Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicken stir fry

Approx. 210 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 3 servings.

Here is another poached chicken/no oil stir fry recipes. It's a quick and easy dish to make to use a variety of summer vegetables. You can use your favorite stir fry sauce to flavor it.


  • 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 large zucchini (approx. 3 cups)
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1 cup red bell pepper
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup green bell pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (green part only, for garnish)
  • 3 Tbs spicy ginger sauce (I used East-West brand )


  1. Chop vegetables.
  2. Put water in skillet and bring to a simmer.
  3. Poach chicken until cooked through.
  4. Add the onions and peppers.
  5. Cook until almost tender.
  6. Add the mushrooms and zucchini.
  7. Cook until everything is tender but not mushy, and most of the water has evaporated.
  8. Add sauce and heat until warm.
  9. Serve and garnish with green onion.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zucchini basil soup

Approx. 150 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

Last week at the farmer's market, I bought a huge bouquet of basil. It was starting to wilt, so I needed something to use it up. This summer soup recipe did the trick. I had hoped this would be a quick recipe, but it actually took about 25 minutes of cooking time, because the potatoes just wouldn't get soft. I even cut them into small cubes. Despite the extra time it took, it was well worth the wait.

I ate this soup for lunch hot off the stove and it was quite good. Then, for dinner I tried eating the leftovers as a cold soup. It wasn't so good cold. However, instead of heating it all the way up, I just warmed it to room temperature. The flavor of the basil really popped at room temperature. When I make this again, I plan to let it cool to room temperature before serving it.

This tasty soup can be served as an appetizer or with some nice crusty bread as a main dish.

  • 1 cup onion
  • 2 cups zucchini
  • 1 cup potatoes (I used baby red, with skins)
  • 1 cup (packed) chopped basil
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Chop onion and potatoes.
  2. Add to saucepan with 3 cups water.
  3. Boil until nearly tender.
  4. Julienne peel (about half) the zucchini and save for later.
  5. Chop zucchini and add to saucepan.
  6. Boil until everything is soft.
  7. Add basil, salt, and pepper.
  8. Boil for 2 additional minutes until basil is wilted and soft.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Blend until smooth (I like to use an immersion blender, rather than pouring into a regular blender).
  11. Add olive oil.
  12. Serve garnished with zucchini skin strips (I microwaved these for 1 minute to make them tender) and fresh basil.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Baby eggplant with haricots verts

Approx. 280 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

This was a quick and simple dish. I thought it turned out a little bit oily, so next time around I would probably only use about 2/3 Tbs rather than a full one. Also, about half way through cooking the eggplant, the garlic was just starting to burn. I added 1/4 cup of water to prevent the garlic from burning and getting bitter. That also seemed to soften the eggplant, which had slightly tough skin.

When cooking with fresh chili peppers, I usually remember to taste a little piece before adding it to the recipe. That way I have an idea as to whether it is on the spicy side or not, and adjust accordingly. I forgot to taste it today. There wasn't much kick to the chili I was using, so the dish turned out a bit blander than I expected. I fixed it by adding a couple dashes of crushed red pepper half way through my meal. Had I remembered to taste the chili, I would have added a second chili to boost the spice.

  • 8 baby eggplants (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 Anaheim chili pepper (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup haricot verts (I used frozen)
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs low sodium soy sauce

  1. Seed chili pepper and slice into thin strips.
  2. Cut eggplant into thin strips.
  3. Slice green onion.
  4. Mince garlic.
  5. Add oil, garlic, and chili pepper to a cold pan.
  6. Heat until garlic releases its aroma.
  7. Add sliced eggplant to the pan.
  8. Stir fry until nearly tender.
  9. Add the haricots verts and soy sauce. Cook until tender.
  10. Add green onion moments before removing from the heat.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chili Lime Sole Salad

Approx. 360 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

Ever since I made the chili lime sole, I have wanted more. I have also wanted to make the shrimp tacos again. I went to the grocery store with the intention to get ingredients for both, but the shrimp just didn't look good. I decided to buy what was already in my cart (except for the tortillas) and combine the two recipes into a salad. I'm glad I did! If I hadn't been so full when I finished (and out of ingredients) I would have made another one. It was very tasty!

