Cooking With Herbs and Spices: Quick and Easy Low-Calorie Snack Recipes

Eating low-calorie snacks will not only nourish and strengthen your body, but will also help you maintain a healthy weight. Here are 3 must-try herbs and spices snack recipes with only 400 calories or less:

Peppered Turkey Wraps

What you need:

  • 12 10-inch whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1/4 kg. deli turkey, sliced
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 2 cups minced tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 tsp. dried herbs
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Rub the turkey slices with dried herbs and black pepper. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and ranch dressing, stir until well-blended. Spread each flour tortilla with cream cheese and ranch dressing mixture then top with lettuce leaves followed by herbed turkey slices. Sprinkle carrots and tomatoes over the turkey then roll the tortillas to make wraps. Cut each wrap diagonally to make bite-sized pieces then secure with a toothpick. Bake in a pre-heated oven over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned. Serve immediately. Ideal for vegetable chips or low-calorie nacho chips.

Herbs and Spices Pomegranate Salsa

What you need:

  • 1 pomegranate, peeled and membranes removed
  • 1 1/2 bunches flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 sprigs fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 6 tbsps. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 tsps. grated lime zest
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Combine pomegranate, parsley, cilantro, mint, tomato, onion, serrano pepper, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, olive oil and lime zest in a medium bowl. Stir to combine ingredients well. Season with salt and white pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled.

Cheesy Herbs Tomato Sandwich

What you need:

  • 1 whole-grain bagel
  • 3/4 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 orange
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsps. chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place cottage cheese in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer cheese in a small bowl then add garlic and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Toast bagel to desired doneness then cut in half. Spread cream herbed cottage cheese on 1 half of the bagel and top with tomato slices. Top with the other half of bagel to make a sandwich. Serve or consume with orange slices.

Make it a habit to snack healthy and start with these fuss-free low-calorie snacks with all-natural herbs and spices.



Source by Adrian T. Cheng

Simple Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

This is a very simple soup to make, you can have it done very simple, it is delicious and you can serve it in just a couple hours. You just need to use the ingredients that this recipe has and you probably will find them in your kitchen, really just follow these simple instructions.

You will need:

Vegetable oil (6 tablespoons)

Corn tortillas (8 coarsely chopped or 6 inch)

Garlic (6 cloves, minced)

Cilantro (1/2 chopped)

Tomatoes (1 can or 29 ounces)

Ground cumin (2 tablespoons)

Chili powder (1 tablespoon)

Bay leaves (3)

Salt (1 teaspoon)

Chicken broth (6 cups)

Ground cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

Chicken breast haves (5 boneless, coked)

How to do cook this dish:

First thing you have to do is to take a large stock pot and heat in here the oil, now you will have to add the tortillas, garlic, cilantro and onion, then you have to sauté it for 3 minutes, in here you will add the tomatoes and then bring them to a boiling point, now that you have done this reduce the heat and add the cumin, chili powder, bay leaves and chicken stock, then add the salt and cayenne, and finally let it simmer for at least 30 minutes and then remove the bay leaves and add the last pieces of chicken and now that you have it done, just wait a few more minutes for it to boil and serve it in a manner you prefer for your guests.



Source by Byul Im

Mexican Cookware – Equipment Used in Mexican Cooking

Mexican cooking at home doesn’t have to an impossible task to accomplish. Try using the following kitchen equipment for the next in-home Mexican meal.

Comal: Basically, a comal is a cast iron griddle and is used without oil. It’s flat with a handle and is used for making tortillas and roasting foods that require no oil. Mexican comals also can be made of clay.

Molcajete and Tejolote: Mortar and Pestle, these are used for crushing and grinding herbs, spices and seeds. The bowl and grinder are made from porous volcanic rock and are still used today. You can also make traditional Mexican salsa in the Molcajete and Tejolote.

Prensa (Tortilla Press): A tortilla press can be metal or wood, with two hinged plates and a handle. A tortilla press is used to flatten the dough for making tortillas.

Tamale Steamer: Tamale Steamers can be purchased at any Mexican cuisine store or market or you can make one yourself. Using a large enough stock pot to fit a metal colander lined with foil in the bottom, pour about an inch of water in the pot. The foil keeps the tamales from touching the water. Place the tamales in the colander and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Cover the pot tightly with a lid.

Cazuela: a clay pot or bowl still used in Mexico today for boiling corn, stews and beans. Though many Mexican households now use Olla Express (Pressure Cooker) to make beans, they still place the beans in a cazuela for the final few minutes of cooking to give beans that authentic Mexican flavor.

Metate y Mano (Hand Grinder): This tool looks like a short 3 legged table with a concave surface about the size of a platter. A large cylinder of stone is used for grinding spices, herbs and seeds. You can also find larger versions made for sitting at. Metate y Mano is made from stone or lava rock and is still used today in many Mexican households.

Molinillo (Wood Whisk or Stirrer): This ancient tool is used to create foam in hot chocolate. Place between your hands and rotate the whisk back and forth briskly. Molinillos can be plain or highly decorated.

Olla: A bean pot made of clay. Most Olla’s are beautifully decorated and glazed. Cooking beans in an olla gives beans a far superior taste than cooking them in metal pans or even a slow cooker. Olla’s look beautiful sitting on the counter when not in use and make a great gift. Fill the pot with bags of beans and seasoning and give to your friends or relatives who love authentic Mexican cooking.

Most of the cookware mentioned above can be purchased online, in a specialty Mexican market or store.

Can’t wait to learn more about Mexican cooking? Visit Mommies Magazine for more Mexican Cooking Techniques that you won’t want to miss.



Source by Wendy Wood

How to Make a Yeast Free Taco For the Candida Diet

No matter what type of diet you are trying to follow most diets require you to give up or severely limit the foods that you love the most. The candida diet is no exception. The candida diet is the cornerstone of treatment for a condition known as candidiasis. Candidiasis is an overgrowth of typically benign yeast, candida albicans, in the digestive tract. This condition often occurs due to a variety of external factors but the main causes tend to be overuse of antibiotics, birth control, steroids and diets high in sugary and processed foods. These external factors cause an imbalance in the digestive system and the candida diet helps to restore this balance. The candida diet eliminates sugar and yeast laden foods, glutinous grains, fruit, cheese and processed foods that are thought to exacerbate candidiasis. There are many other foods that are also omitted on the diet. So is it possible to still enjoy your favorite foods when there are so many limitations on this diet? With a little creativity you certainly can.

Tacos are one of my favorite foods that traditionally made do not work for the candida diet. From the taco shell to the shredded cheese topping many traditional taco ingredients are just plain offensive to the candida diet. So how do we make a tasty taco that is yeast free and hence okay for this diet?

The first step is to make or find yeast free gluten free taco seasoning. There are many taco seasoning packets in the store but the majority of them have ingredients that are not allowed on the diet, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extract, citric acid and sugar. If you do want to use a store bought taco seasoning packet read the label carefully. You may be able to find a yeast free variety at your local health food store or Whole Foods. I have found it much easier to create my own taco seasoning mix using yeast free spices from my pantry. A blend of chili powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper, onion powder does the job just as well as any store bought variety.

The second step is to make or find gluten free yeast free tortillas. There are a variety of gluten free tortillas on the market. These are usually available at your local health food store, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. The most common type that is both yeast free and gluten free are the brown rice tortillas. However, in my experience these do not seem to work so well for tacos, as the crumble very easily under the weight of the taco filling. There are other gluten free options but these usually contain yeast or some other ingredient off limit to candida dieters. I have found it easiest and tastiest to make my own. There are some great recipes online for gluten free tortillas. Do a search and make sure to substitute yeast free ingredients for any problematic ones.

The third step would be to prepare yeast free gluten free taco fixings. This is the easiest and most fun part. Once you have seasoned meat and a taco shell you get to pile on the toppings. Although things like cheese and sour cream are off limits you can still compile a great taco. Some of my favorite yeast free taco fixings are tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, homemade salsa, plain unsweetened yogurt and organic canned beans.

For more information on living yeast free by following the candida diet visit Yeast Free Living.



Source by Tennille Jordan

Toaster Oven Quesadillas Recipe – A Sumptuous Dinner in Less Than an Hour

Weeknight dinners don’t have to take hours to prepare. Here’s a toaster oven quesadillas recipe that you can prepare in under 35 minutes. Serves 4 persons.

What you need for this quesadillas recipe:

2 cups shredded skinless chicken meat

2 medium green onions

1 finely chopped pickled jalapeno chili

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (preferably Monterey Jack)

3/4 cup salsa verde

1/2 cup reduced sour cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

4 burrito-sized tortillas

General directions for this recipe:

Start by preheating toaster oven to about 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

On a work surface, slice green onions into thin strips. Set aside the dark green tips of the onions, about 2 tablespoons, to use as garnish.

Lay the burrito-size flour tortillas on a flat surface then spread even proportions of shredded chicken meat, jalapeno chili, cheese, cilantro, and green onions on one side of each tortilla. Next, fold the other half of the tortilla over. Set aside.

Prepare the oven tray by lining it with a single layer foil. Place the prepared tortillas on the foil-lined tray and set the timer. This recipe requires about 8 to 10 minutes cooking time. Heat up the tortilla until the cooking time finishes or until the tortillas are golden brown or the cheese melted. Remove from oven.

Next, place each quesadilla on a flat surface and cut in half. Place on a plate and serve with salsa verde with sour cream. For a finishing touch for this toaster oven quesadillas recipe, sprinkle green onions.

Toaster oven quesadillas recipe Tip: Turn this simple toaster oven quesadillas recipe into a full meal by serving it with your choice of green salad.



Source by Roger Mitchell

Speedy, Lower Salt Chicken Tortilla Soup

Though my heritage is British and German, I love tortilla soup. Unfortunately, I can’t order it in a restaurant because it contains too much salt. The excess salt makes my ankles swell, which is uncomfortable and dangerous for someone like me who takes blood pressure medication. Could I make tortilla soup at home?

I decided to give it a try, searched my cookbooks, and found several recipes. An Internet search came next and I found dozens more. The local newspaper also published a recipe. After reading enough recipes to make my eyes cross, I combined several recipes and added my own touch.

Tortilla soup is popular in many states. Barbara Hansen describes two California versions in her “Los Angeles Times” article, “A Bowl of Mexican Soup.” In Mexico City, she begins, the classic soup is chicken broth combined with roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles and tortillas cut into strips. In California, the soup often has a tomato base thickened with ground tortillas or is bean soup with fried tortillas.

“A great tortilla soup can be a revelation,” she writes, “rich with an intriguing roasted-corn flavor, vibrant with color and toasty, tantalizing aromas.” Nobody seems to know the origin of the soup, though some speculate it came from leftovers.

I wanted a quick version of this Mexican favorite, something with lots of flavor and only a little salt. My pantry contained most of the ingredients I needed, a can of fire roasted tomatoes, a can of chopped chiles, and a carton of salt-free chicken stock. Authentic recipes always contain cilantro, something I don’t like, so I left it out. If you like cilantro, add it to the soup.

Much to my amazement, I found salt-free taco chips in the Mexican section of my grocery store. You may use salted chips if you wish. The preparation time for my recipe is 10 minutes at the most. I simmered the soup for 20 minutes, but you may simmer it longer, or transfer it to a slow cooker. My husband and I had the soup for lunch, but it can easily become a dinner with the addition of salad and flan for dessert.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

14-ounce package of chicken tenders

1 medium onion, finely chopped

14.5-ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes

32-ounce carton salt-free chicken stock

4-ounce can diced green chilies

1 cup frozen corn

Garlic powder to taste

1 teaspoon lower sodium taco seasoning

1/2 teaspoon lower sodium salt (may be omitted)

Salt-free tortilla chips

Shredded Cheddar cheese, made with 2% milk

Method

Cut the chicken tenders into bite-size pieces. Coat the bottom of a soup kettle or large saucepan with olive oil. Add chicken and saute over medium heat until it becomes Add the chopped onions and cook for one minute. With the exception of the tortilla chips, add all of the other ingredients. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with crushed Mexican chips. Garnish with lime wedges, chopped avocado, shredded Cheddar cheese, and cilantro if you like it. Makes six generous servings.



Source by Harriet Hodgson

Tortillas Are Little Cakes Used With Mexican and American Dishes

Tortillas are used in many Mexican dishes. You can buy tortillas at almost any superstore or better yet you could make you own. Making tortillas at home is simple and the recipes usually just ask for basic ingredients.

If you have a Mexican Market near you then you could buy masa dough and just roll it out to create your tortillas. A more healthier version would be to make them from scratch using whole wheat flour. If you have a tortilla press that makes things a lot easier.

Think of all the ingredients you can add inside the tortilla. Keep it simple and just add ham and cheese.

You can also shape and bake the tortillas into a bowl. Then use the taco bowl for salads, dips, desserts and what ever you can think of. Imagine creating a ice cream sundae or banana split inside the bowl. You can also shape and bake the tortillas into a bowl. Then use the taco bowl for salads, dips, desserts and what ever you can imagine. Imagine creating a ice cream sundae or banana split inside the bowl.

