14 October 2010

Healthy Recipe: Fiesta Southwestern Cheesecake, Oven Baked French Toast

Check out a creative beautiful dish that is a lower calorie version of our favorite Mexican flavors.

From Denny:  Out local TV show (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) personality and chef is delighting her fans with yet more great tasting recipes in her latest cookbook.  She specializes in lots of flavor without packing on the pounds.  Clegg's recipes are  simple and user friendly too, aimed at women of all ages.  Of course, to give you a grin there are those whimsical illustrations along with the full-color photos.

New Book:  "Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age" by Holly Clegg

(Save 28 percent by purchasing from Amazon Books)

Clegg's concept for this book was to make the book very visually pleasing so it would be eye-catching to give as a gift.  It's packed full of information and focused upon great recipes.  Clegg's books are always the kind of recipes that stimulate you to want to cook.  This book is 237-pages, featuring 200 recipes, 100 photographs and illustrations and also details  the nutritional and diabetic exchange information too.  There are also special icons to draw your attention to those recipes that are freezer friendly or vegetarian.

Some of what sets this cookbook apart from the rest is she gives advice as to which types of coffee will pair best with a particular recipe: medium-light, dark roasts or flavored coffees.  Like any good Louisiana cook she also offers up advice on spices, serving suggestions and cooking information.

And get this, Clegg has a chapter called “Diva Dermatology.”  Here she parks her  recipes for facials - which are made from everyday foods:  Avocado Carrot Cream Mask, Applelicious Wash and Margarita Salt Body Buffer.  Holly Clegg has always a reputation for being fun and this new book sure captures her essence for others to enjoy.

The majority of the new book, is for what Clegg  is most famous:  recipes "designed for busy women.… as they experience and embrace the many stages of life,” she says.

In the first chapter of the book, "Foods to Improve," she gives an overview of the best foods to include in your diet.  "Remember to eat with color," she advises, "using the colors of fruits and vegetables to ensure you will get a wide range of vitamins and minerals into your daily eating."

For the busy cook there is an amusing chapter called "Lovin' No Oven."  You guessed it.  These are recipes where you can skip turning on the oven and running up your utility bill or spend more time on a recipes.  There are yummy recipes like Tomato Bruschetta and Lemon Pie.

For the busiest among us, Clegg designed her "Quickies" chapter.  These recipes require just a few ingredients and are very easy to pull together:  Watermelon and Feta Salsa, Home-Style Chicken and Chocolate Fudgies.
Party recipes for groups: "Effortless Entertaining" is the chapter to visit.

For those empty nesters, the retired or young couples without children, Clegg has a chapter for recipes for just two servings: "Table For Two."  These recipe gems are simple and make-ahead for entertaining if you like.  There are high fiber, sweets, breakfast, snack foods and even ethnic-inspired:  Asian Slides With Pineapple Salsa to Garlic Fried Rice.

If you want to pay full retail for this book it can be ordered from her websites: Holly Clegg or The Healthy Cooking Blog - $24.95, plus tax and handling or call 1-800-884-6559.

Here’s a recipe from the book that would be welcome at tailgate or holiday parties.


Fiesta Southwestern Cheesecake

From: “Holly Clegg’s trim & TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age — 200 Simple and Sexy Recipes”

Makes: 20-25 servings. Make ahead and freeze this savory Southwestern-style cheesecake for an appetizer taste sensation. If freezing, top with salsa when serving.


1 cup toasted corn Chex cereal crumbs
1 tbl. butter, melted
1 tbl. olive oil
2 (8-oz.) pkgs. reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup nonfat sour cream
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chilies, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups salsa, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In springform pan, mix together cereal crumbs, butter and oil, press into bottom of prepared pan.

In mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, egg and egg whites until creamy. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin, mixing well.

Fold in cheddar cheese, green chilies, green onions and onion. Carefully spread half mixture over crust, top with 1 cup salsa, and cover with remaining cream cheese mixture; do not mix.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until mixture is set. Remove from oven, let cool in pan 10 minutes. Run knife around inside edge to loosen; remove sides from pan. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and top with remaining 1 cup salsa.

Spicy advice: For extra flavor and kick, use a flavored salsa such as roasted tomato or your favorite. I like to purchase fresh salsa from the grocery store. Also, you can add shrimp or crabmeat to cheesecake for a seafood southwestern version.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 96 calories, 58 percent calories from fat, 6 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 252 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 2 grams sugar and 4 grams protein.

From Denny: This recipe from the cookbook too was a huge hit with a cook who wrote a review over at Amazon Books. She forgot to put up the nutritional information but raved about how easy it was to make and, most of all, how popular it was with the group who scarfed it down in no time.

One Dish Oven Baked French Toast

Makes: 10 servings


1 large loaf French Bread, cut into 1-inch thick squares (whole wheat my be used)
1 (10 oz) jar seedless all natural blackberry fruit spread
1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Coat 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray

Place half of French bread squares in prepared baking pan. In microwave-safe dish, heat fruit spread until melted, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over bread.

In bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and milk until smooth. Drop over bread mixture and cover with remaining French squares.

In large bow, whisk together eggs, egg whites, brown sugar, half-and-half, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour mixture evenly over bread. Gently press bread into liquid mixture, cover, and refrigerate as time permits, preferably overnight.

Preheat over 325 degrees. Bake, covered, 30-35 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more or until bread is golden.

New Book:  "Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age" by Holly Clegg

(Save 28 percent by purchasing from Amazon Books)

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