Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches - Mimi's Fit Foods

Cucumber Sandwiches!  What an easy snack idea.  It probably goes without saying that these are a breeze to put together.  I mean, it’s hardly a recipe at all, but rather an idea.  I say that because you can be a little versatile with this.  You can use different varieties of cheese and sandwich meats.  I also think these are good dipped in mustard, as well as sprinkled with spices (cracked black pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning, etc.).  There are a variety of options that still help to keep these babies low in calorie count, high in protein, and low in carbs.  Whoohooo!

For calorie counting purposes, I’m giving you the quantities for one serving.  However, you can easily punch out a bunch of these . . . . . say, for after-school snacks or any other purpose you may find a need to sneak these into your household.

Cucumber Sandwiches

8 slices of peeled cucumber, 1/4-inch thick
1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced into 4 slices
1 ounce deli roast beef (at least 96% lean)

Take one slice of cucumber and top with a slice of cheese and 1/4 ounce of roast beef.  Top with another cucumber slice.
Repeat with remaining cucumber slices, cheese, and roast beef.

Serves 1.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  123.7
Protein:  14.7g
Carbs:  2.5g
Fat:  5.1g (3.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  0.8g

Roasted Pizza Broccoli

Roasted Pizza Broccoli - Mimi's Fit Foods

This is such a great way to cook broccoli.  I love the addition of the spices and the Parmesan cheese.  I love broccoli anyways, but this was fabulous.  It totally resembled a pizza flavor.  I imagine kids would love it too (but you may want to add less of the chile flakes).  And, just so you know, the chile flakes weren’t super spicy/hot, but they added lots of flavor!

Here’s to another twist on your regular vegetable side dishes.  Enjoy!

Roasted “Pizza” Broccoli
Adapted from Relish by Daphne Oz

1 large head of broccoli
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

Break or cut broccoli into bite-sized florets. Steam the broccoli until you can easily insert a knife into the center of the broccoli (about 5 to 6 minutes).

Preheat the broiler. Drain the broccoli (and lightly pat dry with a paper towel) and place it on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with the oil, and sprinkle it with chile flakes and oregano. Toss to coat.  Sprinkle with cheese and broil the broccoli until the cheese is golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice onto the broccoli, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  89
Protein:  5.8g
Carbs:  6.3g
Fat:  5.7g (1.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.2g
Sugars:  0.1g

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls - Mimi's Fit Foods

What a fabulous idea, right?  I saw these on Annie’s website quite a while ago and have had them on my list to try.  I’m kind of mad I waited so long to make them because they are goooooood!  Oh, and super duper easy!

I love the nutritional benefit from these egg rolls.  They are packed with all sorts of nutrients and fiber (thank you spinach and black beans).  And, I must admit that I wondered if two egg rolls would be enough for my tummy and I found that two was just right.  They are filling.

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken.  So, plan ahead for that.  (I usually just throw chicken in my slow cooker earlier in the day and then it’s ready to go at dinner time.  I also pop the cooked chicken into my food processor to shred it if I am short on time, pulsing until it’s just right.)

I’m telling you, these come together in a breeze, the spices offer just enough flavor, and the texture of the egg roll is perfect.  I’m pretty sure these are going to make a regular appearance in my home from now on!

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls - Mimi's Fit Foods2

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
20 egg roll wrappers (1 package)

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers.  Mix well to blend.  Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and place 1/3 cup of the filling in the center.  Fold the top closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center.  Continue rolling into an egg roll shape until a small part of the remaining point is still free.  Dip a finger in water and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner.  Finish rolling and press to seal closed.  Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place the sealed egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning the egg rolls over halfway through baking.  Serve warm with salsa.

Serves 10.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Egg Rolls)
Calories:   230
Protein:  20.2g
Carbs:  32.8g
Fat:  3.4g (1.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.7g
Sugars:  1g

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This is definitely one of my most favorite salsas.  Now that the tomatillos in our garden are finally starting to come on, I’m making this like crazy!  I’ve tried several variations of tomatillo salsa and this has become my favorite.  I usually prefer a green salsa over a red salsa.  Perhaps it’s the extra tang that comes from a tomatillo.  And, a roasted tomatillo . . . don’t even get me started.  I love how this recipe instructs us to roast all the veggies.  It definitely gives it a nice, roasted flavor and the roasting helps to bring out the sweetness of the tomatillos, garlic, and onion!  SO GOOD!

Another great thing about the salsa (as with most salsas), it’s pretty darn low in calories and it’s made primarily of veggies.  So, in my book . . . this stuff is “free” and we can eat as much as we want.  Unfortunately the baked 9-grain chips (Tostito Brand) are another story!  So, let’s focus on putting this delicious salsa on our eggs, potatoes, over chicken, alongside these Taquitos, or eating it by the spoonfuls out of it’s container.  It’s really that yummy!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Adapted from Our Best Bites

1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed (about 6 medium)
3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeño pepper, cut in half lengthwise (remove seeds & membranes for less heat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1-2 limes (depending on how “juicy” you want your salsa)
1/4-1/3 cup chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

After husking the tomatillos, rinse them well in cool water (they can be sticky). Cut the stems and hard portions (if any) off the tomatillos and cut any very large ones in half.

Combine the tomatillos, unpeeled garlic, onion, and the jalapeno on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss the ingredients with your hands to make sure they are all well-coated.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. If the vegetables have not charred, turn the broiler on to high and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the skins of the peppers and tomatillos begin to turn black. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

When the vegetables have cooled, carefully squeeze the skin of the roasted garlic, releasing the soft, roasted garlic clove, into the jar of a blender or workbowl of a food processor. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and then add the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Process until the desired consistency is reached and then transfer to a serving dish. Stir in the chopped cilantro and green onions and serve with chips.

Makes Approximately 2 Cups.

Nutritional Information (Per Tablespoon)
Calories:  10
Protein:  0.2g
Carbs:  1.4g
Fat:  0.6g (0.1g – Sat.)
Fiber:  0.3g
Sugars:  0.7g

Chili Salmon with Mango, Cucumber & Avocado Salsa

Salsa Includes Blueberries, Lime, and Jalapeño

Oh my!  This is SO my kind of dinner!  This seriously tastes like healthy summer on a plate.  The salmon is simply seasoned with chili powder and the salsa is sweet and fresh.  Of course the chili powder is a fabulous compliment to salsa, so it’s no wonder this all goes together beautifully.

The salsa is seriously SO good!  It’s so good that it’s kind of a little bit hard not to eat more than the appropriate portion size.  (You’ve been warned!)  I was pretty intrigued with the addition of blueberries in this salsa.  I’ve made and seen several variations of mango salsa, but none that included blueberries.  Let me tell you, it’s awesome!  The burst of the blueberry in the mouth along with the sweetness and tartness of the berry is a perfect compliment to the soft and sweet mango.  The cucumber adds a nice balance to the sweetness as well as good bulk to the salsa (without adding many calories).  You can’t have a salsa without some kind of pepper, so there is a jalapeño pepper in here and you can add as much as you want.  The majority of the heat comes from the ribs and seeds of the pepper so for a mild salsa, remove all the ribs and seeds, for a hot salsa, keep them in.  The avocado adds a richness and creaminess to the salsa that helps to made this stuff so addictive.  Last, but certainly not least, is the addition of  lime zest and lime juice.  This gives the perfect amount of acidity and zing to the salsa and makes it taste amazingly fresh.

This meal can be eaten for lunch or dinner.  We had it for dinner with a side salad.  I think I might start making the salsa for snacks and appetizers too.  It’s that good!

