**REPOST*** Superbowl Sunday Healthy Appetizer – Potato Skins

I saw this recipe on the food channel one Saturday morning. The show was about eating healthy with Ellie Krieger and the recipe looked amazing. I thought it would be a good Football or card party kind-of-an-appetizer since most appetizers served at events tend to lean very heavy on the calories. I tested the recipe, it was perfect! Loved it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme

Recipe created December 31, 2009

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme
Ingredients:
8 small Idaho potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds total), scrubbed and dried
4 teaspoons of olive oil
8 ounces broccoli florets, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
6 pieces of Canadian bacon, finely diced (about 6 ounces) (can be omitted) or use Turkey Bacon
¾ to 1 cup of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Avocado Crème:
2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced and greens reserved
1 medium avocado
2 tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream or 2% Greek Fage Greek Yogurt
Two tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves (or use another herb if do not like cilantro like parsley, thyme)
1 clove garlic
¼-teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork and rub lightly with olive oil (not the 4 teaspoons in the recipe above – extra). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until baked potatoes are cooked thoroughly and tender. Remove from oven and cool completely enough so they are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8” of the potato flesh, leave the skin in place. Save the scooped potato flesh for another use (possibly fresh corn and potato chowder).Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down and baking sheet until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While potato skins are cooking, prepare the filling. Steam the chopped broccoli until crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a non-stick sauté skillet, add the chopped Canadian bacon or turkey bacon and cook until crisp stirring often, about 3 to 4 minutes, put cooked bacon on paper towel to remove excess fat. To make avocado crème, combine scallion (green onions) whites, avocado, sour cream or Greek Yogurt, lime juice, cilantro (or other preferred herb), garlic and salt in a small bowl of a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth.

Toss the broccoli with cheese and spoon filling evenly among cooked halved potato skins. Return potatoes to oven and bake until cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes, Spoon 1 tablespoon of the avocado cream on top of the broccoli-filled potatoes, then top with scallion greens and 1 teaspoon crisped bacon bits.

Calories: 180, Total Fat: 10g, Protein 8g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 3g, Cholesterol 20 mg

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Avocado Garbanzo Tomato Open Face Sandwich

I had quite a few avocados that I purchased on sale so I thought I better try and use some of them up. I was not in the mood for a super fancy breakfast/lunch kind of meal so I made this simple dish that did not take up a lot of my time as I had a lot of appointments. I like Garbanzo beans but I did not want to make a smooth hummus so I mashed the garbanzo beans really chunky, same as the avocados. I was impressed with the simplicity of my meal it came out really good. Filled me up, hit the spot and I was on the go so it was perfect! Enjoy!

Avocado Garbanzo Tomato Open Face Sandwich
Created on 03/21/2012

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1 can of organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (you will use about ½ cup of the whole mixture)
¼ cup of Tahini sauce
1 Roma tomato cut into cubes
1 avocado, remove seed
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1 whole grain English muffin toasted
Salt and Pepper

Mash the garbanzo beans in a bowl until you get a chunky texture. Add the tahini sauce and mix well. Season the garbanzo mixture with salt and pepper. Set aside. Cut up the tomato into chunk bite size pieces. Half the avocado and remove the seed. Scoop out the fleshy part of the avocado and put in a bowl. Add the Roma tomato, lime juice and cilantro in the avocado and mix well. You want a chunky smooth kind of appearance. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. On the toasted English muffin, smear about ¼ cup of the garbanzo mixture on both sides of the English muffin and spread on top with the Avocado/Tomato mixture.

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Sunflower Seed Avocado Tomato Salad

I do not know about you, but when I hear the word salad, I think greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and all the other fresh vegetables that go in a bowl, tossed and drenched in dressing. Today is an overcast, icky day in Columbus Ohio so…… I thought what a better way to cheer up myself on this blah day and make a salad that has bright colors in it. If Mother Nature will not bring me sun today, at least I can create it in my kitchen. I did not have any green lettuce or spinach but I made this salad instead and I am just excited – a different kind of salad. I toasted sunflower seeds and sweet organic corn off the cob, topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, avocados, lightly sautéed zucchini salad with a tad of olive oil. I’m a happy person right now. I am looking forward to trying this again over the summer with fresh farmer market vegetables. Enjoy!

Sunflower Seed Avocado Tomato Salad
Created on 2/21/12

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13 organic cherry tomatoes sliced in half and then quartered
1 small organic zucchini, cubed
1 cup of organic yellow corn, sliced off the cob (frozen will work too)
¼ cup of raw organic sunflower seeds
1 avocado, seed removed and cubed
1 teaspoon of basil
2 tablespoons of olive oil, or other oil you prefer
Salt / Pepper for seasoning

In a small sauté pan, heat up over medium heat 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice and add the corn and sunflower seeds, season the corn and seeds with salt and pepper along with the basil. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes until the corn and sunflower seeds are brown like – somewhat like the color of toast. Remove from the heat and put in a glass bowl. Cool.

