Baked Salmon with Herbs

I get so excited whenever I come across a fantastic salmon recipe – I am always looking for a new way to dress up this fish. I know I should be eating it every week, as the health benefits are absolutely undeniable: high in protein, contains important unsaturated fats & omega-3 fatty acids and is low in mercury. I have re-made this recipe each week since I discovered it…the salmon baked in foil with the delicious marinade results in a moist yet flaky, fantastically-flavorful main dish.

This dish will come in around 400 calories – but take a look at the ingredients: the only calories from fat are coming from salmon and extra virgin olive oil – these are the fats that are getting so much attention these days as truly good for your heart and the kind of fats we should focus on eating. Enjoy!

Baked Salmon with Herbs

baked-salmon-oh-1733706-lIngredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 2 6 oz wild-caught salmon fillets

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine garlic, oil, basil, parsley, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl; mix well.

2. Place a large piece of tin foil in a shallow dish. Place salmon on foil, pour marinade on top. Seal top of tin foil together and marinate 20 minutes, turning once to get marinade on both sides.

3. Place sealed salmon on a baking sheet; bake 20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Grilled Sirloin with Artichoke Pesto and Farro

This recipe is just about as well-rounded as it comes – on your plate is the perfect combination of lean protein, vegetables and whole grains – topped of with the perfect amount of yummy sauce to add flavor without many added calories. As a bonus, it’s wired to give you energy: red meat contains alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that helps convert sugar into energy that fuels your muscles, farro is packed with protein, which helps rev you up, and kale and beef are both iron-rich to give you a power boost. If the thought of red meat scares you, remember that sirloin is one of the leanest cuts – check out additional beef buying tips here to make the best choice at the grocery store.

I’d recommend doubling butternut squash mixture, as it is simply fantastic reheated and served with a freshly sautéed chicken breast of salmon filet – you’re taking the time, might as well get two delicious meals out of it!

Grilled Sirloin With Artichoke Pesto and Farro Salad

SirloinMakes: 4 servings

Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup farro
  • 2 whole artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained
  • 1 cup fresh basil, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, 1 whole and 1 minced
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed, plus 1/4 cup chopped
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 8 ounces sirloin steaks

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and cook until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, return to pot and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, combine the artichoke hearts, basil, almonds, whole garlic clove, 1 cup of flat-leaf parsley and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan in a blender. Pulse, drizzling in the 1/4 cup of oil and 2 tablespoons of the water. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper to taste; set pesto aside.

3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the squash and add 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and minced garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add the kale and the remaining water. Saute until kale is wilted, about 2 minutes.

5. Add the roasted squash and farro to skillet. Top with the remaining Parmesan and the chopped parsley and balsamic vinegar. Add the remaining salt and black pepper; toss and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until heated through.

6. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; cook steaks 4 to 5 minutes a side for medium, then remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. Slice steaks across the grain into 1/2-inch strips and divide among four plates. Top each with 2 teaspoons pesto and serve with farro salad.

Nutrition info per serving:
Calories: 480
Fat: 20 g
Saturated fat: 6 g
Carbs: 41 g
Fiber: 6 g
Protein: 33 g

Recipe courtesy fitnessmagazine.com – yum!

Chicken Paillard with Lemon Parsley Butter & Seared Red Chard

This absolutely delicious recipe will zest up any ordinary chicken dinner – paillard-style (pounding a protein to a thin, consistent thickness) anything is the perfect weeknight dinner because it takes only a few minutes to flatten and then even less time to cook, and the remaining elements of this dish are incredibly light but stand out in flavor. Combining the shallots and fresh lemons add outstanding flavor elements without added butter or oil.

The red chard base is unique and tasty while providing an astounding number of nutrients and antioxidants – this is one of those cases where I filled my plate 3x with the chard called for, filling myself up with low-calorie greens – for any who are slightly less zealous about the chard, try adding 1/4 cooked quinoa as an additional layer to add more bulk to the meal.

