Chicken & Turkey · Dinner

Spinach & White Bean Chicken Chili

Saturday’s are crock-pot days in my household. And it is such a lifesaver!

Sometimes I have to laugh at how regimented Joe and I are. I just really love routine.

Using the crock-pot frees up SO much time. I don’t have to think about making time to prep dinner, which on Saturdays is super helpful because I feel like that is key errand day- along with most likely every other person in the world, since every store is packed like a can of sardines.

I recently made this spinach & white bean chicken chili which got rave reviews. Super simple & super healthy. It is low enough in calories so you can have a large bowl- none of that tiny portion size that doesn’t fill you up. It’s also packed with protein and fiber, leaving you feeling full.

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And I mean, is there really anything better than a nice, hot bowl of chili on a cold winter day? That’d be a negative.

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Spinach & White Bean Chicken Chili

Yield: ~5 servings (~ 1 & 2/3 cup each)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients, minus spinach, into crock pot.
  2. Cook for ~8 hrs on low, or ~4 hrs on high.
  3. Prior to serving, shred chicken with two forks (It should shred easily when it is finished)
  4. Once chicken is shredded add spinach
  5. Taste chili and add any additional spices to fit your liking (more chili powder or red pepper flakes for heat)
  6. Cook on low for an additional 20-30 minutes, until spinach in wilted
  7. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information per serving (~1 & 2/3 cup): 219 calories 2g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 28g protein,  5.4g fiber

Serving ideas: Top with cheese, tortilla chips, or croutons; serve with bread, tortilla chips, or pita

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Lunch · Snacks & Bites · Uncategorized

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Pinwheels

I don’t know how your workplace is, but for me, we are always in the process of coordinating some sort of party/potluck- or at least that’s the way it feels. They’re nice because they break up the work day and give you something to look forward to, but I always feel like I am left with the anxiety of trying to figure out what to bring. Usually this is my own fault because I either wait until the last minute- or just plain forget.

This happened to me again just a few days ago. It was 6pm the day before the potluck and I still had no idea what I was bringing. I was not in the mood to be running to the store, so I took survey of my pantry. The result? Black bean & sweet potato pinwheels.

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Pinwheels are a perfect pot-luck item. They’re just small, appetizer-like bites, so no one feels like that have to take a huge heaping, helping with portion control. Plus they stay good for a few days, so you can snack on them later in the day, send some home with co-workers, or take them for lunch yourself the next day. Also, bringing these allows you to be sure there will be a healthy option available- which may not always be the case!

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Black Bean & Sweet Potato Pinwheels

Yield: 18 pinwheels

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp each: Onion Powder, Cumin, Garlic powder,
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach

Directions

  1. Scrub and peel potatoes. Boil in a pot of water until tender.
  2. Mash soft potatoes with a potato masher. Adding in butter and spices.
  3. Lay 1 tortilla flat and spread 1/3 of the mashed potatoes evenly on top
  4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of black beans on top of potatoes
  5. Lay a few leaves of spinach up the middle
  6. Roll tortilla rightly and cut into 6 even slices
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 with remaining 2 tortillas and ingredients

Nutrition Information Per Pinwheel: 57 calories, 1.2g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 1.5g protein

Breakfast · Pancakes & Waffles

Cinnamon Oat Waffles

When I opened the waffle maker my sister got my for Christmas I was so excited. It’s a little, red, mini-waffle iron. The fact that it was mini made me even more excited A. mini food is so fun B. you get to eat 4 waffles rather than 1 C. it takes up less storage space. 

My first attempt at using it was an utter failure… not the waffle maker’s fault, my own. I tried to make mashed potato waffles on the fly- which ended up being one big, sloppy mess. Note to self: Don’t try to whip together something you’ve never done before, on an item you’ve never used, while hanger is setting in… Not ideal…

Since that initial experimenting I decided to start at the beginning with my waffle journey: Breakfast. It only makes sense, right?

After a few rounds of experimenting with this project, I have settled on this recipe to debut my waffle making skills. 

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Firstly, they’re cinnamon oat waffles, so, yum.

Secondly, there are only 220 calories in the entire recipe (that made me 4 mini waffles- about 4”each- that’s a good serving!)

Thirdly, there are 14g protein…. in WAFFLES! Fab. 

Fourthly, I made them entirely in my food processor= one dish to clean!

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I topped mine with banana, peanuts, and syrup. It was the perfect start to my day-off (TGI-Tuesday!) despite being sick….

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Cinnamon Oat Waffles

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Pulse oats in a food processor until finely ground into oat flour
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and process until evenly combined
  3. Pour batter into a heated waffle iron lightly coated with cooking spray and cook according to waffle maker directions
  4. Dress them up with your favorite toppings!

Nutrition Information Per Recipe: 220 calories, 3g fat, 33g carbohydrate, 14g protein

If you only have a full sized waffle iron, that would work just fine, just make one waffle.

Also, you could use old fashioned rolled oats too. I prefer the quick oats because I feel like they make the waffle fluffier. 

Chicken & Turkey · Dinner

Simple Chicken & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner

Simple dinners are the key to sanity. 

I hear so often “I don’t have time to make dinner” or “I can’t cook”.

Having a healthy, home cooked meal doesn’t mean you have to slave over a stove for an hour or two, or require you to be a Julia Child protege.

This dinner solves both the “I don’t have time” and “I can’t” excuses. 

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It also solves the “I am trying to save money” excuse, because when I broke it down, this meal cost me about $4. That’s a healthy, home cooked dinner for 2 people with very large appetites. Now, I don’t know what Big Mac meals are going for these days, but I am pretty sure it’s more than 2 bucks a pop. 

Personally, I don’t always have 45 minutes during the week after work before my “hanger” sets in (The struggle is real). So you can simply bake this on Sunday and re-heat during the week. 

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Are there more obstacles you are facing when it comes to getting dinner on the table? Send them my way!

Simple Chicken & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (washed and scrubbed)
  • 2 cups cubed acorn squash
  • 1 bag frozen brussels sprouts
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350, lightly spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray
  2. Slice chicken breasts into 1” strips. Cube sweet potatoes.
  3. Spread chicken, potatoes, squash, and brussels sprouts onto sheet pan. Mixing them together so all items are evenly distributed. 
  4. Drizzle chicken & veggies with 2 tsp olive oil. 
  5. Combine all herbs & spices in a small dish and sprinkle over top.
  6. Cook for ~35-45 minutes, until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through. 

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 440 calories, 7.5g fat, 47g carbohydrate, 35g protein

Cakes, Cookies & Desserts

Sweet Potato Brownies

It can get so cold and dark here in the mitten during the dreary winter months. I find that the little things throughout the day can make it 10x more exciting. These sweet potato brownie are included in that.

For 127 calories per generous sized fudgey, brownie, you can’t beat it. The potatoes take on the cocoa powder flavor and you actually don’t taste them. Great for kids and adults alike 😉

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Plus, for only 127 calories per brownie, you can totally serve these A-la-Mode, which we did on more than one occasion. Thank goodness for Kroger’s large lactose-free ice cream selection. Plus, it’s only $3 bucks and actually tastes like creamy ice cream- unlike a lot of other dairy-free versions I have tried. Two Thumbs Up.

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Sweet Potato Brownies

Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup stevia
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a an 11 x 7 or 9 x 9 baking dish, set aside.
  2. Wash, scrub, peel and cube sweet potatoes. Place sweet potatoes in a microwave safe bowl, wrapped in a wet paper towel. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until soft.**
  3. Allow potatoes to cool**. Place in food processor, once cooled, add applesauce, vanilla, milk, and eggs. Pulse until pureed. 
  4. Transfer potatoes mixture to a large mixing bowl, adding remaining ingredients, except chocolate chips. Once mixed thoroughly, fold in chocolate chips. 
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for ~22 minutes. 
  6. Cut into nine brownies.

Nutrition Information Per Brownie: 127 calories, 3.4g fat, 25g carb, 4g protein

*I used unsweetened cashew milk

**May also bake or boil potatoes if you prefer.

Chicken & Turkey · Dinner

Dutch Oven Cornish Hen Meal

If you follow me on instagram you most likely saw this picture that I posted of my New Years Eve adventures:

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I know, I know, I am a wild child. Whatever.. I am a homebody and I have no shame. Plus I was on-call so I couldn’t get too far.

I have seen these cute little birds at the grocery store and have been wanting to try my hand at cooking one. A fancy last meal for 2016 finally gave me a reason to do it. I was intimidating, I am not going to lie. I was actually prepared to thaw something in the freezer if this didn’t turn out… Luckily, I didn’t have to do that. 

I was so shocked at how simple cooking this little mini bird was, it took next to no effort- seriously. Don’t be intimidated to try your hand at this dish, it’s easy and sure to impress. 

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I will say too, it was a messy meal, lots of de-boning, but so worth it for a fun meal to shake things up. I’ll definitely be making this again!

Dutch Oven Cornish Hen Meal

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cornish game hen
  • 1/2 tsp each:
    • -Garlic powder
    • -Cumin
    • -Paprika
    • -Chili powder
    • -Dried thyme 
  • 1 tsp EVOO (divided)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 bag frozen veggie of choice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a dutch oven, set aside.
  2. Thaw hen according to packaged directions.
  3. Combine spices and rub 3/4 of spice blend on the inside cavity of the bird. Rub outside of bird with 1/2 tsp EVOO and rub remaining 1/4 spice mixture on the outside, into the oil. Place bird in the middle of the dutch oven.
  4. Wash, scrub, and largely chop sweet potatoes. In a large bowl toss with remaining 1/2 tsp EVOO and brown sugar. Place on one side of the bird.
  5. On the other side of the bird, place you frozen veggies. 
  6. Bake the dutch oven covered for about 1 hr, and then uncover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. 
  7. Serve!

Nutrition information per serving (1/2 dutch oven contents):480 calories, 17.5g fat, 58g carbs, 23.4g protein

I used this recipe from The Kitchen Whisperer as a base and modified. Fab!