Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Root Beer Baby Back Ribs

Nothing says summer like firing up the grill and today was the prefect today to use it! I love the combination of Root Beer and Pork so making Root Beer BBQ Ribs was a no brainer! Fall off the bone tender and absolutely delicious!

Root Beer Baby Back Ribs

2 full racks/slabs (about 4 1/2 pounds) baby back pork ribs
1 cup Root Beer
1/4 cup Sweet and Spicy Rub
2 cups of your favorite BBQ Sauce ( We like Sweet Baby Rays Original Sauce)

 For the rub
 1 tablespoon paprika
 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
 1 tablespoon chili powder
 1/3 cup brown sugar
 2 tablespoons kosher salt
 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 1 teaspoon black pepper
 1 teaspoon white pepper

Coat ribs with rub mixture. (We put ours on 3 hours before cooking) Set gas grill to medium-high and allow to heat for 10 minutes.

While grill is heating make your sauce by whisking together bbq sauce and root beer. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes stirring often until thick and bubbly.

Cut each slab of ribs in half and place them on the grill, flesh side down, close the lid and decrease the heat to medium.Cook for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Flip again and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes per side or until each rib has a nice char and the meat is starting to pull back from the bone.

Remove the ribs from the grill onto a cutting board. and cut into 2 rib portions. Add the ribs and half the sauce to a large serving bowl and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve the remaining sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grilled Chicken Fajita Burritos

Finally, some warm weather in Chicagoland! Warm weather=grilling weather in my house and instead of the traditional burrito we opted for this tasty version. Delicious and easy!

Grilled Chicken Fajita Burritos
Serves 4
WW PP=11
Cal 471, Carbs 44, Fat 14, Fiber 4, Protein 31

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 large flour tortillas
2 tbsp. fajita seasoning
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup brown rice
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
4 tbsp. sour cream

In a large Ziploc bag combine chicken breasts and one tbsp. fajita seasoning. Shake until combined. Grill chicken over medium high heat 6-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Remove from grill and slice.

While chicken in cooking combine veggies and remaining fajita seasoning. Place in medium pan and saute over medium heat until tender crisp.

To assemble burritos place each sliced chicken breast onto flour tortilla. Evenly top with veggies, 1/4 cup rice, 1/4 cup cheese, and one tbsp. sour cream. Fold and roll. Slice in half and enjoy!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Smothered Pesto Chicken

I have an obsession with Pesto. It's so good and I put it on just about everything! This Smothered Pesto Chicken is easy and only five ingredients. You can't go wrong with cheese and chicken!

Smothered Pesto Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 226, Carbs 4, Fat 14, Fiber 1, Protein 24

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 tsp. garlic powder
One large tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Season chicken with garlic powder. Spread one tbsp. pesto over each chicken breast. Layer sliced tomatoes on top. Top with shredded mozzarella. Bake at 400. 30-35 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. Top with shredded basil, if desired. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cheesy French Dip Sandwiches

I love a good French Dip Sandwich and this particular recipe is so incredibly easy that it makes the perfect weeknight dinner! Only four ingredients and dinner is ready!

Cheesy French Dip Sandwiches
Serves 4
WW PP=10
Cal 385, Carbs 35, Fat 12, Protein 30

4 onion rolls
1 lb. thinly sliced deli roast beef
2 cups low sodium beef broth
4 slices cheese of your choice (I used White Cheddar)
Horseradish Spread (optional but I love it)

In a large saucepan heat beef broth. Add in the roast beef and cook until hot.

Spread inside of each roll with horseradish. Evenly divide roast beef between the four rolls.Top each roll with a piece of cheese and place in broiler for 1-2 minutes or until melted and bubbly.

Serve with a side of broth for dipping. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken French Bread Pizza

What do you make for dinner when you haven't been to the grocery store and are in a total recipe rut? I don't know about you, but in my house it's French Bread Pizzas! I had a loaf of Ciabatta bread in the freezer and since I didn't have many ingredients on hand for traditional French bread Pizza I decided on Buffalo Chicken Pizzas instead. Easy, delicious, and the perfect meal for a busy weeknight!

Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken French Bread Pizza

1 loaf French bread, cut in half lengthwise
2 large chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce (I love Franks)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 green onions, sliced

Pre-Heat Oven to 400

In a small bowl combine chicken, wing sauce, and garlic powder.

