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Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad

This quinoa is quin-WOW! If you haven’t tried this nutty, full-flavored complete protein, get ready to love it. This salad, simply dressed with buttermilk, olive oil and orange juice, combines the sweetness of dried fruits with green onions and crunchy cholesterol lowering almonds. Makes a meatless main or substantial side dish. Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions (about one bunch)
  • ½ cup dried cherries*, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • May substitute chopped apricots, cranberries or raisins

Dressing

  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Directions

  1. Place quinoa and broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, place almonds in a small pan over medium heat and toss until lightly browned and fragrant.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well blended.
  4. While the quinoa is still warm, stir in the green onions, cherries, parsley, and almonds, then toss with the dressing and serve.

Per serving: 262 calories, 8g protein, 39g carbohydrate, 9g fat, 1g sat fat, 5g mono fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 44mg sodium (with optional salt: 141mg sodium)

THE SEASONED COOK If you’re new to quinoa (KEEN-wah), this is a great first-time recipe. Nutritious and high in protein, quinoa is one of those perfect whole grains to have on hand and faster to prepare than brown rice.

Turkey Meatloaf

The problem with most turkey meatloaves is that they taste dry and bland. That’s why we were determined to prepare the best turkey meatloaf you’ve ever had. One night we put together six mini-meatloaves with different ingredients and held a meatloaf bake-off for our friends. We cut them in bite-size pieces so everyone could have a taste of each one and write down their favorite. This recipe, using grated vegetables and fruit, was the clear winner. Serve with Mashed Curry Cauliflower and your favorite green vegetables. Serves 6.

Try this with: Mashed Curry Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup zucchini, carrot, and or apple, grated
  • 2 teaspoons savory dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, sage, or rosemary)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons spaghetti sauce, low sodium

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Sauté onions and garlic in oil until onions are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine onion and garlic with rest of ingredients except spaghetti sauce, and knead with your hands until well combined and binding together.
  3. Place in an oil-sprayed 4"x8" loaf pan or form a 4"x8" loaf on a sprayed cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and spread spaghetti sauce evenly on top. Bake 15 minutes longer, then remove from oven and rest for ten minutes. Slice and serve.

Per Serving: 217 calories, 23 gm protein, 29 gm carbohydrate, 6 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 47 mg cholesterol, 3 gm fiber, 411 mg sodium

Mediterranean Fish Packets

Fish baked in packets promise moist, tender, and tasty results every time – even if you didn’t think you could cook fish well! Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 4 sheets of foil or parchment paper (approx. 12" x 12" each)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into ¼" rounds (at least 8 pieces)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 large cloves)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium stewed tomato slices
  • 1 pound cod or other firm fleshed white fish, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, and pepper
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Optional: 4 tablespoons chopped black olives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. On each piece of foil, layer zucchini and onion slices, ½ teaspoon garlic, and 2 tomato slices.
  3. Top with the fish, then feta and olives (if using). Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon each of the basil, oregano, and pepper. Drizzle each with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Rest 5 minutes.
  5. Remove fish from foil and arrange on plates.

Per serving: 212 calories, 24g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 8g fat, 2g sat fat, 4g mono fat, 50mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 207mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK For more fiber, add ½ cup cooked whole grains, beans, or lentils to the foil beneath the vegetables. If using fresh herbs, remember to triple the amount.

Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Aioli

Yes you can…use canned salmon to make these healthy and tasty salmon cakes. Whether fresh fish is out of your budget or not readily available, you’re “off the hook.” Canned salmon has all the healthy protein and Omega-3s, and it’s so easy to keep on hand. Sweet corn and crunchy red pepper add color, and a dollop of tangy aioli makes the meal. Serves 4.

Try this with:Baked Sweet Potato Wedges and Apple Coleslaw

Yogurt aioli

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

  1. Whisk together ingredients.
  2. Cover and refrigerate.

Per serving: 12 calories, 1 gm protein, 2 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 gm fiber, 44 mg sodium

Salmon cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked salmon or 14¾-ounce can salmon
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped, including green parts
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup canned corn, drained
  • ½ red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions

  1. Flake salmon and mix with next six ingredients. Add ¼ cup of the bread crumbs and mix well. Refrigerate mixture for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Form into 4 cakes. Dust each side with remaining bread crumbs.
  3. Put oil in pan and bring to medium heat. Add the cakes and cook until outside turns brown, approximately 3 minutes. Turn over and fry another 2 minutes until bottom is brown.
  4. Serve and top with yogurt aioli.

Per serving: 215 calories, 27 gm protein, 16 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 59 mg cholesterol, 2 gm fiber, 217 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK The secret to holding the cakes together is to refrigerate the salmon mixture before cooking, so the bread crumbs absorb moisture from the other ingredients.

Southern Fish Stew

Healthier than jambalaya and easier and more economical than bouillabaisse, this one-dish stew features convenient frozen veggies and protein-rich firm fish. And, it’s loaded with nutrients like Vitamin C and magnesium,which help control blood pressure, and lycopene, which may help prevent prostate cancer. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup lima beans, canned or frozen
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 2 cup fresh or frozen okra
  • 1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes with juice, diced or cut, stewed or with spices
  • 1 teaspoon basil, oregano, thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne (optional for a little zing)
  • 3/4 pound firm fish cut into edible chunks (snapper or cod are excellent)

Directions

  1. Spray nonstick pan with olive oil and sauté the onion over medium heat for a few minutes until wilted, but not brown.
  2. Stir in lima beans and chicken broth. Simmer covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in all the next 5 ingredients. Simmer covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Taste the broth and add pepper and cayenne to taste. Add the fish and simmer for 10 minutes or until fish is tender but not over done. Depending on the thickness, the fish may need another 5 minutes. Add more broth or water if necessary.
  5. Serve in bowls by itself or over a ½ cup serving of rice or polenta. Garnish with sliced black olives and chopped cilantro.

Per serving: 187 calories, 21 gm protein, 24 gm carbohydrate,1 gm fat, 0 gm sat, 0 gm mono, 31 mg cholesterol, 5 gm fiber, 320 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK You can substitute green bean, zucchini, kale, spinach or shredded cabbage for okra or lima beans. Keep it simple. Also, keep frozen or canned vegetables on hand to create this perfect simple supper if you are low on fresh ones. For an even more down home flavor, use smoked paprika.

Susan’s Homemade Turkey Stock

You’ll love homemade turkey stock. And it will make you feel good to make it because you can use what’s in your refrigerator as well as leftover turkey bones. The secret ingredient here is the yam. Once you taste the combination with the lemon, it will be your secret as well. Makes 4 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass with leftover meat and skin
  • 1 clove garlic, whole or crushed
  • ½ large onion, cut in thick wedges
  • 1 carrot, cut in 1-2" pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, including leaves, cut in 1" pieces
  • ½ small lemon, deseeded
  • ½ small yam, peeled, cut into large chunks (may substitute potato)
  • ½ teaspoon each black pepper, thyme, and rosemary
  • Water to cover (6-8 cups)

Directions

  1. After removing all usable meat from roasted turkey, break carcass back so that it lays better in the pot with all the bones and skin. Place in deep pot with all other ingredients and pour water to just cover.
  2. Bring to boil, then simmer covered for 1-2 hours.
  3. Drain stock and cool in refrigerator until fat congeals on top (overnight is best). Then, skim fat off the top, discard. Stock is ready to use or store.

Per serving: 38 calories, 5 gm protein, 3 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm total fat, 1 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 gm fiber, 40 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This recipe works for any kind of poultry, use it throughout the year for chicken. The secret of this stock is the lemon, which adds freshness, and the potato or yam, which gives the stock extra body. Add in an apple or pear, sprigs of parsley, whatever is in your fridge for more flavor. Store some of the stock in ice trays in the freezer for ready use in sauté dishes. One cube holds about 2 tablespoons.

Mashed Curry Cauliflower

Whenever we want mashed potatoes, we think about substituting curried cauliflower. It has the volume, look, and taste without the added fat that people can’t resist. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 6-inch diameter
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, fat-free
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

Directions

  1. Cut cauliflower into small pieces.
  2. In a steamer basket, cook cauliflower over boiling water until a knife easily pierces the stems, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Place hot cooked cauliflower and remaining ingredients in a food processor and process to the texture of mashed potatoes. Serve warm.

Per Serving: 71 calories, 6 gm protein, 9 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 4 gm fiber, 357 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK You can use this basic dressing over other vegetable combinations, too. The microwave process cuts down on the oven roasting time and keeps the vegetables moist. Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, and folic acid.

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