Biscotti with raisins and almonds = yum

20 03 2008

I love biscotti, and I came across this recipe a couple weeks ago and decided I needed to give it a try.  The recipe calls for ingredients that I already had in the pantry, and each serving is supposedly a mere 47 calories (which means that even if I screw up and make each serving triple the size, it’s still not a bad little snack calorie-wise). 

I began by making the dough, which was way too flour-y to form into a ball.  I added an extra egg white, and it was perfect.  Then, I rolled the dough into two logs.  Here’s a shot of one of the logs:

Next, I baked the logs for 25 minutes, and they came out of the oven looking like perfect little loaves of raisin bread!

After letting them cool for 10 minutes, I cut the “loaves” into slices and baked them again, this time for 20 minutes.  The result:


Low-Fat Almond Date Biscotti
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
4 T. Olivina or reduced-fat margarine
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped dates or other dried fruit
Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients.  Stir to mix well.  Use a pastry-cutter to cut in the margarine until the mixture has the texture of coarse oatmeal.  Stir in the egg whites and extracts.  Fold in almonds and dates.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into two 9″ x 2″ logs.  Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.  Place the logs on the sheet.  Allow four inches of space between each log for spreading.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

3. Cool the logs at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, slice the logs diagonally into half-inch-thick slices. 

4. Place the slices on an ungreased baking sheet in single layer, cut side down.  Return to 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, or until dry and crisp.  Turn the slices over after 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Serve or store.

Nutritional Value Per Serving:
Calories: 47 – Calories from fat: 18 – Protein: 1g – Carbs: 6g – Dietary fiber: 0.3g – Sugars: 3g – Fat: 2g – Sodium: 6mg

(My changes: I used 1 extra egg white and butter instead of Olivina/reduced fat margarine.  I also used raisins instead of dates.  Delicious!)


Turkey meatballs

9 03 2008

Brett and I really like spaghetti and meatballs, mostly because it’s one of those quick go-to weeknight meals.  I decided that the frozen turkey meatballs that we usually buy could be improved upon for sure – as in, if I make my own, they’re bound to be much better than something that has been frozen for x amount of time.

When I was flipping through my Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook, I came across a yummy sounding turkey meatball recipe.  I premade this for a weeknight meal this week, so we haven’t technically had them as a meal yet, but YUM!  The one that I snagged right out of the oven was fantastic!  The best part?  They’re healthy and low cal.  Fabulous.

The recipe also suggests that you slice them when they’re cold and put them in a pita for lunch.  Sounds good to me!

Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

Serves: 6


1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, place egg and breadcrumbs or oat bran.  Add spices and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Using an ice cream scoop make meatballs and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Place in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional facts per serving:

Calories: 170 – Calories from fat: 24 – Protein: 30g – Carbs: 11g – Dietary fiber: 2g – Sugars: 0.8g – Fat: 2g – Sodium: 327mg

* My changes: I skipped the onions and used dried oregano instead of fresh, but I reduced it to 1 tablespoon.  Also, I reduced the amount of pepper to 1/2 tsp. *

Beef Stew

9 03 2008

I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of sugar lately, and I’m usually pretty good at making/eating low calorie meals and avoiding too much white flour and sugar.  Needless to say, my body can feel it, and I’ve been a bit more sluggish than usual.  I decided to search for some healthy recipes, because:

1. My body/mind function much better when I eat healthy foods.
2. The Vermont City Marathon is rapidly approaching, and I need to fuel my body appropriately – all the time, but for those long runs especially. 
3. I have parent-teacher conferences all week long, and I need all the energy I can get to get through 39 kindergarten conferences in 4 days.  Eek! 

My friend Niki has been following the Eat Clean diet, and I bought The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno a few weeks ago.  I figured this was the perfect time to dig into some of her recipes, and today I tackled two!  The first?  Stew!

This recipe calls for a Dutch Oven, and mine is packed away until we move into the new house.  I decided to turn this into a slow cooker recipe instead.  It’s still cooking away, but it looks great so far.  I’ll pop this in the fridge when it’s done cooking, and we’ll reheat it this week for a quick weeknight meal. 

This isn’t a great picture, but here’s the stew:

(It looks blurry because of the steam rising.)

And on a fun and RIDICULOUS note, here’s a funny story… As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I HATE chopping onions.  Burning, watery eyes are not fun.  I’ve tried all those tricks that people tell you about, like lighting a vanilla scented candle and splashing water under your eyes. Those helpful tips just don’t work for me. 

Well, today I started to dread chopping up the onion for the stew, and then a brilliant idea occurred to me!  I decided that I needed some eye protection, and I remembered that my ski googles were just steps away from the kitchen.  Yup.  I wore my goggles to chop the onions, and my eyes stayed tear-free and burn-free.  Ha! 

Canadian Stew
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno


 1 1/2 lbs. lean beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 leeks, whites and light green only, cut into chunks and well rinsed
3 or 4 medium sized cooking onions, peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 – 10 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
1 – 10 oz. can small potatoes
Several cloves garlic
4 T. olive oil
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken stock
1 cup light beer


1. Cut meat into 1-inch cubes.  Place whole-wheat flour, salt, ground black pepper, oregano, and basil in a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake the contents so they mix.  Now place the cubed meat in the container and shake until coated. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven heat the oil and saute the garlic and onions until soft.  Add remaining vegetables, except canned potatoes, and cook 5 minutes longer. 

3. Gently remove cubed and seasoned meat from container and add to the cooking vegetables.  Cook until meat is browed.  You will notice the mixture is getting sticky.  This is caused by the flour seasoning on the meat.  When it gets too sticky, add the chicken stock and the light beer.

4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Stir the stew until the sauce becomes evenly smooth.  Now add canned, drained potatoes.  Cook over low heat for another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Nutritional Value Per Serving:

Calories: 315 – Calories from fat: 95 – Protein: 20g – Carbs: 35g – Dietary fiber: 6g – Sugars: 8g – Fat: 10g – Sodium: 314mg

*** I used my slow cooker for this recipe and just threw everything in after I browned the meat first. ***