Place bread on a baking sheet. Spread ranch dressing evenly on each side of bread. Top with chicken and cheeses.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Top with sliced green onions and additional wing sauce, if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Crock Pot Kung Pao Chicken

If you like spice then this recipe is definitely for you! Healthy, but packed with flavor and a spicy kick! A great alternative to take out. Add this dish onto your meal rotation and see for yourself how good it is!

Crock Pot Kung Pao Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 125, Carbs 4, Fat 2, Protein 22

1lb. Chicken Tenderloins
2 tsp. chili garlic paste
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 green onions, sliced

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot.

In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients except for green onions. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.

Break chicken into chunks and serve over hot cooked rice. Top with sliced green onions and extra red pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chipotle Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls

I love love love Chipotle and this is one of our favorite chipotle inspired recipes. It's pretty simple and so addicting! It was one of the first meals I wanted to recreate at home. I cooked my meat in the crock pot but you can also cook it over the stove but I find the meat is more tender in the crock pot. Either way it will be a hit!

Chipotle Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls
Serves 8
WW PP=8 (1 serving beef +1 cup cooked rice)
Cal 305, Carbs 38.5g, Fat 7g, Fiber 2.1g, Protein 25.1g

3lb chuck roast
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, cut into chunks
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup water
8 cups brown rice
Additional toppings of your choice

Cut roast into chunks and place in the bottom of your crock pot. Add remaining ingredients to the pot.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
Remove beef and shred with two forks. Assemble burrito bowls with toppings of your choice. We used brown rice, shredded Monterrey jack cheese, black beans, tomatoes, light sour cream, and cilantro. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Skillet Chicken

Who doesn't love a one pot meal! I know I do, and I love this recipe because not is it only easy, but only four ingredients! You can't go wrong with this recipe!

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Skillet Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 191, Carbs 11, Fat 7, Fiber 1, Protein 22

16 oz. chicken breasts (I used boneless chicken tenderloins)
1 cup sun dried tomato pesto
2 tsp. garlic powder
5 tbsp. fat free half/half

In a large non stick skillet over medium high heat season chicken with garlic powder and sauté until brown and juices run clear. Remove chicken from pan and add in the pesto and cream. Whisk until combined and heat until bubbly. Place chicken back in pan and simmer five minutes. Garnish with shredded basil and top with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve over pasta or rice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Spicy Garlic Chicken Wraps

I love a good wrap and these Spicy Garlic Chicken Wraps are one of my favorites! They are super easy so they make the perfect weeknight meal and of course anything spicy is a hit in my book!

Spicy Garlic Chicken Wraps
Makes 4 Wraps
Cal 268, Carbs 19, Fat 8, Fiber 12, Protein 36

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3/4 cup franks hot sauce
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
4 slices cheese of your choice (I used reduced swiss)
8 slices tomato
shredded lettuce
4 Large Tortilla of your choice (I used a low carb high fiber wrap)

In a large bowl whisk hot sauce, garlic powder, and vinegar.

Toss cooked chicken in wing sauce.

To Assemble: Arrange chicken, two slices tomato, one slice cheese, and lettuce down the center of each the tortilla. Fold bottom third of tortilla over filling, fold sides toward center. Tightly roll up to secure filling. Cut in half and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ranch Chicken Taco Salad

Funny how I'm choosing to have a salad when it's cold and rainy outside. Oh well. I'm always making tacos and wanted to mix things up for dinner tonight. My whole family loves anything with ranch so I knew this Ranch Chicken Taco Salad would be a hit. I was right!

Ranch Chicken Taco Salad
Makes 10 Cups
WW PP=3 per cup
Cal 111, Carbs 4.8, Fat 5.4, Fiber 4, Protein 10.7

2 cups cooked chicken breast (I cooked mine in the slow cooker)
1 head lettuce, chopped (I used iceberg)
1 tsp. dry ranch seasoning
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 cup southwest veggies (mine had corn, poblano peppers, and black beans)
1 cup shredded 2 percent milk sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup light ranch dressing
3 green onions, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
salsa, tortilla chips, sour cream (for additional toppings if desired)

Combine dry seasonings together and sprinkle over chicken. In a large bowl combine lettuce, chicken, and remaining ingredients. Drizzle ranch over salad. Serve with any additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Honey Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowls

Happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all who celebrated! We were lucky and had gorgeous weather yesterday, but today is another story. Cold, cloudy, and overall just bleh. I wanted something hearty and comforting for dinner tonight and these Teriyaki Chicken Noodle Bowls were a hit with the family! Easy, healthy, and ready in under 30 minutes!

