Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Creamy Lemon Garlic Fettuccine

I know winter just began, but I am already craving sunny days and warmer weather.
Even though it's not warm outside, I can pretend it is by making one of my favorite spring/summer dishes. I love Lemon Pasta. It's so creamy and refreshing and isn't loaded in calories like you find in a traditional fettuccine dish. It's a hit with the whole family!

Creamy Lemon Garlic Fettuccine
Serves 8
Cal 272, Carbs 43.2, Fat 5.7, Fiber 2, Protein 11

16 oz. fettuccine pasta
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
chopped parsley

Cook fettuccine to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile saute garlic in olive oil for about one minute. Add in cream cheese and half and half. Whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in lemon juice and lemon zest. Let simmer 1-2 minutes. Toss fettuccine with lemon sauce and top with grate parmesan and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Crock Pot Queso Chicken

I'm obsessed with my new crock pot that I got for Christmas so I figured now is the time to break it in with this easy and delicious Chicken recipe! If you love cheese, chicken, and spice then you are going to love this dish!

Crock Pot Queso Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 226, Carbs 9.2, Fat 8.2, Protein 30

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp. taco seasoning
1 can petitie dice tomatoes, undrained
1 can chopped green chiles
1 cup shredded American cheese or Four Cheese Blend (I like Kraft)

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Top with remaining ingredients except for cheese. Cover and cook on low 4 hours. About 20 minutes before serving stir in the cheese. Once melted serve over rice and enjoy!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We did, and I am still exhausted. We have a ton of leftover ham in the fridge that I wanted to use up and this Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake was the perfect meal for it! Such a simple recipe but oh, so good! It is the prefect cold weather comfort food!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake
Serves 6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cooked diced ham
1 cup 98 percent fat free cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup fat free milk
4 slices swiss cheese (I used sargento ultra thin swiss)
2 cups dried herb stuffing mix

Spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl mix together soup and milk.

 Pour half of the soup mixture over the chicken. 

Cover with swiss cheese and ham.

Pour the remaining soup over the chicken, cheese, and ham. Sprinkle the stuffing on top.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese

I love love love mac and cheese. It's one of my favorite foods but unfortunately, my hips don't feel the same way! I do indulge every once in a while but it's a rarity. I've been craving mac and cheese like crazy lately so I decided to create my own lower cal/fat version. Toss in some spicy chicken for protein and you've got a delicious dinner!

Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese
Serves 8
Cal 250, Carbs 36.1g, Fat 4.7g, Fiber 5.2g, Protein 16.6g

1 box elbow macaroni (I used Barilla Whole Grain)
2 4oz. chicken breasts cooked, chopped, and seasoned with 1 tsp. Cajun Seasoning
3 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese
3/4 cup fat free milk
1 1/4 cup shredded reduced fat american cheese blend (I like Kraft)
2 tsp. Cajun Seasoning, divded
1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped

Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While Pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt cream cheese and milk. Whisk until smooth. Add in Cajun seasoning and shredded cheese. Once cheese is melted add in the jalapeno and cooked chicken. Stir and toss in the cooked macaroni. Serve immediately. Top with additional chopped jalapeno if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Orange Sesame Crock Pot Chicken

I'm all about the Crock Pot meals these past few weeks. It's such a time saver during a busy day when you don't have time to cook. This Orange Sesame Crock Pot Chicken is one of my absolute favorites. Easy, Healthy, and Delicious!

Orange Sesame Crock Pot Chicken
Serves 4
WW Points Plus=4 (without rice)
Cal 172, Fat 2.5g, Carbs 9.5, Fiber 0, Protein 26g

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken
2 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
4 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame seeds
3 green onions, sliced

Place chicken in crock pot.

