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Low Calorie Main Dishes

Here are some basic recipes which demonstrate the principles of making low-calorie versions of our favorite foods. Don’t be afraid to experiment-you have nothing to lose but excess weight.

… Quinoa Spanish Paella …
Preparation time : 1 hour
Servings : 6
Ingredients
3 cups Quinoa grain
8 cups Chicken stock
1 large Onion, diced
3 garlic Cloves, minced
1 large Bell Pepper/ Capsicum, diced
10 -15 flat Green Beans
4 plum Tomatoes, diced
0.5 (4 ounce) canned Tomato paste
15 large Shrimp (feel free to add clams, calamari, prawns or mussels)
1/2 cup fresh Parsley
2 -3 tablespoons fresh Thyme
1/2 tablespoon Paprika
1 pinch Saffron
3 Lemons, quartered

Method

  • It's best to have all of your ingredients prepared before you start cooking.
  • Peel the shrimps, leaving only the tails on and then salt them.
  • Try to make the chicken stock from scratch (time permitting), adding a bit of rosemary, a tiny pinch of saffron and a bit of thyme.
  • Keep your stock hot but not boiling as you cook.
  • Coat the bottom of your pan with Canola oil.
  • Brown the garlic, onion and capsicum until they're softened, adding plum tomatoes shortly before the mixture is finished.
  • Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the other add the half can of tomato paste. Caramelize it, flipping it and spreading it until it begins to loosen (1-2 min over high heat).
  • Mix all of the vegetables together with the caramelized tomato paste. Add the paprika, parsley and thyme.
  • Add the quinoa, mixing together and stirring as the quinoa browns (1-1½) minutes. Then mix in the saffron. Make sure to break it between your fingers and stir it in to release all those tasty oils.
  • When the quinoa is slightly translucent, add enough chicken stock to cover the whole mixture. If it's been kept warm, it will begin to boil almost immediately. Lower to a medium heat but keep it at a steady boil.
  • This is where paella is made and broken. Stir a few times in the first 5-10 minutes, adding broth as necessary to keep the quinoa fully covered. After this you must let the paella SIT! Let it cook another 10-20 minutes (this step takes longer on a stovetop), adding broth bit by bit to keep the quinoa submerged until the quinoa on the top is al dente. Don't worry about quinoa burning to the bottom, this part is a tasty delicacy.
  • Once you've stirred the paella for the last time and are letting it cook, when you have about 8 minutes left to cook, lay the shrimp (& any other seafood) on top, turning over after 2-4 minutes to cook other side.
  • When the quinoa on top is still quite al dente, take paella off the heat and cover. You must let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Don’t take the lid off prematurely of you’ll end up with a crunchy mess. Patience is the key.
  • Once you're sure it's ready uncover, garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!
… Quinoa Chicken Biryani …
Total Cooking Time (includes Preparation and Marination Time) : Approx. 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Serves: 4 - 5 People
Ingredients
4 Onions - Medium sized
600 gms – 650 gms Chicken - Broiler - Small - 8 pcs.
400 gms Quinoa grain
1/2 cup Curd
2 teaspoons Ginger & Garlic Paste (Adrakh Lehsund Paste)
2 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder (Lal Mirch Powder)
2 teaspoons Biryani Masala
As per taste Salt
2-3 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Mint Leaves (Pudiney ke Patte)
1/4 cup Coriander Leaves (Hara Dhania) - chopped
6 Green Chillies (Hari Mirch) - cut from centre in two long strips
2 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
2 Green Cardamom (Choti Hari Elaichi)
2 Black Cardamom (Badii Kali Elaichi)
4 Cloves (Laung)
8 Black Peppercorn (Sabut Kali Mirch)
1 inch Cinnamon Bark (Dalchini)
2 litres Water
One small Muslin Cloth
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1/2 cup Milk (luke warm)
2-3 drops Food Color - Orange
1 inch Ginger - Julienned (cut into long thin strips)
1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
2 teaspoons Kewra Jal
12" x 18" Food Wrapping Aluminium Foil

