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Some Assembly Required: No-Sweat Summer Meals

Tips and recipes to help you keep your cooking cool
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10 Tips for No-Sweat Summer Meals continued...

8. Make quesadillas for dinner, and you'll only need your stove for a few minutes. Experiment with filling ingredients and garnishes. Try some of these options:

  • Roasted chicken
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Mango or roasted garlic salsa
  • Reduced-fat cheese
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Beans (try fat-free refried beans)
  • Avocado strips
  • Jalapeno jelly

9. Microwave nachos make a fun and light dinner, if you use reduced-fat or low-fat tortilla chips and top them with beans, extra-lean meats, reduced-fat cheese, and chopped tomatoes and other assorted vegetables. Prepare your plate of nachos, then microwave on high for a couple of minutes. Dab a dollop of salsa or fat-free sour cream on top.

10. Toast up a mini pizza. Spread bottled pizza or marinara sauce on pita bread, flatbread, tortilla, or a bagel cut in half (the more fiber your "crust" contains, the better). Top with shredded, reduced-fat cheese and any vegetable or lower-fat meat. Pop into the toaster oven, and cook at 400 degrees until the cheese melts.

'Some Assembly Required' Recipes

Insalata Caprese (Pasta Salad)

Journal as: 3/4 cup starch with 1 teaspoon fat + 1/2 cup vegetable without added fat + 2 ounces low-fat cheese

If you boil the pasta in the morning, drain, and let chill in the refrigerator, all you have to do is toss the ingredients together and dinner is served!

4 cups cooked whole-grain pasta blend, cooled
2 cups ripe cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
16 slices reduced-fat salami, quartered (optional)

  • Place all the ingredients in a medium serving bowl and toss to blend well.
  • Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 360 calories, 19 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrate, 14 grams fat (5.5 grams saturated fat, 7.1 grams monounsaturated fat, 1.2 grams polyunsaturated fat), 24 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams fiber, 195 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 35%.

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