November 2008


In the past day or so I’ve come down with a nasty virus that has left me bedridden, and I am NOT a good patient. I always think the best medicine is a warm bowl of chicken soup! Below is a recipe for chicken soup with an Asian twist. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to prepare!



Serves 8

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon bottled grated ginger
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled
2 cups water
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, finely chopped

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass; sauté 3 minutes. Add water and broth; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard lemongrass.


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings



Forget about Red and Blue. Let’s think about green! Broccoli, that is. Last week, there was a really cold night and I had a hankering for soup. I looked into the fridge and came up with a super easy, quick and delicious recipe for broccoli soup that can be made in less than 30 minutes! I used an immersion blender, but you can use a regular blender or food processor if you have one.


Serves 4 (ish)

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
3 broccoli crowns cut into small pieces
1 14 oz. can of chicken broth
2 tbs. fat free half and half
Salt and Pepper to taste


Heat 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes or until the onion is a little translucent. Add the broccoli and cook for one or two minutes longer.

Add the chicken broth, then fill the chicken broth can (about a cup and a half) with water and pour it into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Puree with an immersion blender (or food processor) and return back to the pot. Stir in the half and half and season with salt and pepper to taste. You have the perfect weeknight soup!

Bon appetit!

Note: To make the soup thicker, add another broccoli crown and use half the amount of water.


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings

So this recipe actually called for Snapper, and it required getting out the grill pan for the fish. I was lazy last night (and couldn’t find snapper) so I just used Tilapia and sauteed the fillets in a non-stick pan. It was really good!

Serves 4
1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
Cooking spray
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.

Heat a grill pan (or saute pan) over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, shallots, parsley, lemon juice, orange juice, and mustard in a small bowl, stirring well. Slowly add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle the shallot mixture over pasta; toss well to coat.

Roasted Butternut Bisque!

This was rich, while still being healthy. I think my guests will love it as a first course.

Serves 4

* 4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
* Cooking spray
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
* 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
* 2 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
* 1 1/2 cups fat-free buttermilk
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Place squash in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat squash with cooking spray. Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper; toss well. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until tender.

3. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash and broth to pan; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in buttermilk. Reduce heat, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Place one-third of squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4 – enjoy!

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon freshly ground green peppercorns
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Cooking spray
4 teaspoons sweet soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge both sides of salmon in peppercorn mixture.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add salmon; cook 2 minutes on each side. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Drizzle fillets evenly with soy sauce.


Sorry I’ve been away a few weeks. To make up for it, I’ve posted a whole slew of new recipes on the Hillman’s Helpings blog that are perfect for this chilly weather we’re having.

I have to admit, I have a bit of an obsession with miso, which is essentially fermented soybean paste. I was especially surprised to see miso-glazed cod at a wedding I attended last weekend! Recently, I’ve been trying out new recipes that incorporate yellow miso, a mild miso paste, which can be found in a grocery store like Whole Foods in the refrigerated aisle.

Below are a few of my favorite miso recipes.


Miso-Glazed Salmon
Serves 4

Note: This paste can be used atop any firm fish. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness. For use on Chilean Sea Bass, figure 18-20 minutes.

1/3 cup yellow miso
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
4-6 oz. salmon fillets, skinned

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Brunch onto Salmon.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Miso-Garlic Eggplant

1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
3 tablespoons yellow miso
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggplants, sliced thin
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread mirin mixture evenly over the eggplant slices, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil 8 minutes or until topping is golden. Place eggplant slices on a platter, and sprinkle with onions.


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings


Today’s recipe includes a sauce that can be put over almost anything – chicken, seafood, fish, veal, etc. I call it a faux puttanesca because it incorporates some, but not all flavors of a traditional puttanesca sauce. Anchovies, capers and hot peppers are all part of what Americans know as “puttanesca.” This sauce simply incorporated items from my fridge and pantry, but can be made with the above ingredients if desired.

While I’m not eating today for religious reasons, I’m dreaming about this yummy dinner I concocted on Monday evening.


Serves 2

Season two tilapia fillets with salt and pepper. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes on both sides, or until cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan.

Add 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil and 1 clove chopped garlic to the pan. Sauté for 1 minute. Add ¼ cup white wine, ¼ cup chicken stock, ½ cup diced tomatoes and a handful of sliced kalamata olives to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce until about ½ of the liquid has evaporated (a few minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, add a few leaves of chopped basil and remove from the heat.

Serve the sauce over the fish.

Bon Appetit!


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings