Showing posts with label light. Show all posts
Showing posts with label light. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spicy Chicken Fried Rice with Peanuts


Here's a tasty, quick, and figure friendly dinner. This Chicken Fried Rice has a tad bit of a kick to it, but it really isn't that spicy. The spice factor can be adjusted by putting more or less of the red pepper into the dish.

I found the recipe in a Cooking Light article, but it was created by guest contributor Ellie Krieger. I've heard a ton of great things about Ellie Krieger's low-cal foods, but this is the first time I've made one of her recipes. The dish turned out really delicious and I'm so glad I tried it.

The recipe calls for red peppers and would probably make the dish look twice as nice. However, we had two green peppers from the farmers market that I needed to use up, so in they went! Tasted fantastic. We'll make this again and again!


Spicy Chicken Fried Rice with Peanuts
(by Ellie Krieger)

1/4 cup less-sodium soy suace
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cup diced red bell pepper (about 2)
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
5 cups cold cooked brown rice
2 cups diced cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup chopped, unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stir well with a whisk.

2. Heat canola oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, diced onion, and 2 Tbsp. green onions to pan; stir-fry for 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add rice, chicken, and water chestnuts; stir-fry for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring gently. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 2 minutes, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons green onions and peanuts.

Makes 5 servings (each serving is about 1 and 3/4 cups rice mixture, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons green onions, and 1 Tbsp. peanuts).

Calories/serving: 482, Fat: 14.8g (sat 2.1g), Protein: 26.3g, Carbs: 61.8g, Fiber: 6.9g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Iron: 2.8mg, Sodium: 479mg, Calcium: 59mg

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TWD: Honey Wheat Cookies


Honey Wheat Cookies were the pick for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie. They're a simple little cookie with unusual ingredients - wheat germ, lemon, and honey. Very easy to put together and quite good, too!

The only other time I've baked with wheat germ was for the Granola Grabber cookies I made for TWD a while back. I pulled out that jar of wheat germ, only to find that it expired. But I'm happy to share my newfound knowledge - wheat germ can be frozen. So my new jar will NOT be going to waste! I also found a recipe for adding in wheat germ to oatmeal, so I'm planning to use up my wheat germ for that.


We've been enjoying these cookies. I wouldn't rate them as the best cookies I've ever had, though. I typically prefer chocolate or peanut butter in my cookies. But these are a great option for a healthier cookie and I love the honey and lemon combo. My 2-year-old son has been really enjoying these, and I haven't had to feel guilty when he chows down a couple of cookies in one sitting. They're healthy!

Many thanks to Michelle at Flourchild for selecting this week's recipe. If you'd like to make these, head on over to her blog to find out how.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Malaysian Chicken Pizza


Here's another great "light" recipe that I found in Cooking Light. And oh my word, this pizza is GOOD. Like, gotta have it again next week, good.

Be warned - Malaysian Chicken Pizza doesn't really taste like you're eating pizza. My husband took his first bite and said, "This is chinese food." And I said, "well sorta... but on pizza." And that's just how it tastes. It's so amazingly good. Take my word for it.

We usually have pizza night on Sundays. I'm not even sure how it came about, but somehow it's become our little weekly tradition. But with my diet, I figured it would be rather hard to keep pizza night going. Amazingly, it's just the opposite. I've found a lot of great low-cal pizza recipes out there. So far, this is my favorite. This one has about 295 calories per slice (1/6th of the pizza). And not only that, it's really quick and simple. This is a must-try!



Malaysian Chicken Pizza
(adapted from Cooking Light)

3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 storebought thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

3. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

4. Pour rice vinegar mixture into pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook mixture 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. (Mixture will be consistency of thick syrup.)

5. Sprinkle cheeses over prepared crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border, and top with chicken mixture. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes, checking often to make sure your crust isn't browning too much (crusts vary so read the instructions on the packaging). Sprinkle with green onions. Place pizza on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Healthy Green Chile-Chicken Casserole


This is a really delicious, and HEALTHY casserole that the whole family will love. With chicken, tortillas, green chiles, and low-fat cream of chicken soup, it's creamy and has a lot of great flavors. I'm currently trying to lose all of that stubborn baby weight and have been trying out a lot of new low calorie dishes. But I hate the typical diet food that doesn't have any flavor. This one far exceeded my expectations and was great!

This dish makes 12 large servings, with only about 330 calories in each one. And it can be prepared ahead - just cover with cooking spray-coated tin foil and refrigerate until needed. If you go that route, you'll need to bake it covered for an hour, then uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes until bubbly. And it makes for great leftovers!


