Sunday, March 30, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

I have been meal planning for a long time, but came across OrgJunkie's Meal Plan Monday on another food blog that I read: Two Novice Chefs, One Tiny Kitchen.

In order to eat healthy, food planning can be your best friend. Not only can you depend on your menu to help count calories, but it also saves you from eating out or grabbing something to go because you don't know what to fix for dinner. Plus, I find that I use fresh food items more efficiently over several meals if need be. So, without further ado, my first Meal Plan Monday!!

Monday: On Your Own/Leftover Night (Class)

Tuesday: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

Wednesday: Beef, Bean and Cornbread Casserole

Thursday: Rigatoni with Broccoli & Canadian Bacon

Friday: Layered Enchilada Bake with Rice and Beans

Saturday: Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Mushroom-Curry Bulgar

Sunday: Lunch at church and leftovers!

Check out what's on other bloggers' menus and OrgJunkie's menu here!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Get Spicy, Get Happy!

Mmmm...soup. Warm, tasty, filling soup. I have been looking for a good tortilla soup that would satisfy my husband's need for spice and my need for good nutritional quality. Houston, we have a winner! Not only was this meal satiating, but it also was quick! It was done in under thirty minutes.

Although I added a couple of ingredients to "beef up" the soup, the original recipe would have sufficed. I added corn for a bit more to bite into and some sour cream for a dilution to the spice, plus who has tortilla soup without some sour cream? Reduced fat, of course. The result, a filling concoction that not only showcased the chipotle chile powder, but also hinted at the cilantro that is added before serving.

Benefit: So what about this soup is so good for you? Many things, but I would like to showcase the spiciness. Spicy foods not only help keep you slender as you tend to eat less of them, but they also invigorate mood enhancers in your brain. Plus, I always find that a stuffy nose can be easily cleared with some kick to start my eyes watering.

Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup (from Cooking Light, adapted with my additions)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
3/4 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can golden corn, drained
1 cup crushed baked tortilla chips (I used blue corn chips)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and chicken; saute 2 minutes. Add chile powder and cumin; stir well. Add water, salt, broth, tomatoes and corn; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Top with tortilla chips, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream; serve with lime wedges.


4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups soup, 1/4 cup chips, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and 1 lime wedge)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 228(21% from fat)
FAT 5.4g (sat 0.6g,mono 2.5g,poly 1.7g) - LOTS of good fats! ; )
SODIUM 873mg
FIBER 3.5g
IRON 1.7mg