In a mixing bowl add all ingredients except cornstarch and sesame seeds. Whisk until well blended and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and add cornstarch to the sauce. Whisk and place chicken back in slow cooker and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes. Remove chicken cut into chunks and serve over hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Is it really December 21st already?! How is it that Christmas has snuck up on me this year? It's really hard to believe that Christmas is on Friday! Since I know we will be having all the traditional Holiday favorites later this week, I decided to mix things up for tonight's dinner. This Chicken Enchilada Pasta incorporates all of my favorites but in a pasta. Delish!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta
Serves 6
WW PP=10
Cal 342, Carbs 49.6, Fat 9.6, Fiber 5, Protein 26.6

1 12 oz. box penne pasta, cooked to al dente (I used Ronzoni)
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can diced green chiles
2 tsp. taco seasoning
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1.25 cups reduced fat shredded cheese of your choice (I used Colby/jack)

In a large sauce pan combine shredded chicken, taco seasoning, green chiles, and enchilada sauces. Simmer for 10 minutes. Slowly stir in shredded cheese. Once melted reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream. Pour over the hot cooked pasta. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pizza Tortellini Bake

This dish is an oldie but a goodie! I needed something quick and easy for dinner tonight and this was it! It's a family favorite and oh so yummy!

Pizza Tortellini Bake
Serves 6
WW PP=10
Cal 401, Carbs 50.1, Fat 12.6, Fiber 6, Protein 22.8

1 pkg refrigerated tortellini (I like Buitoni Spinach and Cheese)
1 jar pasta sauce (I used Barilla Arrabbiata-we like it spicy!)
1 1/4 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz. sliced pepperoni
1 tsp. garlic powder
any other additional toppings of your choice (I used olives)

Cook tortellini to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Spread a small amount of pasta sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Evenly spread half of the cooked tortellini along the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the pasta sauce on top of the tortellini and evenly sprinkle on half the Parmesan cheese. Top with some of the pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Repeat.

Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cheesy Chicken Crock Pot Chili

I used to make Chili ALL the time, especially way back in my single days. It was so easy and versatile. Fast forward a few years and once married I made Chili at least once a week. My husband easily got burnt out on the stuff so Chili once a week turned into Chili once a month and then once every couple of months. You get the idea. Anyhoo, since it's been months since we last had Chili of any type I decided on this Cheesy Chicken Chili. It can be made on the stovetop or Crock Pot and it is absolutely delicious!

Cheesy Chicken Crock Pot Chili
Serves 4
Cal 338, Carbs 29.7, Fat 9.5, Fiber 6, Protein 32.7

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg hidden valley fiesta dry ranch seasoning
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 can rotel, undrained
1 can great white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1 cup shredded American cheese

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle with ranch seasoning. Add in remaining ingredients except for cheese. Cover and cook on low 3 hours. Break chicken into piece and stir in cheese. Continue cooking another 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite chili toppings. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Four Ingredient Peppermint Bark

As much as I enjoy sweets, I never make much of them. I'm not much of a baker. Funny, I know considering I have a cooking blog. I do try and make the occasional sweet treat, especially around the Holidays so this Peppermint Bark was right up my ally! No bake and only four ingredients. My kind of dessert!

Four Ingredient Peppermint Bark

1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 12 oz. bag white chocolate chips
2 tsp. peppermint extract
6 candy canes, crushed

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

Place chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler and stir frequently until chocolate is melted. Stir in 1 tsp. of peppermint extract. (If you don't have a double boiler you can place the chocolate in a bowl and lay it on top of a saucepan filled with boiling water)

Pour melted chocolate onto the baking sheet. Repeat using the white chocolate. And top with crushed candy canes.

Place in fridge for 1-2 hours or until set. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken Gyros

Most know I am obsessed with Crock Pot recipes and this is one of my favorites! I love the combination of lemon and garlic and since my husband has been requesting that I make chicken gyros I figured I would combine the two and make Lemon Garlic Chicken Gyros. Oh my word...these were SO good! I topped these delicious gyros with a homemade lemon tzatki sauce. It was heaven!

Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken Gyros
Serves 4
WW PP=6 (1 Gyro with 2 tbsp. sauce)
Cal 270, Carbs 13, Fat 3, Fiber 2, Protein 40

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup lemon seasoning blend (I like Mrs. Dash)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp. oregano
4 pita breads
sliced tomato 
sliced red onion

In a small bowl mix garlic, lemon seasoning, and oregano. Add chicken to the crock pot and coat with seasoning mixture. Pour in the lemon juice. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

About 10 minutes before serving, heat pita bread folds as directed on package. Meanwhile, remove chicken from cooker and break into chunks. Spoon chicken onto warm pita breads. Top with tomato, red onion and tzatki sauce. Fold pita breads in half to serve. Enjoy!

