Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

This plus flour and egg=pancakes. For real.

 

This ranks right up there as on of the oddest recipes I have tried.  The great thing about Pinterest is that I can find so many good-looking recipes and read the comments before actually trying them. Back in the old days, we had to assume the finished product would be as easy and beautiful as what was pictured.  Through the internet we can hear from real people and learn from their mistakes!  This recipe had lots of positive comments and very little tweaking to the original so I gave it a shot.

I love pancakes but they are loaded with carbs (which I am not totally against) and calories so I have always been looking for an alternative.  I also dislike Greek yogurt (oh, stop looking shocked) but bought some when it was on sale.  Why?  I don’t know.  Perhaps I thought I would wake up one day and decide I liked it.  Imagine my delight when I saw a way to make healthier pancakes AND use up the Greek yogurt.

The recipe sounds bizarre and there is no way it should work, but it does.  Here is the link to the original post:

http://www.everydaybelle.com/2011/06/greek-yogurt-pancakes/

My comments are in parentheses.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 6 oz of your favorite Greek yogurt ( I used Chobani 0% vanilla/honey for the first batch, black cherry for the second batch )
  • 1 egg
  • scant 1/2 cup flour (I used white, might try whole grain next time)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • (I added a splash of vanilla but it’s optional)

Directions

  • Open the yogurt container and stir the yogurt until it’s smooth and creamy.  Crack an egg over the yogurt and stir to combine.   The resulting mixture should be pale yellow in color and have a few lumps here and there.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda.
  • Pour yogurt/egg mixture into the bowl with the flour and baking soda.  Stir to combine.  The batter will be extremely thick.
  • Spoon the batter onto a sprayed griddle or pan heated to medium-high. I usually make four big pancakes, but you could also make 8 smaller ones. (I made 4 big pancakes)
  • Flip the pancakes when they start to bubble a bit on the surface. (I had trouble flipping so these weren’t pretty but they tasted good)   Cook until golden brown (mine were more dark brown) on both sides and serve with butter, syrup, fruit, Nutella….anything! Enjoy!

Seriously, that is the whole recipe.  I actually had everything on hand and it took all of 2 minutes to throw together.  The batter is pretty thick and not as easy to work with as regular batter but my second batch turned out better once I knew what to expect.  We topped it with sugar-free syrup.  Nutella is mentioned in the original recipe but take a look at the ingredient list.  You might as well melt a candy bar, most have more nutrition that Nutella.

So- is this crazy pancake healthier than the original?  You bet!

Each pancake:

Calories= 76

Fat=1.3 g

Cholesterol= 46 mg (you could lower this by using just egg whites but I like the whole egg)

Sodium=36 mg (awesome!)

Fiber- .2 g (whole grain flour or some flax seeds would increase this)

Sugar=3.3 g (watch it with the syrup to keep this sugar nice and low)

Protein=6.4 g (hurray for Greek yogurt!)

While recipes may vary, a standard buttermilk pancake has 175 calories, 7.2 g of fat a whopping 402 mg of sodium.

As you can see, the Greek pancake is WAY healthier and it also tastes great.

Try them and let me know what you think.  With this recipe you can even have some bacon on the side and not feel guilty.

This picture is from the original blog. My pancakes were flatter and darker but still really, really good. I also don’t put butter on my pancakes to save some saturated fat and calories for the bacon.

 

 

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A Little Something after Dinner

I always need just “a little something sweet” after dinner.  This can really add up if that little something is chocolate or some other sort of candy.  I try not to keep to many sweets in the house but if I don’t have anything I start climbing the walls!

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a great new dessert, the apple sandwich.

Slice an apple horizontally, cut out the center.  Spread with peanut butter, press some chocolate chips into it and top with another apple slice.  You could put a bit of granola on it as well but that’s just extra calories.  1 apple made a sandwich for both of us and we both enjoyed it.  This might become an every night snack.

 

Calories- each serving

1/2 apple= about 45

Jif peanut butter, about 1/2 tbl=45

Chocolate chips (I used 10!) =about 30

This is approx. 120 calories, plus fiber and vitamin C from the apple.  Yummy and filling!

