Grilled Green Beans

Grilled Green Beans

Grilled Green Beans

Sometimes I wish there was a kind of Willy Wonka-style candy factory that produced chocolate covered vegetables instead of candy ūüôā ¬† ¬†OK, call me crazy, but don’t you think that sort of factory would be totally AMAZING? ¬† Be honest now‚Ķ.you want it. ¬† There’s no shame in that.

Since there’s no fantasy-land vegetable candy factory (not yet, anyway), I’ve had to settle for roasting a big ole batch of green beans with shallots and garlic and then tossing them with some soy sauce and sesame oil. ¬†They weren’t chocolate covered, but we ate them like candy. ¬†What’s with me going on about candy?—-enough, already.


Haven’t you ever considered grilling green beans? ¬† This is a fantastic approach, giving the vegetables a little smoky char. ¬†A grill basket or similar grill-top devise exposes all the surfaces to the flame, but if you don’t have a grill basket, ¬†grill them on a piece of heavy-duty foil. ¬†Be sure you don’t skip the step of covering them and letting the mixture stand, so it all steams to perfect doneness during that time.


The flavor of these beans is extraordinary. Kind of like something you expect to get in a fine restaurant.   We loved them and I think you will too. So while fresh green beans are still available at the market, give them a try.


Yield:   Serves 6


  • 3 large shallots or 1 small red onion, vertically sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed ( I used a mixture of green beans and wax beans)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



1.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2.  Place a grill basket on hot grill; preheat for 5 minutes.

3.  Place shallots, garlic, and green beans in a large bowl.  Drizzle with canola oil; toss well to coat.

Toss vegetables with olive oil.

Toss vegetables with canola oil.

Arrange mixture in hot grill basket; cover grill, and cook 7 minutes or until beans are lightly charred, tossing occasionally.

Toss occasionally for even cooking and browning.

Toss occasionally for even cooking and browning.

Place bean mixture in a large bowl; cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Add soy sauce and remaining ingredients; toss to combine.  Serve hot.





Orzo, Spinach and Tomatoes

Orzo with tomatoes, (but not the spinach).

Orzo with tomatoes, (but not the spinach).

Every once in a while you need a dinner that’s especially man-pleasing without going the whole steak and potatoes route. ¬†This is it!

Grilled steak and green  beans with orzo mixture.

Grilled steak and green beans with orzo mixture.

If you’re queen in your kitchen, as I am, ¬†give yourself the smaller steak and load up on the orzo mixture and green beans. ¬†Everyone will be well pleased. ¬†Guaranteed!! ¬† And if there should be any leftover steak, ¬†slice it up and and serve it over the remains of this orzo side dish for the next day’s lunch or a deja-vue dinner.

I’m well-known for making a big pot of something-or-other and eating it (sometimes begrudgingly) for several days. ¬† Usually it’s soups—they’re always good for on-going consumption, especially if you keep adding a little something like an extra pat of butter or a few left over veggies after each reheating. ¬†Soups can get more delicious the longer they last. ¬†Did you know this?

Since Monday is staring us in the face, I thought I’d start off the week with this last-all-week staple. ¬†Something savory and healthy to help us get through the week with a smiley face. ¬† ¬†This dish will taste best if the spinach and tomatoes are on sale!!!



Please note:   I decided to make this dish without the spinach this timeIMG_8113

Yield:   Serves 4


  • 1/2 pound orzo, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach, or larger-leafed spinach, torn into smaller pieces
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1.  In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.  Add the shallot and sauté to soften.  Add the tomatoes and continue to sauté them until they start to release their liquid, and they soften.

Saute the shallots and tomatoes till they soften.

Saute the shallots and tomatoes till they soften.

2.  Add the cooked orzo to the pan along with the spinach, and toss to coat and integrate all the ingredients.   Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add the cooked orzo and stir to combine.

Add the cooked orzo and stir to combine.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the orzo mixture and stir to mix well.  Crumble the feta cheese over the top.