Chicken Paillard with Lemon Parsley Butter & Seared Red Chard

Serves 4
From Suzanne Somers cookbook The Sexy Forever Recipe Bible (adapted in Clean Eating)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp organic unsalted butter, divided
  • 10 shallots, finely diced
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bunches red Swiss chard, coarsely chopped

Directions:

 

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium-high. Add chicken to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned. Transfer to a shallow baking pan and place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. 
  2. In skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter on medium-high. dd shallots and saute, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Boil until liquid reduces by half.
  3. Cut remaining 2 tbsp butter into small pieces. Add to broth miture, whisking until smooth. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper, to taste. Cover skillet and keep warm.
  4. In a separate large skillet, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil on medium-high. Add chard and cook until wilted, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. To serve, divid chard among serving plates and top with chicken and butter mixture (add cooked quinoa, if desired!).

Nutrition Information:
(serving size 3 oz chicken and 1/2 cup chard)
Calories: 283
Fat: 16 g
Sat Fat: 7 g
Monounsaturated fat: 5 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1 g
Carbs: 13 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 3 g
Protein: 22 g
Sodium: 116 mg
Cholesterol: 72 mg

 

Breakfast for Dinner: Mushroom, Pepper and Fontina Frittata

As a child, it was always a fun, topsy-turvy treat to have “breakfast for dinner” by way of pancakes and eggs – but there’s absolutely no reason the deliciousness of that great idea should be in your past. Pancakes for dinner are always a winner, but if you’re looking for a lighter, healthier and significantly more elegant option, enter the frittata. Of course this delicious veggie egg dish would naturally be perfect for breakfast, but one-pot meals that save time are always a bonus towards the end of the day.

You can make this as is, but if you want to “bulk” it up a little bit, I actually added ham and layered the bottom of the skillet with thinly sliced (mandoline-style) potatoes, as noted below. Served with a side salad, your belly will be fully satisfied (which is shocking as one serving is well under 200 calories, even with my added extras).

With the seemingly fancy flipping that frittata-making requires, I had my doubts that this would turn out – but it was absolutely beautiful and help together perfectly as an “egg pie” out of the pan. The best part is that it reheats deliciously – dinner one night can be breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next few, as well!

Mushroom, Pepper and Fontina Frittata

Original recipe from health.com

Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 28 minutes. You’ll need a large, oven-safe skillet. Nonstick makes it easier to flip the frittata out of the pan.

mushroom-frittata-400x400Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 1 thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fontina cheese, cut into small cubes (about 5 ounces)

Optional extras (additional calories):

  • 1/2 cup diced, cooked ham (or chicken, turkey or sausage)
  • 1 thinly sliced potato

Preparation

1. Heat oil in a 10-inch, oven-safe skillet or sauté pan. Add onion and pepper; sauté over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, cover, and sauté 3 minutes, stirring several times. Add garlic, and sauté 1 additional minute. Remove vegetable mixture from heat, and transfer to a plate to cool briefly. Wipe pan with paper towels, and return to stove.

2. Combine eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, pepper, and basil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended; set aside. Heat skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes and add butter, swirling pan to melt butter evenly. If adding potato “crust”, line the bottom with 1 layer potato slices. Add vegetables and ham (if using) to egg mixture in bowl, stir, and carefully pour entire mixture into heated skillet. Scatter cherry tomatoes and cheese over egg mixture (do not stir).

3. Cook frittata gently over medium-low heat 15-18 minutes or untilit is cooked most of the way through. To finish cooking the top, preheat broiler and place the frittata about 6-8 inches from heat for 2-4 minutes (watch frittata carefully to ensure that it doesn’t burn).

4. Remove frittata from oven, cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, and shake pan rapidly back and forth to loosen. Cool a few more minutes, then carefully put a plate over the frittata and invert it onto the plate. Invert it again onto another plate so the frittata is right side up. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 168
Fat per serving: 13g
Saturated fat per serving: 5g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 5g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 1g
Protein per serving: 10g
Carbohydrates per serving: 4g
Fiber per serving: 1g
Cholesterol per serving: 189mg
Iron per serving: 1mg
Sodium per serving: 353mg
Calcium per serving: 114mg

Turkey-Quinoa Meatballs with Penne and Broccoli

If you are looking for a satisfying and healthier alternative to a traditional spaghetti and meatball dinner…look no further! These meatballs are a healthier alternative innately, simply being made from lean turkey. Rather than breadcrumbs, super-grain quinoa is used to up the health ante – not only providing more protein, whole grains and fiber, but it boasts added vitamins like iron and magnesium! My favorite twist (although your children might disagree with me) however, is to sub half the pasta with steamed broccoli! This allows you to still have a full bowlful, without loading yourself with pasta and the carbs and calories that follow.

