I'm back!  Wow, I cannot believe I haven't updated my blog in over two months! For the last couple of months I have been eating the same ol' same ol'. Nothing new and exciting, and definitely nothing that was blog-worthy. I was just completely uninspired to make anything new that I came across. 

That was until I went to my sister-in-law's house for dinner about a week ago. Lynn is an incredible cook and every time I go to her house I get to try a new delicious and diet-friendly meal.  This time it was Ina Garten's Mexican Chicken Soup. I absolutely love Ina and had spotted this recipe before, but just hadn't gotten around to trying it.  What a treat!  The soup is light, a little spicy, and very healthy.  It's delicious as an appetizer or as a meal and I think it's a good soup to eat year round since it's not heavy at all. 

I made the soup a little healthier by using skinless chicken breasts and also by choosing fat free toppings.  I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did! 

Ingredients for Soup: 
  • 2-3 large chicken breasts, bone in, skin OFF
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (I use organic)
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Ingredients for Toppings:
  • Fat free cheddar cheese
  • Fat free Greek yogurt 
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Baked tortilla chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the skin from the chicken breasts, brush the breasts with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until the breasts are cooked through.  Set chicken aside and let it cool. 

Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables.  Chop the onions, carrots and celery. Mince the garlic and jalapenos.  Finally, crush the tomatoes.  To crush the tomatoes, pout the can into a bowl and smash the whole tomatoes with a fork. 

Then, heat three tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven and cook the carrots, celery, and onions in the pot for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp tender and the onions are starting to brown. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for 30 more seconds. 

Next, add the tomatoes and their puree to the pot along with the chicken stock, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and the cilantro. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. 

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your hands (or a fork and knife) and add it to the pot.  

Serve the soup with a little bit of sliced avocado, a dollop of yogurt and some cheddar cheese.  Yum! 
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Tasty Treats By Michi Original

*Updated on 01/14/10*

My dad owned a restaurant pretty much my entire life and this restaurant had the best potato soup, by far.  I almost never went there without ordering it.  Of course, it was loaded with butter and cream so I haven't had it in years.  

Yesterday, I decided to attempt to remake the soup into a low fat version at home.  I was really wary of how it would taste because of the fact that I was cutting out basically all of the important fats.  I honestly thought that I might end up throwing away a couple of pounds of potatoes, along with a lot of onions and other ingredients. Amazingly, the outcome was creamy, rich, and delicious!  The fat free half and half actually worked as a substitute, along with the low fat buttermilk. The toppings made all the difference too, the turkey bacon on top was the perfect flavoring to add that little extra "something" to every bite.  I definitely recommend this recipe.  It was so good that in two days, the huge pot is practically gone.  I thought I would be freezing half of it, but there is barely any left! 

Ingredients for Soup: 
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 large white onions, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat free half and half (any brand that doesn't have mono & diglycerides, like Publix)
  • 1 cup 1% buttermilk (McArthur)
  • 1/2 cup of Nonfat Greek yogurt (Oikos)
  • 2 pounds Idaho potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes (I only had Yukon Gold), washed, peeled and cubed into large bite-sized pieces 
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning 
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce (Cholula is our favorite)
  • 32 ounces of Organic Chicken Broth 
Ingredients for Toppings:
  • Fat Free Cheddar Cheese, shredded (Kraft of Lifetime)
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt (Oikos)
  • Green onions, chopped
  • 98% Fat Free Turkey Bacon, chopped and cooked

Peel and chop the onions and set aside.  Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes into large bite-sized cubes.  This soup is not creamed at all, so the chunks cannot be too large to eat. 

Heat olive oil over medium low heat.  Toss the onions in the olive oil and saute for a few minutes until soft and translucent.  Add the flour to the onions, stir to coat the onions and then saute for 5 more minutes.  After that, add the chicken stock, half and half, buttermilk and yogurt and stir continuously until smooth. Finally, add the spices, hot sauce, and potatoes. Stir some more and then cover the soup and simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour, until the soup has thickened and the potatoes have cooked.  Stir the soup occasionally and check the flavoring before serving. Add more salt or hot sauce if necessary. 

While the soup is simmering, cook the bacon.  Chop the bacon and saute in a nonstick pan with some canola oil cooking spray until browned and cooked through and set aside.  Chop a couple of green onions and set aside as well.  

Serve the soup hot with toppings.  Enjoy this amazing and hearty soup! 
I will never feel the need to eat fried shrimp again.  These shrimp are so crunchy and flavorful, you really do not miss the fried version one bit.   I think the broiler has a lot to do with it and I may start using the broiler more often for other "oven fried" dishes I make!  They are perfect with the usual cocktail sauce, but if you want something a little different than the norm, you should definitely try the chili-lime dipping sauce listed below, which was simply delectable.  

