Archive for the ‘Substitutes’ Category

Well, it’s official…I’m on the dinner making list in our home. haha! Oh wait, I forgot to write that I am back in KY at the moment on what you could call my “1st official furlough”.  It feels wonderful to be home for awhile! It’s kind of fun to be able to bake pretty much whatever I want because there’s no question if I can acquire the ingredients that I need or not.  I can make quite a bit in Thailand, but ingredients can be quite limited.

Anyway, all that to say, I made dinner tonight for my mom and dad and I. We have been trying to come up with more ways to cook chicken, so I’ve been searching the internet like crazy lately to find some recipes. This one I found on Eat Better America. It is very good! We don’t have marsala, so I replaced it with cooking sherry (which is what was advised to use if you do not have the original ingredient. That, or chicken broth)  and it tasted just fine.  We are sauce people, so we actually came to the conclusion to double the recipe for the sauce next time. The recipe also calls for fresh mushrooms, but does not say what kind. I chose small bellas and they were wonderful.

For a side dish, I made Martha Stewart’s sauteed spinach with golden raisins. Very good as well.

Both dishes were amazingly easy to make.  I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we did! =)

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Touchdown Taco Dip

1 can(16oz.) refried beans(Sub: 1 can fat free)

1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softend( Sub: fat free or low fat)

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 small tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion

1.4 cup chopped pitted ripe olives

2 TBSP minced fresh cilantro

2 cups (8oz.) shredded cheddar cheese( Sub: Low-fat cheese)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread beans onto bottom of 9 inch pie plate. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, seasoning mix and garlic; spread over beans. Top with tomato, onion, olives, and cilantro; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with sour cream, if desired. Serve with Tortilla chips.  Servings: 12 -16

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To be quite honest, I don’t think that I have ever made the blueberry recipe for these muffins before. I have made the Apple-Cinnamon and the Banana though, and they are very good. So I am sure these are too.


Streusel Topping(below), if desired

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil (Sub: applesauce)

1 large egg ( Sub: egg substitute such as ‘Egg Beaters’ )

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh, canned(drained) or frozen blueberries


1.) Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 12 medium muffin cups, with shortening, or line with paper baking cups.

2.) Make Streusel Topping; set aside.

3.) Beat milk, oil and egg in larg bowl with fork or wire whisk. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 1 TBSP topping.

4.) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If baked in greased pan, let stand about 5 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to wire rack; if baked in paper baking cups, immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm if desired.

Streusel Topping

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons firm butter or stick margarine


Mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in butter, using blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until crumbly.

1 Muffin: Calories 170; Fat 6g


Apple-Cinnamon Muffins: Omit blueberries. Beat in 1 cup chopped peeled apple (about 1 medium) with the milk. Stir in 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon with the flour. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.


Banana Muffins: Omit blueberries. Decrease milk to 1/3 cup. Beat in 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium) with the milk. Use packed brown sugar for the sugar.


Cranberry-Orange Muffins: Omit blueberries. Beat in 1 TBSP grated orange peel with the milk. Fold 1 cup cranberry halves into batter.

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Mmmmm…this cake is so good! Chocolaty and moist, Betty Crocker style!  What else could you ask for?! Oh, did I mention that it’s easy too?! 🙂

1 2/3 cup All-purpose flour  (or 2 cups cake flour)

1 1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

 Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round 8 or 9 1/2 inch layer pans. Beat all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, on low speed, scraping bowl constantly for 30 seconds. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 3 minutes. Pour into pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Frost with Chocolate Mocha Butter Frosting.

Chocolate Mocha Butter Frosting

1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened

2 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate, cool

2 cups powdered sugar

 1 1/2 tsp. instant powdered coffee

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

About 2 TBSP milk

Mix margarine or butter and the melted chocolate. Stir in powdered sugar and coffee. Beat in vanilla and milk until frosting is of spreading consistency.

Fills and frosts two 8-or-9 inch layers or frosts a 13×9 inch cake.

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This is the only version of meatloaf that I have ever had in our home since I could remember. Another one of my Mom’s great findings from years ago.  I have included some substitutes with this recipe for those who are watching their figures 😉 .


1 lb. ground beef – Sub. 1 lb. Lean ground beef

1 cup rolled oats (regular, not quick)

1/8-1/4 cup minced onion – Sub. Dried minced onion(works just as well and doesn’t make you cry 🙂 ).

1/4 cup green pepper, minced

1 egg – Sub. Egg substitute

1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

1/2 TBSP. Worchestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/8 cup milk – (Low fat milk will work just fine, including rice or soy milk)

1/4 cup ketchup

To taste: 1 tsp. turbinado sugar, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Shape meat into loaf and place in loaf pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle more Ketchup over meatloaf. Bake for 40 minutes. Enjoy!  Serves: 6 slices  




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My Mom has been using this bread recipe for years now from her faithful Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.  I’ve added some ingredient substitutes to help make this yummy bread a little bit lower in fat and calories for those of us who are more conscious of how we eat 🙂 .





 * 1/3 cup milk

* 2-3 medium bananas

* 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil ( Substitute: 1 Tablespoon of oil & 2 Tablespoons of applesauce)

* 1 egg ( Substitute: 1 egg worth of egg sub. such as Egg Beaters)

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1/2 cup granulated sugar

* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

* 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

* 1 tsp. salt


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 inch loaf pan. Mix all ingredients; beat 30 seconds. Pour into pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Bake for 55- 65 minutes; cool slightly. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.




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