Tag Archives: healthy

Creamed Chicken Over Biscuits

3 Nov

Many times, I feel like I need to make a choice between having the comfort food I crave and consuming something healthy. This is disappointing, of course, because I really want both.  The pleasure in eating something that is tasty and comforting does not last very long if I feel like I blow through a lot of calories to eat it, especially if it was particularly rich or heavy.  Calorie remorse is the enemy of happy consumption, and I avoid it at all costs.

Creamed chicken over biscuits is one of those decadent sounding things that you’d expect would be a terrible choice for the calorie conscious.  In the hands of Paula Deen or without regard to portion size, it sure could be.  This recipe is heavy on the vegetables, includes flavorful chicken and a creamy gravy, all served over a biscuit.  And comes in at 117 calories per serving.  As a point of comparison – that’s almost the same as just one ounce of cheddar cheese.  And if you’re like me, that means that you can have the comfort food for dinner and still feel okay about eating that cheese later because you were so darn calorie-thrifty.

The creamed chicken part of this recipe is super easy to make, requiring only a little prep and cooking time in the crock pot.  I used canned biscuits (see all my biscuit notes below), so the time between when we got home and when we sat down for dinner was only as long as it took for the biscuits to bake and to serve it up.  The kids loved this meal, particularly the biscuits.  Even the child who just earlier this week said he “did not care for dough”.

Creamed Chicken Over Biscuits
Serves: 10
Serving Size: 2/3 c. creamed chicken + 1 small biscuit

1 c. cooked chicken
1 c. frozen green beans
1 c. potato, peeled and cubed
1 c. carrot, diced
1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 T. flour
3 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. soy creamer
Salt and pepper
1 can small biscuits (10 per can)

Add chicken, green beans, potato, and carrots to a crock pot.

In a large skillet, add olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook until transluscent.  Add flour and stir constantly for about a minute, until all the oil is absorbed and starting to turn a little golden in color.  Add chicken stock 1 c. at a time, bringing to a boil between each addition.  Add soy creamer and stir until combined.  Pour mixture into the crock pot and stir.  Cook on low for 6 hours or until the potatoes are tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven and bake biscuits according to the package directions.

Split biscuit in half and place in a bowl, top with 2/3 c. creamed chicken.

Estimated Calories:  117 cal/serving

Print it: Creamed Chicken Over Biscuits

– Feel free to use milk or cream in place of the soy creamer used here.
– There are LOTS of kinds of canned biscuits to consider.  I chose a store brand (Food Club) that had small-sized biscuits that were also non-dairy.  If non-dairy is important to you, it is easy to overlook canned biscuits as an option, especially since most are described as “buttery” or “buttermilk”.  I’ve found that many times, store brands are non-dairy, inexpensive, and pretty tasty.
– More about the biscuits.  The biscuits I used in this recipe were 50 calories each, so adjust your calories accordingly.  At our house, we each ate more than one, but because they were only 50 calories each, I didn’t feel bad in having a second.
– Last thing about the biscuits.  Next time I would buy two cans because they went so quickly, and everyone wanted a few extras.

Vegetarian Samosas

19 Oct

A few weeks ago, I had the most delicious samosas at the White Horse.  In the days after, I couldn’t stop thinking about how tasty they were and set out to try to recreate them at home.  Once I got going, I realized that I hadn’t paid very close attention to what was actually IN the samosas or its chutney companion, making recreation a difficult task.  Instead, I decided to use fillings that I thought would be tasty and easy.  While they were not THE SAME as those at the White Horse, they were still mighty delicious.

This recipe covers the basics of samosas – a flavorful combo of peas and potatoes, spiced, and tucked into a pocket or turnover.  To make things easier, I decided to use puff pastry dough.  While this is a great shortcut, puff pastry is not super low in calories.  Still, for a weeknight dinner, convenience sometimes wins.  To add a bit of protein, I went with garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) instead of meat.  If you prefer, a bit of spicy sausage instead of the garbanzo would be a good substitute.  The filling only takes a few minutes to make and assembly is easy.  This is a recipe that requires little prep work and tastes delicious.  I’ll definitely make them again.

Vegetarian Samosas
Serves: 6

1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 t. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. water
1/2 t. sweet curry
2 sheets puff pastry dough, thawed and cut into quarters (this will make 8, you’ll only need 6)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a microwave safe bowl, add potatoes and cover with water.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Remove from microwave, drain, and mash with a fork.  Set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil.  When oil is hot, add onion and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes until onions start to turn transluscent.  Add potatoes, garbanzo beans, frozen peas, water, and curry.  Reduce heat to low and cook until most of the water has evaporated.

Take a square of puff pastry dough and place 1/4 c. of the samosa filling in the center.  Wet the edges of the pastry dough with a little water, then fold over to form  a triangle.  Press the sides together to seal.  Repeat with remaining pastry squares, placing each one on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is light golden brown.

Estimated Calories:  312 cal/serving

Print it: Vegetarian Samosas

– I would highly recommend serving the samosas with a side of chutney.  I used the Apple Chutney I made a few weeks ago and it was a delicious side (68 cal/quarter cup serving).  Store-bought chutney would be totally fine and would save you some effort.
– I was starving and baked this batch until they were done, but not totally golden.  While I ate one, I baked the others a bit longer and they looked better.  This photo shows them a bit on the pale side, I’d wait until they are a bit more golden than that before removing them from the oven.
– While these don’t fit my rule for low-calorie (300 cal/serving or less), they are *close*.  The filling  makes up about 25% of the total calories per serving, so until I find a better substitute for the puff pastry, this will have to do.  [Super important note: dude, if you have a suggestion, be sure to let me know]