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Monday, January 28, 2013

Sauteed Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Fettuccine

This quick and easy chicken and pasta meal is great for a busy weeknight.  By pounding the chicken breasts thin they cook quickly and evenly.  Tossed with the lemon garlic sauce and in under 30 minutes you can enjoy a light and satisfying meal for just over 500 calories per serving.  


2-16 oz boneless/skinless chicken breast
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt - divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 oz fettuccine
5 tbsp butter - divided
3 tsp minced garlic
1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp parsley for garnishing

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 cutlet and 1 cup of fettuccine • Calories: 515
Fat: 10.1 g • Carbs: 48.9 g • Fiber: 2.3 g • Protein 60.5 g • Sugar: 2.3 g


Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions.  Drain and keep warm.  Split the breasts lengthwise, creating 4 cutlets.  Place cutlets between two sheets of wax paper and pound with a meat mallet until thin. Season with 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper.  

In shallow bowl combine flour, garlic salt, and onion powder.  Dredge each cutlet through the flour, shaking off any excess.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Melt 1 tbsp butter in the skillet.  Cook the cutlets approximately 3 minutes per side or until cooked through; remove from the pan and keep warm.  

Melt 2 tbsp butter in the skillet. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add the broth, lemon juice and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.  Scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 tbsp butter.  Add the pasta to the skillet and toss well to coat.  Serve the chicken over the pasta mixture and sprinkle with parsley.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Spicy Collard Greens

I typically cook collard greens 2-3 times a month.  Not only are they a great source of Vitamins C and K, but also an excellent source of folates, iron, calcium, and zinc!   I grew up eating collard greens with smoked ham hocks but have switched over to turkey legs or wings as a substitute, without all the fat.  The addition of the smoked meat not only adds depth and flavor, but can also make just one bowl of these greens a complete meal!  Collards also freeze very well and can be stored for up to 3 months in your freezer. 


3.5 lbs collard greens, cleaned, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, sliced thin
1.5 - 2 lbs smoked turkey legs or wings
3 cups fat free chicken broth
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Salt and pepper to taste

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 cup • Calories: 222
Fat: 8 g • Carbs: 17 g • Fiber: 7 g • Protein 27 g • Sugar: 2 g

In a large stock pot heat the EVOO over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Add the smoked turkey meat and chicken stock, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Remove the meat from the pot and set aside to cool.  Add the greens and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, stirring to incorporate. If you like the addition of meat to your greens, you can shred the meat from the bones and return it to the pot.  Turn heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours or until desired texture is reached. 

Note:  Chicken Stock is naturally flavorful and salty.  Be mindful of this if you choose to add more salt to your greens. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Porkchops with Dijon Mushroom Sauce

I didn't discover my love of mushrooms until about 3 years ago.  Whether fried, sauteed, or served alongside a nice steak, mushrooms are a great accompaniment to almost any meal.   This dijon mushroom sauce served with these porkchops can also be served atop sauteed chicken if you arent a pork eater.


3 bone-in pork loin chops, trim all visible fat
1 tbsp butter
1 large shallot, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper
1 cup fat free chicken stock
8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp corn starch

Servings: 3 • Size: 1 chop • Calories: 242
Fat: 12 g • Carbs: 6 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein 26 g • Sugar: 1 g

Add butter to a large pan and heat over low heat.  Season pork loins with salt and pepper.  Increase heat to medium and add the pork loins, sauteeing for 7 minutes.  Flip and continue to cook until the chops are browned and cooked to medium, approximately 7-8 minutes longer.  Remove the chops from the pan and store in a warm place.

Add shallots to the pan and saute' until soft.  Add the stock, deglazing the pan.  Stir in the mustard, mushrooms, 1 tbsp parsley, and season with black pepper.  While the sauce is cooking, combine the cornstarch and 2 tbsp water in a small cup and stir until well combined, creating a slurry.  Pour the mixture into the sauce and mix well.  Cook 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are beginning to soften and brown and the sauce begins to thicken. 

Plate the porkchops, pouring the sauce over the meat.  Top with the remaining chopped parsley. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lasagna Rolls

Even after all these years I still find it hard cooking for only one person.  I end up making so much food that I end up giving it away or having to throw out the leftovers.  This time of year, when its cold and dreary there's nothing i enjoy more than hot, cheesy lasagna; but making enough just for me is hard.  I soon discovered lasagna rolls.  These individual lasagnas are quick and easy to make, perfectly portioned, and can be frozen for later use.  Serve them with a side salad for a healthy and satisfying meal.


1 lb. ground beef
28 oz marinara sauce (I make my own sauce but you can sub in your favorite spaghetti sauce )
1 egg, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1.5 cups part-skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp parsley, chopped
Large glass pan

Note:  This nutritional information is based upon the assumption that you are using my marinara sauce; it will vary if you use your own or a store bought sauce.
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 roll w/ 1/4 cup marinara sauce • Calories: 403
Fat: 19 g • Carbs: 29 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein 27 g • Sugar: 6 g


Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, drain and set aside.  Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt when beef just begins to brown.  Drain and return to the skillet.  Add half the marinara sauce to the ground beef stirring well to incorporate.  Set the rest of your sauce aside for later use.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the egg, ricotta, parsley, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.  Spread each noodle with 2 tbsp. ricotta mixture.  Top with 1/4 cup meat mixture and 2 tbsp. mozzarella cheese. 

Roll up each noodle, starting at the short end.  Spread 1 cup of the reserved sauce mixture in the bottom of your glass pan.  Place each roll in the pan, pouring the remaining sauce over the noodles.  Top each roll with the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. 

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

There's nothing better than a hot bowl of chili on a cold winter day. It's hearty, filling, and can be nutritious!  This chicken chili recipe combines veggies, chicken, and spices for a perfect game day treat. It can be cooked on either low or high heat, depending on how soon you want to serve it.  This recipe can also be doubled or even tripled easily, and freezes well!  And for only 228 calories per serving, you can enjoy more than one bowl without feeling guilty!


2 - 1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 - 13 oz can of cannelli beans
1/2 medium onion coarsely chopped
1 can diced tomato and chile peppers
1 envelope white chicken chili seasoning packet
1 - 10oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 - 14 oz can of chicken broth
2 tbsp diced jalapenos
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder
Black pepper

Servings: 6 • Size: 1 cup (not including toppings like cheese and sour cream) • Calories: 228 • 
Fat: 5.9 g • Carbs: 29.9 g • Fiber: 4.8 g • Protein 19.1 g • Sugar: 5 g


In a large bowl combine the onion, diced tomatoes and chile peppers, seasoning packet, soup, broth, and jalapenos.  Using a whisk stir vigorously until well combined.

Place the chicken in the crock pot and season with cayenne pepper, chili powder, and black pepper to taste.  

Drain most of the liquid from the  cannelli beans and pour them on top of the chicken.  Pour the sauce mixture of top of the chicken and beans and stir to combine.  Cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally and scraping the sides of the pot.  
When ready to serve remove the chicken breast and shred using two forks.  

Return to the pot and cook an additional 15-20 minutes.  Garnish with cheese and/or scallions and serve!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blackened Catfish Tacos with Pineapple Pico de Gallo

I often go through phases where I am stuck on a certain food for a while.  For the last two weeks that food has been catfish! This week I decided to try my hand at blackened catfish tacos.  The spiciness of the catfish tied with sweetness of the pineapples in the Pico de Gallo seemed to be a perfect pair; and it was!  This is a great weeknight meal that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Pineapple Pico de Gallo

2 cups diced pineapples
1/2 large red onion; chopped
2 medium Roma tomatoes; chopped
1 large jalapeno; seeded and finely diced
2 tsp cilantro; chopped
1 tsp lime juice
Salt to taste


Combine all the ingredients and a large bowl and stir until well incorporated.  Refrigerate until ready to serve

Ingredients for Catfish

1-1.5 pounds catfish fillets or nuggets
1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup flour
1 tsp EVOO
2 tbsp butter; divided


In a heavy bottomed pan heat 1 tbsp butter over high heat.  In a medium sized bowl combine the spices and flour.  Dredge your fillet or nuggets through the flour mixture and allow to rest 1-2 minutes before adding it to the pan. 

Cook the fish over high heat, turning only once as the fish is fragile and will be prone to break apart.  Remove from heat and allow to drain on a paper towel or in a colander.  If needed, cook your second batch of fish, adding the second tbsp of butter to the pan.  Now you're ready to build your tacos!  If you used whole fillets, break them into bite sized pieces before adding them to your tortilla.  Top with Pico de Gallo and serve warm!  Feel free to add more cilantro, sour cream, or cheese.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Green Beans and Baby Red Potatoes

I'm not usually a big fan of green beans, but toss them with some baby red potatoes, bacon, and onion and you've got a winner!  This side dish pairs perfectly with most any meat choice and can be thrown together quickly.  Allow it to cook slowly while you prepare the rest of your meal and enjoy!


2 pounds fresh green beans
6 medium red potatoes, cut into eighths
3 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp garlic, minced
Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 cup • Calories: 195 • Fat: 1.2 g • Carbs: 49.4 g • Fiber: 11.8 g • Protein 10.3 g • Sugar: 8.1 g


Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until it just begins to brown and most of the fat is rendered.  Add the sliced onion and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.

Add the potatoes, beans, and broth to the pan.  If the broth does not cover the beans and potatoes, add enough water until they are covered.  Bring the mixture to a boil.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer.  Cook for 40-45 minutes,stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender.  Taste and readjust seasonings as needed.  

Spicy Fried Catfish

Fried catfish is something I've found myself craving lately.  A well seasoned, crispy crust and the flaky sweet meat are perfect with a nice tartar sauce...or hot sauce!  I tend to like everything a bit on the spicy side so I marinated these fillets for a few hours to allow the heat to really sink in!  Serve these with my Green Beans and Baby Red Potatoes or your favorite side dish.


1.5 cups buttermilk
Franks Red Hot Sauce
2 cups flour, separated
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 catfish fillets, split in half
Canola Oil


In a large bowl combine the buttermilk and Franks Red Hot Sauce.  The amount of hot sauce you add depends on how spicy you would like your fish.  Whisk the buttermilk and hot sauce until well combined.  Add the four catfish pieces making sure they are completely covered.  Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Add 1 cup of flour to a pie pan, or other relatively flat dish.  In a second bowl add the two eggs.  In the third bowl combine the last cup of flour, cornmeal, and all spices whisking until well combined.

Remove the fish from the refrigerator and place on a plate.  Allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before starting the breading process.  Meanwhile heat a large pot over medium-high heat.  Now we can begin breading the catfish fillets   First, dredge the filet through the plain flour mix, coating well.  Next dip the filet into the beaten egg coating on all sides.  Let any extra egg drip off the filet before coating it in the cornmeal and flour mixture.  Repeat this process with all of your fish fillets until complete.

When your oil is hot, drop the fillets into the pot.  The fish should cook approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness.  I tend to cook my fish longer to achieve a crispier texture.  Remove from the oil once finished and allow to cool slightly before serving.

If you are cooking the fish in batches, you can keep your already cooked fish warm and crisp by placing them on a wire rack in an over heated to 250 degrees.  DO NOT COVER the fish or it will not stay crispy!