Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cups, Reduced Fat

Chocolate chip cheesecake cups

I needed an easy dessert for a potluck. I wanted a reduced fat cheesecake in a portion controlled serving. There are several lowfat cheesecake recipes on the Internet. I modified a strawberry swirl cheesecake recipe from
These tasty treats have only 144 kcal, which is my idea of a guiltless dessert. You could make this gluten free by substituting a gluten free crisp cookie in place of the graham crackers and almond flour or other gluten free flour in place of the wheat flour. I want to try a sugar substitute like stevia on the next batch. These are incredibly easy to make the day before the potluck. They travel well but keep them on ice. I’m bringing these to Fiesta Friday for my weekly virtual
potluck. I will be at Blogher 2014 in San Jose during Fiesta Friday so if there are any California Bay Area bloggers going then let’s have a real lunch together. I will report back on my experiences at the blog conference.
Take what you need and savor every bite.

Chocolate Chip  Cheesecake cups

Chocolate chip cheesecake cups

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cups, Reduced Fat

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

• 8 oz lowfat cream cheese
• 5 oz vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt, I used Chobani
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar or equivalent sugar substitute
• 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

5 chocolate graham crackers
1 tablespoon melted butter

Place a dollop of fat free sour cream and a few chocolate chips
on cooled cupcakes if desired. Let cool overnight before serving.

1. Crumble graham crackers into small pieces into a food processor. Process until finely crumbled. Had melted butter and combine until crumbs hold together. Press 1-2 tablespoons of crust into cupcake cups in a cupcake baking pan. I used silicon cups.
2. Combine all cheesecake ingredients except mini chocolate chips and process in food processor until combined. Fold mini chocolate chips into cheese mixture. Pour cheese mixture into baking cups and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cheesecake should be set and a knife should come out clean. Allow to cool in the wrappers 30 minutes then cool completely at least 3 hours and overnight if you use the sour cream topping.

Serving size is 1 cupcake
kcal 144 Carb: 28 gm, Protein: 5 gm, Fat: 7 gm
Weight watchers pp 4 points

Pets Lower Your Blood Pressure


My dorky Lhasa-poo taking a selfie lying down after a hard day of doing absolutely nothing. It’s exhausting being a dog! Did you know that loving a pet lowers your blood pressure? Pet owners tend to live longer than non-pet owners and they have less depression and anxiety. And that folks is how I turn a cute dog photo into a health lesson. No, I do not have the medical references to back up my statistics but I know it’s true. Trust me, I’m a doctor.


Raw Taco Salad Recipe – Super Scrumptious

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on rawfooddiaries:
I’ve always loved tacos, even though I haven’t actually had them for quite a few years. During the recent Raw Food Challenge I participated in with the Raw Food Mum, many recipes were shared; one of…

Thai Beef Salad Over Greens

A flavor explosion for the Fiesta Friday #25.


It is important to me that my blog posts are honest and genuinely reflect how I eat which is why you won’t see gourmet, extravagant, high calorie meals here. A friend who reads my blog asked me if I eat any meat because I only post fish and vegetable recipes. The truth is that I do eat beef and pork but infrequently. If I eat meat then it will be great meat because I won’t settle for fast food mystery burgers or stringy fatty meat buried under gravy. (Sounds appetizing, right?) Here is my personal take on Thai Beef Salad where the meat is succulent filet mignon and is complimenting the fresh organic produce. If you are watching your calories and your nutritional status then you will appreciate the lean beef and the huge serving of delicious veggies.

Take what you need and savor every bite.



Thai Beef Salad Over Greens

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderately Easy
  • Print

Sauce and marinade

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 limes squeezed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup cooking sherry (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


12 oz beef steak grilled and cooled, thinly sliced
1 red onion sliced thinning
2 carrots, sliced in curls with a peeler, (I used a purple and an orange carrot)
1 cucumber sliced
1/2 to 1 Serrano chili thinly sliced into rings, remove seeds to reduce the heat
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Thai or other basil chopped
1/4 cup toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For Serving

5 cups of spring greens, mesclun keep separate
Lime wedges


Mix sauce and use 1/4 cup to marinade the beef for 20 minutes to overnight. Grill marinated beef to medium rare and let rest before slicing. Throw marinade away and don’t reuse. Chop and slice remaining ingredients. Poor reserved sauce over meat and mix with the vegetable and herbs. Serve over spring greens with extra lime wedges and sliced Serrano if you prefer more spice.

Grilled Beets with Coriander




My father was an amateur master gardener. His retirement summers revolved around vegetable gardening. He loved to grow and eat beets. I confess that I am not even close to a master gardener but I used to try to grow vegetables any time that I had outdoor space for a garden. I have been successful in many areas of my life but for the life of me, I could not grow beets in Northern Nevada. My dad would give me advice on soil and watering to no avail. I have to rely on the CSA for my veggies now and there has been an abundance of beets in my basket. I usually oven roast beets to bring out the sweet, caramelized flavor but it has been so hot that I refuse to use my oven. These beets were grilled on the BBQ in a grill pan over indirect heat until crisp tender and served with a side of goat cheese. Goat cheese and beets were made to be served together! Their flavors compliment each other with sweet, earthy, tangy goodness.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe. Beets are a superfood with antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, manganese and fiber. Who doesn’t love a great source for manganese? Eat the greens too, sautéed in olive oil.
Take what you need and savor every bite.

Grilled Beets

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 45 minutes, mostly grilling time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Beets sliced or wedged. 1/4 slices will cook evenly and more quickly.
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
2 teaspoons coriander seeds crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red proper flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Cut off greens and save for another dish. Scrub beets with a vegetable brush but don’t peel. (Of course you can peel them if you like purple hands but you won’t notice the peel after roasting.) Slice into 1/4 half moons. Toss with remaining ingredients. Use a grilling pan and grill over indirect heat keeping the temperature around 350 degrees F. You could put these in a oven at 350 degrees as an alternative. Grill until crisp tender about 40 minutes.

Serving suggestions:
Plate with plain or favored soft goat cheese or feta cheese.
Toss over a plate of intimidating greens, orange sections and a light citrus vinaigrette.
Serve with chopped beet greens lightly sautéed in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Eat them right out of the bowl. (I might have done this.)


The Torrent of Medical Education, Sea Glass or Sand


The torrent of medical education, sea glass or sand?
A second letter to my son, the medical student

By Tracey Delaplain, MD

Before you started your first year I cautioned you that “medical school will change you so you must guard the ideals you hold sacred”. I have watched you change in your first two years much like a piece of new glass thrown into the ocean being tumbled and polished by the torrent of medical academia. All first year students start out as a shiny piece of new glass, none of us knowing what will be left of us at the end of our training. I wonder if you will become a weathered, beautiful piece of sea glass or will nothing but sand remain of the original glass that is you. You study, you rant, and you test yourself against and with the currents. Sometimes you excel, sometimes you just endure. Sometimes the glass just drifts with the tide, sometimes it tumbles against the rocks. It’s surprising to me that you don’t always fight the current. You’ve learned a little bit about flowing with the tide yet I admire your conviction to stand firm against a prevailing current when you know you are right. The luster of you, the idealistic first year student has become duller but the promise of the finished sea glass washed up ashore at hooding is evident every time I see you with a patient. I see glimpses of who you are becoming and it looks very much like a physician. Not finished but exquisitely different, rough edged glass with a frosted patina starting to form.

The deepest chips around your edges have come not from the sleepless study nights or the pressure of your first boards but from the reality that everyone in medicine is not benevolent. I advised you two years ago, to “choose mentors who express the compassion and empathy that you feel now, the summer before medical school”. Many of your faculty have forgotten that teaching and healing are an honor and a privilege. I know this realization scrapes you but it shouldn’t touch your center. You will always be buffeted by physicians and fellow students whom you don’t respect or understand. It's even possible that you will become one of those physicians whom you see imperfections in now. Wisdom often shows us that not all differences are flaws. I am confident however that the empathy and compassion that is you will be protected at your core, while the surface will be battered and inevitably polished.


Physicians need to be receptive to change because many forces, like the tides, are out of our control. You will be transformed a little bit by each patient encounter. In my life these changes have been the best. Patients teach me every day and I never know whether an encounter will polish or chip me. Yet in some moments, we just need to drift untouched. You will learn how to drift in your third and fourth years. We drift when we are tired, frustrated or overwhelmed. Sometimes doing nothing is the right answer. Sometimes the glass just bounces along the bottom unscathed.

The art of medicine at its best is controlled chaos so you will spend most of your life being weathered by the currents. The sea glass is transformed by the tumult, to become a unique weathered piece of art. You must change to become a physician. The physician like the glass is always a work in progress. Always a student, always a teacher, always anticipating some turbulence. We hope for more polish than chips in our profession, so there is something of our core and not just sand left in the end. Learn to find balance between the tumult and the drift. Protect your clear center. Forgive the chips and flaws in your colleagues and yourself. Our profession is complex and wonderful. Physicians are just people with unique strengths and weaknesses. Remember that the most beautiful mosaics are formed from the oddest shapes and most diverse textures. Put your signature on the art of medicine but surround yourself with more sea glass than sand, more character than flaws.


Previously published in Blood and Thunder at The University of Oklahoma School of Medicine 2012 Edition.

Israeli Couscous, Chickpea and Lemon Salad, Vegan

Fiesta Friday #24


The Summer CSA is in full swing so I have multiple vegan salad options. I start with cutting up whatever is fresh and colorful and then add a grain or a small amount of pasta to create a main meal salad. Of course you can serve this with a grilled chicken breast or fish, too. This salad will travel well and gets better by sitting a while to let the flavors and you mingle. Bring it along to your next potluck or BBQ. I always offer to bring a dish to a party so that I know there is something for my husband and I to eat.



