Recipe Attempt: Baked Chicken & Veggie Packets

Yet another gem from the Weight Watchers Power Foods Cook Book (P. 108).  This isn’t the actual title of the recipe… I don’t have the cook book with me right now so I will update it when I get home.

Being a clueless cook I am absolutely terrified of cooking chicken.  In fact, a couple weeks ago I tried a panko crusted chicken recipe in the frying pan and it ended in an absolute disaster.  So when I looked over this recipe I was a little bit intimidated but it sounded delicious and I was anxious to try a new technique – baking in foil packets.

I altered the recipe a little bit by using tomatoes, green peppers, and onions instead of tomatoes and zucchini.  I placed one chicken breast in each of the packets and divided the veggies evenly between the 4 of them.  I was a little concerned letting them bake for 35 minutes and not being able to look at them until they were done and the packet was opened.  The result:

This was as amazing in my mouth as it is in the picture.  Even the fiance loved it!

This dish also made great leftovers for work the next day.  Next time I think I will even make a few extras just to bring to work.  I was pretty impressed with this simple dish.  It made me feel like a good cook (for a day).

Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese + Zucchini, Turkey, Quinoa Loaf

I have been really meaning to incorporate quinoa into dishes.  It’s very easy to use, it has a great flavor and an interesting texture.  Plus it’s a whole grain and a WW Power Food.  So, to me this was a no brainer.  This past week quinoa was the star ingredient in 2 dinners.

Quonia Mac N Cheese

This recipe for Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese came from monicanelsonfitness.com.  It was very quick and easy to prepare.  I altered it a little bit and used half low fat mozzarella cheese and half sharp cheddar cheese.  I also topped it with a mixture of 1 part panko crumbs and 1 part low fat mozzarella.  It looked just like the picture after it was plated:

I served it with pineapple and watermelon just because that’s what we had on hand.  It was delicious… it tasted like an omelet crossed with mac N cheese with quinoa in the mix.  I served it as a main dish but it would have been great as a side with a slab of meat (maybe a pork chop) or with crumbled turkey breast, chicken breast, or lean ground beef mixed in.   If I make this again I will try to bulk it up with even more veggies.

Now, on to the next…

Turkey, Zucchini, and Quinoa Meatloaves

This gem came from the Weight Watchers Points Plus Power Foods Cookbook (p.138).  I’m not going to copy the recipe onto the blog but it’s a basic meatloaf made with lean ground turkey breast, shredded zucchini, and cooked quinoa.  I shaped them into 8 mini-loaves and… they came out AMAZING!

I served them with roasted cauliflower and a spinach salad.  They made awesome leftovers for work lunch and I cannot wait to make them again!

Pinsipration: Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

This is actually one of the very first items I ever pinned on Pinterest.  Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies!  The recipe is from divine-baking.com and I followed it exactly as it was written with a few exceptions:  I didn’t have any corn starch on hand so I doubled the amount and used regular flour instead.  I also didn’t have a regular baking sheet (due to cookie baking gone horribly wrong the day before) so I used a pizza sheet.  The result:

Divine, heavenly, chocolatey, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth little pieces of heaven!  I only made half a batch for experimental reasons and it turned out great.  They were even better and just as soft and moist the next day.   I will be making these again (and again and again)!

Pork for Supper!

Last night for supper:

Grilled pork, pasta with a low fat cream sauce, roasted cauliflower with olive oil, and fresh kiwi.

This meal was so filling and done without the pasta would have been a SFT meal!  I tried the Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan recipe from WW.com and it turned out great.  I modified it a little by leaving out the Parmesan (to save on points) and adding in a little bit of garlic powder.  I need to remind myself how good it feels to make a home cooked meal and try a new recipe every once in a while!

Pinspiration: Plastic Bag “Dispenser”

I found this idea for a plastic bag dispenser on Pinterest – it originally came from tatertotsandjello.com.   On Tater Tots and Jello they take it two steps farther and put the bag roll into a wipe dispenser and decorate the packaging with fun, colorful fabric.

For what I wanted to use this idea for, I decided I didn’t need the fancy packaging.  My idea is to make a few rolls and drop them in each of the small waste baskets I have in the bathroom and upstairs.  They’ll hide under the waste basket liner that is currently in use.  Then, when I take out the trash, I’ll have my roll handy!

