I’ve found a fun new way to serve chicken tenders (at least it’s new to my kids). Serve them on a popsicle stick! For some reason kids go crazy for food on a stick. I’m thinking I’ll try to serve steamed broccoli and asparagus on a stick, I’ll keep you posted on how they react to that one!
I served the crispy chicken tenders with a mixed green salad topped with sun dried cherries and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Crispy Chicken Tenders on a Stick:Servings: 5 /Serving size: 2 chicken tenders Weight Watcher points plus: 9Calories: 348/Protein: 20/Fat: 17 g/Carbs: 29 g/ Fiber: 3 gIngredients:
1o chicken tenders (~ I thinks it’s about one pound)
1 cup of bread crumbs (see below for my simple bread crumb recipe)
3/4 cup Greek low fat Plain yogurt
vegetable spray ~ 1 teaspoon total – I used my misto spray filled with extra virgin olive oil
My simple Bread crumb:
1 cup of rolled oats ~ Bob’s Red mill gluten free oats
1/ 2 c. of unsweetened corn flakes ~ gluten free
1 Tbsp or more of Italian dried seasoning (rosemary, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper)
Directions for the bread crumbs:
1. In a blender add 1/2 c of rolled oats, Italian seasoning, corn flakes; blend.
2. Transfer in a bowl, add remaining oats; blend. Add more seasoning if needed.
3. makes about 1 cup.
Step by step process:
Remove fat and the cartilage from the chicken tenders. Rinse under cold water and dry with clean paper towels.
Take a knife and insert a slit (about 1 inch deep) in one end for the popsicle to slide into.
Insert popsicle stick.
Dip the chicken in yogurt or egg whites.
Dip the chicken in your choice of breading.
Lay parchment paper or silpat mat on a baking pan, lay the chicken tenders. Lightly spray the chicken tenders with vegetable oil. I use my misto spray bottle filled with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake at 350 degrees F, for about 30 minutes (flipping tenders over halfway through) or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170 F with a meat thermometer.
This recipe is for the coffee and chocolate lover. I adapted this recipe from 101 cookbooks but changed it up a bit to fit my healthy eating lifestyle. You know me I always find a way to try to lighten recipes. The original recipe called for whole wheat pastry flour, which really isn’t all that bad but I wanted my gluten free sister to enjoy these cookies too so I used certified gluten free rolled oats instead.
I like to use rolled oatsin my baked goods because it’s a great source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and bulks up into a gooey consistency just like oatmeal when you add water. Soluble fiber promotes regularity and is not so harsh on the GI tract for someone that has GI issues like my sister. Check out some of my oatmeal recipes:
When I use chocolate in my baked goods I like to use dark chocolate with at least 60% dark chocolate, unless my kids give me a difficult time about the bitter taste. Research has shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial to heart health but this only pertains to dark chocolate with a cacao content of 60% or more. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called “flavonoids” that can increase “healthy” cholesterol (HDL), lower bad cholesterol (LDL), lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Sounds good, huh? Well, just keep in mind that chocolate contains fat and try to keep your intake to about 1 ounce which is about 150-200 calories.Check out some of my yummy chocolate recipes:
I lightened up the recipe by cutting the butter in half, the original recipe called for 1 cup of butter but I used half cup of butter and half cup Greek yogurt to save on some calories and fat grams, mainly unsaturated fat. When I originally made this recipe, I only used 1/4 cup of butter and no other fat substitute in which they came out a bit dry and crispy (see picture below). They were still delicious but I like my cookies moiste and chewy!
Triple chocolate espresso cookies inspired by 101 cookbooksServings: 36/Serving size: 1 medium cookieWeight Watcher pts: 3/Points Plus: 4Calories: 122/protein: 2 g/fat: 6 g/carbs: 15 g/ fiber: 1.5 gIngredients:2 1/2 cups certified gluten free oatmeal made into oat flour2 Tbsp freshly ground espresso powder or instant coffee mix 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 cup cacao powder (I used Scharffen Berger)½ cup butter, room temperature½ cup plain Greek yogurt, low fat1 cup dark brown sugar1 large egg, 2 whites 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (Ghiradelli brand)1/4 cup roasted cacao nibs1/2 cup chocolate covered espresso beansextra cinnamon to sprinkle the cookiesMethod: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Dry ingredients: In food processor add, rolled oats, gluten free all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso grounds, cacao powder and cinnamon. Blend until fine. Set aside.Wet ingredients: In a big bowl or with an electric mixer beat the butter until it is fluffy, add sugar and beat until think like frosting. Add eggs one at a time, before adding the next. Using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bow. Add Greek yogurt and vanilla util it is incorporated.Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients:Heidi, suggests adding the dry ingredients to the wet mix in about four waves but I did it in two, I was getting inpatient and just wanted to bake these darn cookies. The reason being you want to add a bit of the dry ingredients at a time is that its easier to incorporate and blend or add it in all at once and it tends to explode up and out of the mixing bowl and all over the place. Once done, you should have a moist, brown dough that is uniform in color. Add the chocolate chips, cacao nibs, and chocolate covered espresso beans, mix by hand with a wooden spoon until distributed throughout the dough.Drop the cookies onto baking sheets: I like to use a small scoop to make perfect portion sized cookies, I am opposite of Heidi who says she like to ”leave the dough balls rough and raggy looking.” Place the cookies in the oven: Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes on the middle rack. You don’t want to over bake these cookies at all or they will really dry out. If anything, under bake them just a bit. When they are done, pull them out to cool. Sprinkle with some ground cinnamon, instead of confectioner’s sugar! enjoy Tip: If you don’t want to bake all the cookies at one once you can freeze some of the dough for quick cookies later. Instead of placing the cookies in the oven put the cookie dough balls into a freezer-quality plastic bag and toss them in the freezer. You can bake straight from the freezer at a later date, up the baking time by a couple minutes to compensate for the frozen dough.
Big Batch: 2-3 dozen chunky, medium cookies or 65-72 small bite size cookies.
I wanted to sneak this recipe post before the fall season ends. I am obsessed with making doughnuts ever since I bought my Wilton baking panback in August. I love this recipe you can play around with it, for example, you can use 2 cups of oat flour or half oat flour and half whole wheat flour. You can use real sugar or stevia to lighten it up. Have fun and play around with the recipe I know I did!
Spiced Apple Cider DonutsServings: 6/Serving Size 1Weight Watcher pts: /Points Plus: Calories: 98/Fat:1.5 g /Protien: 5 g/ Carbs: 17g/ Fiber: 3gDry Ingredients:1 cup oat flour (old fashioned oats in food processor to make it)1 cup whole wheat flour1/4 cup whey protein powder or your favorite protein powder2 Tbsp flax seed meal1 tsp McCormick apple pie spice1 tsp cinnamon1/4 c. sugar (I like to make mine low in sugar, so I used 2 packets of stevia instead of sugar)1 tsp baking sodaWet ingredients:1/4 c. apple cider or apple juice3/4 c. almond milk unsweetened (you could use your favorite milk or just add more apple cider)1 tsp vanilla extract1 medium apple chopped fine ~ 1 cupCinnamon Sugar Coating:1 Tbsp sugar1 tsp cinnamonMethod: 1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well.2. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. 3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, using a spoon or spatula to mix and combine well.4. Spoon or pipe batter into the baking pan. 5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes clean. 6. Remove from oven, let cool. In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon, dip the tops of the donuts into cinnamon-sugar mix. Nutritonal Analysis based on a 2,000 calorie diet for adults: calories: 98/Protien: 5 g/ total Carbs: 17g/ Fiber: 3g/ sugars: 3.5 g/ total fat: 1.5 g/ saturated fat: 1 g/ cholesterol: 1 mg/ sodium: 118 mg% Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet: manganese: 21% selenium: 10%/ B1: 6%/ iron: 6%/ magnesium: 4%/ phosphorus: 4%/ B3: 3%/ zinc: 2%/ copper: 2%/ B2: 2%/ B6: 2%/ pantothenic acid: 1%/ chromium: 1% vitamin k: 1%/ vitamin C: 1%/ folate: 1%
The song “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson was on my cool down play list. All night I was dreaming about banana pancakes and morning couldn’t come quick enough!
First thing in the morning I made a clean eating oatmeal banana pancake breakfast to start my day!
Oh, did I mention that I played the “Banana Pancakes song while making them!
Oatmeal Banana Pancakes~Lisa’s SMART recipeServings: 2/Serving size: 4 small pancakes/Wt. Watcher Pts: 5 /Points Plus: 7Calories: 256/Protein: 15 g/Fat: 8 g/ Carbs: 32 g/ Fiber: 5 gIngredients for Oatmeal banana pancakes:Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oat flour (put oats in a blender to make into flour) – use certified GF oats if you have to eat GF
1 Tbsp ground flax meal
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp or more ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp stevia powder
1 egg white
1/2 cup Light Vanilla soy milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 mashed ripe banana
optional: 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 banana sliced thin
a dollop of whipped cream
1. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients; set aside.
2. In a separate small bowl combine wet ingredients, mix well.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix well. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to make it moist.
4. Coat a griddle or non stick pan with vegetable spay, Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mix onto the pan,until bubbles begin to form and break, flip pancake and cook until the other side is golden brown. Serve immediately while warm and hot; top with your favorite toppings. I added 1/3 banana slices, 1 Tbsp walnuts and a dallop of cream.
Nutritional Analysis for 2 small pancakes (with vanilla whey protein) without toppping: Calories: 256/ protein: 15 g/ carbs: 32 g/ fiber: 5 g/ sugars: 7 g/ total fat: 8 g/ saturated fat: 1 g/ monounsaturated fat: 1 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 3 g/ cholesterol: 17 mg/sodium: 100 mg.% Daily Values Based on 2,000 calorie diet: manganese: 67%/ phosphorus: 18%/ magnesium: 18%/B1: 12%/ selenium: 12%/ B6: 11%/ calcium: 11%/ iron: 11%/ copper: 11%/ pantothenic acid: 5%/ folate: 5%/ biotin: 4%/ vitamin D: 3%/ B2: 3%
The last two weeks have been crazy busy with my kids schedules from volunteering at their school to driving them to and from school and not to mention driving them to and from their after school activities. With all of this craziness I have very little time to prepare foods from scratch on a daily basis. Instead I’ll cook and bake foods in batches to help me out throughout the week, usually it’s on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s.
Last Wednesday on my baking day, I baked a few batches of blueberry apple muffins. Of course on that day my boys had their friends over and everyone was in and out of the house including my mischievous one year old. Some how my one year old escaped out of the locked yard and over to my neighbors front porch. Luckily, my neighbor was out walking her dog. She suggested I put a leash on my one year old so he doesn’t escape! Honestly, some days that sounds like a good idea so I can get some things done around the house (don’t worry I’m just kidding!)
Anyhow, while all of this was going on I forgot to add the sugar to my dry ingredients. I didn’t realize it until they came out of the oven! I didn’t tell the kids and wondered if they’d notice. I called them over to try the muffins. I studied their faces as they took the first bite, so far so good. I had my five year old nephew over, after his first bite he said the topping was the best part of the muffin and didn’t care for the rest of it because it had too much fruit inside (can’t please everyone, especially since he loves to add sugar on everything). On the other hand, my picky four year old loved them and asked for seconds as did my other two boys. I was one happy mamma!
Blueberry Apple Muffins (w/ sugar)~Lisa’s SMART recipeServings: 12/ Serving Size: 1/ Wt. Watcher pts: 2/Pts Plus: 3Calories: 176/ protein: 5 g/ fat: 3.5 g/carbs: 32 g/ fiber: 3.4 gBlueberry Apple Muffins (w/out sugar)~Lisa’s SMART recipeServings: 12/ Serving Size: 1/ Wt. Watcher pts: 3/Pts Plus: 5Calories: 123/ protein: 5 g/ fat: 3.5 g/carbs: 19 g/ fiber: 3.4 g.Dry Ingredients1cup of oat flour ( I used old fashioned oats in the blender to make oat flour)¼ c. wheat germ¼ c. flax meal¾ c. whole wheat flour2 ½ tsp baking powder*3/4 cup sugar (I unintentionally left the sugar out, later realized it was a success!) .Wet Ingredients1 whole egg + 2 egg whites1 c.light vanilla soy milk (add more if the batter is too thick about a tablespoon at a time) – I used light vanilla soy milk by Silk1 ½ c. frozen or fresh blueberries1 small apple finely chopped (1 cup)
1 Tbsp sugar or 1/3 of stevia pakcet depending on how sweet you like it and may want to add another tablespoon of oatmeal to add some bulk to the topping
1 tsp ground cinnamon
*you can substitute stevia powder in place of granulated sugar for low calorie-low sugar recipe and still get the sweetness. 1 cup sugar = 1 tsp stevia powder and add some bulk like diced apples, the stevia works well in this recipe due to the extra bulk from the fruit….another serendipitous success!
1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, until blended.
