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BLBST36 Posts: 351
4/17/13 9:21 A

Thank you for all the suggestions, it really helped me figure out my food :)

I did end up splitting the sweet and sour recipe to chicken only and sauce only since I drizzle the sauce instead of tossing the chicken in. I am going to try and saute it in the "Marinade" and hopefully keep all the flavor that is in the "marinade"

For the salads, I actually bought Balsamic Vinaigrette, but was intrigued by the idea of Caesar salad dressing for it. I bought both - lol. The Caesar is Bolthouse Farms and is really good. I found I only needed 1.5 tbsp on my salad (and I am a dressing junky) - it is way better than ranch would have been

For the sad ground beef, I found a recipe for Pide that was really intriguing. Completely different than anything I ever ate or made before and the only ingredient that I needed to buy was peppers. That's gonna be Friday night :)

Thanks again!!

JBIRDIEJ SparkPoints: (3,613)
Fitness Minutes: (3,494)
Posts: 23
4/15/13 10:29 P

Bolthouse makes a yogurt salad dressing. They have a few flavors. I have trued the ranch and its really good. Only 45 calories per 2 tablespoons. I think they ave a caesar and a hiney mustard too. Its sold in the produce department with the refrigerated dressings.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
4/15/13 9:06 P

Ground beef I would use for mini meatballs (baked) or tacos or chili. There's been a ton of advice re the chicken, I nothing more to add there. Sometimes in lieu of of a dressing I use a clementine mixed into my salad with some feta. Gives me enough moisture and complexity to my salad.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
4/15/13 4:37 P

For ground meat, I would divide it into the size you want before freezing it the first time. If you need to do something with all of it right now but only want to consume half of it today then you you can just brown it and freeze the cooked meat and add the cooked meat to sauces, soup, tacos, pizza, etc. You could also just double your recipe and freeze half for another day.

I would experiment with leaving the coating off the chicken in the sweet and sour chicken recipe and just stir fry the chicken plain before adding the sauce recipe. I think the purpose of the egg-cornstarch mixture on the chicken is just to get a crispy coating, not add any flavor. Here is an alternative recipe that doesn't use egg in the coating or frying in a bunch of oil.

In your parmesan chicken question I would use any salad dressing you enjoy. Ranch or an Italian dressing sounds fine to me.

BERKANA_T Posts: 138
4/15/13 3:26 P

I can't say anything about the sweet and sour chicken, since I don't have any experience with those sort of dishes, but it sounds like there has been some good advice from other posters.

With half a pound of ground meat, if it can't be frozen (ie already been frozen and thawed once), then I like to add it to a spaghetti sauce which makes not quite a meat sauce, but pretty darn good nonetheless. I also will cook it up and then add it to a vegetable soup to add some protein to the soup. When I'm really stumped for what to do with it, I cook it and then freeze it until inspiration strikes!

My absolute favourite salad dressing is a simple homemade vinagrette with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little mustad (we usually use the 'ancient' style). It tastes wonderful and doesn't weigh a meal down like a heavier cream sauce can.

BLBST36 Posts: 351
4/15/13 12:43 P

The cookbook says to mix it all up and marinate it for an hour. Technically a marinade, but not in the traditional sense, I suppose :) Sorry for the confusion! I am so excited about this now!! lol

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
4/15/13 12:37 P

Ah ok. A "marinade" in cooking terms is something you soak the meat in for awhile... like a few hours. That's why I thought an egg marinade sounded odd :) For the breading process (or in this case, cornstarch), using egg makes perfect sense!

BLBST36 Posts: 351
4/15/13 12:17 P

Wholenewme - I think the same thing about moderation. I always forget about Newman's Own dressing. I am trying to be more conscious of what additives I eat and that would be perfect - thanks!

Roxie - The marinade is from a cookbook. The chicken sits in it until you throw conrstarch on it and fry it up. The whole recipe is from scratch, which is why I am trying to adapt it. Oooh - cheeseburgers. That could be good with oven baked fries :) thanks!

Yo - I didn't start it. I was trying to figure out how to adapt it without frying. The general Tso's recipe you linked actually has the same type of marinade - egg, cornstarch, salt and pepper. That makes me a little more confident. I think I will just use the egg white, like she does, too. Sorry about not posting the whole recipe, it just has SO many ingredients. It is totally worth the effort, though.

Thanks for the suggestions!!

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
4/15/13 11:28 A

For your sweet & sour chicken, have you already started it? Or can you look around for a healthier recipe version of it that doesn't call for frying? I must say, I've never heard of egg in a marinade, that sounds kind of gross if you're not going to fry it. I've never made sweet & sour chicken because it's not my thing, but I did a quick search and found a few sweet & sour chicken recipes that don't involve frying:

I HAVE made a healthier version of General Tso's chicken, so maybe you can take that cooking method and apply it to your sweet & sour:
I got 325 calories per serving when I made it (had it making 4 servings), not counting the rice.

If you don't want to do that, then maybe post the original recipe that you want to use so we can look at it and make recommendations. Hard to say what will work without knowing what the recipe is.

For your ground beef, you can do the same recipes you would do with a pound, just cut everything in half. The first thing that came to mind was to make tacos with it. You can use half of one of those seasoning packets, or make your own to keep the sodium in check. Top with pice de gallo salsa and lettuce, and use corn tortillas. Could do taco salad too. Grilled hamburgers are good too... if you want a bun use one of those sandwich thins to keep the calories in check.

I think a dijon mustard based vinaigrette would be good on a salad with your parmesan chicken.

ROXIELU0422 Posts: 317
4/15/13 11:28 A

For the sweet and sour chicken, I would not even marinate it. I'm not sure where the egg is coming in. Is it a package marniade? If so, omit the egg, add the water and or oil and once you cook the chicken (bake or "stir fry" it on the stove top, pour the sauce on top and there ya go.

Ground beef - You can make a cheeseburger (2), spaghetti sauce, brown it up for tacos, tostadas.

I have a bunch of low cal/low fat recipes that I used when doing WW I still make them. LOVE them. I can email them to you if you want to give me your email address.

Oh and btw - I eat red meat about 5 days a week. I refuse to give up high protein, lean meat. I don't care what color it is.

WHOLENEWME79 Posts: 951
4/15/13 11:23 A

Eat everything you want, in moderation. That is what Spark is all about.

I'd probably use the meat to suppliment something that doesn't need a lot of it- Like a pasta sauce of some sort. It won't be a meat sauce, exactly, but it will add meaty flavor.

As far as the marinade- try it without the egg. Or use less egg and it calls for. It probably won't end up the "eggy" coating you fear if you stir-fry it with lots of veggies.

As far as salad dressing, I will sometimes make my own with lemon juice, black pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Or buy an italian style dressing (I like the Newman's Own 'Lighten up' dressings). I think that with ranch the salad may seem a bit heavy.

Good luck!

Edited by: WHOLENEWME79 at: 4/15/2013 (11:23)
BLBST36 Posts: 351
4/15/13 11:16 A

I can respond with an honest opinion, too

- I don't want stir fry, hens\ce me not making it. I don't know what you mean by "Those marinades", but It doesn't have many calories at all.

- I don't believe in limiting my food choices like that. I mainly eat chicken as it is, so if I want beef, I'm gonna eat it.

- Again, I don't limit my food choices. If I want cheese - 6 grams of Parm is not gonna hurt me. Since I eat chicken 90% of the time, I need different ways to cook it.

I really wasn't looking on complete make-overs and diet advice. I was looking for help on the questions I posted. Thanks for your opinion.

MAPPLEBUM SparkPoints: (10,547)
Fitness Minutes: (9,922)
Posts: 171
4/15/13 11:05 A

Honest Opinion: don't make sweet and sour chicken. Those marinades are chock full of calories. Instead, use olive oil, fresh vegetables, and a lot of no-salt seasoning to make a stir fry.

Ground Beef: freeze it for a special occasion. If you're trying to lose weight you should only have dark meat / fatty meats a couple times a month at most. That's right, only chicken and lean fish for you!

And then the Parmesan Chicken: stay clear of cheese. Once again, there's plenty of low/no calorie ways to make chicken DELICIOUS. Buy fresh dill, peppers, onions. If you're going to use it for a salad just cook it with light seasoning. I love homemaking my own honey mustard dressing: oil, honey, mustard. Easy a pie.

BLBST36 Posts: 351
4/15/13 10:10 A

I am trying to plan out the week and this involves some new recipes. I had a couple questions and I was hoping to get some other advice out there.

I am making Sweet and Sour Chicken. The original recipe is for fried, but I don't want to do it fried. I wanted to try sauteed/stir fried. I am wondering if I should just use the original marinade and just saute it like that. My concern is that the marinade contains egg - is that just going to be an egg coating around the chicken? Cause - ew. Also, do you think it would be best to split the sauce and chicken into two separate recipes?

Any ideas with how to use about a half pound of ground meat? I usually cook with a pound, so I don't know what to make with basically two servings.

I am making Parmesan Chicken tonight to supplement a frozen meal and got the idea to use leftovers to top a salad. I was planning on using Ranch, but I don't know if that would be the best complement. What would you suggest (besides oil and vinegar. Don't like it)

Thanks in advance!!

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