Asian Cabbage Salad

It’s official.. I’m 40 and fat! In an attempt to lose some weight, I’ve been trying to eat healthier food. We’ve been buying a lot of fish and chicken in place of red meat and pork, and we’re watching our fiber intake. Lower fat and higher fiber seem to be the new trend in weight loss, along with exercise.

Tonight we’re having some grilled tuna fillets that are marinating in an Asian-inspired sauce right now. To go with our fish, I whipped up this refreshing Asian style salad. It’s flavorful and high in fiber, but it does have some fat because of the peanut butter. Still, it’s a healthy alternative to a high fat side dish and it’s delicious… and simple. Simplicity is my main requirement when I find or create a recipe, because now that I spend my whole day in a kitchen at work, I like to get out of the kitchen as quickly as possible in the evenings. Give this one a try and I think you’ll be pleased with the results!

 

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt, garlic powder and ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage with carrot (coleslaw) mix OR 4 cups coleslaw mix and 2 cups broccoli slaw mix (which is how I made it)
  • 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely shredded, peeled jicama
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • fresh cilantro

In a large mixing bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing together everything from the peanut butter to the water. Toss in the slaw mix and fold well to combine. Add peas, jicama and green onions. Toss and cover. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. Garnish with toasted almonds and cilantro.

Makes 6-8 servings

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Mediterranean Chicken

A few years back, I was the chef at an establishment where half of my customers would be on Weight Watchers about this time of the year, so I would offer a low-fat, healthy lunch option daily in the cafe. I created this recipe and it has been one of my “most requested” by customers at every place I’ve worked. In fact, most are surprised to learn this is actually a healthy, low fat recipe!

When you first read the ingredients, you may question this one, but everyone does. Once they try it, they are hooked. I made it this past week at work (first time at newest cafe) and everyone has been asking for the recipe. As you read the recipe, several things are “optional” ingredients. They add to the dish, but they are not required, as I’ve made the recipe with those items and without, depending on what I’ve got in my pantry. Give this one a try and you’ll agree it’s really quite tasty, and for those of you “counting points”, this one is 7 points!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or you can use boneless tenders)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup raisins (any color)
  • 1 cup green or black olives, sliced (don’t use ripe black olives.. you want tart, brine soaked olives so it’s best to stick with regular old pimiento stuffed spanish or queen olives unless you want to drop a few bucks on some kalamatas)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
  • 1 4oz container Feta cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom of a glass casserole dish with olive oil and arrange chicken in one layer in the dish. Size of the dish depends on size of your chicken. A 9×9 will normally hold 4 breasts, a 13×9 might be needed if you use boneless tenders. Top the chicken with the minced garlic.

In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, cinnamon and salt, then sprinkle mixture on top of chicken. Top chicken with the raisins and olives and pour the wine over the top. If using the artichoke hearts and Feta, add it last in that order.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.

Serve with rice, couscous, fresh spinach, sauteed broccoli, etc for a light complimentary dinner.

Turkey Divan

So the holidays are over and you’ve got a big dish of leftover turkey in the frig. You’ve eaten turkey sandwiches for days, made (or froze turkey for) turkey noodle soup, which I highly recommend, and you’re still stuck with a lot of leftover turkey. Why not make turkey Divan for dinner tonight? This dish can also be made with chicken, allowing you to make it any night of the week. Just cook the chicken any way you prefer (boil, grill, bake, etc) and substitute it for the cooked turkey in the recipe.

This is an old Southern standby dish, extremely easy to prepare with a few ingredients most of us have in our pantries at all times.

  • 1 can (10oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of fresh broccoli florets, steamed or 1 package of frozen broccoli florets, cooked for half the time recommended on the packaging
  • 4 cups leftover turkey, cut into chunks (or 4 cups cooked chicken)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup coarse bread crumbs (I use Panko)

Mix together the soup, curry powder, pepper, mustard, Worchestershire sauce and cream in a saucepan over low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, turkey and half the cheese (1/4 cup) and remove from the heat. Stir in the mayonnaise, mix well and pour into a casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and almonds as garnish when serving.