Sunday, March 29, 2009

lemon mustard chicken

This sounded so good last night...I found the recipe in my Better Homes & Garden limited addition cook book. We ate it over lime & cilantro basmati rice.

~1 lb chicken breasts (I used 4 thin sliced)
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 tbsp. dijon-style mustard
~1 tbsp. lemon juice
~1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
~1 tsp. dried oregano or dried basil (I used 1/2 tsp. of each)
~1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray & place chicken on unheated rack of the broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for about 20 minutes; or until light brown (mine only took about 5 minutes on high, because I used thi n sliced chicken breasts) make sure you keep checking chicken so it doesn't burn!

Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together oil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon-pepper seasoning, oregano or basil, & red pepper. Brush mustard mixture onto chicken. Turn chicken, brush with remaining mixture. Broil for another 5-15 minutes (again mine cooked in about 5 minutes on the high broiler setting), or until chicken is no longer pink.

Serve over rice or angel hair pasta.

Friday, March 27, 2009

penne a la jen!

So...I have been seeing the PW recipe going around "penne a la betsey", and I really wanted to make it...but didnt have all the ingredients. I was gong to the Piston's game at the last minute, so I whipped this up for Chad before I left with a salad....OMG, this was SUPER good & easy!! I LOVE PASTA!!!!

~2 c. uncooked whole wheat penne
~1/4 c. low sodium chicken broth (add a little more if sauce becomes too thick)
~8 oz. fat free or 1/3 less fat cream cheese; cubed
~1 c. tomato sauce (I used Barilla spicy cabernet marinara)
~1 tsp. garlic; minced or jarred
~grated or shredded parmesan

Cook penne according to package.

Heat skillet over medium heat with chicken broth. Wait until the broth boils, and add the garlic (I used jarred b/c I was in a hurry!); cook aprox 2 minutes. Add cubed cream cheese and stir until melted & combined. Add tomato sauce, and cook until heated thru.

Add cooked penne to sauce, and toss for a few minutes until heated thru. Serve with shredded parmesan. Yummmm!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

8 week results!

I have been working out with a trainer for 8 weeks now. I workout with her a 1/2 hour 3x a week, just doing weight training. I do cardio right after on my own those 3 nights, and then I am in the gym 2-3 other nights doing cardio & abs on my own as well. I try to do Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat-Sunday routine.

Well I had my 8 week weigh-in this past Saturday, and I was pretty surprised to have lost 10% body fat in 8 weeks!! When I first started weight training 8 weeks ago I was at 32% body fat, and now I am at 22% body fat. Instead of being in the "below average" range for most my cardio, endurance, etc. I am now in the "fitness" range. Now I just have to concentrate on eating more healthy - I mean I eat what I like, and I dont deprive myself...but I don't eat very many veggies & healthy things. I like chicken, and salad but you won't be catching me eating fish & broccoli. I wish I had the taste for these foods, but I just never learned to like them.

I did notice that I have lost a lot of inches, but I haven't lost any weight - I have pretty much stayed the same. I have always been active & have worked out, but I would shy away from doing weights because I am not sure of the right excercises to do. So I have signed on for another 8 weeks with my trainer, and I am interested to find out my results in the next weigh-in!

Instead of walking into the gym and hoping on the eliptical machine for 45 minutes...I alternate from the Arc trainer (which is a little different from the eliptical machine), the Stairmaster aka "the beast" (the one with the actual revolving stairs), and running on the treadmill, and walking on an incline. I feel a lot stronger, and my butt is in it's place now...I really hope I can keep this up, afterall I am turning 30 this year!!! LOL!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

chicken in white wine herb sauce

This was healthy & really good!! I love having a rice & chicken dinner after the gym. I found this from a Martha Stewart recipe, while searching chicken w/ white wine sauce. I modified it because I used 3 large chicken breasts, instead of whole chickens. The basmati rice went perfect, and was great with the sauce ;)

Serves 3-4
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 whole (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I used 3 large boneless skinless)
~Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
~3 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
~2 tbsp. very finely chopped garlic
~1/2 c. dry white wine
~1 1/2 c. homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or broth
~2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
~3 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
~3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
~1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cook until skin golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. (I cooked about 4-5 minutes on each side) Turn chicken and transfer skillet to oven. Cook until chicken is cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a platter and set aside.

Place skillet over medium heat; add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 30 seconds. Add wine and stir to combine. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add chicken stock and cook until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chives, parsley, basil, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Return chicken to skillet. Using a spoon, coat chicken pieces with sauce. Serve immediately. I served over hot basmati rice, delicious!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

mmm chili mac

Yummm!! The name "Chili Mac" derived from my mom...I LOVE her homemade spaghetti sauce, and then she started making the sauce with little elbow macaroni & added cumin & chili powder. The sauce is thicker & could be eaten alone like chili...mmmmm, so good! I made this in the crockpot, super easy!

makes approx 4 servings

~1 lb. ground turkey or ground lean beef (I used ground turkey)
~1 pkg. McCormick chili seasoning mix
~1 garlic clove; minced
~1 small onion; chopped (if desired)
~1 large 24oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used one with italian seasonings)
~1 4oz. can of tomato sauce (add another if you want the sauce more thin)
~elbow macaroni (I used barilla plus)

Brown ground turkey in pan with chopped onion & garlic. Drain excess liquid, and add chili seasoning packet; mix well.

Coat crockpot with cooking spray & add ground turkey mixture. Pour sauce over top, and mix well. Cook on low for 4 hours or warm for 8 hours. I left mine on for 10 hours on warm. I just clicked it to low when I was making the macaroni.

Serve over macaroni;, enjoy;)

If you want more of a chili, add a can of beans or follow the directions on the back of the McCormick package.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

kung pao chicken

Yummmmy!! Kung Pao chicken is my favorite dish at PF Changs, so I have been trying to find a recipe just like it! This was SOOOO good, and it tasted just like it...and so much better because it is not deep fried! I put it over white basmati rice, and it was perfect! I will def be making this is regular dinner rotation! I found this recipe on the blog chef website.

I doubled the sauce recipe below, because I LOVE extra sauce to eat with my rice ;)

~1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts; cut into 1" pieces
~1 tbsp. cornstarch; for dredging
~2 tsp. sesame oil
~3 tbsp. chopped green onions
~3 garlic cloves; minced
~1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
~1/2 tsp. powdered ginger (I doubled)
~2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (I doubled)
~2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (I doubled)
~2 tsp. sugar (I doubled)
~1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Combine chicken & cornstarch in a small bowl & tosss to coat each piece.

Heat sesame oil in wok over med heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Romove chicken from wok to a platter.

Add chopped green onions & minced garlic to wok & stir fry about 15 seconds.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well & add the sauce to the wok. (It will thicken as it heats up).

Return chicken to wok & coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions; if desired serve over white rice. Enjoy ;)

salmon with almond crumb crust

I had to make Chad fish for Friday, and he loves salmon. I wanted to try a new way to bake it, and I also bought Panko bread crumbs to finally try out!! I found this recipe on CD Kitchen website. I also made a white wine butter sauce to go with the salmon & hot cooked white rice.

~3 tbsp. bread crumbs (I used Panko bread crumbs)
~2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
~1 tbsp. finely chopped almonds
~1 tsp. dried italian seasoning
~1 dash salt
~1/8 tsp. pepper
~1 egg white, for dredging
~1 1/2 pd. salmon fillets, cut into serving pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees & spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Dredge fish in egg white, then into combined bread crumbs, parsley, almonds & seasonings.

Bake 10-20 minutes until flakes with a fork. **I cooked it for 20 minutes, and Chad said he probably would have cooked it longer, for about 25 minutes** Again, I dont eat salmon so I have no idea how long it should cook for.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

cheesy chicken enchiladas

These were SOOO good! I love the archer farms brand at target! They have such yummy stuff, these wheat tortillas are the best & this recipe was on the back of the package. I also bought the lime cilantro rice to go with these. Last week I made some yummy vanilla bean shortbread for Chad to take to work from archer should def check their grocery aisle!!
Makes 4 servings, 2 enchiladas per serving

~1 tbsp. evoo
~1/2 c. chooped onion
~1 tbsp. chili powder
~3 c. chopped, cooked chicken (I used 4 thin sliced, boiled & shredded in food processor)
~1 (15 oz.) jar of salsa con queso dip
~8 wheat tortillas (I use archer farms, Target brand)
~1 (10 oz.) can of enchilada sauce
~1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2% milk taco cheese)

Heat oven to 375. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over med heat. Add onions & chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Reduce heat to low; stir in cooked chicken & 3/4 cup of con queso dip; cook until hot.

Spread remaining salsa con queso on bottom of baking dish. Spoon about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture (approx 2 1/2 tbsp.) down the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortilla; place seam-side down, in greased baking dish.

Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered, for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted & edges are bubbling.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

chicken + feta stuffed peppers

I have no idea why, but I was craving a stuffed peppers...never had one in my life! I had left over shredded chicken from last nights lasagna, so I wanted to incorporate it in tonights dish. I also LOVE feta so I googled 'feta stuffed peppers' and came up with these little guys. I modified the recipe to our tastes, and I found this on smitten kitchen; adapted from epicurious. These were TOTALLY AMAZING!!! I have left over stuffing for lunch tomorrow...YUM!!!! I think these would be perfect as a side dish to a meat, without the chicken inside the stuffing. Use more veggies if you want, the original recipe called for zucchini & squash. Enjoy ;)

~vegetable-oil cooking spray
~2 thin sliced chicken breasts (I boiled these, shredded them & placed in food processor)
~2 c. fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
~1 c. uncooked basmati or white rice
~2 large green or red bell peppers
~2 tsp olive oil
~1 garlic clove; minced
~1/2 c.chopped onion (I used red onion)
~1/2 tsp. salt (I omitted)
~1/2 tsp dried oregano
~1 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
~4 oz crumbled feta cheese (about 1 cup), I LOVE 'President' fat free sundried tomato & basil
~3 tablespoons tomato paste
~shredded paremesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the rice, cover the pan and cook according to package.
Cut the stems and top half inch off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in a baking dish and roast them for 20 minutes or so, until they soften, then remove them from the oven until the filling is ready.
Place shredded chicken or cubes in food processor & pulse until well combined.
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add garlic, onion, oregano, and salt (if desired). Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes, chicken & tomato paste. Using a fork, scrape the rice into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in the crumbled feta. Fill peppers with the rice mixture; top pepper with shredded parmesan. Bake 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

chicken lasagna rollups

I had no idea what to make for dinner tonight, but I had chicken thawing & I wanted to use the rest of the ricotta up...i love making room in the refrig!! So I got this recipe off of the CD Kitchen website. These were really good, they would of even been better if I had jarred pasta sauce with chunks of tomatoes...i only had cans of tomato sauce in the cupboard ;( I added basil to the tomato sauce & some garlic powder as well. I love that they only make 6 pieces, and not a HUGE pan of lasagna that we would have been eating for days ;)
~6 lasagna noodles, uncooked (I used healthy harvest wheat lasagna)
~2 thin sliced chicken breasts (I boiled chicken for 9 minutes over stove & shredded)
~1 c. Ricotta cheese
~1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (I used more like 1/2 cup)
~1 egg, lightly beaten
~1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
~2 c. spaghetti sauce
~1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cook noodles as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain well.

Mix chicken, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and seasoning; spread 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture onto each noodle. Roll up tightly; place, seam sides down, in 9-inch square baking dish.

Pour spaghetti sauce over roll-ups; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

mom's 50th bday!!

This past weekend my dad, sister and I threw my mom a surprise 50th birthday party. These are the invites that were designed by Amanda at "a day to remember" custom invites. I wanted to do a cupcake theme because my mom had seen this 'cupcake' cake at Christine's Cakes & Pastries she liked a month back. So Amanda designed the invite around red, pink, & turq...they turned out SOOO cute!! Thanks Amanda!! Now my mom has one to scrapbook ;)

I also ordered cupcakes & sugar cookies that matched the invitations!!!
Happy 50th mom!!!

balsamic chicken

I love balsamic vinegar & this sounded perfect!! I got this recipe off of senora espanola's website, so I can't take the credit. I served the chicken & sauce over hot cooked basmati white rice. It was delish!!

~1/2 cup chicken broth (I used reduced sodium)
~1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
~2 teaspoons honey
~1 tablespoon butter (I used light)
~1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used evoo)
~4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used thin sliced)
~1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted)
~1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
~1/4 cup all-purpose flour
~5 garlic cloves

Combine broth, vinegar, and honey in small bowl.

Pound chicken to 1/4-1/2 inch thick and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess flour.

Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until the butter turns golden brown. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Remove chicken from pan; keep warm in oven.

Add garlic, and sauté 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Serve sauce over chicken.

buffalo chicken 'crack' dip

I stole this fabulous recipe from shelly, loves to nom. Chad and I had it at a party & I immediately knew I had to make this very is SOOOO good!! I could of had this for dinner at my mom's party alone ;)

~16 oz . cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
~1 1/2 c. Frank's buffalo sauce
~1 c. Ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley light)
~4 c. cooked, shredded chicken (I used 4 thin sliced, and baked them for 40 minutes on 350 degrees in oven; then shredded with fork before placing in crock pot)
~1 c. shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese (I used colby & taco cheese)

Place all ingredients in a crock pot after baking & shredding chicken. Put on low for approx. 1 hour. I wish I would of had a smaller crock pot but it still worked out great! I ended up transferring all the dip to a serving does taste better kept warm though ;)

I also heard people boil the chicken breasts first & shred instead of baking.