Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus - Mimi's Fit Foods

Oh, how I love beautiful side dishes to go with my main meal.  I also love it when the vegetable is one of the best parts of the meal!  Our little family LOVES grilled asparagus.  The grill really helps to bring out the beautiful, unique flavor of the asparagus making it taste so incredibly fresh with LOADS of flavor.  We’ve been having this quite regularly around my house.  It’s tasty, but also SUPER easy and SUPER fast!  We’re talking a total of 6-8 minutes from start to finish.  Usually I just toss it on the grill while our meat is cooking and it’s all ready at the same time.  It’s FABULOUS!

Grilled Asparagus
Slightly Adapted from allrecipes.com

1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon wedges

Preheat grill for high heat.

Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste (I usually do this on a plate or in a shallow pan and I toss the spears all around to ensure they get evenly coated).

Place spears on hot grill and grill over high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, rotate, and then grill for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or to your desired tenderness.  Just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon wedges over asparagus.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 of the Spears)
Calories:  41
Protein:  2.6g
Carbs:  5.1g
Fat:  2g (0.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.4g
Sugars:  0g

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

Roasted Carrots

Roasted Carrots - Mimi's Fit Foods

Easy peasy, folks!  You need another vegetable side dish that is tasty?  Well, these fit the bill.  Roasting the carrots bring out such a delicious sweetness!  The hardest part about these is not eating too many!

Roasted Carrots

2 cups baby carrots, halved
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss baby carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approx. 1/2 Cup)
Calories:  45
Protein:  1g
Carbs:  9g
Fat:  1.2g (0.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2g
Sugars:  6g

Creamy Tomato Soup Without the Cream

Mimi's Fit Foods

Burrrrrr!  It’s been cold outside so I’ve TOTALLY been in the mood for soup!  I kind of want it every day.  I love tomato soup and I’ve been dying to try American’s Test Kitchen’s (ATK’s) method of making it creamy.  It didn’t disappoint and I loved that it made a nice big pot so I could enjoy it as my carbohydrate side dish for a few days.

So, this recipe rocks and I must tell you why.  It has FABULOUS tomato flavor and is creamy without adding cream (most creamy tomato soups will come in around 300-450 calories per cup, but not this one!).  Quite honestly, the cream generally dulls the tomato flavor.  ATK figured out that if you add bread to the soup, it achieves a creamy texture.  Interesting, eh?  I thought so.  Thus, I just HAD to try it.  When the bread breaks down and is blended into the soup, it adds creaminess and helps to temper the acidity of the tomatoes.  It also helps thicken the soup to just the right consistency.

You might also find it odd that we use canned tomatoes in this recipe.  ATK has tested using fresh tomatoes versus canned tomatoes, and no kidding, the canned tomatoes give the best flavor result.

Also, one other little trick to the soup is to puree the tomato soup with a little extra-virgin olive oil  Adding it to the soup during this stage helps to ramp up the flavor and the flavor remains clean and fresh.  Plus, while blending, the oil is fully incorporated into the soup.

I’m telling you, ATK is all business and I’m pretty darn impressed with this soup thanks to the easy methods applied.  (It was even a little easier for me since I have a stick immersion blender and could blend it right in my soup pot.)  If you love tomato soup, you gotta try this!!

Creamy Tomato Soup Without the Cream
Adapted from “The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook”

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 sliced high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons red cooking wine (I used Sherry)
salt and pepper
Multi-Grain Saltines, for serving (optional)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven (or heavy duty stock pot) over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes with their juice.  Stir in the sugar and bread, bring to a simmer, and cook until the bread begins to dissolve, about 5 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf.  Puree the soup with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a blender, in batches, until smooth.  Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in the broth and red cooking wine, and cook gently over medium0low heat until the soup is hot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, serve with multi-grain Saltine crackers.

