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Topic: The Weight Loss & Fitness Challenge 'Cookbook' Thread

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Subject: The Weight Loss & Fitness Challenge 'Cookbook' Thread
Date Posted: 4/16/2008 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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There's a group of us on the Games board who are doing a weight loss and fitness challenge. We're starting this thread so we can share our low-fat/low-calorie recipes with each other so that they don't disappear with all the completed challenges.

Please post your guilt-free recipes here if you like! All are welcome! :)

Also, please include nutritional information if it's handy. :)


Last Edited on: 4/16/08 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/16/2008 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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OK, everyone. I've got a really great and versatile recipe for you. I based it off of Impossible Turkey Pie which is in my version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I'll give you the original and then add my comments.

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9" pie pan (I prefer to use my glass one, but I'm sure metal pie plate is fine)

In the pie plate, layer:

  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1 drained jar sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tea salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • (Optional: spices and herbs as desired)

Beat together until well-blended:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
  • 2 eggs

Pour batter evenly in pie pan until just full. Bake 35 minutes until a knife inserted 1/2 way in comes out clean. [In my oven it takes closer to 40-45 minutes, probably because of the glass pie pan.) Let stand 5 minutes, slice into 6 servings.

(Around 230 cal/slice, using 1% milk, whole eggs, regular shredded cheddar. Estimated with the recipe maker at My Food Diary.)


Now, here's what's great about this recipe. The batter is only about 80 calories per serving (using whole eggs and 1% milk). I'm sure skim or soy milk would work, and certainly egg beaters could be used instead of whole eggs, saving you more.

So you can take the other 4 cups or so of volume and.... use whatever you want! Sprinkle it around evenly and then when doing calorie totals, take 1/6th of the amount you put in the whole recipe.

  • Use 1 cup chicken, 2 cups frozen mixed veggies, keep the cheese.
  • Or put just 4 cups veggies in.
  • Halve the cheese (cheddar makes about 110 calories per serving in the original) and turkey and double the veggies.
  • Use frozen mixed veggies instead of the shrooms and onions
  • A little cooked bacon or ham adds a lot of flavor with just a small amount.
  • Herbs and spices are free! Add spices that go well with whatever meat or veggies you are using.
  • Use those leftovers!

Anything goes. Each pie can taste completely different from the next one.

It reheats well, so it's great for putting in your lunchbag to heat up for lunch. Or keeping around frozen for a quick emergency meal. Add some fruit and/or a salad and you've got a well-balanced meal.

Head off to your kitchen and give it a go!

Date Posted: 4/16/2008 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Here is the Double Chocolate Souffle Recipe!

  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp. chocolate liqueur
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 4 (6 oz.) souffle molds or custard cups with nonstick spray. Dust the bottoms and sides with 1 Tbsp. of the sugar. Cut 4 (8 x 3 inch) strips of foil. Tape 1 strip of foil to create a collar around each mold that extends 2 inches above the rim. Spray the inside of each collar with nonstick spray.
  2. With a fork, beat the 2 egg yolks in a small bowl; set aside. Combine 4 Tbsp. of the sugar, the cornstarch and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Add the water and beat with a whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat; gradually stir about 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Add the chocolate-egg yolk mixture to the remaining chocolate mixture, beating with a whisk until blended. Reduce the heat to med-low; cook until just the mixture is thickened and begins to boil, about 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat; let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggs until foamy. Sprinkle in the remaining 1 Tbsp. of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gently stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Add the remaining whites, folding gently with a rubber spatula, just until combined.
  5. Place the souffle molds on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the batter evenly into the molds. Bake until puffed and firm to the touch about 18 minutes. With oven mitts, carefully transfer the souffles to serving plates. Immediately remove the collar from each mold, amke a small opening in the center with a spoon, add 2 tsp. of the liqueur. Serve at once.

PER SERVING: (1 souffle): 169 cal; 3 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 106 mg chol, 61 mg sod, 29 g carb, 1 g fib, 6 g prot, 21 mg calc


Date Posted: 4/23/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2006
Posts: 18,075
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Avocado Spread with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

1 avocado, skin and pit removed

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 Wasa Crispbreads, any flavor with the Best Life seal
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
A few drops balsamic vinegar
4 leaves fresh basil, very thinly sliced



1. In a small bowl, mash avocado using the back of a fork until smooth. Season with pepper and stir in oil.

2. Spread avocado mixture on crispbreads and top with tomatoes.

3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and garnish with basil before serving.

