Friday, January 28, 2011

A Pop of Color

"Cobalt and umber and ultramarine
Ivory black and emerald green-
What shall I paint to give pleasure to you?"
"Paint for me somebody utterly new."
first stanza from poem The Paint Box
by E.V. Rieu


Depending on where you live, mid January often lacks those springtime colors we yearn for this time of the year. So as I took a walk in the snowy Northwoods I decided there must be some way to infuse a bit of color into the day. I looked over some of my resources and thought posting these photos that showed a pop of color might be a good day brightener.
Each of the following recipes have a pop of color and are quite appealing when served. Oh..and I need to mention the best part is each recipe is heart healthy without sacrificing any taste.
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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry
adapted from Woman's Day magazine February 2011
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 TB. cider vinegar
  • 1 TB. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper flakes
  • 3 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts sliced thinly
  • 2 medium carrots sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 lb. snow peas-halved diagonally lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped
  • 2 TB. cornstarch mixed with 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup cashews
Directions:
  • In a bowl combine preserves, vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes and 2 TB. water-set aside
  • Heat oil in wok or large skillet
  • Cook chicken in pan till browned several minutes per side
  • Mix in a small bowl 2 TB. cornstarch and 1/3 cup orange juice
  • In skillet or wok add cornstarch mixture, preserve mixture, carrots, snow peas, chicken and cook on low heat about 30-40 minutes. Mixture should be slightly thickened.
  • Serve over rice and sprinkle cashews on top
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Butternut Squash Risotto
Ingredients:
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash (about 1lb.) cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 TB. parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano
Directions:
  • Heat oil in skillet add onion and cloves of garlic-cook about 6 minutes till tender
  • Add squash, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Cover and cook till squash is beginning to soften about 5 -6 minutes
  • Stir in rice and cook for 1 minute
  • Add wine and simmer until absorbed 8-10 minutes
  • Add half the broth and simmer, stirring once until absorbed about 8-10 minutes
  • Add remaining broth and simmer stirring once until rice is tender and creamy about 8 minutes
  • Stir in thyme, parsley and Romano
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Braised Flank Steak with Peppers and Onions
Ingredients:
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper seeded and cut in slices
  • 1- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes(garlic and basil and oregano)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. flank steak cut crosswise into thirds
  • 3 medium carrots sliced diagonally
  • 1-1/2 cups white rice cooked following package directions
  • 1/2 mang0 cut in pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup red wine such as Merlot-Pinot Noir
  • fresh pineapple
Directions:
  • In a slow cooker combine onion, peppers, tomatoes, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper, wine
  • Place the beef among the vegetables and liquid-cook covered till meat tender and easily pulls apart on low for 5-6 hours check a few times during cooking might need to add a bit of water
  • Serve over rice and top with mango pieces and pineapple










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