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August 14, 2011 2 comments

There are some recipes you try and they are good, and there are some recipes you try and they are great. This is one of those recipes that is great. If you’ve ever had Olive Garden’s Chicken Marsala, this tastes exactly like it! I’ve got a little beef with the Olive Garden and their ridiculously high calorie meals – so this recipe comes at a great time. Last week I went to lunch with some friends and had no idea until later that night as I was counting my calories discovered my lunch was 1175 calories! That’s insane. This dish comes in at a wonderful 400 calories. The perfect size meal. Granted I did add mashed potatoes.. but you can’t have chicken without a side. I didn’t have prosciutto (and frankly I don’t care for it – had a bad experience on our honeymoon) so I just left it out. Also, see my note at the end of the recipe in regards to the wine. This dish is fantastic and will be made again and again.

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding

Servings: 4
Cost per serving: $5.20

Calories: 390
Fat: 9 grams (2 g saturated)
Sodium: 520 mg

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to uniform 1/4″ thickness
1 c. flour
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 oz prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
8 oz. cremeni mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3/4 c. Marsala wine
3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Season the chicken with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and add the chicken; coat evenly, shaking off any excess flour. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken (don’t overcrowd the pan; cook in two batches if need be) for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown on the outside and cooked all the way through. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm. Add additional oil to the pan if needed, then saute the prosciutto for 1 to 2 minutes, until it starts to crisp up. Add the mushrooms and continue sauteing until well browned. Stir in the Marsala and broth, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1/2 c. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley, and pour over the chicken.

Cook This instead of enjoying Romano’s Macaroni Grill Chicken Marsala
Calories: 650
Saturated Fat: 12 g
Sodium: 1790 mg

[My 2 Cents]
I’m not a wine drinker and have never purchased alcohol. Recently I’ve noticed grocery stores carrying “cooking wines” in the aisle near the oils and vinegars. There are a small handful of different varieties including: cooking white, red, and Marsala wine. They are in small 16 oz. bottles costing less than $2.50. I was so excited when I discovered them. There are many recipes that call for wine and I’ve wanted to try them but didn’t want to have to spend the money on a bottle of wine that would never be used. This is the perfect compromise.

I absolutely LOVE bratwurst sausages, the only problem is they are terrible for you!!! This is an awesome alternative that I found from Cook This Not That. I couldn’t find chicken sausage, so I went with a sweet Italian turkey sausage. So delicious. This sandwich is packed with flavor. The peppers and the onions are the perfect addition. By the end I felt full and satisfied. I will definitely make this over and over!

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding

Servings: 4
Cost per serving: $2.56

Calories: 370
Fat: 20 g (9 g saturated)
Sodium: 650 mg

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 links uncooked chicken or turkey sausage
4 hot do buns (preferably potato buns)
4 slices provolone
Spicy mustard to taste

Preheat grill or pan. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the red and yellow peppers and the onion and cook, stirring occassionally, for about 10 minutes, until lightly blistered and soft. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar. Reserve. Grill the sausages for about 12 minutes, until lightly charred and cooked all the way through. This can also be done in a pan, over medium-low heat. Heat the rolls on the grill until warm and toasted, if you like. Lay a slice of provolone cheese in each roll, drizzle with mustard, then top with a sausage. Divide the peppers and onions among the four sandwiches.

Cook This instead of enjoying Domino’s Itallian Sausage and Peppers Sandwich
Calories: 900
Fat: 49 g (23 g saturated)
Sodium: 2240 mg

This dish very closely resembles what my husband and I make for our “mock” Cafe Rio. So when I saw this in the Cook This Not That cookbook I knew it would be something that would be right up our alley. Ever since the Crock Pot Carne Asada I’ve been hooked on corn tortillas. As you can tell by the directions this meal is very quick and easy. We didn’t have a rotisserie chicken so I just cooked and shredded the frozen tenderloins that we did have. You can do either. Already having a chicken that’s flavored, roasted and ready to go would make the process that much easier. I also had never heard of Cotija cheese and don’t particularly fancy feta, so I replaced them with just plain ole mozzarella. Great meal. Low in calories. Simple. Delicious!

