In Italian, Puttana means whore. Pasta Puttanesca is supposedly a dish often made by these working girls who had little time to cook. Puttanesca sauce is quick to make, full of a bit of this and a bit of that, and so entirely flavorful ! The bite in puttanesca usually comes from anchovies. In this dish, instead of serving the sauce over pasta, it is used as a condiment for fish. And instead of anchovies, the slight bite comes from the mustard coating on the fish. Super good ! This is actually better a few hours later after the sauce has time for the flavors to mingle.
178 calories per serving
4 4 oz. tilapia filets
5 t Dijon mustard
1 T oil
1/2 c chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1/8 c Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1/4 c black olives, chopped
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 c chopped fresh parsley and basil
Brush mustard on fish. Heat oil in a skillet and cook fish 4 minutes per side or until done. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Add onions to skillet and brown for 6 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, dressing, olives, sun dried tomatoes and half of the parsley and basil. Cook 5 minutes then add the fish back to the pan and heat briefly. Serve with puttanesca over fish. Garnish with the remaining parsley and basil.
It’s a salad in a pita ! And a mighty good one at that !
260 calories per serving
2 T oil
1 T vinegar
1 t grated lemon zest
1 t oregano flakes
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t onion powder
Salt to taste
1/8 t cayenne pepper
¾ c chopped romaine lettuce
½ c finely chopped tomato
½ c finely chopped English cucumber
¼ c chopped black olives
¼ c crumbled low fat feta cheese
4 6 inch pita pockets, sliced
Mix oil, vinegar, zest, oregano, garlic and cayenne. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and mix well then spoon mix into pita breads.
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.
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.
A great sandwich that doesn’t send you over the top with calories – tasty, filling, and a great portable lunch.
395 calories per serving
1 small club roll
4 slices thin deli sliced lean ham (Oscar Mayer pre-packaged meats are great)
4 slices thin deli sliced lean turkey (Oscar Mayer pre-packaged meats are great)
2 slices Kraft fat free singles
½ green pepper, sliced thinly
2 slices tomato
2 T sliced black olives
1 T fat free balsamic vinaigrette
Place meats and cheese on roll. Top with peppers, olives and tomatoes then drizzle with dressing.
This is one of the better mac and cheese recipes I have done. Make sure you stir the mix enough to get all the cheese melted. And try not putting in the half and half until a good amount of the cheese is already melted so you don’t get unmelted lumps. This really hit the spot and you can certainly change it up by adding bits of different vegetables, maybe even some hot peppers 😉
245 calories per serving
2 c FiberGourmet rotini pasta (without FiberGourmet, the recipe comes in at 285 calories per serving)
¼ c sliced black olives
½ c fat free half and half
½ t salt
1 small red bell pepper chopped
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained
4 slices fat free Kraft American cheese slices
Cook pasta according to package instructions and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until cheese is all melted.
What a symphony of flavors ! Your mouth doesn’t know what to be the happiest about – is it the pine nut accent? Or the spicy pepperjack cheese? Or the creamy avocados? Or the smoky chipotle dressing? This is one of THE BEST salads I’ve ever made.
300 calories per serving
8 c fresh baby spinach
1/2 c corn with sweet peppers
1/3 c halved black pitted olives
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 oz. diced pepper jack cheese
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 ripe avocado cut into 16 slices
3 T lime juice
2 T oil
1 t chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/8 t salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T toasted pine nuts
A few extra squirts of lime juice if you like your salad nice and ‘wet’
Combine spinach, corn, olives, cilantro and cheese. Place 2 c worth on each plate. Arrange tomato, egg and avocado slices atop the spinach. Combine lime juice, oil, chopped chipotle, salt and garlic. Whisk well and pour over salads. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
This makes a great balanced and filling lunch portion for 370 calories. You can easily cut the serving in half and serve as a side in a dinner plate, too. But I like it as a lunch – you can make it a day ahead, it is portable, it takes even better the following day … and it is packed with healthy ingredients. Oh, and it has orzo (my fav!) 🙂
370 calories per serving
1 ¼ c uncooked orzo (8 oz)
2 c thinly sliced English cucumber
½ c low fat zesty Italian dressing
1 medium tomato, chopped
15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 4 oz. can sliced black olives
½ c crumbed low fat feta cheese
Cook pasta according to package instructions and rinse in cold water. Mix pasta with the rest of the ingredients except the feta, cover and refrigerate at least one hour so flavors mix. Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese.
This makes a great breakfast, brunch or lunch. Try changing it up a little by switching green olives for black, fresh tomato for sundried, etc.
360 calories per serving
1 light whole wheat English muffin
1 Babybel cheese, sliced into thin rounds
2 slices turkey bacon
5 sundried tomato strips
2 T chopped black olives
4 very thin slices cucumber
1 Romaine lettuce leaf
Cook bacon according to package instructions. Toast muffin. While still hot, place cheese slices on bottom half. Then add bacon, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, lettuce and top with the other half of the muffin.