Friday, September 28, 2012

Pinterest: tried and tested

Instead of copying and pasting all the Pinterest recipes I've tried and liked I'm just going to post the links and a little blurby.

Balsamic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms - these were a really tasty side and made a nice change from soggy, boring greens.

Greek Zucchini Fritters - we've had these multiple times already and get 13 fritters out of the recipe. Stuart prefers them with salsa instead of tzitziki sauce. They'd also probably make a pretty tasty garden burger.

Stuffed Bell Peppers - I use this recipe as the base for stuffed peppers. Changes I make are using cooked rice, adding more seasonings and maybe a little pesto to the meat mixture, I make a red sauce or use Ragu and I don't remove it from the pan to thicken it. I don't always add cheese, and sometimes will add some tobasco... do whatever you fancy but be sure to season it up.

Paula Deen's  Mushroom Burgers - we ate this twice in one week it was so tasty.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grape Salad

It has been a long while since I last wrote a post for this blog.  So long I can’t even remember what the last thing was I made up though I think it was the Honey Chicken Enchilada modified recipe.  Well here is another low cal treat.  The original recipe I got from my Aunt, not sure where she got it from.  It’s Grape Salad.  She’ll make up a batch for barbeques and it is so good.  Takes a lot of self restraint to not eat the entire batch she makes in one sitting.  It’s a big hit with everyone in the family.  So I thought I’d take a shot at modifying it.  The original recipe follows:

8 oz Cream Cheese
8 oz Sour Cream
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
Brown Sugar
2 lbs. Grapes

So the grapes my aunt uses are red grapes typically.  I imagine any type of seedless grape can be used.  I stumbled upon this taste while eating breakfast one morning.  My wife and I have gone on this kick of Greek yogurt and granola in the morning.  We were out of Greek yogurt so I walked down to the store and picked up some.  It was a different brand from our usual plain vanilla so I had a taste of it.  It reminded me of the “sauce” of the grape salad. 

Using Philadelphia cream cheese it is 800 calories for 8oz, and if using Daisy sour cream it 1440 calories for 8 oz. Grand total for the sauce without including the rest of the recipe is 2240 calories. 

Now the reason I didn’t include the rest of the recipe is because I didn’t change the rest of that.  Instead I used 32 oz of Zoi Greek yogurt vanilla flavored.  32 oz of this yogurt is 880 calories.  That’s about two times fewer calories in the recipe using the Greek yogurt in place of the cream cheese and the sour cream.  When I made it though it was a bit too saucy for our liking so next time I’ll use only 16oz of the Greek yogurt which would be about four times as fewer calories for the recipe.  So here it is the modified recipe:

16 oz Zoi vanilla flavored Greek Yogurt (or your favorite brand)
Brown sugar
Sugar (about 4 tbsp)
1 tsp Vanilla
Brown sugar
2 lbs Grapes

Take the yogurt and put it in a large bowl. 
Mix in the sugar (not the brown) and the vanilla into the yogurt. 

(These amounts will depend on your yogurt choice.  You want the mix to be a little sweet and you want to be able to taste the vanilla.) 

Add the grapes and make sure everything is well coated. 
Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans. 
Let chill for about an hour.

I usually don’t wait for the mix to chill.  I like the texture of the yogurt brand I use.  The mix is a little thinner than if using the cream cheese mixture but the flavor and texture is very similar. This recipe makes sure you’ll make it through all of your grapes before they go bad.  And it really is tasty.  I wish I had some right now…

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grilled avocado with cheese and bacon

Original recipe from Morsels and Musings.

1 avocado
1 tablespoon of tobasco
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 rashers of bacon fried (streaky)
salt and pepper

Half and destone avocado
Stab avocado with a fork or cut criss crosses in it
Pour half a tablespoon of tobasco over each half of avocado
Pour lime juice over tobasco and avocado
Season with salt and pepper
Top with some cheese

Put avocado under broiler/grill for 2 minutes

Put rasher of bacon on top of grilled cheese, top with more cheese
Grill for 2 more minutes

Calories: 273

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Multi-Grain Bread

Here's a delish bread recipe, that incorporates some amazing ingredients. I'll go into more detail on some of them in later posts. This recipe is based on one I got from my big sis, but modified by yours truly to pack in even MORE goodness.

