Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cry Baby

I don't know what it is about these shallot things, but I was supposed to add three of them sliced to the meal tonight, and I could only make my way through one before the throat got all tingly and the tears welled up. Ugh - I don't like that feeling of potential sensitivity. It might lead people to think all sorts of incorrect thoughts about me.

JK - I'm the fool with that super tough exterior who cries at stupid shows like Wife Swap. And yes, remember - there's a Beatles song to fit pretty much every moment (of my life at least - or should I say "In My Life"? Haha - Beatles humor).

One of our components tonight included potatoes. I know, I know... the kid has issues with all things of the potato variety. But this looked good to me, and it was even the recommended accompaniment with the main fare.

So let's explore the delightful spud known as the russet. Low-sodium? Check. Source of fiber? Check. A fun skin with lots of good nutritionals? Check. Loaded with blood-pressure reducing potassium? Check check check. So why the bad rap? Potatoes are high in sugar and carbs. So - even though I love potatoes, we don't eat them all that often. Plus the kid would probably commit some sort of potato-related mutiny if I forced them down his throat more than a few times a month.

Mushroom-Herb Chicken
Source: Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals, Spring 2010

  • 4 (6-oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 tsp salt (skip)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (skip)
  • cooking spray
  • 3 large shallots, peeled (used one)
  • 1 (8-oz) package pre-sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 c. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano (used oregano)
  • Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, pound to 1/3-inch thickness using meat mallet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; coat with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken to pan, cook 5-6 mins on each side or until browned.
  • While chicken cooks, cut shallots vertically into thin slices (approx 1 cup). Remove chicken from pan. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and shallots to pan, coat veggies with spray. Cook 1 min, stirring constantly. Stir in sherry and oregano. Return chicken to pan, cover and cook 3 mis or until mushrooms are tender and chicken is done. Serve mushroom mixture over chicken.
Yield: 4 servings (1 chicken breast and 1/3 c. mushroom sauce)
Per serving: 226 cals; 3g fat (0.6g sat, 0.5g mono, 0.6g poly); 41.6g protein; 5g carbs; 1g fiber; 99mg chol; 262mg sodium

We also had:
Buttermilk-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Source: Cooking Light, November 2009

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes
  • 2/3 c. fat-free milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. grated fresh parm-reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt (skip)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (skip)
  • Prick each potato several times with a fork. Cook in microwave for 16 mins, or until tender. Let stand 2 mins. Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out flesh with large spoon and transfer to a bowl (I included some of that delish skin, btw).
  • Combine milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave 2 mins or until butter melts. Add milk mixture to potatoes; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Stir in buttermilk and remaining ingredients.
Yield: 6 servings (3/4 c./serving)
Per serving: 240 cals; 7.9g fat (4.9g sat, 1.9g mono, 0.3g poly); 7.5g protein; 35.2g carbs; 3.5g fiber; 22mg chol; 366mg sodium

As expected, the kid was not a big fan of the mashed potatoes. I think he tasted exactly one fork-tine-full before making that "I told you I hate potatoes" face. He then proceeded to give me some tips on how to make McDonald's fries at home and healthier. Both the hubs and I liked the potatoes - kind of an interesting twist with the parm-reggiano and buttermilk.

The chicken was good - not great, not bad - just good. The most flavorful part was obvs the shallots.

Potatoes: Three Forks
Chicken: Two Forks

Chicken, taters and broccoli!

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