Monday, January 28, 2013

Trini Chicken

     This sweet and savory chicken  is from the Trader Joe's Cookbook: Lighten Up! The recipe is an adaptation of one from Trinidad. I googled some other recipes from Trinidad just to see some similarities. I found they all have a somewhat sweet sauce with savory flavors mixed in.
     I really enjoyed this chicken. I looked forward to eating the leftovers the next day too. There is just something about it that is really different. I just couldn't get enough of it. We have made it twice since Christmas, when I got the cookbook that it's from.
     I paired this with tricolor quinoa and a salad. This meal is loaded with vitamins. The nutritional information per serving (of chicken) is 200 calories, 7g carbs, 8g fat, 26g protein, 5g sugar, and 3g fiber

Trini Chicken

by Robin
Prep Time: 5 + marinating
Cook Time: 40
Ingredients (4 servings)
16 oz chicken breast or tenderloin
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger
2 Tbl soy sauce
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 tsp chive
1 tsp oregano
3 Tbl olive oil, divided
2 Tbl brown sugar
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, onion, herbs and 2Tbl oil in a dish.
  • Add chicken and cover with marinade. Cover and marinate at least an hour.
  • Heat 1 Tbl oil over medium heat. Before oil gets too hot, add sugar. When sugar starts to bubble, lower heat a little. Don't allow to get dark or burn.
  • Add chicken and marinade to the melted sugar.
  • Cover pot for a minute, then uncover and stir until browned. Cover again, and turn heat back up to medium.
  • Turn pieces occasionally, allowing liquid to evaporate a little. You can add 1/2-1 cup water if needed.
  • Cook until chicken is tender, 30 minutes or so. During the last 10 minutes, add tomatoes and bell peppers.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Healthy Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Cookies

    After a break during the holidays, the Secret Recipe Club is back. I was so excited to get my assignment and start searching for the "one." This month, I was assigned to Jennifer's blog; Peanut Butter and Peppers. Jennifer is a lot like me in some ways. I used to think eating healthy and losing weight was about eating as little calories as possible. Now I know, as Jennifer discovered, the more you eat, the more you moderation of course. A little exercise doesn't hurt either.
     Right after I was given this month's assignment, my sister told me she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I found two recipes to test out that are not only gluten free, but also delicious. I sent them to my sister, and told her I tried them and loved them. I was most impressed that I didn't have to buy any special ingredients to make these gluten free! The first recipe I tried was Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cashew Butter. I ate some plain, then I rolled some up with a banana in a tortilla for a to-go lunch. Oh.My.Yum!
     I chose to make healthy dark chocolate oatmeal cookies for this month's reveal. Besides being delicious and easy to make, they are good for you! It's dairy, flour, and sugar free so it fits into everyone's diet...and for about 60 calories/cookie, you can even eat two or three! I'm sure you are thinking, how can these cookies be good? They are! They are rich and chocolaty. If dark chocolate isn't your favorite, just substitute whatever chips you do like.
     I made three changes from Jennifer's recipe. I used real maple syrup rather than sugar free syrup. I also used Ghiradelli chips instead of squares that you had to chop up. Finally, I only ground up half of the oats so the texture would be more like traditional oatmeal cookies.  Nutritional information/cookie:
61 calories, 8g carbs, 3g fat, 1g protein, 3g sugar, and 1g fiber

Healthy Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Robin
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Ingredients (12-15 cookies)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oats, (1/2 cup ground, 1/2 cup oats)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 oz Ghiraradelli 60% Cacao Semisweet Chocolate Chips or chips of choice
Preheat oven to 350*
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat; set aside.
In a large bowl add coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix until combined.
Fold in chocolate
Take a teaspoon size of batter or use cookie scoop to place batter on cookie sheet, about 2" apart. The cookies do not spread.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until bottom is lightly golden. Let them rest on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes and cool on a baking rack.
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Spicy Szechuan Beef

     I really wanted Chinese takeout tonight. We've been homebound most of the week with a feverish kiddo, so that wasn't really an option. This asian-inspired dish took the craving away, and didn't leaving me wishing I had the real deal. 
     I found this recipe in a Trader Joes Cookbook (find the link at the end of this post). The description says this recipe was inspired by a specialty of the Szechuan province of China; Ma Po Tofu. I've  never tried tofu, and honestly, I'm a little scared to. I have texture issues with certain things, and it seems like tofu would be squishy. I substituted one pound of lean ground beef  instead of one pound of tofu and a half pound of meat.
    This was my second time making this dish, and we really like it. It gets my family to eat peas...once you can convince them they don't taste like peas when they are coated in this tasty sauce. We used the General Tsao sauce from Trader Joe's, and I wouldn't say it was spicy really. I guess depending on the brand you use, it could be. If you like a little more spice, add in some red pepper flakes.
     I served this with mandarin oranges and brown rice to make a balanced, nutritious meal. If you are curious, the nutritional information follows:
Per Serving: 306 calories, 22g carbs, 12g fat, 25g protein, 16g sugar, and 2g fiber

Spicy Szechuan Beef

by Robin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
1-lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce
1Tbl soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
  • Brown meat of choice. Add garlic, ginger, and peas. Cook 2 minutes longer.
  • Add stir fry sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Cook for 3 minutes or until heated through.
  • Remove from heat and serve over rice.
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Healthy Turkey Chili

     Is it snowing there? It didn't snow today, but we still have about a foot on the ground. I think winter should be over after Christmas, but unfortunately it just started. If I didn't care so much about being close to family, I would totally move someplace warm. Since that isn't an option for me, I have this chili to warm me up on a cold winter's night.
     The best part about this chili is that it's healthy. It's full of protein and fiber. It's also spicy, so it's perfect for winter. The "secret" ingredients are salsa and taco seasoning. These really set this chili apart from other chili's. It's a recognizable kick that leaves you wondering why you didn't think to add it before! The beans and turkey make this a hearty chili that is sure to fill you up.
     Nutritional Information:
Makes 6-7 cups
1 cup serving: 224 calories, 22 carbs, 6g fat, 19g protein, 6g sugar, 7g fiber

Healthy Turkey Chili

by Robin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients (6-7 cups)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 t. ground coriander
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • dash red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (5 oz) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/2 c. low-fat sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 c. shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese
In a large stock pot cook the turkey over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, hot sauce, and tomato paste. Mix well and continue cooking until turkey is well browned.

Pour in beef broth and simmer to reduce liquid, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, black beans, and green chilies. Continue cooking at a moderate simmer for 10 minutes.

While the chili is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili in the stock pot, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.

Continue cooking the chili for an additional 15-30 minutes. Add in a half cup of water if it gets too thick.
Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Serve hot.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year and Some Healthy Recipes

     I'm not one for resolutions. I'm not really sure that I've ever seriously made one. In June (2012), after having my second baby, I got really motivated to get healthy. I've stayed motivated, and plan to continue my journey into the new year. As I reflect on this blog and look at the top posts of 2012, I see that most of the top ten are not healthy recipes. Sticking with my "Restored" theme, I'm going to make a resolution this year. I want the majority of my recipes to be healthy. Maybe some will be a healthy remake of an old favorite. Maybe some will be about trying new things. Maybe some won't even be recipes, but health notes.
     Here are a couple of healthy highlights from 2012. These recipes are among family favorites, but didn't have enough clicks to make it into the top ten for the year.

Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

Oven Fried Chicken

If you are interested in the top 10 posts of 2012, they are:

  1. Millionaire's Shortbread
  2. Monkey Bars (A healthy choice!)
  3. Blueberry Delight
  4. Banana Split Bites
  5. The BEST Blueberry Muffins (A healthy whole grain choice!)
  6. DIY Planter Umbrella Stand
  7. Strawberry Lassi
  8. Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
  9. Strawberry White Chocolate Scone
  10. Pumpkin Nutella Cream Cheese Muffin

Special Note

For the present, anonymous comments are not allowed at Robin, Restored due to the large number of spam comments that make it through Blogger's spam filter. I'm sorry about those of you who comment as Anonymous and sign your names. I'll try later to enable the function again.
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