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December

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

From Eating Well: August/September 2005, The Eating Well Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006)

Instead of batter-dipped, deep-fried nuggets, we coat chicken tenders in a seasoned almond and whole-wheat flour crust and then oven-fry them to perfection. With half the fat of standard breaded chicken tenders, you can enjoy to your (healthy) heart's content.

Nutrition Per serving: 174 calories; 4 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 66 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 1 g fiber; 254 mg sodium; 76 mg potassium.

Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, (see Ingredient Note)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
  2. Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely chopped and the paprika is mixed throughout, about 1 minute. With the motor running, drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.
  3. Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the tenders on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray the other side.
  4. Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Tips & Notes

Ingredient note: Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.”

November

Curried Pork Tenderloin in Apple Cider

Dietitian's tip: Apple cider is unfiltered juice from apples. In the United States, cider is referred to as "sweet" (unfermented and alcohol-free) or "hard" (fermented and contains alcohol). In this recipe, the sweet flavor of the apple cider and chopped apples nicely complement the pork tenderloin.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups apple cider, divided
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

  1. Season the pork tenderloin with curry powder and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the tenderloin and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the onions to skillet and saute until soft and golden. Add 1 1/2 cups of the apple cider, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is half the volume.
  4. Add the chopped apple, cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup apple cider. Stir and simmer while the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Return the tenderloin to the skillet and simmer for the final 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, arrange tenderloin on a serving platter or divide onto individual plates. Pour thickened sauce over meat and serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Calories 243 - Cholesterol 70 mg - Protein 24 g - Sodium 48 mg - Carbohydrate 19 g - Fiber 2 g - Total fat 8 g - Potassium 410 mg - Saturated fat 2 g - Calcium 34 mg - Monounsaturated fat 4 g

October

Chicken Stir-fry With Eggplant and Basil

Dietitian's tip: This colorful main dish requires a fair amount of chopping, but the cooking takes only minutes. Wait to cut up the eggplant until just before cooking to prevent discoloration.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 3 green (spring) onions, including tender green tops, 2 coarsely chopped and 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant, with peel, diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Directions

In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, mint, 1/4 cup of the stock, the chopped green onions, garlic and ginger. Pulse until the mixture is minced but not pureed. Set aside.

In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, yellow onion and bell peppers and saute until the vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the basil mixture and saute for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken strips and soy sauce and saute until the chicken is almost opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup stock and bring to a boil. Return the eggplant mixture to the pan and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the sliced green onion. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

  • Serving size: About 2 cups
  • Calories 257 Cholesterol 67 mg
  • Protein 30 g Sodium 406 mg
  • Carbohydrate 14 g Fiber 5 g
  • Total fat 9 g Potassium 783 mg
  • Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 51 mg
  • Monounsaturated fat 5 g

May Recipe of the Month

Pan-Seared Salmon with Fennel & Dill Salsa
Crunchy fennel gives great texture to this tomato-based salsa, which is itself a zippy, slightly sour complement to sweet, seared salmon. Make this dish a meal by serving it with some whole-wheat couscous and a glass of rose.

Servings: 4 servings Prep: 30 mins Total: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped fennel, (about 1/2 bulb, stalks trimmed)
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt , divided
  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Combine tomato, fennel, onion, dill, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut salmon into 4 equal portions, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Cook the salmon, skinned-side up, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the salmon over and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the salmon to finish cooking off the heat until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more. Serve immediately with the salsa.

Tip: To skin a salmon fillet: Place it on a clean cutting board, skin-side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30 degree angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either. Or have your fishmonger do it for you.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 289, Total Fat 20 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 67 mg, Sodium 373 mg, Carbohydrate 4 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 23 g, Potassium 610 mg. Daily Values: Vitamin C 32%. Exchanges: Vegetable 1, Lean Meat 3.5, Fat 1.5 Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

April Recipe of the Month

Easy Turkey Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 Min Cook Time: 20 Min Ready In: 30 Min

Amount per Serving: Calories: 73 | Total Fat: 4.5g | Cholesterol: 37mg

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with the olive oil, and place it in the oven while preheating.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, and bread crumbs using your hands. Using an ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside. Serve with pasta and sauce or however you'd like.

