Faux “Fried” Chicken Tenders and Sweet Potato Fries

Faux "Fried" Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potato Fries

Faux “Fried” Chicken Tenders and Sweet Potato Fries, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Friends, meet the guilt-free version of chicken fingers french fries!  And it’s SO delicious – it’s sure to please both your inner child and your actual children. 🙂

Ingredients

For the chicken tenders:

  • 1- 1 1/2 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
  • 2 c. cornflake breadcrumbs (you can substitute panko breadcrumbs or even make a 1/2 cornflake and 1/2 panko breadcrumb mixture)
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 eggs

For the sweet potato fries:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

Directions

You’ll want to make the sweet potato fries first because they take longer to cook.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into french fry shapes pieces. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, and chili powder on the fries and toss again to coat.
  4. Like a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the fries onto the baking sheet. Try to spread them out as much as possible. I wound up using two different baking sheets to fit all of the fries without crowding them. (Crowding them will cause them to steam as opposed to bake and get nice and crispy.)
  5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Once you pop the fries in the oven you can get started on the chicken tenders.  While the fries need about 30 minutes to cook, the chicken tenders only need to bake for around 15-2o minutes. This will work out perfectly because it only takes about 10 minutes to bread the chicken tenders.  So just as the french fry timer is down to “20 minutes” you’ll be popping the chicken tenders in the oven anyway! And everything will finish cooking at the same time! Hooray for great time management!

To make the chicken tenders:

  1. Set up your “breading station”.  You’ll want one plate with flour on it, a bowl with your (cracked and scrambled) raw eggs, and a plate with your breadcrumbs on it.
  2. Bread each chicken tender by first dredging it in the flour, then dipping it in the egg, and lastly coating it with the breadcrumbs.
  3. Line a baking pan with a wire rack. Coat the rack with a non-stick cooking spray. Place the breaded chicken tenders on the rack.
  4. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Place in the oven (which is already on at 425 degrees because the fries are in there baking) and bake the chicken tenders for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Service with dipping sauce of choice. Enjoy!

Quick dipping sauce idea: Honey Mustard (1/4 c. dijon mustard + 1/4 c. honey. BOOM.)

Zucchini “Pasta” with Turkey Sausage Bolognese

I would like to give one very enthusiastic high five to the person who first figured out that you could shred certain vegetables into long skinny “noodles” and serve them as a pasta substitute. One cup of cooked spaghetti noodles is about 200 calories. One cup of cooked zucchini – depending on how you make it – can weigh in at about 60 calories. That’s 70% less calories! Ho-ly cow, my friend. My waistline is forever in your debt!

Using turkey sausage instead of a pork-based sausage also helps save on the fat and calorie content of this dish. There is no butter whatsoever and only 3-4 Tbsp. of olive oil went into sautéing the zucchini pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground Italian Turkey Sausage (hot or mild, your preference)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 small onion (about 1 c chopped)
  • ½ c. white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) of chopped tomatoes with puree
  • Salt and pepper (for seasoning)
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian herbs (any dried Italian herbs that you’ve got on hand – basil, oregano, rosemary, etc. I used the one that I have from the grocery store which is an “Italian herb blend”.
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to garnish. (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper, to garnish. (optional)
  • Zucchini “pasta” (see recipe here)

Directions:

  • Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat and cook the sausage until almost completely cooked through. Drain any excess fat (if necessary) and set aside in a bowl.
  • If you have a food processor, roughly chop the carrots, celery, and onion into large chunks.  Add to the food processor and use the “chop” function for about 10 seconds, or until everything has been cut down into tiny bits (the equivalent of a “fine dice”).  If you do not have a food processor, dice the carrots, celery, and onion into small, small, pieces.  Think “minced”.
Zucchini Pasta with Turkey Sausage Bolognese, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Zucchini Pasta with Turkey Sausage Bolognese, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

