Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Skinny Beef & Broccoli Noodles

This is one of those recipes that I wonder about when I figure out the nutritional information. What is the author's definition of skinny, because mine is a 400 or lower calorie meal, which this is not?  True I did double the portion of beef because what are you supposed to do with .75 pounds of left over steak?  And yes, we subbed fettuccine for the rice noodles, since Kroger doesn't believe in selling rice noodles (or linguine, but I digress).  But we got 5 portions (1.5 Cups).  But even using the correct amount of steak makes the dish ~550 calories (again 5 servings) and the noodle sub was negligible.  So I don't know.

So my bash is on the title.  But the dish was good. It needed more broccoli, but what dish doesn't?  The portions were a good size. I don't know if it was easy, as D made it. But I would have again, because it was good.  Just it wasn't "skinny."

Skinny Beef and Broccoli Noodles

Photo by ALB

PREP: 0:15
SERVES: 4 (we got 5, and nutrition was based on 5)
SERVING SIZE (with 5 servings) was about 1.5 Cups


1 lb. wide rice noodles or udon noodles (used fettuccine)
1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp. honey
3 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain (used 1.5 pounds)
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Lime wedges, for serving

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, Sriracha, honey, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Whisk in cornstarch and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon sesame oil. Add steak and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli and mushrooms and 2 tablespoons water and stir, cooking until tender, about 6 minutes more. Reduce heat to low and add cooked noodles and reserved sauce to skillet. Toss until fully coated and warmed through. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information
(from My Fitness Pal)
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 645; Total Fat: 20 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 21 mg; Sodium: 676 mg; Potassium: 234 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 74 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 6 g; Protein: 42 g

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Black Bean Quesadilla

This is one of those recipes that is great when you are cooking for 1.  I'm pretty sure this was a Weight Watchers 123 Points (yes, that old!) recipe at some point.  If not, I used to make something very similar to it.

D was out of town a few weeks ago, so I made this.  Just mixed everything in the bowl, and made one serving for dinner, lunch, dinner and another dinner).  It was very simple, and I almost always have everything on hand.  (My avocado was bad so no avocada, and I had green salsa).

I would make again.

Black Bean Quesadilla

Photo by ALB

In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling.

Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad. 

 4 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, preferably pepper Jack
1/2 cup prepared fresh salsa (see Tip), divided
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 ripe avocado, diced

Combine beans, cheese and 1/4 cup salsa in a medium bowl. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 1/2 cup filling on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil (used 1/2 tsp since I made 1 at a time) in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Serve the quesadillas with avocado and the remaining salsa.

Per serving : 377 Calories; 16 g Fat; 5 g Sat; 8 g Mono; 13 mg Cholesterol; 46 g Carbohydrates; 13 g Protein; 10 g Fiber; 679 mg Sodium; 581 mg Potassium

From EatingWell: July/August 2010

Sopa de lima (Mexican lime soup)

I made this.  D was out of town, and I decided to try this.  He isn't a huge lime fan, so why not make something I'll probably like.

I was right.  There was a lot of flavor.  The color wasn't very red, but that was probably because I used plum instead of roma tomatoes, since Kroger seems to have problems with having romas in stock.

It was easy to make.  There was a lot of flavor.  I would have again.

Sopa de lima (Mexican lime soup)

Photo by ALB

Serves 4

2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered (used Plum)
1 jalapeño, halved and seeded (feel free to add more if you like more heat)
4 cups chicken stock
2 limes (1 peeled of pith and roughly chopped, 1 halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Added 1 teaspoon cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I cut into 1 inch pieces prior to cooking)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 avocado, diced
1 cup chopped cilantro
Added fried jalapenos
Added sour cream
Crumbled tortilla chips (optional)

Step 1:
Add olive oil to a 12” skillet or large saucepan (used a Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño with a pinch of salt. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes will slump and give off juice as the jalapeño and garlic soften and char. (I removed the tomato skins that stayed in the pan, and threw away)

Step 2:
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender. Process with the peeled lime.

Step 3:
I added the onion and sauteed for 5-7 minutes.  Return the mixture back to the pan  along with chicken stock, thyme, oregano (and cumin) and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. (I added the cilantro here too).Scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan and bring everything to a simmer.

Step 4:
Carefully add the chicken and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step 5:
Remove the chicken from the pan and slice or shred into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken back to the pan. (I skipped this, since my chicken was already in pieces)

Step 6:
Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Garnish each bowl of soup with chopped onion, cilantro, avocado, (fried jalapeno and sour cream) tortilla chips and more lime if desired.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

This was an odd recipe.  It wasn't horrible, but it really had no zing. It had heat, but not was not flavorful.  Since I didn't make it, I don't know what D should do to make it better.  I did like the ratio of meat to vegetables. You pretty much got a shrimp or some chicken in every bite.

Definitely needs some tweaking.  But I would have again.

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Photo by ALB

Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

6 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups sliced fresh or frozen okra
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped seeded poblano chile
1 cup chopped celery
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups water
2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 (8.8-ounce) packages precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Slice across the grain.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining 5 tablespoons oil to pan. Stir in flour; cook 25 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk until the color of melted semisweet chocolate. Stir in okra and next 4 ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 3 minutes. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes. Add stock and next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Add chicken and shrimp; cook 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, black pepper, and rice; cook 1 minute. Top with green onions.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 430; Fat: 15 g; Satfat: 1.3 g; Monofat: 7.3 g; Polyfat: 3.5 g; Protein: 23 g; Carbohydrate: 48 g; Fiber: 5 g; Cholesterol: 94 mg; Iron 3 mg Sodium: 558 mg; Calcium: 102 mg

Cooking Light, MARCH 2015

Flattened Chicken with Almond and Paprika Vinaigrette

This was another easy and fast dish.  There was a lot of flavor. It wasn't very filling, but we're trying to learn what a proper portion size is, so it's taking awhile to figure that out.  We had with oven roasted green beans.  Probably should have it with rice, because there was a lot of sauce.

Would have again.

Flattened Chicken with Almond and Paprika Vinaigrette

Photo by ALB

While pounding the chicken breast thin and searing is a French technique, the flavor profile here is decidedly Spanish.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and about 1 tablespoon almond mixture)

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted almonds, finely chopped
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ounce green olives, chopped (didn't use)

1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Add 2 chicken breast halves; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining 2 chicken breast halves.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, almonds, and next 5 ingredients (through Dijon); cook 1 minute or until heated, stirring occasionally. Spoon almond mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley and olives.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 325; Fat: 17.9 g; Satfat: 2.5 g; Monofat: 10.9 g; Polyfat: 2.6 g; Protein: 37 g; Carbohydrate: 2 g; Fiber: 1 g; Cholesterol: 109 mg; Iron: 1 mg; Sodium: 515 mg; Calcium: 27 mg; Sugars: 1 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2016

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ginger Sauce

D made this last week.  He cooked it while I was doing some physical therapy exercises, or maybe while I was watching TV.  Either way, it was fast to make.

There was a lot of flavor. We both were a bit hungry afterwards, but such is life.  We had with Broccoli.  We would have again.

We also added Sambal Oelek for a spicier flavor.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ginger Sauce

Photo by ALB

Flavorful chicken thighs might just be our favorite cut. Here we dress them up with a simple ginger-scallion sauce.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 thigh, 1/2 cup rice, and 2 tablespoons sauce)

1 (8.8-ounce) package precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
8 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced green onions, green and white parts separated
1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons sweet sherry
3 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1. Heat rice according to package.

2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; brush with 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pan; cook 8 to 10 minutes on each side.