Chili Salmon with Mango, Cucumber, & Avocado Salsa
Adapted from The Chew

For the Salmon:
4 Skin-On Salmon Filets (4 oz. each)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 teaspoon Chili Powder

For the Salsa:
1 mango (cubed)
1/4 – 1/2 English cucumber (diced)
1 avocado (cubed)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 – 1 jalapeno (seeded and minced)
juice and zest of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the Salsa: Toss all salsa ingredients in a medium bowl until well mixed (I use a rubber spatula so that the avocado doesn’t get mashed).  Set aside.

For the Salmon: Preheat a grill (outdoor or indoor . . . I used a charcoal grill for mine) to medium-high, and season lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon chili powder over each of the salmon filets. Season with salt and pepper, and place, skin-side down. After 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and continue to cook on other side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130F.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Filet & Approx. 1/2 Cup Salsa)
Calories:  284.5
Protein:  30.4g
Carbs:  15.1g
Fat:  11.6g (1.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g
Sugars:  6.1g

Baked Chicken Taquitos

These are good.  Really good!  I found them on multiple food blogs about one year ago and figured they had to be good if all of my favorite food bloggers were making them.  Well, I was right . . . kind of.  They were actually better than I had expected them to be.  I was impressed with how easy they were to make, how delicious they turned out, AND I was happy to be able to make them a little more calorie-friendly without sacrificing much flavor.  We’ve got a HUGE winner here.  HUGE!

The filling is full of flavor and I love how the spices get mixed with green onions and cilantro because that gives these little babies a fresh pick-up.  And . . .  the cream cheese and cheddar cheese makes them even more irresistible.  Baking them in the oven with a little cooking spray on top helps to give them that deep-fried flavor and crunch without all the grease (yuck!).  I have been making these for friends, family, and kids and I’ve had NOBODY turn them down or complain about them.  Yep, that’s right!  Chances are that your kids are going to LOVE them too!  They’re great for dinner (and they also make great appetizers too).

Baked Chicken Taquitos

4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa (red salsa is good too)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 green onion, sliced finely (white & green parts to equal about 2 T.)
12 oz. shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup reduced-fat cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, or pepper jack)

12 small yellow or white corn tortillas (like Mission Thins)
kosher salt, optional
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don’t crack while rolling. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture (I use a cookie scoop and put two scoops in each tortilla) on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can.
Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve immediately. Taquitos can be dipped in salsa, light sour cream, guacamole, or any other combination you can dream up (and that your calorie count will allow).

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Taquitos)
Calories:  216.4
Protein:  20.5g
Carbs:  18.7g
Fat:  7.5g (4.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.2g
Sugars:  2.7g

Bruschetta

I love fresh Bruschetta!  I love this recipe because it has balsamic vinegar in it and I’m a huge fan of balsamic vinegar.  I love the powerful punch of flavor it adds and it always pairs well with tomatoes, onion, and basil (in my humble opinion).  This Bruschetta is easy to throw together and can be used as a simple appetizer (I love to pair it with baked pita chips).  I’ve also paired it with part-skim mozzarella cheese which makes it a well-balanced snack.  Enjoy!

Bruschetta
Adapted from Skinny Taste

3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.

Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Calories:  59.5
Protein:  1.1g
Carbs:  6.6g
Fat:  3.9g (0.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.5g
Sugars:  1g

Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

As promised with yesterday’s post, here is how I make my baked corn tortilla chips.  I think they taste WAY better than any store-bought tortilla chip and it’s a huge bonus that they are MUCH healthier too!  Plus, they are super easy to make.  I’ve created the recipe below to serve 2 because that’s how many tortilla wedges I can fit on a cookie sheet.  However, it’s easy to double by just sticking two cookie sheets in the oven at the same time.  If you’re watching your salt intake, then omit the kosher salt.  They will still taste fabulous.

Baked Corn Tortilla Chips
Mimi Original

6 corn tortillas (such as Mission Extra Thin Corn Tortillas)
cooking spray
kosher salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray each tortilla, front and back, with cooking spray.  Cut each tortilla into 6 chip sized wedges and arrange wedges in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  If desired, sprinkle wedges with kosher salt.

Bake for about 6 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for an additional 6 minutes or until the chips are crisp, but not too brown.  Serve with salsa, guacamole, or other garnishes.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 3 Thin Tortillas)
Calories:  120
Protein:  3g
Carbs:  24g
Fat:  1.5g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3g
Sugar:  3g

Fresh Garden Salsa

Since I’m still using my garden tomatoes, I’ll throw another tomato post your way.  This is a delicious garden salsa recipe.  I love the fact that I can go out to my garden, pick my peppers and tomatoes, and then have fresh salsa 10 minutes later.  There are a lot of ways to make fresh salsa.  You basically want to have a mixture of peppers, onions, and tomatoes.  Depending on your liking, the amounts you use of these ingredients can widely vary AND you can easily add other spices and flavorings to alter the taste to your personal preference.  I am a salsa LOVER!  I rarely taste a salsa that I do not like.  With this particular recipe you’ll see that I’ve added some cumin for a smokier flavor, some cayenne pepper for additional heat, and cilantro for a kick of freshness.  Trust me . . . if you just want a traditional garden salsa without any extra spices or heat, leave them out and that’s what you’ll have.  It’s fantastic!  I love to whip this up and eat it with baked corn tortilla chips (recipe/method to come).

Fresh Garden Salsa
Mimi Original

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and very coarsely chopped
1 fresh Anaheim pepper, seeded and very coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, halved
4 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 (14.5 0z.) can diced tomatoes (drained or not, depending on how much liquid you want in your salsa)
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. cumin (1.5 tsp.)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice of one lime

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the jalapenos, Anaheim, and garlic.  Process until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add all other ingredients to the food processor.  Pulse in very brief pulses until the vegetables have reached the size you desire (it does not take many pulses so don’t overdo it).  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/2 Cup)
Calories:  32.8
Protein:  1.4g
Carbs:  7.5g
Fat:  0g
Fiber:  1.8g
Sugars:  3.9g

Crunchy Tomato Bread

Oh, how I love to eat bread!  Bread is a serious weakness of mine.  There are times when I would rather have bread than dessert.  So, when I came across this recipe and stopped to considered this for my carbohydrate for dinner (instead of rice, potato, etc.), I pretty much didn’t hesitate one bit!  It reminds me SO much of bruschetta that it was hard NOT to love it.  The crusty bread, coated in fresh garlic, topped with tomatoes, Italian spices, and cheese . . . uh, you had me at crusty bread!  This is a cinch to pull together and such a wonderful treat this time of year.  The recipe calls for canned plum tomatoes (or diced tomatoes is how we commonly see them on our grocery shelves), but you can easily swap those canned tomatoes out for fresh tomatoes while you have them.  With that said, I’m going to shock several of you when I say that the canned tomatoes are usually better here.  I know . . . I’m gasping right alongside of you!  But, the beauty of this is that you can eat this treat year-round without any hesitation!  Oh!  And, if you’re a balsamic vinegar lover like me, drizzle that over the finish product and you’ll love this even more!

Crunchy Tomato Bread
Adapted from Rocco Dispirito’s “Now Eat This! Diet Recipes”

8 ounces whole wheat baguette
1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
1 cup canned peeled plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cut the bread in half lengthwise.  Place it in a toaster oven (or under the broiler in your oven) and toast.

Rub the toasted halves with the clove of garlic.  Divide the tomatoes in half, and distribute them over the bread pieces.  Sprinkle the oregano, red pepper flakes, and cheese over the bread.  Top with a few drops of olive oil, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the bread back to the toaster oven (or broiler) and toast until the tomatoes are warmed through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to ensure your bread does not burn).

Slice into 6 separate pieces.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  112
Protein:  5.3g
Carbs:  19g
Fat:  2g (0.6 = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g