Broiled/Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan and it’s cousin Eggplant Parmesan are both loaded with calories so here’s a broiled/grilled version with almost no calories. Unless you count the marinara, which is tasty enough to merit the calories.

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

Broiled/Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
2 medium eggplant, sliced lengthways into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick slices
seasonings – I used thyme and oregano
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1-2 cloves garlic
1 cup marinara
1 spray Pam or 1t olive oil

Slice the eggplant and salt generously on both sides. Leave for 30 minutes to 2 hours to let the salt pull the water out of the eggplant. Wipe the liquid and salt off each slice and place on a broiling pan. Cut garlic cloves in half and rub eggplant surfaces – crush remaining garlic and reserve for later.
Broil 10 minutes per side, turning once and making sure it does not burn – you want to cook the eggplant until it is soft, and a golden brown. Spray with pam or brush with oil and sprinkle seasonings, crushed garlic and parmesan cheese over each slice. Return to the broiler for 2-3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Serve with a side of hot marinara.

Serves 2, 298 calories per plate.

Salmon Salad

Salmon is on everyone’s healthy food list and here is a salmon version of tuna salad that makes an excellent snack on rice cakes or Rye-Crisp crackers or on cucumber or carrot slices if you are being concientous. Fresh sliced tomatoes if you have them are the perfect complement to the crackers and the fish, and fresh basil is the icing on the cake so to speak.

Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad
1 large 16oz can wild salmon
1 cup lo/no-fat cottage cheese
1 cup mild or medium salsa, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 t ground red pepper, optional, or tabasco etc
1/2 t salt, optional
Crackers, rice cakes, cucumber slices, or carrot chips
Fresh tomato slices
Fresh basil

Place the salmon on a plate and remove the backbone and any large bones. Mash the salmon with a fork. Add the cottage cheese, salsa and seasonings and fold together with the fork. Eat fresh or place in a sealable container in the fridge.

8 servings, 200 calories per serving for 1/2 cup salmon salad, 3 rice cakes or 4 Rye Crisp crackers.

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese With Fresh Basil and Parmesan

Forget potatoes or rice or pasta, spaghetti squash is fast becoming my staple food!
My summer harvest is in, and while it wasn’t a huge success – one plant took over and produced 3 big squash, but the other 5 plants got powdery mildew and only produced one smallish squash each – it is making excellent eating.
Yet another spaghetti squash recipe (YASSR) that is probably the most obvious – a Bolognese-style sauce with ground beef and marinara, sprinkled with shredded parmesan and garnished with fresh basil leaves.
In addition to the taste, texture, and stomach-filling ability of the squash, it’s really easy to cook – 2 minutes prep to cut in half and remove the seeds, then 10 mins in the microwave covered in plastic wrap or a paper plate.

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 spaghetti squash
1 jar spaghetti sauce marinara or make your own
1 t olive oil
Sprigs of fresh basil
Parmesan cheese

Start the onion frying in the oil over low-medium heat.
Microwave half a spaghetti squash following this recipe.
If cooking the whole squash to serve 4, microwave both halves simultaneously on a single dish, but turn them halfway through since the sides near the edge of the dish get cooked faster than the sides in the middle of the dish.
Once the onion is translucent, add the ground beef and any desired seasonings and cook until browned.
Drain grease from pan, and add marinara and bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for 5 mins
Let squash sit while you simmer the sauce.
Tease out the squash strands using two forks and either serve on a plate or in the squash shell itself.
Pour Bolognese sauce over squash strands and toss a little to cover the squash with sauce. Sprinkle with grated parmesan, garnish with basil sprigs and serve.

Serves 4, 550 calories per plate.

Curry Squash vs Chili Squash

Two halves of a spaghetti squash, one cooked with a Trader Joe’s jar of curry sauce (sacrilege I know but convenience rules) and the other sprinkled with simple chili powder. Add some cooked chicken breast and we have a contest – which tastes better?

Curried Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Above: Curry Chicken Spaghetti Squash. Below: Chili Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Chili Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Curry Chicken Spaghetti Squash
Chili Chicken Spaghetti Squash
Per dish:
One half spaghetti squash, seeds removed, covered and microwaved for 10 mins on high
Sliced/diced chicken, about 4 oz
Optional additional vegetables – beans, corn, peas, carrots etc
Chili powder 1T or Curry sauce 1 cup

Prepare squash, and tease out starnds with two forks. Mix with chicken, additional vegetables if any, and seasoning, either chili powder or curry sauce. Microwave 2 mins on 70%. Mix again, and serve.

Each dish serves one. Chili Chicken 425 calories, Curry Chicken 600 calories per serving.

The verdict – Trader Joe’s curry sauce wins, but only at the expense of 200 extra calories.

Sausage Ratatouille

My garden is bursting with Chinese eggplant, tomatoes, and green beans so here is the result, ratatouille with sausage.

