Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Flavor Explosion

The other night I was flipping through an old Cooking Light and I came across this recipe for Chicken Posole.  I figured that I would give it a shot, since the recipe said that it would only take 20 minutes. I adapted a few things, like using fresh tomatillos instead of canned.  This recipe is definitely a keeper!  It is so flavorful and it tastes like a restaurant soup.  The next time that you are looking for a quick and healthy dinner, try this.  You won't be disappointed!

Super Fast Chicken Posole


1 tb olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves minced 
1/2 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped 
4 fresh tomatillos chopped
2 (14 oz) cans fat free, less sodium chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can hominy, rinsed and drained
2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (I used the plain cooked chicken strips from Trader Joe's)
1 tb fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
a few dashes of hot sauce
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
4 radishes thinly sliced
chopped cilantro leaves


1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat.  Add oregano and next 4 ingredients (through onion and celery); saute two minutes.  Stir in tomatillos, cook 1 minute.  Add broth and hominy; cover and bring to a boil.  Uncover and cook for 8 minutes.  Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute, or until heated.  Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce.  Divide evenly among 4 bowls.  Top with avocado, cilantro, and sliced radishes.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Can Dinner Really Be This Easy?!

For those of you that know me, you won't be surprised that I am once again raving about my crock pot.     It is so easy to make an awesome dinner, with little to no effort or clean up.  I am convinced that you can toss just about anything into this underrated appliance and it will be delicious! The added bonus of cooking your own meals is that you can control what goes into it.  Forget about pre-packaged, processed have all of the tools that you need to start eating better now!

 Tonight I decided to make beef stew and it turned out great!  If you know how to use a knife to cut some vegetables, and if you have some seasonings in your pantry, you can make this recipe.  Serve it with a salad and some Italian bread.  It's the perfect weeknight meal!  Enjoy!  

Crock Pot Beef Stew


1 lb stew meat (I use organic beef)
2-3 celery stalks chopped (leaves included)
3 Idaho potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 32 oz carton of lower sodium chicken or beef stock (or broth)
1 12 oz can of low sodium V-8
1 tb spicy mustard
1tb Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp hot paprika 
3 bay leaves (remove after cooking)
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste  

Directions:  Place all ingredients into the crock pot, stir to combine.  The liquid should just cover the meat and vegetables.  Turn on low and cook for 4-6 hours.  The meat will shred with a fork when cooking is complete.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Endless Possibilites

My latest obsession is with the acorn squash.  Not long ago, I used to bypass this little gem every time I went to the grocery store because I had no idea what to do with it.  I used it a lot when I was pureeing baby food for the little guy, but until recently I never realized that I could use it to throw together a quick and delicious dinner.  My theory on the acorn squash is similar to what I believe about the crock is almost fool proof!  You can mix together a bunch of ingredients, cook it, and voila! A delicious, healthy dinner, that took little effort.  Try the acorn squash recipe below, or feel free to experiment with your own version.  This will please both the herbivores and carnivores in your family! You won't be disappointed!

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 2


1 acorn squash

3/4 lb of your choice of ground meat (turkey, chicken, ground beef, pork), or you can go meatless

1 package of wild rice, quinoa, barley, couscous (or other grain of choice)

1/4 cup of chopped dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries)

2 T olive oil 

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 T pine nuts, chopped walnuts, or chopped almonds

2 T blue cheese, feta, or any other cheese you prefer


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook the wild rice (or any other grain of your choice according to package directions), set aside.  (***Note: wild rice takes about 40 minutes to cook, if you are looking for a time saver, use couscous, which cooks in about 5 minutes).

Cook the acorn squash.  First, pierce it a few times with a knife and then microwave it on high for 6 to 8 minutes.  The skin will be soft and a fork or a knife will puncture the skin easily when it is fully cooked.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then cut the squash in half, so that you have two even sides.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard.  

While the squash cooks, heat olive oil in a medium skillet.  Sauté onions and garlic over medium high heat, season with salt, and pepper.  Add the ground meat and cook until the meat is no longer pink (about 5 minutes).  

Combine, the rice, meat mixture, dried fruit, and nuts in a medium bowl.  Stir until everything is evenly mixed.  Fill each half of the acorn squash with a ample amount of the mixture.  Top each half with the crumbled cheese.  Place on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.