Chicken

Chicken & Veggie Quesadilla

Happy Weekend!!  I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A. it’s been a crazy week.  Lots going on over the next few weeks but don’t worry I’m still here ūüôā

I wanted to share with you something that’s underestimated but so yummy.  It’s a simple dish that if you have all the ingredients can whip it up quickly.

It’s a chicken and veggie quesadilla! I used seasoned chicken with grilled peppers and onions.  I served with sour cream, salsa and guacamole and 1/2 cup of reduced sodium black beans. It was very filling, delish and guilt free!

When I do my meal prep I like to make several bell peppers and onions. I grill them up and eat them in different ways through out the week.  I just loved them!  That’s what I used here.  These are great for a snack or a meal.

Chicken Quesadilla
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 Medium onion, sliced
1/2- 1 cup shredded cheese (use as much as you’d like)
3T low sodium taco seasoning
Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper
4 flour tortillas, fajita size

Toppings/Extras
1 cup reduced sodium black beans
3T sour cream
3T Fresh salsa
3T guacamole

Directions: Preheat oven at 350¬į. Season the chicken with taco seasoning and set aside. Grill peppers and onions on the grill till slightly charred and soft. Remove from grill and season with salt and pepper, set aside. Heat saut√© pan over medium heat. Cook chicken fully.  Remove from heat let sit and then chop chicken into pieces.

To make the quesadilla heat a sauté pan on medium heat, add 1 tortilla to the pan, top with 1/2 of the chopped chicken, 1/2 the veggie mixture and 1/4-1/2 cup of cheese and top with another tortilla.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until bottom tortilla is crispy and flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. (NOTE: Cooking times will vary depending on how high your pan is. Check to make sure the tortilla is getting golden brown before you flip.) Once cooked wrap in foil and place in oven.

Repeat the process to make the 2nd quesadilla. Place in foil and put in oven for a few minutes while you get your plate ready. To serve, cut quesadilla in 4 pieces and serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole and black beans. Enjoy!!

Note:  Use as much cheese as you want.  Remember if you use too little the quesadilla may not stay closed.

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Salad, Sides

Black Bean & Corn Salad

Tonight I made a black bean corn salad to go with my main entree.¬† While trying to be healthy I really try and make other sides that aren’t just your typically potato or rice sides.

That’s what I did here tonight.¬† It’s pretty basic but you can definitely add other flavors.¬† I used what I had on hand.

Black Bean & Corn Salad

15 oz black beans, (rinsed) (I used no salt)
1 cup frozen corn
1 T lime juice
1 T olive oil
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 small jalape√Īo, diced (remove seeds for less spice)
3 T red onion, chopped
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:  Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
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Starters

Caprese Bruschetta

This Caprese Bruschetta is a great starter for any meal or even for a light snack or lunch.  It’s light and fresh tasting and the flavors are just amazing.

The Italian in me is a huge fan of caprese salad.  I love fresh mozzarella with a juicy ripe tomato.  With this dish I just added some garlic crostini and turned it into a bruschetta.  I could seriously make 20 of these and eat every last one of them.

This dish is definitely great for the summer as it’s light and fresh but it’s so great I’ll eat it all year long.  It’s like a mini open faced tomato and mozzarella sandwich.  Who wouldn’t enjoy that?  ūüôā

Caprese Bruschetta

Ingredients:
10-12 Garlic crostini (Homemade or store bought) (Recipe below)
4-6 Campari tomatoes, sliced and chilled (or any tomato)
6-8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced or chopped
2 T Olive oil
1 T Basil, dried or fresh basil, chiffonade
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Crostini:
1 Baguette sliced 1/3 inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 T parsley
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400¬į.  Add sliced baguette to a baking sheet.  In a bowl mix together oil, garlic, parsley and salt & pepper and mix well.  Brush the oil mixture onto the crostini and bake in oven for 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Keep an eye on the crostini so they don’t burn.

To assemble, add mozzarella to crostini and top with tomato slice. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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Savory Pies

Spinach Pie

Happy Monday!! On the menu tonight was a spinach pie.  This is a delicious spinach filled pie with crispy phyllo dough. I made mine with slightly less phyllo dough just to keep it a little healthier and lower in carbs but I recommend adding a little more of the phyllo dough so you have a nice even crust.  This is great for brunch, lunch or dinner and great for a crowd.

Take a look at the recipe!

Spinach Pie

Ingredients:
16 oz frozen spinach, excess water squeezed out
1 1/2 cups, Ricotta
3/4 cup crumbled feta
3 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T garlic powder
2 t oregano
2 t salt
1 t pepper
Oil cooking spray
6-8 phyllo dough sheets
2 T butter, melted

Directions: Preheat oven to 375¬į.  In a medium saut√© pan on high heat add the olive oil, onion and garlic and cook till tender.  In a medium bowl add the spinach, onion and garlic and mix well.  Add in the 3 eggs, ricotta, feta cheese and spices and mix until smooth.

Spray a pie dish with oil cooking spray.  Then lay out 4-5 phyllo dough sheets in the middle of the pan, add in the spinach mixture.  Top pie with 2 extra phyllo sheets and then and fold over excess phyllo dough and press down.  Brush the top of the phyllo dough with the melted better, all over and in every nook and cranny.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit 5-7 minutes prior to cutting.  Serve immediately.

Notes: Use more salt if needed.  I feel like with the spinach you need more salt than normal.  You can use less phyllo dough if you’d like, that’s what I did.  But it’s much better when you have more.

