Skinny Chinese Pepper Chicken

A healthy version of a Chinese favorite!

Yesterday, I shared with you the recipe for Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice, and today I’m sharing one option for topping that rice – Chinese Pepper Chicken.  Pepper Chicken is my favorite Chinese dish (and I really don’t like that many Chinese foods!  I’m wierd like that), but it is breaded and fried.  Not very skinny!  So, I wanted to create a version that was a little better for you. 

The original recipe called for Oyster Sauce, but I didn’t have any on hand (and didn’t have the time or energy to run to the store), so i used a combination of Soy Sauce, Worchestershire Sauce and Spenda brown sugar.    If you have Oyster Sauce, go ahead and use that.

Skinny Chinese Pepper Chicken

  • 1 pound chicken breasts (or tenders), boneless, skinless
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp canola oil

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Pepper

In small bowl, combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.  Dust chicken with cornstarch until well coated.  Heat oil in wok or other non-stick pan.  Cook chicken in oil until golden brown, remove and set aside.  Add sauce mixture to pan and heat until bubbling.  Add chicken back in, stirring to fully coat chicken in the sauce.  Serve over Skinny Fried Rice.

 

Serves:4

Calories Per Serving: 289

 

Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice

I’m back!  I took a hiatus from blogging due to a busy work schedule, but I recently resigned from my financial secretary job and now have more time to blog, so I’m back!!  Woohoo!  I’ve really missed blogging and interacting with my readers!  (I hope there a few still out there after all this time)  🙂

A couple days ago I had a craving for Chinese food.  And that’s actually pretty odd for me because I’m not really a fan of most Chinese dishes.  But, I do LOVE the Pepper Chicken and Fried Rice at the Chinese restuarant here in town. So, I decided to try to make a “skinny” version at home.   My husband and I loved it, and my 12 year old son said it was “ok”.  🙂  Boys.  So uncommital.  Today I’m sharing the Fried Rice recipe and tomorrow I will post the Pepper Chicken recipe.  Ideally, you want to use “leftover” rice that you made at least the day before and chilled overnight.  I didn’t plan that far ahead however, so I just made my rice a few hours before dinner and let it chill until I was ready to prepare the rest of the dish.  It worked out just fine.

 

A healthy version of a Chinese favorite!

Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup finely diced vegetables ( I used carrot, asparagus, onion, and red pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (best if rice is made the day before)

 

Heat a wok or other heavy skillet over medium high heat.   Add garlic and cook until tender.  Add vegetables and cook several minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add soy sauce and vinegar; stir well and cook for a couple minutes.  Add rice, mixing well.  Add chicken stock and cook just until rice is heated through.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serves: 4

Calories Per Serving: 128

Toffee Caramel Coffee

The temperatures are finally starting to get cooler here, and to me that means cozy evenings snuggled up in a blanket with a good book and a nice warm drink.  I’ve been playing around with lots of new sweet beverages for my next cookbook (which will be ready by early December!), and I decided to share one of my favorites with my dear blog readers!  If you like this one, be sure to order one of my cookbooks when they are ready!

Toffee Caramel Coffee

  • 6 oz. hot coffee
  • 1 tbsp caramel ice cream syrup (or your favorite caramel sauce)
  • 1 tbsp toffee bits
  • whipped cream
  • caramel syrup for drizzling
  • toffee bits for sprinkling

Stir toffee bits into hot coffee and let sit for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Strain to remove any remaining toffee pieces; pour into mug.  Stir 1 tbsp caramel syrup into coffee.  Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel syrup, and a sprinkle of toffee bits.

 

Stevie’s Triple Decker Sammie

One day at work, the subject of sandwiches came up.  I mentioned that I love a good BLT sandwich.  A coworker asked me if I’d ever had one with peanut butter, onion, and a fried egg – the way his mom had always made them.   My response?  “Um, no!  That sounds nasty!!”  He tried his best to convince me that it was the best sandwich you’ll ever eat.  I didn’t believe him.  I went on my merry way and forgot all about that conversation.  Except not really.  Every once in a while I’d think about that nasty sounding sandwich.  Would it really be that gross?  Well, I finally decided about a week ago that I’d give it a shot.  Only I eliminated the onion.  I don’t do raw onion.  Otherwise, I followed his intructions exactly – I mean, you have to put the ingredients together in the right order for it to REALLY be Stevie’s Triple Decker.  So if you make this sandwich, please, for the love of all things holy, put it together in the right order! 

Stevie’s Triple Decker Sammie

  • 3 slices bread, toasted
  • mayonnaise
  • lettuce
  • fried egg
  • tomato
  • bacon
  • onion
  • peanut butter

Okay…start with a slice of toast.  Spread on a layer of mayo.  Then add a few pieces of lettuce.  Top with a fried egg.  Spread a layer of mayo on a second piece of toast and place it mayo side down onto the sandwich.  Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the top of the toast.  Top with tomato slices.  Then add bacon.  Finally, add the onion.  Take your last piece of toast and spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one side, and place it peanut butter side down onto the sandwich.

You’re ready to eat! 

Serves: 1 or 2, depending on how hungry you are!  I could only eat half!

Spinach Bacon Pasta

Last time I posted (which has been a while, I know…and I’m sorry!), I posted a recipe for Spinach Dip.  That dip is super delicious with crackers or chips, but you can also use it as a pasta sauce!  How cool is that?  I threw together this pasta dish with that spinach dip, some bacon, and parmesan cheese.  That’s it.  Super simple, but so full of flavor!

Spinach Bacon Pasta

  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked crisp
  • 1/4 cup Spinach Dip
  • Fresh parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and toss with spinach dip.  Chop or crumble the bacon and toss with pasta.  Place into serving dishes and top with fresh parmesan cheese.

Serves: 4

Sundried Tomato & Fresh Spinach Dip

Spinach.  Do you love it?  Hate it?  Me – I like baby spinach (aka arugala) in a salad.  I like spinach in dishes where it is a ‘backdrop’, not the main ingredient.  But I LOVE spinach dip.  And since it’s key ingredient IS spinach, I consider it healthy, and find myself eating almost half the batch right after making it.  Don’t judge me.  (But seriously…if you use low-fat cream cheese and sour cream, it really is pretty healthy.  Seriously.)

This recipe couldn’t be simpler to make.  Blanch some fresh spinach, chop up some sundried tomatoes and onion and throw it all in the food proccesor with the other ingredients.  Easy peasy.  This recipe is a great party dish, but you can also use it as a sauce for pasta (that recipe/post is coming tomorrow!)

Sundried Tomato & Fresh Spinach Dip

  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (dry packed)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Blanch spinach in boiling water for one minute.  Draine and rinse immediately in cold water to stop the cooking.  Squeeze to remove excess liquid.  You should have about one cup of cooked spinach at this point.

Place spinach in food processor along with remaining ingredients.  Pulse until smooth.  Serve immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Broiled Salmon

Mondays.  Who needs ’em?  I don’t know about you, but Mondays are super-crazy-busy for us.  I get up, get ready for work, get the kids up and ready for school, take the kids to school, go to work, pick up daughter from school, go back later to pick up son from tutoring, and a couple of hours later, I take daughter to gymnastics, then we come home and get ready for bed.  Yep.  That’s what our Monday’s look like.  Usually, there is only about an hour and a half between the time we get home from tutoring and have to leave for gymnastics.  And on nights like those, I need quick dinners.  And that usually means fish.  It thaws quickly.  It cooks quickly.  So I can take it from the freezer, throw it in a bowl of water to thaw, cook it and be ready to eat in about 45 minutes.  Exactly what I need on a Monday.  Broiled Salmon is one of my go-to dishes for Mondays. 

Broiled Salmon

  • salmon fillets (1 per person)
  • olive oil
  • fresh lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • herbs of your choice

Preheat broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place salmon fillets on foil.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cut lemon in half and slice one very thin slice for each fillet.  Squeeze juice of remaining lemon peices over fillets.  Season with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice (although, just  olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper is delish!).  Place one lemon slice on each fillet.  Broil until fish is cooked through and flakes easily – about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness.