Herbed Chicken Salad

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This is a great twist on a basic chicken salad. The herbs give the chicken more flavor and it goes well with a light Italian or vinegar and oil dressing. This salad works well as a lunch or complete dinner meal.

Yield: 6 Servings 

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breasts, boneless-skinless

1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 TBSP olive oil

2 packages salad mix – hearts of romaine or Italian salad blend

1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

thinly sliced red onion, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small prep bowl mix chopped herbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Apply herb seasoning evenly to chicken breasts. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until done (internal temp reaches 165°).
  5. While chicken cooking in oven assemble salads in individual large plates or bowls.
  6. Removed cooked chicken from the oven, chop and top salads.
  7. Serve with Italian dressing or simple side of oil and red wine vinegar.
Herbed Chicken Salad

Searing in the pan gives the chicken great color and flavor.

Herbed Chicken for salad

Finishing in the oven ensures thick chicken breasts such as these are thoroughly cooked.

Cranberry Orange Scones with Ground Flax

cran-orange scone with flax

I saw a giant bag of ground flax at Costco and decided it would be great for adding fiber, protein and omega-3s to my family’s diet. Of course, it’s a 3 POUND bag of ground flax. Um, yes, that’s a whole lotta flax!  So how am I going to use it?

Last night as I was getting ready to make scones I decided to add some to my recipe. They turned out great! There is no noticeable difference in the flavor or texture. And I like the fact that the scones have a little more nutritional value.

Yield: 16 scones

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes per batch, 30 total

Ingredients:

3 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

2 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

8 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into cubes

2/3 cup dried cranberries

zest of one orange

1 cup milk

2 eggs

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Get out two baking sheets and a pastry mat (or flour a smooth work surface).
  2. In a large bowl mix flour, flax, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add cranberries and orange zest.
  5. Lightly beat eggs, add to milk and then pour into the dry mix.
  6. Mix until dough comes together, turn out onto floured pastry mat and knead a few times.
  7. Divide dough in half. Working one half at a time, pat out into a disc 3/4″ thick. Cut into 8 wedges (like a pizza). Place 8 scones on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
  8. Move to cooling rack, store in a sealed container when cooled.

Eggs Benedict – Healthy Weekday Breakfast!

healthy eggs benedict

When you hear eggs benedict do you think Sunday brunch? Yeah, me too, and Christmas morning breakfast. But it’s actually an easy dish to prepare. I’ve made it healthier by replacing the English muffin with a wheat mini bagel to increase the fiber. And faster by using scrambled eggs and Hollandaise sauce from a mix. This easy breakfast comes in under 300 calories, with 22 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of fat and only 4 grams of sugar!

Ingredients

1 whole wheat mini bagel

2 sliced Canadian bacon

2 large eggs

2 TBSP Hollandaise sauce (I use Knorr brand mix)

Sprinkle of paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. Toast bagel.
  2. Make Hollandaise sauce according to package directions.
  3. Warm Canadian bacon in microwave for 10-15 seconds, until warm.
  4. Beat eggs with 1 tsp of water, scramble on medium low heat until done.
  5. Layer on plate: bagel, Canadian bacon, eggs, sauce and sprinkle with paprika.

Notes

The Hollandaise sauce is surprisingly low in calories, only 10 for 2 TBSP. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for several days. Heat up in small portions in the microwave on low heat as needed.

If you have the time, and want to poach the eggs it’s easy to do. In a shallow pan bring water to a simmer with a little vinegar. Add eggs to simmering water slowly and gently. Cook to desired doneness.

 

Black and Blueberry Muffins

I founds some Buy One, Get One deals of blackberries recently.  I love blackberries, but I didn’t really have enough to make a cobbler or anything like that.

Instead, I found a recipe on allrecipes.com for a muffin with blackberries and blueberries. It has whole wheat flour, wheat germ and fresh blackberries and blueberries.  What more could you want?  The only trouble was that it called for half and half, which I didn’t have.  So I made a substitution as suggested by others who had tried the recipe – 1 cup vanilla yogurt and 1 cup milk in place of the 2 cups half and half.

I let Sean help me with the mixing.  He loves to help cook, so today was a good time since Audrey was napping.  Here’s the result:

They are a little on the dense side with the wheat flour, but the fresh fruit makes them a tasty treat!  I will definitely be making these again.

A word of caution: The recipe said to grease the muffin tins, but I decided to use paper liners instead, thinking that

would make it easier.  Well, that backfired a little–they were stuck to the liners.  Now that they are completely cooled, the paper is coming off better, but still not cleanly.  I think I will just grease the pans next time!