Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chicken Fried Cauliflower "Rice"

When I saw this recipe being demonstrated on the Today show, I was a bit skeptical, but it kept turning up online in that persistent way that makes one curious. So...I decided it was worth a try. I found a recipe that would serve as a base, but made substantial changes to it--I didn't like using bacon and bacon grease and I wanted to add my favorite protein, chicken. Here follows my recipe for chicken fried (cauliflower) rice.

Serves 3-4 (as a main course)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 " cubes
1 egg white
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch

1 medium head cauliflower*

1 tsp sesame oil

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
5 scallions
1/4 cup cashews, almonds, or other nut
 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
*Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the tough inner core. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it breaks down into rice-sized pieces. You should have 5 to 6 cups of cauliflower "rice."
Add the cornstarch to the egg white and whip with a fork until incorporated. Place the diced chicken in the mixture and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
Place a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp sesame oil.  Whisk the eggs and pour them into the skillet. Quickly make an omelet. Transfer the eggs to a cutting board and roughly chop into pieces.
Wipe the skillet (or wok)  clean and add an inch and a half of water. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and use a slotted spoon to separate the pieces. Cook until no pink remains, 3 - 5 minutes. Remove your "velveted" chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Clean the skillet (or wok) and warm 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the carrots and sauté until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Stir  peas and cauliflower "rice" into the pan, mixing the ingredients thoroughly.
Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the eggs,scallions, cashews, chicken and 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce to taste. Serve immediately.
I cannot wait to make this again. First, because it was delicious. Second, because I was only permitted a taste. Unfortnately, I was placed on a low fiber diet for 10 days and could not eat any more of it. While you know that it isn't really rice, it has all the same flavors of a good fried rice and even most of the texture. Of course, it is easily adapted for a vegetarian dish. Likewise, you might decide to add shrimp or pork or beef. My suggestion is to velvet your protein. It makes a huge difference. I know this will be a much-requested dinner.

    Monday, January 25, 2016

    Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas

    Baked oatmeal is a bit like eating dessert for breakfast, but I say "go for it!" I saw this recipe on Skinnytaste and made it that day. It far surpasses any other versions I've tried in the past. Past recipes yielded a very hard, dried, cake-like oatmeal. This version reminds me of a bread pudding, though firmer. 

    Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas

    Servings: 6 • Serving Size1/6th • Smart Points : 6 
    Calories: 211.7 • Fat: 5.4 g • Protein: 5.6 g • Carb: 38.1 g • Fiber: 3.8 g • Sugar: 22.8 g
    76.9 mg (without salt)   


    • 2 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2" pieces
    • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
    • 1/4 cup honey (or agave)
    • 1 cup uncooked quick oats
    • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

      Preheat the oven to 375° F.  
    • Lightly spray a 8 x 8" or 9 x 9" ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
    • Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Sprinklehalf of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, 1 tbsp of the honey and cover with foil. 
    • Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
    • Remove the bananas from the oven, then pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries. 
    • Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats.  
    • Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the the top.
    • Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set.
    •  Serve warm from the oven.
    An easy recipe, a satisfying portion, and a good-for-you breakfast. There's no downside.

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Spiralized Turnip, Potato, and Carrot Au Gratin with Turkey

    If you're trying to cut back on carbs as well as beef up your consumption of vegetables, a spiralizer is a great investment. I saw this recipe on Skinnytaste and knew I had to make it. I love turnips, but she had me at "au gratin."  The recipe is simple and serves 4-6.


    • 1/2 cup half & half cream
    • 1/2 cup skim milk
    • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
    • 2 teaspoons butter
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 1/4 lb 93% lean ground turkey
    • 4 garlic cloves, diced
    • 1 pound (2) turnips, peeled
    • 3 oz carrots (1/2 of large)
    • 1 (8 oz) medium potato, peeled
    • 3 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
    • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
    (8 WW Smart Points per serving, based on 6 servings)

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 14-inch oval casserole dish with cooking spray.

    Spiralize the carrot, turnips and potato with the thickest noodle setting of your spiralizer, cutting the spirals into 8-inch lengths.In a small saucepan, simmer the milk, half and half, rosemary, and thyme.  In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter and saute the chopped onion and garlic in butter for 5 minutes, add 3/4 tsp salt and pepper. Add the ground turkey and cook on medium-high heat until browned, approximately 10 minutes.

    Remove thyme and rosemary leaves from milk and pour milk mixture onto turkey, simmer 3 minutes.
    In a large working bowl combine the spitalized turnips, potatoes and carrots along with meat and the milk mixture, combine well. Pour into a casserole dish, top with scallions, and gruyere cheese
    Cover with foil and bake 1 hour, uncover and broil on low for 5 minutes, or until golden on top.

    I was very happy with the taste of this dish and the ease of preparation. It should be noted that it is not creamy (the moisture from the veggies keeps it moist) and that the cheese is not ooey-gooey. It just kind of melts into the casserole. I will definitely make this again. The turnips and the herbs gave it wonderful flavor. I was out of scallions, but will make sure to add them next time.