Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Hearty (and healthy) Breakfast

Today I went to bootcamp for the first time in over a week and Matt went swimming this afternoon. I don't eat much before exercising - I find it helps keep the nausea at bay when I am pushing myself so hard. However, Matt likes to eat before his swims, it makes for stronger strokes.

We're also leaving on Monday for Seattle for the holidays.

Last night as I was somewhat meal planning and trying to keep both of these elements in mind, I was searching online recipes that could use up what we have in the fridge. Like those 12 dozen eggs that expire on Christmas Eve.

I found a wonderful recipe from Cooking Light. It's got everything you need to start your day or replenish what you've lost during that tough morning workout! Matt doesn't like to combine strong salty and sweet flavors, so unfortunately we left out the mango chutney. But I think you could use that, or even some apricot or raspberry jam instead. I don't like soy ham, so we used canadian bacon instead, and I scrambled the eggs because that's the way Matt & I like our eggs. All in all this recipe was a huge hit and kept me full for most of the day. Matt even commented that it's a much healthier (and tastier) version of a certain breakfast sandwich at a certain fast food restaurant. Bonus: It's from Cooking Light so you know that a) it's going to taste good; b) it's not bad for you and c) Cindy will be totally intrigued! :)
And yes, I will definitely be making this again, probably as soon as tomorrow morning!

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich with Mango Chutney

This sandwich packs protein from egg and soy ham, calcium from cheese, and fiber and B vitamins from the whole-grain muffin. If you can't find soy ham, use Canadian bacon or ham.

Cooking spray

8 (1/2-ounce) slices soy ham (such as Lightlife) or Canadian bacon

4 large eggs

4 whole-grain English muffins, split and toasted

8 teaspoons mango chutney

3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat broiler.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add ham; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; keep warm. Reduce heat to medium; recoat pan with cooking spray. Break eggs into hot pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Place muffin halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Spread 2 teaspoons chutney over bottom half of each muffin; top with 2 ham slices, 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon cheese. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over top half of each muffin. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until bubbly. Place top halves of muffins over the bottom halves.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Featured Ingredient: Hoisin Sauce

Don and I are both big fans of Hoisin Sauce. During my pantry cleanout, I went looking for a new recipe that could incorporate this wonderful ingredient that has now become a staple in our pantry and we found this winner below. Garlicky Hoisin Beef, is packed with all the flavours you could ask for - salty, sweet, and mildly spicy. In fact, it's so flavourful that it's a good way to use up the old meat in your ice box. No freezer burn detected here! Don and I used some old strip steaks, but you really could substitute any meat and it would work just as well (chicken, pork, or even shrimp). The sauce alone might even make a nice glaze for a Grilled Salmon Fillet. Another thing to mention is not to be scared away by the entire full teaspoon of red pepper flakes that the recipe calls for. The spice level is still only moderate, enough to detect the heat but not feel the burn. You can definitely control the level of spice by decreasing or increasing the amount of red pepper flakes you add. Even for weak-spice folks, I would go no less than 1/4 teaspoon since it is an important component of the flavor. I think next time Don and I make this we might try 1 1/2 teaspoons and see how it comes out.

Along with the sauce, the featured recipe incorporates a nice array of vegetables that you don't get in your every day cooking including snow peas and sweet potatoes. I don't think I've ever heard of putting sweet potatoes in a stir fry before but it really works here. The trick is to steam them in a little bit of water first to soften them up before adding the other vegetables as it says in the recipe. Don and I both enjoyed this recipe quite a bit as is, but our thoughts for next time we make this will be to increase the amount of scallions and also to add some sliced mushrooms as well. We served over Brown Rice which not only is healthier but I think really works with the recipe. It stands up to the strong flavors better and compliments the dish well. Other than that, I don't have any further recomendations except to TRY THIS ONE! You will not be disappointed. Additionally, this recipe comes from Real Simple Magazine which I know Camille will love!

