Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baked Chicken Croquettes

I've been presented with a challenge lately, by none other than my 15-month old, Jacob. My once happy I'll-eat-any-pureed-thing-you-shove-in-my-mouth baby has turned into a head-shaking, tight-lipped, I-don't-like-anything-but-cheese-bread-and-grapes toddler. So I have been on a mission to create healthy foods that he will eat, and not know that the healthy stuff is in there. I found this recipe for Baked Chicken Croquettes over at SkinnyTaste.com and thought it sounded perfect for Jacob, as well as an easy dinner for me and my husband. I served them with an easy chicken gravy and some green beans (my veggie of choice) and it was a great meal for everyone. Jacob loved the croquettes so I know that it is something I will be making again!

Baked Chicken Croquettes
Adapeted from: SkinnyTaste

3 cooked chicken breast, chopped fine (I used a food processor)
3 potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth, divided
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
salt and fresh pepper
1/2 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg, whisked
olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp)

1.Preheat oven to 450°. In a large bowl, mash potatoes with 1/4 cup broth, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Saute garlic, and onions in oil on low heat. Add parsley, salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add chicken, and remaining broth, mix well and shut heat off. Add chicken to mashed potatoes and using your clean hands mix well. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
3. Measure 1/4 cup of mixture then form into croquettes. Place on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining mixture.
4. Dip each croquette in egg wash, then breadcrumbs and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet for easy cleanup. Spray generously with olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth). Bake in the oven about 15 minutes, or until golden.
Chicken Gravy
From: MyRecipes.com 

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth, undiluted
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Swedish Apple Cake

So, I've been doing so well with my diet and exercising the past couple of weeks that I've been hesitant to bake anything lately. However, I decided to reward myself today with this Swedish Apple Cake. I have had my eye on this recipe for awhile, and I am so glad I finally tried it, because it is superb. It isn't so much like a cake as it is more like a chewy cookie in cake form. The sweetness is just right, and I would imagine it would go really well with a scoop vanilla ice cream, if I was lucky enough to have some in my freezer. The ingredients are so simple, you probably have everything you need in your kitchen. No apples? No worries, the cake stands out all on it's own. So go ahead and bake this cake, with or without the apples, it's definitely a treat.

Swedish Apple Cake
Adapted from: O Pistachio

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 apple ,cored, and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
2. Melt the butter. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, if you're using it.
3. Working in a mixing bowl with the whisk, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. Stir in the vanilla, and then the melted butter. The mixture will be smooth and shiny. Stir in the dry ingredients.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the apples, making a spiral pattern. Leave some space between each slice, so the batter can puff up between the wedges. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack.
5. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes, or wait until it reaches room temperature, before you cut it into wedges to serve.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Baked Southwestern Eggrolls

One the best things about cooking at home is the ability to recreate healthy versions of your restaurant favorites. The Southwestern Eggrolls from Chili's are one of my most favorite restaurant indulgences. The calories, not so much. With this recipe I can finally enjoy them anytime I get a craving and not gain five pounds in one meal. These eggrolls are baked, not fried, and full of flavor. Ryan actually said that these were his most favorite recipe I have ever made. I think that's probably an exaggeration, but yeah, they are pretty dang good. The ingredient list for these looks a little daunting, but they are really very simple to but together. I used mostly frozen/canned vegetables and they came out delicious.  This recipe makes about 8-10 eggrolls, and are perfect for a meal on their own, but would also be a great appetizer for a crowd. Serve these with some avocado-ranch dressing and they will be sure to please.

Baked Southwestern Eggrolls 
Adapted from: Joelen

1 chicken breast, cooked and finely diced
2 tbs minced roasted red bell pepper  (I used the jarred version)
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tbs diced jalapeno peppers
1 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 tbs minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8-10 eggroll wrappers

Avocado-Ranch Dressing:
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/2 avocado

1. So simple. Preheat oven to 300F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except the eggroll wrappers and mix well.
2. Place about 2 tbs of filling the center of the wrapper and roll up. (Roll according to the package directions on your eggroll wrappers.) Place seamside down on the baking sheet. Lightly spray tops of eggrolls with cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. While baking, mix together the avocado and ranch for your dip. Serve eggrolls warm with avocado-ranch dressing.