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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bombay Curry

My husband and I bought a cookbook titled low-fat (homestyle) published by Bay Books in the clearance section at Borders. There were a few recipes in there that sounded good but this one stood out. We had recently gone on a quick trip to San Francisco and ate Indian food for the first time together. He had insisted for years that he did not like it. When we walked by a hole in the wall place that was packed (and cheap) we decided to give it a go. It was delicious and he discovered that he did like Indian food. He was on a mission to try to find a recipe I could make at home. I now make this every other week with the leanest cut of beef I can find. I have also made it with boneless skinless chicken breast and that was good as well. It is so easy to make and makes the house smell wonderful. We always eat it with whole wheat naan bread.
Bombay Curry
(Makes 6 servings)
2lb 4oz chuck steak
1 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 green chillies, chopped
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsps ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1/2-1 tsp chilli powder
1 14 oz can tomatoes (whole peeled tomatoes)
9 oz/1 cup light coconut milk
1. Cut the beef into cubes. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until just soft.
2. Add the garlic, chili, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir until heated; add the beef and cook, stirring, over high heat until well coated with the spice mixture.
3. Add 1 tsp salt and tomatoes. Simmer, covered, for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer, uncovered for a further 5-10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Note: Bombay curry is best made 1-2 days in advance to give the flavors time to develop. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
315 Calories
15 g fat
5 g carb
35 g protein
2 g fiber
120 g cholesterol

Shrimp Ceviche

I got a good deal on a subscription to Eating Well magazine and being that we are trying to eat more healthy these days I figured we might find some good recipes. My husband read through the April issue and told me he wanted this recipe. I made it happen. We both thought it was very good and would be perfect when it gets really hot in summer. According to the recipe this recipe "originally appeared on Emeril Green , Emeril Lagasse's cooking show on Planet Green.

Shrimp Ceviche

Poaching Liquid
2 quarts water
1/4 cup kosher salt

1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 oranges
1 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber-1/4 inch dice (I left this out-I don't like cucumbers)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup diced seeded tomato
1 avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 T roughly chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish (my husband added this after I
served it)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Combine water and 1/4 cup salt in a large saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat. Add shrimp and immediately turn off the heat. Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

2. Chop the shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a medium nonreactive bowl (stainless steel, enamel coated or glass). Add lemon, lime and orange juice. Stir in cucumber, onion and chiles. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Stir in tomato, avocado, chopped cilantro, oil and 1/4 tsp salt into the shrimp mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.

Per serving:
189 calories
12 g fat (2 g sat)
86 mg cholesterol
9 g carb
13 g protein
2 g fiber
229 mg sodium
394 mg potassium
48% of daily value of Vitamin C

Recipe originally made February 22, 2010.