Ease seasonal tensions with good food

November 06, 1994|By Patsy Jamieson | Patsy Jamieson,Eating Well Magazine United Feature Syndicate

We've barely readjusted to school schedules, extracurricular activities and work, and now the holidays are approaching. A relaxed meal at the end of the day eases the increased pressures of the season. The following recipes should easily fit into your family's routine.

Jamaican Chicken with Rice and Bean Salad

Makes about 8 cups, serves 6

Pickapeppa sauce is a sweet-and-sour, mild hot-pepper sauce, imported from Jamaica and available in many supermarkets.

1 cup long-grain white rice

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, preferably canola oil

2 teaspoons unsulfured molasses

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 15-ounce can adzuki beans or black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped scallions (3 scallions)

1 7 1/2 -ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and diced

6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

1/4 cup Pickapeppa sauce

lime wedges for garnish

Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add rice and cook over medium heat until rice is tender but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to separate grains.

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, molasses, garlic and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans, scallions, red peppers, 4 tablespoons of the cilantro and the cooked rice.

Meanwhile, prepare the grill or heat the broiler and broiler pan. Brush chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and grill or broil, basting with Pickapeppa sauce, until the meat is no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side. Let cool.

Cut chicken pieces in half lengthwise and cut into thin slices against the grain. Add to the rice mixture. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. (The salad may be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated, covered.) Garnish with lime wedges and the remaining cilantro.

Calories per serving: 356; 26 grams protein; 7 grams fat; 47 grams carbohydrate; 127 milligrams sodium; 44 milligrams

cholesterol.

Artichoke and Red Pepper Frittata

Serves 4

1 cup frozen artichoke hearts

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2 large eggs

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blanch artichokes in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Chop coarsely and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper and saute until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Wipe out the skillet.

Heat the broiler. Whisk eggs and egg whites in a medium-sized bowl just until egg yolks and whites are blended. Stir in the reserved artichokes, red-pepper mixture, Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet, swirling to coat the bottom, and heat over medium-low heat. Pour in the egg mixture, distributing the vegetables evenly. Cook until the underside is set and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Broil the frittata just until the eggs are set, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Cut into wedges and serve.

Calories per serving: 125; 9 grams protein; 7 grams fat; 7 grams carbohydrate; 484 milligrams sodium; 111 milligrams cholesterol.

Chocolate-Banana Lunch Box Cake

Serves 12

2 cups sifted cake flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup mashed very ripe banana (2 small bananas)

3/4 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup dark corn syrup

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably canola oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans

confectioners' sugar for dusting

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil an 8-by-11 1/2 -inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together mashed banana, buttermilk, brown sugar, corn syrup, oil and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the banana mixture; mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester in the center comes out clean. Let cool, dust with confectioners' sugar and cut into squares.

Calories per serving: 221; 3 grams protein; 6 grams fat; 40 grams carbohydrate; 182 milligrams sodium; 1 milligram cholesterol.

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