  • In the same sauté pan that you prepared the sausage, reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the 1/2 c. of white wine to the pan. Quickly, begin to scrape the bottom of the pan, loosening any of the brown bits that have begun for form on the bottom. (This process of adding a bit of liquid to a hot pan and scraping the brown bits from the bottom is called “deglazing the pan”. The brown bits are where much of the tasty flavor comes from and so it’s important to scrape them from the bottom of the pan so they can be incorporated into the dish!)
  • Add the garlic to the pan and stir to incorporate. After about 30 seconds, add the cooked Italian sausage back to the pan and immediately add the can of crushed tomatoes and the Italian herbs to the pan as well. Stir everything and reduce the heat so that you being the sauce to a very slow simmer.
Zucchini Pasta with Turkey Sausage Bolognese, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Zucchini Pasta with Turkey Sausage Bolognese, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

  • Simmer for at least 15 minutes before serving. I let mine simmer for over an hour (while I watched some Netflix) so the flavors could really meld.
  • While the sauce is simmering, go ahead and prepare your zucchini pasta. It cooks quickly so if you’ve already cut your zucchini ribbons you’ll only need about 5 minutes to cook it.
  • Plate your zucchini pasta in a bowl, ladle the Bolognese sauce on top, and garnish with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and crushed red pepper.
Zucchini Pasta with Turkey Sausage Bolognese, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Zucchini Pasta with Turkey Sausage Bolognese, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Zucchini “Pasta”

When making zucchini pasta, you’ll want to have 1 to 2 zucchinis per person.  You’ll also need the proper tools.  You can use a vegetable spiralizer to cut your zucchini or one of these bad boys:

Veggetti Vegetable Slicer

Veggetti Vegetable Slicer

 

The gadget does all the work!  It’s as easy as the following:

1. Rinse and dry your zucchini. (I used both zucchini and yellow squash.)

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

2. Cut off both ends of each zucchini.

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

3. Use the Veggetti or spiralizer as directed to create your veggie spaghetti “noodles”.

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

4. To cook, heat a sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil. Sauté 5-6 minutes or until zucchini softens. Season with salt and pepper.

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Voila! It’s THAT easy.  You can also steam or boil the zucchini if you’d prefer.

Meatless Monday: Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Eggplant

I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but orzo has become a staple in my kitchen.  And lately I’ve been loving various combinations of orzo, kalamata olives, feta, tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, etc. So when I sat at my desk daydreaming about what to make for “Meatless Monday” tonight I knew it was going to involve something that I could stuff with orzo goodness and Mediterranean flavors.  Enter: eggplant.

I chuckle a little any time I whip up eggplant anything because as a kid eating eggplant was my nightmare.  I HATED it. Trying to eat it, I would gag and everything. Fast forward 20 years later and it’s one of my favorite foods!

Last week’s “Meatless Monday” recipe was also dedicated to eggplant so I promise next week I’ll step away from the purple fruit.  But I’m happy to say that this week’s dish was a great success!

Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Eggplant

Mediterranean Style Stuffed Eggplant, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Mediterranean Style Stuffed Eggplant, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 roma tomatos, diced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 medium eggplants

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare the orzo according to the directions on the box.  Drain and dump in a large bowl.
  3. Add the tomato, olives, pine nuts, basil, and olive oil to the large bowl.  Season with about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. To create your eggplant “boats”, slice the eggplants in half, lengthwise. With a small knife, cut around the edge of the interior of the eggplants leaving about a 1/2 inch rim; make sure not to cut all the way through. Using a spoon (or your hands), gently remove the meat of the eggplant. You can either slice it up into small chunks and add it to the bowl with the orzo mixture or simply discard it.
  5. Place the hollowed out eggplant halves (your “boats”) onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle the eggplants with some olive oil and season with about 1-2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  6. Spoon the orzo mixture into each eggplant “boat” and lightly press to pack it in.
  7. Cover the eggplants lightly with some aluminum foil.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the eggplants are tender. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Style Stuffed Eggplant, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Mediterranean Style Stuffed Eggplant, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Mediterranean Style Stuffed Eggplant, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Mediterranean Style Stuffed Eggplant, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

(Is that a paper plate? You’d better believe it. It’s Monday, my friends. Ain’t nobody got time for dishes!)