In the same sauté pan, which should already have a coating of oil from the corn and sunflower seeds, if not add about ½ tablespoon more of olive oil to the pan. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper, lightly sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes. The zucchini should have a good solid crunch but the raw taste should not be there. Add the zucchini to the bowl of corn and sunflower seeds. Cool.

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Cut up the tomatoes, put in a small glass bowl and season with salt and pepper with a drizzle of oil. Set aside. The salt will help the tomatoes create some juice.

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After the sautéed vegetables are semi-cool, add the tomatoes with the juice and cubed avocado to the bowl and toss lightly. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Serve with whole grain crusty bread.

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Pre-New Year’s Day Green Salad

Sometimes there are traditions that we become die-hard fans and follow so faithfully year after year. Mine is black-eyed peas (for luck) and rice, a green salad or “green” something for money, and of course the latest we have adopted is no laundry on New Year’s Day because it is bad luck. My year 2011 was an interesting and unexpected year with a huge loss and some life and career changes. I said I would not mention any resolutions for 2012 but I have that hopeful seed of anticipation. Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do. Happy New Year!

Pam’s Pre-New Year’s Green Salad
Created on 12/31/11

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Salad Ingredients
Romaine lettuce enough for 1 or 2 servings
1 granny smith apple, cleaned, cored, and sliced thin
1 Avocado, seeded, and cubed
6 oz of smoked turkey or ham (you can omit this if vegan or vegetarian), chop into bite size pieces
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cucumber halved and diced (remove the seeds with a spoon)
½ cup of fresh parsley minced fine (adjust the herb to the way you like it)
¼ cup of green onions minced fine

Vinaigrette
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of pepper
1 tsp of Stevia or honey
½ juice from fresh lemon
¼ cup of canola oil or a light oil

Prep all the ingredients for the salad, wash the lettuce and chop into bite size pieces. Slice granny smith apple into matchstick pieces and put into a bowl with cold water to prevent browning. Cut avocado in half and remove the seed. Then slice and cube the avocado. Cut cucumber in half and then remove the seeds with a spoon, then dice. Mince fresh parsley and green onion using white and green parts of the onion. Chop into bite size pieces 2 stalks of celery. Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl and add the apples after draining and pat dry.

Mix with a wire whisk the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small glass bowl well until foamy. Add the vinaigrette to the prepped salad ingredients and toss well. Serve with whole grain bread.

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Another time when I made this salad, I added toasted coarsely chopped Almonds. This gave the salad a different texture and flavor.

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Steamed Red Fingerling Potato Eggs Benedict

Well, this is the first recipe that starts off my Eggs Benedict kick. I realize I posted earlier the Portobello Eggs Benedict as one of the first recipes for the “Eggs Benedict Kick” but technically this is the first Eggs Benedict recipe that starts my quest for the perfect recipe. But who is counting? Not ME! I had some red fingerling potatoes on hand and decided to create a mock Hollandaise sauce with sour cream, dill, fresh lime juice and cracker pepper to give the recipe some texture. I really liked how the sauce turned out and the different flavors from the simple ingredients really complimented one another.

Steamed Red Fingerling Potato Eggs Benedict
Created on 09/14/11

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2 Large Red Fingerling Potatoes, scrubbed clean and sliced 1/8” thick
4 eggs (click here to see short tip on how to cook poached eggs)
2 medium tomatoes (you should get eight slices from the two tomatoes)
1 Avocado sliced (you should get four slices of Avocado per half)
½ cup sour cream
1 medium lime
1 tablespoon of fresh or dried dill (add more if you like the flavor of dill)
Salt / Pepper to taste

Place the sour cream in a bowl and squeeze the juice of one lime into the bowl. Add the dill and cracked pepper. Mix ingredients well, and set aside.

In a stock pot lined with a steamer, fill with approximately 3” of water. Slice the scrubbed potatoes 1/8” thick and lay in the steamer the sliced potatoes. Turn on burner to high heat to heat up the water so that the potatoes can steam cook. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender about 10 minutes; cooking time can be less depends on your stove. Season the potatoes lightly with salt.

In a 10” pan, fill up with water till about 1-1/2 inches from the top. Bring to a hard boil and then reduce the heat until the water is just simmering. In the pan with simmering water, add one teaspoon of vinegar. The vinegar will help keep each egg together (congeal) and not spread in the water. Cook the eggs in simmering water for approximately 4 to 5 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to collect any excess water from the egg. Remember, you can cook the eggs longer to your preference but you will want to have some yolk flavor the dish.

Slice the tomatoes. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Remove the avocado meat from the skin and slice.

