The Four A's of Fiber: "Remember the four A’s of fiber: apples, artichokes, apricots, and avocados. "

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Menus

Memorial Day is a traditional time of picnics and barbecues, a celebration of early summer, when families congregate and kids run wild. As a kid, I often spent such times with my family and close friends. Below are some of my favorite ‘on the grill’ treats. Enjoy!

Lime Pineapple Sticks

Sugar-Lime Sauce:
Juice of 1 fresh lime (2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup brown sugar

Pineapple Sticks
1 pineapple, peeled and quartered lengthwise

To make the sauce, put the lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cut the pineapple quarters into 2-3 wedges lengthwise. If preferred, slice off the core sections, then cut each wedge into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Thread long metal skewers through each wedge and brush with the lime mixture.

Light an outdoor grill or preheat a broiler. Grill or broil until the fruit is tinged dark brown. Serve drizzled with any leftover sauce, accompanied by low fat vanilla yogurt.

Grilled Portobello and Spinach Burgers

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Well-washed and torn spinach leaves, for topping

1. Mix together the mayonnaise, garlic, and basil in a small bowl. Set aside to let the flavors develop and use for topping.

2. In another small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and brush over the mushrooms thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Lightly oil the grill or a skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms until tender all the way through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.

Shish Kabobs

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. vinegar, wine or sherry (I prefer red wine)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
garlic to taste

Blend ingredients together, then marinate overnight 2 lbs. sirloin tips (1 inch pieces), mushrooms (I prefer baby portabellas), green pepper cut into chunks, and onions cut into chunks.

After marinating, skewer meat and vegetables, and broil for 20 minutes (or grill outdoors), basting often. May add tomatoes for last 5 minutes if desired.

Make extra marinade, and use it to cook rice in as a side dish!This may also be used for a vegetarian kabob. Simply leave out the meat and marinate vegetable chunks such as zucchini, green pepper, etc.

Chicken and Fruit Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

2 to 3 mangos
12 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
6 cups torn mixed greens
1/2 medium cantaloupe -- cut in 1" chunks1 cup halved or sliced strawberries

Mango Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 green onions -- thinly sliced

1. Pit , peel and slice mangoes. Measure 1-1/2 cups for use in the vinaigrette; set aside remaining slices for salad.

2. Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Stir together curry, salt, and pepper. Rub chicken with curry mixture. Grill chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over med. coals about 13 to 15 min. or till tender and no longer pink, turning once halfway through grilling.

3. Arrange greens on individual dinner plates. Top with chicken strips, melon, strawberries, and reserved mango slices. Drizzle with Mango Vinaigrette. Sprinkle green onion over all.

4. For vinaigrette, combine reserved 1-1/2 cups mango, orange juice, vinegar, honey and mustard in blender or food processor. Cover and blend till smooth. Cover and chill till serving time. Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

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