A dish to cure that guilty feeling

There is nothing worse than avoiding sugar for a week and caving the next week. I was doing so well on my resolution to eat healthier. No, I didn’t make that goal because I was worried about my weight; rather, I’ve spent way too much time eating sugar and not enough nutrients.

I’ve been battling with an illness since last summer and I still haven’t figured out what it is. What I do know is that cake is one of the few things that doesn’t make me feel worse on a bad day. Which I know sounds like I’m pregnant, but I’m not. Since I’ve been overdosing on cupcakes and chocolate for the last few months, I’m now trying to start a clean, sugar-free slate. Last week I did really well, but this week my symptoms are playing up, so I’ve been eating more sugar than actual meals- goodbye progress!

In an effort to make myself feel a little less guilty, I made a low-calorie chicken meal for dinner. It was from the collection of comfort food cookbooks I’ve been raving about. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish it. Turns out I was allergic to a seasoning in the couscous I paired with it (or at least, that’s my best guess). I didn’t have a bad reaction, but my lip started swelling and got tingly and a headache developed shortly after. I’ve never had a food reaction before, so to be safe I just stopped eating the whole dish. What a week!

I don’t think it was the chicken because I’ve had all those ingredients before. It tasted pretty good and I was bummed I couldn’t finish it, so I might try to make it again one day. . . with an allergy pill close by (just in case).

Mushroom cheese chicken

Source: Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella (part-skim)

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of minced chives

4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken

1 tablespoon of minced fresh parsley

1/2 cup of reduced-fat plain yogurt (I learned milk works just as well)

1 tablespoon of plain bread crumbs (dry)

1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms (book says canned mushrooms, I used fresh and it tasted delicious)

1/8 teaspoon of paprika

1 tablespoon extra of yogurt

Method:

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is warming up, take out the aggression of the day by pounding the chicken into flat pieces.

Next, combine the yogurt (or if you’re like me and forgot yogurt, the milk) and flour and stir well. Once blended, throw in your parsley, cheese, mushrooms and chives. Put some of the mixture in the middle of each piece of chicken and then roll until mixture is covered. Tuck in the loose bits of meat and use toothpicks to fasten. Place in an oven-safe dish.

Before placing in the oven, brush your tablespoon of yogurt (or milk) over each piece. In a bowl, combine the paprika and bread crumbs and sprinkle over chicken.

Now place the uncovered dish in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

I also covered mine with cream of mushroom soup for a little added flavour.

Nutritional information for a stuffed chicken breast half (directly from Taste of Home book): calories: 222; fat: 5g; saturated fat: 2g; cholesterol: 92mg; sodium 544mg; carbohydrate: 4g; protein: 39g.

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Enchilada Casserole

I love my Comfort Food Diet cookbooks. I’m not good at dieting because I can’t give up the baked goods or carbs. With these books, I can still eat the foods I love, but with less of the guilt. Although I’m sure they aren’t the healthiest recipes, they are better than the original versions.

Since purchasing the newest edition over the holidays, I’ve been experimenting with different dishes. After having a food block for a few months, it’s been great to find inspiration and try a few new ideas. Tonight it was enchilada casserole. I had to alter the recipe a little since we didn’t have all the ingredients, but it still tasted nice. It was a little dry from being in the oven, but topped with some sour cream or salsa it would be perfect!

Enchilada casserole

Source: Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook: quick and easy favorites edition

Ingredients:

1 cup of shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend

1 pound of lean ground beef (I used 93/7)

6 (8 inch) flour tortillas

2 cups of salsa (or 6 oz Hunt’s tomato paste, which is what I used since we had no salsa)

1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 (15oz) can of black beans (drain and rinse them first)

2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (reduced-sodium)

3/4 cup of reduced-fat sour cream (since hubby hates sour cream, I used queso)

1/4 cup of reduced-fat Italian salad dressing

Method:

While the oven is preheating to 400 degrees, cook the beef in a skillet. Once it’s browned, add the Italian dressing, salsa (or tomato paste), taco seasoning, black beans, and cumin.

When the beef mixture is cooked, put three tortillas at the bottom of a 2-qt oven dish. I used two tortillas because, for me, three would have made too thick of a layer. Now put a layer of the meat, followed by a layer of sour cream (or queso), and top with shredded cheese. Repeat the process again and put covered in the oven for 25 minutes.

After the time is up, uncover and put back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Once the dish is warm throughout, you’re ready to serve.

 

 

Layers of cheese and not as bad for you? Count me in. Here is the nutritional information for one serving.

Calories: 357; total fat: 12g; saturated fat: 5g; cholesterol: 45mg; sodium: 864 mg; total carbs: 37g; dietary fiber: 3g; protein: 23g.

 

 

 

Light Chicken Cordon Bleu

It’s only been two days, but I am extremely excited that I’ve cut back on my sugar. I haven’t completely stopped eating chocolate, but I’ve only had a few small pieces yesterday and today. For me, that’s a big accomplishment. Alongside eating less sugar, I’ve made healthier meals, too. Sunday I made orange carrot muffins and tonight I made Light Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I am really happy with the way the recipe turned out. Even with all the low-fat ingredients, it was still flavoursome. My family said they liked it, too. So overall, tonight’s cooking adventure was a success!

Light Chicken Cordon Bleu

Source: Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook (the Quick and Easy Favorites edition)

Ingredients:

4 slices of deli ham

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups of shredded part-skim mozzarella

1 teaspoon paprika

2/3 cup of fat-free milk

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 cup of crushed cornflakes

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start by pounding the chicken until flattened. Now add a slice of ham to each piece of chicken followed by three tablespoons of mozzarella. Roll until ham and cheese are covered and seal with a toothpick. When rolled, the chicken should almost look like a pinwheel.

Now, mix the paprika, cornflakes, and garlic powder in a bowl. In a separate, flatter dish, pour in the milk. Roll the chicken in the milk and then cover in the cornflake mix.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (mine took 35 mins), leaving the chicken uncovered while it cooks.

Once the chicken is fully cooked, you are ready to serve!