Sunday, May 17, 2009

Baby, It's Hot Outside!

It's mid-May, which can mean 100+ degree days here in the desert. The beginning of hot season tends to dull our appetites and make us crave cool and refreshing foods. Besides Philly Swirl sugar free bars (0 points!), I am in the mood for chilled fruit and vegetable based dishes.

Cold dishes like soups, salads, and cut-up fruit make up a large part of my family's diet when the temperature rises. The best thing about these dishes is that they are low calorie, low point foods, so I can maintain a healthy diet and continue my weight loss journey.

Strawberry Soup
Serves 5

2 pints strawberries
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cardamom (or ginger if you prefer)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until well blended.
Chill and serve

Cold Cucumber Soup
Serves 4

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into large chunks
1-1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 small onions, cut into wedges or chunks
4 sprigs of parsley, stems removed
2 sprigs fresh dill, stems removed OR 1 teaspoon dill weed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve chilled.

Fruit Dip
Serves 12

1 8oz package fat free cream cheese, softened
1 7oz jar marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a mixing bowl, add cream cheese that is either room temperature or slightly warmed in microwave. Beat until smooth.
Remove lid from marshmallow creme and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Add to beaten cream cheese and beat again until smooth.
Add vanilla and lemon juice, beat until combined.
Chill and serve with fresh fruit for dipping.

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