This total dish will come in at less than 400 calories and will be on your table in 30 minutes – and it’s a yummy meal that keeps on giving: making one serving will allow you to have it for dinner one night and reheat leftovers for lunch for days to come – the leftovers are just as good as the fresh batch!

penne-with-broccoli-rabe-and-pancetta-R106747-ssTurkey-Quinoa Meatballs with Penne and Broccoli
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 24 oz jars low-sodium marinara sauce
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup dry whole-wheat penne
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. For meatballs: in a bowl, combine the turkey, quinoa, egg, oregano and thyme. Season with salt and set aside. Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium-low. Add onion and garlic; saute until translucent, 2-4 minutes. Let cool; combine onion and garlic with the turkey mixture. Form into 10-12 2″ balls.
  2. In a large pot, combine the sauce and meatballs; cover and heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, steam broccoli and cook penne according to package directions. In a serving dish, combine steamed broccoli, cooked penne and meatballs. Add sauce, as desired. Sprinkle with parmesan.

 

Baking Secrets: how to slash calories, increase nutrients, and keep it tasty!

Baking is a beloved past-time during the holidays, whether you give baked goods as gifts, bake with your kids or simply bake for the nostalgic fun of it. However, it can be a not-so-innocent activity when adding up the calories that you could potentially be indulging in with every single bite. But seriously – you have to taste-test your own handy work, thus cannot be to blame!

bakingIf baking lighter interests you – read on. These fantastic tricks will slim down your sweets while simultaneously giving you an extra dose of nutrients – and still taste delicious! Magic? No. Simply smart decisions. Play around with it during the holidays to find your favorites that will work through the entire year – it’s a gift that keeps on giving!

1. Lighten up on the sugar: sugar adds sweetness and lightness to your baaked goods (it absorbs liquid during baking and slows the development of wheat proteins, which can weigh down your desserts) – but you can cut back on it by up to 25% and still keep the soft, airy texture – plus, since the amount of sugar usually called for results in overly sweet treats, you will not miss the extra sugar – and you might even prefer the flavor!

2. Sub low fats: In baked goods, there is usually no noticeable difference in taste or texture with full-fat vs low-fat cream cheese and milks. However, you might want to steer clear of “fat free” – these substitutes will often make your treats taste dry and rubbery. A little fat is necessary to get the right texture!

3. Pump up the produce in your batter: when making a muffin, bread or cake that calls for  fruit or vegetables, add an extra cup: it will increase the volume and add fiber – keeping you fuller longer! Use with banana breads, carrot cakes and the like…you might be surprised! One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people actually preferred carrot cake made with extra veggies to the regular version – even though it had 102 fewer calories per slice!

4. Replacing fat (oils, butter, shortening) with fruit or veggie purees: these will definitely make your desserts denser (but there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that!) so you might want to play around with a 25-50% trade to find the right ratio you prefer

  • Applesauce: the mild flavor of unsweetened applesauce works particularly well in muffins and cakes. Use an equal amount to replace the fat. Bonus: one cup delivers 3 grams of fiber for only 102 calories!
  • Canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree: substitute either one for fat in a 1:1 ratio in spice breads, spice cakes or chocolate desserts. You can also add a can of pumpkin to a box of brownie mix in place of the eggs and oil! (shh!) Bonus: you’ll get a hefty dose of immune-boosing vitamins A and C.
  • Prunes or dates: these add richness and deepen the color of gingerbread and brownies. Blend 1/2 cup with 6 tbsp water until smooth, then use the puree to replace an equal amount of fat. Bonus: prunes are a good source of iron, and dates provide nearly 2 grams of fiber each!
  • Bananas: avoid adding bananas to anything you don’t want to taste vaguely fruity. Try subbing  1/2 the amount of hte oil called for with the same amount of mashed banana. Bonus: a large banana provides almost 500 mg of potassium, which helps protect your heart!

