Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pesto Chicken Club Panini

I love Panini Sandwiches they are an absolute favorite of mine. When I bought my Panini Press a few years ago I went nuts and made Panini Sandwiches almost every day! I eventually had to stop before my waistline grew! Now I eat them in moderation and I find when it's hot outside these make the perfect summer dinner. If you love pesto then you will want to give these Pesto Club Panini Sandwiches a try!

Pesto Chicken Club Panini
Cal 428, Carbs 31, Fat 17, Fiber 2, Protein 39

4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp. pesto sauce
1 slice provolone cheese
2 slices ready cooked bacon
sliced tomatoes
hearty bread of your choice (I used French)

Grill chicken over medium high heat for 7-8 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Remove from grill and spread pesto over chicken. Slice and place chicken on bread along with cheese, tomato, and bacon.

Cook on Panini Press 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Southwest Skillet Chicken Chili Mac

I don't why but whenever I hear the word "Chili Mac" it reminds me of school hot lunches from childhood and that always grossed me out. (I'm the one who never ate hot lunches as a child) Now that I'm an adult I realize that Chili Mac is obviously not what I thought it was when I was a kid! Especially when it's made with chicken! I've been missing out on all the yummy Chili Mac recipes out there. This Southwest Chicken Chili Mac is healthy and absolutely delicious! I'll never question Chili Mac again...that's for sure!

Southwest Chicken Chili Mac
Serves 8
Cal 229, Carbs 36, Fat 2.7, Fiber 2, Protein 16

12 ounces wagon wheel pasta
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (I grilled mine)
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes, mild
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup corn
1 teaspoon dry Ranch seasoning
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped Cilantro, optional

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cool water to stop cooking.

Add oil to a large non stick pan.over medium high heat saute onions until softened about 5 minutes.  Add chicken, chipotle pepper, rotel, broth, corn, wagon wheel pasta, chili powder, and ranch seasoning. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cheese is melted. Top with fresh cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cheesy BBQ Grilled Potatoes

This is a dish that I literally used to make ALL the time when my husband and I first got married. Anytime we were grilling something I would make sure these potatoes were always part of the meal. Super simple yet incredibly delicious! Make this tasty side a part of your next picnic or dinner!

Cheesy BBQ Grilled Potatoes
Serves 4-6

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thick
2 tsp. dry BBQ Seasoning (I like Famous Daves)
1/3 cup BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar
1 tbsp. olive oil
heavy duty tin foil

Arrange sliced potatoes onto tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with the dry rub.

Fold tin foil over to make a small pouch. Cover and grill over medium high heat 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. During last five minutes of cooking time add the bbq sauce and shredded cheese. Continue cooking until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Italian Sausage Skewers

Looking for new grilling ideas? Well, why not fire up the grill and make these tasty Italian Sausage Skewers! Mine are even low in fat and calories because I used Italian Chicken Sausage instead of the traditional pork. Serve over a bed of rice and dinner is served!

Italian Sausage Skewers
Makes 6 Skewers
Cal 124, Carbs 8.1, Fat 6, Fiber 3, Protein 8.8

1 14oz. package Italian chicken sausage (I used Johnsonville)
1 zucchini, sliced thick
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red onion, cut into chunks
Grape Tomatoes

Thread the sausage,tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and onion onto skewers. (if using wooden skewers soak in water for at least 15 minutes)

Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Rain rain go away and don't come back...ever! So far this Summer seems to be a wash...literally! We have had so much rain here in the Chicago area it's crazy. It seems like once I set our pool up for the summer it started raining daily. Well, that won't stop me from grilling though! If you are in the mood for a light, yet, refreshing meal then you have to make this Grilled Bruschetta Chicken. So easy and absolutely delicious!

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 235, Carbs 13.2, Fat 8, Fiber.5, Protein 28

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup pesto
4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 tomatoes chopped

Brush each chicken breast with pesto. Grill over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear. About a minute before removing from grill top each chicken breast with cheese.

Once melted remove and top with chopped tomato. (I like to sprinkle some Italian chopped parsley over the top as well but it's optional) Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Crock Pot Jalapeno Popper Chicken Tacos

It's been a while since I've used the Crock Pot to make tacos and this recipe is a favorite of the hubster. The last thing I want to do after a hectic day is spend a bunch of time in the kitchen preparing dinner which is why this is one of my favorite crazy day recipes. Easy to throw together and dinner is ready when you get home!

Crock Pot Jalapeno Popper Chicken Tacos
Makes 12 Tacos
Cal 120, Carbs 6.8, Fat 4.7, Fiber .5, Protein 10.5

1 lb chicken tenderloins
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
6 oz. jalapeno cream cheese
1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon or bacon bits
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeno
12 hard shell tacos
cilantro, chopped tomatoes, and additional cheese for toppings (If desired)

Arrange chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle with garlic and chili powder. Cover and cook on low 4 hours.

Slowly stir in the cream cheese and bacon. Continue cooking 15-20 minutes longer or until cream cheese is melted. Spoon chicken into taco shells and add any additional toppings of your choice.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Sesame Ginger Grilled Salmon

Are you looking for a light, yet refreshing, dinner that is packed with flavor and healthy? Well, then do I have the meal for you! This Sesame Ginger Grilled Salmon is simple and delicious. Makes the perfect summertime meal!

Sesame Ginger Grilled Salmon
Serves 4
Cal 228, Carbs 7, Fat 6, Protein 36

4- 5oz. fresh skinless salmon fillets
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, sliced

In a baking dish prepare marinade by combining soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, and sesame oil. Add fish, turning to coat. Cover and place in fridge for at least one hour. (I marinated mine for 3 hours.)

Place salmon on a lightly greased grill rack. Cover and grill over medium heat about 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Top with toasted sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Creamy Bacon Buffalo Shells and Cheese

Mac and Cheese has always been my ultimate comfort food. Wait...scratch that. Not only is it my ultimate comfort food, it is one of my all time favorite foods! I love mac and cheese period. I also love how versatile the dish is and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Since I've been on a "Buffalo" kick as of late, it made sense to whip up a batch of my Bacon Buffalo Shells and Cheese. This stuff is crazy good!

Creamy Bacon Buffalo Shells and Cheese
Serves 6
WW PP=10
Cal 386, Carbs 47.3, Fat 12.3, Fiber 5g, Protein 17.6

12 oz medium shell pasta (I used Ronzoni)
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (I love Franks)
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1.5 cups shredded four cheese american blend (I like kraft)
3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
3/4 cup low fat milk
1/4 crumbled blue cheese

Cook pasta to al dente.

While pasta is cooking, in a large sauce pan over low-medium heat whisk together milk and cream cheese until smooth and bubbly. Slowly stir in the shredded cheese. Once melted add in the buffalo sauce. Toss in the cooked bacon and pour mixture over the shell pasta. Once fully combined top with crumbled blue cheese. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Salsa Nachos

It's not often that I use the word "lame" when regarding a recipe but today is it. This is the most unoriginal recipe ever. But for being pretty unoriginal it sure didn't lack in taste! These nachos were crazy good! I haven't been to the grocery store yet this week so I whipped this one up with ingredients I had on hand, including garden salsa sun chips. Not sure why I haven't tried making nachos with sun chips before, but it totally works. Give it a try and see for yourself!

Salsa Nachos
Serves 4-6

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 bag garden salsa sun chips
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1.5 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
1/4 sliced pickled jalapenos
2 chopped tomatoes

cilantro, sour cream, lettuce etc

In a large skillet brown ground beef over medium heat. Drain and add in salsa, water, and taco seasoning. Simmer 10 minutes.

To prepare nachos arrange a layer of chips onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese over top and broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Smothered Buffalo Grilled Chicken

I never ever get sick of Buffalo Chicken. I could probably eat it daily. That and well, tacos, of course! This Smothered Buffalo Grilled Chicken has all of my favs-cheese, chicken, buffalo sauce, and bacon! Serve this tasty chicken with a veggie and tossed salad and you have a healthy and delicious summertime dinner!

Smothered Buffalo Grilled Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 232, Carbs 4, Fat 8.2, Protein 35.5

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup creamy buffalo wing sauce
4 slices reduced fat cheddar jack cheese
1/2 cup crumbled bacon bits
3 green onions, chopped
one small tomato, chopped

Season chicken with garlic powder.

Grill chicken over medium high heat for 6-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear. 2 or 3 minutes before removing from grill baste chicken with wing sauce and top each chicken breast with cheese.

Once melted remove from grill and top with crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, and green onions. Enjoy! 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Southwest Potato Salad

I love Summer and can't get enough of the warm weather. The hotter the better in my opinion! We use the grill a lot during the summer and today I made a Mexican Flank Steak and wanted to mix up the sides instead of serving rice or black beans. I decided on a southwest potato salad. If you like a lighter potato salad without mayo then this is the salad for you! This is made with light sour cream and it was an instant hit with the family. The perfect side dish for your next BBQ!

Southwest Potato Salad
Serves 6
Cal 144, Carbs 9.5, Fat 8, Fiber 2, Protein 7.8

1 bag baby red potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed (I used an 8 oz bag)
3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. Mrs Dash Spicy Red Pepper Seasoning Blend
Pinch Salt
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
1/4 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
4 oz pepper jack cheese, cubed
2 green onions. sliced

Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil and then simmer covered, 12-15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and cool.