TIP:   Double the batch of orzo and serve as a cold side dish later in the week.  Just toss with a little additional olive oil before storing in the refrigerator in an airtight container.   Adding some chopped kalamata olives really perks up this dish also.   This is delicious hot or cold.

SOURCE:   Week Night Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Keeping it Simple

You’re going without makeup, walking around barefoot and even actually reading hardcover books. ¬†Midsummer is here. ¬† That means life is easy, and you’re ¬†enjoying the simple things. ¬† ¬†I hope that extends to your meal planning.

Here’s where a good pasta recipe comes in. ¬†And those tomatoes that are really starting to ripen up? ¬† Make them the star of the dish. ¬†Roast or saut√© 3 -4 of them along with some garlic and pour over thin spaghetti cooked al dente.. ¬†Then, before serving, top with chopped fresh basil and grate some cheese on top. ¬† Oh my! ¬†All that goodness in one place—-I think I might swoon!

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

The kind of tomatoes you use for this dish can be any kind you have available. ¬†I’m partial to roma/plum tomatoes because they are so meaty without a ton of seeds, ¬†Sometimes I mix different kinds for some variation. ¬†In the version I made here, I added some small meatballs to the sauce and let them simmer just to cook through, making it a little more hearty–the way Mr. D. likes it. ¬†Lots of fresh basil cut up on top is a must, and let everyone grate on some Parmesan cheese.



Yield:  Makes 4 main-dish servingsIMG_7846


  • 1 ¬†(8-oz.) package spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, use a good quality with a nice fruity aroma
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 – 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil, torn
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • more bail for garnish
  • grated Parmesan cheese for serving (vegans, omit the cheese)


1.  In a 6-quart saucepan, cook spaghetti as label directs.

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add mixed garlic and cook until tender, 1 Р2 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, 2 tsp. torn basil and salt;   heat through.    If adding meatballs, cover, and simmer on low to heat through, stirring occasionally.

3.  Drain spaghetti, and save 1/4 cup cooking liquid.    Pour into serving bowl,  pour tomato sauce over, and stir to coat.  Add cooking liquid a little at a time, if needed, to further loosen the sauce.  Sprinkle more chopped basil over the top and serve.  Pass the grated cheese.



This is my idea of great summer eating; ¬†pick those tomatoes while they’re still warm with sunshine, cut them up, cook briefly, and eat ASAP. ¬†Sigh!

SOURCE: ¬†Carolyn’s Originals





A Salad….

Cherry-Quinoa Salad with Cucumber Ribbons

Cherry-Quinoa Salad with Cucumber Ribbons

I am in need of a salad. ¬†The kind that’s heavy with greens and good nutrients, yet unique and full of surprises, and well, ¬†sexy!

The kind of salad that makes you want to wear those sleek, super expensive yoga pants, if you wear yoga pants, that is. ¬†Me? ¬†I wear tight, super short dance skirts, or long skirts with a slit up to THERE! ¬† You see where I’m going with this don’t you? ¬† In short‚Ķ.when your shape is gonna show, make sure it’s a shape you wanna show!


Yeah, ¬†that’s exactly the kind of salad I’m craving.

Today we are making Cherry Quinoa Salad on cucumber ribbons. ¬†Come on, ¬†let’s do salad!

I love combining sweet summer fruit with salad ingredients. ¬†It’s pretty amazing that sweet cherries, grated carrots and green onions get married in this salad starring our favorite grain, quinoa. ¬†Now spoon that over some ribbons of pickled cucumbers. ¬† Whaaat? ¬† I know, unbelievable, right? ¬†That’s what I said, until I tasted it. Now I want it for lunch and dinner every day. ¬†Go figure.



Yield:  Makes 6 servings;  serving size: 1 cup


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegarIMG_7810
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 ¬†3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups pitted and chopped sweet cherries
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots ( 1 medium)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions ( 2)
  • 3 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. snipped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped


1.  Make vinaigrette:   in a screw-top jar combine vinegar, oil, honey, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper.  Cover and shake well; chill until needed.

