Healthy Recipes
Healthy Recipes
Healthy Recipes
Low Fat
Low Fat Recipes
Stock your pantry with low fat snacks - popcorn and baked potato and corn tortillas chips.
Stock your pantry with low fat snacks - popcorn and baked potato and corn tortillas chips.
Heart Healthy
New Recipes


Week of August 31, 2003

Do you miss all the creamy stuff? Creamy dips? Creamy tuna and chicken salad? Creamy Dressings? Well if you are not crazy about the taste of fat free sour creams or fat free mayonnaise, there is another more natural tasting alternative. Try low fat or plain non fat yogurt! My favorite tip is for adding to fat free purchased viniagrettes - you get some great new creamy salad dressings with great new flavors. Like creamy citrus - just great! Easy and fast!

Try these tips from the National Yogurt Association.

Skip the Syrup: Top waffles or pancakes with fresh blueberries and a dollop of lemon flavored yogurt. The protein boost of yogurt turns a favorite treat into a complete meal.

Move Over Mayonnaise: Substitute plain, nonfat or lowfat yogurt for one-third to one-half the mayonnaise normally used in tuna, chicken and potato salads, as well as for coleslaw or on sandwiches. You'll enjoy the familiar tang and creaminess of mayonnaise without the excess fat.

Sweeten Treats: Instead of full-fat ice cream or whipped cream, top a slice of pound cake with lowfat, vanilla or French vanilla yogurt. Or, serve cake, pies and/or fruit with a scoop of frozen lowfat yogurt.

Get Saucy: Mix plain yogurt with spicy mustard or chili sauce, to taste, for shrimp dip or as a great topping for roasted chicken and/or fish. Likewise, marinating with yogurt and spices creates more tender, juicy meat.

Dip in: Use plain yogurt as a base for vegetable and chip dips. Add your favorite seasonings, mix, chill and serve. Again, the protein boost turns a dip with veggies into a mini-meal.

Dream a Dressing: Turn a bottle of vinaigrette into a "homemade" creamy dressing by adding 2-3 tablespoons of plain yogurt per cup of dressing.

Top a Tater: Cut the fat by substituting plain nonfat or lowfat yogurt for traditional sour cream on baked potatoes.

Say Olé: Cool down your favorite Mexican dishes with a dollop of plain yogurt, instead of sour cream.

Whip up a Smoothie: Combine your favorite sliced fruits with plain or fruit-flavored yogurt and ice in the blender for a refreshing instant meal.

Week of August 24, 2003
Do your shrimp come off the grill either mushy or dried out. Try brining them the next time you grill or cook shrimp. You have juicy, succulent but firm shrimp every time.

How to Brine Shrimp:
Brining is a method of salting is a way to increase the moisture holding capacity of shrimp resulting in a moister product when it is cooked. It is super easy to do. Like marinating, brining will keep your cooked shrimp moist and tender.

Brining will also give shrimp a firmer texture. It turns mushy shrimp into shrimp with a chewy texture similar to lobster tail. You may brine peeled and deveined shrimp or shell on shrimp. Do not brine shrimp if they are to be used for poaching and other wet cooking techniques. Brining is used primarily with a dry cooking method (like grilling) where you want to retain more moisture.

Kosher salt and table salt are the most common salts used in brining. My favorite is kosher salt. A cup of table salt and a cup of kosher salt are not equal. Table salt weighs approximately 10 ounces per cup and kosher salt weighs approximately 5 to 8 ounces per cup depending on the brand. If using kosher salt in brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same "saltiness" you would get from a cup of table salt. The chart below shows how to substitute the two most popular brands of kosher salt for ordinary table salt when brining.

Table Salt - 1 cup
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt - 2 cups
Morton Kosher Salt - 1 1/2 cups

Time needed to brine shrimp:

It is possible to end up with shrimp that are too salty for your taste. To avoid this, try brining on the short end of the time spectrum the first time that you brine. You can always extend the brine time the next time, but you can not reclaim shrimp are brined too long.

Shrimp (peeled) - 20 to 30 minutes
Shrimp (unpeeled) - 40 to 60 minutes

Brine for shrimp:
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 cups ice

Stir salt and sugar with boiling water until completely dissolved. Pour hot salt and sugar water into large bowl filled with ice and add up to 2 pounds shrimp. Let sit in the brine, refrigerated for 20 to 60 minutes (see chart above for times). Remove shrimp from the brine and drain thoroughly. Rinse the shrimp thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Refrigerate shrimp until ready to cook in your recipe.

