Category Archives: chicken

chicken with artichoke and lemon

My family treated my mom and me to a wonderful Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday.  The kids made everything from my blog:  Italian-style goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms, tofu lettuce wraps, orange-glazed salmon kebobs and strawberry sherbet for dessert.  It was a delicious, filling lunch for a lot fewer Points Plus than a traditional brunch could be.  Thanks in part to my supportive family, I was 2.2 pounds down at my weigh in this morning!  Only 3.2 more to go to hit my goal.

I recently read a great book entitled “Switch:  How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.  One of the quotes that stuck with me is “It’s easier to persevere on a long journey when you’re traveling with a herd”.  So true (although in relation to weight loss, the “herd” reference is unfortunate :/ )  Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is essential for reinforcing and supporting each other.

Chicken with Artichoke and Lemon

  • 4 (6 oz. each) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tsp. Greek seasoning (such as Cavender’s), divided
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Sprinkle chicken evenly on both sides with one teaspoon Greek seasoning.  Heat a large nonstick skillet oer medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add chicken, and cook 5 minutes on each side.

In a small bowl, combine artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and remaining one teaspoon Greek seasoning.  Add artichoke mixture to chicken, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and liquid almost evaporates.

Place one chicken breast on each plate and top with 1/4 cup artichoke mixture, and 1 tablespoon cheese.  Serves 4.

Recipe from Weight Watcher’s Five Ingredients 15 minute Recipes Cookbook.

Each serving has 5 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in chicken, points plus


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Good news on the dog fostering front.  Anna took Pablo to an adoption fair over the weekend and it looks like he has found himself a permanent home!  We have enjoyed him for 2 weeks and he will make a great addition to a lucky family.  If all goes well, he will go his new home on Tuesday.

I have seen this soup on most Greek restaurant menus and have always wanted to try it.   But then the dolmas and spanikopitas speak louder to me (yes, my food talks to me) and I never order it.  Probably a good thing, because I usually make things better at home anyways (yes, I am tooting my own horn).  Oh, it’s so, so good.  A lemony, chicken with rice soup, made creamy with the addition of a whisked-in egg and brightened with a sprinkling of basil and parsley. Yummy!


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 1/2 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (8 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. torn fresh basil

 Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add onion and garlic and saute 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth, bring to boil.  Stir in rice; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.  Combine juice, cornstarch, salt, pepper and egg in a small bowl.  Slowly pour egg into broth, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Add chicken to broth mixture; cook until soup thickens and rice is done (about 5 minutes).  Top with parsley and basil.  Makes 4 servings (1 1/2 cups each).

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder and the recipes stats, each 1 1/2 cup serving has 5 PointsPlus.


Posted by on March 19, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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chicken soup with dumplings

Here’s the next chapter in “Chicken Soup 5 Ways” by Everyday Food Magazine.  Since the dumplings are “hearty”, I didn’t mind that there wasn’t much to the rest of the soup.  The lemon was very good addition.

Only 2 more versions to go!

Chicken Soup with Dumplings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges, for serving

In a large pot, bring broth to a simmer over medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt,  With a fork, stir in buttermilk and spinach to form a dough.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on top of simmering broth.  cover and cook until dumplings are cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.  Gently stir in chicken, season with salt and pepper.  Cook until chicken is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 6.

Recipe from Everyday Foods.

Using the Weight Watcher Calculator, each serving has 9 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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chicken tortilla soup

I continue to work my way through “Chicken Soup 5 Ways”, an article featured in this months Everyday Food Magazine.  I already have two great tortilla soups in my bag of tricks, Quick Tortilla Soup and Spicy Tortilla Shrimp Soup.  The chicken tortilla soup recipe intrigued me because of the addition of cojita, a hard cow’s milk cheese.  But I forgot to buy the cheese and when I realized my omission there was 2 inches of snow on the ground and the soup was ready to eat.  It was good without the cheese; however I think it would have added more flavor.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  •  2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 thin corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into thin strips or chunks
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • lime wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large pot, heat oil oven medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and liquid, and chili powder and cook until most of liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil; season with salt and pepper.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.  Spread tortilla strips in a single layer and spray with a Misto filled with olive oil or with a non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Divide chicken, avocado, cheese, cilantro, and green onion among six bowls;  top with broth and tortilla strips.  Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe from Everyday Food.

Using the Weight Watcher Calculator, each serving has 8 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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asian-style chicken soup

Our family is enjoying the new XBox 360 and Kinect the kids received for Christmas.  Yes, it’s all about what the kids want (not really.  I’ve been wanting one ever since our Wii broke.  I miss my Wii Fit!).  Dance Central is a blast and definitely puts us in cardio range.  If the kids secretly filmed my husband or I dancing, we’d be a sure win on America’s Funniest Home Videos.  Everyone loves it, except our 13-year-old.  He doesn’t want to do it since “I don’t know how to dance” (so 13!).  My reply “I’m not sure what we are doing could be called dancing!”.  This doesn’t reassure him though, and he retreats to his lair room. 

Here is the asian-style chicken soup recipe as promised.  Everyday Food’s Jan/Feb 2012 magazine featured chicken soup five ways.  I made this for my first, second, and third versions and the results were spectacular!

Asian-style Chicken Soup

  • 4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 4 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • a few slices of jalapeno
  • lime wedges

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large pot, combine broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ginger is fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes.  Stir in chicken and rice noodles and cook until warmed through, 2 minutes.  Divide soup among six bowls; top with scallions, cilantro, basil, tomatoes, and jalapeno.  Serve with lime wedges.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 7 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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chicken soup base

Yes, I still have my Christmas trees up (yes, 2!)  And the swags wrapped around the pillars on the porch and banister.   But since Epiphany was just celebrated at church this past Sunday, what I am really being is a good Catholic.  Not lazy and unmotivated.

I’ll do it tomorrow.

The Jan/Feb 2012 edition of Everyday Food features chicken soup five ways.  You make a chicken soup base and then use it as a starting point for different soup flavors ranging from asian to chicken and dumplings.

I’ve made this chicken soup base recipe three times in the last two weeks, it’s that good!  It takes less than an hour, start to finish.  The great part is that you can use the base and with varying the add-in ingredients, have lots of different soups.

I’ll post the asian-style chicken soup tomorrow.  I love it so much, I’ve made it three times (so yes, it can make lots of different soups, yet I have only made the one 🙂 )

Chicken Soup Base

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed
  • 4 carrots, cut into pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • handful of parsley

In a large pot (10-12 quart), heat oil over high heat.  Add chicken neck (from inside cavity of chicken) and cook, turning frequently, until browned on all sides.  Using tongs and a paper towel, remove fat from bottom of pan.  Add whole chicken, carrots, celery, onion, peppercorns, parsley, and enough cold water to cover ingredients by an inch (about 12 cups).

Bring to boil over high.  Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes, turning chicken once during that time.  Skim fat and foam from top as needed.

Transfer chicken to bowl or rimmed baking sheet and let cool.

Pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.  Discard vegetables and neck.  You should have 10 cups of broth.  Skim as much fat off the top as you can.

Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding skin and bones (you should get about 4 cups meat).

Serves 6 (1 2/3 cups broth with 2/3 cup chicken meat per serving).  Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 5 PointsPlus.

Recipe slightly adapted from EveryDay Food Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012.


Posted by on January 10, 2012 in chicken, points plus, soups


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quick tortilla soup

I had planned a left-over night, since my husband had a dinner meeting and it was just going to be me and the kids.  Evenings like these are good time to use up the bits of cheese, small bowls of soup, and single serving left-overs I find in the fridge.  My kids call it “pick and snack”, which is what my mom called it growing up.

But Marc emailed me at 4pm to let me know that he wasn’t going to the meeting after all since he is still battling a stubborn head cold and really needed some rest.  I rarely impose “pick and snack” on Marc, especially not when he is going to come home tired and sick.  Luckily I remembered my friend Tammy had given me this recipe yesterday in the school parking lot after school (I love my friends!). Her dad had copied the recipe for her to give to me (I love my friend’s parents!)  A quick chicken tortilla soup, the perfect spin on the traditional chicken noodle soup cold remedy that was needed in our house.

This soup turned out to be just what the doctor ordered 🙂 Absolutely delicious.  The depth of flavors were remarkable, especially since it cooks so quickly.

Thanks Jim!

Quick Tortilla Soup

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise to form two cutlets
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp. canned chipotle in adobo, minced (more or less to taste)
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, undrained
  • tortilla strips

Toppings:  lime wedges, grated cheese, diced avocados, light sour cream or nonfat Greek yogurt, chopped fresh cilantro

Heat a large pot over medium high heat.  In a plastic bag, combine chicken with salt, chili powder, and 1 1/2 tsp. oil to coat.  Add chicken to hot pot; cook, turning once, until well browned.  Transfer to a plate and shred.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the hot empty pot; add onions and saute until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and peppers and saute one minute  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and black beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer partially covered for about 5 minutes.  Stir in chicken and turn off heat.

Place tortilla strips in each bowl and ladle hot soup over.  Top as desired.  Makes 10 cups.

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, each 1 2/3 cup serving has 7 PointsPlus (without tortilla strips or toppings).

15 Baked Tostito Scoops have 3 PointsPlus.

1 ounce of Fage 0% Plain Greek yogurt has 0 PointsPlus.

2 Tbsp. of light sour cream has 1 PointsPlus.

1/4 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese has 3 PointsPlus.

1/8th of an avocado has 1 PointsPlus, 1/4th has 2 PointsPlus.

Recipe from Perfect One-Dish Dinners.


Posted by on November 3, 2011 in chicken, points plus, soups


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