Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crustless Spanokopita

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
16 ounces spinach leaves, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup liquid egg substitute (or 1 large egg, beaten)
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, scallions and garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach, parsley and lemon juice. Continue to saute until the spinach is limp and all the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the egg substitute, ricotta, feta and oregano. Stir in the spinach mixture. Pour it all into the prepared backing dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly. Serve hot as a side dish or as a dip with pita crisps, crackers, or breadsticks.

Creamy Raspberry Dressing

This dressing is lovely on a simple spinach salad.

2 tablespoons light sour cream
2 tablespoons fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1/4 cup no-sugar-added raspberry jam
2 teaspoons Splenda
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Whiz the ingredients in a mini food processor.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lime Tarragon Chicken with Capers

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon capers, drained

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, trimmed of all fat

Put the chicken in a zip-loc bag.

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Seal the bag and squish the bag so that the marinade evenly coats the chicken. Refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

Preheat your broiler or grill. Remove the chicken from the bag and pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Broil or grill the chicken 5-7 minutes per side or until the juices run clear.

While the chicken is cooking, bring the marinade to a boil, boil 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Serve the chicken with the heated marinade drizzled on top.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jicama & Cucumber Salad

1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
2 cups diced, peeled jicama
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced

In a medium bowl, whisk the first 6 ingredients together until well-combined. Add the jicama and cucumber and toss to evenly coat with dressing. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve cold.

6 servings

Friday, January 7, 2011

Herbed Grilled Eggplant

1 medium eggplant
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, or 2 teaspoons dried (I like rosemary, thyme, and or oregano)
garlic salt to taste
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat your broiler or grill. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cut off and discard the stem (being careful of the prickers on it). Remove the skin with a vegetable peeler if you wish. Cut the eggplant flesh crosswise into disks about 1/2" thick (you can slice a Japanese eggplant or small regular eggplant lengthwise instead, or cut baby eggplant in half lengthwise).

Place the sliced eggplant on the baking sheet cut side up and spray it generously with the olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle it with half the herbs and some garlic salt to taste.

Grill or broil the eggplant 5-7 minutes or until browned on one side. Flip it over, spray it with more cooking spray, sprinkle it with the rest of the herbs and some garlic salt, and grill or broil it for another 5-7 minutes. The eggplant should be tender but not mushy.

Serve as is, or use it in eggplant salad or eggplant parmesan.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wake Up Breakfast Sandwich

1 thin slice whole grain bread, or 1/2 of a thin bun, or 1/2 of an English muffin, toasted
1 thin slice cheese (pepperjack or Monterey jack are good
3 thin slices avocado sprinkled with lemon juice
2 thin slices fresh tomato
salt & pepper to taste
a few drops of hot sauce (optional)

Preheat the toaster oven or oven on the broil setting.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.

Place the toasted bread on the baking sheet. Place the cheese slice on the bread, then the tomato slices, then the avocado slices. Sprinke with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Broccoli & Apple Slaw

I love the broccoli slaw mix you can find the supermarket produce section, but I have to chop it roughly before using it to be sure that it goes down well.

1/2 c. mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
1/4 c. light fat sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (you can substitute white vinegar)
1 teaspoon Splenda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup raisins
2 scallions, chopped
1 16-oz package broccoli slaw mix

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, Splenda, salt, pepper and paprika in a large bowl.

Combine the apple with the lemon juice and set aside.

Add the raisins, scallions and broccoli slaw to the bowl and stir a few times. Add the apple and lemon juice and stir again until everything is coated with dressing. Cover and chill 2 hours.

# of servings: this recipe makes a big batch of slaw - suitable for a party or picnic. For a smaller batch, cut each ingredient amount in half.

Pork Chops with fennel sauce

Fennel has a slightly sweet licorice flavor that goes well with rich pork. You can substitute tarragon or basil to get a similar flavor, or use a different herb like thyme, marjoram, or sage. The mayonnaise in the recipe may sound weird, but it keeps the meat moist and doesn't taste "mayonnaisey" when it's cooked. You can use thinner pork chops and shorten the cooking time, but thinner chops will get dried out more easily, making them harder for a bandster to eat.

4 pork loin chops, cut 1" thick
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon onion salt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 cup white wine

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Brush both sides of the pork chops with the mayonnaise. Sprinkle both sides of the chops with the fennel and salt. Lay the chops in a single layer in the baking dish. Bake 10 minutes, turn the chops over, and bake another 5-10 minutes or until the pork is cooked to your liking. (Note: Slightly rare pork will not kill you. It will continue to cook a bit and stay nice and moist after you remove it from the oven.)

While the chops are cooking, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve the sauce drizzled over the chops.

Egg Salad for One

You shouldn't need to add salt to this salad because of the saltiness of the olives

1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 green pimento-stuffed olives, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
black pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a small bowl, or whiz in a mini food processor.

Serves 1

Ranch Roasted Veggies

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ranch salad dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup asparagus cut into 1" pieces
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup carrot slices

Preheat the oven to 425F. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine oil, dressing mix, onion salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the raw veggies and toss to coat all the veggies with the oil mixture. Put the veggies in a single layer on the prepared baking pan. Roast for 5 minutes, flip the veggies over and stir with a spatula, roast for another 5 minutes or until the veggies are lightly browned and tender-crisp.

Serve hot or cold.

8 servings

Sesame Fish with Sherry Sauce

1 lb. fish fillets (catfish or other firm white fish)
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds

1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot or regular sesame oil
2 teaspoons sherry (cooking sherry is fine)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray. Lay the fish fillets in the pan in a single layer. Spray them with butter spray. Combine the lemon juice, basil, onion salt and pepper in a small bowl and brush onto the fish. Sprinkle the sesame seeds evenly over the fish.

Bake the fish for 15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. You can put the fish under the broiler for 30-60 seconds to brown the top if desired.

Prepare the sauce while the fish is baking. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve the sauce drizzled over the cooked fish.

Creamy Date Spread

This spread is yummy on a toasted thin bun, bagel, or English muffin.

1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped dates (can substitute raisins if you prefer)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sugar free caramel syrup
2 tablespoon chopped walnuts
dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a mini food processor and whiz until smooth.

Orange Couscous

1 cup orange juice
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 10-oz package plain couscous
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted

In a large saucepan, bring orange juice, water and cumin to a boil. Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir gently to combine.

6 servings

Chicken with Orange Sweet and Sour Sauce

1-1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4-5 medium thighs), trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar blend
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 c. orange marmalade (reduced sugar or no sugar added are OK)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons reserved marinade
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cold water

Put chicken, juice, Splenda, soy sauce, hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a zip-lock bag, seal, and shake to evenly coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Measure 2 tablespoons of marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Grill or broil the chicken thighs for 4-5 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and set aside while you prepare the sauce.

Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the orange marmalade and rice vinegar to the marinade in the small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until mixture is boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and serve the sauce drizzled over the chicken thighs.

4-5 servings