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Power Chili
things i cooked
I have pretty much been teh suck about updating this lately. I was thinking of backdating a bunch of entries just for the sake of having a complete record, but I don't want this to become a chore. Anyway, here is what I made tonight:

From the Sunday Night Football Cookbook.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (I used a whole one)
one 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
one 1 1/4 ounce packet hot chili seasoning mix (I used McCormick's)
one 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
cheddar cheese
corn chips (I did not bother with these)

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the turkey, stirring to break it up with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper and cook for one minute. Add the remaining ingredients except the cheese and chips, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Spoon the chili into serving bowls and top with cheese and some corn chips. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

I give it an A for flavor and a C- for spiciness, but adding hot sauce does the trick if you are looking for something with more punch.

I don't have the nutritional information, but I can't see it being that many points. Depending on the cheese you use, it is South Beach Phase 1.

Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Basil, Avocado, and Tomatoes
things i cooked
From Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy Cookbook Yeah, I have a Betty Crocker book. So what?

8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 to 3/4 large avocado, peeled and cut into small cubes
4 medium tomatoes, cut into small cubes (I cheated on this and used a can. We didn't have any tomatoes in the fridge)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I never use the salt and pepper when cooking. People can add them after if they want.)

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender but not brown; remove from heat.

Stir basil, avocado, and tomatoes into garlic in saucepan. Toss vegetable mixture and pasta. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings.
1 serving = 220 calories (90 calories from fat), 10g fat (1g saturated fat) 30mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 6g protein. I would guess that most of the fat comes from the avocado and is in that "good for you fat" category. In any event, with whole wheat pasta this is South Beach phase 2; it is 5 points without taking any fiber into account since I don't have that information. It is also pretty tasty!

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things i cooked
A pretty basic recipe from The Joy of Cooking (yes, really.) I make this for the kids all the time. Liv asked for them one morning eons ago, and I told her I did not have any pancake mix. It was her idea to look in my cookbooks, and this is so basic that I actually had everything I needed to make them on hand. That, my friends, is how tradition is born.

Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flower (I use whole wheat and it comes out fine.)
3 tablespoons sugar (splenda works.)
1 3/4 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Combine in another bowl:
1 1/2 cups milk (I've had no problems with skim milk.)
3 tablespoons butter, melted (I have also not had any problems with fake butter.)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients.

The Joy of Cooking is set up funny. At this point they refer me to the "about pancakes and griddle cakes" section which I am not going to re-type because it's not short. I'll assume you all know what to do from here.

Vegetable Quiche Cups To Go
things i cooked
From The South Beach Diet Book

I butchered the hell out of this recipe, but it still came out pretty good. I see myself making a lot of these.

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheese
1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
1/4 cup diced onions
3 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)

Microwave the spinach for 2 1/2 minutes on high. Drain the excess liquid.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups. Spray the cups with cooking spray.

Combine the egg substitute, cheese, pepers, onions, and spinach in a bowl. Mix well. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Quiche cups can be frozen and reheated in the microwave. Any combination of appropriate vegetables and reduced fat cheeses may be used.

(I took great liberty with this. I skipped the spinach and onion and added in a red bell pepper. I didn't measure anything, and instead of egg substitute, I used actual eggs. I also forgot to spray the cups, which I would not recommend doing.)

I put these in the fridge Sunday night and I am still eating them today. I pop them in the microwave for one minute and they are hot enough to eat but not to hot to hold, which is perfect for the car.

The nutritional information says it serves six. The directions say to use 12 baking cups. I used 4 eggs, which is one more egg than the equivalent egg substitute in the recipe, and I had seven mostly-filled baking cups. So I don't know if one serving is one cup or two. Anyway,

77 calories, 9g protein, 3g carbohydrates, 3g fat, 2g saturated fat, 160mg sodium, 10mg cholesterol, 2g fiber.

This is a Phase 1 South Beach recipe. Each serving would have 1 WW point, which I guess would change a bit depending on the vegetables you used, but at 77 calories you're not going to be clearing two, that's for sure.