3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add 1 cup onion whites and ginger; cook 2 minutes. Add sherry, stock, and oyster sauce; cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Top rice with thighs, sauce, and onion greens.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 316; Fat: 14.6 g; Satfat: 2.6 g; Monofat: 5.5 g; Polyfat: 3.8 g; Protein: 23 g; Carbohydrate: 21 g; Fiber: 2 g; Cholesterol: 97 mg; Iron: 2 mg; Sodium: 472 mg; Calcium: 35 mg; Sugars: 1 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

Artichoke and Tomato Pasta

This recipe was on the back of the Saucy Chicken Recipe card.  We decided to make it as the side to Saucy Chicken.  It was pretty good.

Photo by ALB

I think we would have again.

Artichoke and Tomato Pasta

Photo by ALB

From Weight Watchers

Serves: 6
Winning Points (per serving): 4

6 oz uncooked bow-tie noodles
1 can (14-16 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and halved (not oil-packed)
1 cup chopped ripe plum tomato
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions; rinse under cold running water, drain well, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients except cheese; add noodles and toss to coat.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour; serve sprinkled with cheese.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 171; Fat: 4.7g; Fiber: .7g

Saucy Chicken

D was helping me look for something, and we came across this recipe card that I had gotten a "few" years ago in my first or second attempt at working the Weight Watchers' Winning Points Program. Yes, we found it in a bedroom table drawer.  Who knows how it got there.

Photo by ALB

I remembered making it when I was single, and liking it. D vaguely remembered it.  D said it looked pretty easy, and agreed we should try it again.

It was pretty easy, and quick.  For what it was, it did have a lot of flavor.  We'd have again.  We had with Artichoke and Tomato Pasta which was the recipe on the other side of the card.

Saucy Chicken

Photo by ALB

From Weight Watchers

Serves: 4
Winning Points (per serving): 4

2 cups chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup seasoned flour (flour mixed with a dash of salt and pepper)
4 - 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1- 16 oz. can stewed tomatoes (used diced Italian blend)
4 scallions, chopped

Pour 1/2 of the broth into wide bowl; place flour mixture on plate. Dip each chicken breast in broth, then flour, turning to coat all sides.

Spray 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray; cook chicken over medium heat, turning once, until browned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet, set aside.

Add any remaining flour to skillet; cook, stirring constantly until browned. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup of the broth; cook until thickened. Gradually stir in remaining broth; cook, stirring constantly until slightly thickened.

Add tomatoes and scallions to skillet; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; return chicken to skillet and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 182; Fat: 3.4g; Fiber: .21g

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Risotto with Pancetta and Wild Mushrooms

My blogging has been very sparse lately.  I've been taking pictures of food, but when I don't write about the meal in over a month (today is really 4/4, and I pre-dated the blog entry), I am most likely not going to remember much.

I do remember that I enjoyed the texture of the mushrooms and the salty bite of the pancetta.  And remarking we should have it again.  We should have again, so I can write a better description.

Update:  D made this and it was good. Salty and creamy.  I loved the mushrooms because they had a lot of chew.  I added how D made it, because it came out to 14 WW points on the 2016 program).

Risotto with Pancetta and Wild Mushrooms

Photo by ALB

8 paper-thin slices of pancetta or bacon (about 2 ounces)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (used Pam)
1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as chanterelles, cremini and Portobellos, thickly sliced
Sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (used 2)
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley or tarragon
5 cups light chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth (used 4, but 5 doesn't make a difference in points)
1 garlic clove, lightly smashed (always use more)
1 shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (2 ounces), plus shavings, for garnish
2 tablespoons heavy cream (didn't use...tasted it and it didn't need it).
Freshly ground white pepper

Preheat the broiler. Arrange the pancetta slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden and sizzling.

Drain on paper towels, then crumble.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring, just until they exude their juices, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms and their liquid to a strainer set over a bowl and press lightly on the mushrooms; reserve the liquid. Wipe out the skillet and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring, until tender and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the parsley, cover and keep warm.

