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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

When I saw this recipe (slightly adapted) on Debbi Does Dinner I knew I absolutely had to try it! Casey and I love anything Buffalo chicken. These wraps were soooo good! This would be great to make for a crowd during a football game and just have people assemble their own wraps. If I was making this for guests, I would probably use regular whole wheat tortillas. The low carb ones tend to be flimsy and fall apart easier. Great if you are on a diet but not so great for guests. I know there are also some other low-cal wrap options but I can only find the low carb ones at my grocery store!

Other yummy Buffalo chicken recipes: Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers, Light Buffalo Chicken Fingers, Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

3/4 cup Frank's wing sauce
3/4 cup reduced-calorie blue cheese dressing
1 pound chicken breast, skinless, boneless, raw
Romaine lettuce
6 low carb whole wheat tortillas
6 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles
Frank's Red Hot sauce

Place the chicken in a crockpot and cover with wing sauce and blue cheese dressing. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, shred chicken with two forks and continue cooking for another 1-2 hours.

Assemble wraps with lettuce and chicken mixture. Top each with 1 tbsp blue cheese crumbles and additional hot sauce, if desired.

Servings: 6
Points: 7


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe Revisit: Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

This recipe was one of my first blog posts! Of course, that means, quite dismal pictures. My first blog posts were before I had my nice DSLR and before I knew squat about picture taking. I have slowly been going back and re-making those recipes and updating the old posts.

When my friend, Amanda, came over for dinner we thought this would be the perfect meal for a crisp fall night. This is a delicious and comforting meal and a very filling 8 weight watcher points. See the original post (with updated pictures) and recipe here.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

This is a great all-in-one low calorie breakfast dish. It turned out a tiny bit dry but we remedied  that by loading it up with hot sauce (salsa would be another great choice). Next time I might try adding some chopped tomatoes to give it a little more juice.

3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, 12 ounces
4 medium scallions, sliced
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese, small-curd
2/3 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp poultry seasoning, or ground sage
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
6 slices bacon, reduced fat

Place the oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a 1 1⁄2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.

Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until nearly crisp, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and scallions; continue cooking and stirring until tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Beat together the eggs and egg whites in a large bowl until blended. Beat in the cottage cheese, 1⁄3 cup of the cheddar cheese, the Parmesan cheese, flour, poultry seasoning or sage, baking powder, salt, and pepper until combined. Stir in the cooled potato mixture and spread evenly into the baking dish. Bake until golden and set in the center, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1⁄3 cup cheddar cheese. Let stand until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes, and serve hot or warm.

This works well re-heated too!

Servings: 6
Points: 5


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This was a great chicken recipe. Goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes are a favorite combo of mine so I knew this would be fabulous! Serve with veggies and rice for a great healthy meal. Although this is a "light" recipe it tastes hearty and filling and the sauce is superb. Slightly adapted from Weight Watchers. As an alternative to stuffing, I chose to pound out the chicken fillets, spread the filling on one side of the chicken and then rolled them up and secure with toothpicks.

1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup wine, dry, white
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp canned tomato paste
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, without oil, minced
3 oz soft-type goat cheese
2 tsp thyme, chopped

In a small bowl, stir together sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and thyme.

Using a sharp paring knife, cut a horizontal slit through the thickest part of each chicken breast, creating a pocket. Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Stuff each chicken breast with 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray and warm over high heat. Add chicken and brown well. Remove and set aside.

Add white wine to pan and boil until almost all evaporated.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons chicken broth until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture, remaining chicken broth and tomato paste into white wine.

Return chicken breasts to pan. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Baste occasionally with sauce.

Servings: 4
Points: 5


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Indian Spiced Cilantro Dip

This is a great one point snack! Eat it with raw veggies or toasted pita or naan bread. I think I may try a hummus dip based off of this recipe too. The consistency of this dip is looser than that of hummus so I think the addition of chickpeas could be good. I will experiment and post my results if it works out well!

2 cups cilantro, fresh, chopped (plus extra for garnish if desired)
1 1/2 cups nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
1 cup mint leaves, fresh, chopped (plus extra for garnish if desired)
1/4 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
3 Tbsp red onion, diced
1 tsp ginger root, fresh, grated
1 tsp curry powder, Madras variety
3/4 tsp table salt

Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until well-mixed.

Transfer to a serving bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Yields about 1/4 cup per serving.

Servings: 8
Points: 1


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baby Kaellyn

I had so much fun shooting with Baby Kaellyn. Not only did I get to catch up with an old friend (check out her awesome blog on becoming a mom, Blue-Haired Blonde) but I got to meet her sweet and adorable baby. Check out that hair and those baby blues!

I will be launching my photography website in the next few months and am currently working on building my portfolio. Please contact me if you are in the DC area and would like a photography session at discounted pricing!



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicken Breasts with Caper Sauce

Another great healthy recipe from Weight Watchers. This chicken was super flavorful and the sauce is reminiscent of gravy although much better for you! Serve it with rice and veggies for a great low-cal meal!

So far I have lost 8 pounds with 4 more to go! The only downside is that they just decreased my daily points value based on my new weight. Good thing for activity points! I'd love to hear any weight loss tips or healthy ideas you might have in the comments.

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp Sherry vinegar
4 large garlic cloves
1/8 tsp peppercorn
1 leaf bay leaf
10 oz uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, 2 halves
1/4 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp capers, drained
1 tsp butter, softened
1 tsp all-purpose flour
Directions:Bring the broth, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf, to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 3/4 cup and the garlic is very tender, 8–9 minutes. Discard the peppercorns and bay leaf; puree the garlic mixture in a blender.

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Add the garlic mixture and capers; partially cover and cook, turning the chicken, until heated through, 2–3 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, mix the butter and flour in a small custard cup to form a paste. Stir it into the sauce until blended and smooth. Simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Yields 1 chicken breast half and 1/3 cup sauce per serving.

