Saturday, August 13, 2011
Chicken Parm is one of my favorite Italian dishes... but the calories and grease are NOT my friends. In fact, they are quite the enemies around these parts! Here is a recipe that I have found and LOVE to make HEALTHY Chicken Parm. This is the first chicken recipe that my daughter asked for MORE of! She loves it and requests it often.
This recipe is for four servings, so multiply/divide ingredients accordingly - depending upon how many mouths you are feeding.
*Extra special hint* I always make an extra serving for the next day's lunch!
4 - 4oz raw boneless skinless chicken breasts (Or just get your chicken breasts out - I will show you how to get them there later)
1 cup Fiber One Cereal (ORIGINAL!)
1 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning (or your favorite salt-free version)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (all seasonings you can add more to taste, but I did not).
1/2 cup low sodium tomato sauce with italian seasoning (I mixed my own). You can just use your favorite spaghetti sauce, but that will change the calories and sodium!
1/4 egg substitute
4 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Most of those ingredients you should have in the house - it's so easy!
First, let's make sure you have the right size chicken. Portion size is important! First, trim all the nasty fat off of the chicken breast:
See that nasty white stuff- it all has to go! Next, get out your food scale and see how much the breast weighs, then trim it down until it gets to 4.0 oz.:
Next, place all of the breasts into a ziploc bag and seal it. Take a meat mallet or heavy can and pound the chicken until it is about a half-inch thick. This allows the meat to cook evenly and quickly!
I totally recommend that you do the prep work with the chicken earlier if you have the time. It will make the cooking part so much faster!
Now it's time to make the breadding. First, Let's discuss the FiberOne cereal for those who haven't experienced it yet. This was my first time using this cereal, and I must admit that I was a bit taken back when I opened. I thought for a moment that we were at the zoo, about to feed the goats! Yep; it looks like goat food. But that's ok. We are going to grind it out of it's goat-food-shaped misery so we can enjoy it! The FiberOne cereal is essential - don't use just bread crumbs because the fiberous nature of the cereal makes the breading texture like a fried texture with none of those fried calories!
OK so put the FiberOne ceareal into your favorite blender or food processor until it gets to be like a bread crumb texture. Here are some beauty shots of my blender doing the work:
I have the MyBlend blender from Oster. It's awesome for making smoothies and other drinks (like my coffee drink!) The green part where the FiberOne cereal is is a 20oz container that you can take the blades off and put on a drinking spout! It's super amazing for a blender - and it works well too!
Ok, back to the recipe. Mix the italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of both the onion and garlic powders into the cereal. This is the breading. Then, in a seperate bowl, pour the egg substitute. Now, bread this like you've never breaded before (egg than breading). WORK IT!
Now the pan needs to get ready for the main event. Put a big pan on the stove, spray it down with cooking spray (I use the olive oil type). Now warm the pan up on Medium-High heat. Once the pan is warmed up, place the chicken on there and let it cook for 4 minutes.
Next, it's a hard step... oh no I don't think you can handle it. Are you ready? Flip the chicken over for another 4 minutes. hehe. SO HARD! While the timer is ticking, add the other 1/4 teaspoon of onion and garlic powders to the tomato sauce and mix well. Once the timer goes off, spoon the sauce over the top of the chicken:
Then, sprinkle the cheese on top!
Cover the pan for 2-3 minutes, just so the cheese can relax and make melty goodness on top of your chicken.
Then? You're Done! Chicken Parm for 4! I served mine with some no yolks and extra tomato sauce I made.
I know you are wondering the calories in this yumm-o chicken: only 249! A normal piece of chicken parm at a resturant is going to cost you more than double that - 600 calories, and that isn't including the mountain of pasta it is sittin on, or any of the sides that come with it - like breadsticks or fried cheese? It's mindblowing! This recipe is from Hungry Girl, so you know it will be good!
