Sunday, February 27, 2011

Triple Stuffed Chicken Breast

I just love it when a recipe just comes together perfectly. I thought for sure that this stuffed chicken would fall apart because I didn't have any twine left...and then I thought that all the filling would ooze out, or the chicken would be dry or somehow those lovely little wedges of cheese that I love oh so much wouldn't taste good melted inside the chicken. I was sooooo wrong! Everything worked out perfectly and I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. Bryan gave it two thumbs up and said "add it to my cookbook". He always says that when I make something he loves. He thinks that a husband should have their own "cookbook" that includes everything they love and then they can just request meals from their book. HAH! Did I mention that this "cookbook" has nothing to do with him cooking? Men are so funny.

Triple Stuffed Chicken Breast

The ingredients listed are for each chicken breast. Adjust your quantities accordingly. It isn't anything that you can really measure together since they are stuffed individually.

  • 4oz boneless skinless chicken breast (split and pounded)
  • 1 Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb wedge of cheese
  • 1 tablespoon roasted red pepper spread
  • a handful of baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup Panko seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
You want to start with a chicken breast that is about 4oz. If it is a large chicken breast cut it in half. Run a knife down the middle and "butterfly" the breast. You do not want to cut all the way through.

Place the chicken in a ziplock bag or between some plastic wrap and pound it so it thins out a little. You want to be able to roll the chicken around your filling. You want it about 1/4 inch thick.

Once the chicken is pounded spread the wedge of cheese on one side of the chicken.

Spoon on the roasted red pepper spread and then cover with the baby spinach.

Tightly roll the chicken around the filling. If you think it is too loose, roll it in some plastic wrap tightly and then stick it in the freezer for a few minutes to get it to hold together.

Brush one side with the mustard and then sprinkle with the bread crumbs, lightly pressing with your fingers to be sure they stick to the chicken. Place breaded side down on a baking sheet with a rack. This rack will keep the chicken from becoming soggy on the bottom! Now brush the other side with the mustard and press the bread crumbs on.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should be about 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.

I served it up with a blend of Texmati white, brown, wild and red rice. It was very good!! I followed the directions on the package except I replaced the water with low sodium chicken stock.

This chicken was amazing and it was only 285 calories.

We will definitely be having this again in the future!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Skinny Lasagna

The idea for this recipe came from my previous enchilada recipe. When I was eating dinner that night I distinctly remembered thinking that the tortillas really reminded me of pasta. There was just something about the texture that was freakishly "pasta-ish" (yes, I just made up a slew of words there!). I was on my own for dinner tonight. Bryan was working late and Isabella was growing increasingly terrified of my concoction when she saw all the veggies coming out of the fridge. I figured that even if this came out terrible I could always just make a sandwich! :)

I will start by saying that this was a huge hit and slight miss, all at the same time. I really LOVED the texture from the tortilla in place of pasta. I liked the layering of the veggies. Where did I miss the mark? Well, this was the first time I have ever used fat free ricotta cheese. I really was thrown off by that. Looking back I should have seasoned the ricotta with a little salt, pepper & parsley. I also would have skipped the eggplant and replaced it with a protein like ground turkey or even chicken. While I found this meal to be very good, I did miss the protein :( The base and general vibe of this recipe is spot on for me though and I fully intended to make it again. I was even thinking this could be good as a "caprese lasagna" using tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and the tortilla. It was a fast meal with tons of possibilities! Experiment with it!

  • 1 tortilla wrap (I used a La Tortilla Factory 100 calorie 98% fat free wrap)
  • 1/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Cabot 50% reduced fat shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 slices fresh tomatoes
  • 1 slice eggplant
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced white mushrooms
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (I actually used my toaster oven for this one!)

I used an oversized coffee cup/soup crock for this recipe. Cut out 4 circles of the tortilla with a cookie or biscuit cutter. You will want it to be close to the size of the cup you plan to use (maybe just a tad bit smaller if you plan to remove it from the dish before you eat).

Spread a small amount of the fire roasted tomatoes in the bottom of the dish.
This will prevent the tortilla from sticking to the bottom.

Now spread half of the ricotta cheese on your tortilla and put it on top of the tomatoes.

Coat a small non-stick pan with cooking spray and cook the spinach and mushrooms just until the spinach is wilted. Layer the spinach and mushrooms over the ricotta.

Cover with another layer of tortilla.

Use that same non-stick pan that you had wilted the spinach in and cook up that slice of eggplant a little. You just want to take the "snap" out of it. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray and give the eggplant a little sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook it on each side about 2-3 minutes.

Spread some more fire roasted tomatoes on the tortilla and cover it with the slice of eggplant.

Sprinkle on half of the shredded cheese (1/8 cup) on top of the eggplant.

Place another tortilla over the eggplant/cheese.

Cover with the two slices of fresh tomato.

Spoon on the remaining ricotta cheese.

Place the final tortilla and cover it with the remaining 1/8 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until it is heated through and the cheese is light golden brown.

I removed it from the dish with two serving spoons because I thought it looked nicer served on a plate!

Like I said, there is room for improvement here but all in all I was thrilled with this recipe!

The calorie count for this was only 228!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken and Biscuits

I had to reinvent another meal tonight. I've found it really easy to eat healthy meals, but the truth is that none of it is all that interesting when you have to limit your ingredients to things that won't expand your waistline. I have been hitting a bit of a road block lately. I was completely short on time tonight for dinner, so this meal takes help from the freezer, pantry and a pre-cooked chicken! My darling little teething baby has been in rare form over the last week and it has made things difficult around the say the least.

Chicken and Biscuits

  • 1 pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (1/2 cup diced chicken for each serving)
  • frozen stew vegetables (2/3 cup for each serving)
  • fat free chicken gravy (I used 1/4 cup for each serving)
  • Bisquick Healthy Heart (1/3 cup for each serving)
  • Egg white (1 egg white per serving)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
Preheat oven to 450 degrees

In a small bowl combine the Bisquick, egg white, water, garlic powder and parsley. Stir to combine.

(if you use the liquid egg whites, 1 egg white = 3 tablespoons of "all whites".

You can either drop this mixture with a spoon onto a baking sheet to make a nice big biscuit, or you can bake it in a dish of your choosing to create a better "shape". It will taste exactly the same no matter how you do it. I choose to use a round dish to create a more round shape for my biscuit. Spray the bottom with cooking spray to make removal easier. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the biscuit it cooked through (you can check the center with a toothpick if you need to).

While the biscuits are cooking, microwave your veggies (according to package instructions), chop up the chicken and heat up the gravy. I wasn't kidding when I said this was quick and I took short cuts!

(I added a little salt & pepper to my veggies before I popped them in the microwave)

Heat up your gravy...

When the biscuits are done, remove them from your baking dish and cut it in half. Arrange 2/3 cup veggies, 1/2 cup chicken and 1/4 cup gravy on each biscuit. Simple, fast, delicious and VERY filling!

This wasn't a "fancy" dinner, but sometimes I really just crave comfort food! Each serving totals up to only 321 calories! Not too shabby! Enjoy!