Healthy Organic Low-fat Breakfast Yogurt Combo

yogurt/berry/almond delight

This is so good, I had to share. I don’t like eggs and I am trying not to eat a bunch of carb-y toast or cereal for breakfast. This fits the bill – delicious, nutricious, low-fat, just all around yummatrocious. Check it out. I use no fat plain organic yogurt, organic kefir (which is a high probiotic yogurt-type substance), local organic maple syrup, pure vanilla, oat bran and organic raspberries. Oh, and toasted sliced almonds for some crunch-factor.

So, wash and smoosh your raspberries, then place in bottom of glass or bowl. In separate bowl, mix up 1 cup of yogurt, 2 tbsp kefir, 1 to  2 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp oat bran. Mix. Scoop on top of raspberries. Top with almonds (dry roasted in pan until brown and aromatic). It’s so good, plus, I practically fainted from hunger photographing my breakfast for you, so give it a try — it does hold you over until lunchtime. YUM!

smoosh raspberries

yogurt, kefir, maple syrup, vanilla, oat bran

it's so good.

Indian Spiced Kebabs with Raita

Indian Spiced Kebabs

If you enjoy the exotic flavours of East Indian foods, you will love these kebabs. They are as easy as mixing up a batch of burgers, but the flavour is so awesome — you might forget about standard burgers altogether.

You can adjust the heat in these depending on how spicy you enjoy your food– add more cayenne as necessary. The cucumber raita cools things down and compliments the flavour of these kebabs perfectly. I make them in a log shape–kebabs without the sticks– about 5 inches long by 2 inches wide, but feel free to make them longer or wider – whatever size you prefer, but I think if you make them too big, they may be difficult to deal with. If you think you can handle a larger size kebab, go ahead. The 5 inch one won’t fully satisfy you — you will definitely be wanting more than one.  They are also great in a burger shape, served on a bun with raita, lettuce and tomato. Once you try them, you will be asked to make them again. Use a good quality ground beef. I buy pasture-raised, grass-fed, organic beef and it does taste alot better. { Investigate your local farmer’s market to find organic beef and many other wholesome products.}

*once you have mixed up your mixture and shaped them into logs- they freeze perfectly too.

Indian Spiced Kebabs

makes 8 (4 oz) kebabs, or 4 (8 oz) burgers

2 lb ground beef

1 medium onion, grated

2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 tsp  ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp garam masala (spice mixture available at asian / indian markets)

2 egg yolks

1 tsp salt

a handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely (if you have it)

Mix up ingredients. Shape into logs or patties. Cover and refrigerate, let the flavours meld for at least 1/2 an hour.  Heat bbq up to medium (about 325-350F). Cook directly on the grill, turning frequently, until cooked through and kebabs have reached an inner temp of 170F. Serve with raita. (see recipe below)

meat mixture with all ingredients

kebabs shaped into 5 inch logs

grill kebabs

Cucumber Raita

1 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup grated (and squeezed out on a paper towel) cucumber

1/2 tsp cumin

Mix ingredients. Serve with kebabs.

raita mixture

kebab with raita and salad – a healthy lunch or dinner

Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken

This is a great recipe for this time of year–bbq season– but also very good in the oven – and you will want to make this all year long. It’s got great concentrated flavour, and all you have to do is put together a super-easy,  yogurt-based marinade, score your chicken, let it marinate and then bbq or bake it.  The yogurt base tenderizes your chicken and the indian spices make it aromatic and exotic tasting.  Make sure your spices are fresh –  it makes all the difference. You will be making this again and again, so you might as well get some fresh spices.  I like to serve some cucumber raita alongside. (recipe below). You can use any type of chicken pieces you like. I usually use bone-in chicken breast, skinned and cut in two.  You can marinate a big batch of chicken and put half in the freezer — it’s perfect for that. This recipe makes enough marinade for about 5-6 pounds (3 kg) of chicken. It will be a family favourite. Great the next day for lunch on a salad or with rice. TRY!

Tandoori  Chicken Marinade

1 medium onion, grated (or minced in processer)

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp minced  fresh ginger

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander seed

1/2 tsp tumeric (for colour, if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it)

¼ tsp cayenne (more if you like it hot)

1 tsp salt

1 cup plain yogurt

Juice of ½ lemon

[1-3 kgs of chicken pieces]

[½ cup melted butter for basting at the end.]

