Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken n' Corn Chowda' Slim Style


12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used two 4 oz. breasts, and it appeared to be plenty... and in other news... the recipe says you can use chicken thighs as well, but I prefer white meat)

4 fresh ears of sweet corn

1 32-oz. container reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used my favorite substitute, sodium free chicken stock powder. It's great if you want to control the saltiness of your dish... or add any garlic salt later without fear of over-sodiumizing your chowda :-)

1 small red sweet pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)

1 cup milk (there was no specification of type, but I used Skim and it seemed suitable)

1-1/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes

salt to taste (I used garlic salt... of course!)

ground black pepper

crushed red pepper ("optional," according to the original recipe... I didn't add it because I didn't want it super spicey)

a couple good shakes of dried, powdered coriander

1 tablespoon or so chives (I used dried, and just made sure I let the soup sit overnight to get them soft and let the flavors socialize)

1. In Dutch oven combine chicken, corn and broth. Cover; bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and corn to cutting board.

2. Add half the sweet pepper to broth in Dutch oven. Stir in milk and potato flakes. Shred chicken using two forks. Return chicken to Dutch oven. Using a kitchen towel to hold hot corn, cut kernels from cobs. Place corn in Dutch oven; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with remaining sweet pepper and crushed red pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
These are the stats for the original recipe... I would guess the sodium would be less if you used the sodium-free chicken stock and the protein probably wouldn't be as high)

Calories 269
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 54mg
Sodium 721mg
Carbohydrate 33g
Total Sugar 7g
Fiber 3g
Protein 29g

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hearty, Smarty, Sesame Homemade Hummus

It's funny... I wasn't sure how this would go over, and people were laughing at my surprise at how well it was recieved. I guess that's what happens when you blenderize on a whim and have strange tastes to begin with. I liked it when I tried it, but I like almost everything, so that didn't tell me much. It wasn't until I served this to my more discrimatory critics that the delectibilitiy of this dish was solidified. Try serving with homemade pita chips made by cutting whole wheat pitas into pieces, spraying with a little olive oil spray, sprinkling with garlic salt and pepper, and baking in a 450°F oven for a couple minutes until crisp. (You could broil them, but then you run the risk of burning if you're like me and decide to wash your hair in the minute or two you have before they become burnt black wafers. I always forget to factor in the minute for brushing my hair...).


one 29 ounce can chick peas a.k.a. garbanzo beans a.k.a. cici in Italian (you can also use two 15 ounce cans! I’m a math major!)

½ cup jarred roasted peppers, with the liquid (I used what I had leftover. It had bits of garlic and other spices floating around in the liquid, so that’s why I say just dump in the whole kit-n-kaboodle)

1 garlic clove, or the equivalent in jarred or powdered garlic

½ teaspoon light sesame oil (this stuff is super powerful tasting, so a little goes a long way)

a few hefty shakes of ground coriander

a few squirts of lime juice

ground black pepper to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

water (okay, so I totally didn’t measure this… I like my hummus on the thicker side, so I added just enough water to blend everything and not throw my blender into overload)

garlic salt to taste

1. Throw all the ingredients up through and including the ground pepper into your machine of choice (or in my case, lack of choice). (My parents have a food processor which is steps above my blender in terms of hummus making abilities, but my Black n Decker still gets the job done with minimal whining.) Add a few tablespoons of water, and give ‘er a whirl. Add more water as necessary to get all those beans mashed.

2. While blending, add the 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let it blend at least 5 seconds more.

3. Turn off your blender (you don’t want the added flavor of wooden spoons or fingers in your hummus) and taste your creation. Add more spices if necessary. Again, I’m partial to flinging in a bit of garlic salt, but you know me…

4. Enjoy your homemade delight!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ragin' Strombolis

Boy-approved, good ol' fashioned GINORMOUS deliciousness! (Yeah, I'm not kidding... they're pretty large. Feel free to be smart and make anywhere between 5 to 8 strombolis, because the 4 I made are like "Honey I Blew Up the Dinner"-style). Like a calzone, except pinched in the center and containing meat and only a little bit of cheese, these are pretty easy and super forgiveable (a.k.a. use whatever veggies/spices/meats you have on hand)!


