Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I was online one day and saw a link for this new cookbook that was all about lowering the calorie intake but still having the food taste good.  Here’s a portion of the site:

Though the original version of this dish has ample amounts of oozing butter, this version doesn’t have any butter in it at all, and it still tastes great. Pay close attention to the cooking time so the chicken doesn’t dry out, and prepare the sauce 2 hours ahead of cooking time.

Recipe courtesy of Now Eat This!: 150 of America’s Favorite Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories by Rocco DiSpirito/Ballantine Books, 2010.

I made a few simple changes to the recipe because I’m not just trying to lower my caloric intake, but more so to lower my fat intake.  So instead of the swiss cheese, I used reduced fat Mozzarella cheese.  I also used the fat free evaporated milk instead of low fat skim.  So the values below could be much lower due to the cheese alone!!
  • Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • chicken cutlets (4 ounces each), pounded very thin
    • 3 ounces thinly sliced lean ham (from the deli counter)
    • 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, such as Ian’s All-Natural
    • 4 large egg whites


In a small saucepan, whisk the evaporated milk into the cornstarch. Bring the milk mixture to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, about 1 minute. Then whisk the cheese into the sauce until it is melted and smooth. Whisk in the chives, and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Spray an ice cube tray with cooking spray, and divide the cheese sauce equally among 8 of the cube holes. Freeze the cheese sauce until it is hard, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet, and set it aside.

Lay the chicken cutlets on a work surface, and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the ham slices over the chicken. Place 2 frozen cheese cubes in the center of each piece of chicken. Roll up the chicken to encase the filling, and secure each package with 2 toothpicks.

Put the flour in a shallow dish. Place the panko in another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not holding peaks. Working in batches, dredge the chicken bundles in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them in the egg whites to coat completely. Then dredge them in the breadcrumbs to coat completely.

Place the chicken bundles on the wire rack. Spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until the breading is golden brown and crispy outside and the cheese sauce is fully melted, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

In the oven cooking

Nutrition Facts

Per Single Serving / Serves 4 Total
Calories 333 Calories from fat 54
Total Fat 6gm 9% Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 497mg 21% Total Carbohydrates 24gm 8%
Fiber 3gm 12% Protein 43gm

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

My finished picture doesn’t compare to the one they show online.  Of course I’m no professional photographer and I am using my iPhone 4S for the camera!

But it was pretty good.  Don’t pass this one by.

The finished look

Have a great rest of the week.  And know that just because it’s made with “heathier” replacements, doesn’t mean it’s not good.  I haven’t gone wrong yet.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

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“Fried” Cheese Balls

"Fried" Cheese Balls

Friday I was searching online for something new again to make for dinner.  Something still low fat and low calories.  I came upon the Kitchen Daily site.  It showed several different ways to reduce calories and still have a great flavored food.

Quoted from the website:

You think I must be kidding, right? The to-die-for stuff you wash down with a few beers at a sports bar? Isn’t this the kind of snack that can induce an angioplasty? No, no, and no. These things don’t even go near a deep fat fryer. They’re “oven fried,” and hardly a drop of oil is used.

Recipe courtesy of Now Eat This! Diet: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks Eating 6 Meals a Day! by Rocco DiSpirito/Grand Central Life & Style, 2011.


    • 1 cup frozen chopped onions and peppers, defrosted (I left this out and thinking I shouldn’t have – this was probably the glue for the cheese balls).
    • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded 50% cheddar cheese, such as Cabot
    • 1 teaspoon teaspoon cornstarch
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup cup whole wheat flour
    • 1-1/2 cups cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs, such as Ian’s All-Natural
    • 2 large egg whites
    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 1/2 cup cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 teaspoon teaspoon chopped pickled jalapeños
    • 1 teaspoon teaspoon Dijon mustard


In a medium bowl, mix the pepper and onion mixture with the cheese and cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Form the mixture into 8 balls, squeezing out any excess liquid. (The balls will seem loose.) Transfer the balls to a plate and freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet, and set it aside.

Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the panko in another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks.

Working in batches, dredge the cheese balls in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the cheese balls to the egg whites and toss to coat them completely. Add the cheese balls, a few pieces at a time, to the bowl of panko and coat completely.

Spread the balls on the wire rack. Spray them lightly with cooking spray. Bake the cheese balls until the breading is golden and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the applesauce, jalapeños, and mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the cheese balls immediately with the sauce.

Now I must admit.  These tasted good.  They brought back a familiar taste of the MN State Fair cheese curds.  But the cooking part was literally a flop.  I wished I would have taken a picture of what these looked like on the cooling rack as they were baking!  They fell through the rack.  I had to pull them apart.  But all of that was fine because the flavor was still quite good.  (Good thing my back up plan to make the chicken pot pie was there for dinner).

All in all, they were good.  I wouldn’t leave out anything in this recipe, even for those that are picky.  I needed that glue.

Have a great start to your week.

Patricia- Two Girls Cooking

Nutrition Facts

Per Single Serving / Serves 4 Total
Calories 177 Calories from fat 45
Total Fat 5gm 8% Saturated Fat 3gm 15%
Cholesterol 15mg 5% Sodium 247mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 23gm 8% Fiber 3gm 12%
Protein 13gm


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Dutch Apple Omelet

Dutch Apple Omelet

I bought a new book last week called “The Everything Low Cholesterol Cookbook” by Linda Larsen.  Not by choice but because it’s time to start eating better than what I’ve been doing.

I have an iPhone with the MyFitness app that tracks all of your daily food intake, by calories, fat, sugar intake, your workouts, etc.  I was using that app faithfully until I felt like I was at a point  that I knew what I was eating and didn’t need it anymore.  But then I started slipping.  I’d go to the store and buy candy like it was never going to exist again.  I’d buy a box of Mike and Ike’s and eat the entire thing in one sitting.  I’d have an ice cream cone every night for a snack.  Instead of eating fruit or veggies for an afternoon snack, I’d eat the candy bar I had sitting on my desk.

Then it was time to have the cholesterol levels taken.  I told myself it would be fine.  I’ve been watching what I ate; I’ve been working out.  And I wasn’t doing those things to lose weight.  I was doing it because I have had high triglycerides in the past.  So when I got the results that same dang day that I got tested, read the note that I needed to be on a low fat, low cholesterol diet <shaking head – sighing>, I went to the store and found this book.

It’s not like I eat terrible.  I have my low fat yogurt for breakfast and I eat a salad every dang day for lunch.  (Yes I frequent Zantigo on a regular basis, and will continue to do so – just not as often).  I thought I was cooking pretty decent meals.  That is until I realized that home made pizza probably wasn’t the greatest dinner to have once a week.  Adjustments had to be made.  I knew if I wasn’t eating healthy, then neither was my family.  And that’s on me!

I got this cookbook and went through it deciding I would make at least 2-3 meals per week from it and see how it goes.  I stopped drinking the “occasional” soda, I’ve had two pieces of licorice since last week.  I bought yogurt ice cream and gelato which hardly has any sugar in it.  That’s my issue is the sugar.  I like candy, I like soda, I love cheese…I love all the things that should be eaten in moderation, not on a daily basis.

As I’ve said, I’m not trying to lose weight, I haven’t been.  I’ve walked and worked out faithfully for a long time to try and keep my numbers at a normal level.  But I slipped.  I fell off but now I’m back on track.  Is it hard?  Sure is.  The kids wanted to buy a snack at the store today with their own money.  I stood there thinking, I could eat one of those bags of M&Ms, one of those Heath bars, then maybe go to Dairy Queen and have a blizzard!  But I didn’t.  I stood strong.  (I will have those things…just not as often as I did).  I want to enjoy food and the treats that are there for me to enjoy, but I also have to watch what I eat if I want to stay healthy.

A lot of the recipes in this book sound pretty good.  There is a Peach and Raspberry Souffle.  On the next page is the Dutch Apple Omelet.  I gave this one a try tonight and even the kids loved it.  My only problem with it?  I’m so not good and flipping the eggs in half to make it look pretty.   But it did have flavor, it did fill me up and I will make it again.

Here’s what you need:

2 Granny Smith apples, thinly slices

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp butter/margarine

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup egg substitute

4 large egg whites

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup cinnamon granola (I used a box of granola cereal and added cinnamon to it)

Here’s what you do:

1.  In a large nonstick skillet, combine apple slices and water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes until apples are almost tender.

2.  Drain the water and add butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to apples; cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.  Arrange apples in even layer in skillet.

3.  In a large bowl, combine egg substitute, egg whites, and milk and beat with eggbeater or wire whisk.  Pour into skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking pan and lifting edges of omelet occasionally, until browned on the bottom and set but still moist on top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon Granola, flip in half, slide onto serving plate and serve immediately.

Calories: 237.84; Fat: 9.78 grams; saturated fat: 4.14 grams; dietary fiber: 3.41 grams; sodium:  180.82; cholesterol: 15.87

Give it a try.  If anything, you’ll have a healthy meal for the week!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking