Chicken Enchilada Casserole

chicken enchilada casserole
A couple weeks ago when I was at Sams Club I saw the Cooking Light Best One-Dish meals special edition magazine and I couldn't resist it. I have marked probably 3/4 of the recipes to try and this was the first one I actaully made. It was super flavorful, pretty spicy and warm and cheesy like I love...but without all the guilt :). I can't wait to try more!

* 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (I used 1 can chicken)
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
* 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
* 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 cups chopped onion, divided
* 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
* 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
* 2/3 cup salsa verde
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño pepper
* 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
* 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used 2%)

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.
3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.
4. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, 1/4 cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth.
5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.
6. Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro.

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups * Calories: 371 * Fat: 12.4g * Saturated fat: 5g * Protein: 23.1g * Carbohydrate: 45.3g * Fiber: 5.4g * Cholesterol: 80mg * Sodium: 759mg

Vegetable Tacos

veggie tacos
I was a little nervous about whether or not I would really like these tacos, but I actually LOVED them! The recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens and will be especially delicious this summer when the produce is all fresh. I can't wait to make them again!

* 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size strips (I left out)
* 1 cup bottled green salsa
* 4 ounces fingerling potatoes
* 2 ears sweet corn, uncooked
* 12 8-inches whole wheat tortillas, heated (I used corn)
* 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (I used cilantro)
* 2 red, yellow, and/or green sweet peppers, coarsely chopped
* 2 small zucchini, cut in thin wedges

1. In microwave-safe bowl combine chicken and 1/2 cup salsa. Microcook, covered, on 100 percent power (high) 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once, until no pink remains. Remove with slotted spoon. Cover and keep warm. (I skipped this step)
2. In medium microwave-safe bowl combine potatoes and 1 tablespoon water. Cover with plastic wrap and microcook on 100 per cent power (high) 3 to 4 minutes or until tender, tossing once. Carefully open corner of plastic to let steam escape. Cool briefly. Cut in chunks; lightly sprinkle with salt. Cut uncooked corn from cobs.
3. On each tortilla place chicken, corn, tomatoes, parsley, sweet pepper, potatoes, zucchini, and remaining salsa. Serve immediately. Makes 12 tacos.
(I was a little confused about whether the zucchini was supposed to be served without cooking, which it seemed from the recipe. I roasted mine in a little olive oil with some salt and pepper)

(I thought this seemed high per taco considering there is mostly veggies in each one?)
Serving: 1 taco *Calories 311 * Protein 24g * Carbohydrate 24g * Fat total 14g * Cholesterol 67mg * Saturated fat 4g * Dietary Fiber 12g * Sodium 925mg

Light Chicken Divan

chicken divan light
Chicken divan is one of my favorite dishes. It has broccoli and it's creamy, two of my very favorite things. Since we are trying to eat healthier around here, I was thrilled to see this recipe for a lighter version of it in All You magazine. It came out surprisingly delicious and even the kids loved it! I served it over some quinoa instead of rice.

* 1 1/2 pounds broccoli (about 3 large heads), chopped
* 24 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 cans chicken)
* Salt and pepper
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 2 tablespoons minced onion
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used cornstarch)
* 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
* 1 cup nonfat milk
* 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine (I used white cooking wine)
* 6 ounces shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 1/4 cup seasoned whole-wheat bread crumbs (I used gluten-free bread crumbs)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and blanch 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Mist a large skillet or grill pan with cooking spray; place over medium-low heat. Cook chicken, turning once, until browned and almost cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer chicken to a cutting board. When cool, slice chicken into bite-size pieces.
4. Warm a medium skillet over medium heat. Add butter and 2 tsp. oil; heat until butter has melted. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and whisk until incorporated. Stir in broth, milk and sherry and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in half of Swiss cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange broccoli in baking dish and pour half of sauce on top. Arrange chicken on top and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Swiss cheese and Parmesan; top with bread crumbs. Drizzle with 1/2 tsp. olive oil. (I just layered the broccoli, then chicken and poured all the sauce over the top at once)
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned on top; serve hot.

