Ham & Noodle Casserole

Ham and Noodle Casserole-Mimi's Fit Foods

Here’s a quick, easy-to-throw-together kind of meal for a weeknight.  It’s an all-in-one meal that includes your protein, carbohydrate, and veggies all in one dish.  We liked the change-up in using ham for dinner.  I just bought the cubed, lean ham found in the meat section at the grocery store, but this would make SUCH a great use of leftover ham (like maybe after Easter).  The sauce is made primarily from cottage cheese which is genius because it takes on the flavors of everything else AND contributes to some great creaminess.  And, nobody would EVER guess that you even used cottage cheese for the sauce.  Fabulous if you ask me!  I also love the use of dill here because it really makes the casserole taste light and fresh.

I used yolk-free, wheat noodles.  For those of you wondering exactly what I used, I used the brand Ronzini Healthy Harvest which I found on the pasta isle at my local grocery store.  Also, you can use whatever variety of mixed veggies that you prefer.

We enjoyed this casserole and it will definitely make another appearance soon (I’m sure it’ll be right after Easter as we use up our holiday ham leftovers).

Ham and Noodle Casserole
Adapted from Taste of Homes “Everyday Light Meals”

4 ounces uncooked wheat yolk-free noodles
1 1/2 cups low fat cottage cheese
1 package (10-oz.) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
8 ounces full cooked lean ham, cubed
3/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup milk (1%)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the remaining ingredients.  Process until fairly smooth.  (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender.  Or, you can skip this step altogether.  The casserole will still turn out well, the sauce just won’t be quite as creamy.)  Add cottage cheese sauce to noodles and toss to coat.  Transfer to a 2-qaurt baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.  Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Calories:  284.8
Protein:  19.3g
Carbs:  39.5g
Fat:  7.6g (4.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5.9g
Sugars:  6.8g


Pork Chops With Pizza Sauce

Mimi's Fit Foods

Happy New Year!!  2013 is actually here and I’m excited for what this new year has to offer me and my family!  How about you?

One thing I know will be coming this year is an updated blog design (to go with the new and improved logo!).  I’m hoping to make it easier to read and a little bit more functional.  So, get ready to explore that transition with me!

Until then, we’ll keep up with the new recipes and let’s all commit (or re-commit) to live a healthy and full life while eating food that is not only good for us, but tasty too!  Our house started the New Year with this delicious pork chop recipe.  We don’t have pork all that often in our house, but we do like to have it occasionally for a little change.  We loved how this turned out.  It was so full of Italian flavors and was as far from bland as possible!  It is simple to throw together and allows enough time to boil noodles while the pork cooks completely through.  I loved the tender, almost caramelized onions that went with the dish.  Seriously soooo good with the pork!

I hope you can enjoy this like we did!  Happy New Year!!

Pork Chops With Pizza Sauce
Adapted from Taste of Homes “Everyday Light Meals”

4 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
4 teaspoons dried basil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
4 loin pork chops (3 ounces each), fat trimmed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minces
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 1 /3 cups hot cooked whole-wheat noodles

In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons oregano, 2 teaspoons basil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Sprinkle over both sides of chops.  In a large nonstick skillet, brown pork on both sides in 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat; remove from skillet and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium low and in the same skillet, at remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, sauté onions and garlic until tender (11-15 minutes).  Add the tomato sauce, water and the remaining oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Return pork to the skillet.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.  (Meanwhile, boil/cook your noodles.)  Serve with hot noodles.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information
(Per Serving = 1 chop, 3/4 cup sauce, & 1/3 cu
p noodles)
Protein:  30.5g
Cabs:  24.5g
Fat:  9.7g (2.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4.4g
Sugars:  5.9g

Slow Cooker Chile Verde

Tomatillo Chile Verde

I’ve already confessed my love for tomatillos.  We grow them in our garden because we love them so!  Here’s another FABULOUS use for them.  Of course, if you don’t grow your own, you can easily find them in your grocery store (which is what I do during the winter months).

