Havin’ A Ball
Creamy salmon ball rolled in chopped nuts and parsley
Makes one 2-cup ball
2 cans (6 oz each)
skinless salmon, drained and flaked
1 package (8 oz) light cream cheese
2 tsp finely minced onions or shallots
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp prepared horseradish or cocktail sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
Mix together salmon, cream cheese, onions, lemon juice, horseradish, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. You can use an electric mixer if it’s easier. Cover salmon mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour so it firms up a little bit.
Meanwhile, mix together nuts and parsley in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Remove salmon from fridge and form mixture into a ball (using your hands works best, even though it’s little messy). Roll in nut-parsley mixture so outside of ball is completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To serve, place ball on a small platter and surround with mutigrain crackers or melba rounds, thick red bell pepper strips, and thick cucumber slices.
TIP: For this recipe, buy cream cheese in a brick, not in a tub. The spreadable cream cheese (tub) is too soft to hold its shape when you roll the mixture into a ball. However, if you want to make a salmon spread instead of a ball, then the softer cream cheese is just fine.
Per serving: Calories: 74 Total fat: 5g Saturated fat: 2.3g Protein: 6g Carbohydrate: 1g Fiber: 0.2g Cholesterol: 22 mg Sodium: 195 mg
A thick and chewy cross between a peanut butter cookie and a gingersnap
Makes 20 cookies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground all-spice and salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light peanut butter
3 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (See tip regarding oven temperature).
Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together both flours, baking soda, tsp cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt. Set aside. Combine granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat together brown sugar, peanut butter, and butter on medium speed of electric mixer for about 1 minute. Add molasses, egg and vanilla. beat again until smooth.
Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture. You will be making a stiff dough. Using your hands, shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll balls in reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart (they spread a lot while baking). Flatten cookies slightly using a fork.
Bake cookies for 7 minutes. They may appear undercooked, but that’s okay. Remove cookies from oven and immediately transfer from pan to a wire rack to cool.
TIP: It’s really important to preheat over properly before you put the cookies in to bake.
Per Serving: Calories 108 Total fat: 3.4 g Saturated fat: 1.6g Protein: 2 g Carbohydrate: 17 g Fiber: 0.8 g Cholesterol: 15 mg Sodium: 100 mg
Life in the Fast Loin
Skillet pork loin chops drizzled with apricot-mustard sauce
Makes 4 servings
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup no-sugar-added apricot preserves
2 tbsp each balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 oz each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper and let stand for a few minutes. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops and cook for about 6 minutes per side, until nicely browned on the outside and just slightly pink in the center. Cover skillet with lid if they’re splattering.
Remove pork chops from skillet, cover with foil, and keep warm. Pour sauce into same skillet. Using a whisk, cook and stir sauce for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens. Make sure you scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet for added flavor. Serve pork chops drizzled with hot apricot-mustard sauce.
Per Serving: Calories: 267 Total Fat: 9.9 g Saturated fat: 2.7 g Protein: 30 g Carbohydrate: 13 g Fiber 0.3 g Cholesterol: 89 mg Sodium: 260 mg
Roasted asparagus with balsamic vinegar and feta
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs asparagus spears
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup crumbled light feta cheese (1 oz)
or 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Trim tough ends off asparagus.
Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange asparagus in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic. Mix asparagus spears around a bit to make sure they’re well coated with oil and garlic ( use your hands for this…it’s the easiest way).
Roast for 13 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of asparagus. Be careful not to overcook them. Soggy asparagus is no fun and no yum!
Arrange cooked asparagus on a serving plate. Sprinkle with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Top with crumbled feta and serve immediately.
TIP: You can substitute fresh, whole green beans for the asparagus.
Per Serving Calories: 55 Total Fat: 3.5 g Saturated fat: 1.1 g Protein: 3 g Carbohydrate: 5 g Fiber: 2 g Cholesterol: 4 mg Sodium: 152 mg
Creamy whipped cauliflower “potatoes”
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs)
1/2 cup low-fat, cream-cheese-based onion dip
1/4 tsp salt
Place a steamed basket inside a large pot and add 1-inch water. Cut cauliflower into uniform-sized florets. Add cauliflower to pot. Cover and steam for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender but not mushy (cooking time depends on size of florets).
Transfer cauliflower to a blender. You will need to work in batches. Whirl caulflower until smooth (no lumps!). This might take a bit of fiddling and poking at first, depending on the strength and size of your blender. Hang in there…it’s worth it! Add onion dip and salt to the last batch. Transfer batches of whipped cauliflower to serving bowl and mix well to distribute seasonings before serving. You may need to reheat it in the microwave if it has cooled.
TIP: Using onion dip in this recipe is a great shortcut that saves both time and money! It takes the place of at least 4 or 5 different ingredients that you’d need to add to give the cauliflower such a delicious, creamy taste.
Per Serving: Calories: 61 Total Fat: 1.6 g Saturated fat: 0.8 g Protein: 4 g Carbohydrate: 10 g Fiber: 3.9 g Cholesterol: 5 mg Sodium: 322 mg
Hook, Line, and Simple
6 boneless, skinless salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, plus 1/4 tsp each (for sauce)
1/3 cup light sour cream
1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp minced fresh dill
1 tsp grated lemon zest