Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun With Food and Chicken Skewers

The best husband in the world gave me a food scale for my birthday. Hoopdeedoo! Well, to be fair, he gave me a food scale AND a juicer. For some of you out there this would mean immediate expulsion from the best husband in the world club. But don't be judging the BHITW, because this is exactly what I wanted. 

It's not just any food scale. It is a new and improved nutritional food scale. 
Commercial quality with 8.8 pound capacity. 
Able to measure food in grams, kilograms and ounces. But wait, there's more. You can get the exact nutritional information of the food you are weighing, unlike my other old food scale that just weighed stuff. 
For instance, I have here an avocado. Just your plain, everyday Haas variety. When I put it on my old food scale I am told it weighs 7.5 ounces. When I put it on my new and improved nutritional food scale I am told:

Weight: 7.5 ounces
Enter the code for avocado: 334 and voila!
Calories: 375
Sodium: 25.73 mg
Fiber: 0
Cholesterol: 0
Protein: 4.89 grams
Carbohydrates: 14.71 grams
Fat: 36.76 grams

Oh Joy! Oh Rapture!  Wait, let's try a lemon.

Weight: 4.2 ounces
Enter the code for lemon: 359
Calories: 36
Sodium: 2.16 mg
Fiber: 2.0 grams
Cholesterol: 0
Protein: 2.16 grams
Carbohydrates: 10.86 grams
Fat: 0 grams

Imagine the possibilities!! No more guessing. No more cumbersome books and indexes. Who knew a food scale could be so much fun! Here's the skinny on tonight's dinner of 

Grilled Lemon Chicken Kabobs with minted sugar snap peas and tri-color couscous (serves 4)

1 Pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 half breasts)
3 tablespoons (about) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of 1  fresh lemon (remember what I told you about that bottled stuff)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh sugar snap peas, washed and ends trimmed

Heat grill to medium-high.
Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 the lemon juice over. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Let marinate 15 or so minutes. Not too long or the chicken will start to "cook" from the lemon juice. Thread onto skewers.  Grill for about 10 minutes until done. (hint: leave a little space between pieces of chicken for even cooking).

Meanwhile, steam the sugar snap peas. Toss with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, rest of juice, salt, pepper (to taste) and chopped mint. 

Serve with a side of tri-color couscous made to package directions. 

Okay, here's the fun part:
4 ounces of chicken, 1/2 cup of the peas and 1/2 cup couscous:
547 calories
13.8 grams of fat
48 grams of protein
84 grams of carbohydrates
5.1 grams of fiber
*** I am NOT a registered dietician or a nutritionist - I am a serial dieter. 

At least I think that's what it all adds up to. The new and improved nutritional food scale did not come with a calculator and after 1 1/2 hours of trying to figure this out I'm tempted to just order pizza. 

Oh bother, I really just wanted it to weigh flour which is what my old food scale did. 


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