5 cups hard white wheat berries
1 cup oat groats
1/2 cup buckwheat
(Or just 6-8 cups flour. I use 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white)

2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp SAF instant yeast
2 tbsp amaranth
2 tbsp quinoi
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp millet
(amaranth through millet are optional)
1/3 cup coconut oil
(I use vegetable oil because I can't afford coconut)
1/3 cup raw honey

1 1/2 tbsp dough enhancer
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
(Dough enhancer and wheat gluten are SO IMPORTANT for chewy bread, especially if you're using wheat flour.)

Grind the wheat, oats, and buckwheat together to make a medium-coarse flour. Pour the water into your mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil, honey, and yeast. Mix in 3 cups of the flour you just made. Add remaining grains - the amaranth, quinoi, flax, chia, and millet. Mix well and let the mixture sponge for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Add your fresh flour, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture forms a soft dough that cleans the sides of your mixing bowl. Continue kneading dough for about 10 minutes to activate the gluten in the flour. (I always mix in my kitchenaid.) Divide dough into 3 equal portions and form into loaves. Grease 3 medium loaf pans with coconut oil. Place the loaves into the pans, and let raise to almost double. Bake at 350 for 27 minutes or until done. (I know 27 minutes is a weird number, but I find that 25 leaves it a little gooey and 30 minutes dries out the crust. Your oven may be different.)

You could certainly add different grains to this recipe. Spelt or kamut are good wheat substitutes for those who are gluten intolerant. You could also add some rye to your flour mixture to make a more tart bread. I have tried it with a little bulgar wheat added, and I really didn't like it. It changed the texture and flavor considerably, and not in a favorable way. Compared to the original recipe (which I will post later because it is also delish), you will find this bread to be a little less chewy and a little more moist, due to the oats in the flour. The buckwheat adds a little bit of a nutty flavor. The additional whole grains give a good multi-grain texture and add lots and lots of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins that you can't get in wheat alone. This bread also freezes well, so if your family only eats a loaf at a time, you can freeze your other two loaves to keep them "fresh" until you're ready to eat them.

Definition of terms:
Let the mixture sponge: This means you just leave it alone. It will thicken and the yeast will activate and it turns the dough into something that looks like a big sponge. This makes it so you don't have to let the dough raise twice.
Cleans the sides of your mixing bowl: That means the dough no longer sticks to the sides.  Also, when the dough is still too wet, it will kind of pool in the bottom of the bowl. so when it is lifting from the sides AND from the bottom, you have enough flour. I don't add a full cup at a time at this stage, because that's how I always add too much flour.

3 things she left out:
Start the dough using your regular mixing blade. Switch it to your dough hook when it becomes too hard for your machine to keep mixing.
As part of "cleans the sides of your mixing bowl," you are also watching for the dough to make arms. It will look like there is a little marshmallow person in your bowl with these dough arms flopping around.
You know the gluten has activated (gluten makes the bread chewy) when you can take a little gob of the dough and stretch it out and it stretches thin instead of breaking.

Personal Notes:
I make this using wheat flour that is pre-ground from the store. The kind you buy in bags is red wheat. It is harder to digest, so if you eat a ton of it you'll get diarrhea. That's why I half it with white flour. You can buy the white wheat at Winco in the bins. I haven't done this yet, because I have a ton of red wheat to get through first. The white wheat definitely tastes better, and fresh ground tastes better than pre-ground.

I'll try to post pictures or video of the stages next time I make it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork, Tangy Grilled Pineapple, and Cilantro Lime Rice (Copycat Chipotle Recipe)

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Serves: 10 (Yields about 3 oz. each serving)
Weight Watchers Points+ Plus:Old WW Points: 3
Calories: 171  Fat: 7 g  Cholesterol: 67 mg  Sodium: 744 mg  Carbohydrates: 0 g  Fiber: 2 g  Protein:  25 g

One pork tenderloin, about 2.5 pounds
1 Tbsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke (either Hickory or Mesquite flavors are fine)


Prepare pork tenderloin by placing on a clean cutting board. Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke holes all over the tenderloin. Rub salt over the tenderloin.

Place the tenderloin in a slow cooker/ CrockPot. Cook on low for 5-8 hours. (Mine always cooks in five hours, but CrockPots tend to vary in temperature.)

Remove pork from CrockPot, and allow to rest for five minutes. Using two forks, shred meat. Serve with a bit of your favorite BBQ sauce on top. Or add to your favorite buns for a yummy sandwich! (Adding BBQ sauce and/or buns may change "Points" values.)

Expect sexy results!

Tangy Grilled Pineapple

Serves: 8 (Yields about 1 spear per serving)
Weight Watchers Points+ Plus:Old WW Points: 1
Calories: 70  Fat: 2 g  Cholesterol: 0 mg  Sodium: 1 mg  Carbohydrates: 14 g  Fiber: 1 g  Protein:  .3 g

1 ripe pineapple, fresh (will make about 4 cups in volume)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey


Chop off leafy end of pineapple. Chop off bottom of pineapple. Standing pineapple up on a cutting board, slice off the outer skin of the pineapple, working from top to bottom. Slice pineapple in half, vertically. Slice each half into quarters, and then eighths. Slice out the hard core from each spear.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cinnamon, lime juice, olive oil, and honey. Place pineapple spears in bowl and toss to coat. Preheat grill on med-high. Place spears on grill, and allow to cook on each side for a few minutes. Using a brush, coat with remaining marinade every now and then. Turn once or twice more until cooked to your liking.

Expect sexy results!

Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

Serves: 16 (Yields about 1/2 cup each serving)
Weight Watchers Points+ Plus: Old WW Points: 1
Calories: 99  Fat: 0 g  Cholesterol: 0 mg  Sodium: 74 mg  Carbohydrates: 23 g  Fiber: 0 g  Protein:  2 g

2 cups, basmati rice, uncooked
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped


Pour water into pot, bring to a rolling boil. Add rice and let water return to boil. Cover tightly with a lid and reduce heat to low. Allow rice to simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove rice from heat, but do NOT open the lid. It's going to be tempting to peek, but this is the part of the steaming process where the rice gets really fluffy! Set timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove lid. Fluff with fork. Add salt and lime juice and toss with fork to combine. Add in cilantro last and toss again.

Expect sexy results! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Melinda's smoothie

7/8 cup water
1/8 cup unsweetened cranberry juice (yes, unsweetened)
1 cup berries (raspberry, strawberry, blueberries or blackberries)
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp flax oil
1 serving vanilla whey protein
Sweeten with stevia as needed

Mix in blender.

Variation1: Add 1 cup of spinach.
Variation 2: Replace the flax with Chia seeds.

I've been making this smoothie for years.  I love it.  I got it from the Fat Flush plan.  It is a very nutritious and well balanced meal.  It is super easy to prepare. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Banana Bran Muffins

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ cup sugar
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
¾ cup low-fat or fat-free milk
1 egg, beaten
2 cups bran flake cereal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and cereal. Let wet ingredients set for 5 minutes, then mix again to mash the cereal. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fill 12 greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

I used half wheat flour, half white. I added a couple chopped strawberries in half of them, and frozen blueberries in the other half. These are SO GOOD! They’re really chewy and sweet without tons of sugar. MFP says they are 82 calories each with 4 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber. I would love to have a couple of these for breakfast!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Almond Joy Oatmeal

I didn't take any pictures of my own meal, but here is the link to the page where I got it from:  Almond Joy Oatmeal from Cookin Cowgirl
(Image from Cookin Cowgirl's blog)

A couple of changes I made from the original recipe:

* I doubled the recipe to make enough for me, my husband and a little for our daughter.  (mostly straight up doubled it all).
* I didn't have unsweetened coconut shreds, so I used the sweetened stuff I had.
* I use Blue Diamond Almond Coconut Unsweetened milk (I cooked the oatmeal in this on my stove top for a couple of minutes).
* I only had milk chocolate chips, so I used those instead.

I plugged the recipe (as I made it - doubled and with the sweetened coconut and milk chocolate chips) into My Fitness Pal, and it is 760 calories for the whole batch, so right around 300 calories for how much I ate!

Almond Joy Oatmeal
     serves 2-3
1 C old fashioned oats
2 C unsweetened, coconut almond milk (I use Almond Breeze)
1/4 C shredded coconut
1 TB sliced almonds
2 TB milk chocolate chips
Pinch of salt

Prepare the oats according to your favorite method, stove top or microwave. Once cooked, stir in the coconut, almonds and salt and top with chocolate chips.

And it was DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

3/4   cup   all-purpose flour
3/4   cup   whole wheat flour
3   tablespoons   sugar
1 1/2   teaspoons   baking powder
1/2   teaspoon   baking soda
1/2   teaspoon   salt
1 1/2   cups   low-fat buttermilk (I used regular milk)
1   tablespoon   vegetable oil
1   large egg
1   large egg white
1 cup frozen blueberries

1 medium overripe banana, mashed

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Add frozen blueberries and mashed banana.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with syrup and butter.
  Makes 12 pancakes, serves 4.

