Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BBQ Chicken Tenders Recipe

I'm always on the hunt for easy, healthy dinners my whole family will eat.  I have two toddlers and you never know when their favorite dinner is suddenly the worst possible thing you could ever serve them! (If you have a toddler, you know what I mean...)  My last attempt at serving a breaded baked chicken did not go well, so I wasn't hopeful with this one.  I am pleased to say this was a HIT with my whole family.  For the first time in a long time, all four of us ate the same dinner.  That's huge.

I used panko-style bread crumbs for a lighter, crispier coating.  This was the first time I've cooked with panko (Japanese style bread crumbs) and I loved the way it turned out!  Will definitely do that again.  You can find panko breadcrumbs in the Asian food section at your grocery store.  We also loved the "dunkers" (reserved dipping sauce) - a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, a lot bit delicious.  Served this with my "easy sides" (rice and roasted veggie - this time it was asparagus).

Source: eatingwell.com
Yields: about 24 tenders
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours (including 30 minutes marinating time)

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (I used Panko style bread crumbs)
Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray

1. Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (or cover with parchment paper).
3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.

4. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more.
7. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Baked Egg Rolls with Honey Soy Dipping Sauce Recipe

source: egg rolls recipe modified from tasteofhome.com, sauce recipe from foodnetwork.com
Yields: 8 servings (2 rolls per serving)
Points: about 1 Weight Watchers point per roll

Honey Soy Dipping Sauce

Mix all ingredients except sesame seeds together in a bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, add the sesame seeds.

Baked Egg Rolls

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (I use a bag of cabbage-only coleslaw)*
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts (or one can, drained if you have to use canned!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts (about 4oz can)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (3-4 onions)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 16 egg roll wrappers

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray
3. Add the cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bell pepper, green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetable are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and cayenne until smooth; stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened; remove from the heat.
5. Spoon 1/4 cup of chicken mixture on the bottom third of one egg roll wrapper.  

Fold center piece up and sides toward center.

Moisten the flap with water like you would an envelope.

Roll tightly.

Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (I use parchment paper). Repeat.

6. Spray tops of egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. (I forgot to spray mine so they aren't browned like they should be...

Serve with dipping sauce.

* you can omit the cabbage and substitute 2 cups finely diced cooked chicken or 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken (cooked) if you prefer to have meat in your egg rolls. Add the chicken at the end of step 3.

Freezer DirectionsAfter rolling all the egg rolls, place baking sheet in freezer until rolls are frozen through. Remove from freezer, wrap individually in plastic wrap and place the rolls into a ziploc freezer bag. Label (including date) and freeze for up to 3 months. Unused egg rolls wrappers can also be frozen (place waxed paper between the sheets and freeze in a ziploc freezer bag).

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Melt-A-Ways Brownie Recipe

{print this recipe}

This post is kind of torture for me.  In my last post I mentioned I am finally losing weight now that I've weaned my son, counting my Weight Watchers points... and here I am blogging about brownies. THESE brownies, no less.  These are my favorite brownies ever.  My mom has been making them for as long as I can remember.  They are so easy and SO good.  Ooey, gooey sticky caramel... extra chocolate.... yum.

So if I'm trying to lose weight, what am I doing baking brownies?  Tonight I'm bringing dinner to friends who just had a baby.  These are super easy take-along treats.  I made them last night, cut a few of the brownies and packed them up for my friends and sent the rest to work with my husband.  No temptation for me, but I'm so jealous of everyone who's getting to enjoy them today....

source: my mom :)
makes 4 dozen brownies

1 14-ounce package Kraft caramels (unwrapped!)
1/3 cup milk
1 package German chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1 6-ounce package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (I always leave these out)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a double boiler, melt the caramels with 1/3 cup milk.

do you like my bat/Halloween spatula? Part of my every growing collection of Sur La Table spatulas...

Combine the cake mix (dry), butter, milk and nuts, mixing well. Spread half the batter in an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake for 6 minutes.

Remove from oven and gently sprinkle with chocolate chips. 

Gently pour melted caramel mixture over the chocolate chips. 

Top with remaining cake batter (you need to use your hands to spread the cake batter and set it on top - it spreads together as it bakes).  

Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Spinach Lasagna Rolls Recipe

For the first time in over 3 years, I am no longer nursing and/or pregnant (39 months actually, but who's counting?) - which means I can FINALLY focus on losing weight! Hooray! Given that, you will probably see more Weight Watchers friendly recipes here. If I know the points value, I will try to post those for you - but I know most of my readers are not here for WW points recipes so I'm not going to focus too much on those.

I found this recipe over at Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes and they are great! Also a wonderful meatless recipe which I find I cook more and more often these days. According to Gina, these rolls are 4 WW points per serving (1 roll = 1 serving).

source: Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Yields: 9 rolls
Points: 4 WW points per roll

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper to taste
32 oz tomato sauce*
9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
  4. Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
  5. Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.
* I used only 28oz. sauce and chose a vegetable pasta sauce with an equal number of WW points per serving.