Sausage Ratatouille

Sausage Ratatouille
2 sausages, previously cooked, cut in bite size pieces
1 pound ripest tomatoes chopped – seeds removed if desired
1 pound green beans
1 pound Chinese eggplant, cut in cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs – parsley, basil, dill

Place green beans and eggplant in a microwaveable dish, cover tightly and microwave on high for 12-15 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Uncover carefully. Eggplant should be soft. Stir in tomatoes, sausage and herbs and microwave for another 2 minutes.

Serves two. 320 calories per serving.

Tomato Slivers With Stilton and Grapes

This is a sort of combination appetizer/dessert/cheese course. The grapes go well with the stilton, which is nice and ripe, but their sweetness tends to overpower the tomatoes. Good excuse to eat the tomatoes first with some stilton, then later eat the grapes with a little more stilton. I can hear the Monty Python Spam Vikings now: STIL-TON! STIL-TON! STIL-TON!

Tomato Slivers With Stilton and Grapes

Tomato Slivers With Stilton and Grapes
Tomato(es) sliced into thin sliver
1 oz Stilton Cheese crumbled
15 grapes cut in half – any seeds removed

Serves one. 193 calories.

Supersteak Tomato Stuffed With Tuna Salad

These supersteak tomatoes we got from a friend are 4 inches across. I used one on yesterday’s fish, and here is another stuffed with tuna salad.

Supersteak Tomato Stuffed With Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad
2 x 6oz cans white tuna
1 stalk celery sliced thin
1/4 onion chopped fine
1/4 carrot grated fine
4T light mayo
salt + pepper

1 head romaine heart lettuce, ripped by hand into bites
1 oz grated parmesan cheese
3T fresh basil chopped fine
4T light balsamic dressing

Slice the top off the tomato or with a really big tomato that will serve two, slice in half leaving the top and bottom halves. Remove the tough stem section if any with a knife or grapefruit spoon. Scoop out the tomato center leaving a fairly thick outer edge and bottom. Spoon Tuna salad into the tomato and place in the center of the salad bowl. Surround with lettuce and tomato scoopings. Sprinkle basil and cheese all over. Drizzle with dressing.

Serves two. 436 calories per serving assuming 6oz of tuna per serving.

Baked Fish With Fresh Tomatoes, Herbs and a Parmesan Crust

Now that our tomatoes are ripe and we receive yet more from friends and neighbors we needed a recipe that uses fresh tomatoes in a cooked dish since you cannot eat salad for every meal and expect to make Labor Day with your sanity intact. However it only took one humongous beefsteak to cover three fillets of catfish, so we are not out of danger yet.

Baked Fish With Fresh Tomatoes, Herbs and a Parmesan Crust

Baked Fish With Fresh Tomatoes, Herbs and a Parmesan Crust
3 catfish fillets – 6 to 8 oz each
Fresh tomato(es), about 1.5 pounds, sliced about 1/2 inch thick into rounds.
1/4 onion sliced into rings
1t olive oil
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Sprigs of fresh basil, parsley, and dill, chopped fine
seasonings to taste – I used lemon pepper and cajun seasonings

Turn on the oven to 375. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with PAM or 1t olive oil and dredge the catfish around the dish to coat with oil. Sprinkle half the chopped herbs on the fish. Place tomato slices on top of fish, then distribute onion rings on top. Sprinkle the rest of the herbs and then the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes. Turn the oven up to 425, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is a nicely browned.

Serves 3. 503 calories per serving (updated due to calculation error).

Thai Green Curry Over Spaghetti Squash

Thai and Chinese food are among my favorites but do not fit into a 1500 calorie diet unless you are careful in your choices (avoid sweet and sour or breaded entrees) and substitute a low calorie vegetable such as spaghetti squash for the rice or noodles. Curry is an ideal topping for spaghetti squash since a small serving of curry flavors a large serving of squash.

Thai Green Curry Over Spaghetti Squash

Thai Green Curry Over Spaghetti Squash
1 cup Thai green curry with chicken
1/2 spaghetti squash
1 tomato
Sprigs of fresh basil

Microwave half a spaghetti squash following this recipe.
Let squash sit while you heat the curry and slice the tomato and chop half the basil.
Tease out the squash strands using two forks and either serve on a plate or in the squash shell itself.
Pour curry sauce over squash strands reserving the chicken and vegetables and toss a little to cover the squash with sauce. Place reserved chicken/vegetables on top and garnish with tomato slices and basil sprigs. Sprinkle chopped basil over the top and serve.

499 calories per plate.

Creamy Cauliflower Cheese With Green Chillies

A little light sour cram and a bit of grated cheese makes a wonderfully creamy cauliflower cheese out of cauliflower “rice” that goes beautifully with fish.

Creamy Cauliflower Cheese With Green Chillies

Creamy Cauliflower Cheese With Green Chillies
1 cauliflower prepared as cauliflower “rice” (see link above)
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese – the stronger the better
1 small can diced green chillies – 3-4oz

Prepare the cauliflower rice, then add all the other ingredients mixing to coat all the cauliflower without over-stirring. Can be served immediately but I prefer to reheat for 2 more minutes on high in the microwave and let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to blend. This can be made a day ahead and is excellent as leftovers as the chilli flavor permeates the whole dish.

500 calories for the entire head or roughly 100 calories per one cup per serving.