Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Salad

My sister has gotten me hooked on website. This website takes resturant recipes and gives them a healthy make-over. Jarrod and I have always loved the Buffalo Chicken Salad from Chili's and we used to eat it all the time when we were dating. Little did we know that that 'little salad' was packed with well over 1,000 calories! No wonder I gained weight! This week I made the hungry-girl's version of this salad and it was AMAZING! We absolutely loved it and it tasted so much like the one from Chili's! This recipe is only enough for 1 person, so double or triple it if you're making it for more people. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Changes I made:
  • Added sliced avacado
  • After breading the chicken and putting it on the pan, spray it well with cooking spray. This will help it to crisp during cooking and not be dry and dusty. After flipping the chicken halfway through baking, spray again.
Spicy Buffalo Chicken Salad
1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
Several Dashes of garlic powder
Several Dashes of onion powder
One 4-oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast cutlet, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp. precooked real crumbled bacon (like the kind by Oscar Mayer)
3 low-fat baked tortilla chips, slightly crushed
1 tbsp. Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
2 tbsp. fat-free ranch dressing

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. Place cereal in a sealable bag, remove air, and seal. Using a rolling pin or meat mallet, crush cereal through the bag to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add garlic powder and onion powder. If you like, add salt and pepper. Seal and shake to combine. Set aside.

3. Place chicken in a bowl and top with egg substitute. Coat both sides of the chicken and then give it a shake to remove excess egg substitute. Transfer to the bag with the crumbs, seal, and shake to thoroughly coat both sides with crumbs.

4. Place chicken on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Carefully flip chicken and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, until crispy and cooked through. Set aside.

5. Meanwhile, place lettuce in a bowl and top with tomato, cheese, bacon, and crushed chips. Set aside.

6. Pour hot sauce onto a small plate. Once cool enough to handle, coat both sides of the cooked chicken with sauce. Slice and place on top of your salad. Serve with ranch dressing and enjoy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A New Twist on Chicken Fajitas!

Since we've made this new healthy eating 'change,' I have tried coming up with different way to still have some of my favorite things. I love Mexican food, but unfortunately it adds to my waist line pretty drastically. One day I was walking through the grocery store and saw a package of fajita sauce. I had never made fajitas before, but how hard could it be? Since I'm watching my calories very closely I decided I needed to find something to put in the fajitas that would take the place of a lot of the meat. I decided I would sautee mushrooms, onions, squash, and zucchini and then add some of the fajita sauce to it after it was cooked. It was AMAZING! This is my favorite dish and we've been making it once a week for probably 3 months now.

A few tips:
1. Buy 2 packages of dry fajita mix (one for the chicken or beef and one for the vegetables).
2. When slicing the squash and zucchini, try to just skim thin strips don't want a lot of the middle part otherwise it will become mushy and nobody likes a mushy fajita!
3. Sautee the mushrooms by themselves first, remove them, sautee the rest of the vegi's and then add the mushrooms back in when everything is cooked. The reason for this is because mushrooms release juice when they are cooked and if you cook them with the rest of the vegi's everything will just go me).
4. Slice your chicken in short, thin strips. This will help them too cook faster and it'll help you not to pile so much onto your tortilla.
5. Use any kind of tortilla you want. My husband likes to use spinach wraps while I use low-carb wheat wraps to cut of his is 210 calories and one of mine is 76 calories....big difference!

Cooked onion, mushrooms, squash, and zucchini

The finished fajita!

Chicken Fajitas

1 lb. chicken, cut into short thin slices
2 packages prepared fajita mix
1 small package of sliced mushrooms
1 medium/large onion
3 large zucchini
3 large yellow squash
extra virgin olive oil
tortilla shells
low-fat shredded mozzerella or cheddar cheese

1. Marinate chicken in fajita sauce for atleast 30 minutes before cooking.
2. Slice all vegetables
3. Sautee mushrooms in olive oil until a little crispy then set aside.
4. Cook chicken in skillet over medium high heat until done.
5. Sautee onions, zucchini, and squash in a large skillet until slightly browned (do not use much olive can always add more if you need it!)
6. Add mushrooms to vegetables and add the rest of the fajita sauce. Cook until most of sauce is absorbed.
7. Load tortilla with a little chicken and a lot of vegi's. Top with some cheese and voila!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chili and Cornbread

Nothing says 'Fall' quite like chili and cornbread! I took a few recipes I had and put my own healthy twist on them and they came out pretty darn good! We made a vegetarian chili and cornbread using whole wheat flour instead of white, applesauce instead of oil, eggbeaters to eliminate cholesterol, and skim milk to cut down on calories. This version of cornbread is a little dense but is perfect for dipping (which in my opinion is its sole purpose!). To give the chili the taste as if it was cooked over a fire, I added worstershire sauce and liquid dash. The chili definitely had a kick to it, so if you want to cut down on the spicyness, simply substitute the Rotel tomatoes with green chilis for regular diced tomatoes. Happy Fall!

*The chili came out to being 75 calories for a 1/2 cup and the cornbread was 135 calories for 1 piece (when cut into 9 pieces).

Vegetarian Chili
1 large chopped yellow onion
3 Tbsp minced garlic
2 can fulls of water
2 tablespoons Stevia (sugar substitute
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilis, undrained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Great Northern White Beans, rinsed and drained
Couple dashes of liquid smoke

Combine everything in a crockpot and cook all day on low.

