Archive | June, 2013

Maple Salmon Cucumber Boats

28 Jun

Having friends over for dinner and wanted to come up with a new healthy appetizer. It is fun to cook for people who are like minded eaters. I had  once at a sushi restaurant cucumber boats with eel and liked them very much. Eel sauce is sweet and would not do today. Since I was making appetizers, and we were having red wine, I needed little spice to pair fish and red wine. This was easy enough. I think I will have these for lunch or dinner one day.

  • 2 cans of atlantic salmon, drained
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chopped green onion
  • 1 glove of garlic, pressed
  • 3 tsp prepared kimchi sauce or other spicy sauce
  • 1 tbs fat free mayo or greek yogurt
  • mini cucumbers, cut in halves length wise and seeded
  • sliced green onion for decoration

Mix all of the top ingredients together, chill. Prepare the cucumbers and fill them with the salmon mixture, decorate with sliced green onion. Keep cool until serving time.




Avocado and Mango Salad

27 Jun

I have now finished two nutrition courses, and I have learned a lot. One thing that surprised me is how little we really need protein.  Most people eat too much of it. I had no idea how much protein I typically eat, even though I consume only seafood. I am trying to eat more vegeterian meals once a day  and I am loving it. I made this salad for lunch and it was refreshing on a hot day after a bike ride in 90 degree weather.

Salad Ingredients:

  • mixed greens
  • 1 ripe mango,  chopped or sliced
  • 1 small avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbs slivered almonds


  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs mirin (seasoned rice vinegar)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs orange juice
  • 1 tsp chopped green onion

Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Toss the greens and place them on plate. Top with the avocado, mango and almonds.



Corn and Zucchini Succotash

26 Jun

This time of the year in Florida we have wonderful corn and zucchini. I grill both of them often, but needed a new idea one  afternoon during thunderstorm when grilling was out of question. We enjoyed this as a side dish, but it would be great as a vegeterian dinner with added avocado slices for some good fat.

  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 3 medium fresh ears of corn, cut off the cob
  •  1 tbs fresh thyme
  • 3 gloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes halved
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the zucchini, corn, garlic and thyme leaves until corn is nicely toasted. Stir in rest of the ingredients and cook 2 more minutes. This was good warm the first day and great lunch  cold. I will definitely make this again.




Kimchi Cucumber Salad

16 Jun

Kimchi is my new favorite culinary discovery. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables such as napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber.  One of our favorite sushi restaurants serves several different types of kimchi salads. Kimchi is spicy, but so delicious and very good for digestion. I bought already made kimchi sauce from our little local Korean store for this recipe, but you can make your own.

  • 5-6 small cucumbers
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup kimchi sauce
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
  • mixed greens

Cut cucumber in  half lengthwise and slice into thin half moon slices. Place in a bowl and mix with salt. Let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Drain the cucumbers. Stir the cucumbers with the kimchi sauce. Cover and refrigerate over night.

Place mixed greens on plate, top with cucumber mix, top with avocado slices. I made a dinner of this wonderful salad. No protein needed with the healthy fats from avocado.


French Onion Crostini

16 Jun

French cooking was the theme for this dinner. It was a lot easier to find healthy dinner ideas than appetizers. My family loved this experiment, and it was worth the tears I cried cutting the onions.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  •  slices of toasted whole wheat baguette
  • 1/4 cup  fat free cream cheese
  • chopped up fresh parsley

In 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onions and garlic; cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes.

Add salt, brown sugar, vinegar and broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Remove cover, increase heat to medium-high frequently stirring, until most of the liquid is reduced and the mixture is the consistency of jam. Remove from heat; set aside.
Heat oven to 325°F. Place bread slices on un-greased cookie sheet; spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake until crispy.
Place caramelized onions on each bread slice; top with cream cheese. Sprinkle with parsley.

Heart Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes

16 Jun

My husband loves his mother’s carrot cake. It is to die for! Unfortunately, it is not heart health friendly. I tweaked  her delicious recipe to make it lighter for special Fathers’ day treat. I think my mother in-law will approve this version of her recipe since she is eating healthier as well.

Mix together:

  • 1 1/2  cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Sift together:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all of the ingredients together until well blended. Pour into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes in 350 degree oven . Cool completely.


  • 8 oz container of fat free cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Slowly beat all of ingredients together. Place in the fridge and cool. Ice the cooled cupcakes with the icing. Decorate as you wish.




Skinny Mashed Potatoes

13 Jun

There are times that meal calls for smashed potatoes. I do not remember the last time I made any. Since this was for Fathers’ day meal and Coq au Vin is usually served with smashed potatoes, I decided to make some, but I wanted to keep it healthy. No one wants to eat a nice meal and feel guilty about it afterwards.  At least potatoes are low in calories, contain no cholesterol or fat, and are high in fiber. The kind of potatoes that may be the healthiest are the potato varieties with darker-colored flesh, such as the Purple Viking, Yukon Gold, and Ruby Crescent. The pigments in these potatoes provide flavonoids and carotenoids that promote good health. I used the Yukon Gold.

  • 3 medium potatoes peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup  fat free sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fat free milk
  • 3 gloves of garlic, pressed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.

Add the sour cream and garlic. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until the ingredients are blended. Add enough milk until the potatoes are the desired consistency. Season with fresh pepper and pinch of salt.



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