Chicken Sate Wraps

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Healthy, Recipes

Every experienced cook has several tricks up his/her sleeve, and one of my shortcuts is to buy a rotisserie chicken (dirt cheap at Costco for a huge bird!), and then use the meat as a base of several dishes. Usually it ends up as a part of a soup or pasta dish, so when I found this wrap recipe in one of my issues of Cooking Light, I was immediately drawn to it. They are amazingly easy to make, and only get better as they chill. I whip these up for lunch regularly. Hard to believe it is a “light” recipe.

Chicken Sate Wrap

Chicken Sate Wraps
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

Cooking spray
1/2 c. matchstick cut carrots
1/3 c. chopped green onions
2/3 c. light coconut milk
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
2 c. shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1 1/3 c. packaged angel hair slaw

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrots and onions; saute 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through pepper); cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat.

Remove from heat; cool. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla, and top each with 1/3 cup angel hair slaw. Roll up. Cover and chill. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 wrap)

Nutrition: 321 cal (28% from fat), 10.1g fat, 24.1g pro, 49mg chol, 37mg calc, 844mg sod, 4.3g fib, 0.9mg iron, 25.5g carb.

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper and Fennel

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Porn, Healthy, Recipes

My mom and I got into a discussion today about fennel – she said she has never had anything with fennel bulb in it, and I, remembering this recipe, went to my blog trying to pull up the recipe to give to her.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had never posted about it. And I’m not sure why – this recipe, because it uses a few convenience products, is a piece of cake to prepare and absolutely delicious. Healthy, too. Great use of produce that will be coming into season before we know it. You can find just about all the ingredients you need to make this at Trader Joe’s for a song.

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper and Fennel

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Fennel
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

Preparation Time: 33 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces basil, pine nut, and chicken sausage (such as Gerhard’s), casing removed and sliced
1 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the gnocchi in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep gnocchi warm.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon.

3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add fennel, bell pepper, and onion to pan; cook 13 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add sausage, gnocchi, cheese, black pepper, and reserved cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.

CALORIES 342 (30% from fat); FAT 11.5g (sat 4.3g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.6g); IRON 1.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 50mg; CALCIUM 155mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.4g; SODIUM 829mg; PROTEIN 15.9g; FIBER 2.9g 

Morel Risotto

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Eating Local, Food Porn, Recipes

This is the time of year I usually go a bit morel crazy, but our finances this year are such that they are, for the most part, a bit too dear in price (at $40/lb) for me to indulge in more than once or twice. One or two popped up in my yard, but they weren’t big enough for me to really make a meal of. So I gave in and got a half a pound when they got some in at Hills Market – these were local ones, of the white type, which usually have a little bit less flavor than the black ones.

So I decided to stretch them further by making a nice risotto out of them. With all the fat in this recipe, I wondered why it was in Cooking Light – until I saw the serving size. Needless to say, we ate four servings a piece. ;-) And it was worth every calorie. Great recipe.

Morel Risotto

Morel Risotto
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

4 cups Homemade Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 pound morel mushrooms, halved lengthwise
1 cup uncooked Carnaroli or Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Bring Homemade Chicken Stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, onion, and thyme to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in vermouth; cook 30 seconds or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock; cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Add cheese, cream, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; top with chives. Serves 8.

Per 1/2-cup serving: 198 cal, 8.7g fat (sat 3.4g,mono 3.9g,poly 0.8g), 7.5g protein, 21.9g carb, 1.5g fiber, 22mg chol, 0.5mg iron, 237mg sodium, 78mg calcium

Basic Beer-Cheese Bread

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Porn, Healthy, Recipes

If you’re anything like me, the cold weather outside has prompted you to try to keep warm with lots of hearty soups and stews. There’s nothing quite like hunkering down in front of the fireplace with a huge steaming bowl of something that’s been cooking all day. Gravy-based stews cry out for a nice hunk of bread.

Here in Columbus, we’ve got snow coming down like gangbusters today. Since we can’t get out to get a fresh loaf of crusty bread from Omega, and we didn’t have hours to bake a yeast bread, we put together of this loaf of beer bread – since it’s a Cooking Light recipe, it’s healthier than beer bread usually is, and you can indulge in a slice even if one of your resolutions was to eat healthier this year. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between this and much higher fat recipes. Enjoy!

Beer Bread

Basic Beer-Cheese Bread
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
13.5 oz. all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (12-ounce) bottle lager-style beer (such as Budweiser)
Cooking spray
2 tbsp. melted butter, divided

Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9×5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking sprayDrizzle 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 16 servings.

Per 1 slice serving: 144 cal (28% from fat), 4.4g fat (2.4g sat, 1.6g mono, 0.2g poly), 4.3g pro, 20.6g carb, 0.7g fib, 10mg chol, 1.3mg iron, 257mg sod, 89mg calc

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Porn, Grilling, Healthy, Recipes

I’ve just made the discovery that I do, in fact, like seafood. Just don’t like it when it’s prepared badly. So I’ve been excited to start trying different recipes. This is my first attempt ever at grilling shrimp. I just couldn’t let a beautiful day like yesterday pass by without sitting outside grilling and eating. I’ve still got a few kinks to work out (like being able to tell for sure when it’s done without it getting over or underdone), but it shows a lot of promise. And it’s healthy, too. I can learn to love this! :)

Teriyaki Shrimp Skewers

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs
recipe modified from Cooking Light

Makes 4 Kebabs (2 servings)

Sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Kebabs:
24 large peeled and deveined shrimp (about 1)
32 (1-inch) pieces cubed fresh pineapple (about 3/4 pound)
1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
Cooking spray

Prepare grill. To prepare sauce, combine teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds in a small bowl.

To prepare kebabs, thread 6 shrimp, 4 pineapple chunks, and 1 onion wedge alternately onto each of 8 (10-inch) skewers. Brush kebabs with teriyaki mixture. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes or until shrimp are done, turning once. Brush on teriyaki sauce as it’s cooking to intensify flavor.

Nutritional Information: 254 cal (14% from fat), 4g fat (0.7g sat, 0.8g mono, 1.6g poly), 35.6g pro, 17.6g carb, 1.9g fiber, 259mg chol, 514mg sod, 110mg calcium

Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Porn, Recipes

I’ve been trying out a lot of Cooking Light recipes lately – this one is one I’d definitely do again – good flavor, and one that you can’t tell is “light”.

Margarita Braised Chicken Thighs

Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

1/2 cup flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking spray
1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1 medium)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dried tropical fruit
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup tequila
1 lime, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt; dredge chicken in flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer chicken to an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Add onion to skillet; cook 3 minutes. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 1 minute.

Combine fruit, juice, and tequila in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave at high 2 minutes. Pour fruit mixture into pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute. Pour onion mixture over chicken; top with lime slices. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 thighs and about 1/3 cup fruit mixture)

CALORIES 350 (25% from fat); FAT 9.9g (sat 2.2g,mono 4.3g,poly 2.1g); IRON 2.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 94mg; CALCIUM 55mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.9g; SODIUM 416mg; PROTEIN 25.1g; FIBER 2.7g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2005

I served it with a recipe that was alongside it in the magazine – green rice. Here’s how to prepare it:

Bring 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in 1 cup long-grain white rice. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Combine 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 3/4 cup sliced green onions, and 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Add to rice; stir well.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Blogging Event, Healthy, Recipes

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I find myself drawn more and more to recipes with boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts – I think it’s because even without skin, the additional fat in the chicken meat does wonders for mouth feel. And with this particular recipe, the glaze created by the honey mixture almost recreates skin – you don’t miss it a bit! This recipe comes highly recommended for any low-fat diet – Cooking Light suggests pairing it with garlic roasted potato wedges and a salad, but I think it would go well with just about any side dish. Personally, I went with rice pilaf. I’m submitting this to be part of the Diet Foods Event hosted by Dil Se. My apologies in advance for the horrible lighting.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (I used 1/4 tsp.)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Preheat broiler. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done (ours took about 4-5 more minutes – check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure). Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)

Nutrition: 321 cal (31% from fat), 11g fat (3g sat, 4.1g mono, 2.5g poly), 28g pro, 27.9g carb, 0.6g fiber, 99mg chol, 2.1mg iron, 676mg sod, 21mg calc.

Abruzzese Lamb and Red Pepper Ragu with Penne

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Blogging Event, Healthy, Recipes

One of the things that I love about Cooking Light is that their pasta recipes are usually pretty awesome – you can’t really tell that they’re lower-fat. This is one that I like to use when I have leftover ground lamb laying around – most of the other ingredients are usually pantry items that I normally keep on hand, so it makes it super-easy to whip up something quick (and healthy) for dinner. Serve with a salad to round out your meal. I’m submitting this entry to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Equal Opportunity Kitchen.

Abruzzese Lamb and Red Pepper Ragu with Ziti

Abruzzese Lamb and Red Pepper Ragu with Penne
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
4 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
12 ounces lean ground lamb
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 bay leaves
1 can (14 1/2-ounce) fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
8 cups hot cooked penne (about 1 pound uncooked tube-shaped pasta or other short pasta)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Cover and cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove onion mixture from pan.

Add lamb to pan; cook over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain. Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel. Return onion mixture and lamb to pan. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Add tomatoes, 3 tablespoons parsley, salt, crushed red pepper, bay leaves, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Add pasta and cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Serves 8 (serving size 1 1/2 cups)
Nutrition: 368 cal (26% from fat), 10.6g fat, 18.8g pro, 35mg chol, 110mg calc, 520mg sod, 4.1g fiber, 3mg iron, 50.8g carb.

Monthly Mingle: Grill It!

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Blogging Event, Grilling, Recipes

mm-grill-it-august-20081

This month’s Monthly Mingle is being hosted by Sig over at Live to Eat, with the theme of dishes that are cooked on the grill (or can be adapted to be cooked on the grill). Needless to say, we’ve been getting a lot of use out of our outdoor kitchen. And this was the first time I used the grill basket I got over at Williams-Sonoma. Hard to believe these are healthy, because they tasted amazing.

Fajitas

Mixed Fajitas with Peppers and Onions
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

1 1/4 pounds flank steak
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
2/3 cup beer
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breast
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 large onions)
2 cups red bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
2 cups green bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
12 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups diced seeded tomato (about 1 large)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Preparation
Trim fat from steak, and score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak.
Combine juice and next 7 ingredients (juice through garlic) in a small bowl. Divide marinade equally between 2 large zip-top plastic bags, adding steak to 1 bag and chicken to the other. Seal bags, and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight, turning bags occasionally. Remove steak and chicken from bags, discarding marinade.

Prepare grill or broiler.

Place steak on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook 10 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place chicken on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into thin slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté 10 minutes or until onion mixture begins to brown.

Warm tortillas according to package directions.

Spoon steak or chicken, onion mixture, tomato, and cilantro down center of each tortilla; roll up.

Yield
12 servings (serving size: 1 tortilla, 2 ounces meat, 1/2 cup onion mixture, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 2 teaspoons cilantro)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 378(30% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 3.5g,mono 5.3g,poly 2.3g); IRON 4.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 57mg; CALCIUM 97mg; CARBOHYDRATE 38.7g; SODIUM 444mg; PROTEIN 26.8g; FIBER 3.3g

SHF #33: Coconut Creme Caramel with Pineapple Concasse

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Blogging Event, Food Porn, Healthy, Recipes, Weight Watchers

The theme for this edition of Sugar High Friday is “Tropical Paradise”, and the first thing that popped into my head when hearing the theme was “pina colada”. Don’t ask me why – maybe I equate the tropics with sitting on a beach sipping on a pina colada? But, unfortunately, a drink is not a dessert, so pina coladas were right out the door.

What I decided on features the two main ingredients in a pina colada – pineapple and coconut. And the kicker? This very rich, very satisfying dessert is a Cooking Light recipe (read: guilt free in moderation). The pineapple concasse works well with it – slight acidity to offset the sweetness of the creme caramel. It would have been interesting to see what it would have been like with the suggested basil, but my husband nixed that idea very quickly (“basil? in a dessert? hell no.”).

cremecoconut

Coconut Creme Caramel with Pineapple Concasse
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

1/3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. water
Cooking Spray
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 2/3 c. reduced-fat 2% milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cream of coconut
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
Pineapple concasse (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and water in small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Continue cooking until golden (about 10 minutes). Immediately pour into 6 (6 ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray, tilting each ramekin quickly until caramelized sugar coats bottom of cup.

Places eggs and egg white in a medium bowl, and stir well with a whisk. Add milk and next 4 ingredients, stirring until well blended. Divide egg mixture evenly among prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13×9 inch baking pan, and add hot water to pan to a depth of one inch. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (ours took 60-65 minutes). Remove ramekins from pan. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Loosen edges of custard with a knife or rubber spatula. Place dessert plate, upside down, on top of each ramekin; invert onto plate. Serve with about 1/4 cup of pineapple concasse.

Pineapple Concasse

1 1/2 c. finely chopped pineapple
1 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Nutrtion (totals include pineapple concasse): 239 cal (26% from fat), 6.9 g fat, 6.6 g pro, 38.5 g carb, 0.9 g fib, 5 WW points