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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Chinese Chicken & Corn Soup

This soup can be spiced up with a sprinkle of cumin or paprika, or you can swap the chicken for fresh crabmeat.
By Michele Cranston

2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
4 green onions, finely sliced
11/2 tsp (7 mL) grated ginger
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice wine or sherry
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
1 chicken breast fillet, finely diced
2 cups (500 mL) corn kernels
11/2 tsp (7 mL) cornstarch
1 handful coriander, roughly chopped
1 large red chili, seeded and finely chopped

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add green onions and ginger, and stir-fry for a minute. Add rice wine and stir for one more minute, then add stock. Add diced chicken and corn. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of cold water and stir until smooth. Pour paste into soup mixture and stir for a minute, until slightly thick. Divide soup equally among four bowls, and garnish with coriander and chili.

Nutritional information 
Serves four.
Per serving: 252 calories, 13 g protein, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 27 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 17 mg cholesterol, 362 mg sodium

Best Health Magazine, November 2012; Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This whole-wheat bread loaf studded with raisins tastes good plain or with a little light butter or margarine spread on it. It’s also wonderful toasted for breakfast, when the gentle aroma of warm cinnamon makes a soothing start to the day.

5 cups (1.25 L) whole-wheat flour [625 g]
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
1 package instant dry yeast
2/3 cup (150 mL) raisins
3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) skim milk,
plus 1 tbsp (15 mL) to glaze
1 egg, lightly beaten

Instant dry yeast can be combined with the dry ingredients and added directly into a bread recipe to avoid having to dissolve the yeast in warm milk or water and let it stand for 5 minutes prior to use.
• When cooking for a person with diabetes, use whole grains and complex carbohydrates whenever possible. Whole-wheat flour can be substituted for at least half the white flour in almost all recipes to increase the fibre, vitamin, and mineral content of a baked good.

Lightly coat a 9-in. x 5-in. (2 L) loaf pan with cooking spray and flour. Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast, raisins and sugar, and make a well in the centre.
Gently heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the mixture is just warm. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg. Mix together to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the prepared pan. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap that has been coated with cooking spray and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Uncover the loaf and brush with the milk to glaze. Bake until it sounds hollow when removed from the pan and tapped on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Cover the loaf with foil toward the end of the cooking time if the top is browning too much.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. The bread can be kept, wrapped in foil, for 2 to 3 days.
Preparation time 20 minutes, plus 1 hour rising; cooking time 30 minutes

Makes 1 large loaf (cuts into 16 slices)

• Cinnamon-raisin-walnut bread: Add 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped walnuts to the flour mixture before adding the liquid ingredients.
• Any type of dried fruit can be substituted for the raisins. Try adding 2/3 cup (150 mL) dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries or chopped dried apricots in place of the raisins.
• Cinnamon-raisin rolls: instead of forming the dough into a loaf after the first rising, divide it into 2-oz (60 g) pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise according to the recipe. Bake the rolls on the same sheet pan until they sound hollow.

Nutritional information 
Each serving (one slice) provides: calories 198, calories from fat 27, fat 3 g, saturated fat 1 g, cholesterol 19 mg, carbohydrate 38 g, fibre 6 g, sugars 8 g, protein 7 g.
Choices per serving: Carbohydrate 2, fat 1

Excerpted from Eat to Beat Diabetes, available now in the Best Health Store

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

Cake Batter:

3 cups (750 mL) cake flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
3/4 tsp (3 mL) baking soda
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 egg
1/4 cup (60 mL) egg substitute
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) light sour cream


3 tbsp (45 mL) brown sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) cinnamon

Cake Batter:

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 10-inch (25 cm) tube pan (angel food pan) or nonstick bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and soda into a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add SPLENDA® Granulated and egg. Beat until smooth. Add the egg substitute and vanilla. Beat briefly to incorporate. Add applesauce and half of the sour cream and beat until smooth. Add the sifted flour mixture and beat at medium speed just until smooth. Add remaining sour cream and blend just until incorporated and batter is uniform. Set aside.


Place 1/4 of cake batter in a small bowl. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir well.

Place 1/2 of the remaining cake batter into prepared pan. Top with filling. Swirl with knife. Top with remaining batter.

Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Nutritional information 
Amount per Serving
Serving Size: 1 slice
Total Calories: 200
Calories from Fat: 72
Total Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 25 mg
Sodium: 180 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 28 g
Fibre: 1 g
Sugars: 5 g
Protein: 4 g

Crunchy Nut Coleslaw

This fresh-tasting crunchy nut coleslaw is made with white cabbage, carrot and radishes, flecked with green onions, sultanas and peanuts.

