Monday, August 26, 2013

Watermelon Gazpacho

The summer heat is back in full force! When it's this warm outside, I crave anything chilled. Gazpacho is one of those foods I don't make that often, but is perfect this time of year. It's so refreshing and takes literally 5 minutes to make. This soup is traditionally made only with tomatoes and fresh herbs, but I decided to add watermelon for sweetness and jalapeño for a slight kick. The feta cheese on top adds a nice salty "pop" to each bite. Enjoy!


Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta
Serves 4-6

All you need:
1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 cups watermelon, cubed

1 English cucumber, diced

1 jalapeno, sliced

1 Vidalia onion, diced
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Place tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber, jalapeño, onion, parsley and onion in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.

2. Add tomato juice, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper and process again for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well combined.

4. Spoon gazpacho into bowls and top with feta. Serve immediately or hold in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hatch Chile Chili

Have you ever tried hatch chiles

Located right in the middle of the Rio Grande agricultural territory, Hatch, New Mexico declared itself to be the chile capital of the world. "Hatch Chiles" refer to the five or six main cultivated varieties of New Mexico chiles.

Hatch chile's peak season begins mid-to-late August, so right now is the perfect time to go buy some! Because of their short season, roast and peel them for storage in the freezer throughout the year.


Hatch Chile Chili
Serves 10

All you need:
4 hatch green chiles
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (11 oz.) can Mexican style corn, drained
Cornbread, for serving

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 500. Lay hatch chiles in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast (whole) for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into the skillet, then add the onion and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add turkey and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

3. Add seasonings and garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

4. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans and Mexican corn and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to low and let simmer.

5. Remove hatch chiles from the oven and place in a large bowl to cool.

6. Peel skin off of the chiles, remove the seeds (as many as you can) and dice into small pieces.

7. Add the diced hatch chiles to the chili and stir to combine. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes (the longer the better!). Adjust seasonings as needed.

8. Spoon chili into bowls and top with cornbread, if desired.

Perfect tailgate food!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Simple Salads

Lunch is often the meal I struggle the most with - I'm always craving something satisfying that will keep me full throughout my busy afternoon. These 2 simple salads are easy to make the night before and are super flavorful. Using Greek yogurt for both of the dressings saves a few calories and adds  extra protein. These recipes are also very kid friendly and would be great for a quick dinner during the week!

Lemon Pepper Caesar Salad with Homemade Garlic Croutons
Serves 4

All you need:
3 cups cubed day-old baguette bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (6 oz.) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 romaine hearts, chopped

All you do:
1. Make the croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic powder. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, tossing halfway through, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: Puree the yogurt, 2 tablespoons parmesan, garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor or blender.

3. Toss the lettuce, croutons, dressing and remaining parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Divide salad among bowls and season with more pepper, if desired.

Nutrition facts: Calories 253, Total fat 9g, Saturated fat 3g, Cholesterol 45mg, Sodium 430mg, Carbohydrate 21g, Fiber 6g, Protein 12g

Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt
Serves 4

All you need:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and cooled
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 green onions, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced thin

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 (6 oz.) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

All you do:
1. Combine dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add diced chicken.

3. Add dried cranberries, almonds, green onion and celery and toss to combine.

4. Serve with crackers or crusty bread. (It's also really good on it's own too!)

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 153, Total fat 4g, Saturated fat 1g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 459mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Protein 23g

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Turkey and Roasted Sweet Potato Enchiladas

I'm always trying to put a healthy spin on comfort food favorites. In this case I was craving Mexican so I decided to create a "good-for-you" enchilada dish that no one would ever suspect as lighter fare. The roasted sweet potatoes balance perfectly with the salty green chiles and spicy chipotle peppers. Finish this dish with plain Greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and you'll have a dish that's full of flavor as well as nutrients.


Turkey and Roasted Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Serves 6

All you need:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 red onion, diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1 chipotle in adobo, diced (use more if you like it super spicy!)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 (15 oz.) cans green enchilada sauce
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
Plain Greek yogurt and fresh lime juice, for garnish (optional)

All you do:
1. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add red onion and cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.

3. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Top with green chiles and chipotle pepper.

4. Add black beans and stir to combine.

                    Love the MyPlate symbol on this can!

5. Finish the turkey mixture with the roasted sweet potato.

6. Heat corn tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Fill each tortilla with a small scoop of the turkey mixture and roll up. 

7. Place each roll in a baking dish coated with cooking spray and top with enchilada sauce.

8. Top enchiladas with pepper jack cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Ooey, gooey goodness...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cooking with Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of my favorite foods. While it's mostly sold as a breakfast or snack item, I enjoy incorporating it into different dishes for added protein and flavor. In this case, I prepared a yogurt topping for chicken. While it sounds a bit unique, the end result is a chicken breast that is incredibly juicy and super flavorful. Paired with a leafy green salad and fresh tomatoes, this is the perfect summer supper!

Parmesan Yogurt Chicken
Serves 4

All you need:
1 (6 oz.) container plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Sliced green onion, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Combine the yogurt, mayo, cheese, mustard, Worcestershire and lemon juice in a small bowl.
3. Lay chicken breasts on a baking sheet and top each breast with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture. 

4. Finish chicken with seasoned breadcrumbs and place in the oven. Cook 20-25 minutes until juices run clear.

5. Place cooked chicken on a serving platter. Top with green onion and dig in!