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Leftovers, Pork, Tacos

Leftover Pork Tacos

I’m sure we’ve all had leftovers in our refrigerator and by the time you remember them¬†you have to toss right into the trash.¬† I do that all the time!¬† It’s such a waste of food and I often think to myself I should have just made enough for one meal.

I’m not a huge fan of left overs.¬† I have to really love the dish to even want to eat the leftovers or I have to be able to reuse the leftovers to make a new dish.¬† That’s exactly what we have here.

With this dish I had left over pork chops that I turned into tacos.  These pork chops were very basic. They were slightly marinated then grilled.  If you have a left over protein that has stronger flavors you may want to remove the excess flavors by wiping off the meat or rinsing (yes I know, weird.)

That is where this recipe came from.¬† Just using¬†leftover pork chops.¬† It was something simple and took very little time to prepare.¬† I had all the ingredients on hand and it came together in a snap.¬† This is why I always try and keep ingredients for tacos at my house.¬† Not only because tacos is it’s own food group to me, but also because you can always put together a taco dish if you have the basics.¬† Like tortillas, cheese, meat, onions, avocado, etc…the list goes on.

When I first thought of this I was worried it may have been odd¬†to use cooked pork chops for a taco.¬† I was wrong! Take a look at the recipe below and give it a try. It’s definitely very good, very simple and cost-effective. Use those leftovers!

Leftover Pork Tacos

Ingredients:
1 1/2 C pork cubed (cooked)
1- medium white onion, diced
2- garlic cloves, chopped
3- mini peppers any color, diced
1- cilantro bunch, chopped
1- lime, juiced
1- avocado
1T- olive oil
2t- garlic powder
2t- onion powder
1t- paprika
2t- chili powder
1t- taco seasoning (low sodium)
Pinch: Salt and Pepper
6-8 Tortillas (corn or flour)
2T- Reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese

Directions: Heat medium sauté pan over high heat. Add drizzle of olive oil and sauté onions, garlic and peppers till softened. Remove from heat and add to medium size bowl. Add in pork and cilantro (reserve some), half the oil, lime juice and spices. Mix well and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to eat, heat the mixture in a sauté pan with remaining oil on medium low heat till warmed through. Stir occasionally. Reminder, you are just heating the meat as the meat is already fully cooked.

I mashed the avocado and added cilantro, lime and salt. To assemble taco add meat mixture to tortilla, top with avocado mash and finish with sprinkle of cheese. Serve and enjoy!

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Salad, Uncategorized

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Growing up I really didn’t care for brussels sprouts.¬† They smelled horrible and tasted just as bad, even if it had bacon mixed in.¬† As I got older I learned to like them prepared in certain ways.¬† I started experimenting with different recipes.

Earlier this year I had a brussels sprout salad at a Chicago restaurant and it was absolutely delicious.¬† It was something I never thought I’d enjoy, especially with raw brussels sprouts.

This is my take on a brussels sprouts salad.  Take a look and next time your in the store look for shaved brussels sprouts.  You can shave them or chop them yourself, but why put yourself through that if you can buy them shaved.  This is a great alternative to a lettuce salad.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Ingredients:
3 cups shaved brussels sprouts
3 T blue cheese
3 T honey roasted pecans (or any nut)
2 T dried cranberries
3 T crumbled bacon
1 chopped avocado, optional

Dressing:
4 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 t red wine vinegar
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1/2 T Dijon mustard

Directions: In a bowl whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.  Let sit 15 minutes so the flavors can marry.  Then mix shaved brussels sprouts, toppings and dressing and toss together.  Serve immediately.

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Pork

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops

Take a look at the this delicious mushroom stuffed pork chop.  It’s a mixture of shiitake and portobello mushrooms with a creamy texture stuffed into a pork loin chop.  It was my first time making this recipe and I’ll be sure to definitely make again.

I decided to use shiitake mushrooms for this dish to change it up and do something different besides regular white mushrooms.  The mixture of portobello and shiitake gave this filling a rich taste.  Check it out!

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops
6 servings

Ingredients:
6 Pork Loin chops thick cut
4 T whipped cream cheese
1 1/2 T Romano cheese
1 T (+ more for drizzling) Oil
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
8 oz portobello, cleaned and chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 T panko bread crumbs, plain
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 t oregano
2 t garlic
2 t onion
2 t salt
Sprinkle: pepper

Directions:  Heat a medium saute pan on high heat. Add in 1/2 T of oil, onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add in mushrooms and cook on high heat stirring often, sprinkle with salt.  This will help make sure all the water comes out of the mushrooms.  You want to cook the mushrooms until they start to get golden brown.  This will take some time.  There may be water in pan at first but the longer you cook it will evaporate and mushrooms will start to turn golden brown.

Once cooked add mushroom mixture to a food processor.  Let cool slightly.  Then add in remaining 1/2 T of oil and cream cheese and pulse until minced.  You may need to pulse 4-5 times.  The mixture should be chunky, not smooth.  Add in Romano cheese, panko bread crumbs and spices and mix with a spoon.  Add more seasonings to taste.

Cut a pocket into the pork chops from side to side and down.  Don’t cut all the way through.  Add the filling into each pork chop evenly.  Close the pork chop with toothpicks or butchers string.

Season pork chops with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Add into a oven safe dish and bake in oven 375¬į for 30-35 minutes until completely cooked.

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