Something old into something new: leftover butter chicken pizza!

Butter chicken pizza on naan bread on a cutting board

I’m not a fan of really hot, spicy foods, but I do like the flavour of curry. Hubby and I like to order butter chicken and rice from a nearby Indian restaurant because they make it on the milder side. We always order lots and there’s always leftover. But sometimes after the first few days, it’s easy to get bored with it, like anything else. Sometimes, you just need to find a new presentation to make even the most favourite of take-out more interesting a few days later — especially when the naan bread really isn’t too fresh by the third day and needs a little life put back into it.

So, today for lunch, I got a brainstorm. Pizza only needs a base, a sauce and toppings, right? So naan is similar to pizza crust, butter chicken sauce is like tomato sauce, the chicken is like any meat topping — all that’s needed is some veggie component (my preference) and some cheese. Here’s what I did…

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Not your usual lasagna: Chicken-mushroom lasagna

Three-layer chicken-mushroom lasagna

I love lasagna. I can’t tell you how much I love it. But sometimes, it gets a little ho-hum, repetitive. So I like to play with the fillings from time to time.

Instead of ground beef, why not use shredded or sliced-up chicken breast meat? That’s what I did  this time, as I had a couple of leftover baked chicken breasts kicking around from the day before (I had made a chicken-breast chili soup the day before in the crockpot but didn’t use all the chicken).

What goes well with chicken? Just about anything, really. I’ve made it with spinach but this time, I went with sliced mushrooms that needed to get used up.

I’m also not much of a ricotta fan, so this was done with a combination of shredded mozzarella, Monterrey Jack and light Parmesan cheeses.

The sauce  was also a blend of jarred sauce and homemade sauce, as I didn’t have enough of either one of them to make the lasagna, so I mixed the two together and voila! Lasagna. I’ve even used Alfredo sauce in the past!

Do you get bored with your same-old same-old dishes? Sometimes just changing a couple of ingredients goes a long way in sprucing up the old favourites. 🙂

Homemade chicken biscuit pie

A bowl of chicken biscuit pieWe’ve had grey skies on and off this week, so I’ve found myself craving comfort food. Keeping in mind my new meal plan regimen, I decided to see how I could revamp an old favourite: chicken pot pie. My old version was no doubt loaded full of sodium, fat, calories and carbs. This new recipe still has all that, but the values are no doubt cut back. Choosing lower sodium ingredients and limiting portions on the bread-like topping by using perfectly sized biscuits helps keep some of those values in check.

Here’s what I did…

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Satisfying Sides: Roasted garlic herb potatoes

Roasted garlic herb potatoes as a side dishAlthough I’ve cut right back on how many potatoes I eat these days, I still allow myself to have them from time to time — just in smaller portions. I’ve also been craving fries. So what a great way to get my potatoes and my fries craving taken care of than to roast some mini potatoes up in the  oven and have them as a side dish?

Here’s what I did:

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Chicken parmesan meatloaf muffins

Two 'muffin'-sized meatloaves made of ground chicken and seasonings are topped with homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Served with cauliflower risotto.I love chicken parmesan when I go out to eat, but I’ve been avoiding it due to the elevated sodium levels I know the sauce will undoubtedly have, the breading on the chicken, etc. I’ve been learning that some of my favourites from restaurants over the years are not the healthiest of choices and tend to have a million calories, two million grams of fat and an ungodly amount of sodium. Chicken parmesan is no exception, sadly.

But does this mean I have to swear off of it? No! Why not make my own and adjust things to fit my dietary needs? I’ll save my waistline from expanding (or my feet!) and save my pocketbook too!

I had a craving for it one night but didn’t have any chicken breasts to make it myself. What did I have? Ground chicken. What could I do with that? Well, I make beef meatloaf ‘muffins’ all the time, so why not do the same with the chicken? They’d have bread crumbs worked into them, using a similar theme to chicken parmesan. And heck, I have light parmesan in the fridge at all times! If I made up my own sauce, I could control the sodium considerably. So I went to work on it and here’s what I did:

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Low-carb adventures: ground chicken meatloaf!

A plate with chicken meatloaf, corn and coleslaw (vinegar-based).In my low-carb adventures, I’ve been introduced to some new foods and new ways of cooking, but after two solid weeks of really watching what I ate, I was craving comfort foods. One such comfort food from my childhood was meatloaf dinner! I wanted meatloaf, potatoes, corn on the cob, lots of butter, gravy, etc. Well, I came up with a compromise for  some of that heaviness by messing around with some of the components of  that dish. Instead of a whole corn on the cob, I snapped the cobs in half and steamed them, then cut the corn off one of the half-cobs and omitted the butter. Instead of potatoes, I whipped up a homemade vinegar-based coleslaw (no carrots, as I’m not a fan). And for the meatloaf, I used ground chicken instead of ground beef. Here’s what I did:

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Low-carb adventures: egg muffins!

A mini quiche made in a muffin pan.Breakfast has never been easy for me. I’m not one who can generally eat as soon as she gets up in the morning. I’ve had issues with feeling ill at the mere thought of eating so soon from waking, so often,  I’m not getting hungry until I’m on my way out the door to work in the morning, or by the time I get there. So, grabbing breakfast on the go is something really important to me.

I’ve been stopping at McDonald’s for McMuffins or Tim Horton’s for bagels, but both are not healthy choices. McD’s  is a no-brainer, but bagels are very high in carbs and sugar. I’ve been trying  to cut back on my breads/grains intake, so bagels are not the way to go. Well, I love omelets but couldn’t think of how to make one very portable until I got thinking about the muffin-sized meatloaves I have made and started poking around the net for some guidance on how to use that method for eggs. Here’s what I ended up doing…

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