Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Burgers – 145

First I have to apologize for being so behind in my postings! The Tuesday after the Rhett show in Darien, GA I woke up with a terrible cold. This was the first cold I’ve had in almost 3 years and it really kicked my butt. That, coupled with helping Eric launch his new book AND keeping up with website work – I haven’t been cooking many new meals ๐Ÿ™ On a happy note – Eric’s book was officially published last week – click here to read all about it and get your own copy ๐Ÿ™‚

Enough with the excuses – let’s get to the food! I love buffalo anything (think buffalo hot wings, not the big hairy animal that roams ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) – so I came up with this variation of a ground chicken (or turkey) burger, hot buffalo sauce on the outside, stuffed with a creamy blue cheese filling….Amazing!!

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Burgers

1 lb. 99% fat-free ground chicken (or turkey)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup fat-free bleu cheese
4 Tablespoons fat-free cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup hot buffalo sauce (I use Frank’s)

Combine the ground chicken, cayenne, chili powder, and garlic powder in a bowl; mix well. Form into 8 very thin burgers; place onto a plate. Combine the bleu cheese, cream cheese, and onion powder in a food processor and blend well. Divide the bleu cheese mixture into 4 equal portions and place onto each of the 4 chicken burgers, place an additional burger on top and squish together well. Heat a skillet to medium-high and spray with butter flavor cooking spray. Place your stuffed burgers into the hot pan and brown well on each side, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until cooked through (nobody wants a rare chicken burger!). When the burgers are done, pour the hot sauce over the burgers and flip them a couple of times, really coating them well with the sauce. Place onto 100% whole wheat buns (I really like Arnold’s Sandwich Thins). Serve them with some delicious oven roasted “fries” and you’ll be thanking me later!!

Pasta Sauce – 147

Last week a friend of mine posted a comment on Facebook that she was cooking a big “gravy” (apparently that is Italian for “sauce”) complete with meatballs and sausage. This sounded pretty good to me, not too healthy ( ๐Ÿ™„ ), but good. Also, since I don’t eat beef or pork I would be leaving that out. I love all types of pasta (again as my friend pointed out – all pasta is actually “macaroni”) and a fresh homemade sauce sounded like dinner! Since I’m Irish/French and Eric is Italian/French and we’re both into eating healthy; this sauce was going to be a combo of Italian/French/Mediterranean/P90X. I prefer my sauce to be more “chunky-saucy” and less “gravy” so my first step was to enlist my favorite prep cook to chop up some veggies. I also don’t add salt or products containing salt (whenever I can avoid it) to anything, so I am forced to use small cans of tomato sauce. It’s a pain and very wasteful. If anyone knows where I can get no-salt added tomato sauce in cans larger than 8 oz. I will give you a free copy of this cookbook when it’s finished!

Pasta Sauce

Pasta Sauce

1 – 1/4 lbs. 99% fat-free ground turkey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground savory
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
4 – 8 oz. cans no-salt added tomato sauce
5 cans no-salt added diced tomatoes

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, season with next 9 ingredients and saute until cooked through and nicely browned. In the meantime, in a very large skillet or dutch oven; heat the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and add the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and peppers; season with the next 4 ingredients. Saute until the peppers are tender crisp. Add the 4 cans of tomato sauce and 2 cans of the diced tomatoes. Place the remaining 3 cans of tomatoes into a blender or food processor and puree them (if I could buy tomato puree with no salt I could eliminate this step). Add the tomato puree to the veggie mixture and blend. Once the turkey is done, add that to the tomato/veggie mixture and mix well. Turn heat to very low and simmer for as long as you can stand it (the smell will be making you crazy ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Cook up some whole wheat “macaroni” (pasta) of your choice and enjoy! This makes a TON of sauce, so for the next week or so I’m making Pizza’s, Lasagna, more pasta….yummy!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo – 149

What a crazy few weeks it’s been, in a good way. My website company is super busy – thank you to all of my wonderful new clients for choosing Just Ducky Designs for your on line advertising! I’ve also been working very closely with my favorite website client The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide (full disclosure here – he’s also my husband ๐Ÿ˜› ). We just launched the new online store where you can purchase an advance copy of the book and/or Eric’s CD “Songs Without Words” (individual downloads are also available). Also added to the site is a PDF preview of the actual book, click here to take a look. We are very excited to announce that April 18th is the official release date! Be sure to check out the store and purchase your advance copy to insure that you will be among the first to receive the book (buying it in advance will also help us pay for the upfront printing costs ๐Ÿ˜ณ ).

