Skinny Chicken Alfredo and Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

After encouragement from a few friends and an intense workout with my trainer, I have made a new plan. I upped my calories and am going to do less cardio, more interval training. Yesterday I did the stair climber. There was sweat dripping off of my elbows. Crazy!!!

I also made a few things yesterday that re pretty delicious! I saw a coffee flavored protein shake on Pinterest, so I wanted to try it. I love Frappucinos, and pretty much anything related to coffee. Usually around 3 every afternoon I make a big cup of coffee to ward off my afternoon crash. So yesterday morning I threw a banana in the freezer so it would be nice and frozen for my shake. I also brewed a cup of coffee around lunchtime and stuck it in the fridge. When I was ready for it I poured the coffee in my magic bullet cup, with half of the banana, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, and topped it off with a half cup of almond milk and some ice. Blended it smooth, and I’ll tell ya, that will definitely curb my Starbucks cravings.

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For dinner I finally got to use the Shirataki noodles! I saw a recipe (on Pinterest) for a Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo and I really wanted to attempt it. I love Chicken Alfredo, and it is so so unhealthy. So when I saw the ingredients and realized most of them were already in my fridge, I was looking forward to trying it. Hadley came in the kitchen twice while I was cooking to tell me how good it smelled!

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Start by cooking the chicken and steaming or roasting the broccoli (the broccoli is optional), I steamed it. Next time I might try roasting it to get a different flavor. Set these aside. I didn’t change anything about this recipe except for using the Shirataki Noodles. I really liked these. The texture was right for me, they felt just like pasta. They come in water in the package, usually in the refrigerated section where the tofu is. You drain and rinse them after you open them, and then put them in a hot skillet and heat them until the excess liquid is evaporated, takes about 2-3 minutes. Sounds weird, but once you’re doing it you’ll see how easy it is.

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Then you set them aside and make the sauce. Which smells amazing, by the way. Don’t overcook the sauce, or it will get too thick. Put the broccoli and chicken in the sauce, and then your noodles and stir it all together. Since my kids were having regular spaghetti noodles, I didn’t add in the noodles, I just poured the sauce, chicken and broccoli over our noodles. It really had a great flavor. I was surprised that there was Greek yogurt and skim milk in the sauce. If you make this recipe as is, it has almost 600 calories per serving. That is a bit high for me for carbs and calories so late in the day, so by substituting the pasta for these Shirataki noodles, it cut it down to 350 calories for a bowlful. One cup of the sauce mixture, over 4 oz of the noodles. So filling, and great comfort food. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tonight! Did I mention Brent had two bowls and Hadley cleaned her plate?! Truett ate all the chicken, and that’s about all I can ask for from him at this point. He only likes breakfast.

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 cups roasted broccoli florets
8 ounces Shiataki noodles, or pasta of choice.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup plain FAGE Total 0% greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan.
Add cooked chicken and broccoli to sauce mixture, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss to combine and serve with more Parmesan, if desired. Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes. Serves 4.

After dinner, as I was cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes, while Brent wrestled with the kids (and the dog), I heard him ask Hadley if we baked him any cookies today. She said “No, but mom can if you want.” Ha! He decided he wanted oatmeal raisin cookies or chocolate chip cookies. Well I had everything but the raisins and chocolate chips. I combined what I did have and came up with Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies with White Chocolate Chips. Let me just say, these might be some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. Seriously, I couldn’t stop eating them. I think Brent had 6? I didn’t have that many, but I could have.

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I found the original recipe here, at Smitten Kitchen, but since I was out of raisins, I added in a half a cup of dried cranberries, and a half cup of white chocolate chips. I also didn’t chill the dough or cookie sheets, because it was 8 o’clock at night and I had to do bath time. I wasn’t prepared to make cookies! The other change I made due to lack of planning (on Brent’s part) was that I didn’t have any vanilla extract. I did, however, have almond extract. I think that is what really pushed these over the top. They are crunchy on the edges and chewy in the middle, with a hint of sweet almond, juicy dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. These are my new favorite for sure. And really not hard at all!

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts , chopped (optional)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and Almond extract until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, cranberries, white chocolate and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slighly less thick. Either way, heat oven to 350°F (175°C) before you scoop the cookies, so that it’s fully heated when you’re ready to put them in.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

This morning after I drop Hadley off at preschool, I am taking Truett to his 15 month check up, and then to the gym. Home for lunch and a nap, just in time to pick Hadley back up and come home to play. For dinner I’m making Lil Smokies wrapped in Crescent rolls. Brent has class so I will be sure to save him some, because he got pretty excited when he saw that on the menu sheet! Have a great day today!

what is your favorite comfort food?

Favorite kind of cookie?

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