Doritos Crusted Chicken Fingers

I like to buy Doritos occasionally when they are on sale to bake new recipes. This one is a great alternative to fried chicken. Quick, delicious, and healthier.

Doritos chicken stripsDoritos Crusted Chicken Fingers from Pinterest
4 chicken breast, cut into slices
1 bag of Doritos
2 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
4 eggs

Place chicken in a gallon sized baggie and add buttermilk. Refrigerate for two hours. Food process Doritos. Place crushed Doritos in a shallow dish. In another dish, whisk eggs. In a third dish, pour flour and cayenne pepper. Line up dishes in this order: chicken, flour, eggs, and Doritos. Take chicken through each dish coating both sides. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Note:

  • I halved the recipe. I used probably about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bag of Doritos. It was just perfect for five chicken tenderloins.
  • I didn’t have time to coat the chicken after work so I put it in the bag of buttermilk to soak while I was at work. Great time saver.
  • I cooked for 20 minutes.
  • Cut calories by using egg substitute. Not sure how it would cook with Baked Doritos but I bet it would work too.
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National Soup Month

When I think of Beer Cheese Soup, the first thing that pops into my mind is Lazlo’s Brewery. It’s a restaurant in Lincoln, NE. The original location is located in the Haymarket District. When I was in college, my friends and I used to walk down there to eat a lot. To this day, I could still tell you what everyone would order. Dan would get the Lazlo Burger and an Empyrean Amber Ale (made in Lazlo’s owner’s brewery). Rob wasn’t a drinker. He always got the French Dip but added Swiss Cheese and sautéed onions. He also ordered a side of ranch dipping sauce for his fries. Lazlo’s makes these great fries. They are crinkle fries with seasoning salt. And Ben always ordered a cup of Beer Cheese Soup. Ironic because Ben was the baby of the group – just 17 years old his first few months attending college.

After college graduations and break-ups, I ended up working for the owners of Lazlo’s. I worked in their neighboring restaurant entitled Jabrisco’s. It was an unusual Italian restaurant named after the owners Jay, Brian, and Scott. (They also had a financial partner who was a dentist but I can’t remember his name.) They had things on the menu like a PB&J wood-fired pizza, homemade spinach pasta, and this to die for chocolate dessert. We also had this amazing patio where I would sell coffee during the weekly Farmer’s Market. I worked there for about eight months as a host/head host. I could sell the bar area better than most on a busy Friday night or Saturday home football game. Following my college graduation, I left to pursue AmeriCorps full-time. But during the time I worked at Jabrisco’s, I learned some great customer service skills, importance to details, and a lot about the hospitality industry.

Today, Lazlo’s has doubled in size and now occupies the space that was once Jabrisco’s. The food is still delicious, reasonably priced, and the service is top notch. The Haymarket has also turned into this major entertainment district.

Although this recipe is very different then Lazlo’s Beer Cheese Soup, it did make me think back to some pretty cool people and an experience that greatly impacted my life.

Beer Cheese SoupBacon Beer Cheese Soup with Chicken from Pinterest
6 slices of bacon
1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 c. beer
1 c. chicken broth
2 c. half and half
8 oz. mild cheese
1 tsp. Worchester sauce
chives
croutons

Cook bacon and chicken. In a large sauce pan, cook butter, flour, and spices. Add beer, broth, and half and half. Whisk to combine and bring to a bubble. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Add Worchester sauce, chicken, and bacon. Allow to simmer. Garnish with chives and croutons.

Notes:

  • This recipe is good but spicy. One bowl had me drinking three glasses of water, blowing my nose, and dotting my watering eyes. My recommendation is to cut the spice at least to half or maybe a third of the recipe listed above. That’s my plan for the next time I cook it.
  • I didn’t have chicken stock so I used water and put in about 2 oz. more of beer. Veggie stock is also an option.
  • When I make a soup like this I know I am sharing with vegetarian friends, I make meat more of a topping. Canned chicken is another option. I used about a ½ lb. chicken and pre-cooked bacon.
  • I used fat free half and half. I think our Nutrition Manager at work also said that Fat Free Evaporated Milk is another substitute option to make a creamy soup healthier.
  • I used light beer.
  • I used Velveeta cheese.
  • I added parsley instead of chives.

