Italian Chicken Bake

This was delicious! The important part is to make sure your shredded chicken is already seasoned. Nothing is worse than plain old chicken without any seasonings. I used rotisserie chickens form the grocery store to save time. Then I removed the skin, the bones, and shredded the chicken breasts only. The meat is already seasoned and made for you so it makes this meal quick and easy! You all know how I love those kind quick and easy meals!


Put the shredded chicken at the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.


Sprinkle dried basil and dried oregano over the chicken. Then combine the light laughing cow cheese with plain Greek yogurt in a small bowl. You may need to heat up the laughing cow cheese for about 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave so that it blends well with the yogurt. You could also use 6 tbsp of light cream cheese in place of the light laughing cow cheese, but I prefer the laughing cow cheese because of the variety of flavors they come in. Spread it over the chicken.


Spread a low carb pasta sauce over the yogurt mixture. I like to use Rao's marinara sauce. You could also use Italian diced tomatoes that is less than 5 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup. Great Value from Walmart is a great choice!


Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese on top.


Bake for about 30 minutes or until cheese has melted. A yummy quick meal that pairs nicely with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. You would need 1 cup of zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash per serving of Italian Chicken Bake to complete your Lean and Green meal! Enjoy!


Italian Chicken Bake

Ingredients:
12 ounces shredded chicken breasts, cooked (2 Leaner Leans)
1 tsp dried basil (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (1/2 Condiment)
3/4 cup Rao's marinara sauce (3 Greens)
6 wedges of light laughing cow cheese - any flavor will do (3 Healthy Fats)
1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt (1/3 Leaner Lean)
2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (2/3 Lean)
1/4 cup grated reduced fat parmesan cheese (2 Condiments)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Place shredded chicken at the bottom of prepared dish.  Sprinkle basil and oregano over shredded chicken breasts. Use any additional garlic powder, salt, or pepper to season your chicken if it isn't seasoned already. I used store bought rotisserie chicken so it was already seasoned.

Combine light laughing cow cheese and yogurt in a small bowl. 
You may need to microwave the laughing cow cheese for about 10 to 15 seconds to soften it up a bit so that it blends easier with the yogurt. Spread yogurt mixture over chicken. Then spread marinara sauce over yogurt mixture. Top with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the casserole begins to bubble and cheese is melted.
Divide into three equal portions.

3 Servings with 
1 Lean, 1 Green, 1 Condiment, and 1 Healthy Fat per Serving


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FREEZING EXTRA BUTTERMILK

 
OUT OF BUTTERMILK FOR BISCUITS ???
 
 
 
How many times have you tried a recipe that calls for 1 cup of buttermilk but they only sell it in quarts? Usually (at my house anyway) the unused/extra buttermilk sits (forgotten) in the back of the fridge until its "use by" date has expired, but that is now a thing of the past. Since I discovered how well buttermilk freezes, I always have it in the house.

The only trick is to freeze it in small containers so that it thaws quickly. The smallest container I tried was my ice cube tray. After they are frozen, just put them in a freezer bag and carefully mark what's in the bag:
 

 

Ice cube trays are not a standard size. I have one that measures 2 tablespoons per cube and one that measures 1½ tablespoons per cube, so keep that in mind when you are thawing out the cubes (I usually just thaw a couple extra to be on the safe side).

As a general rule:

8 frozen 2 oz. cubes = 1 cup buttermilk
6 frozen  2 oz. cubes = 3/4 cup buttermilk
4 frozen 2 oz. cubes = 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 frozen 2 oz. cubes = 1/4 cup  buttermilk
6 frozen 2 oz. cubes  = 3/4  cup buttermilk

 
 
You can thaw the buttermilk cubes overnight in the fridge, or if you need them sooner than that, you can microwave them for just a few seconds.
 
DON'T FREAK OUT TIP:
Sometimes, the thawed out buttermilk looks like it's separated (not pretty), don't freak out. Just whisk it back together (for a few seconds) then use it in any recipe.

TIP # 2:
The accuracy of the SIZE of your frozen buttermilk cubes is just a guideline and not at all important, it just gives you an idea of how many to thaw out for any given recipe.


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Crock Pot Thai Chicken

I love crock pot recipes and for good reason! Being a busy mom of two little ones always feels like there is never enough time in the day, especially for cooking! But of course.... we got to eat! I don't want to resort to unhealthy choices for my family and I because of lack of time or planning. All you have to do is throw these recipes together and just forget about it.

This recipe has  lot of flavor so you aren't eating plain old shredded chicken from the crock pot! Also, the meat is moist and tender as long as you don't over cook it! I cooked mine for about 7 hours, but it will depend on your slow cooker. Not to mention this makes 5 servings so you have some left overs! I served this chicken with grated cauliflower (as rice) my first night and had it as lettuce wraps and zucchini chips my second night. Variety is key when trying to eat healthy so that you never get bored with your meals. 

Enjoy!


Crock Pot Thai Chicken

Ingredients:

40 ounces raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5 Leaner Leans)
1 1/4 cup lite coconut milk (5 Healthy Fats)
1/2 cup PB2 aka powdered peanut butter (4 Snacks)
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lite soy sauce (1 Condiment)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (3 Condiments)
1/2 cup salsa (8 Condiments)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1 packet stevia - optional (1 Condiment)
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Place raw chicken in the crock pot.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. 
Stir until mixed thoroughly. Pour over chicken.
Cook on High for 3 to 4 hours or on Low 6 to 8 hours.
When cooked, shred chicken breasts with a fork.
Stir the shredded chicken with the sauce.
Divide into 5 equal portions.

5 Servings with 1 Leaner Lean, 3 Condiments, 1 Healthy Fat, and 0.8 Snacks per serving


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