Chicken Capri

My answer?  Everything.  My life is not consistent with that of restrictions and deprivations at all whatsoever.  I think I halfway disappoint those I talk with about this when I give my (truthful) answer.  I’m not a ‘bad-guy-food-taker-away’er’.  I’m here to help you eat well, but eat well of things you LOVE.
 
Let me come to your house and raid your pantry.. I need help on what to eat. ”
How about I bring my pantry (and fridge!) to you!  At any given time, you can open my pantry, or refrigerator and find these items perfectly in their place.  
 
A Dietitian’s Pantry (and Refrigerator) Checklist
 
  1. Low-fat yogurt This filling breakfast and snack- an excellent post workout snack (high carbohydrate/protein combo).  My morning breakfast is that of low-fat Greek yogurt about 1/4 cup (sometimes 1/2 cup) of low-fat granola with milled flaxseed.
  2. Low-fat milk To add to high-fiber cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, or to drink. Low-fat chocolate milk is a perfect treat post-workout, too!  One of the best protein (muscle re-building) and carb (glycogen replenishment) combos. 
  3. Frozen vegetables like green beans, snow peas and bags of mixed vegetables. They’re cut, clean and ready to cook!  Practice the “50 percent rule”: aim to have half of your lunch or dinner plate covered in veggies. Not only will this help you get your nutrition fix in, but you’ll also likely shed some weight.  Each bite of vegetable has 3 to 4 times fewer calories than any other bite of food on your plate!  I pack Green Giant Just for One veggies in my lunch every day!  I’m partial to the frozen Brussels sprouts, too.
  4. Nuts and Nut Butters An excellent snack, but keep it to just one ounce per day because they can be high in calories if you over do it.  A guideline: one ounce of nuts is 24 almonds, 18 cashews, 14 walnut halves, 20 pecan halves, or 49 pistachios.  I love Planter’s 170-calorie almond packs because I can have a whole pack without overeating. 
  5. Fruit for snacking, such as Pink Lady apples, necatarines, pinapple, pears and frozen blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
  6. Salad greens Just add dressing and some protein and veggies and you’ve got lunch!
  7. Baby carrots and hummus The perfect pre-dinner snack.
  8. Whole-grain bread Adds fiber to your sandwich or toast.
  9. Tomatoes in a can or jar Take your dish to the next leave of easy with tomato products such as marinara sauce, salsa or stewed tomatoes. 
  10. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar Choose healthy fats such as olive oil instead of butter for sautéing vegetables, cooking lean meat like chicken and fish and drizzling on salads. However make sure to measure oil when cooking since just 1 tablespoon has 120 calories.  Balsamic vinegar can be used in place of straight vinegar if you desire a sweeter outcome to some dishes. A little goes a long way in your culinary pursuits and balsamic syrup can add an entirely new dimension to your cooking, both sweet (desserts like cheesecake) or savory (add it to soups, chicken, or fish).  When you reduce balsamic vinegar you concentrate the flavors and create a strong sauce as well as something aromatic and sweet. 
This recipe utilizes one of my favorite (and best kept secret) staples in my refrigerator- the rotisserie chicken.  Costco keeps a two and a half pound package of pulled lean chicken breast in the meat section of the store- they do not always have it out for purchase- but if you ask one of the meat guys they will gladly hand it over.  Did I mention for this 2.5 pounds of packaged breast of chicken- pulled off the bone, folks (none of that dark meat..blechhh.  My issue with chicken is bad enough- do not even start with the dark meat.)  I almost forgot- the package is just a $10.99 investment.  My fireman went and picked up a package for me last week- but I didn’t need it just yet- I tossed it in the freezer then and unthawed it in the refrigerator this week for use (I got two meals out of it already and have over a pound left!)
For this recipe, a full chicken breast can be used..or turkey..or pork.. fish would be yummy, too.  Fresh mozzarella will most likely be in the deli section or cheese case of your grocery store.  Full heirloom tomatoes are just fine for this recipe, too- but I like the flavor of the cherry tomatoes after sitting under the broiler for a bit- wrinkly and sweet! 
Chicken Capri

INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
3/4 cup (4 ounces) thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil or 1-2 tablespoons dried basil

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DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to about 4 tablespoons (about 8-10 minutes).

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In a small baking dish, place chicken breast in 4 (~3/4 cup) mounds.  Top with 1/4 cup tomatoes and 2-3 thin slices mozzarella.  Bake at 375° for 8-12 minutes or until tomatoes are roasted and cheese begins to melt.  Turn over oven to the broil setting.  Broil on HI for 2-3 minutes more until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Remove from oven and season with salt and drizzle each chicken ‘mound’ with 1 tablespoon balsamic syrup.

Serve immediately.
 
Nutrition Information
Serve 4
Calories: 271
Fat: 9.5 g
Carbohydrate: 2.6 g
Protein: 40.3 g
 

Comments

  1. nancy@skinnykitchen.com says:

    Love this healthy post. Your check list looks great!

  2. how many calories are in says:

    Greek yogurt is sure getting popular! It's everywhere!

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