Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cheesy Pizza Baked Gnocchi

Funny, but this is the first time I've ever had Gnocchi.....and I've been missing out! Fluffy pillowy mounds of pure deliciousness packed into every bite! Over the years I've met people who either hate gnocchi or love it. I'm one of those who loves it! Even my 5 year old gobbled it up. This recipe is super easy and super delish! You can't go wrong when you combine pizza toppings. Can't wait to add this to the meal rotation!

Cheesy Pizza Baked Gnocchi
Serves 6
Cal 310, Carbs 47.5, Fat 8.1, Fiber 2, Protein 13

2 cups of your favorite pizza or marinara sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1.5 packages gnocchi 
1.25 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 oz. pepperoni (I used reduced fat)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees 

Add a layer of sauce to a bottom of a baking dish. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook gnocchi for 5 minutes or until they are floating to the top. Drain and mix half of the gnocchi with the sauce and red pepper. Transfer to the baking dish and top with a layer of the cheeses and pepperoni. Repeat. 

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chicken Caesar Salad Pasta Toss

The only type of Chicken Caesar Pasta I've made has been in the form of a cold pasta salad. Given that it's extremely cold and windy today, I decided on trying something different and making a hot pasta instead. Boy, I am so glad that I did! This pasta was so good and easy too. I also managed to lighten it up a bit to make it healthier. A win-win in my book!

Chicken Caesar Salad Pasta Toss
Serves 6
WW PP=10
Cal 375.8, Carbs 46, Fat 10.5, Fiber 5, Protein 27.1

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced (I grilled mine)
12 oz. short pasta of your choice, cooked to just shy of al dente
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup light caesar dressing
1/2 cup croutons
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Juice of one lemon

In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the hot pasta, spinach, and lemon juice. Cover. Once spinach is cooked, stir in the Caesar dressing. Toss in the chicken, croutons, and grated cheese. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spicy Beef Tacos

It's Taco Tuesday in our house and I am going pretty traditional with the tacos this week. A touch of spice is the only thing that makes these taco a touch different. And in my house...spice is king! We love spicy foods and the spicier the better!

Spicy Beef Tacos
Makes 10 Tacos
Cal 124, Carbs 11.2, Fat 4, Fiber 1, Protein 10.2

16 oz. lean ground beef
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon Sriracha powder
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of salt
10 soft corn tortillas
Any additional taco toppings of your choice

Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium-high heat, drain and return to pan. Add water, chili powder, cumin, sriracha powder, cayenne pepper and salt to beef mixture. Stir, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon meat mixture in tacos and top with remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Chili

I love a good piping bowl of Chili and I love mixing things up when it comes to how I make this tasty food. Today I decided on a White Chicken Chili. I also find that Chili tastes best when made in the Slow Cooker. The longer it simmers, the better, in my opinion. This recipe is healthy, easy, and only 6 ingredients!

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Chili
Serves 4
Cal 245, Carbs 23, Fat 5.5, Fiber 5.2, Protein 25.7

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
2 cans green chili enchilada sauce
1 can great northern beans, rinsed
1/4 cup picked jalapenos
Any additional toppings of your choice

Arrange chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Season with garlic and chili powder. Add in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours.

Before serving remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Return back to the slow cooker. Stir, and serve with any other toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Pork Chops

Happy Sunday! We had great weather this past weekend and it was so nice to be able to use the grill to make one of our absolute favorites! There is something about bacon and BBQ that go so well together. An incredible flavor combo and oh so yummy!

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Pork Chops
Cal 207, Carbs 6g, Fat 8g, Protein 24g

4 5oz. boneless pork loin chops
8 slices center cut bacon
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce (I used Stubbs)
1/4 cup bbq seasoning rub (I like McCormicks)

Dry the chops with paper towels and season with BBQ rub. Wrap two strips of bacon around each one. Grill for 6-7 minutes over medium high heat. Baste with sauce and flip chops. Continue cooking for 5-6 minutes or until desired doneness. Baste with more sauce and serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Creamy Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

By now you must be thinking...another crock pot recipe? Yes, I'm obsessed with the crock pot this month and have been whipping up a bunch of different recipes, like this Creamy Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta. It's creamy, cheesy, and spicy. Top it on a bed of pasta and it's cheesy heaven!

