Thursday, August 28, 2014

CROCK POT TERIYAKI CHICKEN


This was one of the very first recipes I ever tried making. It is the quintessential recipe for the "Bachelor Series" because you should already have all five of these ingredients in your kitchen right now! And just like the other recipes in this series, all you have to do is dump the ingredients into a crock pot and wait just a few hours. 

I would like to point out that when I post the cooking times for crock pot recipes, I write down the time that I use for my own personal crock pot. Depending on the brand of crock pot you use and the thickness of your meat, cooking times will vary. Remember though that until you find the cooking time that works best for your crock pot make sure to always go lower than higher. You can always cook your meat longer, but you can't reverse overdone meat.

CROCK POT TERIYAKI CHICKEN
Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: Approximately 175 calories

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds chicken breast or thighs
DIRECTIONS
  1. Pour soy sauce, honey, ketchup, and garlic powder into crockpot and stir 
  2. Place chicken into crockpot and stir again
  3. Turn the crock pot on low and cook meat for about 4 hours
  4. Once meat is cooked through, remove from crockpot and serve 
The chicken should be throughly covered in the sauce

Serve with rice and vegetables for a healthy meal

Sunday, August 24, 2014

FAT-FREE PUMPKIN MUFFINS


Each year the official start of "Pumpkin Season" begins when Starbucks debuts their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. And thanks to the coffee company, Pumpkin Season is beginning a week earlier this year. 

I try not to be a total "girly girl" and squeal with excitement over the thought of those warm, frothy drinks, but truth be told I like pumpkin just as much as the next person.

So in honor of the beginning of the most glorious time of the year, I'm sharing with you my favorite pumpkin muffin recipe. Believe it or not -- it's FAT-FREE! The fat free vanilla yogurt is the perfect healthy substitute for the butter and oil normally found in muffin recipes. Additionally, the yogurt and the pumpkin filling make these muffins incredibly moist!

So try this recipe as the perfect sidekick to your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year!


FAT-FREE PUMPKIN MUFFINS
Yield: 18 muffins
Calories per serving: 115 calories

INGREDIENTS
·      1 and 1/2 cup flour
·      1 teaspoon cinnamon
·      1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
·      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·      1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·      3 egg whites
·      1 and 1/2 cup sugar
·      1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
·      1 cup pumpkin

DIRECTIONS
1.     Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
2.     Pour flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and baking powder into bowl and set aside
3.     Whisk together egg whites, sugar and yogurt in large bowl
4.     Stir in 1 cup pumpkin
5.     Slowly add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and stir just enough to combine
6.     Line a muffin tin with liners
7.     Pour mixture into liner 2/3 full
8.     Place muffin tin in oven and bake for 5 minutes
9.     Then while muffins are still in the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 8 minutes
10. Remove from oven and let cool

The batter will be very thick.

Try to fill each tin with the same amount of batter

The muffins even look like little pumpkins!

By starting the oven temperature high and then reducing it, you get the perfect bakery-style muffin tops

I can't get over how moist and dense these muffins are!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

3-INGREDIENT CROCK POT BEEF TACO MEAT


I want to preface this blog post recipe by saying EVERYONE should own a crock pot! I don’t care what your cooking skill level is; crock pots are one of the single most useful kitchen appliances out there.

Why?
1.      Anyone can use it; if you can put ingredients into a bowl you’re already a crock pot master
2.      You come home to an already-prepared home-cooked meal
3.      There’s only one dish to clean (or there’s no cleaning if you use a crock pot liner)

As of lately, I've been trying to come up with recipes that have five ingredients or less as part of my Bachelor Series (more info on why I started that here). So I had the idea of making ground beef taco meat. Taco meat is great because of its versatility – serve it with tortillas as a taco, over lettuce as a salad, or even with eggs in an omelet. And of course, what better way to make it than in a crock pot – slow-cooked in seasonings for hours until it’s exploding with flavor!

And of course, I stayed true to my goal of five ingredients or less. All you need for this recipe is ground beef, taco seasoning, and salsa. I know most cooking blogs frown upon using pre-packaged taco seasoning, but it serves its purpose well in this recipe (it’s quick, easy, and cheap).

Additionally, you could make this same recipe and substitute chicken, pork or even turkey for the ground beef! 


3-INGREDIENT CROCK POT BEEF TACO MEAT
Yield: Makes about 6 (2.5 ounce) tacos
Calories: 148 calories

INGREDIENTS
·      1 pound 95% lean ground beef
·      1 (1.25 ounce) taco seasoning packet
·      2 cups salsa
·      Tortillas, lettuce, cheese, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, avocado, or any other additions you may want to serve with the meat

DIRECTIONS
1.     Place ground beef in crock pot
2.     Pour taco seasoning on top of ground beef
3.     Pour salsa on top of ground beef
4.     Mix it up with a spoon, breaking the ground beef up into smaller chunks
5.     Turn the crock pot on low and cook meat for about 4 hours, may need more or less time depending on your crock pot model / amount of ground beef

Mix taco seasoning, salsa, and ground beef together in crock pot - breaking it up into smaller chunks

TIP: If you use a crock pot liner there is literally NO clean up! Just remove the liner and throw it away!

