Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Updated Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip bread

Sorry to my RSS readers! I accidentally posted the bread while editing. It's now finished! I also updated to have the correct calories. I couldn't figure out why I was getting such a high calorie content but then realized I was only including one loaf in my count instead of three! It's now fixed.

Low Fat Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Bread - No Oil, No Butter!

Inspired from this recipe for Low Fat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Sorry for the posting delay - went on a quick vacation!

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed*
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (mini chocolate chips recommended)
*Mine were frozen, so I thawed and mashed. When I have uneaten ripe bananas, I peel and freeze in a ziplock bag. Works great for baking with bananas.


Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium sized bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add sugar and stir. Add beaten egg and vanilla. Mix and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, oats, salt and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, mix well and then add the applesauce.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spray three small loaf pans with cooking spray and distribute batter evenly between them, filling each about 2/3 full. This would likely make one large loaf and one small loaf as well.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 min., until golden brown on top. Stick a toothpick in the middle of one of the loafs to be sure they're baked through.

Let bread cool in pans for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool 10-15 minutes more.

Each loaf yields 10 thin slices.

Review: This bread ROCKED. I made it during a very busy week and it was awesome to grab a slice of this and some fruit for breakfast as I ran out the door. It definitely cures a chocolate fix. I highly recommend using the mini chocolate chips, as it distributed the chocolate flavor throughout the bread.

I find it hard to believe a recipe can be this good and has no butter and no oil! That's a winner in my book. Sometimes I find baking can be dry when aiming for a lower fat content but the amount of bananas and applesauce in this recipe alleviate that for sure. And it doesn't TASTE low fat, which is even better.

We will definitely be repeating this recipe. The only issue is self-control when a loaf of bread is sitting out!

We ate the first one and froze the other two and they were just as good frozen and thawed as the freshly baked loaf.


Nutritional Information:

Serving size 1 slice, at 10 slices per loaf:
70 calories
1.2 grams of fat
1.3 grams of dietary fiber

1 WW points

At 8 slices per loaf:
83 calories
1.5 grams of fat
1.6 grams of dietary fiber

1 WW points (I'd probably count as 1.5)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weight Watchers Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies - 1 pt. each

Adapted from Weight Watchers.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder OR dark chocolate powder (I used Hershey's)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spoon the flour into a cup, level off, pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  3. Add baking soda and salt - stir
  4. With a mixer in a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy
  5. Gradually add sugar and beat well
  6. While still beating, add cocoa and egg whites
  7. Once combined, slowly add flour mixture until blended
  8. Stir in chocolate chips
  9. Spray baking sheet and drop by teaspoons onto sheet
  10. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes
  11. Cool on pans a couple of minutes until firm and then transfer to cooling racks
Makes 40 cookies (see review). *Do not go over 1 cup flour. There isn't a ton of liquid in this recipe and if there's extra flour, they likely won't turn out as well.


I love these cookies. They are a GREAT option when needing a chocolate fix. I made two batches - one with regular unsweetened cocoa powder and one with dark chocolate. Since I'm a big dark chocolate fan, I do like those ones a bit more, but both are good. It would be easy to make these cookies to bring to a party or to serve to guests without them even knowing it's a healthier cookie recipe. I seriously need to make these more often. Yum!

The key to keeping these cookies low in calories is to count the number of cookies dropped on the sheet. I count to make sure I have 40 cookies. Then I know the serving size is correct.

Nutritional information per cookie:

53 calories
1.8 grams fat
.3 grams dietary fiber

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Southwestern Whole Wheat Couscous with Black Beans

Inspired from this recipe at group recipes.

  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous (I used Trader Joe's brand, but any will work)
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cup chicken broth (reduced sodium is best)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 a red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped (about 1/2 a bunch)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1-2 tsp. minced jarred garlic (or 1-2 fresh cloves, crushed)
  • Salt & pepper to taste


In a medium sized pot, bring chicken broth and olive oil to a boil. Add couscous, cover, remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients. Once the couscous has fully absorbed the liquid, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add black beans, red onion, carrot, the jalapeno, green onions, garlic, cilantro and stir. Then add lime juice and spices and toss.

Serve hot or cold.


Pretty good! I liked this side and it was great as leftovers. I generally ate it cold, but I know my husband popped it in the microwave, so it was also good reheated. The original recipe only called for one lime, but I think it definitely needed two limes. Initially I didn't follow my own advice and add garlic, and after tasting it, immediately added 2 tsp. minced jarred garlic. I think that helped round out the salad.

Overall I really liked this dish and will make it again. It went great as a side dish to the salsa chicken.

Makes about 8 servings. Serving size 1/2 - 3/4 cup.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving (based on 8 servings):

138 calories
1.8 grams of fat
.3 grams saturated fat
5.2 grams dietary fiber
About 2 WW points

With smaller portions, based on 10 servings:
108 calories
1.5 grams of fat
.2 grams of saturated fat
4.1 grams dietary fiber
About 1 WW point

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

Sorry it's been a while! Some crazy schedules and computer troubles, but lots of updates coming! This is a common dish in the blogging world, but I still wanted to post it, as it's my own twist and of course, is a healthy choice option.


4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breast (1.5-2 lbs)
1 cup salsa (hot or medium)
1 package taco seasoning
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 small onion, chopped
1 small can green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream


Use medium to large sized crock pot. Spray inside of crock pot with cooking spray. Add frozen chicken. In a separate bowl, mix together salsa (I often use one 15 oz. jar which is more than 1 cup), taco seasoning (I use hot & spicy but mild works too) and cream of chicken soup. Add to crock pot, mix in with chicken and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high about 4 hours.

When chicken is done, turn off crock pot, remove cover and let it cool a bit. Meanwhile, chop the onion. After allowing it to cool for a bit, take two forks and shred the chicken. Mix in the onion, green chilies, sour cream and heat on low about 30 minutes.

Serve on tortillas (see notes), as a taco salad or over tortilla chips.

Makes at least 12 servings.

Review and Notes:

While there are a lot of these recipes floating out there, this one has some good flavors and works well as a base for tacos. I know a lot of my recipes use onion so if you don't like it, that would be an easy thing to cut out. This recipe makes a decent amount which is nice to have as leftovers for lunch, etc. I also like that the amount of heat added with the salsa and taco seasoning can be adapted to one's tastes. This would also work well to serve at a casual party with a taco bar. Overall great option.

For the tortillas, a great way to make this dish still low in points, is to get whole wheat tortillas that are about 1 WW point. Tortilla shells can vary a lot between brands and even if something is called "wheat" or "with whole grains" that doesn't mean it's the best option. Find something that is around 100 calories or less and has a decent amount of dietary fiber. For these, I generally find something over 5 grams per tortilla shell.

To make tacos, top with fresh cilantro, tomatoes, reduced fat cheese, lettuce and other favorite taco seasonings. The only thing I listed that is going to add significant calories is the cheese. Since the chicken is so flavorful, not a lot of cheese is needed. Keeping the portion in control will make this a great dinner option.

Nutritional Information:

129 calories
2.7 grams of fat (1.2 saturated)
.9 grams dietary fiber

3 WW points