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Blueberry Breakfast Blast

This is a great basic breakfast drink with tons of versatility to suit your taste. It’s packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and essential minerals to get your day off to a heart-healthy start (serves 1-2).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries thawed, or fresh in season
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 medium ripe banana, roughly chopped
  • Suggested garnish – fresh mint

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor, blending until smooth.
  2. Check texture. Add ice for a thinner taste.
  3. To enjoy the color, serve in clear glasses.

Per serving: 155 calories, 7g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 0g sat fat, 1g mono fat, 2mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 88mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK For a more substantial meal try adding: finely ground flax seeds, nuts, tofu, or other favorite fruit. This recipe is most nutritious and tastes best when enjoyed fresh, but for more efficient mornings you can double it and save half for a snack or the next day. When buying yogurt, check the label for high protein and low sugar count.

Crustless Spinach Quiche

You know the saying, “real men don’t eat quiche?” Well, that’s crazy because every man we know goes for seconds. Maybe that’s because it’s got Popeye’s food as the chief ingredient. We serve it for brunch and luncheon meetings and it’s great for leftovers. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 6 cups fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen spinach, well drained
  • 2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon each dried dill weed, oregano, thyme, and black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly spray a large skillet with canola oil and sauté onions with mushrooms until translucent. Set aside.
  3. Wash, dry, and coarsely chop spinach. Add 1 tablespoon water and spinach to skillet, sauté until just wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Press any liquid out of spinach using strainer. Set aside.
  4. Beat eggs and whites until frothy. Gently mix in ricotta, herbs, and spices. Fold in wilted spinach, onions, and mushrooms. Stir until everything is well coated with egg mixture.
  5. Lightly spray canola oil into an 8" x 8" ovenproof dish or deep pie pan, pour in mixture, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake until browned and quiche is set in center (25-35 minutes). Let quiche cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 180 calories, 17 gm protein, 11 gm carbohydrate, 8 gm fat, 4 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 126 mg cholesterol, 2 gm fiber, 224 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Spice up this dish by serving your favorite mustard on the side. And, for more texture, add an extra cup of different mushrooms or another vegetable. Cremini or shiitake mushrooms are good alternatives and will provide added selenium.

Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce

Why buy canned or bottled sauce? If you’re on a budget or want to control additives, such as sodium and sugar, this all-purpose sauce is ready in 15 minutes. Double the batch so there’s some extra to freeze. Makes 2 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sweet basil, dried, or ¼ cup fresh chopped
  • ¼ cup water or broth

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in pan, add onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onion is barely translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes and basil, stir and bring to low boil for 3-5 minutes depending on desired thickness.

Per ½ cup serving: 65 calories, 2g protein, 8g carbohydrate, 4g fat, 1g sat fat, 3g mono fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 11mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Most people think of tomato sauce as just a basic for pasta, but when you’re making your own--why be ordinary? Try adding more heat with chili flakes, sweetness with diced carrots, or a chunkier texture with mushrooms, zucchini, or white beans. Tomatoes have nutrients which are known for lowering your LDL cholesterol.

Chicken with Red Rice and Spice

Prepare for praise, because this dish is a crowd pleaser whether you’re serving finicky eaters or the hungriest of appetites. Using brown rice gives you vital nutrients found especially in whole grains, and along with the antioxidants in sweet peppers, this meal is packed to protect against heart disease. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 14-oz can low-sodium chicken broth, divided (1 cup, ⅓ cup)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (½ of an 8-oz can)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, bite-sized pieces
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook brown rice in 1 cup of the chicken broth, water, and tomato sauce for 40-45 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add chicken, bell peppers, paprika, cayenne pepper, and oregano to skillet. Add 1/3 cup chicken broth, cover pan, and cook 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in cooked rice, adding a little more chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Stir peas into chicken and rice and cook just until peas are heated through, about two minutes longer.

Per serving: 379 calories, 27 gm protein, 52 gm carbohydrate, 6 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 49 mg cholesterol, 7 gm fiber, 408 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Be sure to make enough for leftovers, it's great for packing as a lunch the next day.

Chef Ken's Basic Vegetable Broth

 

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of vegetables such as:
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium potato, white or sweet
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 medium celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 large mushroom, halved with stem
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

Directions

  1. Scrub well but don’t peel carrots and potatoes. Chop all veggies, place in pot, and cover with water and herbs. Water should cover the veggies by at least one inch. Adjust as necessary.
  2. Bring water to a boil and immediately turn down heat to simmer, covered, for 30-45 minutes. Unlike a meat broth which benefits from a long simmering time, once the vegetables have given up their flavor, there is no need to cook any longer. Strain broth through a colander and store in fridge for up to a few days or freeze to use as needed.

Per cup: 49 calories, 1g protein, 11g carbohydrate, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 39mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This basic stock can be flavored differently with chopped fresh garlic and pepper corns, or for the season with winter squash or fruit, such as an apple or pear. For a rich broth, the ratio of water to vegetables is 1 to 1. Vegetables can vary depending on what is in the refrigerator or what quantities are left from other dishes. Pieces of vegetables such as winter greens or broccoli stems and potato peels can be used, too. Just be careful not to include food that is too far gone and may not add to the desired flavor.

Broiled Tomatoes Parmeson

Like lycopene? You should! This cardiovascular disease-fighting nutrient is found in tomatoes, along with potassium, Vitamin C and folate. Sharp, zesty Parmesan and a sprinkling of fresh basil make tomatoes truly tasty! Best in summer when tomatoes are at their peak, so grow your own or look for them at Farmers’ Markets. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 large, red tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vinaigrette or bottled Italian, low fat salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Turn on oven to broil.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up on broiling pan.
  3. Divide basil between 4 tomato halves, and drizzle with vinaigrette.
  4. Divide Parmesan cheese among 4 tomato halves covering the basil.
  5. Broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tomatoes are softened.

Per serving: 45 calories, 2 gm protein, 4 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 2 gm cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 47 mg sodium 

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