Recipe Round Up: “The Big Game”

This Sunday is kind of a big deal.

I mean there’s Groundhog Day. Obviously we’re all pumped for that – who doesn’t love chubby little Phil?

There’s also the Super Bowl – which I am always pumped for, since it combines one of my passions with my profession (that would be football and marketing).

Both are probably marked on your calendar for grocery shopping and wardrobe planning, but do you know what else happens Sunday? This little blog celebrates 2 years!

Obviously a day this epic deserves a recipe round-up – so if you’re looking for some snacks to whip up for “The Big Game” – you have come to the right place. Should I even mention the fact that this might be the best blog to come to for all things buffalo, which is like, a staple for Super Bowl Sunday? That and the game is being played in close proximity to the origin of “Buffalo Wings“. Boom. Droppin’ knowledge.

I’ll stop now.

The Game Plan

The Warm-Up

Warm Up - Super Bowl Recipes

Buffalo Hummus

Buffalo Egg Rolls

Buffalo Chicken Potato Sins

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Fries

Faux Fried Pickles

The Big Game

Big Game

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Game Time Chili

New York (close enough) State of Mind

I had to put this in there because I’m a sucker for a theme. When I think New York – a few staples come to mind. Italian delights – mozzarella sticks and pizza. And of course salmon, bagels and cream cheese, which comes to you in flat bread form below! Maybe I’ll drum up my own creation with some pastrami this weekend!

New York State of Mind

Faux Fried Mozzarella Sticks

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Pizza Soup

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

And let’s be honest, I could LIVE off snack foods along – so don’t be ashamed if you just make a bunch of appetizers and call it your meal. That may be exactly what happened in my household last year…and I certainly did not hear any complaints!

Hope you find something you enjoy! Have a great weekend and enjoy the festivities!

 

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Roasted Buffalo Chickpea Salad

Friends – we know I have some issues when it comes to all buffalo flavored things.

As in, I want all of the buffalo flavored things.

Now that the husband and I are getting back on track in watching what we eat and taking care of ourselves, we have started doing “Meatless Mondays” again. It can be tricky making it through one when you are absolutely craving something buffalo flavored.

But I’ve taken care of that.

Roasted Buffalo Chickepea Salad - Overhead

 

You’re welcome.

I’ve heard about (and seen) recipes for roasted chickpeas and they always sounded intriguing. God bless the chickpea. Shameless Friends reference.

Well, I decided to kick up the roasted chickpeas a notch and add some buffalo sauce. But obviously that would be a bit messy. So I threw it on a salad. Nothing like some crisp celery and carrots, some blue cheese crumbles, and spicy buffalo sauce to make a salad exciting.

The best thing about this delicious salad? It’s only 5 WW points…so perfect for lunch or a light dinner! The chickpeas are packed with protein – so it leaves you feeling satisfied.

Some other delicious dishes that require no meat? Our favorite – Baked Tacos. Another buffalo favorite – Buffalo Quinoa Cakes. A yummy Veggie Strudel. A warm Lemon Spinach Orzo Soup. A veggie-packed Tortellini and Vegetable Pasta Salad. And a delicious twist on pizza – Shaved Asparagus Pizza.

Roasted Buffalo Chickpea Salad (Serves 4 / 5 WW points)

Ingredients - Buffalo Chickpea Salad

1 14 oz. can chickpeas/garbanzo beans

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

8 cups iceberg lettuce

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup sliced carrot

1/2 cup Reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles

6 Tbsp. Frank’s Hot Sauce

2 Tbsp. Blue Bonnet Light

4 Tbsp. Fat-free Italian dressing

Extra hot sauce

Heat your oven to 425. Drain and rinse chickpeas and pat dry. Add to a small container and toss with oil, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet (line with parchment paper or foil to avoid clean-up duty) and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Let chickpeas cool and assemble your salads.

Each serving gets 2 cups of lettuce and 1 Tbsp. of dressing. (I really just drizzled it on to make sure there was enough of a dressing since the buffalo sauce is added later. I also dotted a little hot sauce over the dressing.) Top lettuce/dressing with 2 Tbsp. blue cheese crumbles and 2 Tbsp. each celery and carrots.

Once your chickpeas have cooled slightly, melt the margarine in a small dish and stir in the hot sauce. Toss with chickpeas to coat and add about 1/4 cup to the middle of each salad.

Buffalo Chickpea Salad - Steps

We only did 2 salads – so I left the roasted chickpeas in an airtight container without the sauce so they wouldn’t get too mushy. They do make a pretty good snack!

Easy, unique, filling and delicious…

Roasted Buffalo Chickpea Salad

What more can you ask for?

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Hot and Sour Soup

So I’m learning that in order to shrink my waistline, sometimes it means I have to expand my horizons.

That thought deep enough for you?

I am one of those people who likes variety. Sure, we all have our foods that we say we could eat every day (although I really do feel that way about popcorn) – but how practical is that? Variety truly is the spice of life. In order to have fun with cooking and losing weight, I love to come up with new things to try or finding new ways to cut caloric-corners…like using fiber cereal as breading in my delicious Buffa-faux Chicken Tenders. I am just not one of those people who can eat grilled chicken with a side of lettuce every day – I would be completely miserable – and this is cooking on the bright side people!

A few weeks ago, my husband happily  came with me on a post-holiday shopping adventure. We grabbed lunch  at a place neither of us had tried before – an Asian place called Stix. I settled on my sushi and he was going with some noodle-based dish, but he asked if I liked Hot and Sour Soup since it only came made for 2, so I agreed to try a little.

