Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Recipe Review: Spanish Chickpea, Tomato & Kale Stew

This recipe come from the new Weight Watchers Power Foods cookbook's vegetarian chapter. I thought it looked interesting, and I had some kale to use up. Since I had all of the ingredients on hand for the most part, I decided to give it a try. I did substitute 1 tsp of turmeric for the 1/4 tsp of saffron threads it called for, based on a recommendation I found online to use 4 times as much turmeric when substituting for saffron. I also used smoked paprika -- the recipe calls for either smoked or regular paprika. I feel like the smoked paprika added a little bit more complexity to the flavor of the stew, so I would recommend using it. It has a bit of a lengthy cooking time and took almost an hour from start to finish, including prep time, but it was very good! I also served it with brown rice to round it out and add some whole grains to the meal.

Here's what it looked like:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Throw Together Chili: Meatless Redoux

With my new vegetarian lifestyle, I am working on adapting some of my favorite recipes that involve meat to be meatless. Since this chili is one of my cold-weather basics, it's up first. :) It's super easy to make meatless, and it saves you a little money and some calories. This is the 6-serving version -- if you are cooking for two, feel free to cut the recipe in half and store the remaining "beef" crumbles in a Ziploc bag or bowl to use within a few days. Perhaps some spaghetti with "meat" sauce? ;)

I used the Lightlife Smart Ground crumbles because that is what is available at the store my husband went to last night. You can also use Trader Joe's Beefless Ground Beef or Yves Meatless Ground Round -- all are the same product. They are refrigerated, usually in the produce section, and always near the tofu. Walmart has the Yves, and they are in the produce section. The crumbles are in a clear plastic pouch contained in a cardboard sleeve. Buying these instead of ground beef also saves me a little money -- 93% or leaner ground beef at my stores will run you at least $4...the Smart Ground is $3.39 at Meijer and is the equivalent to a pound of ground beef.

Meatless Throw Together Chili

1 small to medium onion, chopped
12 oz package Lightlife Smart Ground Original "beef" crumbles
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce (or one 15 oz can)
2 15 oz cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder

In a large saucepan or stockpot spritzed with cooking spray, saute the onion until soft. (If it sticks, add a little water.) Add in the crumbles and break up with a wooden spoon. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for at least 15 minutes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Italian-Style Tempeh with Rotini

I invented this dish tonight because I had a package of tempeh I needed to use up. I had read that I could crumble it up and use it as a substitute for ground beef, so that was my inspiration for this dish. It was very easy to put together, vegan, and very tasty. It's not too colorful once the pasta is stirred in, but it would be prettier with a zucchini if you have one on hand. You could substitute pretty much any mild vegetable if you're not a fan of summer squash.

Italian-Style Tempeh with Rotini

1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz tempeh, crumbled
1 medium summer squash or zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 cups sugar free, fat free pasta sauce (I use Whole Foods 365 brand)
6 oz whole wheat rotini (measured dry)

Cook rotini according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add crumbled tempeh and squash and saute until tempeh starts to brown. Add sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until pasta is done. Drain pasta well and stir into sauce mixture.

This recipe makes 4 servings and includes 3/4 tsp of healthy oils per serving.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Recipe Review: Hearty Beef & Hominy Chili

This post is something new for this blog -- a recipe review without the recipe itself. I want to be able to share my opinions of the recipes in the currently available Weight Watchers cookbooks without reprinting them. So here is my first "recipe review." Hopefully you will find these helpful in deciding whether or not to purchase the books.

Tonight we tried the Beef & Hominy Chili from the new Power Foods Cookbook available in WW centers and at meetings. I made it vegetarian (and saved 2 PointsPlus per serving) by using Lightlife Smart Ground "beef" crumbles. I did have to add some water to make up for the lost moisture that the beef would have produced, but otherwise I followed the recipe as written. I chose Fire Roasted diced tomatoes to add a smoky flavor. (And I forgot the salt, but it was fine without it.) It had a nice flavor, not too spicy, and was very filling for the 1 1/2 cup serving. I would definitely recommend trying this one.

Here's a visual:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Smoky Split Pea Soup

It turns out, you really don't need ham to make a hearty, smoky soup! The important part is the salty, smoky flavor, as is demonstrated in this vegan soup that's perfect for a cold winter's day. It's really important that you use smoked paprika, not regular paprika, for this recipe. McCormick makes it in their gourmet line. (It's also fun to substitute it for regular paprika in other recipes to change the flavor up a bit.)

Smoky Split Pea Soup
Adapted from the book Appetite for Reduction

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, minced
A few pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/4 cups dried split peas (rinsed)
6 cups vegetable broth (I used low sodium)
(The original recipe also called for 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, which I omitted.)

In a 4-qt saucepan or stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, salt & pepper, and saute one minute more. Add paprika and thyme and stir constantly for about 15 minutes to toast spices. Add carrots, split peas, and broth, cover, and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 40 minutes or until peas are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving for maximum flavor.

Note: It took my peas about an hour to get tender...and they still weren't as tender as I would have liked, but we were hungry and wanted to eat. Next time I may adapt this to the slow cooker so I can be sure the peas all get really tender.

This recipe makes 5 servings of 1 1/2 cups each.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

I love my slow cooker, because you can "set it and forget it." Dinner is ready whenever you are, and the cooking is already done...so it's great for busy evenings. This recipe does call for some skillet-cooking of vegetables ahead of time, but I think it would probably be fine if you didn't do that, as long as you cook it the full 8 hours. You could also leave out the oil if you did it that way. As usual, I have backed down on the spices in my version because I'm not a fan of things that are really hot. If you want it hot, add the 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper back into the recipe.

Black Bean Soup
Adapted from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 14.5 oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
2 bay leaves

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, bell pepper, and minced garlic, stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, in slow cooker, add beans, tomatoes, and spices and stir together. When vegetables are done, add them to the cooker. Pour broth over top, stir, and add the bay leaves. Cook on low for 8 hours. Before serving, remove bay leaves and use an immersion blender for a few seconds to puree a small portion of the soup, just enough to thicken. You can also remove 2 cups of soup from the cooker and puree in a blender, and add back to the soup.

This recipe makes 6 servings of 1 1/2 cups each.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Becoming Vegetarian

Over the past couple of weeks, my Meatless Mondays have turned into several meatless days in a row, and as a result I have been working on transitioning to a vegetarian diet. I already feel so much better. I am sleeping better and I am eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, which means I don't need my multivitamins anymore. That's plenty enough to make me want to eat this way all the time!

As a result, the recipes on this blog will be changing a bit, as I use meatless items to create them instead of meat. Of course, if you would rather have the meat, you can certainly use it -- most of what I post will be easily substituted because I do like to have fun with some of the "faux" meat products out there. So, if I'm using beefless beef crumbles, you can use a pound of ground beef if you'd rather, or give the crumbles a try -- it's up to you. :)

I hope you'll all still find this blog helpful, even if I'm not using meat.

Check the next post for an awesome meatless recipe. :)

Cornbread Topped Southwest Pot Pie

This is an easy and tasty Meatless Monday recipe with a healthy dose of fiber! :) And best of all, it's a "pot pie" with a cornmeal crust that cooks right in the slow cooker. The original recipe called for cooking the onion, carrots, and peppers in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker, but I didn't do this and it turned out fine.

Cornbread Topped Southwest Pot Pie
Adapted from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 sweet bell pepper, chopped
28 oz can pinto beans, rinsed & drained (or 2 smaller cans)
1 cup frozen corn
4 oz can diced green chiles
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup plain soy milk (or fat free milk)

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except the oil, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and milk. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or high for 3 hours. About an hour before serving, in a large bowl, stir together remaining ingredients, spoon over ingredients in the slow cooker and spread evenly. Cover, turn slow cooker to high, and cook about 30 minutes to 1 hour or until crust is done. Serves 4 with 1 1/2 tsp of your healthy oils per serving.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

If you're looking for an easy recipe that you can toss in the slow cooker before work or a busy day and come home to a warm, homemade dinner, this one is perfect. You can dice your own potatoes and onions if you prefer, or you can use refrigerated, prepared diced potatoes with onions. (Be sure to check the ingredients list for added sugar or oil.) I apologize that this recipe doesn't have a photo -- I forgot to take it and the leftovers were gone before I could get one, but I wanted to share the recipe anyhow.

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

5 potatoes, peeled & diced
1 large onion, diced
(or 2 bags prepared diced potatoes with onions)
2 cups diced ham
3 stalks celery, chopped
15.25 oz can corn (not drained)
2 cubes chicken bouillon*
2 tbsp Blue Bonnet light margarine*
12 oz can fat free evaporated milk

Add potatoes, onion, ham, celery, corn, bouillon cubes, and margarine to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Add water to cover. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Stir in evaporated milk and cook 30 minutes more.

This recipe makes 10 2-cup servings.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bulgur and Bean Chili

It's Meatless Monday! :) I have been trying to eat "meatless" on Mondays for a couple of months now, and I hope that some of my readers will join me in making one or two days a week consistently meatless. Why go meatless? Because if every American ate no meat just ONE day a week, it would be like taking more than 19 million cars off the road. That's a lot of energy and a lot of pollution!

This is a great chili for meatless Monday. The bulgur provides a texture similar to ground beef in the chili and thickens it up quite a bit. It's also very nutritious. If you can't find it, look in the natural foods section of your grocery store or in a health foods store. Whole Foods has it available in the bulk bins. I am posting my version of this recipe, because I made a few changes to suit my tastes. To see the original version, click on the link below the title. It was plenty "kicky" enough for me this way and would have been way too spicy with the original recipe. I also topped mine with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt.

Bulgur and Bean Chili

Adapted from WeightWatchers.com

1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 cups water
28 oz crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
3/4 cup uncooked bulgur
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 cup frozen corn
15 1/2 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (fresh)
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice

Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and pepper, saute until tender (about 5 minutes). Add chili powder and garlic and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add water, tomatoes, bulgur, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn and beans and simmer, covered, 5 more minutes, or until corn and bulgur are tender. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Makes 6 servings, 1 1/4 cup each.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Paula Deen's Jambalaya

Having lived in the south from age 9 to 22, I love some good southern cooking. As a result, a lot of Paula Deen's recipes appeal to me. But most of them aren't all that healthy. This one, however, wasn't that bad as written, and it was easy to improve its healthfulness -- I just had to be choosy about the brand of sausage I bought and substitute brown rice instead of white. I used short grain brown rice, since short-grain rice is typical of jambalaya, and Jennie-O smoked turkey kielbasa.

Paula Deen's Jambalaya

Adapted from FoodNetwork.com

1 cup short grain brown rice
3 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I left this out)
1/4 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups water
15 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
8 oz can tomato sauce
8 oz Jennie-O Lean Turkey Kielbasa (rope style)
12 oz raw large shrimp, peeled & deveined

Combine all ingredients except shrimp in a dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender. Add shrimp and cook 5-7 minutes more, until shrimp are cooked through. Makes 4 servings of about 1 1/2 cups each.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

This is an easy casserole to throw together at the end of the day, especially if you use Uncle Ben's Ready Rice and keep chopped, cooked chicken in the freezer. Two pouches is about 4 cups. You will want to cook them in the microwave first. I bake and chop chicken breasts ahead of time and keep it in the freezer for dishes like this.

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

2 plain baked chicken breasts, chopped (4-5 oz each)
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cups frozen corn
15 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
4 oz can chopped green chiles
1/2 cup fat free salsa
1 3/4 cups fat free cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except 3/4 cup of cheese. Mix thoroughly, making sure yogurt and cheese are distributed throughout the bowl. Transfer to a 9x13" casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Using an oil mister, spray the top layer of cheese to aid in melting. (I used a 10-pump spray in my WW oil sprayer.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into 6 slices.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Potato & Turkey Skillet

I recently purchased a couple of new cookbooks produced by Clean Eating magazine, and I'm excited to try the recipes in them. This one looked relatively easy and gave me an opportunity to try something I hadn't before -- swiss chard. It was easily made completely SFT by substituting fat free feta for the regular feta called for in the recipe. Also, I prepared this in a dutch oven instead of a skillet, because my skillet is only ovenproof to 350 degrees and the recipe needed to cook at 425.

New Potato & Turkey Skillet
Adapted from The Best of Clean Eating 2

1 lb ground turkey breast
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb new potatoes, scrubbed & diced into 1" cubes
Pinch dried thyme
3/4 cup low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 lb swiss chard, thick stems removed and leaves chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used a sprinkle of dried rosemary)
Pinch red chile flakes (optional)
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup fat free feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 425. Heat a 12" ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat on stove. Add ground turkey breast to skillet, season with salt & pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Remove ground turkey to a bowl and set aside. Turn off stove, add potatoes and thyme to skillet, and place skillet in preheated oven. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Carefully remove from oven and place back on stove over medium-high heat. Leave oven on. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add chard and stir just until wilted. Add tomatoes, rosemary, chile flakes, and lemon juice. Return broth to a simmer, turn off stove, and carefully place back in oven. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring halfway through, until tomato skins burst. Divide among 4 serving bowls and top each bowl with 2 tbsp fat free feta. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Creamy White Chili

A friend of mine shared this recipe on Facebook and said it was great. When I saw how easily it could be made healthier, I knew I had to give it a try. She was right; it is delicious!

Creamy White Chili
Adapted from Taste of Home

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cans (15.5 oz) great northern beans, rinsed & drained
14.5 oz chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz each) diced green chiles
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free half & half

In a large saucepan, saute the onion, chicken, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chiles, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and half & half.

Note: I left out the second can of green chiles and cayenne pepper to calm down the heat for my personal tastes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Classic Lasagna

This filling dish is easy enough for a weeknight, but good enough to serve for a special occasion. The no-cook lasagna noodles take away a lot of the extra work associated with making lasagna, and truly make it easy. You'll end up with lots of leftovers -- this recipe makes 8 servings -- so if you don't want that many, cut the recipe in half and use a smaller casserole dish.

Classic Lasagna

2 cups fat free cottage cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp dried parsley
1 lb 93% lean (or leaner) ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
26 oz Whole Foods Everyday 365 Fat Free Pasta Sauce, divided
14.5 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
3 oz tomato paste
8 sheets DeLallo no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 3/4 cups fat free mozzarella cheese, divided

In a medium bowl, beat egg and then add cottage cheese and parsley. Stir until combined and refrigerate until needed. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta sauce and set aside. In a skillet, brown ground beef with garlic and onion; drain fat. Stir in remaining pasta sauce (about 2 3/4 cups), diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Warm through and remove from heat.

Assemble lasagna as follows in 13x9" casserole dish lightly misted with olive oil:

Reserved 1/2 cup sauce
4 sheets lasagna noodles, overlapping slightly to fit
Half of cottage cheese mixture
Half of meat sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
4 sheets lasagna noodles
Remaining cottage cheese mixture
Remaining meat sauce
1 cup cheese

Cover and bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 more minutes to melt and crisp cheese on top.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna

I love this lasagna recipe because it's so tasty and very versatile. You can substitute any veggies you want and it should come out just fine. It was also very easy to make SFT-friendly by using fat free cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese in place of the full-fat versions. I think my mom cut it out of the newspaper when I was in high school, so we've been making it for a while. The version I'm posting is half of the original recipe, perfect for 4 people and made in an 8x8" baking dish. If you are serving more or want lots of leftovers, make it in a 13x9" pan and double it.

Vegetarian Lasagna

4 sheets DeLallo whole wheat no-boil lasagna
3/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese*
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 tsp dried parsley
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 small yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced
3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
14.5 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
4 tsp olive oil
1 3/4 cups Kraft fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
2 1/4 cups Whole Foods 365 Fat Free Pasta Sauce
3 oz tomato paste

In a small bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, egg, parsley, and grated Parmesan. Refrigerate until needed. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and tomatoes (slightly drained) until tender. Stir together marinara sauce and tomato paste in small bowl.

Assemble lasagna as follows in 8x8" baking dish:

Layer of marinara sauce mixture (about 1/3 of it)
2 sheets lasagna
Half of cottage cheese mixture
Half of vegetables
2/3 cup mozzarella
Layer of marinara sauce mixture (about 1/3 of it)
2 sheets lasagna
Remainder of cottage cheese mixture
Remainder of vegetables
2/3 cup mozzarella
Remainder of marinara sauce mixture
Remainder of mozzarella

Using a misting oil sprayer or olive oil cooking spray, lightly mist the top layer of cheese to aid in melting and browning. I used a 10-pump spray in my Weight Watchers oil sprayer.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apple Cider Beef Stew

I created this recipe today after looking at several different ones for apple cider beef stew. Since I'm too lazy to simmer anything on the stove for over 2 hours, I brought the slow cooker into play, and came up with this. It was very tasty, with a nice combination of sweet and savory flavors.

Apple Cider Beef Stew

1/2 lb lean and trimmed stew beef (I buy mine at Walmart, it's called "super trim" there)
1 medium potato, peeled & diced
1 large carrot, peeled & cut into 3/4" chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2" slices
1 medium apple, peeled, cored & diced
1/2 small onion, cut into large squares
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups apple cider*
4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Layer vegetables and meat in bottom of 2 1/2-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle seasonings over meat. Pour cider and vinegar over all. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Makes 3 servings of 1 1/2 cups each.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

While it's not quite the same as grandma's buttery version, this mac and cheese is very creamy, cheesy and satisfying. There is a small amount of flour in the recipe, but it's not enough to bother counting (unless you consume the whole recipe all by yourself). Each serving also contains 1 tsp of healthy oils for the day.

I usually cut this recipe in half and bake it in a 1-quart casserole dish for just my husband and I (and that's what's in the photo). The full recipe as written below contains 6 servings of about 3/4 cup each -- if you plan to eat more or have a large family you might want to double it. The original recipe also uses whole wheat penne, but I find that the medium shells work better and seem more classic "mac and cheese"-like.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

8 oz whole wheat pasta (I use Whole Foods Organic Whole Wheat Shells)
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
2 1/3 cups fat free cheddar cheese (divided)
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain & rinse with warm water; set aside. In a large saucepan (a round-bottomed saucier pan works best) heat oil over medium, then whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk gradually until smooth. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of cheese and salt and pepper. Stir in pasta. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and top with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

When it gets a little chilly outside, I love to sit down and relax with a nice cup of hot cocoa. I have a favorite hot cocoa mix recipe that looked like it would be easily made lower calorie, and it turns out I was right! Now I can enjoy my hot cocoa without having to count points for it (except the marshmallows, of course). This would also make a great gift for a fellow Weight Watcher or someone with diabetes.

Homemade Sugar Free Hot Cocoa Mix

4 cups dry nonfat milk powder
1 1/2 cups granulated Splenda
1 cup fat free powder nondairy coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 small box sugar free instant chocolate or chocolate fudge pudding mix*

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Makes 5 1/2 cups of mix. Store tightly sealed. (I use mason jars.) To make cocoa, put 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup mix in a mug (depending on how rich you want it), add 8 oz hot water, and stir.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Texas Trail Beef Macaroni

This recipe gets passed around a lot on the Weight Watchers Power Foods board. I believe it was originally posted by Anne, and I have seen it posted many times by others as well, always with rave reviews. I had been meaning to try it for a while but never had a full box of whole wheat elbow macaroni or enough tomato sauce. Yesterday, I purchased both and decided to give it a try. I am very pleased with the results -- tasty, cheap, and made a lot of leftovers for later lunches and dinners.

Texas Trail Beef Macaroni

Source: Anne from the WW.com Power Foods Board

1 lb 93% lean ground beef
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
32 oz beef broth
29 oz tomato sauce
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 cups dried whole wheat elbow macaroni

In a large stockpot, brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve topped with fat free cheddar cheese and/or sour cream, if desired. Makes 8 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cinnamon Vanilla Applesauce

In the fall, one of our local orchards here in Southern Indiana sells half-bushels of "utility" apples for a cheap price. I bought one last year and made a lot of apple butter, apple pie filling, and applesauce. This year, I bought another, looking forward to canning some yummy goodies for my husband and I to enjoy this winter. First up? Cinnamon Vanilla Applesauce. I used a 5.5 qt slow cooker for this recipe, and had it full to the brim with finely chopped apples when I started. This made 6 full pints to can plus one mostly filled pint to enjoy as a reward for all of that hard work. :) If you want to can this, use my recipe...if not, use the original version linked below.

Cinnamon Vanilla Applesauce

Adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

25-30 small and medium-sized Jonathan apples (depending on size), about 8 lbs
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
2 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar or raw cane sugar (see note below)
1 1/2 cups water

Peel & core apples, and finely chop using a food processor (working in batches). As each batch comes out of the food processor, dump it into the Crock Pot with the lemon juice and stir to prevent apples from browning. (If some browning occurs, it's okay...this is a spiced applesauce so you won't be able to tell.) Stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sugar. Pour water over all. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Very carefully puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. (Hot liquids will expand in a regular blender so be sure you pop the top vent loose and cover it with a kitchen towel while blending.)

Processing: Ladle applesauce into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2" headspace. Wipe rims, place lids on top, and secure with rings. Process in waterbath canner for 20 minutes. Remove from canner and allow jars to sit undisturbed for 24 hours to cool completely. Check seals. Reprocess any unsealed jars or refrigerate and enjoy within 7 days.

You could also freeze the applesauce if you prefer not to can it. Ball makes stackable freezer jars that work perfectly for this purpose. To freeze it, just allow it to cool and ladle into freezer containers, refrigerate overnight, then freeze.

Note: There is a small amount of sugar in this recipe, which I left in because of sugar's preservative properties in canning. However, there is nothing to count in a serving. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quick & Easy Chili

I love easy recipes, and when it gets cool outside, I love chili. This recipe brings them both together in a simple but tasty chili that is ready in less than 30 minutes. It's very flexible and versatile -- you can add extra veggies (like green peppers), sub veggie burger crumbles for the ground beef, use ground turkey or ground chicken, use a different kind of beans, whatever suits your fancy! It's more of a sweet chili than a spicy one, so if you want extra spice, sub out a can of Mexican-style diced tomatoes for one of the cans of diced tomatoes, add a can of diced green chiles, or add some cumin or cayenne. This recipe is also very easily pared down for fewer servings -- I usually make a half batch for dinner, and end up with one bowl left over for lunch the next day.

Quick & Easy Chili

1 lb 93% lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (not drained)
2 14.5 oz cans kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
2 tbsp chili powder

Brown ground beef with onion in a large pot. When beef is done, drain excess fat and add remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Serve topped with fat free cheddar cheese and sour cream. Makes 6 servings of about 1 1/2 cups each.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

With a bit of a fall chill entering the air, it's time for all of those seasonal, pumpkin-y things to come out and play. Some I like and some I don't, but this was pretty tasty. I used apple pie spice instead of pumpkin pie spice because I don't like cloves anyway and didn't feel like going out to buy some. I don't think it affected the flavor at all!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

1 Weight Watchers French Vanilla smoothie packet
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or apple pie spice, or cinnamon and nutmeg)

Put all ingredients together in a blender and blend away! Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tex Mex Summer Squash Casserole

I found this recipe while looking for a vegetarian casserole for my "Meatless Monday." Since I had a couple of large zucchini from the farmer's market waiting to be used up, I decided to give it a go. I cut the original recipe in half and modified the serving size to fit the needs of our two-person family. If you are feeding more than 4 people or you have big appetites, you'll want to double the recipe. In the interest of full disclosure, I used 2% cheese when I made this because I needed to use some up before it went bad. If you use fat free cheddar instead, the only non-power food to worry about is the flour, which isn't enough to bother counting unless you eat the whole casserole. ;)

It turned out delicious, with the green chiles adding more flavor than heat; just the way I like it! Another good addition might be some drained & rinsed black beans to up the fiber & protein a bit. It was fairly filling as written though.

Tex Mex Summer Squash Casserole

Adapted from EatingWell.com

1 1/4 lbs zucchini or summer squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 oz can green chiles
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sharp cheddar cheese, divided (fat free)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mild salsa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine squash, onion, chiles, salt, and 1/2 cup cheese. Sprinkle flour over top and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to 8x8" casserole dish coated with cooking spray and cover with foil. Bake 35-45 minutes or until squash is done and casserole is bubbling. Spoon salsa over top, cover with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, until golden and heated through, about 20-30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pumpkin Polenta Muffins

Another yummy healthy baked good! These are basically a pumpkin-flavored and seasoned corn muffin. A nice, filling way to have a fall-themed baked good without breaking the bank. ;) One was plenty for a nice afternoon snack.

Pumpkin Polenta Muffins
Posted on the Weight Watchers Power Foods Board by Lynn

2 cups canned pumpkin (one can)
1 cup Egg Beaters® 99% egg substitute
1 cup granulated Splenda
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I used apple pie spice and a little extra cinnamon because I had it on hand; you could also use 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp each of ginger and nutmeg.)
1 cup skim milk
2 cups cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill Stone Ground Cornmeal, medium grind)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon into 12 regular-sized muffin cups and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sweet Potato & Chipotle Soup

Time for another of Martha's recipes! :) This soup was a delicious way to enjoy the nutrition of a sweet potato, with a slight heat and smoky flavor. With its bright orange color, it seems perfect for fall! I served it with slices of a multigrain loaf from Walmart's bakery (counting points for that) and a dollop of fat free sour cream stirred into each bowl. I also cut the original recipe in half to size it down for my two-person family. ;)

Sweet Potato & Chipotle Soup

Adapted from MarthaStewart.com

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
1/2 or 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
3 1/2 cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
Salt & pepper
Fat free sour cream, for serving

In a medium to large heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt & pepper, and cook until edges of onion start to brown, about 7 minutes. Add cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir in sweet potatoes, chile, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer rapidly until potatoes can be easily mashed with the back of a spoon (about 20-25 minutes). Let cool slightly, then puree carefully in batches in a blender. Pour back into pot and rewarm over low heat. Stir a dollop of fat free sour cream into each bowl.

Makes 3 servings of 2 cups each, with 1 tsp of healthy oils per serving.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Minestrone with White Beans & Collard Greens

A friend of mine recently recommended an excellent collection of 60 quick and easy soups on the Martha Stewart web site. You'll probably be seeing quite a few of them on this blog in the fall and winter months. ;) I chose this soup for tonight because I had a bag of collard greens in the fridge I purchased for another meal that I ended up not making. Not wanting to waste them (or the many cans of Great Northern beans I discovered in my pantry last week), I decided to give it a try.

Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans

Adapted from MarthaStewart.com

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
coarse salt & ground black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb bag pre-chopped collard greens, or 2 bunches, chopped (discard stems)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans
14.5 oz can diced Italian style tomatoes in juice

Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic; season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, rinse & drain beans in colander. Take 1/4th of beans and place in bowl; mash with back of spoon. Add tomato paste to onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is coated. Add greens, thyme, and pepper flakes. Cook and stir 2-4 minutes, until greens start to wilt. Add all beans to the pot, along with tomatoes and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until greens are tender.

Makes 8 servings of 1 1/2 cups each, with 1/2 tsp of your healthy oil in each serving.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Stew

I have seen this recipe in a few different places on the internet, with different variations. Today, I made my own variation in the slow cooker, since the heat has returned here in Indiana and the last thing I want to do is heat up the kitchen running the oven or simmering something on the stove. It's super easy to throw together, and fairly cheap, especially considering that it makes 8 servings. The chicken taco seasoning gives it a different flavor from regular ground beef taco seasoning. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before all of the leftovers were either gone or in the freezer! I will take one the next time I make it and update the post.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Stew

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups frozen corn
15 oz can Mexican-style diced tomatoes, with liquid
15 oz can regular diced tomatoes, with liquid
15 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 packet McCormick Chicken Taco Seasoning
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

Mix all ingredients except chicken in 4 1/2-quart slow cooker (larger is fine). Lay chicken on top and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Remove chicken breasts, allow to cool slightly, shred with forks, and stir back into stew. Enjoy!

The serving size is 1 generous (slightly heaping) cup, and the recipe makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whole Wheat Chili Mac

I love basic, one-dish meals. Even better if they only dirty one pan. This one definitely fits the bill. Plus, it's cheap, at less than $5 for the entire recipe if you shop at Aldi. I think this is going to become a fall and winter staple in our house. I modified it because I don't like things that are super spicy, and a couple of reviews complained it was hot. So I removed the chiles, used regular diced tomatoes instead of Mexican stewed tomatoes, and played with the chili powder and cumin measurements a bit.

Whole Wheat Chili Mac

Adapted from WeightWatchers.com

12 oz 93% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups tomato sauce
15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni (dry)

Saute ground beef in skillet with onion until browned. Drain off fat. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with their liquid), chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Stir in beans and macaroni, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with fat free cheddar and sour cream, if desired.

Makes 6 1 1/4 cup servings.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Farmer's Market Ratatouille

I scored quite a haul for a very cheap price at our local farmer's market this week, and I am eager to use up all of these beautiful veggies! Ratatouille seemed like a great way to combine a lot of them together and "eat the rainbow," so to speak, so I stuck it in the Crock Pot for a light, pre-workout dinner.

Farmer's Market Ratatouille

1 medium eggplant, diced
1 medium yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic or 1 clove, minced

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2 hours. Stir in snipped fresh basil just before serving, if desired.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Slow Cooker Lemon-Garlic Cornish Hen

This recipe is my first "original creation" for this blog! When I bought the cornish hen, I originally intended to grill it, but that day turned out to be stormy...not so great for grilling. So I decided to cook it in the slow cooker instead. I used my trusty 2 1/2 qt slow cooker, which is perfect for two people, and doesn't heat up the kitchen like the stove or oven.

Slow Cooker Lemon-Garlic Cornish Hen

1 cornish game hen, giblets discarded (mine was 20 oz raw weight)
3-4 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 small onion, halved
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
fresh lemon with peel, quartered

Place potatoes in bottom of 2 1/2- or 3-quart slow cooker. Take one half of onion and separate layers, spreading over potatoes. Mix spices together and rub all over inside and outside of hen, getting between the meat and skin as much as you can. Put remaining half of onion and one lemon quarter inside cavity. Place hen on top of potatoes in slow cooker. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8, or until meat is cooked through. Remove skin before serving.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Spaghetti Pizza

I love pasta, in case you couldn't tell. ;) I found the original version of this recipe on the Weight Watchers website, where it was a featured "makeover." I made it over even further, to make it even more WW-friendly. I also pared it down because with only two of us in this house, we don't need 8 or 10 servings of anything.

Spaghetti Pizza

6 oz whole wheat spaghetti
2 egg whites
1/3 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp basil
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
4 1/2 oz fat free mozzarella
16 oz bottled fat free, sugar free pasta sauce (I used Whole Foods 365 Fat Free Pasta Sauce)
1 oz pepperoni, finely julienned*

Break spaghetti into 2-inch pieces and cook until al dente. Drain, rinse, and allow to cool. Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Stir in milk, seasonings, and 1/3 cup mozzarella. Pour spaghetti mixture into bottom of 8x8" glass baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, spread pasta sauce over spaghetti and top with remaining cheese. Spread pepperoni evenly over top. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 20-25 more minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Makes 4 servings.

Note: I reduced the cooking times slightly because I reduced the overall amount of the recipe. Your mileage may vary depending on your oven (mine is pretty hot). The original baking times were 15 minutes for the spaghetti "crust" and 30 minutes for the overall product.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Baked Spaghetti

This is a modification of a recipe I got out of a church cookbook, pared down for two. I decided to try it with the fat free cheese, and drizzle some olive oil on top to help it melt. That really helped -- made the cheese just as stringy as it would have been if it was regular cheese. It's a delicious and very filling recipe.

Baked Spaghetti

4 oz whole wheat spaghetti, cooked & drained
2 cups homemade meat sauce, warmed
3 oz Kraft Fat Free Mozzarella cheese
4 tsp olive oil

In a 1 1/2-qt casserole lightly coated with cooking spray, spread pasta in even layer. Spread warmed sauce over pasta. Sprinkle cheese over sauce, and drizzle olive oil on top. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown. Makes 2 servings.

Note: If you don't have any homemade meat sauce made up and stored, you can also make the sauce while the pasta is cooking. Just brown 8 oz lean ground beef (at least 93% lean) with 1/4 cup of chopped onion, stir in 1 cup marinara sauce, and heat throughout.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crab Pasta Salad

I have been guest hosting a thread on the Weight Watchers Power Foods board that serves as a recipe exchange, while the regular hostess is taking a break. The first week I hosted, I asked for no-cook or minimal cooking recipes to keep the kitchen cool during this insane heat wave. This recipe was posted in that thread by Grandmomlady, and has now become a summer staple for us. My version may be a bit different from hers, but it's very tasty and super easy.

Crab Pasta Salad
4 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 stalks celery, diced
6 oz imitation crab meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup fat free plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
1 tsp onion powder

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Mix in a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Serve chilled. Makes 2 generous servings.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mom's Meat Loaf

If you're craving comfort food, here's a healthier option! This is a recipe from my childhood -- the meat loaf my mom used to make growing up. It was a favorite of one of my cousins who ate dinner with us a few nights a week when I was a teenager. It's very kid-friendly in flavor, and simple to put together. The serving sizes are quite generous too.

Mom's Meat Loaf
1 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
1 envelope dry onion soup mix (such as Lipton Recipe Secrets)
1 egg
1/3 cup skim milk
2/3 cup ketchup, divided
3/4 cup old fashioned oats (dry)

In a small bowl, combine milk and 1/3 cup of ketchup. In a large bowl, mix together beef, soup mix, egg, and ketchup mixture until combined. Mix in oats. Shape into a 2" high rectangular loaf in a 7x9" casserole dish. Spread remaining ketchup over top. Bake for 1 hour at 350. Makes 6 generous servings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

I love to start my mornings off with some toast or an English muffin and some jam. But I hate spending my weekly points on jam. So, I solved the problem with Ball's Low or No Sugar Added Pectin and 2 lbs of strawberries. You can use several different fruits, and depending on their sweetness you may not need anything at all. But you can also sweeten with sugar substitute if needed.

After the jam is made, you can either store it in the fridge to enjoy over the next 3 weeks, or process it in a waterbath canner to store for later. For the purpose of simplicity, I am going to post this recipe in the "single batch" that should make about 16 oz of jam. I doubled it, and canned all but one jar.

Homemade Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

2 cups hulled & crushed strawberries (about 1 lb as purchased)
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp Ball Low or No Sugar Pectin
1/3 cup granulated Splenda

Crush strawberries in a single layer with a potato masher. (I put them in a large glass casserole dish for this.) Combine fruit with water in a saucepan and gradually stir in the pectin. Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in Splenda and continue stirring. Return to boil and boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat and ladle into hot jar(s). Refrigerate until set. Enjoy!

It only took my refrigerated jar an hour or two to set. For the other jars, I processed them in a waterbath canner for 10 minutes. The detailed canning instructions are on the label for the pectin if you are interested in doing this.

Source: Ball Low or No Sugar Pectin package

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Basic Cole Slaw

Cole slaw is a summer picnic and barbecue staple -- but who wants to try to count PointsPlus for it? This simple recipe is compatible with the Simply Filling Technique, so it's great for topping barbecue sandwiches or serving as a side dish.

Basic Cole Slaw

14 oz package pre-shredded cole slaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
2 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tbsp "measures like sugar" Splenda

Empty cole slaw mix into large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour over slaw mix and toss to coat. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Source: Member 70XSEVEN on Weight Watchers Power Foods board

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Homemade Meat Sauce

Most of the time I'm too lazy to make a sauce from scratch, even though it's super easy. Today, I took the plunge and did it! I found a WW Core spaghetti sauce recipe for the slow cooker, modified it a bit to fit my tastes, and gave it a shot. It turned out really tasty, and made enough for my husband and I for dinner tonight, lunch leftovers tomorrow, and 2 pint jars to freeze for later. I topped my serving with 2 tsp of grated Parmesan cheese*.

Simply Filling Meat Sauce

Adapted from Food.com

1 lb 93 or 96% lean ground beef, browned
1 onion, chopped
28 oz tomato sauce (canned)
28 oz diced tomatoes (plain, canned)
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp Mrs. Dash Italian Medley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 packets of Splenda

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Baking and eating my homemade baked goods is one of my favorite things to do, but it can eat up a lot of points very quickly. So when I had a couple of overripe bananas to use up, I asked the Weight Watchers Power Foods Board for advice on banana bread. I was met with a few recipes for baked oatmeal, one of which I decided to try tonight. It was quite yummy!

Here is the recipe, shared by Lynn on the Power Foods board:

Baked Oatmeal

2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin, mashed banana, applesauce, any pureed fruit or veg. (or 2 or so cups of shredded zucchini)
2/3 cup splenda (or to taste)
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 T apple pie spice
OR 1/3 c cocoa powder and a bit of sf/ff chocolate pudding mix (pudding optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together and spoon into muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.

I made it with the cocoa powder, no pudding, and mashed bananas. Very tasty!