dessert · Easter · Gluten-Free · Weight watchers

Crustless Mini Cheesecakes

I grew up in a home where most evenings we had dessert at the end of the meal. It wasn’t something huge like a triple-layered cake, but just a little something sweet. I still enjoy ending the meal with a taste of something sweet.

Small, individual desserts are perfect for a “just enough” serving size! Weight Watchers has a cheesecake recipe that I’ve tweaked a little to come up with a dessert we love!

I bake these individual cheesecakes in small tins I purchased on Amazon. They look like these…

They’re truly the perfect size if you’re wanting to watch your calories, but still enjoy something sweet. I bake them without any crust, then give my guests the option of sprinkling chocolate covered graham crackers on the top. It serves as an inverted crust! Then I top them with fruit, light Cool Whip and chocolate shavings. Wow. They are so good! Here’s the recipe:

Crustless Cheesecakes
3/4 Cup Plain low-fat yogurt
8 oz. Low-fat Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Light Cool Whip
Fresh berries
Chocolate shavings
Chocolate Graham Crackers, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place small baking tins on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. You could also use a cupcake tin if you don’t have the tins. If you use the tin, line them with cupcake liners.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Spoon evenly into baking tins. Bake until top is set, 15-20 minutes; let cool and then chill in refrigerator 2 hours (can make up to 2 days ahead).

3. To serve, slide a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with fresh berries, Cool whip and chocolate shavings on top. You can also add the chocolate covered graham crackers on top, if desired.

You could also serve these in their little tins for an easy “pick up and go” dessert. Here’s one just with Cool Whip and chocolate. Not a bad combo!

I’m not sure about the WW points on these, but the version with a crust are 7 points, so if you don’t add the crackers, I’d think it would be one or two points lower! I’ve eaten these in moderation with good success (no weight gain).

These make a great dessert for guests. They aren’t strange in any way with artificial sweeteners – they’re just lighter due to no crust and lightened cream cheese. These would be perfect for Easter, perhaps serving them with fresh blueberries and a little lemon zest on top! Give them a try and tell me if you loved them as much as we did!

Anyone else enjoy having dessert after dinner?

Dinner · Fast meal · Gluten-Free · vegetarian

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

If you haven’t gotten on the Sheet Pan dinner Chuck wagon train yet, what are you waiting for? I have been making these for a couple of years now. Everything is tossed onto a large baking pan and roasted in the oven. You can make them to suit your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. They’re hearty and delicious and fast!

We’ve recently had new friends come to dinner who are Vegan. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but rather a challenge to get creative! Vegetables are an obvious “Yes” for Vegans, so I knew this Sheet Pan dinner would be safe.

If you want to add meat to this, some good options would be chicken breast filets, cubed, or Turkey sausage – both which would be added early to the pan. Then you add the vegetables that don’t require as much cooking time. If you wanted to add shrimp, you could cook the vegetables, then add the shrimp for the last few minutes.

The version I made yesterday for our Vegan friend had Chick Peas, which adds some protein. When it came out of the oven, I tasted it and felt like it needed a little bit more flavor, so I added a little vinaigrette. I’ll add that recipe on the recipe below. This is also a great side dish to a meat – so don’t think this is just Vegan-friendly!

My Menu:
Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner
Pork Tenderloin (for the meat-eaters)
Kale Salad – From Sam’s Club
Sour Dough Bread
Lemon Sorbet with fresh berries

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups petite baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 can (14oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • ½ large red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat or lightly grease with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and chickpeas to the center, drizzle with half the oil and most of the herb & spice mixture, toss well to coat. Every ten minutes I turned the vegetables over with a spatula to ensure even browning. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, add the asparagus, add the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, toss to coat, as shown above right. Place back in the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve with sliced avocado and plenty of parsley sprinkled over top.