I love chile verde!  I always want to order it when I eat out at Mexican restaurants, but I hesitate to do so because I’m always worried about how they actually prepare it.  Here is a great way to enjoy it at home without any of the worry.  This is SUPER tasty and I’m so glad that my sister Becca shared the recipe with me.  Becca is a wonderful cook and when she gave me this recipe I had no doubt the I would love it.  It’s just what chile verde should taste like.  The tomatillos combined with onion, garlic, green chiles, and cumin is unbeatable.  The white beans add a nice dimension of flavor and texture as well.  (You’ll just want to note that the beans count toward your carb count so don’t overdo it on your rice/tortilla portion.)  Oh!  It’ll make your house smell sooooo good too!

Here’s to a home-cooked chile verde that is as good (or better, I dare say) than what you would find at a restaurant!

Slow Cooker Chile Verde
Recipe Source:  My Sister, Becca

1 lb. chicken (or turkey or pork)
4-6 cloves garlic
1 lb. tomatilloes, peeled and diced
14 oz. chicken broth, low sodium & 99% fat free (Swanson’s)
4 oz. green chiles
1 teaspoon cumin
1 large onion, diced
1 can great northern beans, drained & rinsed
cilantro, chopped (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and cook in slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.  15-20 minutes before serving, shred meat and add ½ cup fresh cilantro, if desired.  Serve in tortillas or over rice.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  149.7
Protein:  20.2
Carbs:  14.9
Fat:  1.6g (0.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4.6g
Sugars:  3.1g

Breakfast Fried Rice

Eggs, Brown Rice, Canadian Bacon, Syrup

I’ve probably told you before, but I really, REALLY love rice.  I’ve always said I would make a good latin or polynesian person because I can really eat rice for every meal and be just fine.  So, one day when I had leftover brown rice in the fridge and I was contemplating on what to have for breakfast, I guess it’s no surprise that I wanted to eat that rice.  I just had to figure out a good way to prepare it so that it seemed more like breakfast than dinner.

This is how I came up with Breakfast Fried Rice.  I love eggs, Canadian bacon, and I knew I would like a hint of maple all over everything.  So, I gave this a whirl and I seriously fell in love with it.  It tasted just like breakfast, but was definitely something different than my typical oatmeal.  It’s delicious.  I promise.

Breakfast Fried Rice
Mimi’s Original

1 egg
1 egg white
2 slices Canadian bacon, diced
1/2 cup cold, cooked, brown rice
1 tablespoon sugar free maple syrup
nonstick cooking spray

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Place egg, egg white, and Canadian bacon in a small bowl and lightly whisk.  Add mixture to skillet and cook, gently pushing, lifting, and folding them from one side of the pan to the other, until large, shiny, wet curds form, about 2 minutes (in other words…scramble them).   Remove eggs from skillet.

Increase heat to medium-high and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.  Add cold rice to skillet and spread the rice out evenly over the pan and let cook without stirring, until you hear the rice grains sizzle, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Toss the rice a bit with your spatula, and again spread it out over the cooking surface.

Drizzle the maple syrup all over the rice, and toss again.  Add eggs to the pan and toss to combine all the ingredients well with the rice.  Let everything heat back up again until the rice grains are sizzling again.  Add additional maple syrup to taste, if needed.  Serve.

Serves 1.

Nutritional Information
Calories:  244
Protein:  18.1g
Carbs:  24.8g
Fat:  8g (2.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.8g
Sugars:  0g

Grilled Pizza

This is SUCH a fun summer meal.  I was first introduced to this concept by some good friends in my neighborhood.  They had invited us over for dinner one night and taught us how to make pizza on the grill.  It was so much fun. We loved the idea of putting the dough on the grill, and then “decorating” our pizzas with whatever toppings we wanted.  We each had our own individual pizza and it was exactly how we wanted it.  I thought the concept was brilliant, and I never have grilled pizza without thinking of my good friends (thanks Megan!).

Beau recently had a birthday and we decided this would be fun to add to the festivities.  I wasn’t sure who would stop in to see Beau that night, but I knew that if anyone did it would be very easy to offer them a grilled pizza.  I had dough ready and all the toppings prepared.  It worked perfectly and was a lot of fun.  The good news was that I had prepared plenty of toppings so Beau and I had grilled pizza again. . . two days later.  Bonus!  I can only imagine how fun this would be if you had children old enough to make their own pizzas!  I think I would have grilled pizza at least one night a week.

I like the recipe I’m giving you for the dough.  It works wonderfully for a pizza crust and I love the recipe because you don’t have to plan for the dough to raise twice!  In fact, you don’t have to wait for this dough to raise at all!  I’m serious.  It works just fine without any rising time.  I have other recipes that taste a smidge better, but I love the convenience of this one WAY MORE than I care for the smidge of better taste.  After all, it gets layered with all sorts of other flavors, so the crust becomes background anyways.  (If I had to eat the crust alone, then perhaps I would sacrifice the convenience for a better recipe.)

I usually will make my own marinara/pizza/tomato sauce.  It’s healthier, easy to make, and delicious.  However, in a pinch I have popped open a bottle of store-bought marinara too (still love me, okay?).  The nutritional information is calculated using a homemade version.

Because the toppings can vary and not every pizza is the same, I calculated the nutritional information based on the pizza I’ve highlighted in the picture.  It basically has diced, cooked chicken and a variety of veggies on it.  This is definitely a healthier option when choosing to put a pizza together.  Other toppings I have prepared for my guests include Canadian bacon, pineapple, turkey pepperoni, sliced cherry tomatoes, diced peppers, diced onions, sliced olives, fresh basil, and reduced fat cheeses.  This usually satisfies all age groups and most of the options are still pretty healthy.

So, what are you waiting for!?  Go make you a grilled pizza!  Tonight maybe?

Grilled Pizza

For the Dough:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon lecithin
1 cup hot water (hot water from the tap)

For the Pizza:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Marinara/Tomato Sauce of your choosing
Mozzarella cheese, part-skim (or other reduced fat cheeses)
Desired Toppings (cooked chicken, Canadian bacon, turkey pepperoni, peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives, pineapple, fresh basil, etc.)

For the dough:  Mix dry ingredients.  Add lecithin and water.  Mix in until dough combines, approximately 1 minute and check for consistency (use your dough hook on your mixer).  Dough should be a little sticky.  If dough is too dry, add more water.  Mix for 5 minutes on a medium speed (this will knead your dough).  Spray your countertop with nonstick cooking spray and divide dough into 8 even sections.  Shape each section into a ball.

Using a rolling pin, create your pizza crust by rolling each ball of dough out to resemble a circle (or as close to a circle as you can).   Your crust will be thin.  Set aside on a greased surface (I usually use a large jelly roll pan and I stack the crusts with a piece of greased parchment paper in between each crust).  You do not have to wait for this dough to rise.  Yay!

For the Pizza:
Clean (use one of those handy BBQ brushes to scrape off any residue), lightly oil, and preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat (this could take 10-15 minutes, so it’s a good time to get your toppings ready).  If needed, lightly brush the pizza dough with olive oil (usually my crust is already lightly oiled from sitting between two greased parchment papers so I can skip this step).  Gently grab two edges of your dough and place it on the hot grill.  Close the grill and let the dough cook for about 2-4 minutes, or until your dough has lightly bubbled and has grill marks on the bottom (this could take longer depending on the heat of your grill).  Using tongs or a spatula, remove dough from grill.

This is when you’ll “decorate” your pizza with whatever you wish.  VERY IMPORTANT – when placing toppings on your pizza, make sure you place toppings on the side WITH the grill marks. (You’ll need to put the non-grilled side back on the grill to cook.)  Start with 2 tablespoons of sauce, then 2 tablespoons of cheese, then layer with remaining desired toppings.  Once all the toppings are on the pizza, place the pizza back on the grill, close the grill (you need to lock in the heat to melt the cheese and cook the toppings/crust), and cook for another 2-6 minutes.  The heat of your grill will determine the length of time it will take.  Your pizza is done when the cheese is melted and there are nice grill marks on the bottom of your crust.

Repeat with remaining pizza crusts.   (Side Note:  If you have all your toppings out by the grill, then, after placing the crust on the grill for the first time, you can just flip the crust and place toppings on the pizza while it’s on the grill.  This makes things a little bit easier.  However, if you do this, work quickly so that the crust doesn’t cook before you have all the toppings on.  Otherwise, you’ll have a burnt crust and undercooked toppings.)

Nutritional Information
(Per Pizza with 2.5 oz. Chicken & a Variety of Veggies)
Calories:  294.1
Protein:  28g
Carbs:  32.4
Fat:  5.6g (2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5g
Sugars:   3.1g

CRUST – Nutritional Information (Crust Alone = 1/8 Recipe)
Calories:  147.8
Protein:  5.8g
Carbs:  30.7
Fat:  1g (0.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4.6g
Sugars:  3.1g

Shrimp Fried Rice

I was having an intense craving for Chinese food the other day.  Soooooo, instead of giving in and ordering a multi-thousand-calorie meal from a restaurant, I decided I could just make something at home.  I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while now and it TOTALLY hit the spot.  In fact, it was a good thing that I only made enough for me and Beau because we both loved it so much that I’m not so sure we could have resisted eating another serving.

The crazy thing is that this recipe goes wicked fast.  Like . . . once you have your veggies cut up and your shrimp ready to go, you’ll go from start to finish in about 5-ish minutes.  No lie!  So, have everything prepped and ready to go before you heat up your skillet.

Here’s the catch (if you want to call it that).  You MUST use cold rice here.  Since I make brown rice in big batches, it isn’t uncommon for me to have leftover rice in the fridge.  However, if you don’t have leftover rice, just be sure to make some in the the morning so that it has time to cool and chill in the fridge before dinner.  It’s SUPER common and easy for me to bake my brown rice in the morning while I’m getting ready for the day, so I would tell you to do the same.

One of the days I made this I was running short on shrimp.  So, I used the balance of the needed protein with ham.  You’ll see that my pictures reflect this.  I will vouch that it was good both ways . . . all shrimp or half shrimp/half ham.  Honestly, I think just about any protein source would be pretty good here (I just LOVE shrimp).

The recipe is simple, it goes fast, and I was AMAZED at how the small amount of soy sauce really pounded in some Chinese flavor.  I doubted that it would be enough, but it seriously was.  We’ve eaten this twice in the last two weeks, and that’s pretty good for us (considering I’m always looking for new stuff to try).  I just couldn’t resist making it and eating it AGAIN.  I’m pretty sure that this recipe just became a “regular” around my house.

Ham Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

12 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
2 whole eggs plus 2 additional egg whites, beaten
2 stalks green onions, minced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups leftover brown rice
3/4 cup cup frozen peas and carrots, defrosted
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Light/Low-Sodium)
Few drops sesame oil, optional

In  a medium mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, salt, pepper and cornstarch, and toss well to coat the shrimp.  Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat.  When a drop of water immediately sizzles and evaporates, the pan is hot enough to add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil.  Swirl to coat the pan well.

Add the shrimp to the hot pan and quickly spread them out so that they are in a single layer, and all touching the pan surface.  (You may need to do this in two batches to ensure even cooking.)  Let them cook untouched for 30 seconds, then flip over (tongs work well for this) and let cook for 30 more seconds, so that the shrimp are about 80% cooked through.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Lower the heat on the pan to medium.  Add the eggs to the pan and stir quickly, to break up and scramble the eggs.  When the eggs are almost cooked through but still slightly runny in the middle, remove from the pan to the same plate as the shrimp.

Use paper towels to wipe the pan clean and return the pan to high heat.  Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil, swirling to coat.  Once the oil is very hot, add the green onions and the red pepper to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.  Add the rice to the pan and mix well to combine with the green onions.  Spread the rice out evenly over the pan and let cook without stirring, until you hear the rice grains sizzle, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Toss the rice a bit with your spatula, and again spread it out over the cooking surface.

Drizzle the soy sauce all over the rice, and toss again.  Add the peas and carrots, the cooked shrimp and eggs, and the sesame oil to the pan.  Toss to combine all the ingredients well with the rice.  Let everything heat back up again until the rice grains are sizzling again.  Add additional soy sauce to taste, if needed.  Serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Calories:  294.6
Protein:  26.8g
Carbs:  28g
Fat:  8.4g (1.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.9g
Sugars:  0g

Fit Chicken Corn Chowder

Are any of you soup fans?  I love my food, and soup is of no exception.  I feel kind of lucky that my husband will eat soup as a main course because I have several friends who claim that their husbands don’t really call soup a meal.  Whatever their arguments may be, it doesn’t matter because I have a man that will eat soup so I love to make it!

With that being said, I definitely make my soups hearty.  I am quick to make sure that there is enough protein which always helps to make them more dinner-worthy.  This chowder is one of our favorite soups around our house.  I can hardly believe that it’s even appropriate for a light meal, considering it has the word “chowder” in the title, but I’ve trimmed it up a bit to lower the calories to be just about right!

This soup is creamy, the veggies give it such great flavor, and the ham/chicken combination is fantastic in it.  I’m gonna say that the cream cheese is probably what gives this soup that over-the-top, give-me-more appeal. I know the list of ingredients seems long, but don’t let that scare you.  The soup comes together in a flash and it’s TOTALLY worth it!

Before my grandma passed away, Beau and I would visit her at least once a month.  We would take her dinner and this soup was her #1 requested meal.  Of course she also loved to eat it with my biscuits, but we’ll have to save that recipe for another time.

Fit Chicken Corn Chowder
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds and membrane removed (this is important for flavor – but doesn’t add heat because the seeds and membranes are removed and it is cooked with the other veggies)
1/2 cup (3 oz.) thinly sliced or cooked chopped ham (lean)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup frozen corn kernels
12 oz. of chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz. softened light cream cheese
1 cup lowfat milk (1%)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Place olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté celery, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ham; cook for another 3 minutes. Whisk the broth with the flour in a liquid measuring cup or bowl and then stir into the soup. Stir in the corn and chicken. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat. Whisk together the cream cheese and milk in a large bowl until smooth (to avoid major lumps, soften the cream cheese until almost melted in the microwave). Whisk the cream cheese/milk mixture into the soup along with the salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1.5 Cups)
Calories:   252
Protein:  23.2g
Carbs:  19.6g
Fat:  10g (4.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.1g
Sugars:  5.7g

Hawaiian Pizza Quesadilla

Pizza today?  YES!  I am not going to lie to you and tell you that I don’t love pizza on occasion, because I do!  I love many varieties of traditional pizza, but Hawaiian Pizza is my favorite (can it be because I love the sun and the beach?).  Here is a fabulous way to get the taste of Hawaiian Pizza, without all the fat and calories.  I might dare say that it is one of my favorite lunches . . . partly because I love the taste and partly because I can throw it together on a whim!  I wrote the recipe to serve 1 because I thought it would be easiest to know what to put in each quesadilla.  Obviously, this recipe is a cinch to duplicate so don’t hesitate to make one for each member of your family.

Hawaiian Pizza Quesadilla
Mimi Original

1 whole wheat tortilla (such as 8″ Mission Carb Balance)
2 slices Canadian bacon, chopped
1 oz. cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 tablespoons part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons marinara sauce (like Prego or Simple Tomato Sauce)
2 tablespoons pineapple tidbits
chopped red onion, optional

Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.  (See tip below for optional cooking directions which I actually prefer.) Place a tortilla in the skillet and over half of the tortilla spread 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon marinara sauce, Canadian bacon, chicken, pineapple, red onion (if using), followed by the remaining tablespoon of marinara sauce and cheese.  Fold tortilla over the filling and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Turn and brown the other side.  Remove from skillet and set aside for about 1 minute.  Cut quesadilla into wedges and serve.

Serves 1.

Optional Cooking Tip:  I often cook these on my indoor grill (aka George Foreman).  It makes it SUPER handy so that I don’t have to actually flip the tortilla over in a skillet (which sometimes can be disastrous with the filling falling out all over the place….not that I would know!).  I can also cook at least two at a time (one for me and one for the hubby) in record time.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Filled Tortilla)
Calories:  241.7
Protein:  18.6g
Carbs: 25.6g
Fat:  7.7g (2.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  12g
Sugars:  5.1g

Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato Sandwiches – BLT’s

YAY!!!!  My computer is back and my friend, a genius, has restored every file to its proper place.  I am super relieved and ready to get back on track with recipes.  So, even though today is Friday and I usually do a non-recipe post, I’m breaking the Friday Feature rule and giving you a recipe anyways.  After all, I just cannot resist letting you go one more summer day without this one!

