Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chicken Likes to Play Dress Up

Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken. It's a lean mean you eat a lot if you try to eat healthy. It can get boring if you're only making chicken the same ways every time. It likes to play dress up! The possibilities are endless. Challenge yourself to not cook chicken the same way for a month or even 3!

Coconut Chicken
3 (5 oz) chicken breasts cut into 3 tenders (9 tenders)
6 tbsp shredded coconut
1/4 cup crushed puffed wheat cereal crumbs (can also use panko or bread crumbs
2 tbsp crushed bran flake crumbs (can use cornflakes)
1/3 cup egg substitute or egg whites
salt, pepper, chicken magic
olive oil spray

Mix together crushed puffed wheat, bran flakes, and coconut. Season chicken. Dip each tender in egg and then in coconut mixture. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Lightly spray the rack and place tenders on the cooling rack. You can place them directly on the baking sheet, but I find when you are looking for a crispy texture using the cooling rack works better. Lightly spray the tenders with olive oil cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until cooking through, turning once. 

I mixed together honey mustard and spicy brown mustard for a yummy dipping sauce. It's only 8 points for 3 tenders. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Well, a lighter "fake" version, but supper yummy! And only 3 points per piece.

4 (5-6oz) chicken breasts
24 deli thin slices of ham
6 wedges of lite Laughing Cow swiss cheese
Chicken Magic
Cooking spray

Slice each chicken breast into 3 thin cutlets, which gives you 12 pieces. They should look like the second picture here. My recipe is adapted from this one, do not exact. Mine is less points and less work! And everyone loved it.

Season each side of chicken with chicken magic (or salt and pepper if you prefer). Places two slices of ham on chicken and smear have of a wedge of the cheese on top. Roll the chicken and secure with toothpicks. See third picture of that blog's recipe for example. If you wanted to do breading at this point you could, but I didn't. It would increase the point value.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish and place chicken seam down. Lightly spray each roll up and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Low Fat Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb chicken - 15 pts
olive oil cooking spray
1 onion
1 tbsp lime juice
chicken Magic
salt and pepper
8 low-carb tortillas - 16 pts
1 1/2 cups low fat cheese - 12 pts
1/4 cup Brummel and Brown low fat yogurt buttery spread stuff - 4 pts.
1/4 cup flour - 4 pts
15 oz of chicken broth
1 cup ff sour cream - 4 pts
1 can green chilies

Total = 55 points divided by 8 enchiladas = 7 points per enchilada (big and stuffed enchiladas!)

Liberally spray pan with cooking spray. Chop and saute chicken and chopped onion. Sprinkle chicken and onion mixture with chicken magic seasoning, salt, pepper, and cumin (I eye ball it, just liberally coat the top of the mixture with each, if I had to guess I'd say start with 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp of chicken magic, 1/8 tsp of cumin). Once chicken is mostly cooked, add about 1-2 tbsp of lime juice (again, I eyeball it, but it's to taste really. Lime is the secret ingredient than makes Mexican dished taste Mexican).

Allow mixture to cool enough to touch it. Divide mixture into 8 equal parts. It's usually a heavy 1/4 cup.  Sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese (3/4 cup divided) inside each enchilada. Roll the chicken mixture and cheese in each tortilla. Place them seam side down in a 9 x 13 sprayed baking dish.

Let 1/4 cup of the low fat buttery spread melt in a a sauce pan. Add 1/4 cup of flower to melted butter and wisk until smooth (making a roux). Add chicken brown and wisk until smooth. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of fat free sour cream and 1 can of green chillies. Pour sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese and bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until sauce at edges is bubbly and cheese is melted.

These make HUGE enchiladas. One really is enough. If you're really hungry 2 will for sure fill you and 14 points for two is not bad either for that much food. I'd suggest 1 with a veggie side or even brown rice. You can lighten it even more with fat free cheese instead of reduced fat, but it was too rubbery for me! I also tried making the sauce with just chicken stock instead of flour and water and I do not recommended that!

A Catch Up Involving No Ketchup!

A. I'm so behind! I have so so so many recipes to share. So in order to catch up, I'm strictly going to post recipe after recipe for a bit, no fluffy commentary. But don't you worry! Fluffy commentary will be back. 

B. I have nothing against ketchup, I quite like it actually. I'm just currently stuck on mustard. It's 0 points and super yummy! Currently in my fridge you can find 5 different kinds!  1. Regular Yellow Mustard 2. Spicy Brown Mustard 3. Southwest Mustard 4. Honey Mustard 5. Dijonaise Mustard. 

Okay, down to business! I'm gonna post a few of my new favorite things here that have become staples for me! I'll try to group recipes in categories for the next few posts so it's not a huge overload in one post. 

My new favorite way to make Iced Coffee! It keeps longer because it's cold brewed and it's sooo worth the effort (which isn't much). I made a double batch and let it cold brew in a mason jar. I set my strainer over a bowl and lined it with two coffee filters. Strain once, rinse out jar, rinse out the strainer, pour bowl coffee back into jar, set up strainer with two more coffee filters, and strain again. I pour it right back in the jar and kept it that way. To sweeten mine I'm a BIG fan of Splenda sweetened coffee syrups. I plan to collect them all, but only have the sugar free caramel right now. I also tried coffee ice cubes! Take 1 part cold brewed coffee concentrate and 1 part water and freeze in ice trays! No more watered down coffee.

I made my favorite pot roast recipe found in a  previous post again this week. It never fails to be amazing! And good news for Weight Watchers, the only points you count are for the roast! I used some left over roast to make a super yummy roast beef sandwich! Toasted the bread, spread some spicy brown mustard, piled on 4 oz of roast beef, topped with green onions and a little blue cheese. I dipped it in some of the left over juice. So good!  

Spiced Carrots! My new favorite side. Carrots are, of course, 0 points on Weight Watchers. I used to love making "candied" carrots with brown sugar and cinnamon and butter. Well now... I make a just as yummy substitute! I have used frozen crinkle carrots and fresh baby carrots, both work well. I just put the carrots in a pan with some water, not enough to cover them completely, cover them about half way. Then I spray about 20 sprays of Parkay 0 Calorie butter spray. When they start to cooked down I liberally sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and a few packets of Splenda on them. The perfect side to any meal and 0 points!

My other favorite side that is a staple, particularly when I  cook for my RAs (they always request them!) is Italian Green beans. I buy the steam in the bag whole green beans and cook them per package instructions in the microwave. Once finished, I put them in a heated pan and pour fat free Italian dressing all over them. For 1 bag I'd use about 1/4 of the bottle. Cook them for a bit until the dressing starts to bubble and the liquid decreases. Very flavorful and about 1 point per serving. 

Some other fun staple Weight Watcher friendly products I'm a fan of: 

1. Brummel and Brown Natural Yogurt Spread. It's only 1 point per tbsp! I sat in the grocery store and measured all the different ones. It's definitely the lowest and really yummy! Great to substitute for butter or margarine in recipes. 

2. Fat Free Cool Whip: Walmart does not have a generic brand but Kroger does! 

3. Strawberries with melted semi sweet chocolate chips. Such a satisfying dessert fix! Strawberries are 0 points and 1 tbsp of chocolate chips are 2 points. 

4. Cottage Cheese: Okay, so I THOUGHT I didn't like cottage cheese, but decided to give it another try. I LOVE IT! I love it with pears and peaches, BUT I love it in savory ways too. I love it on my salads! 1/4 cup of fat free cottage cheese is just 1 point. I've also tried it on baked potatoes, which is also super yummy! Cheap and you get in one of your dairy servings for the day. 

5. Sugar free pudding and jello: I always keep a made up batch of sugar free pudding of some flavor and sugar free jello mixed with no sugar added can fruit in my fridge. The sugar free pudding is just 2 points per serving. I also often make them into a mousse if it's the right flavor. The sugar free lemon makes a yummy mousse mixed with fat free cool whip. They have so many flavors! Pistachio, lemon, vanialla, french vanilla, chocolate, cheesecake, etc! Sugar free jello is 0 points! The fruit is 0 also. I like to add fruit because it stretches it and makes it more exciting. My favorite combos are orange jello with pineapples, lime jello with fruit cocktail, and strawberry jello with peaches. 

6. Mandolin: Okay, not a food item, but a life saver! I discovered that if I wash, slice, and store all of my produce when I get it home from the store, it lasts longer! I don't know if it actually lasts longer or if I just eat it quicker, but whatever the case, it works! Makes preparing a salad or packing a lunch so quick and easy. Last weeks selections were green onions, cantaloupe, apples,  strawberries, and cucumbers. Also had grape tomatoes washed and read in the fridge. 

7. Good tupperware: Again, not food, but vital! It makes storing your produce fun, keeps everything fresh, and makes for easy portion controlled lunches and snacks. I discovered a secret to making the BIG cheaper bag of lettuce from Sam's last longer. Buy it it's own big tupperware. Wet and wring out paper towels to line the tupperware with, place lettuce in tupperware, cover with more damp paper towels. My super big bag of romaine (for $2.98 at Sam's) lasts completely through my two week grocery period. I LOVE my new tupperware. Got it from Sam's for $19.98. It's a 50 piece rubbermaid set with the locking lids! The lids actually lock to the bottom of the container.

And I leave you with a picture of my OCD organized refrigerator. That's the big lettuce container guy on the bottom. 1.5 gallon.