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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Buttery Garlic Baked Drumsticks

This week I’ve done my favorite chicken recipes! I have some I didn’t get to share again but maybe I’ll do chicken week again soon. As promised I have a NEW super simple chicken recipe to share. It’s sure to be a hit in your family!

This recipe is made with chicken drumsticks! Ok, let’s talk about the drumsticks for a minute here. Drumsticks are really just oversized chicken wing if you think about it. The drumsticks are bigger and have more meat on them therefore you don’t have to eat a dozen to feel fulfilled. Oh wait, you don’t eat a dozen wings? Must just be me? HaHa!

I have made drumsticks a lot lately and if you check out my Instagram feed (check to the left of this page to follow me on IG) you will definitely see a lot of different variations of drumsticks. I’ve made all different flavors from spicy, to bbq to lemon pepper and this one I’m sharing today is a simple Buttery Garlic flavor.

The good thing about drumsticks is you can usually find them at a very reasonable price. I’ve gotten for less than a dollar a pound at the big name box stores. I usually buy a huge pack and freeze them in portions. Remember chicken drumsticks don’t have a ton of meat on them, so make sure to plan accordingly an adult may need 2-3 drumsticks. Drumsticks only weigh about 4oz and only yield about 1-2 oz of actual meat.

My go to way to cook drumsticks or even chicken thighs to get that nice crispy skin is in that oven! I know a lot of people like to put them on the grill, which can also be done. I just prefer to oven bake them. The chicken always comes out super moist. I personally feel like the grill is so much less forgiving than the oven. You can’t come back from over grilled chicken.

When making the chicken in the oven you can do it 2 different ways. I’ve done it both, but now I pretty much do the way with the easiest clean up! You can place the chicken on an oven rack over a baking dish or deeper sheet pan. This helps keep the chicken from sitting in the fat while cooking and helps for even cooking all around. You can try to make it easier to clean up by covering the sheet pan or baking dish with foil. But we all know that even when you remove that foil from cooking chicken that pan will STILL be greasy and you will STILL need to wash it. Just do what I do and either COMPLETELY line a baking sheet with foil. I mean wrap that up completely. OR you can use disposable cookie sheets. You can buy a 2 pack at the dollar store! I know people may give me a hard time about that but honestly, busy people need some easy ides for quick clean up and I HATE washing pans from cooking.

Ok, I got side track, let’s get back to to the recipe.

Buttery Garlic Baked Drumstick

Ingredients:
6 chicken drumsticks
1/2 (4T) stick salted butter, melted
4 T garlic, minced or grated
2 t dried parsley
2 t onion powder
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Direction: Preheat oven to 400°. Pat dry the drums. Try and pull the skin over to completely cover the drum. Sometimes the skin starts to slide off or not cover completely.

In the bowl of melted butter, add in the garlic and parsley. Mix well and set aside. Grease the cooking pan with cooking spray. This will keep the chicken from sticking. Even if using the disposable pan, still spray it. Lay out the chicken on the baking pan and season with salt, pepper and onion powder.

Bake chicken in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush butter mixture on the drumsticks and place back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes. (Note: Cooking times will vary depending on oven and size of drumsticks.) The chicken is cooked when it reaches an internal temp of 165°. Remember, the drumstick is the dark meat so it won’t be white in color like a chicken breast. Let set a few minutes and then enjoy with your favorite sides or a salad.

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My Affair With Tostadas!

It’s no surprise that I love tacos. But I have a confession.  I’ve been cheating on tacos with tostadas!  The last year my love for tostadas has grown so much.  I can’t tell you how much I love those crispy flat tortillas!! There have been times I felt like I was posting at least one tostada picture a week on my social media.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites on my blog.  It’s super simple to put together a delicious tostadas dinner.  I figured I’d share some tips!

