Friday, May 6, 2016

Paleo Chick Fil A Style Nuggets


I recently completed a Whole30 Challenge, and in the process, tried a lot of new recipes. For those of you who aren't familiar with Whole30, it is 3o days of clean eating. 30 days without sugar, sugar substitutes, grains, dairy or alcohol. So what the heck is there left to eat, right!? That's the first thing most people think. But, let me tell you, there's a lot you CAN eat; not just meat and veggies. There's a whole new world that opens up when you start cutting out processed junk, and I loved it. Well, I didn't love all days. When everyone around me was eating pie or desserts, or breads and having wine, I wanted to throw in the towel, and strangle them at the same time. It was really hard some days, and I almost quit about 4 times. I'm so glad I saw it through though, because my relationship with food has completely changed. I now read all my labels, and don't buy food that comes in a box. I have control over what I eat, and think about every single thing I put in my body. Is it realistic to eat this way every single day, every single meal? No, not for me at least. But, I am keeping my at home meals clean and processed free going forward. If I want to splurge when I go out, then I will. 

Anyway, back to the nuggets, the main reason for this post. Of the many recipes I made while on Whole30, this was one of my favorites. You definitely don't feel like your missing anything here, and this entire meal is free of sugar, grains & dairy. AMAZING! 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks (about 3 large breasts) 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tbs pickle juice (read your labels!) 
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup nutirional yeast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder 
  • 1/2 - 1 cup light olive oil 

Method: 
Season chicken with salt & pepper. 

Beat egg with pickle juice in shallow bowl or dish. 

In a large Ziploc bag, mix almond flour, nutritional yeast and salt, pepper + garlic powder to taste. 

Heat a large, preferably cast iron, skillet over medium high heat with 1/2 cup olive oil. 

Dredge chicken in egg mixture, shaking excess off, then transfer to Ziploc bag and shake. 


Shake off excess flour mixture and add chicken to the skillet, careful not to over crowd. I did mine in 3 batches total. Cook each side 2-3 minutes until golden brown, flip and cook the other side an additional 2-3 minutes. 

Once cooked, transfer to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. I like to keep mine warm in a 170° while I cook the additional batches. Repeat the same method until all chicken is cooked. 


Serve 'em up with your favorite sauce! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Yum Yum Sauce


If you've ever been to a Japanese restaurant, chances are, you have had this sauce! They usually serve it with shrimp, so it's also sometimes called Shrimp Sauce. This is my version of the popular Yum Yum sauce, with a kick! I added red wine vinegar and chili powder for some extra oomph. I served mine with tortilla crusted shrimp, so it was the prefect compliment. Don't be fooled by this also being called "shrimp sauce," you can and should put it on everything! It's great on chicken, steak, veggies, and my personal favorite, french fries! I'm starting Whole30 in a week and a half (God help me), and you can totally make this sauce Whole30 compliant by using your own approved mayo and ketchup. I will more than likely be putting it on everything! Its quick, tasty, and lasts in the fridge for about a week. Feel free to adjust the spices to your taste level. Some people may like it more or less spicy, more garlicky, etc. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (light or Whole30 works fine)
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Splenda (omit if doing Whole30) 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Siracha (omit for Whole30 or use compliant hot sauce) 
  • 1 tsp water (more or less depending on the consistency you like) 


Method:

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste to see if you want to add more garlic, hot sauce, etc. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. That's it! Easy peasy. 



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Crock-Pot Chicken and Gravy



Before this year, I maybe used my crock pot once. When I lived alone, it just didn't make much sense to me. Little did I know, it would have been so time saving! I love using my crock pot, it's like having a personal chef cooking for you! You don't have to worry about dinner and can do whatever you want all day! 


This is probably the easiest recipe ever, it can hardly be called a recipe. Throw some chicken in the crock pot with some stock, can of soup, herbs, an onion and thicken it all up. The result? The moistest most delicious chicken and gravy you've ever had! 

Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 4 tbs cornstarch 
  • Several springs fresh thyme
  • 1 chopped onion (optional) 
Method

Mix chicken stock and cream of chicken soup in crock pot. Add chicken, top with thyme and onion if using. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7. 

Once cooked, remove chicken and shred. 

Take 1/2 cup liquid out of crock pot and mix with cornstarch. Whisk with a fork until no longer lumpy. Add back to crock pot, mix with other liquid and cook on high for about 10-15 minutes, or until thickened.

Add back in shredded chicken, stir to warm and serve. I like to have mine over mashed potatoes but it is equally good over cauliflower mash or stuffing. 




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken & Stuffing



If you're like me and love Thanksgiving, this meal can give you Thanksgiving all year-round, whenever you want it! It's also pretty good for you and not super heavy like a Thanksgiving meal, but definitely hits the comfort food spot. You can add any veggies you want, I just happen to like green beans and carrots. You could also add in some potatoes if you wanted. This is good served as it, or over mashed potatoes! 

Ingredients: 
  • 4 large chicken breasts 
  • 8 oz stuffing - I used Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned 
  • 10.5 oz can healthy request cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag frozen green beans
  • half bag fresh baby carrots 

Method:

Add chicken breasts to the bottom of crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. 


Combine stuffing, soup, sour cream and 1/2 cup water. Pour over chicken on one side of crock pot. Add green beans/carrots to the other side. 


Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 6-7. Add the additional half cup water about halfway through cooking time to create a gravy. If you are leaving for the day, you can add the water over the chicken and veggies at the beginning of cooking. You may need to add a bit more when you get home to create a sauce. Stir stuffing if desired halfway through to make it fluffier. Serve as is or over mashed potatoes! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cheesy Spaghetti


 This is one of my favorite childhood recipes. I think it's actually called Harvest Casserole and it's from a Kraft cookbook published in 1979, before I was even born. I remember eating it all the time when I was little and I think we called it cheesy spaghetti because it was more fun! Kids want to eat anything cheesy, right? It's super simple to make, you only need a lot of processed things (hah). The main thing that makes the taste irreplaceable is Kraft Tangy Italian boxed dinner. I know it's weird, but trust me, it works. I used 2% Velveeta to make it a little more figure friendly, it's actually only 7 weight watchers points for 1/8 or 9 points for 1/6 of the casserole. Definitely worth having the 9, believe me! If you aren't watching your weight you can of course go ham on some full fat cheese. 

Ingredients:
  • 10 oz chicken, cooked & shredded (1.5 cups)
  • 12 oz 2% Velveeta
  • 2 tbs margarine (I use Country Crock)
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 box Kraft Tangy Italian Spaghetti Dinner

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°

This is the box you need:


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, and set aside. 

Melt the margarine in a large pot. Add the green pepper and cook until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. 


Add the tomatoes (with juice), water, seasoning packets from the mix, chicken, pasta and cheese. Stir to combine. 


Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, top with the additional 2 oz of cheese (slices are better but I didn't have a slicer at the time, so I just cut small pieces) and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 


Ta da! Amazingness. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Low Fat Pumpkin Spice Muffins


Fall is here and that means pumpkin spice everything, amirite!?! I am guilty of falling into the category of basic white girl when it comes to this. I love it, and I'm not sorry. From what I have seen on the net and the occasional times I get out into the real world, it seems like lots of others do too! I have bought pumpkin coffee, pumpkin butter, pumpkin creamer, pumpkin errrrthing. Anyone who follows me on Social Media knows that I am doing Weight Watchers again for like the 3rd time, buuut I am actually sticking with it this time! A lot of this pumpkin spice biz is choc full of fat and calories and that sucks. Even Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with SKIM milk has a zillion calories :(. I've been seeing different versions of these muffins all over the web, and these are the ones I like best. You don't even really have to know how to bake to make these, they are that easy. Only 3, that's right THREE ingredients. 2 points plus (Weight Watchers) or 80 calories per muffin. 

Ingredients:
  • 15 oz can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix 
Method:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Beat about 2 minutes, using the same directions on the package. Do NOT add anything else. Don't add the eggs or oil listed on the package. Once well mixed, use a scoop or spoon (I use a 7/8 scooper, 2 scoops) to add mixture to lined muffin pan. Each muffin cup should be about 2/3 full. 


Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. 


I like to serve mine with Fat Free Redi Whip and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. This adds 0 points or 5 calories. 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Loaded Cauliflower Bake


I freakin' love cauliflower y'all! I always forget how much I like it until I eat it again but seriously raw or cooked it's hands down my fav veg. I came across a version of this recipe on Instagram and have been waiting try it. Oh my gosh, ahhhhmazing! It's got all the flavor of a loaded baked potato without all the guilt. It's only about 165 calories a serving or 4 Weight Watchers Points. You can basically add anything you want to this, the one I saw on Instagram had mushrooms and chicken sausage for more of a meal, but I love bacon so I left it like the original, just made less because it's only for 2 people at our house. This makes six servings though, so it is more than enough for a family as a side. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 6 oz or 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices center cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 3 oz light cream cheese, softened 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • chives or green onions 
  • 1 clove garlic

Method:

Heat oven to 350° and grease an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. 

Steam cauliflower on stove or in microwave until tender. I usually do mine on the stove and it takes about 8 minutes, perfect amount of time to get all the other ingredients together. While the cauliflower is steaming, cook bacon until crispy, then chop (I do this in the microwave about 2.5 mins). Mix together cream cheese, 1 cup of the cheese, sour cream, chopped bacon, chives, garlic, salt and pepper. 


Once cauliflower is cooked, drain if necessary and add to cream cheese/sour cream mixture. You will think you need milk or water, but you don't. The heat of the cauliflower will melt everything and it will coat perfectly. On that note, make sure your cauliflower is still hot when added to the mixture. I always add more pepper at this point, because I like a lot of pepper on my baked potatoes, but that is totally a personal preference. Pour into greased pan, top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 30 mins. Nom, nom, nom! 


Enjoy! 

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