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    Comfort Foods for Cold Nights


    Texas Style Rice

    • 2 T olive oil
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced (optional)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 c brown rice, uncooked
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1/2 t pepper
    • 4 1/2 c water
    • 4 green onions, sliced



    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno pepper, sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add brown rice and stir until the rice is glossy. Season with salt and pepper, add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with tight fitting lid. Do not uncover the rice during cooking. Cook 45 minutes, turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with fork and stir in green onions. Refrigerate 1 1/2 cups for planned-overs. Serve the remaining rice with the Texas style black-eyed peas.




    Texas Style Black-eyed Peas

    • 3 (15 oz) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
    • 2 c tomato salsa, divided (see recipe below)
    • 3/4 t cumin
    • 1 c low-sodium vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth
    • 3 c spinach, washed, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
    • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 avocado, washed, halved, pitted and sliced
    • 1 c reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded


    In a large saucepan, add the rinsed and drained black-eyed peas. Stir in 1 1/2 cups salsa, cumin and broth. Cook and stir on medium heat about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cilantro and stir until wilted, about 1 minute.


    Spoon the rice into 6 bowls. Spoon the black-eyed peas over the rice. Do not stir. Top each serving with a few avocado slices, one fourth cup shredded cheese and a dollop of the remaining salsa.

    6 servings




    Tomato Salsa

    • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 c cilantro sprigs
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced low-sodium tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 lime, washed
    • 1/4 t salt
    • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced low-sodium tomatoes, drained



    Place onion, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and one can undrained tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Blend until finely chopped. Pour the chopped mixture in a bowl. Add the juice of one lime, salt and one can drained tomatoes. Stir to mix.


    Makes approximately 4 cups.

    Use two cups of the Tomato Salsa in the black-eyed peas recipe. Refrigerate the remaining two cups for a planned-over dinner.




    Texas Size Salad

    • 1 bunch Romaine lettuce, washed and crisped in refrigerator, torn in bite-size pieces
    • 2 c red seedless grapes, washed
    • 1 small head red cabbage, coarsely shredded
    • 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
    • 1 cucumber, washed, and cubed
    • 2 c spinach, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
    • 1/2 bunch celery, washed, trimmed and cut into small pieces



    Place the lettuce on a large platter. In the center, arrange the grapes on top of the lettuce. Place red cabbage in a pile at each end of the platter. Arrange the carrots, cucumber, spinach and celery in small piles around the sides of the platter. Let everyone make their own salad. Serve with light Ranch Dressing on the side. Refrigerate the planned-overs salad for lunches with a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread and a glass of low-fat milk.





    Planned-Over Dinner


    Chicken and Rice Soup

    • 2 T olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1/2 bunch celery, washed, trimmed and cut into small pieces
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 oz each), cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 4 c low-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 c water
    • 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1/2 t pepper
    • 1 T fresh oregano or 1 t dried oregano
    • 1 (10 oz) pkg. fresh or frozen broccoli florets, cut into small pieces, thawed if frozen
    • 1 (10 oz) pkg. fresh or frozen cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces, thawed if frozen
    • 1 1/2 c frozen peas, thawed
    • 1 1/2 c cooked planned-overs brown rice
    • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper



    Heat oil on medium-high, in a large stock pot. Add onion and celery, sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add chicken and brown lightly. Add broth, water, carrots, salt, pepper, and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Add broccoli, cauliflower, peas and rice. Cook 10 minutes or until broccoli and cauliflower are crisp-tender and the cooked rice is heated. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.

    6 servings


    Serve soup with 6 heated whole wheat tortillas with melted reduced-fat cheese and planned-overs salsa. For dessert, serve warm cinnamon apples


    Warm Cinnamon Apples

    • 6 McIntosh, Rome, Gala or Granny Smith apples, washed and sliced
    • 1/2 c brown sugar
    • 1 t cinnamon
    • 1/4 t nutmeg
    • 3 T water or apple juice
    • 1 T light margarine



    In a large saucepan, toss together the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in 3 T water and 1 T light margarine. Cook over medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.

    6 servings



    Texas produce usually available in January: spinach, cilantro, cabbage, carrots, celery and broccoli.



    Onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, brown rice, green onions, canned black-eyed peas, spinach, avocado, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce, grapes, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, celery, tuna, whole wheat bread, low-fat milk, fresh broccoli, frozen broccoli, fresh cauliflower, frozen cauliflower, frozen peas, whole wheat tortillas, apples and apple juice are  WIC Approved.