Chicken Enchilada Pasta

This recipe is 2 amazing dishes mixed into one.  It’s pasta and enchiladas.  This pasta is a great fusion of 2 favorites in my opinion.  It’s simple to make.  You can remove the chicken to make a vegetarian dish and you can add any veggies you have on hand.

This recipe calls for cooked chicken.  I’ve done it 2 different way.  I’ve used a rotisserie chicken that I just removed the chicken from the bone and diced up.  I’ve also made salsa chicken in the crockpot.  (Check out that recipe under crockpot on the table of contents)  Either way is completely fine.  The chicken just needs to be fully cooked.

This is definitely a quick weeknight recipe.  Perfect for left over chicken and can be put together rather quickly and the results are delicious!  Give it a try, let me know how you like it!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Ingredients:
1lb chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
1 lb pasta, I use penne
1 28 oz can red enchilada sauce
15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
6 oz cheese
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 T taco seasoning
2 t salt, optional
2 t pepper, optional
2 T olive oil

Optional Toppings:
sour cream
green onion
avocado
cheese
chives

Directions: Boil water for pasta.  Don’t forget to season water with salt.  Cook pasta according to package.  While water is boiling and pasta is cooking. Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add in the oil and let heat 2 minutes.  Next add in the onion and pepper and let cook 3-4 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken into the pan and mix well.  Next pour in the enchilada sauce.  Season with the taco seasoning and salt and pepper if using.  Let cook for 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the cheese until it’s fully melted.

Next remove from heat and stir in the ricotta cheese and cilantro.  Add in cooked pasta and mix well.  Serve immediately with your favorite taco toppings.  Enjoy!

Note: My picture is topped with a dollop of sour cream, avocado, chives, onions and cotija cheese.

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Italian Chicken Cutlets

I love a nice chicken cutlet.  Coming from an Italian family chicken cutlets were definitely something we ate often.  It’s a nice thin piece of chicken breaded and fried (or baked) to a nice crispy exterior.  It’s so simple but so delicious.

When I make chicken cutlets it takes me back to sitting in my grandparents house and smelling the oil and chicken cooking. Yum!

Italian Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients:

3 chicken breast, cut 1/4 inch thick (or thin chicken cutlets) (6-8 total)
3/4 cup flour, (seasoned with salt and pepper)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t Italian seasoning
2 t pepper
2 t salt
2 t garlic and herb seasoning (see Shop Items I use, on top of page)
1/2-3/4 cup oil

Direction: Make a breading station with 3 bowls. In one bowl mix together breadcrumbs with cheese, and all seasonings, in a 2nd bowl add the beaten eggs, the last bowl should have the flour with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

First put the chicken in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Covering completely.  Set aside on a plate. Continue with remaining chicken.

Heat a large saute pan on high heat.  Add in the oil and let heat up completely.  To check if oil is hot add the end of a wooden spoon and make sure it starts to bubble.  Preheat oven to 300.

Once heated completely, add a few chicken pieces at a time to the pan, maybe 3 depending on size of the pan.  Do not over crowd the pan.  (Note you may need to add more oil to the pan after cooking some pieces.

Cook chicken for 2-4 minutes on one side and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the chicken breast the temperature of the oil.

Once cooked, drain the chicken cutlet on a paper towel to remove all the excess grease. Then place on a cookie sheet and put in the oven to keep warm. Continue with remaining chicken breast.

Serve the chicken cutlet with pasta, a salad, veggies or a nice carb.  Enjoy!

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Eggplant Parmesan Roll- Ups

I have been craving eggplant parmesan for weeks.  With this quarantine I decided to make it as it’s a little more time consuming, and hey nothing but time on my hands right now.  So, I made this into roll ups.  It came out super yummy.  Feel free to do this and just cut the eggplant in discs and stack in the pan with the sauce, sheet and ricotta.  Literally you can’t go wrong with however you decided to put it together.

Eggplant Parmesan Roll Ups

Ingredients:

1 large Eggplant, thinly sliced lengthwise (skin removed or left on)
1.5 cups Italian bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1/2 T Italian seasoning
2 t salt
2 t pepper
3 eggs, beaten
3 T olive oil

Filling:
2 cups riccotta
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
4 basil leaves, chiffonade

1-2 cups marinara (more or less to taste)
1 cup mozzarella

Directions: Pre-heat oven 400.  Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.  Place slices on paper towel and sprinkle with salt and let slices drain 30-45 minutes. After the time is up rinse eggplant and pat dry. (This step will help draw out some moisture in the eggplant.

Next, get 3 shallow bowls for the breading station.  Add flour to one, breadcrumbs  and seasoning to another, and eggs to the last bowl. Season the flour mixture with salt and pepper as well.

Start the breading process, dip the eggplant slices in the egg, then the flour mixture and in the breadcrumbs, making sure to completely coat the eggplant slice.  Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil and add eggplant.  Continue with remaining slices. (Note: Add extra breadcrumbs if needed)

Once you have completed all your eggplant, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then flip and bake for another 10 minutes. You want the breadcrumbs to be crispy.  (Note: once this is baked it will soften up anyway)
Remove from the oven once done.

While the eggplant is cooking you can make the ricotta mixture.  To a medium mixing bowl add in ricotta, seasoning, cheeses, garlic an basil and mix well.  Set aside until ready to use.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. To assemble add a spoonful of the ricotta mixture to the eggplant slice and roll up, place in in the baking dish. Do this with all the eggplant slices.  Once completed top the eggplant rolls with sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Let sit a few minutes and serve with a nice chunk of bread or garlic bread.

Notes: Use as much or as little of the marina as you like. Personally for me I prefer less sauce.  You can also make this dish without breading the eggplant. I prefer the taste of it breaded so this time I breaded it.  Also, you can fry the eggplant in a pan on the stove if  if you wish. I was trying to make it easier and trying to keep it slightly healthier.

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Chicken Parmigiana “Pizza” (Keto Friendly)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I’ve been working on some new recipes lately so expect more coming soon. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the last week or so and I am just playing catchup with some recipes.

That’s where this recipe comes in!! Who doesn’t like pizza or at least something that resembles pizza taste wise. Since eating low carbs while doing Keto I needed something that was like pizza. I made this chicken Parmigiana pizza. I wouldn’t really say this is like a pizza because you can’t pick it up and eat it. You will need to use a fork and a knife but it’s really a delicious take on it.

This recipe is simple to make and it’s a good way to stay low carb and get in your protein. You can mix up this recipe with your own toppings. I made this with just cheese but feel free to add some extras. This is definitely not the most eye appealing plate of food but it was so good!

Check out this recipe!

Chicken Parmigiana Pizza

Ingredients:

“Crust”
1lb Ground Chicken
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t Italian seasoning
4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 t salt
1 t pepper
¼ cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

Toppings:
½ cup full fat ricotta
½ t Italian seasoning
½ cup marinara sauce, low carb/sugar
1 cup shredded Italian cheese of choice
Optional Toppings ideas:
Arugula
Pepperoni/Sausage
Chopped Veggies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. In a bowl mix together all above ingredients for the crust. Use your hands to mix well. (Use some disposable gloves if you don’t like to get your hands dirty) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Evenly spread the ground chicken mixture on the parchment paper in a round circle. Try and make the mixture as even as possible for even baking.
In a small bowl mix together ricotta and Italian season and set aside.

Bake the crust in the oven at 400° for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken mixture. Remove from oven and drain any liquid from cooking. Let cool a few minutes. Then spread ricotta evenly over the chicken crust, next evenly spread the sauce over ricotta and finally sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil for 10 minutes checking every few minutes to make sure it’s not over cooking. The broil will help get the cheese all nice and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and cut into pieces. Keep in mind this recipe doesn’t get the chicken crust crispy. When you take it out of the oven it’s going to be flimsy. You will definitely need a fork to eat this.

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White Spinach Pizza

Happy Friday everyone! The weekend has finally arrived. In my family growing up Friday was pizza night for the most part. I love pizza!! It definitely ranks up there with my love for tacos. I thought I’d share my love of pizza with all of you with my favorite pizza I make at home.

My favorite is white spinach pizza. I like light sauce on my pizzas so I decided with this one I’d remove the sauce all together and just put a little olive oil on the crust. Check the recipe out!

White Spinach Pizza

Ingredients:
1 pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
10-12 oz baby spinach, chopped fine
8 oz Italian cheese blend, shredded
3-4 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
1 shallot, chopped small
2 T olive oil
1/2 T Italian Seasoning
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
Sprinkle: salt and pepper
4-5 T flour

Directions: Let dough rise 3-4 hours. I place mine in a bowl with olive oil and cover with a towel. Once dough is ready, preheat oven to 450°. Add flour to a smooth service and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. If you want it thin, just keep rolling the dough with a rolling pin. Remember the rough will rise in the oven.

Spray baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough on the baking sheet and use a fork and poke several holes along the dough. This will keep the crust from bubbling up. Bake the dough in the oven for 8 minutes until bottom of crust starts to turn slightly brown. While the dough is partially baking, in a bowl add the chopped spinach, shallot, shredded cheese (minus the fresh mozzarella), seasoning and drizzle with the oil. Mix well. It should almost look like a spinach and cheese salad.

Once crust is partially baked remove from the oven and brush 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough. Top spinach mixture evenly over the crust. Scatter the fresh mozzarella over the top of the spinach mixture. Return the pizza to the oven and bake another 10-12 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese is completely melted and slightly starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let sit 2-3 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Notes: Check with your local Italian bakery or pizzeria to see if they have pizza dough you can buy. I have one near me that sells the dough for less than $2. Buy a few and place in the freezer. Just let the dough thaw and come to room temperature before you add to a bowl to let it rise.

Pesto Fettuccine with Scallops

It’s finally the weekend! After a long work week I wanted something easy for dinner last night but didn’t want to just cave and order a pizza. I haven’t made pasta in forever and I had craving for it so that’s where Friday night’s dinner came in.

I made pesto fettuccine with scallops. It was divine! Completely hit the spot. Take a look at my recipe below for a quick hearty meal.

Pesto Fettuccine with Scallops

Ingredients:

1/2lb fettuccine

12-14 large scallops, rinsed and dried

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 shallots, chopped

1/4 cup pesto

2T olive oil

1T Romano cheese, finely grated

Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper

Directions: Cook pasta according to package. Strain and rinse under cold water and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to keep pasta from sticking. Set aside. Heat a large saute pan on high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and add scallops cooking for 2 minutes on each side till golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add the garlic and shallot to the pan and cook until tender. Add in the pesto and remaining olive oil (1 tablespoon) mix well. Add fettuccine to the pan and toss until coated. Heat for 3-4 minutes tossing often. Remove from heat and add to 2 bowls. To finish the dish top pasta with 6-7 scallops each and Romano cheese. Serve immediately with garlic bread.

Enjoy!