Thursday, February 28, 2019

Souvlaki Chicken Tostadas and Salad

February 28th...the last day of the month, the end of the second month of 2019. Does this seem unreal to anyone besides me? No? Okay, well, I have to say or repeat myself, which we do when we get *cough* older, time seems to be on fast forward. Unless that is a day that I am particularly looking forward to and then time crawls.

I have been sick for 2 weeks, sinus stuff, allergies, ya know it's that time here in GA. I have a dear friend who had 257 inches of snow so far this season!! I would be bat crap crazy if it were me but she has dealt with this the last ten years. How? No clue! She gets out and goes to work in it, spends several hours a day shoveling, blowing and moving snow so she can get out. I'd pack up and leave but I'm off subject and chasing that rabbit again. If you know me, this is common. Lack of focus.

Since I've been sick I have spent a lot of time surfing the web, Facebook, Instagram especially and my WW connect. WOW some of the recipes I have stumbled upon! YUMMY

Today's recipe is one of them. I'll be honest. I was skeptical when I read the instructions and ingredients. I'm not a huge fan of Fage 0% Greek Non Fat Yogurt. It is bitter and icky BUT when you add it to other foods it is great. Sorry Fage! Using this brand and the 0% you drastically cut the fat, calories and eliminate the sugar that some other recipes will have. THAT works great with my #WWFreestyle #weightlossjourney and new life.

Using leftovers the next day I took the chicken and used it in a big salad loaded with veggies. I honestly thing that was my favorite part. The chicken did not dry out and the flavors were a little more intense. Which I personally enjoyed. (See below recipe)
Marinate chicken 8-24 hours

Gallon zip top bag, place all ingredients
3 large chicken breast, boneless skinless
dice chicken into 1 inch pieces or smaller 
1 cup NF Greek Yogurt, I used 0% Fage
1 TBSP oregano
1 TBSP parsley
3 small cloves garlic minced
juice from 2 lemons
After the ingredients are in the bag, squish it around to cover it all and then place in the fridge.
Cook in a non stick skillet with a dab of oil. The oil will be the only points in the dish.
Saute until done. About 5-10 minutes
Toast light white corn tortillas or purchase tostadas. You can also use pita bread, a lettuce leaf , low fat wrap, low fat naan bread or flour tortilla. You choose.
Dice up tomatoes, red, orange, yellow mini bells, green onions, cucumber, shred lettuce and top with guacamole and or ranch if you like. The leftover chicken is perfect for topping a salad.

Now the second time I prepared this I only used the chicken for my salads for a week. It was glorious! THANK YOU for this recipe.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Mostly Vegetable Pasta Salad

My oh my, half of February is gone already. Not sure why I'm surprised, but it sure seems that I blink and another month is ending and with this month being a few days shorter than others it will def. be gone before ya know it.

So let me ask you a question. Who loves a good pasta salad? Show of hands...yes that's what I thought, most of us. Here's the thing, pasta is loaded with carbs which turn to sugar in your blood stream. Not a good thing, especially if you're like me and diabetes runs in the family.
Does that mean I give up pasta? Well, I did for a year, but a little every now and again is okay. I was thinking about a great side dish that could double a great simple lunch.
Pasta salad, but wanting to cut it a bit, I decided to bump up the veggie portion and cut down on the pasta portion. It was a win win and I still felt like I was having pasta, which I was, just not as much.

1/2 cup pasta (prepare as the directions on the package, I used elbow because it's what I had)
2 cups of diced veggies (your choice)
I used sweet mini bell peppers, cucumber, green onions, celery, snow peapods, squash and carrots
2 TBSP of Italian dressing
Mix well and chill

It's that simple and my hankering was cured. I know you may be thinking this sounds great for summer but I enjoy it all year. Just like any food. If it's summer and I want soup, I have soup. No rules people, enjoy what you eat.
I have two versions of the Hodge Podge salad which is similar but different. Clear as mud I know. Sorry (there are actually 4 recipes on this post, I was an over achiever back then)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Mexican Layered Bake and Feb 2019 FOTW

Not sure how, but it's February already. Good gracious Jan. flew by with tons of rain, wind and frigid temperatures. I'm very thankful that we did not see temps like Chicago, Grand Rapids and other areas. I mean, -51℉ in Chicago with the wind chill one day!! THAT is just mind blowing. 
Cold temperatures brings out the comfort food need in me and a bigger desire to use the oven.
This is the Feb. edition of FOTW - Fly On The Wall. A monthly publication where we, several bloggers and myself, give you a peek into our lives. The links for the other participants can be found at the end of this post. Thanks for stopping by!

