Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tuesday Temptations (late again!)

Ugh I'm late with this again.  But in my defense, on Sunday we had a cookout and on Monday, we went out to dinner for my birthday, and then all day yesterday I was at IKEA.  I was completely exhausted when I got home so writing a post was not a priority.
I'll make up for it with two recipes today.

Brown Sugar Carrots

Prep Time: 10 min.      Cook Time: 40 min.     Servings: 4

4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
1-2 TB olive oil
2 TB brown sugar
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place carrots in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss well to coat.  Sprinkle brown sugar over carrots and toss again to coat.  Line a cookie sheet with tin foil (for easy clean up) and spray with olive oil spray.  Spread carrot slices out in a single layer.  Sprinkle salt over the top, if desired.  Place in oven and bake for 20 min.  Stir and flip carrots.  Bake for 20 more minutes or until carrots start to brown.

So I kinda made this recipe up.  I saw a recipe online for carrot fries.  They were pretty good; tasted like sweet potato fries, but they were kind of mushy.  So the next night, I busted out my mandolin (which if you don't own one, go get one!  You can get one at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for a total of $15 if you have a 20% off coupon) and sliced the carrots very thin.  I used brown sugar because I know that's something people will often put on their sweet potatoes so I figured they would go well with carrots.  And even though I made these more for the girls, Walker and I ended up eating them!  The girls turned their noses up at them (go figure) but Walker and I thought they were really, really good.  I liked the addition of the salt, especially.

Lemon Chicken with Spinach Pasta

Prep Time: 15 min. (+30 min. to 8 hours for marinading)   Cook Time: 30 min.    Servings: 4

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 TB white wine vinegar or rice-wine vinegar
1 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white or black pepper
8 oz whole-wheat penne
4 cups spinach, washed and trimmed

Prepare a glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Trim the chicken of any remaining fat.  Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy pan to pound the meat until it is 1/2- to 3/4- inch thick.  Slice each breast into four strips and place into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the sliced onions over the chicken.
Prepare the marinade.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.  Pour half the mixture over the chicken and onions and reserve the second half for the sauce.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover chicken and onions with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.  Return the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the pan.  Add the spinach, cooking until it wilts.  Add the reserved marinade mixture and heat just until warm.  Serve with cooked chicken.

Calories: 353.6
Fat: 6 g
Carbs: 47 g*
Fiber: 8.1 g
Protein: 34.4 g

This recipe comes from my new SparkPeople Cookbook.  I don't know if you've heard of SparkPeople but it is a free website that lets you track calories (and fat, protein, carbs, fiber, etc.) along with your workouts, weight, water intake...basically anything you can think of.  It really is a wonderful community for people focusing on making healthier choices.  Anyway, I ordered the cookbook last week and this is the 2nd recipe we tried.  I must say, it was pretty tasty.  I know it looks like I put a pound of Parmesan on it but I swear I didn't put that much.  And truthfully, this dish doesn't really need the Parmesan cheese on it.  I just like cheese. :) Sometimes pasta dishes can leave you feeling like a complete blob, but this dish was really light and refreshing in taste.  One serving was perfectly satisfying without making me feel like I overate.  It is a perfect pasta dish for summer!

*There is a brand of pasta (cannot remember the name but I know Meijer sells it and it comes in a black box) that only has 5 g net carbs per serving.  We use that kind because it is better for Walker.  The nutritional information above is right from the cookbook, so it should be accurate if you use a regular whole-wheat pasta.

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