Green Chile-Chicken Casserole
(from Cooking Light magazine)

1 and 1/3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fat-free sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted (such as Campbell's)
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

3. Spread 1 cup soup mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 6 tortillas over the soup mixture, and top with 1 cup chicken and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the cheese. Spread remaining soup mixture over cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

White Bean and Turkey Chili


We recently designated a day as our gardening and yardwork day. It ended up being a cool, gloomy and overcast day. But it worked out well that way - we got a lot done and didn't have to worry about the sun blazing down on us. And after our day of hard work, a bowl of chili really hit the spot.

I really enjoy classic chili, but I'm an even bigger fan of white chili. It's a lot lighter, but still makes you feel really warm and cozy inside. And it's so flavorful! This version I found in Cooking Light - it has only 285 calories per serving and it's really tasty. I love it! I think this might become a regular this fall and winter. And it's oh so cute with a little shredded cheese and onions sprinkled on top.


White Bean and Turkey Chili
(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 (15.8 oz.) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
2 lbs. ground turkey (or chicken)
1/2 cup diced seeded plum tomato (about 1)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. In a skillet, cook ground turkey over medium-high heat until browned. Drain any excess fat and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, saute 10 minutes or until tender and golden. Add chili powder, garlic, and cumin, saute for 2 minutes. Add oregano and beans; cook for 30 seconds. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes.

3. Place 2 cups of bean mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan. Add turkey, and cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Add diced tomato, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper, stirring well.

Makes 8 servings.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stovetop Sausage Mac And Cheese



You know those meals that just make you feel like a kid again? The ones that are rich and delicious and make you feel all warm and satisfied inside? This is one of those meals for me.

But here's the shocking part - it's light! It's not loaded with an astounding amount of calories! I couldn't believe it either the first time I took a bite, but it's true!

And not only is it light, it's a perfect weeknight meal, taking just about 15 or so minutes to get onto the table. We've had a lot of craziness and business at our house lately. But somewhere between planning for my son's first birthday party, my husband's traveling, a couple of our friends having babies that we just need to go visit and dote on - I can remain sane by making fast meals like this that actually taste good!

So here's how you make this just perfect. First, pick up some healthy chicken sausage from your grocer. And chop it all up into little bite-sized pieces and brown it up in a skillet. Here's what it looks like so you know what to get:


Then make a little roux of milk and flour and pour it into the pan with the sausage. Then, stir in reduced-fat cheddar cheese and cream cheese, and some Monterey Jack cheese, along with some spices. Lastly, stir in the pasta and it's done. Voila! Could it be any easier? This is so quick and easy, you'll never believe it.

Enjoy!


Stovetop Sausage Mac And Cheese
(from Cooking Light magazine)

4 oz. chicken and sun-dried tomato sausage, chopped
1 and 1/4 cups fat-free milk
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup (about 1 and 1/3 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (2 oz.) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
5 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 oz. uncooked pasta)

1. Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage; saute 4 minutes or until browned.

2. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cheeses, onion powder, and garlic salt; cook 3 minutes or until cheeses melt, stirring constantly. Stir in pasta. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chicken Enchilada Casserole


For the entire past two weeks I have been addicted to watching the Olympics. It seems like all of the good stuff is on late at night, and since my son is a stubborn early riser (5 a.m. - ouch!), I can never stay up long enough to watch it all. But thanks to the invention of DVR, I've been taping it all and watching it during the day while doing my normal things. With all of the fun of the Olympics, I've been getting lazy and resorting to a lot of one-dish fast and easy meals. But this casserole is way too delicious to write off as something just "thrown together."

This casserole is just plain awesome! I really like one-dish meals that are hearty and satisfying and good for any occasion. This casserole is comprised of layers of tortillas, beans, chicken, and cheesy goodness. It's all topped off with a salsa and cilantro mixture. I opted for some spicy salsa which gives it that extra kick, but you can go for mild if you're not a fan of the heat. And as a bonus, this makes for really great leftovers!

Look at this cheesy goodness...


Chicken Enchilada Casserole
(adapted from Cooking Light magazine)

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Dash of ground red pepper
2 (15.5-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
18 (6-inch) tortillas, divided
Cooking spray
2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (16-ounce) jar green salsa
10 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in beans; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chicken, 1/2 cup green onions; stir well.

2. Layer 6 tortillas on bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 6 tortillas.

3. Combine milk, chopped cilantro, and salsa in a blender, and process until smooth. Pour over top of tortillas. Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and remaining 1/2 cup green onions. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with sour cream.

Makes 10 servings. About 350 calories per serving.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chicken and Tomato Phyllo Pie

Last weekend we went up and visited the in-laws. Within just a few minutes of walking in the door, my husband's stepmother alerted me of a recipe that I just had to try (it's nice having a fellow cook in the family!). She pulled out a copy of Relish magazine and showed me the most gorgeous looking pizza made with phyllo dough. I told her that I had never cooked with phyllo dough, but this thing looked so awesome I knew I had to take on the challenge.