Honey Sesame Chicken Noodle Bowls
Serves 6
Cal 253, Carbs 44.5, Fat 2.5, Fiber 5, Protein 16

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
12 oz. pasta of your choice (I used Ronzoni thin spaghetti)
1 tsp. pure sesame oil
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
3 green onions, sliced

In a large non stick pan over high heat, brown the chicken.

While chicken is cooking, whisk together sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and garlic. Add carrots and sauce to the chicken. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened and bubbly.

Meanwhile cook noodles to al dente. Drain and toss with chicken. Top with green onions, and red pepper flakes (if desired) Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cheesy Tex-Mex Chicken

Happy Cinco De Mayo! In honor of the Holiday I'm making one of our favorite chicken dishes. This Cheesy Tex Mex Chicken is easy and ridiculously good! I like to add a little cayenne pepper for an extra spicy kick! If you like chicken, cheese, and spice...well, you will definitely enjoy this dish!

Cheesy Tex-Mex Chicken
Serves 4
WW PP=10
Cal 405, Carbs 52, Fat 6, Fiber 2, Carbs 37

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used tenderloins)
1/2 cup southwestern chipotle marinade
1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese blend
1 can Rotel
4 cups orzo pasta cooked to al dente

Pour marinade over chicken and seal in a Ziploc baggie. Marinate for 1-2 hours.

Grill chicken 8 minutes per side or until juices run clear

While the chicken is cooking, combine your rotel and cheese in a saucepan over low heat. Stirring often until cheese is melted and mixture is well combined.

Serve by placing one cup orzo on a plate, followed by some of the cheese sauce, chicken, and top with more cheese sauce. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Creamy Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese


Creamy Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese
Serves 6

12 oz. elbow noodles, cooked to al dente
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 jalapeno. diced and seeded

Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add jalapeno and cook for 3 minutes, or until softened. 

Reduce heat to medium and add cream cheese and  milk, stirring until smooth. Add cheddar and parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder. Stirring frequently until melted. Once melted stir in bacon.

Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss until combined. Garnish with extra jalapeno if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

French Onion Chicken Pasta Bake

I love Baked French Onion Soup. Oooey gooey cheese, thick crusty bread, and that tasty beef broth. It's soooo good! A few months ago I made a similar recipe but this time around I decided to add noodles to the recipe. All I can say is wow! This recipe was a hit and super easy too!

French Onion Chicken Pasta Bake
Serves 6
WW PP=10
Cal 383, Carbs 48.3, Fat 9.1, Fiber 2, Protein 30.6

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into chunks
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 can French onion soup (undiluted)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/2 cup crushed garlic croutons
4 cups egg noodles, cooked to al dente

In a large baking dish season chicken with garlic powder. Add in soup. Cook at 400 for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and stir in noodles, and croutons. Top with cheese. Continue baking another ten minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Honey Sriracha Grilled Chicken Skewers

Happy Monday! I'm taking advantage of the beautiful day and grilling chicken for dinner. This simple dish is packed with flavor and I love the sweet and spicy combination. Easy peasy!

Honey Sriracha Grilled Chicken Skewers
Makes 6 Skewers
Cal 161, Carbs 17.3, Fat 2.5, Fiber 1, Protein 17.5

20 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins (cut into chunks)
1/3 cup sriracha sauce (I used sweet baby rays)
1 tbsp. honey
Juice of one lime
2 cups pineapple chunks
Any other veggies of your choice (I like bell peppers but we had none in the house)

In a large baggie combine chicken, sriracha, lime juice, and honey. Coat well and place in fridge for at least one hour.

Thread the chicken and pineapple onto skewers.

Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Baste with additional sriracha if desired. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

I can't believe it's May 1st and I'm posting comfort food recipes because it's so cold here in chicagoland! I guess I should be used to the crazy and unpredictable weather around here but this is just crazy! I do find that cold weather and comfort food go hand in hand and this Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti is a family favorite!

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti
Heavily Adapted from Taste of Home
Serves 8
Cal 257, Fat 7.7g, Carbs 37.6g, Fiber 4g, Protein 12g

12 oz spaghetti (I used Ronzoni)
4 oz light cream cheese
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 cups Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I used reduced fat italian blend)
1 pound lean ground beef (I used extra lean ground turkey)
1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 13x9x2 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray

In a skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through; drain and stir in spaghetti sauce. Set aside.

Cook spaghetti according to directions on package. Drain and place cooked spaghetti in a pot. Add cream cheese, oregano and garlic powder. Stir until cream cheese is melted and the spaghetti is thoroughly coated.

Spread a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Add spaghetti and then top with the remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly. Enjoy!
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