Wednesday, August 29, 2012

80--- Curried Yogurt Dip

This low fat dip is perfect with pita chips or carrot and celery sticks.  And it has a ton of flavor!

Curried Yogurt Dip
Serves 6

8 oz 2% Greek yogurt
2 tsp yellow curry powder
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lime juice

Place onions in a food processor and chop until very fine.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until a smooth puree is formed.

Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per 2 Tbsp: 31 calories, 1 g fat, 3.5 g protein, 2.5 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber

Monday, August 27, 2012

80--- Walnut and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

With Labor Day approaching, what will you bring to all of those camping trips and barbecues?  You might as well be the one to bring something healthful.  And dips are so easy to make and people eat them up.

This is one of two great dips that I will post for the holiday weekend.

The first one here is loaded with healthy fats.  The next one that I will post this week is low fat and full of flavor.

Walnut and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Serves 8

2/3 cup walnuts
2 cups roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a large food processor and puree until smooth.  Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Serve with crudites or sweet potato chips.

Nutrition Info per 3 Tbsp: 79 calories, 7 g fat (2 g monounsaturated, 5 g polyunsaturated), 2 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Saturday, August 25, 2012

80--- Yam Salad

'Sweet potato salad' comes off of the tongue a bit nicer, but these are NOT sweet potatoes.  They are yams.  There is a difference.  Yams are orange (sweet potatoes are yellow) and have a higher micronutrient content (more color= more vitamins and phytonutrients).

Switch up your traditional potato salad at your weekend barbecue with this lower fat, health-ified version!

Yam Salad
Serves 5-6

4 medium yams, washed and cut into 1" cubes
1 tsp olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
7 oz 2% Greek yogurt
2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp dried dill (or use 1 tsp fresh chopped dill)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dill pickle juice
Dash fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place yam cubes on a baking dish or on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat then spread evenly in dish or on sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.  Remove from oven and transfer onto a plate.  Place in refrigerator to chill.

Whisk together yogurt, mustard, dill, garlic, and pickle juice in a large bowl.  Fold in celery, green onions, and red pepper.  Gently fold in chilled yams and return to refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Nutrition Info per 1 cup: 173 calories, 1.7 g fat, 5 g fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

80--- Faux BLT

Bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  Classic.  But bacon kind of scares me.  I know that some people rub it all over like body lotion.  It's just not really my gig.  I would rather rub some chocolate cake all over me.

The smoky roasted portobello mushrooms in this "faux" version mimic the bacon nicely.  And slather on some avocado instead of mayo? Healthy fats ---wahoo!

Faux BLT
Serves 2

2 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into 1/4" pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 avocado, mashed
1/2 large tomato, sliced thick
Spring mix lettuce leaves
2 buns (I like the whole grain thin ones myself), toasted

Mix together olive oil, liquid smoke, pepper, salt, and vinegar in a shallow dish.  Add mushroom pieces and marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.  Place mushroom slices onto sheet, evenly distributed, and cook for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.  Mushrooms will be lightly browned and slightly crisp on the outside.

On each toasted bun spread 2 Tbsp mashed avocado, then layer mushroom slices, one slice of tomato, and lettuce leaves.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Info per 1 sandwich: 197 calories, 11 g fat, 5 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Monday, August 20, 2012

80--- Zucchini Spaghetti

It's that time of year when enormous zucchini squashes are abundant.  First your neighbor gives you one from their garden, then your parents give you one, then your patient (in my case) gives you one and before you know it you've accumulated half a dozen gigantic vegetables.  What to do with them? There's many options.  Here's one.  The zucchini strips fold into the spaghetti and make you feel like you are eating more pasta than you actually are, and give you yummy flavor and FIBER.

Make this and then make some zucchini brownies and then you will only have four humongous zucchini to go.

Zucchini Spaghetti
Serves 4

1 large zucchini, peeled into thin strips
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin strips
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp dried oregano

In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Saute garlic until fragrant, then add onion and continue to saute until slightly softened, ~3 minutes.  Add peeled zucchini and chopped tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.  Add vinegar and season with salt, pepper, red pepper, and oregano.  Stir and allow to cook until zucchini is cooked through, ~5 minutes.  Fold in cooked spaghetti noodles and cook for additional 3 minutes, until liquid is thickened and absorbed.

Remove from heat and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese (if desired)

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cup serving: 365 calories, 4.5 g fat, 10 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber (yahoo!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

80(ish)-- Blue Bran Pancakes

Pancakes are a fun way to switch up your typical breakfast.  

These special cakes have pureed blueberries in them to add some festive color, good fiber, and to replace some added fat.

Blue Bran Pancakes
Makes~ 24 pancakes

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup wheat bran
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup pureed blueberries (frozen work- just defrost prior to pureeing)
2 tsp vegetable oil

In a large bowl, mix together flour and baking powder.

In a medium, whisk together sugar, egg, milk, and blueberry puree.  Gently fold wet ingredients into dry and mix until wet ingredients are just moistened (lumpy batter = good batter). Add more milk or flour if needed (batter should lightly coat the back of a spoon).

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium high heat.  Spoon 1/4 cup batter into pan and cook until bubbles form in batter.  Gently flip with a thin spatula and allow other side to cook.  Remove from skillet when both sides are lightly brown.  Keep pancakes warm on a place covered with a clean dishtowel until ready to serve (tip: heat the plate in the microwave for 2 minutes prior to placing pancakes on it).

Serve garnished with fresh blueberries and powdered sugar (optional).

Nutrition Info per 4 pancakes: 116 calories, 3 g fat, 4.5 g protein, 16.5 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

80--- Chopped Taco Salad

A truly easy dinner idea for hot summer days!  You can add some lean ground beef or turkey if you choose, or you can go vegetarian and spend less time in the kitchen!

Chopped Taco Salad
Serves 5

1 lb extra lean ground beef or ground turkey (optional- if you omit, add another can of beans of your choice)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 head romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup large black olives, chopped
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup corn kernels (optional)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 avocado, chopped (optional- add at end)
1/2 cup salsa of your choice
1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 tsp cumin, divided
2 tsp chili powder, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Fresh ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

If using ground beef or turkey, crumble in a nonstick pan and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through.  Drain then return to pan over medium heat.  Add 2 Tbsp water to pan along with 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili powder.  Stir until meat is coated, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Combine chopped lettuce, tomatoes, corn, red pepper, black olives, onion, cilantro, and zucchini in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together salsa, yogurt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, salt, garlic, and pepper.  

Add meat to salad, if desired.  Add salsa yogurt dressing, and toss salad to coat.  Add avocado and feta cheese, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition Info per ~1.5 cup serving using 95% lean ground beef: 340 calories, 10 g fat, 33 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber

Monday, August 13, 2012

80--- Watercress Pesto

Watercress is a green with a "spicy" flavor, much like arugula.  It is a SUPERFOOD- meaning that it contains lots of vitamins and antioxidants which will help decrease your risk of cancer and help you to live a long life.

So why wouldn't we make it into a pesto?  Seen here on grilled potatoes.

Watercress Pesto
Serves 2-3

2 cups fresh raw watercress leaves
1 large cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Dash crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Mix until a puree is formed.  Serve with pasta, grilled chicken, or on potatoes.

Nutrition Info per 1 Tbsp: 115 calories, 11 g fat (5.5 g monounsaturated, 4 g polyunsaturated), 2 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber

Friday, August 10, 2012

80---Fig and Watercress Pizzas with an Egg

Egg on pizza? My brother-in-law said it was excellent so I had to try it.  If you bake your pizza in a hot oven the egg cooks perfectly, leaving the yolk slightly runny to soak into your other toppings.  Yummo.

Fig & Watercress Pizzas with an Egg
Serves 2

2 -10" flour tortillas, pitas, or flatbread circles
Olive oil spray
2-3 oz crumbled feta cheese
3 fresh figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh watercress leaves, torn
2 eggs
Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place two crusts/tortillas/pitas onto a baking sheet.  Spray each crust/tortilla/pita with olive oil spray.  Sprinkle on feta cheese, chopped figs, and watercress leaves.  Crack one egg into the center of each pizza, then use a fork to "break" the white of the egg (if you do not want a runny yolk, break that also) so that it spreads over toppings.  Sprinkle each pizza lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake for 8-12 minutes on the upper rack of your oven, until crust is crisp and egg is cooked to your liking.  Note: if you use a tortilla, you may have to switch your oven to high broil after crust is crispy to cook your egg to your liking.

Cut each pizza into quarters and enjoy!  This also makes a great appetizer!

Nutrition Info per 1 pizza (using a tortilla as I did): 346 calories, 15 g fat, 16 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 5.5 g fiber

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

80--- Thai Grilled Corn

Grilling corn is super easy- especially if you're already grilling your meal!  The wet husks help to steam the kernels so when you are picking out your corn, look for lots of husk (the pre-trimmed ones in packages at the grocery will not work).

These cobs have the perfect amount of Thai flavor!

Thai Grilled Corn
Serves 4

4 ears sweet corn
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
2 tsp lime juice
Dash garlic powder
Dash salt
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

Pull husks down on each ear and remove silk strands.  Fold husks back over ear and tie in place with a piece of twine (do not tie in a knot- you will be removing this and then re-tying it).

Soak ears in cold water for 30 minutes.  Preheat grill to medium heat.

Whisk together remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Remove twine, fold down husks and use a pastry brush to brush mixture evenly onto each ear. Replace husks and once again tie with the piece of wet twine.

Place corn onto grill and cook for ~15 minutes, or until kernels are soft (test with a fork).

Remove husk and serve!

Nutrition Info per 1 cob: 133 calories, 3 g fat, 3.5 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber

Monday, August 6, 2012

20--- Salted Fudge Cookies

I learned today that at 8 months pregnant I should not be left home alone.

Not because I am afraid that I will go into labor.

Because I might bake cookies.

And then proceed to eat them.  Multiple them.

Apparently the foods that I eat are flavoring the amniotic fluid that my baby is drinking.  Babies become used to these flavors and it affects their choices when outside of the womb.  Well, my baby girl will be very disappointed to learn that most people, or at least most healthy people, do not consume Salted Fudge Cookies with the regularity that I have today.

I'd better follow with a broccoli chaser.

Salted Fudge Cookies
Makes ~40 medium cookies

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Coarse ground sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a nonstick saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in chocolate chips.  Use a spatula to continue to stir until chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder.  In a separate medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Slowly add flour mixture and continue to beat.  Add chocolate mixture to bowl and, again, beat until smooth.

Prepare baking sheets with baking spray.  Use a small spoon to place ~1 1/2 Tbsp batter onto baking sheet, placing each mound 1-2" apart.  Sprinkle each mound with sea salt.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, then remove from oven.  Allow to set for 5 minutes prior to transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, August 3, 2012

80--- Balsamic Beet Greens and Goat Cheese App

Don't throw away those lovely greens at the top of your fresh, local beets!  It's not good to waste food.  And leafy greens are your friends!  That is, if you expect your friends to ward off cancer and other deadly diseases.

What do beet greens taste like?  Better find out!

Balsamic Beet Greens and Goat Cheese App
Serves 12

1 wheat baguette, cut into 1" slices
8 oz chevre goat cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups beet greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together goat cheese and lemon juice.  Set aside at room temperature.

In a skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add chopped beet greens and saute continuously for 3-4 minutes, until softened (but not mushy).  Add balsamic vinegar and saute until liquid has been incorporated into greens. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

On each slice of baguette, spread ~1 tsp goat cheese mixture.  Top each with 1 Tbsp beet greens and serve immediately.

Nutrition Info per 1 slice: 129 calories, 5 g fat, 6 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

80--- Beet Muffins with Chocolate Chunks

Don't laugh. These are really wonderful.  And just look at that color!  It's a great time of year to get fresh local beets.  Many choose to pickle them.  I choose to bake with them.  To each his own. 

Beets can be cooked and pureed and then substituted into recipes in place of fat, much like applesauce.  Try them in brownies (I've heard good things).  I wanted to make muffins to preserve that fantastic color.  The flavor of the beets really comes through in these muffins!

Beet Muffins with Chocolate Chunks
Makes 11-12 muffins

3 medium beets, peeled and cubed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg white
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips)
Baking spray

Preheat oven to 365 degrees.  

Place beet cubes into a saucepan and cover with 2" of water.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, until very tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water, then transfer beets to a food processor.  Puree beets until smooth, then add yogurt, egg white, sugar, olive oil, and vanilla.  Continue to mix until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda and baking powder.  Fold wet beet ingredients into dry, stirring until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chunks.

Spray a muffin tin liberally with baking spray.  Spoon muffin mixture into each cup, filling each 3/4 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing for consumption or storage.  Store in an airtight plastic bag or covered container.

Nutrition Info per 1 muffin: 155 calories, 4 g fat, 3.5 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber