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The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less Excerpt from The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less

by Arthur Agatston, MD

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Apple-Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes

Unsweetened apple cider adds body and a natural hint of sweetness to this thick and flavorful soup, and creamy winter squash delivers ample amounts of beta-carotene, B vitamins, and fiber. This recipe is very easy but it does take slightly longer to cook, which allows the flavors to meld perfectly. Look for packaged cut squash to help you save prep time.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
½ cup unsweetened apple cider
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add squash, cover, and cook 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add broth and simmer until softened, 15 to 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer solid ingredients to a blender with apple cider and purée until smooth. Add 1 ⅓ cups of the cooking liquid and purée until smooth. Stir back into the pan. Serve hot.

Makes 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 160 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 135 mg sodium


Shrimp and Celery Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Fresh lime, curry powder, and creamy sour cream make a zesty dressing for this refreshing summer salad. In later phases, spoon it onto toasted whole-grain bread for a heavenly open-faced sandwich.

½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1½ teaspoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ pounds peeled, deveined, and cooked medium fresh or frozen shrimp (thaw if frozen)
4 large celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced

Whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, curry powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add shrimp, celery, and cucumber; toss gently to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 4 (1½-cup) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 330 calories, 17 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 37 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 670 mg sodium


South Beach Chicken Paella

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes

Saffron makes this simple one-pan classic a real treat, lending brilliant color and pungent flavor. This is one of the few recipes that takes a little bit longer to cook than most of the others in this book; it's a great dish to serve for company.

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup whole-grain, quick-cooking brown rice (page 10)
¾ cup roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), drained and thinly sliced
2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
¼ teaspoon powdered saffron
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion; cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in rice. Add red peppers, broth, and saffron; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. If paella has excess moisture, cook uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Makes 4 (1½-cup) servings

Nutrition at a Glace
Per serving: 360 calories, 7 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 45 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 440 mg sodium


Vietnamese Pork Rolls

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes (includes assembling rolls)

These rolls are special, yet not hard to make. A simply dressed green salad with cucumber or radish would be a perfect accompaniment. Cut them on the diagonal or cut the lettuce leaves into thirds and roll up smaller, hors d'oeuvre-size pieces.

Dressing:
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (page 19)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes

Pork:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound pork cutlets
1 (½-pound) head napa cabbage, shredded (3 cups)
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
8 large Boston lettuce leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing: Whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

For the pork: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season pork with salt and pepper and sauté until lightly browned, 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and slice into thin strips. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the dressing.

Combine cabbage, bell pepper, and remaining dressing in a large bowl. Lay lettuce leaves on a clean, dry work surface. Divide pork among leaves. Top with cabbage mixture and roll tightly, tucking edges in as you go. Place rolls, seam side down, on a cutting board, cut in half, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 220 calories, 10 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 26 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 490 mg sodium


Tempeh Dagwood Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes (includes marinating) Cook Time: 10 minutes

Stacked up high and filled with smooth avocado, juicy tomato, and creamy cheese, this power-protein sandwich is a South Beach vegetarian favorite. Vegans can use nondairy mayo and soy cheese. If you have extra time, marinate the tempeh for up to an hour.

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ (8-ounce) package soy tempeh
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
2 slices multigrain bread, lightly toasted
1 ounce shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (3 tablespoons)
¼ avocado, peeled and sliced
2 slices tomato

Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic in a shallow bowl. Add tempeh and marinate for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Spray a medium nonstick skillet with fat-free cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add tempeh, reserving marinade, and cook until well browned, 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons of the marinade to the pan, and flip tempeh once or twice until marinade is absorbed.

Spread mayonnaise on 1 bread slice. Place tempeh on top and cover with cheese, avocado, and tomato. Top with remaining bread, gently press down, slice in half, and serve.

Makes 1 serving

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving:
450 calories, 19 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 37 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 16 g dietary fiber, 860 mg sodium


Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 14 minutes

Who would believe you can get such a delectable cookie out of such a simple process and with so few ingredients? (That's right, there's no flour!) The not- too-sweet, deep nutty flavor -- topped with a touch of fruit -- is perfect for kids young and old. These cookies are so good that I need to remind you to limit yourself to one serving!

¾ cup granular sugar substitute
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy trans-fat-free peanut butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup sugar-free jam, any flavor

Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix sugar substitute, egg, and vanilla together with an electric mixer on low for 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and baking soda. Mix on medium until dough comes together, about 30 seconds.

Form dough into 24 (2-teaspoon) balls and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Gently press your thumb into the center of each to make an indentation. Fill each indentation with ½ teaspoon jam.

Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 (2-piece) servings

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 140 calories, 11 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 210 mg sodium

Copyright © 2005 Arthur Agatston, MD