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Here are some great recipes for you to try that won’t keep you in the kitchen too long on these hot summer days! Your friends and family will love them! Also, make meals more exciting by serving them outdoors during the summer months; it makes spending time together all the more fun! Enjoy!

Cod and Veggie Stir-Fry

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound cod fillets, cut into 1-1/2-inch squares

2 tablespoons water

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup red bell pepper chunks

1 medium onion, cut into 16 wedges, separated

2 cups hot cooked rice

In small bowl, combine first seven ingredients; set aside. Spray a nonstick skillet or wok with nonstick cooking spray. Heat skillet over high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add fish. Cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Remove fish from skillet. Remove skillet from heat; spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add 2 tablespoons water, mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper and onion; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Stir in cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Return fish to skillet; toss gently to heat. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 servings.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp

2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sticks butter, melted

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Sauté garlic in butter until tender; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Arrange shrimp in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Pour butter sauce over shrimp. Broil 6 inches from heat for 6 to 10 minutes, until done, basting once with sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

Turkey Bites with Pineapple Sauce

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon salt

6 turkey breast halves, skinned, and cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 cup olive oil

Pineapple sauce (recipe below)

Combine 1/4 cup flour, eggs, water and salt in a small bowl; stir well. Cover and chill batter for 1 hour. Dip turkey pieces in chilled batter; dredge in remaining cup of flour. Fry 4 to 5 pieces of turkey at a time in hot olive oil in a large skillet or wok until golden. Drain well on paper towels. Serve warm with Pineapple Sauce. Yield: 9 servings.

For pineapple sauce:

1-1/4 cups pineapple juice, divided

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

To make pineapple sauce:

Combine 1 cup juice and sugar in saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Combine cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup juice; add to saucepan. Bring to boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in drained pineapple, vinegar and mustard. Serve warm. Yield: 1-1/2 cups sauce.

Sloppy Joe Turkey Pitas

1 pound ground lean turkey

1 small onion, chopped

1/3 cup chopped celery

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 whole wheat pita pockets

Combine turkey, onion and celery in a large glass mixing bowl or baking dish. Stir to crumble turkey meat. Cover tightly and microwave at high 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring at 2 minute intervals. Drain. Stir in tomato paste, catsup, vinegar, sauce, mustard and pepper. Cover and microwave at high 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Fill each pita pocket with 1/3 cup of meat sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

Mushroom-Cheese Egg Casserole

3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup freshly sliced mushrooms

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup chopped red and green peppers

1/2 cup flour

1-3/4 cups skim milk

2 cups egg substitute, beaten

Black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray a 9x13x2-inch baking dish with nonfat cooking spray. In large bowl, combine Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese and toss to mix. Sprinkle half the cheese mixture on bottom of prepared dish. Lightly spray nonstick skillet with nonfat cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, green onions and red and green peppers; cook until vegetables are tender; about 5 to 8 minutes. Spread vegetable mixture over cheese; top with remaining cheese. In large bowl, combine flour, milk, egg substitute, and pepper. Pour over top of cheese in baking dish. Bake in preheated oven 35 to 40 minutes until mixture is set and lightly browned. Let stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Yield: 8 servings.

Apple Ring Fritters

1 cup sifted flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

4 to 5 cooking apples

Sift dry ingredients together. Add milk and egg; beat well. Peel and core apples; slice into rings about 1/4-inch thick. Dip apple rings into batter and drop into skillet containing about 1/2-inch hot, melted shortening. Fry until golden brown on both sides; drain on absorbent paper towel. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixed together, or serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream in center of each fritter. Yield: approximately 20 fritters.

Cottage Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

1/2 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

Vanilla sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350º. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually beat in sugar. Add egg, beating well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Bake in a greased 8-inch square baking dish 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool at room temperature and serve with warm Vanilla Sauce. Yield: 6 servings.

For vanilla sauce (for cottage pudding):

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of salt

To make vanilla sauce:

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Gradually add boiling water, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and next 3 ingredients, stirring well. Let cool slightly. Yield: 6 servings.

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Herbed Basmati Rice with Vegetables

1 cup Basmati rice, uncooked

1 (14-1/2 ounce) can chicken broth

1 cup sliced zucchini

1 cup corn kernels

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup diced tomatoes with roasted garlic

1 teaspoon dried basil

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, chicken broth, zucchini, corn, pepper and onion powder; heat over high heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Stir in tomatoes and basil; cook 10 to 15 minutes, until heated through. Yield: 4 servings.