Cut the Fat, Capture the Flavor


Healthful eating should be easy during summer when abundant seasonal flavor and the patio grill offer no-fat cooking options.

Re-Make Mayo—Use roasted garlic and nonfat yogurt as a base for creamy salad dressings and dips. Flavor with lemon juice, Dijon mustard and fresh herbs like basil, dill, tarragon and chives. To roast garlic, cover a fresh head of garlic loosely with waxed paper. Microwave on high for 1-1/2—2 minutes. Let cool, squeeze garlic from cloves.

Savor the Sizzle—Grilling makes the most of lean meat like pork chops. Bring out the great flavor of lean meat by grilling.

Celebrate with Salsa—Homemade salsa adds a lively note to your condiment line-up. It's easy to make: Mix diced vegetables, fruit, peppers, onions and fresh cilantro, with olive oil, salt and pepper, and serve on top of pork chops. Start with a traditional tomato salsa, then try a diced fruit salsa with cantaloupe, mangoes, cherries or papaya.

Sample Some Slaw—Create a cool creamy slaw with shredded fresh cabbage, diced apples, and yellow peppers and carrots—lighten up by using yogurt.

Focus on Fruit—Pork and fruit are a natural pair. Grill wedges of ripe melon or halves of peaches, pears and green apples until lightly brown and serve with pork chops.

Spruce Up Spud Salad—Potato salad is a summer staple—add south-of-the-border taste with chopped chiles and fresh cilantro. Or bring country flavor to this classic with diced ham, chopped fennel and a mustard-style dressing.

Fire Up with Fruit Glazes—Create fruit flavor for the grill with a glaze made of fruit jam and savory additions.

Chill Out—Chilled pasta salad makes a simple summer treat. Start with cooked and chilled pasta, toss with chopped grilled pork chop and diced onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

Herb it Up—Fresh herbs are plentiful during the summer season and add flavor without fat. Use herbs like dill, rosemary, cilantro or tarragon on top of chops or even on grilled vegetables to add some punch.

Lunch Leisurely—Bask in the afternoon sunshine with a Mediterranean-inspired low-fat lunch—heat pita bread on the grill and stuff with grilled veggies like peppers, tomatoes and onions. Top with reduced-fat cheese or a yogurt-based sauce.


Super Summer Sides


These delicious side dishes will complement a meal of grilled pork chops:

Dilled Corn & Pea Salad
Cut corn kernels from 2 ears fresh corn; cook in boiling water for 4 minutes; add 1 cup fresh pea pods and 1 red bell pepper, cut in strips; cook for 2 minutes more. Drain and toss with 2 teaspoons butter, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 103 calories, 3 grams of fat.

Blue Cheese Macaroni Salad
Cook 4 ounces of elbow macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside to cool. Mix together 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise, 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard, 1-2 ounces crumbled blue cheese and 1/2 cup halved seedless grapes. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 313 calories, 13 grams of fat.

Romaine Spears and Cherry Tomatoes Vinaigrette
Clean 8 ounces inner leaves of head of romaine, arrange on serving platter with 1 cup cherry tomatoes. Serve with vinaigrette dressing for dipping. Per serving: 45 calories, 3 grams of fat.

Vinaigrette: In jar with tight-fitting lid, shake together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon EACH garlic pepper, seasoned salt and sugar. Makes 4 servings.

In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup EACH flour and cornmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, beat together 2 eggs, 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Pour liquid into dry ingredients; stir just until moistened (batter may be a little lumpy). Pour into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Makes 9 servings. Per serving: 209 calories, 8 grams of fat.

Variation: Southwestern Muffins: To wet ingredients stir in one drained 3-ounce can of chopped green chiles. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans. Bake for 12-14 minutes in 425 degrees F. oven. Makes 12 muffins. Per muffin: 157 calories, 6 grams of fat.


Provided by Pork Information Bureau

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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