Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grilled Cheesy Potatoes

Prep: 10 minutes, grill 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

6 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Coat one side of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to hold all the potatoes and vegetables with cooking spray. Place the potatoes, onion, and green bell pepper in the center of the foil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then place small pats of the butter or margarine over the vegetables.
Carefully seal all the edges of the foil around the vegetables to form a packet.
Place packet on the preheated grill, and grill for 20 minutes. Turn packet, and grill for 10 more minutes.
Carefully open packet, check for tenderness with a fork. If tender, sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables and allow it to melt. Transfer to a platter, and serve with your main entree.

Tips and Tricks:
Double wrap with foil to prevent burning.

Try adding in other veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini or summer squash.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicken Pasta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I have a weakness for pasta salad.  This is one that my husband, mom, grandma and kids all loved.  Guess what, its super healthy too.

Serves 4
1/2 cup fat free sugar free vanilla yogurt
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp grated lemon zest 
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

6 Oz dry whole grain penne pasta
12 oz cooked skinless chicken breast, cubed
3 oz spinach cut in bite size pieces
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, halved & slivered
1/4 cup almonds, dry roasted
1 to 2 tbs milk, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt.  Drain.  Rinse under cool water until cool.  Drain well.

In a large bowl, stir together pasta, chicken, spinach, bell pepper, and onion.  Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat.  Serve sprinkled with almonds and refrigerate up to 4 hours, sprinkling with almonds just before serving.  Add milk if salad is dry after refrigeration to add moisture.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories: 364, Total fat 7.5g, Saturated fat 1g, trans fat 0g.  Polyunsaturated fat 2g, monounsaturated fat 3g, cholesterol 73 mg, sodium 238 mg.  Carbs 40g, Fiber 6 g, sugars 6g, protein, 35 g.

Tips and Tricks:
I substituted regular (not sugar free) low fat yogurt because I try to keep chemical sweeteners out of my home.  I didn't have lemon zest, so I used lemon juice in place of the zest and vinegar.  There was no spinach in the store, so I bought arugula and wilted it slightly, it gave a delicious, nutty flavor to the salad.

Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

I served this soup at a lunch with my mom and grandma, it was a big hit, with lots of flavor and very few calories.

Serves 4

1 14.5 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, drained if bottled  (to make, roast bell peppers under broiler until skin starts to black, peel  and chop)
1 tbs dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt

In saucepan stir together tomatoes with liquid, broth, roasted peppers, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in oil, sugar and salt..

Nutrients per serving:
Calories, 57, Fat 2.5g, Saturated fat, 0.5g,  Trans fat 0.0 g, Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 g, monounsaturated fat 1.5g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 127 mg, carbohydrates 7 g, fiber 1g, Sugars 4g, Protein 2g.