Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches

This is a sandwich that makes your mouth happy :) The combination of the Cajun flavoring on the chicken along with the roasted red pepper and pepperoncini is just perfect. This one is a sure crowd pleaser and cut into strips, would make a great appetizer.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches

1 serving
330 calories per serving

2 slices Italian bread
1 ½ t light mayonnaise
6 slices Cajun spiced deli chicken breast (if unavailable, sprinkle roasted deli chicken with some Cajun seasoning)
3 strips jarred roasted red peppers
1 small pepperoncini pepper sliced
1 no fat cheese slice (Kraft Singles are nice and creamy!)
2 t lite Italian dressing

Brush the outside of the sandwich with the dressing and cook in a skillet 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Spread mayo on bread and then add all the ingredients.

Chicken Milanese with Salad

Milanese style just means a breaded cutlet – – This is easy to throw together and the cutlets rival my old standby recipe – it’s the parmesan cheese in them that make these really special. Change up the salad by adding different veggies; tonight I had some left over zucchini and radishes that I threw in.

Chicken Milanese with Salad
Chicken Milanese with Salad

4 servings
197 calories per serving

4 3 oz boneless chicken breasts
1/4 t black pepper
¼ t salt
1/4 c seasoned bread crumbs
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 t oil
3 c baby salad greens or field greens
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c matchstick cut carrots (pre-packaged)
3 T low fat balsamic dressing
Pam

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse chicken in water. Combine bread crumbs and parmesan in a bowl and press chicken cutlets in to coat well. Spray a skillet with Pam and heat over medium heat and add the chicken and cook about 4-5 minutes per side or until browned. Mix the salad greens, carrots, tomatoes and dressing and serve salad alongside chicken cutlet.

Pork Chop Suey

Authentic and delicious. This Asian meal is memorable, brilliant and I want more NOW ! :)

Pork Chop Suey
Pork Chop Suey

4 servings
280 calories per serving

1 c chicken broth
3 T soy sauce
2 T molasses
1/4 t pepper
5 ts cornstarch
2 T oil, divided
1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 medium red or green bell pepper, sliced thinly
3 c bean sprouts (fresh or canned from the asian section of your market)
1 T minced fresh ginger

Mix broth, soy, molasses and pepper. Take 2 T of the mix and stir in cornstarch and set aside. Heat 1 T oil in a non stick skillet and cook pork. Cook 5 minutes to brown it and then place in a bowl and set aside. Add 1 T oil to the skillet and cook onion 3 minutes then add the pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add bean sprouts and ginger and cook another 3 minutes then add the broth and bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes and then add cornstarch mix and pork and cook 2-3 minutes to thicken sauce and finish up the pork.

For just 130 calories, add ½ c of chow mein noodles to the side.

Lemony Orzo and Tuna

This is one of the pasta salads you will make again and again. The added protein from the tuna makes this a great complete meal, or you can serve as a side to any salad for a great lunch or light dinner.

Lemony Orzo and Tuna
Lemony Orzo and Tuna

6 servings
256 calories per serving

3/4 c orzo
1/2 t grated lemon zest
3 T lemon juice
1 T oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t minced garlic
½ t red pepper flakes
1 c drained and flaked tuna fish
1/2 c diced English cucumber
1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
1/3 c scallions, sliced into thin rings
1 T sliced basil
1/2 c crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain, rinse to stop the cooking process and place in a bowl. Mix lemon zest, oil, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, pepper and mix with the pasta. Add fish, cucumber, pepper and scallions and mix well. Place and sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Creamy Caesar Salad

This recipe gives you a really nice creamy dressing since you use mayo instead of eggs and oil. If you like it with a lot of bite, add extra anchovy.

Creamy Caesar Salad
Creamy Caesar Salad

8 servings
88 calories per serving

½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ c fat free mayo
¼ c lemon juice
2 t anchovy paste
2 t Worcestershire sauce
½ t pepper
¼ t dry mustard
5 large cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh bread cut into cubes
4 head romaine lettuce in bite size pieces

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine 1.2 c water with cheese, mayo, lemon juice, anchovy paste, Worcestershire, pepper, mustard and garlic. Whisk well and set aside. Place bread pieces on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes to toast them. When done combine croutons and romaine and then dress and serve immediately.

Fruit Parfaits

These whip up in no time and are so versatile – you can use any flavor jello and any flavor fruit – – just make sure it’s frozen fruit. The frozen fruit is what makes the jello firm up in no time flat. I did this with raspberries and the dessert was just amazing tasting !

Fruit Parfaits
Fruit Parfaits

4 servings
85 calories per serving

3/4 c boiling water
1 c Cool Whip, thawed
.3 oz. package flavored sugar free jello, raspberry or strawberry flavor
2 c frozen raspberries or strawberries

Add water to jello and stir 2 minutes to dissolve then stir in 2 c frozen fruit until jello starts to thicken. Add ½ c of the mix to the Cool Whip and whisk to blend then spoon into dessert cups and cover with the rest of the jello mix. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole

A whole quarter of this casserole is yours for under 400 calories ! And it is so very flavorful. I used to do a version of this with a can of cream soup as well, but let me tell you, you don’t even miss it and without the extra calories, there’s a big old portion with my name on it :)

Trim the serving size by ½ and you have a great side dish or appetizer for just 195 calories.

Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole
Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole

4 servings
390 calories per serving

2 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c cooked brown or white rice
2/3 c skim milk
½ c Egg Beaters
1 c grated low fat cheddar cheese (or parmesan, or gruyere, or swiss – whatever low fat cheese you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ c fat free chicken broth
½ pound lean ham, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix spinach, rice, milk, eggs, ¾ c cheese, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet and cook onion with salt and pepper until onion begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes. During the last 2 minutes, add the garlic, then add broth and cook 4-5 minutes or so then add ham and cook until warm. Combine the 2 mixes and place in a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese and bake uncovered ½ hour.

Planning Easter Dinner

Having guests over for Easter? Attending a potluck or an event where you need to bring a dish? Then take a look at some of the perfect Easter dishes from 400 Calories or Less !

I typically make holidays my ‘Cheat Day’ for the week, but I don’t go wild – I just don’t watch quite as close as I normally do. With my low cal dishes, you can have an appetizer, soup, your meal and dessert for less than some single slices of cake (think Cheesecake Factory). So put your apron and get makin’ some Easter goodies :)

My Easter Meal Recommendation:

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms
Zucchini Pizzas
Spinach Tarts

Soup:
Lemon Soup

Dinner:
Baked Ham
Steamed Potatoes with Garlic Sauce
Lemony Green Beans

Dessert:
Chocolate Bark
Banana Cake

The mushrooms can be prepped ahead of time and cooked when the guest arrive. Same with the zucchini pizzas. The spinach tarts can be prepared AND cooked the day ahead – they reheat great in the microwave or oven.

The soup can be prepared ahead and kept warm in a crock pot set to the ‘warm’ setting.

The ham can go in the oven early, taken out while you cook the appetizers and placed back in to finish up the cooking. And the potatoes can be done ahead and you keep them warm in a crock or reheat at the last minute. Keep the steamer out and reuse it to do the beans. The beans should be done at the last minute – but it is just a steaming and quick mix with the other ingredients before you bring them to the table.

The 2 desserts can be prepared the day before.

Happy Easter and Happy Cooking !

Skinny Surf and Turf

Surf and term usually includes a large portion of meat and a lobster tail dripping in butter. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, try a Skinny Surf and Turf with a lean piece of filet mignon and some Lemon Shrimp. Just as good, much lower fat, and a perfect celebration meal.

Skinny Surf and Turf
Skinny Surf and Turf

2 servings
346 calories per serving

2 4 oz. filet mignons
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray

Add 2 servings of LEMON SHRIMP for the perfect ‘surf’ !

Preheat grill. Sprinkle meat with garlic, salt and pepper. Grill a couple of minutes each side or until desired temperature. When done, spritz with ICBINB Spray.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Decadent, Delicious, Moist, and just the right amount of peanut butter. These just could not have been any better !!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes

30 cupcakes
235 calories per serving

1 package super moist yellow cake mix
1 ½ c water
¼ c vegetable oil
3 eggs
¾ c creamy peanut butter
1 tub ready to spread chocolate frosting
¼ c creamy peanut butter
1/3 c chopped peanuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees . Line muffin cups with paper liners. Beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and ¾ c peanut butter on low 30 seconds and then on medium 2 minutes. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter and bake 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. Stir together frosting and ¼ c peanut butter and frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with peanuts.

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