Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Creamy Cajun Sausage Pasta Toss




It certainly feels like Fall has made it's appearance today. It's blustery and downright chilly! Not sure that I'm ready for the cold yet, but I'll take this weather over snow any day! With chilly weather comes cold weather comfort foods like my Creamy Cajun Pasta with Sausage. The perfect food to warm you up on a chilly evening and it's weight watcher friendly!


Creamy Cajun Sausage Pasta Toss
Serves 6
WW PP=6
Cal 246.6, Fat 4.3, Carbs 34.5, Fiber 2.5, Protein 16.1

Ingredients
12 oz. pasta of your choice
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup two percent milk
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can rotel, drained
1 package Cajun chicken sausage (I used Johnsonville)
chopped green onion, for topping

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for two minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Meanwhile, boil pasta and cook until al dente.

Stir in Cajun seasoning and rotel. Add half and half and milk. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Add in sausage. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Top with sliced green onions. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Crock Pot Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos




Happy Taco Tuesday! Being the beer lover that I am, it's surprising that I don't make these tacos more often. It's one of my husbands favorite recipes but it's been years since I've made them. That is, until today. Cheddar, Beer, Chicken, and Tacos? Yes, Please! You can't go wrong when you combine these ingredients to make one tasty and unique taco!

Crock Pot Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos
Makes 10 Tacos
WW PP=3 Per Taco
Cal 136, Fat 4g, Carbs 11g, Fiber 1g, Protein 10.9g

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup beer (I used New Glarus Moon Man Pale Ale)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese (I used reduced fat sharp cheddar)
10 taco shells
Additional toppings of you choice (sour cream, onions, black beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato etc.)

In a bowl, mix together chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion, paprika, salt and pepper.

Measure out one cup of your favorite beer, and whisk the seasonings into the beer.

Place chicken in the crock pot and pour in beer with seasoning. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Remove the lid, and shred chicken using two forks or kitchen tongs then let sit in the crock pot for another 15 minutes or so. Turn the crock pot off, and right before serving toss in cheddar cheese. Once combined, transfer the chicken to a large bowl and assemble your tacos. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken Ciabatta Pizza




What do you make for dinner when you haven't been to the grocery store and are in a total recipe rut? Ciabatta Bread Pizzas! Yes, you heard that right. I had a loaf of Ciabatta bread in the freezer and since I didn't have many ingredients on hand for traditional French bread Pizza I decided on Buffalo Chicken Pizzas instead. Easy, delicious, and the perfect meal for a busy weeknight!


Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken Ciabatta Bread Pizza


Ingredients
1 loaf French bread, cut in half lengthwise
2 large chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce (I love Franks)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 green onions, sliced

Pre-Heat Oven to 400

In a small bowl combine chicken, wing sauce, and garlic powder.

Place bread on a baking sheet. Spread ranch dressing evenly on each side of bread. Top with chicken and cheeses.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Top with sliced green onions and additional wing sauce, if desired. Enjoy!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Grilled Greek Chicken



It's been a long while since I've made Grilled Greek Chicken. I normally use bone in chicken for this recipe but all I had in the house were boneless skinless chicken breasts which ended up working out fabulously! The flavor combo in this chicken recipe was insanely good. Serve alongside rice pilaf or a greek salad and you have got one healthy and delicious dinner!


Grilled Greek Chicken
Serves 4
WW PP=4
Cal 152, Carbs 4, Fat 6.7, Fiber 1.1, Protein 22.5

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Dill Feta Dressing (I used Litehouse Brand)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped


Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large Ziploc bag. Add the minced garlic and dressing. Marinate in fridge for at least one hour.

Grill Chicken over medium high heat for 6-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Top each chicken breast with feta cheese, tomato, olives, and fresh spinach. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One Pot Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta



I'm all about the skillet pastas. I love how the pasta stays really creamy and I don't have to turn on the oven when I'm cooking on a warm day like today. This recipe is pretty simple. I've adapted it over the years to make it more ww friendly but you'd never know it by the taste!


One Pot Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
Serves 8
WW PP=9
Cal 324, Carbs 43.6, Fat 8.8, Fiber 2, Protein 20.8


Ingredients
1 16 oz. box pasta (I used shell pasta)
1 cup diced ham
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/3 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 oz. light cream cheese
1/3 cup low fat milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder

In a large sauce pan cook pasta to al dente. Drain and over low heat stir in the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and milk. Season with salt and garlic powder. Once smooth add in the cooked chicken and ham. Top with grated cheese. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cool Ranch Chicken Taco Bake



For years I've seen plenty of taco casserole recipes that have always looked so good but I haven't been able to find one that doesn't contain any "cream of" soups so I decided to try and create one myself. Since it is Taco Tuesday in my house I wanted a taco "inspired recipe" and this Cool Ranch Chicken Taco Bake was it! I used rotisserie chicken breast along with Cool Ranch Doritos and Sour Cream instead of cream of chicken soup. It was a hit!


Cool Ranch Chicken Taco Bake
Serves 6
WW PP=6
Cal 250, Carbs 13.8, Fat 12.1, Fiber 1.5, Protein 15.5

Ingredients
1 Rotisserie Chicken Breast, skin removed and diced
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 tsp. dry ranch seasoning
1 can rotel, drained
8 oz. light sour cream
1.25 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, divded
3 oz. crushed cool ranch doritos, divided
1 tomato, chopped
Shredded Lettuce

Pre-Heat Oven to 375.

In a large bowl combine chicken, dry seasonings, rotel, sour cream, and half of the shredded cheese together. Combine well and spread into a lightly greased casserole dish. Top half of the Doritos.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese and chips. Continue baking another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Crispy Baked Sriracha Chicken



A spicy chicken dish that is full of crispy chicken goodness that is baked and not fried? Yes, please! It's no surprise to most that my husband and I are obsessed with spicy foods and we both love sriracha so I can't believe that I am just discovering a recipe like this now. Serve this chicken over rice or noodles add in a tossed salad or veggie and dinner is served!


Crispy Baked Sriracha Chicken
Serves 4
WW PP=5
Cal 210, Carbs 27.2, Fat 1.5, Protein 15.3


Ingredients
16 oz. boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, cut into chunks
1 package shake n bake extra crispy
1/4 cup sriracha sauce for chicken (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. honey


Pre-Heat Oven to 400

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss chicken pieces in the shake n bake and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

While chicken is cooking, in a small bowl whisk sriracha, honey, and garlic powder together.

Toss cooked chicken in sriracha mixture and serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Grilled Cobb Chicken Sandwich




My two all time favorite salads have to be the Grilled Chicken Caesar and a Cobb Chicken Salad. I have some French bread in the house that I had to use up so I decided why not turn one of my favorite salads into a sandwich. Of course the end result was fantastic! A real hit!


Grilled Cobb Chicken Sandwich
Makes 4 Sandwiches
WW PP=12
Cal 485, Carbs 30, Fat 17, Fiber 3, Protein 51


Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (mine were about 5 oz. each)
8 slices center cut bacon cooked crisp
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
lettuce (I used fresh spinach)
French bread or bakery rolls
1/4 cup honey mustard (optional, but I love it on cobb salads)


Grill chicken over medium heat 5-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Baste each chicken breast with two tablespoons honey mustard. Remove from grill and place each chicken breast onto a roll. Top chicken with blue cheese and remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Baked Apple Cider Donuts



I love Apple Season because it's pretty much the only time that I make donuts. This is the second year that I've made my own apple cider using the fresh apples we picked to use in the donuts and it really does make a difference! They are a family favorite and fairly easy to make!

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Makes 10-12 donuts

Ingredients
1/2 cup apple cider
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup Buttermilk

For The Cider Topping
3 tbsp apple cider
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In another medium mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and continue beating. Stir flour into wet ingredients and add in your buttermilk Stir until well combined then add in the apple cider. Mix until just combined.

Fill the donut pan 1/2 of the way full and put into the oven for 8-10 or until the donuts are golden brown. Remove from oven and put on a wire rack.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar on a plate. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of sides of a donut with apple cider then dip into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining donuts. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mini Shredded Beef Crock Pot Burritos




I'm definitely in crock pot "mode" this week and I love transforming recipes into crock pot meals. Normally our Tuesday night meals consist of Tacos but I decided to mix it up and make burritos instead. These Mini Burritos are as easy as can be to make and I love that my crock pot basically does all the work. I was also able to lighten these bad boys up to make them more weight watcher friendly. They were a hit!


Mini Shredded Beef Crock Pot Burritos
Makes 6 Burritos
WW PP=
Cal 375, Carbs 10.6, Fat 22, Fiber 2, Protein 32.5

Ingredients
2 lbs. stew meat
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup beef broth
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chiles
1 cup refried black beans
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheese
6 10 inch flour tortillas
sour cream, chopped tomatoes, cilantro for additional toppings, if desired

Place stew meat into crock pot. Season with salt and pour in the beef broth, enchilada sauce and green chiles. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Shred meat and stir.
 
