Tag Archives: chicken

Cooking for One

My husband is out of town on business all this week. While I will miss him terribly, there are a few good things that I can look forward to this week.

I can watch General Hospital without hearing his running commentary.

I can catch up on my blogs without feeling guilty about spending too much time on the computer.

More importantly, I can cook foods that Corey would never eat. Corey is a very picky eater. Considering how much I love food, that fact amazes me every day. But I guess Eharmony doesn’t have that particular question in their matchmaking test.

I will tell you a secret: one reason that most of my recipes for entrees on my blog serve only one or two people is because Corey doesn’t eat most of the foods I do. I have gotten very good at creating recipes for just myself. Usually I have leftovers for at least one more day, which I love!

It’s also tough cooking for one. Sometimes I feel too lazy to cook for just myself after a long day at work. That’s why I make sure my meals are easy.

Tonight’s meal was no different. I took my recipe for Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites (excellent recipe, by the way) and made strips instead of bites.

Along with the chicken strips, I had some Alexia sweet potato fries and asparagus that I roasted with olive oil and Cajun seasoning.

Of course I just had to put barbecue sauce on top of the asparagus. ;)

The meal was perfect. It was quick, easy and healthy. Corey wouldn’t have wanted a single thing that was on my plate. He has no idea what he’s missing.

I think I will go watch General Hospital now.

Wendy’s Clone

Back when I didn’t put that much thought into what I was eating, I would eat a lot of Wendy’s . . . specifically their Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I ate lots of them. Even now, I still get a craving every once in a while. But since too many preservatives give me a headache, I have to keep my distance.

I once bought a cookbook that has (healthy) copycat recipes of quite a few fast food favorites. When I saw there was a version of Wendy’s Spicy Chicken in it, I was beyond excited. Since Corey also loves their Spicy Chicken Sandwich and he often prefers junk food to home cooking, I consider it a small victory that he loves this version as well. It is so incredibly good. It will (almost) make you forget about the original.

Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich Clone (makes 2 sandwiches) – adapted from Fast Food Fix: 75 amazing recipe makeovers of your fast food restaurant favorites

2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of garlic powder and turmeric
6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 egg whites
2 tsp. fat free milk
7 T. panko bread crumbs
black pepper

In small resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, cornstarch, paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic powder, and turmeric. Shake to mix well. Add the chicken. Shake to completely coat the chicken with flour mixture. Place in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a small, shallow bowl, combine the egg whites and milk. Beat with a fork until smooth. Place the panko on a small sheet of waxed paper. Dip the chicken into the egg white mixture, making sure to coat completely. Dip into panko to coat completely. Repeat dipping into the egg white mixture and panko crumbs. Place on baking sheet. Season both sides to taste with black pepper.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the breading is crisp and chicken is no longer pink inside.

Serve on bread and with toppings of your choice. I use lettuce and low fat mayonnaise. Yum!

I served the sandwich with some roasted asparagus drizzled with barbecue sauce. I may not be wearing green, but I have green on my plate. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

What is your favorite food from a fast food restaurant?

Hot, Hot, HOT

I adore my slow cooker. I also adore buffalo chicken. Corey and I saw a HUGE bottle of Frank’s hot wing sauce at Sam’s and I intend to buy it next time I run out . . . which probably won’t be too much longer.

The best thing about the slow cooker is that you really don’t need a hard and fast recipe. You can probably throw just about anything in the slow cooker and it would come out tasty.

I decided to make some shredded buffalo chicken for sandwiches. I need quick meals to eat at work and this was the perfect thing. I feel kind of guilty calling this a recipe because it only requires THREE ingredients. Aren’t those the best recipes??

The hardest part is shredding the chicken when it’s done. And that wasn’t even hard. The chicken was so tender after it was done that all I had to do was touch it with a fork and it came apart.

I’m glad that I did not add paprika to this. That may have been a bit much. All of the buffalo sauce made it quite spicy. I think the only thing I would want to change is to add an onion next time just to jazz it up a bit.

