Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mom's Cheesy Potatoes on a diet

One of my favorite dishes in the world, my Mom's Cheesy Potatoes.  It's like crack to me, cheese and potatoes are my ultimate weakness.  It's something that without a strict diet I could easily mow down half the pan in one sitting.  (I'm pretty sure I have in fact done this) And I'm not the only one, last time I made it I had maybe two servings and the rest was eaten within 24 hours by two people.  This recipe makes 12 servings.  And my servings are normal people size servings, not one of those stupid "Serving Size" of one package of Raman Noodles apparently is for 2 people. Ridiculous I say!
I found this pretty awesome website where you can not only add your recipes to share but also just put in your recipes to just calculate nutritional information.  I highly suggest it if you have recipes that call for a lot of things you can't just look on the back of the box to see how many calories it is. Spark Recipes Calculator Website  Converting a recipe to a lower calorie version in most cases is relatively easy, I wouldn't suggest it when baking because that's a science and putting in different ingredients can sometimes be disastrous.  For me when making this recipe I pretty much when buying the ingredients looked around to see what options I had for lower calories.  Campbell's does make a reduced fat Cream of Chicken soup, it took a bit of searching but I found it.  I think the only thing that I couldn't find a lower calorie version of was the actual potatoes.

So here's the promised recipe of a reduce fat and calorie version of my Mom's Cheesy Potatoes (original recipe with nutritional info:Mom's Cheesy Potatoes )

2 lbs Frozen Hash browns, shredded are best
.5 c Margarine, melted
1 lb Reduced Fat Cheddar
1 can 98% Reduced Fat Cream of Chicken Soup
1 pt Fat Free Sour Cream
1 tsp salt
.5 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, diced
2 c crushed cornflakes

In a saucepan, melt Margarine, soup, and sour cream.  In a large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, onion, and salt & pepper.  Pour the soup mixture over the potato mixture and mix to coat the potatoes as evenly as possible.  Pour into a 9x13 casserole pan and cover with the cornflakes. Bake 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

The original stats per serving of this recipe are: 512.7 calories, 36.7g Fat (yowza!), 56.3mg Cholesterol, 742.9mg Sodium, 38g Carbohydrates, and 10g Protein.  My reduced calorie version's stats in comparison: 264 Calories, 16.6g Fat (still high but in comparison way lower), 32.2mg Cholesterol, 562.3mg Sodium, 25.2g Carbohydrates, and 14.2g Protein.


Today I decided to make a healthy snack but I was in the mood for Mexican, so I made some Guacamole which is so super easy to make I don't know why I just buy the ingredients more often and make it myself.  I had to make Guacamole literally everyday for about 6 months straight from scratch so I probably was just burnt out on making it, but since its been a good year since I had to be a slave to Guacamole I'm no longer scarred for life.  In my recipe I do use lemon juice mostly because I had it on hand already, but I'd highly recommend using the same about of lime juice if you can get it.  Its very important to add this ingredient to the Guacamole.  Besides the avocados I'd say the lemon or lime juice is the thing you can't skip.  If you don't add it then you're avocados will go brown very quick, adding the acid will give you an extra day or two of good color depending on the actual avocados.  I've used avocados in the past that even with acid and using all the other "tricks" to keep it looking fresh would turn brown within minutes.  My recipe is for a non-spicy Guacamole, if you want it spicier just add a diced jalapeno and more Frank's red hot or Tabasco.


3 avocados, pitted and peeled
1 red onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
3 T raw cilantro, chopped
1 T lemon juice
1 T salt
1 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t Frank's Red Hot

If you happen to have a mortar and pestle put all the ingredients into it and grind away until its a nice paste.  If you don't then just put it all into a bowl and use a large wooden spoon and smash it all together.  And Voila! you have Guacamole!  To keep it relatively healthy make sure to portion out one serving of your chips before starting to munch, because this is something that is super easy to just snack and snack and snack.  I say this makes about 10 servings but if you're not careful you can easily eat more than one serving, though I didn't actually measure out the size of servings, sorry!  Each serving is about 96 calories, and it has about 8 grams of Fat which is a lot but at the same time its fat from avocados which is pretty good for you because it doesn't give any cholesterol like animal fats do.