Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fajita Chicken Bowl

Honestly who doesn't love fajitas? The sizzling meat and peppers you cram into soft and steamy flour tortillas and wow, it's just amazing. A local Mexican place here in Anchorage has amazing fajitas that they cook in the oven on a skillet. Unfortunately I don't have dishes for that sort of cooking so I sought help elsewhere. I landed on the healthy site that has intrigued me for months, and I found her "Need a Fajita Chicken Bowl" recipe and found that it's about 390 calories per serving with her recipe. SWEET! I can't say I followed her recipe to a tee, but pretty darn close. It looks like a big ol' mess in a bowl as I'm not the best food photographer, but it was delicious! Her recipe is for 1 serving, so I doubled if not tripled in some areas to save myself from having to cook again the next day, hehe.

Need a Fajita Chicken Bowl
adapted from

2 cups cooked brown rice (prepared without added fat), kept hot
Squirt of lime juice
Squirt of lemon juice
4 raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into small strips
2 peppers, chopped, any colors you want (green and and red...)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4-1/2 packet of McCormick fajita seasoning mix
1 (15oz.) can of canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can or frozen package of corn (optional), drained or steamed if using frozen
shredded fat-free cheddar cheese (optional, for topping)
salsa (optional, for topping, this house loves Old El Paso)
salsa verde (green salsa, optional, for topping)

In bowl, combine chicken, peppers, onion, lemon juice, and lime juice. Sprinkle evenly with fajita seasoning. Add 3-4 tbsp. water and mix well.

Bring a pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add chicken-veggie mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender.

Heat black beans in a microwave-safe bowl until hot.

Place rice in a microwave-safe bowl. If needed, microwave until hot. Top with black beans, corn, and chicken-veggie mixture. Add your desired toppings and microwave if you want bubbly gooey cheese on top!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken - A Less Than 30min. Meal!

Now I'm one gal that loves to go out for Chinese food and sweet and sour chicken really is after my own belly! I found this recipe while reading a cooking magazine and it looked pretty appetizing, plus it came with two coupons you could use toward the meal! Score one for this penny pincher! :)
This is a quick meal that takes about 25 minutes in prep and cook time. Great for mom's on the go with kids everywhere and crying for food, hehe. Or just for the lady that wants something quick so she's not slaving away in front of a hot stove all day!

I do have to add though that when you're looking for a pre-made sweet and sour sauce at the store please avoid Kikkoman's Sweet and Sour sauce! I had the displeasure of buying the overpriced stuff and being very upset with the results. It cost around $5.00 + tax and I used pretty much the whole bottle for this dish. I highly recommend reading other reviews on sweet and sour sauce's to help pick the best one, or if you're feeling creative how about making your own!

With more in depth browsing of websites I found Kraft's version of the stuff got 6 reviews and 3.5/5 stars! Read a review on the sauce here. It also seems nicer on the wallet at around $2 a bottle) I think next time I make this yummy dish Kraft will be my next choice!

Anyway, enough of my babbling, onto the recipe!

1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (you can save time by switching out fresh with a small can of mushroom pieces)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup prepared sweet and sour sauce
2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
4 cups cooked rice, any color you desire

Drain pineapple; reserve 2 tablespoons juice
Over medium heat in a large skillet cook pepper, onion and mushrooms (if using canned mushrooms wait until the re-adding of the vegetables as not to over cook them) in hot oil, until tender-crisp.
Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.
Cook chicken in same skillet, until chicken is browned. Add vegetables back to skillet with sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, pineapple chunks and reserved juice. Heat through. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Serves 6. Approximately 500 calories per serving. YUM!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thick and Creamy Potato Soup

I apologize in advance on the image quality. I finished this up at around 8pm and the lighting in my kitchen really fails when it comes to photos.

So we bought this big ol' 10lb. bag of Yukon gold potatoes and I had to find a use for them before I left otherwise the boy would likely forget them and they'd grow eyes and I'd come back to an overgrown alien potato kitchen. So I thought well, why not potato soup then? I'd made it once before, but wasn't too thrilled with the thickness of it, or lack there of. I've re-vamped the recipe and was ready to dig into a hot bowl of goodness!