Method

  • Slice the onions and fry till golden brown. Don't burn. Keep aside for later use.
  • Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Poke the chicken pieces with a fork.
  • Place chicken pieces in a glass bowl. Add curd, ginger - garlic paste, red chillies, biryani masala, salt to taste, lemon juice, a few mint leaves, one fourth part of onions which were fried earlier and mix well. Apply the mix well onto and around all the pieces of chicken. Cover the bowl and place it in a refrigerator for thirty minutes.
  • Wash and soak the quinoa grain in water for thirty minutes.
  • Add and tie the following in a muslin cloth - the bay leaves, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, black peppercorn and cinnamon.
  • Boil water in a pan. Add and mix half a teaspoon of salt into it. Put the tied muslin cloth bag into the boiling water.
  • Drain the soaked quinoa and add it to the boiling water. Partially boil the quinoa. Don't overcook it. When partially cooked, drain the excess water from the quinoa and let it dry.
  • Take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator.
  • Take a pan with a thick bottom. Add one tbsp of Canola oil in it and heat it on a slow flame for a minute.
  • Add marinated chicken pieces into it. Cook the chicken on medium flame. Stir well but gently so as not to break the chicken pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of water, as & when it appears dry. The chicken will be cooked in 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from flame and keep aside.
  • Take another large pan with a thick bottom. Add and arrange a layer of cooked pieces of chicken on the bottom of the pan with a little gravy. Then, spread and cover the chicken pieces with half of the partially boiled quinoa.
  • Sprinkle on half of the remaining fried onions, half of the green chillies, a few mint leaves, a few chopped coriander leaves over the layer of the partially boiled quinoa.
  • Pour half of the milk, half the kewra jal and a few drops of orange food colour all over the layer of the quinoa.
  • Sprinkle half a teaspoon of garam masala and half the julienned ginger all over the layer of the quinoa.
  • The first layer of the chicken biryani is now ready.
  • Add and arrange a layer of the remaining pieces of chicken over the first layer of quinoa.
  • Now spread and cover the layer of the pieces of chicken with the remaining partly boiled quinoa.
  • Sprinkle the remaining : fried onions, green chillies, mint leaves and chopped coriander leaves over the layer of the partially boiled quinoa.
  • Pour the remaining : milk, kewra jal and a few drops of orange food colour all over the layer of the quinoa.
  • Sprinkle the remaining : garam masala and julienned ginger all over the layer of the quinnoa.
  • Tightly cover the pan/ cookware with food wrapping aluminium foil or cover the pan with a lid and seal it with cooking dough.
  • Cook the sealed pan on a very slow flame for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • The chicken biryani is now ready. Stir and mix all the contents gently.
  • Serve hot with raita/ green chutney, sliced onions and enjoy!
… Quinoa Vegetable Biryani …
Preparation & Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 people
Ingredients - For the Quinoa:
1½ cups quinoa, soaked and drained
1 bayleaf (tejpatta)
25 mm (1”) piece cinnamon (dalchini)
1 clove (laung / lavang)
1 cardamom (elaichi)
Salt to taste


Ingredients - For the Vegetable Gravy:
1½ cups chopped and boiled mixed vegetables (carrots , peas , cabbage, cauliflower & French beans)
1 tbsp Canola oil
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¾ cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
¼ cup paneer (cottage cheese) cubes
Salt to taste
¼ cup milk
A pinch of sugar


Other Ingredients
¼ cup fresh curds (dahi)
¼ cup finely chopped coriander (dhania)
A few drops of edible saffron colour
1 tbsp ghee

Method

For the Quinoa

  • Combine 4½ cups of water, the bayleaf, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, quinoa and salt in a deep non-stick pan.
  • Cover with a lid and cook on a medium flame for 10 to 12 minutes or till the quinnoa is cooked.
  • Strain the quinoa using a strainer and keep aside.

For the vegetable gravy:

  • Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan and add the cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds crackle, add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for a minute or two till the onions turn translucent.
  • Add the ginger-green chilli paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and garam masala and sauté on a medium flame for a few moments.
  • Add the tomatoes and 2 tbsp of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the mixed vegetables, paneer, salt and milk and cook on a medium flame for another 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sugar, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 more minute.

How to proceed:

  • Combine the curds, coriander and saffron colour in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add the prepared quinoa mixture and mix well.
  • Transfer ½ of the quinoa mixture in a handi and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon.
  • Add all the prepared vegetable gravy on it and spread it evenly.
  • Top it with the remaining ½ of the quinoa mixture and spread it evenly.
  • Pour the ghee evenly over it and cover it with a lid.
  • Place the handi on a non-stick tava (griddle) and cook on a slow flame for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Tips : Just before serving, turn upside down on a serving plate, garnish with fried onions and raisins and serve hot.
… Mediterrainean Exotic Quinoa …
Serves: 2 people
Ingredients
100g Quinoa grain
1 Onion
6 Spinach leaves
1 Radish
25-30 Pomegranate seeds
20g Walnuts –(i.e. around 8 pcs)
10 g sprouted Vaal (Field Beans)
1tsp Tandoori ready-made masala
1tsp Yogurt
Salt to taste
1 tspn Canola Oil or Grapeseed Oil

Method

  • Wash the quinoa and soak for sometime.
  • Boil 200ml water on a high flame.
  • Add the quinoa.
  • Stir for a few minutes.
  • When most of the water has dried up, reduce the flame & cover up most of the top of the dish. Cook till done.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Keep this preparation aside.
  • To the tandoori ready-made masala, add the yogurt & mix in the walnuts. Saute this in oil. Keep aside.
  • Slice the onion and fry crisp till done. Keep aside.
  • Chop the spinach leaves very fine. Keep aside.
  • Boil the sprouted vaal (field beans). Keep aside.
  • Take the cooked quinoa, add the onions, sprouted vaal, and mix it all together. Layer it with the tandoori walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and palak leaves.
  • Slice the radish very fine and decorate on top.
… Nachni Dosas With Coconut Chutney …
DOSA
Serves 6 dosas
Ingredients
1 cup Ragi (Nachni / red millet)
1/2 cup moong dal which will be soaked for minimum 3 hrs and to be grind
½ cup chopped Onions
1 small Green Chilly, chopped
1 tsp grated Ginger (Adrak)
1/2 cup chopped Coriander (Dhania patta)
Salt to taste
1½ tsp Canola oil for greasing and cooking

Method

  • Wash and soak the ragi in water overnight.
  • Drain the water and grind the ragi into a paste in a mixer using a little water the following morning.
  • Add the onions, green chillies, ginger, coriander and salt and mix well.
  • Heat a non-stick pan and grease it lightly with a little Canola oil.
  • Pour a spoonful of the batter to make a circle of about 5” in diameter.
  • Cook on both sides till golden brown, using a little Canola oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter to make 5 more dosas.
  • Serve hot.
Coconut Chutney
Ingredients
3 tbsp freshly grated Coconut
2 small chopped Green Chillies
1 tsp chopped Ginger (Adrak)
2 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves (Dhania patta)
6 to 7 Curry leaves (Kadipatta)
2 tbsp roasted Chana Dal (Daria)
½ tsp Mustard seeds (Rai/Sarson)
½ tsp Urad dal (split black lentils)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Canola oil
1 small whole dry Kashmiri red chillies, broken into pieces
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)

