Mr. Food’s

I don’t know about any of you but I was a news junkie as a kid. On my days off, I would watch about every newscast during the day – including KTIV Channel 4 for News at Noon with Al Jones. For those of you still in the Sioux City viewing area, Al still does the Noon news. My father was telling me though that he has a co-anchor now. But I digress. In addition to getting the latest in farm news like the price of cattle, corn, and soybeans, you could also catch a segment with Mr. Food’s. Now I am assuming that Mr. Food’s is a syndicated segment that stations can add but I don’t think they still carry it on KTIV. One of the favorite recipes and first cheesecake I ever baked from scratch was a Mr. Food’s Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake (one of my sister’s favorite recipes I promise to share in a future post).

While home for Thanksgiving, my sister gave me a stack of cookbooks and cooking magazines to review. She told me if I wanted any of them, I could have them. One of the cookbooks was Mr. Food’s Quick & Easy Diabetic Cooking. My sister isn’t diabetic so I am going to assume she got it from my grandmother. But I love Mr. Food’s and he has some great recipes in it. This recipe is a slight variation on one in his cookbook. Instead of hot sauce, I substituted sweet and sour sauce. Probably a little less healthy but turned out pretty good.

Buffalo Chicken Strips
Chicken Fingers
1 & 1/2 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips
one small can of French’s Onions, crushed (the ones you put on green bean casserole)
1/4 c. sweet Thai sauce

Cover a cookie sheet in foil. Lightly coat the chicken with sauce, then do the same with French’s onions. Place chicken strips on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

Note: If you cook with hot cayenne pepper sauce instead of sweet Thai sauce, here are the nutritional facts based on eating three – 1 oz. strips. 196 calories (84 calories from fat), 9 g. fat (3 g. saturated fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 255 mg. sodium, 0 g. fiber, 0 g. sugars, and 20 g. protein.

Spring Salad

This recipe comes from the Summer 2008 issue of Cooking for Two. Taste of Home no longer makes this magazine but I always loved that I didn’t have to halve recipes.

This recipe makes me think of a little bed and breakfast in Columbus, NE called Traditions. It’s an older home with colonial decor, glass dishes, and a limited menu featuring things like Homemade Chicken Salad. It’s the type of place my sister Stephanie and I go when my nephew Brock isn’t with us.

It’s a great dish for workday lunch or a night you don’t want to turn on the stove.

Poppy Seed Chicken Salad by Renee Glowe

2/3 c. uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken breast
1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted
3 T. chopped onion
2 T. dried cranberries
2 T. chopped celery
1/4 c. poppy seed salad dressing (fat-free preferred)

Cook pasta according to package directions. In the meantime, grill chicken. When pasta and chicken are done, mix with all remaining ingredients. Chill until serving. Makes two servings.

Nutritional facts: 315 calories, 8 g. fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 32 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 42 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber, 18 g. protein

Recipe modifications:

  • I usually make it without nuts. I’ve also made it without onion.
  • If you omit the noodles and increase the other ingredients accept the dressing, you can serve this in a tortilla with fresh romaine lettuce.

Chicken Bites

Who doesn’t love chicken bites? For my sister and I, we are big Chick-fil-a fans. I guess the obsession started when we were children. Southern Hills Mall had a Chick-fil-a restaurant in their food court. I had no idea how weird it was for them to have a store in Sioux City, IA. Back in those days, their restaurants were pretty much in the south. We loved the free samples of their nuggets. We also usually went to Sioux City on Sundays because it was the one day my dad had off from work. And if you are a fan, you know Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays.

I remember the first time I realized Chick-fil-a was in Kansas City. A Hope House co-worker walked into the office with a Chick-fil-a bag. I grilled Jenny where she got their deliciousness in town. It turns out Johnson County Community College had a location in their food court. But she also informed me that they had just opened a location in Olathe. At that time, I lived in Independence. You have to really love a fast food restaurant to travel 40 minutes just to get it. But I did.

Just before I moved from Independence to Lenexa, a Chick-fil-a opened near my house. The first question my sister asked, “How close are you to Chick-fil-a?” She was in luck, they had also opened a location by Oak Park Mall.

The recipe I am about to share come from a Taste of Home magazine. I may not be Chick-fil-a but it has excellent flavor.

Chicken Nuggets by Annette Ellyson

1 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. poultry season
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 # boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 canola (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

In a large ziplock bag, combine the first six ingredients. Flatten chicken to 1/2 in. thick and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add bag and shake. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil for 6-8 minutes turning frequently.