Thursday, February 12, 2009

Food: Healthy & Delicious Southwest Chowder & Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls

I generally try to cook as healthily as possible, but at my core, I friggin love food. So here are two recipes that you can feel good about, and actually enjoy eating:

SW Chowder
1 Red Onion, Chopped
4 Strips Turkey Bacon (I prefer Oscar Meyer or ButterBall)
2 Stalks Celery + leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Lb. Chicken tenderloins, or trimmed breasts
1 Fire-roasted Bell Pepper (Green or Red), either roasted on your home grill, or store bought in
jar, chopped
16oz Frozen Cauliflower Florets (fresh works too)
12oz Frozen Sweet Corn Kernels
3 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Water
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
Optional: 1 Tsp. Cayenne
Optional: Grated Sharp Cheddar and Lite Sour Cream

If you are making the rolls also, make the dough first, and set aside to rise while you make the chowder.
In a large, heavy pot, saute the onions, olive oil and bacon over medium heat until the onions just begin to become translucent. Then cover pot, and turn heat to lowest setting to carmelize onions. Pan-fry the chicken with a little seasoning (garlic powder, salt and pepper works well) until just done. Do not over cook. Let the chicken cool a few minutes, and shred it. Set aside. Add celery to your onion mixure, and stir. Try to 'destroy' the bacon as you are stirring. Add cauliflower and corn, spices, bell pepper, chicken stock and water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour.
Ladle about 1/3 of the stew into the bowl of a food processor, add corn starch and pulse until well pureed. Return to stew pot and add shredded chicken. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for about 10 more minutes. Serve topped with cheese and sour cream if desired.
For veggie mamas: This would be good with vegetable stock, some liquid smoke, and ground Quorn added last.

Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls
makes about 9 - 10
3 Cups King Arthur Brand 'White Whole Wheat' Flour
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Olive Oil, or Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup water at 110 degrees F
1 Packet Highly Active Yeast
2 Tblsp Sugar
Coarse Salt
In small bowl, whisk together water, yeast and sugar. Set aside until yeast has 'fluffled'...about 5 minutes. In a larged bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, salt. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture, and add oil. Blend together until incorporated (add more water/oil if your dough is too dry to form a ball). Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Coat dough with olive oil, put back in large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in size: about 1 - 2 hours. A warm, draft-free place is best. If your house is pretty cold in the winter, try putting the dough on the stove and turning the oven on low for a while.
Preheat oven to 350
After dough has risen, oil a cookie sheet, and form dough portions into balls - there should be about 9 - 10 -- and place on sheet. Sprinkle the tops with coarse salt, and bake for about 17 - 20 minutes unitl the rolls just begin to tun light brown on the tops.

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