After a long harsh winter we finally have better weather to look forward to. Springtime food is known to be lighter and healthier, since summer is just around the corner. Enjoy my delicious lighter Frittatas, Tuna Nicoise and outstanding Lemon Pudding Cake.
Frittata With Sautéed Mushrooms and Havarti
To enhance the flavour, use wild mushrooms such as oyster, shiitake or portobello. Button mushrooms work as well, but be sure to sauté on a higher heat so the excess liquid evaporates. Egg substitutes are used to lower the fat, calories and cholesterol in your recipes. You can find them in the egg section of your supermarket.
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 large eggs)
- 3 egg whites
- 1/3 cup low-fat milk
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup shredded havarti
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1. Lightly coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add the oil and set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mush¬rooms are slightly dried. Set aside.
2. Wipe out the skillet and respray. Combine the egg substitute, egg whites and milk. Cook for 4 minutes over medium heat or until the egg begins to set. Add the onion and mushroom mixture, spinach and cheese. Cover and cook another 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
3. Slip the frittata onto a serving platter with a spatula. Cut into wedges, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Per serving -- Calories 205 • Protein 19 g • Carbohydrates 8 g • Fiber 1.3 g • Total fat 10.4 g • Saturated fat 4.2 g • Cholesterol 17 mg • Sodium 320 mg
Fresh Tuna Salad Niçoise with Roasted Vegetables
This is my all-time favorite salad. It's a perfect main course and best with good-quality raw tuna. You can substitute canned tuna packed in water if you prefer.
- 6 fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise, or 1 Yukon Gold potato, quartered
- 12 grape tomatoes
- 3 large slices red onion, about 1/4 inch thick
- 8 asparagus spears, trimmed
- 12 oz raw tuna (or canned flaked white tuna packed in water)
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 3/4 cup diced cucumber
- 10 kalamata olives
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
2. Place the potatoes, tomatoes, onions and asparagus on the baking sheet. Lightly coat the vegetables with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the tomatoes and asparagus after 5 minutes, and remove the tomatoes and asparagus from the oven after 10 minutes. Continue cooking the red onion for another 5 minutes, then remove from the oven. Continue cooking the potatoes for another 15 minutes, turning halfway through, or until tender.
3. Meanwhile, preheat a nonstick grill pan lightly coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat, or preheat your barbecue to medium-high heat. Sear the tuna on each side for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the outside of the fish is just cooked but the inside of the fish is rare. Take the tuna off the heat immediately. To stop the cooking process, place in the refrigerator immediately.
4. Arrange the spinach, cucumber and olives on a large serving platter. Top with the roasted vegetables.
5. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and top with the dill. Slice the tuna thinly and arrange it on top of the salad.
Per serving -- Calories 314 • Protein 24 g • Carbohydrates 29 g • Fiber 4.7 g • Total fat 11 g • Saturated fat 1.7 g • Cholesterol 43 mg • Sodium 455 mg
Lemon pudding cake
I love any dessert with lemon flavoring. This one has the texture of a soufflé but is slightly more dense. The pudding cake texture is unusual. During baking, the cake tends to separate. The top layer bakes as a cake and the bottom layer has a pudding consistency. It's incredibly moist.
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (for egg yolks)
- 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar (for egg whites)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl and using a whisk or electric beater, beat the egg yolks with 2/3 cup sugar until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. With a wooden spoon, stir in the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour.
3. In another bowl and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they are foamy. Gradually add the 3 Tbsp sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the mixture into the batter just until blended. Pour it into the baking dish.
4. Set the baking dish into a larger baking dish. Pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the smaller dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and the top is firm to the touch. Serve immediately.
Per serving -- Calories 93 • Protein 2.4 g • Carbohydrates 18 g • Fiber 0.1 g • Total fat 1.2 g • Saturated fat 0.5 g • Cholesterol 37 mg • Sodium 14 mg