NOTES: Round out with a salad topped with 100 calories or less of dressing and 3 ounces of lean meat or fish.
Nutritional Information
1 serving
Calories: 162
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrate: 20 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Calcium: 15 mg
Sodium: 147 mg
Date Posted: 4/23/2008 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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crustless pumpkin pie

I didn't know about the c hallenge but I got this recipe at a weight watchers meeting but not sure of the original source. it's pretty good, esp with a little fat free cool whip or fat free whipped topping of some sort.

1 can pumpkin

1 can fat free evaporated milk

3/4 cup egg beaters

1/2 - 2/3 cup splenda (I like 1/2 cup best)

1 tsp vanilla

3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

mix all together and put in 9 inch pie plate and bake 15 min at 400 then roll down to 325 and bake another 30-45 min. makes 8 servings.

Date Posted: 5/3/2008 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Here's a great recipe I tried this evening.

Marinated Orange-Strawberry Salad

from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, p. 389

  • 2 cups orange sections
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 Tbl honey
  • 1 tea olive oil
  • 1/4 tea ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tea black pepper
  • 1/8 tea salt
  • 3 cups torn curly leaf lettuce
  • 1 Tbl pine nuts, toasted

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, tossing gently. Let stand 30 minutes.

Add lettuce and pine nuts; toss gently to coat.

Yield 4 servings (1-1/2 cups each)

107 calories, 3.2g fat, 2.3g protein, 20.1g carbs, 5.7g fiber

Edited to fix ingredients list


Last Edited on: 7/21/10 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Low Fat Dessert Recipe Just in time for July 4th :)
Date Posted: 6/27/2008 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2006
Posts: 5,792
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Patriotic Trifle

Rate RecipePrep Time:
30 min

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min

16 servings, about 2/3 cup each

 1-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk

1 pkg.  (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

1 pkg.  (13 oz.) angel food cake, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6-1/2 cups)

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

1 cup  blueberries

POUR milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. Gently stir in 1-1/2 cups of the whipped topping.

LAYER half each of the cake cubes, strawberries and blueberries in large serving bowl; cover with pudding mixture. Top with layers of the remaining cake cubes, fruit and whipped topping.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

This is from www.kraftfoods.com where I get alot of great recipes. This is only 120 calories per serving, 2 grams of fat, and 23 carbs. YummY!

Last Edited on: 6/27/08 7:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/28/2008 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2006
Posts: 6,234
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I have a cookbook in my collection (over 500!) called THE EVERYTHING LOW-CARB COOKBOOK.  It is written by --and I swear I didn't make this up:  Patricia M. Butkus.   I'll loose weight just by giggling myself silly!

Date Posted: 8/9/2008 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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OK, here's a great way to fix carrots!

Glazed Carrots

from The Cooking Light Complete Cookbook

  • 2 tea butter
  • 2 Tbl honey
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/8 tea salt
  • 1/8 tea pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tea grated orange rind

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; stir in honey. Add carrots, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Toss with  chopped parsley and orange rind.

Yield: 4 servings

Made these tonight with fresh carrots from the garden. Total knockout! It'll become a staple, and is a nice change from all the savory side dishes we have.

Subject: This is yummy and had to share!! :)
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2006
Posts: 5,792
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 Chocolate Berry Bliss (Kraftfoods.com recipe)

Prep Time:
5 min


Total Time:
1 hr 5 min


6 servings, about 1/2 cup each


2 cups cold fat-free milk

1 pkg.  (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding

1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping

1 cup  sliced fresh strawberries

POUR milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping.

SPOON half of the pudding mixture evenly into six dessert glasses. Top with layers of strawberries and the remaining pudding mixture.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

ETA: (This is just 70 calories 13 carbs and 1 gram of fat per serving)

Last Edited on: 8/20/08 8:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Lorinda B. (Rin) - ,
Subject: I received this recipe in an email & it sounds yummy!!
Date Posted: 9/18/2008 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2005
Posts: 16,854
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Light Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust


  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda
  • 6 tablespoons reduced fat olive oil margarine, melted

Stir together all ingredients.

Spray a 9" pie pan with Pam spray

Press the mixture onto the sides and bottom of the pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 °F. oven for 10 minutes.

Cool on a rack.


  • 16 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup Splenda
  • 3oz egg substitute
  • 1 cup canned plain pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Cube the cheese and whip in the food processor or electric mixer.

Beat in the sugars.

Add the egg substitute and beat until mixture is smooth and fluffy.

Mix in the pumpkin, salt, flour and spices.

Pour filling into cooked crust.

Return to a 350 °F. oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until puffed and set.


Top with a dollop of light cool whip on each slice and a sprinkle of cinnamon.



