Thursday, April 25, 2013

Balsamic Chicken & Sausage in the CrockPot

 I could eat this for days.  So easy and  yummy.  It makes a large batch so you can either feed your family or have leftovers to take for your lunch at work.  I ate mine with sauteed brussel sprouts and it was delish.  My kids chose to have theirs over macaroni noodles.  You could also use rice.  I think this could even be turned into a stew.  I would add some cut up carrots, maybe some parsnips, celery chunks, green peppers - whatever you would like in a stew!  I will waste no more time talking - get Crockin' people!!

This is a paleo & clean eating option.

Adapted from Popular Paleo
Balsamic Chicken & Sausage (in the CrockPot)

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 Italian sausage links - sweet or spicy, whatever your preference*
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (1)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (1)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water (rinse out tomato sauce cans)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (2)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (2)

Place raw frozen chicken breasts in bottom of a 6 quart crock pot.  Drizzle with olive oil and add seasonings labeled (1) over chicken.  Lay sausage over chicken (I cut mine in half, but you don't have to).  Add sliced onions and minced onion, then add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and balsamic vinegar.  Top with last round of seasonings labeled (2).  Cook on low for about 7-8 hours or high for about 5.

Serve over spaghetti squash, zucchini made into noodles, cut up brussel sprouts, or whole grain pasta.

*I used Savory Kitchen Sweet Pepper Chicken Sausage found at Sam's Club
This recipe is high in sodium - you can reduce by using a low-sodium sausage or reduced sodium crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Nutrition facts from based on 6 servings (including 1 chicken breast and 1 sausage) using the chicken sausage listed above.
Calories - 454, Fat - 16.2 g, Cholesterol - 148mg, Sodium - 1408mg, Potassium - 652mg, Total Carbs - 24.92g, Fiber - 6.7g, Sugars 12.47g, Protein 48.17g

Here's a pic of the kid's dish with macaroni noodles and sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese.  Still working on the whole - pasta sauce over veggies thing with them.  :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Layered Enchilada Bake

 A healthier alternative to greasy enchiladas.  Chock full of hidden veggies (good for those kiddos who don't want to eat them) and whole grain tortillas it's a filling meal that provides a good source of protein and complex carbs to fill you up, plus low calorie and low fat!  My kids scarfed it down.  My hubby thought it was a little spicy, but he sweats from eating pepperoni pizza.  I did use mild enchilada sauce because I know he doesn't handle spice well, but if I was making this just for myself and my oldest two kids I would probably use medium.  We like food a bit on the spicy side.  This is a very quick dish to make.  I used one of those Pampered Chef food choppers to chop up all the veggies so that cuts down in prep time immensely.  Took about 20 minutes of prep time. 

Layered Enchilada Bake

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 yellow sweet pepper, seeded & finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeded & finely chopped
4 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
3 cans mild enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso)
1 can reduced sodium black beans, drained & rinsed
6 8 to 10-inch multi-grain tortillas (I used Mission Multi-Grain Wraps)
1 cup reduced fat shredded colby jack cheese

Brown ground beef with minced onion, drain grease, then add peppers and tomatoes.  Cook for a bit until the peppers and onions produce more liquid.  Drain the beef again then add the 3 cans of enchilada sauce.  Let simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
Spray a 9x13 pan lightly with cooking spray (I use olive oil).  Use a pizza cutter to divide tortillas so you can evenly place them in your pan.  I have a great plastic one so I don't scratch my countertops.

Layer as follows: 
2 tortillas, 1/3 beef sauce, 1/2 black beans
2 tortillas, 1/3 beef sauce, other half of black beans
2 tortillas (you might not use all 6 tortillas, I usually cut mine to fit the layer so I end up with about a 1/2 a tortilla leftover), rest of beef sauce and cup of cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes and let the pan rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.  This makes sure the pieces come out more whole rather than falling apart as you put them on your plates. 

Top with whatever you would like, lettuce, black olives, fresh chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, avocado, sour cream, salsa, taco sauce and ranch, just to name a few!

Nutrition facts from based on 12 servings in a pan, 85% lean ground beef and the specific recipe items I have listed above that I used.
1 serving = Calories - 315, Fat - 13.29g, Cholesterol - 44mg, Sodium - 762mg, Potassium - 349mg, Total Carbs - 30.89g, Fiber - 5.7g, Sugars - 5.45g, Protein - 17.91g


Friday, April 19, 2013

Honey Mustard Bacon/Chicken/Potato Bake

Long title for a delicious dish.  We tried to come up with something fun to call this, but just couldn't think of something.  So I'm just going with what it is!  This was SUPER delicious.  My husband even said I could make it again - which means - yeah, it's goooood.  The kids enjoyed it - my sis-in-law enjoyed it my little 2 year old niece wolfed it down!  Make a double recipe of the sauce and save half of it for after baking so you have some fresh stuff to top your meal with!

Honey Mustard Bacon/Chicken/Potato Bake

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seared in the bacon grease
3-4 red potatoes, cut into chunks
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/4 cup mustard
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (real mayo)
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium sized bowl combine mustard, honey, mayo & onion.  Cover and refrigerate for about until ready to use.  Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Fry (or microwave) bacon in a large skillet.  Remove bacon to a paper towel covered plate to cool and crumble.  Save bacon grease in the skillet and brown each side of the chicken in the bacon grease for a couple minutes until it's nicely seared.  Remove chicken from skillet and place in the bottom of the 9x13 pan.  Surround chicken with potato chunks.  Pour sauce over chicken and potatoes then top with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 for about an hour.  Bake uncovered for the first half hour, then cover with foil and bake for the next half hour.
If you make double honey mustard marinade, use for topping your individual dishes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sweet & Tangy Chicken & Peas for Two!

It was just another day of forgetting the time until my stomach started growling and I realized it was time for lunch.  I needed something fast to prepare that wouldn't take much time to cook either.  Enter the frozen chicken breasts in the skillet.  I have been 'gorging' on pinterest recipes lately and there was a honey chicken kabob recipe that had me drooling one day so I whipped up a stove-top version of my own honey chicken that, after the first bite, literally made my mouth water for more.  Vayle gave me the two thumbs up also.  We figured out that if you eat some peas with each bite of chicken it just bursted your mouth with the wonderfully sweet, tangy flavor.  If you're serving more than two people, just adjust the recipe & size of your skillet accordingly. 

This is a clean eating option.

Sweet & Tangy Chicken & Peas for Two

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
dash of pepper
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (or fresh if you have them)

In a very small dish combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, sea salt & pepper, set aside.  In a small skillet heat the tablespoon of olive oil and place the chicken breasts in the pan when it gets hot.  Sprinkle half the chili powder mixture over the two chicken breasts.  Cover skillet and brown one side, about 3-5 minutes depending on if you put them in thawed or frozen.  Flip chicken and sprinkle rest of chili powder over the other side of the chicken, cover and cook a few more minutes.  In another bowl or glass measuring bowl combine the vinegar and honey, add to the skillet and also add the peas.  Cook, covered, another 10 minutes or so flipping chicken every so often and allow the peas to cook on the bottom of the skillet.  Remove lid for a final couple of minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and serve!

Nutrition facts from based on 2 servings:
Per serving: Calories - 369, Fat - 5.61g, Cholesterol - 81mg, Sodium - 356mg, Potassium - 323mg, Total Carbs - 42.87g, Fiber - 5.9g, Sugars - 32.34g, Protein - 37.48rffdfg.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Apple Pie Smoothie

Here's another yummy smoothie I made the kids for dessert.  Very simple with basic ingredients on hand.

This is a paleo & clean eating option. 

Apple Pie Smoothie

1 whole apple, cored & chopped (I used a Gala)
1 whole banana, frozen*
2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon almond butter (or peanut butter)
1-2 tablespoons honey, to taste

Put all ingredients into blender or smoothie maker adding honey last and blend until smooth.  Can add a dash of cinnamon for a topping also.

Side notes:
Depending on your preference you can add an extra tablespoon of almond butter.
I peel and cut up my bananas and freeze them individually in baggies so they are ready when I need them.
You could also add a scoop of About Time Whey Cinnamon Swirl protein powder for an added protein smoothie.

Nutrition facts from based on 2 servings and using Silk unsweetened almond milk and 1 tablespoon of honey added:
Per serving: Calories - 204, Fat - 6.89g, Cholesterol - 0mg, Sodium - 167mg, Potassium - 288mg, Total carbs - 36.24g, Fiber - 6.2g, Sugars - 23.81g, Protein 3.44g

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I was looking for a recipe I had seen SOMEWHERE online for an apple pie smoothie.  It's paleo and had avocado in it.  If you see it, send it my way.  So as I was searching for that I came across this recipe from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations which is one of my favorite paleo food websites.  He's got a lot of good stuff that I've barely made a dent in his recipe supply.  Some seriously delicious recipes.  Here is the original link for this recipe:  Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (his photography is WAY better than mine)  ;)

So after we had tacos last night made with my taco meat, 5 minute guacamole, and 10 minute pico de gallo served over some lettuce with some added jalapenos we all needed something a bit sweet to end our meal.  After coming off the Easter holiday weekend I told my kids no sugar.  This was a good compromise for them.  My son even told me this was a good one.  The kids each did feel like it needed to be sweeter so they each put a packet of Stevia in their smoothies.  They were happy to have dessert; I was happy it wasn't cake.  I would even add a package of About Time Whey in the Cinnamon Swirl flavor to add some protein to this!  It could be a good after workout smoothie!
This is a paleo and clean eating food option.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut milk (I use Silk Original Coconut Milk - found at SuperTarget)
1/2 cup apple juice
1 banana
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup ice cubes

Combine all in a blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth. 

Nutrition facts from based on 2 servings:
Per Serving: Calories - 164, Fat - 3.37g, Cholesterol - 0mg, Sodium - 26mg, Potassium - 560mg, Total Carbs - 33.8g, Fiber - 6.8g, Sugars - 21.04g, Protein - 3.23g

Monday, April 1, 2013

Taco Meat

I don't need to go into much detail on taco meat because, well, it's just taco meat.  I don't like using the envelopes of taco seasoning because of all the 'extra' stuff in them and so much sodium!  This recipe allows the full flavor of taco meat without all the preservatives!  Enjoy on a taco salad or taco with some 5 Minute Guacamole and 10 Minute Pico De Gallo !!
This is also a paleo and clean eating food option.

Taco Meat

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2-3 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt

Brown beef with onion and minced garlic.  Add rest of ingredients.  You can add water, a tablespoon at a time, if the mixture seems too dry.

Nutrition info from based on 8 servings and 85% lean ground beef.
Per Serving: Calories - 193, Fat - 13.15g, Cholesterol - 58mg, Sodium - 362mg, Potassium - 296mg, Total Carbs - 1.73g, Fiber - .7g, Sugars - .24g, Protein - 16.22g

Here's a photo of my taco salad with this recipe, 10 Minute Pico De Gallo and 5 Minute Guacamole

10 Minute Pico De Gallo

Another deliciously fast and easy topping for taco salads or whatever you want to use pico de gallo for!!  We use it along with 5 Minute Guacamole in tacos or taco salad with my Taco Meat recipe.  All you need is a few minutes of chopping a couple of tomatoes and 10 minutes to let it sit so the flavors can meld!  ENJOY!!
This recipe is also a paleo and clean eating food choice.

10 Minute Pico De Gallo

2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon dried minced onion (or 1/2 cup fresh chopped onion)
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons fresh or freeze dried cilantro (more to taste if wanted)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
sprinkling of cracked pepper
If you have a jalapeno, add that in also if you want it spicier - be sure to remove seeds - I didn't have one on hand.

Chop tomatoes and put in a small bowl.  Add rest of ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes.  Then serve.

Nutrition info from based on 6 servings.
Per serving: Calories - 13, Fat - .18g, Cholesterol - 0, Sodium - 204mg, Potassium - 193mg, Total Carbs - 2.84g, Fiber - 1g, Sugars - 1.36g, Protein - .76g

5 Minute Guacamole

This is so easy a 5-year-old could do it.  Well - with the exception of cutting the avocado out of it's outer flesh.  It is so very delicious and fresh tasting.  I like it on taco salads (or tacos) made with my Taco Meat recipe and some 10 Minute Pico De Gallo.  You can leave it chunky like this or mash it up for a smoother guac.  The choice is yours.  You could even spread it on some whole grain toast and top it with a fried egg!  Avocados are a healthy fat - enjoy!  Do whatever people do with guacamole!!! 

This is also a paleo, whole 30 and clean eating food option.

5 Minute Guacamole

1 avocado, removed from flesh and cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lime juice

Combine all in a bowl and let sit 5 minutes for flavors to blend.  Stir onece more then serve.

Nutrition from based on 4 servings.
Per serving: Calories - 84, Fat - 7.38g, Cholesterol - 0, Sodium - 149mg, Potassium - 258mg, Total Carbs - 5.34g, Dietary Fiber - 3.4g, Sugars - .58g, Protein 1.1g