Thursday, August 29, 2013

Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

Here is another take on crusted chicken - this time with corn flakes and bottled honey mustard sauce.  I never thought that honey mustard, dill, and green onions would go well together, but I loved this recipe and so (surprisingly) did Corey.  This is a Weight Watchers recipe and the Points Plus value is 10.


Recipe Notes
I made extra cornflake crumbs to make it easier to bread the chicken.  To make the cornflake crumbs, I just took plain cornflakes and pulsed them in my Cuisinart.

  • 2/3 c. light honey mustard dressing (I used Newman's Own)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 medium uncooked green onion, finely sliced
  • 1 c. cornflake crumbs
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 oz. each)
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a shallow pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2.  In a small bowl, combine honey mustard dressing, salt, pepper, dill, and scallions.  Remove 1/3 c. honey mustard mixture (approx. half) and set aside for serving.
3.  Place cornflake crumbs on a plate.
4.  Dip chicken first in dressing mixture and then in cornflake crumbs.  Coat chicken breasts thoroughly with cornflakes.  Place chicken in the prepared pan.
5.  Bake until chicken is golden and cooked through, or approximately 13-15 minutes.
6.  Serve with remaining honey mustard mixture.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Honey Mustard Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

This chicken dish is good with a simple salad and mashed potatoes.


Recipe Notes
The original recipe calls for bottled water and clover or orange blossom honey to make the homemade honey mustard.  I don't know what planet the author lives on, but on my planet, we're on a budget, so I used tap water and plain old Burleson's honey.  This recipe makes lots more pretzel/panko crumbs than you will need, but it is nice to have the extra to make sure that your chicken breasts get coated properly.

  • 2 c. panko crumbs
  • 2 c. pretzel crumbs (pretzels pulsed in a Cuisinart until coarsely ground)
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (4 oz. each)
  • 1/2 c. flour
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil with cooking spray.
2.  Combine panko crumbs and pretzel crumbs in a medium bowl.
3.  Combine oil, mustard, honey, water, and vinegar in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
4.  Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.
5.  Prepare three dredging stations: one with flour, one with 1/2 of the honey mustard dressing, and one with the pretzel crumb mixture.
6.  Dredge chicken breasts one at a time in flour, then in honey mustard (allowing for excess to drip off), and finally in pretzel crumbs.  Place on the greased baking sheet.
7.  Bake for 16-25 minutes (mine took approx. 20 minutes) until cooked through.  Let chicken sit for five minutes before serving.
8.  Serve with additional honey mustard dressing.

Mini Mexican Pizzas


Another Pinterest find.  I printed off a bunch of meal ideas I had pinned a couple of weeks ago and this flurry of posts is the combination of the best ones.  Corey loved these.  They are a bit flimsy to serve as appetizers, but a few of them with a salad and a Mexican-style side dish makes for a nice dinner.


Recipe Notes
The original recipe calls for lean ground turkey.  I used extra lean (95%) ground beef.  Serve these with low fat sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and/or sliced black olives if you'd like.

Nutritional Information (approximate, per pizza) - makes 12
80 calories - 3 g. fat - 8 g. carbohydrates - 4 g. fiber - 8 g. protein

  • Flour tortillas (enough to cut out 12 small circles from each tortilla)
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef, cooked
  • 1/2 c. salsa (I used Pace mild)
  • 1 tbsp. dry taco seasoning
  • 1/2 c. fat free refried beans
  • 1/2 c. lowfat shredded cheddar cheese
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a 12-count standard size muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
2.  Use a wide-bottomed empty can, glass cup, or cookie cutter to cut 2-3 medium circles out of each tortilla.
3.  Press each wrap circle into the muffin tin using your fingers.  It does not have to fill the muffin cup, just fit snugly.
4.  Mix cooked ground beef, salsa, taco seasoning, and refried beans.  Stir until well-combined.
5.  Spoon approx. 2 tbsp. of the meat mixture into each tortilla.  Top with shredded cheese.
6.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted (in my oven, it actually only took 10 minutes).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

I have been using Corey as a guinea pig for lots of Pinterest recipes lately.  This recipe for Mexican corn salad looked good and relatively healthy (I made some modifications to the original to skinny it up).  I ran this through the Weight Watchers Points Plus tracker, and I come up with a value of 3 Points+ based on six servings.


Recipe Notes
The author of the original recipe (the blogger behind Closet Cooking) also posted a version with avocado, which looks yummy but will add to the Points if you are following Weight Watchers.

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 4 ears of fresh corn, cut from the cob
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp. feta cheese (crumbled)
  • Chili powder to taste
1.  Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium high.
2.  Add corn, toss to coat, and then let it sit cooking until charred (5-ish minutes).  Mix it up and char it again.
3.  Add jalapeno and garlic, saute for one minute.  Remove from heat.
4.  Mix the balance of the ingredients in and gently toss.
5.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Tacos

I also found these Crock Pot chicken tacos on Pinterest and thought they looked healthy and flavorful.  They were very easy to assemble and I was able to leave everything in the morning and had dinner almost finished when I got home that afternoon!

Recipe Notes
The original recipe calls for cooking the recipe on high for four hours.  I made the chicken breasts on low for eight hours (as directed here) and they came out great.  We served these with both corn and flour tortillas.  The flour tortillas probably had the best flavor, but the corn tortillas were a bit more healthy.

  • Four boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 c. salsa (I used Pace mild)
  • 1 can Healthy Request 99% fat free cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • Flour or corn tortillas for serving
1.  Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your Crock Pot.  Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix.
2.  Combine salsa and cream of chicken soup in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken breasts.
3.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Chicken breasts should be fork-tender and easy to shred.
4.  Shred chicken breasts and stir in sour cream.
5.  Serve with tortillas.

BLT Chopped Salad

I found this salad on Pinterest and thought it looked interesting for summer....fresh corn, avocado, tomatoes, and my husband's favorite (bacon!) made for a really nice salad.

Recipe Notes
I ran this version through the WW Points Plus tracker and I came up with a Points value of 5.  I did make modifications from the original recipe that I found (I added more lettuce, used less cheese, and used center-cut bacon instead of slab to make it healthier).

  • 3 c. Bibb lettuce, chopped
  • 3 c. arugula, chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • Fresh corn kernels from one large ear of corn
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice from one lime
  • Salt & pepper to taste
1.  Combine Bibb lettuce, arugula, grape tomatoes, corn kernels, avocado, bacon, and feta in a large bowl.
2.  Whisk olive oil and lime juice to make the dressing.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Toss salad gently with dressing and serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Wilted Spinach & Cauliflower Mash

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it was quite successful.  I ran it through the Points Plus tracker on Weight Watchers and it looks like the Points Plus value is 6 based on a recipe that serves four people.
Recipe Notes
This recipe essentially has three components: the protein (shrimp) and two vegetable sides (cauliflower mash and spinach).  I have modified the recipe here based on what I found on the blog "Lizzy Writes" (credit to
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (I had the fishmonger leave the tails on)
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 c. baby spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Toss cauliflower florets, smashed garlic cloves, and 1 tbsp. olive oil with salt and pepper. 
3.  Place florets and garlic cloves on a foil-lined pan and roast, covered loosely with foil.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and roast 15 minutes more.
4.  Place cauliflower/garlic mixture in a Cuisinart.  Blend, adding chicken broth as needed to get it smooth (grits-like texture).  Add Parmesan cheese and more salt and pepper to taste.
5.  Mix shrimp with lemon zest, 1 tbsp. olive oil, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Let stand for 15 minutes. 
6.  Saute shrimp in a large skillet on medium high heat or until pink and cooked through.
7.  Remove shrimp to a bowl and keep warm.  Do not clean out pan, as the pan drippings will be used for the sautéed onion/spinach mixture.
8.  Add spinach, onion, crushed red pepper flakes, and lemon juice to the hot skillet.  Saute until wilted.
9.  Layer cauliflower puree, followed by spinach, followed by shrimp.  Serve immediately.

Mediterranean Tomatoes

This is a very simple recipe for fresh tomatoes to enjoy while the tomatoes are still good here at the end of the summer!


Recipe Notes

  • Beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
  • Feta cheese (from the deli, such as Murray's Cheese, preferred)
  • Kalamata olives, sliced or chopped
  • Fresh basil, cut in a chiffonnade
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • Olive oil (use sparingly)
  • Good-quality salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1.  Arrange tomatoes on a plate.
2.  Sprinkle with feta, olives, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper.  Drizzle sparingly with olive oil.
3.  Chill for 20-30 minutes and serve.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cape Cod Chopped Salad

My mom makes this salad frequently for family dinners.  It's an old Ina Garten recipe that is a good consistent standby.  The dressing is really fresh and extra dressing can be stored.
Recipe Notes
I used less than half of the dressing.  It makes a lot and you will end up with a soggy salad if you use the whole recipe.  I also used a baby spinach and arugula salad blend for the salad pictured instead of just 100% arugula.  The original recipe calls for 8 oz. of thick cut bacon.  I used 6 slices of center cut bacon (about 1/3 of the recommended amount) and it was plenty.
  • 6 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 oz. baby arugula (about 1.5 "clamshells" in the grocery store)
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced small
  • 1/2 c. toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 2-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2/3 c. good quality olive oil
1.  Combine crumbled bacon, arugula, apple, nuts, cranberries, and blue cheese.
2.  Whisk together the remaining ingredients, adding olive oil last and incorporating it slowly.
3.  Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten the greens.  Serve immediately.