Salmon Salad Crostini

Summer is in full swing, and so many friends go to the lake or beach for the weekends. Recently, I have had so many requests for summer appetizers. This Salmon Salad Crostini is one of my newest favorites. Salmon is so healthy for you, and I have been craving it a lot lately. This is a great way to use salmon in a different way or when you have salmon leftovers. This also makes a great shower appetizer or even a holiday appetizer this fall. In under 30 minutes, you’ll have this ready to serve.

Chunky Black Bean Salsa

Looking for a great summer fresh appetizer? Try this Chunky Black Salsa for Fourth of July, Labor Day or for any summer dinner or cookout. It’s so fresh and easy, Be sure to add the avocado in last so it won’t turn brown. Serve on tortilla scoops or on top of a salad. It also makes a great healthy snack.

4 Healthy Super Bowl Recipes: Rosemary Infused Nuts

Super Bowl XLVI is coming up this weekend with the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, and most of us are having or going to Super Bowl parties. I have had so many email requests for easy, healthy ideas for game, so I wanted to share one of our favorite lightened-up football snack recipes. Rosemary Infused Nuts are a tremendous hit! This simple, 20 minute recipe is filled with cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts are a great source of healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and protein. By consuming this type of fat, you’ll feel less hungry, and your sugar cravings will diminish. They are filled with the following power food nuts:

Pumpkin Seeds: I love using pumpkin seeds in this nut mix because they are high in zinc and have been linked to so many benefits including great looking skin and boosting your immunity.

Almonds: Almonds are a power nut high in Vitamin E and potassium and one of the most nutritious nuts.

Cashews: Cashews are also a rich source of iron and zinc, and they have been linked to hair, skin and bone health.

Other Lightened Up Super Bowl Snack Ideas

Chicken Chipotle Dip   

Spinach Dip with Greek Yogurt

Panko Roasted Drumsticks

New Year’s Eve Appetizer: Chicken-Chipotle Dip

If you’re looking for a super easy appetizer for New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Party or just any occasion, I have one for you. This Chipotle Chicken Dip is one of my newest favorite lightened up appetizer recipes. Take a shortcut by using a rotisserie chicken and add light cream cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, green chilies, chipotle seasoning. Serve it with your favorite whole grain crackers, pita chips or fresh vegetables, and you’ll have a crowd favorite.

Only Five Ingredients: Healthy Salmon Salad

We eat a good bit of canned Alaskan salmon at my house. For those of you who have never tried it or are wrinkling your forehead as you read, give it a try. I particularly like “Pure Alaska Salmon” (their Pure Alaska’s “ReadHead” wild sockeye salmon and “Think Pink” pink salmon). Both are similar nutritional powerhouses since they are high in protein, calcium, Vitamin D and one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe for Healthy Salmon Salad is too easy and only five ingredients. I love combining the sweet, tartness of raspberry balsamic vinegar with fresh dill. Enjoy this for lunch over a bed of arugula or mixed greens, or even for dinner on a warm night with pasta salad and fresh asparagus.

St. Patrick’s Day Herb Dip & Kid’s Cooking Class

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, and I am so excited that I will be spending my Saint Patrick’s Day teaching a Kid’s Cooking Class at the Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah. We we will be making kid-friendly apres ski snacks to make in the condo. See more information about this fun class on the“Snowmama” website. One of the recipes I’ll be making in the class is this healthy, easy and very simple Saint Patrick’s Day Fresh Herb Dip. It’s a great way to get the kids to try fresh herbs such as basil and dill and to eat fresh vegetables. I like to use reduced-fat Greek yogurt in this recipe because it has so may health benefits and is filled with protein which is perfect after a long day of skiing. Enjoy this recipe on Saint Patrick’s Day or any time of the year.

St. Patrick’s Day Appetizer: Fresh Herb Dip

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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.

Light and Simple Seared Scallops with Mint Pesto

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So many friends tell me that they are intimidated to cook scallops. Really, they are so incredibly easy! They cook in no time at all in a saute pan or on the grill, and really, the only thing you need is some kosher salt, black or red pepper and a touch of olive oil. I love making scallops because they are so simple, so delicious, yet almost elegant for a weeknight supper. They are fabulous mixed with pasta, in a salad and especially just on their own. We eat them often at my house, and even my 8-year-old, Zachary, is a huge fan! The Mint Pesto is so versatile and can also be served with fish, steak, chicken or pork.


Seared Scallops with Fresh Mint Pesto 

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup almonds, toasted

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

4 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

11/2 pounds large sea scallops

Cooking spray

Watercress, mixed greens (optional)

Preparation

1. Process mint, parsley, garlic, almonds, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and olive oil in a container of a food processor until smooth. Remove and set aside.

2. Drizzle scallops with remaining lemon juice and season with remaining kosher salt and pepper.

3. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done. Top scallops with Mint Pesto and serve over watercress or mixed greens, if desired.

Light and Scrumptious Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach-Artichoke Dip from Real Simple

Whether it’s a huge football game like tonight’s National Championship game, the Super Bowl, weekend entertaining or just for the fun of it, I love to make a hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Probably because my kids love to eat it! This is a lightened version that works great with light cheese, low-fat sour cream and reduced-fat mayonnaise. Processing it in the food processor contributes to its awesome texture. So, if you’re watching your weight right now and trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions, you can still enjoy this hot dip.

 

Low-Fat Spinach Artichoke Dip

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 cloves garlic

1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded 2% milk cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Pita wedges or crudites, for serving

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light-golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.

3. In the bowl of a food processor combine the artichoke hearts, spinach and next 7 ingredients. Process until smooth. Fold vegetable puree into sauteed onions, then spread into an 8-inch glass square baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with pita wedges or crudites.

New Year’s Resolution: Low Calorie, Low-Fat, Low-Carb Beef Empanadas

How about a low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb appetizer to start the New Year? Is it really possible? Yes, it is… With bowl games going on and the Superbowl on its way in a few weeks, I thought I would share this appetizer recipe I developed recently for Laura’s Lean Beef Company. Each Empanada only has 85 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 8 carbs, so you can indulge without breaking your New Year’s resolution. Using wonton wrappers and baking them in the oven is the key to their ease and delicious success.


Beef Empanandas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 20 servings

Ingredients

1/2 pound lean ground round

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup canned low-salt yellow corn, drained

1/3 cup salsa

1 tablespoon tomato paste

20 wonton wrappers

Cooking spray

Salsa, low-fat sour cream (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Cook ground beef, onion and next 3 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet 5 minutes or until beef is browned; drain. Add corn and next 2 ingredients and cook until heated through. Remove and let cool.

3. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, spoon 1 tablespoon beef mixture into center of each wrapper. Bring 2 opposite corners together and pinch the points to seal, forming a triangle. Place wrappers on a wire rack and repeat procedure with remaining wrappers and beef mixture.

4. Place empanadas on lightly greased baking sheets and coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning once or until golden. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.