Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Spring Dinner Idea

Cut Added Sugar this Spring with this Delicious Dinner Idea

April 12, 2016
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POSTED BY:
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I love finding simple, inspiring quotes, like this one from style icon Lilly Pulitzer: “Despite the forecast, live like it's spring.”

Springtime has special meaning for each of us. It’s a renewal. An awakening. Time for basketball and hockey playoffs and a new baseball season. A time to put away the heavy winter duds and get out those clothes you have not had on for months and months!

When I was growing up, spring meant buying a new Easter outfit, complete with a hat, gloves and shiny patent leather shoes for my fast growing feet. (OK, I'm showing my age). No doubt fashionista Lilly Pulitzer would have approved of my choices back then, even if our Easter apparel was from a small town retailer and not from a swanky designer store in the big city.

Spring also meant getting outside and helping my parents plant the garden with seeds that would yield fresh produce in the summer. Spring was a time for crocuses, tulips and daffodils to peak through the dirt with the year’s first blooms.

Spring also meant lots of yummy food in our house. Three April birthdays (and Easter) meant it was time to bring out the cakes, cookies and candy that everyone loved. My brother, father and I all could choose our favorite dinner topped off by all of the sweets we wanted for our birthday celebrations. My mother wanted birthdays and holidays to be special. From a favorite fried chicken dish to white cake with inch-thick homemade caramel frosting, we ate way too many calories but really did not think about it at the time.

But when I reminisce about these favorite foods and how much sugar and calories we ate during those April celebrations (yikes!), I feel happy for the good times but sad that we did that to our bodies. We really overindulged in sugar and calories, without thinking of the consequences (and I actually have some old 35mm color slides to prove it!).

Thank goodness we know a whole lot more today about health and nutrition than we did back then. We also have the tools and information about how to prepare meals with fewer calories and added sugar that are just as delicious as their heavy-duty predecessors.

Rather than bore you with what a typical birthday meal celebration might have been like, allow me to share a delicious dinner idea with less added sugar that you might want to try. This menu starts off with a low-calorie Cucumber and Onion Salad, followed by a Citrus Glazed Chicken with Almonds entree, and topped off with a Spring Fling layer cake.

Let us know if you enjoy!

Cucumber and Onion Salad RecipeCucumber and Onion Salad Recipe
One of my favorites, it is so easy to replace sugar with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener without losing the great taste combination this salad provides.

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Place cucumbers and onions in a non-metallic, medium-sized bowl.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Stir well. Pour over cucumbers and onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Stir occasionally.

Nutrition Info

Citrus Glazed Chicken with Almonds RecipeCitrus Glazed Chicken with Almonds Recipe
A fabulous sweet and sour citrus glaze for chicken, with fresh herbs and toasted almonds added for extra dimension. Enjoy with steamed vegetables.

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 (4 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup almond slices, toasted

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Place chicken breasts on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with one tablespoon of orange juice concentrate (reserve remaining concentrate for sauce). Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Place remaining orange juice concentrate, lemon juice and chicken broth in a small saucepan. Blend the SPLENDA® Sweetener and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into broth. Heat over medium-high heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Remove from heat. Whisk butter into sauce. Add chives and parsley. Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Sprinkle almonds over chicken breasts and serve.

Nutrition Info

Spring Fling Layered White Cake Recipe
Lovely layers of white cake are split and filled with strawberries and apricot preserves for a festive springtime dessert.

Servings Per Recipe: 18

Ingredients: Cake

  • 3 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Ingredients: Icing

  • 1/2 cup light butter, softened
  • 1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 pound fat free cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients: Filling

  • 3/4 cup reduced sugar apricot preserves
  • 1 pint strawberries, thinly sliced

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Set aside.

  1. Make cake. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 ½ cups of SPLENDA® Sweetener, flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are blended. Add 2/3 cup of softened butter. Mix on low speed until butter is very finely distributed (approx. 2-3 minutes).
  2. Add egg whites. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl. Mix on medium-high speed 1-2 minutes or until batter is light and well blended. Scrape sides of bowl. Add buttermilk and extracts. Mix on medium speed until blended.
  3. Pour cake batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until edges of cake appear slightly dry. Allow cake to cool in pans for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks until ready to ice.
  4. Prepare Icing: Beat ½ cup of softened butter and 1 cup of SPLENDA® Sweetener briefly in a medium mixing bowl, until SPLENDA® is just incorporated. Add cream cheese. Mix until lump free, approx. 1 min. Scrape sides of bowl and add vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Assemble cake. Slice cooled cake layers in half. Using a serrated knife slice cakes in half horizontally, to create 4 cake layers.
  6. Place 1 cake layer on cake stand or plate. Spread 1/3 of the preserves over the cake layer. Top with 1/3 of the strawberries. Repeat process until all layers are assembled.*
  7. Ice cake.

*Decorating Tip: Professionals create flat cake tops by using the bottom layer of a cake for the top tier. This creates a nice flat surface for icing. The remaining cake bottom can be used as the first layer of the cake and the remaining 2 cake layers can be placed in the middle (top side down).

Nutrition Info

I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.


SPLENDA Cooking & BakingFor even more ideas on how to make SPLENDA® Sweeteners part of your everyday cooking, visit the Cooking & Baking section of this blog or visit the recipes section on Splenda.com.

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Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.

April 12, 2016  |  POSTED BY: Sue Taylor, MS  |  IN: Cooking & Baking

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