 

Easy, Elegant, Healthy Holiday Appetizers

If you are hosting a holiday gathering over the next week, or are slated up to helpfully bring an appetizer to one, you’re probably looking for the trifecta: easy, elegant and ideally healthy. Let’s face it: at this point in the holiday season, easy is simply a must, elegant would certainly be an ideal representation of yourself, and healthy to boot? While it might not be at the top of your list, with the other items that are likely gracing the menu, starting the festivities off on a healthy (but doesn’t taste like it) note could just be the best idea, and something to feel good about!

Here are three fantastic, tried-and-true ideas for you…ranging from super easy (as in, I often make without referencing the recipe) to 20 minutes – these will all be festive additions to your party!

bruschettaBruschetta with Arugula, Red Onions and Rosemary-White Bean Spread 

Cooks Illustrated
Serves 8

Tips: Toast the bread as close as possible to the time at which you plan to assemble the bruschetta. If you prefer, grill the bread. After trimming the ends, you should have 8 to l0 slices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf country bread , about 12 by 5 inches, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces, ends discarded
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic peeled
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans , rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic , crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 medium rcd onion , thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 ounces arugula (1 small bunch), washed, dried, and cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 4 cups)

Preparation:
1. Adjust oven rack to about 4 inches from heating element and heat broiler; broil bread slices until golden brown on both sides. Brush both sides of each slice with oil and rub with garlic clove.

2. In food processor, process 2/3 of beans, 2 tablespoors oil, 2 tablespoons water, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add remaining beans and rosemary; pulse until incorporated but not smooth, about five 1-second pulses.

3. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, rcmaining l/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl; add onion and toss.

4. Divide bean spread arcnly among bread slices. Toss arugula with onions until coated, then top bread slices with portion of onions and arugula; serve immediately.

pancetta-crisps-sl-1673220-lPancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear

Southern Living

Serves 6
Ingredients:

  • 12 thin slices pancetta (about 1/3 lb.)
  • 1 Bartlett pear
  • 1/2 (4-oz.) package goat cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Honey
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

Preparation

  1. Arrange pancetta slices in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 450° for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack using a spatula. Let stand 10 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Core pear with an apple corer. Cut pear crosswise into 12 thin rings. Arrange on a serving platter. Top evenly with pancetta and goat cheese; sprinkle with pepper. Drizzle with honey just before serving. Garnish, if desired.


fig-and-goat-cheese-1-updated1Almond and Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs Wrapped in Turkey Bacon

Serves 12
Ingredients:

  • 4 oz light goat cheese
  • 2 packages dried figs
  • 2 packages turkey bacon – preferably Applegate Naturals Uncured, All Natural, whole thigh meat (better for you, easier to wrap & cook)
  • Raw almonds
  • Toothpicks

Preparation:

Slice into each fig just slightly, take a tab (~1/4-1/2 tsp) goat cheese and put in the slit, followed by an almond. “Close” the fig a little to keep the contents inside. Roll the fig along the turkey bacon, wrapping it entirely, and secure with a toothpick.

Depending on time, either broil, flipping halfway through, or sauté until turkey bacon is cooked all the way around.

Pink Grapefruit and Lychee Cocktail

Ah, ’tis the time of year for holiday parties! If you are looking for a new “wow” factor and oh-so-over the cosmo or pom-tini, check out this exotic beverage – a pink grapefruit and lychee beverage that is as sweet as it is elegant. Oh, and there’s vodka involved. (always necessary during the holidays!)

LycheeOf course, we prefer our cocktails to give us a little nutritional kick, as well, if at all possible – and this one lives up to the bill. Pink grapefruit is deliciously ripe this time of year – so pick up an extra one to snack on for a potassium, vitamin and fiber boost! And then there’s the lychee fruit, translated from Chinese as ‘gift for a joyful life’ and a seriously under-eaten fruit here in America, and aside from being incredibly sweet, really holds its own in the health department. Chock full of vitamin C and containing flavanoids that could help prevent breast cancer, lychee also contains phosphorous, calcium and magnesium.

All that, in one pretty little glass! Not too shabby.

