Spicy Chicken Chile

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Spicy

When I say this dish is spicy, it is not necessarily hot.   You can adjust the spice however you like.  Tone it down or add more kick, whatever you prefer.  The heat mainly comes from the hot sauce, which I made very mild.

The Recipe

1/2 lb. Ground chicken or turkey, browned

2 T. Olive oil or Canola Oil

1/2 White onion, diced

1/2 Bell pepper, diced

1 – 15.5 oz. can Pinto beans, with liquid

1 – 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel, in canned tomato section)

1/2 cup water

1 t. Chile powder

1 t. Paprika

1/2 t. ground Cumin

1/2 t. Garlic powder

Dash Cayenne pepper OR 1/2 t. hot sauce, optional

1/4 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese

I start by sauteing the diced onion and bell pepper in about 1 T. oil.  This usually takes about 10 minutes until it is nice and soft. At the same time, I brown the ground chicken in the other 1 T. of oil.

Next, I combine the sauteed vegetables and meat with the remaining ingredients, and add the spices.

Last, goes in the cheese. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower heat.  Cook on very low for about 30 minutes.

Yum!  ~Nancy

Health and Fitness

For the most part, I haven’t had to worry about weight for most of my life.  Go ahead and hate me if you must 😦  With the exception of a few years in retail, I have worked in health care for most of my life, so I have always had an eye on my diet and weight.

I also smoked, which some people feel relaxes them, but in fact, it is a stimulant. So when I finally quit smoking about 6 years ago in my 40’s, I gained 30 lbs and 3 pant sizes.  I no longer had the stimulant, nicotine on board, and I no longer had the metabolism of a 20 or 30 someone.

I have never believed in fad diets, so for me it always goes back to diet and exercise.  Bottom line, the only way you are going to lose weight and keep it off is to change your lifestyle, get active, learn how to read labels, and recognize what a portion size really looks like.  I will try to give more information along the way.

One thing I have found that helps in controlling portion size is to weigh my food. That helped me to recognize what a portion size was.  This particularly works well for me for pasta portions.  A serving of pasta is 2 oz.  In the past, I was probably eating the equivalent of 2 servings and twice the calories.  I bought this scale on Amazon for about $20.

After moving to a new area, getting a new house in order, and planning a wedding, I’ve put on a few pounds.  Now that I am adjusting to my new life, I need to get back to the gym, back to running, and work on getting my FIT body back.  If you would have told me, a former smoker of 23 years, that I would ever run a 5K (3.1 miles), I would have never believed it.

It took an entire year, but I finally ran the entire race without walking.

My first 5K!!!

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

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6/29/16

Tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh at our local orchard, and as always this is a great, easy, go-to side dish for lunch, dinner, picnics, whatever.  It is very healthy and light tasting with only 1 T. of olive oil in the recipe. I’ve updated the prior post to include the use of fresh basil, although dried is fine too.  I hope you enjoy this fast, easy, light recipe!

~Nancy

Original Post

The other night, my neighbor stopped by and gave us a bag of tomatoes, all shapes and sizes.  Fortunately, I have a nice back yard, and I like to garden. Unfortunately, the wild life is not cooperating.  I planted two blueberry bushes and they have been eaten down to the ground by the squirrels and rabbits.  So much for blueberry pie 😦

So what to do with all those tomatoes?

 

The Recipe

2 Medium Tomatoes

1 Cucumber, quartered and diced

2 T. Balsamic vinegar

1 T. White wine vinegar

1 T. Olive or Canola oil

1 Clove garlic, minced or pressed

2 t. Dried basil, or 2 T. fresh chopped basil

1/4 t. Dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

For this recipe, I mix the liquid and spice ingredients first in a small bowl, so the flavors have a chance to meld together.

Then I dice the tomato, peel and slice the cucumber. This one can’t be easier!

Add the liquid and spice, mix together, and you’re done.

Enjoy, and have a great day! ~Nancy

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

As I mentioned, I recently married and there is a cultural difference between me and my husband.  We are both Americans, but I am of German decent, and he is of Filipino decent.  He did not know what the term “comfort food” meant.

Being of German decent, I am all too familiar with that term.  Growing up, I would eat mashed potatoes with bread, kinda of like the Polish Pierogie.  The starchier the better.  Anyway, in this recipe, I am using less butter and substituting low-sodium chicken broth for the milk.

The Recipe

6 medium potatoes, diced

1 T. butter

1 garlic clove, pressed

2/3 c. low sodium chicken broth

1 t. dried parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

I have discovered a line of freeze dried herbs made by a company called Litehouse.  They are the closest in taste to fresh herbs, and they are so convenient.  Having high blood pressure, I try to use as little salt as I can without making the food taste too bland.  This is why I have  turned to herbs and spices to add flavor to my foods.

So, for this recipe, I started by peeling and dicing the potatoes.  I cooked them in water for about 20 minutes, drained them and set them aside.

In the same pot, I added the butter, sauteed the pressed garlic and added the parsley.

I added the potatoes, chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and mashed the potatoes with a hand masher.  I don’t mind lumps, and John ate 2/3 of it!

Enjoy!  ~Nancy

Summer Salsa

Of course, this recipe is for all year long, but there is nothing better than fresh salsa, and it is the perfect time of the year for it.  Even if you don’t have access to fresh tomatoes, you can get these gorgeous vine ripened tomatoes pretty much all year long at the grocery store.  This recipe is adapted from my good friend, Donna, whom I lovingly call, Ma Donna.  She is an awesome cook.

The Recipe

3 medium tomatoes, diced

1/2 bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1/4 c. finely diced onion

Juice of 1  lime

1/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 t. ground cumin

Salt & Pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste, I prefer Frank’s Red Hot

I start out dicing the tomatoes, peppers, and onion.  I prefer to use red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, because I don’t like the green ones, and it adds another element of color.

Tomato and Orange Bell Pepper
Onion and Jalapeno

I remove the seeds from the jalapeno, before dicing, since that is were most of the heat lives, and I don’t like my salsa too hot.  Next I use the leaves of the cilantro and chop them finely.  I am combining the ingredients in a bowl as I work.

Cilantro

Lastly, I add the lime juice, cumin, salt, pepper, and Red Hot.  I used about 10 shakes of the hot sauce.  You can adjust the spices to your taste.

The finished product

To save on fat and calories, I use Tostito’s baked scoops.  You can get a lot of salsa in the scoops, and I love that!

Enjoy! ~Nancy