Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

meal ideas ~ last minute no bake desserts

Need a last minute desert? Maybe something a little different than one already made or planned, something more for an unexpected guest- your oven is full? Well, I have a solution, actually three. Here are three great holiday desserts that are quick (or can be made ahead) and do not need baking, that’s the best part...next to their yummieness~

Bing Cherry Fool 
When I was a child my grandmother made a dessert that I absolutely loved, she would call it a “Fool” and I always thought she was teasing me until I grew and saw my first recipe for a real “Fool.” this is a low-calorie, low-fat twist on the traditional fool, cut whipped topping with Greek yogurt and marbled it with a sweet cherry mixture.

1/4 cup sugar
 1 tablespoon cornstarch
 12 ounces fresh dark sweet cherries, stemmed, halved, and pitted
 1/2 cup dry red wine or pomegranate juice
 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
 1 8 - ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
 1 6 - ounce carton plain fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 8 fresh dark sweet cherries with stems (optional)

 In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add the halved cherries and the wine, stirring until combined. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Transfer cherry mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in orange peel. Cover and chill 2 hours.

 In a large bowl whisk together whipped topping, yogurt, and vanilla. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chilled cherry mixture to the whipped topping mixture and fold gently to marble. Spoon into eight 6-ounce dessert dishes. Spoon the remaining cherry mixture evenly over desserts. Cover and chill up to 4 hours. If desired, top each dessert with a cherry with a stem before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 143 cal., 3 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 10 mg sodium, 25 g carb. (1 g fiber, 15 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fruit (d.e): 0.5; Other Carb (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 0.5; Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0

No-Bake Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake 
If you’re craving chocolate but don’t want to heat up the house, this no-bake low-carb cheesecake is for you. We created a marbled effect by spooning the white mixture onto the chocolate mixture and swirling with a knife.

1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers
 2 tablespoons butter, melted
 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
 3/4 cup fat-free milk
 2 8 - ounce package Neufchatel cream cheese softened
 1 8 - ounce package fat-free cream cheese, softened
 1 8 - ounce carton fat-free dairy sour cream
 1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute equivalent
 2 teaspoons vanilla
 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
 Chocolate curls (optional)

 In a medium bowl, stir together finely crushed graham crackers and melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch springform pan (may not completely cover bottom). Cover and chill while preparing filling.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over milk; let stand for 5 minutes. Heat and stir over low heat just until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Cool for 15 minutes.

 In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed; gradually beat in gelatin mixture. Divide mixture in half. Gradually stir melted chocolate into half of the mixture.

Spoon half of the chocolate mixture over chilled crust in pan; spread evenly. Carefully spoon half of the white mixture over chocolate mixture in small mounds. Using a narrow, thin-bladed metal spatula or a table knife, swirl chocolate and white mixtures. Top with remaining chocolate mixture, spreading evenly; spoon remaining white mixture over chocolate mixture in small mounds and swirl again. Cover and chill about 6 hours or until set.

To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen cheesecake from side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Cut cheesecake into wedges. If desired, garnish with chocolate curls. Makes 16 slices.

Make-ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through step 4, except cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Serve as directed in step 5.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 184 cal., 11 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 29 mg chol., 232 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (1 g fiber), 7 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 2;

No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake 
A combination of classic fall flavors and a super short prep time makes this pumpkin pie-cheesecake hybrid a perfect choice for the busy holiday season. Enjoy a slice of the decadent comfort food for only 19 grams of carb.

3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
 2 tablespoons butter, melted
 1 8 - oz pkg Neufchatel cream cheese
 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute equivalent
 1/2 cup fat-free milk
 2 teaspoons vanilla
 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
 2 8 - ounce packages fat-free cream cheese
 1 15 - ounce can pumpkin
 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
 1/4 cup orange juice

 For crust: In a medium bowl, stir together crushed graham crackers and melted butter until crackers are moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Cover and chill while preparing filling.

 For filling: In a food processor or blender, combine the reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the milk, the vanilla, and orange peel. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

 In a food processor or blender, combine fat-free cream cheese, pumpkin, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup milk, and the pumpkin pie spice. Cover and process or blend until smooth.

 In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice; let stand for 5 minutes. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Stir 1 tablespoon of the gelatin mixture into the white cream cheese mixture and the remaining gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

 Pour pumpkin mixture over chilled crust in pan. Carefully pour white cream cheese mixture over pumpkin mixture. Using a narrow, thin-bladed metal spatula or a table knife, swirl pumpkin and white mixtures.

 Cover and chill overnight before serving. To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen cheesecake from side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Cut into wedges. Makes 12 servings.
  
Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through step 5. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Serve as directed in step 6.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 179 cal., 7 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 23 mg chol., 331 mg sodium, 19 g carb. (1 g fiber), 9 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1.5; Other Carb (d.e): 1.5

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