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.