No question!  A good BLT is my favorite summer sandwich, hands down!  I love it when those fresh tomatoes are coming out of my garden faster than I can eat them.  There’s nothing like a fresh tomato right from my backyard and this sandwich is a darn good way to eat them up!  Of course, the traditional BLT with full-fat mayo and regular bacon might not be the healthiest way to indulge, so I’ve come up with a solution that I still love but can leave the calorie guilt for an ice cream sundae or something.

This is simple, folks!  You just toast your bread, slather on some homemade guacamole, add some cooked Canadian bacon, layer on some sliced garden tomatoes (I used my yummy Lemon Boy-Yellow ones and our tasty Celebrity-Red ones), and top with lettuce.  That guacamole seriously takes this sandwich somewhere a BLT has never gone before.  Perhaps it is my deep love for the avocado, but I have wanted to eat this sandwich every day for the past week!  And, trust me, my craving hasn’t slowed down a bit!

Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato Sandwiches – BLT’s
Mimi Original

4 slices whole wheat bread (such as Sara Lee Delightful)
2 servings (approx. 4 Tablespoons) Guacamole
6 oz. Canadian bacon
sliced tomatoes

Toast bread.  While bread is toasting place Canadian bacon in a nonstick skillet over Medium heat.  Cook both sides of bacon until golden marks appear.  Remove from heat.  Spread approximately 2 tablespoons of guacamole on one slice of toast, add 3 oz. of Canadian bacon, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and top with another slice of toast.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Cut in half and enjoy!

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Sandwich)
Calories:  295
Protein:  24.5g
Carbs:  26.9g
Fat:  12.1g (2.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  7.5g
Sugars:  2.3g

Caribbean Pork Kebabs

Oh, how I love summer!  Along with all the lovely things of summer, I love grilling!  Grilling is such a healthy way to prepare your food, but it also means much more to me.  Grilling usually means backyard BBQ’s, lounging around on summer nights with friends and family, a cool kitchen (because the oven doesn’t get used), less dishes, and a very happy husband who LOVES just about anything if it comes off of a grill.

I love kebabs in all sorts of varieties and these are NO exception.  The Caribbean flavors and spices in the marinade really shine through and make these kebabs SUPER flavorful.  Because the marinade has jam in it, some of our carbohydrates get eaten up in the marinade.  But, I’m telling you, it’s worth it because of how delicious these turn out.  You can assemble these however you want (that’s one of the perks of kebabs).  You can make them smaller for the kids, all veggies for the vegetarians, or all meat for the meat lovers.  However you put these together, I hope they bring some love into one (or more!) of your summer nights this season.

Caribbean Pork Kebabs
Adapted from “The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook”

1 full recipe of Caribbean Marinade (recipe below)
2 lbs pork loin, fat trimmed/removed, cut in 1-inch squares
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares
1 green bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares
1 red onion, cut in 1-inch squares
8 skewers, wooden or metal

Make Caribbean Marinade (recipe below).  Reserve 1/4 cup.  Combine pork and the remaining marinade in a large zipper-lock bag, press out the air, and seal the bag tightly.  Toss to coat the pork and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours, flipping the bag occasionally.

Thread the marinated pork, peppers, and onion onto eight long metal or wooden skewers in an alternating pattern, then brush with the leftover marinade still in the bag.  (If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to threading them.  This makes it easier to thread them and also prevents them from catching on fire over the hot grill.)

Preheat grill (you can use a gas grill or a charcoal grill).  Clean and oil the cooking grate on your grill and cook, turning as needed.  Brush reserved marinade on kebabs while cooking . . . usually when you turn/rotate the kebabs.  Cook until the pork and vegetables are lightly charred on all sides, and the pork registers 140-145 degrees.  Transfer the kebabs to a platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.  (Unless you are not patient like me, then just grab one right off the grill and go to town!)   Serve.

Serves 8.

Caribbean Marinade
3/4 cup Apricot Jam (such as Simply Fruit by Smucker’s)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine/whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Kebab)
Calories:  285.5
Protein:  23.8g
Carbs:  26g
Fat:  13.8g (4.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.1g
Sugars:  10.9g