Chicken Parmesan Burgers

I love making burgers out of ground chicken; the calories and fat are significantly lower and they always come out delicious. Last night I made Chicken Parmesan Burgers and let me tell you they were out of this world good. I ate an entire burger for 335 calories (including toppings, cheese and bun). Recipe Below!

Chicken Parmesan Burgers (Makes 4, serving size is 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of ground chicken (I used Perdue)
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp. of Classico Fire Roasted Pizza Sauce (you can use any type of pasta sauce)
  • 1/3 Cup of Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 Tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used Kraft reduced fat)
  • Seasoning (I don’t measure it out but I have a heavy hand) I used the following in my burger mixture: Garlic Powder, pepper, Italian Seasoning, Hamburger Seasoning, Mrs Dash Table Blend
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 Slices of Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese Slices (I used Stop and Shop brand)
  • 4 Light Hamburger Buns (I used Stop and Shop brand; 80 calories each)

Directions

  1. Combine meat, 1/4 cup of pasta sauce, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese minced garlic and seasoning until mixed together. Form 4 even patties
  2. Spray frying pan with cooking spray (the chicken does not have a lot of fat so unlike hamburgers you want to spray your pan so it doesn’t stick)
  3. I use a large pasta pot cover to put over the burgers and trap the steam, seems to make them cook better. Let them cook on each side for about 8 minutes. I cut into them to make sure the chicken is fully cooked
  4. Top each burger with a slice of cheese and let cook for another 2 minutes and then serve on the light buns with 1 tbsp. of the pizza sauce as the topping

Nutritional Facts for Entire burger (bun, cheese and sauce) Calories: 336; Carbs: 31; Fat: 16g and Protein: 35g

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken – ReMix

I’ll admit it, I am a sucker for Buffalo chicken (I know I’m repeating myself but it’s true). I love making it in the slow cooker and had a really good recipe, adapted from Emily Bites Blog but I kind of wanted to reinvent it, you know Buffalo Chicken DIP style!

Has anyone ever had the buffalo chicken dip (off the Frank’s red hot bottle)? It’s loaded with cheese, ranch dressing and full fat cream cheese and it is awesome. I decided to make a healthier version of that and serve it in a wrap! See recipe below.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip Wraps – Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Pounds of boneless chicken breast
  • 4 oz of low fat cream cheese. If you buy the block it is half of it
  • 1 Packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mixture
  • 1/2 Cup Frank’s Red Hot (you can do more or less depending on how spicy you want it
  • Seasoning (pepper, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash, etc.)
  • 4 La Tortilla Factory low carb/high fiber wraps (you can use any type of sandwich bread or omit it all together for a lower carb option)
  • 4 Slices of cheddar cheese (I used full fat slices, about 80 calories per piece but use any kind of cheddar)
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. In the slow cooker place the chicken breast and sprinkle it with about 1/2 of the Frank’s Red Hot. I then added the seasoning to give it more flavor (pepper, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash Table Blend)
  2. Then I added in the cream cheese and the full pack of Ranch dressing mix
  3. Let this cook for about 1 hour on low before you even bother stirring. Once everything is melty you can start stirring more. I then added the rest of the hot sauce in.
  4. Continue cooking for about 4+ hours on low and keep stirring, breaking up and shredding the chicken every hour or so
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 and spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Starting with one wrap, break the piece of cheese in half (long way) and put on one side of the wrap. Top the cheese with 1/4 of the chicken mixture (make sure its completely shredded and mixed together) and roll the wrap up tucking in the sides to make sure it is sealed. If you want your wrap spicier you can add more hot sauce and drizzle on top of chicken. Continue to do with the other 3 wraps
  6. Place the wrap on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops with a little cooking spray. I always sprinkle them with more seasoning on top and then pop in the oven
  7. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the top starts to get light golden brown
  8. Take the sheet out of the oven and flip and put back in for about 10-15 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and slice the wraps in half and let them COOL! They are SUPER hot at this point so they need to cool for about 5 – 10 minutes before even trying to eat

Nutritional Facts (using all the ingredients I did, including wrap and cheese) 1 Serving: Calories: 364; Fat: 18g; Carbs: 23g; Protein: 39g

Chicken alone without wrap (Calories: 190; Carbs: 6g; Fat: 7g; Protein: 28g)

Pepperoni Pizza Roll-up Calzone

Whew, its been awhile since I have created a post and there is never a better comeback post than a delicious recipe. Last night I whipped up a Calza (Calzone/pizza ? I guess :)) Peep the recipe below <<–>>

Ingredients

  • 6 lite Italian herb Flat Out roll ups
  • 1 Cup of Classico original pizza sauce
  • 1 Cup of 2% milk mozzarella shredded cheese
  • 4 Wedges of Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Swiss cheese
  • 4 Oz. Turkey Pepperoni (comes out to about 68 slices of the Boar’s Head brand)
  • 1/4 Cup of Original Egg Beaters
  • Spices (garlic, Italian blend, pepper, Mrs. Dash, etc.)
  • Pinch of grated Parmesan cheese (I didn’t include this in the nutritional facts but I did put a little on at the end)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Spray an 8×8 Casserole dish with Pam or cooking spray
  3. Take one flat out wrap and spread with 3/4 of the Laughing Cow cheese (I only used 4 wedges, had 6 wraps, do the math ;))
  4. Spread 1/6 of the red sauce on top and sprinkle with spices
  5. Add about 11-12 pepperoni pieces on top and then layer on about 1/6 of the shredded mozzarella
  6. Roll up the wrap, short end to short end (no need to seal edges, it will all cook together.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 for all 6 wraps
  8. Place 4 of the wraps side by side in the dish and then cut the 2 remaining wraps in half and place on top and kind of smoosh it all together
  9. Mix the 1/4 cup of egg beaters (or egg whites) with garlic, pepper, Mrs Dash and some Parmesan cheese and poor all over casserole. Keep moving the dish all around to make sure the mixture is spread easily, don’t worry if it gets inside your wrap.
  10. Place in oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to get crispy, I had to turn my oven up to 400 because it was slow!
  11. Take out, let cool for a minute or so and then cut into fourths

Nutritional Facts – for 1/4 of the dish: Calories – 356; Fat – 22.8g; Carbs – 34; Protein – 35.8

FYI: We paired ours with Alexia Parmesan Pea’s (they are SO yummy)

Buffalo Chicken Pizza – Reinvented

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Attention clean eaters: close your eyes, you’re not going to like this post (he-he)! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the ingredients and food in this post but I know those clean eater police will try to scold me. But guess what? I do not care, not when I am eating something this good and still hitting those macros (all day errrrr’ day)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a sucker for buffalo chicken anything. My husband has been obsessed with this buffalo chicken pizza by his work and has been bringing it home the last couple of Friday’s. Yes, I tried it and yes, I totally see why he is obsessed with it. After eating it I got my wheels turning and came up with my own version. Here’s what came of it:

Ingredients

  • 1 Can of Pillsbury Grand Biscuits (reduced fat)
  • 1 Pound of boneless chicken breast
  • 4 ounces of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese
  • Frank’s Red Hot sauce (as much as you want)
  • Seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili flakes, Mrs. Dash, etc.)
  • 1 Cup of reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Bolthouse Ranch Yogurt Dressing

Instructions

  1. Spray a crock-pot with cooking spray and add in uncooked chicken breast, seasoning to taste, cream cheese and as much (or as little) of Frank’s red hot. Don’t worry about stirring it all up, as the pot gets hot the cream cheese will melt and you should be able to stir after an hour or so
  2. After the chicken has been cooking for at least 2 hours, start chopping it up with your spoon, it should be very easy to do. Every 30-45 minutes continue to chop up and “shred” and stir around all the ingredients in the pot
  3. The chicken should be done and completely shredded after about 5 hours.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and spray a baking sheet with a little bit of non-stick spray
  5. Open the can of biscuits and think of each one as the pizza. Smoosh one out on the pan until it is about 1/4 inch thick and either a square or circle
  6. Top the pizza with a little of the ranch dressing (like the pizza sauce). Top with 1/8 of the chicken mixture and then finally add some shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with more red hot sauce if you want! Repeat for all 8 pizzas.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes (keep an eye)
  8. Serve the pizzas!

