Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words – ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good. In this case, taste test first before using.
- 1 C cherry Tomatoes, quartered
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
- 1 package frozen white corn, thawed
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 avocados, chunked or cubed
- 6-8 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
Cannot be made day before.
Mix all ingredients together. To prevent browning, leave the avocado seeds in the dip until serving.
6 Cups or 10-12 servings
|Sweet Potato Gratin
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious – they’re loaded with vitamins and dietary fiber. Cholesterol-lowering pecans are an added bonus
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped pecan halves
- 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2 pounds peeled Russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 58 minutes
Preheat oven to 425°. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add breadcrumbs, pecans, and half of garlic. Cook mixture until crumbs are golden (about 5 minutes), stirring well. Remove from heat; set aside. Coat an 8- x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; arrange potato slices in dish, alternating between sweet and Russet. Combine half-and-half and next 5 ingredients (through thyme) in a small bowl. Stir in remaining half of garlic; whisk well. Pour half-and-half mixture over potatoes in dish. Cover dish tightly with foil; bake in middle of oven 45 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.
Remove foil; discard. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over potatoes; return to oven. Bake until crumbs are crispy, liquid is bubbling and reduced, and potatoes are tender (about 8 minutes). Let stand at least 15 minutes; serve.
8 servings, serving size: 2/3 C
calories: 260 calories,
fat: 8g (sat 3g, mono 3g, poly 1g)
|Apple Cranberry Stuffing Muffins
One of the favorite parts of a holiday meal is the stuffing, but as you can imagine, stuffing can pack in a surprising amount of calories. Not so with these perfectly portioned low fat cranberry apple stuffing muffins.
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
- 2 tsp fresh chopped sage
- 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 8 cups unseasoned bread cubes, dried/toasted
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 28 minutes
- Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté celery, onion and herbs for 5 minutes. Add apples and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place bread cubes and dried cranberries in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed vegetables. Season with a pinch of salt, if desired and some freshly ground black pepper. Add egg followed by broth. Stir everything well.
- Spoon stuffing mixture into muffin tin.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden.
- Makes 12-15 stuffing muffins.
12 servings, serving size: 1 muffin
calories: 238 calories,
fat: 2.3g (sat .4g)
|Baked Pumpkin Custard
Baked custard is definitely a treat – at any time of the day!
1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups skim or low-fat milk, heated until very hot
Ground nutmeg or cinnamon for garnish, optional
* The amount of eggs used can vary according to your needs. For dessert, you might want to use 4 eggs. When making for breakfast, increase the recipe to 6 eggs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to center position. Lightly butter (or use non-fat vegetable spray) eight (6-ounce) custard cups and set them into a large baking dish. If cooking custards in a metal pan, cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of newspaper to ensure an even temperature on the bottom.
Definition of Water Bath or Bain-Marie (bahn mah-REE) – A hot water bath or bain-marie are used to cook custards and baked eggs in the oven without curdling or cracking, and also used to hold sauces and to clarify butter.
Water baths are most often used for egg-based dishes. The proteins in the eggs are very heat sensitive and only need to be warmed to cook thoroughly. They will start to get firm at only 145 degrees. Cooking them with a slow, gentle heat keeps the eggs soft and smooth.
In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly; add sugar, pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and beat until combined. Mix in hot milk until blended. Pour egg mixture into prepared custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.
Bring the water for the water bath (see definition on right)to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come half-way up the sides of the custard cups. NOTE: The most common mistake people make in baking a custard is not putting enough water in the hot-water bath. The water should come up to the level of the custard inside the cups. You must protect your custard from the heat.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until set around the edges but still loose in the center.
The cooking time will depend largely on the size of the custard cup you are using, but begin checking at 20 minutes and check back regularly. When the center of the custard is just set, it will jiggle a little when shaken, that’s when you can remove it from the oven.
Remove from oven and immediately remove cups from water bath; cool on wire rack until room temperature.
Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to a week.
Makes 6-8 servings (depending on size of custard cups).
6 servings (using 6 eggs)
calories: 210 calories,
5 WW points