Thursday, April 28, 2011

Low-Cal Culinary Curiosities #1

I know we informed you all on Tuesday that we would test two recipes yesterday.  Well, surprise, we did three!  Each of these came from Lisa Lillien's 'Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200' recipe book.

'Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing'

Yesterday morning, Melissa came over to my house, joined by her three-year-old side-kick, Bailey, to make a cinnamon roll recipe that caught our eye the day before, and they were everything we hoped they would be.  Believe us when we tell you, they did not taste low-cal.  They were just as sweet and creamy as what you'd get fresh at a bakery.

The Dough: refrigerated reduced-fat crescent roll dough and '0 calorie' butter spray
The Filling: dark brown sugar, Splenda, light butter, cinnamon, and salt
The Icing: fat-free Cool Whip, fat-free cream cheese, and Splenda
(yields 8 servings)

The finish product!  Yum!
They didn't take much time at all to prepare, and only 13 minutes to bake.  Also, these yummy treats double as both breakfast and dessert!  And they keep well in the fridge overnight.  I just popped the last one in the microwave for a few seconds, and after eating it, I'm still having to work to convince myself that these aren't terrible for me.  Seriously wonderful.  And if that isn't enough, Bailey gave these 'two thumbs up'!

What IS the calorie-count, you ask?  *drumroll*  Each of these tasty morsels rides in at only 126 calories a piece!  Behold, a cinnamon roll that doesn't make you feel guilty for eating it.


'Dan's Snazzy Green Pepper Pizza'

Yesterday's dinner was a rather unique recipe that, instead of using regular pizza dough, uses green peppers as the pizza crust.  We aren't really pizza-dough-people, but we love pizza, and this sounded like a perfect solution to cut calories out of a favorite dish.

Ingredients: large green bell peppers, fat-free mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, seasoned tomato sauce, onion, mushroom, red bell pepper, sweetener, salt, pepper, garlic powder
(yields 2 servings)

Several things made this dish one we immediately wanted to share with family and friends.

1. Very simple recipe - it gets about as hard as seasoning the tomato sauce.  Sign me up!
2. Versatile - everyone can mix and match their own veggies without much change in calorie-count.  For example, I had mushrooms and Melissa didn't.  We also tweaked the recipe by adding some chopped red pepper in the sauce in addition to the onion.
3.  Filling - one serving, or three pieces, is absolutely enough to satisfy your hunger.  And tasty to boot!

All-in-all, this dish is an absolute winner.  It's creative, it's simple, it's delicious.  We couldn't stop talking about how good it was after the first bite.  And it wasn't heavy, like regular pizza, because it's full of veggies.  But the best part is that the calorie-count for an ample serving of three pieces of green pepper pizza is... only 189 calories!


'S'mores Krispymallow Treats'

Last night, we ended with a simple, very low-cal dessert.  Sort of a s'more twist on the usual puffed-rice cereal treats.

Ingredients: puffed wheat cereal, Golden Grahams cereal, Fiber One bran cereal, mini marshmallows, light butter spread, mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
(yields 25 bars)

As with most marshmallow treats of this sort, these took only minutes to make.  Melt light spread and marshmallows, mix in a ton of cereal, let cool, sprinkle chocolate chips.  Easy-peasy.

Finish product: before division
We ended up making a double-batch, planning for some company in the evening.  These were definitely well-received among dieters and non-dieters alike... especially non-dieters.  While not incredibly unique, these s'more squares are very tasty and a wonderfully crunchy and sweet dessert.

And best of all, one 2"x3" square has only 57 calories!  I also found that these make a great breakfast.  It is basically a cereal bar, after all.


Bailey quote-of-the-day: (after eating one of our ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls) "Can I pleeaase have another 'minnacim' roll????"

*Dishes are rated out of five spoons on taste, creativity, and ease of preparation.

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