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.

Beefy Tomato Pasta Soup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Healthy, Recipes

If you’re in the mood for soup (to warm you up on an icy winter day, natch) but not in the mood for an expensive, time consuming, heavy stew, then consider this super simple (and budget conscious) soup that is a hit with kids and adults alike. We like to make it a bit healthier (not that it isn’t well-balanced already) by using lean ground beef or ground turkey and protein-enriched pasta (like Barilla Plus). I’m sure Italian sausage (sweet or hot, chicken or pork) would work just as well in this recipe. We also like to grate fresh Parmesan into it. Consider this one of those recipes that is a template, and adjust it to your own family’s tastes.

Beefy Tomato Pasta Soup

Beefy Tomato Pasta Soup
recipe courtesy Quick Cooking magazine

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
2 medium green peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium onions, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 to 6 cups water
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 to 3 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
Croutons (optional)

Directions:
In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, green peppers and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add pasta.

Cook for 10-14 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with croutons if desired. Yield: 10 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts).

Nutritional Analysis: One 1-cup serving (prepared with lean ground beef; calculated without croutons) equals 207 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 17 mg cholesterol, 718 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 13 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 meat.

Broccoli and Cheese Crustless Quiche

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Healthy, Recipes

Call it what you want – a frittata, a crustless quiche, but in the end it’s all the same thing – a fancy schmancy omelet with stuff in it. This particular recipe is especially good. Broccoli and Cheese are one of those combinations that are made for each other (although I used Romesco cauliflower in this one), and it’s a healthy start to any morning. If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, this is a great recipe for meeting those goals. It’s low calorie, low carb, low fat, and packed with protein.

Broccoli Cheese Quiche

Broccoli and Cheese Crustless Quiche
recipe courtesy Vegetarian Times

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups broccoli florets
1 1/4 cups 1% milk
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbs. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 1 1/2 minutes. Add broccoli, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Spread mixture in pie pan.

Combine milk, cheese, mustard, egg whites, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg in large bowl. Pour over broccoli mixture; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 40 minutes, or until top is golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: Calories: 160, Protein: 14g, Total fat: 9g, Saturated fat: 4g, Carbs: 8g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 370mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 3g

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 

First Look: Yagööt

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, First Look, Healthy

I’ve been hearing about the Pinkberry (aka “Crackberry”) craze on the West coast for years – a frozen yogurt that is more tangy than sweet, topped with super fresh fruit toppings. I was never sure if it would be something that I would like, but it is definitely something that I’ve been wanting to try. Little did I know that we got a similar chain, Red Mango, on campus a while back. Because me and the OSU campus, we just don’t mix unless it’s during a school break.

Not that Easton Town Center is more my style. I try to avoid that like the plague too, but since I had to go to the Container Store anyway, I figured I may as well give the new yogurt place there, named Yagööt, a try. Yagööt, unlike Red Mango, isn’t a chain. It’s a family owned company with a couple of stores in the Cincinnati area, and a single location in the Columbus area. The vibe, from the outside, is pure Easton, where there’s very little to differentiate one building from the next. We almost didn’t see it from the street, but the ultra modern chairs outside drew my eye.

Yagoot Exterior

Inside, it’s very minimalist, with bright colors and uncomfortable furniture (and not much of it, either – it must be standing room only in there on busy nights). We were greeted by a very friendly employee offering us samples and a bright descriptive menu board.

Yagoot Menu

For both of us, it was love at first taste. It’s hard to describe it – super creamy, sweet but not too sweet, with a bit of a tang to it. It kind of reminded me of buttermilk but without the sourness that accompanies it.

There are tons of topping choices – lots of fresh fruit, granola, cereal, etc. so it’s not difficult to pick one, two or three toppings for your treat.

Yagoot Toppings

I went with a medium, topped with strawberries, bananas, and Cap’n Crunch. It was a heavenly combination, that I couldn’t get enough of. I usually never finish a cup of ice cream/frozen yogurt because it gets too cloying with the sweetness. That wasn’t the case with Yagööt. I also sampled the mochi, an off the menu topping, which adds great texture without adding a bunch of sugar.

Medium Yagoot with Strawberries, Bananas, and Cap'n Crunch

P. got a small topped with blueberries and Alligator Crunch (a crunchy, brown sugar based topping), which he was quite pleased with.

Small Yagoot with Blueberries and Rainforest Crunch

For the most part, this type of frozen yogurt is pretty healthy – 120 calories for a small, very low fat, less sugar than similar frozen treats, live active cultures for digestive health, with lots of fresh fruit toppings that won’t hike up the calorie or fat count. It can very easily be incorporated as an occasional treat for those who are trying to eat healthy.

