Archive for the ‘Salads & Sides’ Category

SAVORY SUN-DRIED TOMATO APPETIZER CHEESECAKE

A little different…but when it comes to cheesecake anything is good!  This one will be a hit on your celebration tables, or at any potluck, BBQ, or picnic. For low-carb-hardly-any-calories serve with assorted cut veggies to dip.  

The add-ins are really up to you.  Sub out the tomatoes for greek olives and part of the mozzarella for feta cheese.  Stir in a little crushed pineapple or jalapenos…anything you’d like.  Leave off the crust altogether for even lower calories – I’ve given stats for either way.

(For complete fabulous-ness don’t be tempted to use fat-free cream cheese as it tends to make cheesecakes rubbery!)

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2/3 cup plain bread crumbs (unseasoned)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Two 8-ounce pkgs reduced-fat cream cheese
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 eggs
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, blotted with paper towel and finely minced
1 cup light sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt for added protein
1/2 teaspoon Italian Herb seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together bread crumbs and melted butter. Pat into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan (OR 9-inch deep dish pie plate). Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In large bowl whip cream cheese just to soften. Add shredded cheese, green onions, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time and beat just until each egg is no longer visible. Fold in tomatoes. Pour filling into crust. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until almost firm in the middle.

Combine sour cream and Italian seasonings and pour over cheesecake. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Turn off oven, leaving door slightly open, let cake cool in oven for about 20 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack and run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Let cool completely before removing sides of pan. When cooled, wrap tightly and chill overnight or preferably a couple days. Makes 20 appetizer servings.


 With crust:
Per Serving: Calories 149; Protein 7 g; Fat 9 g; Carbs 5 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 226 mg
 Without crust
Per Serving: Calories 125; Protein 7 g; Fat 7 g; Carbs 3 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 192 mg

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QUINOA CORN EDAMAME SALAD

It is no secret that I love quinoa and eat it every chance I get!  This salad is a re-make and a new favorite of mine – very light, summery, and fresh.  The original had barley, but quinoa is so…NOW!  I also cut the amount of corn in half, and added the edamame, some chili powder, and lime.  It’s a completely different salad than what I started with and, frankly, I’m thrilled!

These are fabulously complex carbs that give staying power to fuel you up.  And the added protein from the quinoa and the edamame keeps you full longer.   (You could add some diced chicken to this, if you felt so inclined.)

It may seem like you won’t have enough dressing, but it’s just right.

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2 cups frozen, shelled, edamame

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (leftover is great)

1 green onion, sliced (just green parts)

1/2 red sweet bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash cayenne

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Briefly boil the edamame and the corn, just until tender.  Drain very well and cool completely.

In a large bowl combine the edamame, corn, quinoa, green onion, red pepper, and cilantro.  In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, chili powder, black pepper, thyme and cayenne until emulsified.  Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat.  Cover and chill for at least two hours.  Makes approx 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Per Serving: Calories 133; Protein 7 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 14 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 82 mg

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QUINOA-GRAPEFRUIT-CUCUMBER SALAD

I saw the inspiration for this on another blog and had to make it.  All the flavors sounded so beautiful together, and they are!

This is a light, summery salad, full of good-for-you carbs and protein from the quinoa.  With a slightly spicy dressing and undertones of fresh mint…what’s not to love?   Serve it with a moist chicken breast or some deli-turkey slices for a very filling lunch.

(Don’t let the carb count of this scare you.  Quinoa is something that doesn’t seem to cause cravings.  I am a carb-craver to the CORE, and have never had a problem with quinoa.)

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2 cups cooked quinoa (directions below)

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

2/3 cup diced grapefruit (see what I used below…reserve juice)

2 green onions (scallions) sliced – green parts only

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced

DRESSING:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar (OR 1 tablespoon honey)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar – regular flavor

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt – or to taste

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In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cucumber, grapefruit, green onions, almonds, and mint.  Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, agave, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, pepper, and salt.  Pour over salad and mix well.

I loved it as soon as it was made, but it only got more intense and yummy after it was chilled!

Makes approx. six  1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 211; Protein 5 g; Fat 10 g; NET Carbs 20 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 7 g; Sodium 59 mg

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Cooking Quinoa:  It cooks like long-grain rice…very easy.  For this salad I cooked it in salted water, but using chicken, beef, or vegetable broth works great, too.  I’ve also done it with half water, half coconut milk for a breakfast cereal-version.

Bring 1 cup water and a little less than 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa.  (Rinse in a fine mesh sieve making sure the water runs clear.  Most on the market – even the bulk stuff – is very clean already.)

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the white ‘tail’ or ‘ring’ can be seen on each seed.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool to room temp for this salad.  Or cool, cover and chill for later use.  It should stay nice and fluffy.

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I love the Dole red grapefruit sections that come in the little cup.   They can be found in the produce section, usually by the bagged salads or chilled dressings.  I used all of the grapefruit and 2 tablespoons of the juice for this recipe.

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STOVE-TOP BAKED BEANS

These are a little different, but so good!  Not overly sweet, but with that smokey, molassesy flavor that we expect in baked beans.  They are full of complex carbs and are the prefect compliment to your BBQed proteins.

Make them ahead of time ’cause they just get better as  “leftovers”!

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4 slices bacon, chopped OR 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
Three 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup crushed Pineapple ( juice-packed), UNDRAINED
2 tablespoons sugar free maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, saute the bacon until crispy. (If not using bacon heat the olive oil over medium and add the liquid smoke with the beans.) Add the onions and pepper and saute until soft. Add drained beans, tomato paste, water, pineapple, maple syurp, molasses, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring ocassionally, until thickened. Makes approx. eight 1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 127; Protein 6 g; Fat 2 g; Carbs 20 g; Sugar 7 g; Sodium 663 mg

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TILAPIA VERA CRUZ

ASPARAGUS WITH CITRUS MAYO

This dish is simple but full of flavor.  Soft, spicy fish and crisp-tender asparagus with a tangy sauce.  A nice special occasion meal that’s beautiful and impressive!

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Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen tilapia, thawed if frozen
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced green pimento-stuffed olives
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Juice from one lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1 Roma tomato, finely diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a long casserole dish with cooking spray. In casserole combine undrained tomatoes, garlic, olives, cumin, and lime juice.

Rinse fish and pat dry. Cut into four pieces and lay fillets over tomato mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt (sparingly – the olives make it salty) and black pepper.

Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Spoon some of the sauce mixture over the top of the fish. Sprinkle with diced fresh tomatoes. Continue to bake for another 7-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Makes 4 normal or 8 Weight Loss Surgery servings.

Per WLS Serving: Calories 201; Protein 34 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 4 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 233 mg

Per Normal Serving: 402 Cal; 69 g Protein; 12 g Tot Fat; 7 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar; 467 mg Sodium

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ASPARAGUS WITH CITRUS MAYONNAISE

 

1 pound fresh asparagus spears

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt or plain yogurt
Juice and zest from half an orange
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

Snap off or trim woody base from asparagus spears. In a medium saucepan cook asparagus in boiling water for 4-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile in a small bowl combine mayonnaise, yogurt, orange juice and zest, cumin, and lemon pepper. Drain asparagus and serve with citrus mayonnaise and freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 4 servings.

Per Serving: 47 Cal; 2 g Protein; 3 g Fat; 3 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 60 g Sodium

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MY FAVORITE EGG SALAD

Super simple…Plain Jane, no frills.

This is the egg salad that I keep in the fridge to wrap in lettuce leaves or to eat with a spoon out of a bowl.  Nothing fancy.  You probably have a favorite way of making yours…this is mine.

One secret that makes it super quick is to grate the eggs on a cheese grater.  I use the large holes and in 5 or 6 swipes a boiled egg is reduced to shards that mix up quickly with whatever you put with it.

(The sweetener just gives a rounded taste – that yum factor – and makes savory things extra good!)

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9 large eggs, boiled, peeled
1/3 cup regular or  reduced-fat mayo (my preference is regular…just ’cause)
2 tablespoons fat-free half & half or milk
1/2 teaspoon Splenda or sugar (brings out the salty flavors!)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt – to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
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Shred or dice the eggs and, in a small bowl, combine with the mayo, half & half, Splenda, salt, and pepper.  Cover and chill.  This will become less ‘wet’ as it chills.
Makes approx five 1/2-cup servings.
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Per Serving: 186 Calories; 10 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 2 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 353 mg Sodium

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TUNA SALAD with EGG & CARROTS

I have no idea what’s up with the neon carrots.   Just super healthy, I guess!  Anyway…

Wrap this quick and flavorful salad in a crunchy lettuce leaf and grab a bag of your favorite Soy Chips for a fast and nutritious lunch.

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Two 6-ounce cans solid white tuna in water, drained and flaked in big chunks
2 hard-boiled eggs, finely minced
1/4 cup finely grated carrot
1 tablespoon green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (my favorite is Hellman’s/Best Foods)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickle OR sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

In a small bowl combine the tuna, eggs, carrot, green onion, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, pickle, and pickle juice. Mix until well combined. Makes 4 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 211; Protein 23 g; Fat 7 g; Carbs 1g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 520 mg

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SOUTHWEST QUINOA SALAD

I love quinoa!  It’s replaced rice in just about all my recipes.  It’s a seed that is fairly high in protein and complex carbs – which does not cause carb cravings in me.  It cooks like rice…can be made savory or sweet, and takes on the flavors you pair with it.

This salad had added high fiber pinto beans and sweet bell peppers for a great lunch.  Add some soy crisps or serve on top of shredded lettuce.

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3 cups cooked Quinoa (see below)

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon, about 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup finely diced sweet bell peppers, red and yellow are sweet and colorful

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

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To cook quinoa: Rinse 1 1/4 cups of the grains in a fine-meshed sieve until water runs clear. (Most on the market is very clean already, so a quick rinse is fine.) Bring to boiling 2 1/2 cups of water or chicken broth. Add salt if desired. Pour rinsed grains into boiling water and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 15-18 minutes. All of the water may NOT be absorbed. You can tell that it is done when the white spot in the middle is gone and the little ‘sprouts’ are present and it is fluffy and soft. If there is still water in the pot, scoop out the grains into the sieve and shake until they stop dripping. Use when either warm or cold. (I like to mix it with seasonings when warm…it seems to soak up the flavors better.)

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, garlic, cumin, oregano, chipotle pepper, chili powder, black pepper, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Stir in pinto beans, sweet bell peppers, and fresh parsley. Cover and chill for at least two hours. Makes 8 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 203; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; Carbs 18; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 395 mg

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CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD

Never enough variations on this theme…

This one is not spicy, just mellow and sorta sweet with the crispy almonds, and succulent grapes.  The flavors get more pronounced as it rests, so making it ahead is always nice.

Wrapped up in some buttery lettuce leaves or on a whole grain roll for you family, it’s very filling and full of protein.

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1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Curry powder (I use the sweet yellow from Penzey’s)

Zest and Juice of half a lime

2 teaspoons sugar-free honey, agave nectar, or honey

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt & pepper to taste

2 cups diced, cooked rotisserie chicken

1/2 cup quartered grapes

1/4 cup diced red pepper

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 stalk celery chopped

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In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, curry powder, lime zest and juice, sugar-free honey, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken, grapes, red pepper, almonds, and celery. Mix well, cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Makes 4 servings.

Per Serving: 208 Cal; 23 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 6 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar; 167mg Sodium

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SWEET POTATO SALAD
How pretty is that?!  And the beta-carotene practically screams at you, here!
This would be great on your Holiday table…is good room temp or cold, travels well and is a great alternative to the starchier white potatoes.
Flavored with toasted pecans, chewy, tangy cranberries, and lemon – it would be perfect with a lamb roast, or grilled turkey burgers.  Fancy or plain – no matter what meal you serve it with it’s GOOD.
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2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Kosher salt & freshly grated black pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced sweet onion
2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar free or regular honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place diced sweet potatoes in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes or just until fork tender. (Over cooking will cause them to be mushy when you stir them into the remaining ingredients.) Allow to cool slightly.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice,  honey, salt, black pepper, and chipotle pepper. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl. Stir in onions, pecans, cranberries, and parsley. Drizzle with dressing and gently stir until coated. Serve either warm, room temp or cold.  Makes 5 side-dish servings.
Per Serving: Calories 154; Protein 1 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 13 g; Sugar 5 g; Sodium 52 mg

SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH TOASTED PECANS AND DRIED CRANBERRIES

How pretty is that?! And the beta-carotene practically screams at you, here!

This would be great on your Holiday table…is good room temp or cold, travels well and is a great alternative to the starchier white potatoes.

Flavored with toasted pecans, chewy, tangy cranberries, and lemon – it would be perfect with a lamb roast, or grilled turkey burgers. Fancy or plain – no matter what meal you serve it with it’s GOOD.

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2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2 inch cubes

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Kosher salt & freshly grated black pepper

2 tablespoons finely diced sweet onion

2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans

2 tablespoons dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar free or regular honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place diced sweet potatoes in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes or just until fork tender. (Over cooking will cause them to be mushy when you stir them into the remaining ingredients.) Allow to cool slightly.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, black pepper, and chipotle pepper. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl. Stir in onions, pecans, cranberries, and parsley. Drizzle with dressing and gently stir until coated. Serve either warm, room temp or cold. Makes 5 side-dish servings.

Per Serving: Calories 154; Protein 1 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 13 g; Sugar 5 g; Sodium 52 mg

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