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Instead of using pizza crust, why not try pita bread? This recipe is great topped with Italian sausage, green peppers and mushrooms, but feel free to use your own favorite toppings. These pizzas can also be grilled easily. Grill over medium heat 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Not only are these pizzas delicious, but they are economical and child-friendly. 

 

Mushroom Pita Pizzas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage

1 cup marinara sauce

4 (6-inch) pita bread rounds

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup diced green bell pepper

11/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation 

1. Brown sausage in a medium pan over medium heat 5 minutes or until meat crumbles; drain, if needed

2. Spread each pita round with 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Top evenly with sausage, mushrooms, green pepper and cheese.

3. Bake at 350F 15 minutes or until pita is browned and cheese is melted.

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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. 

Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette from Cooking Light

The combination of soba noodles, edamame, ginger, carrots and fresh citrus juices creates this healthy and flavorful shrimp salad. If you don’t eat shrimp, feel free to add cooked, sliced chicken to this recipe. Don’t let the lengthy-looking ingredient list fool you, this recipe can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

 

Healthy Shrimp Noodle Salad

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)

Ingredients

1  (8-ounce) package soba noodles

1 1/4  cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)

3/4  cup  matchstick-cut carrots

1/3  cup  sliced green onions

2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2  teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)

1  pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp

1/4  teaspoon kosher salt

1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Cooking spray

2  tablespoons fresh orange juice

2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice

1  tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1  tablespoon dark sesame oil

1  tablespoon  olive oil

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Preparation

1. Cook noodles in boiling water 7 minutes or until almost al dente. Add soybeans to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Drain. Place noodle mixture in a large bowl. Add carrots, onions, cilantro, and pepper, if desired; toss.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and red pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Add shrimp to noodle mixture.

3. Combine orange juice and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over noodle mixture; toss well.

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

February 25, 2009

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Since spring is around the corner, I was getting so excited that I decided to make my favorite spring/summer salad. And since I have tomato and basil on my mind from yesterday’s blog, I thought I would give you this recipe that is so easy and a true favorite at my house. Serve it with practically any main dish. Even my kids eat this salad, and they especially like it when I serve it with some warm crusty bread. Don’t forget to serve it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar so they can dip.

 

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

For an extra sprinkling of color, use multi-colored peppercorns and grind them over the salad just before serving.

Prep: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

1/2  pound  fresh mozzarella cheese*

2  large red tomatoes, sliced

1  large yellow tomato, sliced

3  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

1/2  cup  shredded or chopped fresh basil

Balsamic vinegar

Preparation

1. Remove cheese from brine, and cut into 12 slices; sprinkle tomato slices. Alternate tomato and cheese slices on a platter; drizzle with olive oil. Cover and chill 4 hours if desired. Just before serving, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and basil. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Note:*Fresh mozzarella is a soft white cheese available in the gourmet cheese section of any local grocery stores.

Fresh Tomato-Pesto Pizza from Cooking Light

It’s pizza night at my house, so I thought I would share this recipe. With only 240 calories and 9 grams of fat, you can’t go wrong. Feel free to add cooked chicken or shrimp on this pizza. And if you want a shortcut, purchase jarred pesto in the grocery store. I love using Mama Mary’s crust or Boboli, which work great on busy weeknights (which is always at my house with 3 kids, especially during baseball season).

 

Tomato-Basil Pizza

Prep: 15 minutes

cook: 12 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

FOR THE PESTO:

4  cups basil leaves

2  garlic cloves

1/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1  tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1  tablespoon olive oil

FOR THE PIZZA:

1  (1-pound) pizza crust (such as Boboli or Mama Marys)

3  cups  chopped seeded tomato (about 2 pounds)

3  garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4  cup  thinly sliced basil leaves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 475°.

2. To prepare pesto, place 4 cups basil leaves and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor, and pulse 5 times or until coarsely chopped. With processor on, add broth, Parmesan, and oil through food chute; process until well-blended.

3. To prepare pizza, place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread pesto over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with the tomato, garlic slices, and mozzarella. Bake at 475° for 12 minutes or until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup basil. Cut the pizza into 8 wedges.

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A friend of mine requested more side dish options, so here’s one that’s hard to beat. If you love spinach dip, spinach casserole, or spinach period, you will love this low-fat, simple side dish prepared in muffin cups. The most difficult part of this recipe is draining the spinach, and anyone can do that. And, if you’re trying to eat low-carb or are on Weight Watchers, this recipe is really great for you. Serve these for a breakfast, brunch or with steak, pork, chicken or fish for a comforting side dish that tastes as good as it looks.

 

Crustless Spinach Tarts

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield:  6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) package frozen spinach

3 egg whites

11/2 cups (12-ounce) 2% cottage cheese

1 cup low-fat finely shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded or freshly grated Parmesan 

Preparation

1. Cook spinach in microwave; drain well. 

2. In a separate bowl, combine egg whites and next 2 ingredients; stir in spinach. Pour mixture into lightly greased muffin pans. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over tops. Bake at 400F for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.