Friday, January 29, 2010

Viva Fibra!

So tonight I made Hungry Girl versions of Chicken Parmesan and Fettuccine Alfredo. For the chicken, I once again used fiber "breadcrumbs" (hence the title of this post; fibra= Italian for fiber). Overall, John and I were pretty pleased with these recipes:

Chicken Parmesan

  • 2 (5 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts (raw)
  • 2/3 cup Fiber One cereal
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, Original**
  • 1.5 tsp. reduced fat grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz. (approx. 1/2 cup) shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup canned tomato sauce
  • Optional: garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper
**This recipe calls for 1/4 cup Egg Beaters (for easy dunking), but it will only take approx. 1 tbsp. to coat the chicken. 1 tbsp. Egg Beaters was used when calculating nutritionals.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One cereal to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add parmesan to crumbs (if desired, season crumbs with optional spices, as well).
  3. Place crumbs in one small dish and Egg Beaters in another.
  4. Next, pound your chicken so it's a bit flattened.
  5. Coat raw chicken on both sides with Egg Beaters, and then coat with crumb mixture. Place chicken on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Spray a light mist of nonstick spray on top of chicken and place in oven.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes, and then turn chicken over. Add another light mist of nonstick spray and cook for an additional 10 - 12 minutes (or until chicken is fully cooked and coating looks crispy).
  7. Meanwhile, if desired, mix tomato sauce with your seasonings of choice.
  8. Remove chicken from oven, top with sauce and then cheese, and return chicken to oven until cheese is melted.
Per Serving (1 chicken breast): Calories: 295; Fat: 3.5g; Sodium: 890mg; Carbs: 27g; Fiber: 11g; Sugars: 3.5g; Protein: 46.5g; 5 Weight Watchers Points

Fettuccine Alfredo

**They do not sell these ANYWHERE near me, and they are expensive to buy online. You can try and find them where you live--it will be in the Tofu section, not the pasta section. Their website says where they are sold, so you can look their first. Anyways, apparently they have like a 0 points value, but I just had to use pasta. So, if you need to, substitute 2 cups cooked noodles for tofu noodles.

  1. Use a strainer to rinse and drain shirataki noodles well. Pat dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 1 minute. Drain excess liquid. Dry as thoroughly as possible, using paper towels. Cut noodles up a bit, using kitchen shears if you've got 'em.//Or, if using real pasta noodles: cook noodles, strain, and separate out 2 cups of it.
  2. To noodles, add sour cream, grated topping, and cheese wedges, breaking cheese wedges into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 2 minute.
  3. Stir well and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
PER SERVING (half of recipe): 99 calories, 4g fat, 376mg sodium, 9.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 5.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2 **

**This is assuming you use the tofu noodles. If you sub whole wheat pasta, points value changes to about 5. If regular pasta, about 6. Those are still better nutrition wise than what you'd get at a restaurant!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mexican Fiesta

Tonight's menu included two more Hungry Girl recipes: "Just Fondue It" and "Cheesy Beefy Quesadillas." The quesadillas were very yummy, and the cheese dip was good too. I would definitely recommend these, especially the quesadillas!:

Cheesy Beefy Quesadillas

  • 2 large La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low Carb/High Fiber tortillas
  • 2/3 cup frozen ground-beef-style soy crumbles (like the ones by Boca and Morningstar Farms)
  • 1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
  • One wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. chopped scallions
  • 1/2 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
  • Optional: additional fat-free sour cream, for dipping
  1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine soy crumbles, cheddar cheese, scallions, sour cream, and seasoning mix, stirring thoroughly. Microwave for 1 minute, stir again, and set aside.
  2. Lay tortillas flat and spread cheese wedge evenly over one half of each.
  3. Bring a medium-large pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat, and lay one of the tortillas in it with the cheesy side up, and cook for about 30 seconds. Top the cheesy tortilla half with half of the soy crumble mixture. Using a spatula, carefully fold the plain tortilla half over the other half, pressing down with the spatula to seal. Cook for about 1 minute, until slightly toasted on the bottom. Flip and continue to cook for about 1 minute, until both sides are toasted. Remove from heat and cut into four triangles.
  4. Repeat for other quesadilla.
  5. Serve with sour cream for dipping, if you like. Enjoy!
Serving Size: entire quesadilla
Per serving: Calories: 196; Fat: 5g; Sodium: 931mg; Carbs: 25g; Fiber: 13.5g; Sugars: 2.5g; Protein: 25.5g; POINTS® value 4*

I couldn't find the aforementioned if you can't, maybe try and find another low fat and/or low carb tortilla.

