Monday, January 16, 2012

Super Easy Salsa Recipe

I was making a sauce for a margarita chicken recipe the other day and to my surprise I stumbled across an easy way to make salsa. All I had to do was throw in some onions, and lime juice. I never knew that salsa from canned tomatoes could taste just as good as fresh. It had a good kick to it because I used tomatoes with jalapenos but if you want it milder, just use plain canned petite diced tomatoes.


1 14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt to taste

Yields a good size serving of salsa for 4-5

Time: 10 minute prep and 30 minute chill time.


Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fat-Free Black Beans

Black beans are so good for you. They are high in fiber, protein and iron. Oh course all beans are tasty with oil or lard but they don't have to be. You can make tasty beans with no fat at all. They do take a very long time to cook from their dried state but they are worth it.

16 ounce bag of dried black beans
8 cups of water (more as needed)
1 medium onion, cut in half
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 bay leaf

Yields 6-8 side dish portions
Time: 5 minute prep and 3 hours cook time.


Soak dried beans in water overnight or do a quick soak. Do do a quick soak add beans and 6 cups of water into a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover for 1 hour.

To cook bean: In large pot add all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for several hours, stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed. 

Beans are done when they are soft and break apart easily. Continue to cook down until water has evaporated, leaving a little bit in the pot (pictured below).

Remove bay leaf. 
You can leave the beans as is or use a potato masher to make them a refried bean consistency. Add more water when mashing, if needed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cilantro Lime Rice

I made this rice to change things up a bit. It's low-fat and easy to make. My husband loved it. I wasn't the biggest fan though. To me, it was too plain. I am sharing the recipe anyway because my husband love it so much. I bet if you are looking for a "lighter" side, you will love it too. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt, to taste

Yields 6 side dish servings
Time: 5 minute prep and 25 minute cook time


In a medium skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Add rice and saute until rice is a pale golden color. Add water and stir. Turn heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is fluffy and soft.

Before serving add lime juice, zest, cilantro and salt to taste. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a great recipe that I got off the website The website was recommended to me by my friend Jemma. Thanks Jemma! I usually don't like low-fat dishes but this one was filled with flavor. I also added freshly fried tortilla strips and fresh avocado. It is very filling and can be served as a meal or as a starter (much smaller portion). I ended up adding 3 tsps of chipotle pepper to give it an extra kick. If you want a guilt-free and delicious soup to try, this is it!


2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth
8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoon chipotle chile in adobo sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 8 ounce skinless chicken breasts 
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for topping
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
sour cream, for topping (optional)
sliced avocado, for topping (optional)
tortilla strips, for topping (optional)

Yields 6 meal sized servings

Time: 10 minutes prep and 4-6 hours cook time (crock-pot)


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

 Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, and chipotle adobo sauce and bring to a boil. 

Add cilantro and remove from heat.

To crock-pot add beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano and stir. 

Pour in chicken broth mixture. Add chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. 

Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add chicken back into soup. 

Adjust salt and cumin levels to taste. 

Serve with low-fat sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro. You can also add avocado and tortilla strips. Yummy!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chicken Fajitas

My husband has taken a stand against the fattening comfort food I have been cooking for the past few months. Since its the beginning of the year he has asked me (begged me) to start cooking lower fat dishes. This week I decided to make some Mexican dishes. I make the main components low-fat for him and I can still add as much cheese and sour cream to it as I want. It's really a win-win.


Fajita marinade (recipe available on this blog)
2 lbs of chicken breast
1-2 bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
corn tortillas
sour cream, for garnish
shredded cheese, for garnish
chopped cilantro, for garnish
chopped scallions, for garnish
diced tomatoes, for garnish


Heat cast iron grill pan over medium high heat (or a large skillet if you don't have a grill pan). When pan is hot add marinaded chicken (reserve marinade for cooking the veggies). 

Cook chicken 5-6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan and allow to rest on cutting board for several minutes.

Slice into thin strips. 

If using a regular skillet use the same pan to cook the veggies that you cooked the chicken with. If you used a grill pan, use another skillet to cook the veggies. 

Heat pan over medium and add leftover marinade. 

Add sliced peppers and onions. Cook until limp. 

Serve on corn tortillas and garnish with whatever you like. :)

Fajita Marinade

I made chicken fajitas for my husband a couple days ago. The recipe I used was an adaption from Tyler Florance. I changed a couple things because I didn't have everything the recipe called for. The chicken turned out really well. It was very moist and juicy. I really liked the citrus notes and the garlic. I recommend adding some chile powder to spice it up a bit. 


1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 small orange, juiced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped 
2-3 lbs meat of your choice

Add all ingredients (except cilantro) into small bowl and whisk together. Stir in cilantro.

Pour marinade into a shallow pan or zip lock bag add meat. Seal and let marinade for 8 hours. If your meat is not covered completely be sure to shake the bag or turn the chicken in the pan halfway through.

Cook and enjoy.