Archive | March, 2012

Some lunches…

30 Mar

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Sometimes, I get really excited about lunch. Redoing leftovers is one way I like to switch things up for my tastebuds. Here, we are talking a piece of chicken from the previous evening’s Parmesan chicken and roasted Caesar (adapted from Bon Appetit), packed separately in a plastic bag to prevent sogginess. I took some crisp romaine lettuce, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil with some balsamic vinegar. I then added the chicken to achieve perfection. If I was not using leftovers, I would simply coat 4 seasoned (salt, pepper, paprika) chicken cutlets (about 1 pound) evenly with the crunchy topping mixture (1/2 cup Romano cheese, 1/2 cup panko, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil) and pop into a hot oven for about 15 minutes until everything is cooked and crispy!

Voila! Lunch you can get excited about!

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Who says?

22 Mar

Who says that you cannot have a healthy, delicious dinner with minimal “hands-on” time?

 

Parmesan Chicken with Roasted Caesar Romaine, adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe here

Garlicky, filling, and a cinch to make.  It was actually easier to make than finding parking and standing in line at Chipotle. 

 

Even though I was exhausted, I powered through to cook something delish for dinner.  Seriously happy that I did.  I’d like to remember this moment throughout the coming weeks — I’m finishing up a few projects at my current company and moving to a new corporation.  The first week is always rough, with lots of adjustment.  It can be hard for me to remember to eat well.  I hope memories of the relaxation I feel when I cook, and how minimal the effort really was, will help me while I make this job transition.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and a Weight Update

19 Mar

After three long months, I seem to have broken the plateau. 

THANK YOU EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY IN THIS WORLD ((AMEN)).

It’s not official yet, but I’ve been weighing myself this week and I seem to have gotten below 156… it’s all due to a few simple things:

1. trying not to binge.

2. getting rid of all of our ice cream and not keeping it in the house anymore.

3. TRYING to stay within my allotted points for the day (they changed my points level in December, and I still haven’t gotten used to the reduced number of points per day).
The results have been amazing.  I went outlet shopping this weekend, and I fit into mostly size 10 clothes.  Things looked good on me.  I felt pretty and sexy.  I didn’t feel like a fat girl… I knew I wasn’t going to be hard-pressed to find something that fit.

When I’m doing the right thing, it feels amazing… I need to hold onto that feeling and continue on this good trend!

 

Now, for the delicious recipe that I am literally OBSESSED with.  I make this at least once a week.  It’s so good with cilantro-lime rice (recipe to come!), and really, it’s one of the only recipes I follow without changing because it is just that damn good.

Everything looking damn tasty!

 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

serves 4; 9 points per serving

recipe from Real Simple, found here

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced thinly (I use a mandolin)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. In the slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, garlic, onion, tomato paste, garam masala, and some salt and pepper to taste.  Take the chicken thighs and place them on top of the tomato mixture.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  3. Toss the lemon juice, cilantro, and cucumber together in a small bowl.  Season with some salt and pepper to taste, and cover and place in the fridge.  (I leave this in the fridge for as long as the chicken cooks)
  4. After the chicken is done cooking, take the heavy cream and mix it in. 
  5. Top each serving of chicken with some of the cucumber mixture (see picture below).  Serve and enjoy!!!

 

Seriously, this is as tasty as the real thing, and loads healthier too! Try it ASAP!!!

Light Avocado Chicken Salad

9 Mar

Yum!  Hello, lunch!

Do you see how happy I am to be eating this sandwich?  It’s because chicken salad is one of my favorite “splurge” foods.  I never get it anymore, because I know it is always covered in high-fat mayo.  Well, until I found this version!

This sandwich is the most recent ruthless destroyer of Meatless Monday.  It’s just that nothing beats delicious warm rotisserie chicken, and shredding it into a yummy salad to eat all week seems like the most perfect Sunday evening task… right before I storm out of the door on Monday morning like a whirling dervish, ready with my delicious lunch in hand.  I serve these on multi-grain kaiser rolls, and even my wonderful man, who claims to dislike avocados, will eat this all week.  This would also be great on a bed of lettuce — maybe a spinach salad.  I’m basically obsessed with avocados, and this is a great way to incorporate more avocados into your diet (as if I needed more help with that!).  I encourage you to make this and eat it for lunch throughout the week… you won’t be disappointed! Plus, as an added bonus, the portion is quite generous — you’ll almost feel like you are splurging, when really, it is very healthy and filling.

Adapted from We are not Martha

Serves 6; 6 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken (about three cups)
  • 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt
  • approximately 1 cup of grapes
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 avocado
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • paprika to taste
  • chili powder to taste

Directions:

  1. Shred chicken into a large bowl.  Be sure to remove the fattening skin from the chicken before placing in bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado in a smaller bowl.  Squeeze the juice into the bowl and mix together with the avocado until mostly smooth.
  3. Combine the avocado mixture with the shredded chicken… stir in the Greek yogurt as well.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Chop up grapes and parsley.  Place in bowl with the chicken.
  6. Sprinkle spices.  Now, I said paprika and chili powder to taste — but really, what I mean is that I sprinkle some (maybe a teaspoon?) of each into the dish, mix it up, and if I am craving more spices, I add some more.  Tasting as you go is key 🙂
  7. Chill for an hour before eating.  Or, if you are like me, save it for lunch the next day.  Don’t worry about the avocado going brown; that is what the lemon juice is for!

The final product… looking well-mixed, and maybe not as pretty as some other food.  Don’t worry, it’s just as tasty as it sounds, and definitely more tasty than it looks!

Easy Slow Cooker Black Bean Casserole

8 Mar

This is a great recipe to come out of our (short-lived) Meatless Monday experiment.  Now, I don’t want to say that Meatless Monday is over. It’s just that we’ve found it difficult to maintain a totally meatless day.  However, we have been making a few meatless meals on a regular basis, and that has helped with our overall decrease in meat intake.  This is my easy-to-make favorite.  So cheap, so easy, and so tasty!  It tastes great on top of some cilantro-lime rice (a create-your-own-Chipotle-bowl, if you will), but also is so filling by itself. 

Adapted from My Recipes — see here.

Serves 6; 8 points per serving

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 16 oz. jar of hot salsa
  • 16 oz. of dried black beans
  • 6 oz. of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 tablespoon of chopped chipotles in adobo

Directions:

  1. Rinse off and pick through the black beans.  Dump the black beans into the slow cooker.
  2. Stir water, salsa, and chipotles in adobo if using.
  3. Set slow cooker on high and cook for 6 hours.
  4. After the slow cooker is done, top with cheese.  Set slow cooker on high and cook for 15 minutes.  
  5. Stir cheese in throughout the black beans so that the whole mixture is melty and gooey and all combined.
  6. Serve!