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Monday, November 14, 2011

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

This was pretty good. It is VERY filling, so a little goes a long way. This isn't a meal I would make often but it's a nice alternative to regular pasta.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 box whole wheat pasta
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 TBSP corn starch (whisked into milk)
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

 Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in EVOO until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat add heavy cream, milk, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese.

recipe adapted from plain chicken

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chicken Tostadas & Avocado Dressing

This dinner had incredible flavor with such simple ingredients. My husband and son are already begging me to make it again and it's only been 2 nights since we first had it. The only drawback is that the prep work takes awhile, so I do NOT recommend it for a busy weeknight (unless you have extra time that day or want to prep during nap times). Otherwise, save it for a weekend. We served ours with Uncle Ben's 90 second Sante Fe Rice and corn.

2 TBS reduced fat sour cream
2 TBS low sodium chicken broth
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 ripe peeled avocado
Flour Tortillas (we used whole wheat)
2 garlic cloves (we used minced)
1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 TBS Canola Oil
2 cups shredded skinless rotisserie chicken breast
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 tomato chopped
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco (we used Monterey Jack Cheese instead)

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 1 tortilla at a time for 2 minutes on each side or until soft and/or golden brown (you can add 3/4 teaspoon oil to the pan if you like a very browned tortilla, but we skipped the oil it to save calories).

3. Add 1/2 TBS canola oil to the pan. Add the garlic and jalapeno, saute for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup chicken mixture, shredded lettuce, tomato and 1 TBS cheese. Top each serving with the avocado dressing.

Recipe & picture courtesy of Cooking Light

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

This chicken was SO good. We loved the combination of the Dijon mustard and oregano over the tender chicken We ate ours with red potato mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder - to taste
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup of butter, I use Smart Balance Buttery Sticks
3/4 cup of milk, I use 1%
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons cornstarch


Preheat oven to 350.
Drizzle chicken with EVOO. Season both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning chicken half way until it reaches 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pot. Melt butter over low heat. Add milk, chicken stock, mustard and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes on low. Remove 1/4 cup of sauce and mix in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Gradually add that back to the sauce pot and continuing stirring. Increase heat until sauce bubbles and thickens.

Pour sauce over chicken. There will be plenty of sauce leftover to use over rice or mashed potatoes.

recipe adapted from Let's Dish Recipe's

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I used to LOATHE brussels sprouts when I was growing up. How my mom dealt with my dramatics at the dinner table on evenings she served brussels sprouts earns her a nice place in Heaven.

In the past couple of years I have tried them and really liked them. Then I started to buy them myself and make them at home with a few ingredients that I love. I literally eat these like candy, and can easily go through an entire container in one day. My kids on the other hand... they won't touch em' and for that I am thankful (more for me).


1 container of brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce


Preheat oven to 350. Place brussels, cut side down, in a glass dish. Do not stack them.

Drizzle EVOO, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and all seasonings over the top.

Place in oven for about 30 minutes. Do not stir them! When they are finished the bottoms will be brown and the sprouts will be very tender.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mac & Cheese Bites

Mac & Cheese in bite size? Yes, please! These are nothing short of awesome! So easy to make, though filling the muffin tins is a bit time consuming. It's a labor of love and one I am willing to do often. These make a great appetizer, side dish or even a snack! 

1 lb. whole wheat elbow macaroni
3 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
1-1/2 cup milk (skim works fine)
3 packed cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for sprinkling on top
2 extra large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

I added diced jalapeno peppers to half of the batch to give them some heat and additional flavor. You could really add anything to these. Diced ham, tomato, slices of hotdog, bacon...mmmm bacon

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain well.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray a nonstick mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.
Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking occasionally, for about 2 -3 minutes until thickened.
Add cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and stir to melt.
Remove from heat and stir in egg yolks, salt and nutmeg. Stir in macaroni.
Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of macaroni and cheese into the prepared mini muffin pan. Each cup should be filled to the top. Pack each one down gently.
Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Using a teaspoon, carefully loosen the mac and cheese bites and transfer to a platter to serve.
If you’re not baking these immediately, simply store on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate. Reheat at 400 degrees for 10 minutes prior to serving.

recipe comes from here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mexican Stuffed Shells

What do you get when you put Italian and Mexican cuisines together ? A meal that is nothing short of AMAZING! I wasn't sure what to expect from this dinner while I was assembling it, but it was seriously so good. We will definitely make this again!

1 lb. turkey ground
1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
4 oz. fat free cream cheese
14-16 jumbo pasta shells
1.5 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese, I used pepper jack cheese to give it some kick (the kids didn't eat it)
Sour cream


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a frying pan cook turkey ground; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely. While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce. Top with shredded cheeses.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and gets a little brown on top.

Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

recipe from The Way to His Heart

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This is going straight on the menu rotation and never coming off. I have never seen food disappear from plates as quickly as this did. By the time I made my own plate and got to the table the kids were asking for more! I dare say that we liked this a lot more than Bourbon Chicken. You can add the red pepper flakes to this if you wanted to add some spice, but we really enjoyed it 'as is.'

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (plenty for a family of 4)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker, put the chicken into your cooker.

In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, then pour evenly over the top.

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4. Shred chicken in the sauce and leave off the lid while you cook the rice.

Serve with brown rice and steamed or roasted vegetables. Be sure to drizzle the sauce all over your food, too!

Recipe adapted from Crockpot 365

Baked Spaghetti

This spaghetti was so tasty. It reminded me of a spaghetti with bolognese sauce, because of the cream cheese. I like that you can sneak in veggies and the kids won't even know. I didn't use the french fried onions (I couldn't find them) but I think they would have added amazing flavor. The dish definitely doesn't need them though. The recipe makes a lot so you can freeze half, too! I'll definitely make this again, the kids inhaled it! 

1 box whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 pound turkey ground (you can use lean ground beef)
1 large can spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1/3 cup chopped onions
8 ounces fat free cream cheese
2 tablespoons fat free milk
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
French Fried Onions (small can)

Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
Brown turkey ground. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.
Combine onions, peppers and butter in pan and sauté until soft. Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well.
Using a 9x13 dish, assemble in the following order:
Thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Cream cheese/vegetable mixture
Spaghetti sauce
Parmesan Cheese (amount subject to your own taste)
French Fried Onions (added during last 5 minutes of cooking)
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient–don’t let them burn.)

Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don’t forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.

recipe adapted from Salad in a Jar