Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'm Back!!! + Baked Boneless BBQ Wings and a [healthier] Mac & Cheese

After a long [much needed] break, I’m back in blogging action! You might remember that I went to the mountains for a few weeks right after Christmas. I had a great time visiting with friends in a beautiful change of scenery. It was nice to get go see movies in a theater and go bowling with friends, which are things we don’t have here on the island.

I did a pretty great job sticking to my diet while I was on this trip. I discovered my new favorite sweet shop on “cheat” day. It’s called Crumb and Get It and it’s located in Radford, VA. I tried their cinnamon bun and the white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie and both were AMAZING. I would highly recommend checking them out, but don’t worry if you don’t live nearby----they ship! :)

I had a few busy weeks after I got home. I started school on January 18th and I will admit that it’s been tough getting back into the rhythm after a long winter break. I’ve been spending a lot more time in the kitchen, cooking some awesome [mostly healthy] food. I actually went back to the mountains for a few more days this past week and I let my sweet tooth get the best of me! I ate pure crap for about four days and as a result, I have set myself back a few pounds. I know I’ll get back on course, but it’s going to take some serious discipline.
Tomorrow marks the third official week of my last semester of college. I received my cap and gown this week and I am so excited for graduation day. I started teaching Zumba again on Friday and I had my second class today; it’s definitely something I have been missing!
Now that I’ve got you all caught up on the last month or so, let’s talk SUPERBOWL! I’m not a huge fan of football, but I do enjoy the commercials, the company, the half-time show [who doesn’t love some Beyoncé?] and of course, the food. This year, instead of eating platefuls of fried bad-for-you food, I made baked boneless BBQ wings and low-fat, whole grain crock-pot macaroni and cheese. They were both amazing and full of flavor; I didn’t even miss the unhealthier versions that usually grace my plate.

Crock-Pot Mac and Cheese
1 box of whole grain or whole wheat elbow macaroni, cooked
Non-stick cooking spray
12 oz fat-free evaporated milk
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cups reduced fat cheddar (I used equal parts of reduced fat cheddar and Mexican blend)

Coat the crock pot with non-stick spray. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients, minus one cup of cheese. Add the mixture to the crock pot. Cook on low 4-5 hours (my crock pot cooks really fast; it was done after 2 ½ hours on low). Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top a few minutes before serving.

Baked Boneless BBQ Wings
2 ½ lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
4 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 cups flour
Nonstick cooking spray
Your favorite BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 350*F. in a mixing bowl, beat eggs and soak the chicken chunks in the eggs for 10 minutes. Combine the salt, pepper, and flour in a Ziploc-type plastic bag. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Spray the cookie sheet with the cooking spray and place the chicken chunks in a single layer. Lightly spray the chicken with cooking spray. Cook for 15 minutes and flip the chicken. Cook for about 15 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165*. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and squirt in some BBQ sauce. Toss to cover. Not enough sauce? Add some more!

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