A Low-Cal, Low-Cost Meal

It's fair to say that dietitian Ellie Krieger, the host of "Healthy Appetite" on the Food Network, is a model guest because she actually was a model, for the Wilhelmina Agency.

These days, though, she's busy writing books, taping her show and seeing private clients who come to her for help in restructuring the way they eat.

Krieger certainly knows her stuff. She received a master's degree in nutrition from Columbia, is a registered dietitian, and also teaches nutrition at NYU.

Krieger is known for being able to create fast, simple and very tasty meals that are low in fat but high in taste. And on today's "Chef on a Shoestring," she'll even create a fast, tasty menu for four on our $40 budget.

Her menu includes: Green Herb Dip, Succotash with Seared Scallops and Parsley Drizzle, and Balsamic Cherries with Peaches.

FOOD FACTS

Succotash: This mixture of vegetables — typically corn and lima beans — is a favorite in the South. Chef Kreiger's version is especially delicious because it calls for fresh corn from the cob along with grape tomatoes, zucchini, onions and garlic.

Scallops: Sea scallops are slightly chewy but sweet and moist. They should be used soon after purchase; they benefit from brief cooking. You can also buy bay scallops, which are much smaller but are also more expensive because they are not as common. All fresh scallops should have a sweet smell and a fresh, moist sheen. Scallops can be prepared in a variety of ways; they can also be frozen.

GREEN HERB DIP

Ingredients
6 ounces of reduced fat fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon of plain non-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/3 cup of chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve: Celery stalks or other raw vegetables or breadsticks/crackers.

Method:
1. Put the cheese, yogurt and oil into a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Stir in the herbs, season with salt and pepper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled with vegetables for dipping.

Makes 3/4 cup
Serves 4


SUCCOTASH WITH GRILLED SCALLOPS AND PARSLEY DRIZZLE

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ears corn, or 2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 medium zucchini (about 1/2 pound) quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/4 pound large sea scallops (about 16)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Parsley drizzle (recipe follows)

Method:
1. If using ears of corn, cut the kernels off and set aside. Discard the cobs.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Stir in the corn, lima beans, zucchini, and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.
4. Spray a large nonstick skillet or grill pan with cooking spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat.
5. In the meantime, prepare the scallops. Pat them dry and season them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add the scallops and cook until the inside is opaque, 5 to 6 minutes, turning once.
6. Stir the vinegar and basil into the succotash, season with additional salt and pepper, to taste; serve topped with grilled scallops.

Yield: 4 servings of 1 cup of succotash and 4 scallops

Parsley Drizzle:
1 cup of lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of water

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.

Yield: 1/4 cup


PEACHES WITH BALSAMIC CHERRIES

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of cherries, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons of sugar (to taste)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 pound of peaches, sliced

Method:
1. In a small saucepan, stir together the cherries, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the balsamic vinegar, and place over a medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the warm cherries with syrup with the sliced peaches, add more sugar to taste and serve.

Serves 4 (Serving size is 1 cup)
  • Marianne Goldstein

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