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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Enchilada Casserole

This easy take on enchiladas makes a fantastic weeknight meal.  You could substitute the ground beef for ground turkey breast, shredded chicken or shrimp.

1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons The Delicious Dietitian Southwest Spice Blend
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
4 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
Chopped green onion

Preheat oven to 400°.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion to pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble.  
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broth, Southwest Spice Blend, and tomato sauce to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups tomato mixture to beef and onions; reserve 1/2 cup tomato mixture.

Place 1 tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate. Top with 1 cup beef mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tortilla. Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla. Top with cheese. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.  Top with green onion.  Cool slightly. Cut into 4 wedges.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Fondue with Strawberries

1 container fresh strawberries 
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 cup Splenda or Stevia 
1/2 cup nonfat evaporated milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped 

In a medium saucepan whisk together the cocoa powder and Splenda/Stevia. Gradually pour in the evaporated milk and whisk well to make a paste. Place the saucepan over a low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until simmering. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. The mixture will thicken as it cools slightly. Transfer chocolate to a heat stable bowl(or fondue bowl), and keep warm. Dip strawberries in fondue and serve immediately. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Italian Sloppy Joes

This grown up version of the Sloppy Joe is a quick weeknight dinner that everyone in the family will love.  Use lean ground beef or ground turkey and a whole wheat bun for a dose of low fat protein and whole grains.  Add a green salad and you have a great meal in about 20 minutes.  Perfect for those nights when you need something on the table fast!

Italian Sloppy Joes
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 pound ground round (or ground turkey)
2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons The Delicious Dietitian Italian Spice Blend
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
12 whole wheat rolls, split

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add first 3 ingredients; cook until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato sauce and next 8 ingredients (tomato sauce through black pepper); reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/4 cup beef mixture over bottom half of each bun. Cover with top halves.