Sunday, April 17, 2011

Healthy Strawberry Crepes

I have had a few requests for the strawberry crepe recipe from my profile picture (see above), so that is what I decided to do, today.  I got hooked on crepes after moving to D.C. because my first two years there I worked two blocks away from Le Creperie, which is sort of a high quality fast food crepe place serving crepes in every way imaginable.  This addiction soon proved itself dangerous both to my wallet and waistline, because crepes are not overly healthy.  The crepe itself is not that bad for you; it is more or less a very thin pancake and while that is not particularly nutritious, one crepe will hardly kill you by itself.  Unfortunately, the things that we put on crepes are not so inoffensive. Pictured above is a strawberry and cream crepe which is filled to the brim with saturated fat, and other unpleasant things.  When I became in the habit of making a similar dish my lunch every single day, I realized I would have to create a lower-fat alternative. To make these strawberry and yogurt filling crepes, you will need:

The Crepe:
3 Eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

The Filling:
2 cups non-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup confectioner's sugar
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

To make the crepes, you will want to either beat or blend all of the ingredients together until you have a perfectly smooth batter.  Use a vegetable oil spray to coat a pan, then put on medium heat.  Pour approximately 2 tablespoons of batter onto the pan per crepe, and then tilt so that the batter runs very thinly.  Flip when the batter has set on the first side, then remove from heat when both sides are very lightly browned.  Repeat for the rest of the batter.

To make the filling, beat the yogurt, vanilla, and milk together until you have a creamy blended mixture, then add in confectioner's sugar.  To serve: spoon in 1/3 cup of filling, and 1/4 cup of fresh strawberries onto the crepe, then fold over.  Sprinkle more sliced strawberries over the top.

This is a sweet dessert, so it would not be wise to habitually eat it for lunch as I used to, but it is, at least, a lower fat alternative to the strawberry and cream crepe.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can Egg Rolls be Healthy?

I love Chinese take-out food.  There is crab rangoon, teriyaki beef, pork fried rice, and above all else, there are egg rolls.  So delicious, but so, so bad for you.  Some of my best memories are when I was a child, before I discovered what calories were, guiltlessly indulging in greasy delight.  Unfortunately, since age 9 or so, I have not been able to enjoy this food without worrying what it was doing to my body.  So last month I set out to make a hot, comfort-food egg roll that is both low in fat and still delicious. I mostly succeeded; it is impossible that an egg roll completely non-fat, but this egg roll is a tasty alternative to its deep fried counterpart.
When you look at the ingredients of an egg roll, it is possible to suppose that is is relatively healthy, because most of the filling consists of vegetables.  Unfortunately, you would be wrong, because there are few things in life more fattening than the deep fried egg rolls pictured above.  Fortunately, however, with a few tweaks to the recipe, you can create something delicious that is both low fat and nutritious.  To make low fat egg rolls you will need

1 cup grated carrot
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded raw sugar-snap pea-pods
1/2 lb cooked beef, cut up into small pieces
1 jalapeƱo, if you enjoy spicy food.
A dash of soy sauce
Olive oil for glazing
8 whole wheat egg roll wrappers

Poach the vegetables in 1-2 cups of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain.  Toss in the beef and soy sauce until well mixed.  Then spoon mixture onto the egg roll wrappers before rolling up, and folding the ends over.  Place egg rolls on a pan and brush with olive oil.  Bake at 375 degrees until golden-brown and crispy.

No, this is not an authentic egg roll recipe, but it is low fat, and it is delicious.  Try substituting different kinds of meat and vegetables to suit your tastes.  \

Bon Appetit :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Apple-Carrot Cookies: They're Actually Good

When in comes to health, carrots are one of the best foods out there.  According to, carrots are full of vitamin A, beta-carotenes, and important anti-oxidants (anti-oxidants are amazing because they help reduce skin aging, among other things). However, I have found that it can be hard to eat carrots; they're big, difficult to chew, and rough on the teeth.  In fact, the main thing that I enjoyed carrots in was carrot cake, and this is...unhealthy to say the least.  So I set on a quest to create a carrot-filled baked good that was at least semi-healthy.  It is healthy in the sense that it is much less unhealthy than the oatmeal cookie recipe I used for the base (1 cup of butter is never good news for your waistline) To make my apple-carrot cookies you will need
-1/2 cup of vegetable oil
-1/2 cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-2 1/2 cups flour (make 1 cup wheat if you want extra health)
-2 cups old fashioned oats 
-3 apples, peeled and diced
-1 cup grated carrots

Mix together the oil, yogurt, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Then mix in the flour, oatmeal, and baking soda.  Once you have a fully formed cookie dough, add in the apples and carrots. Scoop spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 degrees until golden.  

These cookies cannot boast being non-fat like the Strawberry Blasts, and they probably will not be winning any health awards anytime soon.  However, they are a healthier and highly nutritious alternative to oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies.  They are also a good way of sneaking fruits and vegetables to kids, so if you have a little one at home, I would highly recommend this recipe.  

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Strawberries :)

The weather is getting warmer, and one of the best foods to help one celebrate springtime is fresh strawberries.  For me, they evoke images of staining my bare feet green in fresh cut grass, gorging myself on fresh strawberries.  Unfortunately, there are many ways of eating strawberries that do not prepare the body for the impending bikini season. There are strawberry tarts, strawberry shortcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and strawberry ice cream; all of them dripping with unwanted fat.

One extra-refreshing strawberry recipe has the added advantage of being completely non-fat:  Strawberry Blasts.  To make one blast, you need
-1-2 scoops of strawberry sorbet
-4 strawberries
-6 ounces sparkling water

Put two strawberries sliced thinly into the bottom of a parfait cup. Blend together the sorbet and sparking water, and then pour that on top of the sliced strawberries before topping with the final two strawberries, thinly sliced.  Want something a little bit stronger than a virgin drink? Substitute champagne for the sparkling water and enjoy a relaxing evening drink.  Sorbet is non-fat, strawberries are non-fat, and both sparking water and champagne are non-fat.  This makes for a guilt-free summer dessert, so you should enjoy.
Bon Appetit :)

Intro to Food

I have lived my entire life devoted to food, and I must say that there is nothing that pleases me better than good food, and nothing that makes me more upset than eating bad food.  Ever since I was toddling around after my mother, I was helping to make apple and blackberry pies and cobblers, strawberry jam, and hot biscuits.  I learned to cook as a hobby and in college my tight budget forced me to perfect it to an art because I could never afford to eat out.  Good cooking, unfortunately, often leads expanding waistlines, which is not exactly a happy notion for a college girl.  So I have created several recipes inspired by foods from all over the world that are both healthy and delicious.  Stay posted for recipes, cooking tips and food recommendations.
Bon Appetit