Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Tomato Spinach Chicken Skillet

We had this because the picture on pinterest looked good.  It tasted like a different take on Chicken Parm, but definitely good. Would have again. We had with pasta.

Tomato Spinach Chicken Skillet

Photo by ALB


4 6oz chicken breasts
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Crushed red chili pepper flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter, divided
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
5 medium tomatoes, (chopped in cubes)
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 – 4 cups fresh spinach
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or a mix…)
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) or in broiler mode. Combine salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika, and crushed red chili pepper flake in a small bowl. Rub the chicken with the seasoning mixture and set aside.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large oven-proof skillet (cast-iron) over medium heat and cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through, nicely browned and no longer pink on the inside. Remove to a plate and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, add remaining butter and cook garlic and onion for one minute, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, until they break down and render some juice. Stir in chicken broth, and add spinach. Cook for one minute or two, until spinach is wilted.

4. Add chicken back to the skillet with the spinach and tomato sauce. Sprinkle chicken with shredded cheese, then transfer the skillet to the oven and broil quickly until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy!

7 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Braised Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

D has been cracking me up about recipe bloggers.  Since he is cooking from his phone, he feels he doesn't need your life story before the recipe.

Anyway, he used bone-in thighs because neither of us read that the chicken would be shredded.  We are glad we did because there was SO MUCH SAUCE.  Like, he saved the sauce and we are having this again, with more chicken.  And Kroger doesn't sell Porcini mushrooms. They sold other dried mushrooms but at 1/4 C, I'm not paying $7.99.  We also didn't use the Italian Parsley because Kroger had it sitting too close to the cilantro, and it caught the cilantro flavor.

Braised Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

Photo by ALB

Serves 6 (we got 8)

1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (optional but recommended) - didn't use
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (used 8 bone-in, skin-on thighs)
2 tablespoons canola oil (didn't use)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (didn't use)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped fat-leaf Italian parsley, plus more for garnish (didn't use)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, wiped and quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock, plus more for braising
One 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 pound big tube pasta
1/4 cup grated parmesan (used shredded)

If using the dried mushrooms, place them in a bowl and pour 1 cup of boiling water over them. Let sit for 15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid and roughly chop the mushrooms and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the carrots, celery, shallot, and garlic. Pulse together until minced. Set aside.

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown undisturbed for 5 minutes, then flip and brown on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the pulverized vegetables to the skillet and cook until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a small bowl.

Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook until softened and browned, about 6 minutes. Add the vegetables back to the pan with the cooked mushrooms and add the red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, and half of the parsley and cook together for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste.

Add the red wine and the 1/2 cup of reserved mushroom liquid (if using). Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the liquid has reduced, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, the can of tomatoes and its juice and the chopped rehydrated porcini if you're using them. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add more chicken stock if the sauce begins to dry out.

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount (about 2 tablespoons) of sea salt to the water. Add the pasta amd cook until al dente according to the package directions.

When the sauce has finished it's simmer, use two forks to shred the chicken pieces. Add the pasta directly to the skillet and toss to combine. Add a few splashes of pasta water to thin out the sauce if necessary.

Place in bowls and top with cheese and more fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Adapted from Joy the Baker who adapted it from Back Pocket Pasta

12 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 8 servings)

Healthy Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Well, after the Jerk Chicken Burgers, I had about 9oz of ground chicken left over (and Kroger, 4 + 9 oz does NOT equal 1 pound).  Don't you hate that?

So, Delane over at A Well Fed Life posted this recipe, and I sort of halved it (yes, I made it) and made sausage.  Use the fennel. For me, it is what makes it have that "sausage" flavor. Here is her recipe with my notes.

Healthy Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Photo by ALB

1 pound chicken or turkey breast boneless and skinless (I bought ground chicken)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon fennel seeds optional (use it!)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup (didn't use)
1 1/2 teaspoons to 2 teaspoons kosher salt (start at 1.5 tsps)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Spray

Cut meat into 1" chunks. In a food processor, grind ingredients until combined and meat is finely ground. (Or open a container of ground chicken, and combine all the ingredients except the Cooking Spray)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

(In a small medium-heated frying pan, cook a small amount (less than an ounce) of the mixture all the way through.  Let it cool down and taste it to make sure all the ingredients are balanced...this is where you would add extra salt if you felt it necessary).)

On a parchment lined (or well greased (Cooking Spray is fine)) baking sheet, form 2oz of the meat mixture into patties.

Bake for 15 minutes; flip the patties and bake for another 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Enjoy fresh cooked or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Reheat in a greased skillet on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and hot.

2 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 8 servings)- store-bought ground chicken/no syrup
0 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 8 servings)- ground your own chicken breast/no syrup

Jerk Chicken Burgers with Red Cabbage Slaw

These were surprisingly on the bland side.  D said it was because it was a chicken burger. But still with all the spices, I thought they would pack some heat. They were still decent (not dry), but not the most exciting things to come from Weber.  Still, we used up the buns from the Banh Mi Burgers, so that is a plus.

I would have them again.

Jerk Chicken Burgers with Red Cabbage Slaw

Photo by ALB

Adapted recipe by Jamie Purviance from

Serves 4

PREP TIME: 20 mins
GRILLING TIME: 8 to 10 mins

1¼ pound / 680 grams ground chicken (92% lean, not all chicken breast) - you have to buy 2 packs of chicken
¼ cup / 25 grams minced scallions (white and light green parts only)
2 medium jalapeƱo chile peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste

2 tablespoons sour cream (used reduced-fat)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (used reduced-fat)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil (used 1 TBSP)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (didn't use)
4 cups thinly sliced or shredded red cabbage (about 10 ounces)
2 tablespoons minced scallions (white and light green parts only)
Vegetable oil
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split

01 Mix the patty ingredients, and then form four patties of equal size, each about ¾ inch thick. Place the patties on wax paper squares, and refrigerate until ready to grill.

