Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Smokey Peach Chipotle Grilled Chicken

(Printable Recipe)
Grilled peaches make the marinade for this chicken mixing their sweet smokey richness with the savory heat of chipotle. Using this blend to flavor the chicken before it cooks will add only minimal carbs to the final dish as opposed to the dose we'd get using it as a sauce over the chicken later. With fresh peaches in season, I just can't resist finding new ways to make the most of their juicy late summer glory!
Oh, peach, you beautiful peach.
Peel three of these beauties and open 'em up like a plum to pop the pit out. If you missed my Plum Delicious Porkchop post then click here for an easy way to do that. Just halve them, don't cut into slices. actually it wouldn't hurt to skip peeling them, if you're feeling lethargic. You will however, have to fire up the grill unless you think ahead and toss these on while dinner is cooking tonight, then use them to marinate the chicken overnight for tomorrow's dinner. Give them about 5 minutes or so on each side on the grill - just long enough to get smokey and a little sweeter by roasting a bit.

Now, to the food processor with these freshly grilled babies. We'll add a tablespoon each of Dijon and apple cider vinegar, and 2 cloves of peeled garlic.

Process until smooth and give it a taste. Unless the peaches are really ripe and sweet, a spoonful of Splenda will improve this and balance the heat of the Chipotle Chili Pepper too. Be careful! A teaspoon or two is probably more than enough unless you really like it hot. It's pretty easy to find this type of pepper in most groceries now, but if yours doesn't have it just get canned chipotles in adobo sauce and throw in one of those.

Now pour over the chicken breasts in a gallon ziplock bag. There will be enough to marinate up to six pieces of chicken. Leave them overnight or up to 24 hrs. in the fridge and then Go Grilling! Shake the chicken to get most of the marinade off, it's thick so some will be left and its natural sugars will help the chicken brown nicely.

My usual note for fellow Take Shape for Lifers:
If you're in maintenance cooking some of this marinade with the chicken as a sauce is OK. Otherwise, you can rinse the chicken before grilling it, or if you shake most of the thick marinade off you should be looking at only an extra 4 or 5 grams of carb once cooked.

 SummerFest at the Food Network website (FN Dish) is back! Once again, you'll find my foodie blogs on the Food Network along with other great food lovin' bloggers, offering up our best ideas for your Farmer's Market finds all summer long. Each week we'll be blogging together with the FN Dish to produce fabulous ways to enjoy your produce!  This week, it's Peaches, next week Melon. Check out these delicious ideas:

Daily*Dishin: Caramelized Grilled Peaches
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Peach Blackberry Arugula Salad
Cooking With Elise: Streusel Topped Peach Muffins With Peach Butter
Heather Christo Cooks: Peach Coconut Pancakes
Ingredients, Inc: Easy Peach Pie
From My Corner of Saratoga: Grilled Peaches With Caramel-Ginger Sauce and Pound Cake
Dishin & Dishes: Peach Lacquered Chicken Salad
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Easy Peach Limeade
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Fresh Peach and Coconut Cake
Thursday Night Dinner: Peach Shortbread
Sweet Life Bake: Jicama Tortilla Salad With Peach Dressing
I Am Baker: Cilantro Peach Salsa
Zaika Zabardast: Donut Peach Quesadilla
And Love It Too: Peachy Coconut Streusel Muffins
Daydreamer Desserts: White Peach Margaritas
Cooking Channel: 4 Savory Uses for Peaches
Healthy Eats: What to do With Overripe Peaches
FN Dish: Peaches Move to the Big Kids' Table

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Double Pepper Kung Pao

(Printable Recipe)
This is Kung Pao with double peppers: sweet red bells and hot red chilies. And one more twist: smokey smoked almonds instead of the traditional peanuts. As with most any stir-fry, the dish comes together rapidly once you start. It's the prep before you ever turn on the heat that makes it all happen.

For starters, pull together the vegetables we'll use in both the sauce and the stir fry. Chop the onion and red pepper in a medium dice. Slice the scallions including the greens, removing any limp or aging green ends. Crush the garlic. Grate about 1/2" of the ginger. USING RUBBER GLOVES, chop the stems from the peppers and shake out any loose seeds unless you really like it hot. You may only want to use 1/2 this many peppers. Now your prep tray should look like this:

3 Tbs Green Onions
1 Tbs Crushed Garlic
1/2 tsp grated Ginger
1/2 cup Onion
1 cup Red Bell Pepper
1/3 cup Almonds
3-6 Red Chili Peppers

Now, the rest: Put the Sesame Oil and Olive Oil beside the stove for cooking the chicken. Be sure to use the toasted sesame oil that is dark in color and very pungent. We'll just use a tablespoon of the olive oil and half as much sesame oil which brings in one of the powerful flavor elements of Kung Pao.

1/4 cup soy, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 Tbs Splenda
The Soy, Rice Vinegar, and Splenda will make the final sauce, but we need to put it together now so it's ready later.

For the one pound of chicken breast, cut into cubes as uniformly as possible so everything will cook at the same rate.

Toss the chicken in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of corn starch to coat.

With the flame at about Medium or slightly above and the skillet hot, add oils and toss in the chicken, turning fairly continuously to cook quickly for about 5 minutes or until it has just cooked through. I usually cut through the largest piece in the pan to be sure - if it's done you know all the other pieces will be too. If this pan doesn't look very full that's because it's not! Don't crowd the pan or the chicken will steam instead of stir fry when the pieces begin to give off juice. Better to divide and conquer two quick stirfries than pile it all in and get a lousy result.

Now, remove the chicken to a clean bowl or plate and add the onion, bell pepper, and scallions. For more heat, you can add the chili peppers now too. I prefer to wait. The pan will have a perfect layer of browned bits that will start to come up when the vegetables exude their juice. If the pan starts to look too brown before than happens, add about 1/4 cup water and scrape with the spatula as you turn the vegetables.

Yes, it really does happen even though it looks like that stuff is stuck like glue! It's the Yum Factor; never waste it. Give the vegetables just a few minutes to barely soften and sweeten. A little crunch is good. Move the vegetables from the pan to join the chicken and lastly we'll make the sauce.

Combine sauce, chili peppers, ginger, and garlic in the pan and bring up to a fast bubble for 4-5 minutes. If there is anything at all left sticking to the bottom of the pan it should come up now. Finally, add chicken and vegetables back to the pan along with the almonds and toss for several minutes to coat and reheat all.  Done! I know, it seems like this has been a long post laden with how-to pictures but here's the real time line: Even if you cook the chicken in two batches, you'll only spend about 15 minutes at the stove to make this dish! Including prep time, about 30 minutes.

Notes for Take Shape for Life program - this equals about two six-oz servings of lean and all three condiment servings for the day, as well as the snack allotment of almonds.

 SummerFest at the Food Network website (FN Dish) is back! Once again, you'll find my foodie blogs on the Food Network along with other great food lovin' bloggers, offering up our best ideas for your Farmer's Market finds all summer long. Each week we'll be blogging together with the FN Dish to produce fabulous ways to enjoy your produce!  This week, it's Peppers, next week Peaches. Check out these delicious other great ideas:

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Stuffed Peppers With Quinoa Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Sauce
Cooking With Elise: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
What's Gaby Cooking: Oven-Roasted Peppers With Herbed Breadcrumbs
And Love It Too: Roasted Red Pepper Paleo Hummus
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Flank Steak With Gazpacho Sauce
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Seared Pepper Tacos With Pintos and Avocado Crema
Daily*Dishin: Shrimp and Chorizo With Red Pepper Chermoula Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip With Baked Corn Tortillas
Thursday Night Dinner: Black Bean and Sweet Pepper Salad
Cooking Channel: 5 Stuffed Pepper Favorites
HGTV Gardens: Garden to Table: Peppers
Sweet Life Bake: Rajas de Poblano con Elote y Crema
Dishin & Dishes: Bacon, Onion and Green Chile "Jam"
Healthy Eats: Peppers for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
FN Dish: Meat and Peppers

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Creamy Light Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

(Printable Recipe)
This Tuna Salad is light on the dressing yet seems rich and creamy from one single spoonful of goat cheese, which adds a great lowfat flavor blast. Serve it up in these pretty yellow tomato cups and give yourself some extra credit for getting in a serving a vegetable, too. And no, these are not yellow bell peppers, even though they're shaped just like one, are almost hollow just like pepper, and even have a firm exterior like one. A quick scoop with a grapefruit spoon emThey're stuffing peppers I found at the Farmer's Market and are easy to grow. I tell you this since I know how much you're going to want some of these and they probably aren't very easy to find in the produce section of just any store. So go to Tomato Growers Supply and grow your own.
Here's what you'll need:
Two 5 oz cans Tuna, drained
1 Tbs Miracle Whip Light
1 Tbs Honey Mustard
1 Tbs Goat Cheese
1 tsp chopped Dill
1 Tbs Celery
1 Tbs Scallions
1 Tbs Red Bell Pepper

The vegetables should be finely diced and goat cheese will mix in smoothly if it's at room temp. Mix everything together well with a fork or spatula and check the taste. Some goat cheeses are milder and less tangy than others and you may improve the final flavor with the juice of half a lemon. Taste testing is the best way to find out!

TSFL foodies: 1/2 of this recipe in a tomato cup will equal one serving of vegetable and about 1/2 your leanest lean, and ALL your fat and condiment allowances for the day in the dressing, cheese, and mustard. (5 oz of canned tuna equals about 3.5 when drained.)

SummerFest at the Food Network website (FN Dish) is back! Once again, you'll find my foodie blogs on the Food Network along with other great food lovin' bloggers, offering up our best ideas for your Farmer's Market finds all summer long. Each week we'll be blogging together with the FN Dish to produce fabulous ways to enjoy your produce!  This week it's tomatoes, next week Peppers. Check out these other delicious ideas:

Cooking With Elise: Fresh Tomato Sauce
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Tomato Gazpacho Salsa
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Tomato Cobbler Anyone?
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Prosciutto and Fresh Corn
What's Gaby Cooking: Chicken Kebabs With Romesco Sauce
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Salmon Spaghetti With Plum Tomatoes and Avocado
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Fresh Tomato Puttanesca Sauce
Chez Us: Easy Tomato Tart
Made By Michelle: Tomato and Pesto Pizza
Ingredients, Inc.: Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Tomato-Tomatillo Chicken Tenders
From My Corner of Saratoga: Tomato Jam
Dishin & Dishes: Tomato Zucchini Frittata
And Love It Too: Roasted Garlic, Basil and Tomato Paleo Tart
Healthy Eats: The Fresh-for-Once Tomato
Sweet Life Bake: Pico de Gallo
Zaika Zabardast: Grilled Tofu and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sandwich
Thursday Night Dinner: Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Cooking Channel: How to Prepare Summer Tomatoes
FN Dish: Tomatoes Go Beyond Salads