Archive | January, 2014

Easy Microwave popcorn

27 Jan

This is not a recipe, as much as it is a quick tip for making quick, cheap, low calorie microwave popcorn… How can you go wrong!? Simple.

– 1 brown paper bag
– 3 tbsp popcorn kernels

-seasoning of your choice

Directions

1. Put kernels into bag.

2. Fold too of bag and crease. Should close but not be too tight.

3. Microwave 2 min, or until pops are 2 sec apart.

Season with low calorie spray butter and sea salt, or your favorite seasonings.

1 bag= 140 calories

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Chicken Fried Rice

25 Jan

My husband is a fried rice aficionado. He orders it every.single.time we go to any Asian restaurant. He says this was just as good as most restaurants. I thought it was pretty good too. I hope you like it.

Ingredients:

– 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast (chopped into 1/2 in cubes)
– 1/2 cup chopped onion
– 1 tbsp. canola oil
– 1 cup diced mushrooms (sliced, and then chopped up)
– 1/3 cup frozen peas
– 5 cups (2 1/2 bags cook in bag) Cooked, white rice. Cold
– 6 tbsp. soy sauce
– 1 egg scrambled

 

VF: Omit chicken and add chopped broccoli and water chestnuts to make this vegetarian friendly!

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook onions and chicken until chicken is cooked through.

2. Add mushrooms to the mixture, and stir until mushrooms are cooked. Add Peas and stir.

3. Once peas are warmed, add rice and scrambled egg. Cook about 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly so egg can mix in and cook. Add soy sauce, and mix thoroughly.

Editors Note: I’ve tried other fried rice recipes, and they never were quite right. The trick is that the rice has to be cold. Day-old rice works the best. I just make it the night before. I highly recommend this.

4 Servings- 546 Calories per serving

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Lower Calorie Breakfast Casserole

14 Jan

I’ve tried the full fat version of this, and then I took that recipe and turned it into the low calorie version below. I actually prefer the low calorie version, and although it’s a little more calories than I’d eat at breakfast, you could either have a smaller portion, or a lighter lunch. I, on the other hand, like to make breakfast for dinner…so this works out great for us.

Ingredients:

– 8 reduced fat pilsbury crescent rolls
– 12 oz (1 roll) reduced fat breakfast sausage- Jimmy Dean
– 1 cup 2% cheddar cheese
– 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella
– 2 cups egg beaters (1 small carton)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp oregano

Directions:

1. Brown sausage in a skillet.

2. Roll crescent rolls out across the bottom of a 13X9 pan, sprayed with nonstick spray. (see photo)

3. Spread sausage evenly across crescent layer, and spread cheeses over sausage.

4. Mix egg beaters, salt, and oregano. Pour evenly over the top of the casserole.

5. Cover with foil, and bake.

ceramic pan: bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake 10-15 minutes, or until middle of casserole is springy, and bounces back when you touch it.

Glass pan: cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 min. uncover and continue baking additional 15-20 min.

Note, I’ve made this several times, and the cooking time has been a little different each time. Keep an eye on it to be safe.

Editors Note: Try adding some mushroom, tomato, onion, spinach, etc for something different.

6 Servings= 370 Calories per serving (appx 10 ww points plus)
8 Servings= 277 Calories per serving (appx 7 ww points plus)

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Oven Fried Chicken

14 Jan

I’m not really a “fried chicken” girl, but I am a southern girl, so this recipe caught my interest. I have to say that given my options, I’d choose white meat over dark any day of the week. However, these smaller pieces cook faster than a chicken breast, and I did not have time to experiment with the timing, this time around. If I get around to trying this with breasts at some point, I’ll make updates to the recipe accordingly. For now, enjoy your fried legs and thighs. I thought they were pretty good. Adapted from a recipe found in “taste of home.”

Ingredients

– 1/2 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
– 1/2 cup white cornmeal
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
– 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1/2 cup buttermilk
– 4 chicken legs, and 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed
– 1 tbsp melted butter, salted

Directions:

1. Combine Breadcrumbs, Cornmeal, Parmesan Cheese and remaining spices in a freezer size ziplock bag.

2. Pour buttermilk into a small dish. 3 pieces of chicken at a time, cover pieces in buttermilk, then add them to the bag of coating. Shake until all 3 pieces are fully coated.

3. Place chicken pieces into a 13×9 pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

4. Bake at 375 for 15 mintues. After 15 minutes, remove pan and drizzle chicken with melted butter. Return to oven.

5. Continue baking an additional 30-40 minutes or until done. Check internal temp with a meat thermometer. Chicken is done at 180 degrees.

6. You could stop here, but I wanted some more color, so I left under the broiler a few minutes to achieve a nicer brown. Just personal preference.

4 Servings. 1 Serving= 1 leg, 1 thigh

350 Calories per serving

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100 calorie dr pepper float

13 Jan

So this totally is not a recipe. Just a great way to satisfy a not-great-for-you craving. They make these 10 calorie sodas in many flavored, including root beer if you’re into that kind of thing. They are much better to me, than a true “diet” soda.

100 calorie coke float:

– 1 scoop double churn, 100 calorie ice cream
-1/2 cup 10 calorie soda of your choice

I’m not posting directions here 🙂 I have faith you all know what to do! Enjoy.

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Parmesan Tilapia

10 Jan

Ingredients:
– 4 tilapia fillets (3-4 oz each)
– 1/3 cup Shredded parmesan cheese*
– 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese*
– 1 tsp itlalian herbs
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
– salt to taste

* I chose to use a mix of both parmesan cheeses (the shredded kind and the powdery kind) because I have them both on hand, and I like the combination of textures in this. You could sub 2/3 of a cup of whatever you have on hand, if you don’t want to purchase both types.

Directions:

1. Mix cheeses, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, and red peppers in a shallow dish.
2. Lightly press each fillet into the mixture, on both sides. Press just hard enough to make it stick to the fish, which should be slightly wet.
3. Line your fillets in a 9×13 pan, sprayed with nonstick spray.
4. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes, until done.

Cooks Confession: I hate the smell of fresh fish cooking in my house. I just can’t do it. So, I prefer to use frozen tilapia fillets, which I believe turned out pretty awesome, and were much less expensive. If you go this route, thaw the fillets before cooking. I also regularly use frozen mahi mahi fillets, which are also good. check out my blackened mahi recipe here.

4 Servings. 1 Serving= 150 Calories

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Jambalaya

8 Jan

So, I originally forgot to take a picture of this one, but i have great friends who take my word and try my recipes without photo evidence that theyre good. this picture is courtesy of my friend Robin, who, incidentally, loved the recipe!

My daughter is already asking when I’m going to make this again. Was great leftovers too.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cubed into about 1/2 in x 1/2 in.
– 12 oz of turkey smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch slices.
– 1 can of beef broth (14 oz appx)
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 ribs of celery, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
– 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained (14 oz appx)
– 1/3 cup tomato paste
– 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
– 1 tbsp. dried parsley
– 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
– 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp pepper
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 12 oz cookied shrimp, peeled and deveined
– 2 1/2 cups of cooked rice

Directions:

1. Place everything above, starting with chicken, and ending with oregano, into your crockpot. If you have a textural issue with somewhat crunchy onions… throw those into the microwave for 25 seconds in a bowl before adding them.

2. Cook on low 6-8 hours, stirring periodically.

3. Cook rice according to package.

4. 15 min prior to serving, stir in cooked rice and shrimp. When it’s all stirred up, cover, and allow to cook remaining 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 healthy sized portions= 345 Calories per serving

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