Showing posts with label diet recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diet recipes. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2011

The 1,200 Calorie Nightmare & the 131 Calorie Solution

Last week, I had house guests coming for the weekend. I asked one of them if she wanted anything special to eat. She replied that she was on a 1,200 calorie a day diet.

Ack! That threw my cooking plans out the window. After some thought, it seemed that concentrating on fruits and vegetables would be the thing to do.

But there was a catch. She doesn't like most fruits and vegetables. On top of that, one of my other guests doesn't like some of the few fruits and vegetables that the first guest will eat.

No onions, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, pineapple, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, beans, black-eyed peas, lima beans, squash, eggplant -- are you getting the picture?

I had planned to make MJ's Dinner Party Chicken but I suspected that ricotta cheese and breadcrumbs would ruin the calorie count. So I borrowed MJ's idea and hoped for the best.

I went straight to lemon to infuse my chicken breasts with flavor. After all, they couldn't have many calories! In addition I made liberal use of rosemary for more flavor without fat or calories. A plain 4 ounce chicken breast (yes, I weighed them) is 120 calories. There are a mere 61 calories in one cup of lemon juice, so the entire calorie count of lemon juice for the dish wouldn't have been more than 15 calories or so.

Like MJ, I made a slit in each chicken breast. I sprinkled each one with a different blend of spices (Penzey's Northwoods, Turkish, and Lamb seasonings) and added rosemary. Then I slid half a slice of lemon inside each chicken breast. Rosemary comes in at a whopping 2 calories per tablespoon, making it every dieter's best buddy for flavor.

I skipped browning of chicken to avoid the additional calories of oil. Instead, I squeezed more lemon on top of the chicken breasts and sprinkled them generously with rosemary. But I did add one teensy sliver (about 1/16th of a tablespoon = 6 calories) of butter to the inside of each breast as well. I'm including the picture to prove that I used very little butter -- just a whisper, really.

It turned out surprisingly well in spite of the lack of oil and other fats. The butter melted with the chicken juices, making a very tiny bit of sauce in the bottom of the pan. To be honest, the spices were almost lost since the lemon and rosemary were so dominant and delicious.

Diet Chicken Breast

3 chicken breasts
1 lemon
tiny bit of butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.

Cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast. Sprinkle with your favorite spices and rosemary. Insert 1/2 a slice of lemon.

Squeeze half a lemon over top of the chicken breasts and sprinkle liberally with rosemary.

Bake 40 - 45 minutes. Pour juices in bottom of pan over chicken breasts to serve.