Monday, November 30, 2015

Crock Pot Beef Fajita Bowls




I'm obsessed with my crock pot lately, if you haven't noticed already. The Holidays always seem to be such a hectic time for me so I am looking for recipes that require minimal prep and if that means using the crock pot...then I am all for it! These Crock Pot Beef Fajita Bowls couldn't be easier to prepare and only six ingredients. My kind of meal!



Crock Pot Beef Fajita Bowls
Serves 6
WW PP=12
Cal 455, Carbs 56.3, Fat 13, Fiber 2, Protein 28.3

Ingredients
1.5lbs lean stew meat
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 cup fajita skillet sauce
6 cups cooked rice
shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro etc. (optional)


Arrange beef in bottom of crock pot. Add remaining ingredients except for rice. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.

To assemble bowls: Add one cup rice to each bowl and top with meat mixture. Add any additional ingredients of your choice, if desired. Enjoy! Yum

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Grilled Chicken Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce




Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! We did but I am definitely turkey'd out! There is nothing like a hearty pasta dish for Sunday dinner and this one is a favorite of mine. I love Vodka Cream Sauce and the grilled chicken went perfectly with the sauce. Yum!


Grilled Chicken Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients
12 oz. penne pasta cooked to al dente
2 large chicken breasts grilled and sliced
4 cups marinara sauce
3 tbsp. vodka
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Over medium high heat in a large sauce pan combine marinara sauce, garlic powder, and vodka. Once heated through stir in half and half and red pepper flakes. Combine well and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Toss hot cooked pasta with chicken and cream sauce. Top with shredded parmesan. Enjoy! Yum

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crock Pot General Tso's Chicken




Tonight I actually made a recipe that I've never had before. General Tso's Chicken. To be honest, I had no idea what it even was, except that I've seen it on the Chinese Take Out Menu where my husband used to order back in the day. Those who follow my blog know that I don't usually try and make any type of Asian Cuisine. I never had it growing up so I never really had a desire to make it. My husband on the other hand loves everything. Thai, Japanese, Chinese....you name it. He loves it all. So, for him, I decided to give this Crock Pot General Tso's Chicken a try. My version may not be the traditional recipe but it is easy, healthy, and was absolutely delicious. So good in fact that I plan on adding it to my meal rotation. Delish!


Crock Pot General Tso's Chicken
Serves 4
WW PP=3
Cal 125, Carbs 4, Fat 2, Protein 22

Ingredients
1lb. Chicken Tenderloins
1/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 green onions, sliced

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot.

In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients except for green onions. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.

Break chicken into chunks and serve over hot cooked rice. Top with sliced green onions and extra red pepper, if desired. Enjoy!


Yum

Monday, November 23, 2015

Crock Pot Tuscan Tortellini Soup

 
 
So, as you can see I've had to make a move from my blog over to this one. It's been a process that's for sure, but I'm just happy to be up and running! This Crock Pot Tuscan Tortellini Soup is the perfect cold weather meal and let me tell ya....it's definitely been cold around here! It's hearty, healthy, and delicious!
 
 
Crock Pot Tuscan Tortellini Soup
Serves 6
WW PP=11
Cal 429, Carbs 48.5, Fat 15.8, Fiber 3, Protein 22.3
 
Ingredients
1 family size pkg refrigerated tortellini
1 12oz. pkg. Italian chicken sausage
2 cups baby spinach
4 cups fat free chicken broth
1/8 cup fat free half and half
3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese (some say full fat is best)
1 can Italian diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
 
 Add all ingredients to the crock pot except for sausage and tortellini. Stir, cover, and cook on low 4 hours. Add in sausage and tortellini and continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!


Yum

Moving the Blog

Hi All,
I've unfortunately been having technical difficulties with this blog and for the time being the only logical solution was to start up a new blog and transfer all my recipes to the new one. It is www.whatscookinginthesuburbs.blogspot.com. You can find me and all my recipes there. I do not have a re-direct so please bookmark my link. Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Crock Pot Pizza Chili




If you are craving pizza but are in the mood for a little something different (like I was) then you will have to give this Slow Cooker Pizza Chili a try! I was a little skeptical at first but one bite and I was hooked! (as was the rest of my family) Try it for yourself!

Crock Pot Pizza Chili
(Heavily adapted from 365 days of Slow Cooking)
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 pound italian sausage browned and drained
1 jar pizza sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 oz. pepperoni
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup water
1 tbsp. olive oil
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (for topping)


In a large saucepan heat olive oil and saute peppers and onions until translucent. Transfer to slow cooker and add in the sausage, pizza sauce, tomatoes, pepperoni, parmesan cheese, garlic and italian seasoning and water. Stir. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 

Ladle into bowls and top with shredded mozzarella. Serve with crusty french bread if desired. Enjoy

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Four Cheese Baked Spaghetti



Chilly weather always puts me in the mood for comfort food and this delicious Four Cheese Baked Spaghetti is just the meal I was looking for. Easy to prepare and it can be made ahead of time so all you need to do when you get home is pop it in the oven. Serve it along side a tossed salad and bread and dinner is served!

Four Cheese Baked Spaghetti
Serves 8
WW PP=10
Cal 428, Carbs 44.6, Fat 12.8, Fiber 8.2g, Protein 29.7

Ingredients
16 oz. spaghetti (I used ronzoni smart taste)
1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1 jar pasta sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook Pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile brown ground beef. Add in the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and pasta sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer five minutes.

While meat is simmering, toss pasta with cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and half of the cheddar and mozzarella and spread into a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Top with meat sauce and remaining cheeses.

Bake uncovered at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos with Chipotle Ranch Slaw


Wow, that title was a mouthful! I'm always looking for new ways to prepare tacos and wanted to fix something different for Taco Tuesday and these tasty bad boys were it! Another great slow cooker recipe this is the perfect weeknight taco recipe. Give them a try and you will see how tasty they are.


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos w/Chipotle Ranch Slaw
Makes 10 Tacos


Ingredients
1.5lbs boneless pork tenderloin
3/4 cup Chipotle Sauce
1 tsp. salt
juice of one lime
10 corn tortillas
4 cups shredded coleslaw
2 tbsp. Spicy Ranch Dressing (I used hidden valley)
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 tbsp. chipotle sauce

To Prepare Coleslaw-In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, ranch, and chipotle sauce. Pour over shredded cabbage. Combine well, cover, and place in fridge while roast cooks.

For the Roast-Place pork in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle roast with sauce. Add in lime juice and chipotle sauce. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove roast shred and assemble tacos by evenly placing meat onto corn tortillas. Top with some of the slaw and any other additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Chopped Taco Salad




I love a good taco salad and this is one of my favorites! I tend to make more salads for dinner in the warmer months but since we have been having such nice weather around here lately, I decided why not! Easy, healthy, and delicious!


Chopped Taco 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!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Spicy Sausage Tortellini Skillet




Happy Sunday! It was a beautiful day here in Chicagoland. I can't remember the last time it was this warm in the middle of November. I'm loving it! We had a busy afternoon so I decided on making one of my favorite "go to" recipes for dinner tonight. If you like things spicy, then you have to give this Spicy Sausage Tortellini Skillet a try!


Spicy Sausage Tortellini Skillet
Serves 4
WW PP=9
Cal 365, Fat 14g, Carbs 38.7, Fiber 2g, Protein 18.2g

Ingredients
1 14oz package smoked sausage, sliced (I used turkey smoked sausage)
2 cups cheese tortellini (I used Barilla three cheese)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
non stick cooking spray

Spray a large skillet with non stick cooking spray and add in the sausage. Cook until sausage is starting to brown.

Next add in your garlic and cook for another minute. Add in your chicken broth, tomato sauce, and red pepper flakes. Once mixture starts to simmer add your tortellini. Cover and cook over low heat for 14 minutes. Top with shredded Parmesan. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Spinach Bacon Macaroni and Cheese



Winter is roaring in with a vengeance! At least it feels that way around here. It's cold and blustery, what a change from earlier in the week. But it is November in Chicago, so I guess this is normal. Cold weather always has me craving comfort food and this Spinach Bacon Macaroni and Cheese is not only comforting, it's also healthy and delicious! I love that my little one gobbled this up without even noticing the spinach. It was a hit with the entire family!


