Balsamic Chicken Caprese Style

Sigh… Pinterest and it’s endless scroll… it wastes so much of my time! I meal plan on pinterest. I also do some searches on foodnetwork.com etc… but mainly on pinterest. It sends me to GREAT blogs and websites, etc for amazing and creative recipes. I then, revamp the recipe and make it my own. The problem is, there are sometimes random cool things as “ads” mixed in with the recipes. I then like them because they are tailored to my liking. 1 hour later, I’m supposed to have my planning and shopping lists done and I’m over in humor laughing at memes with Ryan Gosling in them! Now, I know what you are thinking… “why wouldn’t you be?!”. Right? But… I do have to get things done… 🙂

So… I made this recipe the other night and the chicken turned out PERFECTLY! I used red peppers instead of tomatoes… so it’s caprese STYLE… but you can definitely use tomatoes if you aren’t weird like me…

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4-5 servings
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs chicken tenderloins
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup low sodium-chicken organic FF broth
  • 2-3 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
  • sliced sweet red mini pepper
  • sliced fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil pesto

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Salt and pepper both sides of all of your chicken tenderloins and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan on medium-high. Brown chicken on both sides. Reduce heat to medium-low and add your minced garlic.
  3. Cook until garlic is tender, being careful not to burn it. Add your low sodium chicken broth, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Turn heat up to medium-high and simmer for 10-12 minutes, spooning the broth mixture over the chicken every once in a while to make sure the chicken stays moist and soaks in the mixture.
  4. Preheat broiler. Make sure your skillet is OVEN SAFE! Take your slices of mozzarella and cover each slice of chicken with a slice of mozzarella.
  5. Broil until cheese is slightly melted. Place a sprig of fresh basil on top of the mozzarella and then add a red pepper slice (or tomato) on top. Drizzle with any remaining sauce and about a TB of pesto! YUM!!!!!!

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This is sweet with a bit of tang and a WHOLE LOTTA freshness from that basil pesto. You’ll enjoy every bite!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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“7 Layer Salad” … or Taco Salad…

My daughter asked for tacos again. Ha. She’s obviously her father’s daughter. She ate GREAT tonight. Me, I wanted to make something that was using the same ingredients, but using less carbs. So… I saw this salad, or “7 layer dip”.. although I can’t see using this as a dip honestly. I also should have put this into a clear bowl so that all the layers could have been seen from the outside when I took pictures. It was quite pretty to be honest! And, as I was about to take a picture it fell… and I was so sad!

But… this is a DELICIOUS salad, or … dip… but it’s a bit messy. That’s ok though. It makes up for the messiness and lack of being a “pretty” dish with flavor. That’s all that’s really important anyway!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 lb. grass fed ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/2 cup PLAIN Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
  • 1 tomato sliced and diced
  • taco seasoning
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of black olives, sliced
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of salsa

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Directions

Start by cooking the ground beef through until there is no longer any pink. Drain the fat. Then, add the taco seasoning and the amount of water said on the back of the taco seasoning packet. (If you use homemade taco seasoning, it’s about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of water). Stir until well incorporated. Add 1/2 of the black beans to the hamburger meat.

Next chop the lettuce, black olives, tomatoes and the avocado. Place the avocado in a small bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and the garlic powder. Stir and set aside.

Starting with the lettuce on the bottom of a bowl, add each layer on top of the next, ending with sprinkling the cheese on top. I then drizzled salsa over top.

You can eat this as a salad, like I did… crunch a few chips over top to still get a few chips and crunch in without eating as many chips as you would have if you ate the whole thing with chips… or… go for it and just eat it with scoops chips! Delicious either way right?!