OK, enough about all that – back to recipes!! The other night as Eric was prepping and I was cooking this delicious meal, I realized that I hadn’t added it to the blog yet. I’ve been making this recipe forever and it’s one of our favorites. It’s yummy, satisfying, and so easy. I hope it will become one of your favorites too!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
(or as Eric calls it – Chick-Broc-Alf)

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 cups broccoli florets
3/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 – lb. chicken breast, cubed
2 cups skim milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese, grated

1 – 16 oz. package whole wheat pasta (I used bow ties for this); cooked according to pkg. directions – no salt

In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.ย  Add the broccoli, season with half of the pepper, basil, and oregano; cook for 2 -3 additional minutes. Add the chicken broth; mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the broccoli is tender-crisp (you don’t want mushy broccoli). Place broccoli mixture into a bowl and keep warm (there will still be a small amount of broth left, keep most of it with the broccoli but leave a little in the saute pan. Add the chicken cubes to the saute pan (you might want to add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan); season with remaining pepper, basil and oregano. Saute until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove chicken to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Add almost all of the 2 cups of milk to the pan (reserve about 2 tablespoons of the milk), heat to very hot but not boiling. Mix cornstarch with the reserved milk and whisk into the hot milk in the pan. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken; turn off heat. Whisk in the cheeses until well blended. Stir in the chicken/broccoli mixture and pour everything over the cooked and drained pasta. Serve with a little extra grated Parmesan!

Buffalo Mac & Cheese – 150

The good news is that I am 1/4 of the way to my goal of 200 recipes in 400 days. The bad news is that I only have 206 days to accomplish it ๐Ÿ™ I will not be discouraged, I am going to keep going and (like Tony says in the P90X workouts) “Do your best and forget the rest”.

I loved the idea of combining spicy buffalo chicken with a creamy mac & cheese. I simply needed to “healthy it up” a bit. It is still spicy, creamy, delicious and as comforting as any mac & cheese you’ve ever had ๐Ÿ˜‰

Buffalo Mac and Cheese


1 – 16 oz. pkg. of any whole wheat pasta (macaroni is the obvious choice, but any short cut pasta will do; I used rotini in the photo)
1 – lb. 99% fat-free ground turkey (or chicken)
1/3 cup Franks Red Hot wing sauce
2 Tablespoons Smart Balance Light
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1/3 cup shredded low-fat jalapeno cheddar cheese
2/3 cup fat-free cheddar cheese
1/3 cup low-fat blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup whole wheat dried bread crumbs (seasoned with 1 teaspoon chili powder)

Preheat oven to 350ยฐ

Saute the ground turkey in a skillet over medium high heat until cooked through and lightly browned. Turn heat down to very low and add the wing sauce; mix well. While the turkey is browning, cook the pasta according to package directions (no salt) and drain. Put the pasta back into it’s pan and add the turkey mixture; cover and keep warm. In the same skillet, on medium low heat, melt the smart balance. Sprinkle in the flour and cook and until well incorporated. Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add in the cheese (one cheese at a time and whisk well after each addition). Pour cheese sauce over the pasta/turkey, mix well and then pour into a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish that has been sprayed with fat-free cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top; cover and bake for 25 minutes; remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes (until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned).


Turkey Meatloaf – 152

I love meatloaf, it’s one of those “comfort foods” that makes me think of being a kid. Meatloaf when I was growing up was ground beef and sometimes a mixture of ground beef and pork. My mother usually added a few strips of bacon on the top, because there wasn’t enough meat in there already ๐Ÿ™‚ The meatloaf I make now doesn’t resemble that one very much except….let’s see…it’s the same shape and….. it delicious!

Turkey Meatloaf


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow pepper, chopped (any type of pepper will do)
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 Tablespoons tomato paste (no salt added)
1/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 – 1/4 lb. 99% fat-free ground turkey
3/4 cup oatmeal, uncooked dry
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons low sugar ketchup

Preheat oven to 350ยฐ.

In medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms; season with pepper, thyme and basil. Saute until onions and peppers are soft. Add tomato paste, chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Place into a bowl and let it cool slightly. Combine the ground turkey, oatmeal, egg, cheese, and onion mixture; blend well. Place into an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan. Spread ketchup on top. Bake in preheated oven for 50 – 55 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165ยฐ.

