Friday, February 25, 2011

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Spinach

What is better than a man that cooks?? Last night mine came over armed with Groceries and Wine! The Menu? Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Spinach and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The verdict? He is a Keeper! And so is this recipe!! It was delicious with Garlic Bread, I didn't want to stop eating!

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Spinach
Recipe from For the Love of

  • 4 slices of lean bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil (divided)
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of any fat
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Dried basil, to taste
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15 oz can of white beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the bacon is cooked, drain it on a paper towel then chop it up. Remove all but 1 tsp of bacon grease from the skillet. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the bacon grease in the skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil, to taste on both sides. Once the skillet is HOT, add the seasoned chicken thighs and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet, cover with a tin foil tent, and set aside.

Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add the minced garlic, and cook stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add the drained diced tomatoes and white beans. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach, season with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and dried basil, to taste. Pour the juices from the chicken into the pan and mix well. Add Crumbled Bacon. Ladle the beans and spinach onto a serving dish then top with chicken. Serve immediately.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Broccoli Cheese & Potato Soup

This recipe was adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes, I switched up a few things and will note them in red.

I Loved this soup...Connor not so much, but he informed me it wasn't my cooking, he just doesn't like Any Vegetable Soup.

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1-1/4 cups Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts

Calories: 281.6 • Fat: 8.0 g Carb: 33.0 g Fiber: 5.0 g Protein: 20.4 g

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth) I used regular, not
  • 1 cup fat free milk I used 2%
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar I used regular, not 2%
  • 2 slices 2% American cheese I used regular, not 2%
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.

In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.

Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until potatoes are almost soft, about 5-10 minutes (Originally said 10-15 Minutes.)

Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 15 minutes (originally said 5 min.) Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don't have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit. (I DIDN'T DO THIS)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken and Jalapeno Soup

As soon as I saw this soup on We Are Not Martha, one of my favorite food blogs, I knew I wanted to try it out and am so glad I had the chance to finally make it today. It was warm and hearty and full of good flavors, perfect for a snowy Sunday. And healthy too! I made a couple of changes to the recipe as it was posted on WANM, so the recipe listed below is as I made it. Below the recipe I'll note the changes I made.

Chicken Jalapeno Soup
• 3 large chicken breasts
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 large onion, diced

• 2 large carrots, diced

• 3 stalks celery, diced

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 jalapeno peppers, diced 

• 1/3 c. pickled jalapenos, diced (plus some juice)
• 2 t dried cumin
• 2 t dried oregano
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 (15 oz.) cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 32 oz. low-sodium chicken stock 
• 12 oz. bottle of Corona
• 2 T Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Scallions, chopped (for garnish)
• Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

1. Heat 2 T of oil in a large pot and cook onion, carrots, and celery until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.
2. Add garlic and jalapenos (both kinds), along with the cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Add beans, chicken stock, Corona, jalapeno juice (I used a few spoonfuls) and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for about a hour, until vegetables are completely cooked.
4. While the soup is simmering, poach the chicken breasts. Put the chicken in a medium saucepan with some salt and cover with about an inch of cold water. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for about 2 - 3 minutes. Cover and turn off heat, allowing chicken to cook for about 20 minutes more. When the chicken is done, remove from the water and shred with a fork. Add to the soup for the last 10 minutes of simmering, along with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.

What I did differently:
- The original recipe called for 1 lb. of dried beans. I never have my act together enough in advance to soak dried beans, so canned it is. 3 cans seemed like a good amount to use.
- While I love a nice thick soup, I do like to have a bit more broth than this seemed to have, especially when I'm going to freeze some of it. I didn't want to open a whole second container of chicken stock, but didn't want to add flavorless water, so a Corona seemed like a nice complement to the flavors of the soup.
- The original recipe said to garnish with parsley, but I had scallions and cilantro on hand and thought those flavors went really well with the jalapeno and cumin. I was right. :-)
- I didn't add in the jalapeno seeds as the original recipe suggested, but I wish that I had, or had added in another jalapeno or more of the jalapeno juice. I was afraid of making the spiciness too overpowering, but there really wasn't enough kick for my taste. Next time I'll know better!
- WANM called for garlic croutons with the soup, but because I'm trying to eat healthier, I figured the last thing I need is a whole baguette's worth of buttery croutons. So I skipped those, but if I ever make this soup for a crowd of people, I'd definitely give the croutons a try. On New Year's Eve I had made some cheddar garlic biscuits and froze the leftovers so I did pull just one of those out to round out my dinner. Soup just isn't a complete meal to me without bread! See below for the biscuit recipe. It's a copycat of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits and they're sooo good!

Copycat Recipe of Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits
from chef Todd Wilbur
• 2.5 c. Bisquick baking mix
• 3/4 c. cold milk
• 6 T cold butter, divided
• 3/4 t garlic powder, divided
• 1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese
• 1/4 t dried parsley flakes
• pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine Bisquick with 4 T butter, leaving pea-sized chunks of butter. Add cheddar, milk, and 1/4 t garlic powder.
3. Drop 1/4 c. portions onto ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 14 - 17 min.
5. Melt 2 T butter, stir in 1/2 t garlic powder, parsley flakes, and salt. Brush on top of the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven, using up all the butter sauce.
Makes about 10 biscuits.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken and Sweet Potato Stir Fry

This is a recipe I found in the January 2011 issue of Prevention magazine. It's got lots of protein and vitamins and all kinds of good-for-you stuff, and was pretty easy to make too!

Chicken and Sweet Potato Stir Fry

1 c. water
1/2 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained (I often don't bother rinsing and draining it and haven't noticed a problem)
1 medium sweet potato (about 8 oz.), peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
4 tsp. canola oil
12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 c. frozen peas
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1. Combine water and quinoa in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Put sweet potato in small saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 2" while quinoa is cooking. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.
3. Heat 2 tsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan.
4. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to pan. Stir in onion and jalapeno pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about a minute. Add red pepper, garlic, and cumin. Cook until vegetables start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in peas and chicken and cook 2 minutes. Add quinoa and sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving:
307 calories
24 g protein
34 g carbs
6 g fiber
8 g fiber
264 mg sodium