|October 2, 2015||Filled under Freezer Tips, Recipes: Soups and Stews||
Is your freezer like mine? Do things get put in there only for them to get sucked into the freezer black hole. You know the one where you never seem the food until it suddenly reappears a year down the road? Do you stare at the unmarked container or bag and wonder “why did I freeze this? Better yet….what is it and what in the world am I going to do with it”?
You can avoid the freezer black hole by 1. NEVER put anything into the freezer without marking it with what it is and a date and 2. Go through the freezer at least once a month to see what you have and make plans to use it. One way I try to avoid mystery packages is to double bag things. Not only does it cut down on freezer burn but it allows me to put a small index card with the item name and date in between the two bags. Going through the freezer on a regular basis keeps things from being pushed to the back and helps to refresh my memory of what I have in there waiting to be used.
While going through the freezer I came across a bag of frozen meatballs…unmarked of course so I already broke the first rule. Thinking back I remembered making Cilantro Chicken patties and then using some of the mix to make meatballs for another recipe. Hmmm…..I might just have a use for those in a batch of soup. You can easily use store bought chicken or turkey meatballs (beef too!) but homemade always tastes better to me.
Mexican Chicken Meatball Soup
- 1 pound Chicken meatballs (homemade or store bought)
- 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or 2 teaspoon dried garlic
- 1 - 4 ounce can green chilies, chopped
- 1 - 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried cilantro
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste
- In a 4 to 6 quart stockpot heat the olive or canola oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add in the tomatoes, green chilies, chicken stock, chili powder, cilantro and cumin.
- Add in your chicken meatballs.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper and hot sauce, if desired, to taste
- Serve topped with your favorite garnishes
The soup in the picture also contains kidney beans. The one thing I love about soup is it’s ability to have extra items added in and it always tastes great! I had half a can of kidney beans in the refrigerator from a previous meal/recipe and decided they would make a perfect addition to the soup. You could easily add in a can of your favorite bean when you add in the meatballs.
Have a favorite soup recipe? The weather is getting cooler and I’d love to see what other people enjoy making at this time of the year. Why not leave a comment below with a link to a recipe you enjoy making.
|September 29, 2015||Filled under Freezer Tips, Recipes: Beans and Grains, Recipes: Eggs||
Lentils are little nutritional powerhouses. They are a good source of potassium, calcium, niacin, zinc, folate, iron and vitamin K. Plus they are rich in dietary fiber and protein. They are a nutrient dense food that can decrease your risk for many serious medical problems. Lentils can be worked into many dishes especially soups and they are easy to prepare. If you happen to be able to find canned lentils you can whip together this tasty dish in minutes. If not keep watching for a quick tutorial on preparing and storing lentils.
LENTILS WITH FRIED EGGS
- 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil
- 4 large shallots or 1 small onion
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 - 14 ounce can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 - 15 ounce can of brown lentils
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
- 4 large eggs
- nonstick spray
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, optional
- Heat the oil in a deep skillet or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the shallots/onions, celery and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they have softened.
- Add in the vinegar and red wine. Cook until the liquid has been reduced to about half.
- Add in the tomatoes and lentils.
- Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat. Cook until the lentils have softened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the mustard and liquid smoke if using it. Cook 5 more minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
- Once the lentils are ready spray another skillet with nonstick spray. Crack the eggs into the skillet and prepare your fried eggs.
- Serve the lentils with a friend egg on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Tips: while the liquid smoke is optional is adds a nice smokiness to the lentils. It also makes this dish, minus the eggs, a great side dish to be served with other types of barbecued meats such as chicken or steak.
Freezer tips: the lentils can be frozen for up to six months in a well sealed container. Don’t forget to mark the container with the item name and date.
|September 28, 2015||Filled under Recipes: Soups and Stews||
The weather here is starting to change. It was 42 degrees yesterday morning. When the cooler weather starts setting in there is nothing I enjoy more than a nice bowl of hot soup. This soup is super easy to make. Plus it freezes well so you can double or triple the batch to put some aside for another day.
Asian Chicken and Corn Soup
- 2 chicken breasts, cook and shredded
- 1 - 15 ounce can of corn, drained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated or 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- salt to taste
- In a large saucepan combine the broth, corn, ginger, green onions and chicken breasts.
- Cook over medium high heat about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add the toasted sesame oil and stir.
- Very slowly pour the beaten egg into the soup. Wait at least 30 seconds before gently stirring. This allows the egg to set.
- Serve and garnish with additional green onions.
Tips: try using a 15 ounce can of creamed corn instead of whole corn kernels. To make quick Lemon Chicken and Corn soup try adding 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice and some grated lemon peel to the soup.
|September 24, 2015||Filled under Recipes: Soups and Stews, Recipes: Vegetables|
I’m not exactly sure what the word Korma translates into but I’m pretty sure it might mean deliciously creamy sauce. The great thing about this dish is it’s very versatile. You can make it as it is or add chicken, beef or lamb to it. You can also add other vegetables if you would like. Cauliflower and zucchini both work great. The dish is usually served with rice and naan bread but it’s great over lentils as well.
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 potatoes, cubed
- 3 medium sized carrots, cubed
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 cup peas
- 2 teaspoons ginger, fresh or 1 teaspoon dried, ground ginger
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons cashews, finely chopped
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ tablespoon curry power
- 1 teaspoon garam marsala
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 cup light cream, unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender.
- Mix in the ginger and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
- Mix in potatoes, carrots, green pepper, jalapeno, cashews, raisins and tomato sauce.
- Add salt, curry power and garam marsala.
- Stir well and cook 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in the peas and cream.
- Reduce the heat and cook another 10 minutes.
- Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.
Serve this vegetarian korma alone or over rice or lentils.
Tips for WLSers: Add sliced cooked chicken, beef or lamb for an added boost of protein. Since this recipe already contains potatoes, carrots and peas (a good source of carbs) be mindful of your portion sizes of rice or lentils if you serve it over these. Choose brown rice over white rice. It will provide additional fiber and vitamins. Save cooking time by using canned lentils.
The original recipe called for heavy cream. By choosing light cream you can reduce the calories without changing the creamy texture. I’ve also made this recipe and replaced half or all of the cream with unsweetened almond milk and it’s still tastes delicious. Coconut milk also works but be aware that it is still high in calories.
|September 18, 2015||Filled under Misc||
Six years ago I returned to school. I was on a mission to get my degree in nutrition and become a registered dietitian. There’s been a whole lot of changes that have gone on over the last six years and I remained focused through them all. The above picture is from graduation day this past May. I not only completed my degree (graduated Cum Laude as well) but also finished my year long dietetic internship. The beginning of September brought my mission to an end when I passed the state boards. Mission accomplished……I’m a registered dietitian!
During the past year and a half this site was set aside while I went to school, worked at my internship sites, worked a regular job and performed all my mom duties for my three girls. Now that life has settled a bit I will be back to posting on a regular basis. Topics will still be focused on health and nutrition especially for those of us who have had WLS. This coming November I will be 11 years post-op and I currently maintain a 125 lb weight loss. Like everyone else I have had my battles with regain at different times over the years. I’m sure that will not change but WLS has been one of the best tools for me when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
Keep an eye out for changes and updates to the site. I’ve got lots of things planned.