For The Tzatki Sauce
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 clove minced garlic

Combine all ingredients and let chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Bacon Pierogi Bake

This simple yet delicious recipe was a hit with my family. To be honest, I hadn't even tried a Pierogi until about 4 years ago! I was clearly missing out. It was delicious! I like to call it a "Polish" Ravioli. This Pierogi Bake consists of cheese, bacon, and of course Pierogis. It was fantastic!

Bacon Pierogi Bake
Slightly Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 4
Cal 273, Carbs 33.7, Fat 10.7, Fiber 2, Protein 12

1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T's)
Cooking spray
4 slices pre-cooked bacon
1 tsp. garlic powder   
3 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese   
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped seeded plum tomato

Arrange the pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to a medium saucepan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Season with garlic powder. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Top evenly with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, and tomato. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Loaded Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken Bake

This Casserole is a Family Favorite. You can't go wrong with Buffalo Chicken, Cheese, Potatoes, and Bacon! Easy, Hearty, and Delish!

Loaded Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken BakeServes 8
Cal 213, Carbs 20.2, Fat 5.8 Fiber 2, Protein 20.6

16 oz. chicken tenderloins cut into chunks
3 large russet potatoes cut into cubes
3 tsp. dry ranch seasoning
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled bacon or bacon bits
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup reduced fat crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/3 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce, divided
3 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 475.

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, dry ranch seasoning, cubed potatoes, and 3 tbsp. buffalo wing sauce. Combine well.  Transfer potatoes to a 13x9 greased baking dish.

Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through, until tender and golden brown.

Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 425.

Top the cooked potatoes with the chicken. Add remaining buffalo wing sauce and top chicken with bacon and cheeses.

Return to the oven and bake for  about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Top with sliced green onions and serve with sour cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Crock Pot Chipotle Shredded Beef Tacos

Instead of Taco Tuesday we are making tonight Taco Wednesday! I make tacos in my crock pot often and this is one of my favorite recipes. Perfect for a busy weeknight and since we love things spicy in my house the Chipotle Peppers give it the perfect smoky/spicy kick!

Crock Pot Chipotle Shredded Beef Tacos
Makes 10 tacos
Cal 153, Fat 8g, Carbs 10.7g, Fiber 2g, Protein 9.3g

1-2lb boneless chuck roast (Mine was 1.5lbs)
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 cup fat free beef broth
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
10 yellow corn tortillas
Shredded cheese and any other toppings of your choice

Spray the bottom of your crock pot with cooking spray. Season the meat with chili powder, garlic, and cumin. Add meat to your crock pot add pour in your beef broth and top with chipotle peppers. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat is tender. Shred with a fork and spoon into taco shells. Top with cheese and an additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Crock Pot Loaded Potato and Chicken Soup

Today is definitely a soup for dinner kind of day! I wanted to make a hearty soup and this Crock Pot Loaded Potato and Chicken Soup was it! This combines one of my all time favorite casseroles into a thick, rich, and hearty soup. Perfect cold weather comfort food!

Crock Pot Loaded Potato and Chicken Soup
Cal 226, Carbs 21.5, Fat 9.7, Fiber 2, Protein 14.8

1 pkg. shredded hashbrowns (I used Oreida)
1 large chicken breast (mine was 6 oz.)
6 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1.75 cups reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
6 slices center cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
3 green onions, sliced

Place hashbrowns, chicken, and chicken broth in crock pot. Season with salt and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Cover cook on low 6 hours. About 30 minutes before serving add your cheeses. Continue cooking until cheeses are melted. Right before serving stir in the bacon.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with sliced green onions and any other ingredients of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Crispy Baked Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Most who follow my blog know that I am obsessed with all things spicy. Luckily, my husband is too and one of his favorite spicy foods are Jalapenos so I knew this chicken would be a hit with him....and it was! A fun way to jazz up ordinary chicken breasts. Serve alongside rice and dinner is served!

