Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hungry Girl's Chicken Flautas?!

Hungry Girl is a great resource for low-calorie recipes, but as with most things, it's all checking your nutrition labels and making the best choices at the grocery store. I learned that the hard way when I tried to make Hungry Girl's Chicken Flautas. The Hungry Girl (HG) wants fat-free cheeses, corn tortillas and plenty of spices. My little downtown grocery store has none of this. 
Let me cut to the chase - this 188 calorie recipe became a 420 calorie recipe out of no where! Mostly, I blame the tortillas, only afterward did I realize that flour tortillas have more calories than corn tortillas.
It is still a great recipe even with my inadequate groceries, and it makes me think I want to start an under-500 calories series. It is a bit overdone, but being informed is always a good thing!

1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
4 oz. cooked and finely chopped skinless lean chicken breast
3 tbsp. diced onion
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I sprinkled some red pepper flakes on the mixture instead)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
Four 8-inch flour tortillas
2 tsp. chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine picante sauce with cheese and mix well. In another bowl, combine chicken, diced onion, and seasonings; mix well. Set both bowls aside.

Dampen two paper towels, and place tortillas between them. Microwave for about 1 minute, until tortillas are warm and pliable. Set aside.

Place one tortilla flat on a clean dry surface (keep the rest between the paper towels), and spread 1/4th of the saucy cheese mixture (about 1 tbsp.) onto the bottom third of the tortilla. Top with 1/4th of the chicken mixture (about 3 tbsp.). Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cilantro. Tightly roll tortilla up from the bottom around the filling. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese mixture, chicken mixture, and cilantro, for a total of 4 flautas.

Carefully transfer flautas to the baking sheet, seam side down. Spray the tops with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven until tortilla edges are lightly browned and crispy, 15 - 20 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Adapted from:

Allergens: Wheat, gluten, milk
Nutrition (1/2 recipe): 420 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 69 mg cholesterol, 1269 mg sodium, 274 mg potassium, 48 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 28 g protein, 10% vitamin A, 18% vitamin C, 15% calcium, 18% iron, 22% copper, 26% folate, 22% manganese, 16% niacin, 12% phosphorous, 14% riboflavin, 25% selenium, 28% thiamine, 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pasta Salad made for a Picnic

What better time to blog about warm weather and picnics than when it is rainy and cold outside! Last week, when it was warm and sunny, I rounded up some of my girlfriends and we set out for Patterson Park with Tuna Sandwiches, Pasta Salad, Watermelon Slices and a Bottle of Wine. Sitting under a tree, watching baseball and eating refreshing food makes for an idealistic Sunday afternoon. I can't wait to do it again.
I used bowtie pasta and added fresh basil. I just wish I had taken a picture of it, it looked even better than the picture on the website. A lot of pasta salad recipes use salad dressing, but I like that this dressing is relatively natural and simple.

Serving Size 6 servings (1-1/3 cups each)
12 ounces dry rotini pasta, uncooked (12 oz = 4-1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
2 tablespoons Gulden's® Spicy Brown Mustard
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 can (2.25 oz each) ripe olives, drained
1 pkg (3.5 oz each) crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
Fresh chopped basil (optional)
Coarse ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
Meanwhile, mix together oil and mustard in large bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients, except pepper, until combined. Toss in cooled pasta. Sprinkle with pepper, as desired.

Allergens: Wheat, gluten, milk
Nutrition (1 serving): 292 calories, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 654 mg sodium, 164 mg potassium, 37 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 11 g protein, 12% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 17% iron, 12% vitamin E, 12% copper, 21% folate, 19% manganese, 10% niacin, 33% selenium, 16% thiamine

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday this Saturday, but everyone wins when there are funfetti cupcakes! I've been  baking for the last three hours, and I'm bringing the extra into work tomorrow to celebrate my last day of trauma. Staff relief here I come! There are so many reasons to celebrate!

Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes
Yield: 42 large cupcakes

10 large egg whites at room temperature
1 1/2 cup 1% milk, at room temperature
4 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
24 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
1 cup rainbow sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease cupcake pans or line with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/2 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. Stir in rainbow sprinkles.
6. Pour batter into the cupcake pan.
7. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks.
8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.

Adapted from

Allergens: Wheat, Gluten, Milk, Eggs, Soy (in the sprinkles)
Nutrition (1 cupcake): 185 calories, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 194 mg sodium, 16 mg potassium, 29 g carbohydrates, .5 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 3 g protein, 5% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 6% calcium, 6% iron, 11% folate, 5% niacin, 3% phosphorous, 6% riboflavin, 8% thiamine

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Very Minty, Green St. Patrick's Day to You!

When St. Patrick's Day comes along, I feel obligated to produce baked goods involving either green food, green food dye, or beer. This year, pinterest led me to this lovely recipe:

Green Food Dye it is! 
A lot of reviewers complained of the intense minty flavor, and at first I wondered what they were talking about. Then I realized, I used peppermint extract, instead of peppermint oil. 
The substitution is: 

1/4 teaspoon oil = 1 teaspoon extract

So basically, I only used a quarter of the amount of peppermint called for in the recipe. I'm sure I would have complained too, if I used that much peppermint! I used 3 teaspoons of peppermint extract, and I was happy with the results, but I'll post the original recipe below:

Mint Meltaway Cookie Recipe 
Makes 24 cookies

You will need:
1 cup unsalted organic butter
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 teaspoons of peppermint oil (see note above)
A few drops of green food coloring
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cream butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, peppermint oil and a few drops of green food coloring together in your mixer. Stir flour and salt together and then blend into butter mixture.

Drop dough by the teaspoonful, or roll into a ball and flatten for a cleaner look, on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. While warm, dust cookies with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Allergens: Milk, wheat, gluten
Nutrition (1 cookie): 115 calories, 8 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 24 mg sodium, 3 mg potassium, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 1 g protein, 6% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 4% iron  

Turkey Noodle Concoction

Don't let it's looks deceive you, this Turkey Noodle Casserole is pure delicious-ness. The peppers gave it a nice little kick without being overwhelming. Now if you like a little heat, you could probably use two or three chipotle peppers with no problem, but I liked it with just one.
Doing the recipe analysis for this recipe, I was shocked how many calories 1 cup of cheese can have (about 400 calories for the brand I chose)! It's easy to forget at the grocery store that the cheese is all made with whole milk, unless it says otherwise. I feel especially silly for buying whole milk cheese, since I know 2% tastes exactly the same. Just making that simple switch could save you around 120 calories in this recipe and 12 g of fat!

Turkey Noodle Casserole (Serves 6)
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for preparing the pan
10 ounces rigatoni or other shaped pasta
1 medium onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes and juices, crushed
1 to 2 chipotles en adobo, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
2 cups cooked ground turkey, or diced cooked turkey, chicken, or smoked chicken breast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
1 lime, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush an 8 x 8-inch casserole dish with oil. Set aside.

Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Transfer cooked pasta to a plate.

Saute the onion in a large skillet, over medium heat, until light golden. Add the garlic, oregano, taco seasoning, and bay leaf, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and the chipotles, increase the heat to high, and cook for 2 minutes, until thickened. Add the broth and pasta to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle simmer, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the turkey. Turn the mixture into the casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese over and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve the casserole with  lime wedges on the side.

Allergens: Milk, Wheat, Gluten, Soy (found in chicken broth)
Nutrition (1/6 casserole): 485 calories, 23 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 91 mg cholesterol, 520 mg sodium, 517 mg potassium, 44 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 27 g protein, 4% vitamin A, 8% vitamin C, 15% calcium, 12% iron, 15% vitamin B-6, 11% vitamin E, 11% folate, 15% manganese, 23% niacin, 27% phosphorous, 16% riboflavin, 35% selenium, 10% thiamine, 17% zinc