Clean Eating

September 2016

Clean Eating September 2016 / JillHough.com

Feature story
Cheap & Cheerful Casseroles
Casseroles are a great trick to have up your sleeve when you want to feed a crowd on a budget. Our recipes use only fresh ingredients (no canned soup here!) for a wholesome and hearty meal for less than $4 per plate.

Savory Chicken Cobbler with Corn and Fennel
Cost per plate: $2.46 Total Cost: $19.68
Serves: 8. Hands-on time: 1 hour. Total time: 1 1/2 hours.

With a thick, stew-like base and a biscuit-y topping, this casserole is chicken pot pie meets chicken and dumplings—plus a whole lot of summery veggies.

6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, divided
1 cup plus 6 tbsp white whole wheat flour, divided
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-in dice
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-in dice
8 oz green beans, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1 bulb fennel, cored and cut into 1/2-in dice, plus 2 tbsp chopped feathery fennel fronds
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 to 3 ears)
2 cups frozen unsalted baby lima beans, thawed
1/4 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Fresh ground pepper
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Mist a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan on medium-high, melt 3 tbsp butter. Add 6 tbsp flour, curry powder and garlic powder and cook, whisking, for 30 seconds. Slowly add broth, whisking out any lumps, and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large saucepan or small stockpot on medium, heat oil. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add green beans and fennel bulb and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in corn and lima beans and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in sauce, fennel fronds and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Cut remaining 3 tbsp butter into 1/2-inch pieces, then use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to work into flour mixture, making a coarse meal. Add yogurt and chives, stirring until just combined. Drop dough over casserole in 1- to 2-tbsp mounds. Bake until biscuits are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving (1 cup stew mixture and two 1 1/2- to 2-inch biscuits): Calories: 381, Total Fat: 16 g, Sat. Fat: 7 g, Monounsaturated fat: 6 g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 38 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 23 g, Sodium: 357mg, Cholesterol: 67 mg

Garden Spaghetti Casserole
Cost per plate: $2.23 Total Cost: $17.84
Serves: 8. Hands-on time: 50 minutes. Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes.

Brimming with colorful, fresh-picked summer vegetables, this casserole makes a great meatless entrée or, in smaller portions, a hearty side dish.

12 oz whole wheat spaghetti, broken in half
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-in dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-in dice
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-in dice
2 green zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 gold zucchini or yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 cups 1/2-in diced tomatoes
Fine sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 tbsp chopped fresh basil, divided
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup whole wheat panko

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mist a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook spaghetti according to package directions.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or small stockpot on medium, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

4. In a medium bowl, combine Parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, 1/4 cup basil and red pepper flakes. In another small bowl, combine panko and remaining 1 tbsp oil. Set both bowls aside.

5. Drain spaghetti and add to vegetable mixture. Add Parmesan mixture, stirring to combine. Transfer entire mixture to the prepared baking pan and sprinkle panko mixture on top. Bake until panko is lightly browned and casserole is heated through, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp basil.

Per serving (1/8 casserole): Calories: 366, Total Fat: 15 g, Sat. Fat: 6 g, Monounsaturated fat: 7 g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 44 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 18.5 g, Sodium: 296 mg, Cholesterol: 71 mg

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Cost per plate: $2.90 Total Cost: $23.20
Serves: 8. Hands-on time: 1 hour. Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes.

This enchilada-inspired casserole has a mild heat that’s balanced by cooling yogurt. If you have cooked chicken on hand, you can use it in the recipe and skip the first step—if doing so, you’ll only need 2 cups broth.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 cloves garlic (smash 2 cloves and mince 4 cloves), divided
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
2 white onions, quartered and sliced
2 red bell peppers, quartered, seeded and sliced
2 poblano or pasilla peppers, quartered, seeded and sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
6 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
3 1/2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt, divided
5 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Fine sea salt
Cooking spray
12 6-in corn tortillas, halved
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, optional

1. In a medium saucepan, combine chicken, smashed garlic and enough broth to cover chicken by 1/2 inch. Bring to a gentle boil on medium, reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Transfer chicken to a plate. Strain broth; reserve 2 cups (save remaining broth for another use).