Method

  • Mix the coconut, roasted chana dal, green chillies, ginger, coriander, curry leaves, salt and 3 tbsp of water together. Blend in a mixer to a smooth paste.
  • Put the paste in a bowl, add 1/3 cup of water and mix well.
  • For the tempering, heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds crackle, add the urad dal, curry leaves, red chillies and asafoetida and sauté on a medium flame for a minute.
  • Pour this tempering over the chutney and mix well.
… Easy Seven-Vegetable Stew …
Prep: 1 hour
Serves: 4 to 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ cups diced onions
½ to 7 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup celery, diced in 25 mm pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
2 cups carrot rounds, in 25 mm pieces
3 cups potato cubes, in 25 mm pieces
I onion, quartered and cut in eighths
3 cups water, approximately
I bay leaf
Ground rock salt
Freshly ground pepper
1½ cups courgette rounds, in 25 mm pieces
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage

Preheat oven to 160°C. Heat oil with diced onion and celery in a heavy casserole. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add thyme and flour, and sauté, stirring to ensure mixture is well coated with oil. Stir in carrots, potatoes, and onion quarters and mix. Add water, bring to a boil, and add bay leaf and pepper to taste. Cover and place in oven. Set timer for 20 minutes. Remove stew from oven. Stir in courgettes, peas, cabbage. Add a little additional water, if necessary. Cover and return to oven for 20 minutes. Remove and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaf.

Note : This stew can be prepared in advance and reheated right before serving. It keeps and freezes beautifully.

Variation : Omit courgettes and substitute 2 cups steamed broccoli. Add broccoli 10 minutes before stew has finished cooking and do not replace lid (without lid, broccoli will remain a lovely bright green and stew will be absolutely divine).

… Easy Stuffed Brinjal [Aubergine] …
Prep: 45 minutes
Serves: 4
1 standard brinjal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
100 g mushrooms, chopped
½ cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon allspice [optional]
¼ cup barbecue sauce
Salt-free seasoning and freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Halve the brinjal lengthwise and scoop out pulp. Chop it finely. Sauté brinjal in oil with onion, parsley, garlic and mushrooms. Add breadcrumbs and seasonings. Stir in barbecue sauce.

Stuff mixture into reserved shells. * bake 15 minutes. Spoon mixture from shells to serve.

* Note : A little water in baking dish will prevent sticking

… Chicken Risotto …
4 oz/125 g brown rice
4 oz/125 g frozen sweet corn kernels
2 tsp polyunsaturated oil, or 1 tbsp water
1 small onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, or 1 tsp garlic granules (optional)
1 tsp mild curry powder (optional)
14 oz/397 g tin tomatoes
few cauliflower or broccoli florets
6 oz/175 g cooked chicken

Boil the rice. When nearly done, boil the sweet corn. Heat the oil or water in a non-stick pan and fry the onion until soft, not brown. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook over gentle heat for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, cauliflower, drained sweet corn and chicken. Heat thoroughly for about 7 minutes, then stir in the rice. Serve with whole meal bread.

… Easy Broccoli Pilaf …
Prep: 15 minutes
Serves: 5 to 6
1 tablespoon safflower oil
½ teaspoon cumin seed [optional]
½ teaspoon mustard seed [optional]
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon [optional]
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup minced onion
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets, stems peeled and cut cross-wise into 8 mm slices
1/3 cups water
3 cups steamed brown rice
Juice of a small lemon [2 to 3 tablespoons]
2 tablespoons chopped parsley [optional]
1 teaspoon sea salt

Prepare rice. (Measure 1 cup into 2 ¼ cups boiling water, with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook, covered, over very low heat for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest 10 minutes before lifting cover.)

While rice cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet with lid. Add the cumin and mustard seed and sizzle the seeds briefly. Stir in the coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and bay leaves.

Add the garlic and onion and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onion is soft and begins to brown. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add water, cover, and steam the mixture over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.

Stir in the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot. Stir in the lemon juice and the salt. Mix well.

… Chilli Casserole …
1 Ib lean stewing beef, cut into 1 inch/2 cm cubes
1 medium onion, sliced
14 oz/397 g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
7 oz/200 g can low-sugar baked beans
1 tsp chilli powder
1 pint/285 ml beef stock

Heat the oven to gas mark 3/325 F/170 C. Place all the ingredients in a casserole. Cover and cook slowly for 2-2 ½ hours. Remove cover, strain off liquid and boil to reduce to desired consistency. Return to casserole and serve.

