Mexican Corn

Mexican Corn (healthier version)
Serves 4 (approximately 1 cup portions)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (about 30 tomatoes)
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cumin and black pepper, to taste
1/2 ripe avocado, diced

1. Heat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. When hot, add onions.
2. Saute onions for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add minced jalapeno, sauteing this for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add cherry tomatoes, cumin and black pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add corn.  Saute until everything is heated through (about 8-10 minutes.)
6. Stir in avocado.

Nutritional data:
Calories:     149
Fat:             6.9g
Sat fat:           1g
Chol:             0mg
Sodium:         9mg (This is why this version is healthier!)
Carbs:       33.5g
Fiber:          4.8g
Protein:       3.6g

Rosemary Chicken and Tomato-Avocado Salsa

Rosemary Chicken
Serves 4

4 chicken breasts, 6 ounces each, boneless skinless
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoongs red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary crushed, or 1 tsp dried  (I used 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Bouquet Garni.)

1.  Place chicken in a heavy-duty freezer bag, and pound with a meat mallet until approximately 1/2 inch thick.  Do this one at a time, then place the chicken in a second ziplock bag. (The first bag may have holes from the mallet.)
2.  Mis remaining ingredients together, pour over chicken.  Toss in the marinade to coat.  Place chicken in refrigerator for at 30-60 minutes.
3.  Heat a non-stick skillet, and spray with cooking spray. Place the chicken in the skillet over medium-hiigh heat for 3-4 minutes on the first side, and 3 minutes on the second.
4.  Serve with  Tomato-Avocado Salsa and roasted vegetables.

Nutritional data:
Calories:       307
Fat:               16.5g
Sat fat:            3.8g
Chol:               98mg
Sodium:          62mg
Carbs:              1g
Fiber:               0g
Protein:          38g

Tomato-Avocado Salsa

Serves 4, approximately 2/3 cup each.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or Bouquet Garni)
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 ripe avocado, peeled, and diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 24), cut in half
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1.  Whisk together first four ingredients.
2.  Gently stir in the remaining ingredients.
3.  Make this while the chicken cooks, as its texture is best when fresh.

Nutritional data:
Calories:        126
Fat:                10.9g
Sat fat:             2.6g
Chol:              8.3mg
Sodium:         112mg
Carbs:             6.3g
Fiber:              3.1g
Protein:           2.6g

Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4

Fresh vegetables, your preference.  I have used Brussel sprouts, onion, tomato, mini-bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, leeks, mushrooms and asparagus.  (If you use cauliflower, pre-cook it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes.)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
Black pepper, and any spices you like.

1.  Fill a one gallon ziplock bag with your preferred veggies.
2.  Whisk together other ingredients, and pour over veggies.  Toss to coat.  Let sit for 10 minutes.
3.  While the veggies are resting, preheat oven to 450F
4.  Place veggies in a 9×13 pan.  Place in oven for a total of 30 minutes.
5.  Toss veggies after 15 minutes.
6.  Remove when the veggies are tender/crunchy and beginning to brown.

Nutritional data (will vary slightly based on your choice of vegetables):
Calories:       126
Fat:                10.g
Sat fat:           1.6g
Chol:                0mg
Sodium:          11mg
Carbs:          12.4g
Fiber:            4.7g
Protein:            5g

Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Leek

Scrambled Egg with Sauteed Leek

3 large eggs
2 small leeks, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salsa (I used an artichoke-garlic salsa)
Preferred seasoning (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris salt-free blend)
1/2 avocado, mashed

1.  Slice the leeks the long way.  Separate the leaves and rinse under running water to make sure all dirt is removed.  Slice across the grain in 1/4 inch slices.
2.  Heat a non-stick skillet over med-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add leek.  Saute the leeks until they begin to brown.
3.  Reduce heat to medium.
4.  Scramble the eggs, pour over the leeks.  Let the eggs cook until beginning to set, then scramble them until cooked to your desired level of hardness.
5.  Top with 4 tablespoons salsa, and 1/2 mash avocado.