To prepare burritos-
Add about 2.5 tbsp of the refried black beans onto the center of each tortilla. Add 1/4 cup shredded cheese and an even amount of shredded beef onto each tortilla. Roll into a burrito.
 
Place burritos into a greased baking dish. Pour any remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
 
Broil until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, cilantro and any other ingredients of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Crock Pot Four Cheese Jalapeno Chicken Chili



I know it's not Fall yet but I am definitely in fall cooking mode, which means I am using my Crock Pot a lot more. I'm also making more Fall recipes like this Three Cheese Jalapeno Chicken Chili. If you are a spice addict like me then you will definitely want to give this chili a try!


Crock Pot Four Cheese Jalapeno Chicken Chili
Serves 4
WW PP=7
Cal 276, Carbs 17.5, Fat 11, Fiber 2, Protein 25.5


Ingredients
12 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 jalapeno deseeded and finely chopped
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1 can great northern beans, rinsed
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Kraft three cheese blend
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp (I used center cut)
tortilla chips, crackers, sour cream for additional toppings, if desired


Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Season with chili and garlic powder. Next add in the jalapeno, chicken broth, and beans. Cover and cook on low 4 hours.

Break chicken into pieces and add in your cream cheese, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Continue cooking an additional 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Spoon into bowls and top with crumbled bacon and any other toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Skinny Spinach Veggie Dip



Hooray it's football season and nothing goes better with football than snacks (and the occasional beer)! I love a good spinach dip but what I don't love are all the calories and fat. My version is just as good as the original but you can indulge and not feel guilty!


Skinny Spinach Veggie Dip
Makes 10 Servings (about 4 tablespoons each)
WW PP=3
Cal 98.5, Carbs 7.1, Fat 5.8, Fiber .5, Protein 4

Ingredients
1 packet dry veggie dip (I used Knorr)
1 16 oz. container light sour cream
1/2 cup light mayo
2 cups cooked chopped spinach, drained
1 small tomato, chopped
3 green onions, sliced


Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Cover and place in fridge for one hour. Serve with fresh veggies, tortilla chips, pretzels or any other additional snacks of your choice. Enjoy!



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Crispy Baked Italian Chicken




It's been a while but I'm back with a delicious new recipe. It's starting to feel like fall around here so I thought I'd make something comforting like this Crispy Baked Italian Chicken. It's super easy and goes great with pasta, rice, or potatoes. I served mine with a side of angel hair and tossed salad.


Crispy Baked Italian Chicken
Serves 4
WW PP=8
Cal 316, Carbs 23.3, Fat 11.5, Protein 31.2

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup italian breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup marinara sauce
4 slices provolone cheese


In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.

Dip chicken into marinara and then into dry ingredients coating well. Lay on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear. About five minutes before removing from oven lay one slice cheese over each piece of chicken. Continue cooking until cheese is melted. Serve with pasta, rice, or potatoes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Crock Pot BBQ Root Beer Chicken Sandwiches




What do you make for dinner when it's blazing hot outside and you don't feel like using the oven? Something in the crock pot, of course! My crock pot serves as the perfect oven when it's hot and I don't want to heat up the kitchen and these Crock Pot BBQ Rootbeer Chicken Sandwiches were the perfect meal!


Crock Pot BBQ Root Beer Chicken Sandwiches
Serves 4

Ingredients
16 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. dry bbq rub seasoning blend
1 cup Root Beer
1 cup BBQ Sauce
4 Rolls (I used Pretzel)

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Season with bbq rub. Pour in root beer. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Shred chicken and pour in BBQ Sauce. Cover and continue cooking another 10 minutes.

Spoon chicken on to rolls and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Southwestern Chopped Salad





I love having salads for dinner when it's hot outside. When you don't want something too heavy I find that salads make the perfect warm weather meal. This Southwestern Chopped Salad is another favorite of mine. I've made it with both chicken and ground beef but the ground beef version is my personal favorite. It's delicious either way!

Southwestern Chopped Salad
Serves 8
WW PP=5
Cal 225, Carbs 10.7g, Fat 10.6g, Fiber 1.8g, Protein 18.2

Ingredients
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey (I used 93/7)
1 package taco seasoning
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup fat free black beans, rinsed
1.25 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup sliced pickled jalapenos
2 -3 cups corn or tortilla chips
1/4 cup light catalina dressing 
sour cream, for serving, optional

Cook ground beef until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and simmer.

Meanwhile add lettuce to a large bowl and add in the cheese, tomatoes, olives, black beans, and green onion and toss well.

Next add the beef/ground turkey to the bowl along with the tortilla chips and toss. Drizzle Catalina dressing over the salad.  Serve with sour cream and jalapenos if desired. Enjoy!
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