Tag Archives: recipe

20-Minute Chicken Creole

cooking

This blog was created by guest blogger, Maggie Spieker, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Are you looking for something to spice up your weekday meals? Then this easy one pot recipe is for you. Inspired by down home Louisiana Cajun cooking, this chicken creole will not disappoint on flavor. The spiciness level is easily adjusted to fit any taste.

The chicken in this recipe provides lean protein, while the vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. It can easily be made gluten free by putting it on a bed of brown rice instead of whole wheat pasta. You probably have most of the ingredients you will need for this 20-Minute Chicken Creole already in your kitchen.

ingredients

Yield: 8 servings
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 chicken breast (whole, skinless, boneless)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 oz., with juice)
  • 1 cup chili sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 green pepper (chopped, large)
  • 2 celery stalk (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped, small)
  • 2 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (dried)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Heat pan over medium-high heat (350 degrees in an electric skillet). Add vegetable oil and chicken and cook until no longer pink when cut (3-5 minutes).
  2. Reduce heat to medium (300 degrees in electric skillet).
  3. Add tomatoes with juice, chili sauce, green pepper, celery, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve over hot, cooked rice or whole wheat pasta.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Photo Gallery

vegetables

These ingredients add color, flavor, and nutrients to this dish

Using whole grain pasta adds fiber

Using whole grain pasta adds fiber

final

Enjoy!!

Recipe Source: Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service

 

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Apple Quinoa Salad

I was looking for an easy side dish recipe I could prepare ahead … and that was sorta unique. I asked my friend and registered dietitian, Janet Bissex, one of the Meal Makeover Moms, if she had a recipe I might share.

Janice suggested an Apple Quinoa Salad recipe. Quinoa is a South American plant that is grown for its seeds. Though not a true cereal grain by definition, quinoa is prepared and used in ways similar to grain. Quinoa provides all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It is also gluten-free.

Merriam-Webster online dictionary gives two possible pronunciations for quinoa: (kēn-ˌwä) or (kē-ˈnō-ə). The way it is most commonly pronounced is the first example and sounds like KEEN-wah.

Apple Quinoa Salad is filled lots of good stuff — apples, walnuts, dried cranberries and cheese. Except for the quinoa and maple syrup, the ingredients were ones I already had in my house. (After checking the Cook’s Thesaurus website, I substituted honey for the two tablespoons of maple syrup. I wouldn’t have tried this substitution for a larger amount as maple syrup has a truly unique flavor.)

(TIP: Here’s an easy way to toast walnuts for this recipe from the California Walnut Board.)

quinoa-ingredients-blog

Apple Quinoa Salad ingredients

The thing I liked best about the recipe — it tastes good! My husband gives the salad a “thumbs up!”

ppt-thumbs-up

Apple Quinoa Salad gets a thumbs up from my husband!

Get the Recipe!

Download a copy of the Apple Quinoa Salad recipe from the Meal Makeover Moms (Janice Bissex and Liz Weiss) website. And, find four more recipes made with quinoa!

Quick Granola Bars

Finished product1

(This blog was created by guest blogger, Beth Menhusen, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Beth also has her own Blog, bethtalksnutrition.weebly.com)

Most of us know that it’s super easy to grab a packaged granola bar on our way out the door, but did you know that you can quickly make your own? This recipe is loaded with nutrients, is cheaper, and has fewer preservatives!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup coconut

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel and grate the carrots. For a little extra money, you could buy a bag of carrot shreds and make this process even faster.

Carrot Collage 2

3. Measure your peanut butter and honey and mix together in a large sauce pan. Cook on low heat until melted.

pb collage

4. Remove the pan from heat and turn off the burner.

5. Add oatmeal, raisins, carrots, and coconut to the saucepan. Stir well, and let it cool until you can safely touch it with your hands.

final collage

6. Put the mix into the baking and press firmly into the bottom.

pressed

7. Bake for 25 minutes and then cut into 24 square bars. If you want long rectangular bars like what you purchase at the store, then use a larger, thinner pan.

Recipe Source: Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network
Website Recipe, http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/granola-bars

Slow Cooker Meals

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew (slow cooker recipe)

Imagine walking into your kitchen after a busy day and being greeted by the scent of cinnamon, garlic and onions signaling “dinner is ready!”

Unless you have a cook at home who prepares meals for you, using a slow cooker is the easiest way to achieve this state of well-being!

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew is one of my favorite slow cooker meals. I just measure, chop and toss in everything at the same time. (Source: Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association)

As you search out slow cooker recipes, here are some tips for optimum nutrition and taste.

If you can’t find reduced sodium or “no salt added” canned dry beans, rinse and drain canned beans. This will remove about 40 percent of the salt content.

draining-beans

Rinse and drain canned, cooked dry beans to reduce sodium content

If a recipe calls for spices or herbs you may not use much, purchase small  containers to save money. The smaller sizes will also help you use the seasonings by their recommended usage date, when they will be most fresh.

small-spices

Buy small containers of spice you are likely to use less often

Cut foods into similar size pieces. This ensures they will finish cooking at the same time.

cut-pieces-same-size

Cut foods into similar sizes for even cooking

Look for broths and stocks that are lower in salt. The flavor of the ingredients may shine through more if a food isn’t so heavily salted. You can pass the salt shaker and let people decide for themselves.

