Fit Hungry Mama

One mama's journey of finding balance with food, fitness, family, and fun

Crispy Grilled Chicken, Apple Cider Broccoli Slaw, and Spicy Lime Corn on the Cob

I am so excited I finally have time to tell you about last night’s meal. It was so dang delicious. I think it will probably one of my favorite home-cooked summer dinners!

I’ve made the two sides before and knew they tasted good, so I was really curious about making “fried” chicken on the grill.

I’ll start with the Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs. I followed this recipe pretty closely. I used regular olive oil mayo and panko breadcrumbs (since I didn’t have the regular kind). I also used 12 thighs instead of the ten since I  bought two six packs of thighs. I’m sure boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded thin would work as well. I prepared the marinade the night before and put it into a ziplock bag along with the thighs. I squeezed all the air out and massaged the marinade into the meat before letting it marinate for about 20 hours.

I only use the panko for six of the thighs and left the other 6 bare. They were so thin and spread out so they really soaked up the breading! And they didn’t take long to cook at all. They looked gorgeous, just like baked fried chicken with grill marks. And the taste was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe it was grilled breaded chicken. They are quite addicting, so be sure to make enough for everyone! As for the bare ones, I sampled a small piece and decided that these particular pieces would make a great topping for salad or a spicy chicken sandwich.

Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs (from PreventionRD.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup low fat olive mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (about 2 1/2 lb)
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine the mayonnaise, chili powder, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat a grill to medium low. Place the breadcrumbs and black pepper in a shallow dish, then add the chicken, turning to thoroughly coat. Grill the chicken, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 to 9 minutes per side.

Yield: 10 servings (1 thigh each)

 

I ran across the recipe for spicy lime buttered corn on the cob many years ago and can not remember where I found it.  This is what I do when I make it for our family of 4.

Spicy Lime Buttered Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

  • half stick (4tbsp) of unsalted butter, softened
  • the juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/8 tsp or so of red pepper
  • 4 fresh ears of corn (grilled or boiled, your preference)

Directions: Mix first 3 ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate in a serving dish until ready to serve corn on the cob.

Then I made the broccoli slaw by modifying the recipe found on the backside of the bag of  Eat Smart’s Broccoli Slaw. I replaced the vinegar with apple cider vinegar and the 2tsp  of sugar with a packet of Truvia. I also used olive oil mayo instead of traditional mayo. Next time, I may experiment with using nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

Apple Cider Broccoli  Slaw (adapted from Eat Smart Broccoli Slaw recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2tsp sugar or 1 packet of no-calorie sweetener
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz Broccoli Slaw

Directions: Mix first 4 ingredients thoroughly in large bowl.  Add slaw and gently toss until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Oatmeal Waffles

I love cooking special breakfasts on the weekends. Back in the day, I used to just rely on Bisquick for my waffle needs. I decided to give up the Bisquick and try making them from scratch. I’ve tried several recipes and none of them were tasty enough to try again. That is until I ran across this oatmeal waffle recipe!

The very first time I made them, I followed the directions exactly. They were superb! The next time I made them, I replaced half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. They were a little more dense (which I prefer!), but just as flavorful as the original. I like that the recipe has butter in it because the butter combined with the brown sugar and cinnamon makes the house smell so good! Plus, I find that there is no need to put extra butter on the waffle, which saves me some calories.  And let us not forget about the syrup. The old me would drown my waffles and pancakes in pancake syrup. Now, I prefer to use real maple syrup over the artificially flavored stuff. Maple syrup has more calories per serving (1/4 cup = 200 calories), so you really have to watch how much you pour. I’ve found that 1/8 cup  (2 tbsp) is plenty for two squares of these particular waffles. You don’t want to drown these in any topping you decide to use. Otherwise, you will miss out in the rich comforting flavors!

Oatmeal Waffles (adapted from allrecipes.com)

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  2. In small mixing bowl, stir together eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add to flour mixture; stir until blended.
  4. Pour batter on to grids of preheated, lightly greased waffle iron.
  5.  When the waffle is finished, top with desired toppings ( fresh fruit and yogurt, or my favorite pure maple syrup!)
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Whew!!

I’ve wanted to do a new post for a while now, but I’ve been so focused on finishing up other projects.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have been busy doing a major purge and re-organization of the house. I am proud to say that my basement, kitchen, and master bath is in perfect order! I still have lots of work to do on all of our closets and under our beds, but those will have to wait until school starts!

Speaking of school, my 4.5 year old starts pre-K in a few weeks. I’m both excited and nervous! We’ve done one trip of clothes shopping and have at least one more to do.  Tomorrow, my husband and I will attend an orientation at his school.  Next week, we will start practicing the school day morning routine. I’m not looking forward to waking up earlier, but at least it wont be a huge adjustment for the boys since they have woken up early all summer.

I’ve also been busy with doing at-home workouts. I’ve done double stroller walks, swimming, Brazil Butt Lift, and a few Insanity classes. Currently, I go to the gym once per week (sad, I know) for a heavy-duty weight training session with my awesome personal trainer and finish up with an hour on the elliptical.

I’ve also tried out a bunch of new recipes and am looking forward to writing about them on here soon.  In addition to the recipes, I have thought about a million other topics I want to blog  about, but am waiting for more time to become available!

Lastly, I’ve been prepping for my sister’s upcoming visit! We only get to see each other a couple of times per year, so I try to make our reunions memorable.

And that is what I’ve been up to lately!

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Parmesan and Sage Crusted Pork Chops with Mashed Sweet Potatoes Brulee

I’ve craved all sorts of naughty foods lately thanks to an annoying situation I had dealt with all week. Today, I was craving fried pork chops for dinner. So the search was on. My eyes landed on Cooking Light’s Parmesan and Sage Crusted Pork Chops. Oh my, the name alone had my mouth watering! I had to modify the recipe because all I had on hand were dried sage, canned bread crumbs and whole wheat bread, and Dijon mustard (I’m not a big fan of yellow mustard).  I refuse to buy white bread and didn’t think  whole wheat bread would work, so I just used plain pre-made breadcrumbs from a can.  I also used olive oil in place of the canola oil, because I love sneaking in MUFAs for additional health benefits. The end results were amazing. The chops had beautiful golden brown crispy crusts and were very moist on the inside. So good!!

This is what I did:

Parmesan and Sage Crusted Pork Chops (adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain  bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon or so of dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless thin-cut pork loin chops, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

1. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, sage, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish. Combine mustard and egg whites in another shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.

2. Working with one pork chop at a time, dredge pork in flour, shaking off excess. Dip pork into egg white mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat pork completely with breadcrumb mixture. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining pork, flour, egg white mixture, and breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add pork; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and done.

Earlier in the week, I  bought some sweet potatoes and was originally going to grill them. However, it has rained every evening this week so I had to come up with another plan. I love mashed sweet potatoes but wanted to make them extra special tonight. I ran across the words Mashed Sweet Potatoes Brulee and looked at the directions because I feared I would need one of those fancy brulee torches. Nope, all I needed was a broiler!  Basically, all you do is make mashed sweet potatoes as usual, put it in an oven safe dish, sprinkle some brown sugar on it, and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes. So easy!

To make it less like a Thanksgiving dish, I left out the nutmeg. Also, I used real unsalted butter since I no longer buy light butters/margarine. I also like my mashed potatoes thick so I add a little milk at a time until it is at the right consistency. Today, I only needed 1/2 cup of 1% milk. It turned out really well. Everyone really loved the crunchy bits of brown sugar on top. My 16 month old son was practically screaming for more because he couldn’t get enough of it!

Here is how I made it:

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Brulee  (adapted from SkinnyTaste.com)

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled until soft (6 cups cooked)
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup 1% milk
  • 3 tbsp  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unpacked light brown sugar

Directions:

When the potatoes are fork-tender,  combine with milk, butter, salt, and cinnamon and mash until smooth.  

Spoon into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.

Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly over the top. Broil 2 minutes or until sugar melts, careful not to burn. Let it stand until the melted sugar hardens, about 5 minutes.

The parm and sage chops and sweet potato mash really go well together. I can easily see myself eating this meals on cool autumn nights!

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Baked Panko Onion Rings

A few days ago, I was in the mood for onion rings so I did some research on baked ones. I found a simple recipe on Baked by Rachel that worked very well on short notice. I left out the cayenne pepper since my 4 year old son isn’t a fan of spicy foods (yet!). I had to bake them a little longer than the time suggested, but overall the texture was good and satisfied my craving. Next time, I think I will omit these spices and experiment with adding in 1- 1.5 tsp of seasoning blend  (Old Bay, Cajun, Jerk, or steak/burger seasoning) for a more exciting flavor.

Baked Panko Onion Rings

Ingredients:

1 yellow onion
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne  (optional)
2 eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a wire rack.

3. Cut top and bottom off the onion and remove outer ring and skin.

4. Cut rings to desired thickness and set aside.

5. In one small bowl add breadcrumbs and spices. Stir well to distribute spices.

6. In a second small bowl beat eggs. Add several onion rings to eggs. Coat well.

7. Transfer one ring to panko mixture, toss breadcrumbs onto ring. Remove and gently place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining onion pieces.

8. Bake for 10 minutes or until desired crispness, watching carefully to not burn.

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Pinterest!

I love Pinterest!  I’ve been pinning for a while now, but not as Fit Hungry Mama. Last night, I decided to create a brand new account to go along with this blog.  I have already spent a couple of hours re-pinning exercise ideas and a variety of healthy recipes from my old account to the new one.  I hope to try all (ok, most!) of them and reports my thoughts on this blog.

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Fat Free Oat Bran Muffins

My dear friend at  Fit Foodie for Life shared this recipe with me several years ago.  I started using it regularly when my first born son became old enough to eat solids. He always asks for these muffins, so I like to double or sometimes triple this recipe and freeze the leftovers for a quick nutritious breakfast!

Fat Free Oat Bran Muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour (I use whole wheat flour to bump up the nutrition value)

1 cup oat bran

1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I use a sugar substitute called Stevia in the Raw)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup fat-free milk

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups of your favorite fruit (chopped, mashed, or pureed) ***

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Combine all dry ingredients in bowl. Then add milk, applesauce, vanilla, and whisk together. Fold in fruit. Pour into greased muffin pan. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

***Fruit recommendations:

2 bananas (pureed or mashed) ; you can add chopped walnuts just remember that nuts are full of healthy fats and will increase total calories per serving

1 banana (mashed) and strawberries (finely chopped)

blueberries (whole)

sliced apples or pears marinated in cinnamon and part of the sugar/sweetener called for in recipe

sliced apples marinated in Torani’s Sugar-free caramel syrup and cinnamon (be sure to cut back on sugar/sweetener in the dry ingredients)

canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling); add pumpkin pie spices to mix

shredded carrot and ripe peaches

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Setbacks = Opportunities

Man, so much has happened since my last post. Both of my sons got sick, then I got sick. In fact, I’m still recovering from my sinus infection. I had to take time off from my exercise program since this simple little illness zapped all my energy and strength. However, I don’t consider this a setback. Instead, it has given me the opportunity to focus on something else I have wanted to work on for years.

Ever since our neighborhood-wide yard sale which took place on the same weekend as our  106F heat wave, I focused  on removing all the clutter in our house. Our clutter was mostly in our unfinished basement. The mess was pure chaos with boxes of stuff that haven’t been opened in years. Quite a few of them were boxes of things I haven’t seen since my mom passed away almost 20 years ago. In the past, I made several attempts to open these boxes, but was afraid of what was inside. I have never gotten over the loss of my mother, so facing those boxes meant that I had to relive some pretty sad memories.

But, it needed to be done if I wanted to turn that concrete slab into a beautiful living space. As I was going through the many boxes, it dawned on me that I was doing all these items a disservice by letting them waste away in bags and boxes. It was then when I realized that its better to let others enjoy these items instead of letting them just take up valuable space going unappreciated.  After that moment, the anxiety lessened and sorting through my beloved things became much easier. Now that the basement is all sorted and organized, I will be continuing this process in the other areas of my home until all the clutter is gone.  I’ve donated most of it already, which makes me feel really good inside. It warms my heart knowing that these items will be used and loved again by people who need them more than me.

Anyway, my point is that if you ever have an obstacle disrupt your journey, don’t let it stop you. Instead, find a way to learn from it, to work your way around it, or use it as a new starting point for a brand new journey.  I’m glad I did!!

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Baby Steps!

So, you’re stuck on how to get started on your way to a healthier lifestyle. I’ve been there and done that! After many starts and failures, I found that the best way to start a new journey and keep it going is to take baby steps. What do I mean by that? Well, basically it means to start your journey with establishing one new habit at a time. However, before you make that first big step, you must come up with a plan.  I highly recommend making a list of all the new healthy habits you want to add to your new life.  Some examples:

  • drink X amount of ounces of water per day
  • eat a well-balanced breakfast to rev up your metabolism
  • gradually cut down your soda/alcohol intake
  • gradually switch from simple carbohydrates  to complex carbs
  • reduce consumption of red meat and replace with a greater variety of lean proteins
  • add more fruit and vegetables to your meals
  • switch from a serving of milk chocolate to a serving of dark chocolate
  • pack your own meals for work
  • pack your own 100-200 calorie snacks into individual serving Ziploc bags (fruit, nuts, string cheese)
  • before going out to eat, look up the restaurant menu online and choose you meal before you get to the restaurant
  • don’t be afraid to ask for healthier substitutions at restaurants
  • split an entrée with your dinner guest
  • invest in a food scale to learn about proper portions
  • gradually park further away from the front door of public places (work, stores, etc) to sneak in more exercise
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • walk X amount of steps per day
  • do exercises (jog in place, imaginary jump rope, sit ups, push ups, walk up and down your staircase, tricep dips on the coffee table, calf raises, hands-free stand-up sit-downs on sofa) during all commercial  breaks of your favorite tv shows, instead of fast-forwarding through them
  • walk around the block, neighborhood, trail with your family, friend, dog, or your favorite music
  • play outside with your children,  friends, or pets
  • anytime you use your phone (talk or text), walk instead of sitting still
  • instead of emailing your co-worker in the same office, walk over and talk to them
  • get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  •  develop new hobbies to keep your mind from getting bored and turning to food for entertainment
  • start a journal and track your emotions to learn about your relationship with your food as well as with yourself
  • track your foods (including nutrient info) to keep yourself accountable for your choices
  • brush and floss your teeth after dinner to encourage you to avoid late-night snacking
  • join an online weightloss community to meet like-minded people

Once you come up with your list, prioritize it the way you think will be most successful for you and start marking them off one by one at a pace that is comfortable for you. If you stay committed to each new habit, you will start seeing some very positive changes in yourself. This will motivate you to continue these good habits which will inspire you to do even more great things for yourself!

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