Fresh Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomato, and Basil Pizza

Pizza! Who doesn’t get excited about pizza? I mean, seriously? So when I found this recipe for a “light” version of this holy grail of comfort food I knew I had to make it! How wonderful is it to know that eating well doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorites?  Fortunately, there are lighter versions of just about every indulgent dish you hold dear.  And this pizza knocked my socks off!

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Recipe Courtesy of: Cooking Light Magazine, August 2013

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 3 slices)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces refrigerated fresh pizza dough (usually found in the deli section of the grocery store)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 (6-ounce) heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation

  1. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).
  2. Let dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Place basil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil in a mini food processor; pulse 3 times to form a paste. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; pulse until smooth.
  4. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a floured surface; pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Arrange dough on pizza stone. Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons basil mixture over dough. Top evenly with cheese, tomatoes, and pepper. Bake at 500° for 12 minutes or until crust is browned and crisp. Top with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons basil mixture; sprinkle evenly with salt. Cut into 12 slices.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 406
  • Fat: 18.5g
  • Saturated fat: 5.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 8.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g
  • Protein: 13.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 44.7g
  • Fiber: 7.4g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg
  • Iron: 1.8mg
  • Sodium: 627mg
  • Calcium: 36mg

Open-Faced Crab Cake Sandwiches with Tzatziki

Crab Cakes! Tzatziki! AMAZING.

Crab Cakes! Tzatziki! AMAZING.

I don’t know how to explain the feeling I get every time I try a new recipe – a new HEALTHY recipe – and it’s DELICIOUS! I may or may not make excited squealing noises and do a happy dance… especially when it tastes nothing like “diet” food and is as jam-packed with flavor as these crab cakes are.

Recipe Courtesy of: Cooking Light Magazine, August 2013

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped English cucumber
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 12 ounces lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 4 red leaf lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (This is not part of the original recipe but I made the executive decision to add some. Crab cakes and Old Bay belong together.)

Preparation

  1. Combine 1/4 cup yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; set yogurt mixture aside.
  2. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons yogurt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/3 cup panko, bell pepper, onions, dill, rind, juice, salt, Old Bay seasoning, and egg white in a medium bowl. Gently stir in crab. Divide crab mixture into 4 equal portions (about 1/2 cup each), shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place remaining 1/3 cup panko in a shallow dish. Dredge patties in panko.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Top each bread slice with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 patty, and about 2 tablespoons reserved yogurt mixture.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 323
  • Fat: 9.2g
  • Saturated fat: 1.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 24.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 34.8g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Cholesterol: 52mg
  • Iron: 2.3mg
  • Sodium: 748mg
  • Calcium: 90mg

Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of Cooking Light magazine, June 2013 issue

I will be the first to admit that I do NOT love me some salad.  Don’t crave it. Hardly ever eat it.  Salad doesn’t hug you and make you feel all warm and happy inside like comfort food does.  So when I find one that I like I get pretty excited about it. 🙂 The health benefits of a properly made salad are probably just what my diet has been missing; therefore, I’m working on mastering the art of making desirable leafy green goodness.  Ideally, so that I’ll be happy to eat it for dinner at least once a week.

I found this gem and happily scarfed it down. It was delicious.  So, so, so very tasty.  Scallops, prosciutto, English cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a yum-tastic dijon dressing. (Yeah… I said yum-tastic.)

Ingredients

  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced English cucumber
  • 1 ounce prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 16 sea scallops (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, cider vinegar, minced shallots, and Dijon mustard in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add salad greens, halved cherry tomatoes, and cucumber to bowl; toss gently to coat.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced prosciutto to pan; cook 3 minutes or until prosciutto is crisp; coarsely chop. Pat scallops dry with paper towels; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt. Add remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan; swirl to coat pan. Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Place 4 scallops and 2/3 cup salad mixture on each of 4 plates; sprinkle with prosciutto.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 171
  • Fat: 7.1g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Protein: 16.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 10.3g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Cholesterol: 31mg
  • Iron: 1.3mg
  • Sodium: 493mg
  • Calcium: 18mg