Sunday, March 9, 2008

Black Bean Soup


1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable broth, divided
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced peeled potato
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 green onions, sliced

In a saucepan, bring the onion, garlic and 1/4 cup broth to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in the beans, potato, thyme, cumin and remaining broth; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir in tomatoes and hot pepper sauce; heat through. Sprinkle with green onions.
YIELD: 6 servings
Nutrional Analysis: One serving (1 cup) equals 173 calories, 2 g fat (trace saturated fat,) 0 cholesterol, 818 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 10 g protein

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Country White Bread

2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6-1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour, divided

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 3 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into two loaves. Place in two greased 9-in. by 5-in. by 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

**In order to get a sheen on top, my mom will rub a paper towl over a stick of butter, and rub it over the tops of the loaves when they are still warm from the oven. A little goes a long way, and you really don't need to add this step unless you really prefer it. :)**

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jam-Filled Almond Muffins

These muffins are great for a mid-morning snack...I like freezing them in individual bags, so I can take them out the night before I want one, toss it in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and get that "just out of the oven feeling" anytime I want. :)

Taken From the Eating Well Magazine:

Jam-Filled Almond Muffins:

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk (see Tip)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup blackberry, blueberry, raspberry or cherry jam
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

3. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Add buttermilk, orange juice, oil and vanilla; whisk to blend. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened.

4. Scoop half the batter into the prepared pan. Mix jam and almond extract; drop a generous teaspoonful into the center of each muffin. Spoon on the remaining batter, filling each muffin cup completely. Sprinkle with almonds, then sugar.

5. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per muffin: 229 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 36 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 2 g fiber; 180 mg sodium.

TIP: Tip: You can use buttermilk powder in place of fresh buttermilk. Or make "sour milk": mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Spicy Chicken and Snow Peas

*recipe taken from Self's EatLikeMe food blog* There's nothing like quick and easy stir-fry, and this one is so tasty and versatile, that it fits the bill perfectly! I realized after my second time of making it, that the really great part of this entire dish is the sauce. Everything else is completely tweakable to suit your taste! The first time I made it, I used the snow peas...second time around, there were none at the grocery store so I subbed in a bag of frozen mixed veggies (containing broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms...etc) and used the fresh carrots and peppers the recipe calls for. AMAZING!

Spicy Chicken and Snow Peas

Olive oil
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (I used 2 large)
1 pouch (3.5 ounces) boil-in-a-bag long grain brown rice (I used regular brown rice, started it at the very beginning of the recipe, and it was ready by the end)
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Teaspoons chile paste with garlic (grocery store didn't carry this, so I used hot pepper flakes to taste)
1 teaspoon bottled fresh ginger (also didn't have)
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1.5 cups matchstick cut carrots
1 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
2 cups snow peas, trimmed (or any other veggie you prefer!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, chopped (didn't use)

Place 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken cubes and cook until all sides have turned white and the center is no longer pink, about 7-10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Start cooking rice according to directions on the package, but omit the salt and fat. Once rice is done cooking remove from heat, but keep warm.

Combine sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chile paste and ground ginger in a small bowl.

Coat the skillet with cooking spray and add sesame oil, heat over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and bell peppers, saute for 2-minutes. Add the cubed chicken and snow peas to the pan and saute for an additional 1-minute.

Remove carrot, pepper, chicken, snow pea mixture from the pan and set aside.

Return pan to the stove; over medium-high heat add soy sauce mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook mixture until it has reduced to 1/4 cup (about 1.5 minutes) stirring constantly.
Divide the rice amongst four plates and place chicken/vegetable mixture over the rice.
Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of sauce over each plate and top with 4 teaspoons of chopped peanuts.
This recipe serves 4.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

quick and easy, creamy corn chowder

Taken from Light N' Tasty magazine...

Corn Chowder
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 cup diced cooked peeled potatoes
1 cup diced fully cooked ham (lean)
2 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn (I actually use canned)
1 cup cream-style corn
1 can (10-3/4 oz) low-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2-1/2 cups skim milk (I used 1%)
Pepper to taste
1 T. fresh parsley

In a heavy saucepan coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute the onion until tender. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts)
Nutrition Info: Serving 1 cup: Calories: 152...Total Fat: 2 grams...Saturated Fat: 1 gram...Protein: 9 grams

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Quick and Easy Pizza

I have a list of favorite pizza recipes, but many of them require waiting for the dough to rise, or a heavy amount of kneading. This particular recipe is so quick, fast, and easy, that it makes for a healthy "any time" pizza. Perfect for those nights when ordering in sounds so much easier. :D

Pizza Dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 T. olive oil
1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in remaining ingredients; beat vigorously 20 strokes. Let rest about 5 minutes.


1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic
dash of salt
dash of pepper
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1-2 tsp dried basil leaves
parmesan cheese
low-fat mozzarella cheese
veggies of choice (spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, broccoli, black olives...go with your faves!)

Mix first 6 ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread dough onto greased cookie sheet, and top with sauce. Shred parmesan cheese over pizza, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese (go easy on cheese for a lighter, healthy version...I tend to use about 1/3 of a bag) and top with chopped veggies. Cook in a 425 degree oven untl cheese is light brown, about 18-20 minutes. Yields 1 pizza.