Tag Archives: corn

THE Potato Soup

Earlier this year, I decided to try using my pressure cooker for more than rice. I have a stove top model, but I found it isn’t too hard to adjust most Instant Pot recipes (which are EVERYWHERE online) to work in my cooker. On a whim one night, I decided to try a potato soup recipe to use up some potatoes I had left over from a different recipe.

OH MY GOODNESS. I was not prepared for my family’s lives to be changed. My oldest daughter has dubbed this “her” soup and is upset anytime I make any other type of soup. We even went to a restaurant and she ordered potato soup there. Partway through, she turned to me and said, “I still like yours better, Mom.” I don’t know how else to sell it to you. This is good. You should make it. But beware that it may become a frequent find at your dinner table.

THE Potato Soup (serves 6-8)

THE Potato Soup

½ tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces lowfat cream cheese
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
1 large can shredded chicken
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Add onions and garlic, cooking for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, 1 cup broth and pepper.

2. Secure lid. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release pressure.

3. While cooking, combine cream cheese, flour, milk, and 2 cups broth in blender until smooth.

4. Once pressure is released, remove lid. Add cream cheese mixture. Cook over medium heat until soup simmers and thickens a little. Stir frequently.

5. Add chicken and corn until heated through. Stir in cheese just until melted. Remove from heat and serve.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving):

Calories: 383
Protein: 20 gm
Fat: 15 gm
Saturated Fat: 7 gm
Cholesterol: 44 mg
Carbohydrates: 45 gm
Fiber: 4 gm
Sodium: 385 mg

Recipe notes: You could use any variety of potato you liked. I did make this one with unpeeled red potatoes. While the adults in our house liked it, the kids found the variation unacceptable. I’ve also added chopped carrots with the onions and garlic for an extra vegetable punch. You can skip the chicken or use some leftover shredded chicken if you have it around. I just like using the canned chicken from Costco. Then pretty much everything except the potatoes is something I always have around.

Source: lightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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Shrimp and Creamed Corn

Fall is here, and I couldn’t be more excited. Fall is my favorite season – crisp air, beautiful colors of leaves, pulling out sweaters and blankets. I love the flavors too – apples, pears, pumpkin, squash.

Today’s recipe is none of those things. I promise I’ll bring those soon. But this is a delicious throw back to summer that still sticks to your ribs like a good fall dinner. Slightly spicy shrimp on a delicious, creamy base. Enjoy!

Shrimp and Creamed Corn (Serves 4)

Shrimp and Creamed Corn

8 ears of corn, shucked
1 ½ cups skim milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
12 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp
½ – 1 teaspoon salt-free Creole seasoning
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup halved grape tomtoates
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sliced green onions

1. Cut kernels from corn; reserve cobs. Set aside ½ cup kernels. Pulse remaining kenrels in a food processor until almost creamy.

2. Using dull side of knife, scrape corn cobs to remove “milk” and pulp into a medium saucepan. Add processed corn, milk, and cornstarch to pan.

3. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low or low; simmer until thick (about 5-7 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in 1 ½ tablespoons butter and ¼ teaspoon salt. Keep warm.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and remaining ½ tablespoon of butter. Once butter is melted, add shrimp, Creole seasoning, paprika, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, thyme, garlic, onions, and reserved corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are done. Serve over creamed corn.

Recipe Notes: If you can’t find corn on the cob or it is too pricey out of season, I’m guessing you could use frozen corn. When I made this, I didn’t get much “milk” out of my cobs. And it would likely be a lot less messy. Also, the full 1 teaspoon of Creole seasoning made this fairly spicy. You might want to opt with less if you are sensitive or want small children to eat this.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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Zucchini Corn Fritters

It’s getting to be that time of year where gardens are going crazy. Or if you don’t have a garden, corn, zucchini, and tomatoes are fairly inexpensive and extra tasty at the store. Here’s a great side dish or snack utilizing some of the produce in season right now.