I add the banana for sweetness and to keep the pancakes moist. They are moist and sweet enough that you don't need syrup. Without butted or syrup, 1 serving has 318 calories. They are SO filling. I especially love these, because they freeze really well. I make a double batch and then freeze them all in a big bag with parchment paper between them so they come apart easily. I also have a rubbermaid tub thing where I mix the dry ingredients ahead of time and then use 1 3/4 cup mix plus the wet ingredients. If you decide to make them without the fruit, they are 272 calories.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

                I’m a big fan of Sunday dinners.  They are always something a little different from the rest of the week.  Tonight was no different from except for the fact that a favorite recipe of mine needed to be tweaked to make it calorie friendly.   A friend of ours shared a really tasty enchilada recipe she found.  The link to the recipe is here.  A quick look at the recipe makes it seem not too bad on the calorie load.  That is until you count the calories.  A single enchilada, in a pan of 8, is around 430 calories.  That’s a large chunk especially if you are planning on having any sides.  So I tweaked the recipe a bit.  It serves 10 people the way I did it and each serving is 285 calories, but if you want it to serve 8 then each serving is about 356 calories.  The chicken and seasoning is the same from the other site.  I made it more like a lasagna with a layer of black beans and I only used about 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese.

  •          1 ½ pounds of chicken
  •          6 Tbsp Lime juice
  •          7 tbsp Honey
  •          1 ½ Tbsp Chili powder
  •          2 cans of Black Beans (12oz)
  •          1 can of diced tomatoes (12oz)
  •          1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  •          ¾ tsp garlic powder
  •          1 ½ cups cheese
  •          4 tbsp lite sour cream
  •          2 ½ flour tortillas (burrito size)
  •          1 large can of green enchilada sauce
  •          1 large onion

  1.         Boil chicken.  Once it is cooked all the way through shred it.
  2.         As you are cooking the chicken dice the onion and with a little bit of oil sauté the onion with the crushed garlic.
  3.         Once the onion is soft add the black beans and dice tomatoes.  And a dash of salt and a dash of chili powder.  Simmer until the beans are cooked.
  4.         Add the chili powder, 6 Tbsps of honey, garlic powder and lime juice to a large zip-loc bag.  Mix the spices well to make your marinade.  Once the marinade is ready add the chicken.  The original recipe says to let the chicken sit for 30 mins  I just make sure the chicken is well coated and go straight away.
  5.         In a 9x13 pan take enough of the enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. (a couple of tablespoons should do) then folding the tortillas in half cover the bottom of the pan (there may be gaps that is fine.  I used about 1 and ¼ tortillas per layer)
  6.         Add 1 tbsp of honey, 4 tbsps sour cream, a splash of lime and a dash of garlic powder to the remaining enchilada sauce in the can.  Mix well.
  7.         Layer half the beans, cheese, meat, and enchilada sauce. Put the remaining tortilla on top.  Layer the remaining half of beans, meat, enchilada sauce on top.  Top with the last half of cheese.
  8.         In a preheated oven at 350 degrees cook for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and browning.

We have a salad and some Spanish rice as sides.  The flavor is really good and the dish is fairly filling.  Until next time I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cloud Bread

Since starting on the calorie counting wagon in February one of the things that I've been most scared to eat much of is bread (seriously, anxiety accompanies when I think about having a sandwich!). It just has too many calories in it for me to want to waste my time with. Which is sad to me. I've probably had 4 slices of bread in the last month and a half. Maybe.

