Lemon Paprika Chicken

I was craving a good lemon dish but didn’t feel like making Chicken Piccata, this was a little easier to make actually. My husband loves the flavor that capers have so I whipped up a little something. I made it with two chicken breasts but next time I’ll filet them so they are not only thinner but it can serve 4.

I was very happy with the way this dish turned out. I loved the briny flavor from the capers and the cream based sauce with it. This will be a dish thats made a few times a month.

 

Lemon Paprika Chicken

Two whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, filleted

Paprika

Salt and Pepper

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1/4 dry white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 half and half

Juice from 1 lemon

Two big handfuls of Kale

8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms

1 tbsp capers

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat two tablespoons of butter in a skillet on medium to medium high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper and paprika on both sides then sear the chicken in the skillet. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken completely, we just want to brown the outside. Set chicken on a plate. Add the last tablespoon of butter and cook the garlic and mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have begun to soften add the thyme and white wine. Cook down the wine to about half and add chicken broth, half and half and lemon juice. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Stir in the kale and capers and cook down the sauce to your desired thickness. Return the chicken to the pan and place in the oven. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts. Serve with mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.

 

I don’t have the calories for this dish since I want to adjust the portions of the chicken. Ill edit it at a later date but you can plug it into MyFitnessPal and it’ll give you the calories.

Mapo Tofu

This is such a huge favorite in my home. I experimented with this recipe from another blog called The Woks of Life. They are my go to when I’m looking up any Asian dish. Mapo is a simple, spicy and comforting dish. Usually the tofu used is silken, however, I am not a fan of the texture of silken so I use extra firm tofu. I’ve swapped out group pork for ground turkey and do not use Szechuan peppercorns. The numbing sensation is not something my husband and I like.

Served with a nice bowl of rice, this recipe will give you the warm fuzzies!

 

Mapo Tofu

One pound ground turkey (or pork if you prefer)

One carton of Tofu, whatever firmness you like, cut into bite sized chunks

10oz frozen peas

1 tbsp fresh grated or minced ginger

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1-8oz jar of Lee Kum Kee Mapo sauce/spicy bean sauce

 

Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat, toss in the ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant then add your ground meat. I don’t drain the fat since I use turkey and there isn’t much but if you are using pork and want to render the fat, I would cook it in a separate pan first and then add the ground pork to the ginger and garlic mixture. Next add the Mapo sauce and peas, this step is also where you can add some Sriracha to kick up the heat a little. Add the tofu and cook until everything is warmed through. Serve with a big bowl of rice or cauliflower rice! Its a quick and easy meal that you’ll be craving in the middle of the night.

 

As written this recipe serves 8 and each serving, not including rice, is 207 calories! I think thats a win.

Low Carb Bagels

Sorry for being away, I've been stuck in a bit of a rut lately. I completely fell off the wagon but I'm trying to get back on!

Onto the recipe! So a friend shared this recipe with me and I finally tried it today. It's pretty straight forward and easy. I made them while my daughter was taking a nap, mom win! Overall I was pleased with the outcome, they aren't as chewy as a "real" bagel and the almond flour gives it a different texture all together. They were tasty and were a great vehicle for cream cheese or lemon curd!

Low Carb Bagels

2 oz cream cheese
2.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1.5 cups almond flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
Sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stir together the cheeses and microwave for 2 minutes, storing half way through. Once cheese is fully melted add the flour, baking powder and beaten eggs. Knead with your hands until a dough forms. It's a very sticky dough so it will get messy. If the dough becomes too hard to work with, stick it into the microwave for 15 seconds.

Divide dough into 6 parts, form a log and press the ends together to form the bagel. Now would be the time you'd add the sesame seeds, just sprinkle on top and gently press them into the dough. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden! Enjoy!

One bagel is 361 calories!

Sausage and Kale Pasta


It seems that I’ve been making a lot of pasta lately. It’s quick and easy and if made correctly, not too bad on the calories. 

I came up with this recipe as a twist on a sausage and broccoli rabe pasta my dad makes, my husband isn’t a fan since broccoli rabe is pretty bitter. I use turkey sausage and baby kale in this recipe and it’s pretty tasty! Even our little Lucy loves it. 
Turkey and Kale Pasta 

1 Tbs Olive oil

Half a medium onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

5 Turkey sausage, hot or sweet, casing removed

1 package of baby kale

10oz orecchiette pasta or whole wheat Shells

1/2 cup 99% fat free chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper (optional)

Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat up the oil on medium in a large pan. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. While the onions are cooking get your pasta water ready, add your pasta when water boils. Add garlic and sausage. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon, you can leave larger chunks or break it up finely. I like a combination of both. Cook all the way through. Add chicken broth and Kale. Stir and cover with lid. By this time the pasta is probably done. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Add pasta to the pan, toss with seasoning to taste, add cheese if you choose to and pasta water if it seems too dry. It’s important to add a little at a time, you can always add but you can’t take away. Serve in a bowl topped with more cheese!

Serves 5 with each serving about 1 1/2 cups. Each serving is around 370 calories depending on the amount of cheese you add. Not bad for pasta!

For the love of Pizza

A friend shared with me this post about a low carb pizza crust and I was very eager to try it. However the calories on a slice of regular cheese pizza is outrageous! I wanted to come up with an alternative for those days that I just really want a few slices.

I thawed out some of my sauce and started on the crust. I have to say, it was a little different than I had expected. I think I may have to fiddle with the recipe a touch, it wasn’t as chewy as I had hoped. The recipe calls for ground flax or almond flour, I used ground flax this time so I’m going to try the almond flour next time to see if it’ll give me that chewiness I was looking for. Overall, I was very happy with recipe, I’m excited to try it again!

 

Low Carb Pizza Crust

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax or almond flour or psyllium
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Put all ingredients except the mozzarella into a food processor. Process until there are no more lumps then fold in the mozzarella. Spread onto a baking sheet or pizza stone and bake for 20-25 minutes. After its been baked, add your sauce and toppings, cook for another 10-12 minutes.

 

Per the original recipe, it says the calories are 230 per slice, cut into 6 slices. I plugged the recipe into MyFitnessPal and it showed me 176 per slice. I added my sauce and toppings to my recipe and in total, for two slices, was 545! I am pretty pleased with that.

Caprese Chicken Pasta

PASTA!!! Oh glorious pasta, how I love thee. Its such a cheap, easy and sometimes quick way to feed your family. The only thing that stinks about pasta is that if you are on a diet, it’s a hard thing to have. Luckily, with my Skinnytaste cookbook, I can!

The recipe in the book is actually called Chicken Pasta Caprese, but I think the way I put it rolls off the tongue better 😉

I used the same ingredients as the original recipe except I added a little dry white wine, it’s an ingredient that can be omitted but I like to add wine to my fresh tomato dishes. I can’t say that I was too pleased with this dish, to be honest, it needed a little help. Maybe its was the Trader Joe’s pasta that I used, it was an organic brown rice pasta. I should just stick with the classics, they are classics for a reason right? I felt the dish also lacked flavor. I’m going to mess around with this a little more and post about it again. Both Zach and Lucy devoured this dish which was surprising for me.

Caprese Chicken Pasta

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized chunks

Salt and Freshly ground pepper (we’ve talked about this before, yes?)

1/2 dried basil

Cooking spray

9 ounces of your favorite short pasta

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves minced

2 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes

Splash of dry white wine

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

4 ounces mozzarella cheese cut into chunks

 

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Season the chicken with Salt, pepper and dried basil. Spray your skillet with cooking spray and add chicken. Cook until the chicken is throughly cooked then transfer to a bowl.

While you are cooking your chicken, start your pasta. After your water comes to a boil make sure to season it with salt. You want your pasta water to be salty like the sea, it makes for the best tasting dishes. Drain but reserve about a cup of pasta water.

After the chicken is done, add olive oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and turn the heat to medium low. Allow to cook until the tomatoes start to become soft and release their juices. This is when I added my splash of white wine, I added maybe 1/8 cup. Add the pasta in and stir, if the dish seems too dry, add some of the pasta water.

Add the chicken, basil and mozzarella, then serve!

 

Prepared this way, a little under 2 cups is 495 calories. Not bad for a pasta dish!

No Regrets

Sometimes you fall off the wagon. Sometimes you need that massive brownie sundae or a big plate of pasta. It’s ok to have a meal that you know will totally kill your diet, you’re allowed to be human! If you go head on into a diet and eat nothing but celery and water, you’re going to hate life. You have to find that balance of eating right and allowing yourself that one cheat meal. 

Today was a bad day for me. I’ve got some crappy cold that has my nose running nonstop and I’m so tired. I am normally tired but I was falling asleep either at 7 or before the past few days! So with my crappy cold and tired head I told Zach we would be doing leftover for dinner. 

Then it happened, the carb craving. I was watching Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and the episode was in Shanghai. I’m a sucker for good Chinese food. I grew up in New Jersey, I know good Chinese take out, pizza and dinner food. As I was watching all the delicious Chinese food Zimmern was eating I looked up local Chinese take out places. 

An hour later we were sitting at the dinner table enjoying chow fun, hot and sour soup and egg rolls. 


Lucy seemed to enjoy her egg roll

I’m totally over my calories for today, probably about 1000 over but it’s ok! I don’t regret it and I’ll hop back on my better diet tomorrow. Until then, I’ll sip my Sleepy Time tea and feel satisfied that I gave into a craving for once.