coffee and mix well.
  5. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture gradually, stirring until smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Place in preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean with very small amount of cake on the toothpick due to the fudge texture.
  7. Let cool for 20 minutes before frosting or serving.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 250
  • Fat 9 g
  • Carbohydrates 38 g
  • Protein 3 g
  • Fiber 1 g

You can serve straight, you can ice it, with fruit, or of course ice cream. I have a chocolate ganache recipe if you like. All you need to do is ask.

Have fun and make it your own.

Pudding Chomeur

Pudding Chomeur

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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When asked about a dessert reflecting my heritage, a few came to mind but this one somehow means more to me about the heritage. If you translate the name to this dessert it means pudding of the unemployed.

This dessert was created by female factory workers during the Great Depression in Quebec, Canada. Back then the dessert was made with stale bread, in modern times it is made with a cake batter.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine (yes again)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9×13 baking dish
  2. Sift flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Beat the egg, sugar and 1/4 cup of margarine together in a large bowl until smooth. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively to the egg mixture, stirring until smooth. Pour the batter into the baking dish.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar, remaining margarine and vanilla extract and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Gently pour the sauce over the batter
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Nutrition Per Serving, 1 of 10

  • Calories 400
  • Fat 7gram
  • Carbohydrates 71 g
  • Protein 3
  • Fiber 0.4

You can serve straight, best is hot, and if you really have a sweet tooth and don’t mind the risk of sugar overload, serve with ice cream.

Have fun and make it your own.

Sneaky Apple Crumble

Sneaky Apple Crumble

Here is a sequel to the pantry

When I was going through the pantry I realized I had 3 boxes of nutri grain bars. All about to expire. When you are two people, eating 24 bars in a week seems a little excessive. I hate throwing out food. How to use them? This is what I came up with.

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Base

  • 4 strawberry nutri grain bars chopped into very small pieces

Apple mixture

  • 3 apples cored and sliced thinly
  • 6 tsp of brown sugar packed
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of salted butter
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda

Topper

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Prepare apple mixture. Mix well and set aside
  2. Preheat oven at 375 degrees
  3. Put base in a 9 by 6 baking dish
  4. Cover with apple mixture
  5. Cover with topper
  6. Place in oven for 40 minutes

Serve hot. You can add ice cream. We liked it plain.
Great way to use up excesses from the pantry. Have fun and make it your own.

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Who says light means bland. Here is a weight watchers recipe that I have made for people who are not concerned with their weight and they loved these.

Summary

  • Prep time : 20 min
  • Cook time : 15 min
  • Serves : 12
  • Smart points value : 4

Ingredients

  • 8 small graham crackers mashed into crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine melted
  • 4 tablespoons fat free cream cheese
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 20 ounce light fruit pie filling, cherry, warmed

Directions

  1. Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and margarine and mix well.
  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of crumb mixture into each liner and press down gently.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
  5. Preheat oven at 375F.
  6. Beat cream cheeses until fluffy, add lemon juice, egg whites, vanilla extract and sugar, beat until smooth.
  7. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly into crumb cups. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool.
  9. Top each cheese cake with 1 tablespoon of cherry pie filling.