I had forgotten all about this one. We used to have it all the time. Someone always ordered it if we went to Denny’s for dinner. (I always had a French Toast Slam, Denny’s is for breakfast.) You don’t need a recipe for this, look at the picture. But here is Todd Wilbur’s clone anyway. Regardless of its simplicity, it really is a delicious sandwich.


I used havarti instead of Swiss cheese because I love havarti. I used about 1/2 tablespoon ICBINB on each side of the sandwich, and they were nicely crunchy and buttery tasting. I also used Roma tomatoes because they are the only one Someone likes. “I don’t think Denny’s makes them any better,” was Someone’s assessment. At 550 calories, we can have these rarely.

Oops, I forgot to say I raided the Halloween Cauldron for dessert, a fun-size twix bar and a fun-size kit-kat bar for a total of 150 calories. Yum.

Farmer’s Cheese

Ever made cheese? I have tried before but it didn’t turn out like this! I was looking for a mozzarella recipe but this recipe caught my eye because the cheese is not very common. It is used to make Verinicas but could be used in place of ricotta or even cream cheese in a pinch.  I used 2 cups 1% milk and at first I didn’t let it actually boil. After adding 2 tsp lemon juice, no curdling. I added another teaspoon, still no luck. Then I decided to start again. I set the milk back on the heat and let it fully boil. I didn’t need to add more lemon juice because it was beginning to curdle. I let it sit for a bit and drained the whey, squeezing the cheesecloth ball gently. It was just like farmer cheese! I put it in a bowl and let it chill a bit and it looks great:


This is about 1/4 cup or 75 grams of cheese. My only problem is how to calculate the calories! The same as low fat ricotta, I guess. I wonder if I could use the whey in place of buttermilk.

For lunch I had Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

Chicken Patties with Mustard Sauce

This is a recipe I used to make years ago. It has an “excellent” comment written by the recipe. It is from Rosemary Wadey’s Main Dishes for Every Occasion but I couldn’t find it on the net anywhere. I have made several low-calorie substitutions so here is my version:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Chicken Patties With Mustard Sauce

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
4 slices wheat bread, low calorie — soaked in water and squeezed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup panko
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
2 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 cup water

In a food processor, coarsely chop chicken. Add bread slices, 1/8 cup canola oil, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; process until finely minced, scrape sides often. Chill this mixture at least 30 minutes. Shape meat mixture into 8-1/2-inch thick patties. Dip patties into 1 cup bread crumbs, coat well. Heat remaining 1/8 cup canola oil in a large skillet. Saute patties 10 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and crisp. Put 2 tbsp canola oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions; saute until tender. Stir in flour and mustard until blended. Stir bouillon into hot water. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Cook until thick and smooth. Serve sauce over patties.


I used an ice cream scoop to drop level scoops onto the panko crumbs and ended up with 12 patties. I then cut 4 in half, so each serving is 1 1/2 patties with 350 calories. I added water to the left over English Baked Beans and let them simmer for an hour to make sure ALL the beans were fully cooked.

For lunch I had a Sausage Roll with a green salad and fat-free ranch dressing.

Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad

I have gone to Applebee’s for their lunch special, All-You-Can-Eat-Soup-And-Salad. Tomato Basil Soup, French Onion Soup and ALWAYS the Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad. I have never been tempted by any of the other salads (and they have fried chicken on some of them). I just love this salad. In his Restaurant Recipes 3, Todd Wilbur gave me the power to make my own. I must confess that I have always used cooked shrimp and tried to warm it really quickly so as not to make it rubbery. I liked it okay, but I did get complaints; so for this blog, I decided I had to actually grill raw shrimp. I was willing to endure the de-veining, but then Someone went to the fresh seafood counter and got 24 already de-veined jumbo shrimp. (We only needed half as many jumbos as the number of medium shrimp the recipe called for so we will be gorging on these babies.) We will grill these right before serving the salad. Oh, and you can buy just this recipe here. I used 3 tablespoons agave for the sugar and only 3/8 cup olive oil and I used tomato pulp vinegar instead of red wine vinegar for the bacon viniagrette, but those are the only changes that could be made. We are looking at about 550 calories for each of the 4 salads we will make. (Ask me if I care.) This has pretty good nutrition totals too.


I actually used only 7 cups of spinach and we had BIG servings. Also, I just sprayed the shrimp with canola oil cooking spray before sprinkling with the spice mixture and it worked great but resulted in a revised calorie count of 470. (Hooray!) And it was so good and I am so full!


I had Philly Cheese Steak French Onion Soup from the freezer for lunch and it was very delicious. And here is what I got from my dear ones back from Japan. So much better than my Yatsuhashi.




Cauliflower Cheese Soufflé


Soufflé is another food that struck me, as a child, as the pinnacle of refined cooking. It looks rather stunning on this recipe page and at 400 calories is a luxury worth having as is. However, some of us have saturated fat concerns and so I will substitute canola oil, low-fat milk, half-n-half, and low fat Swiss cheese for the full fat versions. This will reduced the calories to 280. I made 12 small ones because I only had four larger ramekins and this gives people an option to have a smaller portion if desired. I love that I can bake it ahead and then finish in about 20 minutes right before dinner. Here is how they look after the first baking:


Picture and review to come after dinner.


Isn’t it pretty? It was very delicately flavored, maybe too delicate, but then I used dried thyme instead of fresh. I liked it.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

This morning, while reading Andrea’s Blog, she linked to this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. It looked so good that I had to make it this morning. She said it freezes well, so one Thanksgiving recipe is taken care of! The thing I most like about it is that you can cut it into pieces whose calorie count fits your budget. I did make quite a few calorie-reducing changes:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
135 grams graham crackers — crushed
62 grams pecans — chopped
31 grams agave syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
450 grams pumpkin, canned — (15 ounce)
150 grams agave syrup
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Pumpkin Pie Bars.jpg

The house is filled with a wonderful aroma! I got 40 bars out of this, so each 29g serving is just 70 calories! And the taste? I’ll never make pumpkin pie again!

I had Continental Chicken for lunch.




If  the pickiest eater I know comes for dinner tonight, I am sure she will like this dish. You can find it everywhere on the streets of Japan and I have a note next to the recipe that says “excellent”. It is from Cookery for 1 or 2 by Barbara Swain and can be found here (the whole book!) We will cook them on the barbecue and I have some frozen vegetable egg rolls to bake to make a meal. I will post a picture of my plate and comments after dinner. 140 calories are in the egg rolls and the chicken has about 200 calories (hard to say since the sauce contains many of the calories and some will get thrown away).


Everybody loved it.


Cracklin’ Oat Bran-Style Cereal

I love breakfast! There are so many delicious things from which to choose. Therein lies my problem with this meal. I am much better off skipping the choices and eating my Kirkland Chocolate Chip Cookies Dough 190-calorie, 20g protein, 15g fiber protein bar. It keeps me pretty well full until lunch and is so delicious I really don’t crave anything else. Until I start thinking about my old favorites. This Kellogg’s cereal is a real favorite, but it was so expensive that I found a clone recipe and tweaked it and made it myself. The kids said it was better than store-bought. I can’t recall where I found that recipe, but here is one I found today. Use it if you have no trouble with sugar.

I tweaked my old recipe to make it sugar-free and low-calorie enough that I could have it as a snack. Here is the end result:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Cracklin Oat Bran Cereal (or Bars)

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
180 Grams Oats, Rolled (raw)
115 Grams Wheat Bran
20 Grams Coconut Flakes
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Pinch Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
45 Grams Canola Oil
80 Grams Tornai Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Press into sprayed 13 X 9-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cut into 12 bars with a metal spatula. Let cool at least 30 minutes before removing from pan.

It came out too crumbly, due to the fact that I had to guess how much Torani to add to replace both brown sugar and corn syrup in the original recipe. The taste, however, was so nice! I will use the crumbs to top ice cream or yogurt. The serving below was 40 grams with 160 calories and 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk adding 10 calories.


While this is an okay number of calories, it just doesn’t seem worth it to me. It should be nice for others though with 8g fiber, 5g protein, decent amounts of iron, zinc, B6, thiamin, and niacin and low sat-fat, sugars and salt. Speaking of salt, I will omit it in the next batch. I will either increase the syrup or maybe add an egg white to fix the crumble problem.

Lunch will be Verinicas.

English Baked Beans

What goes with a Bacon Butty better than baked beans? I found this recipe. My Quiet Child will want to try this when she sees it. She hates American baked beans but loves Heinz Baked Beans that we get at World Market. I really messed with this recipe and ended up with the following recipe. (I didn’t do it to make it more to my taste but because it was what I had on hand.) I do like the taste, I hope the others do.

* Exported from MasterCook *

English Baked Beans

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 3/4 cups tomatoes, canned
1/4 cup picante sauce
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups great northern beans

Cook beans in 8 cups water in a pressure cooker until almost soft (5 mins for me). Combine all other ingredients in a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat. for about 5 minutes. Puree with a wand blender until smooth. Add beans and continue cooking until liquid has evaporated to your desired consistency and beans are fully cooked.


This should be 12 servings of about 130 calories each. Everyone liked dinner. The baps were great!


Bacon Butty

At my neighborhood grocery store, I saw HP sauce. I’ve never seen it anywhere here besides World Market. I only have one use for HP sauce and that is on a bacon bap. I’ve never tried it on anything else since I don’t really like ketchup or steak sauce and I usually just like how meat tastes plain. But one time I ordered a bacon bap and it was served with a packet of HP sauce and I decided to try it. It was perfection. So this morning I busied myself with making real English Baps, instead of using store-bought hamburger buns. I have never tried this recipe, but I am hoping it will provide that missing quality. Note that corn flour is corn starch in the US. Also I assume strong flour is bread flour, so that is what I used. Also, I used ICBINB. Also, the recipe says to preheat the oven, then tells you to shape the buns and let them rise for 45 minutes, so wait for 35 minutes.


Mine took only 18 minutes in my convection oven at 400 degrees F. They are huge. The recipe said to make 9, but I made 12, then combined 3 of them and made 4 from that. The big ones are about 300 calories each while the 4 smaller ones are just 200. All there is to do now is cook the turkey bacon I had on hand (I can’t find English bacon/back bacon anywhere around here), butter the buns and serve with a special side dish. Check back tonight to see the complete meal. For lunch I had Coconut Chicken.


Philly Cheese Steak Crunch Wraps

If you’ve ever had a Crunch Wrap from Taco Bell, you know how delicious they are. 530 calories makes them a bit on the dangerous side of a diet. I went through a phase of trying to invent new crunch wrap filling, Reuben, ham and cheese, cheese burger, and several more. The one I liked best was the Philly Cheese Steak. It had chopped rib eye steak, bell pepper strips and onion slices all stir fried and topped with mozzarella cheese, then wrapped in a flour tortilla and fried in a tiny bit of canola oil. The Carb Balance tortillas I usually use aren’t big enough for this so I went to the next best thing, Ole’s Xtreme Wellness Whole Wheat Tortillas. They are very soft and taste very good for having 90 calories and 6 grams of fiber. So here is the recipe for tonight’s dinner:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Philly Cheese Steak Crunch Wraps

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
420 grams beef rib eye, R-T-C — thinly sliced when partly frozen
250 grams bell pepper — sliced
150 grams onion — sliced
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, part skim milk — shredded
6 pieces Ole Xtreme Wellness Whole Wheat Flour Tortilla
2 tablespoons canola oil

Stir-fry meat, onions and peppers until meat is done. Sprinkle center of tortilla with 1/6th of the cheese. Spoon 1/6th of the meat mixture onto the center of the tortilla. Pleat the edges of the tortilla onto the filling all around until a bundle is formed. Fry in 1 teaspoon of the oil open side first. Turn and cook until both sides are golden. Serve open side down.


The cheese is under the meat mixture. Since this is only 310 calories, double the cheese might be desirable.  You could place a small corn tostada shell on the top to seal in the filling, or even a large tortilla chip. It is very hard to completely ‘seal’ the filling in. That is why I put the cheese down first.


And here is how the other side looks.


We’ll probably have this with a nice salad. I had Chicken Korma and 120g fresh pear for lunch.

Creamed Goan Meatloaf

I don’t know how widespread throwing meat into a white sauce and serving it on some starch is. I have eaten chopped eggs, chicken, turkey, tuna, sausage and chipped beef in that manner. It is a very easy, quick supper when served on toast. It is a special breakfast when served on hot homemade biscuits. When I was considering what to do with the remainder of the Goan Meatloaf I made, this popped into my mind. I was originally thinking of pouring it over baked potatoes, but then I remembered a treasure I had in the freezer. The last time we went to Popeye’s Chicken, we ordered a family meal that included 6 biscuits. I was watching my intake so I didn’t eat mine, nor did everyone but one person. So I packed them away in the freezer for after the diet. But, I looked them up on the internet and saw they were 200 calories each. Add that to the 221 of my sauce and add some frozen steamed vegetables and we have a luscious dinner under 500 calories!


This is how my recipes look in Mastercook. I thought I would share it with you. Todd Wilbur’s copycat version of Popeye’s Biscuits can be found in Top Secret Recipes Unlocked or can be bought singly here. I made them once and really liked them.


Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday’s cookies turned out so well, I wondered if I could make variations. I found this recipe and made a few calorie-cutting changes. (As always, you Slenderellas out there should try the original because I think they would be melt-in-your-mouth marvelous.) But for the rest of us or those with health concerns, try using fat-free cream cheese and ICBINB. Also swap out both sugars for 1 cup Splenda and 5 tablespoon Torani Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup. To compensate for the extra liquid I used 5 tablespoons powdered egg instead of fresh eggs. Also, I used just 6 ounces mini chocolate chips and it doesn’t look skimpy at all. I got 48 lovely cookies that have 60 calories each. I had one to taste and they are a bit dense, but a very nice flavor. Although they are not brown, they would look nice on the tea tray. Oh, the dough was just right for rolling into logs and slicing and I think they make a very attractive final product.


For lunch I dug out the Ravioli di Portobello from the freezer. Yum!

Chicken and Dumplings

This is a bit like Chicken Gnocchi Soup, but I love dumplings, so I have to add this to my list of favorites. I found a nice-looking recipe here that I will use for inspiration. I don’t normally buy whole chickens and while I think it would make a rich and tasty broth, I am opting for low-fat chicken breasts and chicken bouillon for flavoring. I used my usual method to cook the chicken (I ended up with 300 grams cooked chicken) and added it to the soup at the end. I also cheated by using the can of carrots that have lingered in the pantry for a while. Also, I used half-n-half instead of cream.


I made 24 dumplings or 3 per serving and that ended up looking perfect in the bowl.


This was warmly received. I thought it was tasty and didn’t think the reduced amount of chicken was noticeable. I loved the dumplings! For dessert, I had half my usual serving of ice cream and a Walnut Cheesecake cookie, so good!