Tag Archives: corn

A Healthier Side of Chili

P1060572It’s been ages since I’ve updated this blog!   And of course with my New Year’s Resolution of a healthier lifestyle just a flash-in-the-pan behind me, I can’t forget how much I’ve ignored my readers this past year. I apologize and hope that you will all be satiated with a delectable dish for a cold winter’s night–Chili.

Ok, so it’s not all that cold this afternoon in Southern California, but I’m banking on the fact that our weather will flip-flop back to its fogginess in a few days anyway.  And who doesn’t love to whip up a bowl of chili after a busy day at work? Yes, in just 30 minutes or less!

I know most people think of chili as something that simmers away all day, and there are certainly some great slow cooking recipes out there that work magic, but so many of them have you prep way too much before you turn on the machine. I hate that! I mean, really, who wants to get up earlier just to get dinner going before you head out for the day? My kind of slow cooking is really dumping it all in and letting it all work its own magic….ok I’ll admit it–slow cooking is for my way too hectic days where I know I will be too lazy to cook at the end, and I want to avoid going the fast food route.

So if you are craving a little chili, but don’t want to waste your slow cooker day (mine is Wednesday, btw) give this recipe a try. I think you’ll really enjoy the fresh flavors and the added vegetables that give it a slight sweetness.

Shopping List:

1 pound ground beef, I prefer 7-15 % fat organic

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium zucchini, quartered and diced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1-28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon of chili powder

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 teaspoons of ancho chili powder

salt to taste

Suggested toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, red onion, black olives, radishes, tortilla chips, corn chips…ok, so basically anything you like.

Instructions:

1. In a large sauté pan, sauté on medium-high heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic until the garlic begins to brown.

2. Add the ground beef to the pan and brown it for approximately 5 minutes until it is mostly cooked. A little pink is still ok, since you will continue cooking it from this point.

3. Push the meat to the edges of the pan, and add the zucchini and corn to the center, and then let it cook for 5-7 minutes until the meat and vegetables are nicely caramelized.

4. Reduce the heat on the pan and begin to season dish with the cumin, the chili powders and the tomatoes. Let this simmer at low for another 5-7 minutes. Then taste it! You might want to add some salt or of course your favorite hot sauce. Now it’s ready to enjoy with any (or none) of those yummy toppings.

Serves: 4-6

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Homemade Cream-Style Corn

Homemade Cream-Style Corn, and yes you caught me, that's BBQed ribs on the side.

Although it’s not summer yet (read: oh please let it be summer!), the weather is warming up in these parts. I hope I didn’t just jinx it for everyone in LA with saying that our weather is getting warmer. Anyway, I am fantasizing about spring and summer which reminds me of the barbecue and lazy days at the beach. Piling the corn and the burgers on the grill after a sun-soaked day can certainly quench anyone’s hunger. And of course, what mom doesn’t know foods that go on a grill are always simpler to make–less clean-up  you know.  Sorry this recipe isn’t for the grill. But it sure is easy, and it’s a nice segue into putting fresh corn on the grill in a couple of months.

This recipe can certainly satisfy that craving for a steakhouse-style creamed corn anytime of the year with being friendlier on your waist. It uses frozen corn, garlic, a touch of butter, broth and flour–that’s it! And…wait for it… this morphs into corn chowder so easily. Just add more broth. Puree it in the blender. Stir in some shredded potatoes and supermarket chicken and this will stretch into next evening.

Shopping List:

16 ounce package frozen corn

1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 whole garlic clove

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1.Place the frozen corn in a large microwave safe bowl and cover it. Microwave it on 50% power for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat.

3. Once the butter begins to melt, sprinkle in the flour and stir it around until the flour and butter become a golden paste. This is called a roux (pronounced: rue, like I will rule the world, except no l.). Be forewarned: once you know how to make a roux you’re on the road to making homemade macaroni and cheese.

4. Once the roux is golden, add the garlic clove and heat for 2 minutes, this is pretty much when you start to smell it.

5. Then add the defrosted corn and broth. Stir it all up and put the lid on that baby.Reduce the heat to low.

6. Let it warm for 10 minutes, then remove the garlic and add salt and pepper if you like.