2.  In a large saucepan combine water, wine, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in quinoa.  Return to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Cool, tossing occasionally, by stirring with a fork.

3.  Stir cherries, carrot, green onions parsley, and mint into quinoa.  Drizzle with 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette; toss gently to coat.





Reserve the remaining vinaigrette for a later use.   Cover and chill quinoa mixture for at least 2 hours.  To serve, sprinkle with pistachios.

4. ¬†To serve salad on Cucumber “Ribbons”: ¬† ¬†Using a vegetable peeler, cut 1 small seedless cucumber lengthwise into thin “ribbons”. ¬†Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette; toss to coat. ¬† Line a serving platter with cucumber “ribbons.” ¬†Spoon the quinoa salad on top of cucumber and sprinkle with pistachios.


Nutritional Profile:  (Cherry-Quinoa Salad),  322 calories, 11 g fat, 365 mg sodium, 46 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 9 g protein.

(with cucumber “ribbons”), 353 calories, 10 g protein, 49 g carbs, 13 g total fat, 6 g fiber, 431 mg sodium,

SOURCE:   Better Homes and Gardens Newsletter

Roast Tomato Bruschetta

Roast Tomato Bruschetta

Roast Tomato Bruschetta

It’s a fact that the majority of foods that we love and that I prepare here at home make their way to the pages of this blog. ¬†However, there are some recipes that I make over and over again and somehow never think to share them with you. ¬†Usually that’s because they are so simple, I don’t view them as a “recipe’, but they are non-the-less-good in spite of it.


A few weeks ago I shared a picture on Facebook of an appetizer that I was making to bring to a family picnic,  and almost instantly I was getting questions about what it was, and requests for the recipe.   All it consisted of was roast tomatoes, coarsely chopped then mixed with some diced shallots, olive oil, and chopped basil.   Spread this mixture on some  toasted whole-wheat baguette slices, and you have yourself  one delicious appetizer, an accompaniment to a salad, or a little extra something to round out a meal.

I make this using whatever kind of tomatoes I have in abundance, but my favorite is to use small heirloom varieties.  I like the mixture of colors.  The tomatoes can be roasted in the oven on a cookie sheet, or on the grill if you already have it heated up.  One quick way to do this on the grill is to thread the tomatoes on skewers (6-8/skewer) and lay them on the grill, turning every 2 Р3 minutes until the tomatoes start to crack and begin to look charred.  Then bring them into the kitchen, chop them up, add the remaining ingredients, and its done!


Yield:   Make about 2 cups

I get the dressing ready before roasting the tomatoes.

I get the dressing ready before roasting the tomatoes.


  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, or any variety of tomatoes you desire
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped ¬†(or finely minced red onion)
  • 1 whole wheat French bread baguette, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, halved


1.   Preheat oven to 375*F.   or heat grill to medium-high heat.

2.  Thread tomatoes evenly on 4 skewers;  lay on a cookie sheet and brush all over with 2 teaspoon olive oil.  If using grill, brush tomatoes with oil and lay on grill .   Turn the skewers several times for even roasting, and when the tomatoes start to crack and look charred ( about 5 minutes on the grill) remove from heat.

Roasting the tomatoes on skewers.

Roasting the tomatoes on skewers.

3.  Remove tomatoes from skewers; chop coarsely.  Place tomatoes, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, basil, and shallot in a small bowl, stirring to combine.


4.  Brush bread slices evenly with some olive oil,  Grill for about 30 seconds on each side or until toasted.

Toasting the bread.

Toasting the bread.

Rub cut sides of garlic over one side of bread slices, top evenly with tomato mixture.

