(Mildly) Spicy Pumpkin Chili

This recipe turned out much better than I had anticipated!  The slight taste of pumpkin sets it apart from other traditional chilis.  Yum yum!!

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
*2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
*15oz black beans, drained & rinsed
*15oz garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
*15oz pumpkin puree
*15oz diced tomatoes, drained
*1 cup riced cauliflower (more of you want a thicker chili)
*1/2 small red onion, chopped
*2 cups low sodium chicken broth
*1 tsp cumin
*2 tsp red pepper flakes (I’ll add more next time to make it spicier)
*2 tsp chili powder (I’ll add more next time)
*1-2 cups fresh spinach

Directions:
*Place all ingredients EXCEPT spinach in a crockpot, stir to combine, and set on low for 6-8 hours, until chicken is cooked through.

*Add spinach & stir 30 minutes prior to serving.

*Top with avocado & enjoy!

 

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This made so much that I had tons of leftovers for lunches the following days, and I even froze some of it!  Please let me know if you try it out!!blogsig

Chicken Caesar Salad – Healthified

Get your grills going, friends!  This Chicken Caesar Salad is deeeelish, and we love to grill the chicken, but you can certainly put it in the oven if you’d like.  This is a classic salad, with a little modification to make it “healthified” – the hubby still loved it, so hopefully you will, too!  Great for summer nights when it’s hot out and you want something light and easy.

Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • Grilling spray (optional, but my hubby likes to use it when we grill)
  • Romaine lettuce (you can buy it chopped or buy it all intact and wash and chop it yourself – up to you!)
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Caesar salad dressing (I use a yogurt based dressing by Bolthouse {see photo