1 pound lean ground turkey 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or ground allspice 2 teaspoons canola oil 2 (8-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, liquid reserved 1/2 cup water 3 tablespoons ketchup 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 3 scallions, thinly sliced
Mix together the turkey, bread crumbs, egg, shallot, ginger, garlic, salt, and five-spice powder until thoroughly combined. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 24 (11/2-inch) balls.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe the skillet clean.
Add the reserved pineapple liquid, water, ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar to the skillet; bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and bell pepper to the skillet. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring gently once or twice, until the meatballs are cooked through and the bell pepper is tender-crisp, 6 – 8 minutes. Gently stir in the pineapple chunks and scallions; heat through.
Lighter Crunchy Coconut Chicken Fingers with Pineapple Salsa
Chicken Fingers 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut, chopped 1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 pound chicken tenders, about 8 tenders 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 egg whites Pineapple Salsa 2 (8-ounce) cans unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 2 teaspoons lime juice 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Combine the coconut, breadcrumbs, flour, brown sugar, and curry powder on a piece of wax paper. Sprinkle the tenders with the salt. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy; add the chicken tenders and toss to coat. Lift the chicken from the egg whites one at a time, and coat with the coconut mixture, pressing so the coating adheres. Place the chicken in a single layer on the baking sheet. Spray both sides of the chicken with nonstick spray. Bake until lightly golden and crisp, about 15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time.
Meanwhile, to prepare the salsa, toss the pineapple, cilantro, lime juice, brown sugar, and jalapeno in a large bowl. Serve the salsa with the chicken.
Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk 1 egg white 10 drops hot sauce (about 1/2 teaspoon) 1 cup cornmeal 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon canola oil 3 large green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
Combine buttermilk, egg white, and hot sauce in a medium bowl. Mix cornmeal and salt in a pie dish. Dip the tomato slices into the buttermilk mixture, then into the cornmeal, gently turning to coat.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the tomato slices in a single layer and cook until browned on one side, 3 – 4 minutes.
Transfer the slices, browned-side up, to the cookie sheet. Lightly spray the tomatoes with nonstick spray. Bake until the tomatoes are golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Wipe the skillet clean and repeat with the remaining oil, and tomato slices.
Test Kitchen Note: about 5 (1/4-inch-thick slices per tomato), 2 ½ tomato slices per serving
Creamy Artichoke and Spinach Dip with Pita Chips
Butter for coating dish 2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, all excess water squeezed out 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about 1 1/2 cups) 3/4 cup mayonnaise 3/4 cup sour cream 1 clove garlic, minced Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce Salt Freshly ground black pepper Pita chips
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the pita chips. Spoon the artichoke mixture into the prepared casserole. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden. Serve hot or warm with pita chips.
Lighter Spicy Cheese Straws
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 (17.3-ounce) package puff pastry sheets (1 sheet), thawed
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray two large baking sheets with nonstick spray; line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, chili powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor; pulse until finely grated.
Unfold the pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll the sheet into a 10 x14-inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom half of the pastry.
Fold the top half of the pastry over the filling, pressing along the edges with your fingers to seal. Press the top of the pastry lightly with the rolling pin to seal.
Cut the pastry with a floured knife or pizza cutter lengthwise into 28 (1/2-inch-thick) strips. Twist the strips and place on the baking sheets, pressing down on the ends to keep the strips in place.
Bake until the cheese straws are puffed and golden, rotating the baking sheets halfway through cooking time, 12 – 15 minutes. Do not over bake or the cheese will burn. Transfer the cheese straws to a wire rack. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.