Curried Chicken Sandwich

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I don’t entertain much. It’s a little ironic because I love entertaining (and cooking, of course), or at least the idea of entertaining. Last weekend it was suddenly, “Oh crap, will we have enough sides for 25 people? Do I have anything vegetarian to throw on the grill alongside the brats and burgers?”

And before that was the very important question of, “Hmmm…who’s going to help get this keg to the beach? You know, down the bluff…as is, three stories of stairs.” Thankyouvolunteers!

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Tuesday night we had an old co-worker of Mr. Prevention’s over for dinner, along with her family. I was so proud that I had gotten up early, seared the pork for carnitas and had thrown that in the crock pot before work. Mr. P was stopping by the store for margarita ingredients while I had gotten home from work to start prepping. He actually called to ask if I needed anything from the store and I quickly responded with, “Nope!”

It wasn’t ten minutes later that I realized I had not prepared nor planned anything for dessert. How do you host a dinner party without dessert? Seriously, Nicole? Seriously!?

So, I did what any dietitian host would do…I baked chocolate chip cookies. FAST.

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At least dinner was ready, right? The cookies? Not too shabby ;)

This dinner…it takes a bit of forethought because you marinade the chicken. However, that step is well worth the planning. This curried chicken was absolutely phenomenal. In fact, I could go without the bread and be just as happy. In fact, I did omit one slice of the bread and gobbled the chicken and slaw right up.

Don’t let grilling season pass you by before trying this one. I promise, you’ll be thanking me!

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Curried Chicken Sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This perfectly grilled chicken has a great curry flavor and a perfectly golden hue that makes it totally unique.
Ingredients
Chicken:
  • 1½ cups low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 4 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Slaw & Sandwich:
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • ½ small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 small slices country-style bread
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine buttermilk, salt, pepper, curry powder, cumin, and turmeric in a large resealable plastic bag, seal, and shake well. Add the chicken and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare grill for medium-high heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine celery, fennel, onion, yogurt, lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper; toss to combine. Set slaw aside.
  4. Grill chicken until cooked through, 5–7 minutes per side. Brush bread on both sides with oil and grill until toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Build sandwiches with bread, chicken, and slaw. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories: 362 Fat: 7.3 Carbohydrates: 37.8 Sugar: 3.3 Sodium: 874 Fiber: 2.8 Protein: 35.3 Cholesterol: 60

 Early AM meeting!

Be well,

sig4

Rotini with Kale, Prosciutto & Ricotta

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I have hockey games at all sorts of weird hours. I may have games at dinner time, or as late as 10 or 11pm…it varies a lot.

Wednesday night, my game was at 7:15, so I had to leave the house by 6:15 to be to the rink on time. I thought I had enough time to make dinner, this dinner, and eat…but I didn’t quite plan properly. I ended up making dinner and then not having time to eat. I threw dinner into the fridge, grabbed a pint of raspberries and my water bottle, and headed for the rink.

I was mad. Dinner looked AMAZING.

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Having had a somewhat frustrating day, I was in a downright foul mood by the time I got to the rink. I warmed up very lack-luster and not excited to be there, my mind running through the day.

By the end of the 1st period, my mood had completely changed and playing hockey wiped away all my frustrations of the day…and my dwelling on my home-cooked meal being thrown into the fridge…untouched. The second period went by and we went up by a goal. Then, our goalie made a not-so-wise move to come way out of the crease and they scored easily on us.

In the 3rd period, we were down by a goal (2-1) with less than 2 minutes to go. We pulled our goalie and were controlling it in their zone. We fired one bad shot after the next and I fired a hail Mary high shot that went right over the goalie’s right shoulder…end into the top of the net. SCORE!

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We tied. I’ll take a tie over a loss any day.

I went up to the goalie, a very good goalie, after the game and said, “I’ve wanted to score on you for a long time!”

He responded with, “You scored on me from behind the net on the other sheet of ice awhile back.”

“You remember these things in detail, huh?” I inquired.

“Sure do,” he said with a smile.

I left very happy with my goal to tie the game and scurried home to enjoy these leftovers. If the meal was this good leftover, I can only assume it was all the better when it was first prepared!

