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Home Cooking That's Flavorful and Healthier

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 01/04/13 -- (Family Features) All across the country, food lovers are cooking up something wholesome and flavorful. They are making a commitment to eating better on their own terms by making more meals at home. They are finding that home cooking with real ingredients is inherently healthier -- and it's surprisingly easy. With a few simple changes, you can make a big difference in the healthfulness of everyday meals.

"By adding herbs and spices, it's easy to make healthy foods more flavorful. And it's a smart way to freshen up your family's standby recipes while gradually reducing reliance on sugar, sodium or fat," said Chef Mark Garcia, of the McCormick Kitchens.

For freshened-up family favorites, try making these simple, healthful changes that are simply delicious:

-- Replace the heavy breading on chicken tenders with a flour mixture spiced with paprika, black pepper and oregano. Bake it in the oven to reduce fat and calories.

-- For a healthier take on beef stew, use low sodium broth and serve over whole grain pasta or brown rice instead of mashed potatoes.

-- For a delicious twist on traditional chili, try using boneless, skinless chicken breasts with black beans and corn. Pump up the authentic Southwest flavor with cumin, garlic powder and red pepper.

Get more recipes like these at www.mccormick.com. You can also join the conversation on Twitter @Spices4Health.

Hearty Beef Stew with Roasted Vegetables
Roasting the vegetables before adding them to the stew brings out delicious
 caramelized flavors.

Makes 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
                        4     cups cubed winter vegetables (cut into 1/2-
                              inch pieces), such as carrots, butternut
                              squash, parsnips or sweet potatoes
                        1     medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
                        2     tablespoons olive oil, divided
                        1 1/2 pounds boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into
                              1-inch cubes
                        3/4   cup chicken stock OR chicken broth can be used
                        1/4   cup dry red wine or apple juice
                        1/2   teaspoon salt
                        1/2   teaspoon McCormick Black Pepper, Coarse Ground
                        1/2   teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
                        3     McCormick Bay Leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss cubed vegetables and onion with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Arrange in single layer on large baking sheet. Roast 20 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Brown beef in batches. Return all beef to skillet. Add roasted vegetables, stock, wine, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Serving Suggestion: Serve stew over cooked brown rice or whole grain pasta.

Nutrition information, per serving: Calories: 261; Fat: 10g; Carbohydrates: 16g; Cholesterol: 56mg; Sodium: 328mg; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 25g

Oven-Fried Chicken
Boneless chicken is seasoned and oven-fried for great taste that's quick and
 easy enough for any day of the week.

Makes 5 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
                       1/4   cup flour
                       1 1/2 teaspoons Lawry's Seasoned Salt
                       1/2   teaspoon McCormick Oregano Leaves
                       1/4   teaspoon McCormick Black Pepper, Ground
                       1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
                             or thighs
                       1/4   cup milk
                       1     tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 15x10x1-inch baking pan with no stick cooking spray.

Mix flour, seasoned salt, oregano and pepper in shallow dish. Moisten chicken with milk. Coat evenly with flour mixture. Place chicken in single layer on prepared pan. Drizzle with melted butter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Test Kitchen Tip: For quicker, more uniform cooking, slice thick chicken breasts in half horizontally or pound chicken breasts thin.

Flavor Variation: Use 1 teaspoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning or Rosemary Leaves, crushed, in place of the oregano.

Nutrition information, per serving: Calories: 190; Fat: 6g; Carbohydrates: 6g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 457mg; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 28g

Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Corn
Make a batch of this Super Spice-rich chili for your next get-together. It
 doubles easily if you are expecting a crowd.

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
                         1     tablespoon vegetable oil
                         1     pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut
                               into 1-inch cubes
                         1     cup chopped green bell pepper
                         1     cup chopped onion
                         1     tablespoon McCormick Paprika
                         1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Oregano Leaves
                         1     teaspoon McCormick Cumin, Ground
                         1     teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
                         1/4   teaspoon McCormick Red Pepper, Crushed
                         1     can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and
                               rinsed
                         1     can (15 ounces) great Northern beans, drained
                               and rinsed
                         1     can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
                         1     cup chicken broth
                         1     cup frozen corn

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, bell pepper and onion; cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Add paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and red pepper; mix well.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes.

Nutrition information, per serving: Calories: 188; Fat: 4g; Carbohydrates: 20g; Cholesterol: 37mg; Sodium: 413mg; Fiber: 6g; Protein: 18g

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
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