Who doesn’t love the smell of a delicious casserole baking in the oven! This casserole has it all. Spices, chicken, veggies and cheese! And best of all, it won’t ruin those New Year resolutions we all made to eat better! Yes, we all made them and you know it.
At the start of the new year, I started a new Beachbody program. It is MMA style and I have to say, I am loving it! I am completely sore all over but it is a good sore. I can feel myself getting stronger and capable of pushing myself more. I figured after doing multiple rounds of P90X3 and 22 Minute Hard Corps, nothing could compete. Boy was I wrong. I get to street fight my way to better me and work off some stress at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to punch at things when they are stressed?
Anyway, back to the recipe. Cauliflower rice is the new rage. Everyone is selling it or making it. Cauliflower really doesn’t have much of a taste so I can see how people are attracted to it. You get in your veggies without sacrificing taste. It’s a win win!
Now you can purchase cauliflower already minced into rice pieces (just make sure you get one that doesn’t have sauce added to it) or you can pretty easily make your own. Cauliflower isn’t very expensive so I often make my own in large batches and freeze it.
To do this all you do is grate a head of cauliflower using a large cheese grater or pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor. That’s it!
My family loved it and it made enough for lunch leftovers the next few days which fits nicely with my colored container meal plans.
Feel free to add more cheese if you wish. I know some people can’t get enough cheesy goodness!
As I have said before, Chinese was one of our favorites to grab as take-out. We used to have the best Chinese restaurant around the corner that had a dish called Chow Fun, it can also be called Chow Mein Fun. This restaurant was the only one that used big, thick rice noodles in their Chow Fun. We loved this place. It wasn’t your normal Chinese restaurant. It was classy. Nice and elegant on the inside and good quality food. Unfortunately, it ran into competition with pop up, quick, corner take-outs and P.F Changs and just couldn’t hang on. Insert a big frowny face here.
Sadly, I have not been able to find a restaurant that uses the big thick noodles like my beloved restaurant did. Everywhere else I have tried, uses tiny, thin rice noodles and it just isn’t the same.
So, I made my own. It took some practice and patience but I think I got it close enough. I found the rice noodles in my Wegman’s store. They aren’t as thick as the ones the restaurant used they are much better than the small tiny ones.
I started with a basic recipe from here Natasha’s Kitchen and added and subtracted things till I got it to my liking. Feel free to add whichever veggies your family eats best. Don’t like pepper? Add carrots instead. You get the idea.
It’s a quick and easy week night dinner! You just need a few ingredients and one-pan to make this. My kids devoured it! Make sure you use fresh vegetables for this dish. It will make all the difference!
30-Minute Chicken and Vegetable Dish with Rice Noodles!
20 minPrep Time:
10 minCook Time:
30 minTotal Time:
14 oz rice noodles
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size strips
2 eggs, scrambled
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
6 oz portabello mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp peeled and shredded fresh ginger
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp liquid animos
2 Tbsp, organic ketchup
1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
few drizzles of sesame oil
Bring medium size pan of salted water to a boil. Add rice noodles and cook them on medium heat for about 2 to 4 minutes or until barely tender. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil so they do not stick together.
In a large wok or skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil over high heat and quick scramble 2 eggs. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
In the wok or skillet, heat 2 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil add chicken and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Add vegetables and saute 1 minute then add ginger to the skillet and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk chicken stock, liquid aminos, ketchup and cornstarch.
Add chicken, eggs, noodles, and stock mixture back to the skillet and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
As I have said before, I try to avoid going out for Asian cuisine. It’s usually full of things that make me feel like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon after eating it. You all know exactly what I am talking about.
You would be surprised how quick an Asian inspired meal can come together at home and how much better you will feel after eating this, over the take-out.
Prep to table in less than 30 minutes. Can’t beat that for a weekday meal!
Start by chopping your veggies. We eat a lot of broccoli because the kids love it. I added some yellow pepper for color.
Then make the sauce. All stuff that sits in most people’s pantries. Well, if you have ever made anything Asian it does.
Saute the veggies in some coconut oil for a few minutes, then remove and saute the chicken in coconut oil.
Add sauce and cook for a couple of minutes then add the veggies back in a stir! Cook a couple more minutes and that’s dinner!
Now for the cauliflower rice, you could definitely make your own BUT I found a wonderful huge bag of organic cauliflower rice at BJ’s and well, its super easy to just take some out and steam it. You could definitely use regular rice here too.
The sesame seeds are totally optional. I just think they are fun!
This is easily one of my new favorite meal to make. No joke folks! It is so mouthwatering good, you just have to take my word and go ahead and make it. You can use regalur russet potatoes or sweet potatoes for this. I chose sweet because it’s what I had. Whichever you choose, just make sure you squeeze out all the water.
Use those muscles people!
I recruited the hubby to do this part for me. Tony Horton made my muscles angry that day.
You’re also going to need a waffle iron. Yes, you read that correctly. You actually put potatoes in a waffle maker – and they are wonderful! Just think of all the endless things you could put over the top of these!
Now servings are going to be based on which type of waffle maker you have. I have a Belgian waffler maker and was able to get two large waffles out of the mixture. I divided each large waffle in two and that was a serving. I have no clue on the square waffle maker. You will have to test and see.
It is hard to find someone who isn’t a fan of chicken parmesan. The crunchy breaded chicken, lovely tomato sauce and cheesy goodness is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
What would you say if I told you, I found a way to have this classic dish but with half the effort and calories but with all the flavor and goodness?
And it is so easy and delicious!
Now if you want to use jarred sauce, go right ahead, they did in the recipe I adapted this from. Just make sure it is a good brand without lots of sugar and that you use at least 28 ounces. I prefer using crushed tomatoes (from my garden if possible), fresh basil and garlic and some salt, and pepper.
Now for the easy part. Just place the chicken in the slow cooker, dump the tomatoes or sauce over the top and add the herbs. Cook it on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Once the chicken is done, shred it right in the slow cooker then add in your pasta (I used rotini) cover. Cook for about 25 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Just make sure all the pasta is covering in the tomatoes and juices before you cover and walk away.
Top with mozzarella cheese, cover and cook 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Now for the best part! The crunchies!
Toast whole wheat panko breadcrumbs in a skillet! Right before serving, sprinkle some of that crunchy goodness on each serving!
There you go! Totally easy and totally delicious without all the frying!
I always get comments from people saying, “you make a lot of recipes with chicken and turkey.” Why yes, yes I do. I don’t care for beef. It’s not that we never have it. The boys will eat beef burgers and other things while I have my ground chicken or turkey. Most recipes on here are interchangeable with beef or chicken or even pork (I don’t care for pork either). Just like this one. You could totally do this with some type of beef or pork instead chicken.
There, now that we have covered my dislike for beef and why I rarely post recipes using them, let’s move on to Sesame Chicken!
Sesame chicken has always been my favorite in Asian cuisine. Though very yummy, I couldn’t even tell you the last time we ordered out for Chinese. When you’re trying to eat better, fried, greasy, sweet saucy food isn’t on the list of meals one regularly consumes.
In comes this wonderful dish made with fresh ingredients that I can actually pronounce and I actually know what is in it. Start with the light sauce that is big on flavors but not on the bad stuff.
This Sesame Chicken is just sweet enough, and you’ll fall in love with the batter that gives each piece of chicken a nice crunch. Best of all, you can make this recipe in under 30 minutes, and I bet you have most, if not all, of the ingredients already on hand.
Last week, the husband dragged us tent camping in the Adirondack Mountains. The area is absolutely beautiful, I will 100% agree with that. Breaking from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and breaking away from electronics was very calming and relaxing.
(views from our tent)
(Top of Panther Mountain)
While I won’t get into the reasons I do not enjoy tent camping at all (give me a camper and I’m good to go) I love to see the pure joy on my boys and husbands face. They loved every minute of it and I in turn, loved watching them. I’m not going to lie when I say I was very excited to get back and take a real shower, wash the bug spray and campfire smells away and cook on a cooktop that doesn’t burn the top layer of skin off.
Introducing: Grilled Chicken Pesto Zoodles!
As I have stated before, zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and come summer time, we eat A LOT of it. It’s very easy to care for (if you can keep the squash bugs away) and grows like a weed. Luckily, there is so much you can do with it. So yes, here is yet another zucchini recipe.
Many of the ingredients in this recipe come straight from my garden. The basil for the pesto, the tomatoes and the zucchini, I picked from the garden that morning. Yeah for having dinner right at your finger tips!
I used my homemade Pesto for this recipe. The zucchini I used were a bit too big for my hand spiralizer so I used my mandolin and julienned the zucchini. Normally I would spiralize them. Tastes the same whichever method you choose.
Asian foods have always been one of my favorites as far as types of foods. Well, let me rephrase that, since I started eating it in high school, its been one of my favorites. Fast forward to a few years ago and when I began to realize just how bad take-out Asian really was. I would always feel like crap the next day after eating it. Bloated and gross feeling.
As I began to invest more into my cooking at home and eating healthier, I figured there had to be a way to make Asian food healthier, but still taste good. Turns out after investigating ways to cook Asian food at home, the real stuff is nothing like you get in carry out restaurants.
Yes, I probably sound naive but when you grow with Panda Express in the mall and a Chinese carry-out on every corner, you think that’s what it is.
It turns out, fresh meats and vegetables mixed with fresh Asian spices and sauces, is even better than the carry-out crap most of us are used to!
This recipe has the perfect amount of sauce and spice to go with the organic chicken and fresh veggies. And better yet, you don’t have to play the game of “guess the mystery meat!”
***Quick side note: These are the Liquid Aminos I use. A healthier alternative to soy sauce. This is the sesame oil that I use. ***
I am so over the cold and the snow. It goes from 70° and sunny to 6-8 inches of snow the next day. No wonder the flu is rampant here in upstate NY. We’ve been so sick here the last month. My poor kids have missed so much school and had so much to make up. Well, I am declaring we are done with illnesses. NO MORE!!!
I decided that to get us out of “the funk” we’ve been in, I was grilling chicken and making a colorful fresh fruit salsa. My kids are southwestern food obsessed, so I figured this meal would go over well. It’s not too spicy (you control the heat) and actually very simple to throw together. The flavors sound a bit odd but they work so well together. You can also taste every single ingredient that goes into it.
First start by making the chicken marinade. I made it in the morning before I went to work and let it sit all day in the frig. The flavoring turned out perfect. Some olive oil, garlic, onion, chipotle chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, cayenne, lime juice and zest all make up the marinade. Just whisk the ingredients together, and dump over the top of the chicken. I let it marinate for about 8 hours and it was amazing. Don’t have 8 hours? I would recommend at least 30 minutes of marinade time.
I usually just put my chicken in a gallon zip-lock bag and pour the marinade on top. The bags make for easy clean up.
I also put the bag in a bowl before I store it in the frig. I’ve had a few instances where the bag had a small hole or wasn’t sealed tightly and the raw chicken goo ran all over. Not a fun clean up. I’ve since learned.
After setting the chicken aside to mingle with the sauce, I got to work on my salsa. So easy! I chopped strawberries, pineapple, onion, avocado, cilantro and a tiny bit of jalapeno and placed them in a bowl.
To that I added a little lemon juice, zest, cumin, salt pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil and stirred it all together. The lemon juice will keep the avocado from turning brown. Cover the bowl and place the in the refrigerator till ready to use.
Once you are ready to start making dinner, pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you heat up the grill. I used my indoor grill because my back deck is covered in snow at the moment and I wasn’t about to stand outside in it and grill. The indoor grill works perfect for these situations. Once the grill was heated, I cooked them on medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side. I then took them off the grill and placed the chicken on a plate that I covered with foil to let them rest while I heated the tortillas on the same grill.
When the tortillas are heated through, dice the chicken and add to the warm tortillas with the fruit salsa and some avocado creme sauce (mashed avocado, sour cream, lime zest and garlic I just throw it together till it looks good) and some more cilantro!
There you have it! A simple delicious dinner in no time at all!
Serving Size: 2 tortillas
Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with a rainbow of colors from the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa. Simple and delicious!
15 minPrep Time:
20 minCook Time:
35 minTotal Time:
Chipotle Lime Marinade:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon hamalayan pink salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
Lime zest from 1 lime
1 lb chicken breast trimmed of fat
For the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
1/4 ripe pineapple, trimmed and diced
1 cup strawberries, stems removed and diced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 jalapeno,seeded and diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk marinade ingredients together and pour evenly all over chicken breasts.
Allow chicken to sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
Dice pineapple, strawberries, avocado and onions. De-seed the jalapeno and dice.
Toss pineapple, strawberries, onion, avocado and jalapeno and cilantro, with the lemon juice, cumin and salt and pepper and olive oil in a large bowl. If you would like it spicier, add some of the jalapeno seeds to taste.
Can be served immediately or even better chilled.
Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium heat.
Grill chicken undisturbed for for 8-10 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
To assemble, place diced or sliced chicken in the tortillas then top with Salsa followed by Avocado Creme if desired.
Does anyone else type things into Google as a spellchecker? Hopefully I’m not the only one who does this.
As I was typing “Cacciatore” into Google to make sure it was spelled correctly, it’s meaning popped up. “Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, often bell peppers, and sometimes wine. Cacciatore is popularly made with braised chicken or rabbit.” I don’t eat rabbit but it’s yummy with chicken!
Awesome, makes complete sense. Typically, when I make cacciatore, I bread and fry or bake the chicken. With busy sports schedules and lessons after school, time to do all that is limited. I figured there had to be a way to make it in the slow cooker and still have it be the comforting dish I am used to. My biggest concern being that when you cook peppers and onions in the slow cooker, all their liquid releases and its makes whatever you are cooking more liquidly. We like our cacciatore thick so liquidly won’t fly.
To get around this, I sauteed the peppers and onions before I added them to the slow cooker. I also browned the chicken for a few minutes.
It turned out perfectly except for one mistake that I made. I meant to chunk the chicken instead of shredding it. Whoops! It was still really good!
Typically it is served over pasta but I served mine over brown rice with a nice big spinach salad. Sorry there is no picture. I was hungry and my stomach took over before my brain processed I hadn’t taken a picture.
Serving Size: approx 2/3 cup
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
A thick, hearty Italian classic, done right in the slow cooker!
15 minPrep Time:
8 hrCook Time:
8 hr, 15 Total Time:
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 red (or whatever color you like) bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium-high.
Lightly spray with oil and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and add to the slow cooker.
Spray the skillet with a little more oil and add onions and peppers and minced garlic.
Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become slightly tender.
Add to the slow cooker.
Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables,
Add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a stir and cover.
Set to LOW for 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.
Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and chunk chicken.
Serve over pasta or rice!
Cuisine: Italian |
21 Day Fix: 1/2 G, 1/2 P, 1 R, 1 tsp (adjust your yellows according to what you serve it over)