IN THE KITCHEN WITH CARLA: Summertime — and the cooking is easy

Barbecue season is here, and the party is at your house.

There is no need to abandon your healthy-eating goals this summer. Just make grilled veggies and fresh fruit the stars of your plate, then add a scoop of my Make-Ahead Potato Salad and drizzles of Tangy Smoky Barbecue Sauce. You won’t sacrifice health or taste. Enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Andrea S. Mink
Photo courtesy of Andrea S. Mink


Makes 8 (½ cup) servings

Gently smashing some of the potatoes adds a delicious creaminess to this salad. With all the flavors and textures you love in a potato salad, this no-guilt version will be your new picnic favorite!



1 pound red potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 3 ½ cups), put in cold water right after cutting

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


2 large eggs, hard-cooked and 1 yolk discarded

1 tablespoon mustard

¼ cup fat-free sour cream

3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Vinegar Mixture

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1½ teaspoons sugar

¼ teaspoon Crystal Diamond Kosher salt

Photo courtesy pf aruba200
Photo courtesy pf aruba200


½ cup thinly sliced celery

½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

½ cup thinly sliced green onions

1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Sweet paprika, optional


1. Have colander, large bowl and wooden spoon ready.

2. Prepare Potatoes: Stir 8 cups cold water and the 1 tablespoon vinegar together in a medium-sized pot. Drain potatoes in the colander, rinse well and add to pot. Boil gently, uncovered, until potatoes are very soft when pierced with a fork but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Make Dressing: While potatoes boil, chop egg whites and set aside. Mash egg yolk in a medium bowl then whisk in mustard. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, relish and pepper. Set aside.

4. Make Vinegar Mixture: Stir the 3 tablespoons vinegar, sugar, and salt together in small bowl, completely dissolving solids.

5. Mix Salad: Drain potatoes in colander, shaking gently to remove water. Immediately pour potatoes into large bowl and pour Vinegar Mixture over hot potatoes. Stir well to thoroughly mix, pressing some of the potatoes gently against sides and bottom of bowl as you stir. Don’t make mashed potatoes.

6. Pour Dressing over top and stir, gently pressing against bowl. Add Veggies and reserved egg white.  Stir and press gently to combine.  Sprinkle lightly with paprika, if using.

7.  Cover and refrigerate before serving, preferably overnight but at least 4 hours.

Nutritional information per serving: 90 calories; 2.5g fat; .5g saturated fat; 30mg cholesterol; 195mg sodium; 15g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 4g sugars; 3g protein; % Daily Value – 10% Vit. A; 2% Calcium; 35% Vit. C; 4% Iron

Artwork courtesy of annzabella
Artwork courtesy of annzabella


Makes about 1 ¼ cups – Ten (2 tablespoon) servings

Bottled barbecue sauces typically pack a hefty sodium punch – often over 250 mg per serving. Savor this quick and easy sauce, instead. With only 80 mg of sodium per serving, you’ll enjoy homemade BBQ sauce flavor with a smidgen of the salt.

Spice Blend

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon Crystal Diamond Kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Blend spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.


1 cup no-salt added ketchup

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

½ teaspoon no-salt liquid smoke

Stir base ingredients together in medium saucepan. Whisk in Spice Blend. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium low.

1 (¼ -inch thick) slice lemon

Add lemon to saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove pan from heat. Discard lemon. Let sauce rest for one hour to let flavors come together.

Refrigerate leftover sauce, covered, for up to one week. For longer storage, pour cooled sauce into ice cube trays and freeze. Remove cubes from tray, place in freezer bag and return to freezer. Pop out cubes as needed.

Nutritional information per serving: 33 calories; 0g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 80mg sodium; 9g carbohydrate; 6g sugars; Daily Value –  4% Vit. A; 4% Vit. C; 2% Iron

Cooking questions? Email me at kitchenwithcarla@hotmail.comVisit my blog for more info and tips on healthy cooking.

Copyright 2016 Carla F. Williams All Rights Reserved