“Smoky” Salmon

"smoky" salmon
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Ingredients
  1. ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 4-ounce salmon filets (skinless)
  3. Sea salt and pepper to taste
  4. 1 wooden grill plank (any variety), soaked in water for at least 1 hour
Instructions
  1. 1. Place the plank on the grill and preheat the grill to medium heat.
  2. 2. Rub the oil evenly over the salmon filets. Season them evenly with salt and pepper.
  3. 3. Carefully open the grill (when the plank is ready, it should smoke and it may crackle; if it begins to warp, flip it over and let it settle). Set the salmon filets side by side on the plank, not touching. Grill for about 6 minutes. Using a spatula, gently loosen the filets (they make stick slightly) and flip them. Grill them 4-6 minutes more, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Makes 2 servings. Each (1 filet) serving has: 172 calories, 23 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 50 mg sodium
The Secret of Food http://blog.devinalexander.com/

Punched Up Pina Colada

Punched Up Pina Colada
Most cocktails contain a lot of calories and empty carbohydrates. Here I've replaced calorie-dense coconut creme with light coconut milk, and used frozen pineapple chunks and dried egg whites to thicken the drink. The frozen pineapple retains more nutrients than the sugar-sweetened pineapple juice typically used in a pina colada, and the egg whites add about 5 grams of protein. In the end, you save a whopping 307 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 12 grams of saturated fat over a typical same-size pina colada!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  2. 8 ice cubes
  3. 3 cups frozen pineapple chunks
  4. 2 tablespoons 100% dried egg whites (I used Deb-El Just Whites), optional
  5. 3 tablespoons light rum
  6. 2 pineapple wedges for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. To the jar of a blender with an ice crush setting, add the coconut milk, ice cubes, pineapple chunks, egg whites (if desired), and rum. Blend on high just until the mixture is smooth. Divide it between 2 chilled Collins glasses or other tall, thin glasses. Garnish with the pineapple wedges, if desired, and serve immediately with straws and/or drink umbrellas.
Notes
  1. Makes 2 servings
  2. Per serving (with egg whites): 219 calories, 6 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates (23 g sugar), 4 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 83 mg sodium
  3. Per serving (without egg whites): 204 calories, 1 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates (23 g sugar), 4 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 8 mg sodium
The Secret of Food http://blog.devinalexander.com/

Tiny Tacos

Tiny Tacos
These miniaturized versions of tacos are one of my all-time favorite, kid-friendly snacks. When Frito-Lay introduced Baked! Scoops, I was so excited that I instantly went to work on creating dishes to fill these little morsels. I just find them so festive. When I conjured these tacos, I couldn’t wait to show them to friends and clients. They’re so much fun. Not only can you eat ten of them (how often do you get to eat ten whole anything—outside this book, anyway— when you’re eating healthy?) for only 200 calories. Plus the whole family will be excited to dig into your “diet food.” And kids will be more than willing to help prepare them.
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Ingredients
  1. 10 Tostitos Baked! Scoops
  2. 1/4 cup finely shredded romaine lettuce
  3. 2 tablespoons finely chopped tomatoes
  4. 1/2 ounce (about 2-1/2 tablespoons) finely shredded Cabot’s 75% Light Cheddar cheese, or your favorite low-fat Cheddar
  5. 1 teaspoon lower-sodium taco seasoning 2 ounces 96% lean ground beef 1 tablespoon mild or hot red taco sauce
Instructions
  1. Arrange the Scoops side by side on a plate.
  2. Mix the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese in a medium bowl until well combined. Divide evenly among the Scoops (about 1-1/2 teaspoons per Scoop).
  3. Stir 2 teaspoons water into the taco seasoning in a small bowl until it has no lumps. Set aside.
  4. Preheat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Put in the beef. Use a wooden spoon to coarsely crumble the meat as it cooks. When the beef is no longer pink, after 1 to 2 minutes, stir in the seasoning mixture. When no liquid remains, after about 1 minute, remove from the heat.
  5. Divide the meat evenly among the Scoops, atop the lettuce mixture (about 1 teaspoon in each). Dollop the top of each with taco sauce. Serve immediately.
The Secret of Food http://blog.devinalexander.com/

