Farm-Fresh Suppers
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Fitness

Farm-Fresh Suppers

Make summer last! Turn the season's best ingredients -- tomatoes, corn, squash, and more -- into healthy, delicious dishes.

Open-Face Garden Sandwich

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 13 minutes

Ingredients

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt and pepper
4 pitas
4 teaspoons reduced-calorie Italian salad dressing
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place vegetables on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Roast 10 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Arrange vegetables on pitas; drizzle with dressing and top with cheese.

3. Place pitas on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat about 3 minutes, or until cheese melts. Serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 269 calories, 12g protein, 38g carbohydrate, 7g fat (4g saturated), 1g fiber

Grilled Beef Kebabs

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinate: 2 hours
Cook time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

Marinade
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme

Kebabs
1 pound boneless beef sirloin or top round steak, cut into 1-1/4-inch cubes
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
8 white button mushrooms
8 cherry tomatoes

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

2. Place cubed beef in a resealable plastic bag set in a medium bowl; pour marinade over beef. Seal bag and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

3. Drain beef, discarding marinade. Alternately thread beef, onion, peppers, and mushrooms on eight metal skewers, leaving 1/4-inch spaces between pieces.

4. Place the kebabs on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill 12 to 14 minutes, or until meat is cooked through, turning occasionally. Add a cherry tomato to the end of each skewer and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 209 calories, 27g protein, 10g carbohydrate, 7g fat (1.7g saturated), 2g fiber

Corn Bread Salad

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes

Ingredients

Dressing
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Salad
1 package (8.5 ounces) corn-muffin mix, prepared according to package directions Salt
2 ears corn, shucked
4 ounces each fresh green beans and yellow wax beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
3 scallions, including green tops, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Whisk vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in oil; let stand.

3. Cut corn bread into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, stirring once, 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Let cool.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add corn and cook 5 minutes. Add beans and cook 3 minutes longer, or until beans are crisp-tender.

5. Remove corn and beans; rinse under cold running water. Cut corn off cobs.

6. Combine corn, beans, cheese, tomato, red pepper, scallions, basil, and dressing; toss to combine. Add corn bread and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving: 311 calories, 16g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 15g fat (6g saturated), 5g fiber

Fresh Veggie Pasta

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 19 minutes

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound penne pasta
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes in juice, broken up with a spoon
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into strips
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 pound quartered bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls)

Directions

1. Lightly coat grill with cooking spray. Heat grill to medium-high.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions.

3. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Grill chicken about 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let cool slightly and cut into thin strips.

4. Toss freshly cooked pasta with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Set aside.

5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes with their juice, zucchini and yellow pepper; cook 3 more minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Stir in chicken and heat through.

6. Remove from heat. Toss sauce with pasta, basil, and bocconcini; serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving: 435 calories, 25g protein, 55g carbohydrate, 12g fat (3g saturated), 5g fiber

Honey-Lime Gazpacho

Makes: 4 servings
Start to finish: 20 minutes

Ingredients

3 large red tomatoes, diced
2 medium cucumbers, diced
2 medium orange bell peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ice cubes (optional)
Lime wedges and scallions for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, orange peppers, jalapeno, and garlic in a large bowl. Process half the mixture in a food processor until it's in large chunks; repeat with the rest.

2. Place entire mixture in the food processor bowl. Add the lime juice, honey, cilantro, ginger, and salt. Cover and process until the mixture is just slightly chunky.

3. Chill in the refrigerator until cool, or ladle soup into bowls with two or three ice cubes. Serve with lime wedges and scallions if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving: 114 calories, 3g protein, 28g carbohydrate, 1g fat (0g saturated), 4g fiber

Green Bean & Shrimp Salad

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 9 minutes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

Green beans and shrimp
Salt for cooking water, plus 1/4 teaspoon for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Snipped chives for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, whisking continuously, until dressing is emulsified. Add chives. Set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add beans and simmer for 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender; drain. In a large bowl, toss beans with dressing; set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

4. To serve, toss tomatoes with beans and scatter shrimp and feta over the top. Garnish with snipped chives if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving: 359 calories, 32g protein, 4g carbohydrate, 24g fat (6g saturated), 1g fiber

Provencal Stuffed Tomatoes

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 jar (16 ounces) marinara sauce
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large ripe tomatoes
Fresh oregano to taste
6 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, olives, Greek seasoning, and salt. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Cut tops off tomatoes and spoon out pulp; fill with meat mixture. Bake stuffed tomatoes for 5 minutes.

4. Garnish each tomato with oregano and 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese; serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 259 calories, 27g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 9g fat (3g saturated), 3g fiber

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2009.

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