Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kid friendly

So here's the thing..every time in the past that I've been able to lose weight I was cooking something for my family & then something else for myself. I knew this time around..that wasn't going to work. We needed to make a change as a these are all recipes that my kids eat! I hope yours will too!

Chicken & Asparagus Tossed with Penne

The first of all our heart healthy recipes we've tried & still a favorite! has pasta & it actually calls for regular pasta. I've decided to go with half regular Penne & half wheat Penne. And since this recipe serves 2, I usually double it..or triple it depending on who I have home.

1 1/2 C uncooked penne pasta
1 C chopped asparagus
6 ounces bonesless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with herbs, including juice
1 T parmesan cheese

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente 10-12 minutes. Drain the pasta thoroughly. Set aside.
In a pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil and add the asparagus. Cover & steam until tender-crisp, about 2 - 3 minutes. (I actually have a Tupperware steamer for the microwave & that's how I cook this..probably a minute in the microwave.
Spray a large nonstick frying pan with cooking spray. Add the chicken and garlic & saute over minium-high heat. Cook until the chicken is golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, including the juice & simmer 1 minute more.
Add the pasta & steamed asparagus & toss gently to mix evenly.
To serve divide the pasta mixture between 2 plates. Sprinkle each serving the 1/2 T of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

We like a little bit more spice than the tomatoes provide so I've usually added some parsley, oregano etc..just enough to look right. ;)

I was thinking this morning that this would probably be super yummy with some spinach in it, or zuccini & yellow squash.. I'll let you know!

Tilapia with Artichokes & Sun Dried Tomatoes

Hands-down my very, very favorite recipe we've tried since this journey began. I like the tomatoes but would make this without them too.

4 Tilapia or Sole Fillets
1 T all purpose flour
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp bottled chopped garlic or 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 C dry white wine/ I substituted with more chicken stock
1/2 C fat free evaporated milk
1/4 C plus 2 T lemon juice
1/2 C of a 1/4 ounce can artichokes, quartered rinsed & drained ( I actually used hearts & just chopped them up littler)
2 sun-dried tomatoes, dry packed, chopped
pepper to taste

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle flour on both sides of fish. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Cook fish for 3 minutes. Turn fish over & cook for 2 minutes; sprinkle with garlic an cook for 1 more minute.
Increase heat to high and add remaining ingredients. Cook for 6 - 8 minutes or until sauce thickens to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Southwestern Egg Rolls

First of all let me apologize for my pictures..most food blogs have these beautiful pictures of the food they make..since I wasn't thinking about doing this I really just have these snap shots taken with my phone. I'll get better about that!

So here's what happened:
Because of the out-of-work thing we have been the recipients of all sorts of kindnesses, the latest was a couple of gift cards, one of which was to Chili's & was specifically ear-marked for a date night. So, last Friday, hubs & I headed out to Chili's for some kid-less conversation & some good food..that I didn't have to prepare! ;) MY favorite, favorite thing at Chili's is the Southwestern Eggrolls & as you know, they are not healthy. Our standard line about some of the foods we used to eat, that we no longer do .."that's not part of the plan" & those Eggrolls are not part of the plan! So, we had fajitas..which we ate minus those pesky flour tortillas!
The next day I was at the grocery store & happened upon Eggroll wraps & BING .. lightbulb idea .. I set out to find a healthy substitute.
Here it is..let me first say this. I've made them once, we loved them BUT they are different from Chili's which are actually made in tortillas not Eggroll wraps. I thought they were a little bit chewy & wondered about maybe just flipping the oven to broil for a bit at the end to see if I could crisp them up a bit more. Also..I've a few ideas to change it up & I'll share those below.

BAKED Southwestern Eggrolls
2 C frozen corn thawed
1 can Balck Beans rinsed & drained
1 10 oz packaged Frozen Spinach
1 C Reduced Fat Mexican Mix cheese (Here's my first adjustment) We don't eat Reduced Fat Cheese..we eat FAT FREE cheese & I have only been able to find Mild Cheddar so that's what I used
1 can green chilis drained
4 green onions chopped
1 t cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
cayenne to taste.

1 package eggroll wraps (I found them at Walmart in the produce section. For you Cypress the end nearest the bakery, in the cool case that backs up to the freezer section, near the prepackaged salads) I think there were maybe 20ish in the package.
That's the recipe I started with: I added 2 chicken breasts cooked & chopped into small pieces, also 1/4 C red onion for color
What I didn't add but will next time: green pepper, jalapeno & maybe some cilantro (I love it!)
I also thought I would maybe try some fat free cream cheese instead of or in addition to the cheddar.

Combine all of the previous ingredients. Put 1/4 C of the mixture in the center of your wrap. Fold the bottom corner over the folling. Fold sides in toward the center & over the filling. Moisten the remaining corner with water; roll up tightly & seal. Repeat with all wraps & filling.
Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with baking spray. Spray egg rolls with cooking spray. (that's why they look glossy in the pic it helps them brown up & get crunchy) Bake 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until they are lightly brown. Turn them half way through the baking.

So is girls!
Oh! one more thing. At Chili's they serve them with an avacado ranch sauce. I mashed an avacado added a little garlic salt, about a T of salsa & 2 T of FAT FREE Hidden Valley Ranch & it was YUMM-O!!

Happy Cooking!

By popular demand...

Here's my story:
My name is Katie. I am a 41 year old mom of 4. I am married to an airline pilot. An airline pilot who does not currently have a medical. You see, when you fly commercially who need 2 "liscenses" if you will. One of which is actually a flying liscense. You get it when you complete your private pilot training & tests & then you add ratings & endorsements until..boom, you are officially qualified to fly commercially. In addition you must have a first class medical. Commercial pilots have to complete a physical with an Aero-medical doctor every 6 months, also after 38 (I think) you must have an EKG as part of that physical.

In January of 2011..on Superbowl Sunday my husband had some chest pains. At first, we really didn't think anything of it because he has a history of some pretty serious heartburn, but after it continued all day, we decided he really should get things checked out. For the record I tried to talk him into going to one the emergency care centers which are rampant here in Texas on that Sunday but..he's cheap! What can I say? It's a $50 co-pay for the emergency care but the regular doc was $15 on Monday. After lots of tests & lab work, & several doctor appts with a couple of doctors, we found ourselves at the Hospital on Valentine's Day for hubs to have a heart catheterization. I experienced no SMALL amount of shock when the cardiologist informed me very non-chalantly that he had found a blockage in one of hubby's arteries. 80% at one end & 50% at the other. 2 Stents & he was good to go..except the FAA (which governs all things pilot-y) wasn't convinced..they want us to wait 6 months & do it all again. And that's really where our journey begins. You see, I never really thought we ate "badly". We'd always drank skim or 1% milk. I always bought fat free sour cream. We ate a lot of chicken. But we learned & we changed some things, both with our diet & our excercise levels and we are well on our way back.
One of the perks of the diet & excercise change has been .. well, hey! we're skinny now! (Not that he ever wasn't)
So..this blog, in answer to my sweet friends requests is to let you all in our some of our favorite more healthy & less filling meals!