Healthy Fish and Chips

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. I know I did. I went to the lakes with Ben’s family, read the book 50 Shades of Grey, and did a lot of shopping. I even caught my own walleye at the fish market, which is basically my idea of fishing. It was good walleye too. You can use whatever type of fish you like for this though. Walleye is a sweet fish and makes for great fish and chips.

Did you know that cereal can make a really good coating for chicken or fish? This recipe said to use corn flakes, so I opted for rice crispies instead. They turned the perfect golden brown color on one side. I also didn’t use the oil for the potatoes like the recipe said to and used it for the fish instead. You just cook the fish on both sides for a couple of minutes in the oil (make sure to measure it to and cook on medium high heat) until you can see the crust start to turn a golden brown, and then finish cooking the fish in the oven. I’ve tried just baking the fish or chicken before with the coating, and for some reason it never turns out the way I want it to. Soggy! I think this is a better way of getting that golden brown color that restaurant chefs always get on theirs. It was a great end to a Memorial Day weekend.

If you decide to make the fish baked in the oven the recipe below is 8 points including the potatoes. If you decide to make it the way I did above, it’s 8 points for one fish fillet and then whatever it is for the potatoes. I just used some store bought french fries that we had on hand and baked them in the oven. Just one fish was very filling with some french fries.

I’ve been wanting a fancier blog design, and so I’m teaching myself how to make my own wordpress themes. I do know html, css, and now even a little bit of XML coding. So, hopefully sometime in the near future I’ll have a new layout. I’m sick of using the free ones and not being able to edit them the way I want to, and I’m sure not going to pay for someone else to design my own theme when I went to school for Graphic Design.

Servings 3 (one  and 1/2 fish)

Points Plus: 8

325 calories, 5 g fat, 24 g protein, 3 g fiber, 45 g carbohydrates

Ingredients adapted from Eating Well

Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning, divided
2 cups cornflakes (I used rice crispies)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, beaten
1 pound cod, (see Tip) or haddock, cut into 4 portions

Preparation

Position racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Set a wire rack on another large baking sheet; coat with cooking spray.

Place potatoes in a colander. Thoroughly rinse with cold water, then pat dry completely with paper towels. Toss the potatoes, oil and 3/4 teaspoon Cajun (or Creole) seasoning in a large bowl. Spread on the baking sheet without the rack. Bake on the lower oven rack, turning every 10 minutes, until tender and golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, coarsely grind cornflakes in a food processor or blender or crush in a sealable plastic bag. Transfer to a shallow dish. Place flour, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon Cajun (or Creole) seasoning and salt in another shallow dish and egg whites in a third shallow dish. Dredge fish in the flour mixture, dip it in egg white and then coat all sides with the ground cornflakes. Place on the prepared wire rack. Coat both sides of the breaded fish with cooking spray.

Bake the fish on the upper oven rack until opaque in the center and the breading is golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

You know what, I really hate the meteorologists where I live. They predicted about a foot of snow to fall between Tuesday and Wednesday, and we only got about 4 inches. What the heck??! Everyone in the area was expecting a huge snow storm. Even my dogs. I was hoping to stay home and bake today, but never got to. So disappointed in that but oh well. What can you do, you know?

I actually took a cup of the finished pasta, and figured out how many servings there were in a recipe. Turns out there was enough for 7 cups. Usually, I don’t measure out the  finished recipe because the number of servings are listed in the recipe. So, this recipe serves 7 (1 cup servings). I almost wish Weight Watchers had a calorie/fat/fiber/protein calculator a long with the points plus calculator. I use fatsecret.com and food.com to figure out the nutrition info bu,t sometimes they don’t always match what Weight Watchers has. How do you know if you’re supposed to use cooked or uncooked too? You wouldn’t want to eat uncooked pasta now would you? Same goes with chicken breast. Why don’t they just have one to choose from and that’s it? Anyways… enough ranting for the day.

If you’re a fan of the bubble up enchiladas on this website then you’ ll like this recipe. I actually think that it’s a lot more filling too. The next time I make this I’m going to skip the part where you add the cheese into the the pasta sauce and sprinkle it on top instead. Then bake it in the oven for awhile until the cheese melts. This dish was very yummy and spicy. If you can’t find salsa verde, just use a jar of regular  salsa instead. :)

Recipe from Let’s Dish

Servings: 7 (1 cup)

Points Plus: 8

Calories 347 | Fat 11.48g | Carbohydrate 35.98g | Fiber 1.9g | Protein 22.86g

Ingredients
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups salsa verde
1 cup red enchilada sauce
1 can large black olives, cut in half (optional)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
16 oz. pasta

Directions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender; drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for another 2 minutes, until pepper is barely tender. Add the cooked chicken, green chilies, spices, salsa verde, enchilada sauce and olives. Let the sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Add the sour cream and cheese and heat through, until the cheese is melted.  Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with extra sour cream, cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions or crushed tortilla chips.

Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale

Another super easy recipe to make. While the pasta is cooking (which only takes 8 minutes), brown the sausage and once the sausage is done add in the kale. It will turn bright green. Add in the chicken broth and scrape off the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. There were quite a bit on mine. It’s almost like making a gravy. Top with some parmesan cheese and enjoy. In no time you’ll have dinner on the table.

If you’ve never tried kale before it kind of reminds me of spinach but more leafier. Feel free to add in whatever greens you like. Give kale a try if you haven’t. I think the only thing I would do differently next time is cook the kale longer. This recipe is directly from Weight Watchers website. There were quite a bit of reviews for this website, over 1000.

Note: Measure out two cups of rigatoni and cook. Doesn’t seem like much but in the end it is.

Recipe from Weight Watchers

Servings: 4
Points Plus: 8

Ingredients:

2 cup(s) uncooked rigatoni
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste, for cooking pasta
8 oz uncooked turkey sausage(s), sweet Italian variety
4 cup(s) uncooked kale, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup(s) canned chicken broth
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

Directions:

Cook rigatoni in salted water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Add kale; cook, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add broth to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni; heat through.

Sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons of cheese before serving. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I remember this being a soup that my brother and I would always like, whenever my Mom made it. Dare I say this, but the one she used was way too cheesy. This recipe had just the right amount of cheese and it didn’t require a whole brick of Velveeta. Yes, this soup has velveeta cheese. Don’t judge! The soup almost reminded me of making that velveeta cheese dip, where you just add in a can of rotel tomatoes. That’s exactly what I added too, since I didn’t have any salsa at all in the house. It was delicious and spicy. Even the lactose intolerant husband said he enjoyed it. He took his pills of course.

This weekend, I plan on posting some Jamaican recipes for you all to try. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the web for recipes and found some for Jerk Seasoning, Johny Cakes, and I’m going to try and make the recipe we learned how to make at the resort. I believe the chef said it was called Escovitch, but we didn’t catch what the name of it was. The resort is supposed to be emailing me the recipe hopefully.

Recipe adapted from Krista’s Kitchen via Tasty Kitchen

Servings: 8
Points Plus: 8 (1 cup)
Calories 310 | Total Fat 14.96g | Carbohydrate 16.08g | Fiber 1.7g | Protein 27.36g

Ingredients

1 envelope Taco Seasoning
1-½ pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Diced
½ cups Chopped Onion
2 T Butter
1/3 cups Flour
2-½ cups low sodium, reduced fat chicken broth
8-12 oz. 2% Milk Velveeta, cubed
8 oz. Shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack or Mexican 4 cheese blend shredded cheese
1 jar salsa (any Variety)
1 cup 1% milk

Additonal Toppings
Fritos, green onion, and sour cream (for garnish)

Instructions

In a skillet, add seasoning and diced chicken. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Drain, and set aside. (or cook chicken and toss with seasoning mix like I did)

In large saucepan (or pot), saute onion in butter for 2 minutes. Stir in flour until blended, then gradually stir in the broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for two minutes longer, or until thickened slightly. Add Velveeta, shredded cheese and salsa. Cook on medium-low until cheese is melted.

Stir in half and half. Add the chicken back in. Stir. Heat through but do not boil. Remove from heat. Garnish with Fritos (you can also use guacamole, sour cream, and green onions). Enjoy!

Honey Mustard, Pretzel Coated Chicken Strips

I found this recipe on pinterest and it was from Hungry Girl. I’m going to come right out and say this, but I’m not a very big fan of her. I’ve tried many of her recipes and thought that most of them lacked in flavor. I do however like to watch her on the Cooking Channel to get ideas. So, I thought I’d give this a try and sure enough it was kind of a flop. The idea of coating chicken in pretzels sounded really good to me and I thought the pretzel coating would make the chicken really crispy. WRONG. The honey mustard actually made the pretzels really soggy.

I think if I were to do this over again I’d just dip the chicken in flour first, then the eggs, and then the pretzels. The honey mustard sauce can be used for dipping. I made my own honey mustard sauce and it’s pretty easy. It’s just honey, dijon mustard, and vinegar. I had these chicken strips a long with this beautiful blood orange salad. The salad had lettuce, blueberries, blood orange, green onions, and walnuts in it.

Recipe adapted from Hungry Girl

349 calories | 2.5g fat | 39g carbs | 1g fiber | 37g protein
Points Plus: 8 (4 chicken strips)

Ingredients

10 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into 8 strips
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. honey mustard
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
20 standard-sized (not mini) hard salted thin pretzel twists
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.

Season chicken strips with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine honey mustard with egg substitute and whisk well. Submerge chicken in mustard-egg mixture, and set aside to marinate for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place pretzels in a sealable plastic bag, seal, and finely crush through the bag with a meat mallet or other heavy utensil. Add sugar, reseal, and shake to mix. Spread the mixture out on a large plate or in a large dish. Set aside.

Using tongs, transfer chicken strips to the pretzel-sugar mixture and thoroughly coat. Then transfer them to the baking sheet. (Discard excess mustard-egg mixture.) Mist the tops of the strips with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through baking, until the chicken is cooked through.

———————–

Baked Potato Soup

We’ve had a lot of soup for dinner this week.

Monday – Chili

Tuesday – Leftovers

Wednesday – Chicken Tortilla Soup from Panera (They have it at Sam’s)

Thursday – Baked potato soup.

Not sure what we’re having tomorrow night. The husband and I (Ben) always go grocery shopping on Fridays so I guess I’ll decide there. I have my menu planned out before we go to the grocery store, so that I only get what’s on my list. Pretty clever eh?

Back to the soup, oh my goodness this soup is so good! If you love baked potatoes like I do then you’ll love this soup too. You can top it with extra bacon, cheddar cheese, and chopped chives. It’s so delicious! I know that it’s kind of fatty with all the above listed, but it’s a pretty hearty soup and since Weight Watchers allows you to eat whatever you want then I always think it’s ok to indulge in something like this every now and then. ;)

I made this soup awhile back, and decided to re-post it with nutrition info.
Calories 302.5 | Fat 12.6 g | Carbohydrate 25.7 g | Fiber 1.7 g | Protein 21.0 g

Servings: 6

Points Plus: 8

Ingredients

6 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups nonfat milk
2 tablespoons light sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack pepper cheese
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 medium onion, diced
3 large baking potatoes, baked, peeled and chilled, diced into bite size pieces3 green onions, diced

Directions:

1.In a large dutch oven or soup pot cook bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons pan drippings.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of flour to the pan drippings. Whisk and cook one minute over medium heat (Note: Cooking the flour for a minute or so helps prevent your soup from having a pasty taste.) Whisk in the chicken broth.
3.Slowly, whisk in the milk. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the milk is warmed through. Whisk in sour cream. Add in cheddar and jack cheeses and stir soup until the cheeses have melted. Add in cooked bacon and remaining ingredients except for green onions. Simmer on medium-low heat for 35-40 minutes or until the soup thickens. Stirring occasionally. Do not let boil or you soup will separate.
4. Ladle into soup bowls, top with green onions. Serve hot.

