Monthly Archives: February 2012

Have you ever had wheat berries?

Have you ever had wheat berries? I hadn’t until tonight. I found them near the rice and couscous section in my grocery store (Meijer). It’s also known as hard red winter wheat. One serving has 23% of your recommended daily fiber intake! This grain is very versatile. It can be used as a breakfast food with sweet things or it can be used in savory foods like soup or stir fry. The best part is that you can make a big batch at the beginning of the week and then take scoops as needed for whatever you’re making. It’s also more forgiving than rice… If you overcook it slightly, it’s not going to turn into a soggy mess like rice will. Maybe that’s the best part. Hard to say.

Taste-wise, it’s a little similar to brown rice in that it has a bit of a nutty flavor and a little bit of crunch to it, but I think it’s a lot more interesting than brown rice.

So, my planned breakfast for the week features wheat berries.

I made 4 servings, which I think turns out to be about 1 cup each (it’s 1 cup dry).

You simmer it for about 15 minutes. While it was cooking, I had my little one help me wash some fruit.

We used blueberries and strawberries.

After the wheat berries cooled off, I divided it into 4 bowls. I added half a container of 2% Fage Greek yogurt (protein!) to each.

I then added about 1/2 cup of fruit to each and 1/8 cup of chopped pecans (heart-healthy fat, woo hoo!).

Needless to say, I am VERY excited about breakfast this week!!!

Nutrition Info

  • 355 calories
  • 12.5 g fat
  • 8.5 g fiber
  • 18 g protein

I know it’s a little high in calories, but a lot of research indicates that a solid breakfast actually helps with weight loss. This one is packed with all sorts of goodies and the fiber and protein should help keep you full!


Dinner: Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine

When I think of recipes from Bon Appetit, I usually think of them as being somewhat complicated. While searching for low-calorie chicken recipes, however, I found this beauty on their website. Not only is it easy, it’s also fast and it was a big hit with my family! Well, the chicken was, at least.

Preheat your oven to 450 and then start with 4 chicken breasts. I used the Tyson’s thin-cut ones… They’re so nice because they don’t require trimming and cook quickly because they’re so thin. Place the chicken on a foil-lined tray. It didn’t say to do it, but I used my olive oil mister and sprayed the foil so the chicken wouldn’t stick. Oh, I also salted and peppered the foil before placing the chicken on it so the underside of the chicken would have some seasoning. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Mix parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, 2 T of olive oil, 2 T of chopped flat-leaf parsley, a chopped garlic clove, and more salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Pat this onto the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes, or until the crumbs start to turn golden. I am a little (okay, crazy paranoid) about meat being done, so I did 15 or 16 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, wash three hearts of romaine. Oh, and as I am typing this, I am realizing I didn’t follow the instructions while I was making it… Um, so you’re supposed to wash TWO large hearts of romaine and cut them in half lengthwise. Oops. I did three hearts of romaine and did not cutting… This might have helped with the baking. Hm. (Note to self: Read instructions carefully.)

Drizzle 1 T of olive oil on the lettuce and sprinkle 1 chopped garlic clove over the leaves. Season with salt and pepper and add to the baking sheet with the chicken.

Bake until the lettuce is browned at the edges, about 5 minutes (or 10 if you’re still worried about the chicken like I was…).

Top the lettuce with anchovies and garnish with lemon slices for squeezing over the chicken and lettuce.

The recipe didn’t call for it, but I also added a side of sliced grape tomatoes. I just added a touch of olive oil, black pepper, and a little garlic salt.

The end result? The chicken was demolished in about 2 minutes. It was quite tasty! It definitely didn’t taste like diet food. I liked the roasted romaine, although there was a lot of extra water in it. I probably didn’t drain it well enough after washing it. I’m guessing cutting it in half would have helped with the draining, too. Sigh. I am lousy at reading recipes thoroughly. The kids weren’t major fans of the lettuce and my husband didn’t touch it, but I enjoyed it.

I chopped up the leftover lettuce, added the leftover tomatoes, and the lemon wedges…. and now I have lunch for tomorrow! It was nice, because I’m exhausted and having my lunch ready means I can put off making the lentil salad and tabbouleh with quinoa until tomorrow night.

Bon Appetit’s Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine

4 servings, recipe by Rozanne Gold

  • 4 7-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, pecorino, or asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 2 large hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise
  • 4 anchovy filets, packed in oil, drained, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Line a large rimmed pan with foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place on prepared sheet. Combine cheese, panko, 2 T of oil, parsley, and 1 garlic clove in medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pat panko mixture onto breasts. Roast chicken until crumbs begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
  3. Drizzle romaine with 1 T oil and sprinkle remaining 1 chopped garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper. Remove tray from oven; place romaine around chicken. Roast until chicken is cooked through and lettuce is brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Divide among plates. Top lettuce with anchovies; garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Nutritional Info

  • 360 calories (385 if you count tomatoes)
  • 16.8 g fat
  • 1.0 g fiber
  • 43.9 g protein


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Breakfast: Ham and Swiss Bake!

I needed something quick, easy, and low-cal to bring for my team breakfast today. So, I grabbed some ultra-thin sliced deli ham and a small carton of egg whites. I knew I had swiss cheese at home and figured it was a good enough start to something.

I started with a 9×12 casserole dish and sprayed it lightly with nonstick spray. I layered the ham in the bottom of the dish.

Next, I sprinkled 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese over the ham.

I poured the carton of egg white on, but it looked like it was missing something. I sprinkled on season salt and freshly ground black pepper (I bought salt and pepper grinders yesterday, and they are SO COOL!). It still looked like it was missing something, so I added about a teaspoon of dried basil and some leftover roasted yellow and orange peppers (from our weekly Chef Salad Night).


I put it in the oven at 350 and let it bake for about 35 minutes.

And I know this isn’t the humble way to go about it, but it was DELICIOUS! In my opinion, at least. Here’s the best part: 1 piece = 107 calories, and it’s a generous piece. WOO HOO!!! I love kitchen experiments that turn out well!

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake

  • 9 oz Hillshire Farms Ultrathin Smoked Deli Ham
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 small carton of egg whites (the store-bought egg whites don’t turn that strange color of gray that happens when you separate your own egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup roasted yellow/orange bell peppers
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Season salt and black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Evenly spread deli ham in pan.
  4. Sprinkle Swiss cheese on ham.
  5. Pour egg whites over cheese and ham.
  6. Sprinkle roasted peppers and basil over mixture.
  7. Season with season salt and black pepper to taste (by “to taste” I mean to your preference, not by actually tasting it because raw egg is nasty!).
  8. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.

I’m totally bragging here, but it was DELICIOUS!!! I will definitely be making it again soon. I knew it was on the lighter side overall, but didn’t know how much until after I’d eaten and enjoyed every bite.

Makes 8 servings

Calories per serving: 107

Fat grams per serving: 4.6

Protein grams per serving: 12.5

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