Almond Crusted Flounder

I should really entitle this post “Almond Crusted Anything” but since my favorite preparation of this recipe is with flounder I will name it as such. I love this recipe because it is so simple and with the exception of pan frying (although you could always bake it!), is extremely healthy! It is so hard to get my hubby to eat any seafood besides shrimp and since I love seafood so much I feel like doing cartwheels anytime I get a thumbs up on a fish recipe, lol. I have had almond crusted or pecan crusted flounder at restaurants before and absolutely loved it, so when I decided I wanted to attempt to make it at home my original plan was to just find a recipe online and go for it. The problem was that so many of the recipes I came across included some pretty weird ingredients or wanted you to combine breadcrumbs with the crushed nuts and I wanted it to be simply almond crusted in order to achieve that really wholesome nutty flavor. So after deeming Pinterest useless on this one (gasp! lol) I decided to just use pulverized almonds as the breading on my flounder, figuring that it would work seeing as how I recently buzzed up some oats and used those in place of oat flour, same idea right? The finished product was amazing! I’m sure everyone is sitting there like “umm, duh! You know a million people have probably done that before, right?” lol, but hey it’s new to me so I’m thrilled to have figured it out and to be able to try it out on all different seafood and meats from this point forward! I don’t really pay as much attention as I should to eating “whole” so when it happens by accident and is this delicious I like to give myself a big ol’ pat on the back 🙂

p.s. sorry for the lack of pictures this time! Since I was expecting this to be a complete fail I didn’t document the cooking process at all but I will update this post with pictures just as soon as I make it again which I promise will be very soon!

ALMOND CRUSTED FLOUNDER (makes 4 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces of flounder, skin and bones removed
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • canola or vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Start by blending your almonds to a fine consistency (mine was a little more coarse than flour but any consistency will likely do, if you prefer your breading to be a little more coarse go for it), I did so by using a coffee grinder as I think it is the easiest way. You can always use your food processor if you don’t have a coffee grinder, I just hate having to lug that giant thing out 🙂

Step 2:  In a medium sized dish beat the two eggs with about a tablespoon of water. In a separate bowl of similar size, season the flour with salt and pepper (about a 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp. of salt will probably do but it all depends on your preference).

Step 3: Now you are ready to bread your fillets. Working one at a time, coat each piece of flounder with flour then dip into the egg mixture and finally into the crushed almonds.

Step 4: Once all of your fillets have been breaded, heat the butter and oil (about 2 tbsp. or enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once your butter/oil mixture is heated place the fillets into the pan (if you do not have a large enough pan just work in batches, switching out the oil and butter if it becomes too brown) and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until almond crusting is crispy and browned. Enjoy!

If you are looking for a lighter preparation of this meal try spraying with a bit of cooking spray and baking at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. If you don’t like flounder try on another firm white fish or on shrimp, scallops or chicken!

Skinny Tzatziki

Having grown up around Greek food and flavors, and now having come up with a lot of my own Greek-style recipes, it is no wonder that traditional Greek tzatziki is one of my favorite condiments. While I enjoy the thick yogurt-consistency tzatziki the way it is served in Greek restaurants, it sadly doesn’t cater to the “skinny” style of home cooking that we try to stick to here at casa de Schulze 🙂 Since tzatziki is something we whip up quite often to go with our Greek inspired dishes, I have come up with a “skinny” tzatziki that I’d like to share with you, that packs the same flavor punch as traditional tzatziki but at 0 grams of fat! Try this one out soon, it’s great to go with just about any Mediterranean style dish and even makes a great salad dressing. Sorry that I don’t have a pic to post, I will get one up just as soon as I whip up another batch which I’m sure will be very soon! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fat-free plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill (or fresh, but I make this so often that I always just keep dried on hand)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

 DIRECTIONS

Begin by peeling your cucumber and removing the seeds (I do so by cutting it in half length-wise and running a spoon down the middle to easily scoop out the seeds), then use a box or hand-held grater to grate the cucumber over a bowl. Once your cucumber is grated, use a paper towel to blot any excess water from your grated cucumber, then add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine. Refrigerate your tzatziki for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow your flavors to develop. Enjoy!

Skinny Gyro Pizza

gyro

Who doesn’t love a good gyro? I know I sure do and boy have I been missing gyros and authentic Greek food in general since I moved down south. Back home I was spoiled with an abundance of great Greek dining options (including my Dad’s cooking, lol) and am sure to get my fix whenever I visit, however, since the closest Greek restaurant that I know of locally is about an hour away, I’m always needing to find ways to get my Greek fix at home via my own recipes.

Now, back to my love of gyros, I am obsessed, like if there was a cheap way for me to get that metal spinn-y thing in my home with an endless supply of gyro meat I would seriously consider it, lol. Luckily for me and my waistline that will more than likely never happen, lol, so instead, I’ve come up with a healthy and super easy alternative to a traditional gyro – a “gyro pizza”. This idea actually came to me while I was preparing slow cooker chicken gyros (great recipe I found on Pinterest!) last week and was going to have a ton of my Skinny Tzatziki left over and was determined to use it in this week’s recipe line-up before it went bad. I think that the standard lamb or beef gyro (you know, the one that they slice off the spinning thing, lol) is something that people don’t typically think to try and replicate at home because of the spinning thing (what the hell is that called!? lol), however, while the cooking and serving process may not be home-cook friendly, the flavors certainly are. Having adapted several Greek meals to “skinny” versions I knew that I could very easily create another (I will eventually create an “It’s all Greek to Me” collective post of all of my Greek inspired skinny dishes), I wanted the “pizza” part of it to be my creative spin on a traditional gyro, although after I made it I realized that it’s more of a flatbread than a pizza. It’s also worth mentioning that when I went to cut them into quarters J grabbed his up, folded it like a gyro and started eating it that way, lol, so much for my pizza idea! That being said this recipe can be enjoyed in the “pizza” for as it was originally intended or as a traditional gyro or over a Greek salad, so if you’re looking to get your gyro fix without the guilt or extra time in the kitchen, give this recipe a try 🙂  

SKINNY GYRO PIZZA (makes 6 pizzas)

TIP: If you buy in bulk this is a great money-saving meal to get rid of your freezer stock of ground beef! Beef not your thangg? No problem, just substitute ground turkey or chicken.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef (93% or 97% lean)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. ground dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground dried rosemary (this one is not imperative, if you are missing it feel free to skip it)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 head romaine or 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup tzatziki (use my skinny recipe found here or purchase ready made)
  • 6 whole wheat pitas 

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add diced onion. Cook onion until it just begins to soften (about 4 minutes or so) then add garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Step 2: To the onion and garlic add ground beef, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain any liquid from pan and return pan to stove.

Step 3: To the meat mixture add oregano, cumin, pepper, salt, marjoram, rosemary and thyme and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes longer, stirring constantly.

Step 4:  Heat pitas in a skillet or in a pre-heated oven for a few minutes (this is optional, pitas do not need to be heated I just enjoy mine that way). Taking one pita at a time, spread about 3 tablespoons of tzatziki on each (depending on how much you like) then topping with ground beef, lettuce, tomato and finally a bit of feta. Cut into quarters and enjoy! 

These make great leftovers! Another fun take on this might be “gyro tacos”, using the pita in place of the tortilla.

Skinny Crockpot Broccoli & Cheese Chicken Chowder

broc3

As usual I have a million projects going on and have a bunch of recipes from the last few weeks that I’ve been meaning to post, each of which I’m super excited to share with you, but since it’s a rainy, gloomy day on my end (as it was when I came up with this recipe) this soup recipe seems fitting. Now as you can imagine, soup is rarely on our menu during these summer months when it feels like it’s nine million degrees outside, but as I previously stated, every now and again we’ll get a dreary day that warrants a soup fix. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I love Panera’s broccoli cheese soup, but being that I really have no business eating anything in its full-fat form until I reach my goal weight, I’ve been forced to explore healthier soup options and this inspired me to come up with a “skinny” version of broccoli cheese soup (and I already had the ingredients on hand).