Pink Grapefruit & Lychee CocktailPink Grapefruit and Lychee Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 (20-ounce) can lychees in syrup, undrained
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 cup unsweetened pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 5 pink grapefruit sections

Preparation

  1. Drain lychees in a colander over a bowl; reserve 1 cup syrup. Discard remaining liquid. Drop 1 lychee in the bottom of each of 5 glasses; fill each glass halfway with crushed ice. Reserve remaining lychees for another use.
  2. Combine reserved 1 cup lychee syrup, juice, and vodka in a large martini shaker filled halfway with ice; shake until well chilled. Strain 1/2 cup syrup mixture into each prepared glass; garnish each serving with 1 grapefruit section. Serve immediately.

Laura Zapalowski, Cooking Light
NOVEMBER 2008

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 131
  • Calories from fat: 0.0%
  • Fat: 0.0g
  • Saturated fat: 0.0g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.0g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.0g
  • Protein: 0.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 16.8g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 0.6mg
  • Sodium: 2mg
  • Calcium: 8mg

Thanks to Cooking Light for the recipe – see it here!

Southwestern Chicken Chili in a Crock Pot

The crock pot has long been one of my kitchen favorites – a simple, one-pot meal-maker that simmers all day while you are busy running around town, resulting in a perfect, hot dinner when you get home! It’s almost like someone else cooked dinner for you…almost 🙂 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – that I am always on the hunt for delicious chili recipes this time of year – a chili is a perfectly satisfying meal for a cold night, and just as good reheated for lunches the next few days – who doesn’t love multiple meals coming out of that one pot? Plus, if ingredients are chosen correctly, the resulting meal is near perfection: totally filling and satisfying and nutrient-rich – from the protein chosen to the fiber-filled beans and nutrient-dense veggies – it really can be everything you need in a meal.

Chicken ChiliThis chicken chili is truly quite special – it has a creamy factor without being incredibly chunky because of the secret step – pureeing half of the beans and (gasp!) cauliflower before adding to the crockpot – that combined with thick, greek yogurt gives a creaminess that’s out of this world. I also love the use of cauliflower – it adds bulk and fiber to the meal without the added carbs of simply throwing in another can of beans – there is plenty of protein in this chili with the single can of beans + chicken, so another can is absolutely not necessary! Finally, to save yourself the effort of shredding the chicken before it’s done (we’re looking for easy, here!), use chicken tenders – they will literally become so tender by the end of cooking that it will appear you shredded away!

Southwestern Chicken Chili in a Crock Pot

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds chicken tenders, diced
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can beans – I used Kidney because they were on hand, Great Northern or black would work, too, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt (or nonfat/low-fat sour cream)
1 medium red onion, diced
1 heaping cup fresh cauliflower, rinsed & chopped very tiny
1 4 oz can diced green chiles, drained
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 packet McCormick’s Chili Seasoning (low sodium, if available)

Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, shredded cheese

Directions

1. Place half of beans and half of cauliflower in blender with 1/4 cup water – blend until smooth

2. Place all ingredients in crockpot, cook on low 8 hours, or high 1 1/2-2 hours + low for 2 hours.

Nutritional Info:
6 servings – about 1 3/4 cups each

Calories: 247
Fat: 3 g
Carbs: 20 g
Fiber: 5.3 g
Protein: 33 g

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Finding this delicious and simple chicken recipe excited me for two reasons: first, it’s totally yummy and a perfect new way to serve the boring ol’ chicken breast, and second, I learned a simply fantastic new way to cook a chicken breast that can be applied to most recipes – or not recipes when you just need an easy dinner. This method, combining a quick pan-sear followed with a bake in the oven, results in a beautifully browned, slightly crispy breast that is truly juicy and tender on the inside. The result completely surprised me, and I have since used the same method for everything from roasting chicken to put on lunch salads for the week to quickly get chicken ready for a simple supper.

The peppers add some wonderful vitamins and nutrients to round out your dinner, and the preparation with balsamic deliver a meal with a perfectly Italian flair.

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 5/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Brush chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle spice rub over chicken. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute. Arrange chicken in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until done.
  3. Heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, shallots, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

Ivy Manning, Cooking Light
NOVEMBER 2012

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 292
  • Fat: 9.3g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.3g
  • Protein: 40.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 8.8g
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Cholesterol: 99mg
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Sodium: 599mg
  • Calcium: 40mg