To Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Well I had chicken that was sitting in my fridge for long enough so thought I should make something that would warm me right up for these blustery cold days that have decided to move in on us in the mid-west. I blame all those people who have been complaining that we haven’t really had a winter yet. Dang all of you.

But I guess I won’t complain too much because I PR’ed my 10K time yesterday while on my 7 mile run complete with snow-like precipitation, winds that put a little water in my eyes and the wonderful smell of cow…

I cooked this up yesterday but didn’t get to enjoy it until today (the 4-6 hours in the crock pot meant it wasn’t ready till 9ish) – it was worth the wait. I shared it at a potluck/movie watching and the others thought it was good too!  And it really did warm me right up!

This will warm you from the inside out and is healthy too boot – saying as I adapted it from Skinny Taste (:

Ingredients:
2 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth

8 oz can tomato sauce

4.5 oz. can green chillies

15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup Grape Tomatoes diced tomatoes

2 cups frozen corn

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2 8 oz skinless chicken breasts (16 oz total)

avocado, tortilla strips and cheese for topping

Directions:

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, 3-4 minutes.

Slowly add the chicken broth, tomato sauce and green chillies and bring to a boil. Pour into crock pot.

To the crockpot, add drained beans, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano and stir.

Add the chicken breasts; cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add chicken back into the soup, adjust salt and cumin to taste. Serve in bowls and top with cheese of choice, tortilla stripsand avocado.

Cheers

n

To Chicken and Veggie Pesto Flatbread Pizza

Looks good, right? It’s probably my mad pizza making skills I learned during my stint in a family pizza joint. A little side story was my friends loved that I worked there because it meant discount pizza for them and me smelling like pizza (specifically pepperoni) whenever I met up with them on Fridays and Saturdays. I hated it just for the latter – my hair ALWAYS smelled like pizza. But it did teach me how to top the perfect pizza!

This was Über delicious and totally made my day that much better. Healthy and flavorful, quick and simple. The Spinach Pecan Pesto brought out the flavors of the veggies and added a nice nutty flavor. With the simple multi-grain flatbread this was all around delicious lunch. Need I say more.

Ingredients:

1 flatbread (I used multi-grain flat out brand)

Spinach Pecan Pesto (or other pesto)

Chicken breast, cooked and cubed

Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers

Broccoli Florets

1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese

Directions:

Lay flatbread on baking sheet. Apply a thin layer of pesto, top pesto with your chosen ingredients (you don’t have to use what I used) and then sprinkle a little parmesan – just a little does the trick!

Bake in over at 325 for 5-8min or until it has a nice crisp edge (that’s how I like it).

Sit down and enjoy…don’t share…maybe one slice to a lucky individual.

Reminds me of the time my friends and I stopped in Napoli (Naples, Italy) just to eat pizza – we had a contest to see who could finish first – I took 3rd…out of 6 – middle road is ok by me – I wanted to savor every single bite and not feel guilty about eating a whole pizza to myself!

Cheers

n

To “Island Soyaki” Chicken Skewers

This past week was way busier than usual for me, but I knew that I wanted to still have something delicious to eat for dinner even if I didn’t have time to make it so Sunday I prepared chicken skewers. They were ridiculously good and lasted me all through the week – so served their purpose.

I could have just marinated the chicken and grilled it, but wanted to have fun so I made skewers. Besides I have been in summer withdrawals with the cold so thought this could be my escape into Island time.

Ingredients:

Marinade of Choice (Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki)

2 chicken breasts, cubed

2 colorful peppers, cut into chunks (Yellow & Orange)

1 pineapple, cubed

Skewers

Directions:

Marinade chicken for 30 min. to an hour – the longer you marinade the more flavor the chicken will have. Using a grill or a George Foreman (remember its 30 degrees out and I am in college – grills aren’t the easiest to come by),  grill your chicken just until it is cooked. Take off grill, put chicken, pineapple and peppers onto the skewers (alternating in your order of preference) and then place back on the grill. This way your peppers and your pineapple get a bit of the grill effect too and your chicken finishes getting cooked.

It’s as easy as that and you will be left with meals to last you the week. It is great on top of broccoli and green beans (I did this many times), in a whole wheat wrap, or if you have time to cook brown rice I am guessing that would be delicious too.

Cheers

n

To Berry & Nut Spinach Salad

This salad comes together really quickly and is perfect in the summer when berries are in season, or in the winter when you are ok with paying a little more for berries because you are having withdrawal symptoms (the latter is how I currently can be classified). I just make sure to stretch that bursting berry flavor through as many meals as I can (:

Use for a complete dinner or lunch and mix it up with your choice of berries and nuts!

I made mine for lunch today and prepared a second for my lunch tomorrow!

Ingredients:

1-2 cups spinach

1/2 grilled chicken breast, cubed (omit or replace with tofu if you are vegan or vegetarian)

1/8 cup of blueberries, red raspberries and blackberries

3 dates, chopped

1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds

1/8 cup pecans, chopped

1 tsp. flax seed

1-2 Tbsp. balsamic, pomegranate vinaigrette, or other light dressing that goes well with berries

Directions:

Top everything on your bed of spinach and enjoy!

Cheers

n

 

To Sindhi Chicken Curry

Over the Thanksgiving Break I cooked (or attempted) Indian. Most of the dishes came out – this Sindhi Chicken Curry was fantastic and I am so glad I tried it. It was pretty easy to make, and definitely would have been a lot easier if I didn’t have the other dishes to make at the same time.

I would add a bit more spice next time, but my family likes spice. Even my niece and nephew, who are not that daring when it comes to food tried it and absolutely loved it.

I paired it with brown basmati rice and homemade naan

Ingredients:

2 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt at room temperature

½ tsp. cornstarch (didn’t have cornstarch but the recipe turned out just fine without it)

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Cups finely chopped onions

1 Tbsp. minced garlic (I used 2 big cloves – my family loves garlic so add as you see fit)

1 Tbsp. Coriander Powder

1 ½ Tsp. Cumin Powder

½ Tsp. Tumeric

½ Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 Can tomatoes, chopped including the juice

3/4 Cup cilantro, chopped, divided

1 Tsp. Salt to Taste

1 ½ Tsp. Garam Masala (I forgot to add this in the hype of getting everything done and it tasted great so I guess this is optional)

Directions:

Stir together the yogurt and corn starch until smooth and set aside (if you don’t have corn starch then just make sure to pull the yogurt from the fridge so that it is room temperature)

In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until beginning to color, 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until dark golden, 10-12 minutes longer.

Stir in garlic and chilies. Sauté for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken and brown well, 6-8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, yogurt mixture, ½ cup cilantro and salt. Mix well. Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 25 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the garam masala and 3 tbsp. cilantro.

Cheers

n