Quick Fix Low Pix: Lighter Side Banana Pudding

I love banana pudding, as any good southern woman should. I remember my grandmother had this special dish (a large ceramic pot) that was just for banana pudding. she’d line the sides and bottom with wafers, then pour in the pudding and bananas and put meringue on top and bake it in the oven. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of meringue. I can tolerate it on my grandmother’s chocolate pie but it belongs there. So when I started to make my own banana pudding I wanted something that was a bit different. I came across Paula Deen’s recipe and decided to alter it a bit for those of us who don’t need so much sugar or fat in our lives. This is my creation. It’s pretty simple and since I was in a hurry today I decided not to take step by step photos but just show you the completed version.

healthy banana pudding recipe

Lighter Side Banana Pudding
Ingredients

6 small(ish) bananas, sliced
1 Box Reduced Fat Vanilla Wafers
2 Boxes sugar free instant vanilla pudding
3 cups skim milk or coconut/almond milk (I prefer coconut milk for this)
1 brick fat free cream cheese, softened
1 can fat free condensed sweetened milk
1 tub light cool whip

This is literally so simple. Line the bottom of a rectangle casserole dish (like the one pictured) with vanilla wafers. The OCD in me makes sure the flat surfaces are all on the bottom so it looks pretty even on the bottom side. After that, top the vanilla wafers with the sliced bananas. You can use less (and the original recipe does) but I like a healthy amount of fruit in my pudding so there you go. Set that aside and it’s time to assemble the pudding.

I use two bowls and a mixer for this, with a silicone spatula as my best friend. In the first bowl I combine the pudding and milk, then beat it on high for about two minutes. After that, set it aside and work on the second bowl. It’s best to use a pretty big one because you’ll need the room – trust me. In the second bowl cream together the condensed sweetened milk and the brick of cream cheese. The softer the cream cheese, the easier your time will be. Once it’s fully blended you’re done with the mixer. Fold in the cool whip using your best friend the spatula, and when it’s mixed well transfer the pudding over in and fold, fold fold. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, pour it over the bananas in the dish. It’ll just flow down like ribbons and be delightfully good. When you’re done? I won’t tell if you lick the bowl or the spatula. It’s that good.

After it’s level in the dish all that’s left to do is add another layer of wafers on top. You’ll most likely have some left over but I like to snack on them at random. Hopefully you enjoy this as much as me and mine do! You definitely can’t tell it’s low fat or sugar at all.

Ground Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

So I’ve just found out I was pregnant. The news is happy news, as my husband and I started trying around the first of the year. We’re having a Christmas baby and I’m so excited! I’ve been trying to eat healthy and get plenty of protein and veggies in. I had some mini sweet red and yellow peppers I got from Aldi and figured this would be a great way to use them – boy was I right!

The best thing about this recipe is that the stuffing can be used in burritos or tacos, frozen to have in later peppers if you have a small family (And I’m always cooking for one or two depending on my husband’s work) and if you have a larger family to feed, then just use the entire batch and watch them disappear! I loved everything about these and I hope that you do too.

Ground Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 small onion, chopped
5 large mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
shredded cheddar cheese (approximately 3/4 cup, give or take)
mini sweet peppers, tops removed and centers cut out
(9 for half the batch, 15-18 for full batch)

I cook the quinoa and gut the peppers while I’m working on the filling to save time. in a skillet, I heat the oil over medium high heat and then add in the onions and garlic.

stuffed peppers recipe

Once the onions and peppers have cooked for two minutes, add the ground turkey and cook on high until every bit of the meat is browned.

stuffed peppers recipe

Add the barbecue sauce and quinoa and mix well, then turn the heat off. You’re ready to stuff once your filling looks like this!

stuffed peppers recipe

Here’s an image of how your peppers should look before they get stuffed!

stuffed peppers recipe

Here’s where you preheat the oven to 350. I layered the stuffing like a parfait. I put an amount in the bottom, a little bit of cheese, and then a little more stuffing. Make sure it’s packed in good. I found that a muffin tin makes the perfect holder for these. However, if you are making a full batch they should fit into a pyrex casserole dish. It’s really up to you.

stuffed peppers recipe

Let bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and then put cheese on the top and let it bake for another five minutes, or until cheese is melty and bubbly. When you are done you’ll have the tastiest bite of peppers you could hope for, and if you only made half of it you have plenty left over for other endeavors (or to freeze for another meal!)

stuffed peppers recipe