Gorgonzola and Bacon Stuffed Chicken

gogonzola and bacon stuffed chicken
I have had this recipe from Favorite Family Recipes saved for awhile now and having company last weekend finally gave me a good reason to make them! There is just something about stuffed chicken that instantly seems fancy and how can you go wrong with anything wrapped in bacon?! Even if it is turkey bacon :-). These were so delicious and definitely should be tried! I served them with a mushroom wild rice mix and green salad and it hit the spot!

Ingredients:
6 chicken breasts
Cheese Filling:
6 slices thick-cut bacon, partially cooked (slightly browned but still soft) and chopped (I used turkey bacon)
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. sour cream (I used light)
1 c. gorgonzola cheese (if you can't find gorgonzola, you can substitute with blue cheese)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Topping:
6 slices bacon
Montreal steak seasoning
Optional Cheese Sauce:
1/4 c. gorgonzola cheese
2 Tbsp. sour cream

Instructions:
◦**Optional Cooking Tip: When I wrap chicken breasts with bacon, I like the bacon a little crisper. If you don't like it crisp, feel free to wrap raw bacon around chicken breasts. Either way works, it just looks better and I think tastes better when you partially cook the bacon first! You can partially fry the bacon or cook in the oven.
◦Oven Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon slices on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove partially cooked bacon and pat off excess fat.
◦Cheese Filling:
◦Chop up 6 pieces of bacon to use in the cheese filling and reserve remaining 6 slices to wrap around chicken.
◦In bowl, combine bacon, green onion, sour cream, gorgonzola cheese and garlic.
◦Cut a 1 1/2 inch slit (about 2 inches deep) into the thickest side of each chicken breast. Using a spoon make a larger pocket inside of chicken breast.
◦Spoon in equal portions of the cheese mixture into each chicken breast. Lay a slice of bacon on top or wrap around. Sprinkle with Montreal steak seasoning.
◦Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear (or thermometer reads 165 degrees)
Optional Cheese Sauce:
◦Combine gorgonzola cheese and sour cream. Microwave about 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cooked chicken.

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

butternut squash enchiladas
I don't remember where I originally saw these enchiladas, but the recipe is from Yummy Mummy Kitchen. I only first tried butternut squash this last year and I have really grown to love it. Roasting it makes is crispy on the outside like a potato, but it still has a sweetness to it. The sweet is balanced out by the spicy salsa and creates a yummy enchilada that is filling despite the lack of meat. I ate all the leftovers of these over the course of a few days and never grew tired of them!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash (12-ounces, or about 1 small-medium peeled, seeded squash)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
15 ounces cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more cilantro for garnish
12 ounces jarred or fresh mild green salsa
1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (I used light sour cream)
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (I used 2% Mexi blend)
10 corn tortillas
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cubed butternut squash on a large baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together roasted butternut squash, beans, chopped onion, and cilantro. In another medium bowl, stir together salsa and yogurt.

Pour a thin layer of the salsa sauce over the bottom of 10" x 7" casserole dish. The 10x7-inch dish is perfect for corn tortillas, but an 8-inch square baking dish would work as well. Place 1/3 cup of the squash and bean mixture into each tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon of cheese and roll up. Place seam-side-down in the baking dish. Continue until all the squash mixture is used up. Pour the remaining salsa sauce over the top of enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese has melted and starting to brown in places, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream and avocado.

Calories per enchilada (based on my best calculations): 190

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

black bean burgers2
I have been trying new recipes again and have been trying to incorporate more meatless and veggie filled dinners into our menu. I have had some misses (chicken sausage stuffed zucchini, seemed promising but flopped), but also some winners. These black bean burgers from Skinnytaste were AWESOME!!! I am planning to make up another batch this week to keep frozen for lunches. I didn't even make the mayo; the burgers were SO flavorful that I loved them with just avocado on top (and I didn't use a bun for mine either). Definitely give them a try!!! (I will say the kids did not love them...at all)

Ingredients:
For the Spicy Chipotle Mayo:
3 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise (Hellman's)
1 tbsp canned chipotle in adobo sauce
For the Black Bean Burgers:
16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jumbo egg
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup quick oats (I used gluten-free oats)
4 whole wheat 100 calorie buns (Martin's)*
1 small hass avocado, sliced thin
black bean burgers1
Directions:
Combine mayonnaise and chipotle, set aside.
Dry the beans well after washing, extra moisture keeps the burgers from sticking. In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic, then add oats, then eggs and spices. Then stir into mashed beans.
Divide mixture into four patties (using slightly oiled hands helps) and place them onto a flat surface covered with wax paper. (If it's too wet, chill the mixture 30 minutes in the refrigerator or add another tablespoon of oats)
Freeze at least 2 hours before cooking or keep frozen until ready to cook.
Heat a lightly sprayed skillet to medium heat and cook frozen burgers about 7 minutes on each side.
If grilling, preheat grill over medium heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil; grill 7-8 minutes on each side or you can bake in the oven at 375° on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 burger w/ mayo bun + avocado • Calories: 362.6 • Fat: 14.0 g • Protein: 18.1 g • Carb: 50 g • Fiber: 15.1 g • Sugar: 7.1 g Sodium: 786.4 mg (without salt)

Southwestern Chicken Casserole

southwestern chicken rice casserole
Since we made this we have been making pretty healthy fare around here, and I must admit it looks pretty delicious right about now :-)! Creamy, cheesy, a bit spicy. It was perfect on a cold night! The recipe is from Favorite Family Recipes blog. Next time I will leave out the cream of chicken soup and just add a bit more enchilada sauce.

*I halved the recipe and cooked in an 8x8 dish*
Ingredients:
◦4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 1 can chicken since I halved it)
◦1 c. mild or medium red enchilada sauce
◦1 (7oz.) can diced green chiles
◦2 tsp. cumin
◦1 tsp. pepper
◦2 c. rice, uncooked
◦1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro and
◦1 Tbsp. lime juice
◦2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted (used 98% FF)
◦1 c. sour cream (used FF)
◦1 1/2 c. mild or medium salsa
◦1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
◦1 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese, shredded
◦1 can corn, drained
◦1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
◦optional garnish: green onion, tomatoes, sour cream, crushed corn chips, or anything else you like!

Directions:
◦In crock pot combine chicken breasts, enchilada sauce, green chiles, cumin and pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours. Take chicken breasts out of sauce and shred.
◦Prepare rice according to package directions with cilantro and lime juice. In bowl, combine soups, sour cream and salsa.
◦Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 c. of soup mixture in bottom of pan
◦Layer in the following order: 1/2 of the rice (press down firmly in pan), 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, 1/2 of shredded chicken mixture, 1/2 can corn, 1/2 can black beans, 1/2 of soup mixture, remaining rice (press down firmly in pan), remaining shredded chicken, remaining corn, remaining black beans, remaining soup mixture.
◦Top with 1 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes until heated through. Garnish as desired.

Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup
This is a recipe I had saved from Parade magazine awhile back and it was perfect for the New Year. Healthy and nice and warm on these cold days that will not go away! It's full of so many fresh veggies that you feel good eating it and tastes good so you enjoy it too.

Ingredients:
1⁄4 cup olive oil and more for garnish
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium celery stalk, chopped
Salt and black pepper
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch kale or escarole, chopped
1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. In a large pot, heat 1⁄4 cup oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften and darken around the edges.
2. Add potatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are nicely browned. Add 6 cups water, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from bottom of pot. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
3. Add zucchini and kale, raising heat if necessary to keep mixture at a steady bubble. Cook until vegetables are very tender, another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Top with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves:6 Per Serving: 280 calories, 33g carbs, 8g protein, 13g fat, 5mg cholesterol, 290mg sodium, 5g fiber