… Leanline Lasagne …
12 oz/350 g lean or low – fat minced beef
1 tsp polyunsaturated oil or ½ tsp water (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
4 sticks celery, chopped
4 oz/125 g mushrooms, sliced
14 oz/397 g can tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 1tsp garlic granules
½ tsp oregano
pinch cayenne pepper
1 stock cube, crumbled
4 oz/125 g wholewheat lasagne (no-pre-cook variety)
1 oz/25 g cornflour
pinch of pepper
1 pint/568 ml skimmed milk
1 ½ oz/40 g Edam or low –fat hard cheese, grated

Brown the meat in a non-stick pan with or without the oil water. Drain off any fat from the meat. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, pepper and stock cube to the pan. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes, removing the lid for the last 10 minutes. Place half the meat mixture in an ovenproof dish and cover with half the lasagne. Repeat. Heat the oven to gas mark 6/400 F/200 C. Mix the cornflour, mustard and pepper with a little of the milk to form a smooth paste. Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan, stir in the cornflour paste and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Cook gently for 1 minute. Stir in half the cheese.

When melted, pour the sauce over the lasagne. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for about 50 minutes.

Variation : Replace the meat with a mixture of vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, sweetcorn, peas, leeks or kidney beans.

… Baked Brown Rice with Herbs …
Prep: 30 to 60 minutes
Serves: 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
2 cups long-grain brown, unpolished rice
4 ½ cups vegetable broth, boiling
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
½ cup minced fresh parsley
Tabasco sauce to taste
Ground rock salt
Freshly ground pepper

This is an easy and elegant rice dish that you can pop into the oven in no time flat. While it bakes, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare the other dishes for the meal. Use a heavy enameled, oven-proof casserole with lid or a heavy, covered skillet for best results.

White basmati rice takes only 20 minutes; brown, unpolished rice requires 50 minutes. Double this recipe so you will have leftover rice to put into salads or soups.

Preheat the oven to 190 degree C. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in rice and mix well. Add boiling broth and remaining ingredients. Stir well, cover and bring to the boil.

When rice is boiling, cover with circle of oiled parchment and place on centre rack in oven. Bake 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season to taste.

… Spaghetti with Smoked Salmon and Watercress …
250 g/8 oz spaghetti
1 ½ tsp virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
60 g/2 oz smoked salmon, julienned
1 bunch watercress, washed and stemmed
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the spaghetti in 3 litres (5 pints) of boiling water with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Start testing the pasta after 8 minutes and cook it until it is almost done. Just before the spaghetti finishes cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic in the oil for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the salmon, watercress and pepper, and cook for 30 seconds more before removing the pan from the heat. Drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan. Toss the spaghetti to distribute the sauce and serve at once.

… Sesame Brinjal [Aubergine] …
Prep: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serves: 4
1 standard brinjal, or 4 small Japanese brinjals, peeled
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, or ¼ teaspoon powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Here’s a light, tasty brinjal dish with an interesting twist for those who love this vegetable.

Cut the brinjal into thick 12 mm slices and marinate for about 1 hour in the soy sauce. Place the ginger in a heavy skillet. Add the oil and brinjal, and brown it, turning several times, adding water, rather than additional oil, as needed, to keep brinjal moist. When tender, sprinkle brinjal with parsley, lemon juice, and sesame seeds.

… Red Cooked Beef …
1 kg/2 Ib topside of beef, trimmed of fat
and cut into 2 cm ( ¾ inch) pieces
4 Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water
for 10 to 15 minutes
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp tomato paste
2.5 cm/1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp five-spice powder
¼ litre/8 fl oz unsalted brown stock
1 tbsp safflower oil
300 g/10 oz carrots, thinly sliced diagonally

Drain the mushrooms and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Trim and slice them. Place them in a bowl with the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder and stock. Stir well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy, fireproof casserole over high heat. Add one third of the beef pieces and brown them on all sides, turning them constantly – about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, drain the meat, then transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining two batches of beef, draining each batch on fresh towels. Return all the beef to the casserole, add the mushrooms and liquid mixture and bring slowly to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and slimmer very gently for 1 ½ hours, turning the meat over frequently during this time and basting with the cooking liquid.

Add the carrots and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes or until the beef is tender; the carrots should be cooked but still firm. Serve hot.

… Sweet and Sour Brinjal [Aubergine] …
Prep: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
4 medium Japanese brinjals, or 1 medium standard brinjal
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 bunch spring onion, cut in 25 mm lengths
½ cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons ketchup or tomato sauce
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons arrowroot dissolved in 4 tablespoons cold water
¼ cup minced parsley

This recipe is accomplished most quickly by using Japanese brinjals, which are less likely to be bitter. Standard brinjals are bet salted to leach out the bitter juices, but this requires an extra 20 to 30 minutes. Either way, the dish is easy.

Cut unpeeled brinjal in 12 mm cubes. (if using standard brinjal, sprinkle cubes with salt, plate in a large colander, let sit for 20 minutes, rinse, and pat dry). Assemble remaining ingredients close to wok. Heat wok over medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic, and green onions. Stir-fry 1 minute, then add brinjal and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add broth to wok, lower heat to medium, toss vegetables for 30 seconds, cover and steam for 4 minutes. While vegetables are steaming, combine ketchup, water, soy sauce, vinegar, and sweetener in a small bowl. Uncover wok. Raise heat to medium-high, and stir-fry for 1 to 2 additional minutes, until brinjal is tender. Add sweet-and sour mixture and toss well to coat. Stir in arrowroot mixture and allow sauce to thicken. Turn out into a warm serving bowl. Garnish with parsley.

… Braised Chicken with Plums and Lemons …
4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned (about 500 g/1 Ib)
½ litre /16 fl oz unsalted chicken stock
4 red plums, blanched in the stock for 1 minute, peeled
(skins reserved), halved and stoned
2 tsp sugar
30 g/1 oz unsalted butter
1/8 tsp slat
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped shallots
8 paper – thin lemon slices

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the plum skins in the chicken stock until the liquid is reduced to 12.5 cl (4 fl oz). Strain the stock and return it to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, and add the plum halves and sugar. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then remove it from the heat and set aside. Preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F or Mark 5).

In a shallow, fireproof casserole over medium heat, melt the butter. Lay the breasts in the casserole and sauté them lightly on one side for about 2 minutes. Turn them over, salt and pepper the cooked side, and add the shallots. Place the plum halves cut side down between the breasts. Pour the stock into the casserole and arrange two lemon slices on each breast.

Put the uncovered casserole in the oven. Cook until the chicken feels firm but springy to the touch – about 10 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and lift out the plums and breasts with a slotted spoon Place them on a warmed platter and return the lemon slices to the sauce. Cover the chicken and plums with foil to keep them warm. Simmer the sauce over medium-high heat until it is reduced to about 4 tablespoons – 5 to 7 minutes. Put the lemon slices back on top of the breasts and arrange the plums around them. Pour the sauce over all and serve.

… Honey – Basil Chicken …
4 whole chicken legs, skinned
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp safflower oil
7.5 g / ¼ oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp unsalted chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
30 to 40 fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 200 c (400 F or Mark 6). Cut a piece of aluminium foil 30 cm (1 ft) square for each leg. Sprinkle the legs with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over medium heat, then brown the legs for about 2 minutes on each side. Put a leg in the middle of each foil square, and dribble 1 ½ teaspoons of honey and 1 ½ teaspoons of stock over each one. Lay one quarter of the garlic slices on each piece, cover with a loose layer of the basil leaves, and wrap the foil snugly over the top. Put the foil packages on a baking sheet and set it in the oven.