Spinach Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 8
WW PP=8
Cal 303, Carbs 43.1, Fat 7.7, Fiber 3, Protein 14.2

Ingredients
16 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup low fat milk (I used 2 perecent)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup crumbled bacon or bacon bits
1.25 cups Italian Five Cheese Blend
2 cups baby spinach

 
Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat whisk together cream cheese and  milk, stirring until smooth. Add in the shredded cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Stirring frequently until melted. Once melted stir in bacon and spinach. 

Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss until combined. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup



This is another one of my favorite lightened up soup recipes and when it comes to soup recipes in the crock pot...I'm in! Super easy and delish you can't go wrong with a cheeseburger in soup form. It's a family favorite!


Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
Serves 8
WW PP=6
Cal 253, Carbs 21.2, Fat 9.2, Fiber 1, Protein 19.2

Ingredients
1 lb. extra lean ground beef, cooked and drained (I used 93/7)
4 cups fat free low sodium beef broth
4 cups diced potatoes with onion (I used simply potatoes)
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tbsp. dry onion soup mix
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. BBQ Sauce
3/4 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup low fat milk (I used 2 percent)
1/3 cup bacon bits
12 pickle slices, chopped

Add ground beef to bottom of crock pot and season with soup mix. Pour in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce stir, and then add in tomatoes, potatoes, pickles, mustard, and bbq sauce. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours.

Add in milk, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. Continue cooking another 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and soup is thickened. Garnish with any additional toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna Cups




I love Food Blogging but sometimes it can be hard coming up with new recipes. I've been in a bit of a recipe slump, and I'm trying to come up with new ways to change up some of my favorite recipes. Chicken Cordon Bleu is a family favorite and I can't believe I haven't made Chicken Cordon Bleu Cupcakes before especially since I love using wonton wrappers for just about anything! These tasty little cakes make a great appetizer, lunch, or light dinner. They were a hit!


Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna Cups
Makes 12
WW PP=3
Cal 108, Carbs 9.5, Fat 3.9, Fiber 1, Protein 8.6

Ingredients
24 wonton wrappers
2 cups cooked and chopped chicken breast
1 cup cooked diced ham
1/2 cup alfredo sauce
1.5 cups  reduced fat swiss cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder


Pre-Heat Oven to 375.

Spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl combine chicken, ham, alfredo sauce, half of the swiss cheese and garlic powder.

To assemble cupcakes-Place one wonton wrapper into the bottom of each muffin cup.  Take half of the chicken mixture and spoon evenly into the wonton wrappers. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat. Placing the remaining swiss cheese on top of each cupcake.

Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Top with chopped parsley or breadcrumbs if desired. Enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup



It's a soup for dinner kind of Monday around here, and there is nothing I like better than a hearty soup and today was the perfect day to whip up a batch of my Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup! So easy and low in calories in fat, which means I can indulge without all the guilt! My kind of dinner!

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup
Serves 4
WW PP=4
Cal 156, Carbs 4.7, Fat 3.5, Fiber 1, Protein 26.7

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cups fat free chicken broth(I used low sodium)
1/3 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp. dry ranch seasoning
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (we love franks)
tortilla chips. blue cheese crumbles and ranch or sour cream for toppings

Add your chicken breasts, chicken broth, garlic powder, dry ranch, carrots, and celery to the crock pot. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Remove the chicken, shred, and return to the crock pot. Add in the half/half, cheese, and buffalo wing sauce. Continue cooking for 30 minutes. Top with blue cheese crumbles, tortilla chips and ranch or blue cheese dressing. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ranch Chicken Nacho Bake



I'm always talking about how obsessed I am with tacos and how un obsessed my husband is with them. I can eat them every day but according to my husband he could eat them twice a year. So, instead of regular tacos I decided on ranch chicken nachos. I figured if I mixed things up a touch the hubster would actually like this dish....and he did! Plus, they weren't technically tacos...Ha! A win-win for me!


Ranch Chicken Nacho Bake
Serves 6
WW PP=7
Cal 263, Carbs 21.3, Fat 9.6, Fiber 2.3, Protein 23.3

Ingredients
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 tsp. dry ranch seasoning
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 can rotel, drained
1.25 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup beans of your choice (I used pinto)
3 cups tortilla chips
shredded lettuce and chopped tomato for topping

Pre-Heat oven to 375.

In a large bowl season chicken with dry seasonings and add in rotel and beans.

Arrange a layer of tortilla chips to the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with some of the chicken mixture and some of the shredded cheese. Repeat.

Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Crock Pot Sesame Garlic Chicken



It's not often that I crave "Asian" inspired foods. (as I like to say) But today I am craving veggie eggrolls and my favorite Asian inspired chicken recipe. This dish is packed with flavor and the perfect amount of salty, spicy, and sweet. It's also one of the easiest crock pot recipes, another reason why I love it so much!

Crock Pot Sesame Garlic Chicken
Serves 6
WW PP=5
Cal 178, Carbs 3.3, Fat 9.1, Protein 21.5

Ingredients
1.5lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey, divided
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. garlic chili paste
1 tsp. sesame seeds (for garnish)
Sliced green onion (optional)


Place chicken in bottom of crock pot.

In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low 4 hours.

Remove chicken from crock pot and drizzle with remaining tbsp. of honey. Pour sauce over chicken and serve over hot cooked rice or noodles. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bruschetta Pesto Chicken Bake



Hard to believe we are already into November. It certainly doesn't feel like that around here (which is fine by me!) I am loving the warm weather here in Chicago. I'm trying to take advantage of it while it lasts. Although the warmth isn't stopping me from making one of my favorite casseroles. I've made this tasty Bruschetta Pesto Chicken Bake numerous times but today I substituted sun dried tomato pesto instead of the traditional. It was a hit!

Bruschetta Pesto Chicken Bake
Serves 6 (Approximately  1 Cup)
WW PP=7
Cal 268, Carbs 26.8, Fat 6.3, Fiber 1.5, Protein 24.1


Ingredients
1.5lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut into chunks
1/4 cup pesto (I used sundried tomato pesto)
1 can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 box chicken stuffing mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup water

Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees

Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic powder just until stuffing mix is moistened.

Arrange chicken in a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray; mix in pesto and half of the shredded cheese. Top with stuffing mixture and remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cream Cheese Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas



I love Enchiladas even though they aren't the healthiest of foods, but hey, every once in a while you've got to splurge. At least that's my motto! My husband isn't a huge fan of tex-mex but he does love these Cream Cheese Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas. They are so good and a fun change from the traditional!


Cream Cheese Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas
Makes 10 Enchiladas


Ingredients
3 cups diced cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie)
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
6 slices crisply cooked bacon, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 jalapeno pepper seeded finely chopped
1/3 cup salsa verde
1 cup enchilada sauce
10 small flour tortillas ( I used taco size)

Preheat oven to 375

Lightly spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and spread two tablespoons of salsa on bottom of dish

In a mixing bowl add chicken, spices, cream cheese, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded pepper jack, bacon, and jalapeno. Stir well to combine. Divide filling evenly between tortillas and roll up. Place seam side down in casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar cheese and enchilada sauce.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Skinny Shrimp Scampi




It's been a while but I'm back with a new easy and healthy recipe! This Skinny Shrimp Scampi is packed with flavor but low in calories but I promise, you'd never know it! I forget how much I love seafood and it's nice to mix things up once in a while. It was the perfect Sunday dinner!



Skinny Shrimp Scampi
Serves 4
WW PP=5
Cal 195, Carbs 3, Fat 8, Protein 25.2


Ingredients
1.5 raw peeled and deveined shrimp
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (the more the better-adds fab flavor)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan. Add in the garlic and shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook shrimp 4-5 minutes or until pink.

Add in the lemon juice and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and serve over rice of pasta. Enjoy!
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