Cheese stuffed Manicotti

Do you watch the Next Iron Chef at all? I think it’s awesome that this time it’s a Super Star battle. I also think that all these chefs could be the Next Iron Chef and they need to have an Iron Chef America 2. That way, everybody will be happy and we don’t have to see Bobby Flay battle it out all the time. It makes me wonder if he’s retiring from being an Iron Chef or which of the Iron Chef’s is retiring next? Morimoto possibly? We finally get to see all those judges on Chopped cook for once, too.

Manicotti, reminds me of the Italian version of enchiladas. The marinara sauce replaces the enchilada sauce, the manicotti shells replace the tortillas, and the cheese is used instead of beef/chicken. Although, I’m sure, either of those would be great in this too. What if I made a Mexican manicotti? *Mental note for next time.

One thing I learned when making manicotti is to use a piping bag to stuff the shells. That made it so much easier! I kind of followed this recipe but made it so that there were only 3 servings of manicotti. The husband is lactose intolerant so he got some spaghetti and just marinara sauce for his dinner. I didn’t use any spinach either, because I didn’t have any, but that would sure make it better and add some more fiber and protein.
Calories: 328 | Fat: 9g | Carbohydrate: 38.3g | Fiber: 3.9g | Protein: 23.8g

Servings: 7 (2 shells each)

Ingredients from Cooking Light

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese (I used ricotta)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry  (left out, but would add more fiber and protein)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package manicotti (14 shells)
1 (26-ounce) jar fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
Cooking spray
1 cup water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese, and the next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a medium bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cheese mixture into each uncooked manicotti. Pour half of tomato-basil pasta sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce, and top with the remaining sauce. Pour 1 cup water into dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until shells are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Skinny Beef Enchiladas

I think my dogs were trying to tell me something tonight. I had gone to the grocery store and picked up a slice of cake, along with things I needed to get for these enchiladas. It’s the best, and the frosting is so good. The cover was on it pretty tightly and while I was cooking these enchiladas they ended up getting into the cake and eating it all. That probably saved me well over 500 calories right there. :) Hopefully, they don’t get sick later on.

Here is my version of beef enchiladas.  I hope you like it. I tried to think of more ways to get some fiber in there and make them a bit healthier so I grated a small zucchini and onion to add in the beef mixture. When I say grated, I mean finally pulverized. If you have a food processor use that and it’s so fast. :) You won’t even know the veggies are in there, if you do it that way. We both really loved these and actually think they’re better than the chicken enchiladas. Ground chicken enchiladas would probably be really good too.

Weight Watcher Recipes

Calories 318 | Fat 10.28g | Carbohydrate 23.58g  | Fiber 2.2g  | Protein 31.52g

Servings: 10

Points Plus: 8 (I know this doesn’t sound like much since you can only have 1, but try having a serving of refried beans with it to make it filling).

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
1/2 a small onion
1 small zucchini
1 cup of tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic
2 cans of enchilada sauce (I used a bottle of Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce)
10 6 in flour tortillas
8 oz of low fat Mexican cheese blend
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown ground beef in a pan until it’s no longer pink. Drain any extra fat. Add in
zucchini, onion, garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add in 1 cup of tomato sauce and 1 cup of
enchilada sauce.

Place about 1/2 cup of beef mix onto a flour tortilla and roll up like a burrito and lay seem
side down in a 9 X 13 baking dish. When all flour tortillas are done spray with cooking spray.
Cook enchiladas for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven, and pour on enchilada sauce and top with
cheese.