Posts tagged: chicken

Curried Chicken Salad

By Katie, 5:10 am

Ah, the age-old question: How do you make a dish healthier without losing the wonderful taste, texture, and flavor?

One answer: substitute some – but not all – of the less healthy ingredients for more nutrient-dense ones. You keep the flavor and texture while still upping the health factor.

This chicken salad, for example, doesn’t ditch the mayo entirely. Instead, the recipe uses just a touch of mayo, replacing the rest with plain Greek yogurt. It’s all about compromise, you know? ;-)

The creamy texture is dead-on, and the grapes and sliced almonds lend the perfect amount of crunch. And the curry powder makes it feel a bit more special, not just your standard chicken salad. I piled it atop a bed of mixed greens, but it’d be wonderful stuffed into a pita or scooped up with pita chips.

Curried Chicken Salad
Adapted from So Easy by Ellie Krieger
Serves 4

Ingredients
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp mayo
1 tsp curry powder
2.5 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts (about 1 lb.)
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt and pepper, to taste
mixed greens, pita bread, and/or pita chips, for serving

1. Toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, mayo, and curry powder. Gently mix in the chicken, grapes, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Sprinkle with toasted almonds just before serving. Serve over mixed greens, in pita bread, or alongside pita chips.

Do you have your own trick for making recipes healthier without sacrificing taste or texture?

AND

Chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, tofu salad – which is your favorite?

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

By Katie, 5:51 am

I was on the verge of scrapping this post entirely because this chicken is so simple it might not even qualify as a “recipe.”

But then I thought, wait a minute: it’s the middle of July. What do people want from their recipes in the middle of July? Most likely something easy. Something that doesn’t include standing in front of a hot oven. Something that requires almost no cooking talent whatsoever. And something from the GRILL! 8-)

Enter Grilled Buttermilk Chicken!

Maybe you’re thinking that buttermilk + chicken sounds odd, but trust me on this one. You basically just marinate the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, garlic, and paprika. The end result is incredibly moist and delicious!

We used a combination of chicken legs and thighs, but next time we’ll go with all legs – they’re just so much easier to eat! :-)

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken
Original Source: Real Simple Magazine
Serves 8 (but can easily be cut in half)

Ingredients
1.5 cups buttermilk
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp paprika
1.5 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
6 lbs bone-in chicken pieces

1. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.

2. Place buttermilk mixture and chicken in a large plastic bag (you might need 2), and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight. Turn bag occasionally.

3. Heat grill to medium-low. Remove chicken from plastic bag and grill – covered and turning occasionally – for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through.

AND THAT’S IT! :-)

For non-vegetarians/vegans, what’s your favorite way to grill chicken? Do you have a go-to marinade?

AND

Do you find yourself turning to easier recipes in the summertime? That’s definitely been the trend in my household!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

By Katie, 7:48 am

Wowza! 8-O

I know that I rave about a lot of the recipes on this blog – and always with good reason – but this dish takes it to a whole new level.

Watch out, Chinese take-out; if this recipe keeps circulating, you just may become obsolete!

So maybe it isn’t the healthiest dinner I’ve ever made, but paired with a serving of brown rice and lots of steamed broccoli, it makes for a very satisfying, well-rounded meal. And it’s gotta be better for you than the aforementioned take-out, right?

This is the kind of food that makes me overly excited to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. ;-)

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Serves 4

*I’m including the original recipe, with my changes noted in italics.

Ingredients
Chicken
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used a 1 lb. package of chicken breast tenders)
2 eggs, beaten (I only needed one)
1 cup cornstarch (I only needed 3/4 cup)
salt & pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (I used a little less, maybe 2 tbsp)
Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 325º.

2. Cut the chicken into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip into the bowl with the beaten egg, then into a bowl with the cornstarch until coated.

3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.

4. Mix all the sauce ingredients together and pour over the chicken. Bake for 60 minutes, turning to completely coat the chicken every 15 minutes. (My sauce was adequately thick after 50 minutes.) If desired, serve over brown rice.

5. You can make additional sauce by adding all ingredients to a saucepan and simmering until thick. (Next time I will definitely do this and pour it over the veggies.)

Do you like Chinese food (authentic or “Americanized”)? What’s your favorite dish to order from a Chinese take-out joint?

Low + Slow Convert

By Katie, 7:09 am

I’m a touch hesitant to write this post, lest you think that all we eat in my household are sandwiches. That is not the case, and I promise to highlight a non-sandwich meal soon! But last night’s dinner was just too tasty not to share immediately! :-)

That would be a chicken sandwich with apricot sauce, inspired by the ever-inspiring Pioneer Woman.