02 In a large bowl whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, brown sugar, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the poppy seeds, and then add the cabbage and scallions. Toss until well coated.

03 Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

04 Brush the tops of the patties with oil. Place the patties on the grill, wax paper side up, and peel off the wax paper. Grill the patties over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until fully cooked but still juicy(165°F), 8 to 10 minutes, turning once after 6 minutes (when the patties release easily from the cooking grates). During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat.

05 Build each burger on a bun with mayonnaise, a patty, and some slaw. Serve warm with the remaining slaw on the side.

12 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Banh Mi Burgers

D made these on Saturday.  I had a hard time believing they were from Cooking Light and after I figured out the Weight Watcher Points, I figured out why.  Still, they were so good and flavorful.  I would definitely have them again.  And I wouldn't feel guilty about it.

Banh Mi Burgers

Photo by ALB

Active Time: 25 Mins
Total Time: 1 Hour
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 burger) (we got 3 burgers)

Here, a basic beef burger takes some cues from the classic Vietnamese sandwich and cranks its flavor up to 10. We enjoy our burgers cooked to medium (140°F) for more juiciness, and we always purchase the meat from a trusted source. You can cook the patties to your desired degree of doneness; the USDA recommends 160°F for ground beef.

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shaved English cucumber
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
6 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil (didn't use)
2 teaspoons grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
4 whole-grain hamburger buns, split and toasted (used 3)
1 1/2 cups loosely packed cilantro sprigs
2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced

Step 1
Bring vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over high. Combine cucumber and carrots in a heatproof bowl; pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes or up to 3 days.

Step 2
Stir together mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lime juice; set aside.

Step 3
Preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Combine beef, oil (didn't use), garlic, ginger, and black pepper in a bowl; gently mix just until ingredients are incorporated. Shape mixture into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) (or 3) patties. Place patties on a grill grate coated with cooking spray. Grill, covered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°F, about 3 minutes per side, or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat, and keep warm.

Step 4
Spread about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on each bun half. Place 1 burger patty on each bottom bun half. Drain cucumber mixture; place about 1/4 cup on each burger. Divide cilantro sprigs and chiles among burgers. Cover with top halves of buns.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 407; Fat: 20g; Satfat: 3g; Unsatfat: 15g; Protein: 27g; Carbohydrate: 32g; Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 9g; Added sugars: 3g; Sodium: 623mg; Calcium: 7% DV; Potassium: 9% DV

Cooking Light, July 2018

15 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 3 servings)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Lemony Roasted Salmon with White Wine Couscous

D took one for the team with this one.  He doesn't like salmon.  So when I asked if he would make it and he said ok, I took him up on it. I enjoyed it.  He only made 2 servings.

Lemony Roasted Salmon with White Wine Couscous

Photo by ALB

Serves 2 (serving size: 1 fillet, 2/3 cup couscous, and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

The tangy herbed yogurt sauce also moistens the salmon during cooking.

Ingredients (adapted by us)
2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 cups finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup hot cooked couscous

Step 1
Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 2
Combine yogurt, chives, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1 tablespoon juice; stir with a whisk. Sprinkle fish with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Rub with 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture. Heat an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add fish, skin side down; cook 2 minutes. Transfer to oven. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Turn fish; cook 1 minute or until done.

Step 3
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add carrots, shallots, and garlic; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice, remaining 5/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and wine. Cook 30 seconds. Add couscous; toss. Serve fish with couscous and yogurt mixture

Nutritional Information
Calories: 404; Fat: 17.9g; Satfat: 2.7g; Monofat: 8.5g; Polyfat: 5.1g; Protein: 37g; Carbohydrate: 19g; Fiber: 3g; Cholesterol: 94mg; Iron: 2mg; Sodium: 667mg; Calcium: 59mg; Sugars: 4g; Est. added sugars: 0g

Cooking Light, May 2016

8 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 2 servings)


So this recipe was a little harder to make than it should have been.  Basically the Kroger had no ingredients the first time we tried to make it (and didn't). The second attempt, D decided to add green beans to bulk it up.

It tasted pretty good, but needed some heat (hence the Sambal).

Thai Basil Chicken (Easy Gai Pad Krapow)

Photo by ALB

Prep time: 3 mins
Cook time: 7 mins
Total time: 10 mins

This Thai basil chicken recipe takes just 3 minutes to prepare and 7 minutes to cook. Served along with steamed rice, it's restaurant food, fast.

Adapted from The Woks of Life
Recipe type: Chicken and Poultry
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4 servings

1 tablespoons oil
3 Thai bird or holland chilies, de-seeded (if desired) and thinly sliced (I'm not hunting down these chilies...D used jalapenos we had growing)
3 shallots, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound ground chicken
2 teaspoons sugar or honey (my guess is D used honey)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
⅓ cup low sodium chicken broth or water (D used broth)
1 bunch holy or Thai basil leaves (since Kroger doesn't sell basil, good luck trying to find special basil).
Add 1/2 to 1 lb of green beans)

In a wok (or a Dutch Oven) over high heat, add the oil, chilies, shallots and garlic, and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the ground chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes, breaking up the chicken into small bits.

Add the sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce and green beans. Stir-fry for another minute and deglaze the pan with the broth. Because your pan is over high heat, the liquid should cook off very quickly. Add the basil, and stir-fry until wilted. Serve over rice.

6 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)