"Just Fondue It"

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbs plain light soymilk
  • 3 ounces fat free cheddar cheese block (cut into smaller blocks)
  • 2 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese
  • 2 slices reduced-fat swiss cheese, torn into pieces
  • 2 tbs fat free cream cheese
  • 2 tbs dry white wine
  • chili powder, if desired
  1. Bring saucepan sprayed w/nonstick spray to medium low heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add soymilk, all four cheeses, and salt. Cook for 3-4 mins (or however long it takes), stirring continuously, till cheeses have melted and sauce is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add wine (and chili powder if desired). Stir until combined. Transfer mixture to fondue pot and set temperature to low.
Makes 4 servings
PER SERVING (about 3 tablespoons): 89 calories, 2.5g fat, 548mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g sugars, 10g protein POINTS® value 2*

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fiber-rific Combo

Tonight I made Hungry's girls "Planet Hungrywood Sweet & Cap'n Crunchy Chicken" and "Lord of the Onion Rings." The "secret ingredient" for both? Fiber One cereal. Yes, that's correct. Hungry Girl is a big fan of putting the stuff in a food processor/blender, and grinding till you have "bread crumbs" for coating things. But what kind of food does using this yield? Read on to found out.

...Cap'n Crunchy Chicken

  • 8 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast tenders
  • 1/2 cup Cap'n Crunch cereal (original)
  • 1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
  • 3 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
  • 2 tbsp. Hellmann's Dijonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. honey mustard (actual mustard, not dressing)
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • dash salt
  • dash black pepper
  1. Place Fiber One in a blender or food processor, and grind to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Set aside.
  2. Put Cap'n Crunch in a sealable plastic bag and seal. Using a rolling pin or a can, coarsely crush cereal through the bag. In a wide bowl, combine Fiber One crumbs, crushed Cap'n Crunch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Place chicken tenders in a separate medium bowl. Pour egg substitute over the chicken, and flip chicken to coat. Shake off any excess egg substitute, and then coat chicken in the cereal mixture.
  4. Bring a large pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Place coated chicken pieces gently into the pan, spacing them out as much as possible. Cook for 5 minutes, and then carefully flip pieces over. Cook for about 4 additional minutes, until chicken is cooked through.**
  5. Combine the Dijonnaise and honey mustard in a small dish, and mix well for a tasty dipping sauce. Enjoy!

**I used nonstick cooking spray, and they got a little burnt on each side. So I would recommend maybe adding a little bit of oil, just so they don't burn. Also, it took me more like 4 minutes on the first side, and 2-3 on the second (and that was on medium LOW heat)--but that might have just been my stove.

PER SERVING (1/2 of recipe/2-2.5 chicken tenders): 234 calories, 2g fat, 617mg sodium, 23.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugars, 29g protein -- POINTS® value 4

Note, this should make about 4-5 chicken fingers TOTAL. If you want to make enough for two people, double the amount of chicken...I did, but didn't have to double the other ingredients (though you can if you want).

Lord of the Onion Rings

  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • Dash of salt
  • Optional: additional salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the ends off of the onion, and remove the outer layer. Cut onion into 1/2-inch-wide slices, and separate into rings.
  3. Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour Fiber One “breadcrumbs” into a small dish and mix in salt, and any optional spices you like.
  4. Next, fill a small bowl (just large enough for onion rings to fit in) with egg substitute. One by one, coat each ring first in egg and then in the “breadcrumbs” (give each ring a shake after the egg bath).
  5. Evenly place rings on a baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping rings over about halfway through.

Per serving (appx 15 rings, or however many you make): Calories: 153; Fat: 1g; Sodium: 225mg; Carbs: 41g; Fiber: 16g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 9g; POINTS® value 2

The Verdict
This meal was fairly good-it probably would have been better if it wasn't my first time making it. The chicken was good, but would have been better had it not burnt some. The onion rings, considering they were cereal + onions, were pretty good. As good as normal fried onion rings? Taste wise--no. Though yummy, they simply can't compare in taste to normal onion rings. But as far as calories/fat goes, they make a good substitute. I mean, consider this: 13 normal onion rings contain (approximately) 700+ calories, 40 grams of fat, and a whopping 18 POINTS®!
So, for a meal that had this few calories/fat/points, it was good.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To My Blog Followers AND Facebook Post Followers

For my Blog Followers
I don't know if any of you would be interested, but I have added E-mail Subscription feature to the blog. Scroll down the left hand side, and you will find the following:

I believe that if you enter your e-mail address and click "Subscribe," you will receive daily updates of the posts from the blog. If you decide to do this, let me know if you have any problems, as I haven't tried it out.

For my Facebook Followers (those who follow the blog directly can ignore this)
So, for those of you reading this entry via facebook, if you're not aware already, what you are actually viewing is a post from my recipe blog, which has been uploaded to facebook. If you go to the bottom of all these entries, you will see a link to the original blog post:

If you prefer reading these through facebook, that is totally fine. But if you go to the actual blog, you can search for a recipe by clicking on a particular category (mexican, desserts, chicken, pasta, etc, etc; see image below). Also, there is also a search box (not shown in picture) where you can type in a key word and see if any of the recipes match it. Once again, if you prefer reading these through facebook, that's definitely fine. I just wanted you all to be aware that it is a bit easier to search on the actual blog page.

Guilt Free Brownies

So, I haven't had them in a while, but I highly recommend "No Pudge!" Fat Free Brownie Mix. (It comes in 3 flavors--fudge, mint fudge, and raspberry fudge. I've only tried straight up fudge.) Basically you take the mix, blend with fat free yogurt, and what you end up getting is 12** brownies, each containing 120 calories and no fat (= 2 WW points)! But, how do they taste? IMO, pretty yummy! The times I have made them, I have been pleasantly surprised at how good they tasted. Topped w/some fat free cool whip, and you have yourself one tasty treat!

Where to find them? In Auburn, I have found them at Kroger with the other brownie/cakes mixes (usually on the top shelf of that section). To find where they sell them near you, go here. I think I will be buying some on my next Kroger visit.

**They also have a single serving recipe, if you can't trust yourself w/all of them at once. Taken directly from there website, it is: "One of our consumers created this. In a small microwaveable container mix 2 tablespoons of your favorite flavor No Pudge! Brownie mix with 1 tablespoon of non-fat vanilla yogurt. Microwave on high for one minute. Top with fat-free frozen yogurt or whipped topping. Tastes like a warm, fudgy brownie pudding - Yum!!!"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Veal, Potatoes, & Salad

Tonight for dinner I made:
  • Weight Watcher's Veal Scaloppine
  • Hungry Girl's "2-Good Twice Baked Potatoes"
  • Salad w/Weight Watcher's Blue Cheese Dressing
I will include all recipes in this post.

Veal Scaloppine

  • 8 thin-sliced veal cutlets (about 1 lb)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  1. Sprinkle veal with paprika, salt, and pepper
  2. Melt 1 tsp of butter in nonstick skillet over medium high heat
  3. Add veal and cook till lightly browned, about 2 mins/side. Add broth, lemon juice, wine, and oregano; bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, turning the veal once, till the veal is cooked through, about 2 mins
Serving size = 2 veal cutlets and 2 tbs sauce
Per serving: 4 weight watchers points (171 cals; 6 g fat)

The Verdict
Somehow I cooked the veal in such a way that it was too chewy for me to eat--but John liked it (as evidence by how much he ate of it).