On the second day, I picked up some chicken stock and frozen hash browns. I added about 1 cup of hash browns and ¾ c. chicken stock. I also added homemade croutons. It decreased the water consumption.

Cafe Rio

My ex P used to marinate and grill chicken for dinner most nights. He loved to serve it with black beans and rice. One of my favorite marinade he made was just Italian dressing and chicken breast. I don’t cook it very often at my house because grilling on my stove top is an invitation to set off my smoke detector before the chicken is cooked. I ran across this freezer to Crockpot recipe and decided to give it a try. It make be missing the grill marks but it taste the same.

I liked the recipe so much that I made it for both my mother and sister as freezer Christmas gifts. My mother tried it a few days ago and liked it too.

Italian_dressingCafe Rio Crockpot Chicken from Pinterest
3 chicken breast
1/4 of bottle of Italian dressing
1/2 packet of dry ranch dressing
1/4 c. water
1/4 T. minced garlic
1/4 T. chili powder
1/4 T. ground cumin

From freezer, thaw for one hour or run under warm water for 30 seconds. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Goodbye 2013

Looking back at 2013, I thought I would share a few of my favorite new recipes. In no particular order, here are my top 13:
Breakfast QuicheBreakfast recipes:

Dinner recipes:

Dessert recipes:

Turkey Club Casserole

Another great leftover turkey recipe. It’s like a turkey blt with pasta. I really liked the diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano seasoning.

Turkey BLT CasseroleTurkey Club Casserole from Pinterest
1 box whole wheat pasta ( I used penne)
1 (7 oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano seasoning
1 c. diced turkey (or chicken if you don’t have turkey)
1/2 c. diced bacon
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans cheddar cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain. Add all other ingredients and stir. Place in a 13 x 9 baking dish and cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Leftover Comfort Food

If you make a turkey for Christmas, here is a recipe I made using leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. If you don’t have turkey, I am sure you could easily substitute chicken. I thought it was delicious.

Turkey & NoodlesTurkey and Noodles from Pinterest
12 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. frozen egg noodles
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
4 c. diced turkey
3 large carrots

Heat broth to a boil. Add salt, onion, carrots, and pepper. Add frozen noodles and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes. Add flour and milk. Cook until juices are somewhat reduced and slightly thinned. Add meat. Cool slightly before serving.

Notes:

  • Freezer recipe – Just thaw and reheat at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  • I used dry egg noodles. It worked just as well and was cheaper to purchase.
  • I used reduced sodium chicken broth. You could make your own with the leftover turkey bones. You could also use 2 parts broth/1 part water to reduce cost.
  • I used skim milk. It had to cook a little longer to thicken but it worked.
  • I used frozen carrots.
  • I add a couple of celery stalks. I think you could also had some spinach to this recipe.

Doritos Casserole

If you have followed my blog since the beginning, then you may have seen another Doritos recipe. This recipe is a little different and uses chicken instead of ground beef. I also made it a little healthier with some simple substitutions.

Doritos Chicken CasseroleDoritos Casserole from Pinterest
3 c. cooked chicken, diced
8 oz. sour cream
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 c. salsa
2 c. cheddar cheese
a bag of Doritos

Crumble Doritos and sprinkle of the bottle of a lightly greased 13 x 9 pan. In a bowl, mix chicken, sour cream, salsa, soup, and a cup of cheese. Pour over Doritos. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cover with remaining cup of cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and baked it in my bubble and brown dish.
  • I grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast. Rotisserie chicken would have also been good.
  • I used fat free sour cream. You could substitute non-fat Greek yogurt.
  • I used the healthy choice Cream of Chicken Campbell’s soup. You could also use the fat free version.
  • I made my salsa using Wildtree Fiesta Salsa mix and a can of reduced sodium diced tomatoes. You could also use a can of Rotel or fresh tomatoes.
  • You could use Baked Doritos for the base of this recipe.
  • I used 2% cheddar cheese for the topping and fat free cheddar cheese in the chicken mixture.
  • A Mexi-corn mixture or black beans would make a great veggie addition.

Crispy Ritz Chicken

Ritz crackers are one of my nephew’s favorite snacks. I used leftover crackers from his visit to make this delicious looking recipe from Pinterest. If you like the flavors, I would suggest trying this breakfast recipe for Creamy Swiss Eggs on Biscuits.

