Thursday, December 2, 2010

Red Pepper & Parmesan Tilapia

We never ate fish growing up.  My mom would order it when we would go out to dinner and I never liked it.  I would eat shrimp cocktail, crab legs and lobster on special occasions as I got older.  Over the last few years I have really tried to get myself to like fish.  I know it's good for you and my husband loves fish.  We went out to dinner a few weeks ago on a trip and I ordered tilapia.  It was a fish restaurant and it was the special.  I loved it.  So my husband decided we should try to eat tilapia at home and then maybe I will try other fish as well.  I saw this recipe and it sounded good and looked super easy to make.  I was right on both accounts.  It is another winner.  Two in one week.  I will definitely be making this again.  I already have two more tilapia recipes ready to go for next week-one involves pistachios and the other involves coconut.  I am excited that I have a whole new protein to work with now.  I got this recipe from the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking 2009 cookbook.  We love the turkey burgers recipe I got from this cookbook so I figured this one would be good as well. 

Red Pepper & Parmesan Tilapia
4 Servings
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)

Place egg substitute in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl,
combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and pepper. Dip
fillets in egg substitute, then cheese mixture.

Place in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking
spray. Bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes
easily with a fork.
Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 fillet equals 179 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 191 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 35 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 5 lean meat.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Green Chile Pork Stew (Chile Verde)

I subscribe to Sunset magazine. When the most recent issue arrived it had an outer wrap that was an ad for their cookbook. I had seen it at Costco and thought about buying it but passed. My husband saw the recipe that they included in the ad and this was it. It sounded really good but I knew it would take a couple of hours to make. I decided the end of our long Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect time to make it. The only pork we eat is the very lean pork loin roast that we get at Costco so I used that. This meal was really healthy with a ton of flavor. My husband declared it a "winner". This will be in the dinner rotation and it is perfect for this cold weather that we will be dealing with over the next few months. I may just have to go back to Costco and buy the cookbook.

Green Chile Pork Stew (Chile Verde)
Serves: 6 to 8
Time: 2½ hours
4 lbs. boned pork shoulder (butt), fat trimmed and cut into 2-in. cubes (I used boneless pork loin roast)
2 to 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, as needed
3 onions (2 lbs. total), cut into 1⁄4-in. wedges
5 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. ground cumin
1 can (28 oz.) peeled whole tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1½ lbs. Anaheim or poblano chiles (about 10), peeled (see tip below) and chopped; or 4 cans (7 oz. each) whole green chiles, drained and chopped-I used Anaheim chiles and roasted, peeled them
2 tbsp. chopped oregano leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
1. In a 6- to 8-qt. pan, combine pork with 1⁄3 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is very juicy, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is evaporated and meat is browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Lift out meat and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium. If you have leftover rendered pork fat in the pan, discard all but 3 tbsp.; if not, add oil. Add onions, garlic, and cumin; stir and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
3. Return meat and any accumulated juices to pan. Add tomatoes (with their juice) and broth. Break up tomatoes with a spoon. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour.
4. Stir in chiles and oregano. Cover and cook until pork is very tender when pierced and flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over chile.

Quick Tip: To peel chiles, remove stems, slice in half lengthwise, then remove ribs and seeds. Lay cut side down on a cookie sheet and broil 4 to 5 in. from heat until black and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Let chiles cool, then peel.

Per serving: 454 cal., 38% (171 cal.) from fat; 50 g protein; 19 g fat (6.2 g sat.); 21 g carbo (3.6 g fiber); 362 mg sodium; 152 mg chol.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach

I have never made risotto. It's been on my list of things to make for awhile. My husband and I both love mushrooms so I knew I wanted some mushrooms in there. I decided to look on the Cooking Light website. I found this recipe and decided it was the one. It had gotten 5 stars and was rated as outstanding. It was pretty easy to follow. The constant stirring was a little much but it had to be done. It turned out great. I will definitely be making this risotto again and I am now in search of other risotto recipes to try.

Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach

4 cups Homemade Chicken Stock (I used chicken broth)

6 bacon slices, chopped

1 cup chopped shallots

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (I used 12 ounces baby bella mushrooms)

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced

1 cup uncooked Carnaroli or Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice (I used short grain brown rice)

1/3 cup Madeira wine or dry sherry (I used dry sherry)

4 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Asiago cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring Homemade Chicken Stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil); keep warm over low heat.

