Paprika Rubbed Cod

Paprika Rubbed Cod
Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

With all the holiday events we have the next few weeks, I know I’ll be enjoying good food and drinks more often than normal. I try to balance out the indulgence by having light meals at home that are also very fast to prepare- this cod recipe meets that criteria. The seasonings are very flavorful, and you don’t need any oil. Cod is so low in calories (around 190 for an 8-ounce fillet according to www.calorieking.com) that you can easily have a half-pound serving. And, since it’s also protein rich, this entree will keep you satistfied and full.

Ingredients:

2, 8 ounce cod fillets
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
juice of 1/2 a large lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together except for the cod to make a paste, and rub all over the fillets.

Place fish on foil lined sheet or any oven-proof dish and bake for 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn off oven, and turn on broiler on high. Broil until fish is cooked and lightly brown- maybe another 2 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with a big salad and some crispy whole-grain crackers or crusty whole-wheat roll.

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Bacon & Leek Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Leek Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Bacon & Leek Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers
Vegetarian Substitutes

I had some bacon left over from making the Bacon “Fried” Rice a couple weeks back,  and here’s what I did with it! This recipe is inspired by my favorite dish served at Wolf’s Biergarten in Albany, a popular haunt among our group of friends for birthday celebrations. Fresh brussels sprouts get fantastic flavor from leeks and bacon, livened up with the bright flavors of lemon and thyme. This is one of those recipes that can change a person’s mind about brussels sprouts. Folks who don’t usually like them have been seen devouring large portions of these!      ~ Susan

Ingredients

1 cup thinly sliced leeks – use the lighter part closer to the roots, save the green part for another use
2 strips of bacon – diced
1 lb brussels sprouts – cut in half
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
fresh lemon wedges

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cook diced bacon in a skillet until nicely browned, but not burned. Remove bacon from excess fat and let it drain on a plate lined with a brown paper bag or unbleached paper towel.

Toss leeks, cooked bacon and brussels sprouts together with the olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper and water.

Arrange mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until water is evaporated, and brussels sprouts are lightly browned but still slightly crunchy.

Serve them hot from the oven with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon.

Serving Suggestions

Excellent with grilled chicken sausages and boiled new potatoes.
Try them with a roast chicken and a side of brown basmati rice or quinoa.

Vegetarian Substitutes

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Try using Smokey Tempeh Strips (Fakin Bacon) in place of real bacon, you’ll love it.

Thai Style Halibut and Green Bean Curry

Thai Style Halibut and Green Bean Curry
Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

Green curry is a staple for us when we go out for Thai food. We usually order a vegetarian or chicken version, but I’ve rarely seen it served with fish fillets. I wanted to find a way to make it at home with halibut which is one of my favorite fish. I’m not professing to be an authentic Thai cook, but the recipe I created is delicious and beats takeout Thai food any day. It’s also considerably lighter than what you would find at a restaurant and comes together very easily.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

2, 6-ounce halibut fillets
1, 15-ounce can light coconut milk
4 tablespoons green curry paste
1/2 pound trimmed green beans
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place fish on a foil lined tray, season with salt and pepper, and bake until done, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish.

Cover fish to keep warm while curry cooks.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat.

Add onion, and saute 2 minutes.

Add garlic, and saute 1 minute.

Add tomato, and saute mixture for 2 minutes.

Add in green curry paste and coconut milk and blend well.

Bring to a gentle boil, add green beans and cook until beans are soft but not mushy- around 5 to 8 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add fish to curry.

Serving Suggestions:

You get your veggies and protein in with this dish so all you need is some brown or jasmine rice, and you’re ready to eat!

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Veggie & Egg Skillet

Vegetable Egg Skillet

Veggie & Egg Skillet
Serves 2 – 3
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers | Freezes well

This is a new favorite of ours for breakfast or lunch. Scott created the basic recipe years ago – he’s a master at making up delicious scrambled egg concoctions! This one has always stayed in our rotation, we love the interesting addition of oregano and cumin. Lately we’ve been making it as a frittata style skillet dish instead of as a scramble. You can slice it into wedges which look really lovely on the plate. For our Tablespoon version we use three egg whites and two whole eggs for 2 servings, but you could make it with all egg whites if you’re really trying to cut down on the fat.     ~ Susan

Ingredients

3 large egg whites
2 whole eggs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup red onion – small dice
1/3 cup yellow pepper – small dice
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
sea salt to taste
optional garnishes – crumbled goat cheese, minced red onion, chopped fresh herbs, hot sauce

Instructions

Whisk all the eggs together with the sea salt and set aside.

Place an oven rack on the top setting in the oven (making sure your skillet will fit).
Preheat your oven broiler.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized oven-proof non-stick (or well seasoned cast iron) skillet.

Saute the onions and peppers for one minute. Add cumin and oregano and sauté another two minutes.

