Monday, July 27, 2015

Lemon-Coriander Chicken

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed through a press
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3 1/4-lb.) chicken, quartered and skinned, giblets discarded
Makes 8 Servings (1 piece of chicken per serving)
  1. Combine the lemon juice, scallions, garlic, coriander, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the juice mixture into another small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
  2. Pour the remaining juice mixture into a zip-close plastic bag; add the chicken. Squeeze out the air and seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Spray the grill or broiler rack with nonstick spray; prepare the grill or preheat the broiler.
  4. Transfer the chicken pieces from the bag to the grill or broiler rack; discard the marinade in the bag. Grill or broil the chicken 5 inches from the heat, turning and basting occasionally with eh 1/2 cup reserved marinade, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 165 F, 15-20 minutes. Stop basting 5 minutes before the chicken is cooked. Cut each chicken quarter into 2 pieces.

Note: This recipe appears in the WW Ultimate Chicken Cookbook. Here's another healthy alternative to takeout or fast food. You can prepare this the night before or in the morning of and prepare this for dinner. Coriander is a spice with an aromatic flavor with a blend of citrus, sage and caraway. It's a heavenly combination when lemon, garlic and herbs are mixed together and marinated on chicken is so good. This recipe is so succulently juicy you'll be cooking this again and again.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 can (13.75 oz.) artichokes in water, drained
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated aged Asiago or Parmesan cheese
Makes 2 2/3 cups
In a food processor, combine the spinach, artichoke hearts,. oil, and garlic powder. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the ricotta, salt, hot pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Pulse until smooth. Add the Asiago and pulse until combined.
Note: This recipe appears in the South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook. This is a great way to kick-start your healthy lifestyle or jump back on the bandwagon if you fell off. Spinach or artichoke dip is a popular party dip that is typically made from a lot of mayonnaise. This recipe calls for part-skim ricotta and Asiago cheese. You can use cottage cheese or reduced-fat cream cheese (I prefer Kraft Reduced-Fat Garden Vegetable cream cheese) and your dip will be just a smooth and creamy. Be sure to use canned artichoke hearts in stead of frozen or jarred marinated hearts canned are much more flavorful and are less fat-laden than those in the jar. This dip goes great with raw vegetables such as celery, carrots, fennel, bell peppers, asparagus, cucumber and yellow squash. It also goes great on top of chicken, turkey, pork, beef and even some fish too. As for the olive oil, I highly recommend using Garlic-Infused Olive Oil from the Imperial Olive for a more garlicky flavor. For more information, visit 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Crumble Topping

  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 cups oatmeal, old-fashioned style
  • 4 tbsp. oat bran
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • parchment paper
Makes 2 1/4 cups, 20 Servings (2 tbsp. per serving)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Place brown sugar and almonds in a spice grinder or food processor. Grind to a fine powder. Combine almond mixture, oatmeal, oat bran, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in coconut oil until well distributed. Leave clumps.
  3. At this point you can either bake the mixture and use it as topping or leave uncooked and bake on a crumble or fruit. If you bake it now, place mixture in a parchment-lines sheet pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 minutes, stirring periodically for evening browning. Cool.
Note: This recipe appears in the New Sonoma Cookbook. This homemade topping is so yummy it's better than store bought. This crisp bite is so good on any fruit combination from fall & winter fruits such as apples and pears to your favorite summer berries. Grinding the almonds with sugar prevents them from becoming almond butter. This recipe has many variations: replace oat bran with wheat bran, replace coconut oil with canola oil or make it gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats and oat bran. You can use this topping in your yogurt, on your favorite fruit pies, or even in baked fruit muffins.

