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Posts Tagged ‘low-carb’

baked-zucchini-sticks-5

As soon as I laid eyes on that massive zucchini, I started Gooling zucchini recipes. This was one of the first ones I found, and I knew right away that I’d love it. This is a great healthy alternative to mozarella sticks. I didn’t have any marinara sauce on hand to dip them in, but I plan on buying some and making these again!

I loved these – but Stas hated them… I ended up eating all of mine, PLUS his.

But in all fairness, he doesn’t care much for zucchini to begin with.

Baked Zucchini Sticks

  • equivalent of 3 medium zucchini, sliced into 3″ x 1/2″ sticks
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
  • cooking spray (or parchment paper)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • fresh pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and cheese; shake well. Cove cookie sheet with parchment paper (or spray cookie sheet with cooking spray) and set aside.

baked-zucchini-sticks-2

zucchini slices

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breadcrumbs and egg white

3. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer on parchment paper (optional: spray cooking spray on top).

zucchini sticks pre-baking

zucchini sticks pre-baking

4. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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baked zucchini sticks, plated

Serves 3

Here is the breakdown of Weight Watchers points:
zucchini = 0
1 egg white = 0
1/3 cup bread crumbs = 2
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese = 2

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porcini-dusted-chicken

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for awhile, and I’m not sure why I hadn’t made it previously – but I’m glad I finally did! It was so good – definitely a keeper!

And the best test of how good it was? Stas liked it – even with the mushroom sauce. Actually, that was his favorite part!

This recipe uses dried mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are readily available in most supermarkets. You’ll find them in the produce department. If you don’t see them, ask an employee.

Porcini-Dusted Chicken Scaloppine
from Cooking Light, October 2007

  • 1/2  cup  dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  minced shallots (about 1)
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 3  cups  sliced wild or cultivated mushrooms (about 1/2 pound…  I used baby bella mushrooms)
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3  tablespoons  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Place porcini mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.

2. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts and pound them to even thickness using a meat mallet. Sprinkle chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Then dredge them in the porcini powder, shaking off the excess.

covering the chicken breasts in porcini powder

covering the chicken breasts in porcini powder

3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until chicken is lightly browned and done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

cover with foil to keep warm

cover with foil to keep warm

4. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

cooking the shallots and garlic

cooking the shallots and garlic

5. Add 3 cups mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.

after adding the mushrooms to the pan

after adding the mushrooms to the pan

6. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add broth to pan; simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup (about 5 minutes).

reduce the liquids

reduce the liquids

7. Stir in sour cream; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and parsley.

after adding final ingredients

after adding final ingredients

Serves 4

(Each serving is 6 Weight Watchers points.)

I served it with boiled potatoes garnished with chives and fresh tomatoes. For wine, I used the same wine I used in cooking… my current favorite, Nobilo 2008 Sauvignon Blanc:

plated and served

plated and served

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chicken-walnut-sauce-1

I’ve been up since 5am – way too excited for my bridal shower today…

What a perfect time to (finally!) update my blog!

I actually made this dish a few weeks ago, but never posted about it. It’s amazing how quickly the days fly by when you’re trying to plan a wedding! It’s less than 2 months away now – I’m beyond excited, but a little stressed out by my list of still-to-do’s.

Stas didn’t like this dish. I’ve mentioned before that he generally doesn’t like sauces, and this time was no exception. He ended up scraping it all off, much to my dismay!

I loved it, though! It was filling, yet light. Since the sauce is bread-thickened, it tastes and feels a lot more fattening than it really is  (it tastes cream-thickened).

deliciously thick (and light!) sauce

deliciously thick (and light!) sauce

You could also use this sauce as a pasta sauce, to change this into a vegetarian dish!

