Sunday, February 17, 2013

Skinny #SundaySupper...Slow Cooker Chicken and Smoked Sausage Cassoulet

The theme for this week's #SundaySupper is Skinny Dishes. We're featuring healthy recipes that are low in fat, calories, and sugar. This week, our hostess is Sue from Sue's Nutrition Buzz. Sue is a registered dietician who shares her passion for healthy eating with her readers, so make sure to stop by and say hello!  I was so excited when I found out about this week's theme. Being a food writer means that I sometimes eat more calories than I should, so I'm always on the lookout for lower-calorie meals to (try to) balance things out. One of my go-to sources for finding great-tasting, healthy meals is Cooking Light's website. They have a huge, searchable recipe database that offers so many great ideas for food that tastes great and is easy on your waistline!

One of my favorite food myths is that healthy food just doesn't taste as good as the high-octane stuff. In most cases, that is so untrue! Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple substitutions and eating a reduced portion to make a delicious meal that no one would ever know is low in fat and calories. A great example of this is the recipe I'm sharing today: Slow Cooker Chicken and Smoked Sausage Cassoulet. This is my riff on a Cooking Light recipe. Michael isn't a huge fan of beans, so I reduced the amount in half. To make up for the missing volume, I added healthy carrots and celery. I also subbed ultra-lean chicken breast for the pork roast that the recipe called for. Finally, I added 1/2 cup of red wine for depth of flavor. All you do is add everything to a slow cooker and let it do the work...perfect for those busy days we all seem to have!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Smoked Sausage Cassoulet
adapted from Cooking Light

Step 1: Add the following ingredients to a large slow cooker: 1 can petite diced tomatoes, 1 can drained & rinsed Great Northern (white) beans, 1 cup sliced carrots, 2 grated or finely minced garlic cloves, 1 cup chopped onion, and 1 cup sliced celery. 

Step 2: Give the veggies a stir. Then, add the following ingredients to the pot: 1/2 lb. turkey smoked sausage cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 1 lb. diced chicken breast, and 2 slices crisp-cooked bacon. Add 1/2 cup red wine, 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 tsp. fresh, finely chopped), and salt & pepper to taste.

Step 3: Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 more hours, until the carrots and celery are cooked and tender. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems, then ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for a pop of color. You can also top each serving with a tablespoon of grated parmesan for about 20 calories.

This cassoulet is so good, you'd never know that it's high in fiber and low in fat and calories. By simply subbing in chicken breast for pork and using low-fat turkey sausage, you save a ton of fat...but you still have a great smoky flavor. The beans were creamy, and the veggies were perfectly cooked. This soup-like cassoulet is basically a meal in a bow, but I served it with some garlic breadsticks on the side for dipping in the savory broth. The nutritional information for the original recipe is 375 per generous 1.5-cup serving, with 7.6 grams fat and 4.6 grams fiber. Since I subbed in chicken breast and added more veggies, my nutrition information will be slightly different, but this gives you a ballpark estimation for this very hearty and filling dish. 

I hope you'll join us this evening at 600 CST for a Twitter chat to discuss our favorite healthy eating tips. In the meantime, go check out all of the healthy eating recipes that my fellow #SundaySupper food writers are sharing today...we have everything from appetizers to desserts!

Sizzling Skinny Appetizers & Soups
 Healthy Skinny Mains & Sides
Guilt Free Skinny Desserts & Snacks
Wine Pairing Recommendations for Skinny Sunday Supper by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

1 comment:

  1. I love the fact that this dish comes together in a Slow Cooker! The lovely flavors must make it taste delicious!


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