Salmon Burgers with Greek Yogurt

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and Christmas is on our heels, it’s tough to stay on track. I have been trying to come up with what’s for dinner as I multi task work, the kids, and extra holiday related tasks. These Salmon Burgers with Greek Yogurt are always worth preparing, and my 3 kids always love them. Feel free to serve on a bun or just on a bed of greens. Canned salmon is one of the most calcium-rich, non-dairy foods. One 3.5 ounce serving with the bones contains two thirds as much calcium as a cup of milk. For women and children especially, consuming plenty of calcium is important for building and maintaining strong bones and reducing the risk of bone fracture later in life. Alaska canned salmon provides high quality protein that is easy and safe to digest by people of all ages. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have something super healthy for dinner for the entire family.

Fresh Shrimp Salad: Start the New Year’s Right

Start the New year’s right with this Fresh Shrimp Salad. In just 30 minutes, you will have a perfect healthy main dish to serve over greens, eat with crackers or put on a sandwich. Four ounces of boiled or steamed shrimp contains just 112 calories. This serving provides nearly 24 g of protein and 1.2 g of fat–only 0.3 g of which is saturated. Shrimp contains no carbohydrates. Shrimp has been said to build strong bones, stabilize blood sugars, boost energy and fight depression. My three kids loved this recipe, and it’s perfect for dinner or lunchtime.

Easter or Passover Main Dish Idea: Mahi Mahi and Vegetable Kabobs

I grill all year long, but my family especially loves it when the weather turns nice. We tend to eat outside on the deck, and it’s great for the kids to be riding bikes and playing basketball while I’m cooking the food on the grill. This is the epitome of family time. These Mahi Mahi and Vegetable Kabobs are the perfect recipe to try if you’re wanting to get your kids to like fish and vegetables. It’s colorful, fresh and full of clean flavors. Mahi Mahi is mild, a low calorie, low-fat source of protein, and it also has B-complex vitamins, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Serve these kabobs with grilled asparagus or squash and zucchini this Easter or Passover dinner for something different and unexpected. It’s a healthy low carbohydrate main dish.

Grouper with Fresh Mint and Red Peppers

A few weeks ago, I shared this recipe for Grouper with Fresh Mint and Red Peppers on the blog In Good Taste, by the talented blogger, Maris Callahan. I wrote a guest post for her with a “Healthy Date Night” menu. I made the recipe the other day, and I wanted to share it with you too. For the fish, I used grouper, but feel free to substitute any of your favorite mild, white fish. This recipe is so easy, flavorful, low-fat and healthy. It can be prepared in under 30 minutes and makes a great date night, sunday night or any weeknight main dish.

Here are a few of my Healthy Date Night Tips:

-Shop the perimeter of the store, which means stay to the outside edges. This is where you will find the freshest, healthiest food items.

-Use fresh herbs and spices. When cooking with herbs and spices, fresh are always best. If you’re using dried seasonings, make sure they are the freshest possible. I only use freshly ground pepper.

-Use the freshest ingredients possible. Avoid canned, processed or preserved ingredients.

-Grill, steam, braise, stir-fry or roast foods instead of frying.

-Add more vegetables and legumes (peas, beans and lentils) to your menu.

-When a recipe calls for cream, substitute with Greek yogurt, low-fat yogurt, skim milk or soy milk.

-Don’t automatically salt your food. Taste it first.

-Select lean cuts of beef and pork. If preparing chicken, select skinless.

-Use reduced-sodium soy sauce and tomatoes.

-Use nonstick spray or olive or canola oil instead of butter or margarine.

-If you’re serving cheese as an appetizer or in recipes, select lower-fat options.

-If you’re serving warmed bread, choose whole grain.

-Serve wine but drink in moderation.

-Make the meal a special occasion. Set the table and create a relaxing ambiance to enjoy your food.

-Eat slowly and savor every bite.

-Laugh, talk and have fun. The more you talk, the slower you will eat and enjoy the meal.

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks with Edamame Salsa

On a busy school night or jam-packed weekend, these Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks are a snap to prepare and one of my kids’ favorites! They taste and look so fantastic – no one will ever know they are oven-fried. And with only 390 calories and 10 grams of fat, I feel good about serving this recipe to the kids and their friends. Whether you pair them with this Edamame Salsa or chop them up for a salad, they are perfect for football parties, picnics and casual dinners! On top of it all, what I really love is that the exact measurements can be used to make fish “cakes” as well.

