Buffa-faux Chicken Tenders

Let’s flash back to the year 2010 for a moment, shall we?

– New Orleans won the Super Bowl

– The Oil Spill

– The Winter Olympics in Vancouver

– Auburn won the BCS National Championship

Now, somewhere in there, I decided to do WW to shed some pounds that desperately needed to go. But like I’ve said before, I love my food. I didn’t want to give up things I love because I knew that would make me an angry person. Deny me a burger and fries? I might punch you in the face.

But I learned quickly that by limiting portions and well, “bad” stuff like, well, almost anything fried – I could make it! So I started making turkey burgers with baked fries. Greasy calorie laden pizza? I made my own crust and used smarter toppings and reduced fat cheese.

Buffalo wings? Oh buffalo wings, how I love thee. Now I will say that sometimes, I still just need the real thing. But in 2010 I did find a way to make some delicious buffalo chicken tenders that are baked and also incredibly filling if you eat 4-5 of them. Definitely fond of the year 2010 – discovered baked buffalo wings. Oh, and got engaged. It was a good year.

So anyways, I know one of the ingredients sounds a little crazy, but it’s actually pretty delicious. You should totally try it.

Buffa-Faux Chicken Tenders (serves 2 – 11 WW pts. per serving)

10 chicken tenders

1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk (Doesn’t all really “count” since you end up pouring out the excess)

1 tsp. Tabasco

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1 1/2 cups ground Fiber One cereal

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

1/2 Tbsp. honey

Olive oil spray

In a medium bowl or deep dish, pour in buttermilk and whisk with Tabasco and garlic. Add trimmed chicken tenders and let soak at least 1 hour. Best if they have 2+ to really marinate!

Grind your cereal and set in a large shallow dish. Add your onion powder, garlic salt, paprika and salt. Mix until well combined.

Preheat your oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place a baking rack on top. Spray rack with non-stick spray. This isn’t necessary, but it allows the chicken to get a little crispier.

Have your chicken, coating and baking rack set up in an assembly line and begin!

Pick up chicken and let excess buttermilk drip. Place in the dish with the crumb mixture.

Toss, roll, and press the mixture into the chicken. Then place on your baking rack. Repeat with remaining chicken. Spray the chicken with a little olive oil to crisp it up.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from oven, flip chicken, and bake another 10-12 minutes until cooked through.

While chicken is baking, add your hot sauce and margarine to a small saucepan and head over medium-low heat. Whisk until blended. I added about 1/2 Tbsp. honey to cut the heat a little!

When your chicken is cooked, add to a plate and drizzle hot sauce over the tenders. It absorbs quickly – but it is quite delicious!

And this, my friends, is what really got me hooked on playing with recipes to make them healthy but still allowing me to eat my favorite foods…great when paired with my ranch flavored oven-baked fries!

Happy Friday everybody!

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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

My goodness, what a week it has been! First week back at work from vacation is usually rough…but things got very interesting!

So, I have 3 amazing and adorable nephews from my wonderful Biffer and bro-in-law. Well, my sister was scheduled to be induced for baby #4 on Thursday, which was frustrating because she has ALWAYS wanted the movie moment of going into labor! She has tried everything – even got a ticket on her way to get spicy food for baby #3!

Monday she came over to drop off some garage sale stuff and was then en route to get the spiciest dish at her favorite Chinese restaurant. I offered to take her to Wal-Mart if she wanted to test the “stress induces labor” theory. She declined, because she can’t stand the place.

However, I totally think it worked cause guess what happened Tuesday morning? She went into labor! And Tuesday afternoon, my precious baby nephew #4 was born!

Proud Aunt moment:

Now, I won’t take full credit – as the spicy food probably had something to do with as well. So, I thought I’d share one of my new favorite spicy recipes with y’all on this Friday – and since it’s buffalo flavored, it obviously means good weekend food! It is also great for leftover lunches or dinners – serve with some bread or a crisp salad!

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna (Makes 8 servings / 7 WW pts. each)

1 pound chicken breast, raw

3 cups spaghetti sauce (Ragu light)

1 1/2 cups Frank’s Red Hot sauce (this is spicy – so use less if you are hesitant about spice!)

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup chopped celery

15 oz. reduced-fat ricotta cheese

1/2 cup egg beaters

1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning

1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles

10-12 pieces whole wheat lasagna

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Cook chicken (either boil or bake) and shred.

In a small bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, egg beaters and ranch seasoning.

In a medium bowl, mix together spaghetti sauce, hot sauce, water, celery and chicken.

Pour a small amount of the sauce in the baking dish. Layer with 3 1/2 pieces of lasagna. Spread with 1/3 ricotta cheese and another layer of sauce. Repeat noodle, cheese, sauce until left with sauce on top.

Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes…

Slice into 8 pieces…

And devour!

Happy Friday everybody, hope you have a great weekend!