Kids Night: Healthy(ish) chicken strips and fries

October 23, 2008 at 12:51 am | Posted in Chicken, kids, potatoes, Yummy Veggies | 1 Comment

I admit it.  When I was a kid, I was super picky when it came to food.  If you ask my mom, she will tell you that I ate nothing but Chef Boyardee pizzas (does anyone make those anymore?!), spaghettios, and maybe the occasional hot dog.  So I really shouldn’t be surprised that our kids are picky either- they are (almost)5 and 8 after all. 

I really try hard to make sure that the kids have healthy eating habits while at our house.  We eat healthy most of the time so I want to pass that on to them.  When they want snacks, the things available are apple slices, bananas, nuts, healthy granola bars, and for a real treat, a 100 calorie pack or something like Chips Ahoy.  Brutal?  Nah.  They are so used to it that they like the healthy snacks.  I just don’t keep other things in the house.  When it comes to dinners, it’s more of a challenge.  Most of the things that Tommy and I eat, the kids wouldn’t really like.  I have managed to find some favorites that we use in our rotation though that everyone likes and I’ve even managed to make them as healthy as possible.  Our favorites include Baked Ziti (I use whole wheat pasta & ground turkey), tacos (I use ground turkey, my homemade seasoning, and lots of veggies), breakfast for dinner (put lots of egg whites in the scrambled eggs, low sodium bacon, and whole grain bread), and homemade chicken strips and fries, which is the recipe I am about to post. Kids love chicken strips and fries, plain and simple.  And you know what?  So do I!  I tried to find a way to make them healthier than just buying them frozen.  I rarely buy anything frozen so I definitely didnt’ want to start with these.  I finally found a recipe that made them much healthier than other options and everyone loves them!

Recipe from www.aplaceofourown.org

Ingredients

1/4 cup seasoned fine bread crumbs
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup egg substitute
Non-stick cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine 1/4 cup of seasoned fine bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of paprika, and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder into a shallow dish.
Dip each chicken strip in 1 cup of egg substitute and then roll the chicken strip in the bread crumb mixture.
Arrange the chicken strips on a sheet pan coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake the chicken strips for 35 to 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve and enjoy.

I cook these up and serve them with a side of fries (I cut up potatoes into strips, put a little olive oil and a dash of salt on them and bake them to make them healthier), and fruit (usually apple slices).

Mrs. Pig Rating:  This is a yummy quick workweek meal for when the kids are here.  I like those kind!  And I like that I can find ways to make foods healthier for my family. 

Pig Rating:  The pig really likes this meal as well!  He loves potatoes so his favorite part is the fries even though they aren’t fried, he still loves them.

Little Pigs Rating:  The little pigs like this one a lot!  Well, sometimes Will decides he doesn’t like it and wants a bowl of salad instead (yes, he would pretty much rather have salad than anything right now).  Sheridan really likes this though!

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Sweet Potato Garlic Fries

September 15, 2008 at 1:34 am | Posted in potatoes, Yummy Veggies | 3 Comments

You have probably wondered what I have been feeding my family since I haven’t blogged in so long.  Don’t worry – they haven’t been out scouring for berries in the woods, nor have they been eating fast food every night.  I have just been so busy that I’ve been cooking the same things over and over.  Until now.  Last weekend Tommy and I went to New York to visit my good friends Kat and Andrea and Kat happens to be a personal trainer and nutritionist.  We sat down with her and found many new awesome ideas for things to eat and routines to start trying as far as food and exercise.  This really made me want to get back into cooking new things every week, especially healthy things!  I found this great recipe on one of my go-to blogs, Good Things Catered.  Kat had mentioned that sweet potatoes would be something good to throw in every now and again so here we go.  Neither Tommy or I are HUGE sweet potato fans but I wanted to try them just for something different.

Yes, my camera sucks.  We are on the lookout for a new one currently.  Ugh.  Ignore the ugly pic.  I figure an ugly pic is better than NO pic.  : )

This recipe is from Good Things Catered:

Ingredients:
5 large red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp kosher salt
5 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/8 c. flat leaf parsley, minced

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 500 degrees and line 2 baking sheets.
-Wash and dry sweet potatoes (leaving skin on) and slice into 1/8 inch thick wedges.
-Place into large bowl and combine with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
-Lay out sweet potato wedges on baking sheets, dividing evenly between them, and place in oven.
-Bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, or until edges begin to brown and wedges are tender.
-Remove from oven, sprinkle evenly with salt, garlic, parsley, and serve immediately.

Pig Rating:  The pig was not a huge fan of these.  He didn’t like the sweet/salty combo. 

Mrs. Pig Rating:  These were just okay for me.  I think it’s because I am not a huge sweet potato fan.  If you are, then these are good though!

Roasted Red Potatoes

January 20, 2008 at 11:32 pm | Posted in potatoes | 4 Comments

As you have probably figured out, we love potatoes in our house – love them fried, mashed, baked, roasted, etc. While Tommy’s favorite is fried, I’ve been trying to find a recipe that is more health friendly to make with things when we want potatoes. I love red potatoes so I went on the hunt for a good roasted red potato recipe today and stumbled across one on one of my favorite blogs to stalk – Amber’s Delectable Delights. I love her blog – great recipes, great instructions and reviews, great pictures, etc. Thanks for another great recipe Amber!

Ingredients
4 red potatoes
2 Tbls bread crumbs
1 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls Parmesan cheese
Your choice of seasonings (I used garlic power, onion powder, and parsley)

Directions
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees
– Slice potatoes into wedges and place into medium bowl.
Season with all the remaining ingredients and place into preheated oven.
Cook for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are done to your desired crispness.

Pig Rating: The pig really liked these! He said they were a great substitute for fried potatoes and he couldn’t believe that they were really TOO bad for him as far as potatoes go.

Mrs. Pig Rating: Like I said, I love potatoes, so these were no exception. I loved the flavor as well as how crispy they were on the outside and soft on the inside. I will most DEF be making these again and adding these as a staple on our menus.

I "potato" You!

January 11, 2008 at 12:59 am | Posted in Fun, potatoes | 6 Comments


Tonight, I decided that I would make Tommy fried potatoes. Not good for you, but he has been being really good lately working out and eating right so I thought I would treat him. So I came home and pulled out my bag of potatoes and out falls a potato and I about died when I saw it! It was in the shape of….a heart!!!!!! Or a butt depending on how you hold it, but I prefer to think of it as a heart!! I
was so excited about it that I didn’t use it in the potatoes, but I saved it for when Tommy got home instead to show him. He walked in and I showed him and he said, “Aw, I “potato” you!” HA! Who ever thought you could substitute the word “potato” for “heart” and it have meaning?!
So, to all of my foodie friends….I “potato” you!!

Chicken and Potato Pizza

December 7, 2007 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Chicken, pizza, potatoes | 1 Comment

My great friend Clara who is also a foodie (she has 3 food blogs….THREE!!!), had this pizza on her blog and it intrigued me. Her hubby likes this one from CPK and I figured that mine would as well so I thought I would give it a whirl. At first I was a little scared…I mean, potatoes on a pizza?!? But, I like potatoes and I like pizza, so why the heck not?? : )

Thanks for the recipe Clara!! I changed it a bit from her recipe so we’ll call this Clara’s recipe modified to April’s taste.. ; )

Ingredients
1 pizza crust (I cheated and bought Pillsbury refrigerated crust)
1 jar pizza sauce
mozzerella and/or cheddar cheese
1 large potato (fry in oil until potatoes start turning golden brown)
1 chicken breast (I shredded the chicken but you can cut it into chunks if you prefer)
1/4 or 1/2 cup onion (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Pre-heat oven 400F

Roll out dough on pan (I used a big cookie sheet as my crust was more rectangle than round). At this point, I baked my dough in the oven first for about 8 minutes before putting on toppings. I think it depends on the crust that you use.

Spoon on the pizza sauce & sprinkle with cheese. Add all other toppings. (Clara uses tomato chunks on hers but Tommy isn’t a huge tomato fan so I omitted but I bet it is yummy!)

Bake for 15-20 minutes

Pig Rating: He really liked this a lot. He said, “Pig says this one is REAALLLLY good! Put that on your blog!”. LOL Definitely a keeper (the recipe and the Pig ; )

Mrs. Pig Rating: I really liked this one a lot. I think I might try it with something other than pizza sauce….maybe a white sauce of some type. This is a really awesome easy recipe though. YUMMMM!!!

