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I don't know the original source, but this pumpkin muffin recipe comes to me by way of radio_redhead. The original recipe calls for 2C all-purpose flour and I altered it to increase the fiber content. I also changed the milk from skim to 1% because, well, I just don't like skim milk.


1 spray cooking spray
1.5 cup all-purpose flour 685
1/2 C whole wheat flour 205
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce 65
1 cup canned pumpkin 80
2/3 cup sugar 515
1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute 60
2/3 cup 1% milk 65


1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray. Line with cupcake wrappers if desired.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt , baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.

3. Combine applesauce, pumpkin, sugar, egg substitute and milk in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

4. Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.

5. Pour batter into muffin tins so each hole is about 2/3 full.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Yields 1 muffin per serving.

We use both cooking spray and muffin wrappers to prevent any batter from sticking to the top of the pan but you can use a nonstick pan instead, if you prefer.

POINTS® value: 3
Servings: 12
Calories: 140

It's not hard to get 15 muffins out of this recipe, though, at 110 calories apiece.

Comforting Chicken Stew

2 cartons (32 oz. each) chicken broth 120 *

1 pkg (1.25 lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs 900*

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half (10 oz raw) 250*

6 large cloves garlic, minced 50

1 large onion (8-9 oz), chopped 100

3 medium red potatoes, chopped, with skins (14-16 oz) 330

2 med-large carrots (about 8 oz), chopped 90

1 medium turnip, peeled and chopped 35

1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped 75

1 C petite frozen peas 105

Do not chop the vegetables too small. They should be cut into hearty chunks.

Simmer chicken in broth along with onions and garlic until very tender.

Chop chicken roughly into large bite-size pieces. Put back into broth along with potatoes, carrots, turnip and parsnip. Season liberally with salt, freshly-ground pepper and commercial Italian seasoning blend. Fresh herbs and a bay leaf may also be added if available. Simmer until all vegetables until very tender. Add the frozen peas last.

Makes around 11 cups of hearty chicken stew at about 185 calories a cup. There will not be much liquid left by the time you are finished cooking; you may wish to add more chicken broth if you like a consistency that is more like soup. Can be prepared with packaged egg noodles, or is especially delicious with homemade dumplings (whisk eggs together with white flour, salt/pepper and any desired herbs and drop by teaspoonfuls into stew), or equally good with Bisquick dumplings (about 50 calories per dumpling when made according to package directions... buy the Heart Healthy kind; the regular one contains trans fats).

*This stew can also easily be made by simmering a whole chicken in water, then chopping up the meat and discarding the skin and bones; I tried it this way because I thought it would have a lower fat content. It was also easier.


I'm trying to keep track of calories and really like Japanese and other ethnic foods, I was wondering if anyone knew of any good websites that have nutritional listings for things like ebi sunomono, steamed chicken buns, egg tarts and such.

Beans and Rice Hotdish

It's a little bit Mexican, a little bit macrobiotic and a little bit Minnesota!

3C black and/or pinto beans 630
2 3/4 C brown rice 605
2C chopped onions 145
2C chopped pepper (green, red, sweet, spicy... you choose the mix) 40
2T garlic 25
1T oil 120
1C salsa (can be from a jar) 80
8 oz cheese, shredded (pepper jack recommended; rennet-free soy cheese for the vegans) 800

- Prepare 3 C black and/or pinto beans (from dried beans soaked overnight or from cans); seasoned with garlic, cumin, oregano, dried chile peppers of any variety, hot sauce, and salt to your taste.

- Prepare 1C dry brown rice with a teaspoon or so of salt to make about 2 and 3/4 cups cooked. (This will cook faster if soaked during the day).

- Sauté chopped veggies in olive oil. (If you like, you can include other vegetables such as zucchini, summer squash, or whatever you think sounds tasty).

In a medium size baking dish with a cover (nonstick if you've got it), layer, from bottom to top:
brown rice
sauteed veggies

Bake at 350, covered, until hot throughout (if you've just cooked the beans and rice, this should not take too long, probably less than a half hour).
If you want to make this dish ahead, follow the directions up to this point but add a half cup of water just before putting into the oven, since the rice will have absorbed a lot of the moisture from the salsa. From the fridge, this should take about 45 minutes to get hot.

Blanket with the shredded cheese, and place back in the oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes eight servings of about one cup and 305 calories apiece.

Greek Pizza Flatbread

For each flatbread pizza, you will need:

1 pre-made flatbread or pocketless pita 240
2 T olive tapenade/bruschetta topping 60**
a few slices of deseeded fresh tomato 10
1/2 box frozen chopped spinach 35
1/2 of a large roasted red pepper 15
6 Kalamata olives, sliced 40
1/4 C Mediterranean style crumbed feta 80
1.5 oz (about 1/3 C) shredded part-skim mozzarella 120

Spread tapenade over flatbread. Follow with other ingredients, in the order listed, and bake at 375 degrees (on a pizza stone if you have it). Savory, salty, satisfying, and right about 500 calories per serving. Pairs nicely with cucumber soup, by the by.

**If you don't keep tapenade/bruschetta on hand or have access to it, the main ingredients are olives, olive oil, and sun-dried tomatoes, plus some red pepper and a touch of tomato paste so you could fake it with what you have around of those ingredients, even if it's just a drizzle of olive oil and some minced/food processed olives. I used Trader Joe's olive bruschetta. Cibo Naturals also makes an olive tapenade that's pretty good, if I recall, and more widely available. It is usually sold in deli cases with the other pre-packaged items.

Grilled Chicken and Lemon Salad

From Cooking Light magazine. This salad is both tasty and gorgeous. It is perfect for a nice lunch for guests.

3/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 C olive oil
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
4 (6-oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray

1 C sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 C red bell pepper strips
1/2 C yellow bell pepper strips
1/2 C (1/4 inch-thick) slices zucchini
2 T chopped cilantro
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 lemon wedges (optional)

To prepare chicken, combine the first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag, and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Fire up the grill.

Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cool completely; cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

To prepare salad, cook peas in boiling water 30 seconds. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Drain. Combine peas and next 7 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl; add chicken, tossing to combine. Serve with lemon wedges if desired. When in season, you may substitute small spears of blanched asparagus instead of the peas.

Goes well on a bed of mixed baby greens. Delicious as-is, although my dad added a little extra Italian dressing to his.

Makes 4 servings of 1.75 C each, 259 calories per serving.

Roasted Cauliflower

Why did I ever boil it? It seems so wrong now!

4 C cauliflower florets (1 head)
2 tsp olive oil
2-4 tsp chopped fresh parsley and other fresh herbs of your choice (recommended: thyme, tarragon)
1 garlic clove, minced fine
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lemon wedge
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450.

Place cauliflower in a roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs and garlic. Bake 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the whole thing.

Makes two large servings of 100 calories each or four small servings at 50 apiece.

I got this recipe from Cooking Light magazine, and didn't change it much at all.

Easy Olive Tilapia

Spray a nonstick baking pan lightly with cooking spray.

Place a 5-oz. tilapia filet in the pan; cover with 2T jarred olive tapenade (I used one from Trader Joe's); put 2 slices of tomato on top.

Bake at 450 degrees until the fish flakes. I didn't time it, but I think it took about ten or twelve minutes.

Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Looks fancy; takes no skill. Multiply as needed to feed whoever is at your table. A delicious 215-calorie main dish.

Baked Apples

Does this sound good? I haven't tried it yet.

Maple-Cinnamon Baked Apples

4 medium apples, Rome Beauties preferred
1/2 cup sugar-free pancake syrup or genuine maple syrup
4 whole cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
4 teaspoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut the top off each apple, then cut out the cores and seeds, leaving the bottom skin intact. Put them in an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish you've sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Chop the nuts.

Put one cinnamon stick and 1-1/2 teaspoons of walnuts in the center of each apple. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the syrup on each, putting most of it in the hole in the center, and a bit on the outside.

Put a teaspoon of butter on top of the filling of each apple.

Now bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until soft, basting once or twice with any liquid cooking out. Serve warm.

(From "The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook," due out in May 2006, Fair Winds Press)

4 servings, each with: 175 calories; 7 g Fat; 2 g Protein; 32 g Carbohydrate; 11 g Dietary Fiber; 21 g usable carb.
(Cook's note: Since there's no good way to know how much of the sugar alcohols in sugar-free pancake syrup you'll digest, and sugar alcohols are pretty much the bulk of the carbs and calories in the stuff, it's been left out of the nutritional analysis. Also, a cinnamon stick has 35 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrate, and 7 grams of fiber, but you won't be chewing up the cinnamon sticks, will you? Also: If you use the genuine maple syrup instead of the sugar-free pancake syrup, you'll add 103 calories and 26 grams of carbs -- all sugar -- to each serving. I include it only because some folks can't tolerate even modest quantities of sugar alcohols.)

Light Potato-Leek Chowder

Okay, so it's not very summery, but I needed to use up some leeks. And potatoes. And chicken broth. So really, I had no choice.

1 T butter 100
2 C leeks, sliced (about 2 leeks, white and light green portion) 110
1 large clove garlic, minced 5
1 lb. baby potatoes 350
2 C chicken broth or vegetable broth 30
3/4 C lowfat milk 75
1/2 tsp fresh minced thyme leaves*
1 tsp fresh minced parsley
scant 1/2 tsp salt
plenty of freshly ground pepper
hot red pepper flakes

- Boil potatoes in their jackets until tender enough to pierce with a fork.
- In the meantime, sautée leeks and garlic in the butter until they are soft and tender. Do not brown!
- When potatoes are done, peel half of them. Place the peeled potatoes in a blender with the leeks and the 2C chicken broth. Blend until fairly smooth (will not be perfectly smooth). This will only take a matter of seconds. Do not over-blend, as this can cause potatoes to become gluey.
- Place blended mixture back in pan; add milk and seasonings.
- Cut the remaining potatoes into small cubes. You have the option to leave the skins off (more nutrition and fiber) or taking them off (prettier soup). I find that some of the skins slide off as I am cubing the potatoes (using a very sharp knife will minimize this). I recommend salvaging as much skin as you can for nutritional reasons, but discarding any skins that slide off. Add cubed potatoes to soup.
- Simmer soup over low heat for another 10-15 minutes. Do not bring to a full boil, as this will scald the milk.
- Garnish with red pepper flakes as your heat tolerance allows.

Makes just under 5 cups at about 140 calories per cup.

*Herb measurements are approximate and based on what was growing on my porch at the time. You might also want to try chives with this soup. Dried herbs can work; you may need less of them.

This soup is quite simple, but with a strong leek flavor; make a milder soup by halving the leeks. You could vary it by adding other vegetables (chopped red sweet pepper; corn; carrots) or chopped chicken. For a vegan version, use vegetarian broth to replace the chicken broth and milk, and blend silken tofu along with your potatoes for added creaminess (the potatoes alone will make the soup somewhat creamy.)