Soft Serve "Ice Cream"

Sometimes I just need some yummy and creamy chocolate. This is filling and every mouthful is satisfying. Once there are frozen banana slices in the freezer, this two ingredient soft serve takes less than 5 minutes to make.

Chocolate Soft Serve made with frozen bananas and unsweetened cocoa powder

When my bananas are going south, I slice them up and throw them into zip top sandwich bags. I weigh 120 grams of banana slices for each bag. This is just to make figuring my nutritional count easier. It really doesn't matter how much banana is used in this recipe, so no need to weigh. I slice the bananas up, bag them, and throw the bags into the freezer. Actually, I don't throw them into the freezer, I HIDE them in the freezer. The hubby is grossed out by bags of frozen bananas.

This is perfect for overripe bananas. The older the banana, the sweeter the soft serve will be

Waa Ha Ha! I found a zip bag of banana slices that the hubby missed.
Although caked with ice crystals These banana slices will work just fine.

One word of caution: My 25 year old Cuisinart never complains at puréeing rock hard fruit but all food processors are not created equal. I have a friend who seized the motor of her name brand food processor under the strain of frozen bananas. Once I tried this in a bullet blender. I only tried it the one time because it broke the bullet blender.

However, I bought a small Proctor Silex brand food chopper in the grocery store for $9 and it works perfectly if just a little bit slower than my Cuisinart.



Throw the frozen banana slices into the machine. If desired after it has run for just a minute, add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.



There is a temptation to think: "This isn't working". Relax, be patient, it's worth the wait.


The machine might need to be turned off a couple of times to push and pack the bananas down so that the blade can whip them.


When everything is looking creamy and there are just one or two banana chunks rolling around get really excited, it is almost ready for a spoon.


Let the machine keep running until the bananas and cocoa are a smooth creamy consistency. Once there are no chunks it is ready to eat. It can also be frozen a bit in a small airtight container.


I like it fresh out of the machine. It is cold, creamy, yummy, and sweet.

Nutritional Information
120 grams of banana slices and 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder:
Calories 120. Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 30g, Fiber 5g, Protein 2g.

This is creamy and there isn't a really strong banana taste. This really takes care of my chocolate fix.

DIY Yogurt (kinda)

I have been buying the 5.3 ounce Dannon Oikos yogurts. I eat one nearly every day for breakfast. They are a little pricy though. I started thinking, I love the fat free and the fruit at the bottom I wonder if I make this a little cheaper.

I bought a 32oz container of plain nonfat Dannin Oikos yogurt and a 21 ounce can of  pie filling (no high fructose corn syrup or artificial sugars).

I figured out the ratio I needed which ended up being (by weight) 125 grams of the yogurt and 60 grams of the pie filling. It ended up being a great ratio so much so that I forgot to take a picture of it.

Now the important part, below is the comparison






The Whole Chicken Soup

This is HEAVENLY comfort in a bowl. We tried this recipe with boneless-skinless chicken breasts and it definitely lost something in the translation. After that blah-dom we went back to using a whole skinned chicken. MMM - back to the yummy.


The Whole Chicken Soup
Ingredients
Whole Chicken (about 4 pounds)
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2lbs carrots (divided)
1 bunch celery (divided)
12 black peppercorns
¼ cup Better Than Bouillon chicken base
8 ounces Barilla Farfalle
Instructions
Remove the chicken skin and innards. Place the chicken in a LARGE stockpot. Fill with at least 1 gallon of water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
 
While the chicken is simmering, wash the celery and peel the carrots. Rough cut about 1lb of the carrots and half of the celery. Peel and quarter the onion.
When the 30 minutes of simmering are up, add the rough cut pound of carrots, half of the celery and all of the onion. Add the peppercorns. Cover the pot and simmer for one hour.

Use that hour to chop the remaining celery into small pieces and cut the remaining carrots into coins. Prepare a large strainer over a GREAT BIG bowl (or container large enough to receive the liquid chicken stock. DO NOT make the mistake I did once. I picked a medium sized bowl and had a big weepy boo-hoo as I watched half of my lovely stock goes down the drain.

When
 the hour of simmering is complete, strain the chicken stock. Reserve the chicken in the strainer and set aside to cool. Discard the cooked celery, carrots, onions and peppercorns that were used to flavor the chicken stock.

Pour the strained stock into a gallon drink container with a bottom spigot. Let the stock set so that the oil will rise to the top (about 5 minutes). When the oil has separated from the stock, position the spigot over your empty stockpot. Open the spigot and let the broth drain into the pot being careful to turn off the spigot before the oil is drained. Discard the oil.


Place the stockpot on high heat, add the chicken base and mix well. After the broth and base have combined, add the chopped celery and carrot coins. Bring the broth mixture and veggies to a boil then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

While the chicken stock, celery and carrots are simmering, remove any remaining the skin and bone from the chicken and cut the meat into bite size chunks. The chicken will be so tender it will fall of the bone and can be cut up easily.When the carrots are tender, add the chicken and noodles. Heat for about 10 minutes or until the noodles are cooked to your preference.

1 Serving is 1/12th of the recipe (about 1.5 cups of soup)

Nutrition Per Serving:
Calories 171.8, Fat 3g, Carbs 16.8g, Fiber 1.9g, Protein 19.4g and 4 Points Plus



Individual Microwave Crustless Pumpkin Pie


It's the middle of October and I am ready for something warm and delicious. This is a great filling breakfast but it could be a great dessert anytime.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
            (not pie mix but 100% pure pumpkin)*
3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg white
1 tablespoon sugar
 
*When I open a big can, I measure out 1/2 cups of pumpkin into small freezer bags. When I want to use the pumpkin I either put in the refrigerator to thaw or use the microwave to defrost it.

