Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cucumber Dip with Feta Recipe:
Cool, Creamy & Cucumber!

Such a quick and simple recipe, this dip for raw vegetables, just a few often-on-hand pantry ingredients and a few minutes to stir together It's a 'veggie evangelist's' secret weapon! For Weight Watchers, it's just two points for a whole quarter cup.

Cucumber Dip with Feta
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Call me sneaky but come summer, an hour or so before supper, out comes a plate of fresh veggies – who can spell crudités? who can pronounce CROO-dee-tay? But the real secret weapon, the super-secret one, is the creamy vegetable dip alongside.

Within minutes, hungry folk start to snack, a stick of carrot here, a slice of red pepper there. Without ever “serving” a vegetable, I’ve managed to sneak in one of the day’s vegetable servings. At supper, the plate moves to the table, easy reach for post-supper snacking.

Sneaky yes. But successful.

WHAT IS THIS STUFF? I call it a 'cucumber dip' but given the ingredients, it could also be called 'tzatziki' or 'raita', from Greek and Indian cuisines.
ALANNA's TIPS Hoping for a little color, I’ve stirred in grated carrot too. The white of the sour cream and feta overwhelm the orange, however. Watch for feta cheese sold in heavy white bricks, rather than in packages of crumbles. It will be cheaper and moister, like feta should be. Serve it alongside grilled steaks as well as a dip for vegetables.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. She's also the 'veggie evangelist' at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.

CUCUMBER DIP with FETA

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 2 – 3 hours
Makes 2 cups
    DIP
  • 1 cup grated cucumber (seeded if seeds are large), skin and all
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs, chopped, optional (fresh dill, basil, mint or chives, say)
  • Fresh vegetables in bite-size pieces – the usual suspects such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, red pepper strips, cucumber spears and zucchini slices but also consider unusual raw vegetables such as fresh jicama or fresh kohlrabi, blanched asparagus, etc.

Stir together the dip ingredients. To meld the flavors, cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, as much as a day. Serve with fresh vegetables.

Use within several days but for any meal, put out only as much as will be eaten, leaving the rest in the fridge. Besides, if there’s just a small amount of dip in the bowl, people will ‘dip’ not ‘scoop’!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Dip Only, Per Tablespoon/Per Quarter Cup: 23/95 Calories; 2/7g Tot Fat; 1/5g Sat Fat; 1/5g Carb; 0g Fiber; 57/229mg Sodium; 6/26mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers .5/2 points

More Healthy Summer Appetizer Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Blueberry Salsa Easy-Easy Grilled Mushroom Appetizer Simple Hummus

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade



Monday, May 17, 2010

Homemade Egg McMuffin
Surprise: The Egg Is Cooked in the Microwave!

Thank my sister for this fast and healthy breakfast idea — her Homemade Egg McMuffin recipe creates an unexpected ‘wow’ factor. Start with sheer deliciousness then add healthy, cheap and substantial. And the eggs themselves? They’re cooked in the microwave! It’s no wonder that my sister’s family makes special requests for her ‘Egg McMoms’. They’re fabulous, simply fabulous.

Homemade Egg McMuffin Cooked in the Microwave
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

My sister Adanna raised two strapping always-hungry boys on a budget. No surprise, she developed an arsenal of frugal meal ideas – techniques too basic, really, to call ‘recipes’ but healthy food on the table, nonetheless.

But call me amazed when she shared how to cook an egg in the microwave to yield an eggy disk exactly the right size and tender texture for a Homemade Egg McMuffin.

No wonder her boys call these quick and healthy breakfast sandwiches ‘Egg McMoms’.

All that’s needed is a Pyrex liquid measuring cup, the practical one-cup size. Find for $2 - $3 in nearly any grocery store.

But don’t get the idea that Homemade English Muffins are ‘better’ just because they’re cheaper and made with whole ingredients. They’re ‘better’ because they taste better, way way WAY better.

MORE QUICK IDEAS for ENGLISH MUFFIN MEALS One summer, I lived in a fraternity while going to summer school. The big commercial kitchen could easily feed 100 but I lived on English muffins and a toaster. My favorites were English muffins smeared with peanut butter, English muffin sandwiches made with liver sausage, mayonnaise and lettuce or slices of ripe tomatoes and cheese. All these years later, I still love English Muffin sandwiches!

ALANNA’s TIPS Microwave wattages vary – so the first time you make Homemade Egg McMuffins, watch to see what works, timing wise. The cheese will melt a bit all on its own, just put it between the hot muffin and the hot egg. If you’re watching calories, check the nutrition labels on English muffin packages. I buy 120-calorie muffins but have seen them as high as 250. To save a few more calories, eat an open-face Homemade Egg McMuffin. Whole wheat English muffins are wonderful and worth seeking out and paying a little more for. No English muffins? No problem. A tortilla would work, so would two slices of bread or a corn muffin.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Visit Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Real Food, Fast:
HOMEMADE EGG McMUFFIN

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes
Serves 1
    TRADITIONAL FIXINGS for a HOMEMADE EGG McMUFFIN
    (cost estimate $.70 versus - anyone know the current price of an Egg McMuffin?)
  • 1 English muffin, toasted
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 1 slice ham
    MY FIXINGS for a HEALTHY HOMEMADE EGG McMUFFIN
    (cost estimate $.60)
  • 1 English muffin, toasted
  • 1 slice tomato
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts
    MICROWAVE EGG
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped onion or 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt & pepper to taste

FIXINGS Drop the English muffin into the toaster. (No toaster? ‘Toast’ the English muffins, brush the cut-sides with a little oil, then ‘toast’ cut-side down in a skillet.) Have the other fixings ready to go, this is going to move fast.

MICROWAVE EGG For easier clean up later, spray a one-cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup with cooking spray, the bottom and up the sides a bit. Add the oil and green onion, cook in the microwave on high for about 15 seconds, just until soft. Add the egg, salt and pepper, whisk well with a fork. Return to the microwave, cook for 10 seconds, stir, then cook for 10 seconds at a time until done, as few as 10 or 20 more seconds, as much as a minute.

SANDWICH TIME! Lift the egg out with a fork onto the English muffin. Add the fixings. Dig in, tis time to eat!

NUTRITION ESTIMATES (How many calories in a Homemade Egg McMuffin? How many Weight Watchers points in Homemade Egg McMuffin?) Per Sandwich, made with traditional fixings/healthy fixings/egg only: 306/219/95 Calories; 13/8/6g Tot Fat; 5/2/2g Sat Fat; 233/211/211mg Cholesterol; 957/523/142mg Sodium; 28/27/1g Carb; 2/3/0g Fiber; 2/3/1g Sugar; 19/11/6g Protein; Weight Watchers 7/4.5/3 points
(How many calories in a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin? How many Weight Watchers points in a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin?) Per Egg McMuffin: 300 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 235mg Cholesterol; 840mg Sodium; 29g Carb; 2g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 18g Protein; Weight Watchers 7 points (Source)

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Microwave Creamy Oatmeal with Peanut Butter Mexican Gashouse Eggs Mango Lassi

Recent Favorites from A Veggie Venture



If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, visit A Veggie Venture, my food blog, home to the Alphabet of Vegetables where there's a vegetable in every recipe and vegetables in every course.


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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade



Monday, May 10, 2010

Fish with Herb Butter:
Another Quick Supper Recipe

One of my favorite simple suppers, one that's light and easy and healthy too. It's quick enough for a weeknight supper but also special enough for company. Weight Watchers, you'll love this fish recipe, just 5 PointsPlus for something that tastes rich and satisfying.

Fish with Herb Butter @ KitchenParade.com, simple broiled fish, topped with a little butter and fresh herbs. quick enough for a weeknight, special enough for company. Low-cal, low-carb, high-protein & Weight Watchers PointsPlus 5.
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes
published every summer since 2009.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Feeling heavy and slow from food-centered gatherings with friends and family over the long weekend? Overeat at breakfast or lunch?

FISH with HERB BUTTER is the cure. Quick to prepare and serve, there’s barely time to toss a salad.

ALANNA's TIPS Whether broiling, baking, grilling or frying, the guideline for cooking fish is to measure the thickest part, then cook 4 to 5 minutes per half inch. To test for doneness, insert a knife tip into the thickest point. The fish should be opaque with milky-white juices. If undercooked, the flesh will be translucent and the juices clear and watery. If overcooked, the flesh will be dry and fall apart. For precision, insert an instant-read thermometer, again at the thickest point; fish is cooked at 145F/65C. For a delicate pleasure, skip the salt before broiling. Then, before serving, sprinkle the filet with a few grains of a finishing salt such as fleur de sel, a special-occasion salt harvested by hand from salt flats off the coast of France and then only on warm, breezy and rain-free afternoons. Its moist flakes are expensive but used in tiny quantities to highlight foods as such perfectly ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls. For an elegant plate, sprinkle the rim with chopped chive or dabs of fresh pesto.

FISH with HERB BUTTER

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
    PER SERVING
  • 6-ounce filet of sole or another mild-flavored, firm-fleshed saltwater fish such as flounder or cod
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soft butter
  • Generous splash fresh lemon juice
  • Generous portions chopped fresh chive and dill

Preheat broiler. Lightly brush both sides of filet with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and broil for 3 minutes without turning. (More time is needed for thicker filets. See TIPS.)

Meanwhile, mix butter, lemon juice and herbs in a small dish. Remove fish and dab butter mixture on top. Broil for another minute. Garnish with lemon slices and dill sprigs and serve immediately.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 168 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 88mg Cholesterol; 120mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 32g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 5 This recipe has been "Alanna-sized" by a reduction in fat plus increases in no-calorie herbs.
LATER NOTES
Have you planted a few herbs yet? Keeping two or three favorites herbs in pots will keep you in herbs all summer long, all for the price of a few plants. See my post about growing herbs at home, Never Buy Fresh Herbs Again.
Fresh dill and chive work beautifully together but when I broiled the fish most recently, I used what was on hand, fresh tarragon. It complements fish too!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture.

More of My Favorite Easy Fish Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Roasted Salmon & Asparagus Easy Baked Fish with Red Pepper & Cucumber Salad Herb-Coated Broiled Fish
~ more fish recipes ~

More Quick Supper Recipes for Summer

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Chicken Burgers with Fresh Spinach, Feta and Garden Tzatziki Sauce Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus Smoked Salmon Salad





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