Mexican Layered Bake
I used some leftovers and fresh items in this recipe.
In my small baking dish, mini casserole I guess you could say, it is approximately a 7x5 pan.
I layered three taco size white corn tortillas (OH spray the pan with no stick spray first)
Then I put down leftover chicken mixed with salsa verde and fat free refried beans. A sprinkle of cheese, a Mexican blend shred. Green chilies next.
Three more tortillas
Meat mixture - ground beef with my taco seasoning, diced mini bells and onions, cheese
Three more toritllas
Meat mixture, top with cheese, sprinkle with mini bells diced and green onions
Bake at 450℉ until heated through and cheese has melted.

My wonderful hubby bought me a new desk back in October. Part of the reason was because I wanted a secretary and this one was on sale. Then also it would keep the cat off my desk and papers. LOL see below, that's how well that worked! NOT
I stopped at a local smoke shop, at the request of my hubby. When I looked at my receipt...I thought REALLY? Did this kid make this name up or is that REALLY his name...I don't know. He was a nice polite kid, not alot of those around these days.
 The next day I stop at CVS for some vitamins. I parked, looked up and saw the sign. I looked at my son and said "seriously? What is it with the names the last few days" We have "Jesus God" which he is but people think when they name kids or is this their idea of humor? NOT trying to offend anyone. I think I'm getting old. I miss the normal old fashioned names. You know, George, Bill, Ted, Frank, Michael...
 We were getting ready to leave for the lake and I was watching hub tie the kayak to the top of his Jeep. I have only been in it once. I said, HEY do you know you have Jeep symbols all over? He said no. Then I saw it!! BIG FOOT on the back window!
 This precious little girl, she was starving. I wish I had room in my apartment but my kitties would NOT tolerate another. This baby was left my tenants in the building next to us. I could smack them! Makes me mad!! I am feeding her and trying to find her a home. She is very loving.
Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:
Baking In A Tornado        
Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother           
Spatulas on Parade         
Follow me home                 
The Bergham Chronicles 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Pepperoni Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Happy Monday everybody! How's your weather? Our's is nuts, absolutely nuts. I've seen several memes floating around saying someone p****d off Elsa or that Mother Nature is going through the change, weather is bi-polar and so on. All I know is, I never know what to wear.
What you can count on is this great recipe. Man this was so easy and delicious. Everyone loved it.

Pepperoni Parmesan Crusted Chicken
3 large chicken breast (so big I cut them in half width/depth so I had 6 thinner breast to deal with, this helped with cooking time)
1/2 package of turkey pepperoni (about 3-4 oz and the turkey cuts down on fat and points because y'all know I'm doing WW)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup
3/4 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg beaten with a little water in a bowl

