Healthy recipes just in time for Relay for Life

June: What do I think of besides warmer weather to help those tomatoes really grow after this cold spring? I think of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, which has become a tradition with hundreds of valley citizens.

I once walked it, with my daughters and their friends, up in Eagle County.  The theme for teams that year was “TV Series.” We went as the housewives on Wisteria Lane, dressed in sweats (cold up there at night) with fancy aprons, feather boas and plastic tiaras (picture that). We laughed, we cried, and were inspired by the survivors.

Check out details for Grand Junction’s relay at

The American Cancer Society gave me permission to print some delicious and healthy recipes from the ACS cookbook “Celebrate! Healthy Entertaining for Any Occasion” available at or by calling 1-800-ACS-2345.

Listen to ACS: Eat healthy. Get active. Prevent cancer.

Fruit Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing

Makes 8 cups. Serves 8.

This creamy poppy seed dressing contains low-fat yogurt, which is an excellent source of B vitamins, protein and calcium. Some experts claim that yogurt supplies the intestinal tract with good bacteria to help keep it in good working order. Take this to the walk!

8 cups fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 2/3 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt (I use plain nonfat, and add vanilla and sweetener)

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Combine fruit in large bowl. In a smaller bowl, fold poppy seeds into yogurt with a whisk or spatula. Spoon fruit salad into individual serving dishes, then pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of yogurt mixture over the fruit — or let guests choose from fruits and make their own.

ACS used equal parts peeled peaches, oranges, pineapple chunks, grapes and berries. Use any fruit you like.

Dixie Note: while waiting for Palisade peaches, use mangoes. Kiwi, cantaloupe and other melons are good also.  I add a few toasted, sliced almonds on top.

Crispy Shrimp Sensations

Serves 8.

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 24 shrimp)

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

2 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups finely crushed reduced fat buttery crackers (about 35 crackers) like Ritz

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cooking spray

(1) 12-ounce bottle cocktail sauce

Lemon wedges

Preheat broiler.

Place shrimp and cornstarch in resealable plastic bag. Close bag, shake to coat.

In small bowl, combine water and egg whites; beat until foamy.

In another small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, paprika, salt and pepper.

Dip shrimp in egg white mixture, then coat with crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spray shrimp with a light coat of cooking spray.

Broil 5 minutes or until the shrimp are done, turning once.

Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

Choose-a-Flavor Cheesecake

May I suggest you make this for Dad on Father’s Day to go with my menu for Father’s Day in my next column? He’ll never know it’s a healthy version. Might want to take this to the Relay in a cooler.

Their recipe for cheesecake blends several low-fat ingredients to create a deliciously creamy dessert.

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt

4 ounces low-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nonfat cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350º.

Coat an 8 x 8-inch pan with nonfat cooking spray. Puree in blender the yogurt, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, maple syrup, cocoa, egg whites, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour in pan. Bake cake 50 minutes or until set and cooked. Cool, decorate with fresh strawberry slices if desired (I desired! Raspberries are yummy, also).

Choose a Flavor

For any of these variations, replace the vanilla extract in the plain cheesecake recipe above with the ingredients listed below. Makes eight slices.

Chocolate Cheesecake

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon coffee liqueur or brewed coffee

Amaretto Cheesecake

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Strawberry Cheesecake

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon strawberry extract


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