Another WIAW! These are probably becoming my favorite kind of post to write (after my travel recaps of course, not much can compete with reliving those trips!). I’m trying to incorporate more recipes on the blog, and this was my first round of trying to create and photograph a recipe. Let me tell you, trying to juggle a camera and a pot of hot boiling water is not as easy as it might seem. I TOTALLY wanted to get a really cool action shot of water pouring and it did not happen. Not even close. How does the Pioneer Woman do it?
One of my favorite throw together meals is chicken picatta, but it can be hard to make when I’m watching calories or points. I played around with the ratios of ingredients in the WW recipe calculator and think it turned out really good! It’s healthy but still has the integrity of actually tasting like chicken picatta. I’m pretty picky about healthy food substitutes (hard pass on cauliflower crust pizza or mashed cauliflower here), but I feel like this dish doesn’t TASTE like a healthy substitute.
But let’s start from the beginning:
I had one of my favorite breakfasts today, a yogurt bowl. This one had 0% Fage greek yogurt, 1/2 c of sliced strawberries, 1 tsp of honey, and 1/2 c of Lean Way (the Harris Teeter brand knockoff of Kashi Go Lean 🙂 ) I also had some unpictured coffee with Coffee-mate Naturals Sweet Cream. 8 SP total.
I drank my usual 37 cups of hot tea at work. At this point I drink tea as a survival technique to maintain my body heat in an old building that runs at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit (I’m guessing). I am ALWAYS freezing at work. I decided not to take pictures of my tea anymore, because that’s really boring but I enjoyed Celestial Orange Zinger, Green Tea with Pomegranate and Apple Spice throughout the day.
As I mentioned on Friday, I am extremely bored with my usual salad, but I also didn’t get a brilliant strike of inspiration for amazing lunch ideas so I kept it pretty simple. Crockpot Buffalo chicken (that didn’t turn out buffalo-y at all, and used up the last of my buffalo sauce…), roasted broccoli and sweet potato. 7 SP total.
After work, I came home and completed an Upper Body strength workout from Lauren Gleisberg’s Beauty and Booty Blueprints eBook. It was a good one! I got a barbell with weights for Christmas, so it’s been fun to try different exercises at home that I wasn’t able to do with just my dumbbell set. I’ve also been increasing my weights, since my dumbbells only go up to 10 lbs. I did some rows with 35 lbs and whew! 15 min warm-up on the elliptical plus a 45 min strength workout earned me 4 Fit Points.
As mentioned above, for dinner I made an attempt to Weight Watchers-ify one of my favorite meals, chicken picatta (full recipe below). I used a few of my favorite health-ify techniques here:
- I reduced the amount of butter and oil, and replaced it with chicken broth. This technique is a delicate balance, because obviously delicious fats like oil and butter are the actual tasty part of the sauce so you don’t want to get rid of too much. I also find that simply reducing the amounts of butter and oil reduces the overall volume of sauce too much for me (I like it saucy), so I like to use chicken broth to stretch out the sauce a little more.
- I tossed the chicken in flour and cooked it olive oil. This gives the chicken a light fry texture, without the added calories/points of a full out breading process. The flour also helps thicken up your sauce a bit.
- I used half zucchini noodles (you could call them zoodles if you wish…but I can’t bring myself to do that) and half whole wheat pasta. Cutting the carbs is a quick and easy way to reduce the calories/points of your dish. It’s also a quick and easy way to get rid of everything that makes a dish worth having. I’ve tried completely replacing pasta with zucchini, but I can’t get past the fact that I’m eating a glorified salad. I need carbs for satiety and happiness. I have found that a 50/50 mix helps me achieve both things and also keeps my husband from revolting against me.
There is a detailed recipe below, but the basic steps are as follows:
First you want to pound out your chicken, cut it up and dredge in flour. I made these pictures small because raw chicken is gross to look at, you are welcome.
Next, you pan fry your chicken in 2 tbsp of olive oil.
Meanwhile, you get your pasta cooking and start spiralizing that zucchini.
When your chicken is done, add all of your delicious ingredients like wine, garlic, butter, lemon juice, and chicken broth.
Then, add your chicken back in and let it simmer a lil bit.
Meanwhile (back at the ranch), pour your al dente pasta and water over your zoodles (ugh).
After your sauce has thickened enough, combine your chicken + sauce + pasta + zucchini + capers for delicious magic. Add some parmesan, if you’re so inclined.
One serving of this recipe is 10 SP, and I had a small glass of wine too, for 4 SP.
I decided to deal with our kitchen table and island. It’s a major dumping ground for mail, my purse, gym bags, coats, etc etc. This was was supremely boring because it involved going through a ton of mail and magazines, but now the space is clean and I feel 1 million times better. Isn’t it amazing how productive and calm a clean space can make you feel? And isn’t it equally amazing how that alone isn’t enough motivation to actually clean and organize consistently? (At least not for me)
I ended the night with some TV watching and reading (finally got The Girl on the Train from my library!!!!). I enjoyed some Vanilla Sleepytime tea and two squares of Divine Hazelnut Dark Chocolate (2 SP).
Healthy Chicken Picatta
WW SP: 10 | Cals: 422 Carbs: 37g Fat: 14g Protein: 33g
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c. flour (I used more in my bowl to make it easier to coat the chicken breasts, but only approx 1/4 c. stuck to the actual chicken)
3/4 c. Low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. Dry White wine
3 medium zucchini
4 oz. whole wheat pasta
1/4 c. capers (or more/less to taste)
- Warm olive oil in pan over medium – medium/high heat.
- Start pot of boiling water for pasta. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions. I used angel hair, which only takes 4 minutes.
- Cut chicken into equal sized pieces (I used one ginormous breast and cut it into four pieces).
- Dredge chicken in flour to coat, set aside.
- Put chicken in pan, be careful not to crowd the pan. We want the chicken to “fry” rather than steam to get that great texture. I had to do two batches of two pieces each.
- While chicken is cooking, spiralize your zucchini. When zucchini is spiralized, put into colander. When pasta is done cooking, drain pasta over the zucchini. I like a crisper zucchini noodle, so the hot water from the pasta and the continued cooking of the hot pasta sitting on the noodles cooks them enough for me. And one less pan to clean!
- Add butter and garlic to olive oil to pan. I use a microplane to mince my garlic right in. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add wine to deglaze pan and pick up all of those brown bits (the flavor!).
- Add lemon juice and chicken broth.
- When sauce is bubbling, add chicken back in the pan and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. However long it takes for the sauce to get thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- You can add your capers to the sauce now, but I prefer to add them directly to my bowl because I am a caper FIEND and Nick doesn’t care quite as much for them. So we are able to serve ourselves different amounts.
- Add all of your components together! Admire your amazing work! Pour yourself a glass of wine! (If it fits in your points/calories, that is)