So upon hunkering down for fake hurricane Arthur, lol, I prepped this recipe and threw it in the crockpot, I decided to add chicken in order to satisfy my hubby’s need for a “meal” (we often disagree on whether or not pasta or soup without meat constitute a meal, I say yes, he says no way, lol) and because I had two chicken breasts left over from the yummy crockpot chicken fajitas I had made a few nights prior. This soup was super easy and was a huge hit! The chicken makes it hearty so you’re less likely to miss the heavy cream and extra cheese. Speaking of heavy, I actually now find myself to prefer the “skinny” version of many recipes, because while comfort food is delicious I tend to feel like a sluggish blob after finishing a meal, where as after enjoying the skinnier version I find myself feeling satisfied but less blob-like 🙂 If you’re a broccoli cheese soup fan try this one out and let me know what you think, it’s super easy (thank you, crockpot!) to throw together andeasy on the wallet as well! In your face, Panera (just kidding, I love you lol)!     

SKINNY CROCKPOT BROCCOLI & CHEESE CHICKEN CHOWDER

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped broccoli (or use fresh) 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. (or 2 cubes) chicken flavored bullion (I had the granulated version on hand)
  •  1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Add cubed chicken, diced carrots, diced onions, bullion, black pepper, garlic powder and thyme to the crockpot (if using fresh broccoli add at this point as well), and set to high for 4 hours, adding frozen broccoli when there is about 1 hour remaining.

before

before 4

before adding cream and cheese

before adding cream and cheese

 

Step 2:  Once time is up add the half-and-half, shredded cheese and corn starch (use some liquid from the pot to dissolve the corn starch before adding it to the pot so that it won’t clump up) and stir to combine. Cook on high for an additional 30-45 minutes. Enjoy! I was too lazy to whip out the emersion blender, but if you like a less chunky soup, blend it up a bit. I served mine with some shredded cheese and crackers, not bad for a two step cooking process, huh? 🙂

I didn't puree mine and it was great, feel free to give yours a buzz if you want it to be a smoother soup :)

I didn’t puree mine and it was great, feel free to give yours a buzz if you want it to be a smoother soup 🙂

Healthy Mini Summer Chicken Pot Pies

potpie

After coming off of a super fun long Easter weekend with my hubby and squishy baby, it was sad to lose J to another dreaded full week of work, lol. Luckily P and I were able to fill our time with lots of outdoorsy things since it was in the high 70s all week! We even got to host our own little belated Easter egg hunt and picnic in our backyard and it was a huge hit  with our baby and mommy friends. Since the weather was going to be questionable today, I figured it would be the perfect time to give the grill a break and try out my idea for a “summer” chicken pot pie recipe. I don’t dabble in paleo (no pasta or potatoes, is that a sick joke!? lol) but apparently cauliflower based everything is all the rage for those folks, so a few weeks ago I gave the cauliflower “alfredo” sauce a go and it was AMAZING (and freezes well which gave me the opportunity to use my left over sauce in tonight’s recipe!). When I triumphantly posted my cauliflower dish on Facebook, a friend of mine had suggested using the sauce as a base in a chicken pot pie – genius! Even without the heavy cream-based sauce I still felt that chicken pot pie was a little heavy a dish for the beautiful weather we have been having so I decided to lighten it up a tad more by using zucchini and summer squash in the veggie mix (plus squash and zucchini were next up for baby P to try food-wise so I was going to be buying them anyway). So tonight with J off early to hang with my sweet squishy (I know I’ve mentioned before how P does not like super involved recipes lol) I gave this recipe a go. Truthfully, I was a little worried that without the hearty sauce the finished product would be too watery and much less flavorful – I could not have been more wrong!!! This was a homerun to say the least, my hubby even said he liked it better than my regular pot pie recipe! I’m literally enjoying my second right now as I type because it was THAT good lol. These will without a doubt be going into our regular recipe rotation, they are hearty but not heavy and the leftovers even make perfect little lunches. If you’re looking for some almost-guilt-free summer comfort food, look no further (and let me know what ya think!).