Makes 6 Servings, Calories:390 * Fat:13g * Saturated fat:7g * Protein:41g * Carbohydrate:19g * Fiber:3g * Cholesterol:93mg * Sodium:701mg

Vietnamese Pork and Noodles with Ginger-Lime Sauce

vietnamese pork and noodles
This is another great recipe from the latest issue of Clean Eating. I love to make these kind of meals because they are perfect leftovers for lunches. I used gluten-free fettuccine noodles and added in some steamed good!

8 oz. whole-wheat linguine (I used GF fettuccine)
2 t extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, cut in thin slices
1 lb. green cabbage, thinly sliced (I used a cole slaw mix bag and added some leftover purple cabbage I had in the fridge)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
2 oz. broccoli sprouts (these were all recalled at my grocery store, and I LOVE sprouts so I was really sad! I bet they add a lot)
1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 2 thick pork chops and cut in strips)
juice of 1 lime
2 t ground ginger
1/2 t sea salt
(I also added some dashes of curry powder)

1. Bring large stockpot of water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain, return to pot and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp oil on medium for 1 minute. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add cabbage and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, until veggies soften. Add onion-cabbage mixture, carrots and broccoli sprouts to linguine and toss well.
3. Return skillet to medium heat. Add remaining 1 tsp oil and pork. Cook, stirring often, until largest piece is opaque in center (approx 7 min). Remove pork and add to linguine mixture; combine.
4. Return skillet to stove top and heat on medium -low. Add lime juice ginger, salt and 2 T water. Mix well to create a smooth sauce. Simmer for 1imnute, until thickened and slightly reduced. Add to linguine mixture and toss to coat. (I just put all the sauce ingredients right in with the rest of the stuff without mixing separately first and it turned out fine)

Serving size: 3 cups, Calories: 399, Total Fat: 6g, Sat Fat: 1g, Monounsat Fat: 2.5g, Polyunsat Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 59g, Fiber: 11g, Sugars: 8g, Protein: 33g, Sodium: 352 mg, Cholesterol: 74mg

Thai Chicken Tacos

thai chicken tacos
Thai them! them! Slow cooker them! So, yeah, I was pretty sure I would love these when I tried them. And I did! I also ate the leftovers for lunch the next 2 days and still loved them just as much. This recipe was in the latest issue of Clean Eating and they are definitely worth a try!

1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
2 T lime juice, divided
2 T creamy peanut butter
1 T low-sodium soy sauce
-1/2 t ground ginger
1 T red curry paste
3 packets stevia, divided
1 1/2 T coconut flour (I used cornstarch)
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 c chopped red onion
1/4 c chopped fresh mint
1 T natural rice wine vinegar
2 c shredded red cabbage
8 6-in corn tortillas

1. Place chicken in slow cooker. In a blender, combine broth, garlic, 1 T lime juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, curry paste, and 2 packets stevia; blend until smooth. Pour over top of chicken and stir gently to coat. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, until chicken is tender.
2. Stir and increase heat to high. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and transfer to a cutting board; set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove 1/2 c broth mixture from the slow cooker and transfer to a small bowl. Add coconut flour to bowl and stir to form a smooth paste. Return broth=flour mixture to slow cooker and whisk until smooth; cover.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange tortillas in 2 equal stacks and wrap each stack in foil. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until heated through. (I just warmed my in hot skillet)
4. Using 2 forks, shred chicken and return to slow cooker; stir to coat. Cook for 10 minutes, until heated through.
5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine tomato, cucumber, onion and mint. Add vinegar, remaining 1 T lime juice and 1 packet stevia; mix thoroughly. To assemble, spoon cabbage, chicken and tomato-cucumber mixture into center of each tortilla, diving evenly.

Serving size: 2 tortillas, 1/2 c cabbage, 2/3 c chicken mixture, 6 T tomato-cucumber mix, Calories: 397, Fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 2g, Carbs: 39g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 42g, Sodium: 375 mg, Cholesterol: 82mg

Mushroom and Sausage Ragu with Polenta

sausage ragu on polenta
The last time I tried a dish with polenta I didn't love it, but I did LOVE this one! It comes from an old issue of Cooking Light. The sauce was also great on noodles, which is what I did for my kiddos.

