Thursday, March 31, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Melts

Everyone who follows my blog knows how much I love Buffalo Sauce. I also love love love a good grilled cheese sandwich. These Buffalo Chicken Melts combine my two loves but are on the lighter side. You wouldn't know it by tasting them though! Melty cheese with chicken tossed in a spicy buffalo sauce and then toasted to perfection. Yummy!

Buffalo Chicken Melts
Makes 4 Sandwiches
Cal 315, Carbs 30.5, Fat 9g, Fiber 2g, Protein 31.7g

2 cups cooked chopped chicken breast
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry ranch seasoning
1/8 cup light ranch dressing
1/2 cup Buffalo Sauce (I use Franks)
6 slices cheese of your choice (I used reduced fat sliced provolone)
1 large tomato, sliced 
Sliced Bakery Bread (I used sourdough)

In a small bowl mix together your chicken, dry seasonings, buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing. Set aside.

Heat a large non stick pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile lightly butter your both slices of bread (I used smart balance spread) and place one piece butter side down. Place chicken mixture on bread and top with sliced tomato and then 1 1/2 slices of cheese. Cook as you would a grilled cheese sandwich- a couple minutes or so, until brown on one side, then flip and brown the other side.

Serve with additional ranch dressing on the side for dipping, if desired. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Copycat Portillos Chopped Salad

I love love love this salad. Growing up in Chicago most people know of Portillos. My two absolute favorites are the Italian Beef sandwich their Chopped Salad. Oh my is beyond delicious! I love love love it! Last year I tried to re-create it at home and it was a hit. I've been craving it again lately so this is what I ended up making for dinner tonight.

Copycat Portillos Chopped Salad
Makes 12 one cup servings
Cal 130, Fat 3.1g , Carbs 16.1g, Fiber 4g, Protein 12g

1 head iceberg lettuce
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 bag sliced red cabbage (I left this out since I don't care for it)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups ditalini pasta, cooked and cooled
1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used bacon bits)
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 cup cooked/chopped chicken breast
1 cup vinaigrette dressing, bottled or homemade (I used Ken's Lite Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing)

Wash and dry the lettuces. Finely chop into small pieces. Put into a large bowl. add remaining ingredients, except dressing and combine well.
Serve dressing along side, or pour on and combine just before serving. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I love one pot meals and this is a favorite! Instead of the traditional enchiladas we enjoyed this Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Skillet! Easy, healthy,and delicious!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Skillet
Serves 6
Cal 284, Carbs 29.6, Fat 7.3, Fiber 2, Protein 22.8

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 can chopped green chiles
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Heat a large non-stick skillet over low heat.

Add chili powder, garlic, and cumin. Cook for about 30 seconds before adding green chiles and sour cream.

Bring sauce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt. Add chicken, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and cooked rice. Stir and cook until heated through.

Top enchilada mixture with remaining cheddar cheese, cover, and cook another five minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Three Cheese Crusted Italian Baked Chicken

Happy Monday! It's been a while but I'm back with a family favorite recipe. This is a simple baked chicken dish but oh so delicious! It goes great over a bed of pasta or rice. You can't go wrong with cheesy chicken!

Three Cheese Crusted Italian Baked Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 258, Carbs 13, Fat 9.7, Protein 29

4 chicken cutlets
1 cup finely shredded Italian blend cheese (I used Sargento)
1/2 cup Italian style panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend
1 egg, beaten
cooked pasta of your choice

Pre-Heat Oven to 425.

Season chicken with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl combine cheese and bread crumbs. In another small bowl beat egg.

Dip chicken in egg and then into the cheese/bread crumb mixture.

Lay each cutlet in a lightly sprayed casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until juices run clear.

Serve over hot pasta. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Mini Meatloaves

We very rarely have meatloaf in our house. It's not that I don't like it, but I just never think to make it. My husband absolutely loves it so I decided I'd make one of his favorites today. There is not much not to like about these tasty little BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Mini Meatloaves. A slimmed down version of a comfort food classic!

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Mini Meatloaves
Makes 8 Meatloaves
Cal 201, Carbs 8.5, Fat 9, Fiber .5, Protein 19.5

1.5 lbs lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup bacon bits
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon burger seasoning blend (I like McCormick)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup bbq sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, bacon, cheese, egg, Worcestershire, burger seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined.

Stir 1/4 cup BBQ sauce into meat mixture, set remaining sauce aside.

Separate meat mixture so you have enough to put in 8 greased muffin tins.  Spread remaining BBQ sauce over each meatloaf.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until no longer pink. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Asiago Chicken Pasta

Simple, easy, and absolutely delish, this Asiago Chicken Pasta Consists of  only five ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes. My kind of weeknight meal!

Asiago Chicken Pasta
Serves 6
Cal 289, Carbs 44.1, Fat 4.1 Fiber 2, Protein 17.8

3 garlic and herb chicken breasts cooked and chopped (I used Market Pantry)
6 laughing cow Asiago Cheese Wedges
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup low fat milk
12 oz. shell pasta

Boil pasta to al dente.

While pasta is cooking whisk together the cheeses and milk until smooth and bubbly. Pour cheese sauce over hot cooked pasta and top with chicken. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken and Noodles

I love Honey Garlic Chicken and it's been a while since I've made it so I figured tonight would be a great night to have it. I served this tasty dish over noodles since we've been eating rice a lot lately, but it's fab over rice if you prefer. Nothing beats the sweet and spicy combo and it's low cal so you can enjoy without the guilt, A win/win in my book!

Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken and Noodles
Serves 4
WW PP=10
Cal 381, 58, Fat 2.2 Fiber 1, Protein 35.2

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Red Pepper Garlic Chili Paste (red pepper flakes will work too, but this stuff makes the dish)
8 oz. noodles of your choice (I used Ronzoni Egg Noodles)

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot.

In a mixing bowl whisk together honey, soy sauce, and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 4 hours. Remove chicken from crock pot, shred, and return to pot.

Evenly serve chicken over 2 oz. hot cooked noodles. Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Southwest Taco Bowls

It seems like I am always making tacos. It's a favorite in our house and I'll admit, after making so many different variations, I'm having a hard time coming up with another new taco recipe. So this time around I decided to forgo the taco shells and make taco rice bowls instead. Easy, Simple, and Delicious. Add your favorite taco toppings and dinner is served!

Southwest Taco Bowls
Makes 4 Bowls
WW PP=11
Cal 458, Carbs 50.7, Fat 12, Fiber 1, Protein 31.7

20 oz. lean ground beef or turkey
1 cup black bean, corn, and pepper blend (I used Birds Eye)
4 cups cooked rice
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup taco sauce

Additional Toppings of your Choice (We used Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Sour Cream)

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain and add in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in taco sauce and veggies. Simmer for 10 minutes.

To assemble bowls-Evenly spoon meat mixture over one cup rice and top with your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Crispy Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders

This is one of my favorite weekend meals. Super simple and fast to make and of course delicious! I served mine with potatoes and a veggie to round out the meal.

Crispy Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders
Makes 12 Tenders
WW PP=1 per tender
Cal 61, Carbs 5.1, Fat 0.5g, Protein 8g

16 oz boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
1 pkg shake n bake extra crispy
1 packet dry ranch seasoning mix
1/2 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (I used Franks)

In a small bowl combine the shake n bake and ranch seasoning mix. Set aside. Add your wing sauce to another bowl and set aside. Take your chicken tenders and dip in the wing sauce and then into the dry seasonings. Coat well. Put the tenders into a lightly greased baking dish and cook for 20-25 minutes at 400 or until juices run clear.

Serve with additional ranch, blue cheese, or any other dipping sauces of you choice. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Creamy Cajun Mac and Cheese

Back in the day I used to make this dish all the time. I've lightened the recipe up a bit to make it more weight watcher friendly but you'd never tell by tasting it. I love most spicy foods and love just about anything Cajun so when I first found Cajun chicken sausage at the store a few years back I decided to give it a try in this recipe and have been using it in place of smoked sausage ever since. If you like spice, then be sure to give this recipe a try!

Creamy Cajun Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
Cal 323, Fat 6, Carbs 47.8, Fiber 5, Protein 20.5

12 oz. pasta of your choice
1/2 cup non fat milk
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can rotel, drained
1 cup shredded American cheese
14 oz package Cajun chicken sausage

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for two minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Meanwhile, boil pasta and cook until al dente.

While pasta is cooking add milk and rotel to the garlic and onion mixture. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in the cheese. Once melted add in sausage. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Combine well and enjoy!

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Chicken and Rice Skillet

Back in the day this was one of my favorite easy recipes. As I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner earlier today, I realized it has been quite a while since I made this tasty dish. You can never go wrong with chicken, cheese, and bacon!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Chicken and Rice Skillet
Serves 6

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
4 cups cooked rice
1 cup shredded american cheese blend (be sure to use american since it's easy melting)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp. dry ranch seasoning

Season cooked chicken with ranch. Set aside.

In a large skillet saute onion until softened. Pour in milk and american cheese whisking until melted and smooth. Add chicken, bacon, and rice to cheese mixture. Once combined top with shredded sharp cheddar and place in broiler for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Grilled Chicken Fajita Tacos

I am just LOVING this weather we've been having the past few days. Anytime it's 70 degrees at the end of winter in Chicago, you've got to just go outside and take advantage of the warmth! That is exactly what we've been doing. I'm also taking advantage of the grill while I can! These Grilled Chicken Fajita Tacos are packed with flavor and make the perfect healthy dinner.

Grilled Chicken Fajita Tacos
Makes 10 Tacos
Cal 106, Carbs 8.5, Fat 2.9, Fiber 1, Protein 10.3

16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp. fajita seasoning
2 cups chopped bell peppers and onions
1 lime
10 hardshell tacos
any other toppings of your choice (I like sour cream and cheese)

Sprinkle fajita seasoning over chicken. Grill over medium high heat for about 8 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Let sit for one minute and then slice. Spritz lime juice evenly over chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, saute veggies. To assemble tacos place even amounts of chicken into each taco shell. Top with veggies and any other additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Chipotle Lime Grilled Chicken

I can't get enough of the grill when the weather is nice so I am always coming up with new ways to grill chicken. This Chipotle Lime Grilled Chicken is a simple yet delicious way to prepare chicken. It makes the perfect weeknight meal when you don't want to spend a lot of time preparing dinner. It was a hit with my family!

Chipotle Lime Grilled Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 125, Carbs 0, Fat 2.5, Protein 10

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of one lime

Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a large bowl and set aside. Using a large ziploc bag add chicken and add chipotle mixture. Place in fridge and marinate for at least two hours. The longer the better.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Grill chicken 7-8 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Enjoy! 
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