Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole

This is a recipe that we've used many times, both for our family and to take in for dinners for others. It is also one that lends itself to freezing very well and is good to stash in the freezer for those nights that you are in a hurry.

Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole
6 servings

2 cups cut up cooked chicken breast
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup 1 % milk
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cupish)
1 can fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg original flavor long grain and wild rice mix (Rice a Roni or Uncle Ben's)

Heat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients, including seasoning packet from rice mix in ungreased 2 quart casserole.

Cover and bake 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with green onion.

*If you choose to do this as a freezer meal use dehydrated onion in place of the green onion and omit the boiling water. Mix everything else and put in a 1 quart freezer bag and freeze flat. When you are ready to use it thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or in the microwave). Then pour into the baking dish with the water. You will need to adjust the cooking time if it is not completely thawed.

NI per serving: Cal 155, Fat 5 g., Carb 14 g., Fiber 1 g., Protein 15 g.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Spicy Orange Beef with Vegetables

Once again I am in search of a healthy substitute for Chinese take out. I LOVE Chinese take out, I could eat it every single day and never get tired of it. It doesn't even have to be good necessarily, I still like it. I know, I am pathetic. :D

I've done this recipe several times. It's a modified WW recipe so it was pretty healthy to begin with if a little bland. So with a few additions and tweaks it has turned out to be a pretty good substitute on a Chinese food craving night. We like this over rice. Count the rice NI separately.

A couple of tips to make it taste more authentic:
  1. partially freeze your steak so that you can slice it thin
  2. do all the prep work (chopping veggies and making your sauce) prior to cooking. If you can just quickly dump and cook you will avoid overcooking anything. Nothing says "homemade impostor" like overcooked vegetables.

Spicy Orange Beef with Vegetables
4 - 1.5 cup servings

3/4-1 lb top sirloin steak, sliced thin and trimmed of all visible fat
2 T. cornstarch
2 t. orange zest (if you don't have an orange just add extra orange juice concentrate)
1/2 C. beef broth
2 T. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 C. water
2 T. orange juice concentrate
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t. Srircha sauce (if you don't want to buy a whole bottle of this use a little minced garlic and don't leave out the crushed red pepper)
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
4 t. canola oil
1 T. minced fresh ginger (the stuff you can get in the produce section in the tube also works well)
Green Beans (a couple of big handfuls) sliced on the diagonal in 1" pieces
1/2 red bell pepper sliced into strips
1/2 yellow pepper sliced into strips
1/2 orange pepper sliced into strips
2 large carrots cut into matchsticks
1 4 oz. can water chestnuts rough chopped
1/2 small zuchinni chopped into strips

  1. Combine the meat, 1 T of the cornstarch and the orange zest in a bowl. Mix around so that all of the meat is lightly coated with the cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining cornstarch, broth, water, orange juice concentrate, soy sauce, Sriricha sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Mix well with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Chop all the vegetables and set aside.
  4. Heat a wok or a large skillet over medium high heat. Swirl in 2 t. of the oil, then add the meat. Stir fry until cooked through, 2-3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Swirl the remaining 2 t. oil, then add the ginger. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds (you will be able to smell when it's ready). Add the vegetables. Stir fry until crisp tender, 2-4 minutes. Add the broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Add the beef back in and heat through, about 1 minute.

Nutritional Information: Cal 227; Fat 8 g; Fiber 4 g; Sodium 441 mg; Carb 16 g; Protein 22 g;