01/13/2014 05:36 EST | Updated 03/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Recipes for Thai pizza, flank steak and s'mores layer cake get healthy twist

In her new book, "The Best of Rose Reisman: 20 Years of Healthy Recipes," nutrition consultant Rose Reisman offers twists on using foods that are healthy and trendy.

Here are recipes for an appetizer, entree and dessert from the book.

Thai Pizza With Shrimp, Asian Vegetables and Peanut Dressing

Thai cuisine has grown very popular in North America. Part of the reason is the influence of immigration from Asia. Reisman uses a store-bought whole-wheat crust, then tops it with an easy-to-make peanut sauce, shrimp and veggies.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 12 minutes


45 ml (3 tbsp) light coconut milk

45 ml (3 tbsp) peanut butter

20 ml (4 tsp) hoisin sauce

10 ml (2 tsp) low-sodium soy sauce

10 ml (2 tsp) rice vinegar

10 ml (2 tsp) sesame oil

5 ml (1 tsp) honey

5 ml (1 tsp) crushed garlic

5 ml (1 tsp) crushed ginger

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) minced jalapeno peppers


30-cm (12-inch) prebaked thin pizza crust (preferably whole wheat)

250 ml (1 cup) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (90 g/3 oz)

250 ml (1 cup) sliced sugar snap peas

250 ml (1 cup) sliced red peppers

175 ml (3/4 cup) diced raw shrimp or cooked chicken

45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped cashews


75 ml (1/3 cup) diced green onions

50 ml (1/4 cup) cilantro

Dressing: In a small food processor, puree coconut milk, peanut butter, hoisin and soy sauces, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger and jalapenos.

To assemble pizza: Drizzle three-quarters of the dressing over pizza crust. Set aside rest for garnish. Sprinkle mozzarella, snap peas, red peppers, shrimp and cashews overtop.

Bake in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 12 minutes or until crust is crisp.

Pour remaining dressing over top. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Makes 8 servings.

Make ahead: Prepare the pizza up to a day before. Bake just before serving.

Rose's tip: Try different nut butters, such as almond or cashew. Soy butter is great for those with nut allergies.

Health tip: A small thin pizza crust alone has half the calories of a small deep-dish or thick pizza crust.

Nutrition information per serving: 156 calories; 9.2 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 9.4 g protein; 8.9 g total fat (3.3 g saturated fat); 37 mg cholesterol; 325 mg sodium.


Flank Steak With Shiitake Mushrooms and Mirin Hoisin Sauce

Reisman includes several recipes in the book for flank steak, which is one of the leanest beef cuts. The key is to marinate it to make it more tender.

You can find mirin (sweet rice wine) in a good grocery store or in a Chinese market; Chinese five-spice powder is in the dried herb section. Use another mushroom, if desired, being sure to cook it until all the moisture evaporates.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

75 ml (1/3 cup) mirin

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) Chinese five-spice powder

75 ml (1/3 cup) hoisin sauce

30 ml (2 tbsp) toasted sesame seeds

45 ml (3 tbsp) rice vinegar

30 ml (2 tbsp) low-sodium soy sauce

30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil

500 g (1 lb) whole shiitake mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed

750 g (1 1/2 lb) flank steak

2 green onions, sliced, for garnish

In a bowl, combine mirin, five-spice powder, hoisin, sesame seeds, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Remove 50 ml (1/4 cup) and pour over flank steak. Marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.

In a large skillet sprayed with the vegetable oil, saute mushrooms for 12 minutes or until tender. Add another 50 ml (1/4 cup) sauce and cook for 1 minute.

In a grill pan or barbecue sprayed with vegetable oil, grill steak on medium-high heat for about 8 minutes per side or until done to your preference. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Slice steak against grain into thin slices, scatter mushrooms over top, garnish with green onions and serve with remaining sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Make ahead: Marinate beef up to a day in advance and cook mushrooms early in the day. Cook the steak just before serving. This dish is delicious at room temperature.

Rose's tip: Chinese five-spice powder is a combination of star anise, fennel seeds, ground cloves, cinnamon and salt and pepper.

Health tip: The Chinese have used the shiitake mushroom for medicinal purposes for more than 6,000 years. It's a rich source of selenium, iron, fibre, protein and vitamin C.

Nutrition information per serving: 429 calories; 21.4 g carbohydrates; 4.7 g fibre; 41 g protein; 18 g total fat (6.6 g saturated fat); 111 mg cholesterol; 680 mg sodium.


S'mores Chocolate Layer Cake

"The dessert section is probably my favourite," says Reisman. "I have a weakness for desserts for sure."

Of this recipe, Reisman says: "That's an idea of a devil's chocolate cake but without all the fat. I have some fun. I buy marshmallow fluff, a little bit of chocolate ganache which I don't make with cream. I use 2 per cent evaporated milk. It's absolutely delicious."

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 18 minutes


75 ml (1/3 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

50 ml (1/4 cup) hot water

250 ml (1 cup) granulated sugar

50 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

2 large eggs

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

125 ml (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

175 ml (3/4 cup) reduced-fat sour cream

75 ml (1/3 cup) reduced-fat mayonnaise

250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda


250 ml (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

75 ml (1/3 cup) canned evaporated 2 per cent milk

250 ml (1 cup) marshmallow fluff

30 ml (2 tbsp) semisweet chocolate chips

7 graham cookie wafers, broken into small pieces

Cake: Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Lightly coat two 20-cm (8-inch) round baking pans with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips and hot water. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla with a whisk until smooth. Add cocoa powder, sour cream, mayonnaise and melted chocolate. Mix until combined. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix just until combined.

Pour into pans and bake for 18 minutes or until a tester comes out dry. Let cool. Remove from pans.

Topping: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 250 ml (1 cup) chocolate and milk in the microwave for 20 seconds, just enough to mix the chocolate and milk until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes to thicken.

Heat marshmallow fluff for 10 seconds in microwave to soften.

Place one cake layer on a plate, spread half the chocolate sauce over the top and sides of the cake, then half the marshmallow, and sprinkle with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the chocolate chips and half the broken graham cookie crumbs.

Place other cake layer on top, pour remaining chocolate sauce on top and spread around sides, then add remaining marshmallow, chocolate chips and cookie crumbs.

Makes 16 servings.

Make ahead: Assemble the cake up to a day in advance and keep covered and refrigerated.

Rose's tip: You will find marshmallow fluff in the baking aisle of your supermarket. It's best to slightly heat the fluff in a microwave oven for 10 seconds to make it more spreadable.

Health tip: The saying "to have your cake and eat it too" goes well for this dessert. A regular piece of chocolate cake would have at least double the calories and fat.

Nutrition information per serving: 280 calories; 36.3 g carbohydrates; 1.9 g fibre; 3.3 g protein; 13.4 g total fat (4 g saturated fat); cholesterol 23 mg.

Source: "The Best of Rose Reisman: 20 Years of Healthy Recipes" by Rose Reisman (Whitecap Books).