Chicken Cordon Bleu Rollups
Start to finish: 30 minutes. Serves 4.
8 slices light wheat bread (such as Pepperidge Farm Light Style Extra Fiber or 7-Grain)
AP Photo - Chicken Cordon Bleu Rollups.
6 ounces deli-sliced smoked chicken breast
2 ounces deli-sliced low-sodium ham
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
4-ounce block 75 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 16 even strips
Olive oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 large Belgian endives, cut in half and sliced 1/2-inch thick lengthwise
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch slices
Lay 2 slices of the bread on a clean work surface. Overlap the curved tops of the bread slices by 1 inch. Use a rolling pin to flatten the bread slices into very thin rectangles, adding extra pressure to the overlapped area. Repeat with remaining bread slices to make 4 total rectangles.
Top the bread rectangles evenly with sliced chicken, then the ham, being sure to cover the surface of the bread evenly with each addition. Divide 1 tablespoon of the mustard between the rollups, spreading it evenly over the ham.
Stack 4 strips of cheese lengthwise along one short end of each rollup. Roll each up like a carpet, making it as tight as possible. Once it is rolled, wrap each roll tightly with a piece of parchment paper.
Place the rolls on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Unwrap each roll and place in the pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned, rolling them around to brown evenly.
In a large bowl, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of mustard, the vinegar and tarragon. Add the endive and apple slices and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then divide between 4 serving plates. Once cheese is coming out the sides of the rolls and the bread is browned, place the rollups on a cutting board.
Cut each roll into 4 to 6 pieces and divide the pieces evenly among the plates.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 231 calories; 4 g fat (15 percent of calories from fat; 2 g saturated); 33 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 23 g protein; 6 g fiber; 1,070 mg sodium.
Canned pumpkin a base for some rich, meaty chili
Pumpkin chili? Sounds like some sort of cultural confusion, right?
It wouldn't have occurred to me to combine a traditional chili with canned pumpkin puree. But I recently had dinner with friends and was impressed by the vegetarian chili they served. It was rich and thick with barley, lentils, chopped vegetables.
And canned pumpkin.
And no, it didn't taste like pumpkin pie. In fact, there was only the faintest hint of pumpkin flavor at all.
So why add it? For starters, it's an effortless way to significantly up the nutritional power of a basic chili. Open can, add gobs of fat-free, high-fiber nutrients.
The pumpkin also does great things for the texture of the chili. The pumpkin disappears into the liquid, giving the chili a rich, smooth, almost creamy texture.
When I started playing around with my own chili recipe using pumpkin, I decided right away to stick with an all-meat chili. If you prefer veg versions, consider using the pumpkin-red pepper base I call for in the recipe, then substitute as you see fit for the meat (beans, lentils and grains are good choices).
Pureeing the onions and red peppers may seem an unusual choice, but I wanted the only textures in the chili to be a thick, rich sauce and chunks of meat.
Finally, to keep this chili family-friendly, I went light to moderate on the seasonings. Feel free to crank up the heat if that's what you prefer.
Pumpkin-Roasted Red Pepper Chili
Start to finish: 1 hour (15 minutes active). Serves 6
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
15-ounce can pumpkin puree
6-ounce can tomato paste
2 pounds ground bison
1 pound boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and ground black pepper
In a blender or food processor, combine the onions, roasted red peppers, pumpkin and tomato paste. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the bison and pork and cook until starting to brown, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the pumpkin mixture and the broth, then stir well. Add the garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, smoked paprika and chili powder.
Bring to a simmer, then partially cover the pot to prevent splattering but allow steam to escape. Simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 650 calories; 390 calories from fat (60 percent of total calories); 43 g fat (17 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 170 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 44 g protein; 5 g fiber; 1,170 mg sodium.
Puff pastry makes for simple, elegant vegetable tart
The Associated Press
The flavors of warm Mediterranean sunshine come through in this easy vegetarian tart.
The addition of golden raisins may seem a bit odd, but they add a sweet touch to the otherwise savory flavors. We've opted for an easy pre-made puff pastry dough as our shell, but homemade or purchased pie crust would work, too.
This tart works equally well as an appetizer or a vegetarian main course. If you need the tart to be vegan, simply use a vegan pastry and leave off the cheese.
Mediterranean Vegetable Tart
Start to finish: 45 minutes (25 minutes active). Servings: 16 appetizers or 8 entrees.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed (4 cups)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons white wine
12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup golden raisins
Salt and ground black pepper
17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed (each package contains 2 pastry sheets)
1/2 cup grated ricotta salata or feta cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook until softened, about 8 to 9 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and wine, then add to the pan. Add the roasted red peppers, oregano and raisins. Cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
On a lightly floured counter, roll out each pastry sheet to a rough circle 12 inches in diameter. Place each pastry sheet on one of the prepared baking sheets. Spoon half of the filling into the center of each pastry, leaving 2 inches uncovered around the edges.
Fold the 2-inch edge of the pastry up over of the filling. Sprinkle the exposed filling with the cheese and pine nuts. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastries are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Nutrition information per serving (based on 16 servings) (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 200 calories; 110 calories from fat (54 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 300 mg sodium.