Winter Kitchen Comfort
Try these comforting recipes as you hunker down in your kitchen this winter!
Larb Gai (Thai Chicken Salad)
Submitted by Gregory Georgis
Larb Gai is my go-to meal when I’m wanting something that’s full of flavor but light on calories. It’s a protein-rich dish that works best with lean ground chicken and features mint, basil, shallots, green onion, lime juice, and chilies. And best of all, it comes together quickly for a perfect weekday evening after a workout at FitMe Wellness! All these ingredients are easily found at Valli Produce here in Rockford.
- ¼ cup raw jasmine rice
- 1 lb ground chicken (lean)
- 1 thai chili pepper, minced
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 shallot, slivered
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 8 mint leaves, chopped
- Lettuce & cucumber slices for serving
First, toast the raw jasmine rice in a skillet over high heat for about 3-5 minutes. You’re looking for the rice to turn golden brown, but not burnt. Remove rice for skillet and transfer to a coffee grinder or mortar and grind until a fine powder. Set aside.
Next, heat a wok or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a splash of water, then add the ground chicken, stirring to break up lumps. Cook until the meat is cooked through, approximately 2-4 minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl and let chicken cool a bit (enough to not wilt the remaining ingredients when mixed).
Add all remaining ingredients and rice powder to the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly, but gently enough that the ingredients retain their integrity. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking; the dish should be tangy, salty, and spiced to your preference.
Finally, arrange lettuce leaves on a large serving plate. Spoon chicken mixture over the bed of lettuce. Garnish with cucumber slices.
Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
Submitted by Tracy Cusick
“This is so easy and can be made ahead and eaten over the week or even frozen! It’s also easy to double up. I usually make it in a 9×9 square dish but sometimes I’ll spoon it into 12 muffin tins for an easy on-the-go breakfast or snack paired with a piece of fresh fruit.”
In a blender:
- 1 C almond milk (or regular milk works too)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 C melted coconut oil (canola oil can work too)
- 8 oz. canned pumpkin
- 1 really ripe banana (the riper the better for sweetness)
- 1/4 C brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
Dry Ingredients (mix with blended wet ingredients)
- 3 cups oats
- 1/4 c ground flaxseed
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/3 c mini chocolate chips or raisins or both!
Spray pan or muffin tins with cooking spray (I do not recommend using muffin papers as it will stick too much to them. Bake 350 about 25-30 mins. I liked mine a little on the softer side so I do about 26 mins.
Crock Pot Turkey Tenderloin
Submitted by Rachel Carlson
“I like this because it’s healthy and I can put it in the crock pot and forget about it until dinner, especially on the nights I’m at the gym for evening clients and classes.“
- 1 16 oz turkey tenderloin
- 1-2 cups of each:
- Red potatoes, diced
- Carrots, diced
- Celery, chopped
- White onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
Cover bottom of crock pot with the vegetables. Place tenderloin on top, add broth and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low 5 hours or until tenderloin is cooked through.
Grandma’s Pumpkin Soup
Submitted by Liz Atkins
“My family made a cookbook out of my grandma’s recipes. This one in particular is a favorite of mine. Feel free to substitute a healthier oil for the butter. Beware: Grandma was cooking for a lot of people, so you might want to reduce by half.”
- ½ C butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 5 15 oz. cans of low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 lbs. cubed pumpkin or butternut squash
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 4 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt and pepper (to taste)
- ⅛ tsp ground white pepper
- ½ tsp thyme
- 2 C milk
Melt butter in stock pot. Saute onion and garlic until onion is softened. Add squash, potatoes, carrots, spices and chicken broth. Simmer until the vegetables are softened. Allow contents of pot to cool. Blend until smooth, being sure not to overfill your blender. Return contents to pot and add milk. Bring to simmer and season to taste. Serve.
Creamy Watercress-Stuffed Chicken
Submitted by Katie Rose Potter
“I made this with some watercress I got from a local farm, but you could probably use a mixture of different herbs and greens!”
- 1/3 C cream cheese
- 1 C watercress, divided
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 C marsala wine
- 3/4 C chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp cream
Mix cream cheese, half of the watercress, and the garlic. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Take a knife and carefully cut a pocket in the side of each of the chicken breasts, then stuff the pockets with the cream cheese/watercress mixture.
Season each side of the chicken breasts generously with paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in an oven-safe skillet, then add the chicken breasts and cook until browned, about 5 minutes a side. Add the wine to the skillet to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits. Cook for 1 minute, then add the stock and cover, simmering over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the skillet, and turn the heat to high. Cook the pan juices until only about a 1/4 cup remains, then add the cream and remaining watercress, stirring to combine. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon over the chicken breasts to serve.