Healthy Dishes Inspired by Spring Break Destinations

1 Mar

This article was written for Chomp & Chew, my weekly food blog for The Independent Florida Alligator…

Healthy dishes inspired by Spring Break destinations

Becca Goldring, Alligator Blogger | Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 12:15 am

In less than 48 hours, many of us will be trading in our textbooks for swimsuits and our caffeine-packed 5-hour energy shots in Library West for refreshing margaritas on sandy beaches. We’ve put in the time at Southwest Rec getting ourselves beach-ready and spent countless hours organizing our cruise itineraries. Over the past few weeks, we’ve grudgingly skipped on the greasy burgers and late-night pizza in order to look and feel our best over Spring Break. Why stop now?

These efforts to eat healthy and exercise should not be abandoned like the drinking age in international waters. No matter where Spring Break takes you, healthy food options are always available, and you should make the best effort to stay on track.

However, for some of us, Spring Break plans include project “occupy parents’ couch” and resisting urges to graze a well-stocked kitchen pantry. For those only experiencing our vacations via the Travel Channel, I have provided a few recipes inspired by some of the most popular Spring Break destinations. It will be just like you’re there! Most of these dishes are less than 500 calories and use healthy ingredient subs whenever possible.

All images courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine.

The Florida Keys: Key Lime Pie Parfaits

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This clever take on the classic key lime pie trades the buttery pie crust and dense, high-fat custard for a parfait presentation that uses only graham crumbs to separate layers of light and fluffy whipped cream and tart key lime filling made with fat-free condensed milk and fresh limes.

Mexico: Huevos Rancheros

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South-of-the-border style breakfast never tasted so good! An expertly fried egg sits atop a crispy corn tortilla and the two are then smothered with red and green chili sauces, onions, bell peppers, melty-shredded Monterey jack cheese and garnished with cilantro.

Cruise-Inspired: Margarita Salmon

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This entrée inspired by the open ocean features broiled salmon filets marinated in ingredients like freshly grated lime rind, tequila and sugar. To cut carbs, replace the angel hair pasta with salad doused in a citrus vinaigrette.

California: West Coast Turkey Burgers

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This juicy turkey burger is lower in fat and calories and higher in protein when compared to a ground beef burger. California-style means topping the patty with shallots, red onion, bread and butter pickles, lettuce, avocado and alfalfa sprouts.

New York City: Spinach & Ricotta Pizza

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You don’t have to go to the Big Apple to experience great New York Style thin-crust pizza. This variety coaches you through making both the zesty tomato sauce and pizza dough. Toppings include baby spinach leaves, plum tomatoes, and part-skim ricotta, mozzarella and freshly grated parmesan cheeses.

Hawaii: Hawaiian Chicken

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Pacific paradise can be right in your own kitchen with these boneless, skinless chicken breasts marinated in pineapple juice, low-sodium soy sauce, ketchup and ginger. After grilling, serve with a side of long grain rice. For a low-carb option, ditch the rice and top with homemade pineapple salsa.

Miami: Grilled Cuban Sandwiches

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Tap into your Latin side with this grilled sandwich inspired by Miami culture. It is best if you can track down Cuban bread instead of the suggested French. Either way, stuff the sandwich with layers of reduced-fat Swiss cheese, low-sodium deli-sliced ham, sliced dill pickles, and Dijon mustard.


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