Artichoke Basil Pesto

Artichoke Basil Pesto

My kids requested Artichoke Basil Dip for an appetizer the other night so I decided to take the remaining artichokes and make this Artichoke Basil Pesto.  If you like artichokes, basil and almonds, you’ll love this recipe. It’s great served as a side with fish, chicken, pork or seafood, and it only takes 5 minutes to prepare.

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.

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!

Halibut with Mango and Goat Cheese

Grilling in the summer is the norm at my house. Lately, I have really been trying to get my kids to eat more fish. This Halibut with Mango and Goat Cheese recipe is one of my newest favorite creations that they really liked (can you say no leftovers?).  The combination of maple syrup and Dijon mustard flavors the fish to perfection, and it goes great with the sweet and savory mango topping made with fresh mangos, parsley, lime juice and goat cheese. This makes a great weekend night family dinner or weekend idea for entertaining with friends. Serve with a tossed salad and grilled asparagus or grilled okra for a healthy summery meal in under 35 minutes.

Light, Oven-Fried and Delicious: Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks

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Since I was born and raised in the south, I can honestly say I have tried a lot of great fried foods. Over the years, I have worked hard to lighten some of my favorite southern dishes. These Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks have to be one of my favorites. When I made them recently, everyone was raving about them and begged for the recipe. Not only because they were so pretty, but the flavor was out of this world. I served them with this simple sauce, and dinnertime was a hit. These make a great appetizer or main dish for anytime during the year. This recipe also works great with chicken, cut into thin strips.

15 Minute Main Dish High in Omega 3’s-Blackened Mackerel

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Since I have been reading about Atlantic mackerel lately and it’s wonderful health benefits, I thought I would try it out on my kids. They loved it! Mackerel is high in Omega-3 oil content, making it a heart-healthy seafood choice. It has a rich flavor that is delicious whether sauteed, roasted or grilled, and it’s great topped with Greek seasoning, nuts, vinaigrettes, soy sauce or miso. Since I’m a Southern girl, I love it Blackened. It’s so simple to prepare; just 15 minutes and dinner is on the table.

Alison Lewis at Virginia Willis Wine Dinner and Halibut Provencal

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Last week I had the fortunate experience to attend a wine dinner featuring recipes from an amazing Atlanta cookbook author, Virginia Willis, at the beautiful Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Virginia is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all! Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008)., an incredible cookbook. Virginia produced Turner South’s Home Plate and the DVD Shirley Corriher’s Kitchen Secrets Revealed, and she was the Kitchen Director at Martha Stewart Living. Virginia has so many other incredible accolades which are too many to mention here, but you can see them on her website http://www.virginiawillis.com for more information. I thought I would share with you one of Virginia’s recipes for Halibut Provencal that is very light and springy. It’s as fabulous as it sounds.