It’s a good thing that Easton is across town from me and that I hate going there so much – Yagööt is addictive enough that I would be there daily otherwise. I can imagine that when the weather gets warmer, the line will be out the door. From what I understand, this type of frozen yogurt is very polarizing – you either love it or you hate it, but don’t you owe it to yourself to find out? :)

If you’d like to go: Yagööt, 3998 Gramercy St (Easton Town Center), Easton, 614.532.6565

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna

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

P. had picked up the most beautiful sushi-grade ahi tuna for like $12/lb. at Huffman’s Market in Upper Arlington, and I put out a call for suggestions on Twitter yesterday asking my Tweeple what I should do with it. I got a few people saying “sushi”, but my last attempt at making it had results that were so laughable that I got scared away from trying again for a while. However, I did want to vibe on those types of flavors, and after a search, I found a recipe online for a seared tuna topped salad with all kinds of wonderful toppings.

I wanted something really light, not a ton of carbs, and this fit the bill. Even though I’m not a huge fan of some of the individual components (wasabi mayo, masago, etc), put together the combination was out of this world! Easily the best thing I’ve eaten so far this month, and something I could see myself eating once a week. And so, so easy to make. I had never seared tuna before, and it was easier than I ever dreamed.

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna
recipe from Use Real Butter food blog

4 tuna steaks (~6 oz. per person), ahi tuna or maguro (sashimi)
1/4 c. black sesame seeds
1/4 c. white sesame seeds
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. unflavored oil (vegetable or canola)
2 ripe avocados, sliced thin
salad greens
wasabi mayonnaise
anago sauce
masago or tobiko (smelt fish roe)

Wasabi Mayonnaise:
2 tbsp. wasabi powder
2 tbsp. water
1/2 c. mayonnaise

Anago Sauce:
6 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. brown sugar
dash of rice wine vinegar

Wasabi mayonnaise: Mix the wasabi powder with the water until it forms a uniform paste. Mix with the mayonnaise. It tastes better if you let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving.

Anago sauce: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Let boil for a minute or so and reduce to simmer until slightly thickened. Let cool (it will thicken some more, so don’t boil it down too much).

Combine the sesame seeds, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Completely coat the tuna steaks in the mixture, pressing seeds and seasonings into the flesh. Heat the oil in a large, shallow frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot (chuck a sesame seed in and it should sizzle – just take care if the dam thing jumps and hits you!) set one or two steaks into the pan. Take care not to crowd the steaks. More than two at a time will make it hard to sear the sides without overcooking the other pieces. Sear for less than a minute on the flat sides (unless you want it more cooked) and while gently holding the steaks with tongs, sear for about 20 seconds (or more if you prefer) on the short sides. Remove to a cutting board and slice the steaks into 1/2 inch thick pieces at an angle – or leave whole if you prefer. Set avocado slices on a bed of salad greens and then fan the tuna on top. Drizzle with wasabi mayonnaise and anago sauce over the fish or serve on the side. Top with a sprinkle of masago. Serves 4.

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

Summer Squash Scramble

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Eating Local, Food Porn, Healthy, Produce, Recipes

Many of my meals this past summer have been centered around what I’ve grown in my garden. With summer coming to a close, it’s time to tear out what remains of the garden, and I’ve found that this is a great way to use the last of those zucchini and tomatoes, while keeping it healthy. I can’t tell you how many times I made variations of this over the summer.

Summer Squash Scramble with Fresh Tomato

Summer Squash Scramble with Fresh Tomato
recipe from “The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook” by Dr. Arthur Agatston

3 large eggs
1 tsp. chopped chives
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. canola oil
1 small summer squash, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped

In a small bowl, beat eggs, chives, salt and pepper until well combined. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add squash and onion, cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add egg mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are set, about 2 minutes. Spoon eggs onto 2 plates and sprinkle with tomato. Serve warm. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 180 cal, 12g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 11g pro, 8g carb, 2g fiber, 390 mg sod

Ceviche

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Ethnic, Food Porn, Healthy, Recipes

I know, I know…I’ve been neglecting my little blog. But May has been a month of one activity after another with little time to breathe in between, let alone blog. I have so many things to talk to you all about – the farmers markets, the Apron Gala, a bunch of restaurant reviews and events I’ve gone to, but it seems as if each day is over before I have time to get started. One day this week, I’m going to have to set aside a day to do nothing BUT catch up on my writing.

So I wanted to share something that I made recently – after having some really good ceviche at a couple of Mexican restaurants/taco trucks, and having an awesome mixed seafood ceviche at the Slow Food pig roast, I wanted to try my hand at making it here at home. I never realized it was so easy! I got all of the fish/scallops/shrimp I needed at Trader Joe’s, and got the limes and lemons at the Mexican grocery down the street for a song. Simple, delicious, healthy. Perfect summer dish, that’s for sure!

Ceviche

Ceviche
adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb. bay scallops
1 lb. medium (20-24 ct) raw peeled and deveined shrimp, tail removed and cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 lb. orange roughy or other firm white fish, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, completely deboned
3/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
1 1/2 cup of fresh peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. salt
Dash of ground oregano
Dash of Tabasco or a few grains of cayenne pepper
Cilantro
Avocado
Tortillas or tortilla chips

In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the seafood, onion, tomatoes, chile, salt, Tabasco and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, and then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Let sit for several hours, giving time for the flavors to blend.

Serve with chopped cilantro and slices of avocado with heated tortillas for ceviche tacos or with tortilla chips.

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