Category Archives: dinner

Amazin’ Asian Ahi Tuna Burgers

I’ve got to start this post off with a little ‘woo-is’ me/feel sorry for me story! Let me first state that the first line of this recipe says “You MUST have fresh ahi for these burgers. DON’T cut corners and attempt to make these with the frozen stuff.” I might have taken this a little too literally! Being new to Southern California, I still don’t know where to get certain items, or where any specialty stores are. Sometimes I don’t even know what to search for in my GPS to find said items/stores. This was no exception! I searched google for fresh fish markets near me. First place that came up was less than a mile away and called something like “Fish Market”. SCORE! Or so I thought, it was non-existent! This used to happen to me all the time with my old GPS, but the new one has never been wrong! This place was just not there! After 2 hours of driving around, following directions and 4 stores later I came up with absolutely SQUAT!ย  Seriously, I was so annoyed and ready to give up! This is not how I wanted to spend my morning! I finally just said to h.e.double.hockey.sticks with it and was gonna buy the frozen stuff. I just didn’t care anymore! So I went to Ralph’s. I’m looking at the frozen fish right next to the fish/meat counter and saw frozen ahi. A little spendy but why the heck not? Just for shits and giggles I look at the fish counter. What did I find you ask? Oh, fresh ahi tuna! (Well it was from Indonesia but at least it wasn’t currently frozen) Son of a B! I finally calmed down, grabbed what I needed and headed out of dodge to my apartment (1/2 mile away btw. ha) What happens next? Some jack-ass son of a bitch mo-fo rams the back of my car with his! You have got to be kidding me! Luckily nothing and no one was hurt, and we went on our merry ways. This got my blood pumping though and I was aggravated beyond believe. Now that you feel sorry for me and feel the need to cheer me up with gifts, let me digress into the actual recipe:

THE RECIPE:

Amazin’ Asian Ahi Tuna Burgers

PER SERVING (1 burger) 246 calories, 2.5g fat, 734mg sodium, 26.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 3.5g sugar, 33g protein

(Side note: Who else is excited about the new Weight Watchers? I am I am! This recipe used to be 5 points now its 6, seems like a bad thing but really, it’s not! It’s such a good thing it’s ridiculous!)

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise (hate this stuff but decided to buy it and try it anyways, I’m such a good sport)

2 tsps. wasabi, or less for a milder taste (hell with that, give me spicy spicy!)

1 pound fresh raw ahi/yellowfin tuna, finely chopped

1 extra-large egg white or 3 tbls. liquid egg whites (I cut this entire recipe in half because it makes 4 and it’s just me and the boyfriend. For this item though I should have used 1 1/2 tbls. of egg whites, I used about 1/2 tbls. If you remember the Tremendous Top Shelf Turkey Burger, you’llย  know why I did that!)

3 scallions, chopped

1 1/2 tbls. reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce

2 tsp. ground ginger (ginger really isn’t my favorite spice. It’s just so over-powering, I used a few dashes, didn’t want to go overboard! I love fresh ginger btw, just not so much the dried/ground variety!)

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Dash black pepper

4 small light hamburger buns, about 80 calories or less each.ย  (I couldn’t find these little buggers, so I went with some sandwich thins. Good enough at 100 calories each, at this point in my grocery shopping trip I just didn’t give a hoot!)

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine mayo and wasabi. Mix well and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine tuna, egg white, scallions, soy sauce, ginger, mustard and pepper. Mix well. Using your hands, shape mixture into 4 patties, each approximately 4 inches wide. (Seriously, I can’t measure that way! I use the “hope they are all even method” and cross my fingers!)

 

The tuna before I took out my frustrations on it with my favorite knife! (No the two pieces weren't really that different in color, I think the flash hit one more than the other one! Couldn't even correct that in Photoshop.)

Ah, I feel so much calmer now! Chopped up the tuna into small "ground" up pieces.

 

Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and bring to a medium-high heat. Place patties n the pan and cook until golden on the outside and medium-rare on the inside, about 2 minutes per side. Be sure to flip them gently! (Not a problem for me, I didn’t overload them with egg “binders” LOL!)

 

Looks like it could be a turkey burger huh? Nice!

Place each patty on the bottom half of a bun. Top each evenly with mayo-wasabi mixture. Finish each one with cucumber slices and top bun half!

 

An open-faced view!!

Would you like fries with that? (Oh, I so did!) Served them with some roasted sweet potato wedges (aka fries!)

 

Makes 4 servings.

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Sushi, on a bun! Nice!

Mike’s first bite reaction: (I wasn’t paying attention when I finally noticed he had taken a few bites and then moved over to the “fries”. I asked what he thought) “I like the sweet potato fries,” then I grilled him about the burger. He didn’t like it at all! Had too much wasabi, too many cucumbers and reminded him of sushi! I’m such a bad girlfriend! I forgot that he doesn’t really like sushi! MY BAD! He’s more of a california roll type of sushi person (crab and avocado) where I’m more of a sashimi person (raw slabs of fish). I’m such a ditz, felt bad and gave him my fries. Ugh lol!

(Now I want some Sweet Potato fries!)

Taste: If you love sushi, you will love this recipe! If you only sorta kind of like sushi you might want to make sure someone who loves sushi is around to eat it incase you don’t like it (and so it doesn’t go to waste) if you don’t like sushi at all (or only prefer the american variety of sushi aka california rolls) do not even attempt to look at this! ๐Ÿ™‚ It has all the right components, fish, wasabi, soy sauce, ginger. I thought it was great! I’d make it again (if it wasn’t such a pain to find the right fish) and gobble up the leftovers too!

Texture: By not adding very much egg whites it was perfect. Held together well and had a nice bite to it! If adding the right amount of egg whites be prepared for a soggy/sloppy mess! Or at least that’s what I think! I don’t understand adding eggs to burgers.

Creativity: Absolutely bloody brilliant! When I looked at the ingredients I really didn’t put two and two together. It sounded like it was going to be a simple tuna burger with wasabi. It wasn’t until I was putting it all together did I think “Duh, Sushi!” I was impressed!

Satisfaction: I wish I would have eaten my sweet potato fries. I was still a little hungry afterwards. Instead I drank a big glass of water and pouted a little. But I guess I didn’t have to give him my fries! Regardless, it was worth the points and calories for sure!

How do you like your sushi?

Where in Southern California can I find a fresh fish market?

Who else is thrilled about the new Weight Watchers?

(I know too many questions!)

Quick tidbit: As stated in my last post I think I’m gonna have to hold off doing all these recipes so quickly. Some of the Weight Watcher points are just a bit high! Plus having to buy more fruits and veggies is getting more and more expensive! I will try to do at least 2-3 a week, but no longer 7 days a week. (Sorry) The reason I wanted to even start doing this blog/cookbook was to try new foods and eat new things! I tend to get myself stuck in ruts and eat the same thing everyday (In result, not lose weight) and so far, that’s what I’ve accomplished! However, my pocket-book has gotten a bit too small trying to keep up at this pace! Until next time!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under burgers, chinese food inspired, dinner, tuna, vegetarian

Shrimp & Grits……..For Hungry Chicks!

I know this recipe insinuates that this dish is just for Hungry Chicks, but let me tell ya: the Hungry Guy will love it too!

Now this may come as a shock to some people, (or not) but I’ve never had grits before! I think that’s why I was excited to try out this new dish! I love trying new foods, it’s always so exciting to have adventures in food (especially when it’s new)! I know grits are a southern thing, I know they can be fairly healthy or extremely unhealthy, depending on how they are prepared, but that’s all I know! I was a little worried about the healthiness of this because it’s suppose to be a Paula Deen swap. (I love Paula, but her food scares the hell out of me!) It is 8 weight watchers points, and that scares me too! This better be worth it, satisifying-ly filling, and the tastiest thing I’ve ever had!

THE RECIPE:

Shrimp & Grits……………..For Hungry Chicks!

PER SERVING: (1/2 the recipe) 380 calories, 8g fat, 900mg sodium, 40g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 1g sugar, 40g protein

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup quick-cooking grits

Dash salt

1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

1 tbls. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (I can’t believe it’s not butter light is always my choice)

1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese

8 ounces raw shrimp, peeled, tails removed, deveined

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)

1 tbls. chopped fresh parsley (ugh, stupid store had a ton of cilantro but no parsley, lame!)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. chopped garlic (I never measure garlic, I used one clove)

2 tbls. precooked real crumbled bacon (hell yea! BACON!)

