How to Feed Your Grandma

I have an unconventional grandmother.  A wonderfully quirky, never made a cookie in her life, sparkle-in-her-eyes, unconventional…..grandma.  You might assume that a girl in the profession of “Home Ec” (Family Consumer Science, actually!) would have an apron wearing, secret recipes type of matriarch.  But Myrt (yes, I do call her by her first name) was a business owner while raising her children and never had time to concentrate and relish in homemaking.  When spending the night with her as children, my sister and I would often make dinner for her and Bob (yep, I rarely call him grandpa either) and she was always impressed with our love of cooking which we inherited from the other branch of our family tree. 

These days my goal when cooking for Myrt is to make her forget she’s a Type 1 diabetic.  She’s been plagued by this dreadful disease for as long as I can remember.  Although she never has had much of sweet tooth, I have always felt terrible that she could not partake in the sweet yumminess of birthdays and holidays.  I have made it my goal to perfect the art of using Splenda in any dish possible in such a way that it is untraceable to the common palate.  I have had many of her recipe requests for me turn flat.  Literally, she requested a chocolate cake last year and it was, indeed…. flat.  This weekend I am going to make her favorite concoction of mine: Peanut Butter Pie.  She loves this so much, I almost have to make her an extra to take home! 

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Pie

No Sugar Added Peanut Butter Pie

1 Oreo Cookie Crust (Made with Sugar-Free Oreos-yes, they do make these!)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
16 oz Sugar-Free Whipped Topping
Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup (“Great Value”!!!) 
 
1. Beat together the cream cheese and Splenda.  Mix in peanut butter and milk then beat until smooth.
2.  Gently fold in the Whipped Topping.
3.  Pour ALL the filling into the crust at once, and spread from the inside out to ensure no cookie crumbs stick to the mixture. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.
4.  Chill at least 4 hours and ENJOY a delicious sweet treat without an insulin spike!

September 3, 2012. Family Life, Healthy Stuff, Recipes. 1 comment.

It’s Tofu-riffic!

Have I mentioned before how much I love food substitutions?  This summer, I posted a recipe for a pizza crust substitute when I was on a low-carb kick and now it’s time for a fat-replacer! 

“Foods & Nutrition” is currently studying Fats, Protein & Meat and I love introducing them to alternative choices.  This weeks lab included a salmon recipe that I was shocked to find a group of 15 year-old boys arguing over.  Surprised at their quarrel, I inquired about why they wanted to make the salmon so badly. “Mrs. D, we want Omego 3’s!”  A proud moment in my teaching career!

On to the tofu…. I usually have several vegetarians in class and love to introduce them and all the other students to the wonders of tofu.  They learned about how they lower your LDLs, contain calcium, fiber and Omega 3 Fatty Acids (you can imagine how badly those boys wanted to try tofu!).  For lab, students made a No-Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake that uses tofu instead of cream cheese.  It is so yummy!  You can also use 1 cup melted milk chocolate chips for a chocolate pie!

Ingredients:

16 ounces soft (silken) tofu

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup Splenda

¼ cup soy milk

2 tsp vanilla

Oreo Cookie Pie Crust

Preparation:

1. Drain tofu completely, by pressing it between paper towels.

2. Combine the tofu, peanut butter, Splenda, soy milk and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth.

 3. Spoon ENTIRE mixture into the pie shell at once.  Spread mixture outward from the middle, so the cookie crumbs don’t get into the mixture.

 Refrigerate at least 2 hours and serve.

BEFORE SERVING: DRIZZLE WITH CHOCOLATE SYRUP

November 29, 2011. Healthy Stuff, Recipes. Leave a comment.

How to Make the Perfect Smoothie!

My nutrition class recently learned all about vitamins, and what better way to learn how to get them into your diet than a smoothie lab!  But, simply giving them recipes for great smoothies isn’t good enough.  Students had to choose a health benefit like better skin, healthy hair or calorie burning as the purpose of their smoothie.  Then, they had to look over their notes for the vitamins that held these functions.  Finally, they chose the fruits that those vitamins contained and they were ready to make smoothies…. almost.  (If you would like to create a smoothie with a specific health benefit, check out this site http://kidshealth.org/teen/misc/vitamin_chart.html)

1 cup base + 1 cup liquid + 2 cups thickener = PERFECTION!

BASE: No more than 3 fruits or veggies from the same general category (berries, citrus) makes a great combination!  Add a punch of a SUPER FOOD by adding fresh spinach or avocado!  All fruits/veggies should total to 1 cup.

LIQUID: Choose milk or juice depending on the intensity of your base choices.  To tame down strong flavors add milk.  To add a little kick to mild fruits add a juice.  If using a yellow or orange base try a little carrot juice for added vitamin A!

THICKENER:  If the fruits you chose are frozen (which make the best consistency) then they are actually apart of the thickener group now.  So, if you already have 1 cup of frozen fruit, add a cup of vanilla yogurt for added creaminess.  Using fresh fruit?  2 cups of yogurt should do the trick for just the right thickness.  Depending on the juiceness of your fruit have some ice on hand to blend in.

Blend & Enjoy!

October 28, 2011. Healthy Stuff, Recipes. Leave a comment.

Cauli “flour” Pizza Crust

By default, “Foods & Nutrition” has become my area of expertise.  Each school year I teach 5-6 sections of this lab-based class.  That’s roughly 175 students who walk into my room the first day of class and think to themselves, “Why is this chubby lady teaching Foods & Nutrition?”  I’m not fishing, just stating what I know they are all thinking those important first few seconds after the bell. 

I’ve learned a lot by teaching this class, and try to apply what I teach to my everyday habits, in hopes that one day they won’t wonder why the nutrition teacher looks like she has no idea what she is talking about.  Making my goal to drop a few LBs before the 2011 school year, I started the “17 Day Diet”.  Basically a glorified Atkins Diet that weens you back onto carbs, helping you resist the urge to dive head first into a Krispy Kreme box.  Good diet, but planning meals that include ZERO carbs for 17 days is as enjoyable as watching others lick their lips after a cupcake on day 4.

Wallowing in my stomach pangs, I express my desire for a pizza to a friend.  She suggests I look up a recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust she’s heard others tell of.  Gross.  However, thinking myself a connoisseur of hiding veggies in unsuspecting foods, I did a little Googling.

Let me tell you, if you love the taste of crispy (almost over cooked) cheese like I do, THIS IS THE NO-CARB RECIPE FOR YOU!  I have made this recipe twice and I still cannot believe how delicious and non-cauliflower tasting it is! This dish has saved my life and help me lose 12 lbs. (It’s a start).

2 cups cooked cauliflower

2 cups mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T oregano

Preheat oven to 450*. Chop cooked cauliflower in a food processor until grainy.  Squeeze as much water out of the “riced” cauliflower as possible.  Mix with remaining ingredients. 

Grease a spring-form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Scoop half the mixture into pan and press down evenly.  Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese has browned.

Mine is a little on the yellow-side since I used Grandma's farm fresh eggs!

Remove spring-form ring, and flip the round onto a greased cookie sheet.  Cook for another 15 minutes.  Add your favorite toppings (go easy on the sauce and cheese) and broil until cheese melts. Repeat. Yields 2 personal pan pizzas. YUM!

I don’t think I’ll add this one to the recipe box for my students to perform in lab, since it is a bit time-consuming.  However, I will keep it on hand for any students who are allergic to gluten and are craving a delicious pizza…. just like I was!

Please excuse the over-used cookie sheet (yuck)

August 10, 2011. Healthy Stuff, Recipes. 1 comment.