17 June 2013

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Will said this is probably his favorite mexican/chicken casserole dish I've made. That says a lot! Super easy and delicious. I love that it has avocados too!

1 c sliced onion
2 c shredded chicken
2 c red enchilada sauce; divided
1 c black beans; drained and rinsed
1 c pinto beans; drained and rinsed
1/4 c freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced (I only used 1)
6-8 corn tortillas
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c sliced black olives
sour cream (optional)
diced tomatoes (optional)
green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn a large, dry, non-stick skillet to medium high heat and add sliced onions. Let onions cook till they turn a golden brown color; stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet add the shredded chicken, 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, black beans, pinto beans, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes.

In a 8"x8" casserole dish tear up 3-4 of the corn tortillas into 1" pieces, and layer them on the bottom of the dish. Spoon half of the chicken filling on top of the torn tortilla pieces. Layer the caramelized onions on top of the chicken filling, then lay the avocado slices on top of the onions. Spoon the remaining chicken filling over the avocados. Tear up the remaining 3-4 corn tortillas to make a top layer over the chicken filling. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce evenly over the top layer.

Spread out the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the casserole and then sprinkle on the sliced black olives and tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, add green onions, and let cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy!

Original recipe found here.


No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert

I can barely put the words together to describe how much I love this dessert. It is absolutely the perfect summer dessert - cold, light (no I don't necessarily mean calories), easy, and amazing. You CANNOT go wrong with chocolate, graham crackers, vanilla pudding, and cool whip. You just can't.

The chocolate is SO good - it's kind of hard, and by that I mean it's not just icing, and it's not a hard chocolate candy shell. It is perfect, and delicious, and just yummy. Make sure you refrigerate this overnight so the graham crackers have time to soften. It's only 9 am, but after typing this I feel like I need to go have a leftover piece of this amazing dessert. 

2 (3.5 oz.) boxes vanilla instant pudding (sugar free/fat free)
3 c milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip Lite
Graham crackers
1/3 c cocoa
1 c sugar
1/4 c milk (unsweetened almond milk)
1 stick (1/2 c) butter
1 tsp vanilla

For the filling: 
Combine pudding mix and milk; beat. Stir in Cool Whip. 
Place a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9x13" dish. Spread 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers and pudding; then top with a final layer of graham crackers.
For the topping: 
Bring cocoa, milk, and sugar to a full rolling boil; boil about 1 minute, stirring very frequently. Remove from heat and cool one minute. Add butter and vanilla; stir until butter is melted. 
Pour chocolate topping over the top layer of graham crackers. Refrigerate overnight.

Original recipe found here.

Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes

These were so good! It had been forever since I made twice baked potatoes. I like them because you can make them ahead and get them all ready, then just put them in the oven when you're ready. These were delicious!

Also, this recipe called for 4 potatoes. I used 8, but I really did not double the ingredients. I did use 2 cups of cheese, but the bacon, sour cream, butter, milk, and green onions all stayed the same. I didn't want it to have too much sour cream or milk, so I figured I could add more if I needed it, but it was perfect the way it is below.

4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon (I just bought real bacon bits)
1 c sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 c milk (I used 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk)
4 tbsp lite butter
1/2 teaspoon salt/pepper, each
1 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour (mine ended up being in there 1 hr 20 min). You can just microwave the potatoes instead because it is way faster and they taste just as good. About three minutes per potato, just check for tenderness. So if you are cooking 4 potatoes in the microwave you will need to cook them for at least 12 minutes. Make sure to poke holes in the potatoes with a fork before microwaving so that they don't explode.

When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise (I didn't cut mine in half, I used whole potatoes and just cut the top part off) and scoop the flesh into a large bowl leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh so the potato maintains it's shape; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese, bacon, the green onions, and milk. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle cheese on top of potatoes and broil for just a few minutes. Mmm!

Original recipe found here.

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs (Marinade)

This is really the recipe for just the marinade for the chicken! I found this on Pinterest of course, but it was originally for grilled chicken breasts. I wanted to make kabobs for Father's Day, but this marinade has received such amazing reviews. So we just cut out chicken into smaller chunks, and marinated overnight. Definitely the best chicken marinade I've had.

So we did our kabobs with chicken, red onions, green bell peppers, and pineapple. This is a big recipe for a lot of chicken, so you might want to half it if you're not making dinner for a bunch of people. Make your chicken however you want it, but use this marinade for sure!

3 lbs chicken breasts
2 c lite soy sauce
2 c water
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 bunch green onions
1/4 c sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 can lite coconut milk

Mix everything together and pour over chicken. Marinating overnight is recommended if you can. Grill your chicken and serve however you like!

Original recipe found here.

10 June 2013

Saucy Italian "Drunken" Noodles with Spicy Italian Sausage

Oh my! This was fabulous. Restaurant quality for sure. Will ate several helpings. The recipe calls for Pappardelle noodles, which I couldn't find. I really wanted those wide, flat noodles, but I just went with a three pepper fettuccine noodle (below). DELICIOUS.

extra virgin olive oil
4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
½ c white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ c fresh basil leaves, sliced-thin, divided use
8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked

Place a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat; add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side; once the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment.

Next, add the sliced onion into the pan with the sausage drippings, and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning; once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden. Add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced; Then, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off. To finish add in the chopped parsley and about half of the basil; stir, and keep warm while you prepare the noodles.

Prepare the Pappardelle noodles according to instructions on package; then, drain the noodles very well, and add them directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the Pappardelle noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it; check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper. To serve, garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining basil!

Original recipe found here.

06 June 2013

Italian Chicken

What a fabulous meal!! So summery and light. We loved it. It's super easy, which is always a good thing. I served it over spinach linguine, which was also delicious. I had some of my mom's seasoned tomato sauce, so we put that over the linguine too. The tomatoes get delicious, juicy, and caramelized after broiling. You have to make this... and soon!

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can artichoke hearts (I cut them in half)
5 roma tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
shredded part-skim mozzarella
fresh basil

In a large bowl, mix your tomatoes, artichokes hearts, garlic, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper together. Add the flour and stir - the flour helps with the juice the chicken produces when cooking apparently. 

Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased pan, and season generously with salt/pepper. I also used some "Italian seasoning" I sprinkled on top. Arrange the tomatoes/artichokes around the chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 35 min.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the chicken breasts a broil for just a few minutes - keep a close eye on it! Sprinkle a little fresh basil over the top and serve over your favorite pasta!! YUM!

Original recipe found here.

05 June 2013

Skinny Baked Burritos

These are incredible! For being low cal (about 270 for 1 burrito) they are so creamy and delicious. I couldn't even tell I used ground turkey. This is a must-make!

1 lb ground turkey
1 pkt reduced sodium taco seasoning
Monterey cheese, 8 oz – grated
1 can fat free cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c fat free sour cream
4oz (half a jar) taco sauce, mild (I used hot)
8 low carb tortillas (I found 60 cal ones)

Brown ground turkey and add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions. Mix together the can of soup, sour cream and taco sauce. Spoon and smooth 1/3 of the soup mixture into a 9x13" baking dish.

Divide meat mixture evenly between the tortillas - about 2-3 tablespoons per tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on top of meat in shell (save about 1/2 – 3/4 cup cheese.) Roll/Fold tortillas burrito-style.

Place into pan seam side down (or they will unroll and things will get messy. Spread rest of soup mixture onto the shells and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Original recipe found here.