Garlicky Hoisin Beef

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound flank or boneless sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup water
1/3 pound (1 1/2 cups) snow or sugar snap peas
3 scallions (green parts only), cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 recipe Garlicky Hoisin Sauce
Cooked rice

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the steak and stir-fry until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high, add the remaining oil, and heat for 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 seconds. Add the sweet potato and water. Cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. Add the peas and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Add the Garlicky Hoisin Sauce and increase heat to high. When it starts to bubble, add the steak. Stir-fry until warmed through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately over the rice.

Tip: Pork or turkey cutlets can stand in for the beef, and green beans for the sugar snaps.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 463.88 (42% from fat); FAT 22.13g (sat 4.94g); CHOLESTEROL 46mg; CALCIUM 76.25mg; CARBOHYDRATE 39.15g; SODIUM 1213.56mg; PROTEIN 27.25mg; FIBER 4.34g; IRON 3.59mg

Real Simple, OCTOBER 2005

Garlicky Hoisin Sauce

This recipe goes with Garlicky Hoisin Beef

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced scallion (white parts only)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup hoisin sauce (available in the Asian-food aisle of most supermarkets)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the scallions, garlic, and pepper flakes, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into a bowl.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 180.38 (33% from fat); FAT 6.73g (sat 0.96g); CHOLESTEROL 1.44mg; CALCIUM 27.88mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.97g; SODIUM 1153.88mg; PROTEIN 2.65mg; FIBER 1.61g; IRON 0.82mg

Real Simple, OCTOBER 2005

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Home Cooked Goodness

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a pantry clean out. I decided to go through the fridge and cupboards and see what kind of recipe I could throw together that would use up as many items as possible from my overstocked shelves. This recipe was inspired by the Gnocchi, Chicken Stock, Frozen Chicken, and Leftover Celery in my fridge. Gnocchi is a finicky thing. It's difficult to find a recipe for store bought prepackaged Gnocchi that keeps the potato dumplings from getting too dry without using a sauce with a catastrophic calorie count. The solution is soup. While this is definitely no Cooking Light Recipe, it's a good compromise and a little lighter than the normal doughy biscuits that go with the classic version of Chicken and Dumplings. In Rachel Ray's version of this ultimate comfort food, she substitutes gnocchi for the traditional dumplings, and adds a little homeade pesto to the broth for a unique flavor. I think this would be good without the pesto too if you are in a hurry, however, the general consensus was that it definitely added something special and took the recipe up that one extra notch.

Italian Chicken and Dumplings

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • If you love Chicken Fricassee, Chicken and Biscuits and Chicken and Dumplings here's a flavorful, Italian take on the classic. Here, basil pesto - a kid favorite, is stirred into the light gravy. For the dumplings, fresh potato gnocchi tossed in lemon butter. WOW!

    5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    2 pounds chicken tenderloins, diced into bite-sized pieces
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons butter, divided
    12 large white mushrooms, sliced
    1 cup shredded carrots, store bought
    4 ribs celery from the heart, very thinly sliced
    1 to 2 fresh bay leaves
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3 cups chicken stock, divided
    1 cup basil leaves
    1 clove garlic
    A generous handful parsley leaves
    A handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
    A couple handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    1 lemon , zested
    2 (10 to 12-ounce) packages, fresh gnocchi

    Place a large pot of water on to boil for gnocchi.

    Heat a pot with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and lightly brown. Remove to a plate and add another tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter and heat. Add mushrooms, carrots, celery, and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper. Soften 5 minutes, sprinkle in flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups stock, slide the chicken back into the pot and simmer to allow sauce to thicken.

    Place the remaining 1/2 cup stock in food processor with basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts and cheese, salt and pepper. Turn processor on and pour in the remaining few tablespoons oil.

    Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat with the zest of 1 lemon.

    Salt cooking water and drop gnocchi in the water, cook until the gnocchi floats, drain and add to the lemon butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the gnocchi 2 to 3 minutes in lemon butter until light golden at edges.