Optional: hot sauce

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil on the stove. Add grits and salt and stir well. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Stirring occasionally, cook until water has been absorbed, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese, butter, and cheese wedge, breaking cheese wedge into pieces as you add it. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

GRITS! (This is exciting!)

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Add scallions, parsley, lemon juice and garlic. If you like, add a dash or two of hot sauce. Stir well and remove from heat.

Shrimp, onions and garlic!

Serve grits topped with shrimp and bacon. Eat up, y’all!

Makes 2 servings

I cannot wait to dig into this! Holy yum!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: O.M.G! This is so good!

Mike’s first bite reaction: I like it!

Satisfaction: As stated before, 8 weight watchers points! That’s a lot of points to be eaten in one sitting! 8! And so worth every one! I was stuffed after eating this! My taste buds were 110% satisfied as well! Oh my, I’m so glad I tried grits!

Difficulty: If you can follow directions, this was really easy! Very little to no prep work, super super easy!

Taste: Having never had grits, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it had cheese, bacon and shrimp, I knew it was gonna be good! Wow! Cheese, just the right amount, not over powering but there in the background. The shrimp, reminded me of shrimp scampi! Grits, remind me of a cornmeal oatmeal! I am so in love with this dish! Mike even asked if I could make something like it for Thanksgiving! Oh, and bacon! I love bacon!

Texture: Creamy cheese, hearty shrimp and bacon and gritty grits. All that mixed together. It was weird but really good!

How do you like your grits?

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Filed under bacon, dinner, shrimp, southern dishes, Uncategorized

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions Italia

Oh Italian food, how I love you! Let me count thy ways! (Ok, I’m not gonna count anything, Math is hard ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I work in an Italian restaurant, Mike is Italian, yet I have little to no experience in cooking Italian food (unless you count spaghetti or lasagna!) I honestly don’t even know that much about it (shhh…don’t tell anyone!) besides what I’ve learned working these past few months. Before we moved to California our Italian food restaurants were very limited and well, not actually worth going to, so that’s my excuse! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have however, had the full fat version of this dish, and LOVED it, but felt so incredibly guilty with each bite! Let’s see how this one stacks up to this simple Italian dish!

THE RECIPE:

PER SERVING (entire recipe) 295 calories, 8.25g fat, 905mg sodium, 35g carbs, 7.25g fiber, 18g sugar, 22g protein

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/4 cups thickly sliced onion

1 1/2 cups thickly sliced red and green bell peppers (for pictures sake, I wish I had green bell peppers, but for tastes sake I used yellowย  and orange)

1 precooked 3-ounce chicken or meatless sausage link with 8g of fat or less, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (I didn’t want to go meatless since yesterdays dinner was meatless, and couldn’t find any chicken links low in fat, so I went with lean turkey kielbasa, close enough right?)

Optional: Salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Combine crushed tomatoes, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl, and stir well. Set aside.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 4 minutes, until veggies are slightly softened. (A few suggestions for those making this at home: 1. Add the onions and peppers at the same time, in my opinion they both cook at the same rate. 2. I don’t know why this recipe suggests the peppers and onions to be thickly sliced, I honestly would have preferred them pretty thinly sliced, maybe it’s just me)

 

Veggies! (I love this picture!)

 

Add sausage and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until heated.

 

And then we add meat!

 

Add tomatoes and stir. Once heated, season to taste with salt and black pepper (or not). Now chew!

 

Can we all agree that green bell peppers would have made this picture so much better? Oh well, I tried!

 

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Um, these peppers are too thick!

Mike’s first bite reaction: I’ve never had this dish with tomato sauce, it’s different but (wait for it…………………….) I like it!

Taste: Like Mike said, it is different having the veggies and sausage smothered in tomato sauce, but it works! In restaurants they usually saute with oil and wine (adding extra fat and calories) I like the addition of extra vitamins from cooked tomatoes! Besides the fact that I really was wanting thinly sliced peppers this was a great low-fat swap! I really liked the large dose of oregano flavor. Made me add less salt (oh my!)

Texture: I’ll only say this one more time, don’t thickly slice your peppers. The texture would have been so much better if everything was more uniformly thin!

Creativity: This gets 4 out of 5 for creativity for adding tomatoes instead of fat and calories! It’s a super simple yet delicious comfort food dish!

Satisfaction: 6 weight watcher points? (Mine might have been less since my kielbasa only had 2g of fat per 2 ounce serving) I wasn’t fully satisfied. I do like though that it was loaded with at least 3 servings of vegetables! I ate it with steamed broccoli and was ever so slightly wanting more! 2 out of 5. (Mainly because it was so high in weight watcher points!)

Would Mike make it himself? Probably not. Would he eat it again if I made it? Only if I cut the veggies smaller. And maybe if I actually used a sausage instead of kielbasa. (I like kielbasa, screw you Mike. Haha! I’m Polish, kielbasa is our “thing”! Since he’s Italian sausage is his “thing”!)

What’s your favorite Italian dish?

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Filed under bell peppers, dinner, italian

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.ย  (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. Ifย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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”?

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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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )

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!

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

Lucky Four-Leaf Salad with Feta and Apples

When it comes to cheese I’m not that finicky, I’ll eat whatever, whenever! I really like cheese, I even really like low-fat cheese! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Just a few years ago I discovered that I actually appreciate feta. It used to be one of those weird varieties that I steered clear of because of its texture (even though I liked the flavor) until I had some in a salad! I can’t actually figure out the logistics as to why it’s so good, but feta and lettuce= A+ in my book!

I can’t think of anything witty or even slightly interesting to say about this recipe besides: I like cheese, I like almonds, and when apple season comes along (fall time) I can’t get enough! Take all these ingredients and put them in a salad…voila!

THE RECIPE:

Lucky Four-Leaf Salad with Feta and Apples

PER SERVING: (entire salad) 213 calories, 8g fat, 552mg sodium, 29.5g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 16.5g sugar, 10g protein

INGREDIENTS:

1 Fuji apple (went with a Honeycrisp apple because they were cheaper and I like them better)

3 cups 3-lettuce blend bagged lettuce

1 cup spinach leaves

1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 tbls. thinly sliced dry-roasted almonds (you know, the kind you find next to the bagged salads in the grocery store)

Optional: freshly ground black pepper, light vinaigrette dressing or another low-calorie dressing

DIRECTIONS:

Cut apple into quarters and remove the core, seeds, and stem. Thinly slice and then cut the slices in half widthwise.

Check out how big that apple is! I decided to go with just half because it was so big!

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Add some pepper and dressing if you like, but this salad’s so flavorful you may not even need ’em. Enjoy!

3 different lettuce leaves and spinach! (A la carte)

Apples, onions, feta and sliced almonds, oh my!

No caption needed! (Isn't it pretty?)

THE REVIEW:

(This review brought to you by the letter J! As in Jacque and not Mike, he was busy eating a pizza!)

My first bite review: Wow, it really doesn’t need dressing. Sweet!

Taste: When I was at the store I bought some dressing even though the recipe said it was unneccessary (I was reluctant) but I decided to try it first without it! It really was that flavorful and didn’t need it, I was shocked! The sweet apple and creamy feta merged so well with the lettuce/spinach that it seemed as though there was dressing. Loved it! (I did eat half of the salad with the sesame dressing just because I love Newman’s Own Lighten Up products that much, and it was good, but not necessary)

Texture: Crispy apples, rich feta, crunchy almonds, crisp spinach. When it comes to salads I need crunch. I need a lot of textures or it feels like I’m grinding my teeth together, this salad has all of that and more. I bet it would have been awesome with some glazed walnuts (but then the 4 Weight Watcher points would have been a lot more)

Satisfaction: I was gonna serve this with a side of chicken or left over pork roast, because it doesn’t feel like dinner without some sort of meat/protein. However, I was kind of hungry and just wanted to eat. I got this salad made in record time (about 5 minutes) and decided to just mow down and if need be, heat up the pork roast. After consuming the whole salad, I was stuffed! Best filling salad with no meat I’ve ever had!

Creativity: Reminds me of fall!ย  Apples and onions kind of do that to me. I’ve seen salads on restaurant menus with apples and feta before, so I wasn’t that blown away by the creativity. However because it was the first time I’ve ever had a salad with apples and feta I give this 4 stars! It’s new to my taste buds so therefore its creative! (I know, that doesn’t make sense when I put it on paper, but it makes sense in my head!)

When’s the last time you prepared dinner in 5 minutes? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under apples, cheese, dinner, salads

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:ย  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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย  (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?

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