Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

The soup can be dressed either up or down depending on who you are serving. It's a regular in our dinner rotation. Definitely hearty enough to stand on it's own it's also a good starter for a steak and baked potato. (If your children don't like nuts serve them as a garnish. This is also good with bacon added...add the points of course)

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Servings: 8/1 cup
Points: 5

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup butter 1 finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth (fat free)
2 cups cooked wild rice (you can use a wild rice mix if you can't find plain wild rice)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups half-and-half (fat free)

DIRECTIONS:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Then add the flour and stir well. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer.

Next, add the rice, chicken, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper, almonds and sherry. Allow to heat through, then pour in the half-and-half. Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours. (Note: Do not boil or your roux will break)

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip is quite possibly the best Spinach Artichoke Dip in the world! OK, maybe not the world but it's pretty darned good. I don't have the NI on it nor do I want it...I'm sure it would make me feel guilty and I would end up avoiding the cheesy goodness. Not going to happen!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 box frozen spinach thawed and drained
1 14 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts chopped (you can use plain but it's not as good)
1 cup shredded Parmesan/Romano blend
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
10 oz prepared Alfredo Sauce (I like the 4 cheese blend)
1 t. minced garlic
4 oz softened cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Spread mixture into a small greased baking dish. 8x8 works well. Bake 30 min or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

*I like to crush up garlic croutons and sprinkle on the top with a little more Parmesan cheese. This will give the dip a little extra crunch. Totally up to you.

Serve with tortilla chips or pita wedges.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Crunch

This was not so light but pretty yummy! Obviously you could use leftover homemade cookies if that is what you have on hand. It would be even better!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Crunch

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
16 oz strawberries
6 item(s) Keebler Chips Deluxe, Chocolate Lovers
2 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Wash strawberries and orange. Grate zest and set aside. Cut strawberries into quarters add to orange zest.Sprinkle sugar on top. Mix well. Put berries in baking dish. Crunch up cookies and sprinkle on top. Drizzle butter over the top and bake for 7-8 minutes. Can top with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt. Count topping points separately.

Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken

Since I am always trying to "diet" many of the dishes I fix are either lighter to begin with or I lighten them in an effort to not "poison" my family as I work to be more healthy.

This is my new favorite Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe for home. It's not Chinese take out but it helps curb the craving!

Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken

POINTS® Value: 6

Serve with rice; count NI for rice separately.

Ingredients:
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup(s) pineapple juice
2 cup(s) canned pineapple, packed in juice
1 medium green pepper(s)
1/2 cup(s) Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar
2 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Instructions:
Preheat over to 350. Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heal 1 T oil over med high heat. Add chicken and cook about 2 min on each side or until brown. Transfer chicken to a 2 quart baking dish. Drain pineapple well reserving 1/3 c juice. Spoon pineapple chunks evenly over chicken in dish; set aside. For sauce in a med saucepan whish together the reserved juice, cranberry sauce, cornstartch, brown sugar, vinegar, orange juice concentrate, water, soy sauce and ginger. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Pour over chicken and pineapple in dish. Bake, covered, for 25 min. Uncover and add pepper strips, stirring gently to coat with sauce. Bake, uncovered, about 5 min more or until chicken is no longer pink.Per serving. 368 cal, 6 g fat, 82 mg chol., 589 mg. sodium, 41 g carb, 2 g fiber, 35 g pro.

Obviously I stink at this blogging thing...

Well hey, once a year isn't bad right??

Since I truly lead the most boring life on the block I've decided to share a few of my favorite recipes. I love to cook for my friends and family so I have accumulated many recipes over the years.

My sister is actually encouraging me to do this because I am terrible at remembering to send her the ones that I rave about.

Hopefully it will be more than once a year.