Cooking Light

Ok, vacation time is drawing near.  That means digging out the bathing suit, dusting of my beach hat and finding some really good beach reads.  Did I say bathing suit?  Ugh….how will it look?.  

Ok, tough question, but we can prepare.  I have dusted off the Livestrong  app to track my activites and calorie intake and opened up the Cooking Light app to find a dinner that is not only lower calories, but taste good too.  I think I did it, even with a sweet little treat.

Almond Herbed Orzo, Flank Steak with Romesco Sauce, Corn on the cob and White chocolate bark.

So, here is a complete meal for you.  Just add a small glass of wine (100 calories) and enjoy.

Let’s start with the Orzo…  Pretty simple recipe with ingredients that are generally on hand. 

Almond Herb Orzo


1 cup uncooked orzo
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted


Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Return orzo to pan; stir in oil, herbs, rind, and salt. Sprinkle with almonds.

Flank Steak with Romesco Sauce


 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 (3/4-ounce) slices whole-grain bread, torn into 2-inch pieces
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray


Preheat broiler or prepare grill.

Arrange almonds and bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add almonds and bread to a food processor; process until coarsely ground. Heat olive oil, garlic, and paprika in a small skillet over medium heat; cook for 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown. Add garlic mixture, sherry vinegar, bell peppers, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to bread mixture; process until smooth.

Sprinkle steak evenly with remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with sauce.

White Chocolate-Cranberry Bark



2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/3 cup

dried cranberries, chopped

1 ounce small salted pretzel sticks, broken into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2/3 cup)
1 (12-ounce) package premium white chocolate chips


Place almonds in a skillet over high heat. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Combine almonds, cherries, and pretzels in a bowl. Set aside half of mixture. Place chocolate in a 1-quart glass measure.

Microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring every 30 seconds. Add chocolate to bowl with pretzel mixture; stir well. Spread chocolate mixture evenly into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle on a jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle remaining pretzel mixture evenly over chocolate, pressing lightly to adhere. Freeze 10 minutes. Break into 16 pieces.

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