It’s no secret that I’m fat, and need to lose weight. I was diagnosed Type 2 diabetic about 3 years ago. More recently I’ve had another health issue that could benefit from loss of weight. I’m not a good dieter. I hate “depriving” myself, but I’m not willing to follow in my mother’s footsteps and die too soon from a heart attack. Consequently I’ve begun the South Beach Diet. I have no illusions. This is really hard. I’m a carb junky, and I like my carbs spread with butter or mayo. I’m being a trooper, and giving it my best shot. I’m still on phase 1, and very much looking forward to the second phase. So far, I am losing weight, but I’m not fooling myself and I know it’s the jumpstart weight you lose in any diet. If I quit the diet today that weight would reappear pronto. A very big benefit of this phase of the diet is that my blood sugar is at target levels and that helps to spur me on.
I’ve found some good recipes while surfing the web, and here are some that I enjoy. They came from KaylynsKitchen.com.
Crockpot Turkey Breast with Gluten-Free and South Beach Diet Friendly Gravy
(Makes about 4.5 pounds of cooked turkey and 2 cups gravy, about 6 servings. Recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Dianne, Alanna, and Stephanie.)
1 5 pound turkey breast with skin and bones (thawed for a day in refrigerator, if frozen)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage (rubbed sage)
1 large carrot, cut into pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into pieces
1 onion, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
2 cups chicken or turkey stock or 2 cups water with 1 T Penzeys Turkey Soup Base
about 4 tsp. arrowroot starch for gravy (or can use cornstarch, but arrowroot thickens with much less starch)
I used a 4.5 quart crockpot for this recipe.
Trim extra skin and fat from turkey breast, leaving the parts of skin that are directly covering the meat. If you have a meat thermometer, pull out the pop-up timer if desired. Rub breast all over and inside with thyme and sage. Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, then brown turkey breast on both sides and top, about 5 minutes each side.
Put browned turkey breast in crockpot, then add carrots, onions, and celery. Pour turkey or chicken stock over. Cook on high until temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 165F; this was 2 hours and 45 minutes for me. (You can also cook on low for a longer time, probably about 5-6 hours. The temperature still needs to be 165F.)
Remove turkey breast and let rest while you make gravy. Use a fine-mesh skimmer to scoop out vegetables and skim the broth, or strain through fine strainer into small saucepan. You should have close to 2 1/2 cups broth. Bring to a boil and reduce by about 1/4, or until there is a strong turkey flavor. (I just kept tasting it as it cooked down, and stopped when it tasted good to me.)
Reduce heat so the liquid is barely at a simmer. Mix arrowroot starch with 2 T cold water, then stir gently into the simmering liquid and stop stirring once it’s combined. Don’t over whisk or continue to cook once it’s thickened, or the gravy won’t stay thick. Gravy can also be thickened with cornstarch mixed with water if you don’t have arrowroot, but it will take about 1 T cornstarch per cup of liquid to get the same amount of thickness.
This printable recipe from KalynsKitchen.com.
I plan to roast a chicken tomorrow, and I’ll use some of the meat to make this chili.
Amy’s Amazing White Chicken Chili
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe from my sister-in-law Amy, another one of the many great cooks in the Denny family.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. oregano (I used Mexican oregano, but any type of oregano will work)
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (I used a very scant 1/2 teaspoon, but I’m kind of a wimp on hot foods)
2 cans diced green Anaheim chiles (4 oz. can; the recipe called for one 7 oz. can which I didn’t have)
4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans or other white beans, with juice
1 tsp. chicken flavor base (I was using very flavorful homemade chicken stock, so I didn’t add this, but I would if I used canned chicken broth)
Optional: 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped cilantro)
Trim all visible fat and tendons from the chicken breasts, then heat 2 tsp. oil in a heavy non-stick pan, add chicken and saute until the chicken is cooked through and barely starting to brown. Remove from pan and let cool.
While chicken is cooking, heat the other 2 teaspoons of oil in a heavy soup pot, then saute onions until they’re softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 minute more, thenadd the ground cumin, oregano, and ground cayenne pepper and saute a couple minutes more.
Add canned diced green Anaheim chilis, 2 cans white beans, 4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth, and chicken flavor base (if using), turn to low simmer and let cook for 30 minutes.
While the chili simmers, use your fingers or a fork to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. (Don’t cut, because cut chicken pieces will shred apart into strings in the chili when they cook.) After the chili has simmered for 30 minutes, add the chicken and simmer 10-15 minutes more.
If using cilantro, chop it while the chili simmers the last 10-15 minutes with the chicken added. Then add the chopped cilantro and simmer about 5 minutes more. Serve hot.
~Grated cheese is great for serving sprinkled on the chili (I used four cheese Mexican blend, which is a blend of low-fat cheeses)
~For non-dieters, you can sprinkle some crushed white tortilla chips over the chili before adding the cheese.
~I think the Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa that is part of my recipe for Black Bean and Beef Chili would also taste great on this.
This printable recipe from KalynsKitchen.com.