Skinnier Strawberry Shortcake

This ain’t your momma’s Strawberry Shortcake!  No sir.  This is Strawberry Shortcake elevated to a whole new level.  Fresh baked sponge cake.  Freshly whipped cream.  And berries picked from a local farm. 

I tried to come up with some fancy shmancy name to help emphasize the awesomeness of this cake, but there was nothing that described it better than the simple, traditional name. 

I lightened this up a bit by using Splenda in the whipped cream and to macerate the strawberries.  Yes, there’s still 2 cups of heavy cream in there, but hey – you’re not going to eat the whole thing, so don’t freak out.  I only ate 1/16 of this cake and was quite satisfied.  All in moderation, folks.

I think this will be my new favorite recipe for fresh strawberries.  But don’t quote me on that.  I have about 3 more gallons of strawberries, so I may find another favorite!

Skinnier Strawberry Shortcake

Cake

  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Splenda

Strawberries:

  • 1/2 pound fresh strawberries
  • 2-4 tbsp Splenda (depending on the sweetness of your berries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare cake, line an 8″ square baking pan with parchment or waxed paper.  Grease and flour the paper lined pan and set aside.

Combine sugar and egg whites in large bowl and whip to stiff peaks.  Add egg yolks and gently whisk until combined.  Add milk, vanilla, and flour and gently fold in until combined.  Fold in melted butter.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 mintues or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool completely on wire rack.  Remove cake from pan and split horizontally.

While the cake is baking, finely dice the strawberries.  Combine with Splenda and set aside to macerate until ready to assemble cake.

When cake is cooled and ready to be assembled, prepare the whipped cream:  Combine heavy cream, splenda, and vanilla in a metal bowl and beat until slightly stiff.  Reserve one cup for piping on the top of the cake.

Place one cake layer on a serving platter.  Top with half the the remaining whipped cream.  Spread a layer of strawberries over the whipped cream.  Top with the other half of the whipped cream.  Place the remaining cake layer on top.  Spoon the reserved 1 cup of whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe diagonal stripes over the entire top of cake.  Garnish with fresh strawberry halves, if desired.

Skinny Chinese Pepper Chicken

A healthy version of a Chinese favorite!

Yesterday, I shared with you the recipe for Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice, and today I’m sharing one option for topping that rice – Chinese Pepper Chicken.  Pepper Chicken is my favorite Chinese dish (and I really don’t like that many Chinese foods!  I’m wierd like that), but it is breaded and fried.  Not very skinny!  So, I wanted to create a version that was a little better for you. 

The original recipe called for Oyster Sauce, but I didn’t have any on hand (and didn’t have the time or energy to run to the store), so i used a combination of Soy Sauce, Worchestershire Sauce and Spenda brown sugar.    If you have Oyster Sauce, go ahead and use that.

Skinny Chinese Pepper Chicken

  • 1 pound chicken breasts (or tenders), boneless, skinless
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp canola oil

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Pepper

In small bowl, combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.  Dust chicken with cornstarch until well coated.  Heat oil in wok or other non-stick pan.  Cook chicken in oil until golden brown, remove and set aside.  Add sauce mixture to pan and heat until bubbling.  Add chicken back in, stirring to fully coat chicken in the sauce.  Serve over Skinny Fried Rice.

 

Serves:4

Calories Per Serving: 289

 

Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice

I’m back!  I took a hiatus from blogging due to a busy work schedule, but I recently resigned from my financial secretary job and now have more time to blog, so I’m back!!  Woohoo!  I’ve really missed blogging and interacting with my readers!  (I hope there a few still out there after all this time)  🙂

A couple days ago I had a craving for Chinese food.  And that’s actually pretty odd for me because I’m not really a fan of most Chinese dishes.  But, I do LOVE the Pepper Chicken and Fried Rice at the Chinese restuarant here in town. So, I decided to try to make a “skinny” version at home.   My husband and I loved it, and my 12 year old son said it was “ok”.  🙂  Boys.  So uncommital.  Today I’m sharing the Fried Rice recipe and tomorrow I will post the Pepper Chicken recipe.  Ideally, you want to use “leftover” rice that you made at least the day before and chilled overnight.  I didn’t plan that far ahead however, so I just made my rice a few hours before dinner and let it chill until I was ready to prepare the rest of the dish.  It worked out just fine.

 

A healthy version of a Chinese favorite!

Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup finely diced vegetables ( I used carrot, asparagus, onion, and red pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (best if rice is made the day before)

 

Heat a wok or other heavy skillet over medium high heat.   Add garlic and cook until tender.  Add vegetables and cook several minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add soy sauce and vinegar; stir well and cook for a couple minutes.  Add rice, mixing well.  Add chicken stock and cook just until rice is heated through.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serves: 4

Calories Per Serving: 128

Hashbrown Egg Nests

When you need a good hearty breakfast, full of protein, potatoes, and eggs, but don’t have time to sit down to a big plate full of food…Hashbrown Egg Nests are the way to go.  You can even make these ahead and just reheat when you’re ready to eat.  And they’re the perfect size to grab and go for a quick breakfast on the run.  You can change up the ingredients to whatever meat and veggies you happen to have in your fridge. 

