Thursday, January 30, 2014

141.2…Chicken Piccata

As some of you may know, I am obsessed with Chicken Piccata. Well….not just chicken…piccata anything. Veal, fish, etc. I do not discriminate. I keep trying new piccata recipes  to see which one is the best. Last night I tried Ina Garten's recipe for Chicken Piccata.

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I followed the recipe pretty closely except that I added capers. I feel like it's not piccata without them. This version of chicken piccata breads and pan fries the chicken before finishing it in the oven. I also placed the chicken on top of a rack while baking in the oven. That way, the chicken stays crispy on BOTH sides.

When I tried the sauce at first, I thought it was too lemony but once I spooned it over the chicken, it transformed into perfect piccata deliciousness.

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Chicken Piccata (Serves 2)

Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
Good olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup capers, rinsed

Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and a rack.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan on top of the rack and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the sauté pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and capers and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Printable Recipe

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We throughly enjoyed it. I feel that "legit" chicken piccata should not be breaded but this was a nice change of pace. My favorite chicken piccata still remains Giada's.  I served it with pasta and jarred marinara sauce that I added a bit of heavy cream to to turn it into a pink sauce. We also had a basic green salad as well. Great dinner!

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For breakfast this morning, it was the Chobani blueberry Greek yogurt route with Easy Granola, strawberries and blueberries.

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After taking the kids to school, I went to a meeting, then worked at Starbucks for a bit before my next appointment. 

Lunch was at Leucadia Pizza. I ordered the Greek Salad with Shrimp.

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I've had this salad before and love it but this time there was way too much dressing. :( I couldn't finish it. Boo.

Do you have a favorite PIccata recipe? 

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

141.8…Second Round Sadness

So…the Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein I made the other night seriously rocked. I was so looking forward to the leftovers last night. True to most leftovers (for me), it wasn't as good as the first night.

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It was a bit drier and reheating steak doesn't usually work very well. It wasn't bad it just didn't live up to the night before. Oh well. I'll just have to make a fresh batch again soon!

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters, green onions, zucchini, salsa and cheddar cheese.

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After taking the kids to school, I attended a meeting then came home for another hour long walk around the neighborhood. My calves are sore from yesterday! 

Lunch was Wahoo's. Again. I guess you could say I'm obsessed.

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For both skinny fish tacos, it's 250 calories (not including the guacamole) and it's a ton of food and fills me up for hours. How could I not be obsessed?

What food are you obsessed with right now?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

142.2…Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein

Chinese food. Tastes awesome but not always the healthiest, right?

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Wrong. I found a recipe for Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein that's super easy to make and delicious!! It will satisfy your Chinese food craving for sure!

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Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein (Serves 4-6)

Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light, October 2003

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion 
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut across the grain into long, thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
  1. Directions:

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Combine pasta and sesame oil, tossing well to coat.
  3. While pasta cooks, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add broccoli, onion and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Add steak, and sauté 5 minutes or until done. Add pasta mixture, soy sauce, and remaining ingredients; cook 1 minute or until lo mein is thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

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The noodles turned out perfectly. For lack of a better word, they turned out "slippery" just like Lo Mein noodles! And you can add whatever veggies you want. Great way to clean out your produce drawer. For 1 1/3 cups, it's only 327 calories!

Breakfast this morning was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Easy Granola, strawberries and blueberries.

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I took the kids to school, volunteered a bit then came back for an hour walk around my neighborhood. It's been awhile since I've done that and really enjoyed the change of scenery from the gym.

Lunch was skinny fish tacos at Wahoo's. 

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Tonight I will be enjoying Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein leftovers. These are leftovers I'm actually excited about.

Favorite Chinese food dish?

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Monday, January 27, 2014

143.6…Monday Beginnings

Last night we went out to dinner with some friends at Vittorio's (formerly known as Villa Capri 2). I throughly enjoyed myself. :) The dishes are served family style (if you wish) and we all started with the Caesar salad.

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Then it was time to carb load. First with the Rigatoni Bolognese:

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Followed by the Penne Elena (penne pasta with baby shrimp in a spicy tomato cream sauce):

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Lastly, the Chicken Piccata: 

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Full and happy.

It's Monday again and that's when my diet "starts over." Funny how that happens so frequently on Mondays! 

Breakfast was scrambled egg beaters with zucchini, green onions, salsa and cheddar cheese.

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After I dropped the kids off at school, I went to Cardio Muscle class followed by a bunch of errands. For lunch I was in the mood for Subway. This rarely happens anymore. 

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Roasted chicken sandwich with lots of veggies and Buffalo sauce. Hopefully it keeps me full for more than two hours. We'll see...

Do you find yourself starting over on Mondays?

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

143.8…Taco Dip

Last night the girls got together at Annette's house to help Lisa celebrate her birthday. Everyone was to bring an appetizer. Mine turned out to be a keeper for sure!

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This Taco Dip was amazing. It did separate a bit on the ride over to Annette's so I ended up stirring it all together. Still amazing.

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Taco Dip

Ingredients: 

1/2 pound ground beef

4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 green onions, sliced

1 tablespoon taco seasoning

1 cup salsa

1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese

Directions:

1. Brown the meat in a pan and drain the grease.

2. Mix everything in a large bowl, reserving some of the cheese.

3. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with reserved cheese.

4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until it's bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 20-30 minutes.


Printable Recipe

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All the appetizers were delicious!

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Happy Birthday Lisa!

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After all those appetizers, it's a wonder how we ever made it to the dinner portion of the evening: Sublime Pizza!

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We ordered three different kinds of pizza. 

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All three were INSANE. The one with the figs was so savory and unique! 

Time for birthday cake(s)!

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Lisa caught us taking a funny group selfie:

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Finished product:

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Another fabulous night of fun with my friends! Thank you Annette for hoisting and HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!!!!

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters with salsa, green onions and cheddar cheese on top of a toasted English muffin.

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Today has been spent cleaning up the house and my desk a bit. Lunch was my daughter's favorite restaurant: Souplantation.

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I somehow managed to avoid my favorite pizza bread. I think I had enough pizza last night to last me for awhile.

Do you have a go-to appetizer you like to bring to parties?

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

142.0…Me vs. Giant Salad

Bring on the leftovers! Thursday night it was just that. Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with a mixed green salad.

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Yesterday morning's breakfast was pineapple Chobani Greek yogurt with Easy Granola and mixed berries.

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My husband dropped the kids off at school so I had morning free time. Eventually it was time for Cardio Muscle class followed by errands and lunch at Wahoo's.

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I went to an event at the school, then brought the kids home. Later that night  we went to my son's basketball game (they won!) followed by picking up my favorite salad from Sammy's Woodfired Pizza:

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Chopped Chicken Salad. It's a ton of salad. I tossed it in a big bowl and dumped it onto my plate.

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I really didn't think I could eat it all. Silly me. I ate every bite. I don't know why I doubt myself. 

Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters with salsa, zucchini, green onions and cheddar cheese.

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I took the kids to tennis lessons, then hair cuts, with a final stop at their favorite, McDonald's for lunch.

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My usual McDonald's order: Grilled Ranch Chicken McWrap and side salad. I did discover that hot mustard sauce on the wrap is fabulous FYI.

Tonight we are celebrating Lisa's birthday at Annette's house. The diet will definitely be broken this evening. Cheat meals are A-OK!

Do you schedule your "cheat meals" ahead of time? I usually do. 

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