Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
CHICKEN, CHARD AND POTATO SKILLET
12 ounces chard, torn in 3-inch pieces (large stems removed), washed but not dried
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound baby potatoes, halved
1⁄2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. Heat a large heavy skillet (such as cast iron) over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, add the chard with the water still clinging to its leaves and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Season the chicken with the salt, marjoram and pepper.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken (smooth side facing down) and cook until browned on the undersides, about 6 to 7 minutes. Turn and add the potatoes to the pan around the chicken. Cook until the chicken is again browned on the undersides, about 6 minutes.
4. Combine the broth and vinegar; pour into the skillet and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Place the chard over the potatoes, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about another 15 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 341 calories, 25 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 552 mg sodium
CHIPOTLE BEEF AND TWO-POTATO SKILLET
8 ounces baking potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
8 ounces sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1⁄2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1. Combine baking potato and sweet potato in a medium skillet with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, cook 7 minutes; drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the potatoes, chili powder and chipotle pepper; cook until potatoes begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is mostly absorbed, about 1 minute. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 317 calories, 25 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 445 mg sodium
BACON, PEARL ONION AND LENTIL SKILLET
8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
2 cups frozen pearl onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup brown lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crisp, 6 to 7 minutes; transfer to a plate covered with paper towels and drain.
2. Return the skillet to the stove, add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, carrot and celery and cook until just beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Uncover, stir in the tomatoes, increase the heat to medium-high and cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved bacon. Makes 4 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 304 calories, 22 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 14 g fiber, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 547 mg sodium