Easy One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

This recipe is super fast and easy to make! My kids loved it! This is a perfect make ahead meal for busy nights or a great hot lunch for the kids at school. I found this recipe on damndelicious.net.

I used 1 1/2 cups of red kidney beans instead of adding the 3/4 red and 3/4 white. I used ground turkey instead of using beef. I also grated my cheese super fine so that it melted quicker.

chilimacandcheese

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
8 ounces ground beef or ground turkey
4 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 ounces elbow pasta
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat oilve oil in a large killet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks;drain excess fat.
2. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin;season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
4. Serve immediatley, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

This recipe is super tasty! I found this great find on Pinterest which lead me to the website thewholesomedish.com.

I used ground turkey instead of chicken. I also used a cup of my homemade marinara sauce. I used Guy Fieri’s recipe Fieri’s Marinara Sauce.  You could also use Quick Marinara Sauce or Marinara Sauce , both recipes are from Giada De Laurentis.

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4 medium zucchini (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup pasta sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Optional: sliced fresh basil for topping

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and break it apart with a spoon. Add the salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally and break down down the chicken into small chunks.
3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic to the chicken. Cook 1 minute stirring often. Add the pasta sauce. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. As the chicken cooks, cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and centre out of each zucchini half, leaving a 1/4-inch thick zucchini boat.
5. Place the zucchini in the baking dish cut-side up.
6. Spoon the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats. Press the mixture down into the zucchini using the back of a spoon.
7. Sprinkle the zucchini evenly with the Parmesan, then the mozzarella cheese.
8. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 35 minutes.
9. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

Nutritional information:
Serving size: 2 halves
Calories: 332
Fat: 17.8
Saturated Fat: 6.1
Carbohydrates: 13.3
Fibre: 2
Protein: 38.2

Cucumber Quinoa Salad

I took on the project of staining our back deck this weekend and I knew that I would have little time to make a good lunch.  I found this great recipe on Pinterest which lead me to the website gimmesomeoven.com. I pre-made my quinoa the day before so that it would be nice and cold. This salad is super fresh and delicious! It is easy to make and it doesn’t take long to put together. It was the perfect salad to have while working outside on a hot day.

I crumbled the feta on top of my serving and did not add it into the salad. I also only used half of the dressing. I will definitely use the other half on a garden salad.

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1 English cucumber, diced
2 cups chilled cooked quinoa
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup julienned or roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)

LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
Pinch of salt and black pepper

To make the cucumber quinoa salad:
1. Toss all ingredients together until combined. Serve immediately.

To make the lemony Italian vinaigrette:
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

*If you add hot quinoa fresh out of the pan, it will melt the cheese and wilt the basil in this recipe. It is recommended to cook the quinoa beforehand and chill.

Baked Chicken Fajita Roll-ups

This recipe is easy and full of flavour. I found this recipe on Pinterest which lead me to the website eat-yourself-skinny.com.

I only had yellow and orange peppers in my fridge, which was fine, but for my picture I wish I had a red pepper. I used 3 chicken breasts that I pounded down and I added 6 strips of pepper into each breast. I also marinated my chicken for about 3 hours.

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FOR THE MARINADE:
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of half a lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

FOR THE CHICKEN:
3 chicken breasts or 6 thin sliced chicken cutlets 1/4-inch thick
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced

1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, cayenne (if using) and cilantro. Set aside.
2. For the chicken breasts, if you purchased pre-sliced chicken cutlets en skip to the next step. If using chicken breasts, slice them longways into 2 even slices and firmly pound the chicken using the smooth side of the meat tenderizer to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.
3. Place chicken cutlets into a large freezer bag and pour marinade over top, making sure they are completely coated. Allow chicken to marinate for a minimum of one hour to overnight.
4. Once chicken has marinated, evenly place 6 bell pepper slices in the middle of the chicken cutlet, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Repeat this step until all the cutlets have been rolled up and place seam side down in a prepared baking dish.
5. Brush tops of the chicken with remaining marinade and bake, uncovered, at 375 for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. Serve and enjoy!

Serving size: 2 chicken roll-ups
Calories: 255
Fat: 12.7g
Saturated fat: 1.9g
Carbs: 10.9
Fiber: 1.4g
Protein: 27.6g
Sugars: 2.9g
WW points+: 7

Oven Fried Chicken with Honey Mustard Glaze

This recipe is a definite “winner winner chicken dinner”! My husband called it the best chicken recipe ever. The mustard glaze is sooooo good and the chicken coating is crispy and super tasty.

I used 4 chicken breasts and not thighs with great results. I would also use this recipe for making chicken fingers.

I found this recipe on damndelicious.net.

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8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Panko
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the honey mustard glaze:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
2. To make honey mustard glaze, whisk together mayonnaise, honey and mustards in a small bowl; set aside.
3. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. In another bowl, combine Panko, paprika and vegetable oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Working one at a time, dredge chicken in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
6. Place chicken onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the chicken is completely cooked through.
7. Serve immediately with honey mustard glaze, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Ultimate Greek Chopped Salad

This recipe is so fresh and full of flavour.  It is so easy to make too!  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  It lead me to thegardengrazer.com.

I served my salad with chicken for dinner.  I made extra chicken to serve it again as leftover lunch.

greek salad

1 hothouse cucumber
4-5 ripe roma tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 small red onion
15 oz. can garbonzo beans, rinsed and drained
Optional: olives, dairy-free feta, pepperoncini

Dressing:
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt

1. Make the dressing in a small bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
2. Dice the cucumber, onion, bell pepper, and tomoatoes (removing any excess liquid from tomatoes)
3. Put vegetables and garbonzo beans in a large bowl
4. Add dressing and toss to combine
5. Can eat immediately or refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavours combine. Some dressing will settle on the bottom, so stir before serving.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

My son couldn’t get enough of these chicken bites.  We are big pretzel lovers in this house, so combining chicken and pretzels are a sure bet!  I found this recipe on Pinterest which linked me to sallysbakingaddiction.com .

This recipe is super easy to make.  I used 3 chicken breasts and I also crushed 3 cups of Rold Gold Pretzel sticks. I also did not spray my chicken with the nonstick spray as my pretzels stayed on my chicken just fine. I lined a baking sheet with tin foil with excellent results.

Leftover bites are great chopped up and added to a salad.

pretzel bites

1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-ourpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups finely crushed Rold Gold Pretzel Thins (or more, as needed)
nonstick spray like Pam, or coconut oil spray

!. Preheat oven to 400F (204C). Line a large baking sheet with silicone baking mat or coat heavily with nonstick spray.
2. If using chicken breasts, pound down into little 1-1.5 inch pieces. If using boneless, skinless chicken tenders (chicken tenders are the lean strips of meat found attached to the underside of chicken breasts – they can also be purchased separately.) – simply cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish. Pour pretzels into a third shallow dish. Coat each chicken piece in flour, shaking off excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the pretzels, shaking off excess. Add more crushed pretzels to the dish if you are running low. Place the chicken bites on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray each with nonstick spray to “seal” the breading, which will prevent the breading from staying raw and allows it to bake onto the chicken.
4. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue to bake until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about 6-8 minutes more. Baking times may vary, just make sure yours are cooked through. If you like them more brown, cook longer. Serve chicken bites with toothpicks (if using as an appetizer) and honey mustard. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
5. Make ahead tip: Baked chicken bites freeze well up to 2-3 months. Bake frozen chicken bites in a 350F oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

Blueberry, Avocado and Toasted Pecans Quinoa Salad

I love this salad.  I can not wait to make it for lunch using fresh picked blueberries at the cottage.  This recipe is from http://www.ifoodreal.com.

I could not find fresh basil, so I did not add it. I missed it, but the salad is still good without.

Quinoablueberry

2 cups quinoa
1 cup blueberries
2 large avocados, diced
1 cup pecans

Lime Basil Dressing:
1 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 large lime, juice of
3 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, add quinoa, blueberries and avocados.
2. In a small skillet, toast pecans on low-medium heat until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently and watch closely not to burn. Transfer to a bowl with other ingredients.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together Lime Basil Dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and gently stir to combine. Serve cold.
STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.
Servings: 6

Amount per serving = 3/4 cup:
Calories: 366.3
Total fat: 25.8g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 297.1 mg
Total Carbs: 32.4g
Dietary Fiber: 8.3 g
Protein:7.0g
WW points: +10

Curried Chicken Salad

I came across this great recipe on the internet. I was looking for a great healthy chicken salad recipe that has some zip. This recipe is taken from http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/the-best-curried-chicken-salad-youll-ever-eat/

I love pecans, but I only had raw almonds on hand. They worked really well in this salad. I also used a 4oz chicken breast.

This recipe is super easy and very very good!

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1 grilled chicken breast (chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1/2 a red apple (diced small)
1/4 cup toasted pecans (chopped)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup mayonnaise (to start)
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Add additional mayonnaise to taste.
2. Serve in lettuce leaves.

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Bell Pepper Egg-in-a-hole

This makes an easy breakfast, brunch or lunch. I love the pepper and the egg together in this recipe. My friend Cheryl posted that she made this as an after-school snack for her son.

I found the following recipe on Pinterest.  It uses cheese, but you certainly do not have to add it. These eggs are just fine without it.

I used an orange pepper, but you can use red or yellow, whichever you prefer.  I simply added salt and pepper to my eggs. I did not add the cheese. Also, you can scramble the egg inside the pepper. I left mine sunny side up as I like a runny yummy yolk. I used 2 eggs as I had 2 pepper slices to fill, one egg for each slice. Instead of using olive oil, I just used cooking spray.

peppersliceseggs

1 red, yellow or orange pepper
4-5 large eggs
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you could try other cheeses too if you wish)
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium/high heat.
2. Cut peppers into 1/2-inch rings and remove seeds and centers. Plice sliced peppers into the pan and let them saute for a minute.
3. Crack one egg into the center of each bell pepper slice. Start pouring the egg in slowly;it prevents the egg leaking abd forms a nice seal.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes, then flip it over carefully.
5. Top with generous amount of parmesan.
6. Cook for 2 minutes, or less if you want a runny yolk.