Nutritional Data:
Calories:           475
Fat:                   39.4g
Sat fat:                8.1g
Chol:                 635mg
Sodium:             432mg
Carbs:               12.7g
Fiber:                  6.8g
Protein:             20.4g

This is a fairly big breakfast. You can certainly make it smaller by using only two eggs, or just three egg whites. You can reduce the sodium load by using less salsa (or no salsa).  But this is a meal that will keep me going all morning. 

And it was delicious!

Herb-Crusted Chicken Thighs with Mexican Corn

This recipe could be made using boneless/skinless chicken breasts, but thighs stand up to the heat of frying much better, have more flavor and are juicier.  They have a bit more fat, but I think it is worth it.

Herb-Crusted Chicken Thighs

8 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of your preferred herb/herb blend (I used Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset.)

5 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1.  Mix panko crumbs and herbs.  Press chicken thighs into this, coating both sides.
2.  Heat large non-stick skillet.  Spray with cooking spray.
3.  Place chicken thigh in skillet.  You may need to make two separate batches.
4.  Pan fry over medium heat, approximately 5 minutes.  Turn over and fry another 5 minutes.
5.  Remove from skillet and finish remaining thighs.
6.  While thighs are cooking, combine cheese, oil and lemon juice, stirring to make a thick sauce.

Serve 1 tablespoon sauce on each thigh.

Nutritional data, per thigh:
Calories: 168
Fat:         9.2g
Sat fat:    2.5g
Chol:       75mg
Sodium: 241mg
Carbs:       5g
Fiber:     0.2g
Protein:   17g

Nutritional data, per tablespoon of sauce:
Calories:  65
Fat:           5.9g
Sat fat:      2.8g
Chol:      14.8mg
Carbs:      1.1g
Fiber:          0g
Protein:    2.4g

Mexican Corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 jalapeno, diced (more if desired)
1-2 avocadoes, diced

Makes 4 serving, approximately 1/2 cup of corn/tomato mixture each, with 1/4 avocado on top

1.  Heat non-stick skillet.  Add drained corn, tomatoes and jalapeno.  Cook over medium heat until heated through and the tomatoes start losing their shape.
2. When ready, serve on a plate, and top with avocado.

Nutritional data:
Calories:   115
Fat:             5.8g
Sat fat:        0.7g
Chol:             0mg
Sodium:  262.8mg
Carbs:       15.1g
Fiber:          4.9g
Protein:       2.2g

Salmon Patties with Basil Mayo and Mexican Chop Salad

Speaking of hungry, this was last night’s meal. Two pan-fried salmon patties, with a bit of basil mayo and a Mexican chop salad. With the homemade vinaigrette, the entire meal was 626 calories. I don’t know how much the meal cost, but it is not much. A can of salmon is inexpensive and full of protein and healthy fats. A couple eggs, a bit of onion and some bread crumbs. The salad was made with ingredients that were not needed in recipes from earlier in the week, and just sitting in the fridge. The basil mayo is prepared Hellmann’s and dried herb.  I had the meal made, start to finish, in 15 minutes.  Inexpensive in time, money and calories.

Salmon Patties  (Makes 6 patties, approximately 3 inches in diameter)

1 can (14.75 oz.) salmon, drained.  (Any type of salmon)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 eggs

Mix together with your hands. It should be wet, but not dripping, and should form into a ball and hold its shape. 

Approximately 1/3 cup per patty.  Scoop, form into a ball and press flat. Heat a non-stick skilled with a little olive oil. Place patties in skillet on medium for 3-4 minutes per side. Patty should be nicely browned, but still moist inside. Serve with your favorite tartar sauce or this basil mayo.

Nutritional data per patty:
Calories: 146 
Fat: 7.6 g 
Sat Fat: 1.7 g 
Chol: 117 mg 
Sodium: 401 mg
Carbs:  3.7 g
Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 16.6 g

Basil Mayo (1 serving)
2 Tbsp. Hellmann’s low fat mayo
1 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Mexican Chop Salad (1 serving)
2 cups mixed greens (or whatever you have)
2 Tbsp. black beans (leftover from a prior meal)
2 Tbsp. whole kernel corn
1/2 avocado
1 small red bell pepper
1/2 jalapeno chili
Dressing of your choice