General Normand Tso’s Chicken – 153

I know, there really is no such person as Normand Tso..sue me! I used to love getting Chinese take out. That is until an hour or so after finishing the food, that’s when some very unpleasant effects would start ๐Ÿ™ No problem, I’ve conquered Spicy Peanut Noodles and Chicken Teriyaki, why not try the General’s Chicken? I searched on line and in books for some ideas, then combined a few of those ideas with some of my own and a quickย  pan fry technique instead of deep frying. The taste is very close, it’s pretty easy to make, much cheaper than take out, and a whole lot healthier. Get out your wok, some chopsticks and give it a try!

General Normand Tso’s Chicken


1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup equivalent of Stevia (I use the concentrated version and it comes out to be 1/4 teaspoon)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

Put all ingredients into medium bowl; mix well. Set aside


2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil

General Tso Chicken


1 red pepper, julienne sliced
1 yellow pepper, julienne sliced
1 small onion (Vidalia or Red), sliced
1 cup portobelloย  mushrooms, sliced

2 bags Success brown rice, cooked according to package directions (for best results, cook the rice way beforehand and chill; then use the cold rice)

Place soy sauce, egg, cornstarch, pepper flakes, and cayenne in medium bowl; whisk until smooth. Add chicken and coat well. Heat oil in wok (or large skillet) until very hot (but not smoking). Add chicken chunks a few at a time, cook until very brown, turn and cook the other side; remove to a plate that has been lined with paper towels. Continue until all chicken is done. Add all the veggies to the wok and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until they are tender-crisp. Pour in “Sauce”; cook until thick (if the sauce gets too thick, add a little water). Add chicken back to pan and cook for an additional minute. Add rice and mix well. Serve and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Soup – 154

It seems like everyone I talk to lately says a variation ofย  “I’m sick of this snow and cold weather!”. I know that those of you in the northeast have gotten more than your share so far this year. For me, living in Tennessee but having grown up in the northeast, I’m loving it ๐Ÿ™‚ We have had six snow “storms” since winter officially began, none of which produced more than a few inches at a time. Our most recent “storm” was Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and although it was beautiful; it did result in my having to postpone the appointment I had scheduled with the surgeon. I will have to wait one more week to find out what’s up. Those of you who have grown up with real snowstorms will laugh at the photos below and the fact that our town (actually our state) basically shuts down over anything more than a half inch or so.

Anyway, all of this cold, snowy weather makes me want to cook hot soup! So here is – a really yummy, creamy, good-for-you, easy to make soup ๐Ÿ˜‰

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Soup


1 Tablespoon olive oil
12 oz. boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cups broccoli florets
3 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups skim milk
1/3 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup low-fat blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup low-fat Swiss cheese, shredded

Heat olive oil in large dutch oven. Add chicken, season with pepper, garlic powder, basil, sage and saute until the golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken and keep warm.ย  Spray the same pan with fat free butter flavor cooking spray; add garlic and onion to the pan and cook until the onions are just slightly soft. Add broccoli and saute for 2 – 3ย  more minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 7 – 8 minutes (until broccoli is done). Remove 2 cups of broccoli mixture and place in a bowl to cool (I like to pop the bowl into the freezer to speed up this process). Add the milk to the pan; when the milk is hot (do not boil) whisk in the cheeses and continue stirring until melted. Take the reservedย  broccoli mixture from the freezer and place into a blender or food processor; process until smooth and then add back into soup. Mix in the cooked chicken and cook for a few minutes to heat everything and blend the flavors. That’s it!

Chili Cheese Dogs – 156

Last night we were having our nightly “what’s for dinner” discussion and we just couldn’t decide on anything. Eric wasn’t feeling well and he couldn’t perform his usual prep cook magic and for some reason I just didn’t feel like cooking (a very rare occurrence!). Then I looked into the freezer and saw a package of organic turkey hot dogs that I’d purchased a while ago from Whole Foods.

If you’ve read many of my blogs, you’ll know that I strive to make healthy versions of all my favorite foods. Hot dogs have been a difficult one because most of what you find in supermarkets are full of fat, salt, nitrites and all sorts of nasty stuff. The only alternatives have been mealy, tasteless imitations of real hot dogs. These ones are made by Applegate Farms and they are delicious and healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

Just a plain hot dog was not going to cut it for dinner. So I said “how about chili cheese dogs”? The only problem was I didn’t have any leftover chili. No problem, I simply put together some “chili-like” ingredients, simmered them together on the stove and viola….instant chili….add cheese, put on top of a hot dog and you’ve got chili cheese dogs. Add a quick salad on the side and you’re done!

Chili Cheese Dogs

Chili Cheese Dogs

1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 – 15 oz. can red kidney beans, low sodium
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons chicken broth, fat-free, low sodium
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 organic turkey hot dogs
4 whole wheat hot dog buns
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free cheese, shredded

Place tomatoes and beans into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic powder, onion flakes, paprika, oregano, basil, black pepper, cumin, cayenne, and chili powder; mix well. Simmer for several minutes (15 or 20 if you have the time). In a small bowl mix the chicken broth with cornstarch, add this to the beans and stir well until thickened. While the chili is cooking, place the hot dogs into a skillet that has been sprayed with non-fat cooking spray and saute them until they are heated through. Either toast the buns in toaster oven or in the same skillet as the hot dogs.

To assemble; place a little cheese on the bottom of a bun add a hot dog, top with chili, sprinkle with additional cheese – Enjoy!

I did a quick Google search on the nutritional info of “Chili Cheese Dogs” and found that if you ordered one from Dairy Queen you’d be choking down almost 450 calories, 22 grams of fat and over 1,000 mg of sodium — yuk ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Oven “Fried” Chicken with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce – 157

I’m trying to get back to posting a new recipe at least three times per week, but it’s been tough. I’m suddenly swamped with website work (which is a GREAT thing – if you’d like to see my design portfolio click this link: justduckydesigns.com) and for some reason Eric has been requesting that I make meals that I’ve already posted – Jambalaya, Stone Soup, Chili…. ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess I’ll have to stop asking him what he’d like for dinner – which is what I did last night! This recipe is a great way to get that crunchy fried chicken flavor and texture without all the fat. The yummy dipping sauce is just a bonus.

Oven “Fried” Chicken

8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into strips
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (recipe here)
1/4 cup stoneground cornmeal

Preheat oven to 425ยฐ. Place a cooling rack onto a cookie sheet. Place egg substitute in a bowl, combine seasoned bread crumbs and cornmeal on plate; mix well. Dip chicken pieces in egg and the roll in the bread crumb mixture. Place on rack and spray the chicken with a light coating of non-fat butter flavor cooking spray. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces).

Honey Mustard Sauce

3/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 โ€“ 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients into a small bowl; mix well.



Paprika Chicken – 158

I’m back! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post or even been able to do much cooking…New Year’s started out so nice, Eric and I had a great New Year’s Eve at home – just the two of us – a few drinks, some snacks, music, dancing – just perfect. The next morning we slept late, had a great brunch of Polenta, Sausage & Egg. It was after we cleaned up from brunch that disaster struck. After putting everything away and starting the dishwasher, we went to our respective offices and checked our email (yes, we are addicted). Upon returning to the kitchen, Eric yelled (something along the lines of “Oh Shit!!), and I came running. The kitchen floor was covered in water. At first we thought the sink as leaking – nope, under the sink – nope…..oh no, it’s the dishwasher. We opened the dishwasher and found it still full of water (just a tip, it’s a bad idea to open the dishwasher when it’s full of water). We began to panic, it’s New Year’s Day, are we actually going to be able to find (or afford) a plumber on a holiday? Fortunately, Eric has a guitar player friend who is also a plumber. So, as much as he hated to bother him, Eric gave him a call. It turned out that he’d already been called out once that morning and was more than happy to come over and help us ๐Ÿ˜€ A few hours later we got the bad news. The water pipe running from our kitchen to our septic was going to have to be replaced. Apparently when the house was originally built they decided that a 40 foot length of pipe didn’t need to have any angle on it. Our plumber couldn’t come back with all of the necessary parts until Friday. So after almost a week without running water in the kitchen, we are now back in business.

So after that very long explanation, I’m back to being able to cook and wash dishes in my kitchen and get back to posting recipes. This is a new variation on something I made quite a long time ago. This is, of course, a healthy version at barely 300 calories per serving – what a great way to kick start your New Year’s Resolution to get healthy!!

Paprika Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
3 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 Tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 –ย  15 oz. can diced tomatoes, no-salt added
1 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
1 – 12 oz. bag whole wheat noodles, cooked according to package directions (no salt)

In a plastic or paper bag combine the flour and black pepper. Place chicken in bag and shake well. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add olive oil and coated chicken pieces. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned on each side. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms; continue cooking until the onions are softened and the mushrooms begin to brown. Add paprika, pepper flakes, tomatoes, and broth (reserve about a Tablespoon of the broth in a small bowl). Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes (this is a good time to cook the noodles). Stir cornstarch into the reserved broth until smooth. Add to the chicken mixture and stir continuously for 2 -3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Turn off heat. Mix in the yogurt. Pour mixture over the cooked noodles; mix well. Done!