CHICKEN TERIYAKI KEBABS
Serves 4: 2 kebabs per serving
1 ounce dry sherry
2 ½ tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce (lowest sodium available)
2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon hot pepper oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all visible fat discarded, cut into 24 cubes
2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 8 pieces
8 medium button mushrooms
8 cherry tomatoes
In a shallow glass bowl large enough to hold the kebab ingredients in a single layer, stir together the marinade ingredients until the brown sugar is dissolved. Add the kebab ingredients, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Meanwhile, soak 8 long wooden skewers in cold water for at least 10 minutes to prevent charring, or use metal skewers.
When the kebabs have marinated, preheat the broiler. Remove the kebab ingredients from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Thread on each skewer as follows: chicken, onion, zucchini, chicken, mushroom, tomato, onion, chicken.
Put the skewers on a broiler rack in a broiler pan.
Broil about 4 inches from the heat for about 6 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, turning once halfway through.
SZECHUAN GREEN BEANS
Serves 4: ¾ cup per serving
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon canola or peanut oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce (lowest sodium available)
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon vinegar
½ teaspoon dry sherry (optional)
Pinch of pepper (white preferred)
1 teaspoon canola or peanut oil and 1 teaspoon canola or peanut oil, divided
12 ounces fresh green beans
2 small fresh hot peppers, such as Serrano, minced
2 teaspoons minced peeled gingerroot
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Put the cornstarch in a small bowl. Add the water, stirring to dissolve. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat for 40 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon oil, swirling to coat the bottom. When a wisp of white smoke appears, cook the green beans for about 2 minutes, or until they soften, stirring constantly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a colander. Set aside to drain.
Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the wok, swirling to coat the bottom. Add the hot peppers, gingerroot and garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return the green beans to the wok and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Make a well in the center of the beans. Stir the sauce and pour into the well. Quickly stir into the beans until thoroughly combined. Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Immediately transfer to a serving bowl.
FRESH BERRY TRIFLE
Serves 10: scant 1 cup per serving
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free milk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups cubed angel food cake (about ½ cake)
½ cup strawberry all-fruit spread, warmed
¼ cup fresh orange juice
4 cups (about 1 pound 4 ounces) strawberries halved
2 cups (about 11 ounces) blueberries
1 8-ounce container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed in refrigerator
10 whole strawberries (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)
In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and flour. Stir in the milk, egg, and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat for 12 to 14 minutes, or until mixture thickens and coats a metal spoon, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
To assemble, arrange half the cake cubes in a 1 ½ or 2 quart trifle dish or clear glass bowl. Drizzle with half the fruit spread and half the orange juice. Around the side of the dish, arrange about half the halved strawberries with the cut side facing out and the tips pointing up. Sprinkle half the blueberries over the cake. Spoon half the pudding over the blueberries. Repeat. Spread the whipped topping over the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours. (Can be made up to one day ahead).
To serve, be sure to reach the spoon into the layers to get all the different flavors and textures. Place each serving in a bowl or on a dessert plate and garnish with a whole strawberry and fresh mint.