 

 

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This Chicken Burger Gets a WOW+

I bought a big package of ground chicken and drew a blank on what to make with it. Randy is not a huge fan of ground chicken or turkey, he doesn’t complain, he just doesn’t get very excited about it.  I knew I had to make something that would have the WOW factor and I found it on Pinterest.  How much do I love Pinterest?  It is my new favorite source of information and a really awesome way to waste time.  I found this one by searching ground chicken which directed me to The Cookbook Junkie.  She borrowed this recipe from Rachael Ray.  See http://cookbookjunkie.blogspot.com/2009/08/does-she-have-fan-club.html for the original post and a printable version.

I had most of the ingredients on hand and Randy likes burgers so I decided to give it a shot.  I did make some changes to the original and there are a few notes below.

Cacciatore Burgers Rachel Ray 365: No Repeats Copyright 2005


Extra-virgin olive oil

1- 1/3 lbs ground chicken or ground turkey breast (I used 1 pound of ground chicken breast)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced. (I used roughly a tablespoon of the pre-cut kind)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 medium yellow onion (1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced) I used red onion as that’s what I had

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

10 fresh basil leaves, shredded (don’t skip this)

Parmigiano-reggiano cheese (I used a shredded 6 cheese Italian blend)

2  sliced Portobello mushroom caps, I used 6 sliced baby bellas

2 cubanelle peppers, seeded and sliced. I bought Anaheim peppers.  MUCH hotter than I expected, I only used a small bit

2 hot cherry peppers, chopped (I omitted this)

4 slices provolone cheese, deli sliced

4 crusty rolls

Optional: Dickinson’s Sweet and Hot Pepper and Onion Relish

To Make:

Drizzle some olive oil in a bowl; add to it the chicken, Worcestershire sauce, chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, chopped onions, parsley, basil, Parmigiano (a generous palmful), salt, and pepper to taste. Combine mixture.

Preheat skillet, add drizzle of olive oil
Form  into 4 large patties; place patties on hot skillet; cook 6 minutes, then flip burgers and cook 5 minutes on the other side. (they were perfectly done following this exactly wth a nice brown sear on the outside)
Heat a second skillet over med-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil; add in the mushroom caps, sliced onions and cubanelle peppers (if  used)
Season with salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
Turn the heat off; add in the hot cherry peppers and a splash of their juice.( I omitted)  Place the provolone over the burgers and turn off the heat in the pan; tent the pan with foil to melt the cheese and carry-over heat. (or just use the lid!)
The original recipe called for toasting the rolls with garlic butter, I brushed them with the Hot and Sweet Relish and put them under the broiler.
Toast the crusty rolls until golden. Watch it, they will burn quickly! The relish added a slightly sweet element that was really good.
Place the cheese-covered patties on the bottoms of the buns; top with the peppers and onions; replace the top halves of the buns.

The presentation on this burger was amazing, it looks like a lot of work but by prepping everything ahead of time I was able to throw it together pretty quickly.

A few thoughts:

We like spicy food and peppers, usually the hotter the better for Randy.  However, he took a big bite of the Anaheim pepper as I was slicing it and his mouth was on fire.  I decided to add just a tiny bit of finely chopped pepper.  Combined with the red pepper flakes and the relish on the bun made this hot but not too hot.  I’m glad I eliminated the hot cherry peppers, use your discretion for your taste.

Ground chicken breast is a great low-fat lean protein, typically better than ground turkey (unless you buy turkey breast).  It is always on sale, I was excited to see that the Cookbook Junkie has loads of recipes for it.  The rest of the ingredients are all low-calorie and full of nutrients with the exception of the bun and the relish.  These burgers just scream out for a big ol’bun, I did use whole grain but it was still a big bun.

I made a lettuce salad as a side dish but the burger alone would have been plenty.  I ate one and was full. Randy loved it so much he had to eat a second one right away.  We will fight over the last one for lunch tomorrow!

This is not my picture but mine was very similar without the peppers.

You won’t need the fries, this is a filling burger!

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How to Survive the County Fair and other Summer Events!

When I was a kid, my brother and I would get to the fairgrounds very early each morning, feed and water our pigs and then head to the foot long hot dog stand.  Nothing says County Fair like a foot long hot dog and a quart of root beer for breakfast! Now that I am older and a little wiser, I might think twice about eating that, but there are a few better choices.  Well, not many! 