The bread crumbs, pepperoni and cheese were put into the food processor and blitzed up into a fine crumb. I poured that into a shallow plate. Take the chicken breast and dip it in the egg then into the crumb mix. Place on a nonstick baking sheet or parchment paper lined pan. Bake at 400 degrees until done, about 18 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken and your oven. I kept an eye on mine and used the meat thermometer. Raw chicken is NOT something you need to be eating.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Happy Happy joy joy, that's how I felt when I realized that if I make my own donuts and bake them that I could still enjoy a sweet treat AND stay within my FS points.
If you just joined me, you are scratching your head and going huh? Let me explain.
Last year I had some serious health issues happen and in November I joined #WW formerly known as Weight Watchers. The new Freestyle plan is awesome, there are no restrictions. You can eat ANYTHING BUT you get a limited amount of points each day. So is it worth it to have that blueberry muffin and coffee at the store for 25 points, when my daily allowance is 23 or do I have the coffee and eat TWO of these donuts I baked for 3 points?
HELLO no brainer, I'm eating these donuts.
Baked not fried. I even went out and purchased two donut baking pans. Which I am thoroughly enjoying. Another recipe will soon be up! Yep, more donuts. heehee
You'll notice is says "sugar" that's because I can not eat Stevia or any artificial sweeteners. I can use Tagatose and Monk fruit, which I do. But sugar in moderation is better than some chemical loaded fake stuff. My opinion. Use what you want.
Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
3/4 flour (I used Pillsbury self rising)
2 tsp brown sugar (or a substitute if you need)
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg WHITE only or use 2-3 TBSP of egg whites out of a carton
1 tsp Vanilla syrup NuNaturals
1/3 cup milk (use whatever type you prefer skin, 2 %, almond milk etc...)
1 TBSP water (because the batter was too thick)
For the swirl - 1 tsp tagatose (or sugar/sweetener) and 1 tsp cinnamon. Half will go in the batter and half will get sprinkled on top.
1/4 cup powdered sugar or substitute and 1 TBSP milk for the glaze

Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Spray your donut pan with a non stick spray, fill the pans 3/4 full. Sprinkle half the swirl on top and "swirl" with a toothpick. Sprinkle the other half on top.
Allow to sit for a few minutes, the batter will puff up a tad. This will help achieve a lighter texture. They will be cake like but not super dense and heavy.
Bake for 14 minutes at 350 ℉. Pop them out to cool for a few minutes and drizzle with the glaze.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Sugar Free Banana Bread French Toast - Snuggly and Warm BWF

Hey howdy hey and welcome to the second edition for 2019 of BWF or Blog With Friends. Each month we choose a topic/theme and each blogger then sets about interrupting that theme however best suits them, their blog and readership. Of course I create recipes but there are crafts, DIY projects, writing, list, helpful hints/tips and a variety of other things. Be sure after checking out my post that you browse the others at the bottom, you'll find a picture of what they created and a link to their page.
Thank you for stopping by!!

This month, February, we decided to go with "Snuggly and Warm" as you can guess a lot of us are eye ball deep in cold weather. We are snuggling down, baking, drinking lots of coffee and hibernating inside until the spring thaw. Snuggly and warm made me think of comfort food.
With the thought of comfort food, I wanted to enjoy it but not all the points (WW) or a butt load of fat/calories/sugar.
This is what happened....

I saw a delicious banana bread online, that is far too many points. I searched around and found one lower.
Then I thought about french toast. Do you see where this is going?

Check out the Sugar Free Banana Bread that I made on Friday, Saturday it was better but on Sunday I used it for french toast and MAN OH MAN that's the ticket!

For the banana bread, I changed a few things, but I found it at The Pound Dropper. She is one of many #ww ladies that I follow and am so very thankful that I found on Instagram. Here is her original recipe: HERE Skinny Banana Bread is what she calls it. I call it fantastic.Thank you Linds!

Here is my recipe or adaptation of her's.

