Chicken-Corn Chili

Warm up with this easy and flavorful chili on a cool night.  Serve with sliced jalapenos, sour cream, avocado and/or corn bread.  Makes 4 servings and is easily doubled.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (1/2 chopped, 1/2 sliced; remove the seeds for less heat)
  • 1 4-ounce can green chiles, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 15-ounce cans large white beans or pinto beans (one undrained, one drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (monterey jack or white cheddar)
  • sour cream, cornbread, avocado (optional)

What you’ll do:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over  medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring, until slightly soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, chopped jalapeno, green chiles and cumin.  Cook about 2 minutes, or until the cumin is toasted.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, chicken and beans (remember to add one of the cans of beans with the liquid from the can).
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the chili until about half of the beans are broken up.
  • Stir in the corn, cilantro and 1/2 cup cheese.
  • Serve with the remaining cheese, jalapeno slices and/or cornbread.

Recipe and image from Food Network Magazine.

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Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew with Couscous

This heart-healthy, Meatless-Monday dinner will help you unwind the day after Christmas.  Nutrition, delicious and super easy!  Serves 4.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into some florets
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 5-ounce package spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup couscous

What you’ll do:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, and stir occasionally until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes (crushing with your hands as you add them) and their liquid, the chickpeas, cauliflower florets, raisins and 1/2 cup water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Place the couscous in a large bowl and add one cup of hot water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff the couscous with a fork and serve with stew.

Recipe and image from Real Simple.

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Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Prep this the night before so that Christmas morning (or any morning) breakfast is a breeze.  This recipe is a slimmed down version of the high-fat version you’ve probably tasted before.  The fat may be toned down but the flavor isn’t.  Serves 12.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces turkey breakfast sausage (found near other sausages)
  • 2 cups low-fat milk (1%)
  • 2 cups egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 16 slices whole-wheat white bread
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

What you’ll do:

  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add sausage to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring and breaking to crumble.
  • Remove from heat; cool.
  • Combine the milk, egg substitute, dry mustard, salt, pepper and eggs in a large bowl with a whisk.
  • Trim crusts from the bread and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • Add the bread cubes, sausage and cheddar cheese to the milk mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pour into a 13×9 casserole dish that’s been coated with cooking spray.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight (or 8 hours).
  • Remove from the refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the casserole with paprika.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or  until set and lightly browned.
  • Let stand 10 minutes.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

Santa would love to have these cookies waiting Christmas Eve!  The rich chocolate would pair perfectly with a tall glass for low-fat milk.  Makes 30 cookies, with only 80 calories in each.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened**
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a whisk.
  • Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer until well blended.
  • Add vanilla and egg; beat well.
  • With the beater on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture.
  • Beat just until combined.  Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips.
  • Drop by the tablespoon 2 inches apart on baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until just set.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes on the pan.
  • Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

**If you forgot to leave out your butter to soften, simply grate it with a cheese grater for the same affect.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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Mustard-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

With only 4 days until Christmas, you may be tempted to grab a frozen pizza or hit up McDonald’s for dinner.  This recipe takes 15 minutes to assemble – while it’s cooking, wrap a few presents or read a Christmas book to the kids.  Recipe serves 4.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or chicken thighs, breasts, drumsticks)
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 small carrots, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Combine the mustard, soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  • Combine the carrots, fennel, onion, thyme, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a roasting pan.
  • Nestle the chicken in with the vegetables.
  • Roast about 45 to 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

**Feel free to use other vegetables or herbs to make this meal your family’s favorite.”

Recipe and image from Real Simple.

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Bread and Better

Kids love PB&Js…but there are tons of other fun sandwich combinations.

  • Veggie cream cheese and cucumber slices
  • Tuna salad and sliced tomatoes
  • Almond butter with almonds and dried cranberries
  • Hummus and chopped bell pepper
  • Apple butter and fresh apple slices
  • Whipped cream cheese and fresh blueberries
  • Laughing Cow cheese wedge and ham with grated carrot shreds
  • Blueberry cream cheese and strawberry slices
  • Reduced-sugar jam or jelly and cream cheese

Image and ideas from beautyofhealthy

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Cranberry, Pistachio, Dark Chocolate Bark

This 3-ingredient chocolate bark couldn’t be easier.  Take this sweet treat to your next party or package it up for your neighbors to spread some holiday cheer.  Pistachios, cranberries and dark chocolate are loaded with antioxidants, fiber and good fats.  Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 weeks.

What you’ll need:

  • 4.5 ounces shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 ounces dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate bar (like Hershey’s Special Dar)

What you’ll do:

  • Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 15 seconds.
  • Add in the nuts and pistachios.
  • Stir until combined and spread onto a pan lined with foil.
  • Freeze one hours.
  • Break into pieces.

Recipe and image from SkinnyTaste.com

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!