Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chunky Veggie Toss

The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can adapt it to suit your personal tastes. Change the veggies to your heart's content. It does taste better as the flavors have time to meld, and will last for a few days in the fridge.

Chunky Veggie Toss

1 yellow bell pepper
1 cucumber
1 red onion
1 head broccoli
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
dash garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

Cut pepper, cucumber and onion into 1/2-inch pieces. Divide broccoli into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate immediately.

Tex-Mex Sweet & Red Potato Salad

This yummy salad recipe hails from the Weight Watchers Turnaround cookbook. It's delicious warm or cold. If your oven doesn't always cook evenly, I recommend boiling the potatoes for five minutes before roasting.

Tex-Mex Sweet and Red-Potato Salad

1 lb. new potatoes, cut in 1 ½ inch cubes
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 ½ inch cubes
4 tsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
6 tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a large jelly-roll pan with nonstick spray. Combine the red and sweet potatoes with 2 tsp of oil in a large bowl; arrange in a single layer in the pan. Roast, tossing occasionally, until well browned and tender, 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to bowl with potatoes. Combine mayonnaise, cilantro, lemon zest, salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne in a small bowl. Add to the potato mixture and mix well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

I love easy recipes, and it's hard to beat a slow cooker for easy cuisine. I had it in the crockpot in less than five minutes, and for a busy week like this one has been, little could make me happier. Even better - this is a good-for-you concoction that even the kidlets should enjoy.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package taco seasoning
1 c. salsa
1 can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. reduced-fat sour cream

Place chicken in crockpot (you may have to cut it in large chunks to make it fit). Sprinkle taco seaoning over chicken. Pour in salsa and soup. Cook on low for 4-8 hours (time will depend on how fast your crockpot cooks). When chicken is done, remove from pot and shred. Return to sauce, stir in sour cream, and cook for 15 minutes more. Serve with rice.

Serves 4-6

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tangy Mexican Couscous

I love it when an experiment goes well. I've had a ton of couscous (special ordered from my Weight Watchers days), so I am frequently looking for ways to use it. This is a simple, healthy, and tasty dish. Feel free to adjust spices as desired - I'm the kind who never measures spices. Add black beans for even more nutrients. You can use any veggies you like, and if you prefer a more muted lime flavor, reduce the lime juice to 1/4 c. and increase the water to 1 cup.

Tangy Mexican Couscous

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 onion
1 zucchini
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cilantro
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. lime juice
1 c. couscous
1 carton cherry tomatoes, quartered

Dice vegetables into 1-inch pieces. In a bowl, toss with spices and olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

When vegetables are nearly done, bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. When boiling, add lime juice and couscous. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes to a large bowl and toss with cooked veggies. With a fork, fluff couscous and mix with vegetables. Serves 4.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Curried Chicken Salad

This is a favorite of mine, especially in the summer heat. I like to use rotisserie chicken (skin removed) - there is a great variety of flavors, and you don't have to heat up the kitchen to use it. The combination of grapes, carrots and celery make it a refreshing and tasty lunch. If you like, add a tablespoon of chopped pecans. I adapted this recipe from a Weight Watchers cookbook.

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes

2 c. shredded cooked skinless chicken breast
20 small seedless grapes, halved
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 onion, grated
1/4 - 1/2 c. plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt
1/4 c. reduced-fat Miracle Whip
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 c. mesclun salad greens

Combine chicken, grapes, carrot, celery, parsley, and lemon juice in medium bowl.Combine onion, yogurt, curry powder, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss to combine. Divide mesclum among 4 salad plates and top with chicken salad. Serves 4.

PER SERVING: 171 cal, 4g fat, 2g fiber. 3 WW pts