Monday, November 24, 2008

Sausage and Rice Soup with Spinach

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1 pound turkey Italian sausage
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups torn spinach
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add wild rice; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until tender. Set aside.

Cook the sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Drain sausage; set aside.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sausage, 3 cups water, and the next 5 ingredients (water through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in cooked wild rice, spinach, salt, and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

French Toast

3 large eggs
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking oil spray
8 slices sweet French or challah bread, about 1 inch thick (8 to 12 oz. total)
Powdered sugar
Maple syrup
Orange wedges

1. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, whisk to blend eggs, egg whites, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2. Soak bread overnight, in egg mixture.

3. Lightly mist a 10- by 15-inch nonstick pan with cooking oil spray.

4. Place slices slightly apart in a single layer in baking pan.

5. Bake in a 500° oven until toast is golden on bottom, about 5 minutes. With a wide spatula, turn slices over and bake until other side is browned, about 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer hot French toast to plates.

6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, drizzle with maple syrup, and serve with orange wedges, squeezing juice onto toast.

--Adapted from Sunset magazine

Mashed Potato Gratin

I used Swiss and Munster cheese, and it was perfectly tasty.

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup (4 ounces) fontina cheese, shredded and divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup warm 1% low-fat milk (100° to 110°)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan. Add 3/4 cup fontina cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, butter, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to pan; mash with a fork or potato masher until well combined. Add warm milk to pan; continue mashing potato mixture until desired consistency. Spoon into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup fontina cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Gruyère cheese. Cover with aluminum foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; remove and discard foil.

Preheat broiler.

Broil gratin 5 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Jezebel Sauce

Serve with ham, or just eat with crackers - maybe add some cream cheese.

1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup dried apricots
2/3 cup pineapple preserves
1/3 cup red pepper jelly
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and apricots in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain. Finely chop apricots.

Combine apricots, preserves, and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sweet Potato Tart with Pecan Crust

The interesting thing about this recipe is the use of silken tofu in the place of eggs and cream. It gives the pie a custard-like texture, but without nearly as many calories.

1 cup pastry flour
1/4 cup pecans
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Cooking spray

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3/4 cup soft silken tofu, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, pecans, and salt in a food processor; process until pecans are finely ground. Add butter; pulse 4 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.

With processor on, slowly add 2 tablespoons syrup through food chute, processing just until combined (do not form a ball). Place dough on a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times (dough will be sticky).

Place dough in a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over dough; press dough into bottom and up sides of pan. Discard plastic wrap. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with a fork; bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup syrup and cornstarch. Place syrup mixture, sweet potato, and next 6 ingredients (sweet potato through nutmeg) in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides. Spoon mixture into prepared crust, spreading evenly. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

Place 1/2 cup syrup in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup; remove from heat. Cool and drizzle about 1 1/2 teaspoons over each serving.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Holiday Brunch Punch

Very tasty. The rosemary gives it a unique flavor, but it doesn't taste like a Christmas tree.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 rosemary sprigs
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
2 cups fresh orange juice (about 6 oranges), chilled
3 cups club soda, chilled

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add rosemary; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour sugar syrup into a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Uncover sugar syrup; remove and discard rosemary sprigs. Combine the sugar syrup, juices, and soda in a large pitcher. Serve immediately over ice.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Stir-Fried Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

2 pounds broccoli
6 cups water
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 8 cloves)

Cut broccoli florets and stems into bite-size pieces to measure 10 cups.

Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven; add broccoli. Cook broccoli 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.

Combine broth and next 6 ingredients (broth through sesame oil); stir well with a whisk. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, ginger, and garlic; sauté 15 seconds. Add broth mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Add broccoli; cook 30 seconds, tossing to coat.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Creamed Corn with Bacon and Leeks

2 lb frozen cut corn, thawed
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 cup chopped leek

Place 1 1/2 cups kernels, low-fat milk, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and pepper in a food processor; process until smooth.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Add leek to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add pureed corn mixture, 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, and corn milk mixture to pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in crumbled bacon just before serving.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Maple-Orange Sweet Potatoes

The microwave makes this quick and convenient.

2 1/2 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon stick margarine or butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Place the sweet potato slices in a 2-quart casserole.

Combine juice and next 5 ingredients (juice through cloves) in a small bowl. Pour juice mixture over potatoes. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and microwave at HIGH 10 minutes. Stir after 5 minutes. Uncover, and microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until potato is tender. Sprinkle with pecans.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tropical Shrimp Salad

This was pretty good. It made for a nice change from the traditional.

1/2 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined. Tails off.
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
Salt, to taste.

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Creole Shrimp Remoulade over Baby Arugula

4 cups water
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups baby arugula

To prepare shrimp, combine the first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; cook 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water until cool. Drain; discard bay leaf.

To prepare sauce, combine green onions and next 8 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl; add shrimp, tossing to coat. Cover; chill 20 minutes. Arrange 1 cup arugula on each of 4 salad plates; top each serving with 1/2 cup shrimp mixture.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Creamy Tomato-Basalmic Soup

1 cup less-sodium beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained
Cooking spray
1/2 cup half-and-half
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 500°.

Combine 1/2 cup of broth, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Place onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Pour broth mixture over tomato mixture. Bake at 500° for 50 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.

Place tomato mixture in a blender. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and half-and-half, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Garnish with cracked black pepper, if desired.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

One-dish Rosemary Chicken and White Beans

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained
2 tablespoons cup chopped capers

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine rosemary, salt, and pepper; sprinkle over one side of chicken. Place chicken in pan, seasoned side down; cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; turn chicken. Add tomatoes and beans; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in capers.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

12 ounces uncooked linguine
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/2 (25.5-ounce) bottle fat-free marinara pasta sauce
2 tablespoons sun-dried or regular tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, tomato paste, and red pepper; bring to a simmer. Drain clams in a sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid; set clams aside. Stir reserved clam liquid into marinara-sauce mixture. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in clams, and simmer 3 minutes. Serve pasta with sauce.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine