Friday, April 22, 2016

Sirloin and Parmesan Meat Loaf

I've had a subscription to Cooking Light for a very long time and I'm seldom disappointed when I try one of their recipes. Some may argue that meatloaf is meatloaf, but there are subtle differences and this version is a winner in my book.

Serves 8 (8 SP per slice)

1 tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped red onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
 1/2 cup ketchup, divided
1 3/4 lb 93% lean ground sirloin

1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tbs spicy brown mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, swirl to coat, then add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

Combine onion mixture, 1/4 cup ketchup, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix just until combined.

Press mixture into a 9 X 5 loaf pan. Invert onto foil lined baking sheet and remove pan.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Brush top with remaining 1/4 cup ketchup and cook for 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes, then slice into 8 pieces.
This is a robust meatloaf that is equally delicious served hot with mashed potatoes and carrots or lukewarm on a Brooklyn Bred bistro roll. The red onion and garlic is assertive, but not overly so, The combination of mustard and ketchup adds a nice balance and the grated cheese is just a subtle afterthought. I will definitely make this again.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Arroz con Pollo (Weight Watcher friendly version)

One dish dinners seldom disappoint. Spanish-style chicken and rice is no exception, but the calorie count can be daunting. When I found a recipe for arroz con pollo on Skinnytaste, I decided to give it a try. Here is my version--just a few changes made it more to our taste.

Serves 8 (1 thigh with 1 cup of rice) 11 SP
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 pkg Sazon
  • 1/2 tsp Adobo (without pepper is my preference)
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 scallions
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
Season the chicken thighs with vinegar, Sazon, Adobo, and garlic powder and let it sit 10 minutes. Heat a large deep heavy skillet or a Dutch oven on medium and add 2 tsp oil when hot. Add chicken and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

Place onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions and pepper in the bowl of a food processo and pulse 4-5 times. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet and sauté onion mixture on medium-low until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute. Add broth and bouillon (be sure it dissolves well), scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add salt to taste.
Add chicken and nestle into rice, bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line, then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape.
Cook 20 minutes without opening the lid. Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes. Fluff rice and serve.
I couldn't wait for the rice to cook, this smelled so wonderful. The rice is very flavorful, but not overpowering. The combination of Sazon, Adobo, cilantro, onion, and garlic along with the flavor of the very moist chicken did its magic. That little bit of vinegar that you use to flavor the chicken adds just the right amount of acidity. I would serve this dish to company with no apologies for how it's been lightened.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring Chicken Soup

There's no season to chicken soup, but if you're looking for a lighter, fresher version, this spring chicken soup will fit the bill.

Serves 4 (7 WW SP per serving)
NI: cal 295; fat 12.2g (sat 2.8g); fiber 4g; sugars 6g; prot 32g; carb 14g)

1 1/2 tbs canola oil, divided
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
3 large sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups torn, red leaf lettuce (or romaine or kale)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 oz shaved parmigiana cheese

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 1/2 tsp oil, swirling to coat. Add chicken and cook about 6 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan.

Add remaining 1 tbs oil to Dutch oven, swirling to coat. Add leek, carrot, and celery and saute about 5 minutes. Add stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and cook about 8 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme. Stir in chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Cook 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the lettuce. Place 1 1/2 cups soup in each of 4 bowls and top with the cheese. 
This soup came together very quickly and was fresh and delicious. I must admit I left out the peas because I just don't like them. Every bit as satisfying as my usual recipe for chicken soup, but lighter without sacrificing taste.