Recipe of the Week: Easy Homemade Bagels

The photo above is mine.

Last week I tried out this air fryer healthy chicken nugget recipe and I loved it so much that I decided to try another air fryer recipe because I love how quick it can cook my meals. This week I took a swing at making bagels in an air fryers. Yes, you read that right. Bagels can be made in an air fryer (and the oven). I found this great bagel recipe on SkinnyTaste.

I really wanted to try this recipe out because I don’t really like how packaged bagels taste and was interested in how bagels would taste if I made them from scratch. It said that it would only take 5 minutes to prep and only 30 minutes of my time to try out this recipe, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

This recipe really caught my attention when I saw that there was only five ingredients that I needed to make these. The less ingredients the better, right?

Here are the ingredients that are needed:

  • 1 cup (5 oz) unbleached all purpose flour, whole wheat or gluten-free mix*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s not expired or it won’t rise)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if using table salt)
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (not regular yogurt)
  • 1 egg white, beaten (whole egg works fine too)
  • optional toppings (depending on what type of bagels you want to make).

With simple ingredients like flour, baking powder, kosher salt, non-fat Greek yogurt and eggs I was excited to try this out.

Starting off, I had to grab a bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder and kosher salt with a whisk. After this I had to add the yogurt and mix it with a fork. When it’s all said and done it should look like small crumbles.

Next, find a clean surface to work on. Lightly cover it with some flour and take the dough from the bowl and place it on the surface and then start kneading it. Here’s a video of how to knead the dough if you’re unsure of what to do.

Once it’s kneaded, separate the dough into four equal balls (this will make four bagels). Roll the balls until you have 3/4 inch ropes. Once it looks like a rope, connect the endings together. Do that for all of them. Then top all of the bagels with egg wash and any toppings that you may want (though I just made plain bagels).

Lastly, preheat your air fryer to 325 degrees for 11 to 12 minutes. Once it is preheated bake them for 11 to 12 minutes but make sure to give each bagel enough room because you don’t want them to bake into each other. If you have to do two separate batches, that’s fine.

When they are done SkinnyTaste says to leave them cool for 10 minutes, but when they smell as good as they do it might be hard to resist.

And that’s all there is to it! Easy right? Let me know what you think!

Until next time…

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Recipe of the Week: Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

The photo above is mine.

 

Last week I tried making SkinnyTaste’s Baked Chicken Parmesan recipe and I liked it so much that I wanted to try a similar recipe this week.

Whenever I go to a fast-food restaurant I always crave one thing- chicken nuggets. I know that I shouldn’t want the frozen and fried chicken nuggets, but I could never help myself… until now. This week I searched SkinnyTaste’s website in search of a healthier alternative for chicken nuggets. I found a recipe called Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets and being an owner of an air fryer I decided to put the recipe to the test.

So, first off, here are the ingredients that you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • 16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even 1-inch bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons panko
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil spray

I really liked that there wasn’t a lot of ingredients to make these chicken nuggets. I’m not an expert cook so the less ingredients the better.

To start, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees for 8 minutes. While the fryer is heating up, cut up the chicken breasts into cubes.

For the chicken breasts, I didn’t use all of the two breasts, instead I used around one and a half because I didn’t have a lot of people to cook for. And I didn’t measure how big the pieces were that I cut into cubes, but I made them bite-sized.

Once the chicken was all cut up into pieces, I grabbed two bowls and filled one with olive oil and the other one with the breading mixture (the seasoned breadcrumbs, panko and grated Parmesan cheese).

The next step is to put the pieces of chicken into the olive oil, making sure to cover all sides of the chicken. Then, roll the chicken pieces in the breading mixture, making sure to cover them entirely.

By this time, the air fryer should be preheated. Place the breaded chicken nuggets onto the bottom tray of the air fryer, but don’t pack them in because you want to make sure that they get cooked fully (so you may have to cook three separate batches like me, but I swear the food is worth the wait). After you’ve placed the pieces in the fryer, spray olive oil on top of them so that they can get crispy when they cook. Bake them for 8 minutes, flipping them half way through.

That’s it!

When I first read that I was able to cook raw chicken in 8 minutes, I thought that they were wrong, but I tried the recipe anyways and I found out that raw chicken can cook fully in 8 minutes.

Overall, I really enjoyed this recipe and so did my guests. I love that it’s healthier than frozen or fast-food chicken nuggets and that it tastes better than they do. It tastes fresh! And for around 188 calories for six to eight chicken nuggets, there’s no need for me to feel guilty about eating the food that I love anymore.

Let me know what you think!