Week of August 17, 2003

All About Shrimp
One pound of raw shrimp in their shells equals about 1/2 pound peeled and cooked shrimp.

The season for shrimp is from May to October. Most of the shrimp in the United States come from South Atlantic and Gulf states.

If you live in the part of the country like we do and you can actually buy "fresh" shrimp, lucky you! If you do not, it is preferable to buy frozen shrimp. Most shrimp in the grocery stores are frozen shrimp that has been thawed. The shelf like of thawed shrimp is only a couple of days, whereas shrimp stored in the freezer retain their quality for several weeks.

If possible, avoid shrimp that has been peeled and deveined before freezing. It can cause a loss of flavor and texture.

Defrost shrimp in the refrigerator or in cold water. Do not defrost in a warm place or microwave.

Deveining Shrimp:
Shrimp cook well in or out of their shells, but they're easier to devein before cooking.

  • Hold shrimp with outside curve and tail away from you.
  • With kitchen scissors, cut through shell along top of shrimp to the tail.
  • Peel back shell and remove shell keeping tail intact.
  • Hold peeled shrimp under running water. With paring knife, remove black vein along curve side of shrimp.

Cooking Shrimp:
Shrimp should always be cooked quickly in order to preserve their sweet, delicate flavors. Most shrimp cook in as little as 3 minutes - when they're pink, opaque and begin to curl, they are done.

They are very quick to cook, and the flavor can easily be ruined by overcooking. to properly boil shrimp, place a pound of shrimp in a quart of rapidly boiling water with (3) three tablespoons of salt. Cover and return to a boil, then simmer until the flesh has lost its glossy appearance and is opaque in center (cut to test). Jumbo shrimp take about 7 to 8 minutes, large shrimp take about 5 to 7 minutes, and medium size are done in about 3 to 4 minutes.

Once shrimp are cooked, they should be plunged into cold water to stop the cooking process. (Do not let them cool in the cooking liquid. They will continue to cook and get tough)

Week of August 10, 2003

Are you getting tired of plain old grilled chicken breasts or grilled fish fillets? Try spicing them up with zesty fruit salsas. We have eight special salsas for you this week - all great with chicken or fish. Try Cucumber Lime Salsa, Pear Salsa, Watermelon Salsa, Strawberry Salsa or Cantaloupe Salsa.

Or try the three recipes below to add special flavor to your backyard grilling experience.

Mango and Red Onion Salsa

Serves: 4
Yields: 1 ¾ cups

2 small mangoes, peeled, pitted, diced
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand 20 minutes. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Per Serving: 82 Calories; trace Fat (3.4% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 1g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 4mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fruit; 0 Fat.

Peach Cucumber Salsa

Serves: 8
Yields: 3 cups

2 cups diced peeled pitted ripe but firm peaches
1 cup diced unpeeled hothouse cucumber (English kind is best)
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Stir to blend before serving.)

Per Serving: 37 Calories; trace Fat (2.0% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 1g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 5mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Pineapple Apricot Salsa

Serves 4
Yields 1 ¾ cups

1 cup finely chopped peeled cored fresh pineapple
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup apricot-pineapple preserves
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
Toss all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Per Serving: 126 Calories; trace Fat (1.9% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 1g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 18mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Week of August 3, 2003

Poaching fish in a court boullion is a great way to add flavor to fish while it is cooking without adding oils or fats. The resulting cooked fish can be served with special sauces or used in salads and sandwiches. I like to cover the tops of the fish with some seasoned toasted bread crumbs that have just a touch of light margarine or olive oil added with a low fat dill - yogurt sauce.

Remember when you are poaching that the liquid should cover the fish fillets.

For a milk based court boullion try:

5 cups water
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, quartered
4 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
1 rib celery with leaves, quartered
1 large bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 whole cloves
salt, to taste
3 cups milk

In a 12-inch saute pan, bring all the ingredients except the milk to a boil
over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add
the milk and simmer for 10 minutes more. Fish is done when opaque.

This milk-based court boullion is best for poaching delicate-tasting white-fleshed fish such as cod, haddock, and halibut.

For a wine and water based court boullion try:

7 cups of water
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
6 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup parsley stems
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups dry white wine

Add all ingredients to a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Strain bouillon and reserve warm. (To poach fish, gently place the fillets into the pot. Fish should be covered in liquid, so add a cup of hot water if you don't have enough bouillon. Poach fish until opaque.)

The court-bouillon should never boil. This keeps the flesh from breaking. When the fish is cooked, remove from the heat source but keep in the court-bouillon until it is ready to be served.

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