Guilt Free Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

I saw Paula Deen make this and drooled. Here’s something I never thought I could have – a stuffed pork roast. I knew if I ate this, my waist would be a little stuffed, too, so I took a look and recreated it to be so much healthier for you – and still absolutely delicious!

We don’t have a video of this recipe right now, but check out our channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/Thindulge and see videos of other recipes from this blog. If you have any requests, please let us know!

You can also “like” us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter @thindulge.

APPLE STUFFED PORK LOIN – Anthony J. Caruso

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil cooking spray

1 large onion, chopped

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped

8 fresh sage leaves

2 cups thick-cut 100% whole wheat bread cubes, crusts removed

1/4 cup egg substitute

2 tablespoons light butter spread (Recommended:  Smart Balance Light)

Salt and pepper

1/2 to 1 cup unsalted chicken stock, plus more if needed (recommended: Kitchen Basics)

1 (3 pound) pork loin roast, butterflied

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large skillet, spray with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apples and sage. Saute until softened. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the bread, egg, butter spread and salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth gradually until everything is moistened. Let the stuffing mixture cool completely before putting it in the pork loin. Spoon the stuffing down the pork, horizontally, in a line. Roll the pork over the stuffing, jelly roll style, ending with the seam down and fat side up. Lightly score the fat, in a diamond pattern, with a sharp knife. Tightly tie the pork roast up with butcher’s twine, season it with more salt and pepper, and transfer to a roasting pan. Roast the pork in a preheated oven for about 90 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with apples and fresh herbs.

Here’s the skinny:

First, I used cooking spray instead of olive oil to cut out about 40 grams of fat.

I used whole wheat bread instead of white bread. The health benefits are huge and it’s gonna be stuffed with a bunch of other flavors. You’ll never know it’s whole grain goodness!

Next, I used egg substitute instead of real egg. It’s just one egg, but every little bit makes a difference. You’re looking to bind the stuffing together, and you don’t need the fat and cholesterol of a yolk to do that.

Also, instead of real butter, I used a light butter spread, which has 1/4 the saturated fat of butter.

Lastly, I used a low sodium chicken stock. No need to add the extra salt if you don’t need it. You can always add more salt if you need it.

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Posted in Fruit, Paula Deen, Pork, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Guilt Free Spaghetti with Creamy Ricotta Pesto

This was in Rachael Ray’s magazine and it looked so delicious. I am a huge fan of pesto and adding creamy cheese to the mix makes my mouth water. Pesto is delicious, but also full of oil. Then to make it creamy and cheesy is gonna require some work to avoid the heart disease. I came up with this recipe to enjoy the creamy cheesy pasta goodness of the recipe without putting myself on Lipitor.

We don’t have a video of this recipe right now, but check out our channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/Thindulge and see videos of other recipes from this blog. If you have any requests, please let us know!

You can also “like” us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter @thindulge.

SPAGHETTI WITH CREAMY RICOTTA PESTO – Anthony J. Caruso

INGREDIENTS

2 cups packed basil leaves, plus more for garnish

1 13.25 box carb-protected spaghetti (recommended: Dreamfield’s

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock (recommended: Kitchen Basics)

1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water and add the spaghetti; cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water; return the pasta to the pot.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, puree the basil leaves, garlic, nuts, parmesan, ricotta and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drizzle in stock as needed. Add the pesto to the spaghetti and toss well. Top with extra basil leaves and serve with more parmesan.

Here’s the skinny:

First, I used a carb-protected pasta, meaning the carbs don’t get digested and added to your hips.

Pestos are full of oil, but I use stock in mine to get the wet texture without adding any fat.

I also used fat free ricotta cheese. I’m telling you, I didn’t notice the difference. With such strong flavors as basil and parmesan, as well as it being pureed in a food processor, you never notice a difference in taste or texture. What you will notice, however, is that you didn’t gain weight!

Posted in Pasta, Rachael Ray, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,900 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Guilt Free Quick and Easy Chicken and Dumplings

There are very few foods that evoke the feelings of Southern Comfort than Chicken and Dumplings. And no – I’m not referring to the alcohol I still can’t drink after a certain night several years ago. But that’s for another blog post. 😉 Part of what makes this dish so special is the amount of time and love that goes into making it. I saw Sandra Lee make a semi-homemade version and was excited that I could possibly do it in my spare time and not have to devote a Sunday afternoon to cooking. However, her recipe, although delicious and fast, wasn’t so figure friendly, so I Thindulged it and came up with a recipe that will have you feeling like you’re back on the porch swing in no time.

We don’t have a video of this recipe right now, but check out our channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/Thindulge and see videos of other recipes from this blog. If you have any requests, please let us know!

You can also “like” us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter @thindulge.

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS – Anthony J. Caruso

INGREDIENTS

1 whole store-bought roast chicken (about 2 pounds)

Cooking spray

1 large onion, chopped

Kosher salt and ground pepper

6 cups unsalted chicken stock (recommended: Kitchen Basics)

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

3 large carrots, chopped

3 large celery stalks, chopped

1 roll reduced fat wheat biscuit dough

White whole wheat flour, for dusting

2 cans condensed chicken gravy

Chives, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Remove skin from chicken and shred meat into large pieces. Set aside.

Spray a large pot or dutch oven and  add chopped onions. Season with salt and pepper and saute until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add stock, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes to soften vegetables, and then add shredded chicken. Continue to simmer while making dumplings.

To make the dumplings, open can and remove biscuits. On a lightly floured surface, roll each biscuit to 1/4-inch thick. With a knife, cut each biscuit into 8 equal sized pieces. Set aside.

Skim surface for any scum that has risen to top. Stir in chicken gravy and check for seasoning.

With the stew still simmering over low heat, stir in dumplings a few at a time. Once all dumplings are in to pot, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve piping hot, topping with chives for garnish.

Here’s the skinny:

To cut out fat and calories, I used a cooking spray instead of oil.

I also used an unsalted stock to reduce sodium in the dish.

Lastly, I used a reduced fat biscuit dough and white whole wheat flour.

Posted in Chicken, Recipes, Sandra Lee | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re featured in the Vitamix Christmas Calendar!

I just found out Thindulge’s Sweet Potato Pie Cookies with Orange Glaze is featured in the Vitamix e-Christmas Calendar this year. It’s on www.iFood.tv where Thindulge’s is a featured video partner. This is very exciting for us! iFood.tv is the third largest cooking site in the world and Vitamix is one of the most premier high end blenders around. It’s a great honor and I couldn’t wait to share it with you all! Below is a view of the page we are featured on! They even put one of my healthy tips on the page!

To see the full calendar, click here.

Posted in Production, Show features | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Guilt Free Year ‘Round Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting (with video)

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is eggnog. Seriously, I could drink it by the quart. I came across a recipe in a Paula Deen magazine for an eggnog sheet cake with a marshmallow eggnog icing and I got really excited. No – really. I highlighted, starred and folded the page to make sure I didn’t lose sight of this recipe. After I Thindulged it with a light egg nog, I loved it, but all the sugar in the marshmallow and egg nog, not to mention the fat in the egg nog still bothered me. Knowing there had to be some way to make this could be lighter, I decided to replicate the flavors of eggnog and use a cream cheese icing to cut out the sugar of the marshmallow and hit a home run! I am so excited to share these with you – not just because I love them, but because by replicating the eggnog flavors, you can have this any time of the year you want.

To see other videos,  check out our channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/Thindulge. If you have any requests, please let us know!

You can also “like” us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter @thindulge.

YEAR ‘ROUND EGGNOG CUPCAKES WITH EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING – Anthony J. Caruso

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

Cooking spray

1 box sugar free yellow cake mix (recommended: Pillsbury)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup egg substitute

1 cup fat free evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

1 8-oz package reduced fat cream cheese (recommended: Philadelphia)

1/2 cup light butter spread (recommended: Smart Balance Light)

2 cups powdered sugar substitute (recommended: Ideal)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon maple extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 12 cup cupcake tins with cooking spray or use liners, if desired.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add applesauce, eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Using a standard ice cream scoop, place one scoop into each of the slots of the tin. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a  wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat all ingredients together until smooth. Keep refrigerated.

Here’s the skinny:

To cut out sugar, I used a sugar free cake mix and powdered sugar substitute, as well as replicate the flavors of eggnog through spices.

Also, I cut out fat, calories and cholesterol by using applesauce in place of oil, egg substitute, fat free evaporated milk, butter spread and reduced fat cream cheese.

Posted in Dessert, Holidays, Paula Deen, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Guilt Free Apples and Cream Oatmeal Cookies

I saw Sunny make peaches and cream cookies. They looked like they’d be good, but I’ve never been a big fan of peaches. Then I read the reviews and it sold me – everyone was loving these cookies! I really wanted to try them out, but they were fattening and had peaches in them. I came up with this reinvention to get the same flavor but without the “bad stuff”, plus I used apples instead. I took these to my in-laws for Christmas last year and they were a huge hit!

We don’t have a video of this recipe right now, but check out our channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/Thindulge and see videos of other recipes from this blog. If you have any requests, please let us know!

You can also “like” us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter @thindulge.

PEACHES AND CREAM OATMEAL COOKIES – Anthony J. Caruso

INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup white whole wheat flour (recommended: King Arthur)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt

1/2 cup light butter spread, softened (recommended: Smart Balance Light)

1/4 cup brown sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)

1/4 cup sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda with Fiber)

1/4 cup egg substitute

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped dried apples

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add egg substitute and continue mixing. Slowly add flour mixture, oats, peaches, walnuts, and white chocolate chips. Mix until combined.

Line 2 sheet trays with parchment. With wet hands make 20 balls from the dough placing evenly among sheet trays. Press down on cookie dough with palm of your hand to make a flat circle.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and still a bit tender in the center. Remove from oven and let sit on sheet trays 1 minute. Remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Here’s the skinny:

First, I used white whole wheat flour to make this a 100% whole grain cookie.

Next, instead of butter, I used a light butter spread. This saved about 25 grams of fat and about 15 grams of saturated fat, or about 80%.

I also cut down the brown sugar in half by using a brown sugar substitute blend. I also used a sugar substitute with fiber instead of granulated sugar to cut out unhealthy sugars and add fiber to the cookie as well.

Also, I used egg substitute instead of eggs in order to cut out the fat and cholesterol in the eggs.

Lastly, I cut the amount of white chocolate chips in half. White chocolate is one of the most unhealthy ingredients you will find, but there really isn’t anything out there that can mimic the taste. However, you don’t need a lot in order to get the flavor, so I cut the amount in half. Trust me, you won’t feel like you’ve cut down on the chips at all.

Posted in Dessert, Holidays, Recipes, Sunny Anderson | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments