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Posted on May 17, 2011 in Food, Recipes, Working Out | 32 comments

Flax-Breaded Chicken Tenders

Yep. You read that right. It’s (sort of) healthy chicken tenders! Huzzah! I’ll get to that in a second, though. First things first:

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Hooray! I exercised! Again! Too bad my Garmin watch took like a million and a half years to load, and so I just gave up on it and turned it off. So I actually don’t really know how far I went, but I imagine it was roughly 2 miles. And I’ll take it! Hopefully I can work myself back up close to 3 miles before Friday… Fitbloggin‘ includes a 5K run/walk, and I’m hoping to put an emphasis on the RUN. Third 5K, here I cooooome!

Hokay, so. Onto the main event. You’ve already gotten a sneak peek of this one if you saw yesterday’s Daily Eats post, but last night I created flax-breaded chicken tenders! Much, much healthier than your typical deep-fried fare, although in all honesty I really should have baked them instead of pan-frying them. Oh well. Baby steps, right? 😉

First of all, let me address what some of you may be thinking. You’ve probably been seeing a lot of poultry on this blog lately, despite my post-Lenten proclamations of pescatarianism. Weeeeell, fish is kind of expensive to buy for everyday home-cooking use. And anyway, I like chicken! So, whatever the diet is that just cuts out RED meat, that’s kind of what I’m doing right now. And, as always, I try to support local, organic, and sustainable agriculture, of course! Which is why all of the items in last night’s dinner (and, subsequently, today’s lunch) are organic and almost entirely local! Whoo-hoo!

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This is the simplest recipe for any semblance of healthy-yet-indulgent-tasting chicken I think I’ve ever created. All the ingredients you need are in the above picture: chicken (picked up at Whole Foods), milled flaxseed (I use Bob’s Red Mill), and local eggs I picked up at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday! (My fridge is ultra-stocked with local, cage-free eggs thanks to the farmer’s market and my friend Amanda, whose sister has a farm down in Louisa, VA!)

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Asparagus, also picked up at the awesome Falls Church Farmer’s Market, for a side dish later.

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Back to business!

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Scramble the eggs in a bowl, set up flaxseed on a plate and mix in a bit of salt & pepper if you want. Then it’s just dip, bread, done!

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From here, you can either bake ’em up oil-free in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (it really all just depends on the thickness of your chicken – my strips were SUPER thin), or you can do what I did and toss ’em into a pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil:

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Mmmmm! Then just plate up a serving (3 – 4 ounces) with your side dishes. See? I told ya! Easy as pie. (Where did that expression come from, anyway? In my experience, baking a pie is actually quite challenging!) Behold, the recipe in its entirety:

Flax-Breaded Chicken Tenders
Print this recipe!

Chicken tenders are a feel-good food that is fun to eat. But usually they also happen to be deep-friend in white flour and canola oil. Enjoy these healthified ones that taste just as great yet utilize flaxseed instead, which is chockful of fiber, protein, and nutrition!

Ingredients:

1 package chicken breast, sliced into tenders
1 cup Milled/ground flaxseed
2 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Set up your breading assembly line: scramble the eggs in a bowl, lay out the flaxseed on a plate. Then you will want to drip each chicken tender in the egg, then coat completely with the flaxseed. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

2. Cook ’em! Either bake in an oven at 350 degrees F for 25 – 30 minutes, or you can pan-fry them on medium-high heat in olive oil for 3 – 4 minutes each side.

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My sides consisted of the aforementioned asparagus (just done up with salt, pepper, and lemon) and some Annie’s organic shells & cheese. Nomnomnom. And it’s so much better for you than traditionally breaded chicken tenders! Not only because these aren’t deep-fried, but because flax seed is chockfull of nutrition! It has omega 3s (good fat!), and tons of fiber. Yay fiber!

Adding milled flax seed to sauces, oatmeal, cereal, and finding other fun ways to use it (like in this recipe) is one of my favorite ways to healthify perviously less-healthy dishes. Favorite healthifying recipe tips: go! I want to know all your little tips and tricks to sneak nutrition into your dishes. Do you add spinach to your smoothies? Toss chia seeds into every bowl of oatmeal? Let’s hear it!

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Posted on Sep 21, 2010 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 2 comments

Raising the Bar

Lately I feel like I’ve been really trying to raise the bar in various aspects of my life. That being said, however, I have been failing miserably in many of them daily. Please read on to see a few ways in which I am totally not really at all raising the bar… also I am having issues determining whether you raise the bar OF something, ON something, or IN something (or maybe for something?) So I’m just going to use all three.

On attractiveness:

Today, I woke up on the not-so-great side of the bed. My stomach was acting up last night before I fell asleep, and I felt groggy despite going to bed at like 10:30 (granted, when your alarm goes off at 5:30 AM, that’s still not that early.) So I fell back asleep, intending on only dozing a few minutes…and woke back up at 6:20. Commence Panic Mode. I scrambled to get the dogs fed and let outside to do their business while I hastily threw on the same pants I wore yesterday (black) and a dumpy long-sleeved shirt (brown.) So, clearly I’m raising the bar on fashion as a whole as well.