The sauce was just a simple mixture of apricot preserves, coarse-ground Dijon, plain Greek yogurt, and a hint of cayenne. (The Pioneer Woman calls for mayo, which I would have used except that when I pulled it out it was past its expiration date. Yeah, we don’t use mayo that often. The yogurt made a perfectly suitable substitute!)

All mixed together.

The sandwich took no time at all because I used Trader Joe’s fully cooked chicken breasts, which are highlighted in the flyer this month. I also used two slices of Trader Joe’s whole wheat Tuscan pane. Can you tell where I do all of my grocery shopping? ;-)

After a light grill in a skillet and the addition of some baby spinach, this delicious sandwich was ready!

To make the meal even more fantastic, I made some sweet potatoes using the Low + Slow method. Honestly, I thought the Low + Slow method was just a bunch of hype; how could it really be that much better than the various methods I was already using? Well, turns out I was dead wrong. This is the method for cooking sweet potatoes! SO GOOD!

All around an awesome meal!

I’m off to watch my cousin graduate from my alma mater! It will be fun to be back on my old campus!

Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

Why Not?

By Katie, 9:50 pm

Hey, everyone! Can I just tell you how much I loved reading your Monday Confessions? :-D Isn’t there something liberating about acknowledging your own imperfections and realizing that others struggle just as much as you do? You all made me feel better about not flossing since apparently a lot of you don’t either! ;-)

Let’s see some food, shall we?

Breakfast

Strawberry-Banana-Almond Overnight Oats!

Last night I combined:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • handful of sliced strawberries

Popped it in the fridge overnight, then added some sliced almonds in the morning. Yummy!

Mid-Morning Snack

Well, before we get to the snack, let’s talk exercise. I went to the gym and did 3.5 miles of hill intervals, and later I did some upper body strength training and a solid ab workout. Three cheers for getting my strength training in even though I didn’t feel like it!

I also have an exciting announcement to make! As you may already know, I’m training to run the 10-Mile Broad Street Run in Philly on May 2. Well, my training plan has me building up to an 11-mile long run, which got me thinking…if I’m in the kind of shape that I can run 11 miles, what’s 2.1 more? So I’ve decided to run the Maryland Half Marathon on May 23!!! When I asked Dave if he thought I should run it, his response was, “Well, why not?” And I thought, “Exactly! WHY NOT?” I want to have more of a “why not?” attitude toward life! :-D

After the gym I went to campus to get some books for a research paper, and picked up some things at Trader Joe’s as well. Snacked on a Clif Z bar in between stops.

In the name of reducing my added sugar intake, I took a look at the ingredients:

Can you read that? Fourth ingredient: Brown Rice Syrup. Fifth ingredient: Tapioca Syrup. Sixth ingredient: Honey. Seventh ingredient: Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup. I don’t think those types of sweeteners are so bad, but it’s just a lot of them! No wonder my beloved Z bars taste so heavenly! At least the sweeteners are organic. :-?

Lunch

I was feeling a mega-salad today.

That glorious bowl contained:

  • spring mix
  • snow peas
  • grape tomatoes
  • red pepper strips
  • small fillet of Honey-Soy Salmon (leftovers from last night’s dinner – recipe forthcoming! It’s delicious!)
  • Pure2Raw Pumpkin Seed Kale crackers
  • dried cherries
  • drizzle of rice vinegar

I got a little picture-happy with that salad, didn’t I? :oops:

I also had a sliced apple with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge (which apparently browned while I photographed the salad!).

Really fresh and satisfying!

And for a little lunch “dessert,” two medjool dates.

Afternoon Snacks

This first snack is a new favorite! I got the idea from some lovely blogger out there, but unfortunately I can’t remember who it was. If you thought of this combo, I thank you immensely!

Wholegrain wrap smothered with hummus and topped with shredded mozzarella. Microwaved for 30 seconds so the cheese got all melt-y and delicious!

I also had two hard-boiled eggs, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. A classic snack food!

Dinner

Tonight I showed some lovin’ to my slow cooker. Dare I say, the humble slow cooker may be one of my favorite kitchen tools. There’s something so simple and lovely about throwing a bunch of ingredients in, leaving the scene, and returning hours later to the magnificent aroma of a ready-to-eat meal.

Today’s slow cooker recipe: Taco Soup!

I was inspired by this recipe from Cooking with Trader Joe’s. I put the following into the slow cooker:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning Mix (next time I’d use 1/2 packet)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth

I cooked it all on Low for 5 hours, then pulled out the chicken and shredded it. Dave and I topped our Taco Soup with fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Besides being a tad too hot for my taste, this was amazing! I made a big batch, so there will be plenty of leftovers. :-)

I also had a side salad with spring mix, sprouts, cucumber, carrots, and zucchini.

