Sunday, May 31, 2009

Parmesan Chicken with Chopped Salad

For how moist and flavorful this recipe for Parmesan Chicken is, its surprisingly easy to prepare and feels like a full meal with a simple salad.

The Chopped Salad is not the easiest salad to make but its tasty. If you are short on time just make a green salad from any veggies you have in your fridge. The one pictured is spinach, carrots, snap peas, green onion and sun dried tomato.

Use your leftover yogurt and some fruit for a yogurt parfait afterward.

Parmesan Chicken

2 Full Skinless, Boneless chicken breasts
2 cups Ritz crackers, smashed fine
3 Tbls. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
16 oz. plain yogurt

Put the chicken between two layers of plastic wrap and beat with a tenderizer. I like to use the back of an ice cream scoop. Dip chicken in yogurt or just spread yogurt over with your fingers on both sides. Mix crumbs, cheese, salt and wheat germ. Roll chicken in mixture until well covered on both sides. Place in a backing dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

The yogurt and cracker crumbs keep the moisture in the chicken so it is soft and flavorful. You could use a whole wheat cracker as long as its a fine, buttery cracker. Like the Stoneground Flaxseed Crackers from Costco.

Note the breast on the left has been flattened to about 1/2 inch

Ready to go in the oven

Chopped Salad

1 head of lettuce (romaine, green leaf or red leaf) shredded
Optional 2 handfuls spinach leaves washed and cut
2 tomatoes diced
1 cucumber diced
3-4 Tbsp Bacon Bits
1 cup cooked pasta (use some of the rotini for the week and just cut them in half after cooking)
1 chicken breast cooked and diced
1/2 cup feta cheese (or Gorgonzola)
4 scallions chopped
Creamy Dressing like Ranch, Blue Cheese, Cesar etc... (to taste)

The idea of this salad is that you chop everything into small pieces and mix it together with your favorite creamy dressing. You will forget you are eating salad mmmmmm.
Use spinach leaves too if you want to get an extra healthy boost :)

Yogurt Parfait

Plain Yogurt
Powdered Sugar
Vanilla or Almond Extract
Cut Fruit or Berries
Granola or crushed cereal

Mix yogurt with powdered sugar to your taste. Layer in a glass or bowl with some cereal or granola and fruit for a simple and low fat dessert!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake

• 3 pints fresh strawberries
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4cup white sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 egg
• 2/3 cup milk
• 2 cups whipped heavy cream
• ½ cup powdered sugar
• Almond extract
1. Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.
4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.
5. Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Not Your Average Burger and Potato Salad

Last Monday when I brought up grilling I wasn't thinking about all the grilling people would be doing today. But my sister found these recipes which reminded me- oh ya! Memorial Day!

So, if you were like me and weren't thinking (i.e. you still have to run to the store this morning) I hope you are reading. But if you are a good planner then save this meal for later cause its gonna be good.

I mean I haven't made it yet- I am doin it today- but my taste buds are just watering. Does it gross you out when I say that? For some reason the word "taste bud" gives me the heebie jeebies.


Flank Steak Pinwheels
- Steak, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and Boursin cheese- need I say more?
Aida's Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad- recipe name explains it all- except who is Aida?

Lower Fat Strawberry Shortcake- Ladies- if you are still doing "shortcake" without the shortcake and buying that dry, store bought "cake" you have got to try this. Real shortcake does have lots of butter in it so, I want to try this one that substitutes low fat cream cheese for some of the butter and low fat sour cream for some of the whipping cream.

Also if your kids are handy at pushing the button on the food processor, you can make some of these yummy popsicles to eat outside.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Patio Dinner Without The Patio

I admit it, I don't know how to grill. Growing up my father manned the grill and since I have been married my husband and I have never owned a grill or even had a patio to put one on! So, when we want to have "summer grill" type food I make this:

Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken
Creamy Coleslaw- Shred your own cabbage and carrots or buy the pre-shredded mix
Baked Beans- If you don't want to buy Baked Beans from the store try this recipe.

Serve those dishes up with some watermelon and an ice cold drink and you have got yourself a quick and easy patio dinner.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oven Fried Chicken

I am not into frying things. Its pretty high in calories and makes my apartment stink. So I like to make "Oven Fried Chicken" the idea is that the chicken bakes slowly while the flour coating browns with the chicken's juices and a little bit of oil sprayed or brushed onto the coating before baking. I am not saying its as good as fried chicken- buts I will take it over regular baked chicken (and saddlebags) anyday!

