Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spicy Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Spicy enchiladas with pumpkin sauce
Serves 4-6

3 c leftover cooked chicken, shredded
6 scallions, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin purée
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp chili powder
1 jalapeño chile, quartered (remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired) -- use two if you like spicier foods
8 (6") corn tortillas (average all brands: 360 calories, 4 g fat, 4 g fiber)
1.5 c shredded FF or soy cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, combine chicken and scallions. Season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.

In a blender, purée pumpkin, garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, 2.5 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth (hold top firmly as blender will be quite full). Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish. Lay tortillas on work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly. Roll up tortillas; place, seam side down, in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese. Place dish on a baking sheet; bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chicken Mole with Chipotles

I made this last week, and it was really yummy. I forgot to post it, so here it is now. I served it over couscous, but it would be good with just about any grain or by itself. It was a tad bit on the smokey side, and the flavors really tasted good after it sat for a day(it mellowed a bit). Additionally, one day I served it with avocado and a little cheese. YUM! Sour Cream is also good on top.

Chicken Mole with Chipotles (Inspired from Bon Apetite Cookbook)
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1.5 lbs)
2 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 28oz. can chopped tomatoes in juice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs minced canned chipotle chiles plus 1 Tbs of adobo sauce from the can (we blend the entire contents of the can up and then just measure from there. We also only used about 1 1/2 TBL)
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Trim chicken of any visible fat and cut up into pieces (about 2 inch pieces works well). Coat chicken with ground cumin. Heat olive oil over med/med-high heat and cook chicken - browning on all sides. Toss in the onion and cook till softened. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 25-30 mins or until chicken is cooked through.

***It does have a spicy smokey flavor especially at first - use less chipotle chiles and adobo sauce if you want or top with ff sour cream to help with flavor...

My daily plan for this week

I've been having a bit of a pity party for myself lately... just all this stuff going on in my life. And I responded by not really planning out my diet and not exercising.(OK, I couldn't exercise because I had bronchitis, but that didn't help at all!)

I'm done with my pity party and I've gotten my week planned out... so here is what I'll be eating this week(it includes the recipes that I recently posted)

B: 3 egg white omelet with onions, mushrooms, and green peppers topped with salsa, milk, coffee, and oatmeal (milk total for the morning is 16 oz)
S: almonds (not roasted or salted - indulgence), strawberries--150 grams
L: Braised Hunter Style Chicken, green beans, garlicky butternut squash
S: apple and 1 TBL peanut butter (indulgence)
D: Great Northern Chipotle Beans

I'm going low on starches and fruit this week to experiment... My triglycerides were high last week when I had my cholesterol tested. It could have been from the mass amount of junk food I'd eaten the weekend before due to bronchitis and just feeling like utter crap - but it could be that I need to monitor stuff... so I am monitoring.

I'm hoping that I'll get back on track this week - start losing weight again, and win the biggest loser challenge at work.

Here's my exercise plan for the week as well:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday - Cardio (30-45 mins on elliptical or treadmill), maybe some situps and pushups
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday - Cardio (30-45 mins on elliptical), Strength plan

I'll let you know how it goes :-)

Braised Hunter Style Chicken

I liked this recipe a lot... I changed it from the original a bit (which I found on Heather's site - link to the left)

Braised Hunter Style Chicken
1.5lbs chicken thighs - boneless skinless (You could use breasts, thighs or legs)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS olive oil
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1.5 c chopped onions
1 cup chopped green onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c dry red wine or chicken broth (I used the wine... YUM!)
2 TBS tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes (I used diced tomatoes)
1 TBS finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 TBS chopped Italian parsley
1 to 2 TBS lemon juice (I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim the chicken of visible fat. Season both sides of chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In an oven-proof skillet with lid, cook chicken in hot oil for 10 minutes (about 5 mins per side over medium heat) or until light brown, turning to brown evenly. Remove chicken and set aside, saving 1 TBL of drippings for sauce. (I only had 1 TBL of drippings so I didn't drain)

In the same skillet, cook the mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and garlic in reserved drippings until tender. Stir in wine and tomato paste(I mixed together first). Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes(You want sauce to slightly thicken and the alcohol to burn off from the wine). Stir in tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Place chicken pieces back into the mixture, nestling into the sauce. Season sauce and chicken with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring mixture to boiling over medium heat.

Cover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. (Be careful when taking the pan out... it is likely to be hot!)

To serve, arrange chicken on a platter; spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 5

Great Northern Chipotle Beans

This recipe was inspired from 101cookbooks.com and the particular recipe I put in here earlier. Click here for the original. But below is my version...

Giant Chipotle White Beans
1 pound of large, dried white beans (I used Great Northern, but you could use any great white bean you can find), rinsed, picked over and soaked overnight - or up to 24 hours. (I soaked mine for 6 hours per package instructions

Chipotle-tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 big pinches of red pepper flakes
2 pinches of salt
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (original called for crushed)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (I forgot to use this)
1 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (I used 1 TBL)

Cilantro Pesto:
1 medium clove of garlic
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I didn't use this much)
big pinch of salt

1 cup kale or chard, washed, de-stemmed, and very finely chopped (I also added some chopped cilantro)
1/4 cup of reduced fat feta cheese - you could use full fat... original called for 1 cup of feta or queso fresco

For the beans:
Drain and rinse the beans after you have allowed them to soak. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with an inch or two of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beans are cooked through and just tender. This can take an hour to 2 hours or more... mine took a little under an hour so watch them as you don't want to over cook. I didn't do this next step, but you could if you want to... remove from heat, salt the beans (still in bean broth) with about a tablespoon of salt - enough that the bean liquid is tasty but on the salty side. Let the beans sit like this for ten minutes or so before draining and setting the beans aside.

