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This salad is so simple and so delicious! The combination of fresh spinach, basil, chopped pine nuts, turkey and Parmesan create an incredible healthy, fresh, main-dish salad. I served this salad for dinner, and it disappeared faster than I could blink. Serve it with your favorite vinaigrette or just a drizzle of red wine vinegar and olive oil. It has so many great flavors already, so it doesn’t need a lot of dressing. Welcome in spring with clean eating and this fresh salad.

 

Spinach-Turkey Salad

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach

11/2 cups chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 pound sliced deli turkey (I used cracked pepper turkey)

1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Vinegar and oil or vinaigrette

Preparation

1. Combine spinach, basil and pine nuts in a large salad bowl. Add turkey and cheese. Drizzle with dressing, tossing gently.

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Since Saint Patrick’s Day is one week away, here’s a quick and easy dip that is sure to be a party pleaser. This low-fat, low-calorie delight is perfect for spring. It’s filled with fresh dill and fresh basil. Guests won’t believe that this dip is low-fat, and don’t tell them it took only 10 minutes to prepare.

 

Low-Fat Fresh Herb Dip

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 31/2 cups

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) container light sour cream

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Fresh vegetables, crackers

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a container of a food processor; pulse until combine. Cover and chill. Serve with fresh vegetables or crackers.

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This is one of my all-time favorite dips, and it’s low in fat and so high in flavor! I have made this numerous times for parties and showers, but I brought it up to the baseball field for my son’s 5:30 game, and everyone went nuts over it. I like to use rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes that are already chopped. These are less fat since they’re not packed in oil, and they can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store. This recipe is so quick, light, simple and delicious. What else can you ask for?

 

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 11/2 cups

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package low-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a container of a food processor; process until combined. Serve with crackers or vegetables. 

Chicken Scaloppine over Broccoli Rabe from Cooking Light

I developed this recipe for Cooking Light a few years ago for their “20 minute meals” column. Using chicken cutlets saves a lot of cooking time. With only 318 calories and 7 grams of fat, this chicken and broccoli combination is light and flavorful. This recipe used broccoli rabe, which has 6- to 9-inch stalks and clusters of tiny broccoli-like buds. It can be found in the produce sections usually from fall through spring, but if you can’t find broccoli rabe, feel free to use regular broccoli.

 

Chicken Scaloppine

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon  olive oil

1/3  cup  Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

1/4  teaspoon black pepper

4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets

1/2  cup  dry white wine

1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

3  tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter

1  pound  broccoli rabe (rapini), cut into 3-inch pieces

2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2  tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

4  lemon slices (optional)

Preparation

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Combine breadcrumbs and pepper in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in breadcrumb mixture. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

3. Add wine, broth, juice, and butter to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in broccoli rabe; cover and cook 3 minutes or until broccoli rabe is tender. Stir in parsley and capers. Serve chicken over broccoli rabe mixture. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Warm Fudge-Filled Cheesecake from Southern Living

Okay, yes, my birthday is today so deciding what to put up on the blog was tricky. I tried to think what are some of my favorite desserts? Coconut cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake and any peanut butter treats come to mind. I even thought, maybe a cupcake or a chocolate chip cookie, hmm. Well, after much debate, I remembered one of my all-time favorite cheesecake recipes from when I still worked at Southern Living. This version is awesome! The hint of pistachios makes it really special, and I’m a semisweet chocolate lover for sure. Enjoy this recipe for years to come for your celebrations.

 

Warm Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

1/2  cup  butter or margarine, softened

1/3  cup  sugar

1  cup  all-purpose flour

1  tablespoon  vanilla, divided

2/3  cup  chopped pistachios

4  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2  cups  sugar

4  large eggs

1  (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate mini-morsels

Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Garnish: chocolate shavings

Preparation

1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add 1/3 cup sugar, beating well. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and pistachios. Press into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. (Do not overmix.)

3. Pour half of batter into crust; sprinkle with chocolate morsels to within 3/4 inch of edge. Pour in remaining batter, starting at outer edge and working toward center. Place cheesecake on a baking sheet.

5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Serve slightly warm with sweetened whipped cream, if desired. Garnish, if desired.

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We love making muffins at my house, and this recipe is completely simple. With only 109 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per serving, you won’t feel guilty eating these muffins. The combination of rapspberry and almond go so well together, but for those of you who prefer blueberries, feel free to substitute blueberry preserves. 


Raspberry Almond Mini-Muffins

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter or margarine

2/3 cup milk

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup raspberry preserves

Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in Classic Batter Bowl. Stir melted butter, milk, egg and almond extract into dry ingredients, mixing until well combined.

2.  Spray Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fill prepared muffin cups using Medium Scoop (1 scoop per muffin cup). Press approximately 1/2 teaspoon raspberry preserves into top of muffin batter. Gently fold batter over most of preserves.

3.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown or Cake Tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan; serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using Flour/Sugar Shaker, if desired.

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Coming up with this recipe may seem simple to you because that’s what I thought when I submitted this recipe concept to a client for recipe development. Honestly, I made this recipe at least six times. I kept placing the strawberries in the blender and coming out with a fizzy product. It tasted great, but was very foamy and fizzy. The kids loved trying all the versions, but they even complained about all of the fizz. I realized that maybe I was making this too complicated trying create a lime simple syrup, different sugars, etc. until I realized why not just try chopping the strawberries in the food processor first and then stir them into simple limeade? This version worked great so I hope you will like it too.

 

Strawberry-Limeade

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 to  8 cups

Ingredients

1 (16-oz.) container strawberries, stems removed

1 (12-oz) can frozen limeade concentrate, undiluted

5 cup cold water

Fresh strawberries, fresh mint (optional)

Preparation

1. Combine strawberries in a container of a food processor; light pulse until smooth. Pour in a strainer to strain pulp. Combine limemade and water in a large pitcher and stir until limeade dissolves. Stir in strawberries; pour over ice and garnish with fresh strawberries and mint, if desired.