Chillaxin’ With Some Old Recipes

I know I slammed ya’ll with a bunch-o-information the last few blog postings as I dissected my thoughts about David Kessler’s book, “The End Of Overeating.” So I thought I’d put the blog in neutral for a moment and just chill. So from here on down, no worries. Just good food.

Let’s start with Pubsgal’s request for my Vegetables Paprikash recipe. This has replaced tater tot hotdish as my #1 comfort food.

Vegetables Paprikash
(From the book “1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes” by Sue Spitler)
4 servings (2 Points without noodles, wrap, or pita)

2 C thinly sliced cabbage
1 C each: sliced onion or leeks, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, and celery
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ C sliced mushrooms
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 T olive oil
3 T flour
1-2 T paprika (I use 2-3 T)
¾ C vegetable broth
½ C fat-free sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté vegetables in oil in large skillet until tender, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the flour and paprika; cook, stirring 1-2 minutes. Stir in broth and heat to boiling; boil, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream; season to taste. Serve over egg noodles or roll in a wrap or stuff in a pita.

Personally, I heat up the leftovers for breakfast. It makes a great pre-workout meal.

******************
I stopped at my favorite farmer’s market on my way home from Pittsburgh today to pick up fresh tomatoes because Larry requested Chicken Chili for the weekend. Well, he didn’t exactly request it outright. The conversation went more like this:

Larry: “Gosh,” (insert heavy sigh). “I can’t remember the last time I had chicken chili.”

Me: “Would you like me to make you some?”

Larry: “Oh…you don’t have to. I was just remembering…”

Me: “Seriously. Do you want me to make you a batch?”

Larry: “But you don’t eat chicken.”

Me: “But I cook meat for you all the time.” (Really, I do. I make him meat meals 3-4 times a week. So I was confused why my not eating chicken was a roadblock for making him his favorite chili.)

Larry: “I know, but…”

Me: “Larry…honey…hear me when I say….I. WILL. MAKE. YOU. CHICKEN. CHILI. IT’S. NOT. A. PROBLEM.”

Larry (giggling like he’d just won $5 from a scratch-off lottery ticket): “Oh, would you?”

*sigh*

It’s the little things in life…

Lynn’s Chicken Chili
6-8 servings

(NOTE: You can make a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken and adding 2-3 cups total of roasted diced carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and sweet red pepper. Cut up the veggies into bite-sized pieces, put them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper (and a little cumin if you want a little extra smoky flavor), and roast in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until brown, flipping once after 15 minutes.)

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
1-2 T olive oil
¼ to ½ tsp tarragon
Garlic powder
Black pepper
1 C chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ to 2 T chili powder (use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 t sugar (may need to add a bit more later in the cooking process)
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t dried oregano leaves
1 t cocoa
½ t red pepper sauce
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes, undrained (or 5 -6 medium sized fresh tomatoes, skin removed, seeded and diced)
2-4 C vegetable or chicken broth (depends on if you like your chili more like a stew or more like a soup)
2 cans (15 ½ ounces) red kidney beans or black beans or a combination of the two

In a Dutch oven, spray the bottom with cooking spray, add the oil and chicken, then sprinkle the tarragon (or spice of your choice), garlic powder and black pepper over the chicken. Cook on medium high until chicken is brown and slightly caramelized. Remove the chicken and do not clean the pan.

Cook onions and garlic in the same pan. Add remaining ingredients and the chicken, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for at least an hour. I usually cook it for three hours.

******************************

Tomorrow, Cassie, Claire and Luca travel to Podunkville and will stay overnight. I love it when my kids visit because I get to be a mom in my own home. I fuss over them, make them their favorite foods, make sure they have the most comfortable pillows, fresh towels, and new toothbrushes (Carlene forgets hers most of the time so I always buy a few extra). I love the chaos and chatter because the house gets filled up with love that lingers for days.

I asked Cass what she wanted for dinner. She requested Lentil Spaghetti. I just happen to have a quart of sauce in the freezer. Yay! Less cooking and more time to spend with the grandbabies!

I put this recipe on a blog in May, so many of you have already seen it. Sorry for the early repeat. I usually serve this, for me, over shredded and cooked butternut squash. However, tomorrow I’m going to do something different. I’m going to

……drum roll……

serve it over broccoli slaw ala Hungry Girl.

OK, so it’s not news that changes the world. But if it adds variety to my (and possibly your) palate, that’s all that matters, right?

Here it is again, the Hearty Lentil Spaghetti recipe from Cooking Light magazine via my friend Sharon:

Hearty Lentil Spaghetti
Makes 5 cups: 2 Points for 1/2-cup serving

1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
1½ C dried lentils, rinsed
4 C vegetable broth
½ t pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper
1 can (14½ oz) Italian diced tomatoes (or diced tomatoes in oregano and basil)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 t white vinegar
3 t Italian seasonings (or 1½ t each basil and oregano)

In large saucepan coated with non-stick spray, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in broth, pepper and cayenne and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Stir in tomatoes, paste, vinegar, and herbs. Return to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes.

I serve this with whole wheat spaghetti for Larry. For me, I shred 6 ounces of butternut squash, put it in a fry pan coated with Pam, add some minced onions and garlic powder, and cook it like hash browns. Then I throw it over the lentil mix and add 2 T of parmesan cheese for a total of 3½ Points for the serving. Of course if you use pasta, there are additional Points.

*********************

Since this is the season for fresh tomatoes, I’ll leave you with my absolutely favorite tomato sauce recipe. It’s great on pasta/squash/base-of-your-choice as well as pizza.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta Sauce

2 pounds Roma or plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
6 peeled garlic cloves
1 T fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 T fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 small can tomato paste (or a cup of crushed tomatoes)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Spray veggies lightly with non-stick spray. Roast for 20 minutes. Flip the vegetables and roast for another 20-25 minutes or until they start to brown. Scrape everything into a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and process until pureed.

Pour contents into a large saucepan. Add vinegar, tomato paste, salt and basil. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. I sometimes go an hour for richer flavor.

This sauce keeps well for a three to four days. In fact, I think it tastes even better the next day when I turn Arnold’s Sandwich Thins into garlic toast and dip them in the sauce.

But that’s just me.

I’ll be around with another blog later this weekend. In the meantime, bon appétit! (BTW, do you plan to go see the new movie “Julia and Julia”? Talk about a blogger making it big time!)

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