* 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
* 8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
* 2 large garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
* 2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 cup uncooked polenta
* 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (I used FF)
* 1 tablespoon butter

1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Remove sausage from casings. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sausage, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; simmer gently for 15 minutes.
3. Bring broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add polenta, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cheese, and butter. Serve with sausage mixture.

Serving size: 1 cup polenta, 1 cup ragu, Calories: 428 Fat: 18.7g Saturated fat: 8.4g Protein: 18.2g Carbohydrate: 46g Fiber: 4.6g Cholesterol: 53mg Iron: 3.3mg Sodium: 821mg Calcium: 74mg

Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with chipotle-lemon aioli

roasted brussels sprouts 1
Truth be told, I have been quite curious about brussels sprouts for awhile now. I had NEVER had them! They look like the type of thing I would like now, with my matured taste buds :-), but I couldn't get past hearing my whole life on TV and from others about gross brussels sprouts are. Then I saw this recipe in my last Clean Eating magazine and they looked absolutely delicious! I knew this was the recipe to get my first taste of them. My husband and I both loved them...especially with the spicy dipping sauce. The kids weren't as big of fans, but I'm going to keep trying. We paired them with Baked Salmon and a Mediterranean Quinoa mix and it was an absolutely perfect dinner!
roasted brussels sprouts 2
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 2 T fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread (about 1 oz), torn in pieces (I used gluten-free bread crumbs)
- 2 tsp lemon zest, divided
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1/4 c low-fat olive oil mayo
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, 1/4 tsp adobo sauce reserved

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut Brussels sprouts in half and prepare as shown (they had picture instructions which were helpful for me, but basically you peel off outer leaves, cut stems close to bottom leaves, cut in half and make a little cut in the stem to help it cook evenly). Transfer sprouts to a large bowl and drizzle with 1 T lemon juice and oil; set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse bread into fine crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumbs, 1 tsp lemon zest and garlic over top of sprouts and toss until lightly coated.
- Spread sprouts-crumb mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven for 10 minutes; remove turn sprouts around and bake until tender, 7-10 more minutes.
-Meanwhile, prepare aioli: In small bowl, combine mayo, remaining 1 T lemon juice, remaining 1 tsp lemon zest, chipotle chile and reserved adobo sauce; mix well.

Serving size: 1 cup Brussels sprouts and 1 T aioli * Calories: 160 * Total Fat: 9g * Sat. Fat: 1g * Monounsat Fat: 4g * Polyunsat Fat: 3g * Carbs: 15g * Fiber: 5g * Sugars: 3g * Protein: 5g * Sodium: 211mg * Cholesterol: 5mg

Chicken Carne Asada Tacos with Pickled Onions (and Spicy Black Beans)

chicken carne asada tacos
I've been looking back through old recipes I have saved from magazine and have been finding some great ones! This one was in a 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine and they were SO good! The pickled onions were easy to make and added such a nice dimension to the flavor. The combination of it all was just perfect! We ate these last week and typing this up now is really making me want some more!

* 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
* 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1 medium red onion, thinly vertically sliced
* 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into thin strips (I used chicken breasts)
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Cooking spray
* 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
* 1 cup diced peeled avocado (about 1 avocado)
* 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Cotija cheese (I couldn't find and used queso fresco instead)
* Lime wedges (optional)

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place onion in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; drain and plunge onion in ice water. Drain onion; add to juice mixture. Chill until ready to serve.
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken with oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned and done, stirring occasionally.
3. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas. Drain onion; divide evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons avocado and 1 tablespoon cheese; fold over. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Serving Size: 2 tacos * Calories: 413 * Fat: 17.1g * Saturated fat: 5.2g * Monounsaturated fat: 7.1g * Polyunsaturated fat: 2.7g * Protein: 33.4g * Carbohydrate: 33.6g * Fiber: 4.9g * Cholesterol: 123mg * Iron: 3.2mg * Sodium: 825mg * Calcium: 237mg

For Spicy Black Beans:
1. Remove 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from 1 can chiptole chiles in adobo sauce; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use.
2. Combine 1 teaspoon adobo sauce; 1/4 c low-sodium chicken broth and 1 (15 oz) can drained black beans in saucepan; bring to a boil.
3. Mash bean mixture. Sprinkle with 1 T chopped fresh cilantro.

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup

meatball and spaghetti soup
This recipe is another hit from Skinnytaste!Along with many others I am trying to eat healthier and exercise more in the new year and I have found so any light but absolutely delicious recipes on her site, so definitely check it out! Also, I'm going to be posting the nutrition info at the bottom of the recipes I try when it is provided.
But, back to this soup. It was super yummy and especially perfect for us since my kids think spaghetti and meatballs is one of THE best meals there is. They each ate the meatballs and wanted more and I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day!

For the soup:
* 5 cups low sodium, fat-free chicken broth
* 2 cups water
* 2 chopped cloves garlic, divided
* 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
* 1/2 onion, chopped, divided
* 3-4 tbsp tomato sauce (I used a little extra)
* pinch crushed red pepper flakes
* kosher salt and fresh pepper
* 6 oz dry cut up spaghetti, she used Ronzoni Smart Taste (I used gluten free fusilli)
For the meatballs:
* 16 oz 99% lean ground turkey
* 1 small egg
* 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used some gluten-free ones I ordered online. First time using them and they worked great!)
* 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
* 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

In a soup pot over medium heat, bring chicken broth, water, 1 clove crushed garlic, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 1/4 of the chopped onion, tomato sauce, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh black pepper to a boil; simmer about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the meatballs by combining ground turkey, parmesan cheese, egg, remaining garlic, remaining onion, remaining parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Form into little 1 inch meatballs (about 36).
Drop meatballs into the broth, cook about 3 minutes; add pasta and cook according to package directions. Add fresh basil, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Servings: 6 • Size:(about 1 1/2 cups) • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts •  Calories: 212.9 • Fat: 3.2 g • Carb: 27.4 g • Fiber: 3.9 g • Protein: 22.1 g • Sugar: 2 g • Sodium: 738.7 mg (without added salt)

Gingerbread Waffles with Buttermilk Syrup

gingerbread waffle
This recipe comes from my mom (originally from Rachael Ray), who first made these DE-LICIOUS waffles for our Christmas Day brunch a few years ago. They were an instant hit and have been on the menu ever since. She also makes a homemade syrup for them, but I don't have that recipe yet. If you're lucky I'll add that recipe on here soon...not that these waffles can't stand on their own though!

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, plus some to butter the iron

Preheat waffle iron.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in pumpkin, milk, molasses and melted butter.
Stir the wet into dry until just moist. Do not overstir the waffle batter. Brush the iron with a little melted butter and cook 4 waffles, 4 sections each. Serve with toppings of choice.

Buttermilk Syrup
1 cup butter
1 cups buttermilk
2 cups sugar
1 t. baking soda
4 T. Karo syrup
2 t. vanilla

Cook in a large pot (it bubbles up!) Keep stirring for 7-10 minutes at boiling temperature. Now, make sure you boil it long enough. The first time I made this, I didn't boil it long enough and it was too runny.

Chex Mix Peanut Butter & Chocolate Blast

holiday chex mix
We needed something sweet to snack on when I was preparing the line-up for our big family game day. I found this chex recipe and thought it looked perfect. It was a little more time consuming to make just because you have to lay out the chex to cool before breaking it up (the other recipes I've tried you just mix it all together and you're done), but it was really yummy and worth it in the end. I doubled the recipe, using half rice Chex and half corn made a TON, but we managed to eat it at all our get togethers over the holiday weekend :-).

6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup white vanilla baking chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup red and green candy-coated chocolate candies (I wanted to use mini M&Ms, but I forgot them at the store and used the PB ones I had on hand instead)
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts

1. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil or waxed paper. Place 3 cups cereal in large bowl. In small microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Pour melted chips over cereal in bowl; stir to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on one of the cookie sheets. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until set.
2. Repeat the above using the remaining cereal and the peanut butter chips; refrigerate 5 minutes or until set.
3. Gently break up coated cereal into large bowl. Add candy and peanuts; stir gently to combine. Store in airtight container.