1 lump whole wheat or multi-grain pizza dough (I bought mine at Whole Foods, but they sell this stuff at Trader Joe's if you have the ability to frequent the unique grocery store)

3 lb package of ground turkey (don't be a scaredy cat like my Momo--she thinks it smells bad--but if you are averse to this, ground chicken or ground sirlion are good substitutes)

1 bag frozen multi-colored pepper slices

2 tablespoons low calorie barbeque sauce (often disquised as "low sugar")

3 or so tablespoons ketchup

a good dousing of worchistere sauce

1 & 1/2 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoon onion powder

a generous sprinkling of Italian seasoning

a light sprinkling of garlic salt

fresh ground black pepper to taste

4 ounces shredded reduced fat cheese (I used Mexican blend, which attests to the forgiveable-ness of this recipe, because I'm sure a good Mozzerella would be delightful)

1. Cook your meat of choice thoroughly.

2. Add defrosted bell pepper mix.

3. Toss in all remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE CHEESE and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes uncovered.

4. While the flavors are cha-cha-cha-ing, divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll out each peice until it is about a half-inch thick into a circle or oval or square... it's up to you! (Side note: I don't have a rolling pin, so I simply pounded the dough into ovals... so don't fret if you're pinless!)

5. Remove the meat-pepper mix from the heat and spoon anywhere between 1 cup to a cup and a half into the center of each dough-shape (note how I didn't descriminate against the square-makers by saying "dough rounds"). Top each pile of meat n' peppers with about an ounce of cheese (you don't need much). Pull up the sides of the dough and pinch together so that the meat mixture is completely enveloped in the dough.

6. Place strombolis on a baking sheet. I sprayed mine with cooking spray and followed that with a few more shakes of the good ol' garlic salt. But that's just me...

7.a. Bake at 350°F for anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes, until the crusts on these gems are golden brown and delicious.

7.b. OR you can bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, pull them out, let them cool, and freeze them for when hunger strikes later!

ESTIMATED Nutritional Information
(really, these have to be a total guess)

Calories 434.5
Total Fat 16.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 90.0 mg
Sodium 761.1 mg
Potassium 143.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Sugars 3.2 g
Protein 32.6 g

Aaaaamazing Carrot Pumpkin Yum Yum Yummy Muffins

Can you tell that I really like these babies? Be careful, they may cause excessive groaning with enjoyment! :-D


1 box carrot cake mix

1-15 oz. can of PURE pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 egg whites

about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water

1. Mix together all the ingredients until well blended.

2. Pour into 12 muffin tins.

3. Bake at 375°F for about 20 to 30 minutes. Testing with a toothpick kind of works, but the pumpkin makes the muffins very moist, so it may appear to be uncooked. I like to press on the top of the muffin, and if it feels hard, it's cooked. I'm so scientific, right?!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Provincetown Salad a.k.a. Rainbow Feta Pasta Salad


3-4 cups cooked pasta (penne or fusilli are good choices)

1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed, strings removed if necessary, and broken in half if very long

1 yellow or orange pepper, julienned or diced
(whatever floats your boat, matey!)

1 & 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1 to 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

Balsamic Vinaigrette (as much as you like... recipe follows)

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (A very good coarse sea salt would be delightful!

1. Cook pasta to your liking. I recommend al dente (or as Jay likes to call it, "a la jente") because the pasta will soften as the fully prepared salad mingles and dances with the dressing in the fridge.

2. Steam green beans for 3 or so minutes, remove from pot and douse in ice water (or if you're like me and conveniently keep ice cube trays in the cupboard, unused, cold water works just as well).

3. Combine all the ingredients* in a large dish, give 'er a stir, and let it rest for a couple hours in the fridge!

*If you want the basil to maintain its vivid color, leave it out until just before serving.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 shallot, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh basil

1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning

fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 to 3 tablespoons honey mustard (my substitution for adding Dijon mustard and honey separately)

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Blend all the ingredients except mustard and oil. Slowly (and carefully!) drizzle them in separately
while the blender is on low. Add one tablespoon at a time, finger tasting as you go! Mmmm!

Estimated Nutritional Information

(for 4 GINORMOUS servings of rainbowness made with 3 cups whole wheat pasta and no added salt)
Calories 410.5
Total Fat 10.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.6 g
Polyunsat. Fat 1.0 g
Monounsat. Fat 4.6 g
Cholesterol 16.7 mg
Sodium 239.8 mg
Potassium 271.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 65.9 g
Dietary Fiber 7.9 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 14.7 g