Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rice, Black Bean, and Corn Salad

This recipe came from an older Weight Watchers book. I admit that I'd never eaten rice cold before, and was somewhat concerned about the taste and texture, but it turned out that I didn't need to worry. I really like this salad, although next time I may look for fresh cilantro instead of the dried stuff (all I could find). I adjusted ingredients slightly to suit my taste. It will definitely go into my "make this again" file.

Rice, Black Bean, and Corn Salad

1 cup cold cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
2/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine rice, corn, bell pepper, beans, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, lime juice, oil, and salt and pepper. Pour over rice mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour before serving.

Serves 4 (scant cup each). Points Plus value: 4

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cincinnati Chili

I will never forget the first time I saw a bowl of chili - with spaghetti mixed in. We'd just moved from Arkansas to Indiana, and the school menus said they were having chili - not spaghetti. In my Southern-bred little mind, that was just entirely too strange to comprehend.

But I was hungry enough to eat it anyway, and it turned out to be okay after all. And although I never quite got used to the sight of spaghetti noodles worming their way through my chili, life went on.

Fast forward 20 years or so, and my constant search for new recipes led me back to an old one. I found a recipe for the classic Cincinnati chili (aka Skyline Chili) and decided to give it a go. It's quite tasty, though I think I will make a couple of changes next time I throw it together. First, I'm leaving out the pork. I can't really taste it, and it adds a lot of fat. Second, I'm going to cut down the cocoa powder by about half. It didn't dissolve well in the chili and it has a slightly powdery texture that I'm not crazy about. Otherwise - yum.

Even with the spaghetti.

Cincinnati Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 cup baking cocoa (cut this down some)
2 T chili powder
2 T Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
3 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
hot cooked spaghetti

In a large soup kettle, cook beef, pork, onions, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the remaining ingredients, except spaghetti. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 90 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serve over spaghetti with typical chili toppings (sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, etc)

Serves 8.
NI (1 cup, without spaghetti): 421 calories, 16g fat, 38g carbohydrate, 11g fiber, 32g protein

Sunday, February 13, 2011

French Dip Subs

This one just left me speechless.

It is that good.

Nuttin' else to say, 'cept that they won't last long!

French Dip Subs

1 3-lb eye of round roast, trimmed of fat
1 can condensed French onion soup, undiluted
1 can beef consomme, undiluted
1 can beef broth (the Campbell's kind)
1 tbsp beef bouillon granules
pepper to taste
hoagie rolls

Cut roast in half and place in bottom of slow cooker. Pour soups and bouillon granules over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred meat with forks and place on hoagie rolls. Strain broth if desired and serve with subs.

(I'm just guessing, but a 3-lb roast should serve at least 8-10 people.)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Taco Seasoning

Have you ever thought you had an ingredient on hand, only to realize when you were halfway through making the dish that you were mistaken? Today I was in a pinch for taco seasoning, and I found this fantastic recipe on I made a slight change, using half chipotle powder for the regular chili powder. It was excellent, and I will not likely buy taco seasoning in a package again.

Taco Seasoning

1/2 T chili powder
1/2 T chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix ingredients well. Store in airtight container if not using immediately. Makes the equivalent of one package of taco seasoning.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

I made some serious adaptations to a recipe I found online, and came up with a healthier, delicious, major comfort food soup. The flavors are mild but the soup is wonderful. The original called for turkey, which I didn't have, but chicken worked nicely, too.

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

1 32-oz carton fat-free chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt, optional
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
black pepper to taste
1 10-oz can evaporated skin milk
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken or turkey breast
cooked bacon strips, optional

In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, water, green onions, and wild rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, 35-40 minutes. When rice is tender, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper all at once. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Stir in evaporated milk and cook until thickened. Add milk mixture and chicken to rice; heat through. If desired, serve with crumbled bacon.

Serves 6