Evening Snack

A simple dessert.

Fresh fruit with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

And because today was a bit dreary here on the East Coast, I will leave you with some brightness.

Beautiful flowers from the Hubs. :-)

Have you ever run a half marathon? What was your experience like?

AND/OR

Do you have a slow cooker? Do you use it often? What’s your favorite slow cooker dish?

P.S. Check out this awesome Galaxy Granola giveaway!

What I Ate – 2/6/2010

By Katie, 9:21 pm

Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you’re having a great one so far! :-D

My day was relatively low-key. I basically worked today so I can PLAY tomorrow!

Breakfast

I kept breakfast on the light side because my morning plans included a 90-minute session of Hot Vinyasa. Even though – as I’ve mentioned before – I have a stomach of steel, the idea of consuming a heavy meal before doing yoga in a 90º sweat box wasn’t very appealing.

Started out with a container of Chobani nonfat vanilla.

Then added some Kashi Go Lean and chunks of apple sprinkled with cinnamon. Plus a piping hot mug of (caffeinated) tea.

Eaten as such. :-)

Lunch

My yoga session ROCKED! This was my first time with this instructor, and I’d heard rumors that she was hardcore. Those rumors were true! I was sweating buckets and working like crazy. But I managed to hold my crow pose for a full three seconds! SCORE!

I came home feeling famished and immediately made myself something I’ve been craving for days.

A bagel sandwich!

The new bagel thins are all over the blog world right now. I definitely want to try them, but ironically seeing them on other blogs has made me desperate for a real bagel, with all its dense, chewy goodness. Good thing I’m not one to shy away from a craving. ;-)

That would be a whole wheat bagel with Applegate Farms roasted turkey breast, Laughing Cow cheese, and apricot preserves. Mega-yum!

Plus some greens topped with orange slices and dried cherries.

I probably should have added some more vegetables, but after sweating so much I was more in the mood for FRUIT. Perhaps because of the water content? I also chugged an entire bottle of water in a minute flat.

Afternoon Snacks

I spent the afternoon working on homework at Barnes & Noble. Keeping in mind my goal of reducing my food spending, I packed my own snacks. First I remedied the lack of veggies situation: cucumber slices, celery sticks, and cherry tomatoes, with Trader Joe’s Three Layer Hummus for dipping.

(That’s way better than it looks, by the way. The layers are traditional hummus, roasted red pepper, and zesty cilantro. I like them all mixed together!)

That held me over through the first half of my reading. I re-fueled for the second with a Tropical Fruit Tart Lara Bar (LOVE this flavor! :-) )

I admit, I didn’t stick to the no-spending plan 100%. :oops: I spent a little bit of $$ on a beverage…

Nonfat “Skinny” Latte with Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup.

Dinner

I didn’t get home from Barnes & Noble until after 7:00, which means dinner was late. 8-O Even by my standards! (On an average day I eat dinner around 7 or 7:30.) I could have thrown something fast together and eaten earlier, but I knew what I wanted to make and I would not allow the clock to stand in my way!

I consider this dinner to be my healthified version of what one might order off of the kids’ menu at a restaurant. ;-)

First up: Chicken tenders!

Chicken breast tenderloins that I dipped first in an egg bath and then in wheat bread crumbs…then baked for about 20 minutes. Served with Annie’s Naturals Organic Honey Mustard for dipping.

And then there were these beauties! :-D

They’re not French fries…they’re not sweet potato fries…they’re CARROT FRIES!

I first saw them on Thinspired, then again on Healthy and Sane, which ultimately led me to the original carrot fry post on Choosing Raw.  I even made them properly, using coconut oil. I’ve never used coconut oil before, so that was an adventure! (I had no idea it would come in the form of a solid, not a liquid!)

Rounded it out with some peas.

No joke, this totally looks like a healthier version of a meal I would have eaten as a kid!

Evening Snack

Dessert was DUNKABLE!

You know how I said that even though I grocery shop with a list, somehow random items magically appear in my cart? These Oatmeal Cranberry Dunkers would be Exhibit A.

To alleviate my guilt over purchasing yet another cookie-like product that I don’t need, I made sure to savor every bite of these. And of course, you can’t really eat “dunkers” without something to dunk them in. I went with a small glass on nonfat milk, although hot tea would be nice too.

What are you up to on this lovely weekend? Tomorrow I’m hoping to go for a long hike to enjoy the gorgeous weather. 8-) Then I might be going to see Alice in Wonderland!

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