Wheat Cornbread
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2  cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Stevia (sugar substitute)
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup eggbeaters

Preheat oven to 375 and place 8"x8" dish in oven to heat up.

Mix together all ingredients until there are no lumps.

Take dish out of oven, spray with non-stick spray, and pour in batter.

Cook for 25-35 minutes

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

We eat zucchini constantly! Literally, probably at least 4 times a week. I was trying to find some new variations to it since we usually just sautee it and I ran across this recipe from The only change I made was that I added sautee'd mushrooms and it was super yummy! You don't just eat the inside 'stuffing' part, you eat the whole thing and I can definitely say I'll be making this more often. Each stuffed zucchini came out to being only about 100 calories and they're pretty big! I definitely recommend this recipe to anyone who likes any kind of "stuffing" and is trying to watch their calories.

Stuffed Zucchini
4 medium zucchini halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely minced onions
3 Tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup eggbeater (or 3 eggs)
1/2 cup diced tomato
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
2-3 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon italian bread crumbs

1. Scoop out inside of zucchini.

2. Chop scooped zucchini into bits and cook in oil with onions and garlic until onions are soft.

3. Combine sautéed ingredients with tomatoes cheese, herbs, eggs, salt and pepper.

4. Fill each zucchini with mixture and dust with breadcrumbs and some extra cheese.

5. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes in a lightly oiled glass baking dish.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

This post isn't really a recipe, it's basically just giving an overview of spaghetti squash and how you can use it in place of noodles. All you do is take the spaghetti squash, a sharp knife, and make several slits all over it. Place it on a baking sheet and bake it in the over on 375 for 1 hour. After it comes out slice it down the middle (lengthwise) and scoop out the pulp/seeds. Take a fork and scrap the sides, this is going to be your "noodles." I served ours with organic spaghetti sauce and it was pretty good. The noodles almost have a slight crunch to them, but they're a good alternative if you're trying to watch the calories or the carbs.
After coming out of the oven

After scooping out the pulp but before scraping the sides

The "noodles"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Country Fried Butternut Squash

On my way to the grocery story yesterday, my husband called me and asked me to pick up spaghetti squash. He wanted to substituted it for regular noodles in spaghetti that night. I had no idea what that squash looked like except that it was bigger than the normal yellow kind. Since it's fall there were about a million different squash to choose from! I searched and searched and finally found a sign that said "Spaghetti Squash." It was a little bigger than a cantaloupe, heavy, and almost looked like a green pumpkin. Once I got home I starting looking up ways to cook it and guess what? The spaghetti squash in the pictures looked nothing like the one I had bought! I went and looked at the squash again and saw a tiny sticker that said "butternut squash." Great! I only had a little over an hour until dinner and I have to figure out what to do with this new, huge squash. I found a few recipes that showed how to fry it up and a pan so I decided I would do that, except putting my own twist on it.

First I had to peel it....easier said than done! It has ridges like a pumpkin and was kind of hard to hold. Took about 20 minutes but I finally got that little bugger peeled! Next was to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and then slice it relatively thin. Again.....easier said than done! This kind of squash was so hard! It looks like a sweet potato on the inside, but much harder to work with. It took me about 25 minutes to slice it (I'm not even kidding!). Finally it was time to coat it, bread it, and fry it. Since this squash was so big there was a lot to fry. I used the biggest skillet I had, but it still took about 40 minutes to do it all.

After finally finishing, I can honestly say it was super yummy! My husband and I both thought it tasted like sweet potato fries....and they were even better dipping them in ketchup! I liked this recipe, but it was a lot of wrist is still sore. I might stick to using regular sweet potatoes because they're easier to work with and would use a lot less oil, plus you just bake them (therefore a lot less work!). I liked the flavor of the butternut squash so I'll just try it with another recipe next time....maybe a soup.

*I did not measure the salt, pepper, garlic salt, or onion powder, but I did have to keep adding more so that it would not taste bland, I used a good bit. Taste test your first batch and add more if you think it needs it.
*You will have to keep adding olive oil after each batch.

Country Fried Butternut Squash 
1 large butternut squash - peeled, seeded and sliced
1/4 cup egg beaters (or 1 large egg)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
ground black pepper
garlic salt
onion powder
extra virgin olive oil for frying

1.Combine eggbeaters and milk together in a small bowl, mix well.

2.In a second bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. Dip squash slices first in the egg mixture, then dredge the squash in the dry mixture.

3. Drizzle olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Fry squash until golden brown.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Breaded Baked Flounder

I've never been a big fish eater, so I had to find a fish recipe that I could actually enjoy eating. At Kroger I found individually packaged wild-caught flounder fillets and decided to give them a try. I brushed each side of the fillet with extra virgin olive oil (or you can do egg beaters) and coated them with italian bread crumbs. I baked them @ 425 for 18-20 minutes and they turned out great! They look and taste just like fried fish. You can use basically any kind of fish fillet with this recipe, but I picked flounder to minimize the "fishy" taste.
Breaded Baked Flounder
Flounder fillets
Italian bread crumbs
Extra virgin olive oil

Defrost fish and lightly coat each side with olive oil. Dip each side in bread crumbs and place on baking sheet. Bake @ 425 for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.