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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lager Molasses Steak Sauce

Grilled New York Strip Steak with Beer and Molasses Steak Sauce
Beef is not permitted for the first year of the Swank Diet but after that 4 oz per week is allowed if it is lean and well trimmed.  But steak sauce is so good on many things like eggs, chicken, salmon, stews, soups and it would be great on the Engine 2 Meatloaf recipe on this blog.  This sauce is one of the best I have tried.  

Makes 2  1/2 cups
Keeps in the fridge a few weeks


·         1 tbsp (15 ml) dry mustard powder (such as Keens)
·         2 tsp (10 ml) cold water
·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         1 medium onion, finely diced
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         2 cups (500 ml)  ketchup
·         3/4 cup (175 ml) lager beer
·         1/2 cup (125 ml) molasses
·         1/2 cup (125 ml) apple cider vinegar
·         1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar, packed
·         2 tbsp  (30 ml) Worcestershire sauce
·         1 tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard
·         1 tbsp (15 ml) cayenne
·         1 tbsp (15 ml) smoked paprika


In a small bowl, stir together mustard powder and water until smooth.  Set aside
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and onion.  Cook stirring until softened but not browned 5 - 7 minutes.  Add garlicand cook stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Whish in remaining ingredients, including prepared mustard.  Increase heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced to about 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) 50 - 60 minutes.  Reduce heat and stir more often toward the end of coking time to prevent sauce from scorching. 

Remove saucepan from heat and let sauce cool to room temperature.

Home-made Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup

Makes about 16 ounces (2 cups)

Like Hersheys chocolate syrup but without the chemicals and high fructose corn syrup.


3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dash salt


  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
  2. Stir constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon until it boils.
  3. Allow it to boil for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Syrup will be very thin. Allow to cool completely and it will thicken to about the same consistency as Hershey’s syrup.
Store the syrup in a mason jar or any other container. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Original Recipe at

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pumpkin Brown Sugar Cashew Biscotti

M-m-m, cookies! These are on my list to bake for Christmas this year.  I found this recipe at Whole Foods website. Their nutritional count says 0 grams saturated fat per cookie but there are 2 eggs in the recipe. I ran the recipe through my nutrition calculator and it came out the same. Maybe 2 eggs spread over 36 cookies works out to be only a trace of sat fat. Just to be safe, count it as 0.5 gram sat fat per cookie.


1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and eggs until well combined. In a second bowl, whisk together flour, cashews, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.   

Using slightly damp hands, shape dough into 3 (6x2 1/2-inch) logs and arrange on a large, parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, spacing them a few inches apart. (This will result in medium-size biscotti. For smaller cookies, shape into 8x2-inch logs.) Bake until just firm and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 300°F.   

Using a serrated knife, cut each log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange on 2 large, parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and bake, rotating the baking sheets and flipping biscotti every 10 minutes or so, until dried out and just crisp, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely, and then serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36 biscotti
Amount Per Biscotti
calories 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1 g1 %
Saturated Fat 0 g1 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Original Recipe at Whole Foods

Monday, December 8, 2014

Turkey, Avocado, and Hummus Roll Ups

No bread or wrap, the turkey is the wrap!

Serves: 1
  • 1-2 slices of turkey
  • 2 slices of avocado
  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  1. Lay the turkey out flat. If using 2 slices then lay slices onto one another.
  2. Spread hummus on top of the turkey. Add the avocado and roll up.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 roll up Calories: 100 Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 6 WW Points +: 3 Fiber: 3Protein: 8

Original Recipe: Organize Yourself Skinny

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Original Recipe: My Fitness Pal

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Peppermint Meringue Cookies

Peppermint Meringue Cookies Recipe

Makes 56 very small cookies


2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white sugar
3 peppermint candy canes, finely crushed


  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites, vinegar and salt to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar while continuing to whip until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold in 1/3 of the crushed candy canes, reserving the rest. 
  3. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls, one inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets, or use a piping bag.  Sprinkle remaining crushed candy canes over the top.
  4. Bake for 90 minutes in the preheated oven, or until dry. Cool on baking sheets.


  1. Be careful, they will brown if the oven is too hot. 
  2. A plain cookie is easy to make too. Substitute 1/2 teaspoon vanilla for all of the crushed peppermint. Or experiment with other additions like finely chopped walnuts.
  3. Pipe them on to the cookie tray with a large star tip and they make pretty cookies.

