Let's Eat, Wining & Dining

Hot Eats and Cool Treats That Won’t Ruin Your Diet

By Nicole Flannigan / Photo by Busra Yaman

The hazy hot and humid days of summer are here. Regardless of the heat, my favorite part of summer is cooking out on the grill and relaxing with friends and family. The wonderful part of summer is all the fresh produce that is available at your local farmers market. Fresh fruit or garden salads make a great addition to any meats cooked on the grill, and it’s all healthy! This month I have made a list of some of my favorite summer recipes. These healthy and flavorful dinners and drinks will be a great way to compliment a nice summer day.

Perfect Burgers

1 slightly beaten egg white

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely shredded carrot

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup finely chopped sweet pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound lean ground beef

6 whole-grain buns

Shredded carrot, sprouts, mixed greens, tomato slices, and/or red onion slices (optional)

Combine egg white, water, bread crumbs, carrot, onion, sweet pepper, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and ground beef; mix well. Shape mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties. Grill burgers on an oiled grill rack for 7 minutes. Turn and grill 8 to 11 minutes more or till no pink remains. Serve burgers on buns with vegetables, as desired.

6 servings – Calories 232, Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 3g, Sodium 334mg, Carbohydrate 19g, Fiber 3g, Protein 18g

Chicken With Black Bean Sauce

3 tablespoons diced yellow onion

½ tsp minced garlic

1 14oz can of black beans rinsed and drained

2 tsp ground chipotle chile

1 cup chicken stock

¼ cup diced tomatoes

½ tsp minced fresh cilantro

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp chile powder

4 4oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Sauté onions and garlic in a saucepan over medium high heat until onions are soft. Add the beans, chipotle, chicken stock, tomatoes cilantro and salt. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until beans are slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree half the bean mixture in a food processor. Add the whole beans to the pureed mixture and set aside. Combine the olive oil and chili powder in a small bowl to make a paste. Rub the paste on the chicken breasts. Grill chicken 3-5 minutes on each side or until meat is no loner pink. Top with black bean sauce.

4 servings – Calories 330, Protein37g, Carbohydrates 29g, Fat 8g , Fiber 11g

Spiked Pomegranate Lemonade

1.5 ounces lemon/lime vodka

1.5 ounces lemonade

1.5 ounces pomegranate juice

4 ounces club soda

1 Serving – 136 calories

Citrus Lemonade

6 large lemons

3 medium limes

3/4 to 1 cup honey

6 cups water

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

Ice cubes

Lemon and/or lime slices

In a 2-1/2-quart pitcher, combine lemon juice, lime juice, and 3/4 to 1 cup honey. Add water and raspberries. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Just before serving, gently stir to combine. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Add lemon and/or lime slices, if desired.

Makes 10 servings, 101 calories per serving

Melon Margarita Ice

4 cups seeded and cut-up cantaloupe or honeydew melon (about 1 medium)

1/2 of a 10-ounce can (about 2/3 cup) frozen margarita mix concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons snipped fresh mint

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon tequila (optional)

In a blender container or food processor bowl combine half of the cut-up melon and half of the margarita mix. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with remaining melon and margarita mix. Stir in mint, lime juice, and, if desired, tequila. Pour melon mixture into a nonmetal freezer container. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. (The consistency should be icy, not smooth.) To serve, scoop into 4 margarita glasses or small wine glasses. (If too hard to scoop or scrape, let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes or until slightly softened.)

Makes 4 servings, 112 calories per serving

Hopefully you will enjoy these recipes. The melon margarita ice is my favorite!

Publishers Note: Nicole Flannigan pens the Fitness Column each month and we are happy to share her tasty eats and drinks with you all in this space as well.

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