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Mediterranean Kabobs

Mediterranean Kabobs

Celebrate summer by firing up the grill (or oven) and having friends and family over for a cookout. These healthy Mediterranean Kabobs are easy to make and fun to eat.

Ingredients for Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 2 – 3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Kabobs

  • 6 ounces top sirloin or other beef steak cubes (12 cubes)
  • 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cubes)
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 3/4-inch squares (12 squares)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, rinsed and cut into 3/4-inch squares (12 squares)
  • 12 wooden or metal skewers, each 6 inches long (if wood, soak them in warm water for 5 – 10 minutes to prevent burning)

1. Preheat grill pan or oven broiler (with the rack 3 inches from heat source) on high temperature.
2. Combine ingredients for marinade, and divide between two bowls (one bowl to marinate the raw meat, and one bowl for cooking and serving).
3. Mix the beef, chicken, onion, tomatoes, and red pepper cubes in one bowl of the marinade and let sit. After 5 minutes, discard remaining marinade.
4. Place one piece of beef, chicken, tomato, onion, and red pepper on each of the 12 skewers.
5. Grill or broil on each of the four sides for 2 – 3 minutes or until completely cooked (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F for beef and 165 °F for chicken). Spoon the majority of the second half of the marinade over the kabobs while cooking.
6. Drizzle the remaining marinade on top of each kabob before serving (use only the marinade that did not touch the raw meat or chicken).

Dietary Facts Per Serving (Three Skewers)

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Calories: 202
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 40 mg
  • Sodium: 333 mg

Recipe courtesy of: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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Apple and Walnut Chicken Salad with Green Salad

The Apple and Walnut Chicken Salad with Green Salad is a delicious recipe that is fresh, sweet, crunchy, and creamy – making it perfect for spring. It’s a combination of two tasty, heart-healthy salads, resulting in one satisfying lunch or light dinner entrée.

Apple and Walnut Chicken Salad with Green SaladIngredients
1/4 cup fat-free, plain yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt-free, dried Italian spice blend or dried thyme, dried basil, or both combined
2 cups skinless, shredded chicken breast of a rotisserie-cooked chicken
20 ounces canned, salt-free white meat chicken
3 tablespoons chopped, unsalted, unoiled walnuts
1/2 cup halved, seedless grapes
Dried fruit, like prunes or cranberries
1 red or green apple
1 head lettuce (green leaf, red leaf, or romaine)
1/2 cucumber
1 large tomato
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon red vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice

1. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, and spice blend in a large bowl.
2. Add chicken, nuts, grapes, and chopped apple.
3. In a separate bowl, combine chopped lettuce, cucumber, and tomato.
4. Add oil and vinegar, stirring to combine with salad greens.
5. Top greens with chicken salad.

Dietary Facts
Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 272
Protein: 24 g
Carbohydrates: 18 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Total Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 73 mg
Sodium: 334 mg

Recipe courtesy of: American Heart Association

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Baked Cinnamon Stuffed Apples

Celebrating the holidays with family and friends can make it easy to overindulge. However, a fruit dish, like Baked Cinnamon Stuffed Apples, is a healthy dessert option. The smell of these apples baking in the oven will have your mouth watering – and will satisfy your sweet tooth in a more nutritious way.

4 large McIntosh or Golden Delicious Apples, cored
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Splenda® Brown Sugar Blend
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons trans-fat free margarine
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Drizzle lemon juice over apples.
3. In a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Stuff each apple with approximately 1/4 cup oat mixture.
4. Place apples in an oven-safe baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork.
5. Let cool for five minutes. Enjoy!

Dietary Facts
Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 1/2 apple
Total Calories: 145
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Total Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 25 mg

Recipe courtesy of: American Diabetes Association

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Harvest Delight

Harvest DelightIn honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month and the fall season, we’re featuring a tasty treat inspired by autumn vegetables found at local farmers’ markets. Harvest Delight is an irresistible, brilliantly-colored roasted vegetable and fruit medley side dish.

1 1/3 cups green apples, peeled, cored, diced 1/3"
1/3 cup carrots, peeled, sliced ¼ "
1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed 1"
1 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed ½"
1/3 cup red onions, peeled, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼  teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
2 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/8 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. You may place the diced apples in a small bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Drain when ready to use.
3. Steam carrots in a steam basket over high heat for 10 minutes or until soft.
4. Toss potatoes, squash, carrots, and red onions in a large mixing bowl with olive oil and salt.
5. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spread vegetables evenly on baking pan. Roast vegetables in oven at 425°F for 25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned. Turn vegetables once midway through roasting.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, and garlic.
7. Remove vegetables from oven and lower heat to 400°F. Add apple mixture to vegetables. Spread evenly. Return to the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until slightly tender.
8. Remove from oven. Drizzle with maple syrup and mix well. Return to oven.
Roast for 8 additional minutes at 400°F until vegetables are fork-tender.
9. Remove vegetables from the oven and gently toss in spinach. Mix in cranberries. Serve hot.

Dietary Facts
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: ½ cup
Total Calories: 93
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Calcium: 38 mg
Sodium: 103 mg
Iron: 2 mg
Vitamin A: 560 mcg RAE
Vitamin C: 11 mg

Recipe courtesy of: United States Department of Agriculture – What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl

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Oatmeal Pecan Pancakes

Your family will jump right out of bed this holiday season for this delicious meal!

For pancakes:

1 cup of whole-wheat flour
½ cup of quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sugar
¼ cup of unsalted pecans, chopped
2 large eggs
1½ cups of fat-free (skim) milk
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For fruit topping:

2 cups of fresh strawberries, rinsed, stems removed and cut in half (or substitute frozen strawberries, thawed) 
1 cup of fresh blackberries, rinsed (or substitute frozen blackberries, thawed)
1 cup of fresh blueberries, rinsed (or substitute frozen blueberries, thawed)
1 teaspoon of powdered sugar

1. Preheat pan.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and pecans in a large bowl.
3. Combine eggs, milk and vegetable oil in separate bowl, and mix well.
4. Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir together. Do not over mix; mixture should be a bit lumpy.  5. Pour batter into preheated pan, and cook until the pancakes are lightly browned on the outside and light, airy and fluffy on the inside.
6. Add fresh fruit and a light dusting of powdered sugar to each pancake, and serve..

Prep time: 10 minutes  
Cook time: 30 minutes   
Yields: 4 servings 
Serving Size: 3 small (2-inch) or 1 large (6-inch) pancakes

Calories 340
Total Fat 11 g   
Saturated Fat 2 g 
Cholesterol 107 mg
Sodium 331 mg
Total Fiber 9 g 
Protein 14 g 
Carbohydrates 50 g
Potassium 369 mg
Vitamin A 8 %
Vitamin C 60 %
Calcium 30 %
Iron 6 % 
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Recipe courtesy of: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health

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Heart Healthy Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken

Kids will love this chicken – and it’s good for the heart!

½ cup fat-free milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup cornflakes, crumbled
1½ tablespoons onion powder
1½ tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried hot pepper, crushed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
8 pieces of skinless chicken
A few shakes of paprika
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Add ½ teaspoon of poultry seasoning to milk.
3. Combine all the rest of the spices with cornflake crumbs and place in a plastic bag.
4. Wash chicken and pat dry. Dip chicken into milk and shake to remove excess. Quickly shake it in the bag with the seasonings and crumbs, and remove from bag.
5. Refrigerate chicken for 1 hour.
6. Remove chicken from refrigerator and sprinkle lightly with paprika for color.
7. Space chicken evenly on a baking pan that has been greased with the vegetable oil.
8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat can easily be pulled away from the bone with a fork. Drumsticks may require less baking time than breasts. Crumbs will form a crispy “skin.”

Note: Do not turn chicken during baking.

Yield: 10 servings (½ breast or 2 small drumsticks)

Nutritional Information

Calories: 117
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 49mg
Sodium: 67mg
Total Fiber: 1g
Protein: 17g
Carbohydrates: 6g
Potassium: 1mg

Recipe courtesy of: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health

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Breakfast Pumpkin Cookies

 A breakfast cookie! What could be more appealing to kids (and adults too)? And it’s good for you!

1¾ cup pumpkin (pureed, cooked)
1½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1½ cup flour
1¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts (chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs and oil thoroughly.
3. Blend dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.
4. Add raisins and nuts.
5. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake 10 to12 minutes until golden brown.

Serving Size: 1 cookie
Servings Per Container: 48

Nutritional Information

Calories: 90
Total Fat: 4g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodim: 60 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 13g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 2g

Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service, Healthy Recipes

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Grilled Turkey Burgers with Avocado and Caramelized Onions

(Serves 2)Grilled Turkey Burgers

1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2” cubes
1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ large red onion, diced
1/8 cup white vinegar

½ pound ground turkey (dark meat, if available)

2 brioche hamburger buns, split and grilled or toasted
2 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
½ Roma tomato, cored and cut into slices


1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine avocado with olive oil, lime juice, oregano and salt & pepper. Divide mixture into halves: one to add to the ground turkey; keep the other to use as a topping on the cooked burgers.
2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over low heat. Cook onions with salt to taste, stirring and shaking pan frequently until onions are golden brown (about 15 minutes). Pour in vinegar; turn heat up to high until the mixture volume is reduced by half. Cool to room temperature.
3. Add turkey, caramelized onions and 1 more Tablespoon of olive oil to a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Using your hands, gently mix in half of the avocado mixture and form into two patties.
4. The burger patties can be refrigerated until ready to be grilled.


Put one grilled burger on each bun, top with a slice of cheddar, a tomato slice and half of the remaining avocado mixture.

Nutrition information per serving

Calories 750
Total Fat 53g (sat 16g, trans 0g, poly 7g, mono 25g)
Cholesterol 125mg
Sodium 453mg
Potassium 740mg
Total Carbohydrates 35g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A 763 IU
Vitamin C 19mg
Calcium 229mg
Iron 4mg
Vitamin D 20 IU
Folate 131mcg
Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.4g

This recipe was created by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission.

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