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Recipes I've Shared:

"Sugar" and Spice Biscuits

Sugar-free adaptation of BHG recipe from "Cook Healthy Today." The two substitutions save what may seem like a scant 20 or so calories, but the reduction in added fat and sugar, in one case replacing half of the added fat for a nutrient-dense fruit puree (applesauce) hardly affects the taste and only adds micronutritional benefit.

Very Good (5 ratings)
Auntie Anne's Pretzels

Spread with I Can't Believe it's not Butter fat free saves about 40 calories per pretzel!

Oven-Roasted Vegetable Whole Wheat Penne

All I can say about this adaptation (for lower fat , fewer calories, and more fiber) of a BHG "Cook Healthy Today" recipe is "Wow. Yum!" Sometimes I toss in a few black ( or even kalamata) olives for some extra zip!

Guiltless Spinach-Feta Bake

"Three types of cheese not only make this spinach- and- egg ensemble good but extra rich in calcium as well"

Adapted for lower fat and fewer calories from BHG "Cook Healthy Today." Original recipe contains 156 calories (8 g carbs, 14 protein, and 7 g fat) per serving, while Alex's version contains 100 calories (9.3 g carbs, 14.7 g protein, and 1.0 g fat) per serving.

Polenta with Mushrooms and Asparagus

"Something bright and green always beats the winter blues. This rustic polenta, starring the first asparagus of the season, may provide the lift you need."

Adapted for less fat and fewer calories from BHG "Cooking Well Today;" original version = 273 calories (33 g carbs, 11 g protein, 11 g fat) per serving versus Alex's version = 190.7 calories (32.1 g carbs, 8.4 g protein, 5.0 g fat) per serving. This is accomplished soley through the substitution of cheeses (fat free mozzarella for parmesan) and the omission/substitution of olive oil (olive oil flavored Pam is used instead and I've found does not affect the taste or texture at all!). Enjoy eating and living well!

Very Good (1 rating)
Fat Free Eggplant Tacos

An adaptation of the Eggplant Tacos recipe developed by Sparkdiet staff, using Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray instead of 2 T of oilve oil (saves a whopping 60 calories per serving!).

Amazing Solo Vegetarian Stroganoff

A delicious, simple, yet impressive meal for the single vegetarian! This recipe can of course be doubled, or quadrupled, etc; however, it was written as a one-person serving because of the ease with which these particular ingredients can be stored and cooked in small amounts. I usually make this when I have leftover egg noodles!

Very Good (1 rating)
Guiltless Kiwi-Strawberry Cake with Strawberries n Creme Topping

Betcha never thought a taste of heaven could be so, well, guiltless! This moist, tender, and creamy dessert relies on a few "secret" techniques and ingredients in order to achieve the kind of taste and texture ordinarily associated with the use of added fat and sugar in baking.

At just shy of 75 calories per serving (a generous 2" x 2" square, at that!), fat free, sugar free, and with 10% of the RDI of vitamin C (thank you fresh strawberries!), this cake is perfect for those whose sweet tooths would otherwise prevent them from adhering to a calorically-balanced diet.

Note: If you find that you want a bit more rise, or volume, to your cake, you may want to try and use two egg whites instead of one and adjust the amount of soda used accordingly. Negligible calories (1 per serving) will be added.

Guiltless Tangy Herb Mashed Potatoes

These are a "lighter" update of what my family used to call "Alex's Special Mashed Potatoes." What made them truly special? Hmm, perhaps it was the fat and calories added by my use of cream, butter, cream cheese, and sour cream! Now that I am not a youngster, I strive to create meals that one can enjoy because they actually taste good with a few enhancements, not simply because they are laden with fat (which of course tastes good). Usually this involves roasting to bring out the flavor of vegetables, using herbs, and playing with texture. However, in the case of this classic "comfort food" I wanted to go for something more traditionally "rich" tasting. The substitution ingredients (Fat Free I Can't Believe it's not Butter and fat free sour cream) are not only excellent imitators of the full fat versions, but any extreme differences in taste are masked by the use of vegetable broth instead of water for boiling and mashing, and the inclusion of dillweed (feel free to experiement and use chives instead; I have simply traditionally used dill over the years and so stuck with the tried and true for this recipe!).

Although fat is a necessary component of the diet, I am loathe to utilize "added fats" in my cooking. I'd rather obtain fat from less-processed sources such as nuts, nut butters, and higher-fat fruits and veggies (avocados, black olives, etc).

Incredible! (2 ratings)
Eggplant Gyro Salad

This delicious vegetarian salad will satisfy the tastebuds and bellies of both veggies and omnis alike! Perfect on a hot summer day yet hearty even in winter, this salad is topped with cucumber raita, this version of which is fat free yet tangy and smooth.

Adapted from the American Heart Association's Light and Easy Recipes

Guiltless Zucchini Bread with Blueberries

While sugar may play a necessary role in some baked goods because of chemical reactions that result in the proper texture, rising, et cetera, quick breads are a wonderful category of sweets for which the complete substitution of a low-calorie sweetener such as Splenda is not only completely acceptable from a baking standpoint, but for taste as well.

Splenda is not truly calorie free; there are approximately 2 calories per teaspoon (compared to 15 calories per teaspoon of sugar!), so when utilizing in baked goods be sure to add 97 calories per cup of Splenda if you are concerned with accurate nutrition info. If you are not yet brave enough to try for a complete substitution, feel free to try the recipe with the Splenda Baking Blend (half sugar and half splenda), but it is worth trying the entire recipe with Splenda to see just how delicious "guiltless" baking can be!

This recipe is also included in the "guiltless" category because it is virtually fat free! The use of applesauce in quick breads in lieu of oil is not only heart healthy and MUCH lower in calorie (its use saves about 60 calories per half-inch slice!), but it results in a tender, sweet quickbread.

I've kept the whole eggs in this recipe instead of using an egg substitute or egg whites, as the caloric value difference is only about 5 calories per slice and I find that the yolks are a necessary binding ingredient. If you are concerned with cholesterol (and the recipe as written only has about 20 grams per slice) try it with egg whites or egg substitute (3/4 cup) and let us know how it goes!

Adapted from

Mushroom Spinach "nested" mini-quiche

Layers upon layers!!! One would never guess that this de"light"ful dish is as sound nutritionally as it is in taste! The separation of the egg layers adds both intrigue and volume, while the "secret ingredient," nutritional yeast (often used by vegetarians and vegans to supplement B-complex vitamins), adds a "cheesy" flavor, so fat free cheeses can be used without sacrificing taste for those who normally consume the full-fat versions. This recipe is an "Alex Original."

Guiltless Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

At only 66 calories and virtually fat-free, one of these muffins provides almost 10% of the minimum RDI of dietary fiber. Not to mention they are a delicious snack or part of a sound breakfast! (I often slather one with a tbsp of fat-free I Can't Believe it's not Butter, grab a half-cup of light soymilk, and cut a medium banana in half for a tasty and satisfying 150 calorie breakfast-on-the-go).
Adapted from

Microwave Garlicky Peas and Pasta

FIlling, delicious, and nutritious (5.6 g of fiber per serving and dense in vitamins and minerals), this simple dish makes a satisfying entree for a lunch or light supper when paired with a freshly tossed salad and a choice piece of fruit (My favorite combination is a spinach salad in a light lemon-garlic vinaigrette and a half-cup of strawberries or mandarin oranges).
dapted from the Peas and Pasta recipe on

Guiltless Raisin Spice Bran Muffins

These muffins earn inclusion in the "guiltless" category because of their low caloric density and high micronutrient value (they are particularly high in magnesium). At only 87 calories per muffin (and 63 if raisins are omitted), the secret to their tenderness and taste lies in the "marination" of the batter in the refrigerator for several hours to several days. These are an especially good strategy for a quick breakfast for busy singles who might otherwise skip this important meal: Simply preheat the oven when you get up in the morning, fill a single silicon or disposable aluminum muffin cup and pop it in the oven, jump in the shower, and by the time you're toweled off the heavenly smell of baking quickbreads will be wafting from your kitchen! I like to spread on a dollop of sugar-free jam (Smucker's apricot pairs particularly well) and partner with a carton of fat-free yogurt and a half-cup of strawberries. A complete, nutritious breakfast (or snack) for about 200 calories!
___________________________________>Adapted from the Classic Bran Muffins recipe on

Guiltless Banana Brownies

These brownies were adapted from a recipe for low calorie banana brownies. I enhanced the fiber and nutrients by using whole wheat flour (the cocoa eliminates any taste and color difference between this and the standard white flour!) and made the treats more glycemically-friendly (not too mention even lower in calories) than the first recipe, which added nearly 50 calories worth of refined sugar to every brownie! The use of banana and chocolate as the main flavoring elements masks any "chemical sweetness" taste (and I personally never experience this sensation anyway!) and the use of real sugar, chemically, did not contribute to the scientific baking process in the original recipe, so the substitutions are more than ideal! Of course, if you are one of those folks that will simply not use artificial sweeteners feel free to use one cup of sugar (or a 50:50 mixture of white and brown sugar) instead, just remember to add 50 calories to the nutrition facts!

These brownies are very "cakelike" (my favorite kind!) and partner well with a smattering of strawberries and a glass of vanilla soymilk!

Vegetarian Mushroom Sauce Bourguignonne

Adapted from The Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook, this vegetarian sauce lends itself well as a topping to Boca Burgers, soy crumbles, or even TVP for the ultimate "veggie beef bourgoigne" experience! I serve this atop a Boca Original Vegan Burger (warmed in the microwave, although a palate-pleasing option is to simmer several defrosted burgers in enough sauce to cover) set in a bed of low-fat mashed potatoes for a delightful vegetarian "comfort food" dish that is tasty, nutritious, and low in calories! Bon Appetit!

Thick Split Pea and Rice Soup

Soooo tasty! The somewhat unusual combination of split peas and brown rice (in lieu of the more traditional lentils and rice) in a hearty, main meal dish soup, lightly spiced with garlic and curry, should appeal to both vegetarians AND omnivores! If the curry is too strong feel free to omit; or, if you love the Indian flair it adds, use up to three teaspoons!

Adapted from Fast Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman

Soba (Buckwheat) Noodle Soup with Green Beans

Adapted from: Fast Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman

Sierra's Special K Bars

My sister Sierra makes these from time to time and I always end up slicing off little bits until they add up to practically the whole pan; that's how good these are! Obviously, the high, empty caloric count renders them a sporadic treat, but by paying attention to serving size (if you cut the 9x13 pan into 36 pieces [5 equally spaced cuts along each edge] the resulting 1.5" x 2.167" bars are each about 200 calories) and serving alongside a portion of fruit (like a cup of sliced strawberries with a dollop [1 tbsp] of fat free cool whip) you can have a majorly sweet and indulgent dessert for about 250 calories total!

Rye and Corn Muffins with Bran

Adapted from: Fast Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman

PBB (Peanut Butter Banana) Pinwheel Rollup

I make this tasty, warm, and sweet-tooth satisfying snack using a whole wheat tortilla; however, PBB "purists" might opt to take a bit more "traditional" sandwich approach to the recipe and use a white flour tortilla instead. Whatever combination of taste and appearance works for you!

This is an "Alex Original!"

Very Good (1 rating)
Brown Rice Mushroom "Risotto" with Textured Vegetable Protein

This is a more modern adaptation from a recipe in Martha Rose Shulman's Fast Vegetarian Feasts. The original recipe called for soy flakes; while this protein-rich staple is still offered in stores today, many feel that TVP lends itself better as a filling, "meaty," and flavor-soaking addition to this very unique and interesting dish. Additionally, the original recipe called for a Marmite or Vegemite type of product (yeast extract); however, this substance contains free glutamates and is essentially used like MSG. Thus, this adaptation uses nutritional yeast for a vitamin (especially B-12) boost and a mild, cheesy flavor that is nicely enhanced by the subtle creamy texture of this classic Italian adaptation. Enjoy, and feel free to comment on any substitutions used in your own versions!

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