Thursday, July 9, 2009

Owl Spotlight: CocoStIves

Face it – it's summer. When summer begins we, especially those of the female persuasion, wage the battle of the bulge.

I have to admit that I, too, am dieting. Happy to report I have lost nine pounds in three weeks. The trouble is, I love food. Real food; low calorie frozen dinners and Butter Buds – not so much. I have a passion for cooking and decided at diet outset I am going to eat real food and enjoy this lower calorie lifestyle or it just will not work.

I have no other choice. I made my first béchamel sauce at 14; sold bread, pies, and pastries my best friend and I baked during the holidays while in high school. My first job out of J school (that’s journalism school) was as the assistant food editor of the Boston Herald American (I replaced Gwen Ifill!). I’ve cooked for probably the best-known caterer in Boston – Rebecca’s; I’ve worked as a personal chef and am a Food Network junkie – my cooking style striving to be that of Tyler Florence. (His banana pudding is to die for – but includes eight egg yolks; whole milk; bourbon; and banana liqueur!)

So, it is no wonder once I hit 40 (and let that be a warning to those younger) the pounds got easier to put on and harder to take off.

I’ve picked up some recipes here and there that are not only low calorie, but also fit for family, friends, and our thin and slim fellow owlies. One is low carbohydrate for those of you who follow that scheme. I am sure I do not need to remind us that alcohol has no nutritional value. On the other hand, sometimes a tall, cool drink is welcome on a hot summer night. So, I have included my personal diet cocktail. Believe me, one of them is all I need on a Saturday night! Fire up the grill or the grill pan and get ready for some good eating. Here are two menus to try:


Menu 1 ~ LOW FAT




Chipotle Chicken Kebabs
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Pineapple
Tomato-Parsely Couscous

~

Chipotle Chicken Kebabs ~ serves 4

½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
1 large clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
Cooking spray

Combine yogurt through pepper in a small bowl and stir with a whisk. Pour into a heavy-duty zip lock bag. Add chicken; seal bag, and toss to coat. Marinate in refrigerator one to two hours (but no longer than 24 hours), turning bag periodically.

(If using wooden skewers, soak them in water 30 minutes before grilling). Prepare grill or heat grill pan. Thread chicken onto four or eight skewers, depending on the length of the skewer. Spray grill or grill pan liberally with cooking spray. Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning once for a total of 11 minutes or until done.

CAL: 209; FAT:2.3 g (sat 0.6 g); PRO: 40.7 g; CARB: 3.4 g; FIB: 0.2 g; CHOL: 99 mg; SOD: 445 mg;

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Pineapple ~ serves 4

1 peeled and cored pineapple OR 8 canned pineapple rings in their own juice
1 ½ Tbsp. pineapple juice
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
Cooking spray

Prepare grill or heat grill pan.

Cut pineapple into 8 slices. Combine pineapple juice, brown sugar, and adobo sauce in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Blot excess moisture from each pineapple slice with paper towels. Brush one side of each slice with brown sugar mixture.

Place pineapple slices, brushed sides down, on grill or grill pan sprayed with cooking spray. Grill 3 minutes or until browned; brush with remaining brown sugar mixture, turn, and grill 3 minutes.

CAL: 87; FAT: 0.2 g (sat fat 0 g); PRO: 0.6 g; CARB: 22.7 g; FIB 2 g; CHOL: 0; SOD 45 mg;

Tomato-Parsely Couscous ~ serves 4

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water and ¼ tsp. salt to boil. Stir in ¾ c. dry couscous; cover. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes. In the meantime; chop ¼ c. parsley and chop two plum tomatoes. Fluff couscous with a fork and spoon into a serving bowl. Stir in tomato and parsley.

CAL: 130; FAT: 1 g (sat fat 0); PRO: 5 g; CARB: 28 g; FIB: 2 g; CHOL: 0 mg

Menu 2: Low Carbohydrate



Salmon is high in fat but it is the omega-3/omega-6 rich fat that is not saturated like other fats from animal protein.

Grilled Salmon with Mustard Sauce
Lemon Grilled Asparagus


Grilled Salmon with Mustard Sauce

1 small lemon
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. sour cream
1 Tbsp. stone-ground (country-style) Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 clove minced garlic
4 (5 oz.) salmon fillets
salt and pepper
Cooking spray

Prepare grill or heat grill pan.

Grate ¼ teaspoon rind from the lemon. Squeeze lemon to measure 1 ½ teaspoons juice; reserve remaining lemon for another use. Combine grated lemon rind, lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, parsley, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl and stir with a whisk. Set aside.

Season fish with salt and pepper. Place fish on grill rack or grill pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and grill 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve each fillet with one tablespoon of sauce.

CAL: 300; FAT: 19 g. (sat fat 4 g); PRO: 29 g; CARB: 2 g; FIB: 0; CHOL: 88 mg


Grilled Lemon Asparagus

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or a sprinkle of dried thyme
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
pepper
cooking spray

Prepare grill or heat grill pan.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, and pepper to taste in a shallow dish; stir with a whisk. Coat asparagus with cooking spray. Grill 4 minutes or to desired tenderness. Add grilled asparagus to lemon mixture and toss to coat.

CAL: 37; FAT 2.7 g (sat 0.4); PRO: 1.4 g; CARB: 3.1 g; FIB 1.2 g; CHOL: 0

~

Coco’s Fizzy Lemon Highball

1 to 2 packets Splenda or sugar substitute of choice
3 Tbsps. lemon juice
2 oz. Vodka
seltzer water
ice

Mix sugar substitute with lemon juice in a tall glass. Add vodka and ice. Fill with seltzer. Enjoy!

CAL: 140; FAT: 0; PRO: 0; CARB: 3; FIB: 0; CHOL: 0



1 comment:

BlackCatMima / Tobelina said...

Coc I am printing out all those food recipes - they look scrumptuous! My mom is diabetic and able to completely control it w/ diet alone so we eat like this just because she has too (and i really should, so i don't become diabetic too.)
I'm sure we'll enjoy these yummy meals, thanks so much for sharing!

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