Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Roasted Chickpeas

Not sure if you've noticed the trend... I kind of like beans. Any sort: white or black, light or dark [kidneys], etc. And garbanzos are close to the top of the list. Back over the summer, I was turned on to ROASTED garbanzo beans, aka "chick peas" ~ I instantly fell in love and they quickly became my favorite "diet" snackfood. The only downside is... you can't stop popping them in your mouth!

These cuties snap crackle and pop when they're roasting. They are adorable, crunchy, flavorful little morsels. (I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe yet!). The flavor combinations are legit endless. I tend to go savory/snacky, but you could totally push it the other direction and make them sweet/desserty. I tend to favor salt & pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika, but there are SO many varieties, you can have a different snack any day of the week! Tonight, as I sit here and share my thoughts, I am snacking on a flavor combo of:

The Recipe
courtesy of: a variety of Google searches
1+ cans garbanzo beans (aka "chick peas") - rinsed, drained, and dried well
Drizzle of EVOO
Spice combination to your liking...
  • Great spices to use are smoked paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, curry powder
  • You could drizzle them with maple syrup or agave, or sprinkle with brown sugar
  • The possibilities really are .Endless.
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil (shiny side down) - for easy clean up.
  3. Place chick peas on paper towel and cover with a 2nd - roll back and forth to make sure they are really dry. Some prefer to remove the little skins that fall off, I personally like them because they get super extra crispy when roasted.
  4. Place chick peas on baking sheet, and drizzle with EVOO, and toss with spices - I give the whole thing a little shake back and forth on the cookie sheet (mostly because it's fun)
  5. Roast for 20 minutes - shake again - roast for another 10-15 minutes, until chicks are brown and crunchy
That's literally it. Start poppin' these babies and you'll be hooked for life. In the time it has taken me to write this, I have almost finished them all.
Note: They don't really keep past 1 day, though... they lose their crunch, and while they still taste great, it makes them slightly less poppable.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chicken & Artichokes


  1. The process of removing toxic substances or qualities.
  2. Medical treatment of an alcoholic or drug addict involving abstention from drink or drugs until the bloodstream is free of toxins.
Do you know that feeling - when you 100% and totally over-indulge? When you eat and eat, and drink and drink? When you wake up and your stomach just aches from all that it has had to endure? Good/bad/ugly? I call it "gut rot" ...  and it calls for drastic measures.
An extra long weekend in Orlando will take it's toll: Wednesday started at noon with dirty martinis and buffalo chicken sliders. It moved into a margharita flat bread, lemon basil martini, and a plethora of flavors of wines. (Thursday started with a hangover, and continued with a tea, 2 Pepsis, and an embarassing attempt to eat a prosciutto sandwich). 
Skip ahead to Thursday night. The dinner that Eleven puts on is out of this world. A carving station with beef, a pasta station with both marinara, and chicken and penne alfredo (which was seriously, out of this world). Cesar salad, bread sticks. The list goes on. I think I ate every item (and not necessarily a "taste"). Plus 4 mini dirty martinis, and a Bud Lite at the after party. (I was then in bed at 11:30 to make up for the night before).
I think you get the picture... but then you add in sushi (the Reunion's hotel lobby bar has THE best sushi you could have in your lifetime), a bevy of beverages, a double Whopper at 2:00 am, etc. etc. etc., needlesstosay you end up with "gut rot" - Cue: DETOX.
Detox-Day 1
Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Lunch: JUICE!!! (yummy juice that tt got up and made this morning of carrot, celery, red peppers, tomatoes, and a green apple- almost like a homemade v8)
Snack: 2 clementines
Dinner: Chicken & Artichokes, with brown rice for tt, and peas

The Recipe
Recipe courtesy of: yours truly
Purdue "Perfect Portions" Italian-seasoned chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup organic vegetable stock
1 can artichokes, chopped
1 can black olives, chopped
  1. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Brown chicken breasts in pan.
  2. Add can of diced tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  3. Meanwhile, chop artichokes and black olives, and add to pan.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through (10-15ish minutes)
Makes 6 servings (if one serving = 1 chicken breast)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hungry Chick'n Dumpling Surprise

So, I don't think it's a secret that I am [not so] mildly obsessed with Lisa Lillien, aka Hungry Girl.  She is super positive, very inspirational, and at the end of the day, she's normal. There are plenty of advocates for healthy eating out there, that don't realize that the reality is that you may end up going to town on a piece of decadent, ooey gooey chocolate lava cake, or you may chow down on a heaping helping of your Italian grandmother's lasagna. That is just life.

And that is what I love about HG- especially that her purpose in life is to create healthy alternatives to any meal that would make you feel guilty about eating. No really, she literally has a lightened up version of virtually anything and everything your hungry little heart could desire.  Through her daily email, I have started collecting her recipes. (note: if you're not signed up to receive these emails, get on that list).

