Friday, May 31, 2019

Chicken and Quinoa Bowl



Here's a bowl that's full of veggies and chicken. Feel free to use pork loin if you prefer. Or, use marinated and grilled tofu if you want to go vegetarian on this one.  I like the combination of textures and flavors in this one. The edamame remains slightly crunchy, but the cooked vegetables are creamy. The vegetables are a perfect foil to the slight blackening of the chicken. Overall, the quinoa provides more crunchiness than the usual rice.

Ingredients:

1 package quinoa/rice mix or 1 cup leftover, cooked quinoa
2/3 cup frozen, shelled edamame, defrosted in the microwave
1 Tbs olive oil
10 mushrooms, quartered
5 yellow beets, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup red pepper, cut into large cubes
1/2 cup sweet onion, cut lengthwise into long strips
1 tsp olive oil
1 chicken breast, dredged in a mixture of:
    1 Tbs paprika
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/4 tsp ground thyme
    1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, or a combination.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cook the quinoa rice mixture according to package directions. Defrost the edamame in the microwave, then cook on high for 1 minute, until the edamame is no longer cold. Mix the mushrooms, beets, red pepper, and onion in the tablespoon of olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. The vegetables should be easily pierced with a fork. Meanwhile cook the chicken by pouring the teaspoon of olive oil into a heavy bottomed skillet. Dredge the chicken in the spice mixture. Set the skillet on a medium hot burner, adding the chicken and cooking until just no longer pink in the middle, about 5 minutes per side, depending of the size of the breast. Slice the chicken breast into 1/2 inch thick sliced.

To serve, place 1/2 cup of the quinoa in the bottom of a bowl. Top with half of the roasted vegetable, half of the edamame, and half of the chicken breast. Top it all with 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs. Enjoy!



Serves 2

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Serving a bowl is the perfect way to ensure portion control! If you think this won't fill you up, serve with a large salad. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Loaded Baked Potato Soup


Loaded baked potato soup … sounds decadent, and certainly can be, if made in the traditional manner. This soup uses every trick in the book to lighten it, yet still retains the flavors from the original soup so that it is delicious and everyone asks for more.

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 C chopped onion
1/4 C chopped celery
1 tsp minced garlic
4 cups water
1 Tbs low sodium chicken bullion
4 baked russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

toppings:

1/4 cup shredded  cheese or shredded cheese alternative
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives
1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain soy yogurt, or low fat sour cream

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Add onion, celery, and garlic and saute until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water and the chicken bullion to the soup pot, then add the potatoes. Cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 more minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth. Taste soup and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour soup into bowls. Let each person add their toppings of choice.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This soup is relatively low fat when it is plain. The original recipes for loaded baked potato soup include bacon, butter, cheese, and sour cream right in the soup. These tastes haven't been eliminated from the final version of this soup, they've just changed position from being part of the soup to being on top of the soup. In fact, that's the secret to success for this recipe. Because the portion size of the toppings is limited to approximately 1 tablespoon per serving, the caloric and fat increases are minimal. Original recipes would increase the amounts of what are now toppings to about 4 times that amount. Also, because they are on top of the soup, their visual appeal and taste appeal is increased. What you see is so convincing to what you taste! Your taste buds will think you are experiencing the full fat version of loaded baked potato soup, and only the cook knows that it has been trimmed down into a substantially healthier version!