Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Recipes - Zombie Brain Pate

By Steve Hanson

This is a recipe for a creamy seafood pate, or dip, which you can put on crackers, vegetables, or wedges of bread. You will need to get a brain mold, or some other kind of mold, to use to shape your pate. Makes a nice shrimp or crab flavored dip, which can be spooky as long as you use a spooky mold. There are a couple brain molds for sale on Amazon pretty much at all times.

The Recipe

* 1 can (about 10 oz) reduced sodium, low fat cream of mushroom soup

* 8 ounces reduced fat or low fat cream cheese, softened

* 1 envelope unflavored (and sugar free) gelatin
softened in 1/4 cup water

* 3 pounds cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
(or 1 pound crab meat)

* 1 cup lite, reduced fat, or low fat mayonnaise
(or Miracle Whip)

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* Tabasco or creole seasoning to taste

* oil or Pam non-stick spray for surface of mold

Directions

If you have a food processor, you may want to grind your shrimp or crab meat up into more of a paste. This will give the pate more of a smooth texture, all the better to resemble actual brain matter. =)

Be careful with your cream of mushroom soup, because most versions made with cream are high in fat.

1. Heat the mushroom soup, undiluted, in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir occasionally to keep from burning or sticking to pan.
3. Mix the cream cheese in with the soup.
4. Stir in softened gelatin and blend well.
5. Fold in remaining ingredients and pour into your lightly-oiled mold.
6. Chill until firm and serve with your favorite crackers.

Once firm, you should be able to dump the pate out into a bowl or even onto a plate. The oil or non-stick spray is what allows us to dump it out. Don't forget to lightly grease that mold!

How to Fold

When preparing a recipe, folding is a method of mixing better that is often demonstrated on cooking channels, but not often practiced by those of us who are content eating tuna and chicken 4 times a day. Of course I learned how to fold in Home Economics class back in high school, promptly forgot, and then relearned again a couple years ago for some recipes I was trying out. I do enjoy cooking healthy protein-laced meals.

Because you may not know how to fold, I'll give you a quick low-down. Basically you want to take a flat spatula and turn the mixture over onto itself, rather than stirring with a spoon.

Healthy, Low Fat, High Protein Eating

As long as you use low fat ingredients when possible, you will end up with a very tasty, moderately healthy dip for crackers, veggies, or bread wedgies. The cream of mushroom soup can be found in a lower fat version, I know because I found it.

I recommend shrimp instead of crab meat, unless you really purchase high quality real crab meat. Don't use that processed crab-meat-in-a-packet garbage. Bring to work in a small bowl with whole grain or whole wheat crackers for a healthy snack. Serve at a Halloween party with low fat chips or crackers, and surprise your guests with a tasty, but spooky, health food dip!

Nutrition

I really can't give a nutrient profile on this because of all the variables. It depends on what kind of cream cheese, soup, mayo, and seafood you use. You are going to end up with something that has a moderate amount of protein, fat and carbs. No idea about the total calories. This is more of a Zone Diet 30/30/40 type of meal.
Author Resource:- Steve Hanson has 10 years experience in the fields of exercise science and sports nutrition. He writes articles on all forms of athletic training and nutritional theories. View the blog to learn more about your favorite exercise and nutrition topics.

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