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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple weeknight soup, chicken and fish recipes

Beans and vegetables simmer together to make a

Beans and vegetables simmer together to make a hearty, nutritious vegetable soup. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

Hearty Vegetable Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

6 cups unsalted vegetable broth

1 pound kale, collard or other greens, torn in 3-inch pieces

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 15-ounce cans low-sodium white and/or red beans, drained and rinsed

1 pound zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch slices

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high; add the onion, celery, carrot, rosemary, oregano and basil, and cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the greens, working in batches if needed.

2. Add the tomatoes; simmer 10 minutes. Add the beans and zucchini; simmer 12-15 minutes until zucchini is tender. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 251 calories, 12 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 610 mg sodium

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Chicken Breasts with Herbed Feta

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 (5-ounce) boneless chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Combine the feta, oregano and dill in a small bowl; toss thoroughly.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken breasts and cook 4-5 minutes, until the underside is browned and readily releases from the pan surface. Turn the chicken over and top with the cheese, taking care to keep the cheese on top of the chicken and not on the pan.

3. Cover the pan and cook until the cheese is melted and an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally in the thickest part of the center registers 160 degrees, about another 4 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 232 calories, 31 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 569 mg sodium

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Roast Sea Bass and Asparagus with Thyme Lemon Butter

1 1/2 pounds sea bass fillets

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a shallow baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Place the fish and asparagus in a single layer on the sheet pan.

3. Combine the butter, lemon juice and zest, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl; brush over the fish.

4. Roast in the oven 10-12 minutes, until the fish is opaque in the center and the asparagus is crisp-tender. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 242 calories, 34 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 457 mg sodium

TIP Freeze the vegetable soup in individual portions for a quick lunch or dinner you can heat in the microwave.

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