Nutritional Facts (Don’t mind me, I wasn’t thinking when I made this recipe and I made it serve 6 instead of 8, there are 8 biscuits, so I had one whole pizza and a quarter. I strongly think one pizza is enough per person and that would make it less calories as well. The below facts are for 1/6 of the dish) Calories – 421, Fat – 16g, Carbs – 37g, Protein – 29g

My SECOND Half Marathon

Just typing the words for the title to this post made my jaw drop. How did I possibly run not only one, but TWO half marathons? Me, the girl, who couldn’t run 30 seconds without wanting to die. The same person that would see runners on the street and make fun of them because “who runs for fun?”. Well I will tell you how; I worked my ASS off.

October 31st, 2011 changed my life. That was the day I decided to put my health first and began my journey of losing 140 pounds. My only real goals while losing the weight was to be able to wear any clothes I wanted and feel good about it but I never had any fitness related goals. Honestly for the first year and a half of my journey I dreaded working out and did it just because I knew I needed too. Then something changed inside me, presumably because I was able to work out harder and was getting stronger, but I actually began to enjoy working out. I seriously owe my love of running to my husband, Brian. He used to go to the gym with me (still does) when I first started and was the best supporter. Brian started running on the treadmill and would tempt me to try, before that all I had done was the elliptical and bike. So one day I started running, very slowly, and only for 2 minutes at a time. My workout would go a little something like this: 2 minutes run at a slow speed (I thought it was fast) and then 2 minute walking to cool down, repeated for 30 minutes. Once my body was able to run a bit more I would up it to 3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking, and so on. Then I got a little braver and decided to run for 1 mile straight, then 2 miles straight and finally ran a 5K on the treadmill, without stopping. The feeling I got after running that 5K was unlike NOTHING I felt in my fitness journey thus far (I still have the picture of the treadmill “workout recap”).

Fast forward a few months: I was continuing to run on the treadmill and get a little faster and was loving it. Then my husband and I moved to a new apartment in lower Manhattan in the spring time and I couldn’t resist trying to run outside. My first run outside was amazing and so many things started happening. I fell in love with New York again, the running paths downtown are amazing, I started losing weight faster than before,I looked forward to my workouts and could do it with my husband and lastly I was getting faster, much faster with every run.

I signed up for my first “race” in July 2013, the Color Mob 5K (or color run). Basically it is a run for fun, non timed, and people throw colored chalk at you so you come out like a giant tie-dyed shirt. I had a good time but it wasn’t some life changing experience and I decided to hold off on races for the time being. The summer was a whirlwind, I got married on September 14th and the entire summer was spent planning and eagerly awaiting the big day. When my husband and I got back from our honeymoon I randomly got the urge to race and found a 10K  located right around our apartment building in lower Manhattan. Last minute I signed up, and I swear I must have told my husband that I wasn’t going to go about 30 times because I was so nervous. Well low and behold I went, and it was so much fun. My husband came and cheered me on but I didn’t know anyone in the actual race and that was okay! That was the race that made me love racing so much. The second I got home I was researching upcoming races and ended up doing a few in November and December. I actually became so hooked on racing that I decided to step out on a limb and sign up for the New York City Half Marathon (this was in December, the race wasn’t until March).

On January 1st, 2014 I set a New Years resolution that I so far have kept and I am incredibly proud of; run 1 race per month for the entire year. I have 2 left! Eek🙂 Any who as you all know I ran the NYC Half Marathon in March of this year and I seriously have never felt so accomplished. The race was a BREEZE compared to any other races (even my 5Ks), I had so much adrenaline the entire time that I swear I could have kept going. Crossing the finish line to see my parents and husband waiting for me was something I cannot describe. I did it. I lost 140 pounds and I ran a damn half marathon.

On October 12th, 2014 I ran my second half marathon in my new place of residence, Boston (I grew up here but lived in Manhattan for 5 years and recently returned home). Let me tell you, this race was not a breeze. For the first 10 miles it was awesome, the crowds were cheering, my legs felt great and the weather was brisk yet not too cold. And then came mile 11. I hadn’t run more than 10 miles since March (when I did my first half) and I could feel it. I am 100% to blame for my lack of training but I learned a lesson. My legs were done, my head wasn’t in it anymore and I just wanted to finish. It’s hard to believe that the last 3 miles could really be that difficult but seriously it was rough stuff. Guess what? I finished and came in TWO seconds faster than my first half marathon with a time of 1:49:48.

When I ran both half marathons there were a few times while running that I actually got choked up thinking about what I was doing. Yes, I am a huge sap, I cry at everything, but I am honestly proud of myself. I seriously advise to anyone going through a health journey, find something you love to do, and do it. Whether it be running, hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, or whatever. Before I was a runner my only hobby was shopping (yes I am serious and its still high on my list) but it really feels good to have a hobby like this. Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a runner.

Garlic Peppercorn Chicken

Who would have known that my thrown together garlic peppercorn chicken would be so spicy! If you are not into spicy food, do not try this🙂 Myself, I LOVE spicy-ness! This was not hot sauce spicy but rather black pepper spicy (my husband couldn’t finish it) but I promise it is DELICIOUS

Ingredients

  • 1 Bag of Purdue Perfect Portions Mesquite chicken breasts (or 1.5 pounds of boneless chicken breast)
  • 1 Packet McCormick Grill Mates Peppercorn Garlic
  • 1/2 block of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese (4 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray and lay chicken breasts flat in pot
  2. Put cream cheese and entire packet of seasoning on top
  3. Let sit on low heat for about 1 hour
  4. Stir up the chicken and cream cheese mixture (it will still be kind of chunky at this point) The longer you cook the more it all comes together
  5. Continue cooking. After about 4 hours you should be able to take a spoon or fork and start shredding the chicken right in pot and sauce
  6. The dish should take a total of about 6 hours to cook and keep stirring to break up chicken and shred it
  7. I served it on Fold It Flatout bread sandwiches

Nutritional Facts for chicken mixture (using the same ingredients I did) Makes 6 servings, for one serving: 182 Calories, 2g Carbs, 5g Fat, 28g Protein

Chicken Teriyaki Burgers

If anyone follows @TaraLynnMcNitt on Instagram (follow her if you don’t, she posts great recipes) you may have seen her Cheddar Teriyaki Chicken Burger recipe. It caught my eye, I took a screenshot, and then forgot about it. While I was planning my meals last week I saw the screen shot and decided to make my own version (I actually never even got the time to look at her recipe so mine may be similar or not close at all). Let me just tell you that these came out amazing! I actually ended up putting in too much teriyaki sauce so I had to add bread crumbs but I changed the recipe for you all🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 4 tbsp honey teriyaki marinade – I used Ken’s
  • 3/4 Cup frozen chopped onions and garlic (I used Bird’s Eye)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • McCormick’s Hamburger Seasoning, Black Pepper, Mrs. Dash table blend and Garlic seasoning (use as much or as little as you want. I am a seasoning QUEEN so I use a lot)

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the above in a bowl, I thawed the frozen veggies first
  2. Shape into 4 even patties, mixture may be very soft because of marinade so put back in refrigerator or even freeze for at least 20 minutes
  3. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and put the patties on pan
  4. Cook for at least 10 minutes on each side (longer depending on your stove)
  5. In the last minute of cooking put 1 slice of cheddar cheese on top to melt
  6. Serve on Flat Out Bread Fold it sandwiches or bun of choice! I used spicy ketchup on mine as well but get creative with toppings (condiments and veggies)

Nutritional Facts for One Burger (using ingredients I did, without cheese, bread or topping) Calories – 160, Fat – 9g, Carbs – 8g, Protein – 22g

When I made this for the first time I used 6 tbsp of the honey teriyaki so the burger patties were way too soft. I had to add 1/4 cup of Panko breadcrumbs to the mixture. It was delicious but I think this recipe is better (and less calories)