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A Taste of Summer: Easy, Healthy Gourmet Recipes

Eat like you're on vacation -- only better. These seven dishes from Canyon Ranch spa are so tasty, filling, and easy to prepare, you won't believe they're low-calorie and healthy. Each recipe takes just 30 minutes or less!

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Canyon Ranch
Canyon Ranch
Chicken Scaloppine With Mushrooms and Tarragon
Canyon Ranch
Canyon Ranch
Canyon Ranch
Canyon Ranch
Canyon Ranch
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Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
3 tablespoons diced yellow onions
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons ground chipotle chili
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1. Lightly spray a large saucepan with cooking spray. Saute onions and garlic over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add the beans, chipotle, chicken stock, tomatoes, cilantro, and salt; simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree half the bean mixture in a blender or food processor; place in a bowl with the rest of the beans and mix together.

2. Preheat the broiler.

3. Combine the olive oil and chili powder in a small bowl; mix to form a paste. Rub the paste over the chicken breasts.

4. Broil the chicken 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until no longer pink. Top with the black bean sauce.

Nutrition facts per serving: 330 calories, 37g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 8g fat (3g saturated), 11g fiber

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Crab and Avocado Quesadilla

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 4 minutes

Ingredients
1/4 cup diced onions
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup peeled and diced avocado
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
4 medium flour tortillas, about 9 inches in diameter
4 teaspoons diced green chilies
1/2 cup chopped crabmeat (canned is fine)
4 tablespoons shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup salsa
4 tablespoons nonfat sour cream

1. In a small pan, saute onions in olive oil until translucent.

2. In a large bowl, combine cooked onions with avocado, tomatoes, cumin, salt, and pepper.

3. Lay tortillas flat. Spread 1/3 cup of the avocado mixture, 1 teaspoon green chilies, 2 tablespoons crabmeat, and 1 tablespoon cheese on each. Fold tortillas in half; place in a pan coated with nonstick spray. Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until cheese is melted. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Nutrition facts per serving: 395 calories, 16g protein, 61g carbohydrate, 10g fat (2.5g saturated), 5g fiber

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Chicken Scaloppine with Mushrooms and Tarragon

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes

Ingredients
4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons diced shallots
2 cups sliced mixed variety mushrooms (oyster, cremini, portobello, and/or button)
4 tablespoons marsala wine
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. On a flat surface, pound chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper with a meat mallet until 1/2 inch thick. Cut each pounded breast in half.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Dust chicken with flour and saute in olive oil until lightly browned on both sides and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan; add shallots and mushrooms. Add wine and cook until almost evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes, tarragon, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Place chicken breasts on plates; spoon sauce over the top.

Nutrition facts per serving: 260 calories, 29g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 8g fat (2g saturated), 2g fiber

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Salmon with Blueberry-Mango Salsa

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1/3 cup blueberries
1/3 cup peeled, diced mango
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
2 teaspoons sugar or 2 teaspoons evaporated cane juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
4 4-ounce salmon fillets
Pinch each of sea salt and ground pepper

1. Combine blueberries, mango, onion, pepper, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, sugar or cane juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Lightly crush with a fork to release the juices. Set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and sear for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

3. Serve fillets with salsa.

Nutrition facts per serving: 205 calories, 19g protein, 6g carbohydrate, 11g fat (2g saturated), 1g fiber

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Shrimp with Apple-Chipotle Salsa

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes

Ingredients
Salsa:
1/2 cup diced apple
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons apple juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of chipotle pepper powder

Spice Mix:
6 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Pinch of cayenne

28-32 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Combine salsa ingredients in a medium bowl; mix well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Combine spice mix ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Lightly dust shrimp with spice mix. Brush grill rack with olive oil and cook shrimp over medium-hot coals until pink, about 1 minute per side.

4. Serve shrimp with salsa.

Nutrition facts per serving: 155 calories, 18g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 5g fat (1g saturated), 2g fiber

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Beef Tenderloin with Adobo Paste

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
16 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into 4 fillets

1. Preheat grill or broiler.

2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, and chili powder. Mix to a smooth paste.

3. Spread 1 teaspoon paste on each side of beef fillets. Broil to desired doneness, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Nutrition facts per serving: 215 calories, 25g protein, 7g carbohydrate, 10g fat (2g saturated), 0g fiber

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Tortilla Soup

Makes: 5 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 quart chicken stock
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped avocado
5 ounces (about 3/4 cup) cooked chicken, torn into pieces
1/3 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
15 corn tortilla chips

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice to a boil.

2. Toss the avocado with the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, tomato, onion, cilantro, cheddar, jalapeno, and salt.

3. Divide the chicken mixture and tortilla chips among five bowls; pour broth over each.

Nutrition facts per serving: 140 calories, 12g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 7g fat (1.5g saturated), 2g fiber

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Spa-Kitchen Secrets

Try these quick, healthy tips from Canyon Ranch chef Scott Uehlein to boost the flavor of your food.

  • Shake up your salt. To reduce the sodium in dishes, try switching to sea salt. It contains trace minerals that enhance the taste of food, so you can sprinkle sparingly but still get the flavor you want.
  • Prevent an oil slick. Instead of pouring oil from the bottle, save about 60 calories and seven grams of fat by using a spray bottle to spritz the pan with oil before cooking meats and veggies.
  • Season smarter. Add spices or other dried seasonings before cooking instead of after. This gives the food a chance to absorb the flavors, so you can use less.
  • Know your herbs. Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs into finished sauces, since they don't stand up to the cooking process well. Use dried herbs while making sauce, because the heat helps bring out the aromas.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2009.

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