Friday recipes: comfort food

Winter is a great time for comfort food. But that doesn’t have to mean the heavy, fat-filled stuff you’ll regret eating when it’s time to put your swimsuit on. Think of comfort dishes instead as body-and-soul-nourishing recipes full of flavor, nutrition and tastebud delights. I especially like these recipes, provided by DMU Wellness Director Joy Schiller, M.S., CHES: The soup provides multiple servings as a great treat on cold winter days, and the biscotti are a guilt-free indulgence with my morning coffee.

Southwestern chicken soup

Soup is an ideal winter comfort food.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 16-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 14-oz. can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 3/4-oz. can whole-kernel corn, undrained
  • 4.5-oz. can chopped green chilies, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken and the next seven ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; top with sour cream if desired.

Nutritional information per serving, about 1 1/2 cups soup and 1 tablespoon sour cream: calories, 211; fat, 5.2 g; saturated fat, 1.8 g; protein, 20.7 g; carbohydrates, 20.1 g; fiber, 4.6 g; cholesterol, 47 mg; iron, 2 mg; sodium, 582 mg; calcium, 67 mg


Almond biscotti

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place almonds on a small baking pan. Bake 7-8 minutes or until golden brown, watching them carefully so they don’t burn. Set aside.

Beat sugar and margarine in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg whites and almond extract; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl; mix well. Stir egg mixture and almonds into flour mixture until well blended.

Spray two 9″x5″ loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly divide dough between prepared pans; spread dough evenly onto bottoms of pans with wet fingertips. Bake 15 minutes or until knife inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove from oven; turn out onto cutting board.

As soon as loaves are cool enough to handle, cut each loaf into 16 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 5 minutes; turn over. Bake 5 minutes more or until golden brown. Serve warm or cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Nutritional information per biscotti: calories, 56; total fat, 1 g; saturated fat, <1 g; carbohydrates, 9 g; sodium, 53 mg; protein, 1 g; fiber, <1 g

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