Lightened up: Creamed Corn

I love living in the South.

There is just something about it. Laid-back but high energy. Sweet and sincere with a little bit of sass.

And the food. Ugh. The food is so freaking delicious it’s not even funny. Or fair. Particularly when you’re trying not to indulge in all of the amazing dishes offered. Especially in the lovely city of Memphis when on Fridays I can smell pork wafting down the street when I walk outside.

We are definitely known for some staples down here. BBQ. Fried Chicken. And quite frankly, when you’re in a restaurant serving either of those staples, you tend to find a lot of calorie-laden sides to accompany it. French fries. Fried pickles. Fried tomatoes. Mac and cheese. Creamed corn.

It’s almost like you don’t even have a fighting chance to be healthy.

Well, a few weeks ago I came across a recipe for creamed corn that sounded delicious – and actually not loaded with fat. Now I am picky about my sides – I can justify splurging a little on a main course, but I have to really be impressed by a side dish.

Plated - Creamed Corn

This is definitely one of those recipes. I’ve had creamed corn before – and it has just seemed bland. But the fresh herbs and  red peppers really jazz up this recipe.

Give it a try – we are definitely fans and have made it a few times already.

Lightened up: Creamed Corn (Serves 2 – 4 WW points each)

Slightly modified from original recipe found here.

1/2 Tbsp. butter (the real deal y’all)

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1/2 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Step by Step - Creamed Corn

Melt your butter in a small saucepan. Add bell pepper and thyme and saute 2-3 minutes. Add corn kernels and stir to coat. Whisk in milk, salt and flour. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Remove half of the corn mixture and add to a mini food processor, pulsing a few times. Return to saucepan and stir well, simmering another minute or so.

I served this with another Cooking Light recipe for pan-fried chicken thighs – a first for me. It was absolutely delicious and I didn’t feel the least bit guilty after licking my plate.

Lightened Up - Creamed Corn

Have a great weekend y’all!

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Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

So the first thing I thought of when I woke up today?

This epic scene from Friends. Because we all know I can’t go a day without something relating back to the best show of all time. Could I be any more predictable?

So Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers – I love y’all to chocolate-covered pieces!

Obviously, today is a day to let the love flow. I’ve never been a huge fan of a big outing or major to-do on the holiday, but I think any day designated to tell the people you love just that can’t be all that bad.

In addition to a silly card and a bag of the hubby’s favorite candy (anything peanut butter and chocolate) I usually plan a nice meal in for us to celebrate. One year that involved my Mustard Glazed Lamb – and another year that involved us ordering pizza. It is what you make it people.

This year I have a special little treat – which I won’t divulge quite yet since I have a good hubby who reads my blog – but I’ll have to share it with y’all next week. Too fun.

Anyways – obviously I try out a lot of new recipes on my husband. Some good. Some not. Some “meh” – but I always look for an honest response from him on whether or not I should put it in our regular rotation.

Well a few weeks ago, I tried a new recipe from Cooking Light and it was pretty good. The next week I found myself with some ingredients to use up and figured I’d make the same recipe again with some modifications. It must have been better the second time around, because the hubby took a bite and said “Whoa, tell me about this one!”…like he had never had it before. It certainly made me chuckle, but it also made me smile that I didn’t have to coax out an opinion. Clearly, this one was a keeper – just like the Mr. (Awwwww).

Plated Pork Chops

Give it a try and let me know what you think! It’s pretty easy to throw together and the time it spends in the oven gives you time to clean up, assemble sides, etc.

Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops (Serves 2 – 8 WW points/serving)

Original recipe from Cooking Light found here.

Ingredients

2 6 oz. boneless lean pork chops, trimmed

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 Tbsp. orange marmalade

1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 red onion cut into chunks

1 Tbsp. dried rosemary (or 4 fresh sprigs)

1/2 tsp. canola oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

In a small saucepan, whisk orange juice, marmalade and mustard together. Bring to a boil, reduce slightly and cook about 10 minutes, allowing it to thicken.

While sauce is heating, season your pork chops with salt and pepper on each side. Add oil to an ovenproof skillet and heat to medium. Cook chops 5 minutes. Sprinkle with rosemary turn and add onion wedges. Pour the sauce over the chops into the pan and bake 10-12 minutes until cooked through.

Glazed Chops - Add Sauce

Plate chops and spoon sauce and onions over top. This is great with some roasted veggies and any sort of potatoes or bread.

Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Hope y’all have a great weekend…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Chicken Gyros

So I’m about a month into my “back on track” talk I had with myself.

And surprisingly, things are going pretty well! I did celebrate a birthday recently and I certainly believe in celebrating up right, but other than that – I’ve been staying the course!

I sat down with some of my co-workers to discuss our strategies for losing weight and being healthier and one of the big things we talked about was stress. Stress is a huge trigger for me when it comes to food. So one of the things I set out to do was identify some of my triggers that I could actually control.

Like time.

I get so stressed out when I have a small window to throw a lunch or dinner together and sometimes, I don’t want a sandwich or something out of a can.

So impossible situation right? Home cooking that’s good for you and ready in no time?

Turns out – it’s not impossible. But I’ve learned it takes some planning ahead! A few weeks ago we had a conference at church that started on a Friday night and I needed something that I could make in 15 minutes. And now I’m obsessed with this recipe. I made the tzatziki sauce the night before and marinated the chicken overnight so all I had to do was throw it in a skillet. Seriously, I want to try this marinade on all of the things. So give it a try whether you’re short on time or just want to spend your evening out of the kitchen.

Chicken Gyros (2 stuffed pita pockets = 1 serving / 1 serving = 11 WW points)

Chicken Gyros - ingredients

Tzatziki Sauce

1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cucumber, shredded and pressed of excess moisture

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. champagne vinegar

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle of olive oil

Chicken gyros

1 tsp. garlic

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano

Salt and pepper

10 oz. raw chicken breast, cubed

4 (halves) whole wheat pita pockets

Sliced Roma tomato

Sliced red onion

For the tzatziki sauce:

Shred the cucumber in a small food processor. Place on paper towels to drain excess liquid. Then mix with yogurt, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.

Steps

For the chicken:

Cut chicken into small pieces. Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, Greek yogurt, oregano, salt and pepper. Add chicken and marinate at least 1 hour.

Once chicken has marinated, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and pour in marinade. Turn chicken while cooking and once the marinade has thickened or evaporated, it’s ready!

Chicken gyros_devour

Spread a little tzatziki sauce in each pita and distribute chicken between the 4 halves. Add tomato and onion slices and devour.

Seriously, I’ve already made this 3 times in the past 10 days. I hope you like it too.

Chicken Gyros

Have a great weekend y’all!