Low in fat but not in taste - recipes needed
We have barely started the holiday season and I am already feeling heavy and bloated. I would like to get some dinner ideas that are light, low in fat but not on taste. I am looking for recipes that are satisfying on these cold winter months.
Try my vegetable chili recipe. It's so flavorful, that I sometimes forget that it's very healthy and nearly vegetarian (chicken broth). Incidentally, I've tried adding ground meat to this and find that it actually tastes better without. I usually serve this over white rice w/ a light grating of cheese on top, or if I'm indulging, cheesy garlic bread. Important: chop all veggies into roughly same medium dice and add a pinch of salt w/ each layer of veggie that goes in.
CARB LOVER'S VEGETABLE CHILI (Serves 4-6)
1 med. white onion, diced
2 lge. carrots, diced
1 med. red bell pepper, diced
2 med. zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 large can diced tomatoes (unflavored)
1 cup broth (I use chicken but veggie ok)
1-2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. of each: cumin, ground coriander, garlic powder, oregano, dried parsley
cayenne to taste
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (the secret ingredient for smokiness)
In a Dutch oven/large pot on med. heat, add 1 tbsp. canola oil and saute onion til translucent but not brown. Remember to add pinch of salt w/ each addition of veggies. Add carrot and saute for 1 min. Add bell pepper and saute. Add zucchini and saute. Now add all herbs and spices (except for bay leaf & cocoa powder) and saute to coat veggies and toast from heat. Once you smell an incredible aroma, then add broth, beans, tomato, and bay leaf.
Bring up to a boil and then turn low to simmer for about 45 min. Cover pot entirely if you want more runny consistency; keep lid ajar if you want thicker consistency. Give a little stir every 15 min.
After 45 min. of simmering, stir in cocoa powder; taste and make any seasoning adjustments. Let simmer for 15 more min. Cool down for at least 10 min. before serving. Serve w/ favorite condiments. Enjoy!
A few ideas: roast vegetables at 400. A quick favorite of mine- toss broccoli wedges with S&P, garlic powder and some hot pepper flakes. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and spritz with some water. Roast till tender crisp, about 15 minutes. Tons of flavor, no fat. You can use whatever veggies/spices you have on hand to mix it up.
I second the chicken/veg broth suggestion. Instead of fat in sauteeing, I "toast" whatever I'm cooking in a non-stick pan so that it browns, and then put in some broth to keep the item from burning and to add flavor to replace the fat.
Watching portion sizes also helps- just eat half of what you usually do. 3-4 oz. is the normal portion size for meats (the size of a deck of cards)- at restaurants we usually get 3x that.
There's a very tasty low-fat recipe LINK below for Sante Fe Chicken...unusual because the sweet potato cooks with the chicken in the sauce but this is very flavorful...you could probably even get away with 1 Tablespoon of oil rather than 2 if you use a non-stick skillet.
Here's another one that is like honey-mustard chicken only a little better with the spices and maple syrup instead and NO added oil or fats: (spouse and son ate 3 chicken thighs each the other night!) By the way, Dijon mustard is great for low-fat cooking..it adds tons of flavor without any fat.
5 Ingredient Chicken
1/4 cup dijon mustard, thinned with 3 Tablespoons water
2/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons rubbed sage or ground sage
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 - 8 chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skin removed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add all ingredients EXCEPT chicken pieces. Stir until sage and curry powder are well blended.
Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt & pepper. Arrange in a baking pan that's been lined with foil, crowding the chicken pieces a bit. (You want to use foil because of the maple syrup in this recipe; you can crowd the pieces better by pulling the edges of the foil up all around the chicken pieces.)
Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces, turning to coat. Bake uncovered for 45 or 50 minutes, BASTING every 10 or 15 minutes, til chicken is golden brown.
Very good with basmati rice and a dark green veggie and/or salad. *If sauce separates, just pour off the oil.*
The 5-ingredient chicken is a little like what I had for dinner tonight. Spread a layer of frozen corn on the bottom of a casserole dish, with a little salt.
Dredge skinless chicken breasts in a mixture of flour, s&p, and dried oreganum. Lie on top of the corn. In a bowl, mix 1 Tbs mustard, 1 Tbs dried oreganum and 2Tbs yoghurt PER CHICKEN BREAST. Spread this mixture thickly over the top of the breasts. Cook for 15 min in an oven preheated to 350F/180C.
Absolutely delicious - the mustard mixture is creamy and tangy. My breasts (the chicken's, that is!) were rather thin, so maybe slice into one to check it's cooked through if yours are plumper. My aunt sometimes mixes spinach and cottage cheese as the veggie base. I'll be making this again, soon.
I'm very excited about the Sante Fe chicken recipe and I just bought some canned diced chilies and a bottle of salsa verde - Mexican ingredients not being common around here I have to substitute somewhat. We also don't have Mexican-style stewed tomatos so I am wondering what this needs for spicing - cumin? oregano? TIA!
jules, so SORRY...didn't see your post til today...the Mexican stewed tomatoes are DelMonte brand, link below...think your store carries it? They don't mention any spices in the tomatoes, but jalapenos and onions instead! Hope this helps a little...I think you could use some regular stewed tomatoes and see how the recipe turns out...with the other ingredients of that dish, you still have SW flavors going on.
Here are some fat/calorie saving tips:
Use chicken broth to make mashed potatoes. You might also consider using butternut squash mashed with cinnamon, smart balance and sweetener as a sub for the higher calorie and less nutritious potato.
Make a vegetable soup starting with a base of veggie or chicken broth and water. Add first the onions and carrots, add to the pot whatever else you like, especially seasoning wise. I use broccoli, cauli, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and whatever else I have on hand. I add poached or cooked shredded chicken to the soup, put a thin layer of cheese on top of the soup and broil it. Ratatouille is also a great dish for fiber and veggieness, and really doesn't need the oil most recipes call for. Either begin your saute in non-stick spray or broth. This goes well with broiled sole seasoned with Nature's Seasonings.
Chicken Cacciatore is also a dish that doesn't require the oil often called for. I use chicken breasts over thighs for my version.
You could also make crustless quiches using primarily egg whites and maybe one yolk.
One more dish I just had in a restaurant which was great was the following salad. It had spinach leaves as the base, grilled portabello mushrooms, grilled tomato wedges, blackened seared scallops and blackened shrimp as well. It may have had some cheese in it which I had left out.
Try this great soup:
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing, crumbled
1/2 lb chicken breast in large dice
1 large onion
LOTS of garlic (I use about 6 large cloves)
1 can chopped tomatoes in juice, unflavored
1 can chicken broth
2 c. white wine
1.5 c. water
1 can cannelleni beans in liquid
1 T fennel seeds, lightly chopped
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (or more if you like)
1 T dried oregano
2 t basil
1 t thyme
2 bay leaves
1 T sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
fresh cracked pepper
1 bunch red Swiss chard (or 1 pack fresh spinach)
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Brown sausage, drain away fat., remove. Brown chicken breast, remove. Add olive oil if necessary; sauté onion, garlic and fennel seeds and pepper flakes. Deglaze with wine. Add everything else. Bring to a simmer, adjust seasonings, cover, simmer about 30 minutes. Chop chard coarsely (1 inch pieces, we like to include some of the stems). Simmer VERY LOW HEAT 5 min. If using spinach, turn soup off, stir in spinach, cover, and let sit just about 4 or 5 minutes (this avoids overcooking.) Serve with grated cheese, of course