In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients. Add potatoes and chill for at least one hour before serving. Top with additional green onions if desired. Enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Mini Salsa Taco Salads #Produceforkids #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post with Roundy's and Produce for Kids

Making sure my little one has plenty of healthy food options as he quickly approaches elementary school is very important. Easy access to fruits and vegetables in schools is crucial. Not only is it a great way to get more nutrients in a child's diet but incorporating fruits and veggies into your child's meal routine at a young age will make them more likely to make healthy food choices as they continue to grow. As a child my mom always packed us healthy lunches but fresh fruits, veggies, and salads in elementary school were not available. It was only until I entered high school that Salads and fresh fruits became available.

A few weeks ago Produce for Kids and Roundy's got in touch with me about spreading awareness regarding Healthy Eating for Kids. Their Let's Move Salad Bars to the Midwest campaign will provide access to healthy fruits and vegetables every day in all schools across the Midwest.

Let's Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools is a special campaign of the United Fresh Start Foundation, under the umbrella of the national Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. The
goal of Let's Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools is to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption by donating salad bars to schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

For the second year, Copps, Metro Market , Roundy's, and Pick ’n Save are partnering with Produce for Kids® for a healthy eating-focused campaign to raise funds for the United Fresh Start Foundation’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools campaign. 


To help Copps, Metro Market , Roundy's, and Pick ’n Save increase its donation to United Fresh Start Foundation’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools campaign, shoppers are encouraged to add more produce to their grocery carts through July 12. All five participating fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a consumption-based donation to Let’s Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools.

You can help by purchasing sponsor products at your local store, including Avocados from Mexico - Mexican Hass Avocados; Chiquita Fresh - Fresh Express® Packaged Salads; NatureSweet® Glorys® Tomatoes; Naturipe® - Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries & Raspberries; organicgirl - good clean greens; POM Wonderful® - Pomegranate Juice & Teas; Shuman Produce - RealSweet® Vidalia® Onions.

My son has been eating fruits and veggies since he was a toddler and now at age 4 he loves salads. We like to prepare protein packed salads for a refreshing dinner and now that we are rapidly approaching summer I find myself making them more and more. But my little one's absolute favorite has to be these tasty little Mini Salsa Taco Salads. Healthy and packed with protein and fresh ingredients dinner doesn't get much better than this!

Mini Salsa Taco Salads
Yields 12 mini taco salads
Cal 68, Fat 3.5g, Carbs 1.9g, Protein 7.3g
12 wonton wrappers
12 oz  lean ground beef or turkey (I used Purdue extra lean ground turkey)
1 taco seasoning packet
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup salsa
1/3 cup light sour cream
Green Onions, Sliced Olives, Black Beans, Cilantro or any other toppings of your choice

Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Push two wonton wrappers into the bottom of each of the 12 sprayed muffin cups. Bake wonton shells for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

While the wonton's are baking cook your ground beef/turkey add the seasoning mix and set aside.  Assemble as you would a normal taco salad. Adding your lettuce, ground beef, cheese, tomatoes and whatever additional toppings of your choosing. Drizzle the top of each salad with the salsa dressing. Enjoy!

Note-I made a simple salsa dressing by combining the salsa and sour cream together and drizzled it on top of each mini taco bowl. Enjoy!

For more information about the Copps, Metro Market and Pick ’n Save and Produce for Kids campaign, visit The site offers more than 200 registered dietitian-approved and family-tested recipes, meal planning tools, grocery store specific campaign details, and healthy tips from real parents

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Creamy Chicken Fajita Wraps

Not sure what's up with  me but I'm all about the wraps lately and these Creamy Chicken Fajita Wraps are a favorite of mine! You can't go wrong with spicy, cheesy, chicken goodness! A great light and refreshing dinner!

Creamy Chicken Fajita Wraps
Makes 4 Wraps
WW PP=12
Cal 460, Carbs 48, Fat 14, Fiber 4, Protein 37

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken cut into pieces
1 pkg. fajita seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
juice of one lime

Sprinkle with fajita seasoning.  Add oil to a large skillet.

Sauté chicken and veggies over medium high heat until no longer pink and veggies are softened. Spritz with lime juice. Stir in sour cream and sprinkle cheese over chicken. Once melted evenly spoon chicken mixture into tortillas. Fold bottom third of tortilla over filling, fold sides toward center. Tightly roll up to secure filling. Cut in half and enjoy!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Skinny Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese

Today on the blog I'm posting an oldie but a goodie! If you love a good mac and cheese but don't love all the fat and calories then you have to give this version a try! This is my go to mac and cheese recipe when I need a fix!

Skinny Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
Cal 283, Fat 7.8, Carbs 38.3, Fiber 4.1g, Protein 14.1g

10 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked al dente (I used Ronzoni)
3/4 cup skim milk
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled (I used center cut)
1 1/2 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar jack cheese, divided

In a small sauce pan whisk together milk, cream cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Once smooth slowly stir in one cup of cheese until melted. Add in the diced jalapeno and crumbled bacon. Combine mixture with cooked macaroni. Pour into a lightly sprayed baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Enjoy!
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