Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Broccoli for Brunch

What's healthy and green and goes great with eggs and cheese? Broccoli. You don't believe? Try this frittata recipe by Ellie Krieger and even your pickiest eater will agree. Loaded with cancer-fighting vitamins, antioxidants, and protein, this is the perfect wake up call on Sunday brunch.

Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata

4 large eggs
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
2 cups chopped cooked broccoli
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar

1. Whisk eggs and egg whites with water until frothy.
2. In an oven-proof non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium flame. Cook onions until soft then add broccoli. Cook for two minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables to cover them evenly. Reduce the heat to low, cover skillet, and let egg set around the edges.
4. Sprinkle with cheese.
5. Place skillet under the broiler until eggs are set and the cheese melted. Cut into wedges and serve.

Tip: Serve frittata with a crisp salad and fruit for a complete and filling brunch.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Broccoli and Chicken Stir-fry

There's more to broccoli stir-fry than beef and oyster sauce. This Broccoli and Chicken Stir-Fry recipe from the Neely's can attest to that. It's loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants, Vitamin C, iron, and B vitamins from the broccoli and lean protein from the chicken. Try it for a lighter take on this Chinese takeout favorite.

Broccoli and Chicken Stir-fry

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into chunks
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger
4 green onions, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched

1. Whisk the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set aside.
2. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and coat with peanut oil. Stir-fry chicken pieces in batches until cooked through. Remove cooked chicken from wok.
3. In the same wok, saute herbs and spices until fragrant. Add chicken and broccoli. Stir until heated through.
4. Pour reserved sauce and stir until sauce is thickened. Serve warm.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Toast - Or Two - to Spring

Drinks are always part of springtime celebrations. Ditch the alcohol for these two Barefoot Contessa drinks that are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They taste so good, you won't be missing alcohol.

Herbal Iced Tea

4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea bags
4 cups pure apple juice
4 cups water

1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Steep eight teabags in the boiling water for 10 minutes, longer if you want stronger flavor. Discard teabags.
3. Combine tea with apple juice and refrigerate until chilled.
4. Serve over ice.

Tip: Add crushed mint leaves for flavor and garnish.

Sunrise Smoothie

1 cup chopped ripe strawberries
1 cup chopped seeded watermelon
1 cup chopped fresh peach
1 cup raspberry sorbet
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1. Combine strawberries, watermelon, sorbet, peach, and orange juice in a blender. Process until smooth.
2. Add more orange juice if you want it less thick.
3. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

Tip: Add low-fat milk or yogurt for additional calcium.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sunny Tomato and Basil Soup

Summer tomatoes are sweet, but tomatoes that come in during spring are tart and tangy with a hint of sweetness perfect for a simmering pot of soup. Get your dose of lycopene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B vitamins, and other minerals with a steamy bowl of tomato and basil soup from Kathleen Daelemans of Cooking Thin.

Tomato and Basil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 can ground peeled tomatoes
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, thinly sliced

In a non-metallic soup pot, saute onions in olive oil until soft or for 10 minutes over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until soup thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Process soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Heat then stir in basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Tip: Drizzle olive oil on soup before serving for extra flavor. For a complete meal, serve soup with grilled cheese sandwich and a side salad.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sweet Corn Spring Soup

With spring on the way, it's best to start weaning your appetite from hearty, rich stews and casseroles to lighter and healthier soups. This recipe from Ellie Krieger is loaded with spring bounty and nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Spring doesn't get any better than this sweet corn soup.

Sweet Corn Spring Soup

4 cups fresh corn kernels
2 cups non-fat milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1 cup red bell pepper
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly

1. Process milk and half the corn in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a soup pot, heat oil and sauté onions, bell pepper, and zucchini until tender.
3. Add the broth and remaining corn. Bring to a boil.
4. Stir in the tomatoes and corn puree. Heat until warmed through.
5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot garnished with basil ribbons.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Monday, March 15, 2010

Go Bananas Over Muffins

There are few things as satisfying as freshly baked muffins for breakfast. But when you think about the calories a single serving packs - it's enough to reconsider your breakfast choices. If you really want your muffins, here is a better choice from Prevention Magazine. It's home-made - portion control! - and full of vitamins, fiber, and minerals from bananas and omega-3 from walnuts. Make it for a new breakfast favorite.

Nutty Banana Muffins

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c mashed ripe banana
1 large egg
1/4 c butter substitute, melted
1/4 c 1% buttermilk
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c + 2 tbsp chopped walnuts, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Whisk bananas, oil, vanilla, egg, buttermilk, and butter substitute until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture until well-blended. Fold in 1/3c walnuts.
4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Top with remaining walnuts.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore: A Healthy Hunter Style Dish

Chicken cacciatore is an Italian staple. Cacciatore or "hunter-style" is a favored way of cooking game in Italy. A hearty stew, chicken cacciatore is robust and rich in antioxidants, lycopene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and lean protein. Try this version by Ellie Krieger:

Chicken Cacciatore

4 skinless, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14 1/2-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice, chopped and juice reserved
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Brown chicken. Set aside.
2. In the same pan, saute onions and peppers until soft.
3. Brown mushrooms. Toss garlic, cook until fragrant. Deglaze pan with wine and let simmer until reduced by half.
4. Add tomatoes and juice, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and oregano. Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add chicken to the sauce and let braise for 20 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato and Artichoke Dip

Dips make a great addition to any party. Whether used to dress vegetables or chips, dips add interest and interactive options at any meal. But why settle for so-so dips loaded with mayonnaise or high-fat ingredients? Try this delicious and piquant vegetable-based dip from Martha Stewart for a dip that's high in fiber, vitamins, healthy oils, antioxidants, and flavor:

Sun-Dried Tomato and Artichoke Dip

9 ounces frozen artichokes, thawed and chopped
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup basil leaves
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Whole-wheat baguette slices, for serving

1. Combine 1/2 cup artichokes, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons water, garlic, and 1/4 cup feta in a food processor. Purée until smooth.

2. Toss artichoke purée with tomatoes, pine nuts, chopped artichokes, feta, and basil. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with sun-dried tomatoes.

3. Serve with baguette slices.

Tip: You can make the dip ahead of time. Stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, this dip keeps for three days.

Author: Kristine Gonzaga

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