30 September 2009

Facelift Number Six - Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken

I didn't want to do the same fast food chain two facelifts in a row, but I had the ingredients for this dish around my apartment and figured it would be a quick, easy, and delicious thing to try (and it was!): Wendy's Sweet and Spicy Asian Boneless Chicken Wings. This is also one of my boyfriend's favorite fast food dishes. :)


(Guess which one is the advertisement and which is a consumer-taken photo! Haha.)

Time for a facelift!


4 ounces chicken breast
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 egg white
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp low sodium teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional if you want less spiciness)
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375F. Cut up chicken into nugget-sized pieces.

Mix paprika and flour together in a bowl.

Lightly beat egg whites in another bowl.

Toss the chicken in the flour until coated. Coat lightly in egg whites, then...

Put the chicken in a bag with the bread crumbs and toss until coated.

Spread the chicken pieces out on a aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet (spray with cooking spray, too). Bake for 15 minutes, flip the chicken, bake for another 5 minutes or until...


For the sauce, mix together the remaining ingredients (honey, Tabasco, red pepper flakes, black pepper, teriyaki sauce), then toss the chicken in it.

I served it on top of brown rice with a side of steamed broccoli.


232 fewer Calories (-42%)
16g less fat (-86%)
3.5g less saturated fat (-100%)
9mg less cholesterol (-12%)
2046mg less sodium (-81%)
28g less carbs (-41%)
No change in protein or fiber

This just goes to show that you don't need your deep-fried nuggets to be drowning in tons of sauce to have a spicy and sweet meal. This stuff packs a lot of flavor in such a small amount of sauce; there's just enough to lightly coat the chicken, so trust me: it doesn't need any more!

Full recipe HERE. As usual, leave me a comment or send an email with any suggestions for future facelifts!

29 September 2009

Tomorrow is the day!

Just a reminder: Tomorrow I will be doing another facelift! I had a baking party with a friend of mine, so today did not work for me. Tomorrow WILL be it, and it will be a good one!

Thanks for your patience, everyone!

27 September 2009

Yom Kippur break.

Hey, everyone!

I'm not going to be doing a facelift tonight because it is Yom Kippur (part of the Jewish new year) which means as of sundown tonight I will be fasting until sundown tomorrow. It'd be very unfair to me to have to cook yummy food and not be able to eat any of it!

Luckily, the fast is only a day and I will cook something great for dinner either Tuesday night (9/29) or Wednesday night (9/30). I promise it will be delicious and worth the wait!

Thanks for your patience, and please keep your suggestions coming via email, comments, or on my SparkPeople page!

20 September 2009

Facelift Number Five: Wendy's Famous Chili

Wendy's is notorious for having one of the healthiest fast food dishes: their chili. Can I make it even better, or is the original as good as it has been said to be?


Get your crockpot ready... it's time for a facelift!


16 ounces ground buffalo
1 medium red onion
1 can low sodium dark red kidney beans
1 can low sodium canned corn
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons black pepper
5 pieces sun-dried tomatoes


Dice the onion and cook them in a pan on medium-high heat until...

...they look browned like this!

Dice up the sun dried tomatoes.

Add all of the ingredients (including the onions and tomatoes) to the crock pot and mix. (Note: I drained the liquid from the corn but I did not drain the beans. The bean liquid adds good flavor, but with the corn liquid is too sweet and watery.)

Cover the crock pot. Cook on high for 2 hours, stirring every half hour. Then cook on low for 2 hours, stirring every half hour. Serve hot!


No change in Calories
2g more fat (+19%)
1g more saturated fat (+23%)
6mg less cholesterol (-11%)
1031mg less sodium (-83%)
4g less carbs (-13%)
No change in fiber
1g more protein (+2%)

Have I failed? It depends on what you want to concentrate on.

Sodium, cholesterol, and carbs have been lowered (which is a good thing for many people, especially if you're watching sodium!) but if your concern is fat, then maybe you're bothered by the 2 grams that are in my version.

In the end, make home-made chili as a treat for you and your family on cold, rainy days. It's fun to get creative in the kitchen, which is one of the main points of this blog. It takes a few hours in a crock pot to get all of the flavors out without using too much added sodium products, so if you don't have the time to wait, then Wendy's is definitely a smart choice!

The full seven-serving recipe can be found HERE. Keep the comments and e-mails coming!

13 September 2009

Facelift Number Four: I'm thinkin' Arby's!

This past Wednesday I had to travel for work. On the road, my coworkers decided Arby's was a good choice for a bite to eat on the road. I got a roast chicken sandwich thinking it was the smarter choice there (I had never eaten at an Arby's before, and I've cut out fast food from my diet, so maybe I was just kidding myself) only to find out that after the Roast Chicken sandwich and a small order of fries, I'd eaten far more Calories than I'd thought, in addition to an obscene about of sodium and fat. Yuck!



1 Arnold's Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin
3 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked
.25 cup Great Value reduced fat shredded Fiesta Blend cheese
.5 cup baby spinach
1 teaspoon Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle blend

1 medium sweet potato
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle blend
2 teaspoons minced garlic


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel sweet potato and chop into fry-sized pieces.

Put the fries into a large zip-top bag and add olive oil, Mrs. Dash, and minced garlic. Shut the bag and toss until coated.

Spread the fries onto a layer on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the fries, and bake for another 10 or until browned.

Now, for the sandwich...

Take the sandwich thin and put the mustard on one half.

Slice the chicken and put it on top of the mustard, topping it with the shredded cheese and Mrs. Dash. Toast this and the other half of the sandwich thin until cheese is melted and delicious.

Add the spinach, then...

Pair the final product with the fries, and enjoy!


Sandwich, left; Fries, right.
Combining both:
335 fewer Calories (-45%)
27g less fat (-72%)
3g less saturated fat (-44%)
1256mg less sodium (-71%)
32g less carbs (-40%)
3g more dietary fiber (+50%)
5g more protein (+17%)

Unlike my last two facelifts, protein has increased from my facelift!

Also, just so you're aware, I decided to get a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket today instead of cooking a chicken breast. Rotisserie chickens are so quick and easy, not to mention versatile. Your money goes a long way with this delicious purchase! I have chicken salad for lunch tomorrow and still have a whole breast, both wings, and both drumsticks to go through for the rest of the week.

Thank you all for being so patient with my vacation last weekend putting a little delay on this blog. I appreciate the fact that I still gained some followers and got some comments on my blog and my Spark Page. Continue to comment and e-mail your suggestions!

Sandwich recipe HERE and fries recipe HERE. Note: the fries recipe is my old, original recipe that makes 3 servings.

10 September 2009

I've returned... sort of!

Hi, everyone!

I've been back from my Labor Day weekend vacation but catching up on work and my unkept apartment has been preventing me from doing a "facelift" this week. I'll get back into the swing of things on Sunday, 19 September so please stay tuned!

Thank you again for all of your comments, e-mails, and messages on Spark People!

01 September 2009

Labor Day Weekend & A Big Thank-You!

First of all thank you so much for all of the great comments here, e-mails, and messages on Spark People! I am so relieved to know that people are interested in this blog and its subject matter. I'm also so happy to hear successes when trying these recipes at home! Keep on cookin'!

Secondly, this weekend is the Labor Day holiday here in the United States. I will be out of town the entire weekend so I will not be able to do a facelift until next Tuesday, August 8 at the absolute earliest, though I think I may have to push it to Wednesday, August 9.

I apologize! But I will return with some more tricks up my sleeve! I hope you all have a great rest of the week and enjoy your weekend - I know I will!