9th March 2008

Moroccan Chicken and Couscous


Another recipe from Fitness Food tonight — seems like every recipe we’ve made from this book is a winner. This time, chicken drumsticks are slowly simmered in a tomato and chicken broth-based sauce and served over couscous with chickpeas, green onions, and cilantro. It was a nice departure from the ever-present chicken breasts we usually cook with.

Lisa says:

Yay, we get to be cavemen!

Chris says:

What do you mean?

Lisa says:

The chicken is on the bone.

Chris says:

Ahhh… I get ya. Did you ever go for the giant turkey drumsticks at state fairs?

Lisa says:

Uh, no. The last thing I’d want to do is stand around in public ripping meat off a bone with my teeth.

Chris says:

But this…

Lisa says:

…THIS is different. This is delicious, and I can use a fork. And I can’t get enough of the sauce. Such a good flavor!

Chris says:

Agreed — and the recipe made a TON of couscous. Those four servings are mighty generous.

Lisa says:

I really like the couscous. It would go well with a lot of dishes, especially those that have a bunch of sauce to soak up.

Moroccan Chicken and Couscous
—————————–
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili flakes
8 skinless chicken drumsticks
3 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 green onions
10 oz couscous
14 oz can chickpeas
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

In a small frying pan over medium heat, place the cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and chili flakes and dry roast for about a minute until fragrant. Grind using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
Sprinkle the chicken drumsticks with the spice blend, rubbing in well. In a large, deep, frying pan, heat 2 tsp of the oil. Add the chicken and cook for 8 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining oil and over medium heat cook the onion, garlic, and ginger for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and the chicken to the pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce is reduced. Season to taste.
Meanwhile, to prepare the couscous, boil the chicken broth and garlic in a small saucepan. Put the couscous in a glass bowl, cover with the boiling chicken broth, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 15 minutes. Chop the green onions, and rinse and drain the chickpeas. Stir the couscous with a fork, and add the green onions, chickpeas, and cilantro.
Serve on a platter topped with the chicken and sauce.

4 Servings

posted in Fitness Food, Main Dishes | 0 Comments

4th February 2008

Tandoori Chicken Skewers & Rice

Tonight’s recipe came from Fitness Food, and was just delicious! Chicken marinated in yogurt and tandoori spices grilled and served with a rice made with cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, and currants. This one’s a keeper.

Lisa says:

This is *so* good.

Chris says:

Yeah, super good! I always wondered how the chicken turned that color when I’ve had this in restaurants…

Lisa says:

How *did* it get that color?

Chris says:

From the tandoori spice mix… I found a few recipes online; you’ll never guess what makes it that red — food coloring!

Lisa says:

What the? Really?

Chris says:

Yep, nutty. Mmmm, the lemon really brings out the flavor in this marinade.

Lisa says:

It rules. By the way, I love this rice.

Chris says:

Even with the currants?

Lisa says:

Yep — I usually don’t like fruit in stuff, but these are small — they add a nice texture to the rice.

Tandoori Chicken Skewers & Rice
——————————–
1 1/2 tbsp tandoori spice powder
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 2/3 lb chicken breast fillets
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, finely grated
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 bruised cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp currants

Place the spice powder, yogurt, lemon juice, and chicken in a glass dish. Mix well to combine, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Prepare 8 bamboo skewers by soaking them in cold water for 30 minutes.
Prepare the rice: rinse the rice in cold water until it runs clear and set aside. In a saucepan over medium, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cumin seeds and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Add the rice, cardamom, cinnamon, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover, and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the currants, and stir. Season with salt and set aside for 10 minutes before serving.
While the rice is doing its thing, add the chicken to the skewers so they are evenly distributed. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray. Add the skewers and cook for 12-15 minutes, turning frequently, until done. Serve the skewers on the rice with mango chutney, lemon wedges, and cilantro.