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Rotini with Kale, Prosciutto & Ricotta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Not sure what to do with all that summer kale? Pastas are a great main dish to bulk up with kale and all of its nutrition and beauty!
Ingredients
  • 8 oz dry whole wheat rotini
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 oz prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, ends trimmed and ribs removed, rinsed thoroughly and torn into pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ lemon
  • ¾ cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add pasta, stir, and boil 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the prosciutto and fry until crispy. Add chopped kale and garlic to the pan and cook until kale is wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Squeeze the lemon on top.
  3. Add pasta to pan with kale, then add the ricotta. Finish off with crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss and serve hot.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from I Was Born To Cook, and originally, Wit & Delight
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 364 Fat: 9.0 Carbohydrates: 49.8 Sugar: 2.8 Sodium: 749 Fiber: 5.8 Protein: 24.0 Cholesterol: 34

TGIF! On tap this weekend? Nothing, really. :)

Be well,

sig4

SoCal Guacamole Burger + Weekly Menu

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My birthday sneaks up on me every year. Is it because it’s summer and the days fly by?

Perhaps because it’s the second day of the month and it sneaks up on everyone?

Maybe it’s because my birthday is days before the Fourth of July?

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My mom called me last week to inform me not to open the package she sent…”until the 1st of July”.

“Mom, my birthday is the second of July. Is that what you meant?” I asked.

“Oh, yes.” she said, “The second…the second…”

It’s alright, ma. I realize your brother’s birthday is the 1st. Mine is the 2nd. It all blends together, especially with a holiday on the fourth.

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When I made this week’s menu, I forgot the 4th of July was upon us. And my birthday. Apparently, both events snuck up on me, too. Not that that changes much.

I made these burgers for my friend Kelly and her mom and sister last week. They were a huge hit. The guacamole was fantastic and I loved the simplicity of the burger + guacamole + sprouts. It was the perfect, simple burger and so very southern California, as the recipe title suggests. These would be perfect for those celebrating the 4th by way of cookout, or simply bookmark these for later. You won’t regret it!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
SoCal Guacamole Burger
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Bring on the summer grilling! This guacamole-smothered burger is a summer hit!
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, divided
  • 2 Tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 lb 90% lean ground sirloin
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (1½-ounce) whole-grain hamburger buns
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Place half of avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork until almost smooth. Add yogurt and next 3 ingredients to bowl; stir to combine. Dice remaining half of avocado. Add diced avocado, tomato, jalapeño, and ⅛ teaspoon salt to bowl; stir gently to combine.
  3. Season beef with remaining ⅜ teaspoon salt and pepper; mix well. Divide beef into 4 equal portions. Gently shape each portion into a (1/2-inch-thick) patty. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  4. Place ¼ cup sprouts on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 patty, about 3 tablespoons guacamole, and top half of bun.
Notes
slightly adapted from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 burgers Calories: 392 Fat: 20.5 Carbohydrates: 25.5 Sugar: 3.3 Sodium: 553 Fiber: 4.5 Protein: 28.8 Cholesterol: 75
 
Weekly Menu: June 30th – July 4th

Strawberry picking and beach today! :) I love Michigan in the summertime!

Be well,

sig4

Melon and Prosciutto Pasta Salad + Weekly Menu

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We had a golf outing for work yesterday. As a volunteer and non-golfer, I supervised hole 16 with a co-worker. Had a hole-in-one been made, there was a great car to give away that was parked in the tee box, taunting the golfers. But, no hole-in-ones were made. In fact, there were some pretty terrible golfers. It made me want to give it a go. I mean, I couldn’t be THAT much worse than some of the novices out there. You have to start somewhere, right?

Yesterday, however, was a day to volunteer. And get sun burnt.

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After the event, the volunteers stuck around to enjoy a cold beer and socialize some.

By the time I left the golf course and ran some errands, I had lost all motivation to workout. Between the sun and the beer and the week from you-know-where with very little sleep, a workout was the very last thing I wanted to do. Literally, the very last thing I wanted to do. But, by 8pm, I stumbled down to the workout room and pounded out 40 minutes on the elliptical. A very sweaty workout while catching up with one of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance.

You never regret a workout, right? So true.

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When I was through, Mr. Prevention wanted an update on what plans we had for dinner. At 9pm.

“Leftovers, dude.” I said.

I finished off a tiny bit of pulled pork, a tiny bit of crab & avocado salad, and a spoonful of this Melon and Prosciutto Pasta Salad. While the melon & prosciutto salad combination isn’t anything new, it was new to me. The lemon-olive oil dressing tied the flavors together beautifully and most importantly, it was a super quick meal that didn’t require the oven.