Crispy Ritz ChickenCrispy Ritz Chicken
4 chicken breast
2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 c. buttermilk (or milk)
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (or cheddar cheese)
1 tsp. dried parsley

1 can cream of chicken
3 T. sour cream
2 T. butter

Dip chicken in milk, then cheese, and finally crackers. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover and bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. In a small saucepan, melt cream of chicken, sour cream, and butter. Pour over baked chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

Notes:

  • I used reduced fat Ritz crackers, skim milk, and fat free cheddar cheese. Just remember that skim milk doesn’t stick as well to the chicken.
  • I used 98% fat free cream of chicken and fat free sour cream. You could also substitute Greek yogurt.
  • I served it with mashed potatoes. Chicken gravy also tastes good on them. I would suggest maybe a green side dish like spinach or asparagus as well. One of the Pinterest recipes suggests making cilantro lime rice to go with the chicken. I liked the home cooked meal approach.
  • Another suggestion is to use the veggie flavored Ritz crackers.

Fried Rice Tuesday

One of the things I love most about working at my hotel is Fried Rice Tuesdays. Once a month, the kitchen will cook up the fried rice they serve our restaurant Nikko for associates to eat. If you haven’t been to Nikko Japanese Steakhouse, you have to go. Not only is the experience entertaining but the fried rice is phenomenal. It’s the best fried rice I have ever eaten. No excuse, buy a Groupon or call the hotel today to book your reservations.

Since I am off work today, I thought I would give a recipe I pinned on my “Skinny Mini” Pinterest board a try. One of the reasons I liked it because it doesn’t taste really salty. Plus, this recipe rings in at 10 Weight Watchers points instead of 34 Weight Watchers points you would have to count for eating out at a traditional Chinese restaurant. The recipe is also pretty quick and easy to make.

Skinny Chicken Fried Rice by Rachel Schultz (via the Skinny Mom Blog pin on Pinterest)
Skinny Chicken Fried Rice4 c. prepared rice
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled
2 c. frozen carrots and peas
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 T. sesame oil
1/4 c. lite soy sauce

While rice is cooking and chicken is grilling, start sautéing veggies in oil. When onion appears cooked, add to scrambled eggs to the pan. Once eggs are cooked, add chicken, rice, and soy sauce to the pan. Cook for a few minutes and serve. This recipe makes six servings.

Nutritional Facts: 385 calories, 11 g. fat, 53 carbs, 3 g. fiber, 17 g. protein, and 1 g. sugar.

Notes:

  • I used Minute Rice. You could probably make it a little healthier by using a whole grain rice.
  • I hate peas. I just bought frozen carrots and cooked one cup of them. I could only find julienne style carrots so I had to cut them up with my spatula.
  • I though sesame oil was too expensive so I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I think it worked just fine. I used only 2 T. though.
  • I love to use Ready to Use Chopped Garlic. It comes in a jar and can be found by the fresh fruit and veggies in your grocery store.
  • I used one frozen chicken breast – probably about 1/4 lb. I thought the recipe still tasted fine with less chicken.
  • I used 3 T. (1/8 c. and 1/16 c.) of lite soy sauce. Soy sauce is loaded with sodium. Even using the lite version you are dumping 530 mg of sodium per tablespoon into your recipe. Cutting out just one tablespoon is hardly noticeable to the pallet but much better for your body.
  • I used regular eggs but you could use egg substitute to make this a little healthier.

Cantaloupe Chicken Salad

It’s hot! Who wants to cook? Here is a simple summer salad recipe. It won 1st Place in a Taste of Home Healthy Cooking recipe contest. I thought it was OK but I much perfected this Poppy Seed Chicken Salad recipe.

Cantaloupe Chicken SaladCantaloupe Chicken Salad with Yogurt Chive Dressing by Elizabeth King
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. reduced fat mayo
1 T. minced chives
1 T. lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken breast
5 c. cubed cubed cantaloupe
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 c. green grapes

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and toss gentle. Chill until serving.

Nutrition Facts: (makes five servings) 2 cups equals 290 calories, 11 g. fat (2 g. saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 380 mg. sodium, 24 g. carbs, 2 g. fiber, 24 g. protein.

Notes:

  • omitted the cucumber. However, one of the chefs at my hotel swears cantaloupe and cucumber have similar taste.
  • I also used fat free mayo.