Boston is under siege! A couple weeks ago an oppressive wave of heat and humidity descended upon the city sending our “feels like” temperatures into the triple digits. I know, I know, I should feel bad complaining about this having lived in New York, DC, and Kansas where the air is soupy enough to swim in come August, and in Texas where the dry, scorching heat will melt the skin off your face most months out of the year. But I’m a Northerner now, and us Yanks just can’t handle the heat. Continue reading
Aaaaaand the Holidays are over. Did everyone survive? Did we all make it out ok? Let’s do a quick headcount, shall we? 1, 2, 3… I don’t see Rodger – can somebody check on him please… 4, 5, 6, 7…. Yes, it looks like we’re all here. Whew!
So I took a couple weeks off to celebrate and spread good cheer, and let’s be honest, EAT! But now I’m back and ready to fill your inboxes with delicious, wholesome meals intended to wean you off of those calorie-laden dishes that we’ve all grown accustomed to these past few months. The first of which is this amazing, Southern Italian-inspired Chicken Abruzzi (pronounced aˈbɾut tsi) which boasts as much flavor as it lacks in calories and fat. Loaded with hearty vegetables, creamy cannellini beans, and zesty lemon chicken, this savory meal is just the trick to jumpstart your post-holiday diet. Continue reading
Okay, so Harvest Soup isn’t the actual name of this soup. It’s proper name is Mushroom and Hazelnut Soup, but since my mom only made it on Thanksgiving, my sister and I started referring to it as this (and be grateful, because the runner up was Pilgrim Stew). This is yet another recipe that’s been in the family for years, and we have no idea where it originated, other than one of my mom’s cooking magazines from way back. You see, at one point in the early 90’s (about the time Martha Stewart hit the scene), my mom decided that she wanted to fancy up our Thanksgiving dinner by serving courses. She was looking for something seasonally appropriate for the first course and felt that hazelnuts and mushrooms sounded autumny and elegant. It was an immediate hit with our guests, who, nearly 20 years later, ended up becoming my in-laws; that’s how magical this soup is! (Just kidding. Kind of.) Anyway, since that fateful Thanksgiving, this soup has made a return appearance every single year, but ONLY on the fourth Thursday in November. Continue reading
Pumpkin soup is one of my favorite meals this time of year. To me it feels like I’m getting away with something, almost like I’m eating pumpkin pie in liquid form – just without the sugar. (Incidentally, I made a pumpkin pie one Thanksgiving and forgot to add the sugar. I have yet to live it down.) Now, like pumpkin pie, this soup is bursting with warm autumn flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, but unlike pumpkin pie, it’s incredibly healthy. So this Halloween why not put your conscience to rest, fill up on this festive soup, and leave the candy bowl to the trick-or-treaters. (Oh, who am I kidding, go ahead and stuff your face – it’s Halloween!) Continue reading
Happy autumn, everyone! In celebration of this change in seasons, I felt it appropriate to post a soup recipe (remember when I used to do that all the time?). Well, now that the temperatures are steadily dropping, it seems only fitting that I should get back to making more of the food that I love soooo much I named an entire blog after. But rather than jumping in feet first with a hearty stew, I thought it best to tiptoe into fall with a light and flavorful chowder. Seasoned with warming spices like smoked paprika and chilies, this soup is the perfect way to take the edge off of a brisk day, AND it has the added bonus of using up all that leftover summer corn that’s taking up valuable pumpkin space at the supermarket. So come on everyone, let’s get our autumn on! Continue reading
I have a major weakness for Southwest egg rolls. It’s my kryptonite. Just one whiff of them can bring me to my knees, and every time I see them on a menu (and that’s a lot since our move to Texas), I have to order them. I’m not sure who it was that first came up with this Asian fusion work of art, but they should be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for brilliance in food discovery. Alright, maybe that’s going a bit too far, but that’s how much I love them. Now, with that being said, I realize that these fried little goodies aren’t the most nutritious things you can put into your mouth, and with bikini season still in full swing, I’m not yet willing to abandon my healthy eating habits and devour these by the handful, like I inevitably do once sweater season strikes. But just because the weather is warm and the clothing trends skimpy, doesn’t mean I should completely sacrifice my favorite go-to appetizer, right? At least that’s what I was thinking last weekend when I was having a serious snack-attack. Hungry for something savory and satisfying, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own less fattening version of the Southwest egg roll. Made with brown rice, lean chicken, and baked instead of fried, I feel better (at least a little bit) about attacking these guys with reckless abandon. Which I did. — Don’t judge.
Baked Southwest Egg Rolls
- ½ cup dry brown rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 1½ cups corn kernels, fresh or canned
- 1 cup precooked rotisserie chicken (white meat, skin removed), roughly chopped (*omit to make this a vegetarian dish)
- 1 bell pepper (red or orange), chopped
- ½ cup jarred salsa
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 3 Tbsp diced canned jalapeños (substitute mild diced green chills for less heat)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 14 flour tortillas, fajita size
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water
- parchment paper
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add rice and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until rice is soft and all the water has evaporated from the pot. Once rice has finished cooking, fluff with a fork and set aside.
Bring 2 sides of the tortilla upward, then use your other hand to press on the outside of the tortilla, forming the filling into a log running down the center of the tortilla, stopping ½-inch from each end.
- 1 cup jarred salsa
- 1 cup light sour cream
- Kosher salt to taste
- smoked paprika for garnish
Sidekick: Serve with a light and refreshing beer, preferably of the Mexican variety: Pacifico, Modelo, Sol, Dos Equis, Victoria, or Carta Blanca.
Alright, friends, have we all agreed to stop buying frozen, grocery store hamburgers and unanimously decided instead to try making our own patties this summer? Have the last couple days of me preaching from my soapbox convinced you that there are better ways to barb-e-que? Yes? Good. Now we can move on to fantastic salads to accompany those delicious burgers! Below are two, super easy salads that pretty much go with any main dish. Continue reading
Alright, here we go, another chopped salad recipe for you guys! If you already made the chopped salad base from yesterday’s post, then you should be good to go, if not, I included the recipe again for your convenience. Because I’m cool like that. Anyway, this version is a little more gluttonous than yesterday’s, but still very low in calories, so don’t feel bad about splurging a little. However, if you’re really serious about your daily calorie intake and don’t want the extra digits to add up, just omit the avocado and chips, and swap out the steak for chicken — you’ll still get the same great taste without the extra fluff. Continue reading
Coming home from vacation is always hard, but it’s even harder when that vacation is centered around delicious food, as Alaskan cruises almost always are. This past week I’ve been missing my daily breakfast buffet, the mid-day tea and cupcake social, and the calorie laden 3-course meals that I became accustomed to on the ship. My waistline, on the other hand, is not. After a couple depressing attempts to fit into my summer clothes, I decided that it was time to undo all those lovely inches that I brought back with me from my trip. But how do you go from stuffing your face morning, noon, and night to eating like a rabbit and being happy about it? The trick is it to load up on lean protein and fiber-packed foods that will help fill you up quicker, and keep you fuller longer. Which is why I’ve been living off of my homemade chopped salad for the last few days. Continue reading