Posted in Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables

A perfect compliment with BBQ…


Smoky Corn Salad

This is a great side dish that goes with any BBQ you are cooking up for family or friends.  The bacon and Tabasco sauce offers a nice contrast to the sweetness of the corn and the beans offer a lot of fiber to make it healthy as well.  If you’re planning a crowd, just double up on the ingredients, it’s easy enough to make.

Enjoy, eat well and feel good about it too.

Smoky Corn and Bean Salad

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration time: overnight

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 110                                              Fat =  2 grams

Ingredients:

2 cups corn kernels

2 slices turkey bacon – chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 – 4 dashes Chipotle Tabasco sauce

1 cup red bell pepper – chopped

1 cup canned black beans – rinsed and drained

Salt to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add corn and sugar and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.
  2. Transfer corn to a bowl and cool. 
  3. Cook turkey bacon in skillet until browned.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. Add lime juice, Tabasco sauce, red pepper, black beans,  corn and bacon to a bowl and season with salt.
  5. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold.
Posted in Side Dishes, Vegetables

A Little Fun in Your Sandwich…


Grilled Chicken and Coleslaw Sandwich

Coleslaw may sound pretty boring but it can really bring a sandwich alive with flavor.  I am a big fan of coleslaw and always taste the different versions in restaurants, at parties or from the local market.  I like the wide variations of coleslaw available but my favorite does have at least a little mayonnaise in it.    

So for dinner tonight, I grilled chicken breasts.  To add a little fun with the plain grilled chicken sandwiches, I made 2 different kinds of coleslaw to put inside the sandwiches.  One has a ranch flavor and the other has paprika for a more smoky taste.  We all enjoyed both and the call is still out on which we like better.  Over the next few days, the coleslaw will continue to get better as it marinates in the sauce.

Next time you are having company, try one or both of these and encourage people to try it on their sandwich.  I think they may find that it make a common sandwich something a little more special.

Enjoy the slaw!

Creamy Ranch Cole Slaw

Serves 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 4 hours

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 95                                                Fat = 3 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup white vinegar

½ head of cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

1 onion – thinly sliced

1 cup fat free sour cream

½ cup low calorie mayonnaise

1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix (powdered)

½ teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon horseradish

Directions:

  1. Heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar water, salt, vinegar, cabbage, carrots and onion.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  3. Strain excess liquid from cabbage mixture but still keeping it juicy.
  4. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix, celery seed and horseradish and serve.

Smoky Cole Slaw

Creamy Ranch Cole Slaw

Serves 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 4 hours

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 95                                                Fat = 3 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup white vinegar

½ head of cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

1 onion – thinly sliced

1 cup fat free sour cream

½ cup low calorie mayonnaise

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon horseradish

Directions:

  1. Heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar water, salt, vinegar, cabbage, carrots and onion.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  3. Strain excess liquid from cabbage mixture but still keeping it juicy.
  4. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, paprika, onion powder, celery seed and horseradish and serve.
Posted in Tips/Hints, Travel

Back at the homestead…


We made it back home, but not without having had enjoyed just a few more Southern BBQ meals along the way.  We stopped in Knoxville Tennessee for lunch and were lucky enough to bump into a restaurant called “Famous Dave’s”.  They have five varieties of BBQ sauces at every table and encourage samplings with your meal.  It is interesting to see how different BBQ sauce can be based on individual preferences and various regions throughout the United States.  If you are ever traveling through Tennessee, this is a place worth visiting.  The meat was very tender and the sauces are delicious.

While in Christiansburg Virginia, a local recommended we try a restaurant called “Due South”.  This was also good and I had the awesome opportunity to try fried green tomatoes for the first time.  Even though this is clearly not a “Delicious & Light” side dish, I just couldn’t resist.  They were really good and I am determined to try to re-create some light version of this at home in the summer when our garden is up and growing.

Back home and back to cooking.  I know there will be a roast turkey breast on the menu tomorrow and will let you know where I go from there with cooking it.

Until then, enjoy and happy samplings…

Posted in Tips/Hints, Travel

Eating In Tennessee


We were on the road a few days and are finishing up our fun trip to Nashville.  I love going to places I have never been before to sample the delicious tastings that other parts of our  big  beautiful country has to offer.  I have to say that the food in Tennessee did not disappoint and even though we are in BBQ country, there were low fat options available (even if they aren’t advertised that way).  Nick had smoked turkey for lunch one day and BBQ pork loin for dinner another.  Dean and I changed it up a little and went for the BBQ pork ribs and beef brisket BBQ but then ordered a lighter item for the next meal.

If you are traveling and trying to keep things on the low fat side, you can choose lower fat cuts of meat and still enjoy the local cuisine.  Chicken breasts, turkey, pork loin and sirloin steaks are just a few options to choose from.  The nice thing is you still get to enjoy the local flavors through BBQ and other sauces, just stay away from creamy sauces or sauces that have butter written in the descriptions.

However, I must say that my favorite dish in Nashville was the shrimp and grits.  The grits had a very subtle hint of parmesan cheese in them and the shrimps were pan fried with bacon and scallions. I just took a few bacon pieces for the flavor but knew to keep away from eating all of them.  I am not sure if this is a standard local dish but it is worth trying to create a low fat version of this and I expect that when I get home, I will be shopping for grits & shrimp.  Don’t be surprised if you see a recipe for this dish in the coming days after we return.

Next stop…Roanoke, Virginia.

Until then, enjoy and happy traveling!

Posted in Beef

A flavor for BBQ


We are leaving for a road trip out to to Nashville, TN tomrrow morning.  I am very excited since we have never been out that way before.  In anticipation of visiting that part of the country, I been having a major hankering for BBQ.  So in the spirit of our upcoming trip, I cooked a BBQ Beef Stew.  I used a top round beef that has less fat in it than other types of beef.   This allows you to watch your calorie and fat intake while still enjoying a hearty dinner.

Enjoy and happy BBQing!!

Beef BBQ Stew

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 ½ – 2 hours

Ingredients:

2 pounds top round beef – trimmed of any fat

Salt and pepper to season beef

1 cup strong coffee

1 cup crushed tomatoes from a can

1 cup beer

½ cup ketchup

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons chili powder

¼ cup brown sugar

½ – 1 jalapeno (depending on personal preference) – finely chopped

3 cloves garlic – minced

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon smoke salt

1 tablespoon corn starch

¼ cup water

Directions:

  1. Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Heat a large deep skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Season beef with salt and pepper and add to skillet.  Brown beef for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine coffee, crushed tomatoes, beer, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, brown sugar, garlic, liquid smoke and smoke salt then add to skillet with beef.  Bring mixture to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours until beef is very tender.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove beef and spoon into a serving bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water then add to sauce in pan.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick.  Pour sauce over beef and serve.

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 300                                              Fat = 7 grams