Makes 8 slices

Per slice:

Calories: 152

Fat: 2g

Protein: 6g

Fiber: 1g

Carbs: 20g


Exchanges: 1 bread, 1 veggie, ½  meat, ½ fat

WW points - 3

Subject: Cake
Date Posted: 9/21/2008 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2006
Posts: 5,792
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Hello everyone, a friend of mine gave me this recipe and I thought it was weird but tried it and I love it. My DH and kids love it too!

Take any boxed cake mix and a can of diet Sprite (or any other diet pop you want) and mix it together, bake it and that's it! It's very low calorie, etc and tastes really great. It's 2 WW points per slice. :)

Lorinda B. (Rin) - ,
Date Posted: 9/26/2008 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2005
Posts: 16,854
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Here is a yummy sounding recipe!!  Kinda like a pizza without the crust!! And with my family anything is edible with cheese :-D

Vegetable-cheese pie



Olive-oil cooking spray
2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/8-inch rounds
1/2 cup diced onion
8 oz (about 8 cups) baby spinach
2 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup nonfat ricotta or fat-free cottage cheese
1 tbsp feta, crumbled
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil or dill, or 3 tsp dried basil or dill, divided into 2 equal portions
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 1/2 tbsp grated Asiago or Parmesan
1 1/2 tbsp grated lowfat mozzarella



Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 9" pie plate with cooking spray. Line bottom of plate with potato slices. Cut remaining slices in half and arrange around side of plate. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Coat a sauté pan with cooking spray and sauté onion over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach to pan and let wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain excess fluid from onion and spinach mixture. In a bowl, beat eggs and egg whites. Stir in ricotta and feta. Add half the basil or dill and set aside. Spoon onion and spinach mixture into pie plate over potatoes. Layer on egg mixture, then slices of tomato. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until egg is set and a knife inserted into pie comes out clean. Sprinkle grated cheeses evenly over top of pie and top with remaining basil or dill. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut pie into 4 wedges. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Nutritional analysis per serving 192 calories, 4g fat, 20.5 g carbohydrates, 17.5 g protein, 7.8 g fiber

Exchanges: 1/4 meat, 1 milk, 1 fat, 4 veggies

W.W. points: 5

Subject: Atkins
Date Posted: 9/28/2008 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2005
Posts: 42
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Salads: Asian Carrot and Zucchini Salad

Blanching carrots gives them a tender-crisp bite and super bright color. For even more crunch, drain an 8-ounce can of sliced water chestnuts and mix them into this salad. (You’ll add 3 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of Net Carbs, and 1 gram of fiber per serving.)

Prep Time: 15 min.

Cook Time: 1 min.

4 servings (3/4cup each)

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt


2 1/2 medium carrots cut into 2-inch matchsticks

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons sliced scallions

3 tablespoons chopped peanuts or toasted almonds

*      Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl.

*      Blanch carrots in boiling water 30 seconds; drain and rinse under cold water.

*      Add carrots, zucchini, and scallions to dressing and toss well. Top with nuts.

 Carbohydrates per serving: 8 grams, Net Carbs: 5.5 grams, Fiber: 2.5 grams, Protein: 3 grams, Fat: 6 grams, Calories: 109 

Tip:  When buying ginger, look for firm, plump pieces with smooth skin. Fresh ginger can be peeled easily with a vegetable peeler. 

 Special Thanks to the Atkins Diet Meal Cards.



Date Posted: 9/28/2008 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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White Corn and Baby Pea Salad, BH&G Prize-Winning Recipe


  • 1 lb. Frozen white corn, thawed
  • 1 lb. Frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1 cup jicama, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup green onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1 Tbl fresh parsley, snipped
  • ½ tea salt
  • ¼ tea white pepper
  • 1 Tbl fresh mint, snipped


In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, peas, jicama, celery green onion, and sweet pepper. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine vinegar, brown sugar, parsley, salt, and white pepper. Cover and shake well. Pour over salad; toss gently to coat. Stir in fresh mint. Cover and chill up to 2 hours.


This recipe won $200 for the Potluck Pleasures category. It is really great for potluck and disappears quickly! Serves 12. Calories: 55 per serving.

Last Edited on: 9/28/08 10:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2007
Posts: 144
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These recipes look great! I'm going to try to add a veggie-related recipe here (they're my fave!) every week. We'll see how it goes.

Lorinda B. (Rin) - ,
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2005
Posts: 16,854
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Received this in an email just this morning and had to share!  As my boys always say anything with cheese is great!




