Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

I knew it had been a very long time since my last recipe post, but I never would have guessed my most recent post was this past January. Wow, I have to be the worst blogger ever! Although I have been swamped with work and tons of side projects, I haven't abandoned the world of cooking and nutrition. Many nights of getting home late and still trying to cook dinner, I admit, I just choose one of my favorite go-to recipes. That way there is little risk of disaster and the element of research/substitution of ingredients is eliminated. Although it doesn't always happen, I like to try to make at least one new recipe each week, which means I do have quite a few updates to add to the blog. I also have an absurd amount of recipes saved on Pinterest that I plan to make in the future. This recipe for Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken is one that I had pinned a while back and just got around to making. I love the fact that  the prep work was super easy and that it cooked while I was working. I was especially excited with the result. The chicken had a lot of flavor, sweet from the honey with a hint of salty from the soy sauce. It was tender and still light in comparison to most oriental chicken dishes. I served it over brown rice with steamed broccoli on the side. So much healthier than Chinese take-out! 

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
serves 5

1.25 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp diced onion
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp corn starch, dissolved in 3 tbsp water
1 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in crock pot.
2. In a small bowl combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, canola oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
4. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce.
5. Dissolve cornstarch in 3 tbsp of water and pour into crock pot.
6. Replace lid and cook on high for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
7. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to crock pot and toss with sauce before serving.
8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve over rice or noodles.

Nutrition: 258 calories, 31g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 5g fat
Weight Watchers Points: 6
Weight Watchers Plus Points: 7

Monday, January 23, 2012

Diet Friendly Dumplings

I'm excited to finally post a new recipe after quite some time away from Nosh N' Nutrition. The weather in Alabama is absolutely crazy, but on one of our cooler January nights, I was really in the mood for a warm, comfort food dish. Instead of slaving away in the kitchen for hours, I settled on a simple crockpot recipe that I had been eyeing on Pinterest (along with tons of other fabulous recipes) for Chicken and Dumplings. Generally "comfort food" has a negative connotation in the world of healthy eating, but after studying the original ingredients, I didn't have to change much in order to make a light version. This was very easy to make and tuned out to be a wonderful meal. It reminded me so much of Cracker Barrel's Chicken and Dumplings, which I order occasionally. While their dish is just as tasty, I think I enjoyed my version more simply because I knew the exact ingredients and nutritional content. I will definitely be making this again soon!
Chicken and Dumplings
serves 6

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp light butter
2 cans 98% fat free Cream of Chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp dried parsley
4 Grands flaky refrigerator biscuits

  1. Put the chicken, butter, soup, broth, parsley, and onions in the crockpot and cook on high for 4-6 hours.
  2. As the chicken cooks and gets tender, break/shred it up with a fork or knife.
  3. Cut your biscuits into strips (about 3 per biscuit). Stir into chicken mixture and cook for another hour.
Nutrition: 255 calories, 25g carbohydrate, 19g protein, 9g fat, 2g fiber
Weight Watchers Points: 6
Weight Watchers Plus Points: 7

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall is Nice with Pumpkin Spice

So I realize that it has been over 4 months since I have posted a new recipe, but I am finally back! While I make no promises, I am going to try to post at least once a week. Since my last post, I have officially started my own business, which seems to consume most of my waking (and some sleeping) hours. In the midst of everything, I have still been cooking. There just hasn't been much time for trial and error of adapting new recipes, much less analyzing the nutrient content or writing about it. I have missed creating and modifying recipes so my goal is to set aside some spare time each week and devote it to doing just that.

The recipe that I have today is the perfect way to kick off the Fall season. I have always associated the cool autumn weather with the scent of pumpkin spice, and the smell of these pumpkin pecan cookies baking in the oven seemed so perfect. Not only are they soft, chewy, and delicious, but they are also low in fat and sugar, and packed with fiber and Beta Carotene. I found the recipe at, which is a fabulous source for healthy, weight-watcher friendly recipes. Try these cookies for dessert or pair them with coffee for a perfect breakfast treat. I see many more pumpkin recipes in my near future!

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Pecan Cookies
serves 16

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Splenda (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
1 large egg
6 tbsp canned pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with wax paper.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter, Splenda, and brown sugar with a hand mixer. Add the egg, pumpkin, and vanilla extract. Mix together. Stir in the pecans.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir to combine.
  5. Place 16 tablespoons of dough on each baking sheet, evenly separated.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Nutrition (2 cookies): 136 calories, 18g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 6g fat, 3g fiber
Weight Watchers points: 3
Weight Watchers Plus points: 4

Monday, May 30, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna: White and Light

I completely enjoy my homemade turkey lasagna with classic tomato sauce, but I figured I would mix it up a bit and make vegetable lasagna with a white sauce. I found the original recipe by Recipe Girl and loved the fact that it was full of so many fresh summer veggies. I altered the recipe a bit in order to give it a healthy twist. The sauce was light and provided just enough flavor to let the vegetables star in the creamy dish. While there was a good amount of prep work involved, in my opinion, it was absolutely worth it. It was a great summer entree paired with a fresh garden salad.

