Category Archives: Snacks and Appetizers

Crockpot Chicken Nachos

3   Boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 oz each)
1 T Chili powder
3 T Lime juice
1 Cup Salsa
1 Cup Frozen corn
1 Cup Reduced fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 Oz Snyder White Tortilla chips
    Sour cream
    Jalapenos

 

1.       Spray crockpot with nonstick spray

2.       Place chicken in crockpot

3.       Mix together lime juice and chili powder, spread evenly over chicken

4.       Cook on low 5 – 6 hours.

5.       Shred chicken and put back in crock pot with salsa and corn. Cook another 45 minutes.

6.       Put in taco shells with cheese – or make nacho style over tortilla chips

 

Nutrition:  Makes 6 servings. 258 calories per serving; 5 g fat,  39 g protein (using the Snyder White Corn Tortilla chips)

So, why?                                   

  • This chicken seems like it would be dry but its not!  Moist flavorful, lean protein!
  • Salsa is a good source of antioxidant lycopene
  • So easy and versatile

Notes:

  • The chicken alone (before adding salsa) is very flavorful and moist, I think I will try is as a fajita chicken along with sautéed onions and bell peppers.  Add salsa into the fajita.
  • Use fat free greek yogurt instead of sour cream – its just as satisfying with more protein and no fat
  • Can be an appetizer or makes a meal with a side dish of refried beans or add canned black beans into nachos\tacos
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Light Pita Chips

With dips like my Healthy 5 Layer Dip, I prefer to make pita chips rather than use tortilla chips. I like the 8 Grain Pocket Thins Flatbread from Arnold since it first ingredient is whole wheat flour and its high in fiber. It’s not so “whole wheat” like that the boys turn up their notes. In fact my 12 year old loves it.

1. Split the pita in half
2. Cut each into wedges (a pizza cutter works well)
3. Lightly spray with olive oil spray
4. Toast to desired crispness

light pita chips

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Healthy 5 Layer Dip

1 14.5 oz can Pinto beans
3 Medium tomatoes
1 Small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 Jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
¾ Cup Cilantro, chopped
2 Limes
2 Ripe avocados
½ Cup Reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
¼ Cup Fat free greek yogurt
¼ Cup Reduced fat sour cream
  1. Drain beans, reserving liquids.  Place beans in food processor and process until smooth, adding up to ¼ cup of the liquid.  Should be firm but smooth.  Spread evenly over the bottom of a 9 by 13 pyrex dish.
  2. Sprinkle grated cheese over the beans.
  3. Combine avocados with juice of 1 lime and ¼ cup cilantro.  Mash together, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spread over cheese (tip: plop 2 spoonfuls over cheese and then spread gently with a rubber spatula).
  4. Combine sour cream and yogurt (you can use all sour cream, the addition of the yogurt makes it just a little lighter and adds some protein).  Spread over avocados.
  5. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, ½ cup cilantro and juice of 1 lime.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle tomato mixture over the top.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips or Light Pita Chips.

I have a pet peeve about dips that list servings based on 2 tablespoons per serving.  Who eats 2 tablespoons?

Yields:  6 servings, about 225 calories each, with about 50% of the calories from fat  (not including chips)

If you add a half a pocket thin from my Light Pita Chips recipe, total calories is around 325.

So, why?                                   

  • Not a low calorie dip but so much more healthy than traditional dips with loads of cheese
  • Beans are filling and high in fiber
  • Avocados are a source of good fats
  • Tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, limes all great sources of antioxidants and vitamins

Notes:

  • Original recipe, from who knows where called for 1 C of light sour cream and 6 oz. of cheese, both of those have been reduced.  I recalculated the nutritional value.

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Healthy Snack – Yogurt Parfait Cups

Since the advent of the Yoplait cups in the grocery aisle in the ‘80s yogurt has looked to project itself as a health food – a great snack you can feel good about.  Yogurt does have many benefits. Most 6 oz. servings contain about 20% of the DV of calcium.  Varieties with active cultures contain bacteria beneficial to your gastrointestinal system and to prevention of yeast infections (yuck!).

Unfortunately, most also include added sugar or artificial sweeteners.     One of the better choices, Dannon Light ‘n Fit gets only 47% of its calories from sugar due to artificial sweetener that also keeps the calories down to 60. 

I love yogurt but found those packages with the extra sugar didn’t really satisfy.  One reason is the lack of any real fruit.  My solution for a healthy delicious morning snack (this would work for a quick breakfast too) is to prepare my own yogurt cups.  Seriously, it takes about 5 minutes to prep 5 cups for a week. 

Here is the procedure.  I buy a large container of fat-free Greek yogurt.  I don’t have tummy troubles but do workout so I appreciate the extra protein in the Greek yogurt.  Then I use those Ziploc brand 1 cup reusable plastic containers – line then up and plop about ½ cup into each.  Just eyeball it. 

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Then I pop the tops on and load them in the refrigerator. 

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Meanwhile, I keep frozen fruit – blueberries, mixed berries, strawberries – in a plastic pourable container in the freezer.

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In the morning as I pack my lunch, I grab one yogurt and pour in about ½ cup of fruit to fill the container. 

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By the time I’m ready for a snack around 10 or 10:30, the fruit is just thawed enough to enjoy and mix in to the yogurt.  For an extra boost, keep some ground flaxseed in your desk and sprinkle on some.  I find that the fruit adds enough sweetness that I don’t need to add any other sweeteners.

The calorie count – about 110 – is less than many 6 oz store bought yogurts but gives you more fiber and antioxidants with the fruit.  I find this satisfies me until lunch. 

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