So I ended up turning this:

into this:

in a matter of 5 minutes!  For project instructions click here.

Not the fanciest Pinterest project, but definitely quick, handy, and practical!

Aquarium Life

I added some new life to the aquarium today! 2 male guppies, 2 male mollies, and 2 red eye tetras.  Nothing too exotic,  but I really need some new fish after so many of mine have died off over the past few months…  I was down to a platty and a mollie.  If I’m lucky my female guppy might get knocked up!

If you look closely you can see my Christmas light canvas in the reflection of the aquarium too!

Christmas in January

Getting packages in the mail today was like Christmas in January!  I almost forgot I even ordered this stuff…

Under Armour Tanktop, Blue
Under Armour Running Shorts, Black/Blue
Under Armour Sports Bra, Purple
(All from Under Armour)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets off of eBay

Yes, I’m coming out of the closet.  I’ve started the Harry Potter series, and I’m about half way done with the first book.  I’ve seen the first 4 movies and decided before I see any more I have to read the books.  So I finally caved in and bought the first two!  And I’m so glad I got the second book off eBay!  It was brand new half the price of the same book at Barnes & Nobel – and that’s including shipping.

And what kind of reward is all of this?  None.  I just wanted to buy it.   But I really did need another sports bra and this specific Under Armour one is the best!

Recipe Attempt: Bubble Pizza

I first tried this recipe WAY back in 7th grade foods class.  I remember it being amazing and amzingly simple.  A few weeks back a women who works in the office next to me passed along a recipe for Bubble Pizza (or as I used to call it Pizza Bubble Bread) and I started reminiscing right away!

Bubble Pizza

    • 1 tube pizza crust dough
    • 3/4 c. spaghetti (or pizza) sauce (we used about 1 1/2 c. because we LOVE sauce)
    • 8 oz. Mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
    • Toppings of your choosing (we used pepperoni)
    • Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the tube into 3/4 – 1″  slices, then cut the slices in half.  Roll the pieces into balls.

Stir dough into sauce and coat evenly.

Dump dough/sauce mixture into a greased 8X8 pan.  If it seems like there isn’t enough dough for the bottom of the pan – don’t worry!  It will expand.

Add your toppings, then top with cheese and Italian seasoning.  My edge didn’t have any pepperoni.

Bake 12-15 minutes.  Enjoy!

The result: doughy balls of delicious pizzaness.

For a larger crowd you can add another can of dough, and use a 9×13″ baking pan.  Of course you’ll need more sauce, cheese and toppings too!

Recipe Attempt: Spicy Veggie Soup

On a cold unseasonably warm Minnesota winter day nothing hits the spot like a piping hot bowl of soup!   Tonight I attempted Spicy Vegetable Soup via NutriNosh.

I wanted to try this soup the second I saw it for a few reasons.  The top 3 being:  it’s low in points (1 PP+ per cup), it’s made from all power foods (perfect for the days I attempt the Simply Filling Technique), and it looks delicious!

The only variations I made were no yellow squash (our grocery store didn’t have any :\) and no spinach.

I snuck a taste of a veggie here and there.  I could eat this as a side.  A very spicy side.  The house smelled amazing with those veggies sauteing on the stove!

The final product.  It would have been more colorful if I would have added the yellow squash and spinach, but this color palette will do.  This is definitely going to be a go-to recipe for point friendly soup!

Leftovers are chilling in the freezer as I type.

Wine

I spent the Chamber Bucks I received as a Christmas gift from my board of supervisors on some delicious local wine from the municipal liquor store!  That’s keeping the money in our community x3!

NOVA Semi-Sweet Red Table Wine – Morgan Creek Vineyards, New Ulm, MN
The Wine-ing Farmer Semi-Sweet Red Wine – Fieldstone Vineyards, Redwood Falls, MN
Morgan Creek Myst Sweet White Table Wine – Morgan Creek Vineyards, New Ulm, MN

I’ve already tried NOVA – it’s my all time favorite wine so I’m going to save this bottle for a special occasion.  And tonight I’ve enjoyed 2 small glasses of The Wine-ing Farmer diluted with water while reading a new book.