Saturday, January 18, 2014

Creamy Chicken Chili

I always revert to this recipe when it gets cold because I always seem to have the ingredients on hand! When you're tired most days, there is a very fine line before you just throw up your hands and go run to a drive-thru. If I can think ahead, I can take the guesswork out of dinner for several days thanks to left-overs!

Creamy Chicken Chili
courtesy of Plain Chicken

2 chicken breasts
8 oz. of fat free cream cheese
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing
1 can black beans, drained and washed
1 can corn, drained
1 can Ro-Tel, undrained
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 to 3/4 Tb. chili powder (add more if you wish, I think this spice can easily become very overwhelming!)

Place chicken on bottom of crock pot. Place black beans, corn, and ro-tel on top of the chicken. Put spices on top of the veggies. I also add the cream cheese at this point (on top of everything and let it melt), but you can wait until the chili has cooked to do so. I personally don't see much of a difference. Cook 6-8 hours on low.

Skinny Sausage Bake!

This is a SkinnyTaste recipe I ran across from a while back that I somehow missed all those times I've combed through Gina's awesome recipes! It originally calls for red pepper, but I'm not a super big fan, so I left that out. I guess you could pretty much add whatever you wanted!

Skinny Sausage Bake
adapted from SkinnyTaste

1 package of al fresco chicken sausage (so many good flavors, you could go with any one of them!), cut into slices (about 6-7 slices for each link)
1.5 lbs of potatoes (any type, I used a combo)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried rosemary
garlic salt
cooking spray (I used my Misto)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet with sides on it.

Cook potatoes. I cooked mine up really quickly in the microwave, but be sure to leave them a bit underdone so they won't mush up when you cut them up into chunks.

Spread cut-up chicken sausage, onion pieces, and potato chunks (along with ay other veggie you might be adding) and spread them out on the parchment papered cookie sheet.

Spray the veggies and sausage with the cooking spray, lightly sprinkle the rosemary and garlic salt over all of it. Salt and pepper everything as well to taste.

I baked everything for about 30 minutes, tossing everything about halfway through. After the toss, I did another mist of cooking spray with salt and pepper. Of course, all of that is to taste. I like salty potatoes!!

After the 30 minutes is completed, I bumped the temperature up to 425 degrees and placed the pan back in for 10-15 minutes to get a quick crust. This will end up being one of those dishes you will need to watch at the end to ensure things aren't getting burned. Based on how thick everything is cut, it might happen quickly.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a recipe that was passed to me by a former roommate's mother. I always grew up eating chicken pot pie a certain way and didn't really enjoy it. When I tried her recipe, I was sold! I have tweaked it a bit and have made it a bit healthier. Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie

1 c. chopped up chicken
1/4 c. fat free italian dressing
4 oz. fat free cream cheese
2 Tb. flour
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 10-12 oz. package of steam-in-bag frozen vegetables
2 refrigerated pie crusts (I have best results with the deep dish crusts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Steam the veggies according to directions. Saute chicken and Italian dressing in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until cooked through (unless its already cooked and shredded). Add cream cheese to the skillet, cook until melted (about 2 minutes). Add flour, mix well. Add broth and vegetables, cook about 5 minutes.

Pour mixture into the pie plate and cover with second pie crust. Make sure to cut slits in top crust if you aren't making a weaved pattern with dough strips.

Bake for 30 minutes. Make sure you put a baking sheet underneath for drips!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Baked Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing

As a Floridian, I bring a wealth of knowledge about seafood wherever I least that's the rumor. I like to think I'm the authority on all things ocean-related and will try to live up to that label. So, when we went to visit my in-laws over Christmas in NC, they told me they picked up some fresh Flounder when they were visiting the east coast of NC a few weeks prior. They were looking for some suggestions on how to cook it, so I suggested the only way to cook fish: minimally. I tried out some new recipes and they were a hit! (And tasted exactly the way my Dad had cooked flounder throughout my lifetime!)

Crabmeat Stuffed Flounder
Based on a recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagesse

2-4 fresh flounder filets, deboned (ours were about 10 oz, but you should be able to easily find them in 4-6 oz size)
3 Tb. butter
1 lb. fresh lump crab meat, picked through to remove all shells
2 tsp. seasoning (we use Tony's)
1/4 c. minced onion
2 Tb. minced celery
2 Tb. red bell pepper
2 Tb. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tb. mayonnaise
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
3/4 tsp. hot sauce
10 crushed saltine crackers
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 lemons, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add 1 tsp. of the seasoning and mix in with the crab meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Put 3 Tb. butter into a saute pan. Add the onion, celery, and red pepper, cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until soft, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and parsley, cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.

Add the cooled veggies to the crab meat and stir. Add mayo, beaten egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, saltine crackers, 1/4 tsp. of salt, and pepper to the crab mixture and stir until just combined.

On baking sheets, lay out big pieces of nonstick foil (enough to make tin foil tents for the fish). Place the filets on the foil and salt and pepper them. Place the lemon slices all over the filets. Split up the crab meat dressing into equal parts to completely cover the filets. Bring the foil up and fold over the filets, but NOT tight. Try to make the tops of the foil tented.

Bake for 20 minutes. Undo the foil tents so the filets are uncovered and cook for another 20 minutes or until heated all the way through. Check the fish often so that it doesn't overcook!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Whole Wheat WW Banana Bread

This is an adaptation of the Roasted Strawberry Banana Bread from SkinnyTaste. I didn't have any strawberries, so I just kept on with the banana bread :) It ended up being completely fine and tasted great! One loaf makes 16 servings for 2 pts+ a piece!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tb. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar (not packed)*
3 very ripe bananas
2 Tb. applesauce
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg whites

*When putting sugar into measuring cup, use a fork to run through the sugar to fluff it up and make it easier to scoop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Put sugar and butter in mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for several minutes. Add in bananas, vanilla, applesauce, and egg whites. Mix for several more minutes until combined. Add in the flour mixture and mix on a low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!