Tired of your usual bowl of cereal in the morning? It’s no wonder if you are! You’re taste buds are likely bored after eating the same thing every day for breakfast. Yes, it’s reliable, but is that bowl of flakes filling your “nutritional bucket?” Meaning, is it offering a myriad of nutrients that keep your body fueled to function at its best? Instead of filling that bowl with cereal, why not give yourself a meal that tastes good, fills you up and gives you the energy you need to start your day off right?
When it’s warm outside, I want to grill. I grew up in a household where summer meant almost every meal was made on a hot charcoal or gas grill out in our backyard. I never got much experience manning the grill as a kid, but I did have a nice moment where I backed into one in a swimsuit. Ouch! That’s one way to discourage you from grilling!
Flash forward and now I am officially my father’s daughter. While I could never top his grilling skills, I sure do try. I’ve grilled just about everything and you know what, so many things just “work” on the grill. It’s a great little cooking tool, one that can handle lean cuts of meat as well as vegetables and even fruits. I love it’s versatility which allows me to create healthful meals for friends and family.
I’ve created this Grilled Chicken with Lemon Parsley Marinade as tribute to all of those early grilled chicken meals. And I opted for a marinated chicken that could serve many purposes. This one does just that, because it’s great on top of salads, as a filler for pitas and wraps and even just enjoyed as it is.
The marinade serves two functions. The first function of course is flavor. Chicken breast is pretty bland and this marinade packs loads of flavor. The second is that it helps protect against some of the harmful carcinogens that can form when grilling meat. I’ve also recommended to pound the chicken thin. This creates a chicken breast that’s uniform in size, which allows for even cooking, preventing underdone or overcooked chicken. Don’t skip that step!
Enjoy and let me know how you like it!
A quick, simple marinade that adds just the right amount of flavor to any piece of chicken.
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1 cup parsley, leaves and stems, washed
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- Place chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken until it’s a 1/2-inch thick.
- Combine the garlic, oil, parsley, water, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour marinade, along with lemon slices into the bag with the chicken and seal the bag. Toss to coat. Remove any excess air from the bag and place chicken in the refrigerator to marinate. (I recommend putting the chicken in another vessel, like a bowl or dish, to prevent any cross-contamination in your fridge.) Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
- When ready to cook, remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Clean the grill thoroughly and brush grates lightly with canola oil.
- Once the grill is hot, add the chicken. Grill until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165’F, about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Let rest before slicing.
- This chicken is delicious on top of salads or pastas. It can even be used as a base for chicken salad, gyros or other sandwiches.
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 319
- Sugar: 0
- Sodium: 241
- Fat: 18
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 14
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 3
- Protein: 36
- Cholesterol: 96
I somehow had the good fortune of having a lot of extra cherries in my refrigerator. It has a little something to do with the fact that I love cherries and I can’t help myself when I see them on sale. So, to make a long story short, I may have bought more than I really needed. No way was I going to let them go to waste. I was on a mission and I knew I had to do something with them fast. I had just made dessert with cherries (see my Phyllo Cherry Pie Tartlets recipe), and I felt like I needed to make something savory instead. But what?
Turkey burgers were on the menu for dinner. Usually I keep those pretty simple, topping them with ketchup, mustard, lettuce and tomato. But then I started thinking about ketchup and that got me thinking cherry ketchup. Could it work? Well, of course it could. But I wanted it to be spicy, so what else could I use? Right! The chipotle chiles I had in my freezer would be perfect. And that, my friend’s is how Cherry Chipotle Ketchup came into my life.
I added some great aromatics, like onion and garlic to mix along with a little acid (apple cider vinegar) and some fresh thyme. A little hit of sweetness from honey was the perfect balance for the heat. It all simmered in my pot while I made the turkey burgers. Fast and homemade ketchup in no time! Plus, you’ll get less sodium and more nutrition! Cherries are packed with nutrition, containing plenty of potassium which helps with managing blood pressure and are loaded with antioxidants to help fight off those big, bad free radicals to lead to cancer and other diseases.
A flavorful turkey burger topped with a spicy, sweet ketchup made from cherries and chipotle peppers.
For the Ketchup
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup pitted, sweet cherries, chopped
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup water
For the burgers
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 small, whole wheat buns, split and toasted
- 8 green leaf lettuce leaves, washed and torn
To Make the Ketchup
- Add the oil to a small saucepot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring often until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute. Add the cherries and cook about 3 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook the cherry mixture uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the thyme stem and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Allow to cool slightly, then puree mixture (allowing a place for steam to escape if mixture is still rather warm) until smooth. Alternatively, puree the mixture in the pot using a stick blender.