So try out this recipe on your friends and family. Non-dieters will love it too! Check out the recipe on SP here - so you can add it to your tracker!
Do you like these recipe blogs? If you do, I will work on more! What is for dinner tonight for you?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I have a few recipes that I have done that I would like to share with all of you. None of these are 100% my idea, but I wanted to share a couple tricks and tips. I am always looking for new recipes so PLEASE leave a comment with your favorites for me! I tend to pick things that are more like this one; a "makeover" recipe that my girlfriend will eat with me, even though she has no interest in changing her eating habits.
THIS is Chef Meg's "Fried" Cheese Sticks. OMFFG. If you like cheese and/or fried things, you will LOVE this! Kids and adults alike will love it. I usually pair this with another italian dish when I am having company over. I have a lasanga AND chicken parm recipe that I am going to share with you all soon that are a HIT in my house - with EVERYONE!
Ingredients are super easy, and something you should have in your home anyway! I doubled (or more) the recipe since we were having a lot of guests over, that eat a LOT. I will tell you everything to serve two people.
4 light string cheese sticks
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs. YES you need these, not just regular ones - they make the final product crispier!)
1/4 cup egg substitute (or two egg whites)
1 tablespoon of your favorite No-Salk Italian Herb Seasoning Blend. (SP recommends Chef Meg's but I used Mrs. Dash)
Note, these ingredients are altered from the original recipe to reduce waste - no one wants to throw away food and cooking items that they pay for!
Ok, so you have all of your ingredients? Now make sure that you take the wrappers off of the string cheese, and place them on a plate:
Then, cut them in half! This makes the serving sizes- each person gets 4 cheese sticks once this is all done with!!
TRICK OF THE TRADE: Chef Meg's recipe doesn't say this, but trust me! Put all of your sticks into a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes. (They can be longer, but at least 10 minutes to freeze them)
Now you are ready to continue with the recipe. Roll each stick in flour, then mix the panko and italian seasonings and set it aside for a moment. Then get your egg substitute ready. This is a basic breading process- dunk the cheese in the egg sub. and then roll into the bread crumb mixture. Place them on a baking sheet. Repeat this until they are all breaded.
Next, spritz each stick with some cooking spray (I highly recommend the Olive Oil one!)
Bake them in the oven for 3-5 minutes at 350 degrees - just so the cheese has time to warm up and the breading crisps up - but not so the sticks are a gooey mess.
Pretty amazing food for only 151.8 calories for FOUR PIECES! Be sure to make this next time you are serving an italian dinner for friends and family. I promise it will be a hit!
Original recipe: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
Sunday, August 07, 2011
I have been SO busy this week, that I feel bad for not being around. I am so use to checking in with everyone each day, but it has been so busy that I haven't had the opportunity to really say "hi" over the last few days - and today will be one of those days too!
I wanted to let you in on a day in my life, so here is a picture and story version of my Friday (8-5-11).
For my close Spark friends, you all know that I will sometimes go to the main branch of my job and work hard. I am often excited for these days because it takes me away from my desk and I sweat all day. But what do I do there?
The picture above kind of shows what I do. I dress down in jeans and a company T-shirt and go into our stock room to organize, move boxes, fold clothes, etc. for 7 hours (minus my one-hour meeting with my managers about our company's social media 'stuff' that I work on back at my office.
For whatever reason, I am the only person that is willing to work on the stockroom and company logoed apparel - and it's ok with me! I get time away from my routine and I am ACTIVE for 6 hours of my work day! I always leave with sweat running down my back and in desperate need for a shower. It's AWESOME!
After work, I normally pick up Heather and Nicole from the daycare, but Heather stayed home with my sister Heidi (yes, my sister has an "H" name too - actually my daughter is named after my older sister who passed away when I was a child) so I only had to pick up Nicole.
As we arrived home, we were very excited. Heidi was taking care of Heather at home on Friday because there was a special delivery at my house: my new treadmill! Someone had to be there to let the delivery guy in, so I paid my sister in books.
Nicole and I were eager to start to set up our treadmill, so we asked Heidi if she would like to learn a new recipe! She agreed and we got to work while I continually instructed Heidi through a recipe that I knew well: Hungry Girl's Pan Fried Chicken Parm.... I have every intention of my next blog being how to make that recipe for all of you!!
Heidi starting to make the meal
Our friends have advised us that assembling the treadmill would take us hours and lots of tools but our install took only about an hour! Here was the first step: lift the running deck.
Heather decided that while Nicole did the next step, she would show you how fabulous she was looking that day:
Nicole and I are really awesome at teamwork. Here is the two of us working on the treadmill... about halfway through the assembly:
After we finished assembly, I wanted to try it out. Nicole took this picture and it is a bit blurry, but:
I have used the treadmill three times since that moment- already!
Just before dinner, we were all having a little bit of fun and cleaning up. It's so much fun to have a big box in the living room! Nicole and Heather were paddling their "boat" to try to keep away from the scary dragon (me).
I was running around and roaring - things I don't even think twice about it now, but something that I would have never wanted to do before SparkPeople... its amazing to see the many ways this site improves lives!
Here is our meal. The chicken (sauce, cheese and all) was 258 calories/serving! woo hoo!
Saturday, we went to the library and I wrote a paper on Scientology for a class... then worked out a TON. I used dumbbells to work my arms while I walked and MAN my arms are sore today!!
Today we are going to State Fair with my dad. It is a place of fatty, deep fried foods so I am kind of nervous. In Wisconsin, fried foods is the normal... I mean they are advertising one of the new fair foods as deep fried BUTTER. Come on!!!!
How was your weekend? What did you do to MAKE your weekend healthy?
Sunday, July 31, 2011
A while back, I was involved in a women's weight loss group at the local YMCA. There was a trainer that ran the group and started each session with emphasizing to us that we need to
CELEBRATE EACH OTHER'S VICTORIES.
Also, I work in marketing in a home remodeling company. We have a company policy called "Bucket Drops." The concept comes from a book, How Full Is Your Bucket. It is a great concept.
"Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it's empty, we feel awful..." For the sake of keeping the blog shorter, you can read about it here: strengths.gallup.com/114082/Theory-D
I will be completely honest with you all. It isn't always easy. When we are all on these new, healthy lifestyle journeys it can be a challenge for me to be completely happy for a person who just bypassed me in weight loss - or who is doing so much better than I am.
I want to be the successful girl that everyone is proud of.
I want to be the girl that can be officially done with the 300s.
I want to be the amazing woman that everyone envies.
But I can't always be that woman, and I need to get over it. I need to be the person that appreciate in others. I am lucky to have some amazing Spark Friends, but I have made a goal for August. I am going to celebrate my Spark Friends victories. I am going to publicly celebrate someone's victory anytime I see a victory!
Let's start with NICKELDAWN. She status-ed today announcing that she has spread the Spark! Her mom has joined Spark People - and is starting by using the nutrition tracker benefit.
My newest Spark Friend, HS1056 is working on revamping her meal plans while still appeasing her husband's comfort food requests (which include the deep fryer!) Her husband offered her a bite of food and she didn't want any. That takes amazing self control - something that most of us struggle with daily!
I am so proud of my Spark People friends every day! I may not always tell all of you, but I read your blogs, every single one. I am in your corner, cheering you on - every bite of food, and drop of sweat during your workouts.
So who is ready to join me? Let's celebrate each other's victories this month, and forever! No matter how big or small the victory, every one is important! Celebrating each other will bring us closer together as a community and friends too!
My victory for the week? I am now morbidly obese - it is a big deal for me, even though it sounds awful - because I am no longer SUPER morbidly obese. I have been feeling amazing in my skin today - even when I fell in the kitchen because the floor was "too clean!" hehe.
Have a great rest of the weekend Sparkers!!
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