Sugar Free Banana Bread
3 bananas
1 TBSP vanilla (I used NuNaturals vanilla syrup, get it HERE)
1 egg
2 TBSP brown sugar substitute (or regular brown sugar if you don't have the other or aren't worried about 2 tablespoons of sugar)
3 TBSP sugar substitute (I used baking Tagatose from NuNaturals HERE) She uses Stevia but that is a no no from my kidney dr
1 TBSP Oat Fiber (another NuNaturals product HERE)
1 tsp each of baking soda and baking powder (I use the aluminum free)
1 1/4 cup self rising flour (I used Pillsbury because it what I had)
3 TBSP unsweetened applesauce (you can use melted butter or oil if you prefer)
**I did not receive payment for my endorsement of NuNaturals, I have been using their products for around 6 years and I think the quality, price and taste are wonderful. 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a bread/loaf pan with baking spray or rub the pan down with butter. Depends on if you are wanting to lower the fat even more.
  2. In a medium bowl add bananas and I use a mixer to beat the bananas smooth, I don't enjoy mushy banana chunks in my bread.
  3. Next add in the egg, vanilla, brown sugar and  sugar substitute . Stir well.
  4. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
  5. Add dry ingredients into the wet slowly as you stir until barely combined.
  6. DO NOT OVER MIX. Very important.
  7. Pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool, slice into 16 slices, yes they are thin but it gives you more servings, less calories and less #wwfreestyle points. But if you don't care about that, slice it however you want. The slices were perfect thickness for the French toast.
Let this bread sit. Overnight and the taste and texture are SOOO much better. The first day it was okay but the second day it was perfect and the third day even better.
To make the French Toast I beat 1 egg with a dash of milk and cinnamon. Pan fried the bread in a non stick skillet and used Sugar Free syrup on top, served it with fresh fruit and everyone was happy.

Jules from The Bergham Chronicles : Spreading Warmth in Your Community
 Lydia at Cluttered Genius - DIY Memory Pillow
 Melissa at Melissa Robinson - Heart Happy Handmade Fun

Friday, February 1, 2019

Southwest Chicken Bake

Hey hey, how's it going? February 1st! January just flew right out the door. Or in our case it floated out. We had so much rain I was beginning to think we should have purchased a boat for Christmas.
Don't get me wrong, I know we need the rain, but I'm just a little sick of it. BUT...I am sooooo very thankful that it is NOT snow and ice. Whew!

On Wednesday, Jan. 30th, it was -51 with the windchill in Chicago! MINUS FIFTY ONE!! That is just freaking ridiculous. I have 3 friends in that area, all of whom were out of work, due to the cold, and snuggled up at home. I just can't imagine temperatures that cold. Brr does not even begin to describe it.
Now that we are all shivering and chilled feeling. Let's look at this great dish. It will definitely heat you up! Actually, I made it a bit too spicy for me. The guys loved it. It was good, but WAY too hot for me. They ate it for lunch several days afterwards and even for dinner a second night.
The inspiration for this dish came from Kate over at Drizzle Me Skinny. She has several "bubble up" dishes. I thought it was a funny name but great tasting. So thank you Kate for the inspiration.
I had plans to make Kate's bubble bake but was walking around in Aldi picking up items I needed and inspiration struck again.
Beef is high in points (I do WWFreestyle) and I wanted to reduce the points. So I thought, okay I'll use chicken instead. Zero points.
Then I saw this dip/spread. Sour cream based with southwest flavors and jalapenos in it. I should have tasted it first, cause y'all WOOO WEEE that stuff has a kick to it!!
You could use ranch dip mix, diced jalapenos and fat free sour cream in place of the dip I used. It would be very similar. That was my plan until I found the spread in the cooler dairy section.

This is what I did and used...these items were purchased at #Aldi but this is NOT a paid advertisement. It is where I shop to save money and stay on a budget.

Southwest Chicken Bake
3 large chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
1 cup southwest jalapeno dip/spread OR (1-2 diced jalapenos, 1 cup fat free sour cream and a packet of Southwest/Chipotle Ranch dip mix)
diced red, orange, yellow mini bell peppers
2-3 green onions diced, tops and bottoms
Chipotle seasoning, 1 tsp (purchased at Aldi)
1 can biscuits (large type buttermilk), cut into 9 pieces each
shredded cheese, Mexican blend 1 cup

Prepare all ingredients, dice up the veggies, chicken and biscuits. Shred your cheese or purchase a bag of pre-shredded. Preheat your oven to 400℉. Cook the chicken with spices and veggies, except the onion, in a non stick skillet. Takes about 10-15 minutes.
Dice the biscuits and spray a 13x9 baking pan, place the biscuit pieces in the pan. Spread the dip/spread on top. Next cover with the chicken and veggies.
Sprinkle cheese on top and sprinkle green onions last.
Bake for 30-45 minutes until the biscuits are done and the dish is heated through. Serve with a salad and as always...