Domestic Amour

"A good home must be made, not bought." - Joyce Maynard

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Low-fat 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.


At 11:43 PM, Anonymous nicole said...

Your spaghetti and meatballs look wonderful!!

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous nicole said...

I'm someone who doesn't believe much in "low fat" desserts. But a friend recently gave me one of her "Cooking Light Annual Recipes" cookbooks and there's actually some good sounding stuff in there. The one I have is the 2005 edition but they put them out every year. If you don't read them already, check out some of the Cooking Light magazines and see what you find :-)


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