Creamy Celery and Fennel Soup

Ingredients

4 stalks celery, sliced, about 2 cups
2 cups sliced fennel, about 1/2 a bulb
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup long-grain rice
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  1. Combine celery, fennel, broth, 2 cups water, rice, tarragon and salt in a large saucepan. Set over medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until celery is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Use a hand blender to process the soup until smooth. Return soup to stovetop and set over medium. Stir in milk and lemon juice and continue cooking until heated through, 3 minutes.
  3. Garnish with sour cream, dill and olive oil before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chatelaine magazine

Advertisements

Rice with Fish, Clam and Scallop

Ingredients

1 tbsp light vegetable oil, such as corn or safflower
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can of whole Italian tomatoes and their juice
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (7 oz) can minced or chopped clams and their juice
poblano or Anaheim chili, seeded and minced
1 lb sea bass, halibut or other firm white fish, cut in 1-1/2- to 2-inch chunks
1/2 lb bay scallops
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent.
  2. Coarsely chop tomatoes. Add them to the pan along with their juice, the wine, broth, bay leaf, thyme, parsley and pepper.
  3. Drain the clams, reserving the juice. Add the juice to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chili and cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the clams, sea bass and bay scallops and simmer 2 or 3 minutes, just until the fish and scallops turn opaque (longer cooking will make them dry and tough).
  6. Ladle into bowls over warm rice. Garnish with the cilantro before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Met Home magazine

Risotto with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

Ingredients

5 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
generous 1-3/8 cups risotto rice
8 oz roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant, cut into chunks
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
salt and pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, to garnish

Method

  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
  2. Heat the oil with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a deep pan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Do not brown.
  3. Reduce the heat, add the rice, and mix to coat in oil and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
  4. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 15 minutes, then add most of the roasted vegetables, setting aside a few pieces to use as a garnish.
  5. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the remaining butter. Mix well, then stir in the Parmesan until it melts. Spoon the risotto onto warmed individual plates, arrange vegetables around it or on top to garnish, and then sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving at once.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: To roast the raw vegetables, place them in an oiled roasting pan and cook in the oven at 400ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.

Source: Risotto

Rice with Pork Belly and Salt-preserved Lemon

Ingredients

150 g of pork belly slices
1 tsp minced salt-preserved lemon (recipe below)
ground black pepper
white sesame seeds, green onion, and lemon zest
cooked rice

Method

  1. Cut pork into smaller pieces of 2-inch in length.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a fry pan, fry pork until done. Remove and place on paper towel to absord excess fat.
  3. Pour away fat in the pan with about 1 tsp remaining. Add preserved lemon and stir-fry briefly. Return pork to pan and toss to combine.
  4. Season with black pepper and remove to place on top of cooked rice in the bowl. Garnish with white sesame seeds, green onion and lemon zest before serving.

Salt-preserved Lemons

Ingredients

9 organic lemons
Kosher salt
1 heaping teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

Method

  1. Scrub 3 to 5 organic lemons, enough to fit snugly in a medium jar with a tight-fitting lid (have 2 to 4 more ready on the side). Slice each lemon from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, almost cutting them into quarters but leaving them attached at one end. Rub kosher salt over the cut surfaces, then reshape the fruit. Cover the bottom of the jar with more kosher salt. Fit all the cut lemons in, breaking them apart if necessary. Sprinkle salt on each layer.
  2. Press the lemons down to release their juices. Add to the jar the peppercorns and bay leaves, then squeeze the additional lemons into the jar until juice covers everything.
  3. Close the jar and let ripen at cool room temperature, shaking the jar every day for 3 to 4 weeks, or until the rinds are tender to the bite. Then store it in the refrigerator.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Healthy Version of Italian-style Meatballs with Mushroom and Spinach

Ingredients

12 ounces 96% lean ground beef
1 cup finely chopped puffed brown rice
4 cups unsalted beef stock
salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil cooking spray
4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced onion 8 cups washed spinach
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, dissolved in 2 teaspoons of the stock
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated on a Microplane grater

Method

  1. Place the beef in a large mixing bowl, pushing it to one side. Add the rice and 1-1/2 cups of the stock to the other side of the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and let the rice absorb the stock, about 1 minute.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, mix the beef into the rice until homogeneous, about 1 minute.
  3. Form the mixture into 16 equal-size meatballs.
  4. Coat a large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the meatballs and brown on one side, about 1 minute.
  5. Turn the meatballs over and brown the opposite sides, about 30 seconds. Transfer the meatballs to a holding plate.
  6. Spray the skillet again with cooking spray, and place back on the heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until browned and softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach and cook just to wilt, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the remaining stock and the arrowroot slurry and bring to a simmer while whisking until thickened.
  9. Add the meatballs and simmer until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  10. Spoon the meatballs and mushroom mixture into four bowls, distributing them equally. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Tip

Include some no-sugar-added dried cranberries if you want to liven things up a bit.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Negative Calorie Diet