After 30 minutes, remove a foil package from the oven and unwrap it carefully to preserve the juices. Test to see if done by piercing the thigh with the tip of sharp knife; if the juices run clear, it is done. If necessary, return the leg to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes more.

To serve, undo each package and transfer the legs to a platter. Remove any garlic or basil that sticks to the foil and put them back on the chicken. Pour the collected juices from the foil packages over the legs.

… Red Pepper Pork with Mint …
500 g/1 Ib pork fillet or loin, trimmed of fat and thinly sliced
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
2 sweet red peppers, seeded, deribbed and thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper
500 g/1 Ib tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
45 g/1 ½ oz fromage frais (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan; add the red peppers and sauté for 1 minute. Add the pork slices and brown them over high heat. Season with some black pepper, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. After 5 minutes, add the tomatoes; continue to cook, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the tomato – pepper mixture is well reduced. Season with the salt and some pepper, if required.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool for 1 minute, then stir in the mint. Serve at once.

… Steamed Fish …
Two 6-ounce fish fillets (Do not cut completely through fish.)
Whole fresh basil leaves (1 or 2 per cut)
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons shredded fresh ginger
1 cup thinly sliced capsicum
8 ounces asparagus spears

No need to get steamed when you’re in a dinnertime crunch. Steam this basil fish instead. It’s quick ingredients retain their nutrients, and calories from fat are minimal since there’s no need to use oil.

Make bias cuts in to the fish about ¾ -inch apart. Tuck the fresh basil leaves into each cut. (One or two per cut.). Rub fillets with garlic and the shredded fresh ginger. Place the thinly sliced capsicum and asparagus spears into a steamer. Top with fish. Place basket into a large, deep saucepan or wok in which 1 inch of water is boiling. Cover, steam 6 to 8 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Makes 2 servings.

Here’s the nutrition scoop: 254 calories, 21 g protein, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 61 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates, and 3 g fiber. Daily Values: 15% vit. A, 77% vit. C, 3% calcium, and 9% iron.

… Caribbean Chicken …
For four servings of Caribbean Chicken:

Season 12 ounces chicken tenderloin strips with…
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon ground red paper

In a large, nonstick pan heat…
1 teaspoon cooking oil

Cook chicken in hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Add ….
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 small capsicum, seeded and chopped

Cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes more.

In a small bowl stir together…
¾ cup pineapple juice (preferably unsweetened)
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Add to non-stick pan cook, stirring gently till bubbly.

Add…
2 unripe bananas, quartered lengthwise and cut into ¾ -inch pieces

Cook and stir 2 minutes more, serve over cooked brown unpolished rice.

Nutrition facts per serving : 326 calories, 3 g total fat, ½ g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 188 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 20 g protein, 73% vitamin C, 3% calcium, 7% iron.

Sweet and savory flavors dance a rhythmic duet in this Caribbean-inspired meal. Let the rice cook while you prepare the chicken, and dinner is on the table in 20 minutes.

… Salmon – in – a – snap …
1 teaspoon lemon – pepper seasoning or freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 medium orange, halved and very thinly sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons minced roasted garlic or minced garlic
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup quick – cooking couscous or quick-cooking whole wheat couscous

Salmon stirs up excitement for its high scores in protein and heart-saving omega – 3 fatty acids.

Season four 1-inch-thick salmon fillets (about 1 pound) with lemon pepper seasoning or freshly ground black pepper. Lightly spray a nonstick baking pan with nonstick spray coating . Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Arrange fish fillets in pan. Drizzle with soy sauce. Top with the orange. Bake, covered, for 8 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan bring just to boiling broccoli florets, chicken broth, water, garlic and salt. Cook, covered, for about 3 minutes. Stir in couscous.

