Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cutting back

Dari’s Picante Chicken
The Biggest Loser Cookbook Copyright 2006

1/3 cup plus ½ cup mild, medium or hot picante sauce
4 medium (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of visible fat I used tenders
6 tablespoons light cream cheese from a block, softened
½ cup (1 ounce) finely shredded Cabot 75% Light Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 1/3 cup of the picante sauce in the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Set aside.

Lay chicken breasts on a cutting board. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness.

Spread the chicken evenly with the cream cheese. Lay the chicken, cream cheese side up, in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the remaining ½ cup picante sauce evenly over the breasts. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Because I used tenders and they didn't need to cook as long, I didn't cover them.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil. Sprinkle the Cheddar cheese evenly over the breasts. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until no longer pink. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

I got this book from the library. It was the perfect choice to select recipes from the week after eating two Thanksgiving meals. I wasn't expecting that much from this cookbook but I was pleasantly surprised. I'll be picking up my own copy. I didn't really know much about the Biggest Loser Diet, even though I've been watching all this season. It's basically a restricted carb, low-fat, high protein diet. You can have four or more servings of veggies or fruits (at least half have to be veggies), 3 servings of protein, 2 servings of whole grain and 200 extra calories. It sounded really restrictive until I saw that a protein serving was 8 ounces and a whole-grain serving was 1 cup (or 2 slices of bread). I still don't understand how anyone can continually lose 20 pounds each week without having surgery as one contestant has been doing.

This was good and relatively effortless to put together. I'm usually tempted to add more cheese than a light recipe calls for but since the 75% Light Cabot Cheddar costs twice as much as the 50% Light Cabot Cheddar, I was able to control myself. The cheese melted fine but did get a slightly weird crinkly texture on top.

I think Costco changed providers, when it comes to their frozen chicken tenders (unless they carry more than one brand but I doubt that). I thought Tyson used to provide them under the Kirkland brand but I noticed this last bag was Purdue. The tenders are much, much smaller. Coincidentally, I had almost finished a bag of Purdue tenders I picked up in the supermarket when I bought these in Costco and the supermarket tenders had a 15% solution added, while the Costco ones only have an 8% solution. I'm not sure but I thought the ones I used to buy had an even lower percentage. I hate change.

Blast From The Past: Balsamic Chicken from January 2006. An unattractive but good chicken recipe.

Question of the Day: Do you watch reality shows?


DancesInGarden said...

Let's see. Survivor. Top Chef. Project Runway/Catwalk. Design Interns. Next top model. Hell's kitchen. Yeah, I guess I do LOL!

When you use the tenders, do you have to remove that odd rubbery white piece from them? Or do they come with that bit removed? I don't think I have even seen just the tenders for sale here.

I have been known to pull them off the skinless boneless breasts (to make them more uniform), remove that strip from them, then toss into a bag to use for stir fry or nuggets. But it would be so nice to just buy them that way.

Anonymous said...

Love them! Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, Top Chef, Project Runway, Survivor, Big Brother, etc. However, I don't watch the Bachelor or Hell's Kitchen. I'm getting more picky about the reality shows I'll watch.

We found an "off brand" of chicken at the grocery store that is wonderful. Much better than the Tyson ones we had been getting. They're double bagged and individually frozen.

Anonymous said...

I like Dancing with teh Stars and American Idol (after all the bad auditions...I HATE those!). That's about it alothough I do like others, I just don't have time to watch.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I remove that strip if it will come off easily or if I'm cutting up the chicken, otherwise I leave it on. We eat the tenders so often, we know to watch out for it. I just feel it's easier to control portions with the tenders (one or two for Nick, two for me, four or five for DH, one or two for the cat).

I'm glad I'm not the only one watching these shows. I avoided them for so long but I ended up getting sucked into a few of them - Biggest Loser, Project Runway and ANTM are my favorites right now. Oddly enough, I can't get into Top Chef.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Oh yeah, I was really into American Idol last season. How could I forget that??

Anonymous said...

I watch Dancing w/the stars, American Idol, Survivor and Amazing Race; yep, I guess I do watch them!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my, yes - too many. I can't even name them all. As my daughter says, she would be embarassed for people to know what I watch!


Wanda said...

I love them!... Amazing Race, Survivor, Top Chef, Project Runway, Big Brother, American Idol. That may be it...