Vegetable Lasagna
adapted from Recipe Girl
serves 9

2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped yellow squash
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
dash of nutmeg
10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
2 cups fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes or until tender; add garlic and saute for another minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Spray the skillet again with cooking spray and add zucchini and squash. saute for 4 minutes or until tender. Add to onion mixture.
  4. Spray the skillet again with cooking spray. Add carrots and saute for 4 minutes; add broccoli and saute for another 4 minutes until tender crisp. Add to onion mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Stir well to combine.
  5. Place flour in a medium sauce pan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup parmesan, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until smooth blend in spinach.
  6. In a medium size bowl, combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well.
  7. Spray a lasagna pan (or 9x13 baking dish) with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture on bottom of pan. Arrange 3 noodles over spinach mixture; top with half cottage cheese mixture, then half vegetable mixture, and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture on top of noodles; sprinkle with 1/2 cup parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella. 
  8. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition: 289 calories, 40g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 5g fat, 7g fiber
Weight Watchers points: 5
Weight Watchers plus points: 8
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfect Parfait

I eat oatmeal for breakfast year round, no matter the temperature outside. But for a lot of people, when the warm weather rolls around, they look for a cooler start to the day. This solution that I have to offer is a healthy yogurt parfait. It is very quick and easy to make, plus it has plenty of protein and fiber. While I use greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream and mayonnaise in cooking, I love the thick, creamy texture on its own as well. The only other ingredients are Fiber One cereal, Truvia sweetener, and cinnamon. The crunch of the cereal reminds me of granola and is the perfect compliment to the slightly sweet yogurt. I prefer to eat my fruit on the side but you could also add fresh berries. I learned about this delicious combination while interning last summer for Tanya Zuckerbrot in NYC. She is an amazing dietitian a founder/author of The F-Factor Diet. The F-Factor Diet is a healthy diet that is very easy to follow. It promotes whole-grains, high fiber, and protein which helps to keep you feeling full and avoid sabotaging your weight loss plan. Tanya has also created her own line of high fiber products which can be found at Kroger stores or can be ordered on her website. I would go in to detail about the different products, but I'll save that for another post. This yogurt parfait tastes indulgent but weighs in with a mere 160 calories. It is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Yogurt Parfait
serves 1

1 (6 oz) container Fage 0% plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup Fiber One original cereal
1 packet Truvia sweetener
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Add Truvia and cinnamon to yogurt container. Mix well. Stir in Cereal.

Nutrition: 160 calories, 32g carbohydrate, 20g protein, 1g fat, 14g fiber
Weight Watchers points: 4
Weight Watchers Plus points: 6
Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cut Calories with Cauliflower

If you love the flavor of a loaded baked potato, but aren't a fan of the associated carbs, this recipe is for you. In my cauliflower casserole, I use the same ingredients that you would add to a twice baked potato or potato casserole. Although the texture is slightly different, the flavor is very similar. Plus this alternative saves quite a few calories. The casserole is creamy and cheesy and everything that typically contradicts a healthy food. It is the perfect side item to add a bit of southern comfort. For a complete meal, I paired the casserole with baked chicken tenders and steamed green beans.

Cauliflower Casserole
serves 6

10 oz. frozen cauliflower
3 tbsp fat free butter
2 tbsp diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
2 tbsp egg whites
1 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Steam cauliflower until softened. Transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher.
  3. Add butter, onion, garlic, greek yogurt, egg whites, and 1/2 cup cheese. Mix well.
  4. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer cauliflower mixture to dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Nutrition: 55 calories, 3g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 0g fat
Weight Watchers points: 1
Weight Watchers Plus points: 2

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pizza Make-Over with a Veggie Take-Over

Most people tend to enjoy pizza. But, if you are trying to eat healthy or lose weight, pizza is usually not the best choice. Most commercial brand pizzas are loaded with fat and sodium. Toppings, such as ground beef, ham, pepperoni, sausage, or extra cheese just add to the calorie overload. With a little homemade effort, pizza can still be part of a healthy diet. Start with a handmade crust that incorporates whole wheat flour for additional fiber content. Make your own sauce to reduce added sugars. Then top it with fat free cheese and an assortment of sauteed veggies. This pizza tastes very similar to the veggie pizza at California Pizza Kitchen and is quite filling due to the fact that each serving contains 8g of fiber. Although goat cheese is not low fat, you don't need much at all because of its strong flavor and it is the perfect complement to the other ingredients. Of course this homemade pizza takes more time than calling for a delivery, but you can make the dough and sauce ahead of time. I have even cooked the vegetables the day before and refrigerated them so that I can throw the pizza together in no time at all. Even if you think veggie pizza is just not for you, I think you will be amazed at how delicious it can be. Feel free to change up the vegetables to suit your own preferences. Also, let kids help with the preparation for a great way to teach them about veggies they may have never seen.

Vegetable Pizza
serves 4

1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Splenda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
up to 1 cup luke warm water

1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp Splenda
1/8 tsp allspice

2 cups broccolini, stems trimmed
1/2 medium eggplant, diced
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tsp garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, process the flour, sugar, and salt for 6 seconds. Add the yeast and process for 10 seconds longer. Combine the oil and water and drizzle through the feed tube while the machine is running (Once the dough clumps around the blade, process for 30-40 more seconds. Dough should be a little sticky).
  3. Divide dough in half and store one ball of dough in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
  4. Spray a 16" pizza pan with cooking spray. Press dough from center out until it reaches the edges. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. For sauce, combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. Spread over baked pizza crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  6. For vegetables, spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Add garlic, spinach, onion, and eggplant and cook over medium-high heat until spinach is wilted. Add broccolini, mushrooms, and black olives and cook for 10 minutes until all vegetables are softened. 
  7. Top crust (and sauce and cheese) with cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Return pizza to oven for 8-10 minutes.
***You will have extra sauce. You can heat it to use as a dipping sauce or refrigerate it for later use with the extra pizza dough.

Nutrition: (2 slices) 265 calories, 42g carbohydrate, 20g protein, 4.5g fat, 8g fiber
weight watchers points: 5
weight watchers plus points: 7

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About Lauren


Nutrition student with a passion for giving yummy recipes a healthy make-over. Future RD on a constant search for the best food finds. And new blogger trying to relay my tasty ideas to everyone else.

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