Italian Chicken Stir-Fry

No need to order take-out tonight. If you think you don’t have time to make a home cooked meal, you are wrong. This meal comes together in less than 30 minutes, with only a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Plus you control what you put into this meal, thus controlling the fat and calories. Serve it with a salad and breadsticks and you have a big dinner.

The original recipe came from my mom. This is something she would make when my dad was gone fishing (he really doesn’t care for it). This isn’t a traditional stir-fry; I thinly sliced the chicken and stir-fried it in order to speed up the cooking time. I have also used rotisserie chicken, which you can pick up in the hot case at your local grocery store. We were out of pasta, so being “oh so resourceful” I used the pasta from a box of Velveeta Shells & Cheese and now the mystery cheese sauce packet is laying in my cupboard (what am I going to do with that?).

This recipe is easy to personalize. Use whatever pasta shape you have on hand. Don’t like chicken? Try turkey or tuna. Use fire-roasted tomatoes; my mom prefers Rotel over regular diced tomatoes. Food is meant to be enjoyed!

ITALIAN CHICKEN STIR-FRY
1-1 1/2 lb chicken breast (I used boneless, skinless)
1 T Vegetable oil
2 c pasta
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, juice drained
4 T Lite Italian salad dressing

Cook your pasta til al dente. Thinly slice chicken breast. Heat oil in wok over high heat. Quickly sti-fry chicken until no longer pink. Once chicken is cooked thoroughly, add tomatoes, pasta and salad dressing. Cook for 3-5 minutes so flavors combine.

Plate your pasta, and top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Biggest Loser Blueberry Pancakes

How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I’ve heard this statement countless times, and I know it to be true; but I still found myself skipping breakfast. Not any more. I make sure to eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Starting the day with a healthy meal helps curb my cravings for non nutritious food throughout the day.

My sister is a super fan of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. She recently purchased The Biggest Loser Cookbook. Check out Amazon, they have tons of Biggest Loser goods. My sister sent me a recipe for better for you blueberry cakes. I omitted the blueberries because I did not have any on hand, the pancakes were still delicious and very filling. I made my pancakes into two 1/4 c cakes instead of four 1/8 c cakes. Two scrambled eggs, half an orange and a glass of V8 juice made a delicious breakfast with less than 350 calories.

BIGGEST LOSER BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

1/2 c reduced fat buttermilk
1/2 c whole grain oat flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! 0 calorie spray
1/2 c fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries

Makes 2 (4 pancake) servings

In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, flour, egg white, baking soda, vanilla and salt. Whisk just until blended. Stir in the blueberries. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is hot enough for a spritz of water to sizzle on it. Briefly remove the pan from the heat to mist lightly with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! spray. Return the pan to the heat. Pour the batter in 1/8 cup dollops onto the skillet to form 4 pancakes. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the tops and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until browned on the bottom. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes total.

Serve immediately with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray and syrup if desired (syrup is additional calories.. I used sugar free low calorie syrup.. just 35 calories per 1/4 cup which is plenty!)

If you only want to make 1 serving at the time, the batter will keep in your refrigerator for up to 3 days

Per serving: 140 calories, 8 g protein, 20g carbohydrates, 3 g fat (less than 1 g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 687 mg sodium

Better For You Food

Lately my lovely husband and I have been trying to eat much healthier. Which, unfortunately, has killed my desire to cook; thus explaining my lack of posts. I love to cook, I love to read about cooking, I love to read cookbooks, and watch TV about cooking. Cooking and eating make me happy, because I get to do it for and with the people I love. I am trying to find happiness in cooking healthier, but like the saying goes, “it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.” Now I am not an old dog, its just that I’ve been cooking for a good ten years or so not giving a single thought to the caloric content of my food. All that was important to me was if the food tasted good and if the people I was serving enjoyed it.

I have found a calorie counter, which allows you to analyze the nutritional value of your recipe. I use this tool as a guideline, it is not completely accurate, but it was the best I could find. Let me know if there is a more accurate tool out there! Hopefully I will be posting several recipes that will be better for you. The nutritional data will not be available with all the recipes, but I will tell you if I think the recipe is better for you.

If you need a midmorning or mid afternoon pick me up, a great snack is a Fiber One bar. With 140-150 calories and 35% of your daily fiber requirement it is a great snack. Oats & Caramel is my favorite flavor, the great caramel flavor tastes like you are cheating. CQ Products has a 100 calorie snack cookbook for a very reasonable price. Make your own snacks for far cheaper than you could buy those snack packs you see at your local market.

*Disclaimer* I am NOT a registered dietitian or nutritionist. I am a regular person who is trying to eat a little healthier. ALWAYS consult your doctor before starting any diet.

I made this turkey burger recipe last night, but did not take any photos, I thought I already had photos saved on my computer. A quick search of my food folder this morning proved me wrong. Sorry there are no photos of this tasty burger. Trust me the appearance of the burger can not capture it’s tastiness. This burger is so moist and delicious, you won’t miss the higher calorie red meat cousin.

TURKEY BURGER

1 lb low fat ground turkey
2-4 celery ribs, chopped finely
1/2 medium sized onion, minced
1 tsp poultry seasoning (I used ground sage)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, add olive oil, celery, and onion to pan. Sautee until vegetables are tender. Remove from pan and cool slightly. Once vegetables are cooled add to ground turkey. Mix well. Form into four patties. In a nonstick skillet, cook your burgers over medium-medium high heat 3-4 minutes on each side. The burgers are done once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

Serving suggestion: Place burger on a whole wheat bun smeared with lite mayo, top burger with a slice of Muenster cheese.