At only 43 calories each piece for this "cloud bread" how could I not try it?! The thought of having a sandwich was too good to let it pass. 
Cloud Bread
(link to recipe I used -
I really didn't make many changes, but my notes are in red :)
  • 3 eggs , separated
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk cottage cheese or 3 tablespoons cream cheese (I used cream cheese, can't go wring there)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (I didn't have any so I looked up substitutes and ended up using 1/2 tsp lemon juice.)
  • 1 (1 g) packet artificial sweetener (I used 2 tsp splenda)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Separate the eggs very carefully, there must be no yolk in the white.
  3. In one bowl, mix together the egg yolks, the 3 T. of Cottage Cheese OR Cream Cheese and the one packet of Sweetener until smooth. (I softened the cream cheese for about 30 seconds in the microwave)
  4. In the other bowl add 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar to the whites and beat the whites on high speed until they are fluffy and form nice peaks.
  5. Very carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites until mixed, but try and not break down the fluffiness of the egg whites too much.
  6. Spray two cookie sheets with Pam or other fat-free cooking spray.
  7. With a large spoon, "scoop" the mixture into 10 even rounds on the sheets (about the size of the top-half of the McDonalds hamburger bun; roughly 3/4 inch thick and 4 to 5 inches across).
  8. Bake on the middle rack. Here is when you have to watch them, because the cooking time the same on any two batches. It is somewhere around 1/2 hour, but it could be less or more. (Mine only cooked for 21 minutes)You just need to watch them until them become nice and golden brown (again, the color of a McDonalds bun).
  9. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack or cutting board.
  10. While warm they are crumbly and similar to cooked meringue - but don't let this fool you! Once completely cool, seal them in a ziplock storage baggie or a tupperware over night. They will totally change their consistency, to something much more like bread - a softer texture that is nice and chewy. If you do not like softer chewy bread, then eat them as they are, nice and crisp
     **I let them cool for about 10 minutes and then spread butter on one and ate it with my breakfast. I was actually pleasantly surprised and how good it was. Maybe it's because I haven't eaten bread in a while? I'm interested to see how the texture changes after they've sat for a while longer. They were so easy to make though, I think I'll be making them again.  I'm also already thinking of things to add to them, seasonings, chopped dried fruit, chocolate???, cheese, mmmm.
    I'm seeing how these store in the fridge, left in a ziplock on the counter they're pretty soft and a little sticky to deal with. Or maybe I just need to bake them longer next time.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

A yummy high fiber snack.

15oz can garbanzo beans
1 tbsp olive oil
Spice of your choice

Preheat oven to 400F.  Drain the garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse.  Shake and tap the strainer to remove excess water.  Poor the beans onto a paper towel and pat dry with another paper towel.  Place the beans on a baking tray and pour oil over the top.  Cover the beans with oil (use hand or spatula to mix).  Sprinkle with salt and seasoning.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy.


2 tbsp chia seeds
5 c water
1/4 lemon juice
stevia (optional)

Bring the water and chia seeds to a boil for a minute or two.  Remove heat and let it set uncovered until it cools.  Add the lemon juice and stevia. 

Variation: Add 1/4 cup of unsweetened cranberry juice and reduce the water by the same amount.  It makes a pretty pink version with just a few more calories per serving (only 20) and more vitamins and antioxidants.  (I always make mine this way but it isn't the traditional version)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goat Cheese and Artichoke Chicken Breasts

This recipe is recommended not only for diabetics, but also for anyone on a special gout diet. It is low in uric acid (too much of uric acid causes gout). Everytime my family comes to visit I make this and they just rave about it!__________________

Source: dLife Recipe
Baked chicken breasts stuffed with creamy goat cheese and artichokes, served with a lemon sauce.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Makes 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories 95.1
Total Carbs: 3.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Sugars: 0.3 g
Total Fat: 2.4 g
Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
Unsaturated Fat: 1.8 g
Potassium: 183.7 mg
Protein: 14.4 g
Sodium: 198.5 mg

Dietary Exchanges
1/4 Fat, 1/2 Vegetable, 2 Very Lean Meat

See the Detailed Nutritional Analysis

Note: One or more ingredients from this recipe are not included in the nutritional analysis above. Either the ingredient is missing from our database or is listed as "optional" in the recipe.

Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil , divided
6 oz frozen artichokes hearts , thawed and chopped
1 large shallots , 1/4 cup (peeled and chopped)
1 oz goat cheese , 1/4 cup (or crumbled feta)
1 tsp ground thyme , divided (or herbes de Provence)
1/4 tsp salt , divided
1/4 tsp black pepper , divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp cornstarch
1 oz chopped parsley (optional)
1 tsp fresh lemon peel , grated (optional)

1. In large skillet, over medium high, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add artichoke and shallots. Cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and let cool slightly. Mix in cheese, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
2.  Wash chicken breasts and pat dry. Slice horizontally to create pocket. Rub remaining salt and pepper evenly over front and back of each breast.
3.  Stuff 2 tablespoons artichoke mixture into each pocket.
4.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
5.  Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large skillet over medium high. Place chicken breasts in pan and cook for 6 minutes without moving them. Reduce heat to medium, flip chicken breasts and cook additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
6.  Remove breasts to oven-proof dish. Cook in oven 15 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165°F on meat thermometer.
7.  While chicken is baking, place pan back on stovetop, add chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon thyme and bring to boil. Deglaze pan by scraping brown bits from bottom. Stir until bits have dissolved.
8.  In small bowl, whisk lemon juice and cornstarch. Add to bubbling broth. Whisk continuously for 1 minute until sauce is thick.
9.  When chicken is baked, transfer to skillet along with any baking juices. Cover and cook on stovetop for 2 minutes.
10.  To serve, cut stuffed breasts in half. Place on dinner plates and top with sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated lemon zest, if desired.