4 Servings

posted in Fitness Food, Indian, Main Dishes | 7 Comments

26th January 2008

Reduced Fat Fudge Brownie Cupcakes


Lisa made this recipe from the book Fitness Food. We didn’t have a baking pan that was the size the recipe asks for, so she used an 8×8 pan and put the remaining mix in muffin pan lined with paper cups. The recipe yielded a full 8×8 pan plus 4 cupcakes.

Lisa says:

Yay for bonus cupcakes!

Chris says:

They’re so good with ice cream and that chocolate sauce. What’s with the walnut on that one brownie?

Lisa says:

There was a walnut laying around, so why not?

Chris says:

Good call.

Reduced Fat Fudge Brownie Cupcakes
———————————-
oil spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp canola oil
7 oz low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup apple sauce
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 12×8 baking dish with the oil and line the base and 2 long sides with baking paper. Sift the flours, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil, yogurt, and apple sauce. Add to the flour and mix well. Spread into baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
The brownie will sink slightly in the center as it cools. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with powdered sugar, cut, and serve.

posted in Desserts, Fitness Food | 5 Comments

19th December 2007

Ecuadorian Chicken Corn Chowder


This recipe comes from Fitness Food. A hearty – but healthy! – chowder made with chicken, corn, and veggies.

Lisa says:

What’s with all the poaching this week? And isn’t poaching illegal?

Chris says:

Different kind of poaching. But I know what you mean — the enchiladas, the tuna, now this. Not sure. Maybe it’s like when all of a sudden there’s 20 zombie movies coming out, or books being written about Ben Franklin or something.

Lisa says:

Wait a minute — why is this “Ecuadorian” Chicken Corn Chowder?

Chris says:

Well, it’s not really, but that’s where these bowls that Thad and Abbie got for us are from.

Lisa says:

Sneaky! Well, it’s still really good, in spite of your false advertising.

Chris says:

…and the portions are huge!

Ecuadorian Chicken Corn Chowder
——————————-
1/2 lb chicken breast fillet
4 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, grated
14 1/2 oz can creamed corn
11 oz can corn kernels, drained
1/2 cup skim milk
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Cut 2-3 slits across the thickest part of the chicken fillet. Heat the stock in a large saucepan over medium heat, and poach the chicken fillet for 10 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside. When cool, use two forks to shred.
Add the onion, potatoes, celery, and carrot to the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
Stir in the creamed corn, corn, milk, chicken, and parsley, and stir until heated through.

4 Servings

posted in Fitness Food, Main Dishes | 3 Comments

19th December 2007

Roast Mushroom & Baby Bean Salad


To accompany our crab cakes tonight, I made this roasted mushroom salad featuring roasted shallots, green beans, and a tarragon dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice, and the liquid given off by the mushrooms themselves — mushroom lovers, this is for you! The only modification from the original recipe, found in Fitness Food, was that it called for tarragon vinegar; I substituted champagne vinegar because that’s what we had on hand. We’ll definitely make this again, next time I may keep the mushrooms warm and add them last.

Lisa says:

This salad *rules!* I heart shrooms.

Chris says:

I love the dressing on this, and the roasted shallots are really good.

Lisa says:

Can you believe there are people out there who don’t like mushrooms?

Chris says:

Weren’t you one of them just a few years ago?

Lisa says:

Shut it.

Roast Mushroom & Baby Bean Salad
———————————
1 1/4 lb mushrooms (I used a mix of white and cremini)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 shallots, root ends trimmed, skin on
1 1/2 tbsp champagne vinegar
2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
7 oz baby green beans, trimmed
2 handfuls arugula

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the mushrooms in a large roasting pan. Add the oil, garlic, lemon juice, and shallots and toss until coated. Roast for 30 minutes, occasionally spooning over the juices. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Slip the shallots from their skins and discard the skin.
Pour the cooking juices into a large mixing bowl. Add the champagne vinegar, tarragon, and parsley. Mix and season well.
Blanch the beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and while still hot, add to the dressing. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add to the beans with the shallots and arugula. Toss and serve.

4 Servings

posted in Fitness Food, Salads and Light Soups | 5 Comments