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  • Looking For A GREAT Snack?

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Grilled BBQ Tater Skins

    Ingredients

    • 3 russet potatoes, scrubbed
    • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3/4 cup Cheddar
    • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, warm
    • 1/2 pound pulled pork
    • Sour cream, for topping
    • 2 tablespoons snipped chives, for garnish

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Bake potatoes on middle rack until fork tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.

    Bake 4 strips of bacon on a small sheet pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Crumble bacon when it's cooled.

    Preheat grill to medium heat.

    Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, and spoon out the flesh, leaving a half inch shell.

    Melt the butter in saucepan and add minced garlic. Brush potatoes with the butter and garlic mixture. Flip over and butter the bottoms.

    Place potatoes on grill and cook until crisp, about 4 to 4 1/2 minutes on each side and remove from grill.

    Divide the cheese, barbecue sauce and pulled pork among the potatoes. Top potato skins with sour cream, crumbled bacon and chives for garnish.

     

  • MY KIDS LOVE THESE!

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Shrimp Corn Dogs

    Ingredients

    Shrimp:

    • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
    • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Buttermilk Corn Batter:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
    • Special equipment: Thick wooden pop sticks
    • Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

    For the shrimp:

    Directions

    Add all the shrimp ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined and smooth. Form the shrimp mixture into 7 equal sized 2-inch balls. Insert a wooden pop stick into the middle of each shrimp ball and form the ground shrimp into a shape similar to a hot dog. Place shrimp dogs on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator until well-chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.

     

    For the corn batter:

    Preheat deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

    While chilling shrimp dogs, prepare batter. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, egg, cornmeal, garlic powder, sugar, baking powder and buttermilk.

    Place the remaining 1 cup of flour onto a large plate. *Dredge chilled shrimp dogs into flour then dip into the batter and fry in the hot oil for 3 minutes or until dark and golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray to drain.

    Serve with dipping sauce.

    *Cook's Note: Hold corn dog by the stick for the first minute of frying, until batter becomes solid, then fry for another 2 minutes.

     

    Dipping sauce:

    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon horseradish
    • 1 teaspoon paprika

    In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, horseradish, and paprika. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve corn dogs.

     

  • Try These Potatoes

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds Yukon golden potatoes, washed and quartered
    • Salt
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    Directions

    Place potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and cook until fork tender. Drain well. Add back to the pot that they were cooked in.

    Meanwhile, heat butter and cream until hot. Add the crumbled blue cheese and stir together. Add sauce to potatoes and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Another Foiled Favorite

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Glazed Pineapple

    Directions

    Mix 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon each curry powder, cinnamon and vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and a splash of dark rum in a bowl. Slice a pineapple in half lengthwise (keeping the top attached), then cut each half into 3 long wedges; cut out the core. Place 2 wedges on a sheet of foil; brush with the spiced butter and fold up. Repeat to make 2 more packets; grill over medium heat until the pineapple is soft and golden on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Foiled Favorites

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Foiled Scallion Sweet Potatoes

    Directions

    Combine 1 1/2 pounds chopped peeled sweet potatoes, 1 bunch scallions (cut into 2-inch pieces), 6 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme in a bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Place on a sheet of foil and fold up. Grill over low heat until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Better Than A Burger!

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Blackened Tilapia Sandwich With Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
    • 2 tablespoons ground thyme
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
    • 4 (10-ounce) tilapia fillets
    • 4 Kaiser buns, split, buttered and toasted
    • Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise, recipe follows
    • Store-bought mango salsa

    Directions

    In a shallow dish, combine first 6 ingredients.

    Pour melted butter into another shallow dish. Dip fish fillets in melted butter and coat with seasoning mixture.

    Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook prepared fish, in batches if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

    Spread Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise evenly over toasted buns. Place blackened fish on bottom half of bun, top with mango salsa, and cover with top half of bun.

     

    Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise:

    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

    In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill.

     

  • Low Carb Low Fat Shrimp Dish

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    HEALTHY BUT TASTY GARLIC BASIL SHRIMP

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
    • 3/4 cup dry white wine
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Directions

    Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

     

    Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through.