Add spinach leaves and saute for a few seconds or until lightly wilted.

Pour egg mixture, covering veggies evenly. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover skillet and let the mixture cook for 3 minutes.

Remove cover and place skillet under the broiler. Close oven door and broil for another 2 minutes, or just until the rest of the egg mixture has set.

Use an oven mitt to remove skillet from oven. Add garnishes of your choice, slice into wedges, and serve warm.

Serving Suggestions

Toasted whole grain bread or fresh seasonal fruit are both good choices for a perfect carbohydrate accompaniment.

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Bharati’s Gujarati Cabbage

Bharati’s Gujarati Cabbage
Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

One of the best things about being married to Mahir is the wonderful introduction I’ve gotten to Gujarati food. Gujarat is the region of India where his family comes from (they now live in Bombay), and the cuisine there is completely different than the Punjabi food I grew up with. My mother-in-law, whose name is Bharati, is one of the best cooks I know, and I love going to Bombay every December and getting spoiled by her cooking. Traditional Gujarati food can be heavy and is even laced with sugar, but Mahir’s dad is a diabetic so she’s a very health conscious cook. I had a craving for her cabbage a few weeks ago and called her to ask for the recipe. I had always imagined it to be some complex combination of spices but was surprised by how simple it is. Since no recipe is a substitute for her touch, I’ll still have her make it for me when I visit, but this is a pretty darn good fill in!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of coriander power
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/4 cup of water

Instructions:

Toss cabbage with the salt and half the lemon juice.

Marinate for 30 minutes.

Warm a large nonstick on medium heat, and add oil.

Add mustard seeds, and cook until they pop, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add spices in the oil, and mix well.

Add in water, mix with spices and let the mixture come to a gentle boil.

Add in cabbage, and mix well.

Cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Turn off heat, and toss with the rest of the lemon juice.

Serving Suggestions:

Try with the tofu recipe from last week and some roti or whole wheat tortilla or serve alongside the tandoori tilapia from a few weeks ago and some brown rice.

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Indian Stir-Fried Tofu

Indian Stir-Fried Tofu
Serves 2 to 3
Can Be Doubled| Can Be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

Tofu is an incredibly bland source of protein on its own, but the great thing about this low-fat food is that it picks up the flavor of anything you add to it. For me, that usually means Indian spices. This stir-fry version is very satisfying even for a non-vegetarian like me and is an ideal meatless addition to any Indian meal. The funny thing is that I couldn’t come up with on my own – I left Tess in charge, and she creatively came up this recipe- she’s become more Indian than us!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1, 15-ounce packet firm tofu
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons of olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder
a large handful of cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Heat oil in a medium nonstick pan.

Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes or until onion softens.

Add tomatoes. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add spices except for cilantro and stir together with tomato and onion mixture.

Add 1/4 cup water, and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add in tofu and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:

Roll this tofu up in a whole-wheat tortilla as a wrap and have some crudite as a side. Or, serve over rice and have with any Indian vegetable.


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Spicy Bacon “Fried” Rice

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Spicy Bacon “Fried” Rice
Serves 2
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers | Can be frozen

Oh my goodness this is a tasty treat! And it’s so much healthier than ordering fried rice in a Chinese restaurant where the tendency is to use copious amounts of questionable oils. Plus, you don’t see bacon fried rice on many menus… My mother in law has been making her version of this dish since my hubby was a kid and he loves it, which was my motivation for creating a Tablespoon version of the dish. Here at home we throw in whatever vegetables we have around, always starting with onions, carrots and frozen baby peas. Try mushrooms, water chestnuts, broccoli, peppers, baby corn, snap peas…    ~ Susan

Ingredients

2 strips of thick cut bacon – diced
1 cup onion – diced
1 cup carrots – diced
1 cup thawed baby peas
3-4 cups leftover cooked rice – try white or brown basmati rice
2 eggs – whipped with a fork until well blended
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
tamari soy sauce to taste
asian style hot sauce to taste

Instructions

Heat a large non-stick (or well seasoned cast iron) skillet over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Stir fry until it begins to brown and the fat renders from the meat. Turn off the heat. Remove bacon pieces to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess fat. Strain off most of the remaining fat drippings from the pan, keeping just enough to stir fry the remaining veggies.

Return pan to the heat, add onions and carrots and stir fry until they are getting lightly browned and a bit tender. Add the eggs and sea salt and slowly stir, allowing eggs to “scramble” until well cooked. Add the bacon, the peas, and the rice and combine it all well. Add tamari and hot sauce to taste and serve while hot!

Serving Suggestions

A side of sauteed spinach or stir fried cabbage are great side dishes to go with this rice, or a marinated cucumber salad would be great too!

Vegetarian Substitutes

Try diced shiitake mushrooms, or diced smokey tempeh strips, also called “fakin bacon, or small diced seitan in place of the bacon, or simply omit the bacon and make a tasty veggie fried rice.

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Tandoori Tilapia

Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

Tilapia is an easy standby fish because it has such a mild taste and picks up just about any flavor you use with it. I’ve cooked it in dozens of different ways, and this Indian style version is my latest rendition. Yogurt, ginger and garlic are typical ingredients Indian restaurants use in a tandoori marination before cooking the meat, fish or vegetable at hand in a round clay oven known as a tandoor. I’ve used the same tastes in this recipe and lightened it up to make it more Tablespoon friendly. Of course, I don’t have a tandoor at home, but I have to say my stovetop version is pretty darn good!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound of tilapia
1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1/4 teaspoon of red chili powder
chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Mix together all of the ingredients except fish and cilantro.

Add fish and marinate for 30 minutes.

Warm a nonstick grill pan or nonstick regular pan over high heat and coat with cooking spray.

Lower heat and add fish. Cook for 4 minutes per side- times might vary depending on thickness of fillets.

If desired, squeeze with a little lemon juice, and top with cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:

Try with a warmed whole-wheat pita or a Food for Life Brown Rice Tortilla. The zucchini I posted a few weeks ago is an ideal veggie side.

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Sesame Ginger Spinach Salad with Shrimp & Oranges

Sesame Ginger Spinach Salad with Shrimp & Oranges Low Fat Recipe

Sesame Ginger Spinach Salad with Shrimp & Oranges
Serves 2
Can be doubled | Can be halved
Vegetarian Substitutes

Here’s a fabulous entree salad which takes only moments to throw together, while having a great “wow” factor. Easy to make any day for lunch or dinner, it’s also elegant enough to serve for special guests. And talk about a nutrition powerhouse – spinach, red cabbage, fresh oranges and simply steamed shrimp – you’ve got your iron and minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and high quality protein all on one plate. Jazz it up with the simple dressing, add some kick with sliced scallions – delicious and nutritious!    ~ Susan

Ingredients:

For the salad

12 large (31-40 count) steamed shrimp – chilled
6 cups baby spinach
3/4 cups julienned red cabbage
3/4 cup sliced scallions
1 small orange – peeled and sliced

For the dressing

1 tablespoon honey + 1 tablespoon warm water – combined
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon peanut oil or canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry ground ginger

Instructions:

To make the dressing, combine the honey and water in a measuring cup or small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

For the salad, toss spinach, cabbage and dressing together in a mixing bowl. Use tongs to divide mixture equally onto two large plates, reserving the remaining dressing which collects in the bottom of the bowl. Arrange the oranges and shrimp on top of the salads and garnish with plenty of sliced scallions. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the shrimp and oranges and serve!

Serving Suggestions:

To make a more robust meal serve a side bowl of brown rice for each portion with a simple miso broth poured into it, garnished with strips of toasted nori seaweed, or more scallions.

If you like a spicy-hot salad dressing – add a few dashes of Asian style hot sauce to the mixture.

Vegetarian Substitutes:

Use cubed tofu in place of the shrimp, or for a special treat try it with a handful of toasted cashews instead!

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Swiss Chard and Shrimp Whole-Wheat Rotini

Serves 2 to 3
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved| Vegetarian Substitutes

I’m a big believer in having some sort of whole-grain starch at every meal in reasonable portions- they give me the energy I need to fuel my busy days and put me in a good mood. Though I aim for lots of variety like quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, brown rice and dense, dark breads, I seldom eat pasta. I thought the best way to change that would be to come up with an appealing recipe where I could incorporate this Italian staple. Swiss chard is an extremely nutrition packed green that comes into the season in the Fall so I decided to use that as my inspiration. Mahir raved about how good the dish was and though he refuses to eat leftover seafood, he asked me to pack him the extras for his lunch next day. That was my sure sign that my experiment was a success!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound of medium, large or extra large shrimp
1 to 1.5 cups of dry whole wheat rotini (or your favorite pasta)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large bunch of swiss chard, washed and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In the meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a medium nonstick pan and saute garlic. Add swiss chard, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry for 3 to 6 minutes or until wilted.

Remove from pan.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper.

Heat another teaspoon of oil in the same pan, add shrimp and cook until done- about 2 to 3 minutes a side depending on size of shrimp.

Turn off heat.

Add swiss chard, pasta and all the other seasonings to the pan, and mix together.

Serving Suggestions:

This is a self-encompassing meal, but feel free to add a simple lettuce, tomato and onion salad as a side dish.

Vegetarian Substitutes:

You can use canned or fresh chickpeas or cannellini beans in place of the shrimp. Skip the sauteeing shrimp step, and leave the swiss chard in the pan. Add all the other ingredients including one can of beans and the extra teaspoon of olive oil that you didn’t use to saute the shrimp.

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