Chicken & Cauliflower Rice Casserole

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!

Serving Size: 1/8 of casserole

Chicken & Cauliflower Rice Casserole

A warm veggie and cheese filled chicken casserole! You won't even miss the rice!

20 minPrep Time:

45 minCook Time:

1 hr, 5 Total Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 16 oz of broccoli cuts (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups Italian five cheese blend shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally, lightly coat in olive oil and place on baking sheet. Liberally season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. While chicken is baking, grate cauliflower and add to a large bowl.
  5. Add broccoli cuts, chopping any larger pieces.
  6. Remove chicken from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. While chicken is cooling, add sea salt, melted coconut oil, onion powder, garlic powder and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded five cheese blend to the large bowl.
  8. Mix everything together.
  9. Carefully cut baked chicken into cubes. Toss with broccoli/cauliflower mixture and transfer to 9 x 13 inch (3 quart) baking dish that has been sprayed.
  10. Top with ½ cup shredded Italian mix cheese and bake in oven for 45 minutes.
  11. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Main Dish, Casseroles

Notes

Containers: 2G, 1R, 1B, 1T

7.6.2
109
http://thepotterspantry.com/2017/01/chicken-cauliflower-rice-casserole/

 

Chicken and Vegetable Chow Fun

img_6606

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.

img_6603

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!

img_6602

img_6605

Yield: 6 Servings

Chicken and Vegetable Chow Fun

30-Minute Chicken and Vegetable Dish with Rice Noodles!

20 minPrep Time:

10 minCook Time:

30 minTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add vegetables and saute 1 minute then add ginger to the skillet and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl whisk chicken stock, liquid aminos, ketchup and cornstarch.
  6. Add chicken, eggs, noodles, and stock mixture back to the skillet and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve.
Cuisine: Asian | Recipe Type: Main Dishes

Notes

Containers: 1G, 1R, 2Y, 2T

7.6.2
108
http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/11/chicken-and-vegetable-chow-fun/

 

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

img_5739

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.

Go check. I’ll wait!

img_5735

The sweet sauce.

img_5737

Light crunchy batter

img_5738

Fresh cut broccoli

img_5740

Yield: 4 Servings

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

Homemade Sesame Chicken that is sweet with a delicate crunch that won't add inches to your middle and made in under 30 minutes!

15 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

30 minTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

    For the Sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari or Liquid Aminos
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • For the Batter
  • 2 egg white
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into 2" pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 cups broccoli florets

Instructions

  1. Combine honey, sesame seeds, Tamari or liquid aminos and garlic together in a small bowl then set aside.
  2. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together egg white and cornstarch until smooth.
  3. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper then add to egg white mixture and toss to evenly coat.
  4. In a small saucepan, steam broccoli until crisp tender then set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then carefully add chicken.
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked through.
  7. Turn off heat and remove skillet from burner.
  8. Add prepared sauce and green onions then toss to combine.
  9. Stir in broccoli, then scoop mixture into bowls over cooked rice.
Cuisine: Asian | Recipe Type: Main Dishes

Notes

Containers without Rice: 1G, 1R, 1Y, 1O

7.6.2
102
http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/09/sesame-chicken-with-broccoli/

Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

IMG_5608

Or as I call them, little bites of heaven! These things are the best little snacks. They curb my sweet craving and they are actually good me for! My boys love them and request them in their lunch boxes as their snack.

I use Shakeology for these.  I have never made them with any other protein powder so I can’t tell you how they would taste if you tried. Vanilla, Chocolate and Cafe Latte flavored Shakeology all work well for these.  The vanilla actually look like raw cookie dough.  I wouldn’t recommend using the Strawberry or Greenberry flavors.  I haven’t tried it but it doesn’t sound very appetizing.

You just dump all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and let it do the rest.  Once it is completely combined, roll them into 1-inch balls and store them in the refrigerator.

IMG_5600

I use raw honey whenever a recipe calls for honey.  It’s a bit more expensive bit most processed honey today has been heated and filtered, robbing it of its nutritional value and resulting in a product no more valuable than a simple sweetener.  Raw honey contains up to 80 different substances important to human nutrition. Besides glucose and fructose, honey contains: All of the B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K, minerals and trace elements: magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese. The live enzyme content of honey is one of the highest of all foods. Raw honey also contains hormones and antimicrobial and antibacterial factors.

IMG_5610

The recipe only makes one batch of 13-14 balls but it can easily be doubled.  Give them a try, they truly are little bites of heaven!

IMG_5609

Serving Size: 1 Ball

Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

Sweet energy bites that won't ruin your waist line!

15 minPrep Time:

15 minTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic almond or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 1/2 scoops Shakeology (Chocolate, Vanilla or Cafe Latte work well)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 2 TBSP of mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and combine.
  2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls.
  3. Store in an air tight container for up to a week
  4. (I like to keep mine in the refrigerator)
Recipe Type: Sweet Treats

Notes

Containers= 1 Yellow, 1 tsp

7.6.2
101
http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/09/chocolate-cookie-dough-bites/

How to Cook and Freeze Dried Beans

blackbeans1

I know what you are going to say, “canned beans are so much easier!” Well..sort of.  These beans are incredibly easy to do.  You don’t even have to pay attention to them the majority of the time.  Plus, they have significant less sodium and chemicals, the freeze well and the are less expensive.

Pick a day that you’ll be home and let these simmer away on the stove. Cook time will vary depending on size and variety of bean. Black bean tend to take the longest.  I simmered mine for about two and a half hours. White beans only take about an hour but really you cook them to your desired doneness (spellcheck doesn’t like that word but I’m using it anyway).

Some tips before you get started:

1. Don’t mix varieties in one pot as different ones have different cooking times.
2. Use a heavy-bottomed pot  (I used my Le Creuset dutch oven)
3. Be patient – don’t turn up the heat to cook faster or you’ll end up with gross beans.
4. Keep them in their liquid until ready to serve.  Freeze them in freezer safe bags in their liquid and drain only after thawing. This keeps them from shriveling up.
5. Pre-soak your beans!!

blackbeans

blackbeans3

blackbeans4

Yield: 10 Cups

How to Cook and Freeze Dried Beans

12 hrPrep Time:

3 hrCook Time:

15 hrTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs organic beans (black, white, or black-eyed peas, etc)
  • Water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ Tbsp Himalayan Pink Salt

Instructions

  1. Place beans in a large pot or bowl and add enough water to cover 2 inches over the surface (they soak up water like crazy and expand). Pre-soak beans in cold water overnight (10-12 hours). Drain and rinse before cooking.
  2. Place beans in a large dutch oven and add garlic, onion and bay leaves, then add enough water to have 1" water over the surface of your beans.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, adding more water as needed to keep them submerged.
  4. For firmer beans cook with the lid off, and for softer/mushier, cook partially covered.
  5. Start checking for doneness after about an hour.
  6. Once they are nearly done, add 1½ Tbsp salt or to taste and continue cooking until at desired firmness (DO NOT DRAIN).
  7. TO FREEZE: cool beans to room temp, then transfer into freezer safe ziploc bags along with enough liquid to keep them wet.
  8. Remove any air from the bags seal well and stack them flat to save space in the freezer.
7.6.2
97
http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/07/how-to-cook-and-freeze-dried-beans/

 

 

Peanut Butter Blender Mini Muffins (Gluten Free)

blendermuf3

These little mini muffins are my kids favorite!  They pop them for snack, breakfast or when we are going to be in the car for awhile.  And the best parts? They are healthy, quick and easy to make!  Everything goes straight in the blender and you blend!  Done in 30 seconds with the flip of a switch!

Woohoo!

You just combine eggs, bananas, peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and baking soda in a blender and blend.  When that’s done, stir in some mini chocolate chips.  I went with dark but semi-sweet or milk is fine too.

blendermuf1

These muffins are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, and they come in at under 100 calories each based on  my calorie calculator.  Even less if you don’t add the chocolate chips but that’s not going to happen in my world.

Because there’s no flour to fluff them up and provide the normal amount of cakiness found in a muffin, I was a bit worried that they may turn out like a thick fudge, but I was wrong. The egg, baking soda (remember the post about what baking soda does?) and banana did the trick to give them the cakiness and bounciness you want in a muffin.

I used oragnic, regular peanut butter for this recipe.  I am not sure how natural peanut butter would make these turn out since it tends to be more runny and oily then regular peanut butter.  It can also separate in baked goods. But if someone tries it, please let me know!

I baked the muffins in my mini muffin pans and they only took 9 minutes to bake. I filled the cavities to a solid 3/4 full. Don’t be surprised if they’re nicely domed in the oven, but fall a bit as they cool.  Kind of like the picture below.

blendermuf2

I haven’t tested the recipe as full size muffins yet but I am sure it can be done. You’ll probably get about 7 or 8 muffins and I’d start watching the clock at about 14 minutes and go from there.

***Warning***

You may want to just double the recipe.  They go very quickly!  The muffins freeze beautifully and you can keep them in the freezer to toss into lunches or for an easy snack when your peanut butter and chocolate cravings hit!

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Peanut Butter Blender Mini Muffins (Gluten Free)

The fastest and easiest homemade muffins ever made!

5 minPrep Time:

10 minCook Time:

15 minTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I recommend using classic store bought peanut butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 medium sized very ripe bananas
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup optional toppings of choice: dark mini chocolate chips, coconut, raisins, craisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare mini muffin pans by spraying very well with cooking spray or grease and flour the pans; set aside.
  2. In the canister of a blender, add first 6 ingredients and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir in by hand.
  4. Using a tablespoon, form 1 rounded tablespoon into prepared pans. Each should be filled to a solid 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the tops are set, domed and springy to the touch.
  6. Allow muffins to cool in pans for about 10 minutes or until they've firmed up and are cool enough to handle.

Notes

Muffins are best fresh, but will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

21 Day Fix: 2 Muffins= 1 Y, 1 tsp

Calories: Approx 99 with chocolate chips Approx 65 without

7.6.2
52
http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/09/peanut-butter-blender-mini-muffins-gluten-free/