Mulligatawny Soup

mulligatawny soup
I made a version of this soup awhile ago (recipe here)and it was delicious, so I was excited to try this healthier version of it from an old issue of Clean Eating. It was so yummy and even better the next day for lunch after all the flavors had really come together. I didn't put all the apples in and was glad I didn't, I thought it was plenty.

1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed
2 t olive oil (I used part coconut oil)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 in pieces
pinch each sea salt and ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 carrot, trimmed, peeled and diced (I used 2)
1 t fresh grated ginger
2 T curry powder
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-in pieces (I used 1 large)
1 cup low-fat coconut milk
2 T fresh lemon juice
Sriracha hot sauce, to taste (awesome addition!)
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat oil on medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until edges are golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and set aside. To pot, add garlic, onion, leek carrot and ginger and saute stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
3. Return chicken to pot and stir in stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in apples, coconut milk and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper, and if desired, Sriracha.
4. Spoon rice into serving bowls and top with soup and cilantro, dividing evenly.

Per Serving (1/2 c rice, 1 1/2 c soup): 271 Calories, Total Fat 6g, Carbs 33g, Fiber 4g, Sugars 7g, Protein 23g, Sodium 465mg, Cholesterol 44mg

Pinto, Black and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn

bean salad with grilled corn
I had saved this recipe from Cooking Light long ago and finally decided to make it recently. I took the picture when I was eating leftovers the next day and sadly did not have any more avocado left, but it looked even more delicious with avocado on top! This was a great salad and very versatile. I made nachos for the fam to use to scoop it up (and help them be more excited about it) but I thought it was great plain. I had it on top of green salad the next couple days for lunches and loved it. I'm sure it's better when you actually grill the veggies they want you to, but I just broiled mine in the oven.

1 cup halved heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3 ears shucked corn
1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 diced peeled avocados

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. (I broiled ours in the oven since it was cold and rainy when I made it)
2. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Brush corn, onion, and jalapeño evenly with oil. Place vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill corn for 12 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 6 minutes. Grill onion slices and jalapeño 8 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 4 minutes. Let vegetables stand 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Finely chop jalapeño; discard stem. Add corn, onion, and jalapeño to tomato mixture; toss well. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and next 4 ingredients (through kidney beans) to corn mixture; toss well. Top with avocado.

Amount per 2/3 cup serving...Calories: 141 Fat: 6.4g Protein: 5g Carbohydrate: 18.2g Fiber: 6.8g Cholesterol: 0.0mg Iron: 1.2mg Sodium: 211mg Calcium: 38mg

Parmesan Knots

parmesan knots
So last week we made two recipes from the Friend magazine that Ella was excited about it. The pizza was fine, but everyone liked the Crazy Pizza we made a little while ago better and the recipes were very similar. These little rolls were definitely a hit though and they were really fun for the kids to help make.

1 can refrigerated biscuits
1/4 cup vegetable oil (we used less and used canola)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley

**We brushed the oil mixture on the rolls BEFORE baking**
1. Cut each biscuit into thirds. Roll each piece into a 3-inch (7-cm) rope and tie into a knot.
2. Place the knots 2 inches (5-cm) apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400°F (204°C) for 8–10 minutes or until golden brown.
3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Brush or pour on the warm knots. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen knots.

My little helpers :-)

Garlic Cilantro Shrimp Rotini

garlic cilantro shrimp
I decided to try a new recipe for our Valentine dinner and since I don't make shrimp very often (I love it but I don't love preparing it), knew this would be a treat. The recipe came from Clean Eating magazine but you would never know it :-). It was sooo flavorful and we all loved it! Just be sure everyone eats some, because you definitely will have some garlic breath afterwards!

•2 cups fresh cilantro
•1 tsp dried oregano
•3 cloves garlic
•1 tsp red pepper flakes
•1/3 cup olive oil
•2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
•Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
•8 oz whole-wheat rotini pasta (I used gluten-free fusili)
•20 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1.Preheat broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
2.Prepare sauce: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse cilantro, oregano, garlic and red pepper flakes until combined. While food processor is running, add oil and vinegar. Stir in salt and black pepper. Set aside.
3.Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
4.Arrange shrimp on sheet; transfer to oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until pink.
5.In a large saucepan on medium, add pasta and garlic-cilantro mixture and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, add shrimp and stir to combine.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 420, Total Fat: 23 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 38 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 15 g, Sodium: 95 mg, Cholesterol: 45 mg

Tangy Cilantro Chicken Tacos

cilantro chicken tacos
I LOVE tacos. I especially love chicken tacos. And I really, really love tacos when I fry the tortilla shells :-). The filling in these was really, really good though. Cilantro and tangy tomatillos blend for a delicious flavor that would have been great even if we had been more healthy and not fried the shells :-). Recipe from Everyday Food.

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered (I used 2 small chicken breasts)
salt and pepper
2 T vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 med white onion, diced small
1 1/4 t ground cumin
1 serrano chile, diced small, optional (I used half of one)
1/2 lb. tomatillos, diced large
3/4 c roughly chopped cilantro
12 crisp taco shells
1 1/2 c shredded Monterey Jack (I used 2%)
2 c shredded romaine lettuce

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
In a large heavy pot, heat oil over med-high.
Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
Add onion, cumin, and chile, and cook 3 minutes.
Add tomatillos and 1 c water, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and meat can be shredded with a fork, 25 minutes (add water if necessary).
Shred chicken, add cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve chicken mixture in taco shells with cheese and lettuce.

Serving size: 3 tacos...Calories 692, Fat 41g, Protein 45g, Carbs 34g, Fiber 5g

Indian-Spiced Chickpea Wraps

indian vegetarian wrap
After finding some big gluten-free brown rice tortillas at Trader Joe's I have been enjoying wraps for most of my lunches. I have mostly been filling them with hummus, sprouts, sliced peppers and cucumbers and avocado but was looking for something new when I saw this in the latest Taste of Home magazine. I didn't make the raita (because I thought I had yogurt on hand and didn't) but I did add some pineapple cut up small and I really have been enjoying these as a new lunch option. Especially after the first day since I can just open the fridge and pull out the leftovers...lunch comes together super fast!

•1 cup (8 ounces) reduced-fat plain yogurt
•1/2 cup drained unsweetened pineapple tidbits
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
•2 teaspoons canola oil
•1 small onion, chopped
•1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•1/2 teaspoon curry powder
•1/4 teaspoon each salt, ground cumin and ground coriander
•1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
•1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
•1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
•4 whole wheat tortillas (8 inches), warmed
•3 cups fresh baby spinach

• In a small bowl, mix raita ingredients; set aside.
• For wraps, in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add ginger, garlic and seasonings; cook and stir 1 minute longer.
• Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-8 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
• Near the center of each tortilla, arrange spinach and chickpea mixture; top with raita. Roll up tightly; serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings (1-1/3 cups sauce).

Serving size: 1 wrap: 355 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 3 mg cholesterol, 745 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 13 g protein.

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

spicy asian soup
This recipe comes from Rachel Ray and it was easy and yummy. Leftovers didn't do so well because the noodles soaked up all the broth, but they still tasted good...just didn't look as pretty anymore. I did a little extra spice packet I had on hand from a Thai kitchen noodle soup package and next time think some shredded carrots would be a nice addition as well. Overall I really loved how the flavors came out! I love a nice bowl of soup on a dreary day and although last week was beautiful and perfectly warm, this week is back to cold and rainy again. Time to make more soup!

12 ounce chicken breast, skin discarded (I used 1 can chicken)
6 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons red curry paste
5 ounces rice noodles, such as maifun
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 scallions, sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken, broth and 2 cups water to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 30 minutes. Remove the chicken; let cool. Shred the meat; reserve. Return the bones to the broth, bring to a boil and reduce by about one-third.
Strain the broth. Whisk the curry paste into the broth and return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and bell pepper and cook until the noodles are just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve with the lime wedges.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

peanut butter chocolate cake 2
In the January issue of Parents magazine they had a little spread of cake recipes and since Addie's birthday was coming up I let her pick one of them to be her birthday cake. She went with the chocolate peanut butter, which I was very happy about :-). The beauty of this recipe is that you use a boxed cake mix so it is sooo easy! You make your own frosting, which is De-Licious, and then make it fancy with some chopped peanuts. It tasted amazing and wasn't hard to do!

•1 2-layer-size package chocolate cake mix
•1 cup butter, softened
•1 cup creamy peanut butter
•1/4 cup milk
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•4 cups powdered sugar
•1 1/2 cups lightly salted peanuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake about 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
2. Meanwhile, prepare frosting. In a large mixing bowl combine butter and peanut butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add milk and vanilla and beat on low just until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating on low until sugar is just incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.
3. Use some of the frosting to fill and then crumb coat the cake. Chill the cake for 10 minutes to firm up the crumb coat. Generously frost the cake with the remaining frosting.
4. Make swirls in the frosting with the back of a spoon, using gentle pressure and lifting the spoon straight up at the end of each movement.
5. Cupping some of the peanuts in your hand, lightly press them around the sides of the cake. Once the sides are covered, use the peanuts that have fallen down onto the plate to press into any open spots.
Servings Per Recipe: 16; Amount Per Serving: cal: 598, Fat: 37, chol: 72, carb: 62
peanut butter chocolate cake 1