3. Chicken & Brussels Sprouts
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly black pepper
1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Cook it for 3 minutes, then turn it over and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, and remove it from the pan. Heat the pan over medium-high heat, then add 1/2 cup broth and cider and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer for 4 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, 1 tablespoon butter and the parsley.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the remaining salt and broth to pan – cover and cook for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Serve sprouts with chicken and sauce.
Nutritive value (per serving): Calories: 350; Total fat: 15g; Saturated fat: 5g; Monounsaturated fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 114mg; Carbohydrate: 11g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 42g; Sodium: 604mg.
4. Beef with Pomegranate Sauce
4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/3 cup pinot noir or burgundy wine
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 thyme sprig
1 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Coat the pan with cooking spray and add the steaks – cook for 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan, add the shallots and sauté 30 seconds. Add pepper, wine, juice, broth, and thyme sprig, bring to a boil and cook for 7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and discard the thyme sprig. Add butter to the sauce, stirring it well until it melts. Serve the steaks with the sauce.
Nutritive value (per serving): Calories: 236; Total fat: 11g; Saturated fat: 5g; Monounsaturated fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 84mg; Carbohydrate: 4g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 25g; Sodium: 333mg.
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5. Asparagus & Pea Pasta
2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta (210 grams)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh asparagus pieces (270 grams, with ends chopped and discarded)
1 cup frozen green peas (145 grams)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (40 grams)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Add butter, onion and garlic, and cook until onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Add peas to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the pan with vegetable mixture. Add feta, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the pan. Toss until well combined.
Nutritive value (per serving): Calories: 359; Total fat: 9g; Saturated fat: 5g; Monounsaturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 22mg; Carbohydrate: 59g; Fiber: 6g; Protein: 13g; Sodium: 251mg; Potassium: 195mg.
6. Portobello & Basil Pizza
For the basil pesto
2 tablespoons of pine nuts (substitute with walnuts if you’re on a budget)
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 small avocado
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the portobello pesto pizza
4 portobello mushrooms
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces grated mozzarella (Or use sliced sandwich cheese – mozzarella, fontina, Swiss; 1 slice is approx. 1 ounce)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Make the basil pesto by combining pine nuts, basil, garlic and avocado in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are broken up. Drizzle in olive oil, while keeping the food processor on, until you get a sauce-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
For the pizza, remove stems from portobello mushrooms and use a spoon to scrape out the inside gills, the brush the mushrooms with olive oil on both sides. Place mushrooms cap side down on a sheet pan. Spoon approximately 1/3 cup of basil pesto onto the mushroom. Top with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes.
Nutritive value (per serving): Calories: 303; Total Fat: 29g; Saturated fat: 6g; Monounsaturated fat: 17g; Cholesterol: 18mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 1g; Protein 13g; Sodium: 190mg; Potassium: 228mg.