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delicious

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Walnut Sauce
from Cooking Light, May 2006

  • 2 (1 1/2 ounce) slices day-old white bread
  • 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 /3 cup walnuts, toasted (the toasting is optional)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • parsley, to garnish

1. Remove crusts from bread. Chop bread and combine it with the broth in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine bread mixture, walnuts, parsley leaves, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, red pepper, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.

walnut-sauce

walnut sauce

2. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

3. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 7 minutes on each side, or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

chicken-browned

browned chicken

4. Add chicken broth mixture to pan; cook until hot and slightly thickened, scraping pan with a wooden spoon (don’t use metal – you’ll ruin the pan!) to loosen browned bits.

5. To serve, plate the chicken breast and top each with about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

plated chicken

plated chicken

Serves 6

(1 serving = 6 Weight Watchers points)

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061809_blackberry_pork_2

I love the summertime – when all of the yummy fruits hit the grocery stores. Melons, berries, stone fruits… yum! I eat way too much fruit in the summer – but it’s just so good that I can’t help myself! When Stas and I sit down with a bowl of cut-up cantaloupe or watermelon, one of us ends up having to take the bowl away because we cannot stop ourselves.

I bought a couple packages of blackberries for this recipe – and  Stas was very upset when I told him that he wasn’t allowed to eat them 🙂 But it was all for a good cause… this recipe came out great! We both loved it (even though he doesn’t usually like sauces).

This recipe would be great for a dinner party – or even an outdoor grilling/lunch party. To save time, make the sauce ahead of time (I’d say up to a day ahead of time).

We don’t own a grill (because we live in a loft… and have no yard), but I used my grill pan on the stovetop and it came out just fine…

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Grilled Pork with Blackberry-Sage Sauce
from Cookling Light, June 2009

Cooking spray
2  tablespoons  minced shallots (I didn’t have any – oops!- so I used some white onion instead)
3  cups  fresh blackberries (about 1 pound)
1/2  teaspoon  chopped fresh sage
1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar (Again, didn’t have any!! I used 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar + 1 tsp sugar)
1 1/2  teaspoons  sugar
1  tablespoon  butter
3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt, divided
1  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Sage sprigs (optional)

(If using a grill, prepare grill to medium heat)

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots (or onions) to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add blackberries, sage, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until blackberries break down. Press blackberry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Return liquid to pan. Stir in vinegar and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 9 minutes); remove from heat. Stir in butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring until butter melts. Keep warm.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper over pork. Place pork on grill rack (or grill pan on stovetop over medium heat) coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155° (slightly pink), turning pork occasionally. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

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right off the "grill"

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so juicy!

061809_grilled_sliced_pork_close

waiting for the blackberry sauce

Serve with blackberry sauce; garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.

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the finished dish

serves 6 (about 3 ounces pork and 2 tablespoons sauce)

And for all of you on Weight Watchers: 1 serving = 4 points

By the way, that bamboo cutting board was only $3 at a flea market! I’m sure I’ll find out why it was so cheap one of these days. But in the meantime, it’s awesome!

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broiled-salmon-peppercorn-lime-9

Look, no chicken!!!

I don’t make fish as often as I’d like. I usually do my grocery shopping on Saturdays, with meals planned out in my head for the week ahead. With fish, you can’t really buy it on Saturday and have it a few days later – it’s really something you need to buy on the day you want to use it.

This recipe looked way yummier in the Cooking Light magazine – they managed not to burn their pepper-corn lime rub… and I really don’t see how that’s possible after 7 minutes under a broiler!

But even with the blackened rub, this dish was awesome. I served mine with the lime slices like the magazine suggested, and I think that squeezing the lime juice over the fish added the perfect flavor.

Broiled Salmon with Peppercorn-Lime Rub
from Cooking Light, May 2009

4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 3/4 inch thick)
Cooking spray
2  teaspoons  grated lime rind
1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon  cracked black pepper
1  garlic clove, minced
Lime wedges (optional)

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Place fish, skin sides down, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Combine remaining ingredients except lime wedges; sprinkle over fish. Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

peppercorn-lime rub

peppercorn-lime rub

"naked" salmon fillet

"naked" salmon fillet

just before broiling

just before broiling

finished salmon

finished salmon

(After 7 minutes under the broiler, my salmon was blackening too much, but not cooked all the way through… so I finished it in a pan over medium heat)

Serve with lime wedges.

serves 4

plated dish

plated dish


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IMGP4268

I make a lot of chicken recipes, don’t I? I just loooooove chicken!

And cheese? Don’t even get me started on cheese! I’m addicted to the stuff!

So you can probably imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light. I had to make it.

I loved this dish. The stuffing is perfect and the reduced sauce is delicious, although you could definitely serve it without the sauce if you don’t have wine or chicken broth available.

Stas wasn’t a huge fan – he just doesn’t like chicken stuffed with anything (which is so weird to me). He did like the sauce though. So maybe if I make this in the future, I’ll only stuff half of them and just serve him a breast with the sauce.

I just really want someone else to make this and get excited about it because I loved it that much 🙂

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Leeks, and Thyme
adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009

1 1/2  teaspoons  olive oil
1 1/3  cups  thinly sliced leeks
3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1  tablespoon  fat-free milk
1 1/2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
6  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
1/2  cup  dry white wine
1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pan; cook 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 2-5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

cooking the leeks

cooking the leeks

Combine leek mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cheese, parsley, milk, and thyme in a small bowl, stirring with a fork.

the cheese/leek mixture

the cheese/leek mixture

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket; stuff 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

cutting pockets in the chicken breasts

cutting pockets in the chicken breasts

Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan, smooth side (the top of the breast) down; sauté 5 minutes; turn chicken over. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

add chicken to pan

add chicken to pan

IMGP4266

the chicken is done!

Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced by half (about 2 minutes). Add broth, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 9 minutes). Serve with chicken.

IMGP4276

reducing the sauce

serves 6

I served it with mashed potatoes:

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imgp4232

Let me just start by saying that this recipe is so good! I usually don’t try to make Chinese food on my own – mostly because I never want to buy the long list of strange ingredients (fish sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, etc.). I mean, when else will I use stuff like that?! It’ll just sit in my fridge for months until it goes bad and I throw it out.

I decided to make this one because it only called for 1 ‘strange’ ingredient – oyster sauce. And that oyster sauce was pretty cheap at Market Basket 🙂

Also, the recipe was in the ‘Dinner Tonight’ section of this month’s Cooking Light – meaning that it’s quick and easy. Cooking Light says that it should only take 30 minutes to make.

I’d say the most time-consuming part of this recipe is preparing the ingredients (measuring sauces, chopping vegetables). This is a recipe where practicing ‘mise en place‘ is key; lay everything out on the counter, chop and set aside the vegetables… and then you’ll be good to go and the recipe will seem ten times easier. You’ll go crazy trying to pull everything out of your cabinets and measure and chop as you go.

I’ve already stated that I loved this recipe, but Stas loved it as well. He works next to Chinatown and used to have Chinese food a lot, so he doesn’t like it much (I’ve since started packing his lunch every day – lucky guy!) . In addition, he’s not a ‘sauce-guy’… but he couldn’t get enough of this sauce. I served it with white rice and he loved the combo of the sauce & white rice.

Chicken and Cashews
adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews

ingredients - minus the soy sauce (I forgot)

ingredients - minus the soy sauce (I forgot)

1. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and chicken in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, broth, oyster sauce, and honey in a small bowl.

imgp4227

coating the chicken

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 3 minutes.

cooking the chicken

cooking the chicken

3.Remove chicken from pan. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute.

sauteeing the veggies

sauteeing the veggies

4. Return chicken mixture to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cashews.

Serves 4

finished dish

finished dish

finished dish - take 2

finished dish - take 2

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup chopped celery to be added with the onions & red pepper, but I hate celery so I skipped it.

It also called for sliced green onions to be added with the cashews, but the grocery store didn’t have any!

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