Serves 9.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approx. 1 Cup Soup)
Calories:  120
Protein:  2g
Carbs:  12.6g
Fat:  6.6g (1g = Sat)
Fiber:  2g

Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats with Marinara & Ground Turkey

Mimi's Fit Foods

Being the first of January and all, there are a lot of healthy recipes circulating the web.  This seems to be one that I’ve been seeing lately.  With good reason, folks!  It’s good!  I’m a pasta lover and guess what!?  I didn’t even miss the pasta in this dish.  I thought the spaghetti squash was so flavorful and the flavor of it married fantastically with the marinara, Italian spices, and cheese!  No wonder they call it “spaghetti” squash!

The textures in this dish are fabulous, the gooey cheese is beyond fabulous, and the Italian spices offer a huge punch of flavor.  My husband who doesn’t really care for spaghetti squash gobbled this up AND asked to take the leftovers to work the next day.  Yep, that’s right.  It’s good.  Oh, and it’s a cinch to throw together!  I’m not even tricking you!

Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats with Marinara & Ground Turkey

2 small/medium rip spaghetti squash
12 ounces ground turkey (93% lean)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup part skim mozzarella, shredded

First, roast your spaghetti squash.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Place on a baking sheet, cut side up and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast until the skin gives easily under pressure and the inside is tender, about one hour.

Towards the end of the roasting time, prepare marinara and ground turkey (if making your own marinara, then you’ll want to start this process about 30 minutes before squash is done) .  Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Place ground turkey in skillet and season with Italian seasoning, garlic salt, salt, and pepper.  Stir turkey while cooking to break into small, crumbly pieces and cook until no longer pink.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Prepare and warm marinara. (I like to use my own because it tastes fresher and is healthier, but for ease, you can also use prepared stuff too such as Prego Heart Smart.  You’ll just find that the calories are more when buying the store bought stuff.)

Remove spaghetti squash from the oven and carefully scrape squash with a fork to loosen the flesh into long strands.  Top each boat with 1/2 cup marinara sauce, 3 ounces of ground turkey, and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.  Place back into the hot oven to cook until the cheese melts.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Boat)
Calories:  282
Protein:  25.5g
Carbs:  16g
Fat:  13.4g (5.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.2g

Carrot-Ginger Soup

Man!  Sorry for the lack of posts.  Our life has been good-crazy busy the last couple of weeks.  Lots of happy events, Thanksgiving Holiday fun, and precious family time!  I imagine the next couple of weeks may run in sync with such fun, so if things seem a little sketchy here on the blog . . . well, don’t worry!  We’re alive; just enjoying life.  That being said, I’m still cooking and trying new recipes so I have some good ones to share with you as my time allows.  So, keep coming back and bear with me for the next few weeks.

This is a pretty tasty soup if you’re looking for a nice change for your carbohydrate side dish.  The calories are pretty darn perfect for such a thing and we enjoyed the change of flavors (versus eating our usual brown rice or potato side dish).

Carrot soup can often lack in the flavor department.  Not this one, folks!  The fresh grated ginger adds a little spicy heat and provides a nice balance to the sweetness of the carrots.  The orange juice adds brightness and acidity, while the milk gives the soup a little creaminess.  All the flavors meld fantastically and the soup tastes PERFECT for fall/winter.

Give it a whirl.  I think you’ll like it!

Carrot-Ginger Soup
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 ½ pounds carrots (about 9), peeled and chopped medium
1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (do not substitute ground ginger)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup 1 percent lowfat milk
1/4 cup orange juice (I used freshly squeezed)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (optional)

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (or stock pot) over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the carrots and onion and cook until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the carrots are very tender, about 16 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender, in batches, until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot, stir in the milk and orange juice, and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot (this doesn’t take long at all).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle individual bowls with the chives before serving.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approx. 1 Cup)
Calories:  102.6
Protein:  3.8g
Carbs:  16.1g
Fat:  2.9g
Fiber:  3.7g
Sugars:  8.9g

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