Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chicken Roll Ups!

I got home after being away for the weekend and my mom had bought some fresh chicken breasts for dinner but she couldn't decide what to do with them. After watching her painfully consult a number of cookbooks I offered up this suggestion. Quick, yummy and they do freeze well. You could use pork or veal in place of the chicken if you wanted. And if you aren't into pounding the meat (I'll leave the obvious jokes out here) then you could just cut them in half through the centre and stuff the ingredients inside instead of rolling them up.

Serves 1 (you can make as many as you want, it was just easier to write the recipe this way) - 4.5 points per serving.

1 chicken breast per person
sprinkle of italian seasoning or Ms. Dash's garlic and herb seasoning
1/4 oz thinly sliced pancetta, proscuitto or ham
1/2 oz of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese ( you could just slice it but I find you get better coverage by shredding it)
5 or 6 asparagus stalks

Heat oven to 350. Heat an oven safe nonstick saute pan (or use a pan to sear this then transfer it to a baking dish just heat the baking dish in the oven while it's preheating) over medium high heat. Spray the pan with non stick spray. Pound out the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Try to get it the same width so that the chicken will cook quickly and evenly.
Sprinkle the seasoning on top of the breast.
Layer the pancetta, asparagus and cheese. Roll up and close with a toothpick.
Place in the pan and brown on all sides. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Layered Leftover Turkey Pie

I got sick of turkey leftovers this year. And I still have another Thanksgiving to celebrate! I was going to make an Asian inspired dish with my leftovers but Tim was on his way to China for 2 weeks so I thought I'd better not. Instead we had this super healthy Italian inspired dish. Again I didn't take a picture of this dish but I do think it is worth sharing.

Serves 4 - 4 points per serving

Layer 1
  • Spaghetti Squash or 2 cups of cooked spaghetti

Layer 2

  • 1 cup of fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp of italian seasoning or a combination of dried thyme, basil and oregano

Layer 3

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 cups fresh spinach or 1 package frozen
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 6 oz of diced cooked turkey (about 2 cups) or ground turkey
  • 2 small cans (156ml) or 1 1/4 cup of low sodium V8 or 1 small can of tomato sauce (14 oz)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning (yes, again)

Layer 4

  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozza and parm

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Place squash cut side down on either aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick spray or on parchment paper lining a baking sheet. Cook for 35 - 45 minutes until the strings inside the squash can be easy scrapped out with a fork. I did this in my toaster oven to prevent heating up the whole kitchen. Remove the strings from the squash.

While the squash is cooking, prepare layer 3. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Spray the pan with nonstick spray. Saute the onions until they start to soften, add the garlic cooking one minute longer. Turn the heat down to medium. Add in the broccoli, turkey (if raw) and the V8 or tomato sauce. Simmer until the turkey and broccoli are almost cooked, about 10 minutes. You could brown the turkey if using raw, it's up to you. Add in the cooked turkey if using and the spinach with the italian seasoning. Cook for just a couple of minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Prepare layer 2. Mix together, in a small bowl, the cottage cheese, the first bit of mozzarella, the egg whites and the other bit of italian seasoning. Set aside.

Spray a pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Put the strings from the squash on the bottom of the pie plate. Make a sort of crust with it. You don't have to be perfect here so don't sweat it.

Pour on the cheese mixture (layer 2) and spread evenly over the squash. Pour on the meat and veggie mixture (layer 3) and spread evenly. Sprinkle on the mozza and parm (layer 4)

Bake for 40 minutes at 350 until the top is bubble and the pie is set.

Maple Dijon Apple Pork Chops with Pan Sauteed Veggies

I threw this dish together one evening on a whim. It got such rave review I had to share it. I didn't take a picture of it because I really didn't plan on repeating it. It really was just a throw together kind of meal.

Serves 4 - 6 points each

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped (peeled or unpeeled, it's your choice, I did one of each)
  • 1 beet, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth, low sodium
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 pork chops, centre loin lean cut
  • sprinkle of either salt and pepper or some sort of steak seasoning. I used Ryan Duffy's Steak Spice.

Heat the oil in a deep saute pan or dutch oven. Saute onions until soft and starting to brown. Add in the apples and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
Add in the beets and carrots and half of the broth. Cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add in the potatoes, rest of the broth, maple syrup and Dijon. Cover. Simmer for another 10 minutes
Season the pork chops with the salt and pepper or steak seasoning. Add them into the pan, pushing them to the bottom of the pan, moving the veggies out of the way. There should be a nice thick sauce in the pan at this point. Cover and let the pork chops steam for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked. This makes the chops extremely tender.

This is a nice hardy dish on a chilly fall day. You can use other veggies if you want, like sweet potato, squash or turnip. I happened to have a beet that needed to be used so that is why I threw it in.

Super Skinny Pizza

So I had these wonderful globe zucchini I had picked up at the market. Globe zucchini are round, as their name implies. I was going to stuff them but it was a warm day and the thought of baking them in the oven for a while didn't appeal to me. So I came up with the idea to make them into pizzas!

I took my round zucchinis and cut them into 1/4 inch discs, but I could have done the same with a some medium or large regular zucchinis, cutting them lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. You could also use eggplant this way. I then baked just the zucchini at 400 for 10 minutes, check them after 5 and flip them if necessary. You are trying to brown them and dry them out so they will make nice pizza shells.
Once the 'shells' are brown and crispy, top them with sauce and your favorite toppings. We used a little rose sauce with veggies and mozza. Think about the point value! We just has a little sauce and cheese for points. I ended up eating a plate full of mini pizzas and the point total was 4!

Here's another thought. Cut small or medium zucchini in half, scoop out some of the seeds from the centre and use the zucchini like a french bread for pizza. Remember to bake the zucchini first to make it crispy!

Broccoli and Cheese Soup - 1.5 points

Here is a recipe that is great for upping your veggie intake. It's quick, light, tasty and freezes well. And it's a variation on a Weight Watchers recipe.

Serves 3 - 1.5 points each


  • 4 cups of Broccoli, chopped roughly
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt or Ms. Dash
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup of shredded light cheddar cheese.
Combine the broccoli, garlic and broth in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the broccoli is tender. Puree the soup in either a blender or with an immersion blender. Don't have either? Your potato masher will work. Leave the soup in the pan or return it to the pan if using a blender. Stir in the milk, salt and pepper, heating through over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted.

That's it! This is a great starter dish in place of a salad or great with a sandwich for lunch. Split it between 2 servings and serve it with some whole wheat toast for a light meal. The point value per serving goes up to 2.5 (check the math, yes I rounded up).