Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

13 11 2014

Are you a sucker for cheesy fries or anything buffalo chicken? Who isn’t! Here’s a healthy rendition of a riff on both, featuring leftover chicken and sweet potatoes. Using Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cheese helps keep this dish lighter, while still offering the classic creamy flavors we all love in our less-healthy favs.

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce like Frank’s
  • 1-1 and 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1-2 small celery stalks, chopped
  • Reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, toss cubed potatoes with just a little olive oil along with salt, garlic and paprika to taste. Toss well. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with a silpat or foil sprayed with non-stick spray.

Roast potatoes until browned, about 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and buffalo sauce together in a bowl. Add the chicken and mix well. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool slightly. Using your hands or a spatula, move the potatoes to the center of the baking sheet until they’re all touching. Top with celery, a little cheese and then spread the buffalo chicken mixture evenly on top. Finally, top with another layer of cheese.

Bake until hot and cheese melts, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and top with parsley or cilantro before serving. Garnish with more hot sauce if desired and serve with a side salad. Pictured above is shredded cabbage tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.


Purple Wheat Raisin Bread French Toast With Yogurt, Caramelized Bananas and Nuts

11 01 2014

This past week I was asked to test Orlando Baking Company’s True Grains, 100% whole grain bread. The first one I saw when I opened my package was their Purple Wheat Raisin Bread. Immediately I thought, let’s make a healthy breakfast!

On the weekends, breakfast can be magical! Hello…french toast, need I say more! But french toast can also be more dangerous than you think, often loaded with cholesterol, fat and sugar from excess syrup.

Here’s my healthy rendition…this purple wheat bread has the same nutrients as blueberries, is low fat and has a nutty taste, making it an excellent base for a healthy french toast. Add some spiced Greek yogurt for protein, fruit like bananas, nuts for some crunch, and you have yourself a great weekend breakfast that you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying!

Thanks to Orlando Baking Company for reaching out – stay tuned for more posts on their other True Grains. Now, if I could only become a product tester full-time….  😉

Purple Wheat Raisin Bread French Toast With Yogurt, Caramelized Bananas and Nuts

Purple Wheat Raisin Bread French Toast With Yogurt, Caramelized Bananas and Nuts

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • 4-6 slices Orlando True Grains Purple Wheat Raisin Bread (this bread is a little on the smaller side, so depending how hungry you are I’d average 2-3 slices per person)
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Honey
  • Chopped nuts, whatever you have (almonds, pecans, walnuts)

Preheat oven to 200.

Whisk egg whites, almond milk, vanilla, a dusting of cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a shallow dish. Dip bread slices in the mixture until well coated. Since the bread is a bit more delicate, be sure not to over soak it.

Cook dipped bread in a large skillet sprayed liberally with non-stick spray over medium heat until browned on both sides. Transfer cooked bread to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

In the same skillet sprayed with a little more non-stick spray, cook banana slices until browned.

While the bananas are cooking, mix Greek yogurt with a dusting of cinnamon, splash of vanilla extract and a little honey.

To serve, build a napoleon on two plates each with a layer of french toast, dollop of spiced yogurt topped with some caramelized bananas, then repeat layering…french toast, yogurt, bananas. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped nuts.

Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Quesadilla With Avocado-Yogurt Crema

7 05 2012

In my last post for Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Casserole I mentioned this casserole would also make a great filling for quesadillas. So in true resourceful fashion, I turned leftovers into tonight’s dinner….quesadillas. The addition of the avocado-yogurt crema totally made the dish!

Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Quesadilla With Avocado-Yogurt Crema

The following serves 2:

  • 4 flour tortillas, fajita style
  • Leftover potato and chorizo casserole
  • Extra mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 lime, zest and half the juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Reheat the potato and chorizo casserole in a large saute pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. As it warms through, mash it with a potato masher. Divide the potato and chorizo mixture equally between two tortillas (I like to build and cook these on a pizza stone). Top with some shredded cheese and place another tortilla on top and firmly press down. Bake on the pizza stone in the oven until the tops start to crisp, then flip and continue baking until the bottoms start to crisp.

For the avocado-yogurt crema: Puree yogurt, cilantro or parsley, oil, garlic, avocado and zest and lime juice until smooth. Season with a little cayenne, salt and black pepper. Mix well and adjust seasoning to your liking. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Remove tortillas from oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting. Serve along with the avocado-yogurt crema and a salad if desired. The salad I made shown above was with romaine lettuce, parsley, lime juice, olive oil, garlic powder and a little salt.

Tandoori Spiced Chicken Tacos With Leftover Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin Dip

16 04 2012

I wanted to use up some of my leftover avocado, yogurt and cumin dip  from the weekend (see the dip portion of my post from yesterday). I immediately thought about something Indian or Mexican. And then a light bulb…who needs to choose when you can fuse both with an Indian-spiced chicken taco?!?

I have a great pre-made tandoori spice from my local farmers market. I recommend saving yourself time and looking for the pre-made kind, but if you can’t find it, below is Bobby Flay’s tandoori spice breakdown.

Tandoori Spiced Chicken Tacos With Leftover Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin Dip

The following serves 2-4:

  • 1 Tbsp pre-made tandoori spice
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 – 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Soft flour tortillas, count on at least 2 per person (I like to use the fajita style so you can really fill them up!)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Leftover avocado, yogurt and cumin dip
  • Queso fresco cheese, crumbled or chopped
  • Box of 5 minute couscous
  • Half a lime, zest and juice
  • Cumin

This Girl’s way: I cut my chicken in large cubes and then tossed with 1 Tbsp of the pre-made tandoori spice I have along with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. That was more than enough spice to coat the chicken evenly. I marinated the chicken with the spices and oil in the fridge for an hour or so.

Bobby’s tandoori spice blend: 2 Tbsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, ground ginger and ground coriander; 1 Tbsp each of ground cumin, ground cayenne,  ground turmeric, ground white pepper and kosher salt; 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. If you’re following Bobby’s blend, I recommend combining all the spices first, then toss some with the chicken until you feel you have it well coated – then add the oil (store any leftover spice in an airtight container to use another time).

Pan sear the chicken in a little olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until the juices of the chicken run clear, tossing often.

While the chicken is working, cook the couscous according to the package, but also add in some lime zest and a sprinkle of cumin to the cooking liquid. When the chicken and couscous are just about done, wrap tortillas in a damp towel and microwave for about a minute.

To build the tacos, spread some of the avocado, yogurt and cumin dip on the taco; top with lettuce, chicken and some queso fresco cheese (if desired). Serve alongside the couscous (hit the couscous with a splash of lime juice just before serving). Enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day!

Crostini With Chicken, Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin

15 04 2012

This is an easy, light and delicious appetizer recipe. I found the idea for an avocado-yogurt dip with cumin from Cooking Light, but rather than serving it straight up as a dip, I took it up a notch by adding chicken and serving it on toasted garlic crostini. I show how to do both ways below.

Crostini With Chicken, Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin

The following makes 2 cups of dip, or a loaf of chicken-dip crostini:

  • 1 store-bought cooked rotisserie chicken, cubed
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (original recipe called for fat-free plain yogurt, but I added Greek instead)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper (I used one pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe pelled avocados, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced

Preheat oven to 400.  Heat olive oil over low heat and once warm, add some garlic, crushed cloves or minced will work. Continue to heat the oil and garlic just until the garlic begins to brown, season with salt and then turn off the heat. Brush ciabatta bread with garlic infused olive oil and bake until toasted and golden.

Place all ingredients (minus the chicken) in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the avocado-yogurt mixture. Top ciabatta crostini with the chicken-dip.

You could also serve the avocado-yogurt mixture as a dip without the chicken. Serve the dip with pita wedges or pita chips and any combination of cut veggies such as carrots, celery, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes or cucumber.

You can prepare the dip portion of this recipe up to eight hours in advance and refrigerate in an airtight container.