Crispy Baked Jalapeno Popper Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 277, Carbs 12.2, Fat 13, Protein 31.7

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (mine were 5 oz)
3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
2 oz. reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 4 cubes
3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
1 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400

Place an ovenproof rack onto a rimmed baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and jalapeƱos.

Cut a small pocket into the side of each chicken breast, and evenly stuff with the cream cheese mixture and cheddar cheese.

Dip chicken pieces into the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat the chicken completely. Place each piece of chicken on baking rack and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

One Pot Skillet Cheesy Penne

Who doesn't love one pot meals? Minimal clean up and super easy. These type of recipes are great! I was in the mood for lasagna tonight but certainly wasn't in the mood to make it, so I settled on what I guess you could call my "lazy" version. Cheesy, meaty, pasta goodness all in one pot. Yes, please!

One Pot Skillet Cheesy Penne
Serves 6

12 oz. penne pasta
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups water
2 cups marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan brown the ground beef, drain and add in the dry seasonings. Pour in sauce, water, and pasta. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Top with mozzarella and shredded parmesan. Place in broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken Caesar Club Sandwiches

Hard to believe I've been food blogging for almost four years! Time flies when you are having fun. These Crock Pot Chicken Caesar Sandwiches were one of the first recipes that I posted on my blog. I remember being so excited to incorporate one of my all time favorite salads into a sandwich. This time around I've mixed it up a touch but they are still a hit with the family!

Crock Pot Chicken Caesar Club Sandwiches
Makes 4 Sandwiches
WW PP=10
Cal 390, Carbs 31.5, Fat 15.5, Fiber 1, Protein 32.7

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Caesar dressing. (I used Ken's light)
1/4 Cup shredded five cheese Italian Blend
1 tbsp. grated parmesan
1 teaspoon black pepper
Romaine Lettuce (I used baby spinach)
8 slices center cut bacon
1 tomato, sliced
Rolls of your choice (we used pretzel)

Arrange chicken breasts in crock pot. Cook 3-4 hours on low or 2-3 on high.

Shred chicken and return to slow cooker. Add dressing, cheese, and black pepper. Cook
an additional 15 minutes.

Remove chicken mixture and spoon onto rolls top with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sriracha Chicken Quesadillas

For as much as I love Tex Mex cuisine, I never make Quesadillas. I always feel like assembling them seems more hassle than it's worth. In the past my attempts at making them were challenging with the filling falling out of the tortilla or one side getting burnt. It's not that hard to make a quesadilla, but apparently it is for me! I decided to give it another shot after finding this amazing Sriracha Quesadilla Recipe while browsing pinterest. Yeah, baby! Cheesy, Spicy, Chicken goodness. What's not to love? They turned out great and were delish!

Sriracha Chicken Quesadillas
Heavily Adapted from All Recipes
Makes 8 wedges
WW PP=4 (per wedge)
Cal 169, Carbs 9.7, Fat 6.1, Fiber 1, Protein 16.3

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/3 cup Sriracha
2 tablespoons sour cream
1.5 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar jack
4 Fajita Size flour tortillas

 In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, Sriracha, sour cream, and cheese.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and over medium heat lay a flour tortilla down in the skillet. Spoon ¼ of the chicken/cheese mixture on half of the tortilla in the skillet then fold the tortilla in half. Cook until the underside is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Carefully flip the quesadilla and cook until both sides are lightly browned and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes more.

Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas. To serve, cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with sour cream, for dipping, and garnish with cilantro leaves and Sriracha, if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Baked French Onion Chicken

I'm mixing things up for dinner tonight. I love testing out a new recipe and this one was a hit with the family. This dish incorporates all the flavors of one of my favorites (baked French onion soup) but with a chicken twist. It's easy and so yummy!

Baked French Onion Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 278, Carbs 13.2, Fat 13.5, Protein 121

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 can French onion soup
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup garlic croutons

Pre-Heat Oven to 375.

Arrange chicken in bottom of a casserole dish and season with garlic powder. Pour soup over chicken.

Cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with shredded swiss and croutons. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy! Yum
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