To Assemble:
On a plate, place the steamed potatoes in a circular pattern. Lay four slices of avocado on top of potatoes, then four slices of tomato on top of the avocado. Spoon the sour cream mixture on top of the tomato slices and place two poached eggs on top of the sour cream. Season the poached eggs with salt and cracked pepper. Enjoy!

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Grilled Guacamole Dip

There were avocados on sale when I went grocery shopping over the Fourth of July weekend and I thought I would try something different with the avocados. I am a huge fan of guacamole and saw something quick on the food channel about grilling avocados. I decided to experiment and try grilling all my vegetables and created this amazing dip. I am thinking that next time, I will grill a couple of Jalapeno peppers and add it to the dip to give it some pop instead of using Tabasco sauce. This recipe is so delicious!

Grilled Guacamole Dip, created 07/06/2010

(2) Roma Tomatoes, sliced thick
(3) Avocados, cut in half and pitted
(1) Lemon, sliced thick
(1) Onion, sliced thick
(2-3) Tablespoons Olive Oil (approximately)
(2) Corn on the Cob (fresh or already cooked)
Tabasco Sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Prep and Grilling the Vegetables:
Cut tomatoes, onion, and lemon into thick slices. Cut the avocados in half and remove the seed. Preheat a grill pan or if you are barbequing that day, you can barbeque these items on the grill. Brush all the vegetables lightly with olive oil except for the lemon and the hard green part of the avocado shell. Place the avocado halved side down on the grill along with the sliced onions. Lightly season the sliced onion with salt and pepper. Grill the avocado and onion until you have good grill marks – will be about 4 to 5 minutes for the avocados and maybe 6 to 7 minutes for the onion. Remove from the grill and place the sliced tomato and lemon on the grill. The tomatoes will take no more than a minute and half and the lemon slices about 3 to 4 minutes. Grill the corn on the cob until the corn is light brown all the way around the cob, brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. This may take a good ten to fifteen minutes depends on your oven or grill.

To Make the Guacamole:
With a large spoon, gently run the spoon around the avocado shell and remove the inside of the avocado and put in a bowl. Chop into small pieces the grilled onion and place in the bowl. Chop up the grilled tomatoes and put aside. Run a sharp knife down each side of the cob to remove the corn.

Mash the avocados to the desired consistency you prefer and add the tomatoes and the corn. Squeeze the lemon slices to extract the juices and mix all the ingredients well. Add about 15 to 20 drops of Tabasco sauce and lightly season with salt and pepper. Mix lightly one more time and serve with vegetables, crackers, or chips. Enjoy!

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Spinach Eggs Benedict

Spinach Eggs Benedict what can I say. Sometimes I want to be bad and have something that is sinfully rich. I never made Hollandaise sauce before so this was a new experience for me. I do not know what I was so afraid of before but after making the sauce, it was a huge WOW! factor for me. The homemade version is just exquisite. I saw this recipe on one of the food blogs I follow called Simply Recipes and modified the recipe to have some healthier ingredients such as spinach, tomatoes, and avocado. I used Canadian bacon instead of bacon or ham for a lower fat version of the dish and only used 1 tablespoon of the sauce instead of dousing the whole dish with it. Enjoy!

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Spinach Eggs Benedict:
8 eggs
1 tablespoon of vinegar
8 slices of Canadian bacon (optional)
4 Multi-Grain English Muffins
1 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
1 cup of Baby Spinach

Hollandaise Sauce:
10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of salt
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Avocado Grape Tomato Salsa:
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 large ripe avocado
Fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil

The hollandaise sauce: separate the egg white from the yolk and reserve egg white if preferred for an omelet for a later time. Put egg yolks in a blender with lemon juice and salt. Blend for 30 seconds or until the yolks become a light yellow color and add the hot melted butter to the egg mixture and blend until combined. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside.

Fill a 10” non-stick frying pan with water about ¾’s full. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the water mixture. While the water is heating up in one frying pan, in another frying pan, cook the Canadian bacon till crispy around the edges in another frying pan with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil or butter and remove when edges are crispy. Set aside.

In the simmering hot water, crack an egg in a small bowl, and then use the bowl to transfer the egg to the simmering water. It is easier to use the bowl, so you do not burn your fingers while adding the egg to the water. Put all eight eggs in the water and simmer for approximately 4 minutes.

Clean grape tomatoes and halve. Remove the seed from the avocado and cut up avocado in cubes and spoon out of the skin. Put halved tomatoes and cubed avocado into a bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons over the mixture. Add freshly chopped basil and olive oil. Toss well. Season the tomato and avocado salsa with salt and pepper.

While the eggs are cooking, toast the English muffins and put on plate. Take 2 English muffins, line English muffins with about 7 to 8 leaves of baby spinach each halve. Lay the cooked Canadian bacon on top, spoon the drained poached egg on top of the Canadian bacon. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with fresh basil on top.

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