Summer Squash Deluxe

Crisp summer veggies with a twist ! The lemon, pepperoni and feta cheese add a nice Greek flair to this dish. If you have garden fresh zucchini, this tastes even better 🙂

Summer Squash Deluxe
Summer Squash Deluxe

4 servings
69 calories per serving

1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium cucumber
½ t salt
2 T sliced basil
1 T oil
1/2 t grated lemon zest
1 t lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 oz. sliced turkey pepperoni
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese

Peel the zucchini, cucumber and squash and then using a vegetable peeler, peel off thin strips or ribbons and place in a bowl When you get down to the seeds, discard the remainder. Sprinkle with salt and let sit. Whisk together basil, oil, lemon juice and lemon zest and then add to the zucchini. Heat a skillet and crisp up the turkey pepperoni and then garnish the zucchini with the pepperoni and cheese.

Pork and Plums

Use tart plums if you don’t want this dish to be too sweet. Fruity yet savory and plums just go so well in fruited dishes !

Pork and Plums
Pork and Plums

4 servings
287 calories per serving

1 T oil
1 lb. pork tenderloin cut into thin, short strips
1 T plus 1 ½ t cornstarch
1 carrot thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. plums cut into ½ inch slices
1 c chicken broth
2 T plum jam
1 T cider vinegar
1 T soy sauce
½ t ground ginger

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Mix pork with 1 T cornstarch and rub it in. A good way to do this is place both in a Ziploc bag, seal and then mush it around repeatedly. Cook the meat 5 minutes and then transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and cook the carrot, scallions and garlic for 1 minute and then add the plums and cook for another 5 minutes or until they start to get soft.

Whisk broth, jam, vinegar, soy, ginger and the rest of the cornstarch and pour into the pan and bring to a boil and cook 1 minute then lower the heat and place the pork back in the pan and cool 3 minutes or until all is heated.

Spinach Stuffed Portobellos

What a beautiful aroma as these cook up in the oven – the cheese and spinach make a perfect stuffing for succulent, meaty Portobello mushrooms. Serve as an appetizer or as a dinner side.

Spinach Stuffed Portobellos
Spinach Stuffed Portobellos

4 servings
181 calories per serving

4 large portobello mushroom caps
1 c part skim ricotta cheese
1 c finely chopped fresh spinach
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T finely chopped kalamata olives
½ t oregano flakes
1/2 t parsley flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with Pam and place mushrooms with the gills facing up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes them take them out and tip each cap to make any juice run out of them. Mix ricotta, spinach, half of the parmesan cheese, olives, herbs, salt and pepper and divide mix among the mushroom caps. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan on top and then back for another 10 minutes to heat through. Switch to broil and brown the tops just a bit.

Grilled Pineapple

This is a great side to ham and other pork dishes. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and the grilling brings out all the great pineapple flavor – it’s pineapple to the 10th degree ! 🙂

Grilled Pineapple
Grilled Pineapple

4 servings (2 slices per serving)
123 calories per serving

1 small fresh pineapple, peeled and cored – about 8 slices
(most supermarkets have fresh pineapple already peeled and sliced available in the produce section near the fruit salads)

Heat grill or a grill pan on medium. Spray with Pam. Heat pineapple in the grill until light brown, about 10-15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon so it ‘melts’ in.

Enjoyable Home Cooking

The recipes on this site are great if you are trying to be healthy. This is an important issue for many people, and it does not have to be as bland as some think. Healthy food, if cooked right and with the right seasoning, can be really delicious as well as good for your body.

Maintaining a good diet is a great way to insure your health for the rest of your life. We all want to have good insurance from places like to give us peace of mind, but why not give yourself another type of insurance too. The fact that you are healthy and well will be its own type of assurance for peace of mind.

It is easy to get into a bad routine of microwave meals and bad quality, shop-bought food. Some people do not want to make the effort of cooking a meal from scratch. But it can actually be really enjoyable. If you treat it more like a fun, creative activity than a chore which we have to perform, it can be rewarding in many ways.