February Recipe of the Month
Veggie Fajitas

Prep Time: 30 Min Cook Time: 20 Min Ready In: 50 Min
Amount per Serving: Calories: 51 | Total Fat: 2.2g | Cholesterol: 0mg

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • lemon pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large frying pan over a medium heat, sauté olive oil and garlic. Let the garlic sauté for 2 minutes, stir in the green and yellow bell peppers. Let the peppers sauté for 2 minutes, stir in the onions. After two minutes add the mushrooms and green onions to the frying pan. Season the vegetables with lemon pepper to taste and stir well. Cover the frying pan and cook until all of the vegetables are tender.
  2. Serve fajitas with flour or corn tortillas, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, or any other favorite fajita condiments!

November

Roasted Cranberry Chicken
Ingredients

  • 8 small chicken thighs (2 to 2-1/4 lb.), skinned
  • 3/4 cup low-calorie cranberry juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 tsp. packed brown sugar
  • Fresh thyme leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat extra-large ovenproof skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper on chicken. In hot skillet cook, meaty sides down, 5 minutes, turning once, until well-browned on both sides. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees F).
  2. Meanwhile, in saucepan combine juice, berries, thyme sprigs, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to boiling. Simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. Discard thyme sprigs. Serve chicken with sauce. Sprinkle thyme leaves. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories:187
  • Total Fat: (g)5
  • Saturated Fat: (g)1
  • Monounsaturated Fat: (g)1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: (g)1
  • Cholesterol: (mg)107
  • Sodium: (mg)383
  • Carbohydrate: (g)9
  • Total Sugar: (g)7
  • Fiber: (g)1
  • Protein: (g)26
  • Vitamin C: (DV%)28
  • Calcium: (DV%)2
  • Iron: (DV%)8

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

October

Chicken with sun-dried tomato, eggplant and basil

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 baby eggplant, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 4 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 pound total)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • Rustic bread, for serving

Directions

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the eggplant halves in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover with a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a skillet over high heat, about 1 minute; transfer to a bowl and add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. Add to the skillet and cook until brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken, add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Remove the eggplant from the microwave, cool slightly and slice into chunks. Reduce the skillet heat to medium-low; add the sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant, basil, nuts and chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer.

Transfer the chicken to plates; top each with ricotta and the eggplant mixture. Serve with the bread.

Cook Time: 11 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 Servings

September

Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers, drained
  • Half a small onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 10-inch fat-free whole-wheat tortilla
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

In a bowl, combine peppers, onion and cumin. Sprinkle each tortilla with cheese, using 1/4 cup cheese on each. Divide pepper mixture among tortillas, spreading it over cheese. Roll up each tortilla and put in greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cover pan with foil. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese melts. Remove foil. Turn oven to broil. Broil 4 inches from heat for 1 1/2 minutes a side, or until lightly browned. Cut each tortilla into 4 pieces. Serve with your favorite salsa for dipping.

May

Soy-Glazed Turkey Breast

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Makes four servings. Per serving: 149 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 126 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 25 g protein

  • 1 14 oz boneless skinless turkey breast tenders
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place turkey in the center of a 16-by-16-inch sheet of aluminum foil set on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk oil, honey, soy, and garlic. Drizzle over tenders. With tongs, rotate tenders to coat evenly. Fold foil into a packet with tightly sealed seams, keeping the foil loose around the tenders.
  3. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F and juices run clear, about 30 minutes. Unwrap foil, careful to avoid steam. Flip tenders and allow to sit in glaze 10 minutes. Discard the glaze and cut tenders into thin slices.

Smashed ginger Carrots with Sesame

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes 2 servings. Per serving: 85 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g -saturated), 208 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein

  • 1 1/4 c baby carrots
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 c chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  1. In a saucepan, combine carrots, oil, garlic, ginger, and salt to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Add broth. Cover and reduce heat so mixture simmers.
  2. Cook until carrots are very tender, about 10 minutes. Smash with potato masher. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.