Beef broth label

Look for foods lower in added salt

For more tips on cooking with a slow cooker, check out this self-paced slide show:

NOTE: If you are getting this information through your email, you may have to click through to the web version to view the slide show.

Banana Kale Smoothie

Try a Banana Kale Smoothie - tastes minty and refreshing!

Try a Banana Kale Smoothie – tastes minty and refreshing!

I always thought green smoothies were something other people drank!

Then, bringing home a big bundle of kale from the Farmers Market, I decided to experiment. Here’s the recipe I developed. I think it tastes refreshing and minty. And … I’m now drinking green smoothies!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 large kale leaf, torn into pieces and without thick pieces of the rib (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Approximately 4 to 6 cubes (smaller ice cubes work better)

Directions:

  1. Add milk, then yogurt to blender.
  2. Next, toss in the kale.
  3. Break banana into chunks and add to mixture.
  4. Place the ice cubes on top. NOTE: If you’ve never made a smoothie with ice in your blender, check your blender instruction book or look for your manual online on the manufacturer’s website to determine if there are specific guidelines for adding ice to your blender. Some blenders may not be strong enough to break down ice cubes.
  5. Begin blending, starting out on a lower speed and then increasing speed. Puree until smooth.
  6. Enjoy immediately.

Makes 1 very large or 2 medium smoothies.

Tips:

  1. Place liquids in a blender first. It makes it easier to start the blending process.
  2. To facilitate the mixing process, start at a lower speed and work your way to a higher speed as the bigger pieces get broken up.

Another Tip: Don’t even tell people it’s high in calcium, potassium, vitamins A & C to name just a few nutrients!

Sweet and Simple Sweet Corn

Fresh-from-the-field sweet corn purchased at Old Cheney Road Farmers Market, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Sweet corn time is one of my favorite times of the year. Just shuck, boil, and eat for one of the tastiest foods on the planet.

Some people who grow sweet corn start the water boiling before they pick the corn to capture the best of its sweet flavor! While we don’t have sweet corn growing in our back yard, buying it from our local farmers market is the next best thing.

If you can’t eat sweet corn immediately when you get home, store it in the refrigerator and eat it as soon as possible, preferably that day. If you wait too long, its sugar turns to starch and that special sweetness is gone.

If you must store sweet corn … refrigerate it, still in the husk, in a perforated plastic bag. To make your own perforated bag, just punch holes into a plastic bag with a sharp object … for example, use a small paring knife to carefully poke holes (about 20 holes per medium-size bag).

Boiling Corn on the Cob

Boiling sweet corn

I boil my corn in a pasta pot and use my strainer insert for easy removal. A long-handled tongs also works well.

Start a large pot of unsalted water boiling while you remove the husks and silk. Use enough water to cover the corn. Place the corn in the boiling water, cover, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until tender.

Testing corn tenderness with a sharp knife.

Testing corn tenderness by removing an ear and and poking it with a sharp knife.

How Sweet It Is!

Dinner on the deck along with something from the grill and a side salad was never sweeter … or simpler!

eating sweet corn

My husband and I enjoy brushing our sweet corn with a little olive oil. Perfect!

Related Link:

Delight in the Refreshing Taste of Tabbouleh!

Cool off with Tabbouleh, made with cucumbers, mint, parsley, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, olive oil and whole wheat bulgur.

According to Wikipedia, tabbouleh is a salad of Arab origin and is “traditionally made of bulgur, tomato, and finely chopped parsley and mint, often including onion and garlic, seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.”

Tabbouleh stores well and tastes as good or better the second day. Exact amounts of ingredients aren’t necessary … so don’t worry if you have slightly too much parsley, not enough cucumbers, an extra tablespoon or so of lemon juice and so on.

If you’ve never eaten bulgur, a form of dried cooked wheat made from whole wheat kernels that have been cracked into small pieces, tabbouleh is a delicious way to start. Bulgur is easy to prepare and can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. For more bulgur recipes, visit the Wheat Foods Council website at wheatfoods.org.

(For a printer-friendly copy of the following recipe, use the “Print & PDF”  button in the “Share this” section below the recipe.)

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup uncooked bulgur
  •  3/4 cup chopped cucumber
  •  3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions or 2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Prepare bulgur according to package directions for starting with one cup of uncooked bulgur and the recommended amount of water for reconstituting this dry volume. The directions will tell you how long to let the bulgur set to absorb the water and become softer.
  2. After the bulgur is ready, mix together bulgur, cucumber, tomato, parsley, mint, onions, and garlic.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. Combine with the other ingredients, mixing well.
  4. Refrigerate and let chill for 2 hours before serving for the flavors to meld.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Alice’s tips:

  1. Before chopping parsley and mint, wash in a colander held under running water. Spin dry in a salad spinner or roll in paper towels to dry.
  2. Get more juice from the lemon by rolling it gently on a flat surface to loosen the membranes.