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Cooking with Love

Mid winter nibbles

Brooke Hagerty

(2/2016) As we march into February I hope that you all are continuing to hold true to your New Year's resolutions of an all around healthier lifestyle that includes exercise and better eating habits. Personally, I start this month off five pounds lighter. Most of that weight loss can be attributed to simply cutting out all of the extra alcohol and food consumption from the months of November and December.

Simply by cutting out all of those extras my body is thanking me by getting rid of all of the excess bloat and toxins that were literally having a party inside of my body for sixty days. I can honestly say I am so glad to being back to some normalcy in my eating, sleeping and exercise habits.

I spent most of the month of January practicing what I preached in my January article. I basically cleaned house; freezer, refrigerator and cabinets all cleared of the clutter and restocked and organized as they should be. I even went so far as to buy a new refrigerator and stove (much to my husbands chagrin). The cabinets are organized with canned and dried legumes, wonderful spices whole grain and gluten free pastas, dark rices and so much more, the refrigerator is filled with every color of the rainbow, the freezer is stocked with frozen berries and lean proteins!

The month of February brings along with it, colder temperatures, longer days and of course the big game on February 7. A lot of people are invited to house parties where everyone brings a dish and all of the temptations of the holiday season are right back in front of you.

Fear not, I bring to you this month and amazing chili recipe that won't break your calorie bank, Chicken Chili Verde. This dish is a light and refreshing break from traditional chili using chicken breast, tomatillos and jalapeZos. While the end result is easier on your calorie intake the flavor sensations happening in your mouth will have you doing the dance of joy! This recipe can be finished in under an hour or you can cook it in your crock pot on low over night or during the day while you are out taking care of your daytime duties. If you do choose the crockpot method still roast your tomatillos first so that you get that nice roasted flavor!

 

Chicken Chili Verde

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds White breast meat chicken, bite size pieces
  • 2 pounds tomatillos, quartered
  • 1 large Vidalia onion or sweet white onion, small dice
  • 3 5 Garlic cloves, small dice
  • 2 jalapeZos, small dice
  • Avocado oil or your favorite cooking oil
  • Cumin, coriander, lemon pepper and truffle salt
  • Crushed red pepper, as desired
  • 4 15 ounce cans Canellini or Great Northern Beans, drained but not rinsed

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss tomatillos in olive and season with seasoning. Roast tomatillos for approximately 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, saut onion, garlic and jalapeZo over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add chicken and stir together. Cover for about 10 minutes. Remove tomatillos from oven and add to chicken mix, stir together. Add beans and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional seasoning to your desired taste. Top with sliced avocado and enjoy!

My next recipe for the month is perfect for making in large batches and freezing or if you are like me eating it all week long. Asian Vegetable Soup is filled with cabbage and wonderful for clearing out your digestive system. Packed with Asian flavors please feel free to add, mix or match your favorite ingredients to this wonderful and easy recipe. Always remember, the only limitation in cooking is your imagination!

Asian Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 5 large portabella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 head celery, medium dice
  • 1 large Vidalia or sweet white onion, small dice
  • 4-5 carrots, medium dice
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Vegetable Stock

Directions

In a large stock pot combine carrots, celery and onion with about two tablespoons sesame oil for about 55-8 minutes. Add cabbage and stir to combine. Season with soy sauce and teriyaki sauce, about a tablespoon each. Cook until cabbage wilts slightly. Add mushrooms and stir to combine. Add vegetable stock until soup is to your desired thickness. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste.

If you would like to see me in action cooking both of these recipes and more please watch my new series For the Love of Food on Comcast Channel 19 in Carroll County or on line at www.carrollmediacenter.org This new weekly series is designed specifically to show you that good food does not have to be created in a gourmet kitchen with all of the bells and whistles. We are using as our home base my 90 square foot home kitchen. We will also be visiting restaurants and chefs to find out what their favorite dishes are. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the show as much I enjoy making the show!

As always, should you have a question, an idea for an article or are in need of my personal chef/catering services please contact me at brooke@thefoodchick.biz. Be sure to check out my website, www.thefoodchick.biz or "like" me on Facebook at wwwfacebook.com/theoriginalfoodchick.

Until next month, Happy Eating!

Read other articles by Brooke Hagerty