Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Oh mashed potatoes, how I do love thee.  Mashed potatoes definitely make the cut for my last meal and would be eaten with a carefully crafted gravy volcano.

My mom used to make these mashed potatoes called “Deluxe Mashed Potatoes” on the holidays and they were delicious, so I tried to mimic them the best that I could.  This is a recipe for some cheesy mashed potato goodness.  If you are on a diet, you either need to close this page now, or just say “screw it” and enjoy 🙂

 Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

8-10 medium potatoes

4oz. cream cheese softened

4tbsp sour cream

1 tbsp milk

6 tbsp butter

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried dill

¼ tsp salt

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Peel and quarter potatoes.  Cook potatoes in a large sauce pan with enough water to cover them for about 20-25 mins or untill tender.  Drain liquid.

2.  You can use a food processor or electric hand mixer.  If using a food processor you may have to do the mixing in 2 sessions so divide ingredients as needed.   Combine potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, garlic powder, dill, salt and shredded cheese.  Beat/pulse mixture until fluffy.

3.  Put mixture into a  9×13 baking dish and bake for 30 mins covered, and 15 mins uncovered

Makes approx. 8 servings

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Citrus Fennel Salad

I recently ordered a bulb of fennel in my grocery order and was more than a little intimidated with the bulb that I received.  I had no idea they looked like that and was a little confused on how to attack it.  After watching a few instructional youtube videos I felt confident to make a little something with it.  When I first cracked into it, I was overcome with the delicious licorice scent and seriously spent a few minutes just smelling it.  One of my favourite salads is a combo of fennel and orange, but I also had some grapefruit on hand so I tried a little combo of the 3 with a few ingredients for the dressing and voila!  Super fresh and tasty, and a little bit pretty too 🙂

Citrus Fennel Salad

1 bulb of fennel

1 large orange

1 pink grapefruit

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp cracked black pepper

1.  Cut off stalks of fennel (freeze and save for a soup stock if you like) and peel bulb.  Thinly slice either by hand or with a mandolin.  Cut orange and grapefruit into pieces.  Toss fennel, orange and grapefruit together

2.  In a small dish mix together olive oil, ac vinegar and sesame seeds.  Toss dressing in with the fennel mixture.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings

Per Serving:

Calories 90      Fat 4g      Carbs 13g      Protein 1.6g

Carrot Cake

I have a few loves in life, my son, my boyfriend, my dogs and carrot cake.  Seriously though, Carrot Cake would be at the top of the list as a part of my last meal…along with waffles, lasagna, poutine and a variety of other things that would put me into a food coma.  Although I have tried carrot cake from pretty much anywhere I could get my hands on it, I had never attempted to make it before….until now :).

Although I appreciate when carrot cake gets all “fancy”, I prefer a nice simple one with a good cream cheese icing which is what the recipe below gives.  I have also decreased the amount of sugar that usually resides in the cream cheese icing, because I feel it takes away from the richness that cream cheese has to offer.  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

3 eggs

½ tsp vanilla

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1½ tsp baking soda

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

1½ cinnamon

2 cups grated carrots

¾ cups walnut pieces

Cream Cheese Icing:

½ cup cream cheese (half a package)

¼ cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

1½ cups icing sugar

¼ cup walnut pieces

 

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  In mixing bowl combine sugar and oil.  Beat in eggs one at a time and and vanilla.

2.  In another bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Stir in grated carrot and ¾ cups walnut pieces.  Be careful not to overmix, just stir till everything is coated.  Pour mixture in a 9×13 pan and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cake on a wire rack.

4.  For icing: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together using an electric hand mixer.  Gradually beat in icing sugar and beat till fluffy.  Spread onto a cooled cake and sprinkle ¼ cup walnut pieces over top.

 

 

 

Cauliflower Shepherds Pie

Mashed potatoes add that oh so creamy delicious layer to shepherds pie, but it also adds the carbs and fat that I am trying to avoid these days.  So I decided to give the cauliflower top a go and see how it turned out.  I was skeptical because mashed potatoes are up there with my favourite foods, but the result was actually quite good.  It also didn’t leave me feeling super heavy after I ate it.  I will definitely be revisiting this one again.

