Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


LEFTOVERS ROLLING AROUND THE REFRIGERATOR AND ON THE HIPS

Which do you want to get rid of the most...the holiday residue in the kitchen or the pounds left in storage on the body? It's a tough choice but with careful cooking you can get rid of both simultaneously.

If you have leftover cake or cookies do as your grandmother did and turn them into a relatively low-calorie dessert by breaking the cake or cookies into pieces, mixing it with torn up white bread or rolls, and covering the mixture with low-fat milk. When your oven is on for other cooking, bake pudding until it appears to have set (about one hour at 350 F.). The cake or cookies and bread will have absorbed the milk, softened and swelled from the steam. The stale food turns into a pudding so good that guests often ask for the recipe. The dessert is lower in calories than most desserts and a good way to utilize baked goods that have either gotten a bit stale or that you are tired of.

The following recipes have 30% or fewer calories from fat and they can be made to utilize leftovers. They are adapted from Great Taste,Low Fat a series of books that came out a few years ago from Time-Life Books.


THICKENING SOUPS WITHOUT EGGS, FLOUR, TAPIOCA OR CORNSTARCH

1. Mash some of the vegetables in the soup against the side of the pot with a fork, leaving the rest chunky. Or puree some of the vegetables (along with some of the liquid) in a food processor or blender and then stir the puree back into the soup.
2. For a cream soup, without any cream or thickening, transfer all of the soup - in batches - to a food processor or blender, then reheat.
3. Make low-fat dumplings from scratch or with a mix and cook on top of the soup.


MAKING LOW-FAT SALAD DRESSINGS

1. Vinaigrette. The classic vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar. By using a milder vinegar such as rice vinegar, you can reduce the amount of oil to suit your taste.
2. Mayonnaise-based. Use reduced fat mayonnaise, part-skim ricotta cheese, low-fat cottage cheese (pureed), buttermilk, reduced-fat cottage cheese (pureed), light sour cream and/or low-fat ricotta (ricotta).
3. Mashed or pureed vegetables, such as potatoes or roasted bell peppers, give some dressings, full-bodied texture.
4. Honey, mustard, chutney and chili sauce will all help thicken dressings.
5. Make the dressings so flavorful with herbs, spices, fat-free condiments that you don't miss the fat.


CALIFORNIA CHICKEN OR TURKEY SALAD WITH AVOCADO

Leftover turkey or chicken breast can be used, or poach the breasts for this meal-in-a-salad. And, remember potatoes are not fattening. Replace watercress with sprouts or Bibb lettuce, if you prefer.

1 pound small red potatoes, quartered (or leftover cooked potatoes), cooked
1 cup chicken broth (from can, bouillon cube, or cooking the bones)
l/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1 cup cooked turkey or chicken, or more
2 bunches watercress with tough stems removed
4 tomatoes
l/4 cup fresh lime juice or 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup diced avocado

If raw chicken or turkey is used, bring chicken broth and rosemary to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, add the uncooked chicken and cook 10 minutes. Remove chicken and save the broth for another use. Cut breast into l/2-inch slices. Toss potatoes with watercress. Cut 2 of the tomatoes into 6 wedges each and add to potatoes. Combine lime juice, oil and salt. Finely chop the 2 remaining tomatoes and add to lime mixture. Pour all but l/4 cup of the tomato dressing over the mixture in the bowl, add the chicken and toss. When serving, drizzle the reserved tomato dressing over salad, sprinkle with avocado and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Makes 4 servings.


RUSSIAN CABBAGE AND BEEF SOUP

Fresh or leftover roast beef can be used and if you have leftover cabbage salad it can replace the sugar, lemon juice and cabbage called for in the recipe. Leftover cooked carrots and parsnips can be used, or other cooked vegetables, substituted. If you don't have a parsnip, add another carrot.

2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cabbage, shredded
1 pound beef, cut into l/2-inch chunks
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 parsnip, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup snipped dill
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

Combine tomatoes, broth, lemon juice, sugar, salt, garlic and 2 cups of water, stirring until well combined. Add cabbage, beef, onion, carrots, parsnip and 3/4 cup of the dill. Cover and cook until cabbage and beef are tender. Serve topped with sour cream and remaining dill. Makes 4 servings.

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