Monday, February 6, 2012

SIDES: Juicy, Low-fat, Sliders on Whole Wheat Buns

Who doesn't like sliders? It's all the fun of a burger, but in a cuter, gourmet package.  This recipe results in a super juicy, well seasoned, and most importantly low-fat slider.  The key component of this recipe is the Lipton's Onion Soup mix (unfortunately, it does have MSG in it - if you can find a replacement, use it).

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp black pepper
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • Whole wheat dinner rolls
  • Romaine lettuce 
  • Pepper jack cheese, cut into slices that fit the buns
  • Brown mustard
  • Ketchup (optional)
Instructions:
  • Mix ground beef with the packet of onion soup mix and black pepper (add jalapeno if desired)
  • Form into small (relatively flat) patties the size of your dinner rolls
  • Heat patties on a grill or broil in oven (or bake at 450) for 8-10 minutes (4-5 minutes on each side)
  • While the patties are cooking, stick buns on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 for 3-4 minutes
  • Split buns and layer the cheese, patty, and lettuce - spread ketchup and mustard as desired on the top bun
  • Optional: add onions, pickles, or hot peppers
  • Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SIDES: Fiery, baked buffalo wings


I love, love, love buffalo chicken wings, but I don't often indulge in this fried beauties because, well, they're just plain bad for you.  I made these wings for a family Super Bowl party, and not only did they taste amazing, the wings itself were perfect in terms of texture.

Servings: 5-6

Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs chicken wings (ready-to-cook - tips removed)
  • 2 bottles Louisiana Wing Sauce
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
Instructions:
  • Fill a large pot (or two) half way with water
  • Boil water, wings, and all spices (except sauce) for 15 minutes
  • Set oven on "roast" on 450 or on bake at 450 (preferably roast)
  • Strain boiled wings
  • Cover a large cookie sheet in foil
  • Pour one bottle of Lousiana Hot Sauce in a small to medium size bowl
  • Dunk wings in Lousiana Hot Sauce and place on the cookie sheet
  • Place wings in the oven - bake/roast for 10-12 minutes on one side
  • Take wings out and brush sauce on the top of the wings
  • Flip wings over and brush sauce on the other side of the wings
  • Return the wings to the oven for another 10-12 minutes
  • Remove from oven and enjoy with celery, carrot sticks, and some low-fat ranch dressing!

    SIDES: Warm, Spicy, Low-fat Spinach Dip

    I love warm spinach dips, but they're typically very fattening.  The problem is most dips use heavy cheese or sour cream, which really up the ante on the fat-factor.  I made this dip for a family Super Bowl party and it was a hit.

    Serving Size: 10-12

    Ingredients:
    • 1 package frozen, chopped spinach (typically 14-16 oz)
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp cayenne or red chili powder
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 4 oz low or non-fat cream cheese (1/2 a small tub)
    • 1 cup non-fat yogurt 
    • 1/2 cup shredded low or non-fat cheddar cheese 
    Instructions
    • Heat garlic and spinach in a medium deep pan over medium heat
    • Let water cook out of cpinach
    • Add in all spices and stir thoroughly
    • Add in yogurt - cook until the yogurt's water content dries out a bit (3-5 minutes)
    • Add in cream cheese and stir throughly
    • Let mixture heat for another 3-4 minutes
    • Add in shredded cheese and stir thoroughly as the cheese melts
    • Let cool 
    • Enjoy with pita chips or wheat thins!