Since I am the only one who eats buffalo sauce, I will be having buffalo chicken sandwiches for the next week. I am not complaining about that.

lots of leftovers!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken (makes 5 servings)

1 pound chicken breasts
3/4 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce
2 tablespoons butter

Place chicken in slow cooker. Cover with buffalo sauce and butter. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. When done, shred chicken with fork. Serve!

today's lunch

Easiest recipe ever . . . even easier than my three ingredient Easy Biscuits. :)

Buffalo Chicken

I love buffalo chicken wings. Buffalo wings are probably my favorite type of “junk food.” Or maybe they are tied with macaroni and cheese. Mmm . . . yummy.

I have been known to order a large order of wings from Papa John’s and eat the entire order by myself. Of course, the calories in those are atrocious.

Last night, I made a healthy version of buffalo chicken – boneless buffalo chicken bites. They were amazing! They totally satisfied my craving. This recipe can serve 2 . . . or one person with leftovers. I love leftovers. :)

Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites (serves 2)

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Paprika
2 egg whites
1/2 Tablespoon Skim Milk
1/2 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Non-stick Cooking Spray
1/8 Cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
1 Tablespoon I can’t believe it’s not butter (or other butter of your choice)
1 Tablespoon Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper and paprika in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg whites and milk together in a small bowl. Slice the chicken breasts into large chunks (2-3 bites per chunk). Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip each piece into the egg mixture, then into the breading blend; then repeat the process so that each piece of chicken is double coated. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet and then spray a light coating over the top of each piece. Bake the chicken for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. As the chicken cooks, combine the hot sauce, margarine and water in a microwave save dish. Microwave on high until the mixture begins to bubble, then remove the sauce from the heat and cover until it’s needed. When the chicken pieces are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Place the chicken into a covered container, cover, and then shake gently until each piece is coated. Serve immediately.

I think my only complaint about these was that they could use more sauce. They didn’t quite have enough kick, so I think next time I will use a bit more.

Last night, I paired these with my new favorite thing, Alexia sweet potato fries. These are awesome! They are frozen, but they are made of all natural ingredients (unlike most frozen products). No MSG or artificial flavors at all. Just sweet potatoes and spices.

This was the perfect meal: quick and comforting. Perfect since my husband is out of town and I was cooking for one. I am never more tempted to eat junk food and order out than when Corey is out of town. It sucks cooking for one. But luckily, this meal took care of that urge. :)

Reflections

Last night, my Internet went out. Drats! My husband and I are kind of fed up with Comcast because we keep having trouble with our Internet. Either it’s too slow or we keep having outages and last night the Internet was out all night long . . . the horror! So alas, I was unable to blog.

Anyway, one thing that I wanted to talk about today is weight loss. I don’t mention my weight on this blog that often (not that I’ve posted thousands of entries or anything) and I will rarely post about whether I’ve gained, lost, or just maintained for the week. The fact is that I have been focused on my number for way too long.

There was a time not too long ago (in my yo-yo dieting phase) where I would be obsessed with how much I lost for the week. I would also be obsessed with counting calories and also with whether I was eating “good” foods or “bad” foods. If you’ve read many entires to this blog, you probably know by now that I am not that girl anymore. I eat fried foods. I eat butter and chocolate. I also eat fruits, vegetables, and tons of bacon. Well . . . maybe not tons. But a lot. Honestly, right now I am more focused on the journey rather than the destination. Did I say that right? I am trying to like myself again. This is a hard one. 5 years ago (seems like a lifetime), I had finally reached my goal weight after months of painful exercising and depriving myself. But was I happy? No. I wanted to lose even more weight. Because I hated the person I was. I hated my body. And I hated who I was on the inside as well.

me at my goal weight

At this point in time, I know enough to realize that a number on a scale isn’t going to make me happy. Do I still have a goal weight in mind? Sure. I know that my BMI is considered overweight and with my family history of heart disease and diabetes, I definitely want to take care of myself. But I also know that if I don’t work on liking the person that I am now, then I won’t like the person that I become just because I am 30 pounds lighter. I will still be miserable and I will eventually gain the weight back just like I have all the other times. So even though I still weigh myself once a week (and really struggle to keep it at that), I try not to get down if the scale goes up or if the scale doesn’t go anywhere. My clothes do feel looser and I actually feel better about myself than I have in years. But it’s not about the fact that I’ve already lost 15 pounds. It’s about the fact that exercise is giving me back some of my confidence, I feel more energetic, and I also feel healthier because of the foods that I am eating.

And every day, I am working on accepting my outward appearance for what it is and appreciating my body for everything it gives me, regardless of my size.

Since this is a food blog and I was unable to blog yesterday, I will leave you guys with some pictures of things that I ate yesterday and today.

I had a big bowl of Barbara’s Puffins, shredded wheat, strawberries, and nonfat milk for yesterday’s breakfast. It was very filling, but I may have eaten a little too much cereal. It was the first bowl of cereal I’ve had in ages so I went a little cereal crazy!

A taco salad made with homemade taco seasoning, some iceberg lettuce, and cheese for yesterday’s lunch

And don’t forget the tortilla chips!

Last night’s dinner was chicken stuffed with cheese. Mmm . . . delish. I will share that recipe at a later time. It is basically chicken cordon bleu without the bleu. :) It is a healthified version of course and so tasty . . .

Today’s breakfast consisted of more cereal ( though I ate it all before I could snap a picture). Lunch consisted of leftover baked chicken strips that Corey and I made for dinner the other night served over a bed of spinach with some of my homemade Italian Vinaigrette dressing. Mmm . . .

Afternoon snack was a Red Delicious apple. Yay for apple season!

Dinner tonight was a small pita stuffed with a burger, some lettuce, bacon, and ketchup.

You may not be able to see the lettuce, but trust me it's there!

I had some beautiful tomato with it . . .

I also cooked (or tried to anyway) some kale chips. The instructions were to check them every 10 minutes. I had the timer set for 10 minutes so I could keep a close eye on them. However, after 7 or 8 minutes in the oven I noticed a funny smell and I realized that they had burned! I will try them again . . . maybe tomorrow. But next time, I will keep a much closer eye on them.

Playing Catch-Up

I had thought briefly of dragging myself out of bed at the crack of dawn this morning to do some strength training mixed with cardio. But somehow I knew I would not be able to do it. Despite the fact that 3.6 miles isn’t that new to me, my legs are feeling somewhat sore today. I attribute that to the fact that we were on a trail where I was constantly having to work my legs muscles to keep my balance, not to mention all the hills that were present.

So I decided to sleep in a little (tough decision that it was) and save the strength training for tomorrow. Perhaps today will be one of my days off?

Since today was my early day at work (hence my desire to sleep as much as I could), I wanted something quick and easy for breakfast. I’m not usually hungry until around 8:00 or 9:00, so on Tuesdays I end up taking a breakfast with me to eat when I get to work. Today I made a cottage cheese parfait with cottage cheese, Back to Nature Sunflower Seed granola, and some fresh peaches. It was sooo yummy that I’m not even sure why I hadn’t done this before. I used to make these kinds of things a lot with canned peaches, but I had never done it with fresh peaches. As I’ve stated before, fresh peaches are so much better than canned and I will never go back.

the highlight of breakfast!

This breakfast really hit the spot. It was very filling, so much in fact that I couldn’t even finish it! The best part was that I let go of my guilt for not cleaning my plate. Hallelujah! I think the only thing this breakfast needed was a touch of cinnamon or something just to give it a bit more kick. I did love that it kept me full right up until lunchtime.

boring cottage cheese and granola

see how the peaches liven things up!

protein + fiber + lots of nutrients = very filling breakfast

Lunch was also quite tasty. I made myself a grilled cheese out of pita bread and also brought some 365 Organic Tomato Basil Soup. It was like sick food . . . only I wasn’t sick! :) This is the only packaged soup that I love eating, even when I’m feeling at the top of my game. It is sooo good.

Does anyone else ever feel like licking the bowl when they are done? I totally felt like doing that. But alas, I did not even though no one was watching me. ;)

had to keep myself from licking the bowl

Snack was a delicious red apple.

For some reason, there are times when I have to literally force myself to eat the fruits and veggies that I brought with me for snack. It’s not because I don’t like them. It’s because my mind wants something else, like maybe another item in my lunch box that isn’t fruit or veggie related. I am trying to eat the “good stuff” first because otherwise I fill up on the other stuff and then I don’t have any appetite for the apples or grapes that I have with me. But even though I had to force myself to pick the apple as a choice for a snack, I still wholeheartedly enjoyed it once I started eating it. My body enjoyed it, even though it took my mind a few minutes to catch up. Sometimes I feel like my mind is always playing catch-up.

Snack #2 was my favorite: hummus with some whole wheat pita breads. Mmm . . . yummy. Excuse me if you can smell my garlic breath from the computer. :)

Dinner tonight was one of my favorite, go-to simple meals. It was whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and chicken as well. The only thing that this dish needed to add some extra nutrients was maybe some broccoli so I could mix it in with the pasta or something. But typically, my husband and I take about 6-7 oz. worth of chicken (2 servings worth), season it with some paprika and red pepper and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes. In the meantime, we cook the pasta and some tomato sauce as well. I always add some extra seasonings to our tomato sauce to spice it up a bit. I usually add some oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper (can you tell we like things spicy?). Then when everything is done, we just mix it together. Corey usually put in an extra serving of sauce so that I can have leftovers. So basically this makes about 3 servings. I know what I will be having for lunch tomorrow! It is very tasty and very filling (much more filling than just noodles and sauce).

I was so hungry that I cleaned my plate AND my husband's!

Now I must relax and watch some TV. I think I will take a little time off from exercise tonight. If I work out tonight, I know that I won’t feel like doing anything tomorrow. And I have GOT to do some strength training! I never do enough of it and I want to be nice and prepared for tomorrow’s session.

“You don’t make friends with salad”

Every time I make a salad, I think of the Simpsons episode where Lisa becomes vegetarian and the family sings that song, “You don’t make friends with salad.” Catchy tune. But whether salad wins you friends or not, tonight definitely felt like that kind of night. I had a late snack so I wasn’t even hungry when I got home from work. Since Corey is out of town on business, I was on my own. Whenever he is out of town, I want to do as little cooking as possible. Cooking for one is really no fun. I watched TV for a bit and then hit the elliptical for half an hour. I had already went out on a 30 minute run this morning, but I usually like to work out for an hour total whenever I do work out. After my workout, I definitely needed some sustenance.

I decided to make a salad out of some leftover rotiessirie chicken Corey had made on Sunday and some spring mix lettuce I had purchased at the store earlier.

I had originally wanted some spinach as the base for my salad, but this was all they had by this brand at the store. And it was organic and I had a coupon, so you can’t beat that. I know that iceberg lettuce is healthier, but for some reason I can never bring myself to eat anything but iceberg when it comes to sandwiches. Maybe that’s something to work on. But when it comes to salads, iceberg is definitely boring (not to mention lacking in serious nutrients). So I try to get just about anything else (usually spinach).

Regarding the dressing, I actually took a chance and made my own. I can’t have store bought dressings because they have a lot of ingredients in them I can’t have (due to my headaches, but more on that later). Last time, I tried to make my own dressing, it didn’t turn out well at all. But this one turned out really well. It has a base of fat free mayo, some vinegar, fat free milk, and some different herbs. I even put a pinch of cayenne pepper to spice it up. I may even use this dressing as a veggie dip.

delicious creaminess

The salad tasted wonderful and really hit the spot. I even added some yellow and red peppers that we had gotten at the Farmer’s Market last week.

Final Product!

For dessert, I had some Breyer’s all natural strawberry ice cream. Yummy! My favorite dessert right now. And now I am so incredibly tired. Went to bed late last night and then forced myself to get up at 5:45 am to go for a run this morning. It was extremely hard to drag myself out of bed, especially since my husband wasn’t here to drag me kicking and screaming. But I managed on my own. I had energy for most of the day, but now I am fading. I am watching Bachelor Pad on my DVR (which I can’t believe I am actually getting into) and then it’s off to bed!