Monday, March 21, 2011

Spice up your Spring!

I love using fresh herbs and spices when I cook, it really livens up a meal.  Today I added a generous sprinkle of cinnamon to my oatmeal, fresh mint to a bowl of berries, and a lot of warm spices to a bowl of chili.   On a cold, rainy night cumin, chili powder, oregano, and paprika really warm you up and fill you up.

Cinnamon Oatmeal with Maple and Fruit

1 organic Braeburn apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup water
generous sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tbsp. Maple Grove Farms sugar free maple syrup
1 tbsp. raisins
1 tbsp. dried cranberries

In a microwave safe bowl, add half of the chopped apple (I eat the other half while my oatmeal's cooking), dry oatmeal, water and cinnamon.  Microwave for 90 seconds, or until cooked.  Add in maple syrup and dried fruit, stir until well mixed.  

Points plus value is 3 points, 2 for the oatmeal, 1 for the dried fruit.  (Apple and cinnamon are free, and the syrup only has 15 calories so also free.)

Minted Berries

2 cups fresh assorted berries- strawberries (halved or quartered depending on how large), blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries
1 ttbsp. simple syrup (1 tbsp. very hot water and 1 tbsp. sugar- stir until sugar is melted)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint.

Place berries in bowl, and pour simple syrup over all.  Sprinkle fresh mint on top and stir.  Let sit for one hour and serve.  Garnish with a mint sprig.  One cup is free.

Kickin' Chili

3 cloves chopped garlic
1 pound lean ground beef (90/10 or leaner)
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 large cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 cup Cabernet wine
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. cocoa powder (or cocoa chile)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika

Brown meat in large skillet with onion and garlic, then drain fat off.  Transfer to large stock pot and cook a few minutes over medium-high heat adding in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, chiles, and all spices.  Simmer and stir for at least one hour on low heat.  Adjust seasoning as you like, and serve with chopped onion and shredded low fat cheddar cheese.  This makes a lot, so have empty containers on hand so you can freeze leftovers.  I count one cup for 6 points plus (but I haven't calculated it on etolls).

1 comment:

  1. Fresh herbs and spices make all the difference! I use fresh herbs whenever I make pasta dishes, and it just gives that extra bit of pizzazz to make the dish a little more satisfying.