Zucchini Corn Fritters (Makes about 18 fritters)

Zucchini Corn Fritters

1 ½ cups packed shredded zucchini (no need to peel the zucchini)
½ cup corn kernels
1 green onion, diced
1-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
⅓ cup bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray.

2. Wring out excess water in zucchini, making sure it is really dry.

3. Combine zucchini and remaining ingredients in a bowl until combined. Add additional egg if mixture is too dry.

4. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Lightly flatten into fritter shape. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden and center is set.

Nutritional Information (Amount per fritter):

Calories: 23
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 12 mg
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Fiber: less than 1 g
Sodium: 45 mg

Recipe source: adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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Dealing with Food Allergies and Intolerances

I recently had some people over for dinner.  I was craving nachos, so that is what I served.  As I was about to cuchocolate cake for dessert, one of them tells me that he has celiac and can’t eat gluten.  I had no idea before dinner.  Sadly, I didn’t have any dessert alternatives for him.  But I’m grateful I made nachos instead of my other idea of spaghetti and meatballs!

This is one of many encounters I have had recently with food allergies and intolerances.  I will admit, I am extremely thankful that I don’t have to deal with any of these problems in my little family.  Reading labels, buying specialty products, cooking from scratch, and teaching children, friends, and family can be a full time job in many cases.  Following these diets isn’t optional; for many, it is life or death.

Here are a few tips on following a food allergy diet:

-Try to focus on what you can eat.  If you try to change all of your regular recipes to be free of a particular allergen, you can go crazy.  For example, if you can’t cook with dairy, don’t start with a lasagna recipe, which has multiple dairy ingredients.  Instead, think of something similar without dairy, such as spaghetti.

-Similar to above, build recipes with ingredients you know you can eat.  Make lists of ingredients you have in your pantry or you know you can buy.  Then start picking ingredients from the list that go together.

-Find good resources.  There are many cookbooks and websites out there.  A good place to start online is nutritionblognetwork.com.  All of the blogs in this database are written by registered dietitians.  You can trust that they are providing accurate information.

-Try to be as liberal as possible with the diet.  I’m not saying eat foods you shouldn’t.  For any of us, it is easy to get in a rut with what we eat.  If you are limited by a food allergy, you can easily eat a very limited diet of a few foods over and over.  Try to keep things as lively and interesting as you can.  The less deprived you feel, the better off you will be.

If you or someone close to you has a food allergy or intolerance, I’d love to hear about how you cope in the comments.  Good luck to all of those dealing with food allergies out there!  Happy eating!

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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Grilled Corn

Holidays often have food traditions.  These can be widely acknowledged – such turkey at Thanksgiving – or be more individual – like my family ate scrambled eggs every Christmas Eve dinner.  Fourth of July is somewhere in between.  I think most of us associate outdoor eating with the Fourth, but whether this is a picnic or grilling is fairly individual.

Either way, this grilled corn is a great addition to your Fourth menu. If you are eating at a cookout, it is a fast easy, side dish that is sure to please all ages. (I love watching small children chow down on a whole ear of corn.) If you are taking a picnic somewhere, you could prepare these ahead of time very easily to pack with you. Enjoy!

Grilled Corn (Serves 4)

Grilled Corn

4 ears of corn
4 teaspoons nonfat sour cream (optional)
1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Option 1:

1. Peel back husks, leaving them attached at the bottom. Remove as much of the corn silk as possible. Fold husks back up.

2. Place corn in a sink or large bowl or large bag. Cover with cold water. Let soak for 30-45 minutes.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove corn from water, shaking slightly to remove excess water. Place on grill. Cook, turning every 5 or so minutes. Corn should be done in about 20 minutes. Keep grilling until corn looks bright and tender.

Option 2:

1. Remove husks and silk from corn.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place corn on grill. Cook, turning every 5 or so minutes, as each side chars slightly. Corn should be bright and tender with a slight char all around.

