Monday, January 23, 2012

Skinny and Tasty!

My absolute new favourite recipe site is I am not kidding, I can, and have, spent hours browsing the recipes and looking at the fabulous photos that Gina, the site’s creator, posts of everything she cooks.

The premise of is that Gina has “made over” recipes to be “skinnier” – less fat, less calories, etc. And I tell you, she has succeeded! You can find everything from soups to desserts and everything in between. Gina will also take requests from fans to make over their favourite recipes and she experiments till she gets it right.

I have made several of her recipes and have never been disappointed. Here are some of my favourites and my comments.

Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
I had never made my own mac and cheese before trying this recipe but I have made this three or four times and it is amazing. I think the really good 4-year-old aged cheddar we buy from the Farmer’s Market makes a difference. Make it gluten free by using gluten free flour, brown rice pasta and omitting the bread crumbs or using gluten free ones instead.

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries

A fan of oatmeal I am not! But this, well, this could turn anyone onto oatmeal. It’s almost like a breakfast cake it is so good but there is no sugar and no flour. Agave, bananas and blueberries add sweetness and milk and eggs hold it together. It makes a great breakfast and although oats can have a bit of gluten (due to cross-contamination in processing), it is essentially gluten free.

Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce

Serve this to your guests and they’ll think you are a gourmet chef! They don’t have to know how easy and quick it was to make. I’ve made this one twice and boy is it good. Serve it with some roasted cauliflower and a salad and you have a fantastic meal.

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole
This is a casserole version of those delicious Italian rice balls that you may have been fortunate to try (my sister’s mother-in-law, Rosa, makes amazing ones). This is a really hearty, filling dish that needs only a salad to make it a complete meal. I did not make my own tomato sauce for this recipe (although I do on occasion), I used a can of ‘tomato sauce’. Next time I would use a marinara-type pasta sauce.

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili
My mother-in-law, Linda, gave me some pumpkin puree (she actually purees the jack-o-lantern after Halloween – who knew it had another use!?) so I went in search of pumpkin recipes. This recipe did not disappoint and is quite different than what you may traditionally know as chili. I probably quadrupled (or more) the spices (cumin, chili powder, oregano) the second time I made this as I found it not to be spicy enough for my taste (and by that I don’t mean hot).

As I said, I’ve made several more recipes and I will continue to try even more from this site. I have never been disappointed and they are all fairly easy and use ingredients that I typically buy (two of my criteria when trying a new recipe). If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to a favourite dish, have a search on… you’ll probably find what you’re looking for!

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