Towards the end of the beans cooking, make your tomato sauce. Place the 2 tablespoons olive oil, red pepper flakes, couple pinches of salt, and chopped garlic into a cold medium saucepan. Stir the mixture while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute about 45 seconds or until everything becomes fragrant - don't brown the garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and the fresh oregano(if you have it) and bring to a gentle simmer, should take a couple minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the adobo sauce - taste test here to ensure sauce doesn't need more salt or adobo sauce... add now if it does (and don't burn your tongue)!!!

Make the cilantro pesto by combining the clove of garlic and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse while you drizzle in the olive oil. You could also do this by hand. Season with a bit of salt and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. In a 9x13 baking pan (or large oven-proof casserole/dutch oven) toss the beans with the tomato sauce and the kale, and the cheese. Bake in the top-third of the oven for about forty minutes. Watch for the cheese to brown and any of the beans to get a bit crusty. Remove from oven and let sit for about ten minutes. Drizzle with the cilantro pesto just prior to serving(I used maybe 1/2 tsp and it was good).

Serves about 6.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Daily Plan This Week

So... I've really enjoyed what I've been eating this week so I thought I would post it and tell you all about it... I often eat the same thing for a week so that it lessens the cooking which is what I have done this week.

Breakfast: Oatmeal (40g dry), Milk (12 oz), Coffee with Milk (4oz)
Snack: 1 oz almonds(indulgence), 1 TBL of dark chocolate chips(indulgence), 150 grams of strawberries
Lunch: (The really good part) Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Onions over couscous, garlicky butternut squash, grapes
Snack: Apple, 1 TBL Peanut Butter(indulgence), Diet Hot Chocolate (25 calories - indulgence)
Dinner: Lentil and Lean Ham soup

You can tell I'm up for the indulgences this week, but I'm burning over 500 calories a day with my workouts so I feel ok with it :-)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Butternut Squash Recipes *Untested*

I love butternut squash as I am sure you all have figured out... And I love to try new recipes, so I might try these soon (or they'll have to wait till next year when there's more around for cheap).

I got these from Easystreetster on WW board...

3 c. cooked, mashed butternut squash
1/4 c. non-fat evaporated milk
*2 tbsp. flour* (indulgence)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. sugar subsitute
1 tbsp. grated orange rind
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
2 tbsp.canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
Combine all ingredients and turn into a 1 quart sprayed casserole. Place in a 9 inch square pan of hot water. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until firm in the center. Serve with turkey or pork.

Butternut Squash Couscous
By: VeggieHippie on WW boards serves 4-6
1 lb butternut squash, diced
10-15 white pearl onions, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup whole wheat couscous
3 sprigs thyme sea salt

Toss squash and onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Roast in oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
While squash is roasting, heat water and 1 tsp olive oil until boiling. Add couscous and remove from heat. Stir to make sure all the grains are coated, then cover and let stand 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Combine squash and onions with couscous in a bowl. Add the leaves from thyme sprigs, plus a large pinch of salt, and mix to incorporate. Add a splash of olive oil if the mixture is too dry. Keeps well all week.

Polenta with Butternut Squash
3 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded (or any yellow squash)
6 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 3/4 cups canned broth
1 3/4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (reduce if broth is salted)
1 1/2 cups polenta
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
3/4 cup freshly grated ff Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Arrange squash, cut side up, in large roasting pan. Place garlic
cloves in squash cavities. Drizzle oil over. Sprinkle with dried
sage, salt and pepper.

Cover with foil and bake until squash is tender, about 1 hour 35

Cool slightly. Peel squash and garlic. Transfer to processor and

Combine broth, 1 3/4 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in heavy
large saucepan. Bring to boil. Gradually whisk in polenta.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until mixture is very thick and
creamy, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir in fresh sage and
3 cups squash puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use).
Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Summer Squash Pie *Untested*

Received on WW boards...

Summer Squash Pie
2 1/2 c cooked summer squash, tender small yellow or light green ones
1/2 c Splenda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c ff sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
Use the blender for eggs, squash,salt and vanilla. Add sour cream and blend til smooth and thickened. Pour into sprayed 9" pie plate.
Bake for 30 min at 400. TEST doneness at 30 min with knife in center and if clean, pie is done.
Use an immersion blender in bowl or you could blend it with a cuisinart to blend the mixture.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Balsamic Chicken with mushrooms

The original recipe for this called for just mushrooms, but I tried it with onions this time as well, and have got to say, I really like it :-) Will try to get a pic at some point this week

Balsamic chicken with mushrooms (and onions)

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 3 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lb uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (four 4-oz pieces)
  • 2 c mushrooms, small, halved
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/3 c chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme, crumbled (we used this and a little rosemary as well because I told my husband the wrong thing - OOPS!)

Heat 1 tsp oil in a nonstick skillet. In a medium bowl, mix 2 TBS vinegar, the mustard, and the garlic. Add chicken and turn to coat. Transfer chicken and marinade to skillet. Saute chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side*. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm. Heat remaining tsp of oil in skillet. Saute onions for a minute or two when they start to get tender. Add mushrooms and saute for 1 minute. Add broth, thyme and remaining TBS of vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are deep brown, about 2 minutes longer.

Serve chicken topped with mushrooms. Serves 4 (each serving contains 1/2 tsp healthy oil)

~~I served on top of Whole Wheat Couscous