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