Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Do you love white?

You know: rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, flour, bechamel (mmm, bechamel…)

Well, you don’t need me to tell you.  We’ve all heard we need to eat less white. (Naturally) colorful foods typically have more of the good stuff: vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and fiber.  Unfortunately, DayGlo-orange Kraft Mac doesn’t count as the right kind of colorful.  Michael Pollan tells us; the federal government tells us—but it’s hard to apply all this good advice.

Lately, I’ve been making a concerted effort to put more color on our plates. Sometimes this means buying some flourescent produce and rushing home to ask Chef Google what the heck I can do with it.  That’s fun, in a kind of Iron-Chef-challenge way.  But sometimes, it’s just easier to work the good stuff into recipes I already make.

Which explains this chicken shepherd’s pie with spinach and sweet potato mash.  It’s got tons of the good stuff bathed in a little cream to help it go down with a smile.

Because a little white is alright.

To be honest, I like my revamped version better than the original. The faintly sweet topping plays off the creamy, herb-spiked base really nicely.  And the chicken is considerably lighter than beef or lamb.  I hope you enjoy my update to the classic.  Dig in!


-1 lg. sweet potato or yam
-3 med. or 5 sm. white potatoes (enough to weigh 1 1/2 lbs. together with the sweet potato)
-1 Tbsp. butter
-1 Tbsp. herbed cream cheese (I used porcini-mushroom flavored) or sour cream
-1/4-1/2 c. milk, as needed
-salt and pepper, to taste

Peel and cube all the potatoes and boil in a medium pot of salted water until tender.  Drain and place in a medium bowl.  Set aside the pot for later use.

Whip together the potatoes, butter, cream cheese (or sour cream), seasoning, and as little milk as needed to form a thick but spreadable consistency.

Preheat the oven to 425F.


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There are scare quotes in the title because I have no idea how authentically Moroccan this stew is.  Regardless, it’s delicious and definitely worth the chopping involved.  Jam-packed with vegetables, slightly spicy, and full of flavor, it’s even pretty good for you.  Don’t be scared off by the long list of ingredients; if you make chili or Mexican food, you probably have most of the spices in your cupboard already.

I adapted this recipe from my friend, Nikki, who served it at a dinner party.  Moroccan chicken stew is a great dish for a crowd, because once everything’s in the pot, you’re free to hang out with your guests.  Nikki says, “I love the recipe because it is so easy to make for that reason.”  And we love to eat it.  Everyone wins!

-1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 med. onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp. ground coriander
-1 tsp. ground turmeric
-1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
-1 tsp. chili powder (or more to taste)
-1 tsp. oregano
-2 tsp. tomato paste
-cayenne pepper, to taste
-1 or 2  (16 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with sauce (I used two)
-2 med. zucchini, quartered and cut into chunks
-4-5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into coins
-1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
-1 cup chicken broth
-juice from 1 lemon
-1/4 c. raisins, optional
-1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
-lots of salt and black pepper, to taste

Mise en place = crucial!

1) Season chicken with salt and pepper and begin browning in a large (pref. nonstick) pot. (more…)

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You can read mountains of nutritional advice, but sometimes, a picture really is worth much more.  This helps me to visualize what a healthier diet might look like:


Credit: about.com

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