My Favorite Snack Bar-Grab the Gold

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I am always searching for a great-tasting and nutrient-rich protein bar that is not too high in fat and calories. This is just in case I am in too much of a hurry to eat and need something on the run. One of my favorites is the “Grab The Gold Snack Bars”. Made with peanut butter, oats, chocolate, whole grains and crunchy soy nuggets, they taste fresh and are high in fiber, protein and potassium. With 195 calories, 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, I think they’re hard to beat. And if you’re counting your Weight Watcher’s points, they only have 4 points. There’s only one catch: they can be tricky to find, but you can check their website to see where they carry them in your area or purchase them online at http://www.grabthegold.net. My friend, and dietician consultant Sandra Koulourides, of Fuel Plus Fitness recommends these to all of her clients. Trust me, she knows what she’s talking about. Look for our joint cookbook coming in the near future.

New Year’s Resolution: Low Calorie, Low-Fat, Low-Carb Beef Empanadas

How about a low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb appetizer to start the New Year? Is it really possible? Yes, it is… With bowl games going on and the Superbowl on its way in a few weeks, I thought I would share this appetizer recipe I developed recently for Laura’s Lean Beef Company. Each Empanada only has 85 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 8 carbs, so you can indulge without breaking your New Year’s resolution. Using wonton wrappers and baking them in the oven is the key to their ease and delicious success.


Beef Empanandas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 20 servings

Ingredients

1/2 pound lean ground round

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup canned low-salt yellow corn, drained

1/3 cup salsa

1 tablespoon tomato paste

20 wonton wrappers

Cooking spray

Salsa, low-fat sour cream (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Cook ground beef, onion and next 3 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet 5 minutes or until beef is browned; drain. Add corn and next 2 ingredients and cook until heated through. Remove and let cool.

3. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, spoon 1 tablespoon beef mixture into center of each wrapper. Bring 2 opposite corners together and pinch the points to seal, forming a triangle. Place wrappers on a wire rack and repeat procedure with remaining wrappers and beef mixture.

4. Place empanadas on lightly greased baking sheets and coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning once or until golden. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.