Once you try this, you will want it with every meal. ūüôā





SOURCE: ¬†Carolyn’s Creations

Linguine, with Garlicky Kale and White Beans


Linguine with Kale and White Beans

Linguine with Kale and White Beans

This dish gets its flavor from lots of garlic. ¬†Ya gotta love garlic!! ¬†It makes the most bitter greens taste divine. ¬†As it cooks and becomes sweeter, so do the greens lose their bitterness, and become silky and tender. ¬†Pasta, greens and beans—typically an Italian-style meal. ¬†All you need to think you’d “died and gone to heaven” is some Parmesan cheese dusted over the top, some crusty, toasted bread and a glass of white wine. ¬†SIGH!


Extremely easy to make with only five ingredients, and taking only about 30 minutes to prepare, this is a dish to put on the table when you’re in a hurry, but you want your family to be well fed on a healthy meal. ¬†I used fresh leaf kale in my preparation, but you could speed up the process by using packaged prechopped kale, found in the produce department of most supermarkets. ¬†Other than the kale, you probably have everything else to prepare this dish already in your cupboard.

I like the fact that only 1/2 pound of pasta makes 4 generous servings, because of the addition of the healthy kale and beans.  Calories are low/serving (381);  and the whole nutritional profile of this dish is impressive:  Fat, 11.8 g;  Protein, 13 g;  Carb, 58 g;  Fiber, 5 g; Cholesterol, O g; Iron, 4 mg;  Sodium, 34 mg.;  Calcium, 121 mg.


Yield:   Makes 4 servings of about 1 3/4 cups  (calories:  381)IMG_7334


  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped kale (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 ( 15-ounce) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated Parmesan cheese at the table (optional)


1.  Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

2.  Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat.  When garlic begins to sizzle, add 1/2 cup water and the kale;  cover and cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.

Cook the kale with garlic and a little water.

Cook the kale with garlic and a little water.

3.  Add beans, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and salt; cook 1 minute or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and cook to warm through.

Add beans and cook to warm through.

Add drained pasta and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid to pan;  toss to coat.  Add the remaining cooking liquid if needed to liquify further.  Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the pasta.  Serve immediately with grated Parmesan if desired.





SOURCE:   Cooking Light



Zucchini and Onion Gratin

Zucchini and Onion Gratin

Zucchini and Onion Gratin

I know that later in the summer we will be so overwhelmed by the amount of zucchini that is available, we won’t know what to do with it all, but right now the thought of making a zucchini baked dish with some tender young zucchini, seemed like a good idea to go with my grilled chicken menu. ¬†And later on when all those zucchini show up on my doorstep, I’ll be returning to this recipe again, and again.


The use of the term gratin in food preparation means that an ingredient is topped with a browned crust that can be made from breadcrumbs, grated cheese, eggs or butter.  A gratin is usually prepared in a shallow dish, then baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish, a gratin dish.

This recipe pretty much meets that description. ¬†Using just a few key additives to enhance the rather bland flavor of zucchini, it turns out to be wonderfully flavorful. ¬†Pre-broiling the zucchini helps to get them browned, and sprinkling a small amount of Parmesan cheese on top further forms a browned crisp crust. ¬†You can serve this dish hot, but it’s also great at room temperature.


Yield:  serves 6    ( Note:  1 serving is about 1 cup and equals 92 calories and 7 gm carbs.)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ¬†1/2 pounds zucchini, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)


1.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add onion; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomato paste, cook 2 minutes.   Stir in lemon rind, thyme, 1/8 teaspoon salt and  pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sauté onions and thyme, then add tomato paste and lemon rind.

Sauté onions, then add tomato paste, thyme and lemon rind.

2.  Preheat broiler to high.

3.  Arrange zucchini on a jelly-roll pan.  Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; toss.  Broil 7 minutes or until lightly charred.  Sprinkle with remaining salt.

Lay zucchini slices out on a baking sheet for broiling.

Lay zucchini slices out on a baking sheet for broiling.

4.  Preheat oven to 375*F.

5.  Spread onion mixture in a 2-quart gratin dish.  Arrange zucchini mixture over onion mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and bake at 375*F. for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Arrange in a baking dish and top with grated cheese.

Arrange in a baking dish and top with grated cheese.

6. ¬†Uncover zucchini mixture; broil 1 ¬†1/2 minutes to lightly brown the top if needed. ¬† Note: ¬†I thought mine was adequately browned after baking, so I omitted this step–use your judgement if it’s needed.



SOURCE:   Quick Vegetarian Pleasures

Avocado-Mango Salsa (with roasted corn chips)

Avocado-Mango Salsa with roast corn chips.

Avocado-Mango Salsa with roast corn chips.

Sometimes you just gotta have a snack! ¬† And if that snack is good for you, you’ll have waaay less guilt while you munch away. ¬†So is anything better to snack on than salsa and chips? ¬† ¬†Not in my house there isn’t.

Munch away on this!!

Munch away on this!!

I think most people know how good avocados are for us.  Each serving of this snack provides more than half the daily requirement of  potassium and is also a good source of fiber and monounsaturated fat.  A serving of 3 tablespoons of salsa and 6 chips is only 92 calories.  Use your own judgement in deciding if you can have more than 1 serving?????  It is so good I think you will want to have more.

Whoever had the idea to combine these ingredients was really on to something: ¬†creamy avocado, sweet mango, spicy cilantro, and tangy lime. ¬†They just belong together. ¬†Add in the crispiness of corn tortillas sprinkled with a little salt. ¬† WOW! ¬†Mr. D. says it’s the best salsa he’s ever had. ¬†He’s become bored with the usual red salsa(s) that are tangy and spicy. ¬†This makes a nice change from all that and it might even be considered “addicting”.


If you would love to have a bowl of this yumminess pop up in front of you right now, you are not alone. ¬†But hang on for a bit, because it only takes a few minutes to make it. ¬†Part of the enjoyment of this salsa is the chunkiness of the avocado and mango, so don’t mash them. ¬†Once mixed, let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. ¬†We loved the home-made chips too. ¬†They are very crisp and have just a tad of salt sprinkled on them. ¬†A tiny bit more salt in the salsa is all that’s needed to bring this whole taste experience together in a big way.



Yield:   about 12 servings  (serving size is 3 tablespoons salsa and 6 chips)

The colors of the ingredients make it appetizing.

The colors of the ingredients make it appetizing.


  • ¬†12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
  • cooking spray
  • ¬†1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped peeled avocado
  • 1 cup chopped peeled mango (the golden mango is an Ataulfo mango)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • cilantro sprigs, for garnish, optional


1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Arrange tortillas wedges in a single layer on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Coat wedges with cooking spray.  Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon salt evenly over the wedges.  Bake at 425* for 8 minutes or until crisp.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges.

Spread out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray,

Spread out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray,

They become crispy and golden.

They become crispy and golden.

3.  Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, avocado, mango, chopped cilantro, and juice, tossing gently.  Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Serve with chips.



SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Of all the ways that I have fixed potatoes, I think one of my favorites is baked, crispy, well-seasoned slices.  Sliced potatoes are easier to prepare than, say, cutting french fries.  I just slice them up, drizzle with a little olive oil and seasonings, bake, and they turn out great.  The thinner you slice them, the crispier they get.  Sort of like hot potato chips.

I made the batch you see here to go with oven baked fish, but they are the prefect side dish with so many things from burgers to steak, and anything in between.


You really don’t need a recipe for these, but I wrote down some basic guidelines if you care to make them‚Ķ..


Yield:   Makes 2 Р4 servings   I plan on 1 potato/person


  • 2 – 4 whole potatoes, peeled (Russets are preferred)
  • olive oil, ¬†about 1 Tablespoon/potato
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 – 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • mixed herbs such as Italian Blend or Fine Herbs


1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Lightly spray a shallow baking sheet with sides.

2.  Slice potatoes into desired thickness.  Remember, thinner is crispier.  Cut them with a knife or use a mandoline for uniform slices.

3.  Rinse potatoes with water to remove starch.  Pat dry with paper towels.

4.  In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, and seasonings of choice.   Add potato slices and stir or toss until all are evenly coated.

5.  Spread potato slices on prepared baking sheet.  Place in oven to bake, turning every 15 minutes until golden brown.  The total time will depend on how many potatoes you are cooking.  I made 2 potatoes and it took about 30 minutes for them to be done.

Serve while hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.  We like ranch dressing or Thousand Island dressing.

It’s unlikely that when you serve these, there will be any left over, but IF there are, ¬†we like them rewarmed in a skillet with an egg broken over them. ¬†Serve with bacon for breakfast.

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices


SOURCE: ¬† Carolyn’s Originals


Skinny Chocolate Strawberry Frapp√©

Skinny Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappé

Skinny Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappé

Has anybody besides me come to the realization that it’s time to get serious about shedding some pounds and inches in order to fit into the summer wardrobe. ¬†I mean really serious. ¬† ūüė¶ ¬†I thought I would begin with this beverage which is delicious, but low in calories, fat and carbs. ¬†The end of this post will give you the specifics on that. ¬†You will be amazed.

This yummy, frappuccino is really rich and flavorful. ¬†It’s a copycat of the McDonald’s one with a fraction of the cost and calories of the original. ¬†Full of real fruit and chocolate, this is one drink you won’t want to miss! It reminds me of chocolate covered strawberries.

Before making it I decided to research the original Strawberry Frappé to find out what it was made of.  Before too long, I learned that this beverage had earned many negative reviews.  Two things became glaringly apparent :  the strawberry flavor tasted completely artificial; and chunks of chocolate clogged the straw, making it impossible to drink.


Ahaa! ¬†I knew I could do better than that. ¬†So, I pulled my trusty blender out and started measuring out ingredients. ¬†Mr. D. was at home and he was willing to be my official “taste tester”. ¬† I have to admit my first go at it left something to be desired‚Ķit was very unsweet with a prominent chocolate flavor. ¬†I remedied that by adding more strawberries, and more sweetener. ¬†My choice, and what I had on hand, was agave syrup. ¬† I added about 2 Tablespoons to each drink, and this was adequate for us.

You can whip up this ridiculously easy recipe with only 5 ingredients:   dark, strong coffee, milk, cocoa powder, strawberries, and some sweetener.  You probably have all of these in your pantry -and fridge- already!


I strongly recommend using frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones.  Fresh strawberries, with their juice, will add too much liquid to the frappuccino.  Frozen strawberries are generally picked at their peak of ripeness and flash frozen which preserves their bright fruity taste.  In addition to flavor, the frozen strawberries also act as ice and help thicken the drink without watering down the taste.

To fix the second problem of chocolate chunks clogging the straw, I opted to use cocoa powder instead of pieces of chocolate. ¬†It still adds a whole lot of chocolate flavor, but as a fine powder, it won’t plug up the straw. ¬†Cocoa powder also has a greatly reduced number of calories and fat without sacrificing any flavor.


Yield:  Makes about 16 ounces.  Enough for 1 hugh drink or 2 smaller ones.


  • 3/4 cup double-strength coffee, chilled
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (Any kind of milk will do, I used almond milk.)
  • 1 ¬†1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • sweetener to taste ¬†(agave, honey, etc.)


1.  Add only the coffee, milk, and cocoa powder to your blender container to begin.  You want to thoroughly mix those together before adding the frozen ingredients, so the cocoa gets uniformly mixed in, avoiding any little pockets of cocoa powder.

2.  Pour in the frozen strawberries and ice, and any sweetener desired, and blend till smooth.  Pour into a large glass and serve with a straw.   YUM!


Here’s the hugh payoff—-when compared with McDonald’s, my version contains 621 fewer calories, 26.6 fewer grams fat, 89.9 fewer¬†grams of carbs, and 89.8 fewer grams of sugar.

I am also going to keep this recipe in mind when hot weather arrives, and make it to pour into my popsicle molds.  I think this is going to be a delicious summertime cool-down treat.