Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guest Blogger Recipe: Lauren Parker!

My friend, Lauren, is a fabulous cook, and she loves great-tasting, HEALTHY food as much as I do.  Lauren posted a really delicious-looking recipe on her Facebook page last week, and I just HAD to have her guest blog for me. 

I met Lauren last year at SyncStudio in Durham, NC.  As a fitness instructor, I live for people like Lauren: she busts her ass, she sweats, she pushes, she fights, and she succeeds.  Watching her transform her body this year has been a really rewarding experience, and I love having her in classes.  I'd rather have 1 Lauren Parker than 20 non-Lauren Parkers in my class ANY day. 

I hope you enjoy Lauren's deliciously healthy meal - I know I'm for SURE going to try it once my show is over in October!

If you haven't noticed, Beth's in full on prep mode and feels badly that she can't post her normal clean-eating culinary delights. So she's letting me share some of my goodies with you! First things first, my name is Lauren and I love food.  **Hi Lauren** I'm a marketing and communications professional by day and a foodie by night.  You can find me at food truck rodeos, reading food blogs, or watching Ludo Bites America on the Sundance Channel (if you haven't seen this show, it's worth watching.)

I found my way to clean cooking and fitness about 4 years ago when my sister and I started the Best Life diet. I worked out on a regular basis, cooking at home and looking at what I was eating as yummy fuel. Sadly, I fell off that wagon due to life changes and have since jumped back on over the past year when I met Beth and the awesome Sync Studio community. Over the past year, I have picked up weights and found my way to cycling and yoga, and loved every moment of it (well not every moment, but I definitely feel better when I workout vs. when I don't.) I've refocused my energy and my relationship with food, not as a diet but as a way to try out recipes, enjoy my kitchen and make yummy dishes so that I know what I'm putting in my body.
Enough about me though, let's get to the good stuff - the food! I'm currently rehearsing for a play and found that I was getting home late, so I started planning my meals.  I had to do this or I would end up eating random meals. Not wanting to go to the grocery store (Sunday before the first week of school + new college students getting their lives together = Teeter mad house! No thank you!), I found a recipe for a chicken casserole using things I already had in the freezer. This is normally a Paula Dean dish, so some substitutes to make it a cleaner dish were necessary. 

Here's my version of the reverse chicken potpie: 

1/2 cup Smart Balance (butter) softened
1 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt (sour cream)
1 egg whites (egg)
1 cup organic whole wheat flour (all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can tomato basil paste (10-3/4 ounces condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted)
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese (regular cheddar cheese)

I tossed the chicken in an EEVO/ pepper/ rosemary mix and let it sit while I mixed the other ingredients.  
In a small bowl, cream butter and greek yogurt until smooth. Beat in egg white. Combine the flour, baking powder, corn starch, salt and rosemary; add to creamed mixture. Spread into a greased (with PAM olive oil) 3-qt. baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, chicken, soup and shallots. Pour over crust; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 50 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.

When you throw chicken, veggies and soup over a crust with some cheese, you really can't go wrong.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.  

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