Weight Watchers/Low Fat – Pineapple “Dream” Cakes

Well school is officially out, my girl scout troop has bridged up the brownies, the garden is growing and the weather here in the Pacific North West is much hotter than normal…yup summer has arrived like a relative kicking in the front door. BAM!
Along with all that summer brings are also the day dreams…
For some these day dreams include the beach, the smell of coconut oil and the sounds of waves and seagulls.  Others may think of breathing mountain air, the sounds of woodpeckers and walking through a forest.  But my family’s day dreams mostly consist of eating a Dole Whip from Disneyland while washing our hands at the kitchen sink for the 6th time that day with that island pineapple scented foaming soap from Bath & Body works.

So, I was digging around in my pile of recipes to see if I could make a low fat (weight watcher friendly version) of something that had that pineapple flare to it.  Something to make that was different, refreshing, healthy and satisfying.
I finally came across a recipe that is an oldie but goodie. My mom used to make it years ago and after talking to a few fellow weight watcher meeting pals they have heard of it too but never tried it.
It’s such an easy recipe, and the little cakes are so good they feel like a little treat but are not overly sweet that they taste great for a snack.
A great thing about this recipe…it’s only 2 ingredients and thats it!
But the best thing ever about this recipe is that each “cake” or”muffin” (whatever you call it) is only 1 ww pts+!!!

**6/29/16 UPDATE- 4 Smart Points per cake**

IMG_3219Ingredients:
1 Box Angel Food Cake
1 20 oz Can Crushed Pineapple

Mix both ingredients together well in large bowl.
Scoop mix into 24 cupcake lined muffin or brownie pans.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes

Makes: 24 regular sized muffins
IMG_3225(I apologize my pictures did not come out too well, so I will have some update ones on here in about a week or so)

Weight Watcher/Low Calorie – Cool Whip Cookies

Lately I have been in such a cooking rut…
I look at the upcoming week on the calendar and stare blankly, always thinking “I need to try to make some new stuff”.
April was, and still is, such a busy month for my family and I haven’t been the greatest, so motivation has been semi-low.  I have been looking everywhere for some inspiration for great new low calorie and weight watcher friendly ideas, I don’t mind tweaking a recipe to make it fit better for me and my family.
After looking at Pinterest (for way too long), old magazines and cookbooks I decided to just do it and dedicate about 20 minutes a day to find something new to try for the next coming week….we will see how long I can stick with this👍

I’ve seen so many recipes for cakes that use the cake mix, some cool whip and another wet ingredient such as pineapple, soda etc.  I think I have finally found a great cookie recipe! It’s only 1 wwpts+ and about 50 calories each!😉

**6/29/16 UPDATE-4 Smart Points per cookie or 3 Smart Point per cookie if made with no powdered sugar**
So here is all you need and what to do:
1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
2 Eggs
16oz Fat Free Cool Whip
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine cake mix, Cool Whip and eggs in bowl and mix until well combined.
Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one hour.
Drop by using small cookie scoop into powdered sugar and roll to coat.
Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-14 minutes.
Enjoy!

Kind of Healthier Coconut Muffins

I have been using coconut oil a lot lately in many things.  I even experimented with some marshmallow pumpkin bars to share with you all, but those did not turn out so good, so those are currently on the re-do list.  Anyway, I have two very good friends that just love coconut everything…  I bumped into one today and I will be visiting with the other one tomorrow and they inspired me to try a coconut baked good.  But as they are also always trying to beat me in my daily step count (yes I have a fitbit) I decided to substitute some ingredients to make the a bit more “healthy-fied” (yes I know that’s not a word). So below is what I came up with, enjoy!
photo(1)1/2 Coconut oil (melted)
1 1/4 Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt (optional)
1 cup Shredded coconut
1 cup Coconut Greek yogurt
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Egg (at room temperature)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Toasted almonds chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. You can line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in 3/4 cup shredded coconut.
In a large bowl (stand or hand mixer) mix together coconut oil, yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly until just combined. Gently mix in chopped almonds.
Using a large cookie scoop or spoon, divide batter among prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the top with remaining 1/4 cup shredded coconut.

Bake in the oven for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer muffins to a cooling rack.

Refreshing Grilled Pork Tenderloin

I know it’s been so long since I’ve posted this summer. But after moving, family visiting and volunteering at a scout camp, I am ready to get back to normal and hopefully on an even better “track”.
Here is a great, healthy and easy recipe for summer. This is one of my family’s favorites during summer. With the fresh lime and cilantro, this has a nice refreshing taste that we really enjoy (especially me since I can’t eat chicken). And it’s only 3 wwpts!

I hope that you give this one a try and please feel free to share or hey even post a comment to let me know what you think!☺

photo 11 whole Pork Tenderloin (approx 1 lb.)
1 Lime, zest grated
½ cup Fresh lime juice
¼ cup Honey
1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp Chopped fresh cilantro

Trim of any excess fat and silver skin off pork.
Place the lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt and garlic powder in a small lidded container and shake to combine. Pour only half of the marinade mix into a gallon ziploc bag, add the pork tenderloin to the bag and seal. Marinate in the fridge for about 6-24 hours. Place remaining marinade in a covered container and refrigerate.
Remove the tenderloin from the bag and allow to sit at room temperature while preparing the BBQ grill. Also remove the reserved marinade from the fridge.

Preheat BBQ on medium-high. Brush grill with approx 1 tsp of vegetable oil.
Remove the tenderloin from the bag and place in the center of grill. Discard the bag with the used marinade. Cover and cook for approx 13-16 minutes, making sure to turn every 2 minutes. Cook until the internal temperature of tenderloin is at least 140 degrees.

Remove the tenderloin form the grill and place on a large piece of aluminum foil folded at the edges to create a “basket” and pour all of the reserved marinade on top of the cooked tenderloin. Wrap foil tightly to seal and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Remove to a cutting board and slice, then top with fresh chopped cilantro.
photo 3

*Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

Low Fat Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Strawberries are in full swing right now and I love to think of different ways to use them. Usually, my daughter in hales them within one or two days, never giving me a chance to bake with them.
But this morning I picked up a bunch (on sale of course) and made these yummy muffins up during nap time. ♥
Yup, I felt like one stealthy momma!

And once again I’ve been trying to bake with out using butter or oil and this recipe is another winner. For the health-conscience out there this recipe uses no butter, oil or egg yolks. They are substituted with unsweetened applesauce and egg white.
Enjoy!strawberry chocolate chip muffine

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 Egg White (beaten)
  • 2/3 Cup Diced Strawberries
  • 1/3 Cup Mini-chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix brown sugar, applesauce and sugar until there are no lumps. Then add the egg white until mixed well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients just until combined (do not over mix).

Fold in strawberries and mini chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly between about 10 muffin cups in the muffin tin. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
(Insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean)

strawberry chocolate chip muffins2

Blueberry Yogurt Cake and with a Lemon Vanilla Glaze

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Looking for something new, yummy and fresh?  This may be the treat, reward or just something to try for you. This cake uses non-fat Greek yogurt and surprisingly no butter.
I made it this morning, shared with a few friends and it’s already half gone!

Ingredients

2 Eggs
1 Cup Blueberry Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 1/4 Cup Fresh Blueberries

For the Glaze:
3 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Jui8ce
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Confectioners Sugar sifted
-(you may need more depending on desired consistency)

For the cake – Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 9″ pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add flour, baking powder and mix just until combined. Fold in 1 cup of blueberries and gently stir.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Lightly sprinkle 1/4 cup of remaining blueberries over the top.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool, then drizzle glaze over cake.

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Easy Basil Balsamic Salad

Summer comes along and so does a change in the menu at my house.  We like salad, like most people, but man did it get boring after a while.  Then my mom told me about a salad she used with all basil and no lettuce.  To be honest it sounded a little gross and overwhelming at first to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love basil, I put it into any pasta dish I make and more. I was worried that it would be a little “basil over kill” for it to be the main base of a salad.

Anyway, she made some one night during a  visit…and I was hooked. ♥

image

The items you need to make it are:

-Basil

-Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

-Greek Olives

-Croutons

-Balsamic Vinegar

-Olive Oil

Now you can put the ratio for these ingredients however you like. I use 4 oz of basil, 1/4 cup cut Greek olives, about 4 oz of fresh mozzarella cut in small cubes, 1/2 croutons, 1 tbsp olive oil and about 2-3 tbsp balsamic depending on how strong you would like the flavor. Just make it anyway you like.

Now I get all my ingredients (except the balsamic vinegar, tell you later) for this salad at Trader Joe’s.
They are they only store I have found to carry a large enough package of basil with out me freak’n out in the produce section, can’t believe what some store charge for the stuff. So go to Trader Joe’s, you will $ave a bundle…
Up here in Washington at my Trader Joe’s it’s a 4 oz package of organic basil it’s $2.79 and regular $2.29.
imageThe other ingredient that really makes this salad so awesome is the balsamic vinegar. I have made this salad with the balsamic vinegar from Costco many times but my absolute favorite is to use an 18 year aged balsamic vinegar I found here locally and I don’t think I can ever go back!
It’s so flavorful and a little thicker than your run-or-the-mill balsamic.
My husband is hooked on it, my family and extended family all fell in love with it during a visit a few years back. Now every time they come they have to get a bottle or two to take home!

This is what it is:image…yes you can order it online if you aren’t here in WA 🙂

This stuff is so good I have even put the Strawberry Balsamic one this company makes on steak…I know weird right?

But it’s that good people!