Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

Happy Sunday! My weekend went by extra fast for some reason and I can't believe it's Sunday night already. Last week I saw a recipe online for Chicken Mozzarella Pasta from the Pioneer Woman. It looked so incredibly good that I knew I had to make it. I did tweak a few things to make it lower calorie and more diet friendly but you would never know it by the taste. It was a hit!

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
Makes Aprox 8 Cups
WW PP=7 per cup
Cal 265.3, Carbs 38, Fat 5.6, Fiber 3, Protein 17.7

12 oz. penne pasta (I used Ronzoni)
2 (5oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
2.5 cups spicy marinara sauce (I used Barilla)
5 oz. fresh mozzarella
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
12 basil leaves, sliced

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Spray a large pan with non stick cooking spray and brown chicken on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Add in the garlic and onion and saute until lightly brown. Add in the marinara sauce and water and return chicken to pan. Simmer 7-8 minutes.

Add in the mozzarella and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes or until mozzarella is soft.

Toss in the penne. Stirring well. Once combined top with grated Parmesan and basil. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Crock Pot Cheesy Italian Beef

Italian Beef Sandwiches are a Chicago staple and are as popular as Chicago Hot Dogs and Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. I love a good Italian Beef but top it with cheese? Well, that just takes it from good to great! There is a local pizza chain here in Chicagoland that makes Italain Beef Sandwiches that are then topped with sweet peppers and a layer of mozzarella cheese and then toasted until the cheese is brown and bubbly. They are so good and I wanted to recreate it at home. Such a simple recipe and it was a hit with the family!

Crock Pot Cheesy Italian Beef 
Makes Approx 6 Sandwiches

2-3 lb top round beef roast
1.5 Cups Beef Stock
2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning blend
1 large green pepper sliced
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 Italian Beef Bakery Rolls
Giardiniera and Sliced Roasted Red Peppers (Optional but I love the peppers)

Place roast into the crock pot. Add 1 cup beef broth and dry Italain Seasoning. One hour before the roast is done add the peppers to the crock pot. Shred beef with two forks and evenly divide among rolls. Top each sandwich with 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve a side of au jus and giardiniera or red peppers if desired. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

One Pot Lemon Broccoli Chicken and Orzo

I'm all about the one pan meals. They are so easy with minimal clean up which is why love them so much and I find they make the perfect weeknight dinner! I also love Lemon Chicken and combined with orzo and broccoli you've got yourself a tasty and healthy meal!

One Pot Lemon Broccoli Chicken and Orzo
Makes 8 Cups
WW PP=6 per cup
Cal 225, Carbs 34.1, Fat 3.3, Fiber 2.5, Protein 16.7

16 oz. boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
3 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups tuscan style broccoli (I used Green Giant)
2 cups orzo
2 cups chicken broth
Juice of one lemon
4 tsp. grated parmesan cheese

Sprinkle chicken with lemon pepper seasoning.

Spray a large pan with cooking spray and over medium high heat saute chicken and garlic until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the orzo, lemon juice, and chicken stock to the pan. Return chicken to pan along with broccoli. Turn heat to high ad bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until orzo is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and top with grated parmesan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spicy Grilled Chicken Taco Salad

Warm weather always puts me in the mood for a good salad for dinner. Since it is so nice outside I decided to grill some chicken and make a chicken taco salad instead of the usual traditonal kind made with ground beef or turkey. I love to load my salads up with lots of veggies and I drizzle mine with Jalapeno Ranch dressing. Yum!

Spicy Grilled Chicken Taco Salad
Makes 10 Cups
WW PP=2 per cup
Cal 97, Carbs 6.1, Fat 2.6, Fiber 3.5, Protein 11.7

12 oz. chicken tenderloins
2 tsp. taco seasoning
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 cups lettuce
3 green onions, sliced
1 tomtato, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 cup southwest corn and bean blend
1.5 cups crushed tortilla chips
4 oz. crumbled queso fresco cheese
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped

Season chicken with taco seasoning and cayenne peppper. Grill over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove from grill, slice, and set aside.

In a large bowl combine lettuce and remaining ingredients. Top with grilled chicken. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pizza Tortellini Bake

So far this week I'm all about simple dinners with minimal prep. I just got to the grocery store this afternoon and I realized that my original meal wasn't going to be ready in time for tonight's dinner. I decided on this Tortellini Pizza Bake instead. So easy and so delicious. I made mine with spinach tortellini. If you have kiddos then this is a great way to incorporate some veggies into the meal. It was a hit with the family.

Pizza Tortellini Bake
Serves 6
WW PP=10
Cal 401, Carbs 50.1, Fat 12.6, Fiber 6, Protein 22.8

1 pkg refrigerated tortellini (I like Buitoni Spinach and Cheese)
1 jar pasta sauce (I used Barilla Arrabbiata-we like it spicy!)
1 1/4 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz. sliced pepperoni
1 tsp. garlic powder
any other additional toppings of your choice (I used olives)

Cook tortellini to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Spread a small amount of pasta sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Evenly spread half of the cooked tortellini along the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the pasta sauce on top of the tortellini and evenly sprinkle on half the Parmesan cheese. Top with some of the pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Repeat.

Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sriracha BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza

I've found that Flatbread is a great alternative to pizza dough when you are craving pizza but aren't craving all the calories that come along with it! Instead of traditional pizza I decided on Sriracha BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza. We are big fans of spice in our house so this recipe was a no brainer. It was delish!

Sriracha BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza
WW PP=12 PP Per Flat Bread
Cal 496, Carbs 22, Fat 15, Fiber 4.1, Protein 47

1 flat out flatbread
4 ounces cooked and shredded chicken (I used tenderloins)
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 tbsp. bbq sauce
1 tsp. sriracha (you can adjust depending on your spice level)
1/8 cup crumbled bacon 
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar

Pre-Heat Oven to 400.

Arrange flatbread onto baking sheet. Pre-bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a small bowl combine garlic, bbq sauce, sriracha, and chicken. Spread onto flatbread. Top with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. 

Bake for 6-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy. Top with cilantro or green onions if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Baked Orange Sesame Chicken

Most know that I am not a huge fan of Chinese, but I do love love love Orange Chicken! I wanted to try and re-create it at home but with a healthy twist. The deep fried version was not happening. I was able to make a crispy baked version that was just as good, if not better than the real thing! A major hit with the hubster and he is the Chinese food lover in the house!

Baked Orange Sesame Chicken 
Serves 4
Cal 263, Carbs 29g, Fat 1.7g, Fiber 0g, Protein 29.2g

For The Chicken
1 1/2lbs Chicken Tenders, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 packet shake n bake extra crispy coating

Pre-Heat oven to 450 degrees.
In a small bowl combine shake n bake, garlic powder, and ginger. Coat chicken tenders in shake n bake mixture. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on one side. Flip and bake for another 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and coating is crispy. Top with orange sauce and Sesame Seeds. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

For The Orange Sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons warm water

To make the sauce: combine water, orange juice, vinegar  soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Whisk together. Cook over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Whisk to combine and pour into the sauce. Continue simmering and stirring for 2-3 minutes while the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside. Pour over chicken.
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