2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 8 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Add shallots, oil, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 6 minutes or until shallots are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in Madeira; cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock; cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon.

CALORIES 405 ; FAT 19.1g (sat 6.6g,mono 8.4g,poly 2g); CHOLESTEROL 38mg; CALCIUM 145mg; CARBOHYDRATE 42.6g; SODIUM 555mg; PROTEIN 16.5g; FIBER 3.5g; IRON 2.4mg

Cooking Light, MAY 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Turkey Burgers with Avocado Sauce

I picked up the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking 2009 Annual Recipes cookbook at the library. As soon as I started flipping through it I was excited. There are so many recipes that I want to try. For some reason, this one really stood out. This is strange for one reason. I am not a big fan of turkey. Growing up I was never that excited about Thanksgiving because we had to eat turkey. My dad feels the same way. We used to make gagging noises when people would start talking about the turkey. I was happy when my oldest sister moved out and started her own family because my dad and I were on even ground with my sister and mom. That meant no more turkey for Thanksgiving. We have been having prime rib ever since.
I saw all the ingredients that were going into the patty and the sauce looked good so I thought I would give it a shot. I bought extra lean turkey breast and whipped up dinner. I really loved the sauce so I figured the worst case was I could have a sauce sandwich. They actually turned out really well. They had tons of flavor and my husband said it was another winner. He was done with his before I even got half way through mine. I will definitely be making these again.

Turkey Burgers with Avocado Sauce
4 servings

1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound extra-lean ground turkey
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split ( I used the Orowheat Sandwich Thins)
Shredded lettuce and reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, optional (did not add)
Sliced tomato and red onion, optional (did not add)

In a large skillet, saute the corn, onion and peppers in oil until crisp-tender. Stir in the lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder and oregano; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into four burgers. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For sauce, in a small bowl, mash avocado with the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and salt. Refrigerate until serving.
If grilling the burgers(I cooked mine in a pan), coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165° and juices run clear.
Place on buns; top each with about 1/4 cup sauce. Serve with the lettuce, cheese, tomato and onion if desired.
Nutrition Facts: 1 burger (calculated without optional toppings) equals 413 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 50 mg cholesterol, 678 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 37 g protein.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sichaun Chicken with Kung Po Sauce

I got this cookbook at Costco for $5.00. My husband picked this one out. He loves Kung Pao Chicken and thought this looked pretty close. It is a much healthier version than what you would find in a restaurant. This is where my local Asian market came in handy once again. I found yellow salted beans there. I had never heard of them and they had them. Once again I was worried about how it would turn out based on the smell and once again it turned out well. I added some green onions to it to give it a little more kick. I will probably keep trying to find other recipes but this one was good.

Sichaun Chicken with Kung Po Sauce
Makes 4 Servings

3 skinless chicken breast fillets, about 1 1/4 lbs
1 egg white
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 T yellow salted beans
1 T hoisin sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 T rice wine or medium dry sherry
1 T wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2/3 cup chicken stock
2 T vegetable oil
2-3 dried chillies, broken into small pieces
2 oz roasted cashew nuts
fresh cilantro to garnish

1. Cut the chicken into neat pieces. Lightly whisk the egg white in a dish, whisk in the cornstarch and salt, then add the chicken and stir until coated.

2. In a separate bowl, mash the beans with the back of a spoon. Stir in the hoisin sauce, brown sugar, rice wine or sherry, vinegar, garlic and salt.

3. Heat a wok, add the oil and when the oil is very hot, add the chicken and fry, turning constantly, for about 1 minute.

