Lightened Up Recipe · Side dish

Lightened Up Easter Menu

I love having options, and when it comes to cooking, it’s even more true!  Making Easter dinner made me challenge myself to find recipes with a little less calories and carbs, since most in my family are trying to watch both.  We splurged a little, but it was a good feeling to know that things were made lighter this year! I love the option of making our favorite recipes, but reducing the calories in them!

Spiral Glazed Ham
Baked Potato Casserole
Green Beans with Almonds
Strawberry Kale Salad
Rolls ~ Deviled Eggs
Light Coconut Pie and Light Chocolate Pie

I tried a new potato dish that was really good, but healthier by tweaking just a few ingredients!

 

Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 to 3 lb. total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (8-oz. pkg.) shredded 2% cheddar cheese, divided
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
Sliced green onions (optional)

Directions :

Place potatoes in large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook over
medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole dish.
Return potatoes to saucepan; add evaporated milk, sour cream, salt and pepper.
Beat with hand-held mixer until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese and half of bacon. Spoon mixture into prepared casserole dish.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining 1/2 cupcheese,
remaining bacon and green onions. Bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
TIP:
This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated. Cover with foil and bake at 350° F for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated. Uncover; top with cheese,
bacon and green onions; bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

For dessert I made two pies from Cooking Light – Chocolate and Coconut.  Both are still decadent!

We all splurged a bit for Easter, but maybe that was because we felt a little better about the healthier options in other food!  Did you splurge at Easter or stay to the healthy side?

denise a

cakes · dessert · Lightened Up Recipe

Lemon Pound Cake With Cherry Compote

When I had a group of church friends over recently, I wanted to make a cake that would be a little lighter since the meal was pretty heavy.  I came across a Lemon Pound Cake recipe in my Cooking Light Cookbook.  It had high reviews and sounded so delicious that it didn’t take me long to say yes!

I love pound cake – the crispy exterior and the light, smooth batter inside just makes it so good.  Add lemon to it, and it’s perfect!!

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This turned out absolutely scrumptious and the cherry compote was super easy to whip up.  You might ask, What is a compote? It’s fruit cooked in a syrup.  One of my guests kiddingly called it a “compost.”  Yeah, there’s a huge difference!  You won’t be throwing this in the trash! It makes a pretty presentation, but you won’t be looking at it for long!!

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This was a plate that sampled both desserts I made – the Upside down German Chocolate cake and the Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote.  Who could resist?

Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote

Cake:

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (about 13 2/3 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Compote: – This would also be great spooned over ice cream or pancakes!

  • 4 cups pitted sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare the cake, coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

Step 3

Lightly spoon remaining 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 2 cups granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add rind, juice, and mint; beat just until blended.

Step 4

Spoon batter into prepared pan; sharply tap the pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Cut cake into 16 slices.

Step 5

To prepare compote, combine cherries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in extract. Cool. Serve with cake.

Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote
Picture credit: Cooking Light

This kind of cake freezes nicely, too.  Slice it up and put it into individual servings for guests that might drop in – or for cup of coffee that begs for something sweet to accompany it!  It’s lightened up so you won’t feel quite so bad about indulging!!

With love from my country kitchen,

denise a

 

 

Dinner · home · Home making · Lightened Up Recipe · Meal planning · refreshment at home · Tablescapes

My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance

We all have to eat.  But what we fix and how we serve it can make a huge  difference in how much enjoyment we give ourselves and those with whom we share the meal. I can remember growing up that my mom always made the table and the food a special part of each day.  I don’t go overboard on a regular day, but I try to make the food and the table inviting.  Today’s post is just a little glimpse into how I set the table and what meals we’ve been enjoying recently.

Al Fresco Dining – Once the weather turns warm, we eat outside as often as possible!  One morning recently I took breakfast outside to the front porch where the sun was shining and ate sitting in a rocking chair.  That’s even better than Cracker Barrel! Continue reading “My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance”

Dinner · Lightened Up Recipe · Sandwich

Reuben Sandwiches Done Light(er)

Reuben 2a

I love a good Reuben Sandwich at a restaurant, but I’ve seldom ever made one at home.  First, the Corned Beef is expensive at the grocery store.  Second, the calories are even higher!  But when a generous man at our church shared his homemade sauerkraut with us (again!) I kept thinking about how good a Reuben Sandwich would taste using that freshly made kraut!

So, Continue reading “Reuben Sandwiches Done Light(er)”