Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Healthy Recipes: Appetizer, Main Course & Dessert

This last Saturday night, we had an informal dinner party with another couple. I tried three new recipes, all of which are relatively healthy, and I think that they turned out quite well. On the menu...

Goat Cheese, Cranberry & Walnut Canapes (from Eating Well magazine)
Seafood Lasagna (from Cooking Light magazine)
Mocha Fudge Pie (from the Complete Cooking Light Cookbook)

Here are the recipes:

Goat Cheese, Cranberry & Walnut Canapes

24 walnut halves
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
24 thin slices of baguette (I used sourdough from the Country Club Mall Farmer's Market)
8 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
t teaspoon chopped fresh thyme for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss walnuts, olive oil and cinnamon. Bake until golden, 4 to 6 minutes, then set aside to cool. Spread baguette slices on baking sheet and toast on each side. Remove from oven and spread goat cheese on each slice. Top each with cranberries and a walnut halve. Garnish plate with thyme and serve.

Seafood Lasagna
(Note from Cooking Light: This shrimp and scallop filled lasagna is refined enough for a dinner party. The rich, mellow flavor and creamy, mouth-filling texture of this seafood lasagna demands a white wine that's soft and full on the palate. Chardonnay is a great answer.)

1/3 cup flour
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 cups grated Parmisan cheese, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups thinly sliced onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup half-and-half
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and coarsely chopped
3/4 pound scallops, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 (15 0z) carton low-fat ricotta cheese
12 no-cook lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add flour to pan. Gradually add milk to flour, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth; cook 1 minute. Stir in butter, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until thick; stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat; stir in 1 cup of Parmesan. Set cheese sauce aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, stir until cheese melts. Stir in half-and-half, shrimp, and scallops. Whisk eggs and ricotta together in a separate bowl until smooth. Add ricotta mixture into seafood mixture.

Spoon 1 cup of cheese sauce into bottom of a 13X9-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over sauce; top with half of ricotta/seafood mixture. Repeat layers with 4 noodles, remaining half of ricotta/seafood mixture, and remaining 4 noodles. Pour remaining cheese sauce over noodles, sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings.
Calories: 383
Fat: 12.9
Protein: 31.5

Mocha Fudge Pie
(Note from Cooking Light: Featuring a thick brownie crust, a filling made of creamy mocha pudding and for the crowning touch - a coffee and Kahlua whipped topping, this pie is deceptively light.)

1/3 cup hot water
4 teaspoons instant coffee granules, divided
1/2 package of 20 ounce low-fat fudge brownie mix (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup 1% or 2% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons Kahlua
1 (3.9 ounce) package chocolate instant pudding mix
3 cups frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed and divided
Dark chocolate shavings (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine hot water and 2 teaspoons coffee granules in bowl. Add brownie mix, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and egg whites; stir until well-blended. Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Beat milk, 2 tablespoons Kahlua, 1 teaspoon coffee granules, 1 teaspoon vanilla and pudding mix at medium speed for one minute. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping. Spoon pudding mixture onto brownie crust; set aside.

Combine 1 teaspoon coffee granules and 1 tablespoon Kahlua in a bowl; gently fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping. Spread whipped topping mixture over pudding mixture. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings.

Makes 8 servings.
Calories: 297
Fat: 6.5

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