Thursday, December 29, 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, December 28, 2016

Crock Pot Honey Teriyaki Chicken

This is one of my all time favorite slow cooker recipes. It's easy and so incredibly tasty and since I'm not a big fan of Asian but my husband is, we can both enjoy it and my husband can get his Asian fix! It's a win-win!

Crock Pot Honey Teriyaki Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 178, Carbs 7.2g, Fat 1.2g, Protein 32.7g

16 oz chicken tenders cut into chunks
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (I used La Choy)
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
green onions, sliced
sesame seeds, optional

In a small bowl whisk together teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.

Place cut up chicken in slow cooker. Season with salt and pour sauce mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Top with sliced green onions and serve over hot cooked rice or noodles. Enjoy!

Note-For a thicker sauce (remove cooked chicken from slow cooker and whisk together 1 tbsp. cornstarch along with 1 tbsp. water and sauce from chicken. Heat in a small sauce pan until thickened and pour over chicken)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a good Holiday weekend! It's hard to believe it's almost 2017! This year sure did fly by! Tonight I'm making a classic... Beef and Cheese Enchiladas. It's been a long time since I've made them and I figure I have a few more days to splurge before hopping back on the healthy bandwagon! Serve this tasty dish with rice or beans and dinner is served!

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas
Makes 8 enchiladas

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 19 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chiles
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
8 small flour tortillas
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Season with chil and garlic powder. Stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and the chiles.

Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly in baking dish. Spread 1/4 cup beef mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Wrap tortillas tightly around filling, placing seam side down in baking dish. 

Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Honey Sesame Noodles

Yes, I make these noodles or a variation of them a lot. This is pretty much as Asian as it gets with me. (If you even consider this asian) My hubs loves this dish and I do too. Such a simple dinner and perfect for busy weeknights!

Honey Sesame Noodles
Serves 6
12 ounces, Asian noodles cooked and drained
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Honey
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tsp Hot Chili Oil
4 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Tsp Sesame Seeds
Green Onions for Garnish

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Deep Dish Pizza Bake

Now I know this is not "traditional" deep dish pizza as I am from Chicago and I'd like to say that I know all about deep dish. Maybe I'd consider it a pizza casserole but I've been using this recipe for years as one of my simple "go to" dinners and it's called "deep dish" so whatever. It's easy, cheesy, and a family favorite around here!

Deep Dish Pizza Bake
12 oz. italian sausage ( I used italian chicken sausage)
1 jar pizza sauce (I like classico)
1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
Any other toppings of your choice (I used some reduced fat pepperoni)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown Italian Chicken sausage, stirring until browned. Add pizza sauce and garlic powder and cook until heated.

Meanwhile, unroll pizza dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of prepared baking dish.  Line bottom of pizza crust with one cup of the shredded cheese. Top with sausage mixture, parmesan cheese, any other toppings of your choice, and the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until crust is brown and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Chili

I definitely needed another "warm me up" type of meal for dinner tonight and what's better than a piping hot bowl of chili! I've been making a lot of it lately but when it's frigid like this, I tend to make it more often. This dish is hearty, healthy, and comforting. My kind of chili!

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken 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
1/2 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!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Pasta's cold outside! I mean...COLD. Single digit cold and negative wind chills. Now I know it's winter and I live in Chicago so I should expect cold temps, but this is extreme and it's only December! Yikes. Anyway, cold nights like these call for something spicy for dinner and this Caribbean Jerk Chicken Pasta was the perfect cold weather meal! It's simple to prepare and ready in under 30 minutes. It was a hit with the family!

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Pasta
Serves 6

16 oz. bowtie pasta
16 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup half/half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Jerk Marinade
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile whisk together flour and butter. Heat to bubbling. Slowly stir in the cream and season with salt. Whisk in jerk marinade. Simmer 5-7 minutes or until thick and bubbly.

Toss hot cooked pasta in jerk mixture. Top with sliced chicken and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Crispy Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

I love Pesto and never get sick of it. While I love it on pasta I wanted to mix things up tonight and decided to use it in a sandwich. I spread pesto onto chicken tenderloins and dredged them in panko breadcrumbs. Baked them and served the chicken on french bread topped with cheese and tomato. Delish!

Crispy Pesto Chicken Sandwiches
Serves 4

1 lb chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 slices tomato
French Bread or any bread of your choice

Pre-Heat Oven to 400.

Dip each tenderloin into pesto and then dredge in panko breadcrumbs. Arrange evenly onto a baking sheet. Cook 15-18 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Arrange chicken onto french bread and top with mozzarella cheese and sliced tomato. Serve with additional pesto if desired. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Creamy One Pot Cajun Sausage Spaghetti

I love meals like this in the winter. Simple and made all in one pot! Hearty and spicy. The perfect meal to warm you up on a frigid night like tonight! Pair it along side a salad and dinner is served!

Creamy One Pot Cajun Sausage Spaghetti
Serves 6
Cal 323, Fat 6, Carbs 47.8, Fiber 5, Protein 20.5

12 oz.spaghetti
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup two percent milk
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsp cajun seasoning
2 tbsp tomato paste
14 oz package smoked sausage (I used turkey sausage)
chopped green onion, for topping

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and onion and saute until sausage is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add pasta, rotel, water, cajun seasoning, tomato paste, and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in half the cheese and top with remaining cheese and sliced green onions. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Grilled Chicken Santa Fe Salad

What do you do when it is freezing cold outside? Make a grilled chicken salad for dinner! Ha! This salad was crazy good! Well, worth braving the cold for! Marinated grilled chicken, fresh chopped romaine lettuce, caramelized onions, peppers, tomatoes, black beans, cheese, and a low fat Chipotle Ranch Dressing, topped with tortilla strips. This meal was a HUGE hit in my house. If you like Tex-Mex then you will want to make this salad!

Grilled Chicken Santa Fe Salad
Makes 8 cups
WW PP=2 per cup
Cal 113, Carbs 7.1, Fat 3.3, Fiber 2.2, Protein 10.2

2-6 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 tsp. fajita seasoning
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 can chopped green chiles
1 red onion, sliced and sautéed
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/2 cup tortilla strips
dressing of your choice (I made a spicy chipotle ranch dressing using a hidden valley packet)

Sprinkle chicken with fajita seasoning and let marinate at lest 30 minutes.

Grill chicken 7-8 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Slice chicken and set aside.

To assemble salad-Toss lettuce and remaining ingredients together. Top with sliced chicken and drizzle with dressing of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Happy Monday! It's a cold one here in Chicagoland and cold weather puts me in the mood for cozy meals like this Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin. It's easy, healthy, and your slow cooker does all the work. My kind of dinner!

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Serves 6
Cal 212 Carbs 10, Fat 6.6, Fiber .2, Protein 28.1

2 lb pork tenderloin
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup pineapple with juice

Place pork in crock pot. Toss in garlic and season with salt and chili flakes. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Pour in teriyaki sauce and pineapple and continue cooking another hour. Shred pork and serve over rice. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fire Roasted Sausage Rigatoni

Nothing like hearty comfort food on a snowy Sunday.  Tonight we are warming up with this Fire Roasted Rigatoni. It's so easy and delish. You can't go wrong with a spicy pasta!

Fire Roasted Sausage Rigatoni
Serves 8

1 16 oz. box Rigatoni, cooked to al dente
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping

In a large pan brown sausage, drain and season with garlic, salt, red pepper and oregano. Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and fire roasted tomatoes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese.

Evenly top sauce over the hot cooked pasta. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cheesy Pepper Jack Baked Tacos

So happy it's almost the weekend! It's another Taco Night around here. I honestly have to say that I NEVER get sick of tacos! Hence why we have them so often. I do try and come up with new ways to prepare them but classic beef tacos are by far my favorite! This recipe combines the traditional beef taco along with pepper jack cheese and sriracha for a spicy, cheesy, fantastic taco!

Cheesy Pepper Jack Baked Tacos
Makes 10 Tacos
Cal 195, Carbs, 10.2, Fat 9.4, Fiber 1, Protein 14.7

1.5 lbs lean ground beef or turkey
1 taco packet
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. sriracha 
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
10 hard shell tacos
additional toppings of your choosing

Pre-Heat oven to 350

Brown ground beef over medium high heat. Drain and add in the taco seasoning, water, and sriracha. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Spoon into taco shells and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Crock Pot Greek Chicken

I'm obsessed with Orzo lately, and what goes great with orzo? Yep, Greek Chicken! Combine the two and you've got a fresh and flavorful meal that is healthy and easy! My kind of weeknight dinner!

Crock Pot Greek Chicken 
Serves 4
Cal 146, Carbs 2.5, Fat 3.7, Protein 25.7

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken
1 large lemon plus 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash)
1/2 cup feta cheese
one tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, except for tomato, feta, and onion. Cover and look on low 3-4 hours.

Sprinkle with feta cheese, tomato, and onion and serve with fresh lemon. Enjoy over orzo or rice!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

This is one of my favorite meals for busy weeknights, like today. The Crock Pot does all the cooking and the end result is pure deliciousness!

Crock Pot Orange 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 breasts, cut into pieces
2 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame seeds

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 and serve over hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mini Oven Baked Cheeseburgers

I normally don't bake burgers in the oven but with the cold and snowy weather we've been having I was not about to go outside and use the grill. I found this fun recipe on Pinterest and let me tell ya... I am so glad that I did! These burgers were so good and so easy. I served them along side homemade oven fries and my family gobbled it up!

Mini Oven Baked Cheeseburgers
Makes 10 Burgers

1 lb lean ground beef
1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon or bacon bits
1 pkg lipton onion soup mix
1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
4 slices cheddar cheese, cut into piece
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
6 bakery hamburger buns, split

Heat oven to 350°F.

Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray

Press half of a bun, cut side up, into each muffin cup and set aside

In a large saucepan brown beef. Add in water, onion soup, bacon, and ketchup. Simmer for five minutes.

Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups. Gently press mixture down into cups. Top with cheese.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with relish. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Crock Pot Pesto Provolone Chicken

I love love love Pesto! I put the stuff on everything. It's just so good! Pesto Mozzarella Chicken is one of my absolute favorites and was on the menu for tonight until I realized I was out of mozzarella and with a sick kiddo at home I was not going to make it out to the store. I subbed the mozzarella with Provolone instead and it was even better! It was a hit!

Crock Pot Pesto Provolone Chicken
Serves 4
Cal 229, Carbs 1.7, Fat 12.5, Protein 28.2

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup pesto sauce
4 slices provolone cheese
Chopped tomato (Optional for garnish)

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle with garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and top with pesto. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. About 15 minutes before removing from crock pot sprinkle cheese on top. Serve over noodles or rice. Enjoy!
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