Tag Archives: low-calorie

Thai Basil Chicken with Cashews


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable, canola or peanut oil
  • 4 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 4 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chili, thinly sliced into rings (optional)


  • 4 Tablespoons lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
  • 2 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)


  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon fish sauce (or add an additional 3 teaspoons soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Make some rice.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Place a wok or wide sauté pan over high heat until hot.
  5. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides.
  6. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  7. Add the chicken and asparagus and cook, stirring constantly until the chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the sauce and bring to boil.
  9. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
  10. Remove pan from heat and stir in jalapeno chili, basil leaves and cashews.
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Blackened Shrimp with Pomegranate-Orange Salsa

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Another yummy shrimp dish, and this salsa is no slacker either. Between the peeling the pomegranates and shrimp, it can be a little labor intensive, but it’s tasty and the salsa makes enough for leftovers.

The original recipe called for serving this on a bed of spinach, but my kids won’t eat anything served that way, so I served it as a side dish for Turkey Jambalaya, where I substituted the turkey with 1/2 lb of shrimp and 1 lb tilapia.

The next day, I mixed the leftover salsa and shrimp with some sliced flank steak, half a cup of brown rice pilaf, and it was a most excellent cold lunch. I made some of the salsa by itself for Thanksgiving this year, although it didn’t go over too well, probably because it had to compete with the cranberry sauce. 

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds (about 2 large pomegranates)
  • 1 cup finely chopped orange sections (about 1 large orange)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 Tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salsa Steps:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl.

Shrimp Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided

Shrimp Steps:

  1. Combine paprika and the next 7 ingredients (through allspice) in a large zip-top plastic bag.
  2. Add shrimp to bag; seal and shake well to coat. Remove shrimp from bag.
  3. Heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add half of shrimp mixture anc cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan.
  5. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 teaspoons oil and remaining shrimp mixture. Serve warm with salsa.

Calories: 260 | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Carbohydrates: 35g | Serves: 6

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Fish and Cheese

My kids love this stuff. Sounds terrible, tastes great. Try it!


  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 pounds talapia
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup fat-free Half & Half
  • 2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 3 Cups grated cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a long baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Pat fish dry with a paper towel and place in a single layer in baking dish.
  3. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Add flour and cook for one minute.
  5. Add Half & Half, lemon pepper and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened.
  6. Spoon mixture over fillets.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove fish from oven and sprinkle with cheese, continue baking for 10 minutes more or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Calories 264; Protein 26 g; Fat 11 g; Carbs 5 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 325 mg

Adapted from Linda’s Eating Well, Living Thin

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Asparagus Quiche

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This is tasty, easy to make. Aaron loves it, Kennedy not so much.

The big difference between this recipe and the linked orignal is that I use non fat milk (because that’s what we drink) and it seems to always need an extra five minutes in the oven.


  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup non fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 slices turkey bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9 inch pie plate with vegetable cooking spray.
  3. In a saucepan, place asparagus into boiling water and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain well.
  4. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and asparagus into pie plate.
  5. Top with cheese.
  6. In a bowl, beat together, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder. Pour egg mixture on top of cheese.
  7. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes or until golden and just set in the center. Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Linda’s Eating Well, Living Thin

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Turkey Jambalaya

I’ve made this about three times in the last month. It’s easy and tasty. I find if I double the red pepper, the kids only eat it once, and I get all the leftovers for lunches. Evil Dad.

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  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 2 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can corn (summer crisp)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions


  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, saute 6 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in bell peppers and next 5 ingredients (paprika through black pepper) and saute 1 minute.
  3. Add rice, saute 1 minute.
  4. Stir in chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Add corn.
  6. Cover, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes.
  7. Add turkey and sausage, cover and cook 5 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with green onions. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup).

Calories 249 (27% from fat); Fat 7.6 grams (sat 2.4g, mono 3.4 g, poly 1.3 g); Protein 17.3g; Carbs 27.4 g; Fiber 2.7g; Chol 42mg; Iron 2.7mg; Sodium 523mg; Calc 37mg

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Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

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Kebabs are a good protein you can build the rest of the meal around. You have to get Syrian bread (pita) and hummus (Sabra makes a tasty spicy hummus). 

It’s not a Lebanese meal without them.


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh or dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 24 strips
  • 18 (1/2-inch thick) slices of zucchini
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 12 wedges
  • 12 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • cooking spray (for grill)


  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake well. If you get more than two pounds of meat, keep the same number of strips and vegetable pieces, but increase the amount of marinade proportionately. Marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes. Remove chicken and vegetables from bag; discard marinade.
  2. Cook garlic cloves in boiling water to cover 3 minutes; drain and cool.
  3. Thread 4 chicken strips, 3 zucchini slices, 2 fennel wedges, and 2 garlic cloves alternately onto each of 6 (12-inch) skewers. Sprinkle with pepper.
  4. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray or onto a tray to broil. Grill, turning once, 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 kebab).

Calories 238 (25% from fat); Fat 6.6 grams (sat 1.1g, mono 3.8 g, poly 0.9 g); Protein 36.3g; Carbs 7.4 g

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Greek Shrimp Scampi

I love shrimp dishes. But unless you make it yourself, these dishes never come with enough shrimp in them to achieve satiety. When I heat this up in the lunch room, all my colleages suddenly look like they’re going to drop over to my office for a little lunch time meeting.

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I like this over brown rice. The rice isn’t included in the calorie count below. I typically use two bags of frozen shrimp, and let it thaw in the fridge before I make it. The hardest part is chopping up the tomatoes, but it’s worth it.


  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 30-40 jumbo or tiger shrimp, peeled and rinsed
  • 10 small fresh tomatoes, diced (~4 Cups)
  • 12 ounces low fat or non fat crumbled feta cheese (~2 Cups)
  • 1 to 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in skillet; add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add shrimp and saute on each side for 1 minute or until they are pink on the surface.
  3. Add the tomatoes and feta to the pan and stir until sauce begins to form, about 6 minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice, dill, and salt; cover and simmer for 4 minutes or until sauce thickens. Yield: 8 servings (serving size ~1 1/2 Cups)

Calories 246; fat 12 grams; protien 31 grams; carbs 7 grams. Adapted from a recipe by Karina Tanguay.

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Spicy Mulligatawny

Today I cooked Spicy Mulligatawny: difficult to pronounce, but tasty to eat. I was looking for a stew, but was swept off my feet by the curry and apple in the ingredients.

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As it turns out, spicy mulligatawny isn’t a good meal by itself. Not enough protein. Tonight Holly grilled up some chicken sausage to go with it. We had hot dog buns, but a tasty sourdough bread would be an excellent addition.


  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil, divided
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless, chicken breast
  • 2 (medium size) peeled, chopped Gala or Braeburn apples
  • 1 1/2 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped carrot
  • 1 C chopped celery
  • 1 C chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons curry
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (14 oz) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 C mango chutney
  • 1/2 C tomato paste
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add chicken, saute 3 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.
  2. Heat remainder of oil (1 Tablespoon, 1 teaspoon) in pan. Add apple and next 4 ingredients and saute for five minutes. Stir in flour and next 4 ingredients and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth, chutney, and tomato paste; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes. Return chicken to pan, cook 2 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Yield: 8 servings (serving size 1 1/4 Cups)

Calories: 242 (20% from fat); Fat: 5.4 grams; Protein: 16.6 g; Carbs: 33 g; Fiber: 3.3g; Chol: 31mg; Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

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