Salsa Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Salsa chicken is a go-to slow cooker meal in my house. But after awhile we get bored just using the shredded chicken in tacos. So this week I decided to change it up and use the chicken, along with some black beans and quinoa, for stuffed peppers.

stuffed peppers

The crisp bell peppers are baked until just tender and are full of the flavorful, easy-to-make chicken. And of course the peppers are topped with piles of melty cheese. The biggest plus though is that the chicken is made in the slow cooker while you are at work – making this meal a cinch to throw together within minutes of walking in the door. And you can make the quinoa a few days ahead if you are alike me. I like to make a big batch on Sunday and use throughout the week in dinner and lunches.

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic
salt & pepper to taste
4 green bell peppers
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Salsa

Begin the chicken in the morning by adding the chicken, spices and diced tomatoes to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or until chicken can easily be shredded with a fork.

Remove chicken and shred. Add back into the tomato mixture in the slow cooker and adjust spices to your liking.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the tops of the peppers and remove the inner membranes and seeds. Set aside. Place peppers upright in a baking sheet or cast iron skillet and fill with chicken, quinoa and black beans. Top with shredded cheese and cover loosely with foil.

Bake stuffed peppers for 10 minutes with foil on. Remove peppers and bake for another 10 minutes or until the pepper are soft and cheese is melted. Turn on the broiler at the end if you prefer your cheese a bit toasty!

I served these over a bed of extra quinoa and salsa – but you can eat them as is or with rolled up tortillas that have been warmed on the stove.

stuffed peppers

I know the colors look a bit off… but trust me it was delicious!

Enjoy!

Cumin Chicken Salad

My husband has a soft spot for chicken salad. Weird for a guy right? But he loves the stuff and has to order it if its on a deli menu. I am not 100% in love with creamy salads but every once in awhile it just hits the spot. Making it with Greek yogurt is not only healthier but results in a tangy, light salad. And I love making a batch when we have some left over chicken in the fridge.

Chicken Salad

This chicken salad has a Tex Mex twist with black beans, corn, lime and cumin. We ate this with tortillas chips and salsa for a quick lunch but it will also be amazing stuffed in an avocado or plump tomato. My original plan was to top the salad with fresh cilantro from my garden, however, hungry deer came through my backyard overnight. Apparently they like cilantro and not chives – so chives it is! 

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lime, juiced
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chives, diced

Simply mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl, adjusting spices and lime juice to your taste. Top with chives, or cilantro, and serve!

*This tastes even better if you let the flavors marry in the fridge for an hour or so.

Enjoy!

Chicken Salad

Chicken Pad Thai Zoodles

Let’s talk zoodles. I know I am late the party but I am all about the zoodle lately! And with summer squash season right around the corner, I am getting pretty excited about adding squash noodles to pretty much any dish . They are a great way to indulge in a craving without having a super heavy meal – zoodles and meatballs, zoodle alfredo and this gem… zoodle pad thai.

pad thai

I get it, zoodle pad thai chicken is not a traditional pad thai.

pad thai

Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts, cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 zucchinis, “zoodled”
2 carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce *more if you like it spicy!
Lime slices
¼ cup peanuts, chopped

Begin by browning the chicken in a heated skillet with a touch of oil. Just before the chicken is done, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. By adding the garlic later you prevent it from burning and getting bitter.

While the chicken cooks, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire and lime juice. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked through, add the zucchini, carrots and sauce. Tossing on medium heat until the zucchini softens and the sauce thickens slightly.

Serve topped with the chopped peanuts and chives with lime wedges on the side.

pad thai

Enjoy!

 

 

Bruschetta Chicken

In this bruschetta chicken, crisp Italian flavors come together for a dinner-worthy interpretation of everyone’s all-time favorite appetizer – bruschetta. However, instead of toasted bread the tomato basil mixture is spooned over grilled chicken making it filling enough for dinner. Yet still light. And with Spring FINALLY here, I am in the mood for lighter fare.

If time allows, I strongly suggest making the bruschetta mixture ahead to let the flavors marry. I often make extras to use later in the week in salads or to top a quick pasta or to eat straight out of the container in front of the fridge. Time will only make this better!

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup basil, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste

Begin by making the bruschetta by combining the tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let the flavors marry while the chicken cooks. You can even make the bruschetta the night before!

bruschetta chicken

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly pound out the chicken breasts so they are an even thickness. This helps everything cook evenly and a bit quicker. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Grill chicken for about four minutes each side. If your chicken is not cooked through at this point, I suggest throwing the pan in the oven at 400 degrees to finish cooking without drying it out.

When the chicken is cooked, simply plate with your favorite roasted veggies and top with the bruschetta!

Enjoy!

bruschetta chicken

Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Cookies

When I started baking these almond butter cookies I had every intention of keeping this recipe super healthy for Max’s afternoon snack. But then I got to thinking, what is nut butter without chocolate?

almond butter cookies

We all know and love the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate but trust me, almond butter and chocolate is just as delicious. I have been known to dip a piece of dark chocolate in the jar of almond butter late at night. I see these cookies as a more socially acceptable take on that habit. And just as delicious!

These cookies are super easy to throw together with only a handful of ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry. And since there are so few ingredients they are healthy! Healthy fat from the almond butter, wholesome goodness from the whole wheat flour and just a kiss of sweetness from honey. I opted to make these with almond butter but you can easily use any nut butter. However, you may need to improvise with the amount of flour to achieve the correct dough consistency. Some nut butters are a bit more runny than others. But I’m sure anything you do will still be delicious – you can’t lose with this ingredient list!

almond butter cookies

And finally, I strongly suggest doubling the amount of chocolate and coconut oil as a dip. Having extra chocolate is never a bad thing and after you are done dipping your almond butter cookies start dipping everything else! Pretzels, marshmallows, fruit, graham crackers…. Or pour it over ice cream for a magic shell.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons honey
1 egg white
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Combine all ingredients – almond butter through egg white – in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined. Roll dough into  about 12 two inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press each dough ball lightly with a fork to make the cross hatch pattern and bake for about 8 minutes. Let cool completely on the cookie sheet.

almond butter cookies

While the cookies cool, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted, stirring frequently.

Once the chocolate is melted and the cookies are cooled, dip each cookie in the chocolate and let rest on the parchment paper. You may want to put the cookies in the fridge so the chocolate sets faster.

almond butter cookies

Enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

I love having cookies around the house to dunk in tea or to have as a little afternoon pick-me-up. The problem with keeping cookies around though is that I eat them, all. So my solution is to make healthy-ish cookies that scratches my cookie itch but is a little less guilt inducing. These particular chocolate cookies are full of whole wheat and use less butter and sugar than most while still being full of chocolatey coconut goodness. I classify this one as a win-win!

Chocolate Cookies

You can easily substitute the coconut with toasted nuts, more chocolate or even peanut butter chips! Really, anything that goes well with chocolate is begging to be mixed into this cookie dough. I may try pistachios next. And more chocolate.

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4  teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips *I prefer mini chocolate chips 
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut

Pre-heat over 350 degrees and prep baking sheet.
Begin by combining your dry ingredients, through salt, in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend butter, apple sauce and sugars until combined. Add vanilla and egg. Slowly add in dry ingredients, chocolate and coconut until just combined. Drop batter onto prepared baking sheet a few inches apart. Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges begin to crisp. Cool on a cooling rack.
 Chocolate Cookies
Enjoy!