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Two out of three, not bad!

January started out with a bang as far as cooking new recipes goes.  This weekend though, I reverted back to good ‘ole stir fry.  Thank goodness, because I can still feel the grease churning in my stomach from the skillet I had for breakfast this morning with my fiance’ and his buds.  A good healthy dose of mostly vegetables should be perfect for tonight’s dinner!

So far I have made, corn chowder (weight watchers style); feta chicken breasts; and cuban rice and beans (weight watchers style).  I’d give the corn chowder a C, the feta chicken a B+, and the cuban rice and beans a solid A.  Here are the recipes…you should definitely give the cuban rice and beans a try!

Corn Chowder:
1. Heat 4 tsp. of canola oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat.  Add three or four bell peppers finely chopped and seeded and 1/2 c. minced shallots.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add 1 tsp. curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, until just fragrant (about 30 seconds).

2.  Stir in 3 c. corn kernels, 3/4# red potatoes cut into 1/4 inch cubes, 1 c. vegetable (I used chicken)broth, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Transfer 1/2 c. of the vegetable mixture into a blender; add 3 c. fat-free milk and puree until nearly smooth.  Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until just heated through.  Sprinkle with paprika before serving.

Serving size 1 1/2 c.  and is very filling but just didn’t do it for me.  284 cal. 6g fat, 1g sat fat, no transfat. 52 g. carb, 5 g fiber, 12 g protein.

Feta Chicken Breasts:
1. Preheat oven to 325.  Place rack in large baking pan so fat can drip away while cooking.

2. Drain and squeeze liquid from 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach. In a medium bowl, mix together spinach (I used less than the  10 oz., probably about 8oz or so), 6 oz. of fat free or regular feta cheese crumbles, 1/2c. light mayo., and 1 clove of finely chopped garlic.

3.  Next you will need about 6 thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 4oz each.  I cut three breasts in half butterfly style.  Pound each breast between two sheets of waxed paper until about 1/8th of an inch thick.  Place about 1/3 c. of the filling on each breast.  Roll up and secure with toothpicks if needed.

4.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Wrap a slice of bacon (or turkey bacon) around each piece of chicken and place on prepared rack.

5.  Back at 325 for 55-60 minutes or until chicken is done.

Nutrition: (serving size: 1 breast)
Turkey bacon and fat free feta: 275 calories, 10g fat, 28g. protein
Regular bacon, regular feta: 332 calories, 14.7 g fat, 35 g. protein

It’s a pleasing to the eye as well!! I served it with brown rice and some corn, and it was delish!

Cuban Rice and Beans:
1.  Cook the brown rice according to directions, each serving includes 1/2 cup of brown rice.
2.  Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp EV olive oil in large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add 4 minced garlic cloves,  about 4-5 chopped bell peppers and diced onion.  (recipe calls for 2 c. of frozen pepper stir-fry but i liked the fresh peppers and onions better).  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and most of the liquid evaporates, 10-12 minutes (I liked having the extra liquid in mine).  Add 3 plum tomatoes, chopped, and cook stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.  Add 2 tablespoons of red-wine vinegar, 2 tsp. of ground cumin, 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds, and 1/2 tsp of hot pepper sauce.  I added considerably more vinegar and pepper sauce until I liked the taste.
3.  Stir in 1 can black beans drained (not rinsed) and 1 can pinto beans drained (not rinsed).  Bring to boil.  reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture slightly thickens and veggies are very tender (about 25 minutes).  Serve with 1/2 c. brown rice.
1 c. or so of bean mixture and 1/2 cup rice=1 serving.
252 cal. 5 g fat, 45g carb. 10 g fiber. 9 g protein
mmmmMMMMM good!
I hope you enjoy!

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