Additional Information
Feta cheese or blue cheese can be substituted in stuffing mix.

Joycelyn's Tweaks:
  • I use feta cheese bc we like it the most.
  • I use regular onions instead of getting shallots.
  • When I didn't have enough lemon juice, I sub'd lime juice and it was just as amazing!
  • I have stainless steel pans so I decided to "grill" it on my non-stick counter grill. Worked just as well if not better. Afterwards, I scraped the grill of the leftovers into my pan to make the sauce.
  • Use a jar/can of marinated artichokes. Reserve the liquid and add it to your alfredo sauce for a pasta side dish. It makes the flavor amazing!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stuart's Homemade Alfredo

Let me start off by saying how much I love food. I eat food for all the wonderful flavors and textures. I’ll eat until I’m full and pack on another three helpings just because it tastes so good. Even after the meat sweats set in when dessert is offered, especially if it has peanut butter or a brownie involved. While we’re at it lets make it a la mode. My mouth is already watering and I just ate my dinner. The downside to watching what I am eating, and I mean the amounts not just what is on my plate as I shovel it in, is my love affair with food has been put on hold. It’s now more of a fling.

One of my favorite dishes is alfredo. I loved it so much I learned how to make it myself. I made it for my family too. It was a dish I made once or twice a year. Little did I know how many calories were in the sauce alone. The recipe I was using a serving of sauce (one cup) was 1270 calories. For a male my size that caloric count is around half of my daily calorie allowance to maintain my weight! I knew the sauce was calorie heavy but I only found out how much when I was getting ready to make it for dad. It’s the whipping cream and butter that gets you, both of which dwarf the amount of calories the parmesan cheese contributes. Using myfitnesspal app on my iPhone I’m currently allowed 1850 calories per day in order to make my weight goals.

This left me with only a few choices. I could work out like mad to offset the meal I was going to eat or I could find a way to make it a little lighter on the calorie side of things. The second option seemed the most prudent of the two as I add blackened chicken and shrimp to my alfredo. After talking with my lovely wife we both agreed that alfredo sauce is just a fancy form of mac and cheese I tweaked a recipe to see if it would work and it did. I had half a chicken breast and four shrimp on a bed of jasmine rice (one cup) with ½ cup of sauce and a salad with a raspberry vinaigrette. Grand total calorie count for the meal 530, the sauce alone was 187. It was tasty without all those extra calories and grams of fat. I do a lot of my cooking by taste but the following recipe sets you up to tweak the flavor of the sauce to your taste.

This will make six ½ cup servings.

• 4 Tbsp Butter
• 4 Tbsp flour
• 3 cups milk (I used 2%)
• 1 ½ tsp garlic (minced or crushed)
• ¾ cup of parmesan
• Salt
• Pepper

• Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat

• Add the flour to the butter and mix well

• Add the garlic to the flour and butter

• Keeping the heat low, let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes (I read somewhere this reduces the flour taste in the sauce) stirring occasionally. DON’T LET YOUR MIXTURE BURN!!!

• Slowly add the milk to the flour and butter whisking it until smooth.

• Bring the heat up to about medium and let the sauce thicken, stirring frequently

• Add the parmesan cheese to the sauce

• Stir until the cheese is melted, add salt and pepper

As I said before this recipe gets you to the point where you can tweak the seasonings to suit your taste, just keep track of any extra cheese you may add to the mix.

Georgina's butternut squash and chicken

Hello Girls, My recipe that I love that is full of goodness is as follows:
 1 x Butternut Squash
1 x 100g Broccoli
1 x Chicken Breast
1 x chilli
Feta cheese
Pine nuts

 Pre heat ur oven to too 200'c
roughly chop the butternut (with skin on) pop in a baking tray, dizzle some olive oil over that, and pop in the oven for 45 mins.

 Whilst that is in the oven mix together grated ginger and chopped chilli in a pestle and morter and once that's like a paste coat the chicken breast with it and pop it in the oven for 30 mins.

 Gently roast the pine nuts and when there is 10 mins left pop them, feta and some salt and pepper over the butternut squash.

 Blanch the broccoli and pop that in the over with the butternut 5 mins before the end.

 Dish up and enjoy!!!! It's delicious xxx