Creamy Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Serves 6
Cal 305, Carbs 43.5, Fat 4.3, Fiber 2, Protein 36.2

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry ranch seasoning
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded american cheese blend (I used Kraft)
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Franks)
12 oz. pasta of your choice (I used bowtie)

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Season with garlic and ranch seasoning. Cover and cook on low 4 hours. About 30 minutes before serving combine sour cream, cheese, and wing sauce. Pour over chicken and continue cooking.

Serve over hot cooked pasta. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Crock Pot Honey Lime Sriracha Chicken

Given my love for Sriracha, I can't believe this is the first time I making this dish. Combining Honey and Sriracha together makes for an incredibly delicious meal! I also knew this would become one my the hubs new favorite dinners given his obsession with Sriracha. The perfect weeknight meal!

Crock Pot Honey Lime Sriracha Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 132, Carbs 11.2, Fat 1, Protein 22.5

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used tenderloins)
1/8 cup honey
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp. sriracha (you can adjust this based on your spice level)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
Juice of one lime

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot.

In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 4 hours. Break chicken into pieces and top over hot cooked rice. Serve with additional lime wedges. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Southwest Taco Bake

I'm mixing things up for Taco Tuesday tonight with this Southwest Taco Bake. It's easy, cheesy, and so good! Best of all it's ww friendly! My kind of meal on a cold and snowy Tuesday!

Southwest Taco Bake
Serves 6
Cal 241, Carbs 11.5, Fat 9.8, Fiber .5, Protein 24.1

1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I used 96/4)
4 tsp. taco seasoning
1 can rotel, undrained
1/2 cup southwest corn and pepper blend
1.5 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup baked tortilla chips (I used scoops)
1 tomato, chopped

Pre-Heat Oven to 375.

Brown meat in a large pan over medium high heat. Add in the taco seasoning, rotel, and corn.

Add a layer of meat to a casserole dish. Next top with some of the cheese, and then tortilla chips. Repeat finishing with a layer of cheese on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Top with chopped tomatoes and any other of your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Crock Pot Mozzarella Chicken

I'm all about the crock pot lately, as if you haven't noticed! There is something I love about using the crock pot to whip up a hearty meal when it's cold outside. This Crock Pot Mozzarella Chicken is one of those type of meals. It's easy, cheesy, delicious, healthy, and hearty!

Crock Pot Mozzarella Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 200.5, Carbs 4.1, Fat 6, Fiber 1, Protein 28

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg good seasons italian dressing
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 can italian style diced tomtatoes
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Add all ingredients, except for cheese into the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. About 15 minutes before serving top each chicken breast with cheese.

Serve over rice or pasta. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sugar Cookie Bars

Happy Valentines Day! I decided to make one of my favorite cookies today to share with my sweeties. I love sugar cookies but was looking for an easier way to make them. These sugar cookie bars were the perfect recipe. They were pretty simple to make and didn't take much time to prepare at all. Most importantly, they were delicious!

Sugar Cookie Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a rimmed 10 x 15-inch (or 9×9-inch brownie pan) with parchment paper; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda, mixing well.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet (or brownie pan).

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (They should be light golden brown). Let cool completely.

My Simple Frosting Recipe

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine ingredients and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread frosting over bars and decorate.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken Chili

This has probably got to be one of the simplest Chicken Chili recipes I have ever made. I was certainly happy about that because my day was non stop busy. It was so nice to come home and not have to do anything except spoon the chili into bowls and add a little shredded cheese and sour cream. My kind of meal!

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken Chili
Serves 4
Cal 170, Carbs 14.7, Fat .5g, Fiber 2g, Protein 24.7

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken (I used tenderloins)
1 pkg. Lawrys Southwest Chicken Seasoning
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup fat free low sodium black beans, drained
1 cup corn
shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips for topping

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Add the beans, corn, and diced tomatoes.

In a small bowl mix together seasoning mix and tomato sauce. Pour over chicken mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. About 10 minutes before serving break apart chicken. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips or any other toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Honey Teriyaki Baked Salmon

This tasty recipe makes the perfect meal for those who are observing Lent or for people who just enjoy seafood. Easy to prepare and healthy. My kind of meal!

Honey Teriyaki Baked 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
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, sliced

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

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Top with sliced onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Tacos

I've been wanting to make enchiladas for a while but I wanted to create a less time consuming version. So, instead of traditional enchiladas I decided on chicken enchilada tacos. Super easy to prepare and best of all...the crock pot does all the cooking! You get all the flavors of a chicken enchilada in taco form. They were a hit!

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Tacos
Makes 10 Tacos
Cal 102, Carbs 13.3, Fat 2, Fiber 1, Protein 9.6

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can rotel, drained
10 white corn tortillas (I used mission brand)
shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream etc for toppings

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Season with chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Add in the enchilada sauce and rotel. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken and spoon into tortillas. Add any additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Crock Pot Pizza Supreme Soup

I'm all about the soups lately, and this one is no exception. You can't go wrong combining all of your favorite pizza toppings into a delicious soup! This is a great meal when you are craving pizza, but not all the calories. It is delish!

Crock Pot Pizza Supreme Soup
Serves 6
Cal 316, Carbs 36.8, Fat 9.8, Fiber 6, Protein 20.8

4 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cups pizza sauce
2 cups chopped peppers and onions (I used the frozen already sliced veggies)
1 oz. pepperoni, chopped
12 oz. Italian chicken sausage, sliced (I used Johnsonville)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat egg noodles)

Combine all ingredients, except for sausage, pepperoni, pasta, and cheese into the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. About 30 minutes before serving add in the sausage, pepperoni, pasta, and cheese. Continue cooking until pasta is al dente. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Spinach Bacon Cheese Dip

When it comes to appetizers, you can't go wrong with this one! Easy and delicious serve this dip up at your next party or picnic and it is sure to be a hit!

Crock Pot Spinach Bacon Cheese Dip

10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 oz Velveeta
1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz cream cheese, cubed ( I used light)
1 can Rotel, undrained
8 slices crisply cooked and crumbled bacon

Toss all ingredients into your crock pot. *If you don't want to use a crock pot you can microwave until combined.* Cook on high for 45 minutes or until well combined and warm.

Serve with tortilla chips, veggies or any crackers of your choice. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Loaded Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

Happy Saturday! In honor of Super Bowl I am sharing one of my all time favorite appetizer recipes with you. These Loaded Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins are super easy, healthy, and a fun twist on the traditional potato skin. They are delish!

Loaded Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins
Inspired by Skinnytaste Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

Makes 12 potato skins
3ww pp per skin
Cal 137, Carbs 7g, Fiber 1g, Fat 5.7g, Protein 13.5

6 medium baking potatoes
13oz Swanson all white meat chicken in water, drained (about a can and a half)
6 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Franks buffalo sauce
12 tbsp crumbled bacon
12 tbsp light sour cream
4 oz julienned carrots
chopped green onions

Scrub potatoes, pierce with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven. Bake for 90 minutes.

