Local Food by Local People / Winter 2011
Healthy Comfort Food
I moved to SLO twelve years ago with my husband and two sons. As a native to Los Angeles, I started a gift-basket company when I graduated from college called Mrs. Beasley’s. It really took off with the Hollywood crowd who loved the tasty mini-muffins. I will admit that it was quite fun to get calls from celebrities who would confess they were hooked on these indulgent little treats. The company grew and grew, and we ended up shipping our gift baskets all over the country.
After I sold Mrs. Beasley’s, I became very interested in healthy cooking and baking for my family. My husband’s family has a terrible history of heart disease. His father was one of four brothers who all died before the age of forty! I really like him and want him to stick around, so it motivated me to get into the kitchen. I spent four years developing a wonderful collection of reduced calorie and fat food and desserts that even my young sons enjoyed. Out of this, a restaurant called Nancy’s HealthyKitchen was born. The menu featured healthy versions of old-fashioned comfort foods that tasted every bit as good as the original dishes. It was such a thrill to learn that Oprah was a fan of our cookies, and she invited us to join her “Favorite Gifts” show where they were featured.
The decision to sell the restaurant and move to SLO was the best one of our lives. My husband likes to say that when we left L.A, we “got out of dodge.” But, the truth is, we couldn’t imagine a better place to raise our boys. Now, after 25 years in the kitchen, I have developed some excellent recipes which you and your family can find on my website at www.skinnykitchen.com. One of my family’s favorites, which I would like to share with you, is my Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf dinner. It’s a hearty, but healthy dish, perfect for this time of year. Enjoy!
Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf
Serves 4; Prep Time 10 mins; Bake Time 1 hour
In 2007, meatloaf was voted the 7th favorite meal in America. I’ve made a few flavorful and healthy twists. Using barbecue sauce instead of ketchup is a small change that makes a big difference. By free forming your meat instead of using a loaf pan, you won’t trap the fat into the meal. And substituting lean ground turkey for ground beef will save you over 250 calories and 38 grams of fat per serving.
1 package ground turkey (1-1 ¼ pounds)
½ cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup + ½ cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 egg whites
½ teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with foil.
3. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread
crumbs, onions, ½ cup barbecue sauce,
Worcestershire sauce, egg whites, salt and
pepper and mix well.
4. Place meatloaf mixture in the center of the
baking pan and shape into a 12 x 4 inch loaf.
5. Spread the remaining ½ cup barbecue sauce
evenly over the top of the loaf.
6. Bake 1 hour. Let stand 5 mins before slicing.
Skinny Mash Potatoes
Serves 4; Prep Time 10 mins; Cook Time 25 mins
With gobs of butter and cream, it’s no wonder mashed potatoes are such a popular comfort food. By using reduced-fat milk to replace the cream and a reduced-fat spread with half the calories and fat of butter, you save over 60 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving.
1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into even
sized large chunks
2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter or spread
¾ to 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large saucepan cover potatoes with
cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover
and simmer until fork tender (approx 15-20 mins).
2. Drain potatoes.
3. Add the reduced-fat butter, milk, chives, salt
and pepper to the hot potatoes.
4. Turn the flame to medium and mash potatoes
until blended and all the ingredients are
Broccolini with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 6; Prep Time 8 mins; Cook Time 10 mins
A hybrid vegetable between broccoli and Chinese kale, broccolini is a vitamin and fiber packed vegetable you’re sure to love.
4 bunches (1½ pounds) broccolini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sugar
½ fresh lemon
½ teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1. In a large pot bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
2. Cut the bottom third of the broccolini stems, discard.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together, the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and sugar. Set aside.
4. Bring water to a boil, drop in broccolini. Return to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes until tender. Drain well and place in a serving dish.
5. Drizzle dressing over the broccolini. Toss to coat. Squeeze lemon juice over the broccolini and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cherry Pie Topped Cheesecake
Serves 12; Prep Time 15 mins; Bake Time 35 mins
Beautiful chunks of ruby-colored cherries top this divine vanilla cheesecake. One slice has only 270 calories and 9 grams of fat.
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, melted
2 (8oz) packages reduced-fat cream cheese
2 egg whites
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 (21oz) can cherry pie filling
1. To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. To make filling: Beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth. Slowly mix in the egg whites, egg, and sugar until smooth. Stir in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Pour the mixture over the crust and spread evenly.
4. Bake for 35- 40 minutes or until the center is set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.
5. To add topping: After the cheesecake has been refrigerated, remove from spring form pan and place on a serving plate. Top with with cherry pie filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve.