Sunday, August 30, 2009

Broccoli Salad

The crunch of fresh broccoli and nuts, with sweet chewy raisins, in a creamy tangy dressing make this simple salad a winner.


2 1/2 cups chopped raw broccoli
¼ cup non fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup light mayo (*use a gluten-free brand such as Best Foods if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1-2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons raisins, currants or cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (cashews, pecans, almonds)


Wash and chop the broccoli and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, mayo, vinegar, sugar, raisins and nuts. Throw in the broccoli and mix well until evenly covered with the dressing. Chill and serve.
Makes 2.5 cups 5 servings

Serving size: ½ cup Calories 90 Protein 2 g Carb 8 g Fiber 2g Sugars 5 g Fat 6 g saturated fat 1 g Sodium 170 mg


Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Best Creation Yet

So I have been out of the blogging loop for close to two weeks now, but for a GOOD reason…

A week ago on August 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm I gave birth to my first baby, a girl who we named Gabrielle Rose-weighing in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces and 20.5 inches. She came early which was very unexpected but luckily everything worked out and she is our healthy bundle of joy. My husband and I are overwhelmed with love for this amazing little being that we created and now is part of our world. We are home now and getting back in the groove so I am looking forward to cooking and blogging again soon :)


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another Food FYI Post: Microwaving Veggies

Did you know that not all cooking methods are equal when it comes to preserving the nutrient content, namely antioxidants, of vegetables? It has been known for awhile that boiling veggies, especially for long amounts of time, can result in significant losses as the nutrients are leaked into the water (so you’d have to drink that water to get them!) But a recent study published in the Journal of Food Science showed that microwaving or cooking vegetables on a flat metal surface with no oil (griddling) fared the best in terms of minimizing antioxidants lost during cooking. You can read the summary here

Microwaving is a quick and easy way to steam your veggies- use microwave safe dish covered with a tiny bit of water in the bottom to steam them in a flash. Many varieties come in ready to cook bags or you can buy your own such as Glad® Simply Cooking™ Microwave Steaming Bags.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

This cool, zesty salad is a nice dish for a warm summer evening.


4 cups cooked whole wheat pasta (fusili, penne work well)
1 red bell pepper
½ large eggplant or 1 small
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup button mushrooms
1/4 cup corn (fresh, canned or thawed frozen)
1/2 cup chopped kalamata or black olives
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Cook pasta according to package directions- 4 cups cooked is needed for this recipe. Preheat grill or a large pan (if no grill available). Rinse all the vegetables well. Cut the pepper, zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into ¼ inch strips. Cut the eggplant into ¼ inch thick rounds. Skewer the broccoli and mushrooms or place them on foil if using a grill, otherwise lay them in the pan.

Grill the vegetables on high heat, about 5-7 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Once the pasta is cooked, rinse it in a strained and put into a large bowl. Chop the grilled vegetables into one inch cubes and add to the bowl. Throw in the olives and corn. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil and basil and pour over the pasta and vegetables. Chill and serve.

Note: recipes using whole wheat pasta- two ounces of dry pasta yields about 1 cup of cooked pasta. You will need four times that amount (8 ounces) for this recipe.

Makes 8 cups 8 servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 200 Protein 5 g Carb 28 g Fiber 5 g Sugars 4 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 100 mg


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Garden Turkey Meatloaf

Ground turkey is a blank culinary canvas, you can flavor and cook with it to make a variety if healthy meal options. One of my favorite is this basic turkey meatloaf recipe with a bunch of optional seasonings to add your own flair.


16 ounces lean ground turkey (I used 99 percent fat free)
½ cup oats (*use gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1 cup finely chopped veggies of your choice (onion, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, peppers)
½ cup tomato sauce
2 egg whites or 1 egg
Optional seasonings: garlic powder, oregano, paprika, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper (1 teaspoon or more of any of these)
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix the turkey, oats, egg, veggies and tomato sauce. Add the desired seasoning and put into a large loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees.F.

Makes one meatloaf, eight servings

Serving size: 1 slice, 1/8th of the loaf Calories 100 Protein 16 g Carb 6 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 1 g Fat 1 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 120 mg


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mediterranean Salad with Toasted Pita Croutons and Tangy Balsamic Dressing

A fun and healthy twist on the classic Greek salad….



6 cups shredded lettuce (romaine, red leaf, butter, field greens all work)
½ cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped cucumber
½ cup chopped roasted red peppers (I made my own by throwing one on the grill)
¼ cup sundried tomato
¼ cup sliced kalamata olives
1 ounce low fat feta or mozzarella cheese


Rinse and prepare all the vegetables and put in a large salad bowl. Add the olives, sundried tomatoes and cheese and chill before serving.

Makes 4 servings

Serving size: 1/4th of the recipe Calories 110 Protein 3 g Carb 7 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 3 g Fat 2 g saturated fat 2 g Sodium 190 mg

Pita Croutons:


1 whole wheat pita bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
ICB spray or olive oil using olive oil sprayer (if both n/a use a teaspoon of olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with tin foil (or spray it with cooking spray)
and add the pita cubes. In a small dish combine the oregano and garlic powder. Spray the pita cubes lightly with ICB or olive oil sprayer (or drizzle lightly with olive oil) and sprinkle the oregano/garlic powder to evenly coat. Bake for 7-10 minutes on one side (until lightly browned) turn over and bake for another 5 -10 minutes. Remove from oven and add salt/pepper to taste if desired. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge if they will not be used immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Serving size: ¼ of the recipe Calories 45 Protein 2 g Carb 9 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 0 g Fat 0 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 105 mg



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 -2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Whisk all the above ingredients into a small bowl and chill if not serving immediately.

Make 4 servings

Serving size: 1/4th of recipe Calories 70 Protein 0 g Carb 2 g Fiber 0 g Sugars 0 g Fat 7 g saturated fat 1 g Sodium 0 mg

Serving size: 1/4th of recipe altogether with salad, dressing and croutons Calories 225 Protein 5 g Carb 18 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 3 g Fat 9 g saturated fat 1 g Sodium 295 mg


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ridiculously Easy 200 Calorie Grill Cheese

When I created and tasted this simple sandwich the other night I was immediately transported back to my grade school years, sitting happily in grandma Genevieve’s kitchen having a grill cheese for lunch. During the three years that my family moved back to Michigan, and over subsequent summer vacations there that followed I really enjoyed those lunches over at her place. She would cook anything that my cousin Julie and I wanted, and the grilled cheese was always a favorite. I put healthy twist on the traditional grill cheese that is usually made with fiber devoid white bread, saturated fat laden butter and whole milk/cheese. Honestly I didn’t miss any of them a bit in this recipe.

Ingredients: (*see specific brand recommendations below)

2 slices light whole wheat bread *
2 slices/ounces low fat American cheese *
ICB or light margarine


Spray one side of each bread slice with ICB a few times or spread with 1 teaspoon if light margarine. Place the bread slices with the buttered sides facing out and put the cheese in between them. Put a small pan in medium heat for a minute or so, then add the sandwich. Heat a few minutes each side, until golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Makes one serving/sandwich

Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories 200 Protein 12 g Carb 20 g Fiber 7 g Sugars 5 g Fat 9 g saturated fat 3 g Sodium 760 mg

Suggested brands to use:

Bread – Oroweat light, Sara Lee

Cheese- Kraft 2% American Singles


Wanna get fancy? Try different cheeses such as Low fat Swiss (like Kraft, Alpine Lace or Jarlsberg light) and add any of the following- olives, tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, spinach
Note: this may increase the calories a little bit…


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