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February 21, 2007

Soupe au Pistou

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 leeks (white and pale-green parts only), thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
Salt and black pepper
1 large can (48 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (15.5-19 ounces) white or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, quartered length-wise and sliced
1 medium yellow squash, quartered
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

3 medium garlic cloves, halved
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves (2.5 ounces from 2 medium bunches)
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Warm oil in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks; cook about 3 minutes, until softened, stirring. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, uncovered. Add green beans to pot; simmer 6 to 8 minutes longer, until tender. Meanwhile, make pistou: In blender or food processor, process garlic until finely chopped. Add basil and salt; process until basil is finely chopped. Scrape down sides of bowl. With machine running, gradually pour in oil. Add cheese; process to blend. Ladle hot soup into serving bowls. Swirl 1 tablespoon pistou into each bowl. Allowed on any South Beach phase.

Serves 8. Nutritional Information per serving: 159 calories, 12 g total fat (3 g sat), 5 mg, cholesterol, 8 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 1 g fiber, 377 mg sodium

February 18, 2007

Coconut Shrimp Curry

2 cups unsweetened light coconut milk, divided
2 tsp red Thai curry paste (red is much spicier than green)
1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 tsp granular sugar substitute
2 tsp fish sauce
20-24 oz extra-large shrimp
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Sliced fresh basil leaves and fresh lime wedges for garnish

In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and the curry paste to simmer. Add peppers and onions; cook 4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in remaining coconut milk, sugar substitute, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer; let cook 1 minute.

Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through, stirring once to flip shrimp. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Serve over rice, garnished with basil and additional lime.

Allowed on South Beach diet phase 1 if served with steamed veggies; can also serve with brown rice on phase 2 and beyond.

Serves 4. Per serving: 399 calories, 19 total g fat (13 g saturated fat), 235 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrate, 37 g protein, 2 g fiber, 520 mg sodium

February 4, 2007

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

8 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, cut into 4 triangles each
1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), plus 1 Tbsp of the oil
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Assorted raw and blanched vegetables, such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions for dipping

Heat oven to 350°F. Place pita wedges on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Puree chickpeas, cannellini beans, tomatoes plus 1 tablespoon of their oil, and garlic in a food processor. Add yogurt, lemon juice, sesame oil, cumin, and salt; process until smooth. Serve at room temperature with pita triangles and vegetables for dipping.

Note: The flavors of hummus improve when it's made up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Allowed on Phase 2-3 of South Beach Diet. For Phase 1, enjoy the green veggies, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers, and simply skip the carrots and pita chips.

Makes 2 cups dip. Per tablespoon: 25 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 65 mg sodium

Makes 32 pita chips. Per 4 pita triangles: 170 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 340 mg sodium

February 2, 2007

Poached Chicken Sandwich With Lemon-Caper Mayo

2 cups water
3/4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp capers, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
4 slices whole-grain bread, lightly toasted
2 lettuce leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water and 1/2 tablespoon of the lemon juice to a simmer in a large, high-sided saucepan. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to water, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove to a plate and cool at room temperature, 5 minutes.

While chicken is cooking, mix together mayonnaise, remaining lemon juice, and capers. Season to taste with pepper.

Make each sandwich with 2 bread slices, 1 chicken breast (sliced in half lengthwise, if easier to manage), 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, and 1 lettuce leaf. Slice in half and serve.

2 Servings. Per serving: 420 calories, 15 g total fat (2.5 g sat), 25 g carbohydrate, 45 g protein, 3 g fiber, 540 mg sodium