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.

Game-Day Favorite: Basil Bloody Mary

Happy football season to everyone! We are excited about the Alabama/Penn State game and Auburn/Mississippi State tomorrow. I thought I would share this fun game-day recipe for Basil Bloody Marys. I made these on television a couple of times last year for some tailgating shows, and I thought they would make the perfect tailgating drink for this weekend’s games. This recipe rocks-just try it and you will see. Enjoy the weekend!

Fourth of July Buttermilk Cupcakes

Happy Fourth of July. I hope everyone has a relaxing and safe holiday. My kids and I had so much fun making these Buttermilk Cupcakes last week. The cupcake recipe comes from Southern Living magazine from several years ago. It’s so easy and one of my favorites. Frost with homemade cream cheese icing or store-bought, and top with sprinkles or these adorable Fourth of July marshmallows by Jet Puffed.

3 Ingredient Simple Peach Sorbet

My kids are infatuated with sorbet and ice cream, especially in the summertime. Since we had some awesome Chilton County peaches from Durbin Farms, I put them to great use in this 3 ingredient recipe for Simple Peach Sorbet from the Southern Living Classic Dessert Cookbook. It’s too easy and tastes fabulous. You can even make this year round using 1 (16-ounce) package of frozen sliced peaches.

Classic Passover Mandel Bread

Every year my sister, Julie, and sister-in-law, Debby, make the best Mandel Bread for Passover. If you haven’t tried Mandel Bread before, it’s very similar to biscotti. It is a great Passover dessert, afternoon snack or perfect for breakfast served with coffee or tea. I will warn you that it is also super addictive, so once you start, you almost can’t stop eating it. You can make it with or without chocolate chips, but this version with lemon juice and almond extract is wonderful.

Passover Strawberry Bars

My sister, Julie, and her friend, Toby, bake great Passover desserts every year. This year, they tried a new recipe for Strawberry Bars which I just love. These awesome Passover bars remind me of a breakfast bar, but they are wonderful for dessert or an afternoon snack. You could also use apricot preserves as a variation if you like. This easy Passover recipe makes a lot, so it’s perfect to serve (and even give away) for the Passover holiday. Enjoy and happy holiday!

Tabouli and Mixed Greens Salad

Okay, so Valentine’s Day is over, and I had a lot of fun featuring some great desserts. Now, it’s back to reality. I have had many requests lately for a wonderful, healthy salad recipe. I love this particular creation of Tabouli and Mixed Greens Salad. Feel free to add cooked or grilled chicken or shrimp to this dish if you wish. I love it “as is” for a hearty lunch salad or dinner salad – perfect served with a comforting soup. It’s so fresh and flavorful, and bulgur is so good for you. Bulgur is high in fiber, low in fat, and rich in B vitamins and iron. It can be boiled or soaked like in my recipe below. This salad is so tasty and pretty, and it will also give you a lot of energy. Just try it and see.