Food. Who doesn’t love to eat? And I must admit, I love all foods; fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies, hot pizza with my favorite toppings, sushi from Blue Fin, creamy macaroni and cheese, a good burger with thin fries, an Italian meal from Limoncello’s, cold cookies and cream ice cream, and more. I could go on and on. But I rarely eat any of the above mentioned. No, I’m a discipline eater who chows down veggie wraps as a splurge, drinks protein smoothies regularly, and fills my daily meals with fruits, vegetables, chicken or fish, and nuts. Many find my food intake boring and don’t know how I can eat this way day in and day out. But to me, it’s easy as I also find many ways to be creative within my own limitations.
Spinach, zucchini and mushrooms are a few of my favorite vegetables, while I love every type of fruit that is out there except for coconuts. So why not share a few of my favorite recipes incorporating them? The Portobello Mushroom Burger is to die for. I eat mine without the bun, but please feel free to eat bread if you eat carbs. The avocado sauce is simply delish as is the Zucchini-Tomato Gratin, a family favorite especially with my daughter. The spinach salad is a classic. I have one almost every day as it is my absolute favorite veggie and my favorite leaf base for salads. And what meals is complete without a dessert? Below I share my Fresh Fruit Kabobs recipe with a cinnamon yogurt dipping sauce. Simply yum! I hope you find these recipes as divine as I do. Enjoy!
Portobello Mushroom Burger: Brush 4 medium portabella mushrooms with stems removed and 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices, with 3 tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper. Heat large skillet or grill pan over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook until tender, 8 to 10 min, turning once. Transfer mushrooms to plate, cavity side up; cover to keep warm. In same skillet, cook onion slices until golden, about 8 min, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, combine in small bowl, 1/2 sliced avocado, 2 tbsp low-fat yogurt, 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper; mash until smooth for an avocado sauce. Spoon onions and 4 roasted red peppers into mushroom cavities, divided equally. Spread smooth Avocado mixture on bottom of 4 lightly toasted hamburger buns; top each with stuffed mushrooms. Top with remaining sliced avocado. Cover with tops of buns. Serves 4.
Zucchini-Tomato Gratin: Cut 1 1/2 lb. tomatoes into 1/4″ thick slices; drape tomato slices over colander, sprinkle with salt and let drain 45 min. Spread 2 medium zucchini (1 lb.), cut into 1/8” thick diagonal slices, on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 min to sweat out excess moisture. Rinse well and pat dry. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté zucchini 3-4 min or until golden. Transfer to plate. Do this in 2 batches if necessary, adding more olive oil between batches. Layer half of zucchini slices in 8” square baking pan. Top with half of tomatoes. Sprinkle with 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp. roughly chopped kalamata olives, 1/8 c. thinly sliced basil leaves, and 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Repeat with remaining zucchini, tomatoes, 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp. roughly chopped kalamata olives, and 1/8 c. thinly sliced basil leaves. Drizzle top with 1 Tbs. oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese. Cover with foil, and bake 10 min. Remove foil. Bake 20 min more or until cheese is melted and gratin is bubbling. Let stand 5 min before serving. Serves 4.
Spinach Salad: To make a raspberry vinaigrette dressing, combine the following ingredients in a blender or food processor and emulsify until smooth: 1/2 c. vegetable or canola, 1 packet of Truvia or other stevia-based sweetener, 1/4 c. no sugar added apple sauce, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, a dash salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 c. fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries. Set aside. For the salad, in a large bowl combine 1 package fresh baby spinach (rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces), 1 cup dried cranberries, 3 /4 cup slivered or chopped almonds, 3 chopped egg, and 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (crumbled). Toss lightly with dressing and serve immediately. Store remaining dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serves 4.
Fresh Fruit Kabobs: Combine 1 c. unflavored yogurt with 2 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon. Alternating the following fruits – 2 pts. fresh strawberries, 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed, 1 honeydew melon, scooped into melon balls and 3 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced – by threading them onto 6” bamboo skewers. Serve kabobs with cinnamon yogurt dipping sauce. Makes 24 kabobs.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.
everything sounds delish and the burger looks awesome!
Adriana Falco said:
Thanks! I hope you try to recipes!