Thursday, January 8, 2009

Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Oh, picture, wherefore art thou?
Thou was not taken because we were too hungry to wait for pics
when we ate it the first time, and then I froze the remainder too quickly.

As I've said there anything more soul-warming than a nice thick bowl of soup on a blustery winter day? Well, other than a kitten on your lap, or a roaring fireplace, or a toasty laptop on your lap....

I saw this recipe in a recent issue of Rachael Ray's magazine and let's face it—while RR pushes fresh ingredients, she's not exactly pushing low-cal, low-fat options. Nonetheless, I love her despite her annoying perkiness. And I love the ease of her recipes. I thrive on the challenges of figuring out how I can make them (and anyone else's) more "figure-friendly." And interestingly enough, the recipe she printed was actually a remake of an even fattier reader submitted recipe.

This soup was soooooo good. And hearty! My husband and I actually ate it for dinner one night on its own. And soup is rarely enough to serve as the main course around here. Enjoy!

1 ounce mixed dried mushrooms
7 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
6 ounces long grain and wild rice mix
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/2 cup light cream
salt and pepper to taste

Place the dried mushrooms and 1 cup chicken broth in the bowl of a food processor, and soak for 10 minutes. Process until coarsely chopped; set aside.

In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and thyme and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add processed mushrooms, stir, and cook for one minute.

Stir in 5 cups of chicken broth, rice and mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add chicken breast, lower heat to a simmer, and stir occasionally. Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and shred; add shredded chicken back to the pot. Stir in the cream, remaining cup of chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Yields 8 servings (1 serving=1 heaping 1/2 cup plus about an extra 1/4 of broth)

WW info:
4 points per serving

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tilapia with Avocado-Mango Salsa

I can't remember where or when I fell in love with tilapia. I feel like it just all of a sudden magically appeared in my shopping cart one day at the store, and we have been in love ever since. I found a dish at a local seafood restaurant that used a mango salsa on tilapia but without the avocado. One night, I found myself with a ripe mango and avocado and decided to get crazy.

Let me tell you—when the mango and avocado start to warm up from the hot fish, their flavors really come out in ways I've never had them before.

1 large avocado
1 large mango
juice of 1 lime, divided
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
4 (4 ounce tilapia) fillets
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
non-stick cooking spray

Slice avocado in half, and remove pit. Carefully remove flesh and cube into 1/2" pieces. Do the same for the mango. Toss in a bowl with half of the lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.

Wash the tilapia fillets and pat dry. Sprinkle remaining lime juice over fillets, and season with salt and pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Place tilapia fillets in the skillet. Cook for 3-4minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Remove fillets from pan and divide salsa equally over tilapia. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Yields 4 servings.

WW info:
flex: 5 points per serving
core: included

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm (almost) back, baby!

Friends, countrymen, devoted blog followers....I hope you are all still out there! After a hiatus from the blogging, I present to you the most delicious thing I have ever cooked up:

My daughter. Couldn't you just eat her up? She was born on October 17, 2008 and we have been in love since the second we laid eyes on her.

Well, anywho... I have been cooking for the past 9 months but not blogging. Pregnancy and motherhood are EXHAUSTING. But fear not, I've got a backlog of recipes dying to become part of the internet. Over the next week or two, I'll slowly be updating my blog with what I've been up to. Keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Pasta e Fagiole
  • Classic Macaroni Salad
  • Tilapia with Mango-Avocado Salsa
  • Noodle Kugel
  • Chicken Fat and Grivens
  • Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
Check back soon!!!!!