    Per Serving:

    Calories 260; Total Fat 10 g; (Sat Fat 1.5 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 2 g); Protein 30 g; Carb 6 g; Fiber 1 g; Cholesterol 215 mg; Sodium 215 mg

    Excellent source of: Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Copper, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium

    Good source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc

  • Healthy Snacks

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Healthy Snacks That Get You Through The Work Day

    For me, snacking is a must! It helps me get from one meal to the next — no headaches, drops in energy or stomach rumbling. My secret: choosing snacks that contain hunger-fighting ingredients. Here are five favorites.

    Snacking Basics
    Snacks aren't bad. In fact, they are "mini meals" that are meant to curb hunger and help supplement nutrients you may not be getting enough of from meals (like fiber from fruits and veggies). Studies show that waiting too long to eat between meals can cause you to overeat later in the day — not exactly the best way to lose weight or stay healthy.

    Stick to snacks that are between 100 and 200 calories each. You especially need them when you have three to five hours between meals. My snack breaks often fall at 10:30am and 2:30pm — about one and a half to two hours between my meals.

    1) Peanut Butter and Whole-Wheat Crackers
    Combine lean protein, fiber and healthy fat and you've got a satisfying snack. Protein and fiber work for cutting down and controlling hunger, while fat takes a bit longer to digest and keeps you feeling full longer. Peanut butter is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, but be sure to portion out one tablespoon to keep calories in check.

    Portion: 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 4 whole-wheat crackers
    Total: 180 calories, 5 grams of protein

    2) Vegetable Soup
    Don't eat enough veggies? Try snacking on a warm, hearty vegetable soup — 20 minutes later you'll feel like a new person. Vegetables contain fiber, which helps you feel full and also helps stabilize blood sugar throughout the day — meaning no gnawing hunger pains. Try a minestrone or bean soup for additional protein. If you're feeling extra hungry at snack time, add one or two whole-wheat breadsticks or a small whole-wheat roll.

    Portion: 1 cup vegetable soup
    Total: 100 calories, 4 grams protein

    3) Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and Fruit
    With its good balance of protein, carbs and fat, cottage cheese is one of the most underappreciated foods. Add fiber with fresh fruit, such as berries, melon, pears or pineapple, for a perfect snack. A 1/2-cup serving contains 7% of your daily calcium needs, which is important for healthy bones.

    Portion: 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup sliced or 1 medium piece of fresh fruit
    Total calories: 140 calories, 14 grams protein

    4) Hummus with Sliced Veggies
    This Middle Eastern chickpea spread is packed with protein, fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Veggies like carrots, bell peppers and broccoli make great dippers and add good nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C and, of course, more belly-filling fiber. Two tablespoons of plain hummus has 50 calories and 3 grams of fat, so you're probably better off measuring out two to three tablespoons instead of sitting down with the entire container.

    Portion: 3 tablespoons of plain hummus plus 1 cup of sliced veggies
    Total calories: 120 calories, 7 grams protein

    5) Trail Mix
    Almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts or pecans are full of healthy fat, fiber and protein. A delicious homemade trail mix is simple: Portion out a handful of nuts and mix in two tablespoons of dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or apricots. To minimize calories, choose nuts that are dry roasted or raw. For a change of pace, throw in whole-wheat pretzels or some of your favorite cereal (I've been on a Puffins kick lately). Packing your trail mix in plastic bags or containers makes it easy to grab and go. If you find yourself plowing through your snack mix, try using shelled nuts that will take longer to eat.

    Portion: 15 nuts plus 2 tablespoons of dried fruit
    Total calories: 170 calories, 7 grams protein

  • Can Healthy Mean Tasty? You Bet!

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Pulled BBQ Chicken Sammy

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
    • 1/4 cup tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 5 tablespoons molasses
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
    • 1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded into thin strips (about 4 to 4 1/2 cups)
    • 6 whole-wheat hamburger rolls
    • 6 large green lettuce leaves

    Directions

    Heat the oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper and liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chopped chicken, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

     

    Split rolls. Place a leaf of lettuce on each roll, then pile on 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the roll.

    Per Serving:

    Calories 440; Total Fat 12 g; (Sat Fat 2.5 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 3.5 g) ; Protein 36 g; Carb 47 g; Fiber 5 g; Cholesterol 95 mg; Sodium 400 mg

    Excellent source of: Protein, Fiber, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc

    Good source of: Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin K, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium

  • Pasta: Good or Bad?

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    PASTA: Good or Bad?

     During the anti-starch explosion, pasta took a severe beating. But pasta is GOOD! Here’s why:

    The Nutrition Facts

    One cup of cooked spaghetti has approximately 220 calories, 1 gram of fat and no cholesterol. Most pastas on the market are enriched with iron, too. Whole-grain pastas contain about the same calories as regular pasta but have more protein, fiber and vitamins. As an added bonus, all that protein and fiber means that you’ll feel more satisfied by eating less.

    Your choices don’t stop at whole wheat; other whole-grain pastas include brown rice, corn and soba. These varieties often come with added fiber, protein or omega-3 fats.

    The reason that low-carb promoters bashed pasta is actually the main reason it’s so good for you! Pasta is great source of carbohydrate, the body’s (and the brain's) primary source of energy.

    So instead of looking at pasta as the enemy, embrace it as a vital energy source. The trick is to make pasta part of a varied diet.

    Serving Suggestions

    Portion control is most important. Eating huge portions of pasta smothered with cheese or a heavy cream sauce expands waistlines. Keep portions to 1 or 1-1/2 cups per person, and add vegetables and lean meats, beans or fish to balance out the meal. When you're in the mood for Italian, enjoy wheat pasta.

    The bottom line: As with everything, enjoy pasta in moderation: be mindful of portion sizes and experiment with all the glorious varieties.

  • The 4th is over, time to cut carbs!

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Ok kids, the 4th of July is over. Time to focus on the waist line with this low-carb London Broil with Cherry Balsamic Sauce.

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup dry red wine
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons cherry preserves
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste
    • 1 1/2 pounds London broil, trimmed (see Ingredient note)
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
    • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons butter

    Directions

    Whisk wine, vinegar, cherry preserves, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place meat in a shallow glass dish. Pour the marinade over the meat and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, turning several times, for at least 20 minutes or up to 8 hours.

    Remove the meat from the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan; add shallot and set aside. Brush a ridged grill pan (see Tip) or heavy skillet with oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on thickness, or until it reaches desired doneness. (It may appear that the meat is burning but don't worry, it will form a pleasant crust.) Transfer the meat to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes.

    While the meat is cooking, bring the marinade to a boil; cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat; add butter and whisk until melted.

    Slice the meat thinly against the grain. Add any juices on the cutting board to the sauce. Serve the meat with the sauce.

    Ingredient note: London broil is a thicker cut of steak that benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade.Tip: A ridged grill pan is great for indoor grilling, but you can use the broiler or, if weather permits, cook the steak on an outdoor grill.

     

     

  • NOT Your Typical BBQ Chicken

    Posted by Mike DuBord

    Grandma Audrey's Italian Dressing BBQ Chicken

    Ingredients

    • 2 chickens (or 4 whole bone-in chicken breasts) halved lengthwise
    • 1 1/2 cups Italian dressing, recipe follows
    • 1/4 cup Barbecue Seasoning, recipe follows
    • 1 cup Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows

    Directions

    Rinse chicken halves in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a large bowl or baking dish, coat with Italian dressing and evenly season with BBQ seasoning. For best results, allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

     

    If Cooking Inside:

    Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and brush chicken with Barbeque Sauce.

    Place into a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.

     

    If Grilling Outside:

    Thirty minutes before you're ready to cook, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to a medium temperature, about 275 degrees F preferably over hickory and charcoal.

    Place the chicken halves on grill, meat side down. Cover grill and cook for about 50 minutes. Flip chicken over and let it brown until the chicken becomes golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. The wing and the drumstick should become very tender and will easily pull away at the joints. Brush the chicken with Barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

     

     Italian Dressing:

    • 2 tablespoons ground mustard
    • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
    • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Barbecue Seasoning
    • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 cup canola oil
    • Salt and pepper

    Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, except the oil and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    Yield: 1 1/2 cups

     BBQ Seasoning:

    • 1 1/2 cups paprika
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder

    Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months. 

     

    BBQ SAUCE

     

    • 2 cups ketchup
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 5 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

    In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Yield: 3 1/2 cups