    Turn heat off chicken and stir in pesto sauce. Serve the chicken in shallow bowls and top with lemon butter dumplings.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Happy Diet Food

    Some of you know that we have started a Biggest Loser contest at work. We are two and a half weeks into it and have already started to make some pretty significant changes in my diet and exercise. We weigh in every Monday morning for 10 weeks and the person at the end with the Biggest percentage of weight loss wins the grand prize ($25 buyin per participant). Some people are competing for the money and others are competing just for the benefit of getting healthy. I'm doing it for both! Although I don't actually expect to win since other people have more weight to lose than I do. But as of the second weigh in I have lost three pounds! So exciting and motivating to continue the work! I've also been putting a lot of time and energy into meal planning, snacks and proportioning. Here is a fun new recipe we tried tonight.

    Vegetable-and-Black Bean Soft Tacos

    A chef's surprise is hidden beneath a soft tortilla. The crisp broccoli buds combine well with the chewy shiitake mushrooms and nuttby black beans. The spicy salsa complements this package nicely. You may never be able to eat another mundane taco after this.

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets (1/2 bunch)
    1 cup sliced red onion
    1 cup julienne-cut green bell pepper
    1/2 cup julienne-cut red bell pepper
    1 cup sliced mushrooms
    1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
    1/3 cup minced seeded Anaheim chile
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 cup tomato juice
    1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
    1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    3 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
    3/4 cup medium salsa
    6 tablespoons nonfat sour cream

    Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, onion, and bell peppers; sauté 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, chile, cumin, and chili powder; sauté 2 minutes. Add tomato juice; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in minced cilantro and lime juice, and set aside.

    Divide black beans evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/2 cup broccoli mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold tortillas in half, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.

    Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 taco, 1/2 cup lettuce, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 1 tablespoon sour cream)

    CALORIES 433 (33% from fat); FAT 15.9g (sat 6.5g,mono 5.9g,poly 2.5g); IRON 4.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 22mg; CALCIUM 345mg; CARBOHYDRATE 54.6g; SODIUM 739mg; PROTEIN 19.9g; FIBER 6.9g

    Cooking Light, OCTOBER 1995

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Elect This!

    Cooking Light Night #18

    OK. I was getting a little bored with the numerical titles. So here is a dinner worthy of such a historic occasion as the election night of the 44th president of the United States. After work I rushed off to the ballot box, cast my vote, and then came home to Don who had operation dinner underway in the kitchen. The results aren't in on the presidential election yet, but we have had a unanimous household decision that we will be making both of these recipes again. If you like flavourful, fragrant, mediterranean inspired dishes, you should definitely try this one. This is also the first time that both Don and I have ever had Israeli Couscous and we love it! It kicks the *bleep* out of Moroccan Couscous. I forgot to pick up the dried fruit mix at the grocery store so we used cranberries and golden raisins in the couscous and it was perfect. The sauce for the lamb chops was really delicious too and despite the massive amount of mint in the recipe, the flavouring was actually pretty subtle and not too overpowering. If you are not into lamb, you still must try the couscous and the apricot-lime sauce. It would also be good with Pork tenderloin.

    Curry- and Ginger-Rubbed Lamb Chops with Apricot-Lime Sauce

    The sweet tang of the Apricot-Lime Sauce contrasts with and balances the earthy, hot flavors of the curry-ginger paste. The sauce and paste make a versatile combination that's equally suited to grilled beef or pork.

    2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
    1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
    1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    8 (6-ounce) lamb shoulder chops, trimmed
    1/2 cup Apricot-Lime Sauce

    Prepare grill.

    Combine the curry, ginger, oil, salt, and pepper; rub paste evenly over lamb.

    Place lamb on grill rack, and cook 4 minutes. Turn lamb; brush with 1/4 cup Apricot-Lime Sauce. Cook for 4 minutes. Turn lamb, and brush with 1/4 cup sauce. Cook 2 minutes, turning once.

    Totals include Apricot-Lime Sauce.

    Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 chop)

    CALORIES 241 (45% from fat); FAT 12.1g (sat 4.1g,mono 5.2g,poly 1.1g); IRON 2.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 77mg; CALCIUM 28mg; CARBOHYDRATE 8.2g; SODIUM 195mg; PROTEIN 24.1g; FIBER 0.9g

    Cooking Light, JUNE 2001

    Apricot-Lime Sauce

    This recipe goes with Curry- and Ginger-Rubbed Lamb Chops with Apricot-Lime Sauce

    2/3 cup apricot preserves
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
    1/3 cup golden raisins
    1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup ketchup
    1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon hot sauce
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    Melt the preserves in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Remove from heat.

    Yield: 2 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

    CALORIES 26 (0.0% from fat); FAT 0.0g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g); IRON 0.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 6.9g; SODIUM 61mg; PROTEIN 0.2g; FIBER 0.2g

    Cooking Light, JUNE 2001

    Fruited Israeli Couscous

    One person can tackle this recipe, which requires just a saucepan, a cutting board, and a knife. Israeli couscous has bead-sized grains that are much larger than those of regular couscous, and it takes just 15 minutes to cook.

    2 teaspoons butter
    1 cup finely chopped onion
    1/2 cup dried currants
    1/2 cup diced dried apricots
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
    2 1/2 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in currants, apricots, salt, broth, and cinnamon sticks; bring to a boil. Add couscous, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Let couscous mixture stand 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Stir in cilantro.

    Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

    CALORIES 190 (4% from fat); FAT 0.9g (sat 0.4g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.1g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 2mg; CALCIUM 21mg; CARBOHYDRATE 38.2g; SODIUM 297mg; PROTEIN 6.5g; FIBER 2.8g

    Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2003

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Cooking Light Night #17

    Don prepared this fantastic dinner tonight. He took one bite of the soup and proclaimed immediately that it was amazing. It's warm, comforting, flavourful. We used Chicken Italian Sausage from Trader Joes. Nathan thought it might be good to try with some spicy sausage but Don and I both agreed that we liked it just the way it was. I really enjoyed the muffins. The tart cranberries went well with the orange flavouring and I had a hard time limiting myself to just one. Don wanted them a bit sweeter and thought that a cornbread might go better with the soup. The recipe makes quite a few muffins so put the rest in the freezer to whip out and serve as appetizers next time we have company.

    Sausage and Spinach Soup

    Fresh herbs are added after the soup cooks so they'll retain their bright color and flavor. You can substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs for each tablespoon fresh, but add them with the tomatoes. Serve with a toasted baguette.

    10 ounce sweet turkey Italian sausage
    Cooking spray
    1 cup prechopped onion
    2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
    1/2 cup water
    1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (14.5-ounce) can organic stewed tomatoes, undrained (such as Muir Glen)
    1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    2 cups baby spinach
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
    2 tablespoons grated fresh Romano cheese

    Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and 2 teaspoons garlic to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup water, beans, tomatoes, and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat, and stir in spinach, basil, and oregano. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese.

    Wine note: This delicious soup needs a wine that's crisp and medium-bodied, such as a California pinot gris (aka pinot grigio). The wine's crispness balances the richness of the sausage and the density of the beans. At the same time, the wine's body is substantial enough to stand up to the weight of those ingredients. Try Morgan Pinot Gris "R & D Franscioni Vineyard" 2006 (Santa Lucia Highlands, California), $18. -Karen MacNeil

    Yield: 4 servings

    CALORIES 261 (30% from fat); FAT 8.6g (sat 2.8g,mono 2.7g,poly 2.5g); IRON 3.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 62mg; CALCIUM 105mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23.1g; SODIUM 842mg; PROTEIN 20.9g; FIBER 5.4g

    Cooking Light, MARCH 2007

    Cranberry-Citrus Muffins

    Turbinado sugar, with its coarse texture and mild molasses flavor, helps make the topping for these muffins extra-special. But granulated sugar also works well.

    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup 2% low-fat milk
    1/3 cup light ricotta cheese
    1 tablespoon grated orange rind
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    2 large egg whites
    1 large egg
    Cooking spray
    6 tablespoons turbinado or granulated sugar

    Preheat oven to 400°.

    Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk and next 8 ingredients (milk through egg); stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over batter.

    Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until done. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on a wire rack.

    Yield: 1 1/2 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)

    CALORIES 159 (14% from fat); FAT 2.4g (sat 0.6g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.9g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 14mg; CALCIUM 69mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.4g; SODIUM 153mg; PROTEIN 3.4g; FIBER 0.6g

    Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 1997

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Cooking Light Night #16

    Want to get more seafood in your diet but tired of salmon and white fish? Here is an awesome new recipe we cooked up tonight. Instead of fresh scallops, we used a frozen seafood blend from Trader Joes including scallops, shrimp and Calamari and it really turned out well. We also substituted whole wheat pasta instead of regular and am really glad we made that choice. It didn't taste all that different but oh man was it a lot more filling! This recipe carries a lot of heat so if you don't like spice this one is not for you. Don wanted a little more sauce but I thought it was perfect as is. Goes great with steamed broccoli and cauliflower. If you aren't watching your carbs, a nice dinner roll would also be great to mop up the sauce and help cut the heat a little.

    Spicy Scallops in Red Sauce

    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 pound sea scallops
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
    2 cups hot cooked rotini (about 4 ounces uncooked short spiral pasta)

    Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and shake well. Add scallops to bag; seal bag, and shake to coat scallops.

    Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add scallops and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the scallops are done. Remove scallops from skillet; set aside, and keep warm.

    Combine cornstarch, sugar, oregano, pepper, and tomatoes in skillet; stir with a wire whisk until blended. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons parsley.

    Combine tomato mixture and pasta; toss. Spoon pasta mixture onto plates; top with scallops, and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

    Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 2 cups pasta mixture, 5 ounces scallops, and 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley)

    CALORIES 452 (13% from fat); FAT 6.7g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.9g); IRON 2.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 37mg; CALCIUM 121mg; CARBOHYDRATE 65.7g; SODIUM 686mg; PROTEIN 29.3g; FIBER 1g

    Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 1995

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Cooking Light Night #15

    With our Biggest Loser contest starting next week at work, you can expect to see a lot more cooking light recipes here in the next several weeks. Here is a dinner we tried recently. The salad was really tasty and refreshing, and even with the delicious dessert afterwards, the total meal is still less than 500 calories.

    Stir-Fried Chicken Salad

    The pan sauce in this dish doubles as a piquant vinaigrette for the salad. Serve with crunchy breadsticks, if you wish.

    1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
    1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
    1 tablespoon bottled chopped garlic
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
    1 tablespoon peanut oil
    4 cups mixed salad greens
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
    Lime wedges (optional)

    Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken to broth mixture, stirring to coat. Let stand 3 minutes.

    Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Add chicken to the pan; cook 4 minutes or until done, stirring frequently. Stir in the reserved marinade. Reduce heat; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat.

    Combine greens and basil in a large bowl. Add chicken mixture, tossing to coat. Place 1 1/4 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons onion and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts. Serve immediately. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

    Yield: 4 servings

    CALORIES 214 (30% from fat); FAT 7.2g (sat 1.3g,mono 3g,poly 2.2g); IRON 2mg; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; CALCIUM 60mg; CARBOHYDRATE 8g; SODIUM 594mg; PROTEIN 29.1g; FIBER 2g

    Cooking Light, MAY 2006

    Strawberries Romanoff

    Marinating fruit in liquid is also called macerating. Orange-flavored liqueur complements fresh berries in this classic dessert. Macerate for only the length of time specified so the strawberries retain their texture.

    4 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
    1/3 cup whipping cream, chilled
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Mint sprigs (optional)

    1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill 3 1/2 hours.

    2. Place cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon over strawberry mixture. Garnish with mint, if desired. Serve immediately.

    Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup strawberry mixture and 3 tablespoons whipped cream mixture)

    CALORIES 207 (29% from fat); FAT 6.7g (sat 3.9g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.5g); IRON 0.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 22mg; CALCIUM 41mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.2g; SODIUM 10mg; PROTEIN 1.6g; FIBER 3.4g

    Cooking Light, JULY 2008