Barbeque 15-Bean Soup
things i cooked
From Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes, which I love because the thing that kills me about crock pot recipes is that they are usually so freaking complicated. The whole point of the crock pot is that you can turn it on and then forget about it for 8 or 10 hours. If you have to spend an hour the night before chopping vegetables and half an hour in the morning on even more prep, you've defeated the purpose.


One 20 ounce package ham-flavored 15 bean soup mix. (I have no idea where the authors found this. I couldn't. I ended up using a 16 ounce package of Goya 16 bean soup.)
1 quart water (I used beef broth since the Goya mix does not come with a flavor package.) (Also, the book does not count water as an ingredient.)
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 medium onions, chopped

Set aside the soup mix seasoning packet and put the beans in a large colander. Pick through the beans to remove any debris, then rinse them under running water. (I don't know what kind of roughage these people purchase, but the Goya beans did not need to be "picked over." Yuck.) Put the beans in the slow cooker, cover them with water, and let them soak for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

Pour the beans back into the colander, discarding the used water, and rinse them under running water. Return the beans to the slow cooker and add 1 quart fresh water. Add the barbecue sauce and chopped onions, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high 4 to 5 hours.

An hour before the soup is done, add the contents of the soup mix seasoning packet and stir. (Use of broth = skipped this step. I am against adding things an hour before the food is done as I am generally not home at this time.)

Yields 8 servings (True, but not of soup! This was pretty thick. Almost chili or baked beans-like. I kind of wanted to put it over rice, but that's really not necessary. I can't imagine it being any more soupy if I had had the full 20 ounces of beans, either.)

One serving = 103 calories, 2g fat, 6g protein, 17g carbohydrate, and .9g fiber. This comes out to 2 points and is South Beach Phase 1.

I recommend adding hot sauce.

Also, all 8 servings probably ran me a grand total of 6 bucks.

Parmesean-Dijon Chicken
things i cooked
From my Betty Crocker Quick and Easy Cookbook, which I love because having dinners that are both quick and easy saves my ass on weeknights. This is also made up of things I pretty much always have in the house (hence the "emergency dinners" tag).

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesean
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Heat oven to 375. Grease rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches (or spray it!)
Mix bread crumbs and cheese in large resealable plastic food-storage bag (can't they just say "ziploc?") Mix butter and mustard in shallow dish. Dip chicken into butter mixture, then shake bag to coat with crumb mixture (like Shake and Bake!). Place in pan.
Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes, turning once (I never bother), until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Nutritional Information: 285 calories, 14g fat, 95mg cholesterol, 440mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 0g fiber. I'm sure you could tweak this with low fat cheese and/or butter substitute. As written it comes out to 7 points, which is really not bad for a dinner, especially if you pair it with a 0 point vegetable. The breadcrumbs give it a fail on the South Beach front, unless you buy whole wheat ones, which probably taste like ass, but would make this OK but not great for phase 2.

Sure does taste good, though.

Chicken and Wild Rice Burritos with Mango-Habanero Sauce
things i cooked
From The Sunday Night Football Cookbook, which really has nothing to do with football but has to do with some "Taste of the NFL" charity event that they have each year. I have only had this book since Christmas (thanks, Dave!) but I feel pretty confident in recommending it to everyone, even if you do not like football. It is pretty awesome.


This particular recipe is everything I generally avoid when choosing what to cook. It took forever, it has a million ingredients, and I used every pan and prep bowl in the house. It is definitely not a quick weeknight dinner. That being said, it is seriously one of the most delicious things I have ever made in my entire life and I will totally be making it again.

Mango-Habanero Sauce:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 habanero chile, diced (use precautions!!!!)
3 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and chopped (I couldn't find these because it's January. I used a bag of frozen mango pieces, defrosted.)
1/2 cup champagne vinegar (I used red wine vinegar, because that's what I had in the house. Red wine is totally just like champagne!)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I skipped this)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced (Dave has onion aversion so I skipped the onion here and in the sauce)
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced (Roasting can take awhile, then you need to wait for them to cool. Keep that in mind when planning.)
1 cup cooked wild rice (I used the Rice a Roni brand, which probably made up for leaving the salt out everywhere else.)
3 tablespoons fresh chopped marjoram
3 ounces Asiago cheese, grated
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grted
salt and pepper to taste
four 4 ounce hot cooked chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips (I just cooked these in the over with no dressing or anything and then sliced them up after they were cooked.)
Four 12 inch flour tortillas (I used whole wheat. I also used six.)

Make the Mango-Habanero Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and chile and saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mangoes, vinegar, ketchup, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add 1/4 cup water, and puree until smooth, adding a little more water if needed to thin out the sauce. Season with salt to taste (I did not find this necessary). Gently rewarm just before serving.

(Side note: This results in an appropriate amount of sauce for the burritos. I find it completely aggravating when a recipe results in two chicken breasts and enough sauce to make a soup out of it, or something like that. What am I supposed to do with the leftover sauce???)

Make the Burritos:
In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted peppers, wild rice, marjoram, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I did not do this.)

Working with one tortilla at a time, heat the tortillas over an open flame or electric burner until they soften and brown in spots, 15 to 20 seconds per side (I did this in a pan, the basic idea is to warm them up so they don't rip when you bend them.) Spoon the wild rice mixture along the center of each tortilla; top with the chicken. Fold in the sides of the tortillas over the filling; then roll them up, enclosing the filling.

Place the burritos on serving plates and top with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Like I said, it's involved. But it's so totally worth it. I also think you could leave out the chicken and have a really good vegetarian burrito. The sauce is spicy. A habanero is a small pepper, but it packs a big punch. Wash your hands every time you even think you have touched something that has touched the peppers, and make sure your kids and/or pets don't get into it.

I don't know if this is particularly friendly to any diet plan, but there are worse things out there. If you got low or reduced fat versions of the cheese and kept to slow cook rice and whole wheat tortillas, you probably wouldn't fare so badly.

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Ham Tortellini Salad
things i cooked
From Light Cooking.

1 8 oz package cheese-filled tortellini (I used regular tortellini filled with spinach)
3 cups ham cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup sliced green onions
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup bottled creamy buttermilk or zesty Italian salad dressing (I used Parmesan Italian Dressing from Wegman's)
Leaf lettuce or butterhead lettuce, washed and drained
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and run under cold water to cool. Combine all ingredients except leaf lettuce and red pepper in large bowl. Toss until well blended. Serve on lettuce lines salad plates. Sprinkle with red pepper. (I will be using this for lunches during the week and just mixed everything together straight off.)

The directions say this makes six servings with nutritional information as follows:
Calories: 165
Fat: 4g
Cholestrol: 39mg
Sodium: 545mg
Which I think would make it pretty Weight Watchers friendly; not knowing the fiber to figure out the actual points. Even without any fiber at all taken into account, it's only 4 points a serving. The salad dressing you use would make a huge difference. It would be a good phase 3 meal for South Beach - can't be Phase 2 because of the tortellini; I have never seen this in whole wheat.

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Pasta Parmesean
things i cooked
I got this off the back of a box of noodles while in need of an emergency dinner. The good part is that it was quick and easy and comprised entirely of things I had on hand. The bad news is that it basically tasted like wet noodles and overall was not very good. For something that was basically all carbs and fat, it should have tasted much better.

8 oz uncooked pasta
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, melt butter. Add milk; heat thoroughly. Remove from heat; blend in remaining ingredients Toss with hot pasta, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Seared Salmon with Jalepeno Dressing
things i cooked
From the Sunday Night Football Cookbook.

This was actually in the appetizer section and involved thinly sliced shashimi grade salmon. I used regular salmon fillets and made them in a pan on the stove top with about 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms in the same pan. As the salmon was cooking, I put the dressing on top.

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 jalepeno chile, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic (I used more)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (I skipped this)
5 tablespoons grapeseed oil (I used regular olive oil)

In a food proessor, combine the vinegar, chile, garlic, and salt and puree until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube and process until thickened.

This came out really well, but was not as spicy as I expected. I would use 2 jalepenos next time.