These are great as an appetizer for a party or also for dinner with some potato wedges and ketchup on the side.  I love appetizers for dinner! 

This recipe was inspired by Ellie Krieger, and she continues to surprise me with her amazing and healthy recipes.  However, her cooking time and directions were way off on this one.  I had to alter the cooking time greatly in order to keep the shrimp from burning to a crisp.  If you refer to the original recipe, I highly recommend that you use my recommended cooking time instead. Enjoy! 

Ingredients for Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce: 
  • 1/3 cup of Nonfat Greek Yogurt (Oikos is my favorite)
  • 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
 Ingredients for Shrimp:
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 egg whites, beaten 
  • 3/4 cup Plain Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 2 tbsp canola oil 
  • Pam Cooking Spray

To make the dipping sauce, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, lime zest, and salt.  Taste for flavorings and put in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

To make the shrimp, begin by defrosting the shrimp (if bought frozen).  I find the easiest way to do this is by putting the frozen shrimp in a colander and tossing it with cold water until all the frost is off the shrimp and they are soft and ready to handle.  

Once the shrimp is ready, prepare your assembly line of breading.  First,  add the chili powder, salt and pepper to the flour in a medium sized  and stir well to combine.  Next, beat the egg whites in another bowl until fluffy.  Last, mix the bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a third bowl.  

Toss the shrimp in the bowl with the flour until coated lightly.  Dip each shrimp in the egg white mixture, letting the excess drip off, and then dip it in the breading. Making sure to pat the breading on the shrimp so it adheres well. 

Place each shrimp on wax paper and set aside. 

Coat a baking sheet with two tablespoons of canola oil and put under the broiler for 2 minutes until heated.  Remove the heated baking sheet and add the shrimp to the sheet in even rows.  Spray the shrimp lightly with canola oil spray and put it back in the broiler for 2 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.  Watch the broiler carefully to ensure that the shrimp does not burn.  After that, remove the sheet from the broiler, turn each shrimp over carefully, spray them again lightly with canola oil, and return the shrimp to the broiler for another 2 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.  Remember to watch the broiler carefully the entire time. 

That's it!  Serve the shrimp hot or at room temperature with the chili-lime dipping sauce or some cocktail sauce.  Stay tuned with blog updates on variations of this recipe, the flavoring options are endless! :)
Last weekend I made a life changing discovery.  That discovery was Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon.  I haven't had bacon in over five years because of my diet! This bacon is 100% Swank legal.  One piece has only 0.5 grams of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat.  I am so excited! I don't really plan on eating it with breakfast much, but bacon is so wonderful to use as flavoring in so many dishes. You will definitely see some bacon appearing on future recipes!  Oh and the best part was, the bacon tastes great! 

The first thing I decided to make with my new discovery is potato skins.  I have made potato skins in the past, but they just aren't the same without bacon.  Now they are perfect!  These were delicious, so delicious that my husband felt it was necessary to tweet about them and eat them for breakfast :).  Thanks to the Nov/Dec issue of the Clean Eating Magazine for publishing the recipe! 

  • 4 medium baking potatoes 
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Pinch of paprika (I used spiced paprika) 
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 slices of Jenny-O Extra Lean Turkey Bacon
  • Shredded Fat Free Cheddar Cheese (Lifetime or Kraft work well)
  • 3 tbsp green onions, finely chopped
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

First, scrub the potatoes clean.  Then, poke them about five times each with a fork and rub them with a little olive oil.  Sprinkle kosher salt on the outside of each potato and then place them in the oven, directly on the rack.  Bake the potatoes for 50 minutes to an hour, or until the potatoes are completely tender. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, place them in a bag or container in the refrigerator for at least an hour and even overnight, until completely cooled. After they have cooled,  cut each potato in half and scoop out the inside, leaving about half an inch of the potato in the skin. 

Mix together the cayenne, paprika and salt in a small prep bowl.  Sprinkle the seasonings over each potato skin and spray each potato with a little olive oil cooking spray.  Spray the baking sheet with the spray, put the potatoes on the sheet and then bake for 10 minutes. 

While the potatoes are baking, finely chop the turkey bacon until cooked through.  After the potatoes are cooked, sprinkle each skin with some cheese, bacon pieces and green onions.  Bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. 

Let the skins cool for a little, the put a little dollop of yogurt on each one.  Eat hot, warm, or even cold if you want.  They are that good! 
Ina has some of the best recipes, one of them is this easy and delicious guacamole!  The dip only takes about 10 minutes maximum to make from scratch and the outcome is perfect.  I love how chunky it is!  This is great to bring to a party with some baked chips or to use for dipping with some of your favorite Mexican dishes.  Enjoy! 


  • 4 ripe Haas avocados 
  • Juice of 1 lemon (a little over 3 tablespoons)
  • 8-10 dashes of Cholula (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 3/4 cup of red onion, diced 
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced 


First juice the lemon and set aside.  Then chop the onion, tomato, and mince the garlic.  After all those ingredients are prepared, cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh of the avocados into a bowl.  Immediately after the avocados are in the bowl, add the lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well with a large spoon.  After that, slice the avocados into chunks using a sharp knife until you get your guacamole to the desired consistency (I like mine a little chunky).  Add the tomatoes, toss some more, and then taste to see if the dip needs more salt, pepper, or hot sauce.  Serve immediately or refrigerate and save for later. 
I love cooking things that can be turned into other meals!  After you make some roasted fall vegetables, you can take a few cups of the vegetables and turn it into a delicious soup for another meal.  I served this at Thanksgiving one year as an appetizer and it got rave reviews.  I also love eating this soup for lunch with some pieces of a toasted baguette.  

  •  6 cups of roasted fall vegetables (see recipe in previous blog entry)
  • 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 of a lemon)
  • 1/4 cup of 2 percent milk
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Working in batches, puree vegetables with a blender.  I put 3 cups of vegetables in the blender with 1 cup of water.  Pour each batch of the puree with a fine mesh sieve into a large saucepan, pressing the puree through with a spoon or spatula.  Discard any chunks that wont fit through the sieve. 

After you have finished pureeing all of the vegetables, heat the soup on medium heat.  You may need to thin the soup with a little bit more water if necessary.  Then add the lemon juice, milk, salt, pepper, and sugar.  The salt and pepper is to taste, so don't be afraid to ad a lot of it if necessary! 

Serve the soup with some toasted bread or crackers.  Enjoy! 
I made up this recipe once when I was attending a Halloween party and wanted something easy and festive to bring along. These are extremely easy to make, healthier than the original recipe, and everyone seems to love them.  This is also a great meal to make with kids! 

  • 6-7 cups of Rice Krispie Cereal 
  • 1 bag of marshmallows 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Mazola Vegetable oil (or any other flavorless and odorless oil, this is VERY important!) 
  • 2 boxes of Mike & Ike candy 
  • Orange food coloring (or a mixture of red and yellow food coloring) 
  • Pam non-stick cooking spray
  • Wax paper or tinfoil sprayed with Pam
  • 2 cookie sheets


First, cover two cookie sheets with the wax paper/oiled tin foil.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan on medium-low heat.  Then, add the entire bag of marshmallows. Start stirring with a wooden spoon and continue stirring constantly until all the marshmallows are almost completely melted.  After that, add a generous amount of food coloring until the marshmallows are a deep orange color. Continue stirring until all the lumps are gone. 

Take the saucepan off of the heat and add 6-7 cups of Rice Krispie Cereal.  Stir the cereal until it is completely incorporated. Scoop all of the Rice Krispie treat mixture onto one of the cookie sheets.  Let the mixture cool for about a minute (or less) until its cool enough to handle with your hands. 

Now, working quickly, grab handfuls of the Rice Krispie mixture and roll it into a ball.  The ball should be about the size of golf balls.  Put each ball on the second cookie sheet.  You need to work continuously until you finish, if you dont, the mixture will harden and no longer be moldable. 

After all the pumpkins are made, poke the top of each one with your finger and place a green Mike & Ike candy in the top.  Voila! You have Pumpkin Rice Kirspie Treats! There should be about two dozen or more.
Andrew and I loooove bruschetta.  We sometimes have to skip out on it in restaurants because they have cheese (and they can't remove it) but this version is just as tasty and there is no dairy.  

  • 4 cups peeled seeded and chopped tomatoes (any variety works but Romas are the best)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves sliced and very finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme minced
  • Pinch of kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 baguettes (Any French bread would work, but the skinny crusty baguettes work the best)

First, cut the tomatoes into quarters. Then, clean out all of the seeds from the tomatoes using a spoon.  There should be no seeds or juice left inside the tomatoes. 

After that, press each piece of tomato down and cut it into strips, then cubes.  All of the tomato pieces should be about the same size. For the basil, a chiffonade works best.  To do this, stack fresh basil leaves one on top of the other until you get several leaves.  Then roll up the leaves.  Slice very thin slices off of the little roll of leaves.  You will get a very thin shredded look to the basil without bruising the leaves.  Mince the thyme and oregano as well as the garlic. 

Combine the tomatoes, chopped garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a glass or plastic bowl.  Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The longer you keep the mixture in the refrigerator, the better it will taste! 

While the bruschetta mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the baguettes on a diagonal in thin slices.  Drizzle the slices with olive oil and bake the bread in the oven for about 10 minutes or until toasted.  

After the bruschetta has cooled and the bread is toasted, top a little bit of the bruschetta mixture on each slice of bread. 

Bon Appetit!