Monday, March 12, 2007

Diet Recipes-Balsamic Chicken and Poinsettia Fruit Salad

Vinegar is a great way to punch up low-fat and low-sodium recipes and no vinegar has more flavor than balsamic vinegar. This vinegar originated in Modeno Italy and is dark and thick with complex flavors. It has a sweet taste and combines well with chicken and vegetables, as well as, providing the dominant flavor in many salad dressings and as a crusty bread dip with extra virgin olive oil. It contains no fat or sodium and that makes it a great diet bargain, providing excellent flavor at little cost.

It is traditionally made from white grapes whose juice is reduced to 50% of its original volume by boiling. It is then fermented and aged, usually in hardwood casks.

Balsamic Chicken

This dish is easy to make and I usually have the ingredients on hand. Last night I made it and served it over brown rice for me and basmati rice for my wife. The proportions of vegetables aren’t too critical and any of your favorites can be incorporated. When my garden starts producing, I will use several of the squash varieties I typically grow.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, smashed by the side of a heavy knife
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or the less expensive chicken tenders)
2 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

Cooked brown, basmati, or white rice

Prep Tip

When preparing bell peppers, just cut straight through the stem from top to bottom and use your fingers to remove the stem, membrane, and seeds. This is much faster and easier than trying to carve around the stem.

Preparation

Spray a large skillet with olive oil or regular pan spray and sauté the onions and garlic for about three minutes until lightly translucent. Move the onions and garlic to the side and lightly brown the chicken breasts, about 4 minutes on each side. Add the next five ingredients and simmer about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. The sauce will reduce and the flavors blend.

This will yield four 4 ounce portions of chicken breast and two and a half cups of balsamic vegetables. A meal of four ounces of chicken breast, one cup of vegetables, and ½ cup of brown rice contains only 334.73 calories, 31.59 g protein, 42.51 g carbohydrates, 2.27 g fat, and 108.29 mg sodium.

Poinsettia Fruit Salad


This natural fruit salad contains no added sugar but has plenty of flavor. The blueberries turn the whole salad a bright red, thus the name I use for it.

Ingredients
.5 Cup Wild Blueberries
3 Medium oranges peeled and cut into segments
1 large apple-peeled and cut into coarse pieces
16 oz. fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 lemon wedge-juice

Preparation

Combine first four ingredients and squeeze lemon juice over all. Stir to combine and refrigerate 1 hour or more to allow flavors to combine.

This recipe makes 8 cups and a one cup serving contains 56.38 calories, .91 g protein, 109.15 g carbohydrates, .3 g fat, no cholesterol, and 1 mg sodium.

Here is my recap from yesterday.

Daily Dietary Recap-3/11/2007
Calories Protein Carbohydrates SodiumFat % Calories from Fat
1132.4 59.91 g 161.54 g445.17 mg 11.72 g 8.52%

1 comment:

Shalaidah said...

You write very well.