I developed these crunchy fish sticks as part of the CanolaInfo “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection for World Heart Day 2011 (Sept. 29). This observance encourages families to take their health into their own hands starting at home with diet and exercise. To learn more about World Heart Day or to view the complete recipe collection, visit CanolaInfo.org. Lastly, be sure to check out CanolaInfo’s new interactive Facebook game, which features my recipes!

Zucchini-Wrapped Scallops

I am having such a great summer so far. Lots of travel, work, fun and family time… and more to come. This gives me a huge smile. In celebration, I thought I would share this perfect recipe for summer. These Zucchini-Wrapped Scallops are a fun twist on a great appetizer or main dish. These are simple to prepare: under 30 minutes from start to finish. They are so light, healthy and fresh, so what more can I say? I made these recently for a party, and everyone went nuts. Cheers to summer!

Under 30 Minutes: Salmon with Pineapple-Pomegranate Salsa

If you’re looking for a dinner idea under 30 minutes, try Salmon with Pineapple-Pomegranate Salsa. This main dish is incredibly heart-healthy, pretty and filled with great flavors. This salmon recipe is truly one of my favorites. Start simply by combining maple syrup and Dijon and brushing the mixture over the fish. Top it with the easy, fresh Pineapple Salsa combination made with chopped fresh pineapple, fresh cilantro, lime juice and pomegranate seeds. When pomegranate seeds are out of season, you can substitute fresh blueberries or dried cherries. Feel free to also grill the salmon when grilling season rolls around. Enjoy this dish for a weeknight or weekend, and serve it with your favorite rice and a mixed green salad.

My Top 10 Favorite Recipes from 2010

2010 has been so busy for me for work and my family. I had a fantastic year working on my upcoming cookbook, “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: For Every Meal and Occasion”,  Television Appearances, Spokesperson work, Recipe Development, and recipe testing and judging. I feel so lucky to be blessed to work with so many great clients and have wonderful support from subscribers, friends, fans, fellow bloggers and, of course, family. Thanks to everyone for all of your support. I am looking forward to an even better 2011 with the release of my upcoming book this spring, television appearances and many speaking engagements scheduled across the U.S. To end the year, I thought I would share some of my personal favorites and most popular recipes from 2010:

1. Lightened Up Spiced and Sugary Pecans

2. Watermelon and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

3. Pecan Pie Bars

4. Warm Lentil Soup

5. Apple Muffins

6. Radicchio Winter Salad

7. Flaxseed Crusted Salmon

8. Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

9. Chunky Nut and Dried Fruit Granola

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10. Easy Beef-Vegetable Kabobs

One to Grown On:  Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

New Year’s Eve: Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

One of my favorite things to make on New Years Eve is Crab Cakes. I have served them the past several years, and they are so easy, yet light and always a crowd pleaser. I love this recipe from Cooking Light magazine for Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade. The Crab Cakes have fresh chives, parsley and panko breadcrumbs. The Remoulade has the perfect mixture of shallots, Creole mustard, capers and lemon juice. At 292 calories each, these Crab Cakes can’t get any better. Happy New Year to you and your family! I appreciate Cooking Light for allowing me to share their photo and recipe for this post.

Crab Cakes with Roasted Vegetables and Tangy Butter Sauce

Barbecue Shrimp and “Too Hot in the Kitchen Cookbook” Giveaway by Holly Clegg

I am very fortunate to have met Cookbook Author Holly Clegg about 9 years ago at one of my first conferences at IACP. I truly appreciated how down-to-earth, inspiring and helpful she was and still continues to be. Known as “Queen of the Quick”, Holly is a Baton Rouge resident who brings her Southern charm to every aspect of her life. Her busy lifestyle and desire to feed her own family health-conscious, homemade meals, even when in a time crunch, has served as her inspiration throughout the years with her total of 7 cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, “Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age”, is filled with 200 easy-to-prepare recipes, nutritional information, diabetic information as well as photos, adorable illustrations, coffee parings and more. It is so fun, whimsical and is designed for today’s busy woman.

I seriously had a difficult time trying to decide what recipe to feature from this book. Since I’m a Southerner as well, I thought the Barbecue Shrimp recipe would be great for this time of year. It’s so easy, light and quick with only 179 calories, 8 grams of fat and 4 carbohydrates. For a chance to win Holly’s latest book, leave me a comment telling me why you would like to own a copy of this amazingly fun book. Here’s a sneak peak at another recipe in the book, Chocolate Peanut Clusters.