Category Archives: Healthful Eating
For years, a recipe for making a healthier pizza crust from cauliflower has made the rounds. Although interested, I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to try making it. Like Tres Leche Cake, it was too labor-intensive to fit my criteria for a Hasty Tasty Meal. Thanks to Green Giant, that’s no longer the case.
Cauliflower pizza crust is pricey ($4.99 at my local grocery store), but is worth the investment if you’re craving pizza and can’t sacrifice nutrition. Yes, nutritional pizza is no longer an oxymoron.
I baked mine in my Power Air Fryer Oven 400°F but it works better in a conventional oven at 450°
Here’s how I made a sausage and mushroom pizza:
Reasonably Healthy Cauliflower Crust Sausage and Mushroom Pizza
Makes 2 2-slice servings.
- 1 frozen cauliflower pizza crust
- 1 8 oz. can low sodium tomato sauce
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 patty fully cooked turkey sausage
- 1 tsp. Italian seasonings
- 1 can mushrooms, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses (2/3 cup mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan)
- cooking spray
- optional salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Remove cauliflower crust from its packaging. Prebake crust directly on the rack for 12-15 minutes.
- While crust bakes, combine sauce, seasonings (including garlic), and turkey sausage patty in a blender or food processor. Don’t overprocess. Stir in mushrooms. Also, grate cheeses if needed.
- Carefully remove crust from the oven using a pizza peel or large spatula.
- Spread the sauce over the crust and sprinkle the chopped onion and pepper.
- Cover with shredded cheese and return pizza to the oven, again placing it directly on the oven rack.
- Bake just until browned and bubbly (approximately 6 minutes). Carefully remove the pizza and allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes.
- Slice into 4 pieces and serve.
Each slice is only 140 calories (280 calories per 2-slice servings), or 8 WW points per serving.*
*Unofficial points calculated using the WW app recipe builder.
I’m in the mood for grits this morning, so I’m revisiting this post from last year.
I had fun using several of my kitchen gadgets to make my healthier version of taco bowls. First, I “fried” the taco shells in my new Power Air Fryer oven. I cooked my chicken breast in my Instant Pot Duo Mini 3-quart, shredded it using my Cuisinart, and heated my cheese sauce in my microwave oven. The payoff was a delicious and filling meal that counts only 3 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.
HASTY TASTY TACO BOWLS
- OLE tortillas
- ½ pound chicken breasts (Fresh or frozen)
- 1 can Ro*Tel (you pick heat level)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 jar Tostitos Queso con Salsa (or similar brand)
- Fresh cilantro (optional)
- Form each tortilla into a bowl using a mold or oven-proof bowl.
- Air-fry at 370°F for 12 minutes.
- Place chicken breasts and contents of a can of Ro*Tel into the pot of a pressure cooker. Cook under pressure 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own.
- While chicken cooks, prep beans, corn, onions, and cilantro and combine.
- Carefully open pressure cooker and remove the chicken (replace lid to trap in the heat). Shred chicken and return to cooker.
- Stir in beans, corn, onions, and cilantro mixture with the shredded chicken. Cover and allow residual heat to warm the beans and corn.
- Pour Queso con Salsa into a heatproof measuring pitcher and heat 2-3 minutes in the microwave oven, stirring occasionally.
- Place taco bowl shell on a plate, fill with 1/4 of the mixture, and then drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the queso con salsa. Serve immediately.
I love bagels but not the kind in grocery stores. Our time living in New Jersey spoiled me for fresh, NY style bagels. I’m not returning to the northeast anytime soon, so I’m making my own. I won’t heat my Florida kitchen using the oven, either, so here’s my take on air fryer bagels using a recipe I found in the Weight Watchers’ Facebook group.
- 1/2 cup self-rising flour
- 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- coarse salt for coating
- Combine flour and yogurt and mix well. Allow dough to rest 30 minutes and then knead 4-5 times.
- Bring 1 quart water to boil in a large saucepan.
- Separate dough into 4 spheres. Shape bagels by punching the middle of each sphere and spinning the dough until desired shape.
- Drop each bagel into the boiling water, turning after 2 minutes.
- After boiling bagels for a total of 4 minutes, remove to drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle tops with coarse salt.
- Place bagels in air fryer and set for 390° for 7 minutes.
- Remove and enjoy with your favorite cream cheese or jam!
Do these bagels taste as good as NY bagels? Not even close. However, they’re good enough, and these bagels are only 2 SmartPoints® on the Weight Watchers® program!
My husband loves turkey, and I indulge him because I love him and turkey, too. Turkey is an inexpensive protein. It’s not exclusively a holiday meal, either. We have turkey year around.
But we live in sunny Florida. Nobody wants a hot kitchen after using an oven for several hours, especially in summer. I researched alternatives (No to the indoor turkey fryer, and no to the electric roaster). I’ve successfully pressure cooked and slow cooked a turkey breast with good results, yet never a full turkey (and I love the dark meat).
