Thursday, May 14, 2015

Healthy Spring Recipes

5 Spice Beef Kabobs

  • 1 pound beef flank steak or boneless beef sirloin
  • 2 TB. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 -1 1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1- 6 - ounce carton plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TB. snipped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 small limes
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Thinly slice steak across grain. If necessary, flatten slices with palm of hand or meat mallet to 1/4-inch thickness. In medium bowl combine beef, soy sauce, and five-spice powder; toss to coat beef. Thread beef on skewers (soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before threading).
  • For charcoal or gas grill kabobs on rack of covered grill directly over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or to desired doneness, turning once.
  • Meanwhile, in small bowl combine yogurt and snipped mint. From one lime, finely shred 1 tsp. peel. Juice the lime. Stir peel and 1 TB. juice in to yogurt. Cut remaining lime in wedges, if desired. 
  • Serve kabobs with yogurt sauce, mint, and lime and fresh carrot ribbons. Use a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons. Toss with a squeeze of lime juice and lightly sprinkle with five-spice powder.
Marinated Lime Shrimp
Cook's notes: This dish can be an appetizer, but it works great as a salad topper, too. Marinate cooked shrimp a couple hours before dinner, then drain and serve over lettuce with peppers, cucumber or whatever veggies you have on hand. Add tortilla strips for a crunchy finishing touch.
  • 3/4 pound fresh or frozen peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp
  • 1 tsp. finely shredded lime peel
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 TB. snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 TB. canned chopped jalapeno pepper 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Lettuce (optional) 
  • 2 cups assorted fruit pieces, such as papaya chunks, kiwi chunks, red grapes, and orange sections or lime and orange wedges with pomegranate seeds
  • Thaw the shrimp, if frozen. Rinse shrimp; pat dry. In a medium bowl, stir together the lime peel, lime juice,cooking oil, fresh cilantro or parsley, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  • Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 3 hours, stirring the mixture twice.
  • To serve, drain shrimp and discard marinade. If you like, thread shrimp onto skewers. Arrange on lettuce-lined plate with fruit. Serve with toothpicks. Makes 6 appetizer servings.

Walnut Pesto Pasta with Fresh Veggies

Cook Notes: This lower-calorie pasta salad features roasted vegetables, whole wheat penne pasta and homemade pesto. To turn it into a main dish, stir in a can of rinsed and drained white beans or add chunks of grilled chicken.
  • 1- 1/2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini (1 medium)
  • 1- 1/2 cups coarsely chopped yellow summer squash (1 medium)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fennel bulb
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped red sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • 1 small eggplant (about 10 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 3 TB. olive oil
  • 12 ounces dried whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh basil (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan combine zucchini, summer squash, onion, fennel, sweet peppers, and eggplant. Drizzle with the 3 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring twice. Transfer to a very large bowl; cool.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and cool slightly. In a large bowl combine pasta and the roasted vegetables.
  • For pesto in a blender combine garlic, the 1 cup torn basil, the cheese, and walnuts; cover and pulse with several on/off turns until chopped. With blender running, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil, the lemon juice, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Add the pesto to pasta-vegetable mixture, stirring gently to coat. Stir in cherry tomatoes. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Serve at room temperature. If desired, sprinkle with additional basil.
Cooking tip:Walnuts are an inexpensive (and heart-healthy) alternative to using pine nuts in pesto.
Recipes from Midwest Living

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