 

HEALTHY MINI SUMMER CHICKEN POT PIES

*Recipe makes 6 mini pot pies, using 6 6oz ramekins. If you use 4 or 10oz ramekins your portions will vary.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced chicken (I used left over grilled chicken breasts)
  • 1 package frozen or refrigerated pie dough (mine came with 2)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 red potato, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  •  1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 cups Cauliflower Sauce (I used 1 head of cauliflower instead of the 3 that the recipe calls for, other than that I followed the recipe to the letter. If you are preparing the sauce specifically for this recipe just use an extra cup of the boiling vegetable broth in lieu of the starchy pasta water that is called for)
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp. water

DIRECTIONS

  1. If your pie dough requires defrosting remove from the freezer, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Begin by dicing all of your vegetables and chicken.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   IMG_5787IMG_5788
  3. Heat the oil in a  large pan and add the onions, squash, zucchini, potato, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until veggies begin to soften (about 7-10 mins. The potatoes will still be hard, they will finish cooking in the oven).
  4. Once veggies begin to soften add frozen peas, corn and cauliflower sauce. Stir and allow mixture to heat through.
  5. Unroll your pie crusts and use one of your ramekins as a guide to cut around the edge of the ramekins and set aside.           IMG_5790    IMG_5792
  6. Add about a cup of the vegetable mixture to each of your ramekins (depending on the size of your ramekins this will vary). IMG_5791
  7. Lay each piece of pie dough over each ramekin then seal the edges using a fork (if your ramekin does not have a flat edge just disregard this step), then using a knife cut a few small slits in the top to vent each pie.IMG_5793IMG_5794
  8. Beat the egg and water and brush the tops of each mini pie, this will help them brown. IMG_5795
  9. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until tops are golden and filling I bubbling. IMG_5797
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 mins before serving, enjoy!!! IMG_5798

 

Kitty’s Mediterranean Turkey Burgers with Lemon Dill Sauce

turkeybur7

As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE Mediterranean food. A few weeks ago while J was out of town, one of my favorite NC gals Kitty, was nice enough to come over and make dinner with me :). We both love to cook and blog, so I suggested we make something that we would be able to blog about later and she came up with the idea for Mediterranean turkey burgers which was perfect since it was beautiful out that day! I’m not usually a fan of turkey burgers but these came out AMAZING and I was so grateful to Kitty for introducing me to this recipe. Needless to say I was super excited to whip these up again, so last night when I was thinking about what to grill for dinner (it was going to be the only nice weather day on our long weekend, blah!), Kitty’s turkey burgers immediately came to mind! Not only are these burgers healthy but they are SUPER delicious and pack tons of flavor. Credit for this recipe of course goes to Kitty (hence the name of the recipe, lol), so be sure to follow her blog, Kitty’s Corner, she has lots of great recipe ideas and her blog is as awesome as she is! 🙂

KITTY’S MEDITERRANEAN TURKEY BURGERS

Ingredients

*this recipe makes 6 burgers, feel free to double or triple for more!

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 of a red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chick peas (about 3/4 of a can)
  • 1/2 cup corn (about 1/2 can)
  • 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Heat grill or grill pan.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand to incorporate all ingredients.                                                                                     turkeybur1turkeybur2
  3. Form your burgers. This recipe makes 6 standard size burgers but could also make 12 slider sized burgers or 4 extra large burgers.turkeybur3
  4. Brush both sides of your burgers with olive oil and place on grill.                                                                                                                                turkeybur4
  5. Grill to required temp for poultry, mine took about 8 mins per side.

    I feel like I'm really getting a hang of this grilling thannggg, check out those sweet grill marks lol

    I feel like I’m really getting a hang of this grilling thannggg, check out those sweet grill marks lol

  6. Enjoy! I served mine up on a whole wheat bun with spinach, tomatoes and lemon dill sauce (recipe below). These are also a great low-carb lunch sans bun!turkeybur6

 

LEMON DILL SAUCE

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small dish and mix to combine.
  2. Refrigerate for 10-15 mins before serving to allow flavors to develop.
  3. Enjoy! This sauce is great with an Greek inspired dish as it is a quick alternative to tzatziki sauce!