Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

Inspired by a recipe at, fine-tuned and scaled down for bandsters

2 medium-sized baking potatoes, scrubbed
onion salt & black pepper, to taste (optional)
1 tbl olive oil
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped celery (or substitute carrot if celery gives you problems)
3 tbl Frank’s red hot sauce (or your favorite), or more/less to taste
1 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 oz shredded reduced fat cheese of your choice (cheddar, Monterey jack, etc.)
4 oz cooked chicken breasts or thighs, shredded
Blue cheese dressing (store-bought, or use the recipe below)
Chopped celery & scallions to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

Pierce the potatoes with a fork, place on a paper towel and microwave for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from microwave and set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving a “wall” about 3/8” thick (save the potato flesh for another use – use it to thicken soup or make mashed potatoes). Place the skins in the prepared baking dish cut side up, spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with onion salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add the hot sauce, cream cheese, and shredded cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the chicken and stir to coat it with the cheese mixture. Spoon the chicken mixture into the prepared potato skins. Bake 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Serve with blue cheese dressing and chopped celery & scallions.

4 servings (one filled potato skin = 1 serving)

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING – stir together in a small bowl:
¼ c. reduced fat sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
¼ c. olive oil mayo
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ c. reduced fat blue cheese
1 scallion, minced

Friday, October 12, 2012

Baked Oatmeal


This was inspired by a recipe found on

1/2 c. oats

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

2 tbl chopped walnuts, divided

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbl Splenda brown sugar blend

1/2 c. milk (I use almond milk)

2 tbl egg substitute

1 tbl butter, melted & cooled slightly

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced

1 cup fruit (berries or any chopped fruit you like), divided

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (I used a loaf pan). Place the banana slices and 1/2 c. of the berries/fruit in the dish.

Combine the oats, protein powder, 1 tbl walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and Splenda in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit mixture in the baking dish.

Combine the milk, egg substitute, butter & vanilla, then pour evenly over the stuff in the baking dish. Top with the rest of the fruit and 1 tbl walnuts. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the oats are "set".

I like having this dish baked ahead of time so I can cut off and heat a portion for myself each day.


Cheese Protein Bread


If bread is a challenge for you, try this toasted.

1 c. flour

3/4 c. oat flour (or oats whizzed in a food processor)

1/4 c. Unjury chicken soup protein powder

1 tsp. Splenda or other sweetener

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tbl. chopped fresh herbs of your choice (or 1 tsp. dried)

1/4 tsp. onion salt

1/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (or your choice of cheese)

1/4 c. egg substitute (or 1 egg)

1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt (or reduced fat sour cream)

1/2 c. skim milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9x9" baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine the dry ingredients (including the herbs) & cut in the butter. Combine the cheese, egg, yogurt & milk, and add that mixture to the dry mixture. Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Braised Chicken Italiano

The capers and olives in this are already salty, so no added salt should be needed. If you're concerned about your sodium intake, use reduced sodium tomato sauce.

1 tbl olive oil, divided
4 pcs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp dried Italian herb blend
1 dash crushed red pepper (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbl drained capers
2 tbl drained sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tbl red wine vinegar

Heat 1 tbl of oil in a large skillet, add chicken and saute about 3 min. per side or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels while you prepare the sauce.

Heat 1 tbl of oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and saute 3-4 min. or until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients, simmer for 5 minutes.

Place the chicken in a crockpot, pouring sauce over each piece until all the sauce is used. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, until the chicken juices run clear and the meat is tender.

Serve with sauteed spinach, adding a dash of red wine or balsamic vinegar to the spinach and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts.

4 servings (serving = 1 thigh & 1/2 cup sauce)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lemon Marinade

Use this marinade for chicken or pork (marinate in fridge up to 12 hours) or for fish or seafood (marinate in fridge for 15 minutes). This makes enough marinade for 1pound of meat.

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken or vegetable broth)
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried herb of your choice (tarragon, oregano, thyme,
basil, rosemary, sage etc.)

Whisk the ingredients together until well combined. Put the meat in a plastic zip bag, pour the marinade over the meat, zip the bag, and lightly massage the meat to evenly distribute the marinade. When ready to cook the meat, remove it from the marinade and discard the marinade, or put it in a small saucepan and boil it for 1-2 minutes and serve with the meat.

Note: DO NOT use the marinade as a sauce until you boil it to kill any cooties.

Baked Eggplant with Artichokes

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces roughly chopped fresh mushrooms
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained & roughly chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup prepared garlic hummus
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
8 slices grilled or broiled eggplant
6 ounces shredded Italian cheese blend
Preheat the oven to 350◦F. Coat a deep baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, artichoke hearts, olives, herb blend, salt, pepper, hummus, wine and chicken broth. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Place four slices of eggplant in a single layer in the prepared casserole. Spread with 1/2 of the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with 3 ounces of the cheese. Place another 4 slices of eggplant over that and repeat the layers to use up the vegetables and cheese, ending with a layer of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand five minutes before serving.
8 servings
Per serving (1 cup):
Calories: 172.5, total fat: 12.8 g, saturated fat: 3.3 g, cholesterol: 8.6 mg, sodium: 348 mg, carbs: 8.1 g, fiber: 3 g, sugars: .2 g, protein: 12.3 g

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cheesey Greens Casserole

This a great dish for the puree diet phase. For an extra creamy version, puree the cottage cheese before adding it to the other ingredients.

2 cups frozen chopped greens (turnip, spinach, or 1 cup of each)
2 cups (about 8 ounces) reduced-fat cheddar cheese, cubed
1 16-ounce container reduced-fat (1%) cottage cheese
3 cups egg substitute
¼ cup flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Drain the greens and pat any excess moisture off with paper towels. Combine the greens with the rest of the ingredients and stir until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and set (mixture doesn’t jiggle).

8 servings

Per serving (1 cup each):
Calories: 169.3, total fat: 3.1 g, saturated fat: 1.8 g, cholesterol: 10.1 mg, sodium: 610.1 mg, carbs: 7.8 g, fiber: 1.5 g, sugars: .6 g, protein: 25.8 g