2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup mild picante sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
PLACE black beans in a medium size mixing bowl, partially mash beans -- beans should remain a little chunky.
HEAT oil over a medium heat in a sauté pan. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes.
MIX beans, tomato, picante sauce, cumin and chili powder into the frying pan; cook for 5 minutes or until thickened.
REMOVE the pan from the heat, mix in cheese, cilantro and lime juice; stir until cheese is melted.
Chicken and Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup carrot or diced red bell pepper
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces), cut into quarters
1 large clove garlic, minced
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons for garnish (optional)
HEAT 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot or red bell pepper and chicken. Cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
ADD garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
WITH a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
COMBINE the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parmesan and basil in a food processor. Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.
CUT the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with croutons, if desired.
Nutritional analysis per 1 1/2 cup serving: 204 calories; 8 g fat; 29 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 6 g fiber; 691 mg sodium; 529 mg potassium.
Turkey and Lettuce Wraps
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup instant brown rice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pound 93 percent-lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives
1 large carrot, shredded
BRING water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
HEAT oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
DIVIDE lettuce leaves among plates, spoon some of the turkey mixture into each leaf, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.
The filling can be made ahead. Can be refrigerated, covered, for one day. Serve cold or reheat in the microwave.
Nutritional analysis per serving per 1 1/4 cup filling: 285 calories; 11 g fat; 66 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 5 g fiber; 543 mg sodium; 390 mg potassium.