Posted in Appetizers, Grilling, Poultry, Sauces

Visiting Friends…

We are going to a friend’s house tonight for dinner and I am bringing an appetizer.   I made this a few times last summer and friends really enjoyed it.  Also, kids like this because it’s “food on a stick” which is always a hit.

Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Marinating time: overnight

Cook time: 15 minutes

Estimates Values per serving:

Calories = 200                                              Fat = 5 grams

Marinade Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon fresh ginger – minced

½ cup fresh cilantro – finely chopped

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts – cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips

Skewers (about 20 – 25)

1 recipe spicy peanut sauce (recipe below)

Chicken Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together garlic, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chili sauce, lime juice, ginger and cilantro.  Add chicken to bowl, cover and let marinate overnight. 
  2. Remove chicken strips from marinade and  skewer
  3. Working in batches, grill chicken skewers for about 5 – 7 minutes or until completely cooked. 

Spicy Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

½ package (4 ounces) low fat cream cheese – cubed

½ package (4 ounces) fat free cream cheese – cubed

½ cup skim milk

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan.
  2. Heat on low, stirring, until all ingredients are melted and mixture is smooth.
Posted in Appetizers, Beef, Grilling, Vegetables

Memorial Day Weekend Entertaining – Part III of IV

Tonight’s recipes include Cucumber Yogurt Dip with grilled Flat bread and

Asian Marinated Grilled Steak.

Enjoy your BBQ while keeping weight management goals in check!

Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration: overnight

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 124                                              Fat = 3 grams

Serves 8


½ European cucumber – seeded and grated

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

½ cup fat free Greek yogurt

2 cloves garlic – minced

Salt to taste

4 Large pita breads

  1. Remove excess water from cucumber by placing it in a double layer of paper towels.  Twist the ends of the paper towel over the sink to allow the cucumber water to drain.
  2. In a bowl, fold in the cucumber, cream cheese, yogurt, garlic and salt.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  4. 5 minutes before serving, grill pita bread on the BBQ, cut into 8 wedges per pita and serve with chilled cucumber dip.

NOTE: if you cannot find flatbread, pita bread works just as well.

Asian Marinated Grilled Steak

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes + overnight marinating

Cook time: 10 – 15 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 340                                              Fat = 8 grams


1/3 cup soy sauce

1 cup rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

1 clove garlic – minced

¼ cup scallions – chopped

2 tablespoons ginger – minced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

2 pounds London broil

1 tablespoon corn starch


  1. Whisk soy sauce, oil, vinegar and sugar in a bowl to dissolve sugar.  Add liquid smoke, garlic, scallions, ginger, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.  Combine with steak, cover bowl with wrap and marinate overnight.
  2. Remove steak from bowl and reserve marinade.
  3. Grill steak for about 7 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.
  4. Transfer marinade to a sauce pot, whisk in cornstarch and cook on medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes).
  5. Cut steak across the grain and pour cooked marinade on top or serve on the side.
Posted in Grilling, Poultry

Southwest Inspiration…

I was hoping to give you a kickin’ carrot cupcake recipe tonight but it didn’t turn out quite right.  My family ate them up but the texture was a little gummy for my taste so I am offering you our dinner course instead.  The Southwest chicken recipe is simple and I hope you like it as much as we did.

Happy Grilling!!

Grilled Southwest Chicken

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 – 15 minutes


6 skinless/boneless split chicken breasts

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Hickory smoke salt

¼ cup reduced fat sour cream

½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

2 tablespoon fresh cilantro – minced

1 cup salsa


  1. In a small bowl, combine paprika, chili powder and hickory salt and rub a generous amount on each chicken breast.
  2. Heat indoor grill on high heat and spray with cooking spray and add chicken.  Grill 5 – 7 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cheese and cilantro and blend well.
  4. Spread a little of the cheese mixture on each chicken breast.  Spray a 9 X 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and arrange chicken breasts in the baking dish.
  5. Set oven to high broil and broil chicken for about 5 minutes or until cheese mixture is bubbly.
  6. Remove baking dish from oven, arrange chicken breasts on a serving platter and serve with salsa on the side.