Cooking is also something that people can do together. If you enlist the help of the rest of your family, it can become a great bonding exercise. It encourages communication and cooperation in a way that you will all appreciate once the meal is finished.

Cooking also encourages you to be creative, as you do not always have to stick to recipes. That can be part of the fun of it, creating new dishes and tasting them. Sometimes it will go well, and sometimes it won’t, but if you treat it as a learning experience then you will just be amused at the end. And who knows, you may even end up creating something really delicious that you can be proud of.

Turkey and Cheese Rolls

Think of this as a turkey sandwich without the bread. It is so light, yet super tasty and a great healthy lunch. It packs easily and it’s as easy as putting together a sandwich. You have heard about meatless days – try some carb free days for a boost to your diet.

Turkey and Cheese Rolls
Turkey and Cheese Rolls

1 serving
95 calories per serving

6 slices deli thin turkey slices (Hillshire Farms or Oscar Mayer presliced deli meat is great!) – I like to use the cracked pepper turkey for extra flavor.
1 wedge Light Laughing Cow cheese
2 iceberg lettuce leaves

Spread lettuce leaves with cheese. Place turkey in leaves and roll up – secure with a toothpick or if you are packing them, roll with foil to keep fresh.

White Bean and Tomato Salad

The addition of beans makes this salad filling and add extra fiber to your meal. This is a great summer side that hits the spot.

White Bean and Tomato Salad
White Bean and Tomato Salad

4 servings
167 calories per serving

1 T white vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 t Dijon mustard
1 drop Tabasco sauce
2 t oil
16 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 T chopped basil
1 T chopped parsley
1 scallion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ large red bell pepper, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and Tabasco and whisk while adding the oil. Combine beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, basil, parsley, scallions and garlic. Add the dressing and toss well to coat the cover and refrigerate ½ hour. Just before serving add salt and pepper to taste.

Veggies in Cheese Sauce

This one is as versatile as it gets – take any veggies, steam them, and then add the sauce ! The mustard and scallions add a nice dimension to the cheese sauce too 🙂

Veggies in Cheese Sauce
Veggies in Cheese Sauce

6 servings
80 calories per serving

1 lb. broccoli separated into florets
4 thin carrots peeled and cut lengthwise in half
4 oz. Velveeta cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 T water
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 t dijon mustard

Place carrots and broccoli in a steamer basket and steam 5 minutes. Mix water and velveeta and microwave 1- 2 minutes or until well blended then add scallions and mustard. Drizzle sauce over vegetables.

Spring Rice and Veggie Salad

This is very different from your typical mac salad ! Instead of pasta, this recipe uses rice and adds some nice fresh Spring veggies. What a great dish to serve at your next barbecue !

Spring Rice and Veggie Salad
Spring Rice and Veggie Salad

8 servings
150 calories per serving

4 c cooked minute rice (white or brown) – after cooking , cool to room temperature
1 c halved grape tomatoes
1 c fresh asparagus spears (cut into 1 inch pieces), boiled 3 minutes then rinsed in cold water
3/4 cup light mayo
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T chopped parsley
Juice of one lemon
Grated zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well and serve. (you could also chill this and then serve – but I like it best room temperature)

Tilapia with Melon Salsa

The melon salsa is sweet but has a bite (onions + jalapenos) and is a perfect accompaniment to a simply broiled tilapia fillet.

Tilapia with Melon Salsa
Tilapia with Melon Salsa

4 servings
268 calories per serving

2/3 c honeydew melon, in very small cubes
2/3 c cantaloupe, in very small cubes
1/3 c English cucumber, peeled and diced small
1/3 c red onion, diced small
3 T chopped mint
1 t grated lemon zest
2 T lime juice
4 t oil
1 ½ t minced jalapeno peppers
¾ t agave nectar (or honey)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 6 oz. tilapia fillets

Tilapia with Melon Salsa
Tilapia with Melon Salsa

Preheat broiler. Mix first 10 ingredients and set aside. Spray baking sheet with Pam and sprinkle tilapia with salt and pepper and broil 3 minutes per side or until done. Serve with melon salsa.

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