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See, a delicious, messy and just a #getinmybelly moment!!! 🙂 ENJOY!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Hang on

Chicken Wrap

I had a meal plan. That plan went out the window tonight. Do you ever do that? Just don’t feel like cooking/doing/eating whatever you planned? Not sure if it was my dog barking at random noises, my son whining at my feet, or my daughter asking to go down to the lake nature trail for the 50th time in 5 minutes, but my energy was suddenly drained. I quickly made the tiny minions , that I made, and adore… their dinner and sat down to figure out what on earth actually sounded good. When I made my meal plan it was cold and rainy outside. I have 2 weeks worth of meals to choose from and they all look “bleh”… so what’s a girl gonna do? My husband was on his way home from work. Granted it takes him 45 minutes to get home… but still!
I hop on pinterest, duh, and find out all about this new Mediterranean Diet. Which of course leads me to travel ideas, which leads me to beach pictures, which leads me to memes and funny pictures of cats. Suddenly my husband’s home, and I haven’t cooked a thing! Darn endless scroll on pinterest! Hehe! So, chicken wraps it was! And you know what? They were good! 🙂

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Ingredients

This is for 2 servings

4 chicken tenderloins
1 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup vinegarette  (I used my leftovers from a previous recipe… you can use any Italian dressing or vinegarette)
1/2 cup baby spinach
2 TB parmesan
Tortillas (flour or whole wheat )
Toppings:
Greek yogurt, sour cream, avocado slices, spinach or lettuce, hummus, Lindsay Naturals Black Ripe Pitted Olives
, tomatoes and or mustard.

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Sautee the chicken in a skillet with the oil, and or butter and seasonings until almost done. Add half of the salad dressing and let simmer. 5-8 min until no pink is left and shred it with 2 forks. Top with either shredded cheese or parmesan and then place onto the tortillas. Top as you’d like!

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And now, for the quote of the day: saw this random picture… yes, on pinterest, and had to post it!

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Cheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet Meal

What.A.Week. And it’s only Wednesday. Yes, as I type this, it’s Wednesday morning… I blog ahead sometimes. But seriously. It’s been a week that I do not wish to repeat. Was anything REALLY that bad? No. Not if I think about it. In the moment though? HORRIBLE! Isn’t that always the way it is though?

Gotta get up and out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, smile, pray, and move forward! I CAN DO THIS! 🙂

So last night I had absolutely NO CLUE what to make for dinner. I had a bunch of stuff that I had to figure out how to meld together. I had chicken tenderloins (you can also use leftover rotisserie chicken in this recipe), leftover rice, cans of beans and roasted tomatoes with chilis… etc… and I thought… I can do something “mexican themed” with that, and my husband will be quite happy!

So, here ya go!

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This dish is cheesy, a bit spicy, and quite filling! You don’t need a large portion, and this can make a whole family happy! After both my husband and I had dinner, there is enough for at least 5 more portions, 3-4 large portions! For us, we have it frozen and portioned for my husband’s lunches. It’s great when we do that because he has a stock of lunches just waiting for him to grab out of the freezer each day!

From start to finish this meal took me less than 30 minutes, because a lot of the food was either canned, or leftovers!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large chicken tenderloins (my FAVORITE are the Trader Joes chicken tenderloins) – no need to thaw
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups pre-cooked white or brown rice. (You can even use leftover rice from chinese takeout!)
  • 3/4 can (or whole can) black beans – rinsed well
  • 1 cup frozen corn – I used sweet white corn
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TB queso dip (I had this in my fridge – you can use leftover from Moe’s, or the white or yellow queso if you have some… but not required)
  • 1 TB tomato paste for thickening
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping

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DIRECTIONS

  • Drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet and place the chicken tenderloins into the skillet with the oil. Heat on medium to medium high heat. While they are cooking, evenly season both sides of the chicken with the dry spices. (cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano and salt&pepper)
  • Once the chicken is seared on both sides and starts to cook through, I remove the chicken tenderloins one at a time, place onto a cutting board, cut into 1-2 inch pieces, and then scrape back into the skillet. You can cut them with scissors in the skillet as well… up to you how you would like to do it.
  • Add the can of roasted tomatoes and the 1 TB of tomato paste and let simmer for about 5 min. Then add the queso dip if you have it, for a bit of cheesiness and spice. If you want a bit more heat and spice, add some cayenne powder at this time!
  • Add the can of black beans and the corn
  • Add the leftover (or freshly COOKED) white or brown rice and stir to combine.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Cover the dish with 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice) and IF you have an oven safe skillet, put the skillet into a oven preheated to 300 degrees. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dish is bubbling.
  • Serve immediately!

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ENJOY!!!!

