Cook healthy in no time

Wendi Spraker
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Stop trying to lie to me. Don’t you know that at my advanced age, I can smell a lie while it is still formulating on your tongue? If you have been trying to tell yourself or someone else that the reason you can’t cook anything healthy or tasty at home is because it takes too long, then I have news for you.

It takes just as long to cook something disgusting as it does to cook something healthy and truly delicious. No joke.

A sit down meal at a decent restaurant takes an hour and half (at a minimum) from the time you leave your door until you arrive back home. Tell me again how quick that is?

In an hour and a half you can prepare a dinner that is delicious, affordable and even good for you! If you are careful and clean up as you go, you won’t even have many dishes to wash when you are done. Oh my goodness. Have you ever been slapped in the face with truth like that?

I know many of you are on a special diet at this time of the year, so I thought I would share some of my favorite tasty, fast and yet pretty good for you recipes (especially if you do low carb dieting). Do you have other fast and diet friendly recipes that you enjoy? I would love to hear about them – please drop me a line any time at wendi@loavesanddishes.net or visit me at my website: www.loavesanddishes.net

Cherry Tomato Salad (these little buggers are good almost all year round)

4 cups fresh and ripe cherry tomatoes – cut in half if larger than a dainty mouthful.

2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tsp granulated white sugar

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp kosher salt

10 basil leaves cut chiffonade

Instructions:

Cut the tomatoes in half if they are larger than bite sized. Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl (except the basil leaves) and gently mix well with a spoon.

Sprinkle the basil leaves over the top and serve.

Sauteed Yellow Squash

Ingredients

2 medium-size yellow squash

1 small onion

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tsp unsalted sweet cream butter

1 tsp minced garlic

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Cut the squash into disks that are about ½ inch thick. If the disks are larger than mouth size, then cut them into quarters.

Give the onion a rough chop.

Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large skillet on medium heat on the stovetop until the better is melted and the oil/butter starts to glisten.

Add the squash, onion and garlic to the oil and cook until the squash becomes soft enough for your tastes (for me – that is about 5-6 minutes).

Add salt and pepper to taste – serve hot and with salt and pepper offered on the table

Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Chicken (great for low carb dieters)

Ingredients

2 Tbs oil

2-4 thin sliced chicken breasts depending on size

Salt and pepper

4 cloves of garlic – minced.

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

4 oz ½ block cream cheese – cubed

⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil – chopped small

1 Cup grated parmesan cheese

1 ½ cups fresh baby spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions

Heat two Tbs oil in a 9 inch skillet on the stove top on medium heat. While this is heating, check your chicken breasts for thickness and salt and pepper the chicken. When oil is glimmering, add the chicken and sear on each side (2-3 mins per side). Remove to another dish. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Increase the heat to medium high and add the chicken stock all at once. Deglaze the pan (scrape up the yummy bits on the bottom of the frying pan) and allow the broth to reduce by half (this takes a while – maybe 5-8 minutes).

When the chicken stock is reduced, reduce the heat back to medium. Add the heavy cream, cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and spinach. Stir constantly until the sauce bubbles and thickens.

Add the chicken breasts back to the sauce and allow them to finish cooking through (about 5 mins).

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Wendi Spraker