Y’all, it was straight up delicious! How has it taken me so long to try this? The husband said it was one of the best he’d had and I loved the flavor! I have always been a Won Ton Soup girl – but I may be a convert now.

So clearly, I needed to try my hand at making this new-found favorite! I looked online for some recipes but some of the ingredients just seemed like too much to deal with – until I stumbled upon this beauty from “The Bald Chef” – it seemed perfectly easy to tackle! I substituted and modified a few of the ingredients but it still has that balance of spice and sour with plenty of protein from the chicken…and okay, the tofu – which graced my kitchen’s presence for the first time ever! Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

Hot and Sour Soup (4 servings / 6 WW points per serving)

Adapted from The Bald Chef’s recipe found here.

Ingredients - Hot and Sour Soup

8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. white pepper

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

3 oz. canned Bamboo shoots

3 Tbsp. Sambal Oelek (Chili paste – you can also substitute Chili Garlic Sauce)

5 oz. firm tofu (if you can find “light” – go for it, but it wasn’t offered at my store)

1 egg

4 oz. Rice Vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 green onion, chopped

Begin by cubing chicken breast. Add soy sauce and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. I used that time to prep the rest of my goodies!

Prepped and Ready

Heat the sesame oil in a medium saucepan and add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes before adding chicken breast. Stir chicken and cook 4-5 minutes over medium heat.

Sprinkle chicken with white pepper and pour in chicken broth. Stir in mushrooms, bamboo and chili paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and cook 10 minutes.

Cut tofu into cubes and add to the soup, along with the vinegar. Bring back to a low boil.

Step by Step - Hot and Sour Soup

Whisk your egg in a small bowl. Pour into the soup in a steady, circular stream. The point here is to cook the egg to thicken the soup, but not have it all in one lump. Once you have poured it, whisk it slightly to incorporate.

Mix 1/2 cup water with your cornstarch and pour into the soup. Whisk and cook another 3-5 minutes over medium heat.

Serve hot and top with green onions.

Hot and Sour Soup - Overhead

We each had one bowl and were satisfied – but this would be great paired with some vegetable fried rice, orange chicken, chili-mango shrimp or stir-fry shrimp. A little home-made take out for a quiet night in!

Hot and Sour Soup

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Veal Piccata: Lightened Up

Happy 2014 everybody! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season and enjoyed ringing in the new year…whether you were doing it while “resting your eyes” on the couch or toasting champagne at a fabulous party!

Now, it has come to my attention lately that several people (ahem, my husband) aren’t a fan of the whole New Year’s hype and find the whole ordeal “anti-climatic.” To this I say for shame!

I will be the first to admit, it’s not as big of a priority as it once was for me. Planning out an outfit, making sure I had a big-ticket party to attend, staying out too late, etc. However, I still love getting together with friends to celebrate – whether it’s a big festive gathering or a few of us eating dinner, putting on PJ’s and playing games!

I just love the idea of a fresh start – a new chapter if you will. Some may say if you want to have a goal or if you want to do something, just do it. But honestly, it’s nice having that reset button programmed on my calendar. For me it’s like having a brand new notebook on the first day of school (I am a huge nerd and still get excited over new notepads, pens etc.). It’s clean, it’s new and it’s just waiting to be written on – so what mark will you make on 2014?

One of my major resolutions is to focus on myself. That sounds really selfish when I put it out there like that…but I mean more about my “self”. I ate with reckless abandon over the holidays and putting on work pants this week showed me that I’m definitely paying for it. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the eye doctor. I have lived our house for about 4 years and still haven’t really put anything up on the walls. I want to make our house a home. I want to stop squinting when I’m driving at night. And I want to shed my holiday weight (plus a few pounds I’ve picked up from the past year) – I want to be content in my own home and in my own skin.

So – there you have it. I’m going to be cracking down on myself, but y’all will get to benefit because I have some cooking to do!

It’s 2014 people. Time to get to it and make some changes…starting with a favorite recipe of mine that has been changed into a delicious, light and healthy dish! You can use this for any special occasion, or just a Saturday night meal with a glass of wine watching a movie. It’s easy. It’s elegant. But best of all it’s not loaded with fat and calories.

Veal Piccata – Lightened Up (WW points / 10 per serving + pasta)

Ingredients for Veal Piccata

2/3 pound veal scallopini (basically the thin cutlets of veal – I find mine pre-packaged at the grocery store)

1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

Salt and pepper for seasoning

1 Tbsp. canola oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

1/3 cup white wine

1/2 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp. capers

Lemon slices for garnish

Begin by sprinkling veal slices with salt and pepper. Then press into flour, shaking off any excess. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add veal cutlets and cook 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through. You may need to work in batches – they do cook down quickly.

Step by Step Veal Piccata

Remove cutlets and set aside. De-glaze pan with white wine and add garlic. Swirl and let heat for about 1 minute. Add butter, allowing it to melt, and then adding chicken broth and capers. Stir and allow to thicken for about 2 minutes, then add in lemon juice, lemon slices and veal. Allow veal to reheat in the sauce for 2-3 minutes and for the sauce to thicken slightly.

Plate veal and pour sauce over top, adding lemon slices for a little visual appeal. I serve this with whole wheat spaghetti (about 1 1/2 oz. uncooked for 2 people) sprayed with a little butter and sprinkled with some garlic salt and reduced-fat Parmesan – making this meal 12 points total. I call that a good way to start off the new year…

Veal Piccata

Have a great weekend y’all!