Friday, March 30, 2012

Ancho Beef and Bean Chili

Todays' recipe is from the Weight Watchers Points Pus Power Foods cookbook, page 69

2 dried ancho chile peppers, seeded and torn into pieces
2 dried pasilla or New Mexico red chili peppers seeded and torn into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 1/4 cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained.

1. Set medium skillet over medium-low heat.  Add ancho and pasilla peppers; toast until fragrant, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to medium bowl; add enough boiling water to cover peppers.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Drain peppers, reserving 2 tablespoons of soaking liquid.  Combine peppers, reserved soaking liquid, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and cinnamon in mini-food processor or blender and process until smooth.

2. Spray large saucepan with nonstick spray; set over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens, about 4 minutes.  Add ancho pepper mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add steak and cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

3. Stir in broth and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered 20 minutes.  Stir in beans and simmer, covered until beef is tender and chili thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. 

makes 4 servings

6 WW Points Plus per serving

269 cal, 6 g total fat, 2 g sat fat, 0 g transfat, 31 mg chol, 362 mg sod., 29 g carb, 5 g sugar, 12 g fiber, 27 g protein, 48 mg calc.

May cut up 4 tortillas into 1 inch strips, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chili powder and bake for 6-8 minutes, until crisp.  Points/Nut info would vary depending on tortillas used.

My changes:

Used can of pintos as that is what we had on hand
couldn't find dried peppers (despite looking in 3 stores) so used 1 fresh pasilla and 1 fresh Anaheim chili, seeded, chopped and sauteed.
Byron added crushed hot red pepper to up the heat level
used less onion than called for (Byron doesn't much like onion, so I routinely cut onion in recipes by about 2/3 - 3/4)
added 4 t olive oil (1 t per serving) to add in 1 healthy oil serving (1 PP) per serving, bringing PP to 7.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kickin' Chicken Pot Pie

This is from Hungry Girl "Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World" page 128.

First the recipe, as written, (from the link) and then my changes.

Pot Luck

Oh, chicken pot pie -- we thought we'd never get to spend quality time together again. You with your crazy-fatty crust and gooey, creamy innards. Us with our calorie-conscious ways. We were wrong again! One of our lovely and talented subscribers inspired us to create this super-simple CPP swap (thanks, Margaret). Don't be chicken -- check it out!

8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast; cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cups C&W Ultimate Petite Mixed Vegetables (or any other frozen mixed vegetables)
1 can (10.75 oz.) Campbell's Condensed Soup, 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery
3 servings Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls (unprepared)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute chicken pieces for several minutes in a pan spritzed with nonstick cooking spray, until chicken is light brown/cooked but still tender; set aside. Heat frozen veggies in microwave according to package. Mix chicken, vegetables and soup together and put in a 9" round baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place dish in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly (stir about halfway through). While dish is cooking, unroll 3 crescent rolls. Combine pieces together with hands to make one large ball of dough. With a rolling pin, roll dough out into a circle to cover top of dish. Add dough to the top of the dish and cook for an additional 15 - 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serves 4.

Serving Size: 1/4th pie (approx. 7 oz.)
Calories: 210
Fat: 6g
Sodium: 800mg
Carbs: 24g
Fiber: 2.5g
Sugars: 6g
Protein: 16.5g

*4 Points

My changes:

1 pound 2 oz of chicken (two breasts from a bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts)
instead of the frozen veggies I used:
 1 cup fresh chopped broccoli, 
1 cup chopped celery, 
2 large chopped carrots (about 1.25 cups), 
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup frozen corn

I also tossed in about a 2 teaspoons of minced garlic into the pan when sauteing the chicken and added about a tablespoon of olive oil for flavor and a serving of healthy oil for Weight Watcher Daily Healthy Guidelines. 

While sauteing the chicken, I also sprinkled about a teaspoon of Penzey's Fox Point Seasoning on top.

Then in addition to the soup, I added 1 cup of chicken broth whisked with a heaping tablespoon of flour.

I baked that in a deep dish pie pan for about 40 minutes, then added all 8 of the reduced fat crescent rolls on top, with the points in the center and the big ends around the outside, arranged more or less to fit.  That baked another 25-ish minutes.

The end result is 8 Points Plus for 1/6 of the pie and 11 PP for 1/4.  I had 1/6 and it was very filling.

We will be making this again for sure, only I'll use less celery (maybe 1/2 cup) and might sub green beans or asparagus for the broccoli and maybe a bit of bell pepper might be good.

I think the leftovers will freeze beautifully and plan on freezing single serving portions for lunches at home or at work.
A fresh start.  Life has been a bit up in the air and crazy lately.  I've let my blogs slip. However, I'm doing some menu planning these days and after a recent hospitalization due to heart issues (I'm ok now), I have a renewed motivation to healthy tasty cooking.

So, without further ado here are my menu options between now and 4/18-ish. I don't like to plan which night we will have which items as it just never works for us.  I picked recipes from cookbooks I have on hand for new ways to work with old favorite.

I will post these recipes as I make them.

Choices for
3/29- 4/18

Beef Broccoli/fried rice/egg flower soup (getting started for rice/Chinese cookbook for beef/broccoli

Lemon Thyme chicken (taste of home comfort food) steamed asparagus/rice

Grilled Lamb Koftas/with yogurt cilantro sauce (fresh, fabulous fast)/ cucumber salad (WW best darn food ever)

Ancho beef & bean chili (sub ground beef for steak) (power foods) salad

Kickin’ Chicken pot pie/salad (HG Survival Skills)

Oven Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes with garlic, creamed corn (WW Best Darn food Ever)

Barbecued chicken & roasted corn salad (PC Spin on salads)

Teriyaki pork stir fry (PC It’s Good for you p 68), plain rice and egg rolls

Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya, (WW Ready, Set Go, p 112)

Grilled Pork Pitas with Tomato-Yogurt Sauce/Greek Salad (WW points Plus cookbook p 141)

Santa Fe Chicken (once a month cooking/family favorites p 31)

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo (HG 300 under 300 p 311/rice)

Byron cook x2

Leftovers x 2

Chicken sandwiches x 1
Burgers x 1
Hog dogs/polish sausage x 1
Pizza x 1
Ravioli/tortellini x1

Other: Great Grilling Recipes (PC), Magic Pot cookbook (PC)

Curry chicken salad (Just 5)
Pizza burger (morning star version)
Cheese Beefy Supreme Wrap HG 123
0 point soup (Meet Points Plus 2012)
Honey mustard vinaigrette (Meet Points Plus 2012)
Crazy Calypso Salad (GH 200 under 200 page 139)
Big bad burger wrap (200 under 200 page 140)