 Let cool and the cut each potato horizontally and scoop out the inside. Place the skins inside a 9x13 baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine chicken and buffalo sauce. Add about 2 tbsp of chicken into each potato skin. Top with a tablespoon of cheese and a tablespoon of bacon. Bake 7-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add 1 tbsp of light sour cream, carrots, and green onion. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

BBQ Chicken Ranch Lasagna Roll Ups

One of the things I love about cooking is when I am able to create a fun twist on a traditional recipe. These lasagna roll ups began as chicken bacon ranch roll ups but they were too many calories and I would have to cut down on a lot of the ingredients to make them more weight watcher friendly. So, I decided on BBQ Chicken Ranch Lasagna roll ups instead. We all love BBQ chicken so why not use it as a filling for lasagna? Let me tell you.....this dish turned out great and was so full of flavor and very satisfying. This one is a keeper! Makes 10 rolls

BBQ Chicken Ranch Lasagna Roll Ups
Makes 10
Cal 177, Fat 3g, Carbs 26.2g, Fiber 1g, Protein 10.3g

10 lasagna noodles
2 cup cooked and shredded chicken
3/4 cup BBQ Sauce, divided
3 tbsp ranch dressing (I used lite)
1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese (I used reduced fat)
1/2 shredded white cheddar cheese (I used Cabot light)
1/2 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes
Green Onions, chopped

Cook noodles to al dente, drain.

Combine cooked chicken, half of the BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, tomatoes, and white cheddar.
In a baking dish evenly spread chicken mixture on each noodle to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up and place seam side down. Top each roll with remaining BBQ sauce.

Cover and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Top with chopped green onions. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Crock Pot Chipotle Lime Chicken Wraps

I love the smoky spicy flavor of Chipotle Peppers and when you combine them with a little lime juice and you've got a flavor explosion! I had originally planned on grilling the chicken but Mother Nature was not cooperating and I was not about to go and grill in the cold rain. So, I decided to use my crock pot instead. What a simple, easy, and delicious meal!

Crock Pot Chipotle Lime Chicken Wraps
Makes 4 Wraps
Cal 293, Carbs 33, Fat 8, Fiber 4, Protein 31

16 oz boneless skinless chicken 
4 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Juice of one lime
4 12 inch flour tortillas
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Arrange chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Season with salt and chili powder. Add in the chipotle peppers and lime juice. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours. Shred chicken and remove from crock pot.

Build the wraps by laying shredded cheese on the bottom of tortilla, and then arranging the chicken mixture. Top with a little more grated cheese and roll up.

Serve with sour cream or salsa if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Burrito Soup

It's cold, windy, and rainy here in Chicagoland today. Although, we luckily escaped the Blizzard so I'm not complaining. But weather like this does put me in the mood for a piping hot bowl of soup. I made a very similar recipe back in the fall and it was a hit with the family. This time around I wanted to add a little extra creaminess to the soup. I'm so glad I did!

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Burrito Soup
Serves 4
Cal 368, Carbs 25.5, Fat 10.7, Fiber 1.5, Protein 40

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
2 tbsp. taco seasoning
4 cups fat free chicken broth
2 oz. cream cheese
1 can rotel, undrained
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 cups cooked rice
Tortilla Chips, Sour Cream, Diced Tomatoes, etc. for toppings

Arrange chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken. Pour in chicken broth, and rotel. Cover and cook on low 6 hours.

Remove chicken shred and return to slow cooker. Stir in cheeses.  Once melted spoon over hot cooked rice and top with tortilla chips and any other ingredients of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Caribbean Jerk Pork Chops

It's finally starting to thaw out around here which means it's time for me to break out the grill! It's been so long since we've used it I couldn't wait to make these Caribbean Jerk Pork Chops. They are a great combination of sweet and spicy. A family favorite!

Caribbean Jerk Pork Chops
Serves 4
WW PP=10 (2 chops plus one serving pineapple)
Cal 395, Carbs 8, Fat 18, Protein 44

8 boneless loin pork chops
1/2 cup Lawrys Caribbean Jerk Marinade
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup pineapple tidbits

Season pork chops with salt and garlic powder.

In a large Ziploc bag add chops and 1/2 cup of marinade. Seal and place in fridge for at least one hour but the longer the better.

Discard any leftover marinade and grill chops over medium high heat 6-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Top with pineapple tidbits. Enjoy!
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