Low-fat dessert...is it an oxymoron?
I needed something easy to prepare for a Wednesday night meal and so I opened an old issue of Everyday with Rachel Ray and found a quick meal of Spaghetti and Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs. Looked tasty enough and I had all the ingredients on hand and ready to go. But lately I had been wanting to consider trying a low-fat, low-cal, healthier recipe for dessert at least once a week. It seems as I get further along in this preganacy a meal not followed by a little sweet is just not quite complete. So I opened up many a cookbook and searched many a sites looking for a great recipe. I was almost over my quest when in my Nestle Toll House Best-Ever Cookies Cookbook I found what I was looking for. I actually stumbled upon the picture and decided those looked great and then realized they were in deed labeled LOWER FAT! I also had all the ingredients needed for this recipe and was quite excited to start dinner.
The spaghetti and meatballs were easy enough and I love the added surprise of the mozzarella stuffed inside them. I used a pretty lean beef (90/10) and think the flavor would have been slightly better with a fattier meat. Also, I think the sauce could have used some basil and possibly some mushrooms or something for an added flavor. Overall, it was a very tasty meal and I would definitely make it again. Try it if you are looking for a quick recipe but do not just want to open a jar of sauce and brown some meat!
Spaghetti with Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs
1/4 c. plain bread crumbs
1/2 c. Milk or water
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic gloves, 2 smashed 1 chopped
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 lb. Ground beef
2 TBSP chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 c. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 large egg
4 ozs. Mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
1 lb. Spaghetti
1. In a medium bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the milk.
2. In a large, wide saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season to taste with the salt and let the sauce simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the beef, chopped garlic, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg and 1 tsp of salt to the soaked bread crumbs and stir with a fork until combined. Place about 2 TBSP of the meat in your hand and press a mozzarella cube into the center. Shape the meat around the cheese forming a meatball. Repeat until all the meat is gone.
4. Stir the sauce and raise the heat to medium-low. Place the meatballs in the sauce sumberging them completely. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook without stirring about 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti, cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, and dreain. Toss the spaghetti with sauce and meatballs, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve.
Marbled Chocolate Brownies - Lower Fat
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 TBSP margarine
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 ozs. light cream cheese, softened
1 TBSP granulated sugar
1 TBSP nonfat milk
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Heat 1 1/4 c. sugar, chips, applesauce and margarine in a large, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly just until chips are melted. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Stir in egg whites. Add flour mixture and vanilla extract; stir well. Spread into a greased 13x9-inch baking pan.
Stir together cream cheese, 1 TBSP sugar and milk in a small bowl. Drop by rounded teaspoon over batter; swirl over surface of batter with back of spoon.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 22-28 minutes or just until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 2 1/4 dozen brownies. About 110 calories and 3 grams of fat per brownie.