Chef Ellie Krieger’s Healthy Alternatives For Junk Food Favorites

(credit: EllieKrieger.com)

(credit: EllieKrieger.com)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Anybody who’s ever tried to diet knows how challenging it can be to give up their favorite junk food or resist the craving for a preferred comfort food. Ellie Krieger of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite  stopped by the CBS 2 studios to make over some favorites.

For more information about Ellie Krieger, click here. For more information on the grapes, click here.

Click here for printable versions of these recipes (.pdf)

Frozen Grape and Banana Skewers With Chocolate Drizzle Recipe:

Makes 4 servings

Serving size: 2 skewers

Calories 140; Total Fat 4.5 g; (Sat Fat 2.5 g, Mono Fat 1.3 g, Poly Fat 0.2 g); Protein 2 g; Carb 27 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg

Excellent source of: vitamin C

Good source of: fiber, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, potassium

Ingredients

  • 2 firm ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ cup red California grapes (about 16)
  • ½ cup green California grapes (about 16)
  • 8 10-inch wooden skewers
  • 1 ½ ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Preparation

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Cut the banana into ½-inch thick rounds. Place in a small bowl and toss gently with the orange juice.

Skewer the fruit, alternating two grapes for each piece of banana and place the fruit skewers onto the lined tray.

Place the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir well, and microwave another 10 seconds if necessary to melt the chocolate. Using a spoon drizzle the melted chocolate onto the fruit skewers.

Place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, skewers may be transferred to a sealable plastic bag where they will keep in the freezer for up to a week. Allow to soften at room temperature for 5 minutes before eating.

Cheese Sauce Recipe

Recipe courtesy “Comfort Food Fix” by Ellie Krieger

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cold low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded (1/2 cup, packed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

To make the cheese sauce, place the milk and flour in a small saucepan and whisk until the flour is dissolved. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese and ¼ teaspoon salt and mix until the cheese melts. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is velvety and thick, about 2 minutes more. Remove the heat and cover the surface of the sauce with foil to keep warm and prevent a skin from forming.

Chocolate-Cream Cheese Panini Bites

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy”

Ingredients

  • ½ loaf ciabatta or other Italian bread (about 6 ounces, 8×4 inches) ¼ cup (2 ounces) Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese), softened
  • 2 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Slice the bread open and spread one side evenly with cream cheese. Distribute the chocolate evenly on top of the cream cheese. Spread the other side of the bread with jam and close the bread to make a sandwich.

Spray a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Place the bread in the pan. Cover it with another smaller, heavy skillet and weigh it down with a heavy can. Cook until the underside of the bread is well toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the chocolate is melted and the other side of the bread is browned, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and slice into 8 equal-size pieces.