Hashbrown Egg Nests

  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 cupfrozen hashbrown potatoes, thawed
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup egg substitute (or 4 eggs, beaten)
  • 2 tbsp diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced bell peppers and/or other vegetables of choice
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup meat of choice – diced ham, diced turkey, crumbled bacon, etc

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray.  combine potatoes, 1/2 cup minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Fill each muffin cup with about 1/3 cup potato mixture and press into bottom and up sides of cup to form a nest.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until godlen brown and crispy.

In bowl, combine egg substitute, green onion, bell peppers (or other veggies), cheese, and meat(s).  Fill each hashbrown nest with about 1/4 cup of egg mixture.  Return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are fully cooked.

Serves: 6

 

 

 

Sundried Tomato & Fresh Spinach Dip

Spinach.  Do you love it?  Hate it?  Me – I like baby spinach (aka arugala) in a salad.  I like spinach in dishes where it is a ‘backdrop’, not the main ingredient.  But I LOVE spinach dip.  And since it’s key ingredient IS spinach, I consider it healthy, and find myself eating almost half the batch right after making it.  Don’t judge me.  (But seriously…if you use low-fat cream cheese and sour cream, it really is pretty healthy.  Seriously.)

This recipe couldn’t be simpler to make.  Blanch some fresh spinach, chop up some sundried tomatoes and onion and throw it all in the food proccesor with the other ingredients.  Easy peasy.  This recipe is a great party dish, but you can also use it as a sauce for pasta (that recipe/post is coming tomorrow!)

Sundried Tomato & Fresh Spinach Dip

  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (dry packed)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Blanch spinach in boiling water for one minute.  Draine and rinse immediately in cold water to stop the cooking.  Squeeze to remove excess liquid.  You should have about one cup of cooked spinach at this point.

Place spinach in food processor along with remaining ingredients.  Pulse until smooth.  Serve immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Broiled Salmon

Mondays.  Who needs ’em?  I don’t know about you, but Mondays are super-crazy-busy for us.  I get up, get ready for work, get the kids up and ready for school, take the kids to school, go to work, pick up daughter from school, go back later to pick up son from tutoring, and a couple of hours later, I take daughter to gymnastics, then we come home and get ready for bed.  Yep.  That’s what our Monday’s look like.  Usually, there is only about an hour and a half between the time we get home from tutoring and have to leave for gymnastics.  And on nights like those, I need quick dinners.  And that usually means fish.  It thaws quickly.  It cooks quickly.  So I can take it from the freezer, throw it in a bowl of water to thaw, cook it and be ready to eat in about 45 minutes.  Exactly what I need on a Monday.  Broiled Salmon is one of my go-to dishes for Mondays. 

Broiled Salmon

  • salmon fillets (1 per person)
  • olive oil
  • fresh lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • herbs of your choice

Preheat broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place salmon fillets on foil.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cut lemon in half and slice one very thin slice for each fillet.  Squeeze juice of remaining lemon peices over fillets.  Season with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice (although, just  olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper is delish!).  Place one lemon slice on each fillet.  Broil until fish is cooked through and flakes easily – about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness.

Paw Paw Muffins

About a week ago, I went to a friend’s house to pick up something I had ordered from her.  When I stepped on her porch I could smell this really sweet, fruity scent.  When she opened the door the first thing I said was “what smells SO GOOD out here???”  It smelled absolutely divine.  I can’t even describe it.  She informed me that it was Paw Paw fruit from her Paw Paw tree.  Seriously?  I had only heard of them from The Jungle Book movie!  Is there really such a thing?  Yes, there really is.  She gave me a bag of them to take home and try.  She told me that they are an ‘acquired taste’ for most people, so don’t be alarmed if you take a bite and don’t really like it at first.  So, I took my little bag of Paw Paws home and was anxious to taste one and make something with them. 

First, I just cut one open, and ate a bit of the flesh with a spo0n.  Hmm…she’s right.  I didn’t love it.  But I didn’t hate it either.  I couldn’t decide.  So, I made muffins with a few.  I did like the muffins better than the plain paw paw, but I still didn’t love it.  My husband really liked the muffins though.  Here’s the recipe, in case you ever come across some Paw Paw fruit yourself!

Paw Paw Muffins

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 medium-large paw paws (or 4 small ones), flesh removed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In seperate bowl, combine paw paw flesh, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk.  Stir just until mixed together.  Add dry ingredients and walnuts to paw paw mixture, stirring just until combined.  Don’t overmix.

Divide evenly into 5 or 6 muffin cups (grease the muffin cups or use papers).  Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.  Cool slightly before serving.