Posts Tagged ‘parmesean cheese’

Unrecipe of the Week

September 2, 2010

In Pursuit of the Lettuce-less Salad

Lately, I have grown weary of lettuce.  I tend to eat salad for lunch and dinner and last week I hit the wall. Although I vary the selection of greens, at the end of the day, lettuce is still lettuce.

This week, I have been experimenting with new combinations in the pursuit of the lettuce-less salad. The goal is to find filling, healthy alternatives for the base, and build around that. I try to stay low fat and low carb, while still getting a balance of protein and vegetables.

I have experimented with a base of chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes, mixed with steamed green beans, broccoli florets or roasted zucchini.  The previous night’s dinner often plays a role in my choices. I try to toss in some kind of bean such as cannellini, kidney or garbanzo.  A little low fat cheese, such as feta, goat or even shredded Parmesan adds flavor. I have found that a few chopped Kalamata olives give the salad a salty tang. Roasted red peppers or some corn add color and texture.

If the ingredients are right, a little extra virgin olive oil and lime juice is enough to bring the flavors out without drowning them in dressing and calories. Although anything goes, here is one of my favorites so far:

Chopped mini Heirloom tomatoes in various colors

Green beans, lightly steamed, cooled and cut into bite sized pieces

Cannellini beans, rinsed

Feta cheese, crumbled

Corn

Chopped Kalamata olives

Roasted red peppers

Olive oil

Lime juice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Sprinkle with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss.

Enjoy!

Note: According to my “Lose It” iphone app, this salad was only 215 calories! Of course, serving size plays a role in this number.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week

January 22, 2010

This warm tasty spread is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is incredibly easy to make, and always delicious.

Hot Artichoke Spread with Garlic Pita Toasts

2 cans artichoke hearts

1/2 cup mayonnaise (low fat or the real deal)

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup grated parmesean cheese

garlic, to taste ( 2 or 3 cloves, pressed or very finely minced)

Drain and mash the artichokes. Add the other ingredients. Mix well. Place in a baking dish,and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve with pita toasts.

Note:The consistency before baking should be thick and chunky. If it seems runny, add more cheese. If it seems to dry, add a little more mayo. This truly is an unrecipe, and the measurements listed should be used loosly.

Pita Toasts:

Slice pita bread into 6 triangles, and place on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.

Place in a 350 degree oven and toast until slightly brown. Serve warm

Note: you can toast the pita while the spread is baking. Be sure to watch it, as it can burn very quickly once it starts to brown.

Enjoy!

This is also great with store bought pita chips, which makes the recipe even easier. Use the sea salt or multigrain flavors.

photo: Glasshouse Images


Unrecipe of the Week

August 31, 2009

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Looking for a low calorie alternative to pasta, that uses all the delicious vegetables of the season? Try using julienned zucchini as a base for a delicious fresh tomato sauce that takes minutes to prepare.

Zucchini “Pasta” with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Julienne zucchini, or use a peeler to shave into ribbons (about 1 zucchini per person)

Dice a couple of garlic cloves

Sauté the garlic and zucchini in olive oil for about 2 minutes, just to slightly soften (do not over cook!!!!)

Remove from pan

Sauté diced fresh plum tomatoes until soft. Stir constantly, and lower heat to allow tomatoes to form a rustic sauce

Season with salt and pepper to taste

Add a handful of fresh basil, cut into strips

Put the zucchini into bowls and spoon the tomato sauce over it.

Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

I love to add shrimp to this dish. Just sauté the shrimp in olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper. Add it to the tomato sauce and serve.

Enjoy!
Tip: Can’t live without a little pasta? Try thinking of the vegetable portion as the meal, and adding a little pasta to it as a condiment. It gives the dish a little heft without adding too many calories.

photo:Glasshouse Images


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