Soups/Salads

Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew

I flew home from Chicago on Friday and turned around and left for another work trip on Sunday. Over the last four weeks, I’ve been home for one and that week was spent hardly eating, let alone cooking (thanks to some food poisoning). Even though I was only home for barely two days this weekend, I was eager to cook. But when I’m heading away again, there doesn’t seem a point to make something that will sit in the fridge and go bad before I get back home. So I decided to make this Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew so I store it in the freezer where it will be waiting for me when I get back home.

Chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, carrots, and onion are mixed with broth and flavored with cumin and red pepper flake before half the mixture is blended and added back into the pot to help thicken the stew. To finish it off, chicken is simmered in the stew giving it another layer of flavor and heartiness. Cilantro and lemon zest, which are added when it’s time to serve, provide one last fresh punch to this stew. Now that the temperatures are starting to cool down a little tiny bit, I’m excited to keep my pot out and make soup, stew, and chili all fall long.

IMG_4872

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.

IMG_4866

Stir in the garlic, cumin and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, chickpeas and tomatoes.

IMG_4867

In a blender, puree 2 cups of the mixture. Stir the puree into the stew, season and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

IMG_4869

IMG_4871

Add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes; season. Serve with cilantro and lemon zest.

IMG_4873

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Advertisements

Zucchini and Corn Chili

Sure, maybe the end of summer isn’t exactly the best time to be making chili. But when the main ingredients are zucchini and corn, why not make it in the summer when the produce is at it’s best? For someone like me who travels a lot for work, things like soups, stews and chilis are great to make in advance and store in the freezer so that when you come back from a road trip, a great meal cane be heated up in no time. This Zucchini and Corn Chili came together quickly, freezes beautifully, and is packed with healthy flavor.

Zucchini, corn and onion are cooked with chili powder and cumin before being mixed with canned tomatoes, black beans, vegetable stock, and poblano peppers. The peppers give this chili just enough of a kick while the spices provide that perfect chili flavor. The zucchini, corn and black beans make a great hearty combination in this vegetarian chili. When I’m gone for a week and tired from traveling, knowing that my refrigerator is empty, I’ll be happy to have this chili waiting in the freezer so I can relax and wait another day to do grocery shopping.

 IMG_4864

Char the poblano peppers either over an open flame on a gas burner or under the broiler. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Peel, seed and dice the chiles.

IMG_4858

Cut the corn off the cobs. Heat a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high and add the oil. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

IMG_4859

Add the zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir until the spices are toasted, about 2 minutes. S

IMG_4860

eason with salt and pepper, then stir in half the beans. In a medium bowl, mash the remaining beans with a fork; stir into the vegetables (this will help thicken the chili).

IMG_4861

Add the stock, tomatoes, honey and peppers. Cover and simmer until the flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes.

IMG_4863

Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve with your choice of toppings.

IMG_4865

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta

I was traveling for work last week and had a lot going on which meant hardly any exercise and lots of bad eating. I actually don’t mind traveling for work but at the same time, I love being in a normal routine at home of making good food and hitting the gym. The one morning I actually made it to the gym? It was packed with every machine taken. I did some exercises in my room instead but that didn’t really do me much good for the rest of the week. So this week, I’m back on track. (I feel like I’m always saying that.) Salad…and more salad. Luckily, I came home to the latest Cooking Light magazine in my mailbox which had this Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta. It seemed meant to be.

Chicken breasts are marinated briefly in simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar before being grilled. Strawberries, arugula, and red onion are mixed with a little more oil and vinegar before being topped with the chicken and tangy feta cheese. This salad is simple and a little bit perfect. Strawberries and balsamic already pair so well together but added with the marinated chicken and spicy arugula, it just makes this salad so hearty and flavorful. I’ve been craving strawberries lately so this was a great way to enjoy them before they are perfectly in season. Salads can be good like that.

IMG_3642

Combine 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut into slices.

IMG_3637

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add strawberries; toss to coat.

IMG_3638

IMG_3639

Add arugula and onion to strawberry mixture; toss gently to combine.

IMG_3640

Sprinkle feta over salad. Divide salad among 4 plates; top evenly with sliced chicken.

IMG_3641

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Regular balsamic vinegar

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Sriracha BLT Avocado Salad

Well, after a few indulgent dinners last week in Atlanta and those cookies I brought you on Monday, I figured it’s time to pay the piper and eat some salad. Actually, I’ve been doing pretty good eating well and I’m enjoying it. Instead of eating a plate of cookies, I allow myself one a day. When I need another snack, I’m pretty into eating apples and pears lately. But salad? Not so much. Sure, I should probably have a salad loaded with carrots and broccoli and peppers but this Sriracha BLT Avocado Salad not only looks good but is also healthy and has tons of happy flavor.

Chopped tomatoes and avocado are mixed with crunchy bacon (I used turkey bacon) and laid over baby spinach. A spicy dressing of sriracha, a little bit of mayonnaise and lemon juice is drizzled over the top, packing a punch. The creamy coolness of the avocado pairs perfectly with the sriracha dressing, the bacon adds flavorful crunch and the spinach gives a lot more nutritional value than iceberg lettuce which is typically in BLTs. This salad may not be loaded with veggies but it’s still low-calorie while not being low in flavor. Isn’t that the point of a salad? Being healthy and flavorful? Now this is a salad I can get behind!

IMG_3384

Combine onion, mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lemon juice in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

IMG_3378

Combine tomato, avocado, and bacon in a medium bowl; toss to combine.

IMG_3379

Divide spinach among 4 plates; top evenly with avocado mixture.

IMG_3380

Drizzle with Sriracha mayo; sprinkle with pepper.

IMG_3381

Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Red onion

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili

I think I’m a little bit obsessed with this chili. I’ve been eating a bowl of it every single day. And when it ran out? I made another batch. And another. All of this started because I had one lonely zucchini sitting in my produce drawer that I wanted to do something with. After taking a look around, I realized all the other vegetables I had on hand and decided right then and there to throw them all in a chili. I happened to have canned tomatoes and ground turkey on hand anyway so it was a no brainer. The result is this Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili.

Onion, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, and carrot are all sautéed with ground turkey until the veggies are soft and the turkey is cooked through. A few spices are added along with canned tomatoes and chipotle in adobo sauce and then the whole pot simmers until the flavors meld and the chili is hot and bubbly. I’ve made this chili with both ground turkey and ground chicken and have no preference. Want to use ground beef? Go right ahead! Chili is so easy to make and easily adaptable to accommodate picky eaters. Make it with beans, or don’t. Make it with meat, or don’t. Make it spicy, or don’t. I’ve been making a batch every single week for the last month. I portion it out immediately into containers to keep in the refrigerator so that I can grab one at lunch and heat it up quickly. What I love about chili (especially in the winter) is that it’s satisfying. I’m never let down and always feel warm and comforted when I’m done. Chili, you have my heart.

IMG_3279

Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili (makes 5 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium, red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or ground chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (or regular chile powder)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

Melt coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, and carrot. Cook until vegetables soften, approximately 6 minutes.

IMG_3275

Add ground turkey, salt, and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.

IMG_3276

Stir in chile powder and dried oregano.

IMG_3277

Add tomatoes and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce; stir. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

IMG_3278

Top with sour cream, cilantro, cheese, green onions or any of your favorite chili toppings.

IMG_3281

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

I’m really into going to the produce stand lately because the produce at my grocery store isn’t so great. I don’t like how the peppers, apples, and zucchini at the store are twice as big as the produce at the stand. What in the world are they putting in those fruits and veggies anyway? Well, the good part about getting produce at the stand is that it’s inexpensive, quality, and abundant. The problem? It’s abundant. What do I do with so much broccoli? It’s cold out who might as well make soup! This Broccoli-Cheese Soup is a perfect way for me to use up some leftover veggies while still eating healthy.

Broccoli, carrot, and onion are simmered in broth (substitute veggie broth for a vegetarian option) before being blended together and mixed with a little half-and-half and cheese. The result is a creamy, warm, and healthy soup that is cheesy enough to be satisfying but not enough to be unhealthy. I have to admit that at the end of blending this, I decided to throw in a handful of baby spinach just because. I mean, why not? The soup is already green and plenty healthy but because I throw spinach in my smoothies, it doesn’t seem natural for me to not add spinach to whatever is in the blender. You don’t have to add spinach, obvi. This soup is perfectly satisfying just the way it is.

IMG_3163

Combine stock, broccoli, onion, carrot, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

IMG_3158

IMG_3159

Pour soup into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).

IMG_3160

Blend until smooth.

IMG_3161

Return soup to pan. Stir in half-and-half and 2 ounces cheese. Top evenly with remaining cheese and parsley.

IMG_3165

Additions:

  • Handful of baby spinach

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili

As I’m sure you’ve heard, we are supposed to get a little bit of snow here in the Northeast. I’m not someone who panics and runs to the grocery store when a storm is coming (although maybe I should) but I did happen to pick up a few things anyway. I did a lot of cooking this weekend so I have plenty of food to get me by (assuming I don’t lose power). After a quick trip to the produce stand on Saturday, I decided to use some extra zucchini for this Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili. Warm and hearty, this chili will hopefully keep me warm while it snows.

Ground turkey (the recipe calls for beef), zucchini, black beans, onion, fire-roasted tomatoes and seasonings are combined in a slow-cooker where the meat melts into the sauce. Because I used ground turkey, I only cooked this chili for about 3 1/2 hours on high and it turned out perfect. The fire-roasted tomatoes given this chili so much flavor while the zucchini and beans help make it hearty. I’m really happy to nosh on this over the next few days. Now I just have to pray that I don’t lose power. Cold chili just isn’t the same.

IMG_3184

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the meat, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, onions, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, oregano, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

IMG_3157

Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).

IMG_3168

Serve the remaining chili with the sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.

IMG_3185

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Real Simple magazine

1 2 7
%d bloggers like this: