Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mashed Potato Skins: They Can Be Good For You

Mashed potato and potato skins are often prepared with lots of butter and frying. But did you know that they can be good for you? Potatoes and potato skins are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and healthy carbohydrates. Make them healthier with this Mashed Potato Skin recipe from Rachel Ray.

Mashed Potato Skins

6 slices turkey bacon
2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Arrange the turkey bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp. Cool and chop.
3. Put the potatoes in a medium sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and season with salt. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes with buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chives and cheddar and fold in the bacon.
4. Serve warm.

Tip: This is an excellent side dish to roast chicken or pepper-crusted steak. Add a side salad for variety.

By: Kristine Gonzaga

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Pasta With Asparagus and Tomatoes

Spring is the time for crisp-tender asparagus and sweet, juicy tomatoes. Both vegetables are loaded with fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. What better way to have them than tossed into a bowl of pasta for a light springtime meal? Get on with this Giada De Laurentiis recipe.

Penne with Asparagus and Tomatoes

8 ounces penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (about 9 ounces) cherry tomatoes
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Save 1/2 cup of pasta water.

2. Saute garlic in oil over medium high heat. Add the asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook for three minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for two minutes then add chicken stock. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half.

3. Toss cooked pasta with vegetables. Add reserved pasta water and mix well. Garnish with Parmesan and basil.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheer Up With Cherry Cheesecake

Celebrate spring with something decadent, rich, and healthy. Impossible? Not when you make this Cherry Ricotta Cheesecake from Ellie Krieger. It's creamy and loaded with calcium, protein, selenium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and Vitamin A.

Cherry Ricotta Cheesecake

cooking spray
16-ounce part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh sweet cherries
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon warm water

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Process ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Add sour cream, eggs, sugar, flour, cream cheese, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. Blend well.
3. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until set. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool. Cover and chill for 3 hours.
4. Boil cherries, lemon juice, and honey in a sauce pan. Dissolve gelatin in warm water then stir in cherry mixture. Chill until thickened.
5. Top cheesecake with cherry mixture and serve.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spiced Almond and Orange Cake

Indulge this Easter with this omega-3 rich cake that's also loaded with Vitamin C from Sandra Lee of the Food Network.


18.25-ounce box spice cake mix
1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
3 eggs

Caramelized Orange:

1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 orange, thinly sliced

Cheese Frosting:

2 cups cream cheese frosting
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon extract


2 cups sliced almonds, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Mix cake ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. When done, cool cakes, turn onto wire racks and level.
3. For caramelized oranges: Boil first three ingredients in a pan for 5 minutes. Add oranges and boil for 5 minutes more. Remove oranges to cool.
4. For frosting: Mix all ingredients until smooth.
5. Assemble cake: Fill cake layers with frosting and frost on the outside. Press almond slivers on the outside and arrange orange slices on top.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

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