Sunday, March 7, 2010

Healthy Cooking for One

It's not always easy to cook a meal for just one. I don't know about y'all, but when I make a regular recipe, I always end up with a ton of leftovers that just go to waste. I forget about things and they get fuzzy in the back of the fridge. Bleack! That's a waste of money and, worse, of food itself.

If an effort to get back on track and make my lap band work as well for me as it should, I'm trying to cook and eat healthier meals. I can eat a lot of veggies if they're tender, and that's not such a bad thing! Today I decided to make my favorite glazed carrots and some spinach with a slightly Asian twist. Everything turned out fabulous!

Glazed Carrots
1 cup carrots
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon orange juice.

Cook the carrots in boiling water (or in the microwave if you have one) until just tender. Drain and set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt the butter and gently cook the garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger and cook another minute. Keep the heat low so the garlic doesn't burn. Add the orange juice and brown sugar.Add the carrots and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sesame Spinach
1 cup frozen spinach
1 teaspoon minced garlic
couple splashes of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil

Cook the spinach and drain. Set aside. Put the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil.

This would be excellent with bok choy too, I think.

The carrots have about 110 calories and around 4.5 grams of fat per serving. The spinach has about 81 calories and 7 grams of fat. You could probably reduce the fat by using nonstick cooking spray instead of oil, but things like Pam aren't available to me here in Turkey.

Recipes were analyzed on It's free and you can utilize their food log and activity log as well. Great site!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies -sinfully delicious

2.5 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch or two of salt

1 cup butter, divided
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6-8 ounces dark chocolate (semi-sweet or unsweetened, so the cookies aren't too sweet)

1 cup chocolate chips (the darker the better)
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Melt half the butter with the dark chocolate. Put the rest of the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the melted chocolate. Mix until well combined. Beat in two eggs. Add vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients, then mix in the chocolate chips and dried cherries and the nuts if you're using them. I would use pecans, almonds or hazelnuts. Walnuts might be too overpowering. The cherry flavor is quite delicate.

Grab about a tablespoonful at a time, roll into a ball, and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Place the cookies 1 1/2-2 inches apart. Bake at about 350-375 for 6-8 minutes per tray. I like to remove them when they're still just a teeny bit soft and just let them finish firming up as they cool. Melting the butter helps make them really chewy. I made about 2 1/2 dozen small cookies. I calculated the information for 24 servings.

For 24 servings: