February 20, 2011

Cucumber Sandwiches

1 - Cucumber
1/2 cup - cider vinegar
1 cup - Water
8 oz. - Fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup - Lite mayonnaise
1/4 tsp - Garlic powder
1/4 tsp - Onion salt
dash Worcestershire
1 loaf - White bread, sliced
1/4 tsp - Fresh or dried dill

1. Thinly slice cucumber. In a bowl, combine vinegar and water, add cucumber slices; let stand at room temp. for at least 30 min. Drain WELL. 

2. Combine cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, onion salt, dill, and Worcestershire. Cut bread slices into triangles (or any shape you want), be sure to remove crust, and then spread with cream cheese mixture. 

3. Top each with two slices of cucumber. Then serve!

Note:  To make these the night before, cover with SLIGHTLY damp paper towels, then
cover the whole plate with foil. Keep in fridge and they'll be just great.

February 16, 2011

Honey-Thyme Lamb Chops

Prep Time: 25 Minutes                  Start to Finish: 25 Minutes           Makes: 4 servings

8  - Lamb rib or loin chops, about 1 inch thick (about 2 lb)
2 - Tbsp dry white wine
2 - Tbsp honey
1 tsp - Chopped fresh or ¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
¼ tsp - salt
1/8 tsp - pepper, freshly ground

Preheat oven to broil

1. Spray broiler pan rack with cooking spray.

2. Remove excess fat from lamb.  In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients.

3. Place lamb on rack in pan.  Broil with tops 2 to 3 inches from heat 12 to 14 minutes, brushing with honey mixture and turning after 6 minutes, for medium doneness (160 degrees).  Discard any remaining honey mixture.

1 Serving: Calories 210 (Calories from Fat 90); Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 4g; Trans Fat 1g); Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 210mg; Total Carbohydrate 9g (Dietary Fiber 0g; Sugars 9g); Protein 20g  % Daily Value: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 8% 

Chicken Curry

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/2 cup couscous)

1  tablespoon  olive oil
1  cup  finely chopped onion
3  garlic cloves, minced
1  pound  skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1  tablespoon  curry powder
1  teaspoon  ground marjoram
2  cups  finely chopped tomato
1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2  teaspoon  cayenne pepper
1/2  cup  plain fat-free yogurt
1  teaspoon  all-purpose flour
2  cups  cooked couscous
Raisins (optional)

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add the chicken; cook 4 minutes. Add curry powder and marjoram; cook 1 minute. Add tomato, broth, and pepper; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Combine yogurt and flour; stir with a whisk, and add to chicken mixture. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. Serve mixture over couscous; top with raisins, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 318 (17% from fat)
Fat: 5.8g (sat 1g,mono 3g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 33.8g
Carbohydrate: 32.7g
Fiber: 3.4g
Cholesterol: 66mg
Iron:  2.6mg
Sodium: 229mg
Calcium: 97mg

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

Serves: 3 ounces fish and 1 tablespoon pesto per serving
Baking Time: 10-12 minutes

Vibrant orange salmon fillets get a double dose of crunchy almonds, one in the pesto and one in the topping. The lovely green pesto is easy to make and gets a delightful flavor boost – without salt – from the garlic-herb seasoning blend.

For a quick and pretty dish, scatter the almonds over the surface, as instructed below. If you prefer a fancier presentation, after spreading the pesto over the salmon, slightly overlap the almonds on the fillets to resemble fish scales, and then bake as directed.

Cooking spray (optional)

Cilantro Pesto
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt-free garlic-herb seasoning blend

4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Cooking Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a food processor or blender, process the pesto ingredients for 15 to 20 seconds, or until slightly chunky.

Place the fillets about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Spread the pesto evenly over the top of the fillets. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup almonds.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Nutritional Analysis
Per serving
Calories Per Serving: 206
Total Fat: 9.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Trans Fat: 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.0 g
Cholesterol: 66 mg
Sodium: 129 mg
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 0 g
Protein: 28 g

Cooking & Eating Healthy

Over the past 7 weeks I've motivated myself to become healthier.  When I think about being healthy I think about food and exercise, without both of them it's very difficult to be healthy.  I've started exercising weekly and eating A LOT less food; I've allowed myself 1200 calories a day, which can be difficult when trying to cook food.  Since I started my "diet" I've noticed things that I never did before.  For instance, I look at all nutrition facts to make sure that I stay within my 1200 calories and that it doesn't have a huge amount of fat.  I love to cook and want to share all of my healthy yummy recipes that I come across.  I find it rewarding to cook something that tastes good and is healthy!

Tex-Mex Meat Loaf

Prep Time: 10 Minutes                  Start to Finish: 1 Hour 10 Minutes             Makes: 6 Servings

1 ½ lb extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef
1 can (10 oz) Rotel
¼ cup fat-free egg product
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Chunky-style salsa, if desired

1.       Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except salsa.  Spoon mixture into ungreased 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish; pat into 9x5 loaf.
2.       Bake uncovered about 1 hour or until meat thermometer inserted in center of loaf reads 160 degrees.  Drain any liquid before slicing.  Serve with salsa.

For a spicier meat loaf, use the hot variety of Rotel instead of mild, or add a pinch of ground red pepper to the meat mixture.

1 Serving: Calories 200 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 8g (saturated fat 3g; trans fat 0g); Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 190mg; Total Carbohydrate 6g (Dietary Fiber 0g; Sugars 1g); Protein 26g % Daily Value: Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 6%; Calcium 4%; Iron 15%