Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blue Cheese Skinny Chicken Salad

Grau and I have been on a health kick lately. Watching what we eat and trying to exercise more. It is working, believe it or not! Who knew?  I mean, really, eating less calories combined with exercise helps you lose weight? Wow!
Creamy Yummy Goodness!
Okay- so yeah, I'm joking. But, for me, watching what I eat means actually EATING. When at home, I tend to not eat much. I can go the whole day on a few strawberries and a couple cups of coffee. And no, I don't have low energy. I am naturally a high energy person. I always have been. I tend to eat very little when at home, and eat to excess when out at a restaurant. I *love* bad, bad, tasty food!

So when I say 'watching what I eat' I mean I am actually keeping track of the food I eat, the calories and the fat content. I try to eat 1500 calories a day. Oh, there are days I struggle with only eating 300 or 400 calories. Of course I don't lose weight on days like that. One must eat in order to lose weight, and eat the right things.

So I thought- one way to eat the stuff I love that is bad for me is to make it at home and make it healthier.
One of my favorites is a Blue Cheese Chicken Salad! OH! The injustice that this wonderful, creamy concoction is around 900 calories by itself!

So I set a task for myself....make it healthier. Make it low-cal. Make it great! And I think I succeeded.
Behold- the power of the Blue Cheese Skinny Chicken Salad!

 OHMYGOODNESS! This turned out beautifully! And depending on how you eat it, VERY healthy and lo-cal!  This recipe makes 10 - 1/2 cup servings at 292.5 calories each.  How is THAT for awesome?  And if you put it in a low-cal pita? It's only 382.5 calories!
Blue Cheese Skinny Chicken Salad in a 90 cal Pita

I'm betting you want the recipe now, huh?
Now- the fat content is a little higher than I'd like (it's 15g of fat per 1/2 cup serving), but since you count calories to lose weight, I'm thinking the fat content makes this a very good lunch to get you through the day.

Blue Cheese Skinny Chicken Salad

1 C   Chopped Walnuts
1 C   Dried Cranberries
1 C   Blue Cheese Crumbles
1/2C (6T) Lite Miracle Whip
2T    Wish Bone Light Blue Cheese Dressing
3 1/2 C Diced Cooked Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts (about two breasts)
1/4 C Water

Mix first three ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dressing to Miracle Whip and mix, then add to to bowl. Add in cooked chicken and mix well. If it seems a bit dry, add in the water, otherwise, omit the water.

Makes 10- 1/2 cup servings at 292.55 calories and 15g fat each. Of course, that's using the nutrition panels on the ingredients I had on hand. Please check your nutrition panel for the ingredients you use to make sure you get the closest nutrition information!

MY Nutrition Info:
1 c walnuts = 920 calories
1 c dried cranberries = 607 calories
1 c blue cheese crumbles = 400 calories
1/2 c  (6T) Lite Miracle Whip = 120 calories
2 T Wish Bones Lite Blue Cheese Dressing = 70 calories
3 1/2 c Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast = 808.5 calories
           Total calories = 2925.5 calories / 10 servings = 292.55 calories per 1/2 cup serving

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