Wish Upon A Dish

September 21, 2017

Turkey Kielbasa, Broccoli/Carrots & Perogies 💜 Recipe ReDux September Challenge - Sheet Pan Dinners

Sheet pan dinners are popular because it's an easy no-brainer way to prepare a weeknight dinner with minimum prep and clean up.

I also get that the ingredients can be prepared in advance, covered with foil or cling wrap and as soon as the oven is up to heat, in 30 or more minutes, dinner is served.

I had a hard time picking the foods for this challenge and not sure which ones I would lean towards so I decided that I would make a monthly menu plan starting the day after last months challenge to keep track of which ones worked (flavor and ease of prep) and which did not.

Up till yesterday I did successfully cook 20 of the 29 planned recipes. The other 9 were meals prepared by others, family gathering or restaurant.
While hubby will pretty much eat anything I put in front of him, the ones that did not totally satisfy his taste buds ended up with more snacking or desserts afterward.

For the last year we have successfully lost a total of 90 pounds but last month we both gained a few of them back.
The only thing I could think of that was different was the elimination of grains.
I could serve the Nudge a hunk of meat for dinner and he would be happy....for a few days.

When I make my monthly meal plan, he gets to choose one dish he really wants per week. I have noticed that last month he asked for a hamburger or pizza or pasta.

I had to make a decision, add the grains to give up the empty calories or forbid my husband to eat the foods he loves.
Sort of defeats the sheet pan meal concept if you have foods that need to be cooked not on a sheet pan.

So, to keep with the challenge but to make it a meal that would be part of our monthly plan, I had to find a way to include carbs.

This was what I did.....

One of the top 10 most asked for is kielbasa & perogies with broccoli or carrots. How to cook the perogies on a sheet pan? I bought aluminum take-out containers with lids at the dollar store.

Defrost the perogies in the fridge if frozen or buy fresh ones and added 1/4 cup water to the aluminum pan. In the 20 minutes it took to bake the meat & vegetables it also steamed the perogies to perfection, with no liquid remaining.

Ta Dah!

It was cooked perfectly down to the dough of the perogies.
I would serve this with a good brown mustard and a dollop of lite sour cream. I would also offer individual containers of apple sauce.

Directions for a sheet pan dinner for one to two.
Slice 4oz of turkey kielbasa 3/4 the way through keeping the sausage intact. I actually can buy a 4oz kielbasa at Dollar Tree.
Toss 1 cup both broccoli and carrots with olive oil and seasonings of choice (I use Adobo with pepper) or salt & pepper.
Spray the sheet pan the take out pan & the perogies with a release agent, add the water & seal the take out pan and bake the sheet pan (uncovered) at 425­­° for 20 minutes.

For those that have no reason to resize the ingredients, I would use a large round or rectangular take out container for the perogies and add 1/2 cup of water. A large bag of prepared mixed vegetable that your family would eat and follow the directions as above baking the sheet pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 425°.


September 10, 2017

Sweet Ricotta & Pineapple Cornbread ♥ Celebrate with SPLENDA® Sweeteners #Sponsored

"I received free samples of SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by SPLENDA® Sweeteners and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."

Over the river and through the woods......
Holidays are celebrated across the Delaware in Pennsylvania. My SIL has the only dining room large enough to fit us all without the typical "kitty table".

Large gatherings include massive amounts of food and luckily in our posse, the woman folk are wonderful cooks (and they like it too).
It was long decided that my SIL by marriage does the appetizers, the host does the main meat and I make the vegetables.

A few years back a baked pineapple casserole joined the cast of characters. It contained pineapple, eggs, Ritz crackers and Cheddar cheese. Sounded strange but it all worked. It was the perfect side for that Baked Ham.
Not sure why that was the one & only appearance but I am sure that the 2 cups of sugar had something to do with it.
Out of favor but not out of mind.

This contest was incentive to find that original recipe and rework the ingredients to fit a healthier holiday table.
What did I do? I took the pineapple, eggs, and cheese and added cornmeal, peppers & Splenda® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend to make a totally healthy cornbread.

The new Splenda® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend accented the sweet pineapple and fit perfectly in with the savory.

I have always been a lover of cornmeal, whether it be a muffin or cornbread but sometimes it can be dry and flavorless and those gigantic muffins are loaded with butter and sugar. Bumping up the cast of characters changed the whole outcome. This cornbread was moist, savory, cheesy and perfectly sweet.
A one pan wonder, it came together in my stand mixer.

Using Splenda® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend product was a no-brainer. It provided a great taste with 50% fewer calories than sugar, and is made from only 2 non-GMO ingredients: stevia and cane sugar.

The best part is the taste. That's it......there is no discerning aftertaste.  I LOVE IT!
I would bet that when I bring this to our next football tailgate grillfest, I will need to bring printed recipe cards. It's that good.......

Want to know the best part?......Omit the savory and you have breakfast muffins from heaven, just as moist but without all that butter and sugar.

Sweet Ricotta & Pineapple Cornbread
makes 12 portions

* 1 (23.5oz) can crushed pineapple
* 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
* 1/4 cup Splenda® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend
* 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 small container part skim ricotta cheese
* 1 can Mexican-style chopped green peppers
* 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
* 2/3 cup grated low fat cheddar cheese
* 5 egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks

Preheat oven to 350°

1. Spray an 8x12" pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Drain pineapple & set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, or with a hand blender, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Remove to a separate bowl.
3. In the same mixer bowl, add the remaining ingredients and slowly mix until incorporated.
4. Carefully blend in egg whites using a spatula until there are no large white spots showing.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow pan to sit for 20 minutes before removing and cutting.

Can be made up to three days in advance and covered in the refrigerator.


September 9, 2017

Lemon Olive Oil Yogurt Cake ♥ Celebrate with SPLENDA® Sweeteners #Sponsored

"I received free samples of SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by SPLENDA® Sweeteners and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."

I have been using SPLENDA® products for as long as I can remember.
Over the years since I was diagnosed with Prediabetes, information pertaining to the pros and cons relating to alternative sweeteners has been all over the place.
At first I eliminated all sweets but that just made me crave them more. I needed to find a middle ground so I went to the store and purchased every sugar substitute. Over the weeks I tried each one until I found the one that I could live with and that one, was Splenda®.

I think I was one of the first Recipe ReDuxer, to sign-up for samples when the email for this contest hit my In Box. I had not seen Splenda® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend in my store and I was anxious to get baking.

I knew about the 50% fewer calories per serving than granulated sugar and that it had no bitter after taste but this blend would allow me to get back into the kitchen and bake my favorite goodies.

So what did I choose?

My family loves olive oil cakes and I am the 'Go To Girl' when it's time to celebrate.
I introduced them about 10 years ago and they quickly knocked my cheesecakes off the proverbial cake stand.
An already healthy olive oil cake is now enhanced with the Splenda® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend that is made from only 2 non-GMO ingredients: stevia & cane sugar.

Splenda® Naturals Sugar Stevia Sweetener is considered natural due the fact that the non-GMO ingredients are subjected to minimal processing with no added artificial flavors, no added colors and no artificial ingredients. For more information visit here.

Before I got started I wanted to be sure I had as much information on baking with Splenda®, so I did my homework. I am not a food scientist but I do understand there is a science to baking with sugar.

Sugar is crucial to not only the sweetness but to the structure. It adds moisture and stability to the components that make a cake or cookies rise. Splenda® recommends adding 1/2 cup of dry milk and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of Splenda® used in a recipe.

Since I am a person who 'wears a belt and suspenders' I also whipped the egg whites and used self-rising flour (flour + baking powder + salt) that some believe is made with a summer wheat.

The finished cake was moist, tender and light, good things especially with an olive oil cake.
I was extremely happy with the crumb (the pattern of holes inside of a cake or bread) that meant good moisture.

This delicious lemon yogurt cake is so simple to make it and a healthier version minus the butter.
While I baked mine in an angel food pan, if you prefer a taller cake,  bake it in a 6" tube pan.

I opted to top my cake with roasted almonds but thinly sliced lemons would also look nice.

Lemon Olive Oil Yogurt Cake
makes 1- 8" cake

* 1/2 cup Splenda® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend
* 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
* 2 cups self-rising flour
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest
* 3/4 cup regular olive oil
* 1 cup 2% plain yogurt
* 2 eggs yolks
* 2 egg whites, whipped

Preheat oven to 350°.

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the egg whites.
2. Using a hand or stand mixer whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks.
3. Gently fold the whites into the rest of the batter using a large whisk with an under to over motion until there are no whites showing.
4. Spoon cake mixture into a greased ring tin and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Remove the cake and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Invert to a cake stand or platter until if falls to the platter. If it still sticks, gently run a thin spatula around the outside of the cake until it loosens.
6. Top with thin slices of lemon or toasted almond slices.