Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BT Pasta Salad

I was so excited to get my first issue of Food Network magazine yesterday, and spent an hour going over every page, excited about so many recipes to play with (I even got laughed at by a friend last night who said I need to lay off Food Network!).

I came across a recipe for BLT pasta salad, and thought, yum!!! Until I saw the calories per serving...960!!! 56 grams of fat and over 2000mg of sodium, no thank you!!!

So, I created my own version, using ingredients I had on hand, and I've got to say, while I'm sure their recipe would be delicious, ummm, not for half my daily calorie allotment for the day!

My version:

  • 56g Barilla Plus elbow noodles
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1.5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato
Cook pasta according to directions (I let mine go for about 9-10 minutes, the box says 7). Drain and rinse with cold water.

Chop tomato, bell pepper, cooked bacon and mozzarella.

Combine ingredients, season with EVOO (I estimated mine was about a tablespoon and I included this in the recipe for the calorie calculation). I also used red wine vinegar (just a couple of splashes), salt, pepper and this McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning.

The result? Pretty tasty!! I don't miss the creamy dressing that the original recipe includes, and it's much lighter.

Nutritional information (you can probably get 2 servings out of this if served with a side and a light salad)

Calories: 521
Total Fat: 28g (14g comes from the EVOO, but it's a healthy fat!)
Sodium: 421mg
Carbs: 44g
Sugar: 3g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 21g

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More casserole goodness

I'm calling it chicken asparagus casserole...

  • 1 cup cooked Trader Joes Basmati Rice Medley (1/3 cup dry yields 1 cup cooked)
  • 5 ounces chicken breast tenders, cooked and shredded (I poached mine with a mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme)
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus (I sauteed mine in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt before combining everything)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup condensed cream of chicken soup (don't mix with any liquid)
Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Nutritional information: (this is for the entire dish, but I split it in half to get two servings)

Calories: 485
Total Fat: 12g
Sodium: 633mg
Carbs: 50g
Sugars: 5g
Fiber: 6g
Protein: 41g

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Coconut chicken

Healthy (and tasty) meal alert!

Shredded coconut was on sale today so I bought a couple of bags, and while I love me some breaded coconut chicken/shrimp/onion rings, I don't like the calories that go along with it, so I did my own version. It's something I've made in the past but am continually tweaking.

The following serves 1 (and most of the measurements are estimates, I just tossed stuff together:

  • 4 ounces chicken breast tenders (you can use regular chicken breast and cut it up, but the tenders were on sale so I saved time, and money!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 C shredded coconut
  • Dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Combine egg and milk and mix together
  • In another pan (I use this great tray set from the Pampered Chef, keeps everything together) combine the flour, coconut, salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Dip the chicken tenders in the egg mix and then in the flour/coconut mix to evenly coat.
  • Place in a baking pan and drizzle with a little butter (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray)
Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

One suggestion? Flip the chicken halfway through cooking. The top was nice and browned and crispy but the bottom was a little soggy. But still delicious!

Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. I used poppyseed salad dressing that I had in the fridge, it was a nice compliment.

Nutritional information (not including the asparagus I made with it or the dressing)

Total Calories: 240
Total Fat: 11g
Cholesterol: 70mg
Carbs: 12g
Sodium: 200mg
Protein: 24g

Monday, June 1, 2009

Product Review: Barilla Pasta Plus

As someone who is always trying to get more protein in her diet (I aim for 90 grams a day, and believe me, it's difficult to get up there most days!), I was curious when I stumbled across the new line of pasta, Barilla Plus.

Each 100g serving has 17 grams of protein (compared to 7 grams in the traditional Barilla pasta, so not a huge difference there), but also contains 7 grams of fiber (2 grams in the traditional pasta) and 360mg of Omega 3's. (Now, I just made the "normal" 2 ounce serving, so that only has 10 grams of protein).

There is really no difference in taste between the new and the old noodles, and when I added in a chicken sausage link (spinach, roasted garlic and fontina cheese from Trader Joes) and some shredded cheese (stick under the broiler for a few minutes), you've got a complete meal!