This recipe is one that I came across a little while back, and have been meaning to make. I realized that I haven't blogged (or cooked..) in a while, and so I needed to go into the archives of my recipe box to choose something to post tonight.  And while there are plenty of Miss Coleen specialties I could share, there's plenty of time for that.  That, and I actually have chicken breasts in the fridge that I have been avoiding.  I buy chicken breasts with only the best intentions, but then really have zero desire to make them, let alone eat them.  I am thinking a quick trip to Stop & Shop tomorrow night after work, could make those pesky birds into a delightful and guilt-free dinner for me and tt.
I'll keep you posted on how it turns out, but in the meantime, enjoy!

The Recipe 
courtesy of: Hungry Girl

For the Stew...
    3 large stalks celery, chopped
    3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 tsp. chopped garlic
    Two 14-oz. cans (about 3 1/2 cups) fat-free chicken broth
    12 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breasts
    3 cups sliced mushrooms
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme
    1/4 tsp. black pepper
    1 dried bay leaf
    One 10.75-oz. can 98% fat-free cream of chicken condensed soup
    2 cups frozen peas
For the Dumplings...
    1 1/2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix
    2/3 cup fat-free milk
    1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper

  1. To make the stew, cook celery, carrots, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat in a large pot until veggies have slightly softened, 6 - 8 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth, chicken, mushrooms, thyme, and pepper. Add bay leaf and 2 cups of water. Stir well. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to a large bowl. Re-cover the pot, and continue to simmer.
  3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it. (this can be done easily with two forks -- one to hold in place and the other to scrape across the meat).  Put shredded chicken back in the pot, and add condensed soup and frozen peas. Stir thoroughly and raise heat to medium low; return stew to a simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine dumpling ingredients and mix just until a soft dough forms - don't overmix.
  5. Once stew is simmering, drop dough into stew in heaping tablespoons. (add the dough slowly and evenly so dumplings don't stick together, this should make appx 16 dumplings). Cook until dumplings are firm, 10 - 12 minutes, gently turning them over about halfway through cook time.
Makes 8 servings.

Calories: 215
Fat: 3g
Sodium: 845mg
Carbs: 30g
Fiber: 4g
Sugars: 7.5g
Protein: 16.5g
WW PointsPlus® value 5

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Italian Veggie Soup (WW 1 pointer)

2 cups escarole, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onions, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
2 small zucchini, cubed
1 medium red pepper, chopped
2 cups/1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced*
6 cups vegetable broth (I actually used 8 cups broth + 2 cups water)
28 oz can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted*
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil
Additions include (per serving): 1 1/2 Tbl grated cheese; 2 oz cooked chicken sausage; 2 Tbl cooked chickpeas; 2 Tbl cooked orzo; 2 store-bought turkey meatballs

  1. In a large soup pot, place escarole, garlic, onions, spinach, zucchini, red pepper, fennel, veggie broth, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme and oregano; and stir to combine.
  2. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, partly covered, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in salt, black pepper, parsley, and basil. Serve.
*I couldn't find fennel bulb at the grocery store, so I actually used Fennel and Red Pepper flavored diced tomatoes instead of Fire Roasted

Serving size: About 1 cup

Weight Watchers: PointsPlus value = 1

Additions include (per serving):
1 1/2 Tbl grated cheese +1
2 oz cooked chicken sausage +3
2 Tbl cooked chickpeas +.5
2 Tbl cooked orzo +.5
2 store-bought turkey meatballs +2

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, halved horizontally
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450° F.
Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Per serving: 91 calories; 6 g fat ( 2 g sat , 4 g mono ); 4 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 375 mg sodium; 363 mg potassium.

Recipe Courtesy of: Eating Well and I am pretty sure a girlfriend told me to make these.

Let me tell you, these hot little numbers will delight your senses. First of all, they smell absolutely sinful. Why? Because you are baking parmesan drizzled with oil, of course.

Not so Hum(drum) Hummus .. And Pita!

For a new take on a classic snack, read on...

Pita pocket (1 per serving)
Hummus (any flavor, I used Greek Olive)
Feta Cheese
Tools: Serrated knife, Toaster

Ok ready for this? Cut the pita pocket in half. Stick the 2 sides into the toaster (you will have to do it on an angle because the arcs don't quite fit). Toast to your preferred char level. (I say char level, because I am really bad at using a toaster... forever will my bread be burnt).

Spread your choice of hummus on top of toasted pita bread, sprinkle with cheese.

Voila! Hummus and Pita.

I am currently munching on this for a quick dinner in between my never-ending to do list, but I think is a great snack. This also might make a great appetizer for a little get together: use a few flavors of hummus, cut it up into pieces, could go a long way for relatively cheap. ... and this way better than having to worry about being caught double dipping at a party! [[Superbowl Sunday is coming up, people! Get in the game!]]