Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I have finally made it back to my pre-Claire weight (although all my clothes don't fit yet, hmm...), and I must thank Weight Watchers (and to be honest here, breastfeeding) for this occasion. And recipes like this one. I have an old Weight Watchers cookbook that contains 20 minute or less recipes...and they actually are! These recipes are delicious, super-quick and have made it almost effortless to lose the baby weight. Plus, since I don't have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen these days, these quickie meals have been a savior in our household recently.
This recipe called for turkey originally but I substituted deli chicken sliced about a half inch thick, and it was delicious. This could also easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken and swapping the chicken broth for veggie broth. Make sure to get fire-roasted tomatoes which add a little bit of a smoky flavor. I amped up the smoky flavor by adding a little smoke paprika...divine!
Mace isn't always excited when I make soup for dinner, but he slurped this one up and had seconds. As my friend Hope would say, this one is a Weekday Winner!
Tomato Basil Soup with Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cups chicken broth
28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
1/2 pound deli chicken sliced 1/2" thick, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about five minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and paprika if using. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the chicken and milk and simmer an additional 3 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in the basil and then...
And because I know the nutrition facts via the cookbook, and like to know them when possible, here they are. You're welcome!
Serving Size: 2 cups
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Corn bread has always been a very ho-hum kind of side to me. Usually I'll skip it to save the calories for a more delectable treat, like say, cookies or chips or anything else. More often than not it is dry and crumbly and lacking in the flavor department. Bo-ring!
We had some friends over for chili a few weeks ago and I decided it was time to find a winner corn bread recipe. You know, so they didn't stare at me with that blank look in their eyes when I said "there's no corn bread." I've gotten this look before, and I don't like it. Regardless of how I feel about corn bread, it appears that most people think that having corn bread is non-negotiable when it comes to chili. Fine, I'll play that game. Bring it.
Mace bought me the Tassajara Bread Book for Christmas this year and if you've never checked this one out, I highly recommend it. The recipes are easy to follow and unbelievably good. The cornbread recipe I found in this book was moist, it wasn't overly sweet and it was all gone by the end of the night. An entire 9" spring form pan worth, between 4 people. I'd say this one's a winner.
Deep Dish Cornbread
Adapted from Tassajara Bread Book
8 servings (or 4 very large servings)
1 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter
3 cups low-fat buttermilk
Honey, for serving
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9" springform pan and set aside.
Combine cornmeal, flours, wheat germ, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, honey, butter and buttermilk. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. The batter will be very liquidy.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.
Allow to cool on a wire rack. Remove the ring from the pan and cut into wedges. Serve with butter and a drizzle of honey and then...
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Tomatoes you say? In December? Pssht. Tomatoes can't be good in December. Not in Montana, nope!
Au contraire! These tomatoes were almost as sweet and juicy and ripe as a July tom. They were close enough to perfect. As I was wandering around the grocery store today, conjuring up an appetizer to make for tonight's white elephant party (sans child, which is very dangerous for my bank account), I came across these tomatoes. They were ripe and red and round. They were grown in Montana. They...wait, what?!?! They were grown in Montana? In December? Pssht. What ev.
No really, they were. If you are lucky enough to find locally grown tomatoes in the middle of winter, for God's sake, BUY THEM!! They're greenhouse tomatoes, most likely, but they are going to be far superior to any tomatoes you buy that travel from Mexico or some other far off place. Typically, tomatoes that one can find in the winter are grown in a land far far away, picked before they are ripe and will never ever reach their full potential. I rarely even bother with tomatoes in the winter time unless they are canned.
Soooooo....since I found these far superior tomatoes I knew at that moment exactly what I would make tonight. They're my go-to appetizer in the summer. They bring me back to Italy where my husband and I ordered caprese salad with every meal just because it was that good. Its almost impossible to beat. This is caprese salad all wrapped up in one big bite, and while it looks all fancy-pants like, its actually quite easy to make.
Its as easy as 1...2...3! Then a little drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you've got party food!
1 pint cherry, grape or cocktail tomatoes
8 oz mozzarella (if you can find it in small ball form buy these)
1 bunch of basil
Oilve oil and balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Toothpicks or small skewers
Cut tomatoes in half crosswise.
Cut the mozzarella in pieces about the area of the halved tomatoes, or in half if you are using mozzarella balls.
Cut the basil into squares approximately the area of the halved tomatoes and mozzarella (this is an art, not a science so no need to measure or be exact).
Taking one toothpick at a time, pierce one tomato half, one basil square, one mozzarella piece, one more basil square and the other tomato half (in that order) and set aside. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
Arrange bites on a platter and drizzle with oilive oil and balsamic vinegar and...