Remove from heat. Serve fish over hot cooked couscous and broccoli. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Here’s the nutrition scoop: 316 calories, 25 g protein, 5 g fat, (1 g sat. fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrates, and 10 g fiber. Daily values: 9% vit. A, 85% vit C, 5% calcium, and 12% iron in each serving.

… Garlic and Pepper Stir – Fry …
½ tablespoon cooking oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, sliced
½ of a medium red capsicum, cut into strips
½ of a medium green capsicum, cut into strips
½ of a medium yellow capsicum, cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

Preheat a wok or large skillet over high heat; add oil. Add garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add peppers and onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes.. Add mushrooms and stir-fry about 2 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional facts per serving
Calories :67, total fat : 2 g, saturated fat ½ g, cholesterol : 0 mg, sodium : 15 mg, carbohydrate : 8g, fiber : 2 g, protein : 1 g, vitamin A : 175%, vitamin C: 106%, calcium:2%, iron : 3%

… Stronganoff-Style Chicken …
6 cups water
5 ounces noodles (about 3 cups)
Nonstick spray coating
½ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon cooking oil
12 ounces boned skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
8-ounce carton plain no-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
2 4-ounce cans sliced mushrooms

Lightly salt the 6 cups water; bring to a boil. Add noodles; cook according to package directions. Drain well; set aside. Meanwhile, spray a 10-inch skillet with nonstick spray coating. Cook onion in skillet until nearly tender. Add oil to skillet. Add chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. In a small bowl stir together yogurt, flour, paprika, and salt.

Add undrained mushrooms to skillet. Stir in yogurt mixture. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Serve over hot noodles. Makes 5 servings.

Nutritional facts per serving
Calories:321, total fat : 10 g, cholesterol : 90 mg, sodium : 368 mg, carbohydrate : 29 g, protein : 27 g

… Tortilla – Black Bean Casserole …
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 35 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups chopped green capsicum
1 14-1/2 ounce can tomatoes, cut up
¾ cup spicy picante sauce ( like tobassco)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Nonstick spray coating
10 7-inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded low fat cheese (8 ounces)
Shredded lettuce (optional)
Sliced small fresh red chili peppers (optional)

In a large pan combine onion, capsicum, undrained tomatoes, picante sauce, garlic and cumin. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in beans.

Spray a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick coating. Spread one-third of the bean mixture over bottom of the dish. Top with half of the tortillas, overlapping as necessary, and half of the cheese. Add another one-third of the bean mixture, then remaining tortillas and bean mixture. Cover and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes.

If desired, place some shredded lettuce on each serving plate. To serve, cut casserole into squares and place atop lettuce. Garnish with chili peppers, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 main-dish servings.

Nutritional facts per serving
calories : 248, total fat: 4g, saturated fat: 1g, cholesterol: 0mg, sodium: 631mg, carbohydrate: 40g, fiber: 5g, protein : 15g

… Asian Primavera Stir – Fry …
Start to Finish : 30 min.
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon cornstarch
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
Nonstick cooking spray
8 ounces tiny whole carrots with tops (about 12), trimmed
4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces
green spring onion strips
1 green capsicum, sliced.

In a small bowl combine dried mushrooms and 1 cup warm water; let stand for 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms, squeezing out excess liquid; reserve liquid. Slice mushroom caps; discard stems, stir cornstarch into reserved mushroom liquid.

In a bowl stir together the chicken, sherry, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, set aside.

Lightly coat a wok or large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry capsicum and carrots for 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add green onions and stir-fry for 1 minute more. Remove vegetables from wok; set aside. Add chicken mixture to wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from center of wok. Stir cornstarch mixture; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Return vegetables to wok. Add mushrooms. Stir to coat with sauce. Cook and stir for 1 minutes or until heated through. If desired, garnish with green onion curls. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional facts per serving
Calories : 250, total fat : 2 g, saturated fat : 1 g, cholesterol : 45 mg, sodium : 324 mg, carbohydrate : 48 g, fiber : 3 g, protein : 25 g