200 g white cabbage, finely shredded
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1⁄3 cup sultanas
4 green onions, finely chopped, with the white and green parts kept separate
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
150 g plain low-fat yogurt
pepper to taste
30 g radishes, sliced
1⁄3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
4 tablespoons chopped parsley or snipped fresh chives, or a mixture of the two (optional)

Mix together the cabbage, carrot, sultanas and white parts of the green onions in a large bowl.
Stir the mayonnaise and yogurt together and season with pepper. Stir this dressing into the cabbage mixture and toss well to coat all the ingredients.
Just before serving, stir in the radishes and peanuts and sprinkle with the chopped green parts of the green onions and the parsley or chives, if using.
Crunchy nut coleslaw variations: For a celeriac coleslaw, use 250 g peeled celeriac cut into matchstick strips, instead of white cabbage. Flavour the yogurt and mayonnaise dressing with 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard, or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon mango chutney.

preparation time 10 mins
serves 4 (as a starter) or 2 (as a main dish) 

Nutritional information 
166 calories
7 g protein
7 g total fat
1 g saturated fat
2 mg cholesterol
20 g total carbohydrate
18 g sugars
5 g fibre
165 mg sodium

Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest Canada

Crunchy Vanilla Walnuts

A source of omega-3s and B vitamins, these walnuts are a delicious holiday snack.

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups walnut halves
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, oil and vanilla. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat.
Transfer to a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. foil-lined baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 13 servings (just over 4 cups). Prep: 10 min. Bake: 35 min. 

Nutritional information 
1/3 cup equals 243 calories, 22 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 46 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 5 g protein.

Taste of Home Magazine, December/January 2011

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cappuccino Chiffon Cake

When chiffon cakes first appeared in the 1940s, the focus was on how easy they were to mix. Today, however, we also value the fact that they are sweet treats (such as this cappuccino chiffon cake) which are lower in fat and cholesterol than most.

2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups caster (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup walnut oil or extra-light olive oil
2 large eggs, separated, plus 4 large egg whites
3⁄4 cup brewed espresso coffee, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted, to dust

Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160°C). Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix. Place the oil, 2 egg yolks, coffee, cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in the flour mixture with a large metal spoon.
Place the 6 egg whites in another bowl and beat with clean beaters until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the cake mixture.
Spoon the mixture into an ungreased 25 cm (10 in.) ring pan. Bake until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Leaving the cappuccino chiffon cake in the pan, invert it and place over the neck of a bottle to cool completely. (Cooling the cake in the pan the right way up will cause it to sink.) Run a knife around the chiffon cake to loosen it. Turn it out onto a plate and dust with icing sugar.

preparation time 15 mins
cooking time 45 mins
makes 16 slices 

Nutritional information 
228 calories
4 g protein
8 g total fat
1 g saturated fat
31 mg cholesterol
36 g total carbohydrate
21 g sugars
1 g fibre
171 mg sodium

Walnut oil is a rich source of heart-friendly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and the antioxidant vitamin E. It may help lower the risk of heart disease by increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol.

Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest Canada

Caprese Salad Baguettes

I love mozzarella cheese with this sandwich, but other cheeses also work well. For example, try sprinkling on some feta and a bit of oregano for a Greek flavour. 

1 large red pepper
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 large whole-wheat baguette, sliced lengthwise
Handful arugula
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Handful fresh basil, sliced
¼ red onion, thinly sliced

Half a fresh low-fat large mozzarella ball, sliced into 6 pieces
Preheat barbecue to high. Brush whole red pepper with a little olive oil and grill, rotating regularly until skin pulls away, approximately five minutes. Remove from grill and let cool, then slip off skin and discard seeds. Slice into six strips. Combine 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil with garlic and balsamic vinegar, and brush onto the cut side of each baguette half. Place on barbecue cut side down and grill until toasted, then remove. Place arugula, tomatoes, basil, onions, mozzarella and peppers on one side of toasted baguette and top with the remaining half. Slice whole baguette in four, and place one sandwich on each of four plates. If you like, serve with a side salad of mixed greens.

Nutritional information 
Serves four. Per serving: 377 calories, 16 g protein, 16 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 18 mg cholesterol, 596 mg sodium

Best Health Magazine, Summer 2012; Photo by Maya Visnyei