Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vietnamese Chicken and Noodle Salad

An Asian inspired chicken and noodle salad will add some zip to your day and shake up your normal meal routine. I like to make these salads and portion them out for various meals throughout the week. Here is a recipe for Vietnamese Chicken and Noodle Salad from Eating Well.

Vietnamese Chicken & Noodle Salad

4 servings, 2 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
4 ounces wide rice noodles
1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce, (see Ingredient Note)
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
3 cups shredded napa cabbage
1 English cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup slivered fresh basil
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

Place chicken in a skillet or saucepan and add enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size strips.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in rice noodles and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Whisk vinegar, fish sauce and sugar to taste in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken, noodles, cabbage, cucumber, carrot, basil and peanuts; toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare salad up to 8 hours in advance. Toss with peanuts just before serving.
Ingredient Note: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian sauce made from salted, fermented fish. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets

Per serving: 402 calories; 12 g fat ( 2 g sat , 5 g mono ); 63 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 5 g fiber; 667 mg sodium; 454 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (100% daily value), Vitamin K (60% dv), Vitamin C (40% dv), Selenium (37% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pasta & Chickpea Soup

Here's another Italian style soup recipe from Eating Well. This is packed with carbs and protein and would be great for a meal style soup. Freezing leftovers is great if you're cooking for one or if yo've made enough to last for another meal or two.

This thick soup is full of chickpeas, tomatoes, fresh rosemary and pasta. Convenient pantry items makes it the perfect solution for harried weeknights.

Pasta & Chickpea Soup (Pasta e ceci)

: January/February 1994

6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, or 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried
2 15-ounce cans reduced-sodium beef broth
2 cups water
2 19-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed, divided
6 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni, or cavatappi
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano, or Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large pot over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and rosemary; simmer for 5 minutes, crushing tomatoes with a fork or potato masher. Pour in broth and water; bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, mash 1 cup chickpeas in a small bowl with a fork or potato masher. Stir the mashed chickpeas, pasta and pepper into the tomato-broth mixture. Simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Stir in the remaining whole chickpeas and heat through. If using fresh rosemary, remove the sprig. Serve the soup with a sprinkling of grated cheese.

Per serving: 319 calories; 6 g fat ( 2 g sat , 2 g mono ); 5 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 15 g protein; 10 g fiber; 394 mg sodium; 412 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (26% daily value), Iron (18% dv), Magnesium (20% dv), Selenium (35% dv), Zinc (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch, 1 lean meat

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Peanut Ginger Noodles

Here is a recipe for a tasty, Asian inspire noodle dish. There are different ways you can add protein to make this dish more than just a carb load. From Eating Well, here's a recipe for Peanut-Ginger Noodles

Peanut-Ginger Noodles

Whole-wheat pasta adds nutty flavor plus extra nutrients and fiber to our version of peanut noodles. If you like, add diced baked tofu to boost the protein and add calcium.

6 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce, (see Ingredient Note), or to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1 12-ounce bag fresh vegetable medley, such as carrots, broccoli, snow peas (see Shopping Tip)

Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until not quite tender, about 1 minute less than specified in the package directions. Add vegetables and cook until the pasta and vegetables are just tender, 1 minute more. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Rinse the pasta and vegetables with cool water to refresh. Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the peanut sauce; add the pasta and vegetables; toss well to coat. Serve warm or chilled.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, stir in 2 tablespoons warm water per portion; serve cold or reheat in microwave.
Ingredient note: Chile-garlic sauce (or chili-garlic sauce, or paste) is a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar and is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.
Shopping tip: If you can't find a bagged vegetable medley for this easy noodle bowl, choose 12 ounces of cut vegetables from your market's salad bar and create your own mix.

Per serving: 280 calories; 11 g fat ( 1 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 7 g fiber; 321 mg sodium; 95 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (23% daily value), Vitamin A (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable

Monday, August 8, 2011

Italian Egg Drop Soup

I really love soup, and I love making soup from scratch-less sodium, preservatives, and fatty broth. Here's a recipe for Italian Egg Drop Soup from Eating Well.

Italian Egg-Drop Soup

: March/April 2010

Italian egg-drop soup, Stracciatella, is traditionally a light soup made with just chicken broth, eggs and herbs. We added pasta, chickpeas and arugula to turn it into a meal. Serve with: Garlic bread and Caesar salad.

6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat medium pasta shells or other small pasta (4 ounces)
1 7-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 bunch scallions, sliced, whites and greens divided
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups chopped arugula, any tough stems removed
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, water, pasta, chickpeas, scallion whites and nutmeg in a Dutch oven; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and boil for half as long as directed by the pasta package, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in arugula and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. While stirring the soup constantly, slowly add eggs; cook for 2 minutes. (The cooked egg will look like feathery strands.) Season with pepper and stir in the scallion greens and lemon juice. Ladle into 6 bowls and top with Parmesan.

Per serving: 196 calories; 6 g fat ( 2 g sat , 2 g mono ); 145 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 3 g fiber; 740 mg sodium; 461 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (15% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beef and Bean Chili Verde

I have a serious love for chili and I love trying different ones. Here is a recipe from Eating Well for Beef and Bean Chili Verde

Beef & Bean Chile Verde

: January/February 2008

Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Make it a Meal: Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add your favorite hot sauce.

4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 16-ounce jar green salsa, green enchilada sauce or taco sauce
1/4 cup water
1 15-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed

Cook beef, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in salsa (or sauce) and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat just before serving.

Per serving: 307 calories; 8 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 64 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 6 g fiber; 516 mg sodium; 641 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (100% daily value), Vitamin A & Zinc (40% dv), Folate (20% dv), Potassium (18% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Monday, August 1, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Chowder

Not going to lie, I was so sad when I found out that Chili's did not offer their broccoli cheese soup anymore. It was (is) one of my favorite soups, and I really wanted it that night. Thank goodness for easy and healthy recipes for a similar soup; check this one out from Eating Well.

Broccoli-Cheese Chowder

: Winter 2004, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)

This satisfying remake of broccoli chowder benefits from the creamy texture of cooked potatoes and smooth, tangy reduced-fat sour cream instead of getting its richness from as much as a cup each of cream and cheese. Not only is the flavor vibrant, but a single serving gives you over half of the daily recommendation for vitamin C.

6 servings, 1 cup each

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces broccoli crowns, (see Ingredient Note), cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
Add broth and broccoli stems; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more. Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan.
Stir in Cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Ingredient note: Most supermarkets sell broccoli crowns, which are the tops of the bunches, with the stalks cut off. Although crowns are more expensive than entire bunches, they are convenient and there is considerably less waste.

Per serving: 205 calories; 9 g fat ( 4 g sat , 3 g mono ); 21 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 4 g fiber; 508 mg sodium; 436 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (61% daily value), Vitamin A (64% dv), Calcium (34% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat