Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cheesy Cauliflower Helper

Ever since I learned about subbing cauliflower for rice I have been experimenting with different ways to change up my favorite recipes. This one is a spin on one of our mom's favorite dishes. 
It is similar to the "hamburger helper" packets you can buy at the grocery store but healthier :)
Give this a try when you want something quick, easy, tasty, and healthy. 
I'm thinking the kids might even give this a go. 
According to Myfitnesspal, one serving of this (recipe makes 4 servings) is:
375 calories, 16 carbs, 18 fat, 39 protein, and 6 fiber.
Not to shabby for a such a large serving!

Cheesy Cauliflower Helper

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 medium/large head cauliflower
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup no fat cream cheese
1/3 cup 1% milk
1 cup shredded aged, light cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp dried mustard
dash hot sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
In a large frying pan, start cooking the ground beef over medium heat, stirring to break up.
While beef is cooking, chop cauliflower into small florets and boil in the prepared pot of water. Cook the cauliflower until it is tender, about 8 - 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to keep warm.
When beef is almost done (only a bit of pink remaining), add in the onion, garlic, salt & pepper, onion & garlic powder. Cook until beef is done and onions are soft. Reduce heat. 

In the same pot you cooked the cauliflower, stir together the cream cheese, milk, cheddar cheese, dry mustard, and hot sauce.

Place on burner that should still be warm from cooking the cauliflower. (Burner does not need to be turned on, there should still be enough heat. - If not, turn heat to low.)
Stir continuously until cheese sauce is smooth.

Stir the cooked beef mixture into  the cheese sauce. Then stir in the warm cauliflower. 
Toss well to ensure everything is well coated.
Serve immediately. (If you find it is not hot enough simply turn the burner on medium heat for a few minutes until everything is heated through again.)

I served mine on a bed of baby spinach and topped with a pinch more aged cheddar. 
Note - this dish is very mild as far as flavors go. Be sure to use a nice strong cheese so the flavor of the cheddar shines through. 
If I had to describe the flavor of this - I would say it reminds me of the inside of a cabbage roll minus the tomato sauce, of course. 

We're sharing at this fun and fabulous linky party - Carole's Chatter

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2 Ingredient Mousse (with a bazillion alternatives)

I almost always have a container of my zero fat, plain Greek yogurt in the fridge because I tend to use it for pretty much everything. I go through a lot of it. 
Anyways.... why I bring this up is because our sister, Orra, recently told me about another way to use Greek yogurt which is beyond super genius level. (But don't tell her I said that!)
Basically you mix equal parts of the yogurt with Light Cool Whip and it turns into the most amazing mousse ever.
Mind blown.
You would think this would have been something I stumbled across seeing as how I pretty much survive on Greek yogurt.
Never tried it before, never saw it before, never heard of the combo before Orra let me in on the secret. It's equal amounts of Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt works too!) and Light Cool Whip.
That's it.
*Tah-dah* Here's your mousse.
But that's not where the recipe has to stop. Oh heck no. It gets better.
Mix in some peanut butter - you get peanut butter mousse,
mix in some baking cocoa - you get chocolate mousse,
mix in some stewed fruit - you get fruit mousse,
you see where I'm going with this....
All you have to do is stir the Greek yogurt and your add in until well mixed. Then gently stir in the Cool Whip until just mixed.
You can eat it right away or let is sit, up to overnight, and enjoy it later.
So... here is the base recipe that you will need to make 1 cup of mousse -- 

Mouse Base Recipe:
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip
(Nutritional count - 147 calories, 14 carbs, 5 fat, 12 protein, 0 fiber

Now, on to some of the combinations I have tried so far.....

Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Mousse

1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip

Stir together the Greek yogurt, pumpkin, and cinnamon. Fold in the Cool Whip until just combined.

Nutritional count for pumpkin mousse: (entire amount) - 182 calories, 21 carbs, 5 fat, 13 protein, 2 fiber.

Peanut Butter Cup Greek Yogurt Mousse

1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt (divided)
1/2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking cocoa
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip (divided)
1 tsp mini chocolate chips

Divide the Greek yogurt into 2 bowls - 1/4 cup each. 
In one bowl, stir in the peanut butter. In the other bowl, stir in the cocoa powder.
Gently stir 1/4 cup of the Cool Whip into each bowl. 
Layer the mousse on top of one another and top with the chocolate chips. 

Nutritional count for peanut butter cup mousse: (entire amount) - 217 calories, 19 carbs, 10 fat, 14 protein, 1 fiber.

Almond Joy Greek Yogurt Mousse

1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp baking cocoa
1/2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
1 Tbsp chopped, toasted almonds
1 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut, toasted
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip

Stir the Greek yogurt, cocoa, mini chocolate chips, and coconut together. Gently stir in the Cool Whip. (you can save a pinch of chocolate chips, almonds, and coconut to sprinkle on top to make it look fancy if you want!)

Nutritional count for the almond joy mousse: (entire amount) - 250 calories, 23 carbs, 14 fat, 15 protein, 2 fiber. 

Rhubarb Greek Yogurt Mousse

1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup rhubarb puree
(I did 1 cup of chopped rhubarb + 1 pkg Stevia + 1 Tbsp water. Boil until rhubarb is soft and mixture is thickened. It should yield approx 1/4 of a cup. I used it all in the mousse.)
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip

Stir together the Greek yogurt and rhubarb puree. Gently stir in the Cool Whip.

So fluffy and pretty, am I right?
Look at all that mousse-iness. 

Nutritional count for the rhubarb mousse: (entire amount) - 173 calories, 14 carbs, 5 fat, 13 protein, 2 fiber.

Funfetti Greek Yogurt Mousse

1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
2 tsp sprinkles
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip

Stir together the Greek yogurt, vanilla & almond extracts, and 1 1/2 tsp of the sprinkles.
Gently stir in the Cool Whip. Sprinkle with the remaining sprinkles.

It's just so pretty..... and tasty....

Nutritional count for the funfetti mousse: (entire amount) - 200 calories, 25 carbs, 6 fat, 12 protein, 0 fiber.

And here are some other versions that I haven't had a chance to photograph yet but were delicious, nonetheless....

Apple Pie Mousse
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip
(Nutritional count - 188 calories, 23 carbs, 5 fat, 12 protein, 1 fiber)

Peanut Butter Mousse
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip
(Nutritional count - 237 calories, 18 carbs, 13 fat, 15 protein, 1 fiber)

Chocolate Mousse
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp baking cocoa
1/2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
(Nutritional count - 186 calories, 20 carbs, 7 fat, 13 protein, 1 fiber)

Peach Pie Mousse
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup peach puree (I used baby food peaches)
1 tsp graham cracker crumbs
(Nutritional count - 204 calories, 27 carbs, 5 fat, 13 protein, 1 fiber)

Salted Caramel Mousse
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp Smuckers Fat Free Ice Cream Topping
generous pinch sea salt
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip
(Nutritional count - 267 calories, 43 carbs, 5 fat, 12 protein, 0 fiber)

Banana Mousse
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mashed, ripe banana (approx 1 small banana)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip
(Nutritional count - 209 calories, 28 carbs, 5 fat, 13 protein, 1 fiber)

Nutella Mousse
1/2 cup 0 fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp Nutella
1/2 cup Light Cool Whip
(Nutritional count - 247 calories, 25 carbs, 11 fat, 13 protein, 1 fiber)

NOTE - If you want it a bit sweeter to take away some of the tartness of the Greek yogurt, add in 1 package of Stevia and it won't influence your nutritional counts. (You can, of course, use sugar or maple syrup, etc... but those will change the nutritional counts.)

There you have it.
The next big thing. 
Try it. Seriously. I'm pretty sure you will be as addicted to it as I am.
I will leave you with some more pretty picture of the mousse....