  • 3 cups cabbage
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 fillets Dover sole (approx. 2.5 oz.)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Slice cabbage.
  2. Dice avocado.
  3. Quarter the lime.
  4. Add cabbage to a plate and top with pico de gallo and avocado.
  5. Add olive oil to a frying pan (low heat).
  6. Add fish fillets.
  7. Season top side of fish with black and red pepper.
  8. Heat for 2-3 minutes and gently flip the fish.
  9. Squeeze the juice from 1/4 the lime over the fish.
  10. Add black and red pepper to the exposed side of the fish.
  11. Heat for 2-3 more minutes, or until the fish is cooked and flaky.
  12. Serve over the cabbage salad.
  13. Squeeze the juice from 1/4 of the lime over the fish and salad.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thai peanut "noodles"

Approx. 210 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

The Thai peanut sauce in the fridge was calling my name today. I decided that quick and easy peanut noodles would hit the spot. I still had some julienned zucchini left over, so decided to try those. Initially, I only selected the strips that did not contain skin and were from the soft tender part of the zucchini. I microwaved them for 2 minutes, then added sauce, green onion, and a few peanuts to it. I stirred it up and gobbled it down! It was very good and the zucchini had the right texture for noodles.

I was still hungry and craved more, so I made a second batch (shown in the picture - I snarfed down the first batch without even thinking to take a picture). This time I included the strips that had skin (and used up the last of the zucchini "noodles"). The "noodles" with skin didn't get as soft after 2 minutes in the microwave, and probably could have used another minute or two (but then the non-skin strips would have got mushy). When I make this again (and I will!!) I plan to only use the skinless strips. The quantities in the recipe are for both of my batches combined, since half that amount didn't really feel filling or sufficient.

  • 3 cups julienned zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Thai peanut sauce (Bangkok Padang)
  • 1 Tbs peanuts

  1. Microwave julienned zucchini for 2 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add peanut sauce to coat zucchini "noodles".
  3. Mix in chopped green onion.
  4. Sprinkle with peants.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Approx. 165 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 4 servings.

Since the temperature reached about 115 again today, I thought a nice cool Mexican shrimp cocktail would make a refreshing lunch. Mexican shrimp cocktail is very similar to chunky gazpacho with shrimp added to it. This recipe makes 4 servings as an appetizer. If served as the meal, plan on eating 2 servings (I did!).

  • 1/2 lb shrimp (medium 51-60 count)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, to taste
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1-2 limes (approx. 3 Tbs fresh juice)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 12 oz V-8 vegetable juice (or other tomato juice)
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce (or other hot pepper sauce), to taste
  • 1 medium avocado
  1. Set aside 8 cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp for garnish. Rough chop remaining shrimp.
  2. Set aside 4 sprigs of cilantro. Rough chop remaining cilantro.
  3. Seed and then dice cucumber.
  4. Seed and then dice jalapeno peppers.
  5. Mince garlic.
  6. Dice red and yellow onions.
  7. Chop green onions (green part only).
  8. Mix chopped ingredients together in a glass bowl.
  9. Cover with tomato juice and juice from the limes.
  10. Add Tabasco sauce and mix together.
  11. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  12. Just prior to serving, dice avocado and gently add to the mixture.
  13. Serve in a cocktail glass, garnished with two shrimp and a sprig of cilantro.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Julienned zucchini with tomato basil sauce

Approx. 140 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

At the farmer's market today, I loaded up on zucchini, tomatoes and a big bouquet of basil. Ever since getting home (at 9 am) and unpacking my produce, I craved spaghetti. However, I really didn't want the heaviness of pasta since it is so hot outside (and didn't want to heat up the kitchen by boiling water). Instead, I decided to put the zucchini to good use and make a "pasta" out of it. It turned out quite tasty and satisfying, without being too heavy.

I used a julienne peeler to make the zucchini "pasta"- by repeatedly running it down the outside of the zucchini and stopping once I hit seeds. I only used about 2 cups of julienned zucchini for this recipe and saved the rest for another day.

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini (approx. 2 cups used)
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (about 12 leaves)
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Julienne the zucchini.
  2. Dice the tomato and chop the basil.
  3. Press the garlic and add half of it and 1 tsp of oil to a frying pan.
  4. Once the garlic releases its scent, lightly sauté the zucchini until tender.
  5. Remove the zucchini from the heat.
  6. Add the remaining oil and garlic to the pan.
  7. Sauté the tomato and basil to make a sauce.
  8. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  9. Serve on the bed of zucchini "noodles".

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chili Lime Sole

Approx. 210 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

The grocery store had nice looking Dover sole tonight, so I picked up two small fillets for dinner. I needed to finish off the rest of the bok choy, so decided to make a nice simple dish. I debated whether to cook the fish first, and then deglaze the fish pan to flavor the bok choy, or to cook the bok choy first (because there was no way that I was going to dirty two pans!) Since the bok choy would stay warmer longer, I cooked it first.

I really liked the flavor combination of the lime and the red pepper flakes. I put on just enough to flavor, but not overpower the fish, and the lime juice that hit the bok choy was just perfect. If I had cooked the bok choy in the fish pan, it would have overwhelmed the flavor and been too much of the same. I know, because after I finished eating this meal, I didn't want the flavor left in the fish pan to go to waste, so I added a splash of vegetable broth to deglaze the pan and then tossed in some spinach. It was delicious as a stand alone dish, but would have been too much flavor intensity if I combined it with the fish.

  • 2 fillets Dover sole (approx. 2.5 oz.)
  • 2 cups baby bok choy leaves
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 key lime
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Sauté bok choy in 1 tsp olive oil until just wilted.
  2. Remove from pan and turn heat to low.
  3. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the same pan and add fish fillets.
  4. Add black and red pepper to top side of fish.
  5. Heat for 2-3 minutes and gently flip the fish.
  6. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 the lime over the fish.
  7. Add black and red pepper to the exposed side of the fish.
  8. Heat for 2-3 more minutes, or until the fish is cooked and flaky.
  9. Serve over the bok choy.
  10. Squeeze the juice from the other 1/2 of the lime over the fish.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thai Red Curry-Zucchini and Bok Choy Stems

Approx. 250 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

I got home from work today and the inside of my refrigerator was pretty empty. I found a couple small zucchinis that were almost past their prime and some fairly wilted bok choy. I thought about making soup, but wasn't really in the mood for soup tonight, so I decided to add some onion and turn it into a red curry stir fry. Luckily, I had a few chunks of leftover coconut milk in the freezer from when I made the green curry. When the dish was ready for the addition of coconut milk, I just dropped a frozen chunk right into the pan and let it melt.

You could easily serve this with rice or noodles, but I just ate it as pictured. To remove the spicy after burn in my mouth, I finished my meal with a nice scoop of Häagen-Dazs pineapple coconut ice cream. YUM!!

  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 2 cups baby bok choy stems
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Thai red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 5 Tbs coconut milk

  1. Wash and then separate the bok choy stems from the leaves. (Use the stems, save the leaves for a different recipe.)
  2. Dice all the vegetables.
  3. Fry the curry paste in oil.
  4. Add the vegetables and stir fry with the curry paste until tender.
  5. Add the coconut milk.
  6. Heat for 2 minutes to let the flavors marry.
  7. Serve.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shrimp tacos

Approx. 300 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

This is a really quick recipe and makes a nice snack or meal. Because this is really an assembly recipe rather than actually cooking anything, it took me less than 5 minutes to make (including all the prep time).

I bought the pico de gallo ready-made from the deli section of my local grocery store. I also bought the shrimp already cooked. Instead of eating cold shrimp on the tacos, I grilled them for about 1 minute on my George Foreman grill. It didn't over cook them, but they were heated all the way through. Heating the shrimp in the microwave will make them rubbery and gross, so don't do it.

I particularly enjoy eating these tacos while drinking a nice cold Corona and pretending like I'm on a Mexican beach.

  • 2 corn tortillas (6")
  • 6 large shrimp (approx. 1.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup cabbage
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 2 Tbs pico de gallo
  • 1/2 key lime

  1. Slice cabbage.
  2. Dice avocado.
  3. Heat tortillas in a dry frying pan until warm and soft.
  4. Grill shrimp until cooked (only 1 minute to warm if using pre-cooked shrimp).
  5. Add pico de gallo, avocado, cabbage, and shrimp to the warm tortillas.
  6. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top prior to serving.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bok Choy and Chicken Soup

Approx. 110 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

I had a big lunch today, so I decided to make something light for dinner. This soup hit the spot. I like spicy food, so this soup has quite a bit of kick with the red pepper flakes. This recipe could easily be adjusted. Also, you could easily leave out the chicken and make this soup vegetarian. Other than adding protein, I don't think it added anything to the overall taste of the dish.