First you need to start out with a crispy tostada shell.  I’ve only ever seen corn tostadas but if you see flour tostadas give them a go!  You next need to add a delicious protein.  This can be steak, chicken, shrimp or to keep it vegetarian you can add beans or even eggs.  Next is your choice of delicious toppings.  You can add onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream, cheese, cheese sauce, guacamole or salsa. Breakfast tostadas are also a great idea.  Just add some eggs and chorizo, sausage or bacon and your toppings and you have successfully made a breakfast tostada!  Or be like me and just eat a regular tostada for breakfast.  No eggs required!! Ha, Ha!

I try and keep tostadas on hand because they have a long shelf life and it’s a great way to throw together a quick dinner.  Here are 4 of my tostadas below with the ingridents.  My favorites are #3 and #4 just because I love steak!!  Check them out! Leave your favorite in the comments! Each of these recipes will make 2 tostadas and you can obviously use more or less of the toppings to your likings.  Enjoy!

1# Spicy Chicken Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
1 T diced onion
1 T diced jalapeños
4 oz cooked chicken
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T queso sauce
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread cooked refried beans over tostadas.  Top chicken, onions, jalapeños, shredded cheese and drizzle of queso sauce. Enjoy. 

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#2 Pulled Pork Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 Oz leftover pulled pork
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T diced onion
2 T salsa
6 slices jalapeños
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread the refried beans over the tostadas.  Top with pork, onions and jalapeños and shredded cheese and drizzle over salsa. 

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#3 Skirt Steak Tostadas

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz Skirt Steak, Cooked
1/4 cup guacamole
2 T chopped onion
1 T chopped cilantro
2 T queso fresco
2 T salsa
2 lime squeezes

Directions: Spread out guacamole over tostadas.  Top with skirt steak, onion, and queso fresco, drizzle salsa over tostadas and finish with chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime.

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#4 Filet Mignon Steak Tacos

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz  filet mignon, cooked
3 T sour cream
2 T chopped jalapeno
2 T diced onion
2 T cilantro
3 T Chihuahua Cheese

Directions: Spread sour cream over the tostadas and lay out steak and continue with toppings, jalapeno, onion, cheese and then Chihuahua cheese.

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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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Chicken, Potato and Asparagus Bake

This recipe is my new favorite chicken recipe.  It’s so simple and yet is a well rounded dinner.  It’s has a protein, a starch and a veggie.  I’m always looking for that go to, easy week night meal.  Well here it is.

I made this recipe and I immediately knew it would be something I’d make again and again.  This recipe can be made with both chicken breasts or chicken thighs.  I choice a boneless and skinless chicken thigh because it’s much juicer and it was something I had on hand.  Chicken breasts can also be used, you just need to adjust the cooking times.

I added asparagus and mini potatoes but feel free to adjust to whatever vegetable you have in your pantry.  Check it out!

Chicken, Potato and Asparagus Bake

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 bunch asparagus, chopped in 1 inch pieces
15-20 mini potatoes, sliced in half or whole
2-3 T Olive oil
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t paprika
1 t chili powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven 375.  Heat a medium cast iron skillet or regular skillet on medium high heat.  Season chicken thighs on both sides with garlic and onion powder, paprika, chili powder and salt and pepper.

Add 1/2 T of olive oil to the pan and let heat 1 minute.  Brown chicken on both sides.  Brown all chicken and set aside.

In a medium bowl add the asparagus and potatoes and coat with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and garlic and onion powder.

Add the chicken to the bottom of a large baking pan.  Add the chopped asparagus and potatoes on top of the chicken.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until vegetables are fork tender and chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven, season potatoes and asparagus with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes:  The chicken cook times may vary.  Adjust accordingly.  Cut the potatoes in half to cook them quicker.  If you use larger potatoes they may need to be quartered.  Chicken breasts will take a bit longer to cook especially depending on the size of the breast.  Browning chicken first isn’t a mandatory step but it’s definitely one that will enhance the flavors.

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