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding

Servings: Four
Cost per serving: $2.33

Calories: 345
Fat: 12 g (4.5 g saturated)
Sodium: 800 mg

8 corn tortillas
3 c. shredded rotisserie chicken (about three-fourths of a store bought chicken)
1 1/2 c. bottled salsa verde
1/2 c. crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
1 med onion, minced
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, quartered

Heat the tortilla in a large skillet or saute pan until lightly toasted. Combine the chicken with the salsa in a large mixing bowl, then divide evenly among the tortillas. Top with crumbled cheese, onion, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Cook this instead of enjoying Chili’s Crispy Chicken Tacos
Calories: 1650
Fat: 76 g (21 g saturated)
Sodium: 4080 mg

I recently decided to pull out the Cook This Not That cookbook again. It’s hard to lose weight and make extravagant meals all of the time. So lately I’ve been eating really basic things. Over and over. Makes it also hard for TriedandTasty posts… you guys know how to make a turkey pita already, I don’t need to show you that. With Cook This Not That I can make healthy dishes that are worth sharing and still stay within my calorie goals. This recipe is awesome. It’s an Asian dish that reminds me of Pad Thai (if you’ve ever had it). What I found with this, which is rare, is the leftovers the next day were even better. The portion sizes seem crazy because this makes so much food. We were able to eat off of it for several days. The downside to this recipe is there are many random ingredients that you don’t use everyday. Thankfully, I already had the sesame oil and rice wine vinegar on hand. I did have to make special note of the chili sauce, snap peas, and edamame though. Well worth it!

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczencko & Matt Goulding

Servings: Four
Cost per serving: $2.05

Calories: 340
Fat: 11 g (2 g saturated)
Sodium: 400 mg

6 oz. whole-wheat fettuccine
2 tsp toasted sesame oil, plus more for noodles
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp warm water
1 1/2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp chili sauce, such as sriracha
2 c. shredded chicken
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 c. sugar snap peas
1 c. cooked edamame (optional)
Chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, or chopped scallions (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss in a large bowl with a bit of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar to keep the noodles from sticking. Combine the lime juice, water, peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 45 seconds, then stir to create a uniform sauce. Add the sauce to the noodles and toss to mix. Stir the chicken, bell pepper, sugar snap peas, and edamame if using. Top individual servings with peanuts, sesame seeds, or scallions if you like.

Cook this instead of enjoying California Pizza Kitchen Kung Pao Speghetti
Calories 1160
Fat: 8 g saturated
Sodium: 1737

[My 2 Cents]
You can also create the sauce on stove top, which is what I did. I just combined everything over medium-high in a saucepan. Heating throughout until well combined.

It’s no secret I love me some Cafe Rio. This could be considered a “30-minute” meal. It’s so easy to throw together and so delicious. Making it at home rather than going out not only saves you money but it will also save you lots and lots of unnecessary calories. I’ve been calorie counting consistently for a little over a month and this is one of my favorite meals. It will run you about 400 calories, which is a perfect portion for dinner!

Source: My husband/nutrition expert ;)

2 whole wheat tortillas
4 chicken tenderloins (or one large boneless, skinless chicken breast), cubed
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 c. pinto or black beans
1/2 c. enchilada sauce (red or green)
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella

In a medium sized pan cook chicken cubes until white. Sprinkle with cumin. Top the center of the tortilla with chicken, add half cheese and half enchilada sauce. Top with pinto or black beans. Roll. Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle over remaining cheese. Broil for 5-7 minutes until cheesy and bubbly. Serve with lettuce, pico de gallo, and rice if you’d like!

March 25, 2011 1 comment

Appetizers can be the worst idea at times. I’m learning, from the Cook This Not That, the gross amount of calories found among appetizers at restaurants. You don’t even realize it but most of the times they have almost as many calories (if not more) than your actual meal. More and more I’m finding it’s better to eat at home than going out to eat. I love shrimp cocktail. So when I saw this I was so excited to try it. Turned out fabulous and I’m glad I now have another reason for the Old Bay seasoning I’ve had in the cupboard forever! The smell of the shrimp in the oven is wonderful and as soon as they are done you will want to dive right in!

I’m turning into a sandwich lover! From the Cook This Not That series I’ve been doing I’m learning a couple of things. One thing is, they know how to make a great sandwich. This is the perfect vegetarian meal. I’m not a vegetarian, however if I was: portobello mushrooms would be a staple for me. This was so quick to throw together and the flavors blended together wonderfully. The serving size was great and I was full from the sandwich alone and not looking for something to eat along with it, or right after. The calories are right on point – perfect for lunch! The other thing I’m finding is the counter part of the recipes, what you don’t want to make, are extremely high in unnecessary calories. It’s unbelievable.

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