In a medium saucepan, combine the stock with the reserved mushroom liquid and bring to a simmer, then keep warm over low heat. In a large, deep nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant. Add the shallot and cook until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes; discard the garlic. Add the rice and stir until the grains are thoroughly coated with butter. Add 1 cup of the hot stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed most of the stock, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to cook the risotto, adding the stock 1 cup at a time, and stirring constantly between additions until it is absorbed. Cook the risotto until it has a creamy, porridgelike consistency, about 20 minutes.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, the cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and white pepper and transfer to warm soup plates. Garnish with the mushrooms, pancetta and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings

I made this last Tuesday.  I definitely recommend the recipe but not for a typical Tuesday. It is more of a 4-5 hour affair, so it's more of a weekend dish.

Now I made it because it had been on my Pinterest page for over a year. I also was feeling sick and wanted a Pot-Pie or Chicken Noodle Soup.  So I decided we would have this.

It was pretty easy, although tedious.  And if you are recovering from a fractured back it may be a bit difficult (I had to figure out some things when it came to involving lifting a gallon of water in a cast-iron pot.

Overall, it was good.  I definitely would have again.  The Nutritional Information is probably a little off because I included all the vegetables.

It created about 8 servings.  We eye-balled the serving size.

Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings

Photo by ALB

From Lisa Fain, The Homesick Texan
Servings 8.0

For the chicken:
1 four-pound chicken
16 cups of water (1 gallon)
1 onion
9 cloves of garlic, divided
2 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
4 celery stalks, cut into quarters
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried or 1 stalk fresh epazote (optional)- didn't use
1 leafy stem of cilantro
Added 1 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 can of Ro-Tel
2 jalapenos, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of one lime (used 1/4 C, because there's a lime shortage at Kroger)
1/2 cup of cream
Salt (1/2 tsp), black pepper (1 tsp), cayenne (1/2 tsp) and cumin (1 tsp) to taste
Added 1/2 tsp of chipotle chile powder

For the cornmeal dumplings:
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 jalapeno, finely diced
2 tablespoons of minced cilantro

Clean and rinse your chicken and place in a large stock pot. Add water, onion, 8 cloves of garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, epazote and whole cilantro stem. Add salt (1/2 tsp) and pepper (1 tsp) to taste (don't do this since the chicken is raw). Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour and a half, occasionally skimming the foamy scum off the surface.

Photo by ALB

Remove chicken from pot and turn off the heat. After it’s cooled, remove fat and pick the meat off the bones and either shred or cut into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste (didn't do the s/p thing).

Take cooled broth and strain and throw out the vegetables as they’ve done their duty. Now you need to remove the fat from the broth. If you don’t have a preferred way of getting rid of the fat or lack a gravy separator, you can try the plastic bag method. Take a quart-sized plastic storage bag, pour some broth into it. You will see the fat rise to the top. Snip a bottom corner of the bag and drain the broth, stopping when you get to the fat layer. (You will probably have to do this in batches...yes, yes, you do).

Place the broth back into the pot and add the shredded chicken and lime juice. In a blender, add the can of Ro-Tel, sliced jalapenos, chopped cilantro and garlic and blend. Add puree to the pot. Now add the cream. Add salt, black pepper, cayenne and cumin (and chipotle chile powder) to taste. Bring to a boil. And while the soup is coming to a boil, make the cornmeal dumplings.

Sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter, jalapenos and cilantro.

When soup is boiling, turn heat down to low and gently drop the dumpling batter into the pot, one tablespoon or so at a time. Do not stir. Place lid on top and steam dumplings for 20 minutes.

Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls and sprinkle cilantro on top. Serves six to eight.

Notes: If you want a thicker broth, feel free to add some flour. I'd add it slowly, a quarter cup at a time (didn't do)

Nutritional Information
Calories: 664; Total Fat: 52 g; Saturated Fat: 17 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 320 mg; Sodium: 1049 mg; Potassium: 570 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein 56 g