Twice Baked Potatoes

  • 2 medium sized baking potatos
  • 2 Slices Kraft Fat Free Cheese - American
  • 2 oz. Fat Free Original Liquid Coffee-mate (or other non-dairy creamer)
  • Paprika, salt, parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Peel the skin off the top side of the potatoes, and bake in microwave until soft. (Times vary for different microwaves. Poke holes in potatos with fork, and cover for best results.)
  3. When potatos are cooked, scoop out the inside of the potatos, leaving behind empty potato "shells." Take steaming hot potatoes, add cheese, Coffee-mate and a little salt. Mash it all together until the cheese melts and you're left with a creamy, cheesy mashed potato mixture.
  4. Place potato mixture back into the potato shells, sprinkle with paprika & parsley. Bake in a for 20-30 minutes or until top is nice and brown.
Per Potato: 156 calories, 0g of fat, 3g protein, 31 carbs, 3g fiber. (3 WW points)

The Verdict
These were good. Not as good as say, a regular twice baked potato, but pretty darn good for only 3 points.

Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 tbs reduced-cal mayo
  • 2 tbs crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • pinch cayenne
  • 2 tsp fresh chives

In blender/food processor, combine everything but the chives (pulse till nearly smooth). Sprinkle in the chives. Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour (or up to 2 days) to allow flavors to blend.

1 serving= 2 tbs
Per serving: 27 cal, 2 g fat (1 Weight Watcher's Point)
Note, this really only makes enough dressing for 2-4 people.

The Verdict
I have made this before and liked it--and this was still true today.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On the way...

So, I have some new recipes that I will be trying out (and subsequently posting) this week, including:
  • The Veal Scallopine & twice baked potatoes I had initially meant to make last week (don't worry, I froze the veal) (8 points for the whole meal)
  • Beefy cheese quesadillas w/cheese fondue & chips (7-9 points for the whole meal)
  • "Planet Hungrywood Sweet & Cap'n Crunchy Chicken Fingers" & "Lord of the Onion Rings" (6 points for the whole meal)
  • A whole Italian feast (well, sort of). John and I will probably see the "When in Rome" movie this Friday, so what better meal to eat before hand than an Italian one? Dishes will include: Chicken Parmesan, a side of "Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo," and Tiramisu about yummy! (Okay yes, if you add bread, the whole meal is like 14 points...however, considering how many points would be in this meal at a restaurant, and the fact we've been doing well lately, I think we can indulge a little!)

All of those recipes, except for the Veal (which is a Weight Watcher's recipe) are from either my new Hungry Girl cookbook, or the one I had previously. So anyways, keep a look out for those!

(P.S. Can you tell I'm a Hungry Girl fan??? ;-))

Kitchen Necessities (or at least good things to have)

So, since starting college (back in 2005), I have taken an interest in cooking (since you know, being away from my family, eating meals mean eating out or eating something at home--and while frozen entrees and such are okay for lunch, I really don't want them for all my dinners). I know that this interest in cooking comes as a shock, since I have a recipe blog and all, but it's true ;-). What started out as the occasional spaghetti dinner (store bought noodles, sauce, and bread) eventually led to a desire to try out new recipes, which led to an accumulation of cookbooks (which is still growing). In addition, I have at various times (including now), decided to improve my health, and have tried cooking at home so I could control the calorie/fat/sugar intake. Finally, having gotten married and started Pharmacy school, I have wanted to expand my cooking repertoire so that I can cook for John (not to mention save some money by eating out less). Now, what's the point of telling you all this? Well, my cooking endeavors have necessitated that I get certain pieces of culinary "equipment." Some I use frequently and have been very useful in creating multiple recipes, and so I would like to share what those are here, for anyone who is trying to cook more. If you're interested, read on. If not, sorry you wasted your time reading all this. ;-)

KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor
This was a wedding gift from my family, and has been very useful. It has a large capacity, and is often a better choice than a blender. It is good at grinding up chicken for chicken salad, for grinding up nuts, etc. Very helpful.

KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer
Yes, this is the item on many couple's Wedding Registries, and yes, it has quite a hefty price tag (appx $250, currently). But it really has been very helpful when making fillings, cakes, etc. Whenever you need ingredients mixed very well, it is a dream to have. Even if I mixed something for hours, I couldn't get it as smooth as this does. Of course, unless someone gets it for you as a wedding gift (or your very generous grandmother gives it to you as a birthday present, like mine did), you'll probably have to buy it yourself. But hey, if you set aside $20 every month (only $5/week) for a year, you will just about have enough for one! So if you really enjoy cooking, that would be my suggestion. Save up overtime and get one--you'll be glad you did! (Oh, and it comes in lots of colors...mine is Pink!)

Williams Sonoma's 10-Piece Glass Bowl Set

Yes, even though I love my KitchenAid mixer, I still like these mixing bowls (given to me by my friends the Turners for our wedding). I use them almost every time I make a meal--even if things don't need to be mixed, it is a good way to store and separate ingredients. Of course, you don't need this exact set (it's just the one I have)...I just think that the various sizes are helpful.

All-Clad Stainless-Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons

So, pretty much everyone already has measuring cups and why bother recommending these? Well, there is one particular feature I think is neat about these (the cups, specifically): Within each cup, there are marks on the inside indicating other cup sizes. That is, in the "1 cup" cup, there are markings on the inside for 3/4 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1/4 cup. For the 1/2 cup there is a 1/4 cup mark on the inside, and for the 1/4 cup there is a 1/8 cup marking. So basically, you could use just one measuring cup for an entire recipe that called for different amounts of a particular ingredient. And plus, stainless steel is always good. So thanks to the Hurts for getting us these!

Williams Sonoma's Glass & Stainless Steel Cookbook Holder

So, not only does this hold open cookbooks (believe me, over the years I have discovered this is a very helpful thing to have), but on the side it lists all sorts of cooking measurements/conversions (both US & Metric). This was also a wedding gift, from my mom's cousin Rebecca. Thanks!

Wilton Ultimate Bake and Carry Set

This was given to us as a wedding gift from our Randolph friend, Sara Singhal. It includes a 12 cup muffin bake pan, 24 cup mini muffin bake pan, 13" x 9" bake pan, a 3-piece oblong caddy (to set your baked goods on for transport), and an extra deep cover and locking latches to keeps your desserts safe and secure during travel. I have used it recently when making the aforementioned Hungry Girl Red Velvet Cupcakes for John and myself, and then for his Dungeons & Dragons group.

Anchor Hocking Oven Basics 6-Piece Bake N Take Bakeware Set

So, my mom has had a Pyrex version of this for awhile, and I always thought it was neat. Well, we got one as a wedding gift, and it has been great! The set includes a 3 Quart Baker with a blue plastic lid for travel, a 2 Quart Baker with a blue plastic lid for travel, a convenient baker tote and a Hot/Cold pack to help keep your dishes hot/cold while traveling. I have already used it several times for potlucks/dinners with our Young Marrieds Bible Study.

There are many other gadgets/appliances I have (many of them also wedding presents) that are great, but these are some of my favorites. Hope at least one person found this useful. =)

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Cookbook

My new Hungry Girl Cookbook 2oo Under 200 (200 Recipes Under 200 Calories) arrived today! I am looking forward to flipping through it and getting some meal ideas!

But why I am telling you this? Well, if you click the link above, it will take you to a page where you can see pictures and a brief description of every single recipe in the book (chapter by chapter) as well as their weight watcher's points values. And, while not all the recipes are listed on her website (she wants you to buy the book), a lot of them are. So, if you see a picture/description you like, copy the name of the recipe, go to her main page, and type the recipe name in the search bar...a lot of the time you can find it!

I would also like to add that while this book is by "Hungry GIRL," you don't have to be a girl to get it! She has all sorts of recipes that guys would like--nachos, wings, chicken fingers, potato skins, etc!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fettuccine With Chicken and Broccoli Rabe

So, the Veal and Twice baked potatoes I was going to make last night I decided to wait and make this Saturday instead, so those recipes are coming later. Tonight I made "Fettuccine With Chicken and Broccoli Rabe," from a Weight Watcher's cookbook (the picture above is said book cover, and the dish on the cover is this one). I was not able to find Broccoli Rabe, but did find Broccolini (neither is a form of broccoli, and they aren't that similar to each other...but the broccolini worked fine in the dish). John and I both thought it was good; I definitely will make it again. Here is the recipe:

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned and chopped
  • 6 ounces spinach fettuccine
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 (4 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings (I just used onion powder)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 head radicchio, shredded
  • 2 tbs grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the broccoli rabe 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. In the boiling water, cook the fettuccine according to package directions; drain.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsps of the oil. Add the chicken, salt, oregano, and red pepper and saute until cooked through, 4-5 mins on each side. Transfer to plates
  3. In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 tsps oil; saute onions and garlic till tender, 3-4 mins. Stir in the broccoli rabe and radicchio; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the fettuccine, then sprinkle with the cheese and black pepper. Serve topped with the chicken and sprinkled with the basil.
Servings: 4 (1 serving = 1/4 pasta w/1 chicken breast)
Per serving:
  • 339 cal (Weight Watchers Points = 7)
  • 8 g fat
  • 2 g sat fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 92 mg Chol
  • 746 mg Sod
  • 37 g Carb
  • 5 g fiber
  • 29g protein

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Red Velvet Insanity Cupcakes

So, today I made some awesome (not to mention low in fat/cal/sugar) Red Velvet Cupcakes--Hungry Girl's Red Velvet Insanity Cupcakes, to be exact. But before I share the recipe, I will share the ditzy thing I did while making them:

So, in the recipe, she warns you not to worry if your batter is thin--that the cupcakes will fluff up. Well, I made my batter...and it wasn't thin at all. In fact, it was pretty thick, and, even once I had put batter in all the cupcake cups, I had tons left over. Come to find out, I was supposed to use just one cup of each cake mix...and I used the entire box of each! I should have realize when I was pouring them in that I was putting in a lot of cake vs the other ingredients...but alas, I did not. However, the batter still tasted great, it didn't really change the nutrition too much, and I just saved the extra to make later. The cupcakes I did make were pretty good--a little chewy, but both John and I liked them. Here is the recipe:


For Frosting
6 tbsp. Jet-Puffed Marshmellow cream
6 tbsp. Cool Whip Free, thawed
1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)

For Cupcakes
1 cup Pillsbury Moist Supreme Reduced Sugar Cake Mix, Devil's Food**
1 cup Pillsbury Moist Supreme Reduced Sugar Cake Mix, Classic Yellow**
Two 25-calorie diet hot cocoa mix packets
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 oz. red food coloring
1 tsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/8 tsp. salt


1. Place half of your chocolate chips (2 tbsp.) and the contents of both cocoa packets in a tall glass. Add 12 ounces of boiling water, and stir until chips and cocoa mix have dissolved.

2. Place glass in the freezer until mixture is cold (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together marshmallow creme, cream cheese, and 1 tbsp. Splenda until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Place bowl in the fridge to chill until cupcakes are ready to be frosted.

3. Once the cocoa in the freezer has chilled, give it a stir, and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add the cake mixes, egg substitute, remaining chocolate chips, red food coloring, 1 tsp. Splenda, and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix batter for about 2 minutes (until smooth and blended). Batter will be thin, but don't worry, your cupcakes will puff up once baked!

4. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups, and spray lightly with nonstick spray (or simply spray the pan with nonstick spray). Evenly spoon batter into the pan. Place pan in the oven, and bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Cupcakes will look shiny when done.

5. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, evenly spread the frosting over them. Enjoy!


Serving Size: 1 frosted cupcake Calories: 134 Fat: 3g Sodium: 266mg Carbs: 25g Fiber: 0.75g Sugars: 11g Protein: 3g POINTS® value 3**

**Can't find the reduced-sugar cake mix? No problem! Make this recipe with regular cake mix, and each cupcake will have just 140 calories and a POINTS® value of 3*.

Only 3 points, AND yummy?? Sounds like a winner to me!

More Product Reccomendations

So, I mentioned in my last past that I have a Hungry Girl cookbook (link to her website listed with others links on left)...for those of you who don't know, she has a fab website, great cookbooks, and a daily e-mail newsletter. They are chalked full of yummy recipes (desserts, entrees, etc...but all with lower calories/fat/sugar), dieting tips, new low cal snacks/products, info on restaurant's offering some yummy but healthy dishes, and more. Even if you're a guy, I would recommend going to her site at the least, signing up for her newsletter and/or getting one of her cookbooks. I mean really--she has recipes for cupcakes, cheesecake, chicken fingers, wings, nachos, fondue, etc, etc...all of which you can eat and not feel bad about it! Tonight I will be making her Too Good Twice Baked Potatoes with our meal. Will post more on that after dinner.

ANYWAYS, one product she has recommended before is Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips. Kroger didn't have a big selection (and I had too look in the Organic/Natural section), so I just got blue corn tortilla chips. But apparently there are black bean flavored, nacho flavored, etc. I tried them today with my Smart Ones' enchiladas (more on those below) and some salsa. I will say, they tasted okay (they are low cal), BUT they did give a nice crunch and medium to eat my salsa on. So, if you're looking for chips to eat by themselves, these might not be the best...but if you want to use them for dips and such, they are a good choice. I mean, as far as nutrition goes, you get 18 chips for only 2 weight watcher's points (120 cals ; 3 g fat ; 2 g fiber; 3 g protein for 18 chips)

Finally, I would like to recommend Smart Ones' Chicken Enchiladas Suiza. As far as diet frozen food goes, it was one of the better meals I had. I mean, it's "served in a zesty sour cream and green chile sauce with Spanish rice"! ;-) Really, it was tasty, and only 6 weight watcher's points. For full nutrition, go the link I just mentioned (it has a nutrition label on the page).

That's all for now!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken Saltimbocca

So, I need to improve my health/get in shape. Obviously, one way to do this is to improve my diet. I have several Weight Watchers' cookbooks, a Hungry Girl cookbook, and a low-carb Rachael Ray cookbook, not to mention the internet, at my disposal...and so I am going to try and start making more dishes that are lower in calorie/fat/etc. When nutrition and/or Weight Watcher's Points are available for a dish, I will try and include them.

Anyways, what I made tonight was Chicken Saltimbocca, i.e., chicken "rolls." It is from a Weight Watcher's cookbook called "Shortcuts." The recipe is below:

  • 4 (1/4 lb) chicken cutlets (I buy thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 2 (1/2 ounce) slices fully cooked lean ham, cut in half
  • 2 (1/2 ounce) slices fat-free swiss cheese, cut in half
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves (I actually used dried herbs instead, and it turned out fine)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

  1. Arrange chicken breasts on work surface w/short sides near you. Top each one w/1 slice of the ham, 1 slice of cheese, and 2 basil leaves. Roll up, jelly-role style, and secure w/toothpick(s).
  2. Grate 1 tbs of zest from lemon; squeeze 1 tbs of lemon juice.
  3. Spray large nonstick skillet w/cooking spray, and set to medium-high heat.
  4. Add chicken rolls, seam side down, and cook till lightly browned--about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Add broth, lemon zest, and lemon juice; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, just until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Per serving (1 chicken roll with 1/4 cup sauce):
  • 167 cals
  • 4g fat (1 g Sat fat ; 0 g trans fat)
  • 72 mg Chol
  • 371 mg Sod
  • 2 g Carb
  • 0 g fiber
  • 29 g protein
  • Weight Watchers points value: 4

Both John and I thought it was good. I served it with some white rice (cooked in reduced sodium chicken broth for more flavor, and zero calories) and some Sister Schubert Wheat Dinner Rolls, which are pretty good for wheat.

