Monday, October 26, 2009

Recipe Exchange

For more than two decades, I met the readers of The Advocate and Greenwich Time newspapers through our weekly Recipe Exchange column. It was one of the best parts of my job, a chance to connect with thousands of people over the years.

From now on, every Monday, I'll make room for Recipe Exchange, with one main difference: the recipes should be fairly nutritious, because, after all, I am trying to lose weight. But life does not revolve around lettuce and celery, so if a dish has a bit more fat and calories, so be it. We'll concentrate on tiny bites and portion control. But like the newspapers' Recipe Exchange column, this one will only work if people help me out -- and start sending in recipes. Ann ? Terri? Anyone!

When I posted a slow cooker recipe last week, my friend, Terri, immediately asked for some more. So today, I offer two soups, one a Mexican-style, the other a hearty fish chowder. Both are flavorful and filling -- perfect to come home to when there is a chill in the air. Start the meal with a big salad, and serve the soup with a loaf of crusty bread. Nothing could be easier.

This one is from me. I'm looking for healthy munchies to snack on before the Thanksgiving feast, and some tempting sides that are not loaded with butter and bread.

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 15-oz. can whole tomatoes, cut up
1 10-oz. can enchilada sauce
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 4-oz. cans diced green chilies
1 jalapeno, diced (optional; if you like things spicy, use 2!)
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen corn
Grated Parmesan for serving
  • Combine all ingredients, except Parmesan, in crock pot. Cook on low heat 6 to 8 hours; 3 to 4 hours on high heat.
  • Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.
1 lb. fish, such as flounder, haddock, halibut, grouper, mahi mahi, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1 8-oz. bottle clam juice
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach
1/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 Tblsp cornstarch
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Place all ingredients, except half-and-half, cornstarch and parsley in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high 3 to 4 hours.
  • One hour before soup is finished, mix together half-and-half and cornstarch, until cornstarch dissolves. Add slowly to the soup, stirring as you are adding. Gently add parsley. Cook an hour longer.

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