For either option:

1. You can serve as is and enjoy.

2. Lightly coat each ear with 1 teaspoon of sour cream. Drizzle lime juice over all the ears. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Enjoy.

Nutritional Information (Amount per ear):

Calories: 102
Protein: 4
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 2.5 mg
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 67 mg

Recipe Notes: I think I prefer the first method for cooking the corn. As I’ve tried it, the corn doesn’t char that well. But I also don’t have a very large grill, so it may just not get hot enough for that. If transporting, you can wrap the ears in foil to keep them warm.

Source: original method for option 1, adapted from online for option 2 and topping

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Black Bean Tacos

A couple years ago, our family was at a bit of a crossroads. My husband was having a hard time finding a permanent job. We were beginning to feel the stress of what to do with our lives when a job offer came that totally reset the trajectory of his career. To celebrate, we went out to eat at a fun Mexican restaurant in Chicago. As I was pregnant, I was being extra careful to try and eat “healthy”. So I ordered the vegetarian burrito. I love that restaurant, but that burrito was disgusting.

I often find that the case with Mexican vegetarian dishes when I go out to eat. I’ve actually become very wary of them. They just don’t taste right to me. My guess is because they throw in strong flavored veggies that just don’t blend in well (like tons of broccoli in the burrito mentioned above). If you have found some places with good options, let me know. I’d love to try them.

In response, I have made it my mission to make awesome vegetarian versions of Mexican dishes at home. These black bean tacos were pretty great. I didn’t miss the meat, although I’m sure my husband did. I tried to focus on vegetables that made sense or at least had very mild flavors. Enjoy!

Black Bean Tacos (Serves about 4)

Black Bean Tacos

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced small (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
1 zucchini, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cans low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup frozen corn
4 whole wheat tortillas
½ cup shredded cheese
sour cream (optional)
guacamole (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add zucchini; cook for 3 minutes more.

2. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Saute 1 minute, or until beginning to be fragrant, stirring frequently.

3. Add tomatoes, beans, and corn. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 or so minutes, until everything is heated through and combined well.

4. Serve in tortillas with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, or your favorite taco toppings.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 427
Protein: 21 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Carbohydrates: 63 g
Fiber: 20 g
Sodium: 732 mg

Recipe Notes: I recently have been subbing pinto beans in many recipes for black beans with great success. Sometimes, I almost like the pinto version better. While I haven’t tried it with these yet, feel free to mix up the beans. Maybe a mix of black and pinto. Or garbanzo beans would also be tasty here.

Source: original recipe

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GMO Fact or Fiction, Part 3

Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve been discussing what GMOs are, where they are in our food supply, and the pros of using these in agriculture. If you haven’t read those posts, I recommend you read them before embarking on this one.

Today, I will be discussing the cons of GMOs in food. I will try to touch respond to any pros if there is another side to the story as well as bring in any unique ideas.

-Improved yields aren’t helping feed a growing population. Many countries, including China and some in Africa, will not import GMO products from the United States. So while improved yields could help us feed the millions of people who are starving worldwide, they aren’t helping if we can’t get that food to the people.

-Improved yields through self-fertilization and drought resistance are ideas that have been promised by companies, but few to no GMO crops are actually available that have these characteristics.

-With herbicide tolerant crops, chemical herbicide use actually increased rather than decreased. Since the crops themselves are not sensitive to the herbicides, farmers can spray more herbicide without worrying about harming their crops. (However, some would say that the herbicides used may be more environmentally friendly.)

-Weeds have now become resistant to the more common herbicides available to farmers. Several different weeds now have resistance to Round-up, the most common herbicide used.

-We aren’t sure about safety. While there are studies that would suggest consuming GMO based foods are safe, many of these studies are from older generations of GMO crops. Also, since these are relatively new, we don’t have long-term data on safety yet.

Next week, I’ll bring it all together and share my thoughts on using GMO crops in food. Happy eating!

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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