Saturday, January 28, 2012

Recipe: Curry Chickpea Salad

Chickpeas are magical.  They're so tasty, full of fiber, and take on really any flavor that you want.  I literally just invented this recipe and it came out super tasty.  Curry powder has become one of my favorite ingredients and literally makes me salivate.  If you haven't tried it or you think you're afraid of need to stop it right now.  It IS pretty potent, so you don't need a lot, but it has such wonderful flavor and  it just feels really satisfying.  This is a great salad to make ahead and eat for lunch for a few days in row!

2- 15oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tsp. olive oil mayo
s & p

Add chickpeas, celery, and onion to a bowl.  In a smaller bowl, combine half of the lemon juice with the Greek yogurt, curry powder, s&p, and mayo.  Stir to combine and pour over chickpea mixture.  Pour the rest of the lemon juice over the mix and stir to coat. 

if you let this sit in the fridge for a bit, it tastes even better :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Wontons & Greek Coleslaw

This post is extra-special because it's not only appearing here, but HERE! at The Three Bite Rule.  I went to college with Emily, the creator of The Three Bite Rule, and I highly suggest you check out her blog for fun recipes and foodie adventures!  Emily so kindly asked me to guest-blog and I couldn't resist using the opportunity to try a new recipe.

I'm trying (key word) to lose a few lb's before my July wedding, and in doing so, I'm naturally craving the worst foods on the planet.  This recipe is surprisingly low-fat (5 wonton wrappers is only 100 calories, and the chicken is boiled in plain 'ol water and then baked, so no extra fat wait til you see the coleslaw!) but still tastes like an indulgence.  The wontons would make a great app (oh hey, Superbowl) and the coleslaw is a healthy side made with my favorite Greek yogurt (you can't even tell it's good for you!).  Hope you enjoy these and much as I do...and thanks again to Emily for the opportunity to cross over to another awesome blog!

(this recipe makes a TON of wontons.  You can either cut down the amount of chicken you use or if you don't want to make all of the wontons, you can make as many as you want, freeze the remaining wonton wrappers, and have a buffalo chicken sandwich for lunch the next day with the remaining chicken!  Probably awesome on a salad, too.)

1 package Nasoya wonton wrappers
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 bottle Frank's Red Hot (I used Buffalo flavor but i'm sure the Original is just as tasty)
1/4 c. Light Ranch dressing
1 egg white OR water

Boil chicken in water (or chicken broth) for 15 or so minutes until cooked through.  Remove from water and set in a bowl.  Once cool, shred with a fork and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Here's the shredded chicken with the buffalo sauce...this was perfect on a sandwich the next day (said my fiance) and scooped up with celery stalks (said me).

Mix Red Hot and Ranch dressing in a bowl and pour over pulled chicken, mixing to coat.  Arrange wonton wrappers on a sprayed cooking sheet.  Place about 1/2 a teaspoon of chicken into the center of each wrapper.  Using the egg wash or water, lightly brush two sides of the wrapper and bring up into a triangle to meet the other half of the wonton, pinching to secure.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until crispy, flipping once.

I sprayed the pan with olive oil cooking spray, so there was no need for a brush of oil or anything prior to baking.


EDITOR'S NOTE: If you want a cheesier, creamier, not as healthy wonton, try adding a bit of cream cheese to the chicken mixture.

gorgeous color on the wontons!

(this recipe is adapted from Ellie Krieger's recipe found here.  Of course I didn't measure anything TOO accurately, and I left out the caraway seeds.)

1 package Dole shredded coleslaw mix
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 0%)
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 c. mayonnaise (I used Hellmans Olive Oil mayo)
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients and add to coleslaw mix.  Stir to coat.  Season with salt & pepper.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let "sauce" absorb into coleslaw.

oh heeeey, awesomely healthy wontons and sweet scrumptious coleslaw...don't mind if I do...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weigh-ing In (see what I did there?): My Favorite Low-Cal Snacks

As some of you may know, I'm getting married in 6 months.  Technically I'm getting married 168 days from this blog post.  My wedding dress is BEYOND gorg (I'm allowed to say this about my own dress...bride rules) and I'm determined to fit in it without the help of my Spanx.  

That's where my new friends come in.  The following Top 10 is a list of my most recent, healthier obsessions that actually taste good and aren't diet-y.  Here are a few of my favorite low-cal finds (and some go-to favorites from all those other times I tried to lose weight):

1.  Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Pitas:  I don't know how these babies are low-fat, low-cal, AND delicious, but they are.  I eat these with fig butter/cream cheese for breakfast, in place of a tortilla when making quesadillas/fajitas, and as the ultimate companion to hummus, salsa, and tabbouleh.  Talk about diverse.  It's like the best blank canvas since sliced bread.  AND THEY'RE 60 CALORIES.  60!!! Obsessed.

2. Snyder's of Hanover EatSmart Whole Grain Cheese Curls:  Who doesn't love a cheese curl!?!? These are super tasty, a little bit nutty, white-cheddary, and LOW FAT.  You can fill a whole red Solo cup (and i KNOW you have a few of those laying around) full of these curly creations for only 130 calories.   Which is like, two of those orange cheese puffs your mom used to pack in your lunchbox  in elementary school.  INDULGE, my friends!

3. Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams:  Upon casually browsing my local Ocean State Job Lot (yeah I said it), this Magical Peanut-Buttery-Chocolatey-Fantastic-ness hit me in the face.  AND I LIKED IT.  I can't find this at my regular grocery store, but God help me the next time I come across it at OSJL (we're on an abbrev. basis) OR Christmas Tree Shops, where I've also spotted this and other flavors.  170 Calories in 2 tablespoons is like the best 170 calories of my entire day.  Eat it with an apple, some RF Wheat Thins, or right out of the jar.  Thank me later.

4.  Boca Spicy Chik'n Patties:  These are my go -to lunch favorite because they take 1:20 in the microwave, taste like a buffalo chicken tender, and are just all around the best little non-meat situation in the freezer aisle.  Top with a little low-fat ranch and stick it between a multi-grain English muffin.  At only 160 calories, you can still afford a slice of cheese if you want (and you do).  YUM.

5. Green Apples.  So much better than the red kind.  Sweet AND tart. Yes please.

6. Celery.  Remember the PB I talked about?  BFFs.

7. 1 % low-fat cottage cheese.  Do you how much 1/2 c. of cottage cheese really is?? Mix in some cucumbers or tomatoes and you've got yourself a protein-packed lunch for like, 80 cals.

8. Cheerios.  One cup of Cheerios is a LOT of Cheerios and only 100 cals.  Splenda, strawberries, 1 % milk?  Breakfast is served.

9. Egg whites. You know how much I love these bad boys.  3 egg whites + a teaspoon of pesto + a tablespoon of goat cheese crumbles is the ultimate meal and it's under 150 calories.

10.  Soda brownies/cupcakes.  Take one can of diet soda and mix with one package of dry brownie or cake mix.  Some of my favorite combos:  diet ginger ale and Funfetti; diet Pepsi and brownies, diet orange soda and white cake mix.  Without having to use butter,eggs, and oil, you've got yourself a low-fat delight when your sweet tooth attacks.

Tell me if you've tried any of these, or what low-cal goodies YOU snack on, by leaving a comment below!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Recipes: Holy Guacamole & Savory Monkey Bread

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  This is going to be such a great year for me.  I'm getting married 6 months to my best friend, and I feel like I'm going to land a GREAT job this year (fingers crossed!!).  I wish you all a happy & healthy 2012!

We rang in the new year with some of our closest friends and I brought some homemade guacamole (upon request from the hostess) and this delicious monkey bread courtesy of Fun & Fearless in Beantown, one of my favorite local bloggers.  I played around with it a bit (hers was vegetarian but the original recipe calls for pepperoni so I added both basil AND pepperoni ...such a rebel) and it was a big hit and SUPER easy.  Take a look at the guac recipe and the monkey bread below!

HOLY GUACAMOLE (NOTE: Measurements are eyeballed!)
3 avocados
1/2 red onion, minced
1-2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1-2 tsp. light Ranch dressing (or substitute light sour cream)
splash of Red Hot
juice of 1/2 lime and 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper

Slice avocados into small chunks and drop into bowl with other ingredients.  Gently bled together, leaving chunks of avocado (or stir longer for a more pureed texture).  Serve with tortilla chips!

2 lbs pre-made pizza dough
6 mozzarella sticks sliced into 8 pieces each (don't use reduced fat...they won't melt as well)
turkey or regular pepperoni slices
chopped basil
4 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced

Let pizza dough rest at room temperature wile you prepare the other ingredients. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt butter and garlic in a pot over medium heat until melted.  Baste a bundt pan with the butter and set the rest aside for now.  Take a small amount of dough (I used about the size of a pepperoni) and place the pepperoni, chopped basil, and mozzarella in the center.  round the dough to cover the fillings.  

Once you fill the bundt pan with dough balls one time around, baste the top of the balls with more butter.  Repeat another row with remaining dough/filling and baste top with butter. 

Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.  Wait about 10-15 minutes before flipping onto a platter.