The Minnesota State Fair is super fun and I spent lots of time there every year.  They are famous for “anything on a stick” or “anything deep fried”.  Say yes to Walleye on a Stick, say no to deep fried Twinkies and Snickers bars.  The twinkie has 420 calories and 34 grams of fat while the Snickers are over 700 calories!!

Most fair food is not nutritious, but I did find soemthing that is low calorie.  A cone of Cotton Candy is about 100 calories and no fat. It also has less sugar than a can of soda.  I’m not saying  you should eat it everyday, but it is a very sensible choice, given the options.

Sno- Cones really surprised me.  What could be wrong with ice with some flavoring?  Well, most Sno-Cones contain a shocking 540 calories!! Wow- that’s more than a deep fried twinkie! If you must have a Sno-Cone, see if they have sugar free syrup or ask them to go light on it. Most syrups have 80-100 calories per ounce and approx 6 oz is the norm. 

Burger or Hot Dog?  Ah, the age old question- which is healthier?  To be honest, neither is a great option but if you do decide to have one, get it without cheese and eat only half the bun.  Order extra pickles and go with mustard instead of ketchup.  If you can find grilled chicken, enjoy that instead. 

I love Ice Cream!  The trouble is, most places don’t serve my Edy’s Half Fat Sugar Free Slow Churned.  They serve full fat sugar laden ice cream in a waffle cone that can be over 1,000 calories!  Instead, choose a pre-packaged novelty like a Dilly bar or Push Up.  They aren’t any healthier, but if you can’t control the craving, at least it is portion controlled.

What else?

Soft Pretzel- 340 calories, 2 g fat, lots of sodium
Funnel Cake (Elephant ear in some areas)- 760 calories, 44 g fat
Popcorn, no extra butter- 400 calories, 27 g fat
Caramel Apple- 300 calories, 1 g fat.  A regular apple has 53 calories.  I’m just sayin’…
Chocolate Covered Frozen banana- 240 calories, 4 g fat

As you can see, the calories can really add up.  If you feel you really need a day to let loose, go for it and don’t feel guilty.  Just be sure you get back into your healthy ways the next day.  Otherwise, plan ahead to have one special treat and stick to your guns.  Weight goes on a lot easier than it comes off! 

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Is there anything other than water?

We all know that we need to stay hydrated but there are very few options that are good for you.  I’m a big fan of Diet Pepsi but the more I read, the more I realize that there could be some long-term side effects.  I used to have 1 can a day, which isn’t  much, but I’m trying to eliminate it completely.  I have recently started drinking coffee, I find it really does give me more energy when I drink it before a workout but it isn’t my beverage of choice.

I have a few beers a week, usually Bud Light 55, but it’s not like I can sit around drinking beer all day!  I have been drinking lots and lots of water.  So much water that I really need to find an alternative.  I like water, but it gets boring.  There are thousands of choices in beverages, most of them full of sugar and calories.  Luckily, the Nu val system came to the rescue and I found a couple of awesome choices!

I have always felt that Vitamin Water is a bit of a scam because the ingredients in order are: filtered water and crystalline fructose (sugar).  One bottle is 250 calories. Ouch.

But- Vitamin Water has now come out with a flavored water that is naturally sweetened with stevia.  Zero Calories.  Nu Val score of 56- pretty much unheard of in the world of beverages.  Also,  the three I have tried taste great!  I especially like the lemonade and the orange flavor contains electrolytes so it’s refreshing after a sweaty workout. (also good if you have the flu and are losing fluids).

You need to be careful, the full sugar variety of Vitamin Water looks just like it so read the label.  Or just look for the Nu Val score if you are lucky enough to shop at a store that uses this system!

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Quick Sunday Lunch

This is a great way to use leftover chicken without having to cook.  I didn’t use a recipe and didn’t measure anything so the quantity of each item is “some” or “to taste”

Chicken Salad

Leftover boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks

Grapes, red or green,  cut in half

Celery, chopped

Onion, chopped or minced

Walnut halves or pieces

Miracle Whip Light

Curry powder

Black pepper

Garlic powder

Mix it all up and you’re done!   It can be eaten right away but refrigerating for an hour or so will blend the flavors.  I think it will be even better tomorrow.

I thought about adding pineapple but glad I kept that on the side.  Chopped water chestnuts or apples might get tossed in next time.

This could be served on lettuce as a salad, I put it in whole wheat pitas.   There was no lettuce in the frig (very unusual) or that would have been stuffed that in the pita as well.

I don’t have nutritional info on this but everything is healthy.  Yes, even Miracle Whip in moderation is not horrible! Miracle Whip Light gets a Nu Val score of 11, regular is a 4. There is only 37 calories in a tablespoon, I probably used 1/4 cup for the entire recipe.  This made 4 stuffed pita halves with at least that much more leftover.

Served with a side of pineapple, watermelon, and grapes.

 

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Chilaquiles Casserole

I have written about Chilaquiles (chee-la-KEE-lays) before as it is one of my favorite Mexican foods so I was excited to see this recipe on WebMD and made it last night.  Couple things- it is really tasty and you will never miss the meat.  But- it is not really Chilaquiles, I would say it is more like a Mexican lasagna.  No matter what you call it, call it both delicious and healthy!  I changed the recipe somewhat and used Nu Val scores to make this even more nutritious.  For those who don’t know- Nu Val is a scoring system in which products are labeled from 1 (least nutritious) to 100 (most nutritious).  There are a couple of items in this recipe that could either be really bad or really good and you wouldn’t know unless you studied the labels – or- just use Nu Val and take out the guesswork! The Nu Val scores are in parentheses behind the item, see below for more in-depth info.

Chilaquiles Casserole

Servings: 10

Total Time: 45

Prep Time: 20

Recipe Ingredients:

1 tablespoon canola oil (24)

1 medium onion, diced (93)

1 medium zucchini, grated (99)

1 19-ounce can low-sodium black beans, rinsed (91)

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (42)

1 1/2 cups corn, frozen or fresh (91)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

12 corn tortillas, quartered (91)

1 19-ounce can mild red or green enchilada sauce (25)

1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese ( I used a Mexican blend,  same Nu Val score and cheaper!) (24)

I also added chopped garlic and chopped cilantro with the vegetables and hit it with some chili powder as well.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the pan. Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the enchilada sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more

This is a quick and easy recipe and it makes a lot so the two of us will be eating this for a few days.  It actually tastes better as leftovers!

The only part of the nutritional info I feel comfortable about using is calories, which are approx. 240 in a serving.  I made some changes to to the original recipe that would change the info given on WebMD, my version will have less sodium, fat, and more fiber.  Overall, this is a darn healthy meal.

Let’s look at some choices you can make to eat healthier.

Black Beans are always a good choice.  High in fiber, low in calories.  But, once they are canned they can be quite high in sodium.  Let’s compare:

Regular canned black beans have a decent score of 55 but contain 400 mg of sodium.  Switching to no salt added raises the score to an awesome 91 and only 10 mg of sodium.  Look for reduced or no salt in everything you buy.  Your heart will thank you.

Tortillas were a real eye opener.  I prefer flour tortillas but corn tortillas score consistently higher.  I was so excited to find white corn tortillas with a score of 91!!!  The flour tortillas next to them on the shelf score a 2, which means a Snickers bar has more nutrition! This category has some extreme highs and extreme lows so shop smart. Also, the white corn tortillas are very similar to flour.  You really won’t notice a difference.

Wow- that is a HUGE difference in nutritional value!!

I had a big dilemma with the enchilada sauce because I prefer red and it seemed like it would work better with this recipe.  Nu Val was telling me that green was the wise choice but I went against it and bought red anyway.  The biggest difference I could see was that red has 1 g of saturated fat which would drive the score down.  It also has about 40 more calories per serving.

The scores are on the shelf tag. 50 for green, 25 for red. This is the only area that I did not go up in score.

This recipe called for diced tomatoes.  Do you know how many varieties of diced tomatoes are available?  A LOT!  I chose the kind with green chiles just to give a little more heat but you can use whatever you like.  Scores are pretty much the same except for low sodium which scores an 81.  You could also use plain tomato sauce (go for the low-sodium).

One of many varieties of canned tomatoes, choose what you like but low-sodium is best.

I also had some non-fat Greek yogurt on hand so I dolloped a bit on top.  I don’t like Greek yogurt by itself, but I like it as sour cream.  And, with a Nu Val core of 93, it is much healthier than sour cream (23).

If you don’t have Nu Val available where you shop and want to make better choices, compare the labels.  I compare saturated/trans fat, sodium and sugar and choose the lowest.  Look at fiber and choose the highest.  That’s really simplified but it will get you on the right track.

Enjoy the Chilaquiles!

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What a Beautiful Sunday!

It is a beautiful day in Northeast Wisconsin- we don’t get many so we really take advantage of them.  I finished Rug Doctoring the rest of the house, pulled weeds, cleaned the kitchen, changed the sheets and then decided I had to stop this foolishness and get outside.  Yes, the weeds were outside but pulling them doesn’t count as fun.

I finally got the bike out of the basement, I cycle 3 times a week but I do it indoors so I never go anywhere!  How refreshing to actually get from Point A to Point B.  Except…Point B was McDonald’s.  Those darn chocolate chip cookies were calling to me and I couldn’t resist.  Have  you ever gone through the drive-thru on your bike?  I just did it for the first time- the kid at the first window said he rode his bike to work and couldn’t wait to ride home and the second kid…get this…said “I guess you are working these off before you eat them!”  Hahahahahaha….I love sassy teens.

I started thinking about working off these cookies and had to do some research.  I love wireless and a laptop- I can sit out on the deck and do this.  The only issue is my  legs are sweating and I’m sliding around on my plastic chairs, might have to get a towel!  Anyway, let’s get back on topic.

McDonald’s sells these horrible fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies- 3 for $1.  They really aren’t horrible, they are AWESOME.  Chewy and melty and perfect.  Except:

Calories (in EACH cookie)=160. Eat all three and it comes to… ALOT.  (I’m not even going to do the math)

Each cookie has 8 grams  of fat, 3.5 of which are saturated and 15 g of sugar (about 4 tsp.)  Take that times 3 and you also get ALOT!

So- to justify this wonderful treat, I went to my favorite calorie calculator at http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc.  I entered my weight, picked my activity and duration. 30 minutes of biking at 12 -14 mph burned 267 calories.  That seems like a lot of work to burn 1.5 cookies!  Calorie calculators are a great way to either congratulate yourself for a job well done or to give yourself a wake-up call.

Moral of the story- It’s a beautiful day, I burned some calories and really enjoyed my cookies.  Sometimes you just gotta treat yourself for all the hard work you do.  Just don’t do it too often!  Hope you are having a great day and are looking forward to a healthy week.

They baked these cookies just for me so I HAVE to eat them!

 

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Another Winning Recipe!

I have been testing new recipes all week and am quite surprised at how well they turned out.  I’m mostly surprised because almost all have been meatless, low calorie, high fiber, low sodium, and very few processed ingredients. AND–they taste awesome!  I have been a lifelong vegetable avoider and have finally decided to embrace the produce department.

I found the basic recipe on allrecipes.com and added my own twist.  Yes, I am taking recipes, adding a twist- and it works!

Stuffed Green Peppers- Greek Style

  •                     1/2 cup uncooked brown rice*
  •                      1 cup vegetable broth
  •                     2 green (or whatever color you want) bell peppers, halved and seeded (cut vertically, not just taking the top off)
  •                     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •                     1 small onion, minced
  •                      1 tbl. minced garlic
  •                     1 teaspoon dried basil
  •                     1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  •                     1 teaspoon salt
  •                     1 pinch ground black pepper
  •                     1 tomato, diced
  •                      1/2 cup sliced black olives
  •                     1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
 Directions:
-Preheat oven to 400.  Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray or wipe with a bit of olive oil
-Prepare brown rice per recipe below.  Brown Rice can be difficult but it is worth it.  If you don’t have time, white rice will work, prepare according to directions on the box.
1.    Place the peppers cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender and skin starts to brown.
2.    While the peppers are roasting, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, basil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper in oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato and black olives,  cook for 5 minutes. Spoon in the cooked rice, and stir until heated through. Remove from heat, mix in the feta cheese, and spoon the mixture into the pepper halves.
 3. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Top with a bit more of the feta cheese and serve immediately.

*How to make Brown Rice

  • Put brown rice and vegetable broth (or water) together in a pot with a lid.
  • Set the heat to maximum, and bring the rice/water to a boil uncovered.  Then put the lid on the pot, and reduce the heat to low/simmer.  If your lid has a steam valve, keep it closed.  Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit in the covered pot for another 10 minutes.  It’s OK if you let the rice sit longer than 10 minutes (20 or 30 minutes is fine too), but don’t let it go any less.  I prefer my rice to be slightly chewy, not mushy, so I usually remove the lid after 10 minutes

Calories if you eat a whole pepper approximately 385.  I only ate one half and saved the other for lunch the next day.  I served it with a crusty parmesan tomato bread from the bakery topped with a bit of olive oil.  This added about 160 calories.  Total- 352!  Woo-hoo, that means I can have small cup of ice cream before bed!

Not mine, but similar

 

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Awesome recipe for Meatless Monday

I was asked to share Meatless Monday recipes before Monday so you would have time to shop and prepare so we had Meatless Sunday at our house.   I also wanted to eat something lower calorie and healthy to make up for the Culver’s Sundae I was craving and knew I would have later in the day!

I have been getting recipes from a couple different sources e-mailed to me each day which has led to quite a bit of experimenting and new stuff.  Again, I am fortunate that my husband is not at all fussy and will eat anything that is served.  I am the fussier eater as I’m not much into seafood or vegetables but I have been eating lots of both lately and discovering that I might actually like more things that I previously thought! Whew- that was a long run-on sentence, I hope it makes sense.  Anyway, here is the recipe from EatingWell.com via WebMD. I added my own comments in italics. Also- this recipe is not as complicated as it seems and didn’t take an hour, closer to 30 minutes.  Start the onions, get the mushrooms going, then do the spinach/beans when the mushrooms are almost done instead of doing everything separately.

Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach, White Beans & Caramelized Onions

WebMD Recipe from EatingWell.com

Picture of Portobello Paillards with Spinach
 This is their version with the correct beans.  Mine was similar.

Portobello mushrooms are so meaty that even carnivores will be satisfied with this lusty vegetarian dish. Instead of pounding the caps, we weigh them down in the skillet to flatten them while they cook.

Servings: 4

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 1 hour (It did not take and hour.  Probably 30 mins.)

Prep Time: 1 hour (again- 30 mins total, not sure why it would take an hour)

Recipe Ingredients:

  1. 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  2. 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  3. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  5. 1/3 cup 1% milk (I used almond milk, I’m sure water would work, too)
  6. 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  7. 4 Portobello mushroom caps, 3-4 inches in diameter ( I only had 3 and it was plenty for 2 people)
  8. 3 cloves garlic, minced ( I used the already cut stuff in a jar to save time)
  9. 1 pound spinach, tough stems removed
  10. 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed (uh-oh, no canellini so I used garbanzos- good substitute but will try canellini next time)
  11. 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  12. 1/2 cup grated Manchego, Gruyere or Parmesan cheese ( I used shredded parm)

 

Recipe Steps:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to very low, season with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. (I just left them in the pan, this recipe dirties enough dishes as it is!)
  2. Meanwhile, place milk in a small bowl and place breadcrumbs on a large plate. Dip each mushroom cap in milk, then dredge in the breadcrumbs.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, gill-side down. Place a heavy, heatproof plate or pie pan on top of the mushrooms and cook until golden brown, pressing down on the plate periodically to flatten them, about 6 minutes. (I used a smaller frying pan to press down). Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and turn the mushrooms over. Replace the plate and cook, pressing the plate once or twice, until the mushrooms are golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes more. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
  4.  (Do this while the mushrooms are cooking!) Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans, broth and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Cut each mushroom into thin slices and serve over the spinach. Top with the reserved onions and cheese.

I used a slotted spoon to dish up the beans/spinach mixture, then added sliced mushrooms topped with onions then cheese.  This looked very impressive and tasted fantastic!  We both had a hearty serving and there was enough left for my husband to have seconds. I was going to serve some crusty bread but the beans are quite filling so you really don’t need anything else with this dish.

 

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 358 calories; 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 11 g mono unsaturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 11 g fiber; 755 mg sodium; 1382 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (220% daily value), Vitamin C (70% dv), Folate (66% dv), Potassium (39% dv), Iron (30% dv), Calcium (25% dv).

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