4. Add the chillies and continue to stir-fry for a further minute or until the chicken is tender.

5. Pour in the bean sauce mixture. Bring to the boil and then stir in the cashew nuts.

6. Spoon into a heated serving dish and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

270 calories
13.2 g fat
2.3 g sat fat
33.6 g protein

Pad Thai

My husband found this recipe in our local newspaper. The author of the article is Mark Bittman. He said he wanted me to try it. There was one problem. One of the main ingredients of pad thai is tamarind paste. After searching online it seemed that it gives Pad Thai it's flavor. I could not find the stuff at any store. I did a search and discovered that after living here for a year and half that we actually have an Asian grocery store in town. How did I not know this? I headed over there and they had it and another ingredient I needed for another dish I had planned to make. It is a small store but had so much stuff crammed in there. I am excited to try out some more new recipes knowing that I can find what I need there. I was a little worried about this dish when I was making it because the smell was just strange. But when it was finished it was good. I could tell that the tamarind paste is what gives it the flavor that makes it pad thai.

Pad Thai
Makes 4 Servings

4 ounces fettucine-width stick noodles
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 to 4 Tablespoons tamarind paste, to taste
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1/3 cup honey
2 T rice vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 garlic clove
2 eggs (I used egg substitute)
1 small head Napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
1 cup mung bean sprouts (I left these out)
1/2 pound peeled shrimp, pressed tofu or a combination (I used just shrimp)
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, quartered

1. Put noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let sit until noodles are just tender, check every 5 minutes or so to make sure they do not get too soft. Drain, drizzle with one tablespoon peanut oil to keep from sticking and set aside.
Meanwhile, put tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer. Stir in red pepper flakes and set aside.

2. Put remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when oil shimmers, add scallions and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add eggs to pan; once they begin to set, scramble them until just done. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt, then add shrimp or tofu (or both).

3. When shrimp begin to turn pink and tofu begins to brown, add drained noodles to pan along with sauce. Toss everything together to coat with tamarind sauce and combine well. When noodles are warmed through, serve, sprinkling each dish with peanuts and garnishing with cilantro and lime wedges.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Healthy Corn Chowder

My husband and I registered for the cookbook Essentials of Healthful Cooking from Williams Sonoma for our wedding. We got it and I was very excited. Sadly, it has taken me over two years to crack it open and start trying some of the recipes. The first one we choose was this corn chowder and it did not disappoint. I was eating leftovers for days and it seemed to get better each day. My husband was a little worried about the use of tofu but when it was done he and I both loved it.
I made this at the beginning of March so there was not any sweet white corn in the store so I used frozen white corn. I just boiled the frozen corn in the water and went from there. Now that white corn is popping up everywhere, I am going to try it with the fresh corn. I would imagine it would be even better.

Corn Chowder

4 ears corn (I used 2 cups of frozen white corn)
1 cup (8oz) silken tofu
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 boiling potato, about 6 oz, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Pinch of ground cayenne
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) chopped green (spring) onion tops
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 slices preservative free bacon

Husk the corn ears and carefully remove all the silk. Hold 1 ear upright, stem end down, in the center of a wide, shallow bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice straight down between the kernels and the cob, rotating the ear a quarter turn after each cut. Then, using the dull side of the knife blade, run the blade down the length of the ear to extract the "milk" and bits of corn remaining on the ear, again rotating the ear a quarter turn after each stroke. Repeat with the remaining 3 ears. Put all of the corn and the corn cobs in a Dutch oven or large saucepan.

Add 6 cups water to the pan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and boil gently, uncovered, until the corn is tender, 10-20 minutes; the timing depends on the tenderness of the corn. Remove and discard the cobs. Pour the contents of the pan through a sieve, serving both the corn and the corn broth. Return half of the broth to the pan. Set half of the cooked corn aside.

In a blender, carefully combine the remaining broth, remaining cooked corn, and tofu, and puree until a creamy mixture forms, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Add the yellow onion, potato bell pepper and cayenne to the pan holding the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook,uncovered, until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Pour in the corn-tofu mixture, stir in the reserved corn and green onion tops, and heat through. Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (the lemon juice eliminates any tofu "bean Flavor"), then stir in 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste, and season with black pepper and with more lemon juice, if needed.

While the soup is cooking, in a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon, turning the slices as needed, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Ladle the chowder into warmed soup bowls. Cut the bacon slices in half, then crumble 1/2 slice int the center of each bowl. Serve at once.

Makes 6 servings

120 calories
5 g protein
18 g carb
3.5 g fat
1 g sat fat
5 mg cholesterol
3 g fiber
180 mg sodium