And now, for the quote of the day: I need any excuse I can to add chocolate to my daily diet. 🙂

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CousCous Stuffed Acorn Squash

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As the weather cools I usually start craving different squash dishes, and warm baked dishes. Now, the “cool” part of the day here is still not dipping very low, but this acorn squash just sounded delicious!

It’s more of a “southwestern” take on it, or tex-mex… maybe? But this one turned out great! You can make it your own too by adding your own leftover meat from the week, or leaving the meat out and letting it be vegetarian!

This one is a good one!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 acorn squash (about 2-3 lbs each)
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 3 TB butter
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • ÂĽ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • fresh minced cilantro for serving
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup leftover turkey sausage crumbles
  • 3/4 cup leftover shredded pork
  • salsa (optional)

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Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice the tops off each acorn squash and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Toss seeds in the garbage and lay the squashes, cut side down, on a greased foil lined sheet tray. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until very tender when pricked with a fork.
  3. While the squashes are roasting, prepare the filling. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium sized saucepot with the butter, olive oil and the salt and cumin. Once boiling, add the couscous and remove from the heat and place lid on. 
  4. In the mean time, place the heated up pork (or whatever leftover meat) and the sausage in a large bowl, the can of tomatoes, black beans, and chopped cilantro into the bowl. Once the couscous is done (according to pkg), pour into the bowl with the other ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fill the inside of the squashes with the couscous mixture and top with mozzarella cheese. Broil on low for about 5-6 minutes until cheese melts.
  6. Top squashes with fresh cilantro, more hot sauce and salsa if desired.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Polenta Pizza

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Ok, this recipe is GOOD… the taste is just… sooo good! There’s just some kinks I still have to work out.

I have learned this by making it 2X already, and not quite getting it right, but it tastes good enough that I seriously wouldn’t mind making it 1x per month just to work it out!

The issue is the polenta. The first time I tried to make it, I used corn FLOUR… oops! This time, I used Pre-cooked polenta. I learned, as I was putting away the leftovers, that if I had let the pizza set for a bit and cool down, the “crust” would have set and it wouldn’t have been a pile of Italian mush…. tasty mush though! Ha!

So, I’ll post any changes, but if you make this… LET IT COOL to help set the crust.

Ingredients

1 TB olive oil, plus a bit more for the pan
1 roll of pre-cooked polenta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
 kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 ounces part skim, low moisture FRESH mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
10 leaves of basil sliced into thin pieces
1/2 cup black olives sliced
cherry tomatoes cut into half
1/2 to 3/4 cup of marinara sauce
2 strips of cooked bacon, and crumbled into small pieces
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Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Oil a 9-inch cake pan; set aside.
  2. Crumble the polenta into the bottom of the cake pan and mix with the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the polenta over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, and remove.
  4. Add sauce into the crust.
  5. Place the toppings onto the pizza, ending with the sliced mozzarella and basil.
  6. Bake until the polenta is crisp around the edges, 25 to 35 minutes.
  7. Let sit and cool for 15-20 minutes until crust sets.

Seriously… this is a good one!

Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

God-Doesnt-Want-Something-From-Us

Beef Stir Fry

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I looked up south american dishes, and this one came up: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2014/06/lomo-saltado-peruvian-beef-stir-fry.html (Lomo Saltado). It was ALMOST exactly what I wanted to make… but I made a few changes… of course.

So, here is my version:

For the Beef:

  • 1 lb lean sirloin tips
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 medium red onion, sliced into thick strips
  • 2 mini sweet yellow bell peppers or 1 large
  • 1 large jalapeno, ribbed and seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Handful of whole grape tomatoes (10-15)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Directions: 

Meanwhile, season meat with salt, garlic salt, pepper and cumin. Heat a large wok over high heat. When hot add the oil and the steak, cook about 2 minutes, until browned on both sides. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, soy sauce and vinegar, broccoli and cook 1 more minute. Season with more salt as needed, remove from heat and finish with cilantro. Serve immediately with french fries and white rice and divide evenly between 3-4 plates.

I served mine with Trader Joes Parmesan Garlic French Fries and white rice.

Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Taco Salad with a Creamy Dressing

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What’s for lunch??? Can’t figure it out? Have a bunch of left over hodge podge foods in your fridge and freezer??? I did! So, I made Taco Salad!!!

First, I made the dressing:

Dressing Ingredients:

3 TB FF Greek Yogurt PLAIN
3 TB restaurant style salsa
1 tsp chopped dill
1 TB chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp fresh minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Stir up all of the above ingredients for the dressing in a 2 cup glass liquid measuring cup, and set aside.

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Salad

1/2 cucumber cut up
grape tomatoes
1/2 an avocado
1 TB cheese
Leftover taco meat (that had corn and black beans in it)
Butter Lettuce

 

Cut up all of the salad ingredients. Place into bowl, and top with taco meat. Then, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with cheese. For a little extra, add some crushed tortilla chips (like me, I used all those chip crumbs from the bottom of a chip bag that was still for some reason in our pantry still…).

 

Enjoy!!!

And, the quote of the day:

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Spicy Shrimp Tostado with Refried Black Beans and Guacamole

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These tostados were on my list since I saw them. I changed a few things, so now, the recipe is mine!! 🙂 I needed something pretty quick, but realized I was out of refried beans…. so, I made some out of canned black beans!!!

Recipe for Refried Black Beans:

1 can Organic Black Beans
1/2 cup organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 TB canola oil
3 TB finely diced onion
1 tsp. cumin
1 TB butter
1/8 tsp minced garlic

Refried Black Beans Directions:
Put oil and onion and cumin into sauce pan and stir and simmer until onions start to become translucent. In the mean time, rinse the can of black beans until all of the liquid that it is canned in is gone. I usually do this in a colander. Then, take the black beans and the vegetable broth, and put into a blender, or like me, the nutribullet. Blend until smooth. Then, add into the sauce pan with the onion and oil blend. Stir, and add the butter and garlic. Let simmer until cooked down and thick and able to “pull” from the bottom of the pan.

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Shrimp:

8-10 shrimp
2-3 TB olive oil (or similar oil)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
ground black pepper
Place shrimp into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle on the spices and toss. Place onto tin-foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. (This is for medium sized shrimp, you want to cook until no longer translucent).

Tostada Ingredients:

Shrimp (as cooked above)
Heated up frozen corn(about 2 TB per tostada)
Guacamole (about 2 TB per tostada)
diced tomatoes (as much as you’d like!)
Refried Black Beans (as cooked about) about 2-3 TB, as you’d like

I bought the corn tostadas. Place on a plate. Refried beans first, then guacamole, then the corn, tomatoes, then shrimp. ENJOY!!!!!!

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Light Summer Lemon-Yogurt Pasta with Veggies and Shrimp

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Adapted from Jillian Michaels’ “The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook”

Light Summer Lemon-Yogurt Pasta with Veggies and Shrimp

Serves 4 (calories: 323 per serving)

  • 8 OUNCES WHOLE WHEAT LINGUINE (OR YOUR PASTA OF CHOICE)
  • 1/2 CUP NONFAT PLAIN GREEK YOGURT
  • 1/2 SWEET ONION CHOPPED
  • 1/4 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
  • 1 TEASPOON GRATED LEMON ZEST plus the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 TEASPOON SALT
  • 1/4 TEASPOON GROUND BLACK PEPPER
  • 1 TABLESPOON OLIVE OIL
  • 3 MEDIUM (8-OUNCE) ZUCCHINI, CUT INTO THIN STRIPS (3 INCHES LONG AND 3/4 INCH WIDE, LIKE A BIG STICK OF GUM)
  • 2 GARLIC CLOVES, THINLY SLICED
  • 1/2 PINT GRAPE OR CHERRY TOMATOES, HALVED LENGTHWISE
  • 20 medium shrimp (peeled and de-veined and baked at 400 w/oil and salt and pepper for 8-12 min depending on size of shrimp)
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced

 

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  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook about 9 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, Parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook just until wilted, flipping them over occasionally with a spatula. (The zucchini will be soft and somewhat see-through.)
  4. Use a spoon or spatula to push the zucchini aside so a space on the bottom of the pan is clear. Add the garlic, and onion and cook for 15 to 30 seconds, until golden but not really brown.
  5. Mix the garlic into the zucchini.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer the zucchini mixture to the yogurt mixture, and stir to combine. Add the drained linguine, and toss gently to combine. Divide among four bowls and serve.

 

 

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