Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
ROAST CHICKEN, TWO POTATOES AND ARTICHOKES
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds chicken thighs
1 pound sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 pound potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 small red onions (12 ounces), peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
1 (8-ounce) bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped
pitted Kalmata olives
8 peeled (whole) cloves garlic
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a shallow baking sheet (or jelly-roll pan) with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs, potatoes, onion wedges, artichokes, Kalamata olives and garlic; toss thoroughly. Spread on the baking sheet pan.
3. Roast in center of the oven 1 hour, or until chicken is browned and reaches an internal temperature of 175 degrees and vegetables are cooked through. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 450 calories, 24 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 24 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 430 mg sodium
MEDITERRANEAN BRAISED FISH WITH ORZO
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 minced cloves garlic
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomato
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup orzo
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 pounds firm white fish, such as catfish or tilapia
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes until softened.
2. Add the tomato, water and marjoram and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and olives and simmer 5 minutes.
3. Place the fish in the pan and season with the salt. Cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish and orzo are cooked through. Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 466 calories, 30 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 18 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 793 mg sodium
SHORTCUT BRUNSWICK STEW
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups thawed frozen corn
1 (10-ounce) box frozen lima beans, thawed
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons flour
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomato with green chiles
1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven (or deep skillet). Add onion, corn and lima beans, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until onion is somewhat softened.
2. Sprinkle vegetables with the paprika and flour and toss until the flour is absorbed. Stir in the tomato and broth and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until liquid is thickened.
3. Stir in the chicken and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with a crusty sourdough bread to make this a hearty and satisfying meal. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 258 calories, 27 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 893 mg sodium