Israeli Couscous, Chickpea and Lemon Salad, Vegan

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups Israeli couscous, I used Trader Joes, Harvest Grain mix, cooked
1 cucumber diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 heirloom tomato diced
1 small zucchini diced
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1/2 cup packed chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
4 oz can black olives sliced
14 oz can chickpeas or 2 cups fresh cooked
Juice of 2 lemons, more to taste
2 tablespoons lemon or plain extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook couscous to al dente and cool in cold water. Drain. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Adjust seasonings and serve. The salad will keep a day or two in the refrigerator.

Blogher 2014 Conference

I just signed up to attend the BlogHer 2014 conference in San Jose. If anyone is interested in meeting up send me a message. If you think this blog is ridiculous and I should give up then …… Hold your comments until after I return from the blog conference. I might surprise you with some new ideas and better photos. I’m loving the process of learning new skills and finding a place for creative outlet. Is 50 the new 20? I meet lots of women you are looking for opportunity to recreate or re-invigorate their lives. If we don’t keep moving forward we get old and stale. Better food, better exercise, better yourself!

Be well and stay tuned.

Mary’s Gone Crackers Copy Cat: Italian Parmesan


Isn’t the Internet amazing? Not only can you diagnosis any ailment through Dr. Google (I’m not advising you to do so) but you can find copy cat recipes for your favorite foods. I found 3 copy cat recipes for Mary’s gluten free crackers. Whole Foods carries them for $4.70 a box. Costco also carries them for less. A box is usually gone in a week at my house so I wanted to make them myself. Melissa at My Whole Food Life posted an easy to follow recipe which I am reconfiguring here. The original copy cat recipe is at, please stop by and say Hi.

• 1 cup brown rice cooked
• 1 cup quinoa cooked
• 1/4 cup sesame seeds
• 1/4 cup flax seeds
• 1/4 cup chia seeds
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, reserve for topping the crackers. Leave off the cheese if you want vegan crackers.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook brown rice and quinoa separately until soft but not mush.
3. Combine rice, quinoa in food processor until mushy
4. Add remaining seeds, pepper, dash of salt and the Italian seasoning. Processed until a ball forms. You will still see the whole seeds.
5. Roll 1/2 of the dough between parchment paper and plastic wrap until very thin almost translucent.
6. Sprinkle with sea salt and parmesan cheese.
7. Score uncooked dough with a pizza cutter into desire shapes.
8. Repeat with the second 1/2 of the dough
9. Bake on parchment on a cookie sheet 15 minutes. Carefully turn parchment paper with crackers over onto the baking sheet and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and break crackers into scored pieces and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes until desired crispness.




Quinoa Arugula Greek Salad

Independence Day and Fiesta Friday #23


Happy Independence Day America.
There will be fireworks, a parade, sailing and friends to celebrate with. We are expecting record high temperatures so I’m staying out of the kitchen and in the water as much as possible. I have a salmon and fresh sweet corn to BBQ. There might just be beer and wine chilling. I’ll toss this salad together right before serving.

Summer salads are the best, wouldn’t you agree?

Summer brings fresh ingredients that are readily available and you can seriously add anything to a salad. When I’m making a main dish salad I like to add a nutritious whole grain like quinoa or brown rice. My father, the gardener who didn’t actually eat vegetables, used to accuse me of keeping weeds in the refrigerator because on any given day he would find a variety of intimidating greens there. You might find some combination of arugula, kale, mustard greens, escarole (super weedy, yum) and less intimidating spring mix or spinach. Deep leafy greens are powerhouses of nutrition. They are a great source of folic acid, vitamin K, antioxidants and fiber. Start your salad with organic greens, then add grains and any raw or cooked vegetable. Get creative with fresh fruit, herbs, olive oil and an acid (lemon, flavored vinegar, orange, or lime). You can’t go wrong unless you use a junky store bought salad dressing. No artificial flavorings for this girl.

Savor every bite


Quinoa Arugula Greek Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

• 2 cups cooked quinoa
• 2 cups arugula or other greens
• 1/2 cup fresh basil sliced
• 1 cucumber diced
• 1 tomato diced
• 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
• 2 scallions chopped
• 1/4 cup pickled pepperoncini
• 1/4 cup feta cheese
• 1/4 cup black or kalamata olives
• 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 lemon squeezed
• 1 tsp ground black pepper and salt to taste

1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and cook as directed. Barley or brown rice would also work well.
2. Wash and prep vegetables and herbs
3. Toss all ingredients and dress with lemon and olive oil close to serving time.

I’m offering this fresh and flavorful salad to my new blog friends on Fiesta Friday. Your blogs are amazing and so inspirational. I’m completely out of my league but I certainly felt the blog love last week. I’m sending cyber gratitude.
Be well,