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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Lower-carb / lower-sodium adventures: chili stew

A bowl of chili stewI’m sure that I’ve probably posted my chili/chili stew before somewhere, but let me state for the record that it is not what most people think of when they think of chili. It’s more of a stew or soup with chili seasonings. I throw all kinds of vegetables into it and there are no beans.

But lately, I’ve been watching my sodium intake and carbs, so I’ve been  changing some of my old favourites up, as mentioned in previous posts. For this one, I focused on cutting right back on the sodium. Did you know, for example, that 1/2 a cup of diced tomatoes from a can generally has about 450-500 mg of sodium, but the same amount from a ‘no salt added’ can of tomatoes may only have 20-30 mg? It’s a HUGE difference! It allows you the room to regulate the salt how you’d like it, rather than dealing with all that sodium right from the start.

I managed to get my chili stew to the point of only being about 170 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving, which means I could have two servings if I wanted to! 😉

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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Christmas leftovers stew

A bowl of stew with a spoon sticking in it.We all end up with leftovers at Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate!), don’t we? I know I do. Not only did we have leftover chicken from our Christmas-Day-at-home this year, but also turkey that Mom sent home with us the night before.  We had an entire veggie tray that was just going to waste, too. So, I put  on my thinking cap, set my big stew pot on the stove and started to clean out the fridge. Here’s what I did…

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How I saved my overcooked chicken

A plate of egg noodles coated in chopped chicken, cheese and sauce, topped with green onions and shredded cheese.So last night, I knew I had several boneless, skinless chicken breasts which needed to be cooked up but I rapidly found myself running out of evening to cook them in. I thought I’d be clever and throw them into the crockpot with some honey-garlic sauce (VH), onions and a can of pineapple, let it on low and wake up in the morning to fantastic chicken.

Boy, was I wrong. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are not good for the crockpot, because they dry out very easily, despite being drenched in liquid. I didn’t realize this.

Hubby said he’d eat it, but I told him to leave it alone, let me think about it and I’d see if I could salvage it and make it more palatable. I had a few ideas after searching through my cupboards. Here’s how I saved my chicken… Continue reading

Steak & bacon stew!

steakstew2Yeah, so, Red Angus beef quick-fry steaks were on sale this week, so I came home with several pounds of these steaks last night. And I do mean several pounds. Last night, we just simply had fried steak and asparagus in garlic butter. And that was so good that I ate it before I remembered to take a picture — sorry!

Here’s what I did tonight: Continue reading

No eggs? Have leftovers for breakfast!

A plate with oregano parmesan potato medallions made from leftover baked potato, slices of bacon, an egg cup filled with ketchup, a pile of clementine segments and a glass of orange juice in the background.I woke up this morning and realized I had a problem: I had no eggs. I had planned on trying to make Eggs in a Basket for the first time for myself today, as I only have myself to look after in the way of meals today. (Hubby’s not an egg fan and isn’t fond of the smell of them cooking, so I could have experimented today.)

Well, I lie; I had eggs. But they apparently expired last week and I had no idea. Bummer!

Cereal wasn’t sounding too appealing. Neither was toast. Ooh, French Toast–err, wait, that needs eggs. Hm. Pancakes? I have a vegan recipe I could have used, but it just wasn’t what I was craving. Waffles? I wasn’t craving the super sticky sweetness of waffles and syrup this morning.

So I opened the fridge to see what I had: part of an opened package of bacon that needs to be used, a leftover baked potato which needed to be eaten before it went bad, some grated parmesan cheese, some clementines… even my tomato was just starting to turn. Slim pickings. But then I had a revelation. Here’s what I did: Continue reading