I made a few tad changes to the recipe, like adding the chicken. Unfortunately for me, if you ask my husband, a meal is not really a meal without some meat. So I find myself always adding in some meat even if a recipe is perfect the way it is. But I ended up really liking the addition of the chicken, and it made the pizza a little more hearty.

I was rather intimidated by the phyllo dough, but it really was a cinch. You can use any size phyllo dough that you want, just increase or decrease the cooking time depending on what you use. My grocery store had 9" by 14" sheets of dough, so we ended up with a little pizza that was perfect for the two of us. The finished results were so gorgeous and delicious.



Chicken and Tomato Phyllo Pie
(adapted from Relish magazine)

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 phyllo sheets
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3 medium red and/or orange tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced red onion
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine butter and garlic. Place 1 phyllo sheet on pan. Brush with butter mixture. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and butter mixture.

3. Sprinkle phyllo with mozzarella to within 2.5 inches of the edges, top with sliced tomatoes, chicken, and onion. Sprinkle with feta cheese and basil. Roll phyllo edges to form rim. Bake approximately 20 minutes, until phyllo is crisp and cheese is melted.

Serves 4-6

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Peanut-Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Salsa


I'm always looking for great low-calorie recipes, especially with fresh ingredients. This recipe jumped out at me from the pages of Cooking Light magazine. Not only is it healthy with only about 200 calories per serving, but it's quick and easy to prepare for a weeknight meal.

The pineapple salsa is just 3 great ingredients - pineapple, onion and cilantro. You can pick up a container of fresh pineapple chunks at the supermarket to save time instead of chopping up a whole pineapple. And the pineapple is so refreshing with the chicken - very tasty!

The recipe calls for chicken cutlets, and I actually used chicken breasts, since we had a ton in our freezer. I sliced each breast in half and then pounded them out to make them thinner. The breading for the chicken was super easy to make, and the peanuts give it a really nice flavor. This was great!


Peanut-Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
4 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1 and 1/2 tsp. canola oil
Cooking spray
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, tossing well.

2. Combine peanuts and bread slice in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken. Dredge chicken in the breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Serve chicken with pineapple mixture. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mediterranean Chicken Couscous

If you've never made couscous, now is your time to try! Couscous is made from something called semolina, which is the same ingredient that is found in pasta. It can be purchased right at your local grocery store, usually in the rice aisle. It's a great alternative to pasta or rice as a side dish. Or, like this recipe, you can make it as a main dish. And it's surprisingly easy to prepare. Try it, you'll like it!

This recipe is a favorite in our house because not only does it taste great, but it is unbelievably quick and easy. Expect it to take you only about 20 minutes to prepare. It's also healthy, with only about 200 calories per serving. The great thing is you can serve this cold on a hot summer day if you desire. I prefer warm because I love the cheese to be soft and the chicken to be warm. Use two large chicken breasts in this, or substitute a rotisserie chicken. Fresh basil, which the recipe calls for, works best. Or, you can substitute 4 teaspoons of dried basil.



Mediterranean Chicken Couscous
(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 1/4 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1 (5.6 oz.) package toasted pine nut couscous mix
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (about 2 large chicken breasts)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (4 oz.) package crumbled feta cheese
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Heat broth and seasoning packet from couscous in the microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes or until broth begins to boil. Place couscous in a large bowl, and stir in broth mixture. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

2. Fluff couscous with a fork; stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Squash, Ham and Mozzarella Crepes


This recipe is one I've been making in our house for a long time and I really love it. I believe it originated from Good Housekeeping magazine. No need to be intimidated by crepes - they are super easy and low calorie and can be filled with just about anything. Or, if you'd rather, you can substitute tortillas for the crepes. But the crepes are just too yummy to replace, in my opinion.

I used grape tomatoes this time instead of the plum tomatoes that the recipe calls for. With the tomato scare going on, I wanted to use something that I knew was safe. I just halved the grape tomatoes and they worked perfectly.

This recipe is healthy and light, just perfect for summer. It's also quick, taking only about 30 minutes from start to finish. Perfect for a fast weeknight meal. You've gotta try it!


Summer Squash, Ham, & Mozzarella Crepes

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 pound plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 zucchini (about 8 oz. each), each cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (4.5 oz.) refrigerated crepes (ten 7-inch crepes)
10 thin slices baked ham (about 6 oz.)
1.5 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (6 oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In non-stick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add tomatoes, zucchini, and red pepper; cover and cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in basil, ground pepper, and salt; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until all liquid evaporates. Reserve 1 cup zucchini mixture; keep warm.

3. Place crepes on work surface; top each with 1 ham slice, then about 1/3 cup zucchini mixture; sprinkle with mozzarella. Fold each crepe over to enclose filling. Place crepes, seam sides up, in two 13" by 9" baking pans. Bake crepes 6 minutes or until golden. Top with reserved zucchini mixture to serve.