1 tray Green Giant Just for One! Broccoli & Cheese Sauce

1/2 cup skim milk

1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese, chopped into pieces

salt and pepper, to taste


To prepare Broccoli & Cheese Sauce, pull film back slightly to vent. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Pull film back all the way (but do not remove), and stir in cheese wedge pieces. Place film back over the tray, and microwave for an additional 45 seconds. Mix well, and allow to cool slightly. Place broccoli/cheese mixture in a blender with milk. Blend at medium speed until desired consistency is reached (blend very briefly if you like broccoli pieces in your soup -- blend longer for fully pureed soup). Transfer soup to your favorite microwave-safe bowl Heat soup in the microwave for 45 seconds, or until hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Serving Size: 1 cup (entire recipe)
Calories: 125
Fat: 5.75g
Sodium: 796mg
Carbs: 11.5g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 4.5g
Protein: 7g

POINTS® value 3*

Last Edited on: 10/1/08 7:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Lorinda B. (Rin) - ,
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2005
Posts: 16,854
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Winter Vegetable Soup


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 small or medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 leek
  • Garlic to taste
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Taragon
  • Italian spices
  • Bay leaves


Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil in a stock pot or large Dutch oven. Add garlic and leek and cook until they start to soften. Add sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Mash vegetables with a large potato masher. Add bay leaves and simmer another 15 minutes and mash to desired fineness. Add beans, tarragon, and Italian spices and stir well. Soup can be served or allowed to simmer longer. Enjoy with crusty bread. Makes approx. 8 1-cup servings.

Can be made vegetarian with the substitution of vegetable broth.


Nutritional Info Fat: 4.7g Carbohydrates: 20.9g Calories:188.2 Protein: 16.4g



Number of Servings: 8

Last Edited on: 10/1/08 7:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2008
Posts: 340
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This is one of my very favorite WW soup recipes. Perfect for those cool fal evenings.

Hamburger Vegetable Soup
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
4 cups V-8 juice
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Stewed tomatoes
2 cups coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
2 cups frozen green beans
2 cups frozen corn
2 Tabls. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
In a saucepan, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  In a slow cooker, combine the remaining ingredients.  Stir in beef mixture.  Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until vegetables are tender.
NOTE:  In my crock pot, 8-9 hours is way too long.  So adjust to your crock pot.  I cooked mine for about 5 hours on low.  This also freezes very well.
Makes 10 1 cup servings.  WW points= 3 per serving
Lorinda B. (Rin) - ,
Subject: Here is a recipe I received in an email............
Date Posted: 10/3/2008 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2005
Posts: 16,854
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perfect for this time of year as the temperatures start to drop.



Black Bean Soup


  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. In a Dutch Oven saute onion, garlic and green pepper in oil over medium heat till tender.
  2. Add beans and water and season with salt, pepper and cumin to your desired taste. Mix well and simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Pour soup into blender and puree. Once soup is to your desired consistency return to Dutch Oven and return to medium-low heat.


Nutritional Information

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 209

  • Total Fat: 2.9g
  • Total Carbs: 32.3g
  • Dietary Fiber: 12.4g
  • Protein: 12g
Date Posted: 10/3/2008 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2006
Posts: 1,531
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Lorinda, that soup sounds great!  I'm gonna make it as soon as I buy some black beans!

I am going to reprint a recipe I've posted in "Club Members Thoughts" because I think it could benefit a lot of people:

Vegetarian Taco "Meat"

If you don't mind going into a health-food store, here is a recipe that has served me well (and cheaply) for vegetarian taco meat.  My totally  meat-loving husband even craves it and requests it three or four times a month as a quick dinner after our night-time karate class.  It's hearty, chewy, and spicy.  You won't miss the grease (and mess of draining grease) of ground beef.  It's also super-easy!

If you are near any upper-crusty stores like "Wild Oats," "Wegman's," or the like, you may be able to buy TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) by the pound.  They are dehydrated soy granules that are very healthy but pretty tasteless, so they take on the flavor of whatever you season them with. If you can, buy some "in bulk," meaning from a bin with a scoop, if they have it.  This should be really cheap.  Make sure you get granules and not chunks, which TVP also comes in.  Your "normal" grocery store may also have TVP but it is bound to be more expensive. "Bob's Red Mill' brand is widely available and good quality.

So now you're home and ready to cook.  Put a frying pan or pot on the stove and get out your TVP.  Measure out a cup of it in a dry measuring cup.  Then get a glass liquid-measuring cup and pour in a little less than a cup of water.  Microwave the water till it boils.  Dump in the cup of TVP, and mix.   (Or just put the TVP in a bowl and pour in a cup of boilng water from a kettle.)  Let it sit for a few minutes.  When the water has all been absorbed, put it in the pan on low.  Add one packet of taco seasoning (Aldi has it for twenty-nine cents an evelope) along with another 1/3 cup of water and stir. 

As an optional step, add one thawed (I usually microwave for 40 seconds), chopped vegetarian plain burger patty, such as Boca Burger (this will add another 75 cents to the recipe), or even one cooked ground beef or turkey burger if that's what you've got.  You will be adding a little more 'meaty' flavor with either option, but the final recipe will cost far less than ground beef.  Mix the seasoning, TVP and veggie burger (if using) until moist and heated through, serve in taco shells, tortillas, or over cooked white rice with toppings of your choice (tomato, cheese, avocado, beans, onions), or in any recipe that calls for taco meat.  Leftovers are also yummy the next day-- I like to put it in a baked potato with salsa.

Subject: Calabacitas with Roasted Corn
Date Posted: 10/5/2008 3:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2008
Posts: 1,583
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This is a great New Mexican side dish, that goes well with any type of Mexican/Spanish entree.  You can even pair it with American entrees, if you leave out the chile and cumin.


  • 3-4 medium yellow squash (you can sub zucchini, or use a mix of zukes and yellows, whatever you have)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted corn kernels (hard to find, I buy at Trader Joe's; if not available, you could roast ears of corn yourself, then cut off the kernels, or just use regular sweet corn ;), drained if you use canned)
  • 3 cloves garlic, or equivalent (powder, pre-minced, whatever you have, note: 3 cloves, not whole corms)
  • 4 oz. chopped green chile (frozen if you can find it, canned if you must; drain the liquid from the canned, and make sure it's 4 oz of chile, not chile and juice)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free greek-style yogurt (hard to find, I buy at Trader Joe's; you can sub 3 TBS fat-free sour cream plus 1 TBS fat-free cream cheese)
  • Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste


Thinly slice the squash, to your own preference. 

Dice the onion.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat.  If you're a control freak, use an infra-red thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil spot, and add the onions and squash at 325 degrees F; or just wait until you think it's right and dump them in.  Stir-fry the onions and squash until they are just tender.

Add the corn, and cook until it's just hot (this goes quick if it's canned, takes a little longer if it's frozen). 

When the corn is hot, lower the heat to medium and add the chile, garlic, and yogurt.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to simmer.  Add the spices to your own preferential taste.  Remove from heat and serve.

This is a great side dish for enchiladas, burritos, etc. 

Variations on a theme:

You can add 1 cup of whole pinto or black beans to boost the protein.

Leave out the chile and cumin, and the southwestern influence goes away, and the dish can complement many different American dishes quite well.

 ETA to add, this makes 4-6 servings.

Last Edited on: 10/5/08 11:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Lorinda B. (Rin) - ,
Date Posted: 10/5/2008 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2005
Posts: 16,854
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Here is an interesting sounding recipe from Sparkpeople.com


Thai Noodle Salad

Serves: 4

You'll get 100% of your daily vitamin C with this dish! Reprinted with permission by Public Health - Seattle & King County


  • 6 oz. dried vermicelli
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
  • 1 red sweet pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 3 green onions, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime wedges for garnish


  • 1. Cook vermicelli according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
  • 2. In a medium saucepan, combine soy sauce, broth, peanut butter, lime juice, ginger and crushed red pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until peanut butter is melted.
  • 3. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat evenly.
  • 4. Stir in cooked chicken, sweet red pepper, green onions and cilantro.
  • 5. Serve with lime wedges.

  • Calories: 230.5
  • Fat: 6.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.4 g
  • Protein: 19.4 g



Last Edited on: 10/5/08 1:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/5/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 845
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Here's a recipe I don't have the info for, but everything in it doesn't have a ton of calories...

Lemon Bars

1 box of 1-step angel food cake (don't add the water in recipe, though)

1 1/2 cans of lemon pie filling

creme cheese frosting


grease pan

heat oven to 350

mix lemon pie filling with angel food cake and pour in pan

bake for 20-30 min (or until a knife comes out clean when checking the center)

heat hte frosting for 10 seconds in microwave, pour on, and then spread


I've had so many compliments on this one and it is soooo easy to make!

Date Posted: 10/5/2008 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 845
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Fruit desert

Make an angel food cake and tear it apart

Mix 1 cup of skim milk with instant vanilla pudding

Fold in a container or fat free cool whip to the pudding mixture

Layer angel food cake, pudding mixture, and fruit (blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, or whatever fruit you want)