Yogurt & Fruit Parfait

  • 1/2 cup assorted cut-up fruit & berries
  • light drizzle of agave syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. toasted Crumble Topping (see recipe)
Makes 1 Serving
  1. Combine fruit, agave syrup, and salt in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Place 1/4 cup of the fruit
Note: This recipe appears in the New Sonoma Cookbook. You can enjoy this treat for breakfast, lunch or a light snack any time of the year. This is a quick and easy recipe with colorful layers of flavors. If you're a busy parent or person, this snack is perfect you and the kids on busy mornings or as an after-school snack. You can use any kind of seasonal assorted fruit in this recipe and your parfait will be delicious: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mango, pineapple, peach, nectarine, grapes, figs, bananas, etc. I highly recommend tossing a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in with the fruit because vanilla adds flavor and goes well with fruit.

Melon Agua Fresca Slushes

  • 1 (5 lb.) honeydew melon, peeled and roughly chopped (8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chilled water
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. granular sugar substitute
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 small lime, thinly sliced
Makes 4 (3/4 cup) Servings
  1. Spread melon pieces on a baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours, until just barely frozen.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine frozen melon, water and lime juice; blend until smooth. Add sugar substitute and ice cubes and continue to process until thick and slushy.
  3. Divide Agua Fresca Slushes among 4 (8-ounce) glasses, garnish with lime slices, and serve.
Note: This recipe appears in the South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook. Agua Fresca is Spanish for fresh water; it's a common drink in Latin America that combines pureed sweet fruits with other ingredients like citrus juice, cucumber and tamarind. It's the middle of summer, it's hot outside and you want to cool off. This is a great drink to cool off and leaving you refreshed. You can use cantaloupe in this recipe and your drink will still be refreshingly delicious. You can also use lemons or lemons and limes in this recipe too. Lemons and limes always give a citrus dish or beverage a nice aftertaste. Melons are good sources of potassium, Vitamin C and B Vitamins that can actually protect your skin against sunburn and can reduce inflammation.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Caramelized Onion and Chicken Sop au Gratin

  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 3 Vidalia onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 (10 oz.) French baguette, cut into 16 rounds
  • 1/2 cup shredded Comte, Gruyere, Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
Makes 4 Servings
  1. Melt the butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and well softened, about 12 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, wine, thyme, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Place the bread rounds on a baking sheet and broil 5 inches from the heat until toasted, about 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Place 4 bread rounds in each of 4 ovenproof soup bowls. Add the soup (a generous 2 cups in each bowl) and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
  5. Place the bowls on the baking sheet and broil 5 inches from the heat until the cheese melts and is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
WW POINTS VALUE: 11 pts. (1 bowl per serving)
Note: This recipe appears in the WW Ultimate Chicken Cookbook. This is what I call upscale gourmet comfort food. French food is elegant and comforting. This is a hearty take on the classic French onion soup due to adding chicken. It's a really comforting and delicious soup you can enjoy for lunch or dinner and it's a compliment to France. I added a pinch of salt, a chicken bouillion cube and minced garlic for more flavor. It was worth adding those ingredients to the soup. The cheese makes this soup nice and gooey. Comte cheese is from the Gruyere family; if you don't have Comte cheese, you can use Gruyere, Jarlsburg or Swiss cheese in this recipe and your soup will be delicious. If you don't have ovenproof soup bowls, you can use small casserole dishes and you'll still have the flavorful soup.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spicy BBQ Shrimp & Rice

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced and kept separate
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup quick-cooking whole-grain brown rice
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. granular sugar substitute
  • 2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled & deveined
Makes 4 Servings
  1. For the rice: In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallions whites and pepper; cook, stirring, until vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Add water, cover, and cook rice according to package directions.
  2. For the shrimp: While the rice is cooking, in a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add paprika, garlic powder, and thyme; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in scallions, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, sugar substitute, and hot pepper sauce; cook, 1 minute more. Add shrimp and toss to coat with sauce; cover and cook 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  3. To serve, divide rice among 4 plate, top with shrimp and sprinkle with scallion greens.
Note: This recipe appears in the South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook. This is an easy meal you can enjoy for lunch or dinner in warm weather and not feel guilty about eating BBQ. If you love BBQ and spice, this dish is for you. This dish packs heat and flavor. Don't worry if your dish looks messy when you're plating it. It may look like a hot mess but it's really delicious.