Category Archives: chicken

Good Chick Lollipops Part One

(Who else is currently singing in their head now?)

I’m having a slight dilemma with this next recipe. On the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program it puts a huge emphasis on eating more whole foods and less processed foods. I am all for this change and quite frankly really needed it! Not that I am unaware of the fact that I should/need to eat more fruits and veggies, and could have come to this conclusion on my own, but it was kind of a wake up call I guess you could say. I know I made some pretty silly decisions when it came to allocating my points. I own up to my stupidity. For example, if I wanted a quick 1 to 2 point snack, 9 out of 10 times I would reach 3 cups of air popped popcorn instead of an apple, or a  banana simply because they both held the same point value. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. Now, since starting the new Points Plus program (3 days ago) 9 out of 10 times I have reached for that ZERO point apple/pear/grapes/bananas/frozen blueberries. I have eaten so many fruits and vegetables in these last few days, and I feel fan-frackin-tastic! I have so much more energy, feel less groggy mid-day, less hungry, and all together (for lack of a better cliché) like a million bucks!

This next recipe: Good Chick Lollipops are some tasty sounding chicken strips breaded with Funyun’s onion flavored rings and fat-free sour cream & onion potato chips. One of the main things I love about Hungry-Girl is that she is able to come up with tasty treats that make you feel like your cheating on your diet, but calorie wise, you’re not at all! This recipe is 5 weight watchers points plus points. I’m not sure how I feel about this. This is why I need some opinions. It’s loaded with processed crappiness, unnecessary sodium and fat, and pretty much too much junk that I am trying to steer away from. Plus, if I have to buy a bag of both of these kind of chips (and only use a handful of each) I will be tempted to eat the leftovers.

Something I love about Weight Watchers is that you can treat yourself to the occasional non-diet food, and still stay within plan. Eating real food is important to me! If I get a craving and don’t cure it, I go slightly insane and then go on stupid buck wild eating binges. This is why Weight Watchers works for me. I need that happy medium! I know that I can make this recipe without feeling guilty, but I also don’t know if I should risk the temptations. Now I feel like I”m just rambling. I’ll stop now.

What do you think? Please discuss!

Leave a comment

Filed under chicken, hungry girl, weight watchers

Pizza-fied Chicken

Protein lovers rejoice, chicken replaces doughy carbohydrate loaded pizza dough/crust!

I love that 3 of these Hungry-Girl recipes now have revolved around pizza! Seriously, what more could a fat girl want than a pizza? Today’s recipe is a bit of stretch for being called a pizza, but it’s pizza-ish and completely de-lish. ( I apologize for the rhyming, I couldn’t help myself!)

THE RECIPE:

Pizza-fied Chicken

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 282 caloreis, 5.75g fat, 868 mg sodium, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 4.5g sugar, 44g protein

INGREDIENTS:

!/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 stick light string cheese

5 ounces boneless skinless lean chicken breast

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. salt, or more to taste (I went with more, haha)

1/8 tsp. black pepper, or more to taste

1/4 cup diced green bell pepper (I say: No more green peppers! I used a little yellow, it was what I already had!)

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (super thin is my suggestion)

2 tbls. diced onion

4 slices turkey pepperoni, chopped

1 tsp. reduced-fat parmesan-style grated topping (oops! I was so excited to eat this, I actually forgot to add the parmesan!)

Optional seasonings and toppings: crushed red pepper, oregano, basil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat broiler.

If you like, season crushed tomatoes to taste with salt, black pepper, and optional seasonings. Set aside.  (I chose not to do this step, for one I really like the taste of these tomatoes and two, I didn’t have any of the optional seasonings besides the salt and pepper. ha) Tear string cheese into shreds, roughly chop and set aside.

Chopped up pizza toppings.

Place chicken in a large sealable plastic bag and, removing as much air as possible, seal the bag. Carefully pound chicken through the bag with a meat mallet or a heavy can, (I chose a big can of soup, it seemed like the heaviest can I had) until it is uniformly about 1/2-inch thick. (one word of advice: don’t pound too hard! You will pound your chicken piece in half and have to start over. Not that I know this from experience, ha!) Evenly sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper. Set aside.

The chicken in front has not been pounded yet. This picture is to help you to see the difference.

Bring an oven-safe skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and onion and cook until softened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove veggies and set aside.

Remove skillet from heat, re-spray, and return to medium heat. Add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. (My skillet is not oven safe, so I chose to just use a preheated foil lined baking sheet to assemble my “pizzas” on and then broil)

The chicken in front especially, kind of actually looks like a mini pizza crust.

Top chicken with crushed tomatoes, string cheese, veggies and turkey pepperoni.

How cute! It really looks like a pizza right now!

Place skillet under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese softens and pepperoni becomes crisp. (I wish I would have put the pepperoni on the top, unfortunately it was under my veggies and didn’t get too crispy!)

I can imagine this picture being much more appealing to the eye if I would have stuck with the recipe and used green peppers. Regardless, how stinkin' adorable is this?

Plate your pizza-fied chicken and sprinkle with grated topping. If  you like, sprinkle with optional toppings. Enjoy!

A close up!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Pizza, no, new fun way to eat chicken, heck yes!

Mike’s first bite reaction: I like it! (Seriously, why do I even bother asking anymore?)

Difficulty: Probably one of the more labor intensive recipes so far. Lots of prep to be done before actually doing any cooking. Pounding out the chicken uses slightly more skill than usual. 5 being the hardest and 1 the easiest, I would have to give this a 3.5. Not quite super easy but not actually difficult. I’m really good at being in the middle. (I am a middle child after all, lol!)

Taste: The pepperoni got lost in there and I could have done without it. (could’ve been my own fault though for not putting it on top) Did it taste like pizza, not at all! Did I absolutely love it though? You bet! Mike said it reminded him of an ungreasy lower carb version of chicken parmesan. It sure beats doing the “same old same old” with chicken!

Texture: Chicken with some toppings. Nothing too much to report here.

Satisfaction: I served this with just a small serving of green beans, and I was full afterwards. I guess it did have almost a full serving of veggies sitting on top of it so, 5 stars for satisfaction. 🙂

Creativity: I get calling this pizza-fied, but honestly I was expecting more of a pizza taste and not just a pizza look! Thought this was so super-duper cute though! Tricked my brain that’s for sure! I would love to try this with pizza sauce or maybe some of those optional herbs I didn’t have!

What are your favorite pizza toppings? Think they’d be good on a chicken “crust”?

Leave a comment

Filed under cheese, chicken, dinner, pizza, snacks

Santa Fe Cheesy Chicken Stir-Fry

I’m not really sure what the difference between SouthWestern, Tex-Mex or Mexican food is; but whatever it may be, I am crazy about it! Love the distinct flavors of cumin, lime, beans, cilantro, etc. And because I am so fond of it, my cupboard is well stocked in the variety of spices that are needed to create it! Which made this recipe a breeze to put together (and super cheap too.)

THE RECIPE:

Santa Fe Cheesy Chicken Stir-Fry

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 256 calories, 2g fat, 693mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 3.25g fiber, 4.5g sugar, 38.5g protein

Can I get a “Woot! Woot!” for those spectacular protein stats! (I like protein!)

INGREDIENTS:

4 ounces raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, chopped

2 tbls. canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 tbls. chopped cilantro (ok, so I need to learn how to read. When I was at the store buying the ingredients for this I skimmed right past the cilantro part and didn’t buy any. Had to resort to the same cilantro “fix” as I did in the Thai Chicken wraps. 😦 )

1/2 tsp. lime juice

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2 dashes ground cumin

2 dashes black pepper

1/4 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup thinly sliced onion

1/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (I was a rebel and used a little red pepper and a little yellow pepper)

1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese (Couldn’t find fat-free shredded cheese at my local grocery store, so I went with reduced-fat shredded cheddar and added 1 weight watchers point to my daily log)

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, combine chicken, beans, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Mix well and set aside. (I’m assuming this step is going to help the chicken marinate a little and absorb some of the flavors)

The marination begins...................

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add corn, onion, and bell pepper. Stirring frequently, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until onion softens.

After having to endure a horrible massage by a sharp knife, the veggies take a plunge into a hot skillet hoping it would relieve them of the pain. Little did they know the massage was just the beginning of the torture they would have to face!

Add chicken mixture and, stirring occasionally , cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Alas, the veggies see their rescue team: Chicken and Black Beans (they're super heroes, didn't you know)

Add cheese and tomatoes and stir until cheese starts to melt. (approximately 10 seconds) Enjoy immediately! (I suggest waiting at least a minute or two until it’s cool enough to not burn the roof of your mouth…….ouch!)

And thus ends the "cheesy" tale of how I conquered the stir-fry from evil unwanted calories and fat!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Needs a little salt *adds a little salt* ah, perfect!

