Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Turkey Tenderloin

So this was the first recipe I've made with a turkey breast. Ground turkey is definitely a staple for my weekly grocery list (Turkey burgers, Sloppy Turkey Joe's, Turkey Tacos, etc.) but I wasn't quite sure what to do with a Turkey Breast or how to make it not taste like a boring grilled turkey breast. I decided to use a standby Chicken tender recipe and just sub Turkey and it turned out great. Joe was sold just by the looks of it - then he tasted it and was in love. I personally think it needed a little more flavor so next time I'll mix in more seasoning and Parmesan cheese with the breadcrumbs (I've included this in the recipe).  Try it out and let me know what you add to make it even better!

Turkey Tenderloin; serves 4

You will need....

  • 4 boneless Turkey Breast Tenderloins (about 1.5lbs) (I use the Honeysuckle brand that Hy-Vee sells) 
  • 1/4 cup of flour 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs (I like Ian's Panko Breadcrumbs, you can find these in the health food section of Hy-Vee) 
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped (or 1/4 tsp of garlic powder)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning  
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Place a large wire rack on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

The messy way....

  1. Place flour and Italian Seasoning in a shallow dish. 
  2. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. 
  3. Combine breadcrumbs, garlic and Parmesan in third dish. 
  4. Coat each tenderloin in flour mix, shaking off any excess.
  5. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. 
  6. Roll in the breadcrumb mixture and place on the prepared rack. 
  7. Generously coat the top of each tender with cooking spray.

The easy "Shake and Bake" way

  1. Place flour and Italian Seasoning in a gallon size zip lock bag. 
  2. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. 
  3. Combine breadcrumbs, garlic and Parmesan in another gallon size zip lock bag.
  4. Drop all tenderloins into the bag with the flour mix and shake until coated.
  5. Dip, one at a time, in egg and let any excess drip off. 
  6. Drop all tenderloins into breadcrumb mixture and shake until coated. 
  7. Place on prepared rack.
  8. Generously coat the top of each tender with cooking spray.
Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through. I flip the tenderloins halfway through the baking time. 

Per Serving: 
Calories: 338
Total Fat (g): 3.9
    Saturated (g): 1.0
Cholesterol (mg): 206.2
Sodium (mg): 348
Potassium (mg): 8.8
Total Carbs (g): 19.5
     Dietary Fiber (g): 2.1
     Sugars (g): 0.6
Protein (g): 44.8
Vitamin A: 3%
Vitamin C: 4%
Calcium: 5.5%
Iron: 13% 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stir Fried Spicy Chicken Tenders

This weekend I didn't have as much "menu planning" time, or more like none at all. We ended up running to the grocery store right before dinner after a long Sunday and yes...we got a take-and-bake pizza - #fail. But I swear it was thin crust! And deeelicious:). Anyway, I grabbed a variety of meat and veggies and some other essentials and then dug through recipes to find some that called for what I had on hand - or a variation of it. Last night was Eating Well's  Stir Fried Spicy Chicken Tenders. I use Eating Well recipes a lot, so get used to it. They are usually very easy and they have a ton of great recipe collections like "cooking for two" or "budget friendly."

Now I'm not usually one to pick out a recipe with the word "spicy" in it, but I have gotten more of a taste for spice lately. Although I wouldn't name this as one of my favorite stir fry concoctions, it was tasty and the spice could easily be turned down a notch next time. What I liked about it the most was that it was fast and easy. I got home from work, trimmed the chicken tenders, tossed them with the seasoning and popped them in the fridge. Then when we got home from class all I had to do was saute the stir fry veggies, add the chicken and heat up our go-to Uncle Ben's Brown & Wild rice - easy peasy:).

Stir Fried Spicy Chicken Tenders
4 servings, 1 cup each
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes (including 15 minutes marinating time)

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, cut into 2-inch pieces (see Variation)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 16-ounce package frozen bell pepper and onion mix (I had to run to Dahls for this and they didn't have the pepper/onion mix so I had to go with a different stir fry veggie mix instead. Still worked okay but I think would have been better with peppers/onions).

Combine sugar, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or overnight.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pepper-and-onion mix and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the spice-rubbed chicken and cook, stirring, until no longer pink in the center, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot. Variation: Make Stir-Fried Spicy Beef by using 1 pound of stir-fry beef or thinly sliced top round steak instead of chicken in this dish.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1 up to 1 day ahead.

Per serving: 196 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 66 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 2 g fiber; 392 mg sodium; 292 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (24% daily value).

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 1/2 lean meat

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chicken Taco Chili

This is an amazingly easy and delicious Weight Watchers Crock Pot recipe that I would probably make every week if I wasn't trying to expand my horizons! I think this might be Joe's favorite because it was the first time I ever saw him take leftovers to work for lunch. This is pretty significant because 1. he isn't a big fan of leftovers, and 2. he never takes his lunch to work. By never I mean that in Joe's 10+ years of working an 8-5 he has maybe taken his lunch to work 10 times - and I've never seen it with my own eyes...until now. Since we started Kosama he has actually been packing a lunch pretty consistently, I think he even likes it...just don't tell him I said that or he'll stop. He is also in a Biggest Loser competition with his co-workers at Woodman Controls so I'm sure the lack of group lunch adventures to HuHot and Jethros will help too. Now try this recipe out and let me know what you think! is where I found this gem, but the picture is the real product straight from my crock pot:)

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili
 Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 10 • Size: 1 1/4 cups • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 203.7 • Fat: 1.4 g • Carb: 33.3 g • Fiber: 10.0 g  • Protein: 16.9 g

1 onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 16-oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
10 oz package frozen corn kernels I use two small cans of corn, drained
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies  I usually choose one "original" and one "mild" 
1 packet taco seasoning I buy the low-sodium kind and only use about 3/4 of a packet
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed of fat
chili peppers, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. (That's IT!) Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro. Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream (extra points).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The story...

Two weeks ago my fiance, Joe, and I started an eight week fitness program called Kosama. Basically we work out six days a week, for one hour. We had both gotten quite lazy and with a wedding coming up we knew we needed a swift kick in @$$ to get us moving again. In addition to exercise, we use MyFitnessPal to track our calories, protein, fat, water consumption, etc. MFP makes it really easy by having a large database full of nutritional information for a ton of recipes, restaurant foods or just random items in your kitchen. You can also download the app for your smartphone which allows you to scan bar codes to get nutrition info and add it to your daily food diary.
My biggest challenge so far has not been the workouts, or tracking my calories, but planning a menu for an entire week of healthy and halfway easy dinners for two. Since we attend the 5:30 pm class, there really isn't time to plan a last minute dinner and run to the store for the ingredients, so my plan from the beginning was to create a menu on Sunday and get all the necessary items before the week started. So far this has worked out pretty well. I even took pictures of each meal with the intention of someday starting this blog! Most of my recipes are not originals - I'm not a confident enough cooker yet to "throw something together with whatever I have on hand" - but the idea is that this blog will help me look back and see which were our favorites, the easiest/quickest or notes about how I would make it next time. I will always give credit where credit is due and I welcome all comments and suggestions!