Eggplant Caponata

This makes a great side dish or a perfect appetizer served with Crostini bread or crackers. Every caponata you find is a little different – there are so many components that it is easy to get different versions. This one uses very little oil and is my absolute favorite. By pre-cooking the eggplant in the oven, you use much less oil and you won’t even miss it ! It has all my favorite things and has a great depth of flavor.

Eggplant Caponata
Eggplant Caponata

6 servings
149 calories per serving

1 large eggplant, trimmed, but not peeled and then cut into 1 inch cubes
½ t salt
2 t oil
2 c chopped celery
¼ c celery leaves, chopped
1 c chopped onions
½ c water
2 t minced garlic
1 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (including the juice)
2 T tomato paste
20 small black olives, chopped (you can use green if you prefer)
2 T white wine vinegar
1 t unsweetened cocoa
½ t black pepper
Kosher salt to taste
¼ c chopped basil
¼ c toasted pine nuts
2 t oil

To toast pine nuts, sauté in a hot, dry skillet for a few moments – until golden and aromatic. Place eggplant cubes in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with ½ t salt. Mix well so that all eggplant is salted. Then place a small plate or bowl on top of the eggplant and weight it by placed a canned product or some other heavy object. The salt and the weight will draw some of the bitter liquid from the eggplant and you will end up with a much sweeter tasting caponata. Let sit for an hour then rinse eggplant and pat dry. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with Pam, and place eggplant on sheet in a single layer. Cook for 20 minutes then remove from oven and set aside.

Heat a skillet and add 2 t of oil. Also spray with a bit of pan and then sauté onions and celery on medium high heat until partially softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute longer. Add ½ c water and continue cooking another 10 minutes. If the mix gets dry, add up to ¼ c more water to keep it moist. Add tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste and olives and cook on medium for 10 minutes until sauce thickens a bit. Add eggplant, vinegar, salt, pepper and cocoa and cook on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted nuts and 2 t oil. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Parmesan Green Beans from the Keep the Beat ™ cookbook from the National Institutes for Health We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) Campaign

I’m always looking for new ways to serve up green beans – the family loves them but it gets a little boring. Sprinkling with parm just before serving is a great way to prepare them !

Check out the online cookbook, Keep the Beat ™ (available in pdf format) for some great ideas for healthful food that kids will eat and they will enjoy preparing with you. Kids learn by example – show them how good healthy food can be !!!

Parmesan Green Beans
Parmesan Green Beans

4 servings
95 calories per serving

1 T olive oil
1 t garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 bag (16 oz) frozen green beans
1 c low-sodium chicken broth
¼ c grated parmesan cheese
¼ t ground black pepper

Combine olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan. Cook until garlic is soft, but not browned (about 30 seconds). Add onion, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat until soft. Add green beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes, until the beans are heated through. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pepper, and serve.

Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess dressing was invented in the 20’s at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and was quite popular for many years. You don’t see it too often anymore, but it’s a great change from the typical ranch dressing and is a snap to make. This one is lightened up using low fat mayo and rich, thick Greek yogurt and I find it perfect on a crispy lettuce such as iceberg.

Green Goddess Dressing
Green Goddess Dressing

2 ½ T = 1 serving
36 calories per serving
Makes 1 ½ cups

1 c plain fat free Greek yogurt
½ c low fat mayonnaise
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 t lemon juice
½ t Tabasco
3 canned anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 c parsley
¼ c tarragon
¼ c chives
¼ c chervil

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend well.

Chilled Cucumber Soup

What a burst of flavor you get from the fresh herbs in this soup ! Totally refreshing and so summery. Serve next to your lunch sandwich or as a quick palate cleanser in between courses of your favorite summer grill fare. At only 61 calories per serving, don’t think twice about adding this into a meal for a nice taste of summer.

Chilled Cucumber Soup
Chilled Cucumber Soup

4 servings
61 calories per serving

1 c fat free sour cream
1/2 c fresh basil
1/2 c fresh mint
1/4 c sliced scallion
1 c water
½ of a large English cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into a few pieces
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t Tabasco sauce
Salt to taste

In a food processor mix sour cream, basil, mint, water and scallions very well. Then add cucumber, lemon juice and salt and just pulse a few times making sure you leave cucumber chunks. Chill up to 6 hours.

Roast Beef Ranch Sandwich

Tangy ranch dressing, spicy horseradish, and lotsa meat and veggies – my kind of sandwich 🙂

Roast Beef Ranch Sandwich
Roast Beef Ranch Sandwich

4 servings
334 calories per serving

4 small Club Rolls
32 slices thin sliced deli roast beef (Oscar Mayer pre-packaged meats are great)
1 small red onion, sliced
1 small tomato, sliced
2 c shredded lettuce
8 T non fat ranch dressing
3 T horseradish
4 T shopped parsley

Mix ranch, horseradish and parsley and refrigerate at least ½ hour. Place meet on rolls and spoon on the prepared dressing. Top with onion, tomato and lettuce.

Win a Copy of the 400 Calories or Less App (iTunes) – Show Me What You’re Cookin’ !

To celebrate the launch of my app, I’m going to give away a full copy as a prize on Friday 🙂

All you have to do is show me what you’re cookin’ ! Head on over to the 400 Calories or Less Facebook page, ‘LIKE’ the page and then post a picture of what you’re cookin’ – then on Friday I will pick a winner and send you a promo code so you can get the whole app for FREE!

Right now the free portion of the app has a whopping 40 free recipes – but if you want the whole thing (includes 4 cookbooks) for free, show me what you got going on in your kitchen 🙂 I don’t care if it’s 400 calories or 4000 calories – just snap some pics and get them posted.

If you don’t have an iPhone, iPad or iTouch – you can gift the promo code to whomever you want. So get cooking and get snapping 🙂 See you on the Facebook Fan Page !

Spinach Pie

This is basically a crustless quiche. It is great served for brunch, lunch, as an appetizer, or even as a dinner side dish. So good !

Spinach Pie
Spinach Pie

8 servings
150 calories per serving

16 oz. low fat cottage cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and drained well (press in a sieve to get rid of all the water)
1 c shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
6 oz. roasted red peppers, well drained, and chopped
1/3 c grated parmesan
1 t oregano flakes
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix spinach and cheeses. Add eggs, peppers and spices. Pour into a 9 inch pie plate or cake pan sprayed with Pam. Bake 40 minutes or until the center is set. I like to use a glass pie plate for this, that way if the center does not set before the top is getting brown (which sometimes happens), you can slip it into the microwave for a few quick minutes to finish it up. This reheats great !

FREE App is available in iTunes

Grab the FREE ‘400 Calories or Less’ App for great handpicked recipes for Summer Fun, Kid Friendly Food, Holidays and Entertaining and Dinners from Around the World. If you love it, grab the full versions.

iTunes app
iTunes app

Get it HERE !! And I sure appreciate your leaving a review over at iTunes.

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