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


I don't know about you but I'm still stuffing everything that didn't quite get polished off during the annual holiday feeding frenzy into my open and eager mouth. There are still about six pieces of Jamies delicious divinity and half a dozen fruitcake cookies made by a friend and me, not to mention two fruitcake.

Why do I feel that I can't start the New Year with an empty stomach? My waistbands are tight and my self-control is loose. Apparently the answer is just to cut calories on foods that I am preparing now and hope that things even out in both the calorie and waistline departments.

1. Use low-fat sour cream or yogurt when your recipe calls for sour cream or yogurt. Add sugar and /or additional seasoning if the recipe is more tart than desired when yogurt is substituted for sour cream.
2. Instead of regular chocolate chips substitute half as many mini-chocolate chips. Since the chips are small the spread throughout the batter.
3. Use fat-free egg substitute instead of whole eggs. You won't sacrifice taste and you will reduce cholesterol and fat.
4. Substitute light cream cheese (Neufchatel) in dips and spreads and on bagels. Light gives you 40% less fat and 33% less cholesterol.
5. Reduce the amount of meat by 1/4 to 1/3 in main dishes but add extra rice, pasta or potatoes for satisfying, low-fat meal.
6. In egg recipes, use only 1 or 2 eggs and make up the difference with fat-free substitute. You get the familiar taste but less fat.
7. No matter what size pan the recipe calls for, bake bar cookies in 15 x10-inch baking pan and cut into smaller pieces. Watch carefully as cooking temperature for thinner bars may need to be reduced 25 degrees.
8. Use low-fat or non-fat mayonnaise or salad dressings in salads, spread and dips.
9. Make an easy, low-fat dressing for vegetable salads by using equal parts low-fat or non-fat mayo and low-fat sour cream. Add garlic powder and pepper.
10. Eat everything but in half portions and no seconds. No snacking, either.


Take these to work, they are delicious and will make you feel very virtuois (especially if you use 1/2 cup egg substitute for the egg and whites). A small apple or celery sticks will help fill any void in the stomach.

1 large egg
2 egg whites from large eggs
2 tablespoons non-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon canned sliced ripe olives
1 scallion, thinly sliced including greens
salt and pepper
whole wheat or 7-grain bread
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts, or other salad greens, chopped

With a fork, beat egg, egg whites and 1 tablespoon water. Add egg mixture to hot non stick pan; scramble. Combine mayo mustard, olives and onion; add eggs, salt and pepper and spoon egg salad evenly over a bread slice. Top with sprouts and remaining bread. Makes 1 sandwich big enough for two serious dieters.


The broth can be canned or made from bouillon cubs if you don't have any stock made by boiling your turkey bones.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (yes, 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 dried bay leaf
½ pound banana (or other) squash, peeled
¾ pound Swiss chard
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes, preferably with Italian seasonings
2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper
grated parmesan cheese

Combine oil, onion and garlic. Stir over high heat until onion begins to brown. Add broth and bay leaf, bring to a boil. Cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes and add to broth. Cover and simmer until squash is tender. Rinse chard, stack and cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips. Add chard, tomatoes and beans to broth. Boil, stirring often, until chard stems are tender when pierced with a fork, about 4 minutes. Season and serve; pass the cheese. Makes 1 quart.


Adapted from the Eastern European classic dish.

¾ pound boned beef top sirloin, about 1-inch thick
¼ pound thin-sliced mushrooms (can use canned)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons paprika
8 ounces dried egg noodles
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup nonfat or low-fat sour cream
chopped parsley

Trim fat from beef. Cut across the grain into 1/8-inch slices. Heat non-stick frying pan. When hot, add beef and stir-fry until meat slightly browned. Pour into a bowl. Add Mushrooms to pan and stir often until browned; add to beef. Add onion to pan and stir until lightly browned,, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir paprika into onion. Meanwhile, cook noodles until barely tender. Drain and place on large platter; keep warm mix broth and cornstarch; add to onion mixture and stir just until mixture boils. Return beef and mushrooms to pan and stir until hot. Spoon meat mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley.


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