The meaning of a tortilla is that it is a thin disk of unleavened bread made from masa or wheat flour and it can be baked on a hot surface. It is considered to be a Mexican kind of thin pancake made from corn meal and cooked on a hot griddle until dry. It is also known as a little cake, originates from the term torts a round cake.

Tortillas are preferred and there are many restaurants across the states dedicated to this round flat cake. So popular that numerous restaurants use tortilla in the restaurants name for instance Lupe Tortilla in Houston Texas, Tortilla Joe’s in Downtown Disneyland, Tortilla Flats in New York City, The Blue Tortilla in Pennsylvania, and many more.

There are different versions and ways to use the tortilla. Where the tortilla is used as a sandwich is considered the taco. Enchiladas is when the filling is rolled in tortilla then coated with sauce and then finally cooked in an oven.

With these round disk cakes being so popular increasingly kitchen gadgets are being released for them. You have the Perfect Tortilla Mold which helps you to make the thin disk bread into a bowl. There are warmers and cutters and flatteners.

Tortilla is no longer just thought of as an ethnic food, it has moved into the mainstream. Increasingly Americans now are eating many Americanized foods like meatballs, corned beef, tuna wraps and wieners on tortillas, just to name a few. Tortillas are not just for Mexican food anymore.

You can buy tortillas at just about any grocery store or better yet you could make you own. Making tortillas at home is simple and the recipes usually just ask for basic ingredients.

If you have a Mexican Market near you then you could buy masa dough and just roll it out to create your tortillas. You have the Perfect Tortilla Mold which helps you to make the thin disk bread into a bowl. More and more Americans now are eating many Americanized foods like meatballs, corned beef, tuna wraps and hot dogs on tortillas, just to name a few.



Source by TK Healey

How to Make Low Calorie Spanish Omelette – A Healthy, Low Calorie Version You Can Still Enjoy

Spanish Omelette or “Tortilla Española” is the king of ‘tapas’ on the Spanish tapas scene. Its rise to fame has been fast and furious. Visitors to Spain nowadays are almost as obliged to sample this ‘top ‘tapa’ e as they are to see a flamenco show or go to the beach. The humble “tortilla” has found international fame at last.

However that wasn’t always the case. Modest households in Spain have been serving this dish as a main course for many years. The tortilla has several advantages which makes it a staple for a busy household. Firstly it is very filling and very tasty, but more importantly for those on a budget, the ingredients are few, easily had, and relatively cheap. In fact it was regarded as the poor man’s lunch.

There is only one problem. The traditional Spanish omelette is not exactly low in calories. Nutritionists say there can be up to 250 or 300 calories in only 100 grams of tortilla. The calories increase due the absorption of oil in the frying process.

This recipe will show how to eliminate the oil from the tortilla and you can enjoy the great taste of Tortilla Española knowing you are not overdoing the calories.

Ingredients: for 2-3 people

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Olive oil

Method: There are two processes in making tortilla. a) Preparing and cooking ingredients.b) Turning the tortilla. (You may need some practice at this!)

  • Peel the potatoes and quarter them.
  • Add potatoes and onion to boiling water for 10/15 minutes, till potatoes just starting to turn soft but not soggy.
  • Cut onion into fine slices.
  • Add one small drizzle of oil to frying pan and sauté onion till translucent. Remove and keep.
  • Drain potatoes well, when ready, through a colander. The less water remaining the better. Cut the potatoes into smaller cubes. Remove and keep.
  • Break eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs well.
  • Add the potato and the onion to the eggs in the mixing bowl.
  • Stir the mixture carefully.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan
  • When the oil is hot, add the egg mixture and spread evenly around the frying pan.

TURNING THE TORTILLA

  • After about 3 minutes in the pan, TURN THE TORTILLA. ie. Remove the pan from heat and place a large plate over the pan. Hold the pan firmly and retain the plate above the pan firmly. OVERTURN THE PAN so the plate is below and the pan is upturned on top. The tortilla should have loosened from the pan and is now on the plate.
  • Replace the pan on the heat, and wait till hot.
  • Slide the HALF-COOKED tortilla back into the pan in order to set the underside of the tortilla.
  • After 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and slide tortilla from pan to plate.

The secret to a great tortilla is that it should be golden brown on the outside yet firm but moist on the inside. Give it a try!

Enjoy your low-calorie, tasty Spanish Omelette.



Source by Marie Ryan