Cooking Light with Biz Markie

Sometimes you get what you wish for.  And in this case, I had wished for the oddest combination of cooking class and a one hit wonder former rap star from the 80s.  I can totally envision the brainstorming session over at LivingSocial:  “Hey why don’t we get a quasi-celebrity who lives in the area to do a cooking class.  Oh, what about Biz Markie?  We can do a cooking light class and have him be the face of the class because he was the winner of Celebrity Fit Club’s first season!  Wait, what?  He doesn’t really know how to cook?  That’s ok, we can use our in-house chefs to put together a recipe and coach him on the spot with what to say.  Then maybe during the breaks, we can play his music so he can sing along.”

After the novelty of the unusual combination wore off, fortunately, I was left with an interesting recipe for sugar free cupcakes that actually did not taste bad!  And the light chicken satay, while not as thick of a dipping sauce as I’m used to, still was flavorful – albeit more lime juice than peanut flavor.  Here are the recipes from the night:

Sugar Free Lemon Ginger Cupcakes (10 cupcakes)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup Spenda granular
1/4 cup agave syrup
4 1/2 Tbsp egg whites
1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup sugar free vanilla pudding

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together applesauce, Spenda, and agave syrup.
2. Beat in egg whites, about 1/3 of the amount at a time.
3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Set aside.
4. In another bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ginger)
5. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture, 1/3 of the amount at a time, alternating with the vanilla pudding.  Mix thoroughly.
6. Spray paper-lined muffin cups liberally with non-stick cooking spray (because the batter is missing the fat to prevent sticking).  Fill 3/4 full with batter.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the muffin pan, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
8. Once cool, frost cupcakes with Light Cream Cheese Icing and garnish with lemon zest.

Light Cream Cheese Icing (10 cupcakes)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Neufchatel (light) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsp margarine, softened at room temperature
2/3 cup Spenda
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk (1%)
2 tsp lemon zest, to garnish

1. With an electric mixer and whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and margarine together until creamy.  Be sure to pause and scrape sides and bottom of mixing bowl to ensure cream cheese isn’t sticking in big clumps.
2. Add in Splenda – start on low speed, gradually increasing to medium speed, and mix until well combined.
3. Finally, add vanilla and milk.  Mix on medium for 30 seconds.

Low Fat Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce (2 servings)
or as Biz Markie said, “Diabolical Chicken Satay”

Chicken Ingredients:
8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp low sodium soy or tamari sauce
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 1/2 tsp lime juice

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp low sodium soy or tamari sauce
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp lime juice

1. Cut chicken breasts into eight strips.  Place in a large resealable plastic bag.  Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and lime juice and add to bag.  Marinate chicken strips in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. Presoak 8 bamboo skewers for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat grill or broiler, coated with cooking spray.
4. For the sauce, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, peanut butter, and lime juice, stirring until smooth and creamy.
5. Thread chicken strips onto presoaked skewers.  Grill or broil chicken for 10 minutes, turning once.  Serve with peanut sauce on the side.

Even the vinegar got into the rapping mood! “Vin-a guh!”
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