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mist a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan on medium, heat oil. Add white onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add bell, poblano and jalapeno peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in minced garlic, coriander and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add flour; stir to combine. Add reserved 2 cups broth; bring to a boil, stirring to smooth out any lumps. Cook until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from the heatl stir in 3 cups yogurt, 1/4 cup cilantro and salt to taste. Set aside.

4. Shred chicken. Arrange 8 tortilla halves in bottom of prepared pan. Spread 1/3 of pepper mixture over tortillas and top with 1/2 of chicken. Repeat layers. Top with remaining tortilla halves and remaining pepper mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.

5. Remove foil and bake until cheese begins to brown and casserole is heated through, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

6. Sprinkle with red onion (if using) and remaining 1 tbsp cilantro. Top each serving with a dollop of remaining 1/2 cup yogurt.

Per serving (1/8 casserole and 1 tbsp yogurt): Calories: 421, Total Fat: 21 g, Sat. Fat: 12 g, Monounsaturated fat: 6 g, Polyunsaturated fat: 2 g, Carbs: 30 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 28 g, Sodium: 207 mg, Cholesterol: 72 mg

Shrimp, Sausage and Summer Veggie Jambalaya
Cost per plate: $3.71 Total Cost: $22.26
Serves: 6. Hands-on time: 1 hour. Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes.

While it’s not traditional to cook jambalaya in a skillet—it’s typically made in a pot—spreading it out helps it cook more quickly. It also means the top can get sprinkled with a little panko and finished under the broiler, adding a crunch that complements the hearty mixture.

2 tbsp olive oil
6 oz cooked sausage (preferably andouille sausage), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-in slices
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-in dice
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4-in dice
1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4-in dice
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-in dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups 1/2-in diced tomatoes
4 oz green beans, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 to 2 ears)
1/2 bulb fennel, cored and cut into 1/2-in pieces
3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
12 oz large peeled shrimp
tbsp whole-wheat panko

1. In a very large (12- to 14-inch) ovenproof skillet on medium, heat oil. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add celery and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, green beans, corn, fennel, thyme, paprika, salt and cayenne, scraping up any browned bits in the skillet. Stir in rice and bring to a boil on high. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid is almost all absorbed, about 35 minutes.

3. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, arrange oven rack 6 to 7 inches from top heat source and preheat broiler to high.

4. Arrange shrimp on top of jambalaya, nestling them in, and sprinkle with panko. Transfer skillet to broiler and cook until shrimp is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Serve hot (be careful—the skillet will be very hot).

Per serving (about 1 1/4 cups): Calories: 407, Total Fat: 11 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated fat: 6 g, Polyunsaturated fat: 2 g, Carbs: 54 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein: 26 g, Sodium: 498 mg, Cholesterol: 108 mg

Squashy Sloppy Joes
Cost per plate: $3.26 Total Cost: $19.56
Serves: 6. Hands-on time: 35 minutes. Total time: 55 minutes.

This veg-heavy version of the classic stovetop casserole—featuring both winter and summer squashes—is served over whole what buns to sop of every delicious drop.

1 lb 90% lean ground beef
2 cups 1/2-in diced butternut squash
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-in dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups 1/2-in diced tomatoes
1 green zucchini, cut into 1/2-in dice
1 gold zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/2-in dice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
4 1/2 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water
Fine sea salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In a large skillet on medium-high, add beef and cook, breaking it up with a spatula or spoon, for 1 minute. Add butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and onion is becoming translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, zucchini, broth, tomato paste and soy sauce, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until vegetables are tender and mixture is saucy, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, arrange a rack 3 to 4 inches from top heat source and preheat broiler to high. Arrange buns, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Toast until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add arrowroot mixture to beef mixture, stirring until sauce thickens, 30 to 60 seconds. Add salt to taste.

4. Arrange buns on plates and top with beef mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

Per serving (about 1 cup Sloppy Joe mixture, 1 bun and 4 tsp cheese): Calories: 347, Total Fat: 12 g, Sat. Fat: 5 g, Monounsaturated fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1 g, Carbs: 38 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein: 25 g, Sodium: 514 mg, Cholesterol: 54 mg