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, June 10, 2015

meal ideas ~Lemon treats you'll love

I know ... had to do it- yesterday’s Healthy Living Lemon Power just got me craving some lemon desserts. And with these delectable diabetes-friendly dishes, when life hands you lemons, you can make a lot more than just lemonade.

Just a note: It is my opinion that if everyone ate as if they were diabetic and/or had heart disease....those health issues would be almost non-existent. So, don’t shy away from my recipes just because they are diabetic-friendly- you will not only be giving your taste buds a treat, but your body too.

Lemon Meringue Sandwich Cookies
These cream-filled cookies will be at favorite at your house. You won't believe that you can eat two sandwich cookies for fewer than 50 calories and 8 grams of carb! Plus, one recipe makes 17 cookies -- just right for a party-platter treat. ** I do not recommend using sugar substitutes for this recipe.

2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 recipe Yellow Cream Filling (below)

In a medium bowl allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Add lemon extract, cream of tartar, and salt to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). In a small bowl combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the egg white mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold in lemon peel.

Transfer egg white mixture to a disposable piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe 1- 1/2-inch circles that are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between circles.

Place cookie sheets on separate oven racks; bake for 10 minutes. Turn off oven; let cookies dry in oven with door closed for 1 hour. Carefully lift cookies off parchment paper. Transfer to wire racks; let stand just until cookies are cool. (The cookies can quickly become tacky, especially if the weather is humid. To prevent this, store unfilled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

 Just before serving, place Yellow Cream Filling in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or in a resealable plastic bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe 1 teaspoon filling onto the flat side of half the cooled cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down, to make sandwich cookies.

Yellow Cream Filling
1/2 cup softened light tub-style cream cheese
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 drops yellow food coloring

 In a medium bowl beat softened light tub-style cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in light sour cream and powdered sugar until smooth. Add yellow food coloring or more until desired shade is reached.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 48 cal., 1 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 5 mg chol., 61 mg sodium, 8 g carb. (7 g sugars), 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 0.5;

Lemon Cheesecake Bites
Tart lemon lightens up this decadent low-carb dessert. Made with fat-free cream cheese and Greek yogurt, these tangy bites let you indulge guilt-free.

1 cup finely crushed graham crackers
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup fat-free milk
1  pke lemon instant pudding mix
  (fat-free, sugar-free, reduced-calorie- or not)
2 --8 ounce Neufchate, softened
8 – oz pkg fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white baking pieces
1/2 teaspoon shortening
 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, chopped

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Set aside.

 For crust, in a small bowl combine finely crushed graham crackers, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the butter. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

 In a medium bowl whisk together milk and pudding mix until smooth; set aside. In a large bowl beat Neufchatel cheese and fat-free cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the yogurt, pudding mixture, and salt. Beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 tablespoon of the lemon peel and the lemon juice until combined.

Evenly spread batter over cooled graham cracker crust. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a 1-inch area around outside edges appears set when gently shaken (center will still jiggle when gently shaken). Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the cheesecake to avoid condensation. Chill for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

In a small microwave-safe bowl combine white baking pieces and shortening. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 10 to 60 seconds or until melted, stirring every 20 seconds.

Drizzle the melted mixture over baked cheesecake; sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut cheesecake out of the pan. Cut into 25 squares. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon peel.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 142 cal., 7 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 41 mg chol., 244 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (10 g sugars), 5 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Milk (d.e): 0.5; Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 1.5

Lemon Pistachio Slice-and-Bake Cookies
Grandma's slice-and-bake cookies get a modern twist with lemon and pistachios. Enjoy these low-carb cookies yourself, or box them up with a ribbon as a delicious gift for a friend.

1/2 cup 60% to 70% tub-style vegetable oil spread
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute blend
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 cup finely chopped lightly salted dry roasted pistachio nuts
Lemon Icing (optional)

In a large bowl, combine vegetable oil spread and butter; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixed. Beat in sugar and salt until well mixed. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the lemon peel.

Divide dough in half. Shape each dough portion into an 8-inch-long log. Sprinkle half of the pistachio nuts on a sheet of waxed paper. Roll one log in the nuts to coat. Repeat with remaining nuts and log. Wrap logs in plastic wrap. Chill about 2 hours or until firm enough to slice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If necessary, reshape logs to make them round. Cut logs crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or just until edges are firm and tops are set. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool completely.

Note: had some of these made with white chocolate chunks mxed in the dough instead of being rolled in pistachios (not diabetic friendly-oh well) and they are awesome !!!! icing not recommended on this idea.

 If desired, drizzle cookies with Lemon Icing. Let stand until icing is set.

Lemon Icing
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 - 3 tablespoons fat-free milk

 In a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar, lemon peel, and enough fat-free milk (2 to 3 tablespoons) to make drizzling consistency.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving 59 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 3 mg chol., 34 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (3 g sugars), 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0; Fat (d.e): 0.5;

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