Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roast Chicken in Clay Baker

My mother made chicken like using a clay baker when I grew up, and has always been my favorite version. Today, clay bakers are retro but making a comeback, since they are also great for bread baking to create a crisp crust. Retro or not, it is a great way to roast chicken without added fat or liquids, but cook in its own juices. The idea is that the clay cast is soaked in water for 30 min before roasting the chicken. The absorbed moisture develops steam inside the baker and roasts the chicken. Removing the lid during the last 30 minutes makes sure the chicken has a brown crisp skin. Love it!

Roast chicken in clay baker

special equipment: clay baker
1 thawed organic chicken, washed and patted dry
salt, pepper
10 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
sweet paprika

Soak clay baker in warm water for 30 min. Preheat oven at 375F.

Rub the patted dry chicken with salt, pepper and the sweet paprika. Fill the garlic cloves inside the chicken cavities. Remove clay baker from water, dry with a towel, and place chicken in the bottom part of the clay baker. Close the clay baker with its lid, and place in oven. Increase heat to 425F, and bake for 90min. After 90min, remove clay pot from oven, remove lid, and place clay baker back into the oven for another 30min. Turn off heat, and serve chicken!

For a skinny version, discard the fat collected in the bottom of the clay baker. However, it is very tasty, of course, served over some mashed potatoes...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mole Chicken Enchilada

Mole, an interesting Mexican concept.... a chocolate spicy savory sauce with a bold character. It works even better for enchiladas, covered in mole and baked with cheese. Here we go, mole chicken enchiladas, gone perfectly skinny.

Chocolate (mole) chicken enchilada

1 Joseph's 4 net carbs small pita bread (cut in half)
1 TB jarred mole (I used Donna Maria)
1/8-1/4 cup low sodium, fat-free chicken stock
1 TB chipotle sauce (from a can of chipotles in sauce)
2 oz leftover grilled chicken breast
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 TB ff vegan low-fat cheddar cheese

In a skillet, break up the mole with a fork and thin out with the chicken stock to make a sauce. (Note: When I opened the jar, the oil of the sauce had collected at the top of the jar, and I just threw it out. So, the sauce is lower in calories than indicated on the jar.) Add the chipotle sauce to the mole, and stir well. Add in the cubed chicken, cover with the sauce and heat through. If too thick, add more water. Split the pita bread in half, and slide each half both sides through the hot mole sauce so that it covers both sides of the pita breads. Now, fill half of the chicken pieces in each pita, add some red bell pepper, and roll it up. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Add the remaining mole on top of the 'enchiladas'. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 450F for 10 min (or until cheese melted). Add some more red bell pepper on top, and serve! Divine!!!

ca. 260kcal

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Luxurious Fruit Sauce for Greek Yogurt

This is a luxurious fruit sauce inspired by Ina G., a great sauce to keep on hand for the daily yogurt or Fage. It makes a large serving that will keep in the fridge for a while.

Raspberry rum sauce
1/2 bag of frozen raspberries, thawed
1 TB sugar
1/2 cup water
1 TB fiberfit
1 small jar sugar-free strawberry preserve (I used Hero)
1/2 TB brown rum

In a pot, heat the water, sugar, and fiberfit and raspberries until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm (don't boil it!). Take off the stove, and let cool to room temperate. In a food processor (or magic bullet), add the preserve, rum and half of the raspberry mixture and mix until a smooth silky texture is reached. Pour half of it into a jar, and mix the other half with the remaining raspberries (all ingredients will fit into a larger food processor).

Serve a few tablespoons with sweetened fage and fresh berries!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cannellini Tuna Bruschetta

Summer is slowly whisking in and Memorial weekend is not too far away. Time for some summery dishes that are refreshing for lunch or dinner. Today it was....

Bruschetta with Cannellini Bean Tuna

several slices of whole grain baguette (50 kcal)
1/2 cup of cannellini beans, rinsed (110 kcal)
1 can of albacore tuna, broken up (80kcal, 18 g protein) (e.g. Bumble Bee)
1/3 red onion, finely diced
1/2 ts olive oil (20kcal)
salt, pepper, Mrs Dash garlic and herb
1 garlic clove, peeled

Toast slices of baguette in a pan or panini maker. Spray with PAM for more crispness. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the beans, tuna, onion, spices and olive oil. Once the bread is brown,
rub with garlic clove, and spoon bean tuna mix on the bruschetta.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sundried Tomato Pesto Chicken Pasta

1 chicken cutlet
1 cup low-sodium, non-fat chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 of a red onion, finely diced
5-6 kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 ts Mrs dash garlic and herbs
fresh crushed black pepper
1 TB sundried skinny tomato pesto
2 oz Fiber Gourmet penne

Cook pasta according to instructions.

Poach the fresh or frozen chicken cutlet in lowfat, low-sodium chicken broth with a bay leaf and 2 peeled, but whole garlic cloves for 10 min on medium-high. Remove chicken, and cut into dice.

In a PAM-sprayed skillet, sautee the onion until slightly browned. Add bell pepper, and sautee for 3-4 min on medium heat. Add diced chicken, the spices and tablespoons of the chicken broth (from poaching) to provide enough liquid. Add drained pasta once cooked al dente, and mix all ingredients in the skillet. In a separate cup, stir the sundried tomato pesto with 2 TB of hot chicken broth, and mix into the penne chicken in the skillet. Serve!

Tomato Basil Pizza Burger

This is a veggie burger that does not make you miss the real deal: The Morningstar Tomato Basil Pizza veggie burger. I made it with some sliced red onion, chopped olives, lowfat feta crumbles.... a perfect lunch.

Skinny (To Die For) Sundried Tomato Pesto

I love pesto. Basil pesto, the pine nuts, the garlic, the parmesan, and, yes, the olive oil. It does not come easily in a skinny version without sacrificing the flavor and character of it. Nevertheless, sundried tomato pesto lends itself to a skinny version, and this one, a spur of inspiration, came up, well, to die for!

15 large sundried tomatoes (not from a jar, but the dried variety)
3 large garlic cloves, or 5 smaller ones, peeled, coarsely chopped
0.5 oz pine nuts
3 TB Trader Joe's red pepper spread
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 TB Mrs Dash garlic and herbs
2 TB high quality extra-virgin olive oil
2-5 TB water (add when needed to achieve desired pesto consistency)

I used my magic bullet to make the pesto, so I cut up the sundried tomatoes into small slices using scissors, and coarsely chopped the garlic, since it is has not the strongest motor, but is so easy to clean up (what a plus). I added all the remaining ingredients to the food processor, and pulsed it to a smooth, slightly coarse consistency and added water tablespoon wise.

The entire sundried pesto is 450 kcals, but it is used tablespoon-wise (ca 5-7 TB). It is great with pasta, or as a sundried tomato pesto chicken sauce, or as a spread for paninis with roasted eggplant and zucchini. For pasta, it can be thinned out with low sodium chicken stock or just some pasta water.