Author Archives: Mike

Down-Home Chicken and Greens

Start to Finish: 40 Minutes     Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 lbs. total)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced (3 to 4 tsp. minced)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh greens (such as mustard, Swiss chard, chicory, beet, kohlrabi, kale, collard, and/or turnip greens), torn
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Red bell pepper slices (optional)

Directions:

  1. Season chicken with 1/4 tsp. black pepper and the kosher salt. coat and unheated very large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Add chicken; cook until browned, turning to brown evenly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (170° F). Remove chicken from skillet. Cover to keep warm.
  2. Add, broth, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to the same skillet. Bring to boiling. Stir in greens; reduce heat. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or just until greens are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sppon greens and their juices onto four dinner plates. If desired slice chicken. Place chicken on top of greens. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. If desired, garnish with bell pepper slices.

Nutrition facts per serving: 161 cal., 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 66 mg chol., 351 mg sodium, 7 g carbo., 3 g fiber, 30 g pro.

Exchanges: 1 1/2 Vegetable, 4 Very Lean Meat

For Wave 1, serve with cooked quinoa. For waves 2 and 3, serve with cooked quinoa and fresh apple slices.

Wine Paring: Pinot Grigio

Feta-Stuffed Chicken

Start to Finish: 30 minutes Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce basil and tomato feta cheese (1/4 cup)*
  • 2 tbs. light tub-style cream cheese (1 ounce)
  • 1 tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. total)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash kosher salt
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 10-ounce package prewashed fresh spinach
  • 2 tbs. walnut or pecan pieces toasted
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • Lemon slices, halved (optional)

* Note: If you can’t find basil and tomato feta cheese, stir 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil and 1 tsp. snipped oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained, into 1 ounce (1/4 cup crumbled) plain feta cheese.

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine feta cheese, cream cheese, and mint; set aside. Using a sharp knife cut a 1 1/2 inch horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket that is about 1 inch deep. Stuff pockets with cheese mixture. Secure openings with wooden toothpicks. Season chicken with pepper and kosher salt.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and no longer pink (170° F), turning occasionally to brown evenly (reduce heat to medium if chicken browns to quickly). Remove chicken from skillet. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Remove skillet from heat for 1 minute. Carefully add chicken broth to skillet. Return to heat; bring to boiling. Gradually add spinach to skillet, cooking and tossing with tongs just until spinach is wilted (should take 2 to 3 minutes total). Stir in the nuts and lemon juice.
  4. To serve, divide spinach mixture among four dinner plates. Top with chicken breasts. If desired garnish with lemon slices.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 266 cal., 11 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 92 mg chol., 345 mg sodium, 4 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 37 g pro.

Exchanges: 1 Vegetable, 5 Very Lean Meat, 1 1/2 Fat

For Wave 1, serve with cooked quinoa and cooked zucchini. For waves 2 and 3, serve with cooked quinoa and fresh berries.

Wine Paring: Sauvignon Blanc

Vegetable Quiches

Prep: 25 minutes     Bake: 25 minutes     Stand: 5 minutes     Oven: 375°F     Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 7- or 8-inch whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat Swiss, cheddar or mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 of a small red bell pepper, cut into thing bite-size strips
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Thin strips red bell pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat six 6- to 7-inch individual round baking dishes or pans* with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully press tortillas into dishes or pans. Sprinkle with cheese.
  2. In a small covered saucepan cook the broccoli and bell pepper strips in a small amount of boiling water about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well. Sprinkle cooked vegetables over cheese in baking dishes.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, evaporated fat-free milk, thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper until well mixed. Pour egg mixture over vegetables in baking dishes. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until puffed and a knife inserted near the center of each comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with additional strips of bell pepper.

Nutrition facts per serving: 185 cal., 8 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 151 mg chol., 314 mg sodium, 13 g carbo., 6 g fiber, 15 g pro.

Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable, 1/2 Starch, 2 Medium-Fat Meat

*Note: Or coat six 6-ounce custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. To form crust, press 3 tortilla wedges into each custard cup with the points toward center. Tortillas do not have to cover cups completely. Continue as directed

Crustless Feta and Cheddar Quiche

Prep: 25 minutes     Bake: 40 minutes     Oven: 350°F     Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp minced)
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh dillweed, thyme, or mint
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese (12 ounces)
  • 1 10-ounce packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, pastry flour, garlic, dillweed, pepper and kosher salt. Stir in cottage cheese, broccoli, feta, and cheddar. Spoon into the prepared pie plate.
  3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

For Waves 1, 2, and 3, serve with whole grain toast

Nutrition facts per serving: 188 cal., 10 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 134 mg chol., 575 mg sodium, 9 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 16 g pro.

Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable, 1/2 Starch, 2 Lean Meat, 1/2 Fat.