Lemon-Sage Chicken

lemon sage chicken 
I absolutely loved the flavor of the sauce on this chicken! The recipe was in the last issue of Taste of Home magazine and was definitely a winner in our house. I was planning to make some roasted asparagus to go with it and think it would have been a great pairing, but my asparagus wasn't looking too hot when I got it out of the fridge, so we went with salad instead.

Ingredients
* 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used cornstarch)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
SAUCE:
* 2 tablespoons chopped shallot (I used green onion)
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 cup white wine (I used chicken broth)
* 4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (I used FF half and half)
* 3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

Directions
* Flatten chicken to 1/2-in. thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine the eggs, cheese and seasonings. Place flour in another shallow bowl. Coat chicken with flour, then dip in egg mixture.
* In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil in batches. Transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.
* In the drippings, saute shallot until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the wine, lemon juice, herbs and lemon peel; cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half. Add cream; cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter until melted. Serve sauce with chicken.

Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup

chicken and rice soup
Although it is admittedly a little warm for soup here in Houston, this week was a crazy one and I was looking for a healthy crock pot meal and this one (from Family Circle magazine) looked good. It was easy and flavorful and light. I'm a fan!

Ingredients
* 1 cup wild rice and grain blend or all wild rice (I used an Uncle Ben's box without the spice packet)
* 1 medium onion,chopped
* 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 3 ribs celery,trimmed and chopped
* 1 package cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (large ones cut in sixths)
* 1 whole chicken (3 or 4 pounds), cut up, wings reserved for another use (I used 2 breasts)
* 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth
* 2 teaspoons dried poultry seasoning
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
(plus 4 cups water)

Directions
1. Sprinkle rice into bottom of slow cooker. Add onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Remove skin from chicken pieces and trim rib bones from the breastbone. Place chicken pieces over vegetables; add broth and 4 cups water. Add poultry seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper.
2. Cover and slow cook for 6 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW. Carefully remove chicken to a cutting board; discard bones. Shred or chop chicken; return to slow cooker and add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Serve warm.

Fish Tacos

fish tacos
Mike has made some really great versions of these in the past but it was long before I started my recipe blog and we never wrote them down unfortunately (and now he of course has no recollection of what he used for his sauce, etc.). I went to Allrecipes.com and this one had the best ratings so I went with it. The original recipe calls for fried fish, but I grilled ours instead and just heated the tortillas instead of frying them. I'm sure it's even better the fried way, but these were still super yummy and better for us! They hit the spot for sure! (also, the sauce makes a lot, so you could probably half the recipe)

Ingredients:
* lime juice
* chili powder
* salt and pepper

* 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used FF Greek)
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 1 lime, juiced
* 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
* 1 teaspoon minced capers(I didn't have, so left out)
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
* 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

* 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2 to 3 ounce portions (I used tilapia)
* 1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
* 1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded (I used a cole slaw mix)

Directions:
* To make white sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with jalapeno, capers, oregano, cumin, dill, and cayenne.
* Dust fish pieces lightly with chili powder, salt and pepper, and sprinkle with lime juice. Grill until the fish is done. Heat tortillas so they are soft. To serve, place fish in a tortilla, and top with shredded cabbage, and white sauce.

Mexican Soup

mexican soup
I went searching for a healthy dinner that used ground beef and found this one on Eating Well. It came together really easily (even using fresh tomatoes instead of canned) and I was happy with how it tasted. I did add some crushed tortilla chips and avocado as toppings and the leftovers have been great for lunch. The kids didn't love it though :-).

Ingredients:
* 1 teaspoon canola oil
* 8 ounces lean ground beef
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 16 medium tomatoes, chopped, 8 cups (I put mine in the food processor)
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, undrained (I rinsed and drained mine)
* 3 medium carrots, sliced
* 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
* 1 cup corn, (1 ear)
* (I added about 1 c chicken broth to thin it out some)
* Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
* Hot pepper sauce, to taste (optional)
* Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic and sauté until ground beef is just brown and the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Drain fat. Add tomatoes, chili powder, oregano and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes.
2. Add chickpeas, carrots and chiles. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add corn and simmer, covered, until corn is tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce, if using. Garnish with cilantro, if using.

Honey-Mustard Chicken

honey mustard chicken 
Light, easy and flavorful pretty much sums this one up. Everyone loved this Rachael Ray recipe and I got to try out my new grilling pan to make it!

Ingredients:
* 1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast, pounded thin
* 1/2 cup yogurt (I used FF Greek)
* 1/4 cup honey mustard
* 1 tsp. coarse salt
* 1/2 tsp. cayenne

Directions:
Combine all in a plastic bag; shake to coat. Grill over medium, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Serve hot or in a sandwich.

Creole Sausage with Rice and Beans

creole sausage and beans
This is another recipe from the Southern Living Slow-Cooker cookbook. I really liked it, although the rice did get a little mushy. Using the turkey sausage kept it pretty healthy and it has been great to have on hand for lunches (I've been putting some of it in heated tortillas).

