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Vegetable Medley

Zucchini and mushrooms are a perfect complement in this easy-to-prepare dish. It’s important not to overcook the zucchini, which easily becomes mushy. Serves 4.

Try this with: Orange and Spice Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Sauté onions and garlic until golden. Add mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mushrooms begin to brown.
  2. Add zucchini, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons water. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender.

Per serving: 99 calories, 3 gm protein, 6 gm carbohydrate, 8 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 5 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 152 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Balsamic vinegar is aged vinegar made from sweet grapes. Although it can be very expensive, it’s not necessary or even wise to use the expensive bottles for cooking. Do look for a bottle that says “Made in Modena.” Modena, Italy, is the home of authentic balsamic vinegar.

Nutrition Goldmine: The mushrooms in this dish are a great source of potassium.

Veggie Confetti Salad

There is something ridiculous about how simple this salad is to put together and how much everyone likes it. These are staples for most kitchen pantries. Pair it with Greek Yogurt Chicken and not only is it pretty to eat but absolutely delicious as well. Serves 8.

Try this with: Greek Chicken with Herbed Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet red peppers, sliced thinly
  • 10 ounces frozen corn, thawed
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • 4 green onions chopped (include green stems for color)

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

  • 1½ tablespoons each olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon each oregano, basil
  • ¼ teaspoon each thyme, black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients and pour dressing over salad and mix.
  2. Chill for one hour and serve.

Per serving with dressing: 200 calories, 9 gm protein, 34 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 2 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8 gm fiber, 64 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK If you'd like, substitute roasted red peppers to add a smoky flavor.

Savory Shrimp and White Bean Stew

Here’s a “shrimply delicious” option for a heart-healthy dinner tonight! This stew features succulent shrimp, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and creamy cannellini beans, a super source of protein and soluble dietary fiber. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can diced low-sodium tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound small frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cannellini beans, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and rosemary.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the stew is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add parsley and serve.

Per serving: 377 calories, 37 gm protein, 35 gm carbohydrate, 11 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 6 gm mono fat, 170 mg cholesterol, 8 gm fiber, 234 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK For a heartier meal, serve this stew over a scoop of cooked brown rice.

Nutrition Goldmine: Beans are an excellent source of protein, are relatively low in calories, cholesterol-free, low in fat and a good source of soluble dietary fiber.

Southwestern Chicken Chopped Salad

It doesn’t get any easier! This salad combines the convenience of nutritious canned black beans and sweet corn with fresh ingredients like cilantro, basil and crunchy jicama. Dressed in mustard yogurt vinaigrette and snappy barbecue sauce, it all adds up to a super speedy supper that’s high in Vitamins A, C, K and dietary fiber. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup fat-free sour cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup bottled BBQ sauce
  • 8 cups romaine and spinach, torn
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ small jicama, cut into medium dice (optional)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ 15-ounce can corn, drained (or frozen and thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into medium dice

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Put chicken into bowl with BBQ sauce and toss to coat.
  3. In a large salad bowl, toss together remaining ingredients, except for tomatoes. Top salad with chicken and circle with tomatoes.
  4. Serve with dressing on the side.

Salad with dressing: 416 calories, 37 gm protein, 52 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 10 fiber, 628 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK In this recipe, the chicken serves as a condiment rather than a main ingredient, letting the vegetables be the star. For additional color, substitute red cabbage for some of the lettuce.

Tangy Beet Soup

If you don’t like beets, be honest. Is it because you tried canned ones? If so, you owe it to yourself to make this soup with fresh beets, because once you do, it will open up your world to how amazing this root vegetable can be. The balsamic vinegar gives the soup a tangy taste, and we promise that you will not regret it. In fact, we should have called this soup “The World’s Best Beet Soup!” Because it really is. Serves 4, with leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cups onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 14.5-ounce can tomatoes, diced
  • 1½ cups chicken broth, fat free
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup yogurt, low-fat

Directions

  1. Roast beets in 400° oven for 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Cool, peel, and quarter.
  2. In large skillet heat oil and sauté onions, garlic and cabbage until cabbage is wilted (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add rest of ingredients except yogurt, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Process in food processor or blender until fairly smooth but retaining some texture.
  5. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a pinch of dill weed. Serve warm or chilled.

Per Serving: 111 calories, 3 gm protein, 20 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 2 gm mono fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 4 fiber, 530 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK The unique phytonutrient pigment in beets provides higher antioxidant benefits than many other vegetables.

Upside Down Wilted Spinach Salad

With these staples from your pantry, you can have a quick meal on the table in 15 minutes. Serving the greens on top allows each person to mix them in as they like. Spinach is nutrient dense and calorie light, offering vitamins K and A, manganese, folate, iron and many more. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups spinach, or other leafy greens
  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until slightly browned.
  2. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add beans and simmer 3 more minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and season with pepper.
  5. Dish into wide bowls, divide spinach among each serving and top with Parmesan. As they are mixed in, the greens will wilt to create a warm salad.

Per serving: 146 calories, 8g protein, 22 carbohydrate, 4g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g mono fat, 6mg cholesterol, 8g fiber, 479mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This dish serves 2 as a complete meal, and 4 with additional protein. Add more protein with grilled shrimp, fish, or an egg, as shown here. This recipe works equally well with whatever beans you have on hand. For a bit more bite, mix in some arugula with the spinach.

Sautéed Swiss Chard

This savory accompaniment to any meat or dish is nutritionally rich while providing appealing color contrast. Think white to pair: beneath grilled fish or a poached egg; or at the side of pork or chicken. Serves 4.

Try this with: Pork Dijon with Chutney and Whipped Winter Squash

Ingredients

  • Canola oil spray
  • 2 pounds whole Swiss chard, washed
  • 1 shallot or ½ small onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. Remove chard stems and chop. Stack leaves and cut across in 1" strips.
  2. Spray pan with oil and add shallot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the stems and 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add leaves, remaining water, and nutmeg. Continue to cook for 1-3 minutes. Turn often using tongs until tender.

Per serving: 50 calories, 4 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 gm fiber, 484 mg sodium

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