Dressing I added:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp  paprika
    Mix in small jar. Pour over cooked vegetables

Jump on board and make a Sheet pan dinner this week! It’s so delicious!

baking · Gluten-Free

Flourless Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

A super fast post today with a delicious flourless muffin you must make!! A friend recently shared this recipe with me and I made them IMMEDIATELY. We loved them and my very finicky grandson ate THREE!

You don’t have to be on a gluten-free diet to enjoy these! They have protein in the peanut butter, banana, honey and leavening. That’s it!

Super moist and yummy!

The recipe came from Averie Cooks. Check out the simple ingredients and instructions. She’s got lots of great looking recipes!

Now go bake some!

Do your friends share great recipes with you? What have you tried recently?

baking · Bars · Gluten-Free · Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars – Gluten-Free, But Perfect For Anyone!

Whether you have to eat Gluten-free, or you just love a good peanut butter-chocolate chip bar, this recipe is going to make your stomach smile!  There’s no butter in these bars, but the peanut butter makes up for all the creaminess the butter would give!  These take literally minutes to pull together, then only require 22 minutes in the oven, which means you are 30 minutes away from a delicious treat!  These cut beautifully, and were just a perfect sweet any time of the day! This recipe came from WellPlated.com – a blog that is filled with lots of healthy and delicious recipes! I found her via Pinterest – where else?!

peanut butter bars 2a

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup creamy  or crunch peanut butter
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats – I used Quick oats and they worked fine!
  1. Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, then mix on medium low, just until incorporated. By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and oats.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 22 minutes, until golden and the top is set. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove, slice and serve.

peanut butter bars 2

We don’t eat Gluten-free, but these will stay in my recipe box because they’re just plain ol’ good!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Cooking · Crock Pot · Uncategorized

When Gluten-Free Meets Delicious

GF White chili a

No one in my family is Gluten-Free, but I have friends who are, so I’ve been pinning GF recipes on Pinterest.  Some recipes are just plain strange, but when I found this White Chicken Chili, I knew it would be good!  It was so delicious and had NO SPECIAL INGREDIENTS in it.  You simply substitute coconut milk for the regular milk and corn starch for flour.  This is so good with the thighs, too, but of course, you could use white meat.  I will make this again, not just for my GF friends, but for anyone who wants a delicious bowl of hearty, tasty soup!

GF white chli 5

Here’s the simple recipe:

Slow Cooker Gluten-Free White Chicken Chili

  • 2.5 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 3 cans Great Northern beans
  • 2 8 oz Cans Diced Green Chilies
  • 1 Very large Yellow Onion diced
  • 1 Tbl Garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tbl Coarse Real Salt
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 Cup Arrowroot Starch or cornstarch (I used cornstarch)
  1. Place the chicken thighs, beans, chilies, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, pepper, salt, chicken broth, and coconut milk in a crock pot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is very tender.
  2. Remove the chicken and place in a bowl. Lightly shred with a fork.
  3. Place the arrowroot starch in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the 1/2 C. water to make a smooth, lump-free mixture. Stir the mixture into the chili in the crock pot.
  4. Add the chicken back into the chili and stir to distribute. Let cook for another 30 minutes. Soup should thicken up.
  5. Add the cilantro to the soup just before serving and check the seasonings, adding more salt or pepper if desired. If you want the soup to be a little thinner, add more chicken broth or coconut milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  6. Top with a squeeze of lime juice.

GF white chili 2

Now how about a tasty little sweet ending for this meal or a nice snack that’s also Gluten-Free?  This tastes like real food !  We loved these, and they whip up in minutes!

Cashew bites 2c.jpg

Cashew-Coconut Bites

Ingredients

1 Cup Cashew – salted
1 Cup dates
1 Cup unsweetened Coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbl Almond Butter

Instructions

  1. Process dates in a food processor fit with “S” blade until crumbly.
  2. Add coconut, cashews, vanilla and salt and process until well blended and fine.
  3. Add almond butter and process until mixture starts balling up or sticking together.
  4. Roll into balls, 1-2 TBS at a time.
  5. Enjoy! Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Do you make any Gluten-Free recipes you love?  

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px