Recipe from Clara’s blog, picture from my kitchen

Fried Potatoes

November 13, 2007 at 2:12 am | Posted in potatoes, side dishes | 2 Comments

So, Tommy and I were talking about fried potatoes yesterday so they were on my mind. I know, not the healthiest thing in the world, but oh so good for an every now and again thing. They are super easy to make – I didn’t really follow a recipe so I’ll just post what I did. You can certainly adjust the seasonings to your taste. : ) (What I post makes 2 servings)

Ingredients

2 large potatoes, peeled
salt, pepper, red pepper, onion powder – to taste
Shortening, butter, olive oil, etc. About 3 tbsp

Directions

Peel potatoes and slice into thin slices. Pour oil/shortening into skillet on medium heat. Salt, pepper, red pepper, and onion powder to taste – I really just shook a little of each on the potatoes. Fry them for about 10-15 minutes until potatoes are soft. I taste tested. : ) I like mine a little crispy on the edges. Pour some ketchup over them and YUM!!! (You can also slice up some onions and add them if you prefer).

Pig Rating: He LOVED these. He wanted more but I told him no. We pigs can only have so much fried food you know. : )

Mrs. Pig Rating: OMG. So good. Just like my dad used to make them. I will definitely make these again!

Broccoli, Potato, & Cheddar Cheese Soup

October 23, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Posted in potatoes, soup | 1 Comment

My friend Nikki gave this recipe to our friend Clara as one of her first “cooking dinner for my husband” recipes. Clara said it was awesome and of course Nikki likes it, so I had to make it. What could be better than loads of cheese and potatoes??? YUM! It has been such a cold, rainy, icky day today so I am glad that it was on the menu for tonight’s dinner!!

Recipe taken directly from Nikki’s blog: http://crazydeliciousfood.wordpress.com/

Ingredients

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cans chicken broth (the regular soup size cans)

2 cups broccoli florets chopped (I usually just use frozen broccoli … I heat it for a minute so I can cut it, then I chop it up)

1 1/4 cups milk

8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese

3 peeled and cubed potatoes
you can also top with cooked bacon and green onions (I usually skip the onions, but the bacon is good)

Directions

Mix 1/3rd cup of chicken broth with the 1/4 cup of flour until smooth and set aside
Combine remaining chicken broth, potatoes and broccoli in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 8 mins or until potatoes are tender. (now here I usually wing it and just leave it uncovered and let it cook until the potatoes are soft … you will need to taste test here so pay attention. Also sometimes I put a few more potatoes and/or broccoli in so I make sure that the broth covers them and if I use more I throw a little bit more milk in …. not half a gallon)
Then you’re going to gradually stir in the flour mixture from step 1 and cook for another 3-5 mins
Then stir in the milk and cheddar cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted and your done.
When you serve it put a little bit of cheese on top and break up a piece of bacon

The only things that I changed – I was out of broccoli so I skipped that but next time I will use it. Also no onions on ours.

Pig Rating: He said “It’s good.” He isn’t a huge soup fan, but he did clean his bowl and he seemed to like it pretty well.

Mrs. Pig Rating: I really liked this a lot!! I love potatoes and cheese…a goody for cold rainy evening for sure!

Recipe from Nikki’s blog, picture from our kitchen!

Zesty Red Potatoes

October 9, 2007 at 12:12 am | Posted in potatoes, side dishes, Yummy Veggies | Leave a comment

Tonight I was looking for a side to go with our pork chops and I found this awesome red potato recipe. These are super yummy!! We love anything spicy and “zesty” so I knew this would be a winner and I was right! I seriously think I could eat potatoes all of the time.

Ingredients
4 medium red potatoes, halved and thinly sliced
2/3 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Directions

Arrange potatoes and onion in an ungreased 9-in. square baking dish. Combine butter, pepper flakes and salt; drizzle over potatoes and onion. Cover and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

*Note – Next time I will use more red pepper flakes than this recipe called for as we like our food pretty “zesty”. It is good as the recipe reads, but if you want a little more “zest” add a little more.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com, picture from my kitchen : )

Easy Mashed Potatoes

September 28, 2007 at 1:07 am | Posted in potatoes, side dishes, Yummy Veggies | Leave a comment

I love mashed potatoes – I love any potatoes really, but mashed are so comforting and yummy. : ) Tonight I made mashed potatoes from an easy recipe that I found online and they turned out perfect!

(Insert Picture Here)

Ingredients

4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper

Directions

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender. Drain well. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy. Finish up by mixing with a mixer on low if they are not creamy enough.

NOTE: You can add more butter and more milk if needed for your taste. I added 4 tablespoons of butter to mine. I like buttery goodness : )

Recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com/
Makes 4 servings.

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