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) package smoked sausage, sliced (I used turkey sausage)
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 t Creole seasoning
1 1/2 c uncooked long-grain rice
2 (15 oz) cans red beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:
*Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat 5 min. or until browned; drain. Place sausage in a 4-quart slow cooker; stir in tomatoes and next 3 ingredients.
*Cover and cook on LOW 3 1/2 hours. Stir in beans. Cover and cook on HIGH 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. (I put it all in together and it took about 4 1/2 hours for the rice to be cooked)

Chicken Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing

greek chicken salad 
I was excited to try this Rachael Ray recipe because I love chicken salad and this one is made without mayo, so it's actually pretty dang good for you! It is crisp and cool and refreshing and sooo perfect for summer! I shared it with a friend and we had it with pita and tortilla chips, but I'm sure it is great as a yummy sandwich or on top of a green salad as well.

Ingredients:
* About 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used red because I was out of white)
* Salt and pepper
* 1 cup fat-free greek yogurt
* A small handful each finely chopped dill, parsley and chives
* A few dashes hot sauce
* 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded and meat shredded
* 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
* 1 small red onion, chopped (I unfortunately used my red onion the day before so I put in extra green onions, but I bet it's even better with red!)
* 1/3 seedless cucumber, chopped
* 2 ribs celery from the heart, thinly sliced on an angle
* 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
* 4 flatbreads, warmed

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the EVOO , garlic, lemon juice and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the yogurt, herbs and hot sauce. Add the chicken, bell pepper, onion, cucumber and celery; season with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the tomatoes and serve with the flatbreads. (or chips, etc.)

Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas

Sorry no picture, but it was late by the time I dished myself up a plate (and they weren't super pretty anyway :-).
This recipe is from the Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cook Book and they were pretty tasty! Not to mention it was nice to throw it together in the morning and then not have to worry about anything for awhile!

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used 1 can chicken)
3 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese, divided (I used 2%)
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 1/2 c sour cream, divided (I used light)
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
8 flour tortillas (I used about 10 corn)
1 (8 oz) bottle green taco sauce (I used red because that is what I found)
toppings: chopped tomato, avocado, sliced green onions, cilantro, etc.

Directions:
*Stir together chicken, 2 cups of cheese, green chiles, 1/2 c sour cream and cilantro. Spoon chicken mixture into tortillas and roll up. Arrange, seam side down, in lightly greased 6-quart slow cooker, stacking tortillas if needed (I did have to stack a few).
*Stir together remaining 1 cup sour cream and taco sauce; spoon over enchiladas. Cover and cook on Low 4 1/2-5 hours.
*Remove lid, and sprinkle enchiladas with last 1 cup cheese. Cover and cook on Low 15 more minutes or until cheese melts.

Cup of Garden Soup

cup of garden soup 
I saw this recipe in last month's Better Home and Gardens magazine where they had a special feature from Jamie Oliver. Since I have been on the lookout for healthy recipes, this one caught my eye. I was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful and filling it was! The rest of the family even liked it for the most part too. Jamie says you can use whatever veggies you happen to have in your garden and since I don't have one, I just followed the recipe pretty closely :-) and it was great!

Ingredients:
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil
* 2 strips of smoked bacon, finely chopped (I used 4 strips turkey bacon, or leave it out to keep it vegetarian)
* 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
* 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
* 2 carrots, washed and finely chopped
* 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
* 1 zucchini, finely chopped
* 1 small leek, washed and finely chopped (I used 4 green onions)
* 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 14.5-oz cans chopped plum tomatoes (I used fire-roasted garlic)
* 1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
* 1 cup Romanesco cauliflower or cauliflower florets (I used regular cauliflower)
* 1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 4 cups (one 1-qt. container) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
* Large handful curly kale, stalks removed, chopped (about 2 cups)
* 1/2 cup mixed small pasta shapes or broken spaghetti
* Small bunch of fresh basil (optional) (I left this out because I was already spending a lot at the grocery store)
* Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
* 5 Tbsp.freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the bacon and fry it gently until it starts to turn golden. Add the chopped garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, leek, oregano, and bay leaf. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.
2. Add the cans of tomatoes, the chopped potato, cauliflower, drained chickpeas, and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and cooked through (check by sticking one with a small knife).
3. Add 2 cups of water to the pan and return to boil. Once boiling, add kale and pasta and cook for 10 minutes more, or until the pasta is tender. If soup is too thick, thin it out with a little more broth or water.
4. If using the basil, tear the larger leaves into the soup and reserve the baby leaves for garnish. Season with a little pinch of salt and black pepper. Taste to check the flavors. Remove bay leaf and discard. Divide soup between serving bowls and sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.

Indian Butter Chicken

indian butter chicken
I thought this recipe sounded really good when I first saw it on Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but I just now got around to finally giving it a try. It was definitely a hit! One of our favorites of the new meals we have tried lately. I really loved the flavor of the sauce, in fact, all I really wanted was the sauce on rice...more and more and more of it! :-)

Ingredients:
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped (I forgot to get this, so I used 1 1/2 t ground ginger)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeño, seeded, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander (I left this out-I didn't have it and it was $11 at the store, so I skipped it)
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks (I used 1 large breast)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Hot cooked rice for serving (I used Basmati)
Chopped fresh cilantro for extra garnish

Directions:
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno. Stir often while cooking until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Cook stirring, constantly for another minute.

Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and add tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the half and half. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and add the chicken pieces and the salt and pepper. Stir. Keep the sauce at a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened.

Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into the sauce until melted. Serve the chicken and sauce over hot rice. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro, if desired.