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Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad

This quinoa is quin-WOW! If you haven’t tried this nutty, full-flavored complete protein, get ready to love it. This salad, simply dressed with buttermilk, olive oil and orange juice, combines the sweetness of dried fruits with green onions and crunchy cholesterol lowering almonds. Makes a meatless main or substantial side dish. Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions (about one bunch)
  • ½ cup dried cherries*, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • May substitute chopped apricots, cranberries or raisins

Dressing

  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Directions

  1. Place quinoa and broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, place almonds in a small pan over medium heat and toss until lightly browned and fragrant.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well blended.
  4. While the quinoa is still warm, stir in the green onions, cherries, parsley, and almonds, then toss with the dressing and serve.

Per serving: 262 calories, 8g protein, 39g carbohydrate, 9g fat, 1g sat fat, 5g mono fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 44mg sodium (with optional salt: 141mg sodium)

THE SEASONED COOK If you’re new to quinoa (KEEN-wah), this is a great first-time recipe. Nutritious and high in protein, quinoa is one of those perfect whole grains to have on hand and faster to prepare than brown rice.

Susan’s Homemade Turkey Stock

You’ll love homemade turkey stock. And it will make you feel good to make it because you can use what’s in your refrigerator as well as leftover turkey bones. The secret ingredient here is the yam. Once you taste the combination with the lemon, it will be your secret as well. Makes 4 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass with leftover meat and skin
  • 1 clove garlic, whole or crushed
  • ½ large onion, cut in thick wedges
  • 1 carrot, cut in 1-2" pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, including leaves, cut in 1" pieces
  • ½ small lemon, deseeded
  • ½ small yam, peeled, cut into large chunks (may substitute potato)
  • ½ teaspoon each black pepper, thyme, and rosemary
  • Water to cover (6-8 cups)

Directions

  1. After removing all usable meat from roasted turkey, break carcass back so that it lays better in the pot with all the bones and skin. Place in deep pot with all other ingredients and pour water to just cover.
  2. Bring to boil, then simmer covered for 1-2 hours.
  3. Drain stock and cool in refrigerator until fat congeals on top (overnight is best). Then, skim fat off the top, discard. Stock is ready to use or store.

Per serving: 38 calories, 5 gm protein, 3 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm total fat, 1 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 gm fiber, 40 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This recipe works for any kind of poultry, use it throughout the year for chicken. The secret of this stock is the lemon, which adds freshness, and the potato or yam, which gives the stock extra body. Add in an apple or pear, sprigs of parsley, whatever is in your fridge for more flavor. Store some of the stock in ice trays in the freezer for ready use in sauté dishes. One cube holds about 2 tablespoons.

Turkey Chili Verde

Everyone needs a basic chili recipe for big gatherings. Here’s ours. What’s fun about this one is that it’s heart healthy and guilt-free, so make extra for second helpings! Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ 4-ounce can whole green chilies, seeded and chopped fine
  • 8 ounces ground turkey breast
  • 1½ 14.5-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12-ounce can whole tomatillos, seeded and chopped with juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine with green portion
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese, low sodium, low-fat, shredded

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, chilies, and ground turkey. Sauté until turkey is lightly browned and vegetables are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add white beans, tomatillos, and chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve and add sour cream. Garnish with cheddar cheese and green onions.

Per Serving: 408 calories, 31 gm protein, 56 gm carbohydrate, 6 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 38 mg cholesterol, 12 gm fiber, 136 mg sodium

Super Quick Red Beans and Rice

How quick? How about 15 minutes? That’s all it takes to create this very satisfying and heart-friendly family dinner. And, after work and the kids’ soccer practice, it just hits the spot. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce can no-salt chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 15-ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, sliced

Directions

  1. In a large pot, sauté onion and pepper until softened. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and spices.
  2. Add the rice and beans. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve and garnish with sliced green onion.

Per serving: 277 calories, 12 gm protein, 52 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 gm fiber, 32 gm sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Brown rice is the whole rice grain and is the only form of rice that contains vitamin E and dietary fiber. It has a wonderful nutty flavor and chewy texture.

Martha’s Creamy Spinach Soup

This soup is unexpectedly creamy, thanks to the potato. Just one portion is loaded with nutrition, including half the daily requirement for folate and iron, along with much more in vitamins K and A, plus B as well. Serve as a first course or as a complete meal with sandwiches, as pictured here. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of spinach, stems removed (8 ounces)
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (approximately ¼ the size of the spinach bunch), stems removed
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Garnish:

  • ¼ cup of toasted shaved almonds
  • nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a small pot, bring water to boil and cook the potato until soft.
  2. In a medium pot with boiling water add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the spinach and discard the water.
  3. In a blender add the spinach, potato, cilantro, and milk. Blend until smooth.
  4. Transfer soup to the pot where the spinach was boiled, season with salt and pepper, and reheat.
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of almonds and nutmeg.

Per serving: 175 calories, 9g protein, 20g carbohydrate, 8g fat, 1g sat fat, 5g mono fat, 3mg cholesterol, 5g fiber, 257mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK If you don’t like cilantro, substitute parsley with a little green onion for some zip.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is a fun vegetarian “one dish meal” that is combined with lentils. The maple syrup adds a hint of sweetness. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry lentils
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cup onions, chopped
  • ¾ cup mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Put lentils in pot and pour water over them until an inch above the lentils. Bring to boil and then let simmer with the lid on, about 20-25 minutes. The lentils should be tender but not mushy. Add more water if needed. Drain and add salt.
  2. Meanwhile, bake squash halves, cut side down, on a spray-oiled cookie sheet at 375° for 30 minutes or until flesh is soft.
  3. Heat olive oil and sauté onions and mushrooms until onions are transparent, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Transfer cooked lentils and onion mixture to a large bowl. Use a spoon to scrape flesh from squash leaving skin intact and add to lentils and onions. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Spoon mixture into squash shells and reheat just before serving.

Per Serving: 343 calories, 10 gm protein, 52 gm carbohydrate, 14 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 4 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 gm fiber, 310 mg sodium

Party Paella

Our heart-healthy and well-balanced paella sacrifices none of the flavor. We’ve used sausage, chicken and shrimp, but in moderation. Coriander and turmeric contribute beautiful color and flavor for an impressive but simple dish that looks like you spent hours preparing. Toss a salad, and ring the dinner bell. Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 ounces low sodium turkey or chicken sausage, cubed
  • ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, moist
  • 1½ cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon each coriander and turmeric
  • 12 ounces small frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled

Directions

  1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat olive oil. Sauté onion, sausage, chicken breast, and red pepper until sausage is cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked rice, peas, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, and turmeric.
  3. Add rice mixture to the skillet and stir until combined. Place shrimp on top, reduce heat to low, and simmer until shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. If rice mixture is drying out, add a few tablespoons of water to keep it moist.

Per serving: 371 calories, 35 gm protein, 33 gm carbohydrate, 10 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 5 gm mono fat, 146 mg cholesterol, 5 gm fiber, 633 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This is a great recipe for festive occasions. It's fast and easy but looks like you took a long time in the kitchen. Shrimp is high in protein and low in calories and fat. Read the label carefully for fat content in sausage.

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