February 2008

Chocolate Surprises

Think eating chocolate is taboo for your health? Here are some healthy ways to give in to temptation. A little dark chocolate can be part of a cancer-fighting diet – as these recipes show.

Simple Chicken Mole

In a Mexican mole sauce, the chocolate isn’t even sweetened. Sliced red peppers, sauteed onions and grated carrots are delicious accompaniments for this chicken with chocolatey sauce. Add some steamed brown rice, too.

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 3 oz. each
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. chipotle or regular chili powder
1/4 cup no-sodium diced tomatoes with juice
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted for 3-4 minutes
2 Tbsp. raisins
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
Salt, to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In large skillet, heat tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken to pan and saute, turning once, until cooked through, about 4-6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and place in oven to keep warm.

Add remaining oil to pan. Add onion to skillet and sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, cocoa powder and chili powder, stirring to coat onions well. Add tomatoes, almonds, raisins, broth and salt. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to blender and puree until smooth, adding more chicken broth if needed, for desired consistency. Place chicken on serving dish and pour sauce over top. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 180 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat),
7 g carbohydrates, 21 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 280 mg sodium.

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

Chocolate-Dipped Fruit

If you can’t bear to eat chocolate without some sweetness, consider feeding your sweetheart delectable morsels of fruit dipped in dark chocolate. Apple and pear chunks can work well with this recipe, too.

3 ounces dark (70 percent cocoa) chocolate
8 large strawberries
16 large seedless green grapes
1 large banana, cut into 8 pieces
Strong toothpicks

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or wax paper. Set aside.

Break up or chop chocolate. Place in a small microwaveable bowl and heat for 1 minute on high. Stir, then microwave in 10 second bursts on medium until small pieces remain. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Alternatively, place bowl in small skillet filled with 2 inches of simmering hot water and stir occasionally until melted.

Pat fruit with paper towels to be sure it is completely dry. Holding each strawberry by its hull, dip halfway into melted chocolate and lift out with a twisting motion. Shake berry over bowl for 10 seconds to let excess chocolate drip off. Place strawberry on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all berries are dipped.

Insert toothpick into stem end of each grape. Dip grapes until half covered with chocolate, twisting and letting excess drip off. Lay each grape on baking sheet.

Stand each banana section on round end and insert a toothpick in center of top. Dip, twist and let excess chocolate drip off, like other fruit.

Place baking sheet with dipped fruits in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, 30 minutes. Serve immediately, or within 6 hours.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 170 calories, 7 g total fat (4 g saturated fat),
27 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 0 mg sodium.

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