WEEKENDER: Tasty Tidbits – Winter Getaway

We are all trying to eat lighter this time of year and what better way to stay on track?

Okay winter, enough! Wait! it’s only the first week of February?

We all have the “oh I ate too much through the holidays” and the “it’s too cold to really kick start the exercise program.”

We are all trying to eat lighter this time of year and what better way to stay on track?

I definitely see more fruits and vegetables being purchased, less snacks and treats.

Take some time in February to be with friends and family, share an evening enjoying a delicious meal or appetizers, and keep it light and simple.

Throw in a Mexican theme and we will all make it through the winter fine.

Lighter versions of our favorites are easier and easier to do with all the variations available. Add a few metabolism-boosting ingredients and we will be ready for spring in no time.

Adding Quina to homemade fresh salsa adds flavor and protein.  Top chicken breasts with mango salsa to liven up your taste buds.  Spice it up, spices really add flavor and also promote healthy weight control. Adding a new spice to an old recipe can perk things up.  And remember February is a short month, if only by a day or two but still closer to spring.

Lighten-up guacamole and chips

-2 ripe avocados-peeled and mashed, -1 tomato-chopped, -1 clove garlic-minced, -1/2 cup fat-free yogurt, -1/3 tomato salsa (mild or hot, your preference), -2 tablespoons chopped green onion, -2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, -1 teaspoon cumin -1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste) -8 to 10, 10-inch whole wheat tortillas

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except tortillas. Keep chilled while you toast the tortillas. In batches, place tortillas directly on the middle rack of preheated oven at 350 F and toast, turning once for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and starting to crisp, keep an eye on them so they don’t over brown.

Let cool on wire rack, then break into dipping size pieces.

Serve guacamole in bowl surrounded by the chips.

Barbecued chicken tostados

You can use a deli-bought barbecue chicken for this recipe and save time.

-2 lbs chicken thigh or breast meat cut into strips -1 cup barbecue sauce, -1 can chopped mild green chilies, drained -2 tomatoes, seeded and diced -1/2 small red onion-minced, -1/4 cup chopped cilantro, -1 garlic clove-minced, -1 table red wine vinegar, -2 teaspoons olive oil, -1 cup canned refried beans, -2 green onions-chopped, -1 cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or cheddar),-1/4 cup light sour cream, -8 whole wheat or corn tortillas

Combine chicken, barbecue sauce and chilies in large saucepan bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until the chicken is tender and cooked through about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Meanwhile combine the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, oil and salt in a medium bowl until blended.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Spray a large non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place tortillas on the baking sheet. Spread each with the beans, then top with chicken mixture, green onions and cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly about 15 minutes.

Top each with tomato mixture, sour cream and cilantro sprigs for garnish.