Wednesday, August 19, 2009


When I went to California in February and saw my friend Brandi, she gave me 3 cookbooks. At the time she was working for Devin Alexander who has written several cookbooks including "The Biggest Loser Cookbook". I've been meaning to try some recipes and post them on here for awhile but haven't got around to it. This weekend I finally went through and picked a couple from each book to try this week.

The book "Fast Food Fix" has lowfat versions of your favorite fast foods. I tried "Subway's Southwest Chipotle Sauce" and "Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino" both were delicious.

Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 20 ice cubes, divided
* 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
* 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
* 1/2 cup aerosol fat-free whipped topping

*I know that the coffee in the picture is not instant, but I did not realize there was a difference until after I tried to make the recipe, so I did go out and get some instant coffee to use in the recipe. The kind in the picture didn't work*

In a small microwavable bowl or cup, combine the water and coffee. Microwave on high power for 1 minute, or until the water is hot enough to dissolve the coffee. Add the sugar. Stir until the coffee and sugar are dissolved. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add 6 ice cubes. Stir to accelerate melting the ice. When the ice is almost melted, add the half-and-half and chocolate syrup. Stir to mix. Pour into a blender jar. Add enough ice cubes for the liquid to reach the 16-ounce marker on the blender jar. Blend on high speed for 30-60 seconds or until just slushy. Pour into a 16-ounce tumbler. Top with whipped topping. Serve with a straw.

The next book I tried recipes from was "The Most Decadent Diet Ever". I made the "Mostly Mom's Marinara Sauce" and the "Eggplant Parmesan". The marinara sauce took a while but it made a ton so you can store it in the fridge and use it when you need it. I would add extra crushed red pepper flakes than the recipe calls for, though. It only calls for 1/2 a teaspoon and we ended up adding a lot more than that to give it a kick.

"Mostly Mom's Marinara Sauce"
* 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
* two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 2 teaspoons sugar, plus extra, if desired
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Place a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Put in the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until well combined. Turn the heat to low. Cook, covered, for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season with additional salt, if needed.

*This picture isn't very good, but it's the only one I took*

The last book (and my favorite book) that I tried recipes out of was "The Biggest Loser Cookbook". I tried Angel Hair with Rockin' Red Clam Sauce which was my favorite recipe of any that I tried this week and "White Chocolate-Strawberry Pie-Lets".

"Angel Hair with Rockin' Red Clam Sauce"
* salt
* 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow or white onion
* 2 small cloves garlic, minced
* 1 pouch (3.5oz) baby clams, drained
* 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
* pinch of red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
* 2 oz of Nutrition Kitchen Angel Hair style Golden Whole Soybean Pasta
* 1 to 2 teaspoons grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

**I could not find baby clams in a pouch at Kroger, so I used canned. I also did not use the angel hair pasta it called for, I already had some wheat angel hair style pasta, so I used that**

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, lightly mist a small nonstick skillet with olive oil spray. Set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until almost tender. (Do not brown) Add the clams. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the excess liquid is completely evaporated. Reduce the heat to low. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and oil. Season with red pepper flakes.
Meanwhile, when the water boils, add the pasta to the pot. Stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and add to the skillet mixture. toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the cheese. Serve immediately.

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