Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cashew Chicken

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 3 green onions)

1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews


1. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and chicken in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, broth, oyster sauce, and honey in a small bowl.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Return chicken mixture to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with green onions and cashews.

Rice pilaf: Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water, 1/2 cup long-grain rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Black bean salad

Dried black beans

1 can of rotel tomatoes

1 cup of frozen corn, thawed

1 onion, diced

1-2 TBSP of olive oil

½-1 TBSP of mirin (rice wine vinegar) or juice of a lime-if using a lime, zest it first and add that for extra flavor and nutrients.

1 tsp cumin or more

Salt and pepper

Taco seasoning and cilantro, optional


I like to cook my own dried beans rather than buy them canned.  It’s cheaper, fresher, and better for you.  Soak the beans overnight then drain and rinse them.  I season mine with garlic and onion powder as they cook and then add a little salt when they are almost soft.  I like mine to be pretty firm.  Drain off any remaining liquid.  The amount of “dressing” will depend on how the beans cook.  If you make the salad and it’s too dry after it’s been refrigerated, then you can add a little more olive oil.


Drain the rotel, saving the juice to make the dressing for the salad.  In a large serving bowl add the rotel, 2 rotel cans worth of cooked black beans (that’s how I measure it), corn, bell pepper, and onion.


Dressing:  Mix the rotel juice, olive oil, mirin (or lime juice with zest), cumin, salt, pepper, and a little bit of taco seasoning to taste.  We buy our taco seasoning in bulk container or make our own.  Stir the dressing, pour over bean salad, and mix.  Top with chopped cilantro and refrigerate for a few hours.  Before serving, toss the mixture to see if it’s moist enough.  This will depend heavily on how the beans were cooked.  If they are more soft and starchy then it will take more dressing.


I like to serve this as a side dish for taco night or a main dish on a bed of lettuce.


Now that you have all these black beans cooked, divide them into 2 rotel can sized portions and freeze them.  You can add them to chicken enchiladas or make a wonderful taco soup.

Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad

Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad

Yield: About 7 - 8 servings




10 oz baby spinach

3 small gala apples or 2 medium, cored and thinly sliced

1 cup pecans, toasted

4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (don't use the pre-crumbled stuff)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

12 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin strips (optional)


Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

2 tsp dijon mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper



If using red onion, place slices in a colander and run under warm water for about 10 seconds, tossing once, to remove harsh bite. Drain well.

In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, apples, pecans, feta, cranberries and optional bacon and red onion. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately after adding dressing.

For the dressing:

Add all ingredients to a medium mason jar. Cover with lid and shake to blend well (or alternately just blend well in a bowl with a whisk).

Recipe source: inspired by Southern Living

South of the Border Breakfast Wrap


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro
  • 0.25 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Whole Grain Tortilla
  • 0.25 c. grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 ripe avocado


  1. In medium bowl, whisk egg, egg white, cilantro, chili powder, and a pinch of salt.
  2. In 8-inch nonstick skillet on medium, cook egg mixture 3 minutes or until almost set, stirring frequently.
  3. Place tortilla on large plate. Cover with damp paper towel; microwave 30 seconds on high.
  4. Add eggs to tortilla along with tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro leaves, if desired.



Crush Float


Diet Crush soda  or any diet orange soda

Orange sherbet


Pour soda in a glass, add sherbet amount of your liking.

Nice low fat sweet treat. Can also do sprite and lime sherbet.



Almond Butter & Strawberry Smoothie


  • 4 ice cubes
  • 8 ounces strawberries*
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almondmilk
  • 2 tablespoons smooth almond butter

Put ice cubes into a blender and blend until crushed. Add berries, almondmilk and almond butter and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

*You can substitute 1 cup frozen (not thawed) whole strawberries for the fresh berries. Leave out the ice if you use frozen berries.



Kale and Apple Salad


3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves very thinly sliced
1/4 cup dates
1 Honeycrisp apple
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 ounce pecorino, finely grated (1/4 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper
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Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the kale, toss to coat and let stand 10 minutes.

While the kale stands, cut the dates into thin slivers and the apple into thin matchsticks. Add the dates, apples, almonds and cheese to the kale. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.