Saturday, March 8, 2014

White Bean Chicken Chili

I remember the very first time I had White Bean Chicken Chili.  My husband and I had gone out for lunch to Brueggers Bagels.  The soup of the day was White Bean Chicken Chili.  My husband said, "that sounds good and I think I will try it."  He did and of course I had to steal a taste.  Guess what, I liked it.  So I found a recipe by McCormick Seasonings that we tried and have tweaked.  

Recently, I was looking on Allrecipes and came across Chef John and I decided to give this recipe a try. Wow, the ancho chili powder and chipotle pepper powder gives it some great flavor and a bit of a kick.  I am convinced this will be my go to White Bean Chicken Chili recipe for now on... Thanks Chef John!!!

White Bean Chicken Chili


1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fine cornmeal
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, drained
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, flip breasts, cover the pan, and cook until browned on the other side, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and allow to cool before chopping into cubes.

2. Return skillet to medium heat, add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, onion, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until onion turns translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Stir ancho chili powder, cumin, flour, chipotle pepper powder, and oregano into the onion mixture; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and stir, scraping up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in cornmeal and bring to a simmer.

4. Stir in beans and 1 more cup chicken broth. Cut cooled chicken breasts into cubes, add to the chili and bring to a simmer. Add remaining cup of chicken broth, season with salt, black pepper, sugar, and cayenne pepper to taste; cook until heated through. Serve garnished with green onions, sour cream, and cilantro.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Every weekend I sit down, usually Saturday morning while having my coffee and I make my menu for the week.  I generally buy only what is on my list.  So I never have extra ingredients in my refrigerator to make spur of the moment recipes.  This week I happen to have extra strawberry and spinach.  

Spinach and Strawberry Salad


2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

* I think the next time I made this I will use a Balsamic Vinegar.  This recipe was good as written but I think the Balsamic will elevate the flavors.  I used Mazola Cholesterol Free Canola Oil.


Crunchy Granola

Lately I have been eating gluten-free, or at least trying to.  I have found a delicious granola recipe they I truly like.  My kids prefer the chewy mix I have made in the past.  Looks like I will be rotating the two recipes out.

Homemade Granola Mix


3 1/2 cups rolled oatss
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
3 tablespoons flax seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted mixed nuts, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mixed dried fruit 


Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the dried fruit. Mix until combined.

Spread the granola mixture on the baking sheet, spread it out into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until nice and golden brown. Recommend you stir every 10 minutes.

Remove granola from the oven and let cool completely (in pan) and on a wire wrack. Once the granola has finally cooled, mix in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

** In my recipe I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats.  Instead of grapeseed oil I used Mazola Cholesterol Free Canola Oil.  I added some pumpkin seeds.  Lastly, I used a gluten-free breakfast syrup.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa

I have always liked a fruit salsa on fish.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps it reminds me of summer, especially is this Northeastern arctic blast we have been dealing with.  

The second recipe Mazola® as chosen for the Allstars is a Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa.  

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa
Ingredients (recipe makes 4 servings)

Sweet and Spicy Rub:
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons Mazola® Corn Oil

Grapefruit Salsa:

2 cups grapefruit sections
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, diced


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine paprika, onion and garlic powder, salt, oregano, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Cut salmon into 4 portions and brush with oil. Distribute the rub over the salmon generously coating all surfaces. Place salmon on a shallow baking pan with sides.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until fish flakes easily.

Coarsely chop grapefruit into bite size pieces. Combine all salsa ingredients and serve with salmon. Grapefruit salsa can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.

** My husband and I really liked this recipe.  I had made the grapefruit salsa in the morning so it had time to meld together.  As the day went on, I tested the salsa to see if I needed to tweak it.  I had thought about using some agave but decided it was sweet enough from the pink grapefruit I used.

I served the salmon with some Cilantro Lime rice and a side of green beans.

I think the salmon would be great grilled on some cedar planks during the summer.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce

This is the first recipe Mazola® has selected for the Allrecipes Allstars in the month of March.

Pork Carnita with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce


1 pound pork shoulder
2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Spice Islands Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Chipotle Chile Powder
2 tomatillos, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
4 corn tortillas


Cut pork into 1 inch cubes; season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven.  Add pork, onions, garlic powder, chili powder and chipotle chile powder; saute 3 to 5 minutes to brown the meat.

Add enough water to barely cover pork.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Remove lid and continue to simmer an additional 45 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.

Combine chopped tomatillos, tomatoes and cilantro in a small bowl.

Place an equal amount of pork on each tortilla.  Top with tomatillo salsa.  

** I tweeked the recipe by adding salt, pepper and a little lime juice to the salsa.  I also used the Mazola® Cholesterol Free Corn Oil they sent me.  

My family really liked this recipe.  My husband kept saying, "wow this is good."  So it is keeper in my book.  We will be making this again.


The Importance of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

What does living a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle mean to you?

Growing up I never really knew the importance of living a Heart-Healthy lifestyle.  My parents provided us, 6 Kids with the foods they could afford. It seems like there wasn't much talk about heart disease or elevated cholesterol levels back then.  

Fast forward to age 30. My Dad was diagnosed with heart disease.  He ended up having a double bypass (after having two failed stints) on my 30th birthday.  Not exactly the way my husband and I wanted to celebrate.  My dad is doing great and is very active 15 years later.

Since then we have been trying to live heart healthy.  Now-a-days I have gone a step beyond cutting fat from our diets.  I have been serving gluten free meals/sides dishes.  It isn't always easy, especially when you have kids who are involved in sports.  Believe me we still have our pizza nights. 

Recently, Mazola® Brands has sent me a package through the Allrecipes Allstars program.  The package included a large bottle of Cholesterol Free Corn Oil.  Do you know how excited I was to receive this package.  I have used the Cholesterol Free Corn Oil in every recipe I have made since receiving it.  Did you know, cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States.  To find out more information please visit Mazola for more Heart Healthy information.

"Check out more Mazola® recipes here:

Your can read more about Mazola® and their Heart Healthy Corn oil at

To achieve cholesterol reduction, one serving of Mazola® cooking oil must be part of a healthy diet and replace a similar amount of butter or other higher saturated fat oil. Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tbsp (16 grams) of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in corn oil. FDA concludes there is little scientific data supporting the claim. To achieve this possible benefit, corn oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.

I am an Allrecipes Allstar brand ambassador (a voluntary position) and I'm not compensated for my work with Products received from advertiser are only used for experience-based reviews. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of myself. To learn more about the Allrecipes Allstar program visit, Allrecipes Allstars."

I am looking forward to trying the recipes Mazola has selected for the Allstars.


I'm an Allrecipes Allstar!!!!!

I'm an Allrecipes Allstar!!!  What does that mean??? 

The Allrecipes Allstars are members who love to tell everyone about their favorite website. They're always cooking, rating, and reviewing recipes, posting photos, and telling everyone about it on The Buzz, Facebook, and Twitter. Have a blog, too? That’s another great place to show your love for great recipes, great food, and a great website. - Allrecipes website

    Throughout 2014, I will be posting recipes from some great Sponsors who will be working with  

    Stay tuned for more of my Allstar adventure.