Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

january2009-112

Each time a new year rolls around people make resolutions to lose weight. I’ve done this before, and last year actually had some real success. The secret to losing weight isn’t that difficult, more calories out than in. You don’t have to make huge dramatic changes to your lifestyle. Just get off the couch and do something that is going to elevate your heart rate, and eat less. For many of us that just means eating smaller portions. Also, don’t swear off any food. Eating several slices of pizza everyday isn’t good for you, if you have a slice on a Friday night it won’t derail your weight loss hopes. Sometimes you need to give into your cravings, in a controlled manner of course. For example, if you crave something salty, have some popcorn instead of a whole bag of potato chips.  If you crave something sweet, have one of these delicious cookies.

When I first tasted these cookies I was impressed with myself. You can taste the cranberries and the oats. You also can taste the orange, ginger and a hint of vanilla. All the ingredients stand out and work so well together. These cookies are sweet and delicious, and with only 92 calories per cookie, you won’t have to spend hours in the gym burning off those calories.  If you are concerned about those calories, my friend Jessie has 20 great ways to burn them off.

*If you are not concerned about calorie content, I would recommend adding some white chocolate chips to the dough. I haven’t tried it yet, but when I first took a bite I thought white chocolate chips would be really good in this cookie.

january2009-113

OATMEAL CRANBERRY COOKIES
Yield: 18 cookies

1 1/4 c oats
3/4 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t ginger
6 T smart balance, softened
2 egg whites
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T honey
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange peel grated
1/2 T squeezed orange juice
3/4 c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a separate bowl mix together oatmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger, set aside. In your mixer cream together Smart Balance and brown sugar until mixed uniformly. Add egg whites,  honey, vanilla, orange peel and orange juice. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Take your bowl off the mixer and stir in the dried cranberries by hand. Drop about 1 1/2 T of cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies look golden and crispy at the edges. ENJOY!

The Best Blueberry Muffins

I picked up a pint of blueberry muffins at the Farmer’s Market last week; last night I turned them into the most delicious blueberry muffins. These are the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had; and as a bonus they are low in calories! Truly a delicious breakfast (or snack) without the guilt. Each muffin contains 169 calories, so don’t feel bad about reaching for seconds. I found the original recipe on Cooking Light’s website, but due to the availability of ingredients in the pantry I needed to adapt it to fit my needs. Below is my adaptation. ENJOY!

THE BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Yield: 16 large muffins
Serving size: 1 muffin
160 calories (45 from fat)

1 2/3 c quick-cooking oats
2/3 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c AP flour
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 c fat-free sour cream
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c canola oil
2 tsp lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 c fresh blueberries
2 T granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place oats in a food processor; pulse until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl, add flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats in bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine sour cream and skim milk, stir to thin out sour cream. Add oil add eggs; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in lemon juice. Gently fold in blueberries until just combined.

Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle batter with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.

Remove from pans immediately. Place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*If using frozen berries, toss with 2 T flour to coat.

Beer and Lime Marinated Chicken Fajitas

Tonight’s dinner was these delicious marinated chicken fajitas. To be honest I did not measure my ingredients for my marinade, this allows you to season according to your flavor preferences. A quick stir-fry for the meat and veggies allows these fajitas to be done in a matter of minutes. I served my fajitas without a tortilla (to save some calories), black beans and yellow rice. It was a very filling meal with less than 245 calories! As a bonus, this entire meal comes together in less than 30 minutes.

BEER AND LIME MARINATED CHICKEN FAJITAS
123 calories per serving (Serves 4)

1 whole chicken boneless skinless chicken breast
cumin
seasoning salt
coriander
onion powder
garlic powder
lime juice
1/2 bottled beer

1 T vegetable oil, divided
1 medium size orange pepper
1/2 medium red onion

Trim chicken breasts of any fat and slice thinly. Put into a dish to marinate. Add seasonings, lime juice and beer. Stir. Allow to marinade 15 minutes. Thinly slice onion and pepper, set aside.

Heat wok over high heat. Add 1/2 T oil to wok, stir-fry onion and pepper for 5 minutes. Remove to separate dish. Add 1/2 T oil to wok, stir-fry chicken for 5 minutes. Discard marinade. Add onions and peppers to chicken and combine for 1-2 minutes. Serve as you wish. ENJOY!