Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fresh market salad

Approx. 200 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 (very large) serving.

Yesterday at the Farmer's market I couldn't resist all the tempting veggies. Fresh corn on the cob, dark red tomatoes, the last of the baby zucchini.... When I got home, I wasn't sure which veggie to eat first, so I decided to make a nice salad that had all of them. It can make a nice main course or side dish. If you are making this salad as your main course, this recipe makes one very large serving, although it is probably more appropriate as 2 servings. I was VERY FULL after eating it all, but miraculously I found enough room for a nice fresh juicy peach for dessert. To keep the salad low fat, I only used the egg whites and vinegar, but you can include the yolks and use an oil-based dressing if you prefer the taste.

  • 1 baby zucchini (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 3 small tomatoes (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 large slice of onion (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cob of corn (approx. 3/4 cup)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 hard boiled egg (white only)
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  1. Grill zucchini and onion until tender.
  2. Slice kernals from cob. Microwave on high for approx. 30 seconds to cook.
  3. Toss spinach with vinegar.
  4. Add sliced tomatoes, egg white, and warm corn, onions, and zucchini.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Chicken lettuce wraps

Approx. 50 Calories per wrap. Recipe makes 2 wraps.

I've determined that I didn't add enough of the Panda Express Orange Sauce to my stir fry. The sauce in this simple chicken lettuce wrap was quite tasty. I think this would be good with other types of sauces too - Thai peanut sauce, BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc. The possibilities abound.

One hint when making this - make sure your lettuce is completely dry. Mine wasn't and it was a bit runny when I started to eat the wrap.

  • 2 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/3 plum tomato
  • 2 leaves of lettuce (I used butterhead)
  • 2 tsp orange sauce

  1. Grill chicken.
  2. Cut grilled chicken in half.
  3. Place each half in a lettuce leaf.
  4. Add diced tomatoes.
  5. Top each wrap with 1 tsp of sauce.
  6. Wrap and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Orange chicken

Approx. 280 Calories per serving. Recipe serves 1.

The other day while wandering the aisles of the grocery store looking for something to make for dinner, I spotted this bottle of Panda Express Orange Sauce. I actually let out a squeal of delight, I was so excited to see it.
Sometimes while I'm out running errands, I get a craving for the Panda's orange chicken. I thought this would be a perfect way to make a lower fat version of the dish at home. Well, it wasn't. Maybe it's because I didn't bread and fry the chicken. Maybe it's because I didn't add oil to the dish. Maybe it's because I didn't use enough sauce. I'm not sure, but it just didn't have the same flavor or texture. The sauce ended up a bit runny and watery, and soaked into the chicken, rather than providing the thick, sticky, syrupy coating that I like at the restaurant.

So, while it wasn't bad (I ate the meal and will continue to use the sauce - it is ok when used as a dipping sauce or poured over a slice of grilled chicken) it was a poor substitute for the real thing. I think that when I want to make a stir fry with a cloyingly sweet sauce in the future, I will stick to the East-West brand (they have a zesty orange sauce). Plus, the ingredient list on the East-West bottle lists about 10 things, all of which are actual foods. Panda's label lists about 30 items, many consisting of very long chemicals.

  • 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 2 Tbs. orange sauce (use your favorite brand)
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Bring water to a simmer in a frying pan.
  2. Add chicken and cook until completely white.
  3. Cut cooked chicken into bite sized chunks.
  4. Add snow peas to chicken and remaining water.
  5. Evaporate off any remaining water.
  6. Add orange sauce and mix well.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sliders - 3 ways

Approx. 390 Calories per serving. Recipe serves 1.
I had a huge craving for a burger today, and no matter what I thought about making, all I could think about was how good a burger would taste. But there were too many decisions. What kind of burger to make? I wanted a regular hamburger. But I also craved blue cheese. And I craved something spicy. Then it hit me. Since it seems like mini-burgers or sliders are all the rage lately, that's what I would make for dinner. That way I could take care of all my cravings without making a big burger that had a mix of ingredients that didn't work. My flight of sliders would give me the best of both worlds.
  • 4 oz lean ground beef
  • 1 ciabatta roll (only use 3/4 of the roll)
  • 1 tsp salsa
  • 1/6 avocado
  • 2 tsp blue cheese
  • 1/4 small Anaheim chili
  • 1 large leaf of lettuce
  • 1/3 medium plum tomato
  • 1 slice red onion
  • brown mustard to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Cut the ciabatta roll into quarters and slice to open (only use 3 of the pieces).
  2. Season raw ground beef to taste with black pepper.
  3. Divide ground beef into three (1.3 oz each) groups.
  4. Prepare beef patties and assemble each slider as described below.
Fiesta Slider
  1. Cut one thin strip of Anaheim chili for garnish.
  2. Dice remaining chili.
  3. Mix chili with ground beef then form a patty.
  4. Grill patty until done to preference.
  5. Assemble slider by placing thin slices of avocado on the roll.
  6. Add patty.
  7. Top with salsa and chili strips.
Red and Blue Slider
  1. Dice half of the red onion slice.
  2. Mix onion with ground beef then form a patty.
  3. Grill patty until done to preference.
  4. Assemble slider by placing 1/2 of the blue cheese on the roll.
  5. Add patty.
  6. Top with the remaining blue cheese, diced red onion, and a thin slice of tomato.

