Friday, March 7, 2014

Recommended Recipe: Curried Coconut Soup w/ Chicken

Curried Coconut Soup with Chicken Recipe
image:  Cooking Light
I don't cook from recipes, but I do love Cooking Light magazine.  I just like to browse the pages and get inspired.

On Monday, when we were iced in, I made curried coconut soup with chicken for lunch.  Well, it was almost this recipe.  I deviated a little:  I added a bit of fresh ginger, used vegetable broth instead of chicken, and used cilantro and green onions in place of basil.  Also, I used brown rice noodles.

It was the perfect healthy, warming thing for a snow day, and it only took about 25 min start to finish.  If you are vegetarian/vegan or don't have any roasted chicken on hand, this soup would be just as tasty with some veggies like bell pepper and sugar snap peas.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps w/ Creamy Sriracha Sauce

This has become one of my super quick go-tos on busy nights.  It's easy to keep the ingredients on hand and it's really healthy.  I love tacos, and lettuce wraps are basically just Asian flavored tacos.  They are a great main dish, but would also make a nice appetizer to a multi-course meal.  Another bonus with this dish, is that is just as easy to make 10 servings as it is 1 serving; it all depends on how much shrimp you thaw/buy.

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
peeled deveined shrimp (I suggest 1/3 lb per person and I like 31-40 size for this)
lettuce leaves, green leaf or bibb/Boston works best (2-3 per person)
garlic teriyaki stir-fry sauce (1 Tbsp per serving; save some time and just use a good a bottled sauce)
radishes, bean sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, lime wedges, etc.

   Salt and pepper shrimp.  Saute over med-high heat in a little bit of oil (I like to use coconut or avocado) for about 2 minutes per side.  Toss with sauce and cook another minute so sauce glazes the shrimp and shrimp is cooked through.
   *I have also done this with strips of crispy tofu.  Also seriously delicious.

Creamy Sriracha Sauce
2 Tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mayo (any fat content, I use olive oil mayo)
2 tsp sriracha

Combine.  Makes 2 servings.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Butternut Squash & Kale Mac 'n' Cheese

I guess this was my last hoorah of cheese for a some time.  The hubs has a small scale IBJJF (International Brazilian Jui Jistu Federation) competition on Saturday in Atlanta and then the PanAms (large scale) in early March, and he needs to drop like 6-8 lbs for that.  I volunteered to be in an X-Men costume group for DragonCon Labor Day weekend, so I am trying to get in superhero shape in the next 6 months.

This macaroni and cheese is probably as healthy as you can get while still being 100% indulgent.  I still used full fat cheese and a little bacon (it needed to be used up), but I made some adjustments so there is no need to feel guilty about eating this delicious concoction.

Butternut Squash & Kale Mac 'n' Cheese
12 oz whole wheat penne, cooked ~1 min shy of being done
2 1/2 C peeled and cubed butternut squash
3 C chopped kale or baby kale
3 center cut bacon slices, chopped (or regular bacon, extra fat removed)
1/2 C diced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 3/4 C low sodium veg broth (or water + 1 tsp vegetable base or bouillon cube)
1/3 C fat free Greek Yogurt
1/2 C shredded cheddar
1/2 C shredded smoked Gouda
1/2 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
salt and pepper

   Toss squash with a little oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 375 deg F for 15-20 min, until cooked but still firm.
   Render bacon until almost crisp.  Add chopped onion; cook 5-7 minutes until soft.  Add garlic, cook 1 min.
   Melt butter into bacon mixture, then whisk in flour to create the roux.  Slowly pour in vegetable broth, whisking the whole time so there are no lumps.  Bring to bubble, cook 3-4 minutes until it starts to thicken.  Remove from the heat and stir in yogurt.  Salt and pepper to taste, and add red pepper flake.
   Fold in cheese, cooked pasta, roasted squash, and kale.  Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
   Bake at 350 for ~20 minutes, until bubbly and slightly golden on top.
   Serves 6-8.