Grilled Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Simple grilled chicken made super special with the addition of a creamy pesto sauce. This is lightened up quite a bit compared to plain pesto and the sour cream and yogurt make a great cream base for the pesto flavor to shine. Serve this one next time you are grilling with friends. The pesto sauce can be made hours ahead and left in the refrigerator.

Grilled Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce
Grilled Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce


4 servings
298 calories per serving

4 5 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
Pam
Salt and pepper to taste
½ t garlic powder
4 T plain low fat Greek yogurt
4 T fat free sour cream
2 T prepared pesto (available in the refrigerated section of your grocer)

Heat grill and spray with high heat Pam. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Grill chicken 4 minutes per side or until done. Meanwhile combine yogurt, sour cream and pesto. Spread pesto sauce on plate and serve chicken atop it.

Fudge Pops with Bananas and Nuts

I recently got a Zoku Quick Pop Maker. BEST THING EVER ! I love making pops but hate the wait time. Now I have ‘em in 7-9 minutes :) This is one of the recipes I pulled from the Zoku book – of course, I’ve tweaked many of the recipes to suit my own tastes, bring down calories, and to get creative with the pops, but some are in their original goodness.

You can make any of these recipes in traditional pop makers – each pop here is 2 oz. so adjust accordingly. And if you love pops like me, then do yourself a favor and get a Zoku :)

I recently got a Zoku Quick Pop Maker.  BEST THING EVER !  I love making pops but hate the wait time.  Now I have ‘em in 7-9 minutes :)  This is one of the recipes I pulled from the Zoku book – of course, I’ve tweaked many of the recipes  to suit my own tastes, bring down calories, and to get creative with the pops, but some are in their original goodness.
Zoku Quick Pop Maker

6 servings
265 calories per serving

1 c water
2 1/3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used ghiradelli bittersweet morsels)
1/3 c sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 c skim milk
1 T fat free half and half
½ c very thin banana slices
6 T Magic Shell chocolate shell for ice cream
3 T chopped peanuts

In a saucepan whisk chocolate, sugar, water and salt and cook until completely melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes in the fridge and then whish in the milk and half and half. Then return to the fridge and cool completely (about ½ hour).

Working in 2 batches – Place bananas on the sides of the maker molds then pour in the mix. In 7-9 minutes you’ll have creamy, fudgy goodness with a bit of banana thrown in for interest :)

If you are using traditional molds, you can suspend the bananas by filling the molds half way. Freezing a bit, then adding the bananas and the rest of the mix. Or you can just let the drop to the bottom – it will still taste dandy ! Freeze 6 hours.

Teriyaki Grill Basket

Throw away those kabob skewers and get a grill basket – it makes cooking small pieces of things on the grill a snap ! Just cut it up, marinate and then throw in the grill basket. It’s like stir frying on the grill and you get a great even cook on all the bits.

Teriyaki Grill Basket
Teriyaki Grill Basket

6 servings
244 calories per serving

1/3 c soy sauce
2 T vegetable oil
1 T brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t ground ginger
1 t seasoned salt
Pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into wedges
12 cherry tomatoes
Pam

Mix soy, oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper and salt. Place chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag and pour over the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. During the last hour, add the veggies to the bag. Heat grill and spray a grill basket with high heat Pam. Cook veggies and chicken until chicken is done.

Tea and Lemon Sorbet

This is sooooo refreshing. Between the tart lemon, the sweet tea and the cold, cold temperature, you’ll turn down the heat in any room when you serve this summery dessert.

Tea and Lemon Sorbet
Tea and Lemon Sorbet

8 servings
68 calories per serving

2 c boiling water
4 Earl Grey tea bags
1/2 cup sugar
¾ c fresh lemon juice
1 c ice water

Boil 2 c of water and then steep the tea bags for 6-8 minutes. Remove bags and stir in sugar. Add lemon and 1 c ice water then chill 2 hours. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze. When done, place in a container and freeze one hour before serving. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can make this mixture into ice pops using molds or into a granita by following these instructions:
Place a metal bowl in the freezer to chill. Combine ingredients and pour into the bowl and place in the freezer for 30 – 60 minutes. When ice crystals form on the edges, stir with a fork being sure to pull away all the frozen pieces around the edges and freeze another 2-3 hours stirring every ½ hour. Best to serve right after the initial freeze time, but if you let it sit overnight, be sure to defrost for 15 minutes or so before serving.

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Grilled Pork Sliders

Sweet sauce, succulent pork – what a great slider this makes ! It’s easy to do the pork ahead of time and keep warm – so this is a great dish for entertaining.

Grilled Pork Sliders
Grilled Pork Sliders

4 servings
362 calories per serving

1/2 c BBQ sauce (use your favorite)
2 T dark rum
2 T honey
1 lb. pork tenderloin, fat trimmed
8 slider buns

Heat grill. Mix sauce, rum and honey and bring to a boil down for a couple of minutes. Use half of the sauce to baste the pork while you grill it 20 minutes or until done. Let pork stand for 5-10 minutes and then slice thinly.

Place slices on buns and add some of the reserved sauce. Optionally add some caramelized onions for a super savory sandwich.

To caramelize onions, heat 1 T oil in a skillet and then cook onions 5 minutes on high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking 20 minutes or until golden brown. You may need to add hot water a tablespoon at a time to keep them from drying out. When done, season with salt and pepper.

Raspberry Lemonade Pie

This tastes like a lemonade stand in a slice of pie ! It is so refreshing and delicious. Instead of the second pie, I used the extra filling to make homemade ice pops.

Raspberry Lemonade Pie
Raspberry Lemonade Pie

16 servings (2 pies)
198 calories per serving

1 ½ c boiling water
.3 oz. package lemon Jello (sugar free)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
8 oz. cool whip, thawed
1 c raspberries
2 low fat graham crusts

Add boiling water to jello and stir 2 minutes to dissolve completely. Cool a bit and then add in the lemonade. Beat cream cheese until creamy and then gradually add jello mix. Stir in cool whip and berries and pour into crusts then refrigerate at least 4 hours. It will be very thin at this stage – after it is refrigerated it will thicken up a lot. You can also freeze this and simply thaw ½ hour or so before serving. Garnish with a few leftover raspberries.

Chili Garlic Tuna

A nice ‘beefy’ tuna steak on the grill is one of those great summer treats. The leftovers make a GREAT tuna salad – just add a little low fat mayo and some diced up pickles or celery.

Chili Garlic Tuna
Chili Garlic Tuna


4 servings
335 calories per serving

2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t crushed red pepper
4 tuna steaks – 8 oz. each
2 t Chili Garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of your market)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 t oil
Lime zest as garnish
Lime juice

Heat the grill or preheat the broiler. Combine garlic, pepper flakes, chili garlic sauce and salt. Make several small slits in the tuna steaks and insert the garlic mix into the slits. Then rub the oil on the steaks and sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill or broil 3 – 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Squirt with a bit of lime juice and sprinkle with lime zest and serve.

Spaghetti Carbonara

This recipe makes up a wonderfully flavorful sauce – anything with bacon is good in my book !

Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara

2 servings
300 calories per serving

4 ounces uncooked FiberGourmet spaghetti
1/2 cup skim milk
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Pam
1/3 c chopped pancetta or thick cut bacon (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain reserving ¼ c of the cooking water. Mix milk, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat a skillet and spray with Pam then sauté pancetta 3 minutes. Add onions and garlic and continue cooking another 5 minutes until onion is browned. Reduce heat to medium low and add milk mix and spaghetti to the pan. Whisk egg in a bowl and add the reserved cooking liquid stirring constantly so egg does not start to cook. Gradually add to pan stirring constantly and cook 4 minutes on low until sauce is thick.

Winter Fruit Salad

Fruit salad with a kiss of lime and honey. This is a great fruit combination – the sweet mango, crunchy jicama, tart pomegranate and citrus are a perfect taste treat. So very healthy, make a batch and eat off it for a few days !

Winter Fruit Salad
Winter Fruit Salad

8 serving
118 calories per serving

1/2 c pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate)
1/2 c julienned jicama (if you do not have this substitute apple)
2 medium ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 tangerines or clementines, peeled and sectioned
2 blood oranges, peeled and sectioned (sub red grapefruit or navel oranges if you cannot find blood oranges)
1 pear, thinly sliced
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T honey
1/4 t ground red pepper
1/8 t coarse sea salt

Mix the fruits and toss gently. Combine honey, lime, salt and pepper and pour over fruit. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce (Crock Pot)

I am very passionate about my sauce ! My Italian Grandma and Mom taught me well :) I have been making my own since I was 16 and over the years developed a recipe that is LOVED and CRAVED by many. That recipe included cooking sausage and meatballs in the sauce – and that gives it a very rich flavor. But it also adds calories. So in my quest to keep things lower cal, I’ve been trying a few batches of sauce without meat and this one is really, really good. It comes quite close to my regular recipe !

I’ve added beef bouillon to make up for some of the lost flavor from the meat, I’ve added roasted garlic which gives a great depth of flavor (much different than dropping in raw or sautéed garlic) and I make sure to use tomato paste. Tomato paste is to tomatoes what lemonade concentrate is to lemonade – – it is highly concentrated and adds a different flavor than any other tomato product out there. And finally I add 2 secret ingredients – shhhhhhh ! Fennel and anise seeds add the flavor you would get if you cooked sausage in the sauce. It is the finishing touch that so many sauces are missing. You only get the slightest hint of taste of the seeds in the finished product. But let me tell you, without them, the sauce is just not the same.

If you’ve never tried sauce before – try !! This one starts from canned products, not raw tomatoes – so it is NOT labor intensive. And even a bad batch of homemade is better than a jar of Ragu ;) It’s what makes a pasta meal special, so do it up !

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce
Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce

12 servings
58 calories per serving

8 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
¾ c water
1 T oil
2 t basil flakes
6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 t oregano flakes
½ t red pepper flakes
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
½ t whole anise seeds
1 t whole fennel seeds
2 packets or 2 cubes beef bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ c parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a crock pot, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.

You can also put this in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or simmer stove top for 2-3 hours.

The length of time does make a different – the sauce tastes much richer when simmered for hours than a quick sauce (which have their place in some recipes, but don’t equal a traditional slowly simmered sauce).


Freeze your extra portions and next time it’s pasta night, just defrost in the frig over night and quickly reheat in a sauce pan.

Let me know how you like it ! :)

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