Zucchini and Chicken Alfredo

GUESS WHAT I GOT!?!?!?! A veggie spiralizer! My friend had a pampered chef party the other week and I saw that they have a spiralizer! Now… I’m mildly obsessed with all things Pampered Chef. It’s a problem… but I FORCED my friend to have a party, just so she could partially benefit from my obsession and need to order this spiralizer. So, because she’s a good friend, she hosted a party and I got it! YAY!

I’ve made this dish 2 times. Once by using the largest side of my cheese grader, and once by using my spiralizer. I did like both, but my favorite version was with the spiralizer. It was just FUN! It made the zucchini the size and texture of noodles. You can make a still delicious version with your cheese grater though if you don’t want to/don’t have the spiralizer.

My husband and daughter thought this was a WINNER!!! My sweet son couldn’t try it because it’s chock full of cheese and dairy… but I’m sure if he could, he would’ve loved it! Who doesn’t love alfredo?! And if you’re gonna splurge, you may as well splurge with veggies so you don’t feel QUITE as guilty!!

My recipe is adapted from this one: Zucchini Alfredo

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 chicken tenderloins sauteed in a skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 4-5 min. per side (from frozen) and then set aside to rest.
  • 2 large zucchini (or 3 medium to small), spiralized* OR shredded with the LARGE side of a cheese grater
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour alternative for a thickener)
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half OR 2% milk (at the least amount of fat. The cheese won’t bind with the milk to make the creamy sauce if you use skim or rice milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I prefer “Shredded” parmesan cheese over grated. I had run out… but the taset is WAY better, creamier and cheesier)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. As mentioned above, sautee chicken (Unless you’re using leftover rotisserie chicken) and set aside on a cutting board. Let rest BEFORE you cut up.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sautee onions until translucent. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and heated through, about 3-5 minutes; set aside.
  3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the saucepan. Add garlic, whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  4. Gradually whisk in cream, italian seasoning and oregano. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste. (I am pretty generous with the black pepper. I think it makes the alfredo pretty and delicious.)
  5. Stir in zucchini  and the now chopped chicken tenderloins, and gently toss to combine.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and a bit more shredded parmesan cheese, if desired.

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And SERIOUSLY enjoy! You’ll be glad you made this one!!!

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And now, for the song of the day:

I can’t help singing to this song every time I hear it!!!

Creamy Ranch-Style Chicken and Potatoes with Carrots

I’ve tried a similar dish like this before… and I’m getting even closer to the ranch taste without using that packet of seasoning that’s full of MSG, etc… this is getting closer! I used cream in this dish to give it that yummy creamy texture… I may use buttermilk next time!! That would definitely put that ranch flavor just over the top to where it should be!

This one, I just chopped all the ingredients, and cooked it all in one pan! It does take a while if you leave the potatoes large… they take a while to soften… but this dish was nice, fresh, and filling. And… if you’re like me… you always have these ingredients in your fridge and/or pantry! WIN!! Especially since I am due to go grocery shopping in 2 days, so I’m running low on recipe ingredients! Especially since I’ve gone “off my meal plan” a lot this week! Oops!

So, here’s the Creamy Ranch Style Chicken and Potatoes

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3-4 servings

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken tenderloins cut into 1 inch pieces
1 TB butter
2 TB extra virgin Olive oil
2 large yukon gold potatoes
1/2 SMALL sweet onion – diced
2 TB lemon juice – fresh squeezed
1/2 cup low sodium free range chicken broth
5 peeled and rinsed carrots
1/4 tsp dried dill
2 TB fresh chopped parsley
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
sprinkle of smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 TB heavy cream (OR buttermilk!)
garnish with shaved parmesan cheese

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Directions:

Start by chopping all of your veggies. (I did not peel my potatoes, but you may if you prefer). Then, melt your butter in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and the chicken broth. Put a lid on and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes start to soften. Remove the lid and add the chicken and the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, olive oil, and dill. Replace the lid and let simmer until chicken is cooked through. This will take 5-8 minutes. Remove the lid and stir. Add the chopped parsley and remove from heat. Slowly stir in the heavy cream until everything is well coated with the seasonings and cream, and serve in immediately. Top with a bit of extra parsley and some parmesan cheese!

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This is such a light and fresh dish. I just love the fresh parsley and that dill… it just adds a “clean-ness” to a dish.

Try this one for sure!

And now, for the quote of the day:

GPS-Grace Power Strength: Divorce: 6 Things To Never Tell Your Children

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

I have seen a lemon thyme recipe on pinterest for the last few months and I’ve been craving it this whole time. I kept putting it off for other recipes for reasons unknown. So… the other night I decided that I was going to finally make this dish… with my own twist of course.

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Ingredients

6 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 potatoes diced
2 TB parsley chopped for garnish

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season chicken thighs with chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper, to taste.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; drain excess fat and set aside.
Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add garlic and diced potatoes (I used Yukon gold), and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice and thyme.Bring to a boil. Return chicken to the skillet.
Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir in the heavy cream and Parmesan and stir until well blended. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Serve immediately.

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This had a TON OF flavor! It was absolutely delicious! I loved every bite, as well as the leftovers today!  You definitely want to try this one! Taste as you go so you don’t put touch salt in it! And use low sodium chicken broth to make sure that, along with parmesan cheese, it doesn’t get too salty. 🙂

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Creamy Lemon and Shrimp Orzo Pasta

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday. On birthdays in our household, the birthday person gets to choose the food that is eaten the WHOLE day! Yes… our family does, at times, revolve around food and meal time. We enjoy eating! So… needless to say, I think we ate out all 3 meals yesterday and cooking was not happening! HA! My little girl LOVES to eat out. We eat out maybe 3 or 4 times a month, so I guess it’s exciting still?? At least she does say she likes my cooking, so still a win.

So I figured I’d make a yummy lunch so that I could post today. This one is delicious too. I’m gonna be full for a few hours on this! No needing a snack this afternoon like usual!

You can make this for a lunch, or have bigger portions for a summery refreshing dinner out on your back porch on a summer evening. Doesn’t that sound delightful? For some reason when I think of lemon and shrimp I think: outdoors, sunshine, summer, hanging out on the porch on my Outdoor Furniture. I eat those two ingredients all times of the year… but this dish just made me think summer. YUM!

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This makes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the shrimp:

  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • dash cayenne pepper

For the Lemony Orzo pasta:

  • 1/4 cup diced onion (about 1/4 of a small yellow onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Orzo pasta
  • 1 cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 TB heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2-3 TB fresh parsley chopped

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INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Season shrimp with salt and pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Toss with olive oil and place onto a Aluminum Foil
    lined Cookie Sheet (with a lip on each edge, or curve up all edges of the tin foil to catch all of the juice and liquid from the shrimp)
  • Bake shrimp at 375 for 12-15 min, depending on size of shrimp. Make sure white and cooked all the way thru, and pink on the outside. No more transparent parts of the shrimp.
  • While the shrimp is cooking in the oven, heat olive oil in a large Skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and oregano, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in orzo until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. (FYI, IF you do actually have a cast iron skillet, check out this cleaning tool: Cast Iron Cleaner
  • Stir in chicken broth and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and cooked shrimp that you have removed from the oven and set aside. Sprinkle with Parmesan and stir and remove from heat. Add the frozen peas and the cream and stir in.
  • Serve immediately garnished with fresh parsley and a bit of shaved parmesan cheese.

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Oh me oh my. Soooo good!

Give this one a try for SURE!

And now, for the quote of the day:

YOU MAY BE Pretty, AND YOU MAY BE Talented, BUT NOBODY WILL REMEMBER THAT IF You’re mean. -Katie Holmes

Shrimp Alfredo

I’ve decided I am going to try my best to restrict most of my carbs to dinner. I, personally, cannot give up carbs without going a little bit crazy. So, in trying to tone of my slightly soft figure… carbs and sugars are being lowered and I am making choices using healthy fats… as much as possible. I am also watching my portions.
This alfredo recipe uses all natural ingredients, it’s inexpensive to make, delicious, and if you’ve been good all day, a great treat at the end of the night! And… if you want to eliminate the carbs… remove the pasta and use spaghetti squash! I got this from food network, and it’s one of Giada’s recipes. I made a few changes, but this is a really really good one! Giadas Alfredo

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Ingredients

10-12 ounces fresh pasta
2 cups half&half
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cups grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper

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Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Stir 1 1/2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and garlic, and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
Serve immediately and enjoy this lemony, creamy, fresh dish!
I added shrimp to mine! I follow Ina Garten’s recipe and drizzle with olive oil, and salt and pepper and then roast them at 350 in the oven  for 10-12 minutes. They always come out PERFECT!

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We all know food is important. Some of us get what is called “hangry” like I do. When I’m hungry… sometimes I act a little crazy. I’m ashamed… but it’s true. Gotta remember to keep snacks with me for me AND the kids! Here’s a shirt to go with this statement! I may need to purchase it!

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