BBQ Potato Skins

So my fair city of Memphis, Tennessee just came in 2nd. In worst cities for allergies.

Imagine my surprise. As I gasp through my watery eyes and itchy throat. And sneeze. Three times in a row. Boo on allergies.

But I can endure allergies this time of year. You know why? Cause Memphis ranks #1 in something else – barbecue. We know our barbecue. We take it very seriously. I mean, have you ever had BBQ nachos at a ball game? If not – you just haven’t lived my friend.

This is the time of year when outdoor festivals boast tons of delicious food. We have several crawfish festivals. We have a hot wing festival. And of course, there’s Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest, celebrating all the “swine” things in life. Yes, I went there.

Plated BBQ Potato Skins_Cookingonthebrightside

I had to satisfy my craving for BBQ the other night and needed to do so in healthy way! It was a beautiful weekend – and being a Memphian, I know that nothing goes with beautiful weather like hot BBQ and cold beer. So I whipped up these beauties which are great as an appetizer or for a dinner (since I love eating finger food for dinner!).

BBQ Potato Skins (Makes 10 skins / 2 WW Points each)

Ingredients

6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast

5 small/mini russet potatoes

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, fat-free

1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided (I use Corky’s – a local BBQ establishment)

1/3 cup chopped red onion

BBQ seasoning (I use Rendezvous – another local BBQ establishment.)

Salt and pepper.

Heat your oven to 400. Slice your potatoes in half and scoop out the centers, leaving a thin border around each one. I use a melon baller and throw the extra potato in some water so I can make mashed potatoes later in the week.

Sprinkle the insides of each potato skin with salt, pepper and some barbecue seasoning. Place the potato skins on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, then flip each one and bake another 10 minutes until “flesh” is tender when pierced with a fork.

Step by Step_BBQPotato Skins

While the skins are cooking, cook your chicken breast. Allow to cool and then shred. Mix with 3-4 Tbsp. of barbecue sauce and a few dashes of seasoning.

Once your skins are ready, divide shredded chicken between each skin. Sprinkle with red onion and cheddar. Bake another 8-10 minutes and then you are in business…

BBQ Potato Skins_Cookingonthebrightside

I hope y’all have a great weekend!

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Barbecue Chicken Pizza

T.G.I.F. people! And welcome the return of some faux-bar food Friday deliciousness!

Now, you know the husband and I love our homemade pizza creations – but sometimes, there’s just not enough time to make the dough and let it rise in time for dinner!

So on those evenings, I usually stop by the store and grab a 2-pack of Naan – which is an Indian flat bread. You can also grab a pre-made pizza crust. I just love the “rustic” shape of flat breads. And my co-workers can testify that any time we go out to lunch, if there’s a flat bread on the menu, I will be ordering it!

You can obviously throw anything on this and make it your own, but here is a variety that we love! Try it this weekend – there’s so much going on this Saturday (Grizzlies playoff game, Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo celebrations!) so this might be a great meal to throw together between gatherings and parties!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza (serves 2)

2 pieces whole wheat Naan

1 4-oz chicken breast (I made 2, but didn’t need it all!)

Barbecue seasoning

Olive oil spray

Garlic salt

1/2 cup barbecue sauce + more to drizzle

3 slices red onion, diced

1/2 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat a skillet on medium. Coat chicken breasts on both sides with barbecue seasoning. Cook chicken in skillet.

Preheat oven to 375.

Once chicken is cooked, add to food processor and shred.

Spray Naan with olive oil and sprinkle garlic salt.

Pour barbecue sauce over Naan and spread.

Add red onions on top of the barbecue sauce.

Add shredded chicken on top of the onions.

Mix cheeses together and sprinkle on top of the chicken.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until crispy and cheese is melted. Drizzle with additional sauce and serve!

Slice and wash down with a cold beer. Or mint julep. Or margarita. Like I said, it’s a big weekend!

Oh – and Happy Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you!

(I know, I know…)

 

BBQ Chicken Stromboli

I live in a city known for some really good barbecue. There is an entire festival dedicated to barbecue. We have barbecue nachos and barbecue potato skins on several local menus. My office is between two barbecue restaurants. Do you know what it’s like to smell delicious, smokey sweet barbecue when are starving and you know you still have to drive home and well, cook whatever is for dinner? Torture I tell you…

So the husband and I have been making our own pizzas lately. Sometimes it’s just a big one that we share but more often than not, we make individual ones and dress them up a little differently (read: I love olives and he does not). One type of pizza I love is barbecue pizza – but for some reason I just end up opting for the regular pepperoni if we are ordering out.

Well last week, I threw together some dough before we went out for cocktails (it had been a long week and I desperately needed a good dirty martini) and I had to restrain the husband  from ordering a delicious looking burger from the bar. I knew what I had up my sleeve – and I just knew it was going to be good.

I. was. right. (Psh, duh…)

You need to try this. I promise the dough is not all that intimidating! It’s great to make when you have a few hours to occupy yourself and just let it rise – and the best part? Your own individual Stromboli is very filling…and a very reasonable dinner for the ole diet! (12 WW points people – for dinner, that’s awesome!).

BBQ Chicken Stromboli (serves 2)

Wheat Crust

3/4 white wheat flour

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. honey

1/2 Tbsp. Italian herb seasoning

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. yeast

1/4 cup warm water

Mix together flour, salt and Italian seasoning. In a small bowl, add yeast to warm water and mix, then let sit 5-7 minutes. Add oil and honey to flour mixture and then add the yeast and water. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Cover and sit in a warm, dry area for at least 2 hours until dough has risen.

BBQ Chicken Filling

1/3 cup sliced red onion

4 oz. ground chicken breast, cooked

1 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup fat-free cheddar cheese, shredded

2 Tbsp. egg beaters

3/4 cup barbecue sauce

Garlic salt

1/4 tsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. parsley

1 Tbsp. oregano

1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan, reduced fat

Saute the onions for 3-5 minutes in a little butter spray in a non-stick skillet. Cook the chicken, then mix with 1/3 cup of the barbecue sauce and 1 Tbsp. parsley. Mix mozzarella and cheddar together in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

When the dough has risen, divide into 2 equal parts.

On a well floured surface, roll one piece dough into a rectangle. Brush center with 1/8 tsp. olive oil (leaving about a 1 inch border on the outside) and sprinkle with garlic salt.

Lightly drizzle a little barbecue sauce and spread within the border. Sprinkle a layer of cheese, add half the chicken, half the onions, and then sprinkle with more cheese.

Using a pastry brush, spread the egg beaters on the “bare” border. Fold in the short sides of the dough.

Now, take one end of the “unfolded” side and begin to roll (lengthwise). Press seam down until sealed and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Brush the Stromboli with additional egg beater and sprinkle with oregano and Parmesan cheese. Cut 4-5 diagonal slits in each.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve with additional barbecue sauce for dipping if desired.

Now I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can enjoy cocktails on our patio while the dough rises…I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a nice cold beer with one of these babies?