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Place potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough water to cover them; set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 to 30 minutes; drain. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each into eight pieces. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a hot skillet or in the microwave until crisp; drain on paper towels. Break bacon into small pieces. In a small cup, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Transfer cut potatoes to a large bowl; add bacon and scallions. Toss with dressing until coated.
The original recipe for this elegant concoction is from top chef Joseph Jimenez of Food and Wine magazine. Here, calories (without butter, more nuts and white wine) are trimmed down to 130 per serving.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and almonds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and almonds are golden, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook another thirty seconds until fragrant. Now, increase the heat and add spinach in batches, along with the water, salt, and pepper, while stirring until each batch wilts. Add the grapes and cook about two minutes until grapes are heated through. Serve at once while feeling very hoity-toity.
Besides being a cinch to make, this salad turns dinner into a fiesta.
1/2 lb. jicama, peeled and cut into strips 4 T. spicy low-calorie lime dressing or low-calorie ranch with added lime garnish 1 head Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped 2 oranges, peeled and cut into rounds 1 large tomato, cut into rounds 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips Can of kidney or black beans, drained 1/2 cup almond slivers 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions) 2 T. chopped cilantro 1 avocado Toss jicama with salad dressing in a large bowl and let it stand for 20 minutes.
Line a platter with lettuce leaves. Toss remaining ingredients except avocado with jicama and dressing. Arrange in center of platter. Refrigerate until serving time.
Peel, pit, and cut avocado into slices. Arrange in a fan pattern on top of salad and serve.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add pine nuts and a clove of garlic, if you like it. Dice summer squash and pepper and add to skillet, along with seasonings and crushed red pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with chives and serve with steak. I’m partial to the great flavor of Nevada soft shell piñon nuts.
These deliciously fresh pine nuts, also known as pignolia, add wonderful flavor.
Anyone who is allergic to nuts may also be allergic to pine nuts and should be forewarned.
This dish is sometimes categorized as a side dish, but with complete protein from dairy and high iron content from spinach, it can stand alone. If you are cooking for yourself and want it to be special, make and serve shells with a tossed salad. Fill a wine glass with low-calorie cranberry-grape juice. The red and green shells look like Christmas!
2 oz. medium pasta shells 4 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 3/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese 1/4 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese 2 T. reduced-fat grated parmesan cheese 2 tsp. Italian seasoning 1/2 T. chopped garlic Pinch of fresh chopped basil (if you have a plant growing for this purpose) Small can of tomato sauce Prepare shells according to package directions. Place in cold water to stop cooking; drain and set aside. Mix together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, spinach, seasonings and chopped garlic. Stuff mixture into the shells. Spread 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of an oven safe pan. Place shells open side up and close together in pan. Spread remaining sauce and canned tomatoes over top, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
This salad, dressed with a lemony cocktail sauce, is deliciously crunchy with celery and radishes. This recipe serves 4 and contains 98 calories with 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat, 1 gram saturated due to the shrimp.
In a bowl, toss shrimp with garlic powder and pepper. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray or use a George Foreman grill. Cook shrimp until pink and opaque, between 2 to 3 minutes. The George Foreman Grill creates grill marks, something that looks nice. Cool shrimp slightly. Whisk together the next four ingredients. Place greens in a serving bowl, top with paper-thin slices of radishes, celery, and shrimp, and drizzle dressing. Garnish with lemon slices. Choose firm, plump lemons that feel heavy; they hold the most juice.
Studebaker’s Quinoa—1 serving
According to legs model Reba Studebaker, actresses and models are discovering quinoa.
Pronounced “KEEN-wah,” quinoa is a nutritious seed but acts like a grain. Consider serving this side dish with grilled chicken, a vegetable, and salad. Make your salad colorful with fruit on top.
Thoroughly rinse quinoa in mesh colander and drain. Mince garlic; rinse and chop parsley. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté garlic for about 30 seconds. Add quinoa and stir to coat all grains for 1-2 minutes. Add water and vegetable stock powder and bring to a boil; lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, until all water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked.
2 egg whites, hard-boiled 1 T. low-fat mayonnaise 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp. paprika 1/4 tsp. black pepper 1/4 cup diced celery In a saucepan with water to cover two eggs, bring to a boil and then turn down so that shells don’t break. Eggs will be hard cooked in 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from water with slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Rinse and finely chop celery.
After discarding yokes, chop egg whites and mix with celery, mayonnaise, mustard and spices until well blended. If your whole wheat pita is large, serve it in half. If small, use the whole thing.
2 slices turkey bacon 1/2 whole-wheat English muffin 3 oz. low-sodium turkey breast, cooked and sliced 2 tomato slices 1 oz. low-fat cheddar cheese Butter spray Spray a pan with butter spray, cook turkey bacon and cut each strip in half. Top muffin half with turkey breast, tomato slices, turkey bacon and cheese. In a toaster oven (or regular oven) at 400 degrees, bake 3 to 5 minutes until cheese melts.
Serve on half a muffin and enjoy an apple with it.
If you can’t find low-calorie tartar sauce, make your own low-calorie dill tartar sauce with fat-free mayo, dill weed, and pickle relish. Add lettuce and tomato and serve with a slice of lemon.
If you are using Gorton’s, follow microwave directions. You can skip the seasonings because Gorton’s fillets contain them. Otherwise, preheat grill or broiler. Rinse and dry fish fillet. Mix seasoning, lemon juice and olive oil and brush it on both sides of fish fillet. Grill or broil fish until it is no longer translucent, about 3-4 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Place fish on bun and serve.