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Melon and Prosciutto Pasta Salad

7 oz (2 cups dry) whole wheat penne pasta 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 Tbsp olive oil 1/8 tsp salt and black pepper 2 cups canteloupe, cubed 3 oz prosciutto, ripped into pieces 6 large basil leaves, chiffonade 2 oz Asiago, shaved

Directions:

Bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add the pasta, stir, and cook 12-14 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under slightly cool water until pasta is room temperature.

Meanwhile, squeeze the lemon juice into a medium bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously. Season with the salt and pepper.

Toss the pasta with the lemon-olive oil dressing and add remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Yield: 4 entree servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 389 calories; 16.0 g. fat; 32 mg. cholesterol; 674 mg. sodium; 42.8 g. carbohydrate; 4.5 g. fiber; 19.5 g. protein; 10.3 g. sugar

Result: Sweet and salty with a hint of tang from the lemon juice and salty, rich bite of the Asiago. I love the balance of flavors and how fresh and summery the dish is for a quick weeknight meal. I wish the leftovers were as good as when it’s freshly made, but a squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil would freshen it right up as leftovers. Enjoy!

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Weekly Menu: June 16th – June 20th

Happy weekend! Our families are here this weekend for Father’s Day celebrations :) Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Be well,

sig4

Goat Cheese, Asparagus, and Sausage Pasta

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I’ve been staying up way, way too late lately.

First, it was a cookbook deadline. And other writing that…doesn’t write itself. Wouldn’t that be nice?

This week, it seems to be hockey keeping me up. Tuesday night my hockey game started at 9:30pm…45 minutes from home. Between the game, commute, wind down, and shower, I wasn’t crawling into bed until way too close to 1am. On a school work night! I’m beginning to feel like I did in college – surviving on caffeine and a to-do list that never ends. One thing gets crossed off the list and another 6 get added.

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Then last night, there was also hockey interfering with sleep.

Though we live half way between Detroit and Chicago, more-or-less, we didn’t get any of those games on our dish channels. Now that it’s the Stanley Cup Finals, I had to watch the Chicago vs. Boston game 1. Let’s just say, being on EST is not helpful for late sporting events. But it was well worth it when Chicago tied it up with 9ish minutes left in the 3rd….and then the game went into overtime.

By 11:20pm, the game was still tied at 3. I had to say, “Mercy,” shower, and collapse into bed.

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Needless to say, by the time I stumble in the door at night, workouts have been…difficult, and dinners have had to be extremely simple, quick, healthy, and good. There’s nothing like being whipped, making dinner, and it’s not even good. In fact, that’s the absolute worst.

This recipe, however? It has most of my favorite ingredients. Goat cheese, asparagus, and spicy chicken or turkey sausage – I’m smitten with each and every one of those ingredients. If you are, too, you’re welcome!

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Goat Cheese, Asparagus, and Sausage Pasta adapted from Martha Stewart by Pink Parsley and Cooking with LT

2 bunches (about 2 lbs) asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 Tbsp olive oil 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 5 links (1 lb) spicy chicken or turkey sausage 13 oz dry whole wheat pasta 4 oz goat cheese, softened 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or foil and set aside.

Toss asparagus with olive oil and place on the baking sheet, leaving half of one of the sheets open. Top asparagus with salt and pepper.

Slice sausage into 1-inch rounds and add to the empty half of the baking sheet. Roast until asparagus is tender and sausage is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook the pasta until al dente, about 10-13 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water; drain the pasta.

Whisk together the softened goat cheese, butter pieces, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Season with garlic powder; whisk until smooth.

Return the pasta to the pot, and toss with the goat cheese mixture, asparagus, and chicken sausage. Add pasta water a few tablespoons at a time until a thin sauce coats the pasta.

Yield: 7 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 399 calories; 16.9 g. fat; 49 mg. cholesterol; 549 mg. sodium; 40.7 g. carbohydrate; 5.7 g. fiber; 22.0 g. protein; 3.9 g. sugar

Result: The tangy goat cheese goes a long way in this dish. The spicy sausage and hearty asparagus with the whole wheat pasta make for the perfect balance between healthy and indulgent. This meal comes together in about 25-30 minutes and makes a lot! Enjoy!

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 This week has been a doozie…bring on Friday!

Be well,

sig4