One of my favorite dishes at the Chinese Buffet is the Imitation Crab Casserole. It’s rich, cheesy, and so delicious that it made me want to make it at home. I did a Google search and found many recipes, all basically the same with some minor variations. One thing they all had in common was the calorie count. They were all in the 550 calorie range per serving. I made the recipe over, using low fat and light products and Splenda to replace the small amount of sugar. I’m tickled to report that I was able to reduce the calories to under 300 per serving without sacrificing the rich and creamy taste.
Here is my make over of the very popular crab casserole.
This picture is from food.com by user “parsley”. It was the picture with the original recipe I used and changed.
CHINESE BUFFET CRAB CASSEROLE
16 oz. imitation crab
1/2 cup light sour cream
1tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch garlic salt
1 1/4 cups 2% cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. lowfat/neufchatel cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 packet Splenda
3 tablespoons skim milk
Mix all except crab and 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese to a smooth and creamy consistency. Fold in the crab. Pour into a sprayed casserole dish. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
Variations include the addition of : finely chopped celery, chopped green onion.
Makes 4 servings
The original recipe has 546 calories and 26 grams of carbs.
My make over has 284 calories and 17 grams of carbs with no change in serving size. I use Master Cook to calculate nutritionals.
On New Year’s Eve Lee and I enjoyed Wisconsin Beer and Cheese Soup for dinner. I mentioned it to Mike and he asked me to send him some :). I told him I’d give him the recipe, so I’m posting it here for him and anyone else who likes rich, delicious hot soup. It’s popular in restaurants here in Wisconsin and this particular recipe is my own version of the cheesy delight.
WISCONSIN BEER AND CHEESE SOUP (12 servings)
- 1/2 pound butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 quart milk
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco to taste
- 12 ounces beer (Amber is good)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- 1 pound shredded medium cheddar cheese
- 1/2 pound shredded swiss cheese
In saute’ pan melt butter and add flour. Whisk and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes to cook the rawness out of the flour. Don’t brown it. Set aside. This is your roux.
In soup pot heat the milk and stock nearly to boiling but do not boil it. Lower the heat and add tabasco, worcestershire, and beer. Add cream and seasonings. Continue to heat and whisk but do not let it boil. Slowly whisk in the roux and continue to heat and whisk until thickened. Gradually and slowly add shredded cheeses, using low heat. Let each addition melt completely before adding more. If your soup gets too hot the cheese will separate and your soup will be ruined.
Garnish with any of the following: croutons, green onions, crisp bacon, parsley, or whatever you like.
There’s another cheese soup that is a big family favorite. I worked for years at our local hospital and this soup was served in the cafeteria there. I was happy to find the recipe in the book that came with one of my kitchen appliances back in the ’80’s. I’ve been using this recipe ever since. It’s also lots easier and less “putzy” than the beer and cheese recipe.
CANADIAN CHEESE SOUP (4-6 servings)
- 2 medium carrots, cut in 1″ pieces
- 2 stalks celery, cut in 1″ pieces
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese cubes
Finely chop carrots, celery and onion in food processor. Put into large sauce pan with stock and cook until vegetables are tender. Combine flour, milk, and cheese in food processor and process until smooth. Add slowly to veg mixture in pan, whisking continuously. Cook until thick.