Until next time…

Recipe of the Week: Baked Chicken Parmesan

Here’s SkinnyTaste’s photo of Baked Chicken Parmesan since I forgot to take a picture.

 

After last week’s delicious recipe, I was super excited to cook up another SkinnyTaste recipe. This week I made SkinnyTaste’s Baked Chicken Parmesan and it was amazing. Now, I’ve made this recipe many times before and it’s becoming one of my favorites. I love this chicken Parmesan recipe and had never had it before I stumbled across it a few years ago. And since then, I’ve never looked for a different recipe.

This was the first recipe that I tried from SkinnyTaste and it’s brought me back to the site to try other recipes that are listed there. This recipe, like others, are easy to do (and who doesn’t love that?).

Here are the ingredients that are needed for this recipe:

 

  • 4 (about 8 oz each) chicken breast, fat trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise to make 8
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted (or olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used Polly-o)
  • 1 cup marinara or Filetto di Pomodoro
  • cooking spray

I love that there aren’t many ingredients needed to make this dish. For me, I only use 2 chicken breasts because I cut them in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces. The original recipe says that you only need a certain amount of breadcrumbs and Parmesan, but I guess when I mix them together. I’ve noticed that I always end up needing more breading for each piece of chicken than what the recipe calls for.

As for how to cook the dish, it’s pretty easy and quick.

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

When the oven is heating up, use the cooking spray and spray the bottom of a baking sheet or pan.

Then, cut up the chicken breasts horizontally (here’s a video if you need an example). You can use however many breasts you want (the recipe recommends 4 but I use 2 to 3 if I’m cooking for less people).

Once you have the chicken cut up, you can rub olive oil on both sides of each of the pieces (or you can use butter, too). After all of the pieces are oiled up, you roll it in the breadcrumb mixture, which is made up of the combination of seasoned breadcrumbs (I use Italian Breadcrumbs) and grated Parmesan cheese.

After all of the chicken is breaded, place them in the pan and then spray more cooking spray over the chicken before baking it in the oven for 25 minutes.

Once the 25 minutes are up, take the pan out and put 1 tbsp of marinara sauce over each of the pieces of chicken and 1 1/2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese(I do a pinch of it) on top of the chicken, as well. Then, put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.

I like to cook some angel hair noodles and broccoli with this dish to make it a full dish. I also like to heat up the marinara sauce that is left over and put that over the noodles.

When the chicken is done, place it over the noodles (if you make them) and enjoy!

It’s a simple dish that brings the same amount of comfort as the original chicken Parmesan without all of the calories. Great, huh?

Let me know what you think! Until next time…

 

Recipe of the Week: Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Since I’ve started this health journey, I’ve discovered different recipes and eating habits. Some recipes that I have experimented with have been fantastic and a regular recipe for me while others have been recipes that I will never try again. It’s all trial and error, but you’re never going to know if you like something if you never try it.

The recipe that I tried this week was SkinnyTaste’s Spinach Lasagna Rolls. When I first heard of spinach and lasagna in the same sentence I was skeptical, but I thought that I should give it a try. What harm could it do? I mean, it’s only 253 calories for one of the rolls.

I tried it and I was amazed. This was so easy and so good to make. I didn’t even miss the meat that I usually had in lasagna.

The SkinnyTaste online site has full details and instructions on how to make this dish, but I am just going to touch base on the ingredients that you will need if you want to make this dish.

  • 2 cups homemade marinara sauce, plus more for serving
  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles, wheat or gluten-free
  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed well
  • 15 oz part skim ricotta cheese (I like Polly-o)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

SkinnyTaste likes to use a lot of ingredients that are fresh, homemade, or skim products for their dishes- especially this one. I, on the other hand, made this dish with store-bought marinara sauce and regular shredded mozzarella cheese.

It might not be exactly what I was suppose to use, but I’ve never been one to follow the rules when it comes to recipes or cooking.

Personally, I thought that this recipe was really easy to make compared to a few that I have experimented with in previous weeks.

First, I had to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When I was letting the oven heat up, I boiled some water and cooked lasagna noodles (the exact amount to cook is listed on SkinnyTaste’s main site).

After the lasagna noodles are cooked the site said to dry the noodles off and lay them out flat, but I found it hard to dry off hot noodles so I just stopped trying to dry them. Then there’s this spinach ricotta spread that I had to mix with an egg and some Parmesan. After I stirred the mixture, I spread along the length of  all of the noodles before I rolled them up.

Grabbing a rectangle cake pan, I put some sauce on the bottom of the pan and placed the lasagna spinach rolls on top of it with the seal part of the noodle facing the bottom of the pan. I then spooned some sauce over it (though I didn’t measure the sauce like they directed me to) over the noodles before putting it in the oven for 40 minutes.

It was quick and delicious and a healthy alternative for lasagna. I am usually a big meat-eater, but I didn’t mind eating this and didn’t even notice that there wasn’t any meat. This is something that I will definitely make again.

If you decide to make this, please let me know how it went for you. I’d love to hear if you liked it just as much as I did!

Until next time…

Skinny Chicken Taco Chili

The photo above was taken by me.

Last week, I tried making this Skinny Taste baked spaghetti squash and cheese recipe and my results and thoughts of how it went can be found here.

This week, I decided to find a recipe that used ingredients that I have actually tried and liked. I stumbled upon this Skinny Taste recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili. For only 220 calories for a serving (one cup) I thought that I would give it a shot.

I, for one, love chili and Mexican food, so stumbling across a recipe that had both in it sounded amazing to me. It was a plus when I found out that I could throw all of the ingredients in a crock pot and call it a day. It sounded way better than prepping a dish for an hour like I had to when I made the baked spaghetti squash and cheese dish last week.

The ingredients that I needed for this recipe were listed on the Skinny Taste website, but I’ll put it here for your convenience.

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
  • 4 oz can chopped green chili peppers, chopped (I didn’t use this)
  • 1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 24 oz (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

One thing that I loved about this dish was that a lot of the ingredients needed were in cans or were seasoning, so it made it easy to prepare. The only things that I did differently was that I didn’t use green chili peppers because I don’t like spicy food and I figured that there would be enough zing to it since I had to use a can of diced tomatoes with chilies in it. Also, there was an option on the site that showed ingredients that people would need if they wanted to make their taco seasoning by scratch, but I decided that a packet of taco seasoning would work just as well.

After I put all of the ingredients in the crock pot, I was able to walk away and leave it cook for 4 to 6 hours on high, though there is an option to cook it on low for 8 to 10 hours.

When it was done, I decided that I was just going to eat it with chips, instead of cooking it with rice or eating it plain. The food turned out amazing and wasn’t too spicy (though it should be noted that I added sour cream and cheese as my toppings).

I liked this recipe a lot because it tasted good and it was a plus knowing that it was a healthier alternative compared to other similar dishes. It’s an easy recipe and doesn’t take up much time, which is great for people who have busy schedules.

Check out Skinny Taste for more tasty recipes (I love her recipes)!

If any of you try it, please let me know what you think.

Mac and Cheese: The Healthy Way

The photo above is taken by me.

I would like to think that I love all pasta more than anyone else in the world, but I know that that’s not true. And as many of you probably know, pasta is not the healthiest thing a person can eat, but it’s so good that sometimes we can’t control us. It’s the perfect comfort food (or just a cheap way to eat). But just because some dishes are cheap, doesn’t mean that we need to eat it. I believe that our bodies are our temples and we should do our best to take care of them. Their the only bodies we’ll have, we better treat them right!

Tonight I stepped out of my comfort zone. Instead of having regular pasta that’s filled with carbs, I looked on SkinnyTaste’s online site and found this Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese recipe. When I first found this recipe, I was skeptical about it. I didn’t believe that vegetables could give me the same taste that pasta did. I mean, I’m naive, but not that naive.

When I first looked at this recipe, I thought that it would be easy and take little to no time to do. I was wrong. So, so wrong. I should also mention that I’m not a great cook either. Prepping for this dish took me a lot longer than I was originally expecting, making it seem inconvenient. I guess I should have known that it would take longer to make something fresh and from scratch rather than making something that is prepackaged and comes in a box. Instead of making mac and cheese in 12 minutes, I spent over an hour making this dish.

The questions I kept thinking throughout the time that I was making the cheese sauce and making squash strands was, “Is this really worth it?” and “Is it going to taste good?”

The answer…

For me, I personally didn’t think that it was worth it. As a person who is constantly trying to find healthy recipes, I thought that I would love this dish (as the recipe has been saved on my phone for months) but I didn’t.

I found out that I’m not a fan of the texture of squash. I was bummed to find this out because I was so excited to try this recipe. I did love the first few bites of the dish, though I think the richness of the cheese became too much for me with each bite that I took.

In conclusion, I believe that if you like squash and don’t mind the strong and rich taste of cheese then this recipe will be for you.

Although I didn’t like this recipe, I’m glad that I tried it because I’m learning more about what I do and do not like to eat. I’ll never know which foods work for me if I never try. Not every recipe will be a keeper for everyone, but it’s up to you to see if this one is one that you like.

Until next weeks recipe…