Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spicy Honey Chicken

hot sauce of choice
Chicken breasts or tenders
Teriyaki marinade (or soy sauce, ginger powder, and garlic powder)
Honey (always try for local)

1. Place the chicken in a baking pan and preheat oven to 425.
2. Spread a little honey in the top of each piece of chicken.
3. Add marinade to the pan (just enough to come partway up the side of the chicken, but not covering it)
4. Splash a little (or a lot!) of hot sauce on the tops of the chicken.
5. Bake until the tops look golden. Remove from oven and drain most of the sauce from the pan.
6. Flip the chicken over and return to oven for about 10 minutes, or until that side is golden.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mac &Cheese

While I don't suggest eating this every night (or even every week) if you are health conscious, this is a healthier way to make a traditional favorite. You can also cook up some chicken breasts and add them into the completed mixture for some complete proteins.
brown rice noodles
12 oz fat free American cheese
Frozen peas, broccoli, and spinach
1/4 cup fat free milk
1 1/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
2 tbls cornstarch

1. Over low heat, whisk the cornstarch and milk together until smooth. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2. Add the cheese and yogurt and stir over low heat until the cheese is melted. (you can add some garlic at this point for additional flavor)
3. Add the vegetables and stir until the mixture is heated through.
4. Remove from heat and add the drained pasta to the mixture.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Easy Spaghetti

This recipe makes a quick dinner that is full of healthy things-- just remember portion control! If you have the time to make your own sauce, even better. Most of the time, I wind up with a jarred sauce because I just don't have the time. You can still choose a healthier one.
Spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup sliced mushroom
1/2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 package ground turkey
2 cloves garlic
Italian seasoning
Poultry seasoning
1 can olives (sliced or whole)
1/2 package noodles (try quinoa or brown rice noodles)

1. Brown the turkey in a large skillet.
2. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic, olives, and seasonings to taste.
3. Once the vegetables are cooked through, add the sauce (you can rinse the jar with a little red wine and add it to the mixture).
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, boil the noodles according to the package directions.
6. Serve with the noodles beneath the meat mixture. If you desire, grate fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

My husband gets full credit for this delicious and healthy meal. He took over making dinner tonight because I didn't feel well and created this out if what we had in the kitchen.

2 sweet potatoes
1 bag of frozen vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
7 chicken tenders

1. Wash and cut the sweet potatoes into chunks. Steam until soft.
2. Meanwhile, broil the chicken tenders with garlic seasoning.
3. Cook the vegetables in the microwave and transfer to an oven safe dish.
4. Add the sweet potatoes and soup to the vegetables.
5. Cut the chicken into bite- sized pieces and add to the mixture.
6. Mix thoroughly and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Optional: You can make this a bit more like a shepherds pie by adding a biscuit topping before baking.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mexican Taco/Burrito Meat

Tonight I fell back on an easy favorite of mine: Mexican food. This isn't so much of a specific recipe as it is general things that I have done. This is a healthy meal if made correctly.

The Meat
1. Brown lean ground turkey in a large skillet (I prefer 93/7 or 99). Drain fat off of the meat (with 99 you'll think there isn't anything there, but try drainingt anyways. You might be surprised).
2. Add chopped onion, mushroom, and a little dribble of salsa to taste (tonight I added a can of low sodium black beans to the meat, though I normally add them straight to the burrito/taco/salad).
3. Sprinkle in cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. I like to add a lot of garlic powder because garlic is pretty good for you. Well, and I just really like garlic. These seasonings should be added to taste, meaning however much you prefer. DO NOT add salt as your body really doesn't need any more sodium than it gets through your food as it is.
4. Keep on medium heat until everything is thoroughly mixed and hot.

Putting it together
Some nights I like a burrito, some nights I like a quesadilla, and some nights I even like a salad. Whatever your preference is, keep your additions healthy. Here are mine:
1. Low sodium canned corn or defrosted frozen corn (frozen is healthier). Only one spoonful.
2. A 1/4 of an avocado. Avocados have vitamins and healthy fats and are a good addition to your diet.
3. Light or fat-free sour cream (do not use original sour cream as there are lots of calories and fat).
4. Black beans (if you did not add them into the meat) or black refried beans. Black refried beans have better nutritional facts than regular refried. I like to use vegetarian, as well, because the original style has pork fat added. You can also use dried black beans instead of canned which will remove the sodium aspect as well as remove any potential BPA absorption from the can.
5. 2% shredded Mexican Cheese blend. You can shred your own, but I like to buy it in pre-shredded bags because it's easier and quicker.
6. Salsa or fresh tomatoes. If you choose salsa, make sure to review the nutrition facts on the jar prior to buying. Fresh tomatoes are a healthier option.
7. Black olives.

I always use La Tortilla Factory hand-made white corn tortillas. They are a bit smaller than flour or whole wheat tortillas which means that I put less on/in them. I find that the bigger the tortilla, the more I stuff it full of tasty things, but I also tend to eat beyond my "full" point.

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a recipe that I originally got from my older sister. It is another quick, easy, healthy meal. I like this soup because it tastes delicious and I can make it without hassle after a long day at work.

In a soup pot, brown some boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders on medium heat (the amount is up to you, but I normally use 6 tenders or 3 breasts). Once the chicken has browned, cut it up into bite-sized pieces and return them to the pot. Add some chopped red onion, sliced mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until the onion and garlic are beginning to brown (you may want to add a splash of low-sodium chicken broth at this stage to help keep everything from sticking). Add a can of low-sodium black beans, a can of low-sodium red kidney beans, a can of no salt added corn, a can of large black olives, and a can of Mexican style chopped or diced tomatoes. Add low-sodium chicken broth until your desired level of solids to liquids is achieved. Dash in your desired amount of cayenne pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. Cook until all ingredients are heated through, 10-15 minutes. Serve with La Tortilla Factory hand-made white corn tortillas, toasted and a light sprinkling of 2% shredded Mexican-style cheese (I skip this when I pack it for work because the cheese sticks to the tupperware). When available, I add 1/4 of sliced avocado on top.

As a side note, my husband just saw me typing this up and said, "Mexican tortilla soup? Yummy!"

Crispy Parmesan Chicken

Tonight, I tried out a new recipe and was pleasantly rewarded. As originally written, this recipe calls for the turkey to be dipped in egg and was 329 calories per cutlet. Because I don't like dipping in egg, I took this step out. I also changed the ingredients from what were originally in the Redbook recipe.

1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Several dashes of Italian seasoning
4 turkey breast cutlets

1. Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning in a pie pan or other shallow dish with a wide opening.
2. If your cutlets aren't thin to begin with, pound them to about an 1/8 of an inch thick.
3. Press the breadcrumb mixture onto both sides of the cutlets.
4. Brown the cutlets (about 4 minutes on each side) over medium heat.
5. Transfer cutlets to a baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with remaining breadcrumb mix.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

I served this with a green salad and whole wheat noodles, both topped with fresh grated Parmesan.