Pesto Hummus Dip

Pesto Hummus Dip

It’s almost the weekend!  Looking for a simple, guilt-free appetizer for your next party or book club? Look no further!  Just 2 ingredients- you can’t go wrong.  White beans offer a smoother texture than traditional chick peass and boast plenty of protein and fiber.  Use Great Northern, Navy or Cannellini beans and your favorite pesto.  This dip can be served with pita chips, bread or fresh veggies.

Ingredients

One (15 oz) can Great Northern or other white bean (drained and rinsed)

½ cup prepared/jarred pesto

 

Directions

  1. Place beans and pesto in a food processor or Kitchenade.
  2. Blend on pulse setting until mixture is smooth.
  3. Serve with bread, pretzels, crackers or fresh vegetables.

 

Makes 16 (2 Tbsp) servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  108 calories, 3.2 grams fat, 14.7 grams carbohydrate, 5.7 grams protein, 4.7 grams fiber, 2 mg cholesterol, 47 mg sodium.

Tomato Watermelon Salad

Tomato Watermelon Salad

I know what you’re thinking.  This sounds like a weird combination of produce, but trust me.  You won’t be sorry you tried this seasonal salad. Watermelon and tomatoes are both excellent sources of fiber, vitamin C, potassium as well as cancer-fighting lycopene.  Putting it over a bed of romaine boosts the volume and fiber (as well as pretty color) of this seasonal favorite.  Add some fresh, chopped basil at the end for a little twist.

 

Ingredients:

5 cups (3/4-inch) seeded watermelon cubes

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

3 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Romaine lettuce leaves (optional)

Cracked black pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves (1/2 cup chopped)

 

Directions:

  1. Combine watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar and salt, tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in onion, vinegar, and oil. Cover and chill 2 hours. Serve chilled with lettuce leaves, if desired. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and chopped fresh basil to taste.

 

Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  112 calories, 6.6 grams fat, 13.3 grams carbohydrate, 1.4 grams protein, 1.7 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium.

Peach & bulgur salad with yogurt dressing

Peach & bulgur salad with yogurt dressing

It’s peach season!  You really need to embrace this fragrant fruit of summer.  Here’s a salad idea that combines high fiber bulgur with peaches, peppers and cucumbers in a simple yogurt dressing.

 

Bulgur, a traditional staple of Mediterranean cuisine, has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.  Peaches and peppers provide vitamin C and a decent source of potassium. If you’ve never tried ground lemon grass, it’s a great way to season veggies or use in stir fries. This salad does not disappoint!

 

Ingredients

 

Salad:

 

2 cups dry bulger (soak for 1 hour before cooking)

2 fresh peaches

1 red or yellow bell pepper

1 cucumber- sliced and quartered

¼ cup red onion

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Dressing:

 

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (non-fat)

½ cup fresh orange juice

1 tsp. orange zest

3 tsp. white sugar

1 tsp. lemon grass paste

 

Directions

 

Cook bulger according to directions and set aside to cool.  Clean and cut peaches into chunks and add to cooled bulger.  Chop bell peppers and add to bulger.  Add quartered cucumbers, cilantro and onions to salad and blend.

 

Whisk ingredients together for dressing.  Add dressing to salad and blend well.

 

Makes 6 servings.  Nutrition information per serving:  206 calories, .9 grams fat, 7.2 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrate, 9.8 grams fiber, 1 mg cholesterol, 17 mg sodium.

Water salad

Water salad

Water Salad

Baby, it’s hot outside!  Staying hydrated this time of year (and any time of year), improves energy, metabolism and maintains blood pressure.  We consume about 80% of our fluid needs from water, juice, milk, coffee and tea and 20% from food.  Combine the foods high in water below to provide close to 2 cups of water!  Any type of lettuce can be used as most are at least 95% water.  Choose darker, leafy greens for more beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium.

 

Yogurt (plain/traditional) is also high in water (approximately 85%).  Greek yogurt has been strained at least 3 times, so it yields less water, but a higher protein, lower sugar product.

Ingredients

2 cups butter (Bibb) lettuce or Romaine

1 chopped tomato

1 chopped bell pepper

1 chopped cucumber

1 cup chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped radishes

1 cup chopped celery

 

Dressing:

½ cup plain/traditional yogurt (not Greek-style)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper (optional)

 

Directions:

Clean and spin lettuce in a salad spinner.  Add all other ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Whisk dressing ingredients together.  Toss salad with dressing prior to serving.

 

Makes 4 (2 cup) servings.  Per serving: 86 calories, 4.2 gm fat, 9.5 gm carbohydrate, 2.3 gms fiber, 3.4 gm protein, 2 mg cholesterol, 212 mg sodium

Chicken with pesto, penne & broccoli

Chicken with pesto, penne & broccoli

I bet you have leftover chicken from Father’s Day grilling.  Here’s a simple recipe that your whole family will enjoy. I love the simplicity of jarred pesto, but feel free to make fresh if you’ve got the time and basil on hand.  Tofu or cooked turkey would also work well in this recipe.  Whole grain penne, ziti or spiral pasta boost fiber content and color.  Broccoli adds a hefty dose of vitamin C, folate and fiber to the dish.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks

4 oz. jarred pesto

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb fresh or frozen broccoli

1 lb whole wheat pasta (penne or other tubed pasta)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to directions and set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli for 4 minutes in microwave and set aside.
  3. Sautee garlic in 1 tsp. olive oil.
  4. Add chicken, pesto and broccoli and remaining olive oil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add pasta to chicken and pesto mixture and blend. Serve with 1 tsp. Parmesan cheese

 

Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition Facts per serving:  300 calories, 8 grams fat, 46.8 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams protein, 6.7 grams fiber, 8 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium.

Strawberry Spinach salad

Strawberry Spinach salad

Strawberry season is in full swing.  This is one of my favorite salads for a dinner party or picnic because it never disappoints.  Balsamic vinegar pairs really well with strawberries, but apple cider vinegar or orange juice would work well, too.  If you’re not a blue cheese fan, try feta cheese instead.  The dressing can be used on other salads as well.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

 

Salad:

 

1 bag baby spinach leaves

1 pint ripe strawberries

2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

¼ red onion cut into thin ‘rings’

2 Tbsp. crumbled Bleu cheese or feta

 

Dressing:

 

2 Tbsp. canola oil

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey

 

Directions

 

Wash & dry spinach leaves and place in a large bowl.

Wash and cut the berries into small chunks and add to spinach.

Add red onions, chopped nuts and cheese crumbles.

Whisk together ingredients for dressing.  Drizzle dressing over salad (and toss) right before serving.

 

Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition information per serving:  194 calories, 15 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrate, 3.3 grams fiber, 1 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium.

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