EAT LIKE YOU SHOP! SKINNY CORN, CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD

To lose weight now and keep it off for life, one of the most important Skinny Truths to remember is “Eat Like You Shop!”  By looking for bargains wherever you can, you’ll be able to eat the things you want without breaking the calorie bank.

And here’s a dish that gives you the most bang for your calorie buck: Skinny Corn, Cucumber and Tomato Salad.

 

Corn Salad is such a summer staple that if you Google it you’ll get almost 5 million recipes…and though the ingredients and dressings vary, they’re all made mostly of corn.

And though fresh corn is a low fat and high fiber vegetable with a nutritional profile that makes it worthy of your summer suppers, each cup has about 150 calories.

 

But by cutting the amount of corn, adding in an equal amount of almost calorie free Persian cucumbers and a load of summer tomatoes, you immediately cut the calorie count in half.

 

And since fresh summer tomatoes and cucumbers, once salted, weep out delicious juices, rather than the 1/4 cup 0f olive oil (480 calories) that most recipes call for, you can add just a tablespoon of oil (120 calories), a little lemon and good vinegar and still have a flavorful dressing for a fraction of the calories and fat.

And because this dish is so versatile, once you have it in your skinny inventory, you’ll be able to quickly throw together another half dozen dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the days that follow.

 

So as summer’s corn, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs hit their peak, try this bargain of a dish and enjoy the full priced sensation of a hearty corn salad and still have calorie change to spend elsewhere…

That’s smart eating!

SKINNY CORN, CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD

(This makes about 14 cups, divide as necessary.)

4 medium ears of corn, cooked and stripped from the cob (about 6 cups)

1/2 c chopped basil

Persian cucumbers, unpeeled, unseeded, sliced into half moons (about 4 cups)

4 c cherry tomatoes, quartered

4 green onions, chopped

Juice of one lemon (about 3 T)

2-4 t good vinegar (Sherry Vinegar, Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar, white or dark Balsamic, white or red wine vinegar…the type and amount is up to you.)

1 T good olive oil (I like a strong Greek olive oil for this salad to add extra flavor.)

Cook your corn any way you like…you can grill it, briefly boil it or (if you want zero clean up), simply wrap each ear in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes per ear. (4 ears will take 8 minutes.) Once done, strip the kernels from the cobs into a large serving bowl and, while the corn is still hot, toss in the basil and stir. The basil will wilt and its flavor will mingle with the corn juices.

Add the chopped cucumbers on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes on top of that and salt and pepper again. Let it all sit for 15-30 minutes so the cucumbers and tomatoes can absorb the seasonings and release their juices.

Add the green onions, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil and toss.

You can serve warm or let sit at room temperature for up to an hour. Or, if you’re making ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD

This is another recipe with lots of wiggle room so you can customize it according to what flavors you like best and what you have on hand.  You can use red onion or shallots instead of green onions, add red bell pepper or, if you want some heat, add minced jalapeno or Serrano peppers. You can play with your herbs, too. Tarragon alone, or tarragon mixed with basil, is also delicious. Or, if you’re adding spicy chili peppers, you might want to use cilantro instead of basil.  You can even toss in arugula or dandelion greens to add more color and bite. The important thing to remember is to make sure only 1/3 of the dish is corn…and the rest of the veggies are lower in calories and carbohydrates.

RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-CYCLE

Once this dish in your inventory, use it in any skinny omelet to add fiber, nutrition, taste and bulk to your breakfast.

Or use it to make a fresh spinach salad with grilled chicken to take to work.

 

You can add a little avocado and use it to top a black bean tostada.

You can even turn it into an almost instant soup…simply cook some chicken, onions and ground cumin in a soup pot for a few minutes, add chicken broth, a can of black beans and some leftover corn salad and you have a skinny dinner!

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