Cauliflower Shepherds Pie

1 head of cauliflower – chopped

2 tbsp low fat sour cream

1 egg yolk

¼ cup skim milk

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ cup low fat cheddar cheese – shredded

1 tbsp canola oil

1 clove garlic – minced

1 lb extra lean ground beef

1 cup of frozen peas

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp paprika

300ml low sodium beef broth (1/3 of the box)

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp cold water

1.  In a pot, boil cauliflower till soft.  Put cauliflower, sour cream, egg yolk, milk, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse till smooth.  Stir shredded cheddar into mixture and set aside.

2.  In a saucepan heat oil and add garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes on med-high heat and add ground beef.  Cook till brown throughout.  Add peas, beef broth, worcestershire sauce,  thyme, onion powder and paprika bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  Mix cornstarch and cold water in a glass or small dish and stir into beef mixture.  Let beef mixture simmer for 10 minutes.

3.  Spread beef mixture in a baking dish.  Layer Cauliflower mixture on top.  Place in oven on middle rack and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Makes 6 Servings

Per Serving:

Calories 203      Fat 7g      Carbs 10g      Protein 21g

Wild Fried Rice

I love fried rice.  It is a versatile dish that can be used as an accompaniment or even as a main.  Wild rice was my choice for this dish as it provides a varied texture and has more depth in flavour, and when I cooked it I replaced a quarter of the water with some chicken broth for a little extra flavour.  I put a fair amount of veg into this recipe to cut back on the carbs that usually reside in this dish.  Enjoy this simple and tasty version of Wild Fried Rice!

Wild Fried Rice

2 cups wild rice – cooked

1 egg – lightly beaten

½ tbsp vegetable oil

1 clove garlic – minced

¼ cup frozen peas

¼ cup carrots – diced

¼ cup celery – diced

1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

¼ tsp pepper

1.  In a large frying pan heat oil and add garlic, peas, carrots and celery.  While the veg are sautéing scramble egg in another pan and set aside once done.

2.  Once veg are tender, add in rice, soy sauce and pepper, stir well and heat through.  Stir in egg.  Enjoy.

Makes 4 servings

Per Serving:

Calories 116.5       Fat 1.5g      Carbs 20g      Protein 5g

Peashoot Salad

I have been on a bit of a peashoot kick lately.  They are a nice break from the usual greens and they have such a great rich and nutty flavour.  I usually just toss them in as an addition to a burger or stir fry, but I wanted to make them the highlight of a recipe.  I made a Peashoot Salad which was super delicious, fresh and healthy, yum!

I’m a big fan of multicoloured heirloom carrots, mainly because of how they look but also because they are so very delicious.

The dressing was so simple to make and will be making an appearance in my food more often

Not only does it taste fantastic, it also looks pretty which is an added bonus if you eat with your eyes like I do.

Peashoot Salad

4 cups peashoots – chopped

1 large carrot – julienned

2 tbsp fresh basil – chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tbsp agave nectar syrup

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp low sodium soy sauce

2 tsp sesame seeds – lightly toasted

1.  In a small bowl mix together olive oil, agave nectar, rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds.

2.  In a large bowl toss peashoots, carrots, and basil.  Toss dressing in.  Serve right away.

Makes 4 servings

Per Serving:

Calories 69      Fat 4.5g      Carbs 3.5g      Protein 3.5g

Low Carb Noodle Stir Fry

I have been trying to cut down alot of the carbs out of my diet in my attempts to shed some of these oh so stubborn preggo pounds, so when I came across Shirataki Noodles I was very intrigued.  Shirataki Noodles are noodles made out of tofu and come in different sizes (spaghetti, angel hair, linguine etc.).  I was skeptical of how good these could actually be, but they were significantly less in the categories of calories, fat and carbs in comparison to regular noodles, so I gave it a go.

I was impressed with the results of using it with a stir fry.  It says on the package that you can substitute it in pasta dishes as well, but I don’t think I can go there with these just yet….or ever :), but they work great in asian inspired dishes.

  Low Carb Noodle  Stir Fry

10-12 large prawns

½ tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic – minced

1 cup green beans

½ zucchini – chopped

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp teriyaki sauce

1 pkg of Tofu Shirataki Noodles

1.  In a large saucepan or wok heat olive oil, and add garlic.  After a minute stir in Prawns,  green beans and zucchini.  Cook until prawns are pink throughout and veg are tender. Add soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.

2.  While stirfry is cooking, drain liquid out of shiratki noodles and rinse well.  Boil in water for 2-3 minutes, drain and rinse.

3.  Pour stirfry over bed of noodles and enjoy.

Makes 2 servings

Per Serving:

Calories 133     Fat 2.5g      Carbs 11.5g      Protein 13g