Quick Mexican Chicken Soup with Hominy
Feb20

Quick Mexican Chicken Soup with Hominy

This delicious Posole (traditional Mexican soup or stew) takes 30 minutes to make, and the fun toppings add interesting textures and surprising flavor-bursts. Yummmy! Even Mr. Picky loved it. (faint)   My first request when I go back to South Africa is for my beloved Samp Mielies—a staple in the diet of the Xhosa South African people. (Mielie means corn in Afrikaans.) I have fond memories of my nanny making it for me. I even had my dad schlep a bag in his suitcase when I first moved to Los Angeles in 1996, and almost burned the house down when I tried cooking it in the microwave! (It usually takes about 3 hours to cook on the stove.) Oy! This was clearly before I learned how to cook. In our recent trip to South Africa, sweetheart Mary made it specially for me. You’ll never believe what her secret ingredient was… Cremora. (South African coffee creamer) Hmmm… interesting. That’s her making me a to-go cup (pad-kos) for the drive to the airport. 🙂   I was ecstatic to discover that hominy (the canned, Mexican version of it), was quite similar—and no cooking required! Hominy is basically like giant, puffed up pieces of corn, but with that pasta-like density and chew-factor. LOVE it! And it’s good for you. (It’s one of my top ten Weight Watchers Power Foods—coming soon) But still, I was never quite sure what to do with it—besides heat and eat.   Then last week I saw an intriguing dish at Gelsons Market in California—and on closer inspection discovered that what I thought was potato was actually hominy.   Actually, in their version, called “Chicken Ranchero”, there was hominy and potato. I fell head-over-heels in love with this dish (actually, more like obsessed) and was determined to re-create it. I remembered seeing Daphne Oz making something similar on The Chew (Daphne Oz’s Chicken Pozole Verde)—where she pureed tomatillos and jalapeños. I thought that using Salsa Verde—a green salsa made from tomatillos, green chiles and cilantro—would make it even more cinchy, and no need to conquer your fear of chiles! (Ok, you’re right…  my fear, not yours!)   If you can’t find Salsa Verde, sauté half a chopped jalapeño pepper with the garlic. Greek Yogurt in Mexican Soup, you say? If you can up the protein while adding creaminess and tang, I say why not! Some people don’t like (actually, more like hate) cilantro, so leave it as an optional topping. Crumble Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt White Corn Tortilla Chips for extra crunch! (They don’t taste guilt free at all)   And would you believe that these are all Weight...

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Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas
Jun05

Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas

This recipe in the June issue of Food Network Magazine caught my eye; fresh, healthy, easy and yummy—and you can find almost all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s. I much prefer Israeli couscous (a/k/a pearl couscous, or maftoul) to smaller, traditional couscous. Made from “pasta pearls,” it has the same texture and satisfying toothsome bite as pasta. (Try Near East Basil & Herb Pearled Couscous for a quick and easy side dish.) I forgot to pick up a lime at Trader Joe’s (why do I ALWAYS forget a key ingredient?!), and anyway, I thought the lime and chili rub might be a) a bit plain, and b) a bit spicy for hubby And so the tweaking began… – lemon for lime – a bit of Cumin, and TJ’s lovely South African Smoke Seasoning Blend, and you have a mediterranean dish with a South African twist!                   I’d never heard of black-eyed peas until I started making my Cowboy Caviar—now my favorite and most popular savory recipe. THE BEST Cowboy Caviar—healthy dip/salad/snack >> If you haven’t tried it yet, take the leftover black-eyed peas and make a batch! (I also love the cumin in this recipe.) I used Allens canned black-eyed peas in both recipes, but you can use frozen too. You can find them at Gelsons Market If you can’t find them, substitute with black beans or even edemame! Gourmet Blends slightly sweet White Balsamic Vinegar and fruity Meyer Lemon Olive Oil add the perfect finishing touches. If you don’t have them, a splash of lemon and a pinch of sugar will do. You can purchase Leonardo e Roberto’s Gourmet Blends Balsamics and Olive Oils at GourmetBlends.us >> Serve with Trader Joe’s Eggplant Hummus—sprinkled with a little Paprika to make it look pretty. Only 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus value for 2 tablespoons I wasn’t sure if picky hubby or picky toddler would go for the couscous-with-veggies-side (they didn’t), so I made the pan-roasted potatoes for backup. Orna’s super-easy Pan-Roasted Potatoes See Trader Joe’s Shopping List for how to make them >> Wrap the leftovers (sans potatoes) in a Whole Wheat Middle Eastern Flatbread for a tasty lunch!   Orna’s Notes Trader Joe’s cutlets can be a little tough. Next time I’ll try some from Whole Foods and see how they turn out. I’ll also add a couple of diced Persian Cucumbers at the end, to up the veggies and give a bit of a crunch. Cool Tools Masterclad  Pro Series Non-stick 12-inch sauté pan >> Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas 2013-08-06 18:17:55 Serves 4 12 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values per...

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THE BEST Cowboy Caviar—healthy dip/salad/snack!
Feb05

THE BEST Cowboy Caviar—healthy dip/salad/snack!

I got this Cowboy Caviar recipe at a Mommy & Me recipe swap last summer, and every time I make it people inhale it as if it were crack! And everyone asks for the recipe. It was a huge hit at our Super Bowl Party, and I thought I’d just post it instead of handing out copies. Sharing the love… The first time I made it, my mother-in-law, Tammy, spoke to her sister, dear Auntie Lil—in Winnipeg, Canada, who was raving about a salad she had just tried; it turned out to be a variation of what I had just served in Los Angeles! But her version was called Mexican Corn and Bean Sierra, with black beans, red onion, and parsley—instead of black eyed peas, green onion, and cilantro. Funny! I’ve since seen variations popping up at grocery stores, parties, you name it. Trader Joe’s just came out with their own version of it. It’s obviously HOT HOT HOT right now! I hope you’ll try my version because it’s really fantastic. Serve with tortilla chips for the ultimate party food. Make sure to put out forks for the carb-counting-peeps, because it eats like a salad too. Or they can scoop it up on celery sticks. Oh—and I highly recommend doubling it. Orna’s Notes Many people are not fans of cilantro (you either love it or hate it), so you can substitute with Italian Parsley. Shoepeg Corn can be difficult to find; I found it at Gelsons Market. If you can’t find it just substitute with regular corn. What is shoepeg corn? Wikipedia description >> What part of the green onion do I use? Best Yahoo answer >> How to seed a tomato: Cut in half across the equator and scoop out the pulp with your finger. Cowboy Caviar 2013-08-05 17:35:41 Serves 10 7 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 30 min Total Time 30 min Prep Time 30 min Total Time 30 min 280 calories 34 g 0 g 12 g 12 g 2 g 151 g 285 g 5 g 0 g 10 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 151g Servings 10 Amount Per Serving Calories 280 Calories from Fat 104 % Daily Value * Total Fat 12g 19% Saturated Fat 2g 9% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 2g Monounsaturated Fat 8g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 285mg 12% Total Carbohydrates 34g 11% Dietary Fiber 8g 33% Sugars 5g Protein 12g Vitamin A9%Vitamin C18% Calcium6%Iron23% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 2...

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