With fruit cocktail, a ½ cup of fat-free milk, 10 whole almonds, and nine baby carrots, this makes a full meal.
Ingredients for one serving:
Chop ham, tomato and salad greens into bite-sized pieces. Mix mustard with mayonnaise and spread mixture inside of pita. Stuff pita with ham and vegetables.
If you are having family or friends for lunch, the muffaletta, a round loaf, can be made into a festive party sandwich. Traditionally, the bottom layer is an olive salad. Bought in a deli, it is too heavy for the golden girl. In any case, the olive layer tastes best when it is made the night before so that ingredients have married and are chilled.
Ingredients for the olive salad:
Chop the olives and combine ingredients for the olive salad. Put into a bowl or jar, cover and save in refrigerator. In New Orleans, this is for about a week! Slice the round loaf horizontally. It’s the olive salad that makes the Muffaletta. Look for lighter versions of cheese and meat. The quantities depend on the size of your round loaf.
Other ingredients in layers:
Packing up a lunch box isn’t just for kids. I make one for my husband, a CPA with his own practice, everyday. After dear heart goes to the gym at 11 a.m. to beat the crowd, he appreciates the convenience of a lunch ready in his office refrigerator, prepared by me. Whenever I substitute teach, I bring my lunch. I’m too busy reading over the regular teacher’s lesson plans to buy a lunch in the school cafeteria. To stay energized and healthy throughout the afternoon, I use dietary guidelines when preparing a boxed lunch.
Other than sandwiches, here are some favorites:
Chef’s salad made with (all low-fat, reduced-salt products) 2 slices turkey, 1 slice ham, and one slice cheese, sliced and served over mixed greens with 1/2 cup chickpeas and mandarin oranges with a plain mini whole-grain bagel Fruit salad with yogurt and, in a separate bag, whole-grain cereal with added (raw unsalted) sunflower seeds Whole-grain tortilla wrap made with lean deli roast beef and light provolone with an apple Cored apple stuffed with peanut butter and (crunchy) Kashi GoLean cereal with added raisins. Cut apple into rings. Add a carton of non-fat milk and a graham cracker square.
The “Perfect 10″ Western Bagel contains 10 net carbs, 9 grams of which are fiber, and 18 grams of protein with a variety of grains. Toast and spread with 2 T. peanut butter and a generous quantity of sugar-free jelly for a delectable PB&J.
One large whole-wheat pita makes a perfect size crust for a personal pizza. Have you noticed that many gourmet-type pizzas are going lighter on the sauce?
Serve grapes with this.
2 ½ oz. lean, boneless pork chop ¼ cup sliced red bell pepper 2 oz. fresh mushrooms ¼ cup sliced red onion 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar ½ tsp. Italian seasoning 1/3 T. olive oil 6-inch whole-wheat pita Heat oven to broil. Rinse pork chop and trim off all visible fat. Rinse and slice vegetables vertically into strips; set aside. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and arrange pork chop and vegetables in a single layer. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil and Italian seasoning. Coat both sides of chops and vegetables with mixture. Broil close to the heat source for about six minutes on each side or until pork is browned and vegetables are crisp tender. Remove from oven. Slice the meat before stuffing the mixture into the pita pocket. Serve immediately.
2 slices bread, 50 calories or less a slice 2 slices turkey 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese Tomato slices Lettuce leaves Pile meat, cheese and vegetables between bread. This mainstay is a filling 175 calories. With an apple, you will feel full for four hours.
If you’re hungry twenty minutes after eating, you may not be getting enough protein. Enjoy an open-faced tuna sandwich for a meal packed with protein.
Combine ingredients and pile on toast. Top with lettuce and tomato.
Turkey cutlets with mozzarella in a half pita—4 servings
2 large whole-wheat pitas 1 lb. package of 4 turkey cutlets 4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced Parmesan cheese Small package of mushrooms 1/8 cup fresh basil Sprinkle cutlets with salt and pepper. Dip cutlets in beaten egg, then in seasoned breadcrumbs. Spray a pan with nonstick spray and place breaded cutlets into hot pan; fry for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned.
Place cutlets in baking dish; spoon tomato sauce over and sprinkle with basil.
Place mozzarella slices and mushrooms over cutlets; bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Divide 4 ways and place in pita halves. Serve with a green salad, apple slices, and pumpkin or other seeds.
Per serving, this burger with 1/2 cup arugula, a slice of tomato and red onion contains 206 calories and is very low in fat and sodium. The 17 grams of carbs in the brown rice are the good kind.
Preheat grill to medium-high or use a George Foreman Grill. Combine the turkey, spices, shredded squash and rice into patties. Spray grill. When the patties brown on the outside, they’re done inside on the George Foreman. Serve the burgers on lettuce with a slice of onion and tomato. I put whole-grain buns on the table for those who want them, but I only use half a bun. Steamed broccoli with butter spray and sprinkles of parmesan cheese completes the meal of 250 calories. It tastes terrific and won’t come between you and your favorite jeans.
Grilled Turkey Breast Marinated with Sun-dried Tomatoes—4 servings Here’s a way to enjoy turkey off-season. You have to plan ahead to make this because of the four hours (or overnight) marinating process. Otherwise, preparation time is minimal.
Place tomatoes in a medium bowl. Add the boiling water and let tomatoes soften for about 30 minutes. Place in a blender or processor with the garlic, thyme, rosemary, fennel seeds, basil, salt and pepper. Process until relatively smooth.