Honey Cashew Chicken

honey cashew chicken
I absolutely loved this stir-fry! One of my favorites ever I think...plus it was so pretty. I love broccoli and peppers and edamame AND cashews! In my opinion you could definitely leave the chicken out and it would still be delicious, or use tofu instead if you wanted to make it a meatless meal. The sauce was slightly sweet and slightly spicy, a perfect combination. I was excited to have it as leftovers for a couple days after we had it for dinner! (recipe from Cooking Light)

* 1 cup instant rice (I used a combination of basmati and brown and made 3 cups)
* 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
* 2 cups broccoli florets
* 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, sliced
* 1/2 cup dry-roasted cashews, unsalted
* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon Sriracha

1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
2. Combine chicken and next 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss to coat.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola and sesame oils. Add chicken mixture, and sauté for 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Increase heat to high, and add broccoli and the next 4 ingredients (through red bell pepper). Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is done, stirring frequently. Stir in cashews.
4. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add vinegar mixture to chicken mixture; toss to coat. Serve with rice.

Serving 1/2 c rice and 1 c chicken mixture: Calories: 470 Fat: 17.6g Protein: 29g Carbs: 50g Fiber: 4.5g Chol: 49mg Sodium 638mg

Cajun Chicken Pasta

cajun chicken pasta
I LOVED this pasta from Skinnytaste! If there is one thing I love to eat every now and then is a creamy pasta dish. Sometimes it just hits the spot. I loved the spicy chicken in combination with the crisp veggies and creamy sauce. SOOO delicious! I kept the sauce and noodles separate to help the leftovers stay better.

8 ounces uncooked linguine (I used gluten-free spaghetti)
1 pound chicken breast strips
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp light cream cheese
fresh cracked pepper
2 scallions, chopped
salt to taste
Smart Balance cooking spray

Prep all your vegetables. In a small blender make a slurry by combining milk, flour and cream cheese. Set aside.
Season chicken generously with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt.
Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray and add half of the chicken. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until done, set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside.
Add olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium; add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to skillet, sauté 3-4 minutes.
Add mushrooms and tomatoes and sauté 3-4 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken broth and pour in slurry stirring about 2 minutes.
Return chicken to skillet; adjust salt and Cajun seasoning to taste, cook another minute or two until hot, then add linguine; toss well to coat. Top with chopped scallions and enjoy.

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Calories: 323.8 • Fat: 6.2 g • Protein: 25.9 g • Carb: 44.1 g • Fiber: 6.3 g • Sugar: 3.2 g • Sodium: 126.5 mg (without salt)

Cajun Chicken Curry

cajun chicken curry
I don't know how cajun-y this curry was, but it was delicious! I really loved the flavor of the sauce, especially on the fluffy rice. Curry is one of my favorite flavors and I loved this new variation from Better Homes & Gardens.

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 T oil
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup butter
1 large green sweet pepper, cut in strips
1 large red onion, cut in narrow wedges
1 stalk celery, sliced (1/2 cup)
6 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbsp.)
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used cornstarch)
1 (14 1/2 oz) can chicken broth
1/2 cup tangerine or orange marmalade
1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
4 cups hot cooked basmati or jasmine rice

1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook fennel seeds in hot oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in chicken. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon.
2. In the same Dutch oven heat butter. Cook sweet pepper, onion, celery, garlic, curry powder, garam masala, and salt in hot butter over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in flour. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring until combined. Stir in chicken, marmalade, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice.

Servings Per Recipe 4, Calories 641, Protein 33g, Carbohydrate 88g, Fat, total 17g, Cholesterol 97mg, Sodium 925mg

Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

sweet potato lentil soup
I saw this recipe in an old issue of the Food Network magazine and thought it looked worth a shot. It was easy and pretty flavorful when you sub in broth for the water. I added some turkey sausage to make it more of meal in the eyes of the rest of the family but I personally liked it without the sausage better.

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
3/4 cup dried yellow or red lentils
1 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 teaspoon curry powder
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
*recipe calls for 6 cups water, I used 4 cups veggie broth and 2 cups water
(I added 1 link of turkey sausage)

Combine the sweet potato, carrots, celery, leeks, lentils, ginger, 3/4 teaspoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a 4-to-6-quart slow cooker. Add 6 cups water and stir, then cover and cook on low, undisturbed, 8 hours.
Stir the soup vigorously with a whisk to make a rough puree. Thin with hot water, if desired. (I didn't do this and left it chunky)
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon curry powder and cook until the curry powder is slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Stir the curry mixture into the soup and add the lemon juice, cilantro, and salt to taste. Serve with lemon wedges.

Per serving (makes 4 huge ones): Calories 257; Fat 4 g; Cholesterol 8 mg; Sodium 580 mg; Carbohydrate 45 g; Fiber 10 g; Protein 12 g

Santa Fe Chicken Rub

santa fe spice rub
This recipe comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and we used it to make tacos. We grilled the chicken and sliced it up, sauteed some peppers and onions and made some fancy guacomole. They were De-Licious! A perfect summer dinner!

2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

In a small bowl, combine all the spices and brown sugar. Stir in the olive oil and mix until a crumbly, moist paste forms.
Place the chicken in a single layer in a 9X13-inch or similar size baking pan. Rub the chicken generously with the spice mixture on all sides. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 10 hours.
Grill the chicken over medium heat until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes per side, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips and serve. This chicken is delicious served as-is and is also wonderful served in soft tortillas with taco garnishes.

Texas Sweet Onion Casserole

texas sweet onion casserole
The moment I saw this on Homesick Texan I was dying to try it! Luckily I had an excuse to make a big, yummy dish like this and went on a search to find something else to go with it. I settled on trying a Santa Fe Spice Rub (recipe to come) and grilled chicken. We made tacos out of the chicken and some sauteed peppers, along with guacamole and then had this cheesy, delicious rice on the side. It was a heavenly meal!!!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Texas sweet 1015 onions, peeled and chopped (about 2 pounds)
3 cups cooked rice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of cayenne
2 cloves garlic
1 or 2 chipotle chiles en adobo, diced (depending on how hot you want it)
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded Gruyere (8 ounces), divided
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, on low heat melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and while occasionally stirring cook for 10 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile, stir together the cooked rice, cumin, allspice, cayenne, garlic, chipotle chile, sour cream and 1/2 cup of the Gruyere cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings, then add salt to taste. Add rice mixture to the skillet and stir until onions are mixed well with the rice. (Alternatively, you can bake the casserole in a greased 10-inch baking pan.) Top with the rest of the Gruyere cheese and bake for 30 minutes uncovered or until brown and bubbling. Serve topped with cilantro, if you like.
(I put into 2 8x8 glass dished to bake)

Edamame Fried Rice

edamame fried rice
This was another hit from Skinnytaste and I loved it for lunch for a couple days after we had it for dinner. It was super easy to make, good for you and really flavorful. Loved it and will definitely be making it again!

3 cups leftover cooked brown rice
2 egg whites, scrambled
1 whole egg, scrambled
1 tbsp Smart Balance oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
5 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1/2 cup shredded carrots
cooking spray
1 cup ready-to-eat shelled edamame
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, tamari for gluten free (or more to taste)
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Whisk eggs and egg whites, season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok, spray a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
Let the wok get really hot. Add oil and cook onions, scallion whites, carrots and garlic for about 30-60 seconds, careful not to burn. Add brown rice and stir well a few minutes to heat through. Add cooked egg along with soy sauce, scallion greens and edamame, mixing well for about 3-4 minutes.

Servings: 6 • Size: just under 1 cup • Calories: 202 • Fat: 5.8 g • Protein: 8.6 g • Carb: 28.5 g • Fiber: 4.3 g • Sugar: 1.1 g • Sodium: 244.1 mg (without salt)

Broccoli & Cheese Quinoa Casserole

broccoli quinoa casserole
I added this recipe to our menu for the week the instant I saw it on Fabulously Delicious! I LOVE cheesy, broccoli dishes and we haven't had anything like that in awhile since we have been trying to eat healthier. But guess what?! This one isn't bad for you and it is still cheesy and delicious!!! So definitely try it, you will be glad you did!

One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli or Mushroom soup (I used 98% FF)
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)
1/2 teaspoon Splenda
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
(I added 1 medium onion diced and browned in a dash of olive oil)
(I aso added one can of chicken)
2 cups cooked broccoli
1 1/2 cups COOKED quinoa (3/4 c quinoa and 1 1/2 c water to cook it)

In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible. Fluff with a fork.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
Spoon mixture into prepared casserole and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden. Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 199, Protein 10 g; Fat 9 g; NET Carbs 14 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 297 mg
broccoli quinoa casserole 2
*NOTE FOR GLUTEN FREE…Progresso makes a Creamy Mushroom Soup that is gluten free…or here is a recipe for a Cream of Anything Soup. 
Condensed “Cream of Anything” Soup
1 cup cold milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended.
Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken.
Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.
Stir in a drained 4 ounce can of mushroom pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.
Stir in 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.
Stir in 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Celery Soup