Healthy Dinner

With zero effort from me (because Ben threw all the ingredients into the crock-pot today while I was at work), I arrived home to this delicious chicken taco chili, sans rice, cheese, sour cream, and I left out the kidney beans and only used black beans.

chrockpot-chicken-chili from SkinnyTaste dot com
photo from SkinnyTaste.com

But, this recipe, as is, is supposedly only 203 calories (if you have the proper serving size, which is 1.25 cups)!  Not bad for a hectic Monday night.

You can get the recipe here, on SkinnyTaste’s website: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/11/crock-pot-chicken-taco-chili-4-pts.html

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I tried to make: Sweet Potato Fries

The image of these sweet potato fries on Pinterest (from The Art of Doing Stuff) has been tempting me for weeks, so I finally decided to try to make them this weekend! Sweet potatoes are a big favorite of mine, year-round. I much prefer sweet potato fries to regular fries when dining out at restaurants. So if I can make them at home, even better.

This recipe is very simple, I’ll give it that. And the fries came out of the oven looking perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. But that was not the reality. They were a nice texture on the inside – but a bit too soft; but my main complaint is that the outside of the fry was not crispy, and further, was really corn-starchy.

They look great, but don't taste so great...

So, how do I alter it? More oil, less corn starch? Fry instead of bake? I’d really really like to be able to add this to my cookbook, so any help is appreciated!

Meatless Monday

As I continue losing weight I keep looking for new ways to improve my diet. In my recipe search, I found MeatlessMondays.com.  It inspired me to spend this one day each week sans meat. But it left me with the dilemma of finding a meal that my meat-craving husband would love. He’s not a fan of meat substitutes; isn’t fooled by tofu, can’t stomach eggplant; you know this type of guy. I could only think of one real meatless dish that he enjoys:  Yats’ B&B.

This local Indianapolis favorite seems non-replicable, but I found some recipes online for similar carmelized corn & black bean dishes. Adapted based on what I had in my pantry and fridge at the time, here is what I came up with:

Not-the-B&B:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
12-16 oz. frozen corn
3 tbsp brown sugar
15 oz. can of black beans
1/2 of a green pepper (or red pepper!) chopped/cubed
1/2 cup of 1% milk
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Melt the butter in a large pan/skillet and add the corn, sauteing the corn for at least 10 minutes.
Then, add the brown sugar, stirring it in well, continuing to saute the corn.
Next, add the black beans and the green or red pepper until all contents are hot.
Add the milk, cayenne, and any other seasonings you’d like (hot sauce, cajun seasoning, salt, pepper…), stirring thoroughly. Simmer for about 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit.
Finally – it’s ready to serve over steamed white rice!

Married Life: Recipe for Happiness

I’m so hungry. The thought of a new, larger kitchen with counter space, modern appliances, and cabinet space for all the cookware and bakeware I’m about to buy has me salivating!

I’m dreaming of the dishes I can make once we move to our new residence in Fountain Square.  No, we’re not buying – we’re still renting.  Renting a large historic (yet remodeled) home with a nice deck and large fenced-in back yard.  And while the ceilings are cavernous, and the bedroom is about the size of my current apartment, and I will finally have an actual bathtub and not just a shower, the only thing I am looking forward to right now is that kitchen.

I’ll make scallops, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, tilapia, chicken tajine,  …and things that require a broiler, just because I can!

And I’ll start a recipe book – composed of recipes that my friends (that’s you) share with me.  Tell me your favorite recipes that you like to cook in your favorite kitchen!  If they’re not too big a family secret, I’ll try them out and post them!