Monday, May 27, 2013

Weight Watchers Monday: Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup

 Today is Memorial Day, and let's not forget why we celebrate this day.

With the weather being so unpredictable....
cold one day
raining the next
I decided to slip in one more soup recipe.
This soup is out of this world fantastic.
I am a creamy mushroom soup fan, and the chicken added is a super bonus.
This will certainly warm your soul.
This creamy soup is only 5 WW points per serving (1 cup).
So if you want to end your day with a warm heart, this soup will do the trick.

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup

1/2 lb. mushrooms cleaned and sliced
2 1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken (I used Tyson ready to use grilled chicken (1 1/2 packages))
1/4 c. onions, chopped
1/4 c. celery, sliced thin
1/4 c. carrots, sliced
5 1/2 c. chicken broth (I used chicken soup base)
1/4 c. butter
3 c. half and half 
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pepper, add to your liking
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 pinch dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 TBS minced parsley
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt, add to your liking

In a large Dutch oven, saute mushrooms, onion, celery, and carrot in butter until tender.
Stir in flour until blended. Add broth and seasonings, mix well. 
Bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. 
Stir in half and half, chicken, parsley, lemon juice, and salt. Heat 5 more minutes on low heat.

WW points per serving: 5 
Nutritional information per serving: 205 calories, 13.5 g fat, 0.6 g fiber


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Healthy Taco Salad (low calorie too)

This is my version of a healthy. low calorie taco salad.
Come along, I'll tell you what I did.
I tore up about a cup of romaine lettuce,
topped that with a handful of baby spinach.
I browned a 1/2 pound of ground chicken
along with 1/2 of a jalapeno chopped fine,
and 1 slice onion chopped fine,
and then seasoned with my favorite taco seasoning without draining.
Place six tortilla chips along the side of bowl (Trader Joes organic).
2 TBS lite sour cream
2 TBS guacamole 
2 TBS pico de gallo
Absolutely NO dressing. 
Eat and enjoy.....
I did!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weight Watchers Monday: Pear Salad

 This is the best darn fruit salad I have had in a long time.
The flavors in this salad cause an explosion to the palate.  
One thing about this salad, it is best served fresh.
Don't get me wrong, the next day salad is still full of flavor, 
but you know how cut fruit gets if it sits till the next day.
So, if you are entertaining for 6 (this recipe serves six) make sure it is all served.
I had some for breakfast the next day along with my whole wheat bagel.
Excellent breakfast side.
This Weight Watchers recipe is 5 points per serving.
Pear Salad

4 celery heart stalks, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
2 ripe pears, diced (I left skins on)
6 leaves Boston lettuce
2 TBS honey (I used wildflower honey)
2 TBS pear infused vinegar
1/4 c. pine nuts, slightly brown in a skillet (until fragrant)
1 c. diced white cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Wash celery and pat dry. Cut lengthwise and then into slices.
Toast the pine nuts in a hot (medium/high heat) skillet until slightly browned and fragrant.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, and salt. Add the pears and stir gently to coat.
Add the cheddar cheese, pine nuts and celery, stirring to combine. Season with pepper. 
Place 6 lettuce leaves on plates and divide the salad, placing an equal portion of salad on top of lettuce leaves.
Serve either at room temperature or chilled.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken Burgers with Guacamole on a Pretzel Bun

 Have you seen or tried the becoming very popular pretzel buns?
I have seen many restaurants adding this scrumptious bun to their menus.
They are soft, and definitely a pretzel.
I found a package of them on the same day bakery rack.
I grabbed them, paid for them, gently carried them home, and then stuck them
in the freezer for later eating. 
I wanted to do some studying and research something special to place in the
amazing pretzel buns.
 Look what I found.....
Chicken Burgers with Guacamole.
And yes, I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest.
Which lead me to What's Gaby Cooking?
 Once I got my burgers assembled, I had to stand back and really
look at these beauties.....
And then all of a sudden it hit me.
How am I going to eat these?
How am I going to get my mouth around these giant burgers?
Not only that, how am going to pick them up to GET them to my mouth?
This is how I had to eat the burger.
Yup, I had to cut it in pieces.
Then I had guacamole dripping off my elbows.
For real!
I did!

Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken
1/2 c. finely chopped vadalia onion
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. (a half of a jalapeno) chopped jalapeno
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/3 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In an olive oil coated skillet heat over medium heat.
Transfer the ground chicken to a medium bowl.
Add onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Using your hands, incorporate everything together. Make sure everything is evenly incorporated without over mixing the ground chicken.
Form the mixture into four 1/2"-thick patties. Cook burgers over medium heat until cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side.
Serve each patty in pretzel burger buns topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, and fresh spinach.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pesto Chicken Casserole

 Pesto Chicken!
One of my favorites!
Actually, anything with pesto is a favorite of mine.
I made a trip to Trader Joe's and found a package of pesto chicken breasts.
I took it home, cooked it up, ate one piece for dinner, and found out
quickly that one person absolutely cannot eat 6 pieces of chicken....
Well, maybe one person can, but this ONE person cannot.
So, I had 5 pieces left over. 
 This is what I did with my leftover pesto chicken....
Pesto and pasta are awesome together,
so I created a Pesto Chicken Casserole.
 This is what it looks like before entering the oven.
The tomatoes were an awesome addition.
It kind of looks like something you would get at the Olive Garden, right?
I was thinking the same thing....
I sided it with a Caesar salad. A kit that I picked up at my local Meijer store.
A kit! Did you catch that?
But when I went to prepare the kit there was no Caesar dressing.
Are you kidding me?
Parmesan cheese, croutons, but no Caesar dressing. 
I had to use what I had on hand, ranch.
Now let me see if I can get this into recipe form for you.

Pesto Chicken Casserole

5 pieces fully cooked pesto chicken breasts
1 c. onion, chopped
3 TBS butter
3 TBS flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
3 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 TBS dried parsley flakes
2 c. chopped fresh tomato
1 box cooked spaghetti

Place the chicken in a lightly greased casserole dish.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a Dutch oven place the butter and onion. Cook over med/high heat until the onion is translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add the flour and stir for one minute. Slowly add the broth and cream stirring constantly. Bring to a light boil and stir for 2-4 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and add the vinegar, cheese, salt and pepper, and parsley flakes. Stir well, and then pour over chicken. Place the chopped tomato down the center of the casserole and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Cook pasta during the last 10 minutes of baking time. 
Plate the pasta and spoon casserole on top. Serve.



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