chicken paprikash

I don’t cook with paprika nearly enough. I’ve got regular and smoked in my cupboard, but they rarely make it into my meals. Smoked paprika which is delightfully reminiscent of bacon adds a deep, smoked flavor to dishes…um, why aren’t I using this??

In the most recent Rachael Ray Magazine, she had a recipe for Chicken Paprikash and it was just the inspiration I needed to get the paprkia collecting dust in my cupboard into a meal.

Chicken Paprikash 2 + servings – inspired by Rachael Ray

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp red wine
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced into 1″ wide pieces
  • 2 Tbsp half & half (if desired)

Combine olive oil, paprikas and red wine in small dish. Whisk together and set aside.

Heat large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add chicken pieces. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add paprika mix and peppers. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding more paprika if desired.

If you would like it a bit creamy, add half & half and stir.

in the news: weight watchers points plus

I’ve been hearing a lot about the new and improved Weight Watchers PointsPlus Program. Without doing much research, it sounded like it was focusing on real foods, which of course, I always appreciate.

After looking into it a bit, I must say that it sounds pretty impressive. From the Weight Watchers website:

…we needed a program that recognized that calories are most definitely not created equal…

…taking a stand for unprocessed foods…taking a stand for fruits and vegetables…

While the point values aren’t all that different, instead of being primarily based on calories with a penalty for fat and bonus for fiber like they used to be, they are now focused on whole, real foods with an emphasis on protein and fiber. I am a huge protein & fiber person and feel that it is that duo that helps keep you full and satisfied.  I do wonder if they’ll start to clean up their line of products to fit the new program better…

Always one who appreciates images – here is a comparison of two breakfasts with the same number of calories each:

The medium croissant with pat of butter has 270 calories and 7 points;  the poached egg, 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with pat of butter and 3 oz ham has 270 calories and 6 points. Sure they only have a 1 point difference, but a point is a point (and probably a small snack) and I would bet the 2nd breakfast is one that would stick with you much longer than the croissant. But what I’ve always liked about Weight Watchers, is that if you were really craving that croissant, it is still something that you can fit into your daily points.

Are you familiar with the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus system? What are your thoughts?

thai guacamole

I’ve written about the importance of football food before. (And let’s be real, the food is the only thing I’m interested in during a game :) ) But whether or not you are paying attention to the game, there’s no question that good football food is definitely important. Right Janetha?

One thing that I like to take into consideration when choosing football foods is  – can it be made ahead of time? This is especially important when I’m taking football food to someone else’s house.  It’s best to have it all ready to eat. Not imperative, but nice. You know, so you can pay attention to the game…

Or if you just want to pay attention to this little guy. ;)

This particular recipe came from – my go-to site for appetizers and since I loved the last twist on guac that I tried, I thought a Thai version would be equally as delicious. Oh, and this totally counts as “healthy football food.” So dig in and cheer hard. For whoever or whatever you’re cheering for.

Thai Guacamole - serves 6-8 appetizer portions – inspired by Bon Appétit

  • 4 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • spices to taste: coriander, curry powder, salt
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Cut up avocados. Add lime juice, jalapeño, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and spices to bowl.

Mash together and stir in cilantro.

Serve with tortilla chips or rice crackers.

*I would recommend serving the guacamole with Lundberg Lime Rice Chips - they were perfect!

restaurant: spoonriver

It’s such a shame that this was our first visit to spoonriver, perhaps part of me realized how much I would love it and considering that it is a few blocks away from home, this could be a very dangerous thing for my budget. But on a frigid Sunday morning, we decided to go out for a brunch, a rare occasion for us.

The place was packed so we sat at the bar, which was very enjoyable, we had a little view of the kitchen and got to drool over all the food coming out. The space is bright with windows lining an entire wall, and orange and stainless steel accents. We also spotted Brenda Langton herself, owner of spoonriver and local Minneapolis food celebrity. I was tempted to ask for a picture with her, but I try to keep my cool around celebrities. ;)

I wasn’t really in the cocktail mood, so I stuck with an Herbal Peppermint tea but the Taster had one of their famous bloody marys and it got his approval. He said it really reminded him of the bloody we made – it also won an award for best bloody mary from MSP Magazine. The cocktail list is an inventive one, with a lot of infused vodkas, rums and tequilas, I can’t wait to go back in the evening.

Deciding on what food to order, however was not as easy. One of the reasons why we don’t go out for brunch often is because the Taster does such a good job making breakfast at home that there is no need to go out. But this time, I had already decided that I was going to order breakfast and it was only a matter of which omelet to choose.

I ended up deciding on the Brie, Caramelized Onion and Apple Omelet – which was SO good! The brie was creamy, the apples in paper thin slices, and the little slices of caramelized onions made up the perfect sweet and savory breakfast. The side salad it was served with was the perfect accompaniment.

The Taster went with a Potato, Broccoli and Caramelized Onion Omelet with Parsley Sour Cream. This honestly didn’t sound very good to me on the menu, but it was fabulous. The Taster described it as a “baked potato in an omelet” and was only missing a little bacon in his opinion. I actually ended up liking his a little more than mine – I think I just prefer my eggs savory instead of savory and sweet.

The portion sizes were perfect, we both left feeling good, and while the prices aren’t exactly cheap, I’ve never been a fan of cheap food. I would prefer to pay a little more for locally sourced, naturally raised ingredients. And that’s what spoonriver is all about.