Mix up ingredients except chicken and  melted butter–feel free to throw it all in the processor or grate and chop and mix by hand.  Remove skin from chicken, and score deeply. Massage marinade into chicken. Best if meat is marinated for 24 hours. (minimum 6 hours)

*divide remaining marinade into freezer containers (1/2 cup each approx) and freeze. You can marinate the chicken and freeze it too -it works out perfectly.  Defrost and use when needed.

Cooking Instructions

If using BBQ

Turn one side of bbq on med-high. Put chicken in a  foil pan. Place it on upper level on side of bbq that is unlit, to create a ‘convect’ affect. Cook until internal temp of 165 F., approx. 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken from pan with tongs and place on direct heat of grill. Baste with butter , turning until nicely charred. Serve with Cucumber Raita.

If using Conventional Oven

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place chicken in roasting pan. Cook until internal temp of 165F. Melt butter. Baste chicken with butter. Turn on broiler, and place chicken under broiler until browned and glistening. Baste again before serving. Serve with Cucumber raita.

mixing up the marinade ingredients

use a cleaver to chop breast in half, then score the meat about 1/2 inch deep

massage marinade into the crevices, and let sit in the fridge to marinate

after baking on top shelf, place on grill, baste with butter until charred nicely

delicious with a salad ( healthy and low fat, low carb)

Cucumber Raita

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup grated cucumber

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (optional)

Grate cucumber and squeeze out liquid with paper towel. Mix into yogurt with cumin and salt.  If you have some  fresh coriander (cilantro) around, add that in too.  Serve with chicken.

Caesar Salad – all the flavour without the FATness

low fat caesar salad

Okay, I know it sounds so boring that I am putting in a recipe for Caesar Salad. Who doesn’t just buy Renee’s dressing? I was left without any salad greens today, and the only lettuce I could buy at our local store was a head of romaine. (60 kms to a Loblaws). So that got me thinking about caesar salad for a change, but since we are trying to watch our carb/fat/sugar intake, I thought this dressing sounded pretty good, and it did turn out to be easy and flavourful, so what the hell. If you are watching your calories, and alot of us are at this time of year — the dreaded bathing suit season — this is a good solution. It can be used as dip for veggies too.  A 6.5 oz serving is 150 calories, that’s almost a cup! A cup of delicious dip when you are starving, hello.

Caesar Salad – Low Fat

adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites

Dressing: (makes about 1 cup)

2 hard-boiled eggs

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese

2 kalamata olives, pitted and minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp worchestershire sauce (*to make this GF, use GF tamari sauce instead)

salt and pepper to taste

Salad

1 medium head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

In food processor or blender, combine dressing ingredients, except salt and pepper — puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate. (will keep for several days in fridge).

Wash and dry lettuce, tear into bite-size pieces. Toss with about 1/3 cup of dressing to coat. Sprinkle with grated cheese, add sliced hard-boiled egg. Serve immediately. (serves 4)

simple ingredients

put dressing ingredients into processor

mixed dressing ready to go

Caesar salad

Miso-Glazed Pork Kebabs – great for BBQ

miso glazed pork kebabs

I noticed this recipe in the June 2011 issue of Chatelaine magazine and realized it would be the perfect recipe to finally use ‘miso’. I had never used it before but was eager to find out how to use it and how it tasted. I’m glad I did – this marinade is a perfect introduction to using it. I bought the ‘white’ miso at the health food store – it was in the cooler area where yogurt and that sort of thing was located. You can probably find it at an Asian grocery store as well. Give it a try, if you enjoy Japanese flavours, you’ll really enjoy these – easy, with great flavour and a minimum of ingredients – my favourite way to cook. Give it a whirl.

Miso Glazed Pork Kebabs

slightly adapted from Chatelaine magazine

2 tbsp miso paste

2 tbsp dry sherry

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 tsp freshly grated ginger (or more if you love ginger)

1 tsp olive oil

1 lb (500 g) pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 yellow, orange or red pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks

1 onion, cut into 1 inch chunks

Whisk together miso, sherry, maple syrup, ginger and oil in bowl.  Add pork tenderloin chunks to marinade and let stand for 15 minutes. If using wooden skewers, soak  skewers in water at least 20 minutes to prevent burning.   Preheat bbq to med-high. Thread pork, onions and peppers onto skewers.  Brush skewers with remaining marinade.  Oil grill, and bbq skewers, turning every few minutes, until pork is cooked through– about 10 minutes.  Delicious!

white miso paste

mix up marinade ingredients

prep your ingredients, can do ahead of time

thread your skewers, some plain for PICKY people

with a salad, perfect for 17 day diet, or low carb diet