After watching one too many Sunday morning infomercials for the 10-quart Power Pressure Cooker XL, in which Eric Theiss exuberantly shows off a whole turkey cooked in 40 minutes, I ordered one for a birthday gift for myself. I was skeptical because I want stainless steel pots, not nonstick-coated aluminum. The PPCXL has only the nonstick-coated aluminum inner pot. As far as I know, there is no stainless steel replacement pot that will fit it. I resigned myself to the nonstick pot, though, and tested the cooker as a turkey roaster.
Oh my goodness! I am so pleased with the results, and so is my family. Now turkey dinners aren’t limited to cool weather months. There are a few tricks to my pressure cooked turkey, though. First, it must be no larger than 12 pounds. Mine weighed in a tad over 11. Second, use a bit of butter. I thoroughly greased the bottom of the nonstick inner pot with butter. I also put a little butter between the skin and the breast meat on either side of the wishbone. If you like crispy skin (we don’t eat skin), you’ll need to brown it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes before carving. Finally, I let pressure drop completely before opening the cooker and removing the turkey. From prepping the turkey to serving it took a total of 2 hours, still much quicker than oven roasting.
As for the nonstick coated pot I detest, it fared well and cleaned up easily in hot soapy water. I baby it with nylon or silicone tools and gentle scrubbing, though. Except for the nonstick coated pot, I’m impressed with the performance of the 10-quart PPCXL. I own an older model PPCXL that’s noisier and a bit more difficult to use, so Tristar has made improvements I like. If you’re in the market for a large multi-cooker, consider the 10 quart Power Pressure Cooker XL. (Check out the video on YouTube for the infomercial) If you want something smaller, stick with Instant Pot or other brands that offer the stainless steel inner pot.
TURKEY UNDER PRESSURE
Equipment needed: 10 quart or larger pressure cooker. chef’s knife, measuring cup
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 whole turkey, 9-11 pounds, thawed
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 rib celery, halved
- 1 clove garlic. chopped
- 1 carrot, halved
- 1 pepper, any kind, chopped
- 2 cups water
- seasonings (salt, pepper, poultry seasonings)
- Divide butter and use 1 Tbsp. to coat bottom of the pressure cooker’s pot.
- Pour 2 cups water into the pot.
- Place the turkey inside the pot, breast side up. Stuff the cavity with the onion, garlic, celery, pepper, and carrot.
- Gently separate the skin from the breast meat and insert 1½ tsp. butter on either side of the wishbone.
- Generously sprinkle turkey with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
- Seal pressure cooker and bring to pressure. On the PPCXL, select Chicken/Meat and adjust time to 45 minutes.
- When the turkey has cooked for 45 minutes under pressure, remove from heat (or hit Cancel button) and allow pressure to drop completely on its own (approximately 15 minutes).
- Carefully remove the turkey from the pot using lifters or two sets of tongs. Place on a carving board and cover loosely with foil.
- Strain the cooking liquid and reserve for making gravy, soup, and/or dressing.
- Allow turkey to rest another 10-15 minutes before carving. Serve and enjoy!
Happy New Year!
Do you know the difference between brown rice and white? White rice is refined. It’s had the brown coating removed. So brown rice is actually rice. White rice is refined rice, like whole wheat flour and refined flour. Because I try to keep my carbs complex, I prefer brown rice to white. It also has more taste. But it takes a lot longer to cook than regular rice.
There are a number of recipes available for cooking brown rice. There are a number of recipes available for cooking brown rice in the pressure cooker. I’ve tried most of them. But it annoys me that my new Instant Pot comes with a rice setting that works only for white (refined) rice. The Power Pressure Cooker XL and a few other models have settings for brown rice, but many don’t. Here’s my work around:
Take 1 cup brown rice and rinse. Cover with 1 1/4 cups water and soak for one hour. Set a timer. Do other stuff. Check Facebook. Whatever. After an hour, add salt or other flavorings, seal the Instant Pot (or other brand multi-cooker you use), and select Rice. (Soaking brown rice also shortens cooking time in a stovetop pressure cooker, too. ) At the end of the cooking time, hit cancel and allow pressure to drop on its own 10 minutes. Release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the pot and fluff rice with a fork. You have 4 servings of perfectly cooked brown rice.
This has worked every time for me. If it’s too much trouble to soak ahead of time, just cook the rice for 22 minutes followed by the 10 minute pressure release. (For stovetop, I cook 15 minutes under pressure followed by 10 minutes before releasing pressure.)
I like using the special rice cooking setting because it’s convenient. However, if you use the manual method, you have the opportunity to sauté the brown rice a couple of minutes first to develop flavor. It’s up to you.
Add more whole grains to your diet as you begin the new year. You’ll be healthier for it!