Estimated Values:

Calories = 165                                              Fat = 4.5 grams

Posted in Cajun, Cooking Styles/Techniques, Grilling, Main Courses, Poultry, Rice, Side Dishes

A spice to Life

One of the best ways to create delicious and flavorful low fat meals is by adding spices.  Most spices have very few calories and no fat.  The grilled chicken breast that we for dinner tonight offered something flavorful to what could normally be a very boring.  The only thing to be aware of is that you want to marinate the chicken breasts the night before so they can pick up all the flavors.  If there are spices that you do not like in the recipe, have fun and substitute with something that you do like. 

Enjoy and happy spicing!!

Grilled Cajun Chicken Breast with Spicy Rice

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Chicken Marinade:

¼ cup orange juice

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon rum

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning

1 teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon allspice

2 pounds skinless/boneless chicken breast

Spicy Rice Ingredients:

2 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 cup corn kernels

½ green bell pepper – chopped

1/3 cup black beans from a can – drained and rinsed


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a large sealable bag, add chicken breast and marinate overnight.
  2. The night of dinner: Combine the vegetable broth, paprika and Cajun seasoning to a boil then add rice.  Simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. While rice is cooking, combine corn and bell pepper in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon water and cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Add beans and set aside.
  4. Heat grill on high heat, remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade.
  5. Spray grill with cooking spray and add chicken breast.  Grill for 5 – 7 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  6. When rice is cooked, add corn and beans and spoon onto a serving platter.  Place chicken breasts on top and serve.

Estimated Nutritional Value per serving:

Calories = 473                                              Fat = 3 grams

Posted in Beef, Grilling, Sauces, Saute`, Vegetables

Getting Saucy

Sauces are a great way to make a boring or basic dinner into something a little more special.  The problem with sauces are that many include butter or heavy cream but I found way to “lighten” it up so that you can enjoy a rich tasting sauce without all the guilt and fat.  Tonight, we had grilled London Broil and asparagus accompanied with a Wine and Sambuca (Italian liquor) Sauce.  Try it out, it’s something a little different but my family thought was worth it.  Enjoy & Happy Cooking!!

Grilled London Broil and Asparagus

Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 4


1 – 1 1/4 pounds london broil

Sat and pepper to season meat and asparagus

About 20 stalks asparagus (approximately 5 per person)

Onion powder to season asparagus


1. Season meat with salt and pepper.  For asparagus, break off the bottom portions by applying light pressure toward the bottom and allowing each to break on its own.  Discard the bottom pieces that broke off.  Spray asparagus with cooking spray then sprinkle with onion powder, salt and pepper.

2. Heat a double burner indoor grill on medium hight heat.  Spray with cooking spray and add asparagus to one side and london broil to the other.  Grill london broil for 10-12 minutes on each side (for medium rare) or 13 – 15 minutes on each side (for medium to well done). 

3. continue to turn asparagus as they are grilling and remove from grill when they are browned and no longer stiff (about 10 – 15 minutes). Set the asparagus on a serving platter and cover to keep warm.

While meat and asparagus are grilling, the sauce can be prepared.

Wine Sauce with Sambuca

Prep and cooking time: aproximately 15 minutes.

Makes about 2 cups


1 scallion – finely chopped

2 tablespoons Sambuca

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ cup white wine

1 ½ cups fat free chicken broth

*1 teaspoon tarragon – powdered in mortar and pestal

*6 peppercorns – mashed in mortar and pestal

½ cup egg substitute

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons fresh parsley – finely chopped

1 tablespoon low calorie butter spread


  1. In a small saucepan, combine scallion, sambuca and vinegar, cook until reduced by half (about 7 minutes).  Remove from heat and set aside in a small bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, whisk together wine, chicken broth, tarragon, peppercorns, egg substitute and flour.  Cook on medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat, add parsley and butter spread.
  3. Serve on the side with meat and asparagus.

*If you do not have a mortar and pestal, you can use the dried tarragon as it is from the bottle and use already ground pepper.