Monthly Archives: May 2014

Zucchini Parmesan Bake

parmesan bake

I rarely eat deep-fried food but who doesn’t love deep-fried zucchini sticks with ranch dressing? So what’s a girl to do when she wants the flavors but not the calories? She designs an alternative and voila, Zucchini Parmesan Bake is born.

The deep fryer is not your friend. Deep frying triples the calories of the food you are frying and the high heat actually changes the chemical structure of the original food. For example, a boiled potato houses a complex carbohydrate that is absorbed more slowly than sugar which is a simple carbohydrate. In general complex carbohydrates are healthier than simple carbohydrates because they are slowly released from the gut and cause a slower release of insulin. When you deep fry a potato to make French fries the high heat converts the complex carbohydrate into a simple carbohydrate which in turn gives you an addictive sugar rush like candy. So save calories, reduce the fats and skip the deep-fried foods.

If you are gluten free or if you want to reduce the carbohydrates in this recipe, try ground almonds as a substitute for panko. Enjoy as a vegetable serving or as an appetizer. I usually throw this in the oven along with a baked fish dish or with a pan of beets or kale for roasting.

Zucchini Parmesan Bake

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 45
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
• Cooking oil spray
• 2 medium zucchini thinly sliced, about 2 cups
• 2 oz shredded parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Pepper to taste, no need to add salt when using a salty cheese

Directions
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a shallow 8 inch tart or pie plate with oil.
Slice zucchini into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Arrange zucchini in a double layer. Sprinkle with cheese. Toss panko with the olive oil place over the cheese layer. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. The top should be brown and the zucchini will be crisp tender and delicious.

Serving size is 1 cup
Kcal: 265 Carb: 17 gm, Protein: 15 gm, Fat: 16 gm
Weight watchers pp – 7 points

Portobello Pizza, Ditch the Crust

Portobello Pizza
Who needs pizza crust when you can have all the pizza toppings without the wheat crust? I rarely eat flour based foods and I frankly don’t miss bread very often. I am not afraid of bread but I would rather fill my plate with nutritious lower carbohydrate fare. I love pizza toppings but I hate to order pizza and throw out the bread crust. These crustless pizzas hit the spot when I’m craving pizza but want to avoid the carbohydrates. The mushrooms provide vitamin D. The tomato paste gives you an antioxidant boost. Low fat cheeses are a good source of protein and calcium. You can reduce the fat grams by choosing lower fat cheeses, skipping the cheeses and meats and loading up on the veggies. You can substitute vegan cheese for a vegan alternative. The possibilities are endless. Serve these with fruit and a green salad for a well-rounded fast calorie controlled meal.

Take what you need and savor every bite.

Portobello Crust Less Pizza

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 50
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
• 2 Portobello mushrooms, gills removed
• 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
• 1/2 cup Italian seasoned tomato paste
• 2 tablespoons fresh basil shredded
• 1 spicy pork sausage link
• Substitute any traditional or non-traditional pizza toppings: shredded spinach, caramelized onions, chopped bell pepper, olives, and pineapple. For meat eaters: sausage, pepperoni, cooked chicken, ham.
• 1/2 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep the mushrooms by scraping out the gills and stem. Layer ricotta, tomato paste, toppings and mozzarella cheese Place pizzas in a covered casserole dish and bake 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned.

Serving size is 1 pizza, made with sausage.
Kcal: 358 Carb: 6.5 gm, Protein: 13 gm, Fat: 11 gm
Weight watchers: 4.5 points
Substitute any Traditional or non-traditional pizza toppings: shredded spinach, caramelized onions, chopped bell pepper, olives, and pineapple. For meat eaters: sausage, pepperoni, cooked chicken, ham.