3 large chicken breasts
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup white flour
½ cup wheat germ
2 tsp pepper, black
2 tsp salt
2 tsp of any other seasonings you would prefer (red pepper flakes, paprika, Italian seasoning, thyme, sage etc…)
oil preferably in a mister (or PAM)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash chicken and pat dry. Place the chicken in a dish and pour the buttermilk over it. Refrigerate for an hour to overnight.

Mix flour, salt, pepper and wheat germ and any spices you may be using. After letting the chicken sit, pour out excess buttermilk. Cover with half the flour mixture, pat the flour until it adheres and is evenly spread, then flip the breasts and cover with the remaining flour.

Evenly space chicken on greased baking pan.

Lightly, spray with some oil spray or lightly brush with some oil.

Bake for about 60 minutes. Do not turn chicken during baking. Chicken will be done when the flour has browned and is sizzling.

Creamy Cole Slaw

modified recipe from Barefoot Contessa

To make a super fast Cole Slaw I buy the pre-shredded cabbage and add more shredded carrots.

1 pound white cabbage (1/2 small head)
3/4 pound red cabbage (1/2 small head)
5 carrots
2 cups good mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Fit a food processor with the thickest slicing blade. Cut the cabbages into small wedges and place horizontally into the feed tube. Process in batches. Next, fit the food processor with the grating blade. Cut the carrots in half and place in the feed tube so they are lying on their sides. Process in batches and mix in a bowl with the grated cabbages.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, salt, and pepper. Pour enough of the dressing over the grated vegetables to moisten them. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Boston Baked Beans

2 cups dry or 2 cans navy beans

1/2 pound bacon optional

1 onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

If using dry beans, soak beans overnight in cold water. Simmer the beans in the same water until tender, approximately 1 to 2 hours. Drain and reserve the liquid.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Arrange the beans in a 2 quart casserole dish by placing a portion of the beans in the bottom of dish, and layering them with bacon and onion.

In a saucepan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour over beans. Pour in just enough of the reserved bean water or water to cover the beans. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.

Bake for 3 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until beans are tender. Remove the lid about halfway through cooking, and add more liquid if necessary to prevent the beans from getting too dry.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

BLT Salad

Lettuce Greens, washed, dried and broken

*To make a crisp salad I soak the greens in ice water for at least 20 minutes before dinner. Then dry by laying out the leaves on a dishtowel and softly patting with another dishtowel, or in a salad spinner.

1 large tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup crumbled bacon or real bacon bits

Store bought Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Assemble the salad by topping the greens with diced tomato, avacodo and bacon. Serve with your favorite creamy dressing.

Simple Antipasti Plate

fresh mozzarella balls (if they are the smaller than a golf ball leave whole, if large balls slice them and then quarter the slices)

grape tomatoes

mixed pitted olives

crusty bread


salt, pepper, olive oil

Slice the bread and spread with pesto on each slice, then cube the bread. Arrange the cheese, tomatoes, olives and bread on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve with toothpicks.

Aunt Patsy's Super Moist, Super Chocolatey Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, water, oil and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Add the nuts and chocolate chips mixing until incorporated. Grease and flour and bundt pan for a cake or use cupcake foils to make cupcakes.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 min for cupcakes and 30-45 min for the cake. A toothpick should come out clean from the center when the cake it done.

You can serve the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar or drizzle with fudge sauce.

Lazy Lasagna

1 28 oz jar spaghetti sauce- I love Classico Fire Roasted Tomato
1 cup water
16 oz cottage cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella- buy a block at Costco and put chunks in your food proccesor to save yourself all the shredding
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz lasagna noodles, uncooked
optional- fresh spinach leaves, washed and de stemmed

Mix water with the spaghetti sauce. Layer sauce, mozzarella cheese, noodles, and spinach (if using) in a 9x13 baking dish. Alternate ingredients so you make 3-4 layers. Spread the Parmesan over the top. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees F or 45 min. Remove foil and bake for a few more minutes until the cheese browns a little. Let sit for about 15-20 min before serving.