Mike’s first bite reaction: It’s good but it feels incomplete. (after grilling him on what it might be missing, we came to 2 conclusions: One being the missing cilantro and the second conclusion being a tortilla (stir-fry wrapped in one) or rice (stir-fry mixed with or sitting on top of)

I liked just as it was! I used to hate cilantro (now a days I don’t hate it as much, might even say I like it, but I never really miss it when it’s not there) As for it being wrapped up in a tortilla, hell yea! It would have made awesome burritos, but I didn’t think it actually needed it.

Satisfaction: Felt like something I could have gotten at a mexican restaurant but for only 5 weight watchers points. It hit that “spot” that makes you feel like your cheating even though you’re not! I was full but not stuffed and my brain was pleased as punch!

Difficulty: A friend asked if I could rate the difficulty of these recipes (Hi Amy! *waves at screen*) The whole thing took about 20-25 minutes (including stopping to take pictures) to prepare. The only difficult part was having the patience to cut the peppers and onions. For someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen I would rate this recipe as super easy. For someone who doesn’t do much cooking and has limited cooking skills I would probably say it was easy to moderate, but not complicated or hard at all!

Taste: Loving the southwestern food I thought this was supreme! It had all the right spices to feel like a mexican fiesta! I would definitely make this again and again! In all honesty, even though I love cheese, I would like to try it without it! The cheese was more of a background flavor and kind of competed with the cumin and chili powder as opposed to complimenting it. I was left wanting just a little bit more spice. (but just a little)

Texture: Being a simple chicken stir-fry, I loved the additional texture of the sweet corn popping in there mixed with the smooth texture of the chicken and beans.

Creativity: It has all the right components of a well-rounded meal. Not overly creative, not so “been there done that, I need something new” overall, I give this a 3 out of 5. Right smack in the middle.

Would Mike make it himself: Probably not. Would he eat it again if I made it: Absolutely! (Btw, the reason I always ask him those questions: he doesn’t do much cooking (even though he’s really good at it) he’s more of a sandwich and cereal “cook” so for him to like something enough to make on his own must be really good!)

So which to you prefer: Southwest, Tex-Mex or Mexican? And can you tell me the difference because sometimes it’s all the same!

Leave a comment

Filed under burrito, cheese, chicken, dinner, southwestern, tex-mex

Honey Mustard Pretzel-Coated Chicken Fingers

Today is FUN-DAY MONDAY! For those not in the “know” fun-day Monday is a day where Mike and I throw caution to the wind; we say screw our diets that we tried so hard to keep up on all week-long and pig the “you know what” out! Mike watches football, I watch my computer and/or video games and try my best to ignore football and eat pretty much what we want when we want! (yea, nobody said it was the healthiest “holiday”) It’s something we started doing a few years ago during football season only, (it obviously has not been so great on our waistlines) it gives us a little something to look forward to:  for me it’s to celebrate the end a work week and for Mike something to start the work week with. Yes, we’re kind of weird! Even though we’re both trying to stick with our diets (did I mention the two of us are having a competition, whoever loses 5% of their body weight first wins an awesome prize) we didn’t want to give up on FUN-DAY MONDAY! So, if anyone has been following along so anxiously in their cookbooks, the next recipe (a salad btw) in line is not the recipe I’ve decided to do today! This recipe just screamed (REALLY REALLY LOUD) FUN-DAY MONDAY!

THE RECIPE:

Honey Mustard Pretzel-Coated Chicken Fingers

PER SERVING: (entire recipe) 349 calories, 2.5g fat, 928mg sodium, 38g carbs, 1g fiber, 13.5g sugar, 37g protein

It’s 7 weight watcher points, and if it was any other day than monday I probably would have made the whole thing and shared it with Mike instead of doubling it like I did! 🙂 Besides I busted my ass today and earned myself 11 activity points, so I deserve it!

INGREDIENTS

3 tbls. honey mustard

2 tbls. fat-free liquid egg substitute

5 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into 4 strips

2 dashes salt

2 dashes black pepper

1 oz.  (about 10 twists) hard salted pretzels, finely crushed (so I think I bought the wrong kind of pretzels one ounce of the kind I bought was about 30)

2 tsp. granulated sugar (I wonder why she didn’t use splenda………..)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix honey mustard and egg substitute together in a small bowl. Season chicken strips with salt and pepper, and then submerge in the mustard-egg mixture. Set aside to marinate for at least 5 minutes. (I started writing this entry while they marinated and kind of lost track of time, I think it was about 15 minutes)

"All mixed up" (sung to the tune of Elvis' "All shook up")

These chicken strips got all dressed up in a pretty egg and honey mustard dressing for this special occasion.

