Want to spoil Mom this weekend with some breakfast in bed? Devin Alexander, author of The Biggest Loser Cookbook and The Most Decadent Diet Ever shared two of her favorite recipes with us to treat her taste buds without the side of guilt. Try one of these this weekend for a better-for-you brunch. Don’t forget to tell her to share with the cook!
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Devin Says: These pancakes are chock full of chocolate chips, so I prefer them without butter. If you like a more buttery taste with just a hint of chips, use only 1 tablespoon of chips and spread 1 teaspoon of light butter over the top of each pancake. You’ll add 17 calories and 2 g of fat per teaspoon. You’ll also notice that the recipe calls for very little syrup. Each teaspoon has 17 calories and 0 g of fat. And remember–pancakes have much more sodium than most people realize. If you get even a half stack at your local pancake house, you’re probably eating more than half of your sodium allowance for a day. That said, I usually eat only one or two pancakes for breakfast as a treat to follow an egg white dish instead of eating a big plate of them. You may want to do the same, since pancakes require baking soda and salt to rise, and thus I couldn’t reduce the sodium much here.
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup whole-grain oat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- Butter-flavored cooking spray
- 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided
Preheat the oven to 200 °F. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, buttermilk, flour, baking soda, vanilla and salt. Stir in the water until well mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips and let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When a spritz of water causes the skillet to sizzle, working in batches and re-spraying the pan between each batch, pour 1/4 cup per pancake of batter onto the skillet. Cook them for about 2 minutes until there are bubbles on the top and the bottom is golden brown. Flip the pancake(s) and cook them about another 2 minutes until they are golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the finished pancake(s) to an ovenproof plate, cover with foil, and keep them warm in the oven until they are all cooked. Serve them immediately with 1 teaspoon of syrup per pancake.
Makes 4 3-inch pancakes. Each 1-Decadent Disk (1 pancake) portion has: 105 calories, 4 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 272 mg sodium. Each 2-Decadent Disk (2 pancake) portion has: 209 calories, 8 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 544 mg sodium
You save: 218 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat
Traditional serving: 427 calories, 9 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 117 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium
Devin Says: Every time we had overnight guests when I was growing up, my mom served a dish called Jenny’s Eggs. It was from a recipe she had gotten from my aunt for what was basically a crustless quiche. It had a pound of cheese, at least a stick or two of butter, tons of whole eggs and plenty of ham. It was delicious, but virtually lethal. My mom particularly loved to serve it to company because you prepare the dish the night before, then look like the perfect hostess in the morning when your guests wake up to the smell of the delicious casserole and walk into a spotless kitchen. I, of course, loved the concept, because I also entertain often. But you’d never catch me eating those ingredients these days. So here is my version, aptly renamed Devin’s Eggs.
If you can’t ﬁnd lean ham steak at your grocery store, go to the deli counter and ask them to slice a 1/4-inch-thick slice of the leanest ham they have. Also try for a low-sodium variety if they have it. Then simply chop 5 1/2 ounces of that into cubes.
- Olive oil spray
- 1 1/2 cups ﬁnely chopped red or yellow onion
- 1 cup ﬁnely chopped red or green bell pepper, or a combination
- 6 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed (from a light, ﬂuffy loaf, not a dense one; about 70 calories per slice)
- 5 ounces (about 2 cups) ﬁnely shredded Cabot’s 75% Light Cheddar cheese, or your favorite low-fat Cheddar
- 5 1/2 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) 98% lean ham steak, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 1/2 cups egg substitute
- 1/4 cup fat-free milk
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Lightly mist a medium nonstick skillet with spray and place it over medium heat. Put in the onion and bell pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender and the excess liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly mist an 11 X 7-inch ovenproof glass or ceramic baking dish with spray. Spread half of the bread evenly in the dish to form a layer. Then evenly layer half of the cheese, followed by half of the onion mixture, then half of the ham. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, making sure that they are evenly distributed all the way to the edges of the dish and not mounded in the center. Set aside.
Combine the egg substitute, milk, mustard, black pepper, and salt in a large measuring cup or medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly mixed. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, cheese, veggies, and ham. Use a fork to very gently press the ingredients into the liquid without mashing them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the egg is set in the center. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the casserole into 6 pieces and serve immediately.
Makes 1 casserole. Each serving (1/6 casserole) has: 209 calories, 23 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 740 mg sodium.
You save: 247 calories, 23 g fat, 14 g saturated fat
Traditional version: 456 calories, 22 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 27 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 178 mg cholesterol, ﬁber N/A, 824 mg sodium
Recipe taken from Devin Alexander’s THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER! Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.