Servings: 2
Points: 5

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Cheap Find

When I mentioned that I wanted the floor mirror from West Elm to match our bedroom furniture, my friend Kelly told me that Ikea had a great knock off. So, the other day we were at Ikea and I saw that it looked just like the one at West Elm and bought it. It matches our West Elm bedroom furniture perfectly, too. Score!



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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baked Turkey Chimichangas

I love Mexican food but it is typically high in fat and doesn't agree with my diet. However, Weight Watchers has some great dishes that satisfy my Mexican cravings.  I slightly adapted this one by upping the turkey amount from 1/2 pound to 1 pound for one extra point per serving. I also added in some chopped onions and chopped Serrano peppers with the chilis and beans for some extra flavor and heat.

I especially love this recipe because the leftovers can be wrapped individually and frozen for a quick meal on the run, or a great lunch option. Smother leftovers with enchilada sauce and extra cheese (goat cheese is amazing on these) and reheat. Ortega enchilada sauce is 0 points for 1/4 cup, but don't forget to add in extra points if you are using extra cheese on top.

2 sprays cooking spray
1 pound lean ground turkey
16 oz fat-free canned refried beans
1 3/4 cups salsa
4 1/2 oz canned diced green chili peppers, drained
1 tsp chili powder
3 Tbsp scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
8 large burrito-size wheat flour tortillas
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 13- X 9- X 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Add turkey to skillet and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain any excess liquid from pan and then add beans, 1 3/4 cups of salsa, chili peppers, chili powder and scallions. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes; stir in cheese.

Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in foil; warm in oven for 10 minutes.

Assemble chimichangas by spooning about 1/2 cup of turkey mixture onto each tortilla; fold in sides and roll up.

Place chimichangas, seam-side down, in prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until tortillas are crisp and browned, about 20 minutes. Serve each topped with 2 tablespoons of salsa and 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Top with fresh salsa and cilantro, if desired.

Servings: 8
Points Plus: 7
Calories: 411.8


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps

When I saw these on Me, Myself, and Pie I knew I had to try them! These are an easy (no bake) chocolaty treat that are full of flavor but won't wreck your diet. They satisfy any chocolate craving in a pinch. Rachel used a mix of semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, but since I love dark chocolate, I used semi-sweet and bittersweet. So good! You can try any different combos of chocolate, fruit and nuts.

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups oven-toasted rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cover a large baking sheet with wax paper.

Place semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 45 seconds. Stir, and microwave an additional 45 seconds or until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Add cereal and remaining ingredients; stir quickly to combine. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet; chill 1 hour or until firm.

Yield: 36
Calories per crisp: 68
Points per crisp: 1

I only used 1 1/4 cups rice cereal because that was the serving size on the Rice Krispies box and therefore easier for me to calculate the WW points. However, I must have been way overzealous with my tablespoon measurements, because I ended up with only 24 crisps. This way, they worked out to 2 points each which is still fine by me!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake

I adapted this recipe from Weight Watchers and I really loved the results! Casey always complains when there is no meat in my meals but this was super hearty and filling! I enjoyed the leftovers night after night. I added sliced mushrooms to the recipe to give it even more volume, but you can omit those if you like.

2 sprays cooking spray
12 oz uncooked pasta, gemelli or other twisted pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/8 tsp table salt, for pasta cooking water
10 oz broccoli, small florets (about 2 1/2 cups)
8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 tsp butter
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 1/2 cups fat-free skim milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp-variety, divided 

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water according to package directions, adding broccoli and mushrooms to water 1-2 minutes before pasta will be done; drain pasta, broccoli and mushrooms and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until light golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer crumbs to a small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and set aside.

In same saucepan (wipe clean if necessary), whisk together milk and flour until blended; add onion. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup cheddar cheese, mustard, salt, pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Pour over cooked, drained pasta and broccoli; toss to mix and coat.

Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until bubbly at edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Divide into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Servings: 8
Points: 6


Linked to Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011: Meatless Meals

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sea Bass with Olive-Caper Sauce

This recipe from Weight Watchers was awesome! The sauce compliments the fish perfectly. Simple and easy to make and super healthy, I highly recommend this one. My grocery store was out of sea bass so I used flounder instead. This would work great with any white fish.

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup capers, chopped in brine, drained
8 medium olives, Kalamata, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 Tbsp basil, chopped
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 pounds sea bass fillets, cut into four pieces, about 3/4-inch thick
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp wine, white

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Combine 2 teaspoons olive oil, capers, olives, garlic, shallot, basil and rosemary; set aside. (Can be made a day ahead of time).

Place fish in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Pour white wine over fish. Bake 15 minutes. Turn fish over and continue baking until fish is flaky and opaque, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon sauce over top of each piece of fish. Serve with lemon wedges.

Servings: 4
Points: 5


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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sloppy Turkey Joes

I made these low-cal turkey joes last night and Casey loved them. I have never really been a huge fan of sloppy joes so I didn't know how they were supposed to taste but he said the flavors turned out similar to manwich. I adapted this recipe from Weight Watchers and added a lot of spice to give it a kick. This is a great quick and easy recipe!

1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup barbecue sauce (I like Stubb's Spicy BBQ Sauce)  
8 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 tsp chili pepper, or more to taste
Salt, to taste
4 hamburger type rolls, toasted

Brown the turkey in a pan until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Add onion, peppers, and garlic, and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add barbecue, tomato and worcestershire sauces, and remaining spices, stir to combine and heat over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve over toasted hamburger rolls.
Servings: 4
Points: 7

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C + C Marriage Factory: October 2010

C + C Marriage Factory