My favorite way to serve the taco meat is on corn tortillas with pico de gallo and avocado.

Serve the meat with guacamole and brown rice! Both are very healthy options and make for a meal rich in whole grains and healthy fats 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HAPPY NATIONAL LEMONADE DAY


Happy National Lemonade Day! Lemonade is a classic drink that I think just about everyone enjoys. There's nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day. My favorite has always been pink lemonade, primarily because of the color! However, I've found that many mixes are either too sweet or too tart. That's why I started making my own lemonade. This way I know exactly what's going into it - no artificial chemicals or sweeteners! My goal for coming up with a lemonade recipe was finding something that didn't take much effort. Additionally, I wanted to make it even more "summery" with the addition of fresh fruit! I used raspberries in this recipe, but you can easily substitute strawberries or blueberries. 


PINK RASPBERRY LEMONADE
Yield: 9 cups
Calories: 57 calories per 1 cup

INGREDIENTS
·      1 cup lemon juice (you can either fresh squeeze 4 lemons or buy lemon juice)
·      1/2 cup sugar
·      1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
·      5 cups cold water
·      3 cups ice

INSTRUCTIONS
1.     Combine lemon juice, sugar, and raspberries in a blender.
2.     Blend until sugar has dissolved.
3.     Place mixture in a large pitcher
4.     Add water and ice to pitcher and stir

Recipe adapted from Dawn’s Recipes






Tuesday, August 19, 2014

5-INGREDIENT CHICKEN PARMESAN


Throughout the past few years, I've learned a few things about bachelors and their cooking habits (or lack thereof).

1.       If a recipe has more than a few ingredients, forget about it.
2.       If a recipe has more than a few steps, no way.
3.       If the recipe requires cleanup afterwards, not happening.

When I first met Kyle, his homemade meals consisted of either Ramen Noodles or a bagel with peanut butter. Did he enjoy either of those meals? No. Was he getting enough nutrition from those meals? Not at all.

So why did he eat it?

Because it was easy, it was cheap, and there wasn't any cleanup.

As some of you know, Kyle has temporarily left his position as “Official Kylee’s Kitchen Taste-Tester” to go to law school. I am very very proud of him! But I’m also concerned about him slipping into his old eating habits.

That is why I’m creating a new series of recipes specifically targeted toward bachelors (and others) who want to get IN and OUT of the kitchen without any FUSS.

The first recipe I’m sharing in the “Bachelor Series” is 5-Ingredient Chicken Parmesan.

A lot of chicken Parmesan recipes require you to either sauté or fry the chicken prior to baking, but those steps only complicate the process. Instead this chicken Parmesan recipe is only lightly breaded and baked. As a result, you achieve the same taste in less time and with fewer calories.

Additionally, cleanup is very easy for this dish. Since you’re placing the chicken breasts on a baking sheet with aluminum foil before sticking it in the oven, all you have to do afterwards is throw the aluminum foil away.

Kyle tested this recipe out a few nights ago, and he was even surprised by how easy it was!


5-INGREDIENT CHICKEN PARMESAN
Yield: 4 chicken breasts
Calories: 179 calories for one 4 ounce chicken breast

INGREDIENTS
·         4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
·         2 tablespoons butter, melted
·         1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
·         1 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
·         1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS
1.       Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
2.       Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray
3.       Set up an “assembly line” with your chicken breasts, bowl of melted butter, bowl of bread crumbs, and prepared baking sheet
4.       Lightly brush the butter onto a chicken breast with a pastry or basting brush
5.       Dip the chicken  into the bread crumbs and coat on both sides
6.       Place chicken on baking sheet
7.       Repeat with remaining chicken breasts
8.       Bake chicken in the oven for 20 minutes
9.       Remove baking sheet from the oven, and turn chicken over
10.   Spoon marinara sauce over chicken so that it’s fully covered
11.   Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of marinara sauce
12.   Stick chicken back in oven and bake for 5 minutes

Recipe adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes

Set up your chicken, baking sheet, butter, and bread crumbs in an assembly line.

Use a pastry brush or basting brush and brush the butter onto the chicken.

Dip the buttered chicken into the bread crumbs and coat completely.

Make sure you line your baking sheet with aluminum foil and non-stick spray for easy cleanup.

Flip chickens over and spoon on marinara sauce and top with parmesan.

You can eat chicken parmesan plain or place on top of spaghetti with marinara sauce.

Pin It button on image hover