Didn’t even bother putting in my contacts, so you know it was going to be a bad day. I also had the pleasure of trying for like 5 straight minutes to put my hair “up” since I didn’t wash it and it is super greasy, obvi. Hair this short doesn’t go up easily, le sigh. I’m still not really feeling that great, to be honest. So, yeah, kind of a blegh day. At least Glee premieres tonight!!! Gonna have to force myself to go to Zumba instead of watching it right when it starts – thank the Lord Almighty for DVR!

Of food snobbery:

Went to dinner with Reema the other night, and we dined at Dogwood Tavern, a local Falls Church bar & grill-type place. I ordered the roast chicken with a vegetable kabob and baked sweet potato on the side. It was… ok. The chicken was pretty dry, and though I scraped the skin off anyway, it was cooked kind of funnily. Like, not crisp, not blackened, just… there.

The veggies and potato were good though. I forewent the cinnamon sugar butter stuff that came with it and went au natural with the sweet potato. I do feel like kind of a pretentious eater talking about a restaurant’s food as being bad though! I always considered myself kind of a foodie, but always in a very non-discriminatory way, haha. Guess the times really are a-changin’, huh?

In dog ownership:

Well this one really is legit. I’m enrolling Daxter in a doggy obedience class at Wylie Wagg through Unleashed Abilities. He’s really been having some behavioral issues (chewing, chewing, chewing! GRAH!!!) and still doesn’t really come when you call him. So since Harry is such a well mannered canine citizen (well, except when it comes to meeting other dogs on a walk…) and he went to obedience school, I figured I’d give it a try with Daxy-poo.

I think socializing him with other dogs besides Harry will be good for him as well. I snapped the picture above when I was rolling around on the floor with him to try to distract him from the fact that my brother, Ben, took Harry for a walk on his own. He was Whiney McWhinerson for like five minutes straight, and kept trying to run away from me. Talk about your separation anxiety — yeesh!

I don’ t think the issue will be his stupidity when it comes to school… it’s that he’s really a little too smart. Oh well, at least I can show everyone in my dog training class how I taught Daxter to high-five. I mean, that’s really the only thing he’ll ever need to know, right?

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Posted on Sep 3, 2010 in Food, Weight Loss | 0 comments

Pretty Dish = Delicious Dinner

Well, hopefully it would have been delicious even without the presentation, but it always helps! Ok, quick post (don’t I always say that?) because I am way too tired for a full-fledged one right now. Whew! So there’s my dinner up top – I snapped a quick shot of it once it hit the plate cause I thought it looked pretty. I brought back the balsamic chicken and raw squash salad that I mention in a previous post, but I also tossed the rest of the squash together with some spinach and did a quick hash with them! I got to use a little of the garlic-infused olive oil that I made a few nights ago (not too much though, since EVOO is still faaaaaattyfattyfatty.) And I didn’t even mean to pile the veggies so nicely, they just came out of the cup that way when I was measuring my portion. I thought it looked so nice, I might just have to do that from now on.

Anyway, I am SUPER pooped, since I actually worked out today!!!!!!! (Applause is welcome, though not necessary, hahaha.) I know it’s like not even 9 PM yet, but I am ready for bed. In fact, I’m sitting on my bed in my PJs with two schnauzers strewn at my feet (and Daxter is soooooo clearly not ready for bed, haha.) But I haven’t actually been netting more than 6ish hours of sleep a night during the week lately, so I think I’m due to catch up. I think a little reading and then falling asleep sounds like just the ticket.

And tomorrow is FRIDAY!! Yayyyyy!! And the Friday before a long weekend. Thank goodness I don’t have any plans to travel though – between the holiday weekend and the hurricane I doubt traffic situations will be very happy. Good luck to those of you who are hitting the highways though!!

EDIT: So… yeah. I totally fell asleep last night before I was even able to post this. I am officially an old lady who is able to fall asleep at 8:45 PM.

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Posted on Aug 22, 2010 in Food, Weight Loss | 3 comments

Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious!

So, as you may have guessed from the title, I went to see Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center this weekend!

My mom recently came home after spending several months in Houston taking care of my grandmother, so we spent a day as a family (my parents, brother, sister, and me) and went to dinner and the show!

It was super fun, and the production quality was pretty outstanding. The set pieces alone were just fantastic! Plus, I just love, love the Kennedy Center in general. Below is a photo of me on the terrace overlooking the monuments!

As part of our family-filled Saturday, I also spent the morning at the Falls Church Farmers Market with my mom and my sister! I got a pretty good haul – some fresh eggplants, bell peppers, onions, and some new kind of green bean that I forget the name of. Rivancolo or something? Anyway, I’ll post a picture whenever I end up cooking those so maybe you can help me re-identify them.