- Return the mixture back to the sauce pot and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from pot and allow to cool before serving.
For the burgers
- Preheat the grill and clean well with a grill brush.
- Shape the ground turkey into 8 equal-sized patties, about 2-3 tablespoons each. Season with salt and pepper.
- Lightly brush the grill grates with canola oil. Place burger patties on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Use a food thermometer to ensure burgers have reached 165’F.
- Place cooked burgers on the buns and top with chipotle ketchup and lettuce.
- Need to turn down the heat? Simply add less chipotle pepper.
- Want to jazz it up? Add a dash of cinnamon or cardamom.
- Want a little more sweetness? Add 1-2 more teaspoons of honey
- Serving Size: 8
- Calories: 337
- Sugar: 8
- Sodium: 215
- Fat: 11
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 6
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 40
- Protein: 23
- Cholesterol: 60
Summer!!! It’s finally here! I can, at last, look out my window and see leaves on the trees and grass on the ground. This makes me so incredibly happy! Besides the nicer, warmer weather, I’m also very excited about the plethora of amazing fresh produce practically spilling out of the bins at the supermarket and farmer’s markets. It’s like Christmas every day for me! To honor that excitement, one of my most recent posts on the Cutting Board Blog is for a Green Bean and Corn Salad. It’s a simple salad that highlights the beauty of summer produce. So enjoy and hey, why not bring it your July 4th party? It’s perfect for picnics and potlucks.
Click here for the link to the recipe.
As a kid, I loved the fish sandwich from a certain fast-food chain that shall remain nameless. There was something about it that I just really enjoyed…and I’m quite convinced it was the tartar sauce. For some reason, I always felt that tartar sauce was something special, reserved for fast-food meals or vacation fish joints. We never had it at my house, making it even more alluring.
My fascination with tartar sauce continues. To me, there’s nothing better than a little dab of it on a grilled piece of tilapia or smeared on a hearty bun along with a piece of blackened perch and lots of lettuce. It’s the perfect complement to so many great fish dishes.
That’s why I’ve created my own, simplified, healthier tartar sauce recipe. The ingredients are mostly staples in the pantry, and I’ve used granulated and powdered versions of onion and garlic, respectively, for even quicker and easier preparation. Of course I swapped out most of the mayo for low-fat, plain Greek yogurt, saving calories and adding protein and calcium!
Try it as is, or add a splash of hot sauce or sriracha to spice it up. Experiment with fresh herbs like dill and thyme. It’s the perfect condiment compliment to your favorite fish dish!
The perfect topping for your favorite fish recipes!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 3–4 hamburger dill chips, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed
- 1/4 teaspoon onion granules
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- pinch of sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
- Makes 1/4 cup total with 1 tablespoon as a serving.
- This sauce tastes even better when made ahead of time. Make it in the morning before work so that you can have it on your blackened tilapia at dinner!
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 241
- Sugar: 1
- Sodium: 64
- Fat: 17
- Saturated Fat: 6
- Unsaturated Fat: 9
- Trans Fat: 1
- Carbohydrates: 1
- Protein: 20
- Cholesterol: 68
My grandmother passed away when I was a Freshman in college. It was a sad time for me. I remember packing my bags and making the trek home for her funeral. Like most grandmothers, she meant so much to me. It wasn’t until she passed that I really started to appreciate all that she was.
What I loved most about her was her vibrant personality and unique outlook on life. She lived life to it’s fullest, having a blast doing just about everything. She loved playing cards and Boggle (a game I’m not even sure exists anymore) and she adored hosting parties and cooking fabulous food for holidays. She did it up right, laying out the best china and lighting candles. I don’t think I appreciated it then, but I do remember thinking it was “kind of cool.” She was a spunky, sassy Martha Stewart…a lit cigarette in one hand and a wooden spoon stuck in a pot of something tasty in the other. I can still picture her now at the stove.
While I wish we had more time to spend together, as I’m sure I would totally appreciate her so much more now, I am so grateful for all of my memories. There’s one memory that stands out for me..it’s her famous cherry pie. I’m pretty sure it came from the back of Eagle Brand Milk can, but she didn’t identify the source on her recipe card. Anyway, it was delicious! A crust topped with almonds, then filled with a decadently rich filling and topped with sweetened, tart cherries. It was to die for (and a total calorie bomb!)
This month’s Recipe Redux theme was to “redux” one of our favorite pie recipes. I had no hesitation deciding to honor my grandmother’s cherry pie recipe. While she certainly wouldn’t have deemed it necessary to “lighten-up” a dessert, I still think she would be surprised at how well the modifications to her classic cherry pie turned out. To undo some of the calorie damage, I took out plenty of the sugar and also lightened up the crust, opting for mini-phyllo cups instead. It’s a perfect sweet treat and a lovely addition to any party, picnic or shower.
So, break out the china and light the candles, because you’re in for a treat!
A perfect bite of tart cherries piled on top of a sweet, almond and lemon-infused filling.
For the Phyllo Shells
- 30 mini phyllo cups (found in the freezer section), thawed
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
For the Filling
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
For the Cherries
- 14 1/2 ounce can of water-packed tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
To Prepare the Phyllo Shells
- Line the shells on a sheet pan and place a few toasted, sliced almonds in each shell. Keep nearby while you make the filling.
To Make the Filling
- Combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond extract in a mixing bowl. Fold in the whipped cream. Fill each phyllo cup with a heaping teaspoon of the filling. Cover the pan with plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
To Make the Cherry Topping
- Drain the cherry water (about 1/2 cup) from the cherries into a sauce pan. Add in the sugar and cornstarch, whisking until combined. Set the mixture over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the drained cherries to pan and stir.
- Remove the phyllo shells from the refrigerator. Top each shell with a spoonful of the cherry mixture. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
- Serving Size: 15
- Calories: 197
- Sugar: 11
- Sodium: 205
- Fat: 5
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Unsaturated Fat: 3
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 32
- Protein: 4
- Cholesterol: 10
Let’s face it, your snack is boring. You’re out of ideas, so you always grab the granola bar or your “usual” bag of trail mix when a hunger pang hits. Sure, those things are easy, but if you’re eating the same things all of the time, how are you ever going to get all of those fabulous nutrients you need!? Read about ways to jazz up your snacking to prevent snack boredom and boost nutrition from my newest article on Stack.com.
I love mangoes. They are exquisite in every way. Beautiful to look at and beautiful to eat. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than enjoying the sweet, tropical flavor of a ripe mango. And making mango preserves is a graet way to celebrate their goodness!
In the quest to be the best dietitian I can be, I have been working diligently to incorporate more, “new” whole grains into my (and my family, friends’ and clients’) recipes. I have to admit, for a while I was stuck on quinoa. It’s simple and versatile…it was a love affair for sure. That love affair continues, but I am opening my mind to new, wonderful grains like freekeh. It’s just as easy to cook and just as easy to love. In fact, it’s a lovely platform for this freekeh with black beans and avocado dressing recipe.
Read more and get the recipe on The Cutting Board!
Pizza and pasta are staples in my house. You can safely assume then, that I’ve purchased more than my fair share of jarred marinara sauce. Blown away by the cost of a jar of organic pasta sauce, I decided there was no reason I couldn’t make my own. So after some trial and error, I was finally able to come up with one that I really liked and it’s been a staple in my kitchen ever since.
This month’s Recipe Redux theme invited us to share our recipe for something that we once purchased, but now make from scratch. I am happy to share this marinara recipe, a healthy, low-sodium alternative to the jarred stuff. Don’t worry if you can’t eat it all at once, it freezes amazingly and also makes the perfect gift.
A simple homemade tomato sauce that’s perfect for pizza or tossed with pasta.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red (or yellow) bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Heat the oil a deep-sided sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and the peppers and cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are slightly tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the tomato paste, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the diced tomatoes (entire can with juices), water and vinegar. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift off any of the brown bits stuck to the pan. Add the Italian seasoning, bay leaf and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Remove the bay leaf and add the salt. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the mixture until smooth. Alternatively, work in batches using a blender or food processor for pureeing, exercising caution with the hot mixture (follow manufacturer’s instructions for pureeing hot or warm ingredients).
- Use immediately or allow to cool then refrigerate or freeze.
- This recipe makes about 4 1/2 to 5 cups of marinara.
- Calories: 402
- Sugar: 35
- Sodium: 1325
- Fat: 15
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Unsaturated Fat: 12
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 66
- Protein: 9
- Cholesterol: 0