Later on in the week I will be trying Veal Scallopine w/twice baked potatoes (from Weight Watchers and Hungry Girl), a Chicken Pasta Dish (Weight Watchers), and a potato soup w/blue cheese salad (Weight Watchers)...hopefully they will turn out well. I might also try some Hungry Girl' red velvet cupcakes... =)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lemon-Poppy Seed Bread

So, this isn't a recipe so much as a product suggestion. The other day, when at Walmart, I stumbled across a Betty Crocker Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffin/Quick Bread mix. I decided some lemon-poppy seed bread sounded good, so I bought it. The quick bread recipe is on the back (on the bottom, under the muffin recipe); in addition to the mix, it called for eggs, flour, vegetable oil, and maybe a thing or two more. But, you can find the ingredients listed on the back if you buy it yourself. Anyways, since our oven gets overly hot, I cooked it a little bit too long, so it was too done around some of the edges, but it still turned out pretty good. It even gives you a "recipe" for some lemon butter you can put on it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Croque Monsieurs

So, we saw "It's Complicated" over the break. Meryl Streep's character owns a bakery and really likes cooking, and at one point she made Croque Monsieurs, which looked wonderful. I remembered them being mentioned in middle school French class, and thus decided to make them once we got back in Auburn. But, what are Croque Monsieurs? Basically, they are hot ham and cheese grilled sandwiches covered in a cheesey B├ęchamel sauce. The recipe I used was from Ina Garten, host of the food network show "Barefoot Contessa." The sandwiches were oh so good...and unfortunately, oh so fattening. The recipe is below, and the original can be found here:


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin (I used packaged deli sliced ham)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened (about 8-12 minutes).
  4. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.
  5. To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 1-2 minutes, until toasted.
  6. Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread.
  7. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes.
  8. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned (keep a close eye on them...some broilers, like ours, work really fast, and you'll burn them if you don't watch out for them). Serve hot.

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Bread Pudding

The following recipe is one sent to me by my dear friend, Jonna. I have not made it myself yet...but I am sure it is delicious! Below is the e-mail/recipe Jonna sent me. Enjoy!:

"This is one that I sort of made up. I was attempting to make a very unhealthy recipe healthy and also use what I had on hand. But the healthy part didn't happen ;) It and it is called,

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Bread Pudding

1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp.salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. apple pie spice (you can use 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg if you want)
2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Crisco
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup of apple pie filling
1/3 cup water
1 cup of chopped pecans

Grease and flour a regular loaf pan. Mix whole wheat flour, plain flour, powder, soda, salt, and apple pie spice. In a separate bowl, cream Crisco, sugar, honey and vanilla. Add eggs. Add apple pie filling to sugar mixture, do not beat with a mixer after this point. The chunks of apples are good to have. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with water in four additions. Fold in nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, break open the top to expose uncooked part of bread. Cook an additional 10 minutes until done, but still moist. We just dip it out of the pan with a spoon."

Sure sounds yummy to me...I'll have to make it soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Divan

Wow, it has been awhile since I updated this...I guess it's because we've been in Huntsville the past 3 weeks for Christmas break, and our wonderful mothers have been feeding us (and we ate out some). Anyways, I am pretty excited about the meals I will making this week--tonight's dish (recipe below) is Chicken Divan, and later on in the week I will be having a "French" night, and another night I will be making a seafood dish. But, those recipes will come later. For now, I will share what we had tonight:

Chicken Divan
(you can find this recipe on various cooking/recipe sites, cookbooks, etc...the one I am using is from Paula Deen):

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen broccoli, chopped
6 cup shredded chicken, cooked
2 (10 3/4 -ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup cheddar or gruyere cheese (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the outer wrappers from the boxes of broccoli. Open one end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the broccoli and put into bowl. Add the shredded chicken.
  3. To the chicken and broccoli, add the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar cheese, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce.
  4. Place the mixture into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top. Finally, top the whole dish with cheddar or gruyere cheese.
  5. Bake for about 30-45 minutes (depending on your oven)

BTW, I halved this recipe, since it was just John & I....and still had plenty of leftovers! I think in the future I'll omit the wine--even though it cooks out, it still gave the dish a flavor that wasn't my favorite. But, I i will probably make it again...