Healthy recipes for the New Year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Washington Post

Recipes for a healthier year.

Braised Chicken Thighs With Tomatillos

4 to 6 servings

With a slight refinement in the recipe’s original directions — breaking up the tender cooked chicken so it stays moist in the sauce — this Mexican-inspired, one-pot dish is officially ruled a keeper.

Make ahead: This tastes even better after a day’s refrigeration; skim off any congealed fat (from the chicken skin) before reheating in a pot on the stove top.

If you have trouble finding boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, buy bone-in thighs and see how to remove the bones in the note below.

Adapted from “The Eat Fat, Get Thin Cookbook: More Than 175 Delicious Recipes for Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health,” by Mark Hyman (Little, Brown and Co., 2016).

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

2 tsp. ground cumin

3/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into quarters

1 medium jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (seeded, if desired)

2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth

1/2 cup chipotle-flavored mayonnaise, for serving

Finely grated zest and juice from 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving

1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish

Flesh of 1 avocado, cut into chunks

Season the chicken thighs with the cumin, salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, top sides down. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until browned then turn them over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. (The chicken won’t be cooked through.)

Stir in the onion and garlic; cook for about 2 minutes or until softened, then add the tomatillos, jalapeño and broth. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Uncover; remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, stir together the chipotle mayonnaise, lime zest, half the lime juice and the chopped cilantro in a medium bowl, until well blended.

Use large forks or a couple of table knives to shred/break up the chicken in its sauce. Discard the chicken skins. Add the remaining lime juice and half of the avocado, stirring until the sauce gets a bit creamier. Taste, and add salt as needed.

Divide chicken and sauce among individual wide, shallow bowls. Top each portion with a dollop of the chipotle mayo, cilantro leaves and the remaining avocado chunks. Serve warm, with lime wedges.

Note: To remove the thigh bones, invert the thighs so they are skin side down. Use your fingers to locate the main bone that runs through the thigh. Use a small, sharp knife to scrape away the flesh from either side of the bone, clearly exposing the bone but keeping the flesh intact as much as possible (do not shred it away in pieces). Finally, cut away any cartilage or flesh to release the bone, which should not have any flesh on it.

Nutrition ­­— Per serving (based on 6): 410 calories, 52 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 510 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar

Egg Roll Bowls

2 or 3 servingsHere, the textures and flavors you might find inside an egg roll fill dinner bowls instead.

You can save some prep time by picking up shredded carrots and sliced mushrooms from the supermarket salad bar.

Adapted from “Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes,” by Gina Homolka with Heather K. Jones (Clarkson Potter, 2016).

Ingredients

7 ounces ground pork (may substitute lean ground chicken)

2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. peeled, freshly grated ginger root

3 cups packed, thinly sliced napa or green cabbage (from less than 1/2 head)

2 cups thinly sliced baby bok choy (from 2 pieces)

1/2 cup loosely packed shredded carrots

2 1/2 ounces stemmed, sliced shiitake mushrooms (may substitute mushrooms of your choice)

1 1/2 tsp. mirin or dry sherry

1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

1 scallion, sliced on the diagonal, for garnish

Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and half the soy sauce; stir-fry for about 3 minutes, breaking up the meat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger; stir-fry for about 3 minutes.

Add the cabbage, bok choy, carrots and mushrooms, then the mirin or sherry, the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce and the toasted sesame oil; stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cabbage and bok choy have wilted a bit yet still retain some texture.

Divide among wide, shallow bowls. Sprinkle each portion with scallion slices. Serve right away.

Nutrition — Per serving (based on 3): 190 calories, 24 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 490 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar

Dump Ranch Dressing

16 servings (makes 2 cups)

This is a “clean” (read: no sugar, no preservatives) version of the salad dressing Americans love most.

You’ll need a wide-mouth quart-size jar with a tight-fitting lid. The recipe calls for a raw egg. If you are concerned about the risk of salmonella, use a pasteurized shell egg or egg product, available in select supermarkets.

By blending the herbs in with the other ingredients, you’ll wind up with a pale green dressing. If you’d rather keep it “ranch white,” blend the ingredients without the herbs. Chop them finely and stir them in.

Make ahead: The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. It will thicken in cold storage; use a little water to thin it out as needed.

Adapted from “The Whole30 Cookbook: 150 Delicious and Totally Compliant Recipes to Help You Succeed With the Whole30 and Beyond,” by Melissa Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).

Ingredients

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 cup olive oil, preferably light (light in flavor)

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, well shaken

1/2 cup packed, chopped fresh cilantro, parsley and/or other herbs

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. onion powder

3/4 tsp. granulated garlic (garlic powder)

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine the egg, oil, coconut milk, herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper in the jar. Use an immersion (stick) blender to blend for 1 minute, until well incorporated. The yield is 2 cups.

Use right away, or seal and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Nutrition — Per 2-tablespoon serving: 140 calories, 0 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar

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