All American Slider

  1. Grill seasoned beef patty until done to preference.
  2. Assemble slider by placing lettuce and red onion slices on the roll.
  3. Add patty.
  4. Top with brown mustard and a thin slice of tomato.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Seared Summer Squash

Approx. 70 Calories per serving. Recipe serves 1.
(Entire meal has approx. 175 Calories)

For the last couple of weeks, tiny young summer squash and zucchini have been available at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market. I've primarily eaten them by chopping them and adding to salads or by grilling them on my George Foreman grill. Last night, I decided to try something a little bit more flavorful, since I was planning to pop a fairly bland fish fillet (Gorton's Garlic Butter) into the microwave.

  • 3 small summer squash (approx. 5" long, 1" diameter)
  • light spray of olive oil
  • 1/3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  1. Wash squash and cut in half
  2. Spray a light coating of olive oil into a non-stick pan
  3. Heat pan on high until very hot.
  4. Add squash to pan, cut side down.
  5. Heat, without moving, until cut side is seared and light brown
  6. Add vinegar to hot pan and toss squash to coat.
  7. With cut side down, reduce vinegar so it forms a "crunchy" coating on squash.
  8. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Leek and summer squash omelette

Approx. 410 Calories per serving. Recipe serves 1.

I had one lonely leek left in my fridge, so I decided to use it up with this tasty omelette.

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup leeks
  • 1/2 cup zucchini
  • 1/2 cup yellow summer squash
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Slice leeks, zucchini and summer squash.
  2. Heat half the oil in a frying pan and sauté the vegetables.
  3. Once the vegetables are tender (not soggy), set aside.
  4. Add remaining oil to the pan, along with beaten egg whites.
  5. Add cheese and black pepper.
  6. Once the cheese is melted, add the vegetables and flip the omelette closed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thai Red Curry Chicken and Green Beans

Approx. 225 Calories per serving. Recipe serves 2

This is a variation on the Thai dish, Pad Prik Khing. I used a regular Thai red curry paste instead of the traditional (I didn't have the right kind). You can adjust the amount of curry paste to your spice preference. This recipe gives just a mild to medium spice level. Poaching the chicken instead of stir frying allows the chicken to stay soft and absorb the curry, rather than just get coated by it (plus it prevents me from having to cut the raw chicken!!)

  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups green beans (I used frozen but fresh can be used)
  • 1/2 tsp. Thai red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen), adjust to taste
  • 1 cup water


  1. Bring water to a simmer in a frying pan
  2. Add chicken and cook until completely white
  3. Cut cooked chicken into bite sized chunks
  4. Add curry paste to chicken and remaining water. Mix well.
  5. Add beans
  6. Evaporate off any remaining water

Coconut Ice Cream with Mango

Approx. 190 Calories. Recipe serves 1
This is one of my favorite desserts to eat with spicy Thai food. The cool coconut ice cream and the sweet mango are heaven together!
I love champagne mangos (also called Manilla mangos, atualfos, Haitian mangos, etc.) These have a yellow gold skin and are smaller, sweeter, and less fibrous than the red and green mangos usually found in the stores.

I rarely eat ice cream because the lactose kills me, but this flavor is sooooo good it is hard to resist eating the whole carton at once. To make sure that I limit my servings to a digestible amount, I line a 1/4 cup measuring cup with saran wrap to make quarter cup servings. I then store each portion in the freezer (hence the strange lines on the ice cream in the picture).

  • 1/4 cup pineapple coconut ice cream (Häagen-Dazs)
  • 1 medium champagne mango (approx 2/3 cup)
  1. Cut mango into cubes
  2. Add ice cream and top with mango

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Festive Farfalle Salad

Approx 200 Calories. Recipe serves 2
This colorful dish makes a nice warm-weather meal. I like the creaminess of the avocado with the crunch of the red onion.

  • 2 cups dry farfalle pasta (I found this pretty striped one)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 Tbs. Greek Feta salad dressing (I used Girard's)
  1. Boil pasta until tender. Drain and cool
  2. Toss cool pasta with salad dressing
  3. Add avocado, red onion, and tomato

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Starting again

A few years ago, I started a web page that contained pictures and recipes for dishes that I made at home that actually turned out. Then I bought floral dishes that weren't photogenic with food, life got busy, and I just kind of lost momentum.

I've decided to start up again (I ditched those floral dishes!!) and have transfered what was on my abandoned web site over to this new blog. All of the older photos and recipes are in the 2007 folder. Happy eating!