Low Fat Pumpkin Bars

november2008-015

Tis the season for stuffing our faces. Sounds pretty doesn’t it? From October 1 until January 1 is when my willpower is tested constantly.  In October I had celebrated  three years of marriage with my husband, two birthdays (next year it will be three), and Halloween. November brought three Thanksgiving dinners (eek!), now December we celebrated my SIL’s 30th birthday, and we will have a Christmas Eve dinner and three Christmas dinners. Now I wish I could say that I did not over indulge; I did however, try to eat consciously. It must have worked because the first time in a long time I am actually losing weight during this long holiday season (WOOP WOOP!).

We currently live in an apartment that does not allow for entertaining the whole family, so until I am able to host my first holiday meal, I will have to bring something to the dinner table that I know will not completely sabotage my waist line. These pumpkin bars are fabulous if I do say so myself, and they are a dessert that isn’t going to ruin your diet.  This recipe was emailed to me from Sparkpeople.com recipe of the day. These bars are delicious and moist, a great alternative to pumpkin pie. No one will know that they only have 67 calories per serving if you don’t tell them! ENJOY!

PUMPKIN BARS
serves: 48

2 cups flour
1-1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light butter or margarine, softened (I used Smart Balance)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 large egg whites
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin pie filling
1 cup carrot, finely shredded

Cream cheese topping:
4 oz light cream cheese, softened (I used fat free)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon skim milk

DIRECTIONS
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10 jellyroll pan.
Prepare Filling:
In small bowl: combine flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder & baking soda.
In larger bowl: Beat sugar, butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie mix and carrots. Beat until well blended. Add flour mixture and mix until well blended. Spread onto greased pan.
Prepare Cream Cheese topping:
Mix together cream cheese, sugar and milk until thoroughly blended.
Drop teaspoonfuls of topping over pumpkin batter and swirl mixture with a butter knife.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester (inserted in center) comes out clean.
Cool in pan completely on wire rack before cutting into 48 squares.

NUTRITION INFO (per serving)
Calories: 67.2
Fat: 0.9 g
Carbohydrates: 13.6 g
Protein: 1.4 g

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Tamales

I have always wanted to try tamales, and to be honest I used to be so intimidated to order them off a menu somewhere because I was unsure if you ate the corn husk too. I certainly know a lot more about tamales now, in fact I have made them a few times from scratch. I got this great low-fat recipe from my friend Jessie over at Little Calorie. She talks about how they are a labor of love, how right she is. Making tamales from scratch are extremely time consuming, especially if you have a 2 1/2 year old and 11 month old who want to “help” you in the kitchen. These are definatly a “plan-ahead” kind of meal; plan to spend the majority of your day making them. But what a sweet, er-savory, reward.  Remember, you DO NOT eat the corn husk! 🙂

TIP FOR FREEZING: Once the tamales are done steaming, cool, the place in a zip top bag in the fridge. The next morning take the bag out and place it in the freezer. When tamale fever strikes, reheat (with husk on) in the microwave at half power for 2 minutes, or until warmed through. ENJOY!

The Culinary Review

Last night I stumbled upon this awesome website, thank you for the Google Reader recommendations. This website offers recipes. Each recipe includes the price breakdown per ingredient, per serving and the sum of the entire recipe. It also does a nutritional breakdown of the recipe for each ingredient, each serving and for the recipe as a whole. I foresee this website being a great resource. Whether you are on a tight food budget, or just want to eat healthier, this is a must see website.

Other perks of the website include cooking help. There are many topics included from how to cook a roux to how to infuse vodka. There are many other helpful topics that you may enjoy. Check it out soon!