  • 6 cups bok choy
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, adjust to taste
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil

  1. Wash bok choy and chop, separating leaves and stems.
  2. Chop onion and mushrooms.
  3. Mince garlic.
  4. Add oil to a medium sized sauce pan.
  5. Add garlic and crushed red pepper.
  6. Add onion, mushrooms, and bok choy stems.
  7. Sauté until almost tender.
  8. Add chicken cubes.
  9. Once chicken is cooked, add water and vegetable broth.
  10. Bring to boil.
  11. Add bok choy leaves.
  12. Cook until leaves are just wilted.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stir fried bok choy with mushrooms

Approx. 55 Calories per serving. Recipe serves 2

The mushrooms that I had in the refrigerator were starting to look a little past their prime, so I decided to make a quick stir fry with them and bok choy. My garlic was well past its prime (inedible!!) so I ended up using garlic powder. If you have fresh garlic, use that instead of the powder. I was planning on adding ginger to the recipe, but it turned out that I didn't have any in the house.

If eating this as a side dish, it should serve two. I ate it for dinner and it made quite the filling meal.

  • 12 bunches of baby bok choy (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder), adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
  • 1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

  1. Wash bok choy to remove any dirt.
  2. In a cold frying pan, add oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
    (The cold pan probably doesn't make a difference when using garlic powder, but when using fresh garlic or ginger more flavor is released into the oil without the bitter taste if the garlic/ginger burns.)
  3. Once the oil gets hot, add the mushrooms.
  4. Fry until they start releasing their water, and then add the soy sauce.
  5. Add water and bring to a boil.
  6. Add bok choy.
  7. Cook until stems are tender and leaves are wilted.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spicy cucumber salad

Approx. 30 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 3 servings.

This cool, crunchy, spicy salad makes a perfect side dish during the 106 degree weather in Phoenix. I like using Armenian cucumbers because they have the two-toned ridged skin and don't need to be peeled to get the striped look. I prefer to seed them, although it really isn't necessary. I just like the way it looks when they are cut.

  • 1 long Armenian cucumber (approx. 3 cups sliced)
  • 1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/8 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1/8 Tbs crushed red peppers, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients except for cucumbers together in a bowl to make the dressing.
  2. If using Armenian cucumbers, scrub under water to remove hairs.
  3. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, and then seed.
  4. Slice cucumbers into thin slices (approx. 1 cm thick).
  5. Toss cucumbers with the dressing.
  6. Chill for at least 10 minutes prior to serving.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thai Green Curry

Approx. 180 Calories per serving (not counting rice). Recipe makes 3 servings.

At the farmer's market this weekend, I found some tasty looking Thai eggplant. I also found some small round purple eggplants and knew I needed to make green curry. I didn't have any curry paste at home, so made a quick stop at the Asian market to pick some up. I also found fresh lychees and grabbed some for dessert, although I was a bit worried that they might not be ripe because they weren't very red. Luckily they tasted very sweet.

My version of the curry is lower fat than the traditional recipe, because I don't stir fry the meat with the curry and I don't use as much coconut milk as traditional recipes say to use. This was a really quick and easy dish. In the time it took the rice to cook in my microwave steamer (15 minutes), I was able to do all the prep work and cook the curry. The curry finished cooking just as the microwave beeped.

  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 8-10 Thai eggplants (golf ball sized, I used a mixture of green and purple)
  • 2 1/2 Tbs Thai green curry paste, adjust to your spice preference (I used Maesri brand)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk, adjust to your taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet basil
  • 2/3 cup red bell pepper
  • 2-3 fresh Thai bird chilies (optional, I didn't have any)
  1. Add water to a medium sauce pan and bring to boil.
  2. Add chicken breast and cook until white. (I cubed mine after it was cooked, but normal people can cut it before adding it to the water)
  3. Add curry paste and mix well.
  4. Add coconut milk.
  5. Add Thai chilies if you use them.
  6. Add quartered eggplant and boil until almost soft.
  7. Add cubed red bell pepper.
  8. Boil until eggplant is soft and pepper is tender.
  9. Add chopped Thai basil and cook for about 1 minute before removing from heat.
  10. Serve with rice.