Original Recipe:All Recipes

Friday, December 5, 2014

Low Fat Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

The original recipe from Giada De  Laurentiis received excellent ratings. This one is a healthier version of Giada's and its delicious, easy and Swank friendly. 


4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of olive oil 
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp drained capers
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped coarsely 


  1. Mix flour, salt and pepper together. Then, dredge the chicken lightly in the flour. 
  2. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes per side then set the chicken aside on a plate. 
  3. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the pan.  Add a little oil to the pan if necessary.  Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Check seasoning, add more if needed.
  4. Add the wine to the pot and cook it until it reduces by half, about 3 to 5 minutes. 
  5. Add the tomatoes with their juice, capers, chicken broth, and oregano. 
  6. Return the chicken to the pan and cover with the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook the chicken for about 20-30 minutes.  Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken with tongs and place on a platter.  
  7. If necessary, cook the sauce longer to thicken it. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with basil. 
  8. Serve on a bed of whole wheat spaghetti

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 280
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12 g18 %
  Saturated Fat 2 g  11 %
  Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
  Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %

Tangy Apple Fennel Slaw

Tangy Apple Fennel Slaw

Prep Time  15 min  | Total Time  15 min
Servings  6


3 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1/4  cup lemon juice
tablespoon cream-style prepared horseradish
tablespoon olive oil
teaspoon honey
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/8  teaspoon pepper
Lemon peel strips, if desired


  1. In large bowl, place apples and fennel.
  2. In small bowl, mix lemon juice, horseradish, oil, honey, salt and pepper until blended. Pour over apples and fennel; toss to coat. Garnish with lemon peel.


    Add chives, parsley, mint or basil for extra color and freshness.This slaw can sit in the refrigerator up to 1 hour before serving. Make sure you cover it tightly.

    Recipe Source: Betty Crocker

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

    Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

    • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (about 1.5 pounds), cut into 2" cubes
    • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, in natural juice
    • 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
    • 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drain
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1" strips
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into 1" strips
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    Use a 6 quart slow-cooker.
    Pour juice from canned pineapple chunks into a small mixing bowl. Add to juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and honey, whisk to combine. Add cornstarch and stir until combined.
    Place chicken in slow-cooker, add pineapple chunks and water chestnuts. Pour pineapple mixture over chicken, cover. Add bell pepper the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Serve chicken over a bed of quinoa or other favorite grain.

    NOTE: Pineapple is a source of bromelain, which keeps bones and joints healthy.Other add-in suggestions: sliced zucchini, snow peas, green beans, matchstick carrots,diced almonds. Add any of these the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

    Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup | Calories: 255 |Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fats: 2 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 24 mg 

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 16 oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, drained, and squeezed to remove excess water)
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • ⅓ cup fat free chicken broth
    • 2½ lbs extra lean ground turkey 
    • ¾ cup bread crumbs
    • 3 egg whites


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray. I actually line my baking sheet with foil and then spray with cooking spray.
    2. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat olive oil until hot. Then add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is tender (about 5-6 minutes total time).
    3. Add spinach to pan and combine with onion mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth and mix well to combine. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked out (evaporated). I don't have much liquid in my pan after I combine all these, but it will depend on how well you drained your spinach. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
    4. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and egg. Add cooled onion/spinach mixture to the meat. I do all of this step with my hands, but you can use a spoon if you prefer.
    5. 5. With your hands, create meatballs that are about 1 - 1½ inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave a little bit of space between each meatball. When you are done shaping your meatballs, you will probably have about 40-42 meatballs from this recipe. Don't need that many? Freeze them after baking or cut this recipe in half (but I say freeze them and then you've done the work only once and have a future meal).
    6. Bake until your meatballs are cooked through with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F - which was about 20 minutes for my oven. Remove from oven and serve as desired.
    Nutrition Facts
    Servings 10.0
    Amount Per Serving
    calories 219
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 11 g17 %
    Saturated Fat 3 g13 %
    Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
    Trans Fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 85 mg28 %

    Original Recipe at Home Cooking Memories

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Baked Salmon

    • Serves 4 - 6,

    • 2 pounds salmon, skin removed and cut into 4 or 6 fillets 
    • Zest and juice of 2 limes
    • 3 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce 
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • Scallions, for garnish
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Place fillets of fish on prepared pan. 
    3. Grate a little lime zest over each piece of of salmon.
    4. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, sriracha, brown sugar, and salt. 
    5. Pour sauce over salmon fillets. 
    6. Place salmon in oven and roast for 16 minutes.
    7. Sprinkle with scallions and serve
    Recipe from Baker By Nature