Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mealtime Magic: Healthy 4th of July Recipes

It’s almost time to pull out your red, white and blue tablecloth! Aside from burgers and beer, Independence Day is also an opportunity to get healthy and crafty in the kitchen.
Guiding Stars, a nutritional guidance program, pulled together a list of holiday recipes, including snacks, main meals and of course dessert, that are healthy and taste great.

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Smoothie
Number of Servings: 1 (299 G )

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 5 Minutes


1/2 banana, cut into pieces and frozen
2 lg. fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1/4 c. blueberries
1/2 c. skim milk
1 T. vanilla extract
2 T. sugar-free vanilla yogurt
2 ice cubes

Directions: Place the banana pieces, strawberries, blueberries, milk, vanilla extract, yogurt, and ice cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Strawberry Mint Spritzer
Number of Servings: 6 with about 1 cup per serving. (239 G )

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 5 Minutes


6 fresh mint leaves
1 pound strawberries (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons Splenda or Equal (or more to taste)
Grated zest of 1 medium lime (about 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons lime juice (1 to 2 medium limes)
4 cups club soda, sparkling water, or seltzer
6 lime wedges (optional)
6 mint sprigs (optional)

Directions: Chop mint leaves into very small pieces. Stem and halve strawberries. Put in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and chopped mint leaves; process until blended.
To serve, pour 1/3 cup strawberry mixture and 2/3 cup club soda into each glass; add ice and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig.

Strawberry Salsa
Number of Servings: 4 (54 G )

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 5 Minutes


1 Serrano or jalapeño chili
1 c. strawberries, diced
1/4 c. white onion, minced
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 t. fresh lime juice
Salt to taste

Directions: Wearing rubber gloves, remove stems, seeds, and ribs from chili and chop fine. In a bowl stir together chili and remaining salsa ingredients. Salsa may be made several hours ahead and chilled, covered.

Blackened Salmon Sandwich
Number of Servings: 4 (293 G )

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes


1 lb. wild salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
2 t. blackening or Cajun seasoning
1 sm. avocado, pitted
2 T. low-fat mayonnaise
4 crusty whole-wheat rolls, split and toasted
1 c. arugula
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced

Directions: Oil grill rack; preheat grill to high. Rub salmon on both sides with blackening (or Cajun) seasoning. Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Mash avocado and mayonnaise in a small bowl. To assemble sandwiches, spread some of the avocado mixture on each roll and top with salmon, arugula, tomato and onion.

Grilled Avocados with Black Bean Salsa
Number of Servings: 6 (190 G )

Prep Time: (Marinate Time: 3 Hours) 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes


Black Bean Salsa:
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced small
1 medium size tomato (or 2 small), diced small
Juice of 2 limes
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped, about 1 cup
A splash or two of your favorite hot sauce (optional)
Grilled Avocados:
3 avocados- halved
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Black Bean Salsa:

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to bring out the flavors.

Grilled Avocados:

1. Generously apply extra virgin olive oil over the avocados with a basting brush.

2. Place the avocados “meat” side down on a hot BBQ grill and cook for 8-10 minutes until the skin gets hot and turns bright green.

3.  Fill each half with salsa.


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