After the champagne, chocolate, cake and cookies comes the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Suggestions abound: Eat less. Move more. Write it as you bite it. Use smaller plates. Use different colored plates. Use apps. Be mindful. And on it goes. I believe anything that makes a positive impact on a healthy new year, even small changes, are ideal. Be realistic and exercise, if only to get up and change the channels.
Here are some tips and recipes I’ve collected that remain my tried-and-true food tips for the new year that make eating delicious year-round. The idea is to reward yourself for healthy food. Don’t beat yourself up!
HEALTHIER CROCK POT CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce (or easy to make your own)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 14-ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 poblano peppers, blackened, skin and seeds removed and small dice and/or
2 banana peppers, chopped
1 10-ounce package frozen corn or crispy canned, drained
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley
7 corn tortillas
Vegetable cooking spray
Directions: Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, banana or poblano peppers and garlic into the crock pot. Pour in water and chicken broth. Season with cumin, chili powder, salt, ground pepper and poblano/
banana peppers. Stir in corn and parsley. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat both sides of tortillas with cooking spray. Cut the tortillas into thin strips and spread in one layer on baking sheet. Bake about 10-15 minutes until crisp. Or you can use coarse baked crushed tortilla chips. Sprinkle over soup just before serving. Can add some thinly sliced avocado on top also. 6 servings.
QUICK TIPS FOR 2017
- Halve grapefruits; loosen sections, pour honey in centers and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Use healthy King Arthur Sprouted Wheat 100 percent grain flour for challah, waffles, sticky buns, etc.
- Coat a pan with butter-flavored spray. Sprinkle a light “snowfall” of sugar on cubed potatoes, with or without chopped onions, before roasting at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Shave fresh vegetables, such as fennel, on a coarse microplane for salads.
- Always brine poultry before cooking for best flavor. Kosher poultry does this for you and is superior to all others.
- Always rinse diced onions under cold water and blot dry. This rids them of sulfurous gas that can ruin salsa and guacamole.
- Use the new store-bought, spiralized veggies such as sweet potato or squash in place of noodles in homemade chicken soup. Cook them in advance, and add to soup last.
LOW-FAT, LOW-SALT SLOPPY JOES
1 pound ground turkey
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 jalapeno peppers, optional
1 cup no-salt-added ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt substitute
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Remove seeds from jalapeno peppers and dice, if using. Saute onion, jalapenos and green pepper in olive oil then set aside. Cook ground turkey, crumbling into little pieces. Drain and return to pan. Over med-high heat add all of the ingredients into the pan. Stir mixture for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve on soft hamburger buns. Leave out the jalapeno if you don’t like it hot. If you do throw in two more, try adding petite diced tomatoes. Makes 4-6 sandwiches.
Ilene Spector is a local freelance writer.