Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Yes, you read that correctly. Chickenfriggincordonbleu – in. A. Casserole!

To be quite honest, I’d never had chicken cordon bleu until I made a skinny version a few months back. However, the whole pounding the chicken thin, rolling it and securing it usually puts me into a fit of rage and kills a bunch of toothpicks. Sometimes it’s worth it – as you saw with my Jalapeno Popper Chicken!

However, sometimes – life just calls for a casserole. And with the chill in the air, you’ll love this layered comfort food – but you know I have your back, so it’s lightened up as to not add layers to YOU!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole(serves 4 – 8ww pts/serving)

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

4 oz. lean sliced deli honey ham

2 oz. reduced-fat Swiss cheese

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

2 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

1 3/4 cups skim milk

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/8 tsp. white pepper

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tsp. dried parsley

1/4 tsp. Seasoned salt

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buttter” spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray medium casserole dish with nonstick spray.

In a medium saucepan, add butter and milk over medium heat and whisk until melted. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Bring to a light simmer and stir until thickened.

Then add lemon juice, mustard, salt, white pepper and paprika. Bring back to light simmer and remove from heat.

Now, take your shredded chicken and spread in the bottom of your casserole dish.

Chop your ham and shred your cheese. Spread ham over the top of the chicken, then spread cheese evenly over the top.

Pour sauce over the cheese and spread, ensuring it reaches the edges.

Sprinkle panko crumbs evenly over the top of the casserole, dusting with parsley and seasoned salt. Spray with butter spray.

Now bake uncovered for 45 minutes until browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

This dish is so low in points, you can serve with a delicious crisp salad and a slice of whole wheat bread to soak up the goodness.

Hope y’all enjoy…I know we sure did!

Advertisements

Sangria!

So in my post dedicated to my friend Erin, I mentioned that at her shower we had a fun theme based on the “50 Shades” trilogy and I may have had way too much fun re-naming basic food items to go along with the theme.

Well, obviously when a shower coincides with a bachelorette party, you need a tasty beverage or two to wash down your food.

So in addition to our “Cham-pain,” I whipped up a delicious batch of “Submissive Sangria” (seriously, I have problems)! This recipe is courtesy of the MOH Julie (who is also a fellow blogger  – check her out at Swim…Bike…Running on Empty!). It’s super easy and the most time intensive part is letting it refrigerate – I promise you can probably whip up a batch in about 10 minutes.

Sangria (serves 4-6)

1 lemon, sliced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 orange, sliced

1/3 cup orange juice

1 lime, sliced

1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate

1/2 cup brandy

1/2 cup triple sec

1 bottle Cabernet

2 cups 7-Up

Add all of your fruit slices, fruit juice, pink lemonade, brandy, triple sec and Cabernet to a large pitcher and stir well. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to let flavors blend.

Add 7-Up just before serving. I made this the morning of the shower – and man, nothing like the pungent aroma of brandy and wine at 8am to get your day going! Whew!

So cheers to the bride and groom tomorrow as they say their “I Dos!” I am so excited for them and am so honored to be a part of their big day.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Hearts of Palm Dip

This week is a very exciting week – because my friend Erin is getting married on Saturday!

So, I’d like to dedicate a special blog to my Punk for her wedding week!

Now, Erin and I go way back. Actually, our dads introduced us! It was move in day at Penn State in 2001 and I was a shy little freshman. So awkward introduction, special circumstances (roommates be crazy!) and social interaction (Captain Morgan in particular) broke the barrier of awkwardness, and we became “Punks” – which I honestly don’t even know the origin of other than me randomly calling her that one day in jest as we were crossing paths in the bathroom of Bigler Hall.

Through trips to St. Lucia, St. Martin, Destin, Memphis, Pittsburgh and lots of football and lake house weekends together, we have remained close friends and I am so thankful for that. She is one of the kindest, most genuine people that I know – and it doesn’t hurt that we have a ton in common, such as loving dirty martinis, all things artichoke-olives, Penn State football, the Pittsburgh Steelers (she’s the one who converted me!), glasses of wine, beaches, good books, and great conversations. I was honored to have her by my side on my wedding day and I am so excited to be able to do the same for her!

I am so happy for her and Jason and what they have to look forward to as Mr. & Mrs. and I know she is going to be an absolutely stunning bride on Saturday!

Well, last month we had Erin’s bachelorette weekend in Destin, Florida and I thought it would be fun to do a little shower portion and use the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy as a theme because she loved the books. Don’t be scared – nothing too over-the-top, but I did have fun coming up with foods and decor for the shower! If you haven’t read the books – you probably won’t get some of the references, BUT I promise you it was all delicious and lasted us for two meals and some snacks!

Hearts of Palm Dip (aka “Twitchy Palms Dip” – serves 8-10)

FYI – I was not at my own grocery store so I couldn’t find a lot of the fat-free loot – but if you use reduced-fat Parmesan and fat-free mozzarella, mayo and sour cream, the total WW Points for this dip (minus and chips, crackers, etc.) is 16.

1 14.5 oz. jar hearts of palm, drained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, add your mayonnaise, sour cream, mozzarella and Parmesan.

Chop up hearts of palm into bite-sized pieces. Add to bowl with green onion, salt and pepper.

Mix well and add to a medium baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

Serve with crackers or pita chips!

I decorated the table with a sparkly piece of fabric and used some mini handcuffs to lay on the table and hang from the chandelier, along with a “Laters, Baby” sign and a silver masquerade mask.

Accompanying the “Twitchy Palms Dip” were  “BL-Teasers”, “Inner Goddess Sandwiches”,  “Bow Tied-Up Pasta Salad” (I just used bow tie pasta for my buffalo chicken pasta salad), “Mr. Mercurial Crabby Bites” and “We Aim to Cheese-y Olive Bread.” I also whipped up some semi-homemade ice cream sandwiches where I made cookies using ground up Twinings English Breakfast Tea (a favorite of the main character) and vanilla Haagen Daas ice cream.

To wash it all down, we had a delicious specialty cocktail that we sipped on while the bride-to-be opened her shower gifts!

I’ll be sure to share that on Friday so we can all toast to the bride and groom – cheers y’all!

Asian Steak and Bok Choy Salad

So lately I feel like we’ve been so busy that I’ve had no time to go the store. Which means we’ve gone out to eat or ordered take-out a bit too frequently for my taste. It’s just hard for me to be “good” when I go out – I’m like, oh, that salad sounds lovely but I’ll have the bacon-cheeseburger with crispy onions and a side of fries please.

Well, I FINALLY made it to the store the other night and just needed a little something light but filling for a good dinner! I had been craving some Chinese food – so I whipped something up with a lil Asian flair and boy was it delicious! I had never used bok choy before, but it actually wasn’t so scary!

Try this for light dinner or a fabulous lunch!

Asian Steak and Bok Choy Salad (serves 2 / 10 WW pts. per serving)

8 oz. trimmed flank steak

1 bunch bok choy

2 tsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. peanut oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. pickled ginger, minced

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

1 medium green onion, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.

Salt and pepper your steak on both sides and add to skillet. Cook 7 minutes on each side (ended up about medium in the center – reduce time 2 minutes for medium-rare) and remove from heat. Cover with foil to keep warm.

In the same skillet, heat 1/2 Tbsp. peanut oil. Add bok choy – I ended up only using about 3/4 of the bunch. I layered mine in the skillet and played the rotation game, cooking each piece for about 5 minutes. The leaves should be wilted and the lighter part should soften slightly. It has the same texture of celery – so you want it to stay slightly firm and crunchy!

Remove bok choy and add to your plate.

Now, heat the other 1/2 Tbsp. peanut oil. Add your ginger and garlic and saute for 30-45 seconds.

Reduce heat to medium and add soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil and sugar. Whisk to dissolve sugar and bring to a low simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Take your steak out of the foil and slice, against the grain, into thin strips.

Lay steak on top of bok choy and drizzle with the dressing.

Top with sesame seeds and green onion.

Now it’s time to dig in – and it’s so “light” on points for a dinner that you don’t have to feel guilty about pairing it with a nice glass of wine!

Hope y’all enjoy this – please let me know if you try anything on my blog by leaving a comment on that recipe – I’d love to hear from you!

 

Special Occasions

Today is a very special occasion in my household.

One year ago today, on a beautiful Fall day in Memphis, I put on my white dress and my red shoes and married my best friend. It was truly an amazing day from spending the morning with my parents, the afternoon with my favorite ladies, the evening with my husband – and the later hours with our dear friends and family.

Cheers to 1 year and to many more! Love you babe!

 

And then of course ditching everybody to spend a week basking in the sunshine and drinking margaritas on the beaches of Mexico! Hee hee.

Well, in honor of a special day – I thought I’d share a recipe that my husband loves. I’m making a special meal for us tonight – but the hubby recently requested this dish, so I decided to be a good wife and oblige. And okay, I think it’s pretty delicious too! I ran across this one on one of my favorite blogs.

Clams Casino Pizza (Adapted from “How Sweet Eats”)

Crust

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp. yeast

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. honey

Pizza Toppings

4 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

A few dollops of Tabasco (we like it spicy people – I’d say we rocked 10-12 shakes)

8 ounces fat-free mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup reduced-fat parmesan cheese

2 cans of minced clams, drained

In a small bowl, add warm water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix and let sit 3-5 minutes. Add flour to a medium bowl with salt. Add liquid to flour and mix well until combined. Knead  2 minutes, cover and let sit 1-2 hours to let dough rise.

When dough has risen, spread out on a lightly floured surface and form into a circle.

While dough is rising, chop your vegetables. Preheat your oven to 375.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add your vegetables and saute 5-7 minutes. Add in your garlic and your hot sauce. Then add your clams and half of the crumbled bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and prepare to assemble your pizza.

Brush pizza dough with olive oil. I added a few shakes of garlic along with my Italian seasoning.

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on the dough. Top with the vegetable/clam mixture.

Then add Parmesan and remaining mozzarella.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, removing after 10 minutes to top with remaining bacon.

Serve and devour – I know we certainly do! A great twist on a favorite food of ours that super easy to make.

Hope you all enjoy – now I’m gonna go whip up a deliciously sinful feast for the hubby and I that we’ll chase down with year-old wedding cake! (Hopefully better than it sounds!)