Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chinese Spicy Chicken & Broccoli = EASY

Last week I really wanted chinese food. Like, really wanted it, but I didn't want to pay for it, go figure, nor did I want the extra fat and sodium. Sometimes I think though, how much extra fat is added to something so simple like spicy chicken with broccoli?  Well, it really depends, a lot of restaurants squirt or ladle (yes, LADLE) in some oil in their wok for stir frying. I didn't add quite as much.

So again, as we know I am following Diet Free Life and this meal would be perfect for those of you who are also following it. Just keep an eye on the sodium and you may want to switch out the corn starch. I only use corn starch because I like its thickening power more than arrow root. Also, I wonder how potato starch fares on DFL?

Anyways, here is the recipe and all you need to know is its EASY. Oh, one thing, it might be easier to thinly slice your meat while it is just slightly frozen and firm. You can use a cut of beef as well, or even shrimp, yum!

12 oz boneless chicken breast, sliced thin
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce (low sodium) or just use regular low sodium if you can't find dark
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
3-4 cloves chopped garlic
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1/2 cup water
1 tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 heard of broccoli, cut into smallish pieces
1 tbsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water mixed

In a bowl, combine chicken soy sauce and oyster sauce. Let sit for about 20 minutes. In the mean time, slice the onion, broccoli and garlic and grate the ginger.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. If you have a wok great! I had to use my paella pan for this. Saute onion for a minute or two, then add garlic and ginger. You want to make sure the garlic doesn't burn, blah! Add the peppers and stir.

Add the chicken and let it lightly brown, its ok if it leaves a little something on the bottom of the pan. This will make a nice gravy. Add broccoli and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the water now, you may need more, try using 1 cup and scrape the lovely off the bottom of the pan and cover for a minute until broccoli cooks a little more.

At the very end, add the cornstarch slurry and mix until thick.

I ate this with brown rice and it was delicious!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Delicious Cheesecake. Oh and its Low Fat!

Way back in the day I found this recipe, it actually came from Stoneyfield farms, but over the years I've made slight changes that really make this cheesecake smooth, rich, creamy and LOW FAT! How you ask?

Read on...

The secret ingredient is yogurt, and now that Greek yogurt is so popular I use this instead of regular plain yogurt, it definitely speeds up the draining process. Actually, it doesn't even have to be plain, you can use flavors to flavor your cheesecake if you wish, just keep in mind that you will need less sugar than the recipe calls for.

This also is a Diet Free Life friendly recipe, so DFL friends if you find yourself really wanting a rich and creamy dessert that is friendly and under your snack calorie allotment, then try this!

Lastly, you will love hearing people say "Oh I couldn't possibly eat that, its so high fat" and then telling them that they couldn't be more wrong, they still don't believe it! So here is the recipe, you can make it with or without the crust.

1.5 sleeves graham crackers broken into pieces
1 tbsp organic sugar (use white if its all you have)
3-4 tbsp smart balance light butter (or regular butter if you must)

Blend the graham crackers in a food processor until there are no more large pieces. Melt the butter and add to the cracker meal with the sugar. The cracker should form a crumbly moist but not wet ball. Put this in a lightly sprayed spring form pan and press along the sides. I think I used a 9 or 10 inch pan, not sure but will double check later.
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.

Cheesecake Filling
1 Large container of fat free Greek Yogurt
3 8oz packages of light cream cheese (neufchatel) or you can even use some fat free too
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
4 egg whites or 1 cup egg substitute
2 tsp Vanilla (or you can use lemon juice and a little finely chopped rind YUM)

This part is a little tricky, you need cheese cloth which you can find at the grocery store. If not using greek yogurt you HAVE to do this or the results will be too watery. Layer a few pieces of cloth and plop the yogurt in the middle, pull up the sides of the cloth and lightly twist, you will see the whey drain out. Let it drain for a few hours and your result is yogurt cheese. I did this for 30 mins with Greek yogurt and not much whey came out, so yay.

Preheat over to 300F and bring some water to a boil. Once your water is boiled add about an inch to an oven proof dish and place in the oven. The cheesecake needs the moisture in the oven so it doesn't crack (it may still crack).

In a mixing bowl add cream cheese and sugar, cream together. Lightly fold in yogurt, flour, vanilla and egg whites.

Pour filling onto the crust, bake for an hour at 300F. After an hour, shut the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool with the door ajar. Chill for a couple hours before serving, I usually make this the night before and it comes out amaaaaazing!

I wish I had a better photo to show you how awesome this low fat cheesecake really is, but this one will do!