Take the chill off cold, wintry days with these hearty meals.
Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Winter weather calls for warming, delicious meals enjoyed with family and friends. Here are recipes to make using your slow cooker, oven, stovetop, or microwave-convection oven.
Apple Pear Crisp
Bake this toothsome dessert for the next potluck. It’s from the Fix-It and Enjoy-It Diabetic Cookbook (see “Books for Cooks”). When the dish is cut into 12 pieces, each serving provides 2.5 carbohydrate exchanges and 0.5 fat exchanges. That translates to 195 calories or 39 grams of carbs per serving.
3 – 4 large baking apples, peeled and sliced
3 – 4 large pears, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup artificial sweetener (e.g., Splenda)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cold butter
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar blend (e.g., Splenda)
2/3 cup dry oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons apple juice
In a large bowl, mix the fruit, sweetener, lemon juice, and flour. Pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. The same bowl can be used to mix the topping ingredients. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, and then stir in the oil and apple juice. Sprinkle over the fruit and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Cut into 12 squares.
Your Own Pudding Mix
It’s becoming harder to find pudding mix that needs to be cooked. Yet, creamy cooked pudding beats instant pudding hands down. The sweetness of sugar substitutes varies. If you’re using an artificial sweetener, add more to taste just before turning off the burner.
1 cup sugar or equivalent
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
Mix everything well and seal in a tight, dry container. For each four servings of pudding, combine 1/2-cup of this mix with 2 cups of cold milk. Stir over low heat until it thickens, and then stir in 1 teaspoon of flavoring, such as vanilla extract, and pour into four dessert dishes. To make warm vanilla sauce, use 2 1/2 to 3 cups milk and a little more extract.
Variation: To 1/2-cup pudding mix, add a heaping tablespoon of dry cocoa, a heaping tablespoon of sugar, and 2 additional tablespoons of milk.
Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash
This recipe is from the impressive new Anheuser-Busch Cookbook, Great Beer, Great Food (see “Books for Cooks”). The authors suggest serving this succulent dish with an English-style pale ale.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons flour
1½ cups chicken stock
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup shredded carrots
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
11/4 cups sour cream
Rinse the chicken; pat it dry; cut it into 1/2-inch strips; and toss with the flour to coat. In a slow cooker, combine the chicken, stock, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook in a slow cooker on low for eight hours. Stir in the sour cream and serve over mashed potatoes, noodles, or orzo.
Creamy Chicken Succotash
Create this creamy, soupy stew in one pot, and you can have it on the table in minutes. It’s made with boneless, unbreaded, bite-size pieces of cooked chicken. Don’t use chicken nuggets.
1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken breast bites
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 15-ounce can succotash with juice
½ cup cooked ham, diced small
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
In a saucepan, stir together the chicken, soup, succotash, ham, tomato, and thyme and bring to a gentle boil. Heat through and stir well. Add a little milk or cream if you prefer a thinner stew. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish, if you like, with chopped white and light green scallions. Serve with pilot crackers, oyster crackers, or hot biscuits. This recipe makes three to four servings.
This pizza comes out upside down, so flip it over if you prefer to see the meat side up. This recipe makes six servings.
1 16-ounce package fully cooked meat or vegetarian crumbles
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon mixed Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons flour
1 8-ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dried onion bits
Grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In the pan, stir together the meat, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and 2 tablespoons flour. Sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cup of flour, oil, and onion bits. Pour evenly over the cheese and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the crust is puffy and golden brown. Serve at once.
Microwave Mediterranean Fish
Once the fish is thawed and the vegetables are cut up, this zesty feast can be ready for the table in 10 to 15 minutes. Serve it with crusty chunks of French bread and olive oil for dipping.
2 pounds firm, white fish fillets
Juice of half a lemon
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, finely diced
Half a green bell pepper, finely diced
½ stick butter, cut up
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 4 ½-ounce can shrimp, drained
Hot pepper sauce to taste (optional)
Thaw the fish, if frozen; drain well; and sprinkle with lemon juice. In a 9-inch-by-13-inch microwavable dish (coated with nonstick spray), mix the tomatoes, onion, pepper, butter, garlic, and thyme. Cover with vented waxed paper and cook in the microwave oven set to high for six minutes, turning and stirring halfway through. Stir in the mushrooms and arrange the fish on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with the shrimp. Cover with the vented waxed paper and cook again on high for four to six minutes until the fish flakes easily. Do not overcook. Place the fish on plates; add hot pepper sauce (to taste) to the fish sauce, and spoon the sauce over the fish.
Streusel-With-A-Secret Coffee Cake
2 cups biscuit mix
1/4 cup white or brown sugar
1 4-serving package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Approximately 2/3 cup water
½ stick butter, cut up
2/3 cup biscuit mix
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
Coat a 9-inch-by-9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the 2 cups biscuit mix, 1/4-cup sugar, and pudding mix. Stir in the egg, oil, and enough water to make a thick batter, and pour it into the pan. In the same bowl, cut the butter into the 2/3-cup biscuit mix, cinnamon, and brown sugar until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the batter, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until it’s springy and firm to the touch.
Bottled cheese spread helps to makes this rich soup in minutes. This recipe makes three 2-cup servings.
1½ cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 15-ounce can diced potatoes, drained and rinsed
1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1 small onion, finely diced
1 15-ounce can cream-style corn
1 8-ounce jar processed cheese (e.g., Cheez Whiz)
½ to 1 cup milk
Bring the water to a boil in a roomy pot and stir in the bouillon, potatoes, mixed vegetables, and onion. Cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the corn and cheese until evenly mixed and heated through. Stir in the milk to desired consistency and serve at once.
If you find yourself without mayonnaise, cook up this eggless, low-fat substitute.
1 cup hot water
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Stir the sugar into the hot water until it dissolves. Stir in the remaining ingredients and store in the refrigerator. Mix well before serving.
This recipe makes a colorful salad for the potluck table. It’s especially good with turkey or ham. To shave calories, use sugar-free gelatin and applesauce, pineapple packed in its own juice, and fat-free cottage cheese and sour cream.
1 8-serving package orange gelatin (or 2 small packages)
1 15-ounce can crushed pineapple
2 cups applesauce
1 16-ounce can whole cranberry sauce
2 cups celery, diced
1 cup chopped pecans
8-ounce carton sour cream
16-ounce carton cottage cheese
Dissolve the gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water and allow it to cool. Add the pineapple (with its juice), applesauce, cranberry sauce, celery, and pecans. Pour the gelatin mixture into a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass dish and chill until firm. Stir together the sour cream and cottage cheese, spread evenly over the salad, and return the dish to the refrigerator.