Mix crusted pretzels with sugar and spread mixture out on a plate. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

An aerial view of the pretzels before they were blitzed in my magic bullet.

Thoroughly coat chicken strips with the pretzel-sugar mixture, and then transfer to the baking sheet. Discard excess mustard-egg mixture. (Duh!) Mist the tops of the strips with nonstick spray.

Don't look great even before they've been cooked? This is gonna be the longest 20 minutes ever!

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through baking, until chicken is cooked through.

Eat and enjoy!

Took this picture with the flash on my camera on, it made the chicken look pale but my veggies looked fantastic!

And this picture without flash, veggies look like poo poo but the chicken is better represented! So therefore, I post both!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Great fun-day monday pick!

Mike’s first bite reaction: I like it! (the variety in his choice of words are so limited sometimes!)

Taste: I love me some fried food! (obviously or I wouldn’t be on Weight Watchers haha!) These reminded me of a sweet and salty version an old long-lost friend! (aka fried chicken strips) The pretzel wasn’t as overly “pretzely” as I would have thought, but it lended a great crunch! And the sugar? Who knew that it could be so good! The honey mustard just helped tie it all together so eloquently! (if you can even speak that way about food without being mocked, I dunno!) Needless to say (and so I stop rambling) I liked these a lot!

Texture: Not too crispy, not too soggy! Pretty much just how I imagined oven fried chicken would be! I do believe the honey mustard “marinade” helped the chicken stay nice and moist!

Satisfaction: For 7 weight watcher points, I wasn’t 100% satisfied. Maybe 99%, but like I said before, I’m kind of stingy with my points! Luckily today was FUN-DAY MONDAY and I had a super low point breakfast and lunch to make up for it! Satisfaction gets 4 out of 5 stars, just simply because it has too many points for my frugal points spending self!

Creativity: I believe that I am pretty creative when it comes to cooking. I think outside of the box and put weird things together all the time! This I could have never imagined in a million years! Honey mustard, pretzels, chicken; it makes sense on paper right? Oh, it will make sense in your tummy too! (I was gonna say in your mouth but that sounded dirty, haha)

I love fun-day monday! And now I have a new favorite to add to the repertoire!

What kind of odd combinations have you used to “bread” oven fried chicken?

1 Comment

Filed under chicken, dinner, fun-day monday, Uncategorized

Totally Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups

Anyone that knows me, knows that I always have a head of either iceberg or butter lettuce in my fridge, so that I can wrap up my turkey burgers or sandwich fixings in it! It’s one of my favorite ways to go low carb and still use two hands to eat a sandwich or burger and no fork! 🙂 This recipe is a new twist on that I will be adapting to most my recipes on a daily basis!

Before delving into the recipe, I have a confession! I was being super lazy before work today and didn’t do any shopping for this ahead of time! I thought I could just go to Wal-Mart (the 24 hour one) after work and just collect the few things I needed then.  Their grocery selection was not as grand as I hoped it would be! I couldn’t find 3 of the 6 critical items I needed to pick up! I did decide on good substitutes but it wasn’t perfect! Nor do I know what it was supposed to taste like! I’m kind of ashamed and I apologize for my laziness! Regardless, here goes!

THE RECIPE:

Totally Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups

PER SERVING (entire recipe) 227 calories, 4.5g fat, 876mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 12.5g sugars, 23g protein

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup peeled and diced cucumber (if you’re doubling this like I did it’s one whole medium-sized cuke)

2 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (who really measures like that? lol)

2 tbls. shredded carrots (I went lazy (again) instead of cheap and bought pre-shredded carrots, the matchstick kind)

2 tbls. seasoned rice vinegar (this is one of the ingredients I couldn’t find, I could only find regular rice vinegar, lame!)

1 tbls. chopped cilantro (uh how about 1/2 tbls. dried cilantro and 1 tbls. fresh parsley, yeah couldn’t find this one either)

Dash crushed red pepper, or more to taste (I went with like 8 dashes :-P)

3 ounces raw boneless skin-less lean chicken breast, cubed

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 tbls. Thai peanut salad dressing or sauce, low in fat with about 35 calories per tbls. (The third missing item on my list. I searched and searched for anything similar or even close to this and I found nothing! I went with a Sesame Garlic sauce and marinade because it sounded the most Asian/Thai and only had 30 calories per tbls.)

3 leaves romaine, butter, or green leaf lettuce (I used butter lettuce, its my fave)

Optional garnishes, lime wedges, sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, combine cucumber, scallions, carrot shreds, rice vinegar, cilantro and crushed red pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble your cups.

The cucumber stands alone.

All the veggies mixed together before running off to the fridge to marinate! (see how the parsley fools you into thinking I actually had fresh cilantro)

The Sesame Garlic sauce and unseasoned rice vinegar! The Sesame Garlic sauce was from Iron Chef (and stupidly expensive) so I knew it was gonna be good! Haha!

Bring skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with garlic powder. Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. (tried to take a picture of the chicken while it was cooking, but being seasoned with just garlic powder it was boring looking and didn’t warrant a picture)

Place chicken and peanut dressing or sauce (or Sesame Garlic in my case) in a bowl and toss to coat. Remove veggie mixture from the fridge.

To assemble, evenly distribute the veggie mixture and the chicken among the lettuce “cups”. If you like, finish with a squirt of lime juice and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Chomp chomp!

All the pretty lettuce wraps lined up in a row! (ok, it's not exactly in a row but it sounded good.) (remember, I doubled this recipe, some for me and some for Mike so imagine it half-sized if making it just for yourself)

A close up, because I thought it looked amazing!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Oh, that hits the spot!

Mike’s first bite reaction: (when I made these Mike was sleeping as he had to work at the ass crack of dawn (5 am) and I didn’t get off work till 11pm. So I packed these for him to have for lunch (his lunch was at 9:30 am, so more like breakfast to me) I got his review via text message. “I like them a lot. Kinda hard to eat but tasty!”

I think this is the first recipe Mike has used the words “a lot”! This is a good thing! Not that he hasn’t liked almost all of these recipes, but for him to say he liked them that much is defiantly monumental! He’s more into words like “good” instead of “great” “fantastic” “bomb dot-com” (haha)

Texture: Cool, crisp, refreshing! The cucumbers were a perfect bed for the chicken to lay on top, it reminded me of a nice crispy asian salad! In an edible cup!

Taste: Even though I would have prefered all the right ingredients (Thai peanut dressing, fresh cilantro, and seasoned rice vinegar) I thought they turned out great! The sauce I used really complimented the cucumbers, wasn’t too over powering (even though it was a touch too salty, weird I know) and worked just as well as I hope the Thai peanut sauce would have! I honestly was a little worried about this recipes, see I like cucumbers, but I generally only like them a la carte! The cucumber is a funny little guy, he’s tasty and wonderful but always so over powering that if I put them in a salad or on a sandwich I can’t taste anything but the cucumbers! So having this much cucumber in one dish, I was skeptical! I’m not sure how or why (maybe the marination or the vinegar itself) but the cucumber was so subtle and perfectly crisp it was a hit! I did make one lettuce cup with just a mix of veggies and I loved it just as much! It was however a bit spicy without the chicken, and I preferred it with the chicken than veggies alone, but if I wanted to go vegetarian for the day I would make this!

Creativity: I do believe Hungry-Girls inspiration for this dish was restaurant inspired (guilt-free) I’ve seen similar items before but with lots of hidden fat and calories! Regardless, I give this 4 out of 5 stars for creativity! It’s fresh, fun and having a dish you can eat that makes you feel like you’re in a restaurant (or got take out) really makes me happy!

Satisfaction: I served these with a side of steamed broccoli (yeah I like broccoli and pretty much always serve it with dinner) but I remembered to eat the “cups” first and determine my satisfaction before diving into the broccoli. 4 Weight  Watcher points and I was actually pretty full! I wasn’t stuffed (that’s why I still ate the broccoli) but I could have made it a complete entrée without the broccoli! It had lean protein, veggies and a satisfying crunch that won’t weight you down with too many carbs! (not that I’m a carb hater I just try not to eat too many of them after work seeing as I’ll more than likely be going to bed within a few hours) Satisfaction gets 5 stars!

I’m so curious as to what these will taste like with the right ingredients! I’m gonna make it my mission to find the right ones and do it right! Even though I loved my version I still can’t help thinking they would be better with a bit of  different flare! Oh, I forgot about the lime garnish! While I was eating them, I wanted to eat a few with and a few without just to see how it compared. I was down to the last “cup” when I remembered the lime! (oops) The lime was good but totally unnecessary, it didn’t change it up too much and added even more acidity that the vinegar was already doing a good job of providing. It’s optional but try it if you like a lot of acid!

What do you like to put in your lettuce wraps/cups?  Is this your first experience in lettuce wrapping/cupping?

4 Comments

Filed under chicken, dinner, lettuce wraps, thai inspired