I started these out in the slow cooker because I was lazy, but then realized I'd have to transfer to a large pot later on, so a slow cooker isn't recommended!

1 tsp. dillweed
pepper, to taste (recommend 1 1/2-2 tsp.)
salt, to taste (recommend 1 1/2-2 tsp.)
2 tbsp. parsley
1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
2 cups water
3 cups milk
1 celery stalk, cleaned and chopped
2 medium carrots, cleaned and chopped
4-5 medium to large size Yukon gold potatoes, cleaned and chopped
frozen gnocchi (optional)

butter and flour (to make a roux, not required but highly recommended, or you can use cornstarch)
A roux is very easy to make, I promise! In a large pot (the biggest you've got) heat butter over medium heat. Now the point is to add equal parts fat and equal parts flour (one tablespoon of flour equals about ¼ ounce. One tablespoon butter = ½ ounce. ) Slowly add flour and cook 2-3 minutes until there is a consistency of cake batter. For this recipe cook mixture until golden in color.
To the pot add onion, potatoes, carrots, celery, dillweed, salt and pepper. Cover all veggies with water and chicken broth. You may need to add more broth or water, if there's some veggies sticking above the surface it's alright :) Cook on medium-low until potatoes are tender.
Stir in milk and parsley and bring to a boil. Switch heat to medium-low and let simmer until soup has reduced down (20-25min.)
Ladle out 1 to 1 1/2 cups of soup and place in blender. Blend until a smooth consistency. Add mixture back to pot and stir in.
At this point if you desire gnocchi added to your soup or want to add your own dumplings feel free to do so. :) Add as little or as much as you so desire! I like lots so I added about 2 cups worth. Stirring every so often, turn heat to medium and stir gnocchi in until it is warmed through.
Serve immediately and enjoy :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Slowcooker Rich Veggie Soup

The best thing about being back home in Indiana on vacation is the fact that I get to cook again. It's just not right to cook in another woman's kitchen, am I right? I've cooked in my mother's and grandmother's kitchens, but it's just not the same.

While being back I've had to clean out my cupboards and make use of the food before it all goes bad. The boy isn't a cook so I take pride in whipping up delicious meals that we can enjoy together and I can freeze leftovers for him to eat when I'm gone. This is one of the dishes I created and it's sort of a play on the lovely French Onion Soup, but with lots of extras and TONS of flavor! I would make this again and again through the winter. I can't wait to get my garden started to use fresh vegetables in this. :)

1 1/2 cups of Swanson's chicken broth
1 can of Swanson's beef broth (14 oz.)
2 envelopes Lipton's Recipe Secrets Onion Soup & Dip Mix (one box worth)
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen
2 stalks of celery, cleaned and chopped
3 medium carrots, cleaned and chopped
3 Yukon gold potatoes
thick slices of homemade bread or a thick bread, slightly hard
shredded cheese

In slow cooker pour Onion Soup mix into the bottom. Place frozen chicken breasts on top.

Add in veggies and broth. Place on low overnight and cook for 8+ hours. If you have one of the newer slow cookers I've noticed they tend to boil on low, which is not good! If this is the case then I recommend cutting the cooking time in half or shorter. My cooker is ancient so it doesn't have this problem, hehe. :)

The next day use forks to dig out the chicken breasts and they should fall apart and be incredibly tender. Help pull them apart with forks and place back into the soup. Cover and keep on low until ready to serve.

When ready to serve ladle into soup bowls that are broiler and/or oven safe. Place a thick piece of bread on top of soup and pour on as little or as much shredded cheese as you so desire. My opinion? The more gooey cheese the better!

Place under broiler and heat until cheese is hot and bubbly! Watch carefully as broiling can overcook and burn the cheese so keep your eye on it :) You can also bake in the oven instead, but I find it takes considerably longer.

Check back soon and I'll be adding my homemade bread recipe!

