Monday, February 7, 2011

Potatoes and Poblanos

Okay, the title leaves much to be desired. :) I adapted a recipe from Cuisine at Home which was found in Issue 85 Potato-Stuffed Poblanos. But I took the easy way out. My garden gave me a lot of poblano peppers last fall, and I roasted, peeled, seeded, and froze the lot for future use. Since the peppers now couldn't be stuffed, I chose to layer them with the potato mixture.

And, being me, I looked at the nutritional info on the bottom of the recipe and cringed a bit at the 26g of fat in each serving. So I made some changes. I decreased the amount of cheese slightly, and used Cabot's light cheddar; I eliminated the cream cheese and added more (light) sour cream and skim milk. I also made a few changes in the seasonings as well. The final recipe came through MasterCook at 7g total fat and I was skeptical so I recalculated, but it seems to be the correct numbers. Okay, so you who regularly use full-fat diary and have made this before may notice the substitutions of the light cheese and the light sour cream but we thought this recipe was delicious. I do keep a package of grated sharp (full fat!) cheddar in the freezer to use in small amounts where I think that the extra cheese flavor would be nice, and in this recipe I sprinkled a mere tablespoon of that on the potato mixture along with the lowfat cheddar before baking and I think that it really added a nice cheesy “punch”. Excellent!

For the side, I used the accompanying recipe from CAH and subbed Mexican oregano for the epazote, and added halved grape tomatoes. Oh, I also decreased the black beans (*sigh*) and increased the corn (Trader Joe's Frozen Roasted Corn).

A note on the photo, I forgot to garnish with reserve chopped scallions tops and that would have made this photo look better. As would a sprinkling of paprika. I seem to always forget the garnishes!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Potatoes and Poblanos

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2 large poblano pepper -- roasted, peeled, and seeded
12 ounces potatoes
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar -- shredded, divided
1/4 cup chopped scallions -- reserve about 1 tablespoon of the chopped, green tops for garnish)
3 tablespoons green chili pepper -- (canned)
2 tablespoons light sour cream
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425F. Coat a baking dish with cooing spray.

Boil the potatoes with the sliced onion until the potatoes are tender; drain and return to the pot. Stir the potatoes and onion over high heat for 30 seconds to evaporate excess moisture.

Mash the potatoes and onions along with 2/3 cup of the cheese, most of the scallions, and the remaining ingredients through the chipotle pepper. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt & pepper.

Lay 1/2 of the poblanos in the bottom of the baking dish. Dollop 1/2 of the potato mixture on top and carefully spread the mixture to cover the peppers. Lay the remaining peppers on top, then spread the rest of the potato mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining lowfat cheese and the "regular" sharp cheddar.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is golden (can also finish the dish under the broiler to brown the cheese a bit).

Sprinkle with reserved scallion tops.

"adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue #85"

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Per serving: 297 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat (5g Saturated); (18% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 24mg Cholesterol; 234mg Sodium

* Exported from MasterCook *

Black Bean and Corn Saute

Recipe By : Cuisine at Home
Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup diced onion
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
6 ounces black beans, cooked
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
3/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano -- crumbled
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 cup halved cherry tomato
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onin and cumin and cook until onion softens, about 4 minutes. Stir in the beans through garlic and stir until heated through. Add the tomatoes and stir for another minute. Add the lime juice, season with s & p, and stir for one additional minute.

"Cuisine at Home, Issue #85"

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Per serving: 223 Calories (kcal); 4g Total Fat; (13% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 12mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Channa Masala

Yesterday was Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, so an early spring has been predicted. The mere hope of saying farewell to winter, be it a day or a week or two weeks early, makes me want to dance.

We had a few hours of spring yesterday morning as well. The temps were in the mid-40’s for several hours, although they quickly fell and brought us back into winter. Just after I woke, I went to a radiator in one of the upstairs rooms to say good morning to Spooky (who spends his nights under the covers with us, then for some reason will leave around 7am for the radiator in the next room). I looked outside and saw a beautiful rainbow, even though it was not raining. What a nice gift-- a rainbow in February! It was so beautiful, each band of color blending almost seamlessly into the other, and it stretched in a perfect arc. If I had been dressed I would have been tempted to run outside to see if I could find the pot of gold at the end. But… which end? Anyway, as I watched the winds kicked up and a bank of dark clouds erased the rainbow.

By noon, the temperature outside had started to fall and ominous clouds rolled in. I noticed that I had just a small amount of cooked chickpeas in the freezer, so I decided to make channa masala for lunch. I have used this recipe for several years and do not know the source, but it is a lunchtime favorite in winter. Although probably not “authentic” to the dish, I like to add some vegetables so peas and bell pepper are added to the onion-spice-chickpea mixture. This time I had a partial can of diced tomatoes in the refrigerator, so I used those instead of tomato sauce. We both decided that we prefer the sauce.

The spice mixture of garam masala, coriander, cumin, ginger, and turmeric is very fragrant and this is a perfect dish to warm up with on a cold winter day. I used a mix of brown and white basmati rice.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Channa Masala

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 medium garlic cloves -- crushed

8 ounces tomato sauce

8 ounces cooked chickpeas -- (about one 15-ounce can, drained)

1/3 cup frozen green peas -- thawed

chopped fresh cilantro

chopped cashews

Prepare rice, as desired.

Mix spices in a small cup and set aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and bell pepper until softened. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the spice mixture and stir for a minute. Pour in the tomato sauce and mix well, then add the green peas and chickpeas and stir. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the hear, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.

Serve over hot, steamed rice. Garnish with the cilantro and/ or cashews as desired.

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Per serving: 293 Calories (kcal); 6g Total Fat (1g saturated); (16% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 50g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 1257mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates