One of the really yummy treats I found while following the South Beach Diet a few years ago was made with part-skim ricotta cheese, It gave me the feeling that I was being indulgent while dieting. I still love it, and recently I came across a recipe for a delicious citrus-y parfait using ricotta that would make the perfect ending for dinner. What I really like about it is that it uses Greek yogurt and oranges in it, along with the ricotta. Winter in the northeast doesn't provide much in the way of wonderful fruits, and what there is, is usually expensive. However, oranges are plentiful and since they are so good for you in helping to ward off colds, I think this is a perfect way to use some "winter" fruits. Stonyfield recently provided me with some great coupons for their Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is creamier and thicker than regular yogurt and the plain version provides a wonderful base for cool desserts, baking and cooking.
Stonyfield began in 1983 in New Hampshire and if you don't know their story or have ever tried their products, click here http://www.stonyfield.com/stonyfield/index.jsp.
They have exceptional quality products and I am sure you will like them once you try them.
Now as for my special dessert, here is the recipe. Remember those great orange creamsicles you ate as a kid? Well, here is a grown-up version. It is healthy and delicious and a good way to get your Vitamin C and calcium, without adding a lot of calories.
Orange Creamsicle Pudding Parfait
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 pkgs sugar free fat-free white chocolate pudding mix
1/4 cup (1%) milk
1/2 cup (2%) plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20 drops yellow and 3 drops red liquid food colorings
2 cups thawed frozen fat free whipped topping
Orange slices and mint sprigs to garnish (optional)
In food processor combine 1 cup ricotta, 1 pkg. dry pudding mix, milk, 1/4 cup yogurt and vanilla; process until very smooth. Transfer to bowl; cover. Grate 1 tsp. orange zest and squeeze 1/4 cup juice from orange into food processor. Add food colorings and remaining 1 cup ricotta, 1 pkg. pudding mix and 1/4 cup yogurt; process until very smooth.
Transfer to separate bowl; cover.
Refrigerate both pudding mixes 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, fold 1 cup topping into each pudding mixture. Transfer to separate food storage bags; snip one corner of each. Place both bags, cut corners down, into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe mixture into 6 glasses. If desired, garnish with orange slice and mint. Or, if you are lazy like me...just alternate the layers in your parfait glass!!