*I am in no way affiliated with the products used or websites linked. I was not paid to use the products. These are items I use and like and would like to share.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kitchen Sink Frittata

This golden fluffy flavor packed treat from Italy is worth the wait for it to rise up in the oven. I had a full bag of fresh spinach to use up and plenty of eggs to try this unique dish. What is a frittata exactly? According to Wikipedia it is "A frittata is a type of Italian omelette, either simple or enriched with additional ingredients, such as meats, cheeses, vegetables, and even pasta. It may be compared to a crust-less quiche or, in America, "scrambled eggs." Feel free to click the Wiki link for more information on it, or just take my word for it and try this recipe!

By "Kitchen Sink Frittata" I mean that you can put any sort of combination you can think of into this and it's bound to taste good! It's great for that leftover ham, extra cheese you need to get rid of, an onion that may go bad soon, even shredded carrots fresh from the garden that you're just sick of steaming and eating by themselves! This is the recipe I used, but you're more than welcome to adapt to fit your needs keeping the egg base the same :)

Also, most chefs bake on the stove top in a very large, slightly deep sauce pan on low until the egg sets up and then they finish it off in the broiler. My recipe is 100% in the oven in a 9" round baking dish :)

8 eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. milk
1 handful fresh spinach
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, cleaned and chopped
Salt, for taste (optional)
Pepper, for taste (optional)

Sour cream, for garnish
Salsa, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Chop celery into bite size pieces. Tear spinach into smaller pieces and remove any large stems. Dice onion.
In stand mixer beat together all of the ingredients with whipping attachment on medium high until eggs are light and fluffy (lots of bubbles, then stop) you don't want to over whip!

In greased round pan, or square if you dare to be different, pour in egg mixture.

Place in oven for 15-20min. or until top is golden brown and butter knife comes out clean when poked in the center. If need be, reduce heat.

Remove, flip out onto serving dish and cut like a pie or pizza :) I serve mine with sour cream and salsa.

Could easily serve 4-6 people when served with a side. Fried potatoes anyone? Yum!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hungry Girl's H-O-T Hot Boneless Buffalo Wings

So I found this website from my lovely friend Miranda :) takes all the bad food in our lives and gives us healthier options. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? This is the first recipe of HG's that I found and really just wanted to make. The ingredients are simple, the preparing and cooking fast, and let's face it buffalo wings ARE amazing. I have changed the recipe to fit my own needs and feel that it needs more tweaking. Maybe I should of followed hers first and then changed it, who knows.

However, after making this dish it doesn't remind me of boneless buffalo wings. I'd still rather take in the extra calories and fat at
Buffalo Wild Wings instead of eating this replacement. It was good, but not enough of the wing experience for me and I have a feeling the boy would feel the same way. They should be coated in sauce and be delicious and you MUST have bleu cheese dipping sauce. Sorry ranch lovers, it's bleu all the way! HG gives you a dipping sauce that is nearly guilt-free with a combo of sour cream and BBQ sauce, but it wasn't all that thrilling. In fact after awhile it was kind of nauseating and I ate the chicken on it's own. The sauce is the main event in the chicken wings. It should stick to your fingers so you have to lick them clean and get more of that kickin' hot sauce!

Perhaps I can concoct a low-calorie low-fat dipping sauce to toss these puppies in?

HG's H-O-T Hot Boneless Buffalo Wings

the following recipe includes the changes I made:

8 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into 10 nugget-shaped pieces
1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original), ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency
1 oz. (about 14 crisps) Pringles Light Fat Free Potato Crisps, original (though the suggest BBQ could be better, my local food mart did not have this flavor)
3 tbsp. Safeway Select Buffalo Wing Marinade
dash ground cumin
dash garlic powder
dash black pepper
dash salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Crush potato crisps completely and, in a small dish, mix with cereal crumbs.
Add a dash of each of the seasonings and mix well.
Place chicken pieces in a separate dish, and cover and toss with hot sauce or marinade.
Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray.
Give each chicken piece a shake (so it's not dripping) and then coat it evenly with the crumb mixture.
Lay the battered nuggets on the baking pan.
Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes.
Then flip the wings over, and return them to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until outsides are crispy and chicken is cooked throughout.
Makes 2 Servings.

Hungry Girl's Guilt-Free Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup of fat-free sour cream
1 tsp. dry ranch mix
1 1/2 tablespoon of BBQ sauce
mix together and serve alongside your wings :)