Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Berry and Watermelon Spinach Salad
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon The Delicious Dietitian Thai Spice Blend
Whisk the lime juice into the olive oil until emulsified. Add the Thai Spice Blend and whisk until combined. 
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh mint leaves, rough chopped plus extra for garnish
2 cups watermelon, deseeded and cut into 3/4″ chunks
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
Toss the spinach and mint together in a large serving bowl. A few minutes before serving, fold in the fruit and gently drizzle with the prepared dressing. Add a little bit of dressing at a time, and stop when you think you have enough–this salad is great with just a hint of dressing.
Garnish with a sprig or two of mint and serve.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Simply Southern Grilled Veggies

If you don’t like cooking vegetables or fish on the grill because you lose pieces through the grill grates, try a grill basket!  A grill basket makes cooking vegetables or fish on the grill a breeze!  You can flip all of the vegetable at one time, and tender fish stays in one piece.  Choose vegetables that you enjoy, and veggies that are in season.  Squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, and broccoli cook wonderfully on the grill.  Fruit can also be grilled: pineapple, peaches and plums hold up well and develop a sweet and smoky flavor. Experiment to find your favorites.  Grilled vegetables are super tasty and full of flavor!  

8 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps 
4 medium red bell peppers, quartered 
2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions, each cut into 4 slices 
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon The Delicious Dietitian Southern All Purpose Spice Blend
Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
Arrange mushrooms, gill sides up; bell pepper quarters; and onion slices on a baking sheet. Coat vegetables with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with spice blend.  Place vegetable in a grill basket or place vegetables on grill rack; grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Italian Asparagus and Tomatoes

Nothing says "spring is here" better than the tender green asparagus that are just coming in to season!  This delicious side dish pairs perfectly with chicken or fish, and looks special enough to serve to company.  

1 pound asparagus, trimmed 
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon The Delicious Dietitian Italian Spice Blend 
3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in Italian Spice Blend. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lightened Up Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie might be the ultimate easy comfort food, and if it's made the right way, you can have that hearty, filling meal without the guilt.  Blending the potatoes with cauliflower, using lean ground beef, and increasing the vegetables in this classic casserole cut the calories, carbs, fat, and sodium, from more traditional recipes.  

1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey breast) 
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped 
3 medium carrots, diced 
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup no sodium added beef broth
1 tablespoon The Delicious Dietitian Southern All Purpose Spice Blend
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2/3 cup 1 percent or skim milk
2 tablespoons heart healthy spread

In a large skillet cook the meat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Drain any fat remaining in the skillet.

Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, covered, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high.  Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and their liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the meat to the pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, add the Southern All Purpose Spice Blend, and bring to a simmer scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the peas. Pour the mixture into an 11X9 casserole dish. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Put the potatoes in a steamer basket, and steam for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower to the basket and cook until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher until smooth. Combine the milk, butter, and a pinch of pepper and stir into the potato mixture.

Spread the potato mixture on top of the meat and bake until heated through, about 25 minutes.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shrimp and Green Bean Salad

This delicious salad combines quick cooking shrimp with tasty green beans for a light, quick meal.  Use microwavable brown rice to cut your prep time even further!  

2 pounds peeled, medium-size raw shrimp (look for US wild caught)
Tomato Basil Vinaigrette, divided (recipe below)
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed (or 1 bag steam fresh green beans)
1 1/3 cups (5 1/2 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup chopped roasted almonds 
2 cups prepared brown rice

Combine shrimp and 3/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and chill 15 minutes, turning occasionally.  If using fresh green beans, cook in boiling water to cover 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain, pat dry, and place in a large bowl.  If you are using steam fresh beans, follow the package directions.  Remove shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade. Sauté shrimp on medium high heat for 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Toss with green beans, Parmesan cheese, roasted almonds, and remaining 3/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette. Serve over brown rice.

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette 
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup The Delicious Dietitian Tomato Wine vinegar
4 large shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon The Delicious Dietitian Seafood Spice Blend
1 cup olive oil
Whisk together basil, vinegar, shallots, garlic, brown sugar, and spice blend until well mixed. Gradually add olive oil, whisking constantly until blended.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mushroom and Pepper Omelet

Omelets work wonderfully for breakfast, or make a fantastic dinner option if you are running short on time.  One of the best things about omelets is that you can use whatever you have on hand to change up the flavor.  This vegetable omelet uses peppers and mushrooms for flavor, but onions, spinach, broccoli, and squash all make wonderful veggie omelets.  

This recipe makes 4 servings in one pan, so you don't have to stand over the stove to make each individual omelet...perfect for feeding a family when time is running in short supply.  

1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray
1/4 cup chopped green onions 
1/2 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms 
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato 
1/2 teaspoon The Delicious Dietitian Southern All Purpose Spice Blend
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
8 large eggs 
2 large egg whites 
1/2 cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese

Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add green onions; sauté 1 minute. Add bell pepper; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato and black pepper; cook 30 seconds. Remove vegetable mixture from pan; cover and keep warm.
Place spice blend, eggs, and egg whites in a bowl; stir well with a whisk to combine.
Place 1 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg mixture to pan; cook until edges begin to set (about 2 minutes). Slide front edge of a spatula between edge of omelet and pan. Gently lift edge of omelet, tilting pan to allow some uncooked egg mixture to come in contact with pan. Repeat procedure on opposite edge of omelet. Continue cooking until the center is just set (about 7 minutes).
Spoon vegetable mixture evenly over 1/2 of omelet; top vegetable mixture with cheese. Loosen omelet with a spatula; fold in half. Carefully slide omelet onto a serving platter. Cut omelet into 4 wedges.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Creole Chicken with Vegetables

This quick dish makes a fantastic weeknight meal for those nights when it seems like it might be easier to just order a pizza!  Between homework, after school activities, or a late day at the office, sometimes it can be tough to get dinner on the table.  But, using frozen veggies in this meal makes prep a breeze, and dinner can be on the table in about 15 minutes.  Serve with microwavable brown rice and add a green salad for a tasty dinner for about 300 calories.

Creole Chicken and Vegetables 
Cooking spray
1 pound chicken breast tenders
1 cup sliced red and green peppers and 1 cup sliced onion (or 2 cups sliced frozen pepper stir-fry, such as Bird's Eye brand, thawed)
1 cup cut okra, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon The Delicious Dietitian Creole Spice Blend
1 (14.5-ounce) can no sodium added diced tomatoes, undrained 
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon heart healthy spread

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Add peppers and onion and next 4 ingredients (through Creole spice blend), stirring to combine. Pour tomatoes over chicken mixture; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover; cook 3 minutes. Add parsley and butter, stirring until butter melts.