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

 

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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

Sun-tella Spread (Sunflower Seed-Chocolate Spread)

Nutella.  It’s smooth, creamy, delicous.  It’s also kind pricey.  I wanted to try to make my own version.  So, I go to the grocery store only to discover that they don’t carry hazelnuts.  Seriously?  Change of plans.  What can I use in place of the hazelnuts that would still taste yummy.  On a whim, I decided to try sunflower seeds.  Yes.  Sunflower seeds.  The end result was yummy.  Not the same at Nutella, but  yummy none the less. I decided to go with salted sunflower seeds because I love that salty-sweet combination.  If you don’t want the salty-sweet combo, just use unsalted sunflower seeds.   I’m anxious to try other nuts/seeds for other flavors as well! 

 *NOTE* Because this is made with seeds, not nuts, those with nut allergies SHOULD be able to eat this.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Ask your doctor first if you’re not sure.

Sun-tella Spread

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-6 teaspoons vegetable oil

Place sunflower seeds in food processor and process until almost powdery.  (If you want a chunkier spread, don’t process quite as long).  Add enough vegetable oil to form a smooth, soft paste.  Pour in the melted chocolate, pulsing until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, pulsing until it forms a smooth, spreadable consistency.    

Store in airtight container.  Because there is no dairy in this spread, and because we’ll eat it up in about 3 days,  I just leave it at room temperature.  If you will be storing it for more than a few days, I’d refrigerate it and let it come to room temp before using.

Makes: 1 cup

WW Points + Per Tablespoon: 3

Lavendar Peach Butter

I have a great neighbor.  She brings me fresh tomatoes from her garden.  She gives me homemade strawberry freezer jam.  And the other day she gave me some fresh basil and fresh lavendar from her garden.  I had never used fresh lavendar in cooking before, so I was excited to try it!  With peaches being so scrumptious right now, I thought it would be great to mix the two flavors.  Thus, Lavendar Peach Butter was born.  This recipe makes a small batch – only about a pint – but you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe if you want to make several jars.

Lavendar Peach Butter

  • 4 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp fresh lavendar leaves, chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Place water and lavendar in small saucepan.  Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and let steep for 10-15 minutes.  Add peaches, lemon juice, and lemon zest to pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The peaches will start to break down and thicken slightly.

With an immersion blender, puree the peach mixture until smooth.  (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor to puree.  Then, transfer back to the pan.) 

Add sugar and bring to a boil again, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 25 minutes.  Pour mixture into jars and let cool before adding the lid. 

Store in the refrigerator and use within one week.

Somewhat Skinny Chicken & Pasta San Marco

I found this recipe while flipping through a cookbook I borrowed from the library (which, by the way, is a great place to get recipes…just check out the books, copy down the recipes you like, and return the books!).  I made a few changes to suit my family’s tastes, and to try and make it a little healthier.  It’s still not super low in points, but if you have a salad on the side, you’d have a nice dinner for a reasonable amount of points. 

Somewhat Skinny Chicken & Pasta San Marco

Servings:  6   WW Points Per Serving:  13

San Marco Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chcken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp flour

Vegetables:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cup julienned bell peppers (colors of your choice, I like to use a combo of red, green and yellow)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

Pasta:

  • 6 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti or fettucine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Grated fresh parmesan cheese for serving

Cook pasta and drain.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil and toss to prevent sticking. 

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, preheat a heavy pot over medium high heat and add 3 tbsp olive oil.  When oil is hot, add chicken and saute for 5 minutes or until slightly browned on all sides.  Add onions and cook another 2 minutes.   Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds.  Add chicken broth to the pot and stir to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the tomatoes and the flour.  Lower heat to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer, stirring occasioinally, until the chicken is tender, about 5-10 minutes.  Add cooked pasta to the pot and toss to combine.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare the vegetables by adding 3 tbsp olive oil to a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the peppers and broccoli and cook just until crisp-tender.  Add the salt, pepper, and herbs.

To serve, place pasta in serving dish and top with vegetables.  Grate fresh parmesan cheese over top.  Serve immediately.

Skinny Spinach and Chicken Alfredo Pizza

I have ordered this pizza at our local pizza place, and was determined to create a version that is lower in points, yet still delicious.  Here’s what I came up with.  And I aplogize, but I dont’ have a lot of step by step photos for this one, because my family was hungry!

I started with a premade pizza crust.  This pizza has two parts basically – the alfredo sauce, and the chicken topping.  And, it was really good as is, but I really thinking it would be even more awesome with some fresh sliced tomatoes on top!

Start by preparing the spinach alfredo sauce.

Cook the chicken.

Assemble the pizza.

Sauce, chicken, fresh mozzarella cheese.

Bake until golden brown, and serve!

Skinny Spinach & Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Serves: 8        WW Points Plus Per Serving:  8

 

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 oz. frozen spinach, cooked and drained

Chicken:

  • 6 chicken tenders (or 2 chicken breasts), boneless & skinless, sliced thinly
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

 

  • Prebaked Pizza Crust
  • 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh Tomato, thinly sliced

 

Prepare chicken by tossing chicken pieces with floru.  Heat olive oil in skillet.  Add garlic and cook until soft.  Add flour coated chicken and cook until cooked through.  Set chicken aside. 

In same skillet, melt butter for sauce.  Add flour and cook for one minute.  Slowly stir in milk, whisking to prevent lumps.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Add parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Stir in spinach.

Spread sauce on crust.  Top with cooked chicken.  Lay fresh mozzarella slices over all.  Top with fresh tomato slices.  Bake for 15 minutes at 475 degrees until golden brown and bubbly.

Lemon Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

 

I don’t know about you, but I love just about anything with lemons.  Lemonade.  Lemon Pie.  Lemon Bars.  You name it.  So, when a friend shared the link to this recipe, I knew I had to try it.  I made a few minor changes to it, because, well, I rarely stick to a recipe exactly.  I’m wierd that way.

If you don’t lik the mushrooms, I encourage you to go ahead and make the creamy sauce without them.  It won’t be the same, but you don’t want to leave out the lemony sauce completely.  You could even substitute onions for the mushrooms, I think.

Start by coating 4 chicken breasts (or chicken tenders in my case) with 1 tbsp olive oil. 

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and place chicken in skillet.  Season with salt and pepper and cook on both sides until just browned.

Zest the lemon; set zest aside for later. 

Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over chicken.  Slice remaining half of lemon into thin slices.  Place slices on top of browned chicken.

Cover with lid and cook until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in seperate skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add 3 cups sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are browned and have released their juices.

Once mushrooms have browned, sprinkle 2 tbsp flour over mushrooms and stir to combine.

Stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth and cook until sauce has thickened.

Just before serving, a just a splash of heavy cream (this gives the sauce a rich, creamy consistency) and add in lemon zest and 1 tbsp parsley.

Place chicken on serving plate and top with sauce.

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Lemon Chicken with Mushroom Sauce4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon

2 tbsp butter

3 cups sliced mushrooms

½ cup chicken broth

2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp parsley

Salt & Pepper to taste

Splash heavy cream

Coat chicken with olive oil. Place in hot skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on both sides until just brown.

Zest the lemon; set zest aside. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over chicken. Slice remaining lemon half into slices. Top each chicken breast with 1-2 slices of lemon. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are browned and have released their juices, about 6 minutes.

Sprinkle with flour and stir. Add chicken broth, stirring to make a thick sauce. Stir in a just a splash of heavy cream. Add lemon zest and parsley at the last minute. Spoon over cooked chicken and serve immediately.