Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Stuff It

I think I am creating a new snow day tradition. On the last snow day, I experimented with low calorie pancake recipes. This time around, it was french toast.

From now on, snow days = new breakfast recipes. This might be one of the best ideas I have ever had.

Blueberries were on sale at the grocery store the other day; two containers for $5. It was too good an offer to pass up and I like blueberries in my oatmeal, so I ended up with a LOT of blueberries. But I'm not sure even I could eat enough oatmeal to use all the blueberries before they went bad, so I decided to look up some recipes to use them.

(enter the blog Skinny Kitchen, stage right).

Let's see....stuffed blueberry french toast? Hmm. I'm not usually big with the french toast. Not sure why, pancakes just always seemed to hit the spot for me more. Maybe it's a texture thing. *scanning recipe* This one has potential though....I think I have almost all the ingredients on hand....and getting a big serving for 166 calories is not bad all...I think I will give it a try!

And thank goodness I did, because holy moly, these things are delicious. It's a very simple recipe--you essentially make a cream cheese and blueberry sandwich and then fry it up a bit in a pan. What keeps it low calorie are the details: a sandwich thin instead of regular bread, no sugar blueberry jam, no fat cream cheese, and an egg white. You still get the juxtaposition of the crunchy coating of the bread with the savoriness of the cream cheese and sweetness of the blueberries. And it's so sweet from the blueberries (and the optional dusting of powdered sugar), you don't even need any syrup.

The finished product: weighing in at 166 calories and 9 grams of sugar which makes this is a MUCH better option than standard french toast. Skinny Kitchen includes the stats for full-fat and calorie versions of her recipes, and at IHOP the french toast will set you back 830 calories and 51 grams of sugar. Ouch.

Assembling the french toast "sandwich." You just spread cream cheese on both sides of the sandwich thin and top with sugar free blueberry jam and 1/4 cup blueberries. After coating it in an egg white and frying it up for about 3 minutes per have delicious crunchy, creamy, and blueberry syrupy french toast.

 Are you hungry yet? I also had a scrambled egg and egg beaters (I need the protein to feel full) and my breakfast was still less than 300 calories!

Skinny Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

(NB: this recipe and the ingredients list are for two french toast sandwiches. I halved it to make just one).

2 whole wheat sandwich thins
2 tablespoons fat free cream cheese
2 teaspoons reduced sugar blueberry preserves (I used sugar free jam since that's all I could find)
½ cup fresh blueberries or frozen and thawed, sliced in half
1 egg white
1 teaspoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light spread
1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar (optional)

1. Spread the bottom inside piece of each sandwich thin with 1 tablespoon cream cheese. On top of cream cheese, spread 1 teaspoon blueberry preserves on each. Place ¼ cup sliced blueberries on top of preserves on each. Top each with the remaining sandwich thin to create a sandwich.

2. Add the egg white to a shallow bowl. Dip both sandwiches into the egg white, making sure to coat both sides.

3. Coat a large nonstick pan with cooking spray. Melt 1 teaspoon reduced-fat butter and swirl around bottom of pan. Add 2 sandwiches, cook about 2½ to 3 minutes on medium-high heat, until golden brown. Using a spatula, turn over and cook the undersides for about 1-2 minutes, until golden brown.

4. Sprinkle top of each with powdered sugar. Plate each and serve with a fork and knife.

Makes 2 servings (each serving, 1 full sandwich)

1 stuffed French toast sandwich = 166 calories, 2g fat, 9g protein, 31g carbs, 6g fiber, 370mg sodium, 9g sugar

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