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Recipes with a summer feel that are easy on the waistline

By Staff | Dec 31, 2010

The sun may be shining, but it is far from warm around Shepherdstown. The wind howls and the temperatures are low. Often times people turn to comfort food to warm themselves: hot apple pie, hot chocolate or sweets. Those foods are known to make you sleepy and are hard on the waistline.

Try retraining your taste buds. Citrus flavors can remind you of a nice summer afternoon. Citrus scent is known to perk you up.

Citrus rice salad

1 c. cooked rice

1 c. diced cucumber

1/2 c. dried apricots

1/2 c. mandarin oranges

1/4 c. sunflower seeds

2 diced green onion

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley


1 tsp grated lemon or lime rind

3 tbsp lemon or lime juice

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp coriander

Cook the rice and let it cool. Add the other ingredients. Mix the other ingredients in a small bowl. Using a whisk helps to reduce lumps. Pour over the rice mixture.

This can be served on a bed of lettuce as a nice light lunch, or it can be served as a side dish.

Recipe makes eight servings of 1/2 cup, 182 calories per serving.

From Heart and Stroke Foundation Cookbook

How about a nice bowl of fruit and yogurt to kick start your morning?

1 cup of vanilla yogurt

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1/4 tsp grated orange peel

2 tbsp orange juice

2 c. strawberries sliced

1 medium kiwi, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 c. seedless grapes

1 c. mandarin oranges

3 tbsp of dried cranberries

Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, orange peel and orange juice, set aside. Mix the remaining ingredients. Serve over the yogurt mixture. The recipe makes one serving at 90 calories.

The yogurt mixture can also be used as a fruit dip served with chunks of fruit and party toothpicks.

From Betty Crocker Holiday Entertaining

How about a Guava Citrus Ginger Punch?

6 c. guava juice

4 c. orange juice

2 tbsp honey

1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced

optional: 1 c. Scotch whiskey

In a saucepan over medium heat, add guava juice, orange juice, honey and ginger. Heat the mixture for three to four minutes until almost boiling. Turn off heat. Now is when you would add the scotch. Strain into a heat resistant mug, garnish with an orange slice.

From Food and Drink Holiday 2009 (Liquor Control Board Ontario magazine)

If you still want to turn to some comfort food how about a bowl of nice, hot soup? It heats up quickly, and you can make it ahead of time.

Salmon Chowder

1 8 oz. can of salmon

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 c. chopped onion and celery

1/4 c. chopped green pepper

1 clove of garlic minced

3 c. diced potatoes

1 c. diced carrots

1 c. each chicken stock and water

1/2 tsp each coarse pepper and dill seed

1 c. diced zucchini

1 can (14 oz.) 2 percent evaporated milk

1 can (10 oz.) cream-style corn

1/2 c. chopped parsley

In a large nonstick saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, celery, green pepper and garlic, stirring often, for five minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add potatoes, carrots, chicken stock, water, coarse pepper and dill seed; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add zucchini, simmer covered for five minutes.

Add salmon, evaporated milk, corn and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat just until heated through. Just prior to serving, add the parsley.

Makes four servings each 1 3/4 cups at 359 calories a serving.

Maybe you are home with the children all day and trying to figure out how to entertain them. You can get them to assist with some of the preparation – peeling carrots with a safe peeler, buttering the bread for grilled cheese, picking the ingredients of a fruit smoothie and learning to work the blender.

Or you can study a foreign country, maybe where it is warm. Go on the Internet, look at the fun things happening there and then try some of its cuisine. Let the children have some input on the choice. Next, go to the grocery store and let them try to find some of the new ingredients.

Here’s one from Asia. Wonton wrappers, square rice noodle, are available in the produce section. You can fill them with a variety of things and then you cook them in hot vegetable oil. It is recommended to cook the item before it goes in the wonton because the wontons cook quickly and an uncooked item inside might not get cooked thoroughly.

Rub the edge of each wonton with a wet paper towel. Put a small amount of filling in each one. Fold the wonton and press the sides shut. Carefully place it in the hot oil and remove with a slotted spoon when it turns golden. It is quite time consuming, but so delicious.

One tried and true favorite is a small blanched piece broccoli and a smear of cream cheese. The combinations are limitless – chicken and a slice of ginger, grilled mushrooms and pepper jack cheese.

Bon appetit!