Looking for tons of fun, crafty, and tasty links?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Jarlsberg Braid

Jarlsberg Cheese recently held a recipe contest using their cheese.
We didn't win with our entry but we still wanted to share it with everyone. 
I went outside of my comfort zone to develop this recipe. I'm normally not a cheese and fruit kind-of person but this combination really blew me away. (If I do say so myself....) 
There is only 6 ingredients but I guarantee this appetizer will have your guests coming back for more. It is super simple yet very elegant and only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish!

Jarlsberg Braid

12 dried figs, chopped
2 small, tart apples
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg Cheese 
1 pkg puff pastry (We use Tenderflake - HERE)

Beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Place chopped figs in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
Chop the apples into small pieces and place in saucepan with the figs.

Cook and stir until figs and apples have softened, about 5 - 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans.
Roll out the puff pastry into a long rectangle.
Sprinkle 1/2 the cheese down the center. (See photo below)

Spread the apple/fig mixture on top of the cheese. (See photo below)

Top with remaining cheese.
Make cuts approx 1 inch apart down the sides of the pastry. (See photo below)

Carefully fold the top of the pastry up over the filling. Then, fold the pastry on each side up and over the filling, alternating sides. (See photo below)

Continue all the way to the bottom. Fold up the bottom of the pastry over the end of the filling. 
Brush the pastry with beaten egg using a pastry/basting brush. (See photo below)

Bake at 400 for 20 - 25 minutes, until pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.

Serve warm or room temp.
FYI - this goes great with a glass of sangria.

There is so much going on in this recipe - sweet, savory, crunchy, chewy - it really does make an amazing treat. I brought it to my office and it was devoured in minutes! 

Look at all that gooey cheese peeking out.
P.S. - Jarlsberg really is an amazingly delicious cheese. You should give it a try if you haven't yet!!

We're sharing over at Carole's Chatter. Be sure to stop by and say Hi. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rhubarb Cheesecake Square

A while back I created a Cherry Pie Cheesecake Tart (recipe HERE) out of some leftover ingredients. I stumbled over it again when it showed up in my Pinterest feed. I was like - "oh yeaaaaaaaah, I remember making that. That was tasty!" so I decided to re-make it but change it up with some rhubarb and whipped cream. 
I also decided to make the cheesecake layer a little thicker because...well.... CHEESECAKE! I don't think I really need to explain that any further...
Anyway... if you like cheesecake and you like rhubarb and you like pie.... I'm going to make a huge leap here and say you will most likely enjoy this too. 

Rhubarb Cheesecake Square

Bottom Layer
1/3 recipe of our NEVER FAIL PIE CRUST (HERE)
(or your own double crust pie dough recipe)

Rhubarb Layer
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
4 -5 cups rhubarb, chopped

Cheesecake Layer
1 1/2 bricks (12 oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Top Layer
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400.
Bottom layer - Roll out pie crust to cover the bottoms of a 12x8 AND a 14 x4 tart pan. Set aside.

Rhubarb Layer - In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and rhubarb.

Place over medium heat. Cook and stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened. About 8 - 12 minutes.

Pour into prepared pie shells.

Place pans in oven and bake 10 minutes.
While this is in the oven, prepare the cheesecake layer.
Cheesecake Layer - In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Beat in sugar and eggs and vanilla until well combined. 
Pour over the rhubarb in the pans.

Turn oven down to 350.
Place back in oven at 350 until cheesecake is set, about 20 - 30 minutes.

Let cool completely.
When cool, prepare top layer.
Top Layer - In a large mixing bowl, beat whipping cream together with the sugar and vanilla, until stiff peaks form. Spread over cheesecakes.

Chill until ready to serve. (At least 2 hours)

Store any leftovers in the fridge. (If you have any!)

You can make this in a 9 X 13 pan if you prefer or even a 10 inch pie plate if you want it thicker.
You will just have to adjust your cooking times accordingly!
This is a perfect summer dessert and can be made with frozen rhubarb if you don't have fresh. 
The flavors and textures make this a wonderfully different square to bring to a potluck or to share with the family. 

Looking for tons of fun and tasty links? Check out these fab linky parties - Hun... What's For Dinner?, New Mrs Adventures, Lou Lou Girls, Dizzy Busy & Hungry, Nap Time Is My Time, Carole's Chatter