Friday, January 7, 2011

Chicken: Lemon-Garlic, Polynesian, Cashew

Lemon Garlic Chicken

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 4 portions
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup cornflake crumbs (finely crushed cornflakes)
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
lemon slices (optional)

Place chicken breasts in a plastic bag. Add lemon juice and garlic. Be sure the lemon juice and garlic mixes with all of the chicken. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain the lemon juice from the chicken and discard. Pour cornflake crumbs onto a plate. Roll chicken in corn flake crumbs to coat evenly.

Arrange chicken pieces in the baking pan so that they are not touching. Top with any garlic remaining in the plastic bag. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

For an attractive presentation, serve topped with a thin slice of fresh lemon. Serves: 8.

Each Serving: Carb Servings: 1; Exchanges: 1 starch; Calories 78, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, cholesterol 1mg, sodium 196mg, total carbohydrate 16g, dietary fiber 2g, sugars 6g, protein 2g.
Source: © Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D. author of the Quick & Healthy Cookbooks,

Polynesian Chicken & Chicken or Vegetable Lasagna

Purchase enough of the following ingredients to assemble this recipe in multiples.  Then freeze for several easy carefree dinners this summer!  Just add a couple side dishes of vegetables to round out this meal or serve over hot brown rice.  You can easily cook a large pot of brown rice ahead of time and freeze it in Ziplock bags as well.  Then at mealtime, all you need to do is heat the rice in the microwave and add whatever spices you desire, unless you season it before freezing, which is what I prefer.

Add these ingredients to Ziploc Gallon Bag #1:
6 boneless, skinless  chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Add the following ingredients to Ziploc Gallon Bag # 2:
2 cups  pineapple chunks
1 cup water chestnuts
1 1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2  cup chicken broth
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Add the following to Ziploc quart bag # 3:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 cup diced green onion
1/4 cup cornstarch

Directions:  Thaw contents of all three bags in the refrigerator (in about two days).  Cook contents of Bag #1 in a hot skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil, lightly browning the chicken.  Add thawed contents of Bag #2 to the chicken and heat.  When completely hot, add contents of Bag #3, stirring until the sauce thickens.  Serve immediately over cooked brown rice or with two vegetables.


3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1-inch strips          
3/4 cup orange juice  
1/3 cup honey                                                                                               
1/4 cup soy sauce                                                                                         
1 Tbsp. cornstarch                                                                                        
1 tsp. ground ginger (or freshly grated)                                                        
1 tsp. garlic powder       
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 green onions, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/2 cup cashews
3 cups brown rice
Cook the brown rice in 6 cups of water for 45 minutes.  If you have some cooked and frozen ahead of time, thaw and use that.  In a small bowl, combine juice, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch and seasonings.  In a skillet or wok, heat 1/2  tablespoon oil until hot.  Stir fry vegetables for several minutes until the onions are tender.  Remove vegetables from skillet and heat another tablespoon of oil until hot and stir fry chicken strips until browned and tender.  Add cooked vegetables, cashews and sauce mixture. Continue cooking until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Serve over hot brown rice.  Makes 6 servings.

By Leanne Ely, CNC - Copyright 2008 - Used by permission

Healthy food is not out of your reach or your budget

A lifestyle of poor diet and lack of exercise kills about 400,000 Americans every year. That's as many as have died from smoking. Can you imagine? And that's only Americans. This number does not count the rest of the world that eats poorly and neglects to exercise! Yikes!

It's a tough world out there and today's grocery store is no exception. Here are some tips to navigate the grocery store successfully and buy the healthy foods you need and avoid the unhealthy ones that could kill you! Healthy foods don't need to bankrupt you or make you spend untold hours in the kitchen. Here are some tips for getting healthy happening in your kitchen today:

1) Fast Food - Look for stuff that is fast and easy to make, like sweet potatoes (stab, bake, eat). Sweet Potatoes are cheap eats, massively good for you and filling. And one of my favorite fast foods is soup. Yes, soup! (For some great recipes, keep reading.)

2) Go Green - Baby spinach is fast-food friendly too. Not as cheap as sweet 'taters, but worth the cost of admission! I like mine stir-fried (little bit of olive oil and lots of garlic) and in salads.

3) Brown Rice - You can make a vat of this stuff, scoop into individual freezer bags and freeze for later use if time is of the essence. Having a box of quick cooking brown rice at home isn't a bad idea either, but the long cooking stuff is much less expensive.

4) Grown Your Own - Having a veggie garden is a lot easier than you think. Check out for a plan for nearly everyone.

5) Thirst Out - Water is about as economical as it can get. If you want clean and fresh water, check out different water purifiers and start pile driving the water. Cheaper than anything else you can drink!

6) Seasonal Stuff - Buy in season (summer is the time to find cheap watermelon, not the middle of winter), buy locally when at all possible and buy organically.

7) Garlic and Onions - These are very inexpensive and will ratchet up the flavor and potency of nearly anything you make, not to mention the antioxidant factors as well. Keep them on hand!

8) Read Labels - And remember, if you have to spend 10 minutes deciphering a food's label with unpronounceable chemical additives and you have no earthly idea what they are, your body doesn't know what they are either. Not only that, but also you're going to pay for those expensive chemicals at the cash register and in your own health. Skip anything with fake colors,  flavorings or "flavor enhancers." They all rob you of your health.

9) Vegetarians Unite - Once a week, go vegetarian. That doesn't mean eating a bunch of soy-based processed foods, but rather choosing a vegetarian meal each week. We had fresh tomato sauce on pasta with chopped fresh oregano and feta cheese sprinkled over the top. The tomatoes and oregano came from my garden and the whole meal was divine!

10) Beans, Beans - The ultimate healthy, yet frugal food, dried beans need to be soaked, cooked and then can be made into a multitude of cheap eats, from soups to chilies to salad. Eat your beans for corn's sake!

Don't become a statistic and please don't think healthy food is out of your reach or budget! It's not hard. It's enjoyable and the cool thing about eating healthy, grown in the ground food is you always know what you're eating. No labels necessary!

For more help putting dinner on your table, check out Leanne's website or her "Saving Dinner" Book series (Ballantine) and her New York Times Best selling book "Body Clutter" (Fireside).

Take the Next Step: Determine today that you will not become a statistic. Healthy food is not out of your reach or your budget. For more on healthy foods, please visit