To update you a little on the week prior to Saturday, Thursday my friend Amanda came over and we made a nice healthy dinner together. It really is more fun to cook with a friend!

We made a raw summer squash salad (yellow squash and zucchini peeled into strips and tossed with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper), and some steamed broccoli, and took inspiration from fANNEtastic food and did a Balsamic Glazed chicken (marinated a chicken breast in some balsamic vinaigrette and tossed it in a pan – it caramelizes deliciously!) It was extremely satisfying and very healthy, too!

Anyway, weigh-in tomorrow morning (!!) and I know not to expect anything close to the difference in my last weigh-in, I am still hopeful that some progress has been made. Also, it’s been hard due to my ankle and not being able to exercise. I have plans to reattempt Zumba this Wednesday though, and we’ll see if I can do some light gym time tomorrow. So that’s something to look forward to! Well, maybe not “look forward” but… you get the idea, haha. So for now, I’ll leave you with what I consider to be a hilarious picture of my brother’s and my lite grocery trip from this weekend. Note that the groceries on the left are his, and on the right are mine:

Yeah, that pretty much sums up the difference in our nutritional attitudes! 🙂 Until next time, my friends!

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Posted on Aug 21, 2010 in Food, Recipes | 5 comments

New recipe: Low-Fat Chicken Fajitas!

Yes, I know, I know, I’ve been slacking. But here we go, I’m finally making good on my promise to post my latest creation. Low-fat chicken fajitas! I know that it’s kind of a “duh” recipe, but it was delicious, and I took some pictures while making it, so I figured why NOT post it?At least it gives me something to post since my ankle is still swollen and that has made life fairly boring. My doctor-to-be brother-in-law told me that if it’s still swollen by the end of the weekend I should go get it xrayed, so I’m hoping it’ll be right as rain by tomorrow. It already seems a little better today… I think. Anyway…

Ingredients

1 chicken breast
1 green bell pepper
1 red or yellow onion
cumin
chili powder
salt & pepper
flat out wrap or whole wheat tortilla
nonfat plain greek yogurt
cheese, corn, beans, or whatever other toppings you like!

Slice up the bell pepper and onion into strips and toss into a sautee pan with a little cooking spray. Cook on medium heat until veggies are soft and cooked through. Season with salt & pepper. Remove from pan and set aside in bowl.

Cut up the chicken breast into short, thin strips. Season with salt & pepper and cook on medium-high heat until cooked almost all the way through. Toss the peppers and onions back into the pan and cook together until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Season with as much cumin and chili powder as you like (cumin is what gives it that great Mexicana smell and flavor, mmm….)

Let the fajita filling cool just a smidge while you assemble the rest of your creation! Take a flat out wrap or a whole wheat tortilla, spread some nonfat plain greek yogurt on it (seriously tastes just like sour cream), and spoon some of the filling onto it. Add some corn and bean salsa, cheese (just a li’l), or other toppings and wrap it up!

Because of the lean chicken breast and veggies, you’re bulking up your portion, and you can spice up the mixture as much or as little as you like. Cooking with spray instead of oil also saves you some unnecessary calories, and plain greek yogurt makes the perfect cool topping. It’s a keeper for me, at least, since I love the flavors and can have the confidence that it’s prepared healthier than eating out!

Be proud of me for today – went to Olive Garden with some coworkers and got the Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks combo. Limited myself to 1 breadstick (I know! I was shocked I could do it, too!) and got a salad bowl that had no dressing on it for myself while the rest of my coworkers dug into the bowl with the delicious Italian dressing. But I was glad for it, because losing those calories enabled me to try two of the delicious soups: Zuppa Toscana (170 cals) and the Pasta e Fagioli (130 cals.) I know I should have gotten the Minestrone (100 cals) but I figured, hey – it’s Friday!

Then met up with my brother, his girlfriend and some of her friends for Happy Hour after work. I got a Bud Light, which is like 140 calories and I should work on seeing if places have like MGD 64 or that new Budweiser 55 calorie beer in the future, but whatevs. I got a salad with a salmon fillet (dressing on the side) that was pretty good, although it was as expensive for my 1 dish as my brother and his gf’s 3 appetizers (those nachos were calling my name, too… I managed to hold my resolve and just pick off a few of the tomatoes and a jalapeno though!)

I had a hankering for something sweet after that, so we stopped by the grocery store and I picked up some frozen yogurt (Edy’s Yogurt Blends Strawberry and Nonfat Vanilla) and a few other things. I’ll go “real” grocery shopping later. Managed to end the day around 1,564 or something, as far as I could fully calculate things, which is pretty good I think, considering how much eating out I did!

I hope everyone is all geared up for the weekend. I’m seeing Mary Poppins tomorrow with my family, which I’m super excited about, and in the morning my sister and I are supposed to hit up the Farmer’s Market, so hopefully I’ll get some nice fresh produce to experiment with. More to come later, of course. <3

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