Hearty Chipotle Chili

Hearty Chipotle Chili
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Ingredients
  1. Olive oil spray
  2. 20-ounces extra lean (99% lean) ground turkey breast
  3. 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  4. 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  5. 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  6. 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
  7. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  8. 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  9. 2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper (found in the spice aisle)
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. ¼ teaspoon hot sauce or more, to taste (optional)
  12. Salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large, nonstick soup pot to medium-high heat. Lightly mist it with spray. Add the turkey and cook it, breaking into bite-sized chunks as you do. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, turkey is no longer pink throughout and there is no excess water in the pan, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the crushed and diced tomatoes, chili powder, sugar, cocoa powder, chili pepper, and bay leaf. Cover the pot with a lid, and cook over low heat for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Season. Allow it to cool to warm, then refrigerate any chili not consumed.
Notes
  1. Makes four (about 1-1/2 cups each) servings.
  2. Recipe courtesy of Devin Alexander, copyright 2012.
  3. Photo credit: Michelle Pederson
The Secret of Food http://blog.devinalexander.com/

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Aaah, chocolate for breakfast, what could be more heavenly? On of my downfalls has always been warm chocolate chip cookies. I just love those slightly melty chips! This recipe is my solution to that chocolate chip craving, guilt-free. These pancakes are chock full of chocolate chips, so I actually prefer them without butter. But if you like a more buttery taste with just a hint of chips, use only 1 tablespoon of chips and spread 1 teaspoon of light butter over the top of each pancake. You’ll add 17 calories and 2 g of fat per teaspoon. You’ll also notice that the recipe calls for very little syrup. Each teaspoon has 17 calories and 0 g of fat. If you love syrup and want to add more, you can. Just try them first and then add only as little as you possibly can to feel that you’re eating a truly decadent meal. Being a true chocolate lover, I prefer them exactly as is. If you’re harried like most, you can double or triple this recipe with great success. The batter will keep in your refrigerator for up to 3 days, which will save time in the mornings. Please note that pancakes have much more sodium than most people realize. If you get even a half stack at your local pancake house, you’re probably eating more than half of your sodium allowance for a day. That said, I usually eat only 1 or 2 pancakes for breakfast as a treat to follow an egg white dish instead of eating a big plate of them. You may want to do the same, since pancakes require baking soda and salt to rise, and thus I couldn’t reduce the sodium much here.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  2. 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  3. 1/2 cup whole-grain oat flour (see page TK)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. 1-1/2 tablespoons water
  8. 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  9. Butter-flavored cooking spray
  10. 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, buttermilk, flour, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the water until well incorporated. Then stir in the chocolate chips and let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When a spritz of water causes the skillet to sizzle, working in batches, and re-spraying the pan between each batch, pour 1/4 cup per pancake of batter onto the skillet. Cook them for about 2 minutes until there are bubbles on the top and the bottom is golden brown. Flip the pancake(s) and cook them about another 2 minutes until they are golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the finished pancake(s) to an oven-proof plate, cover with foil, and keep them warm in the oven until they are all cooked. Serve them immediately with 1 teaspoon of syrup per pancake.
  4. Makes 4 3-inch pancakes.
  5. Each 1-Decadent Disk (1 pancake) portion has: 105 calories, 4 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 272 mg sodium
  6. Each 2-Decadent Disk (2 pancake) portion has: 209 calories, 8 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 544 mg sodium
  7. You save: 218 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat
  8. Traditional serving: 427 calories, 9 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 117 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium
Notes
  1. Recipe taken from Devin Alexander's THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER!
  2. Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.
  3. www.devinalexander.com
The Secret of Food http://blog.devinalexander.com/