2. Add wet ingredients into another bowl, using a fork whisk well. 3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix and fold in the ingredients until blended about 25 strokes is good.4. Carefully fold in the blueberries and diced apples. Drop a spoonful of batter into a greased (I sprayed it with vegetable spray) muffin tin.5. This is the best part of the muffin, the cinnamon sugar topping! Using a fork to mix and blend the ingredients until they look like small clumps of crumbs. Add about 1 teaspoon of the crumb mix on top of each muffin.5. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 350 F for about 25-30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean with toothpick test. I like to double the batch and freeze some for later.Believe it or not my picky preschooler loves these muffins! It’s the perfect afternoon snack! Hmm, thanks mom! .Nutritional Analysis for blueberry apple muffins without 3/4 cup sugar: calories: 123/ protein: 5 g/ carbohydrates: 19 g/ fiber: 3.5 g/ sugars: 5 g/ total fat: 3.5 g/ saturated fat: 0.8 g/ monounsaturated fat: 1 g/polyunsaturated fat: 0.8 g/ cholesterol: 18 mg/ sodium: 145 mg% Daily Value:
My kids love chicken nuggets. When my second child was a toddler, I was guilty of feeding my kids chicken nuggets on a regular basis along with other quick convenient meals. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with feeding your kids chicken nuggets and other processed foods, as long as it’s in moderation. Unfortunately, I fed my boys chicken nuggets, boxed macaroni n’ cheese, and frozen pizza almost daily for lunch! I was contributing to the pitfalls of a “picky eater”!
At that time in my life I was finishing up my nutrition degree at Madonna University, and the last thing I wanted to do was to make lunch or dinner. I was extremely busy going to school, working, and raising a family. Even though I went to school for nutrition, I was falling into that trap of feeding my kids processed convenient foods too often. They acquired a taste for salty, fatty, yellow light-browned colored foods . You know typical kids food that would be served at a restaurant, like macaroni n’cheese, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, chips, and cheese pizza.
Now that I know better, I make my own “healthier’ version of my kids favorite processed foods. I even take it a step further and make extra to freeze for future meals. There are times when I’ll buy cleaner wholesome version of my kids favorite convenient or processed foods, to save on time. But one thing I have noticed they still tend to be high in sodium and high in cost. (check out my post Annie’s Macaroni n’ Cheese for sodium comparison to Kraft macaroni n’ cheese). Today, I’ll be sharing with you one of my many chicken nugget recipes, I’ll post others in the near future.
Below is a comparison of the nutrition facts label of my chicken nuggets compared to store bought nuggets from Costco. (I’ll occasionally buy this brand at Costco but only feed it to my kids like once a month. It took me like 6 months to wean my kids off of the store bought chicken nuggets and now they don’t miss it.)
As you can see, my servings weighs about 16 grams more per serving but my version offers a bit more fiber per serving as well as less calories per serving too. Also my version is lower in sodium, higher in iron and vitamin C. But to make this comparison fair, I actually should have compared the two ingredients gram per gram but I didn’t feel like doing extra math, but you get the point!
Italian Style Chicken Nuggets~Lisa’s SMART recipeServings: 6/Serving size: ~3 pieces/Wt Watcher pts: 3/Pts Plus:3Calories: 140/Protein: 19 g/ Fat: 3 g/ Carbs: 7 g/ Fiber: 2 g
I’ll also use this breading mix on chicken breast halves for me and my husband, it’s our adult version of chicken nuggets.
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast (cut into chunks)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup oat flour (ground old fashioned oats certified GF) or whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup corn flakes (crushed) or corn meal
2 Tbsp ground flax meal
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Italian herb blend – sodium-free
1 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1. Preheat the oven 375 F. Line baking pan with parchment paper, spray parchment paper with vegetable spray; set baking pan aside.
2. Cut chicken breast into 1 inch pieces; set aside covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
3. In a food processor or blender, add oatmeal, corn flakes, flax, Parmesan cheese and spices; blend until fine. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
4. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites.
5. Dip chicken pieces into the egg, then dip into the oat flour seasoning mixture; be sure to cover all of the chicken pieces. Place the chicken on the parchment paper. Spray each chicken nugget with vegetable spray (quick and fast)
6. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken nuggets are golden and cooked through on the inside.
7. Serve and enjoy with your favorite sauce.
Hello I'm Lisa, welcome to my blog! I'm a mom, a wife, a nutritionist, a NASM certified personal trainer, TRX certified, and barre instructor. Here you'll find simple healthy recipes and workouts. To find out more about me, click here. For a list of my services, you can clickhereand here.