Instructions:
 
Combine the pumpkin and the pumpkin pie spice and stir until well mixed.

In a tall skinny container (a disposable 32-ounce deli container works well for me) using one whisk in a hand blender, beat the egg white until stiff and it forms peaks.

With a spatula scrape the edges of the bowl containing the pumpkin mixture.

Dump all of the fluffed egg whites into the pumpkin mixture and gently fold until all is combined but the egg white still remains fluffy with air.



If you want it to look pretty spoon it into another bowl and smooth it.

Microwave for 2 minutes on high (my microwave is 1250 watts, you might have to alter the cooking time based on your microwave's wattage).

Sprinkle with sugar and let cool for a minute.
 
The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for it to cool enough to eat. Eat while still warm.

Nutrition Information
Entire recipe: Calories 105.8. Fat 0.5g, Carbohydrates 21.6g, Fiber 5g (Oh Ya Baby), Protein 6g and PointsPlus 3

Using artificial sweetner instead of sugar would reduce the amount of calories, carbs and PointsPlus.





 
 

Enchilada Sauce

Guilt free and seriously a delicious choice!
Chicken Enchilada Soup option shown

This recipe uses canned Enchilada Sauce and kicks it up a notch with a the yumminess of pumpkin.

Ingredients:
¼ cup water
½ cup celery, diced small
1 clove garlic, diced small
½ onion, diced small
½ green bell pepper, diced small
1½ cups canned 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 can (4 ounces)diced green chilies (do not drain)
1 can (20 ounces) Rosarita Red Enchilada Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper

Instructions:
Place the water, celery, garlic, onion and bell pepper in a large stockpot on medium-high.

Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and reduced and the water is gone.

Add the pumpkin puree, green chilies and enchilada sauce. Stir occasionally until all is heated through. Add the chili pepper to taste.


This is a great way to get fiber and veggies. There is not a hint of pumpkin in the way it looks, tastes or smells. The texture is a thick sauce.


This recipe makes 9 - ½ cup servings.


Each ½ cup sauce = 1 PointsPlus.


Option:

Enchilada Soup (Additional PointsPlus will apply):

For each ½ cup sauce add ½ cup fat-free chicken broth, one ounce of chicken (grilled boneless and skinless) and ¼ cup of frozen corn. Top with shredded cheese and tortilla strips if desired.

This sauce also freezes well.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Our version of the yumminess from Pei Wei

Ingredients
1 lb minced chicken (raw or minced cooked chicken)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups shredded carrots
6 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon hot chili paste (or hot and sweet chili paste)
1 small head green cabbage*
2 small heads iceberg lettuce

Instructions
Wash and finely shred cabbage.*
Wash and cut the iceberg lettuce to make the leaves resemble little bowls.
Pat dry and chill Heat a fry pan over medium-high heat.
Cook the chicken, green onions and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned.
Add the shredded carrots, Hoisin sauce and soy sauce.
Stir frequently until thoroughly heated.
Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil and chili paste.
Serve by spooning a thin layer of cabbage shreds into each lettuce leaf.
Top the cabbage with the minced chicken mixture.
Serve with sides of soy sauce, Hoisin sauce or chili sauce as desired.
Wrap the filling up in the lettuce leaf. Enjoy.

*Prepare white rice can be added to or substituted for the cabbage.

Makes 8 servings

Nutritional Information (without lettuce, cabbage or rice)

1 serving: 1/2 cup (92 grams): Calories 117.6, Fat 2.3g, Carbohydrates 9.3g, Fiber 1.3g, Protein 14.4g and PointsPlus 3

Pina Colada Dessert

This is an adaptation of an old Weight Watchers recipe from the 90's called "Green Dream". That recipe used pistachio pudding. Today I used banana cream pudding but it is also good with coconut cream pudding with banana slices mixed in.


Pina Colada Dessert
1 can (20 ounces) Dole Crushed Pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
1 package (5.1 ounces) Jell-O banana cream instant pudding and pie filling
1 carton (32 ounces) Dannon Oikos Plain flavor 0% fat Greek yogurt

Dump the can of crushed pineapple, juice and all into a mixing bowl.

Stir in the powdered pudding mix.

When the pineapple and pudding mix are incorporated, stir in the yogurt.

Serve Chilled.

I am trying to move away from artificial sweeteners so I altered the original recipe a bit because it called for an 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple, a 4-serving size of sugar-free/fat-free instant pudding mix and an 8 ounce carton of sugar-free/fat-free yogurt (I don't think you can even find an 8 ounce carton of yogurt anymore). The results were a little soupier but it firmed up after chilling.

When the kids were small we use to make this on camping trips. We used a Ziploc bag and let the DAKs mix everything together by squishing the ingredients around.

Dole Crushed Pineapple 20 ounce can (567 grams):
Calories 325, Fat 0g, Carbs 84g, Fiber 4.5g, Protein 4.5g and 9 PointsPlus.

Jell-O banana Cream Instant Pudding and Pie Filling 5.1 ounce or 6 serving size (144 grams):
Calories 518.5 Fat 0g, Carbs 132.5g, Fiber 0g, Protein 0g and 14 PointsPlus. Dannon Oikos 0% fat

Greek Yogurt Plain 1 carton 32 ounces (907 grams):
Calories 484, Fat 0g, Carbs 36g, Fiber 0g, Protein 89g and 12 PointsPlus.

Entire recipe:
(Calculated on the Sparkpeople Recipe Calculator)
Calories 1327.5, Fat 0g, Carbs 252.5g, Fiber 4.6g, Protein 93g and 36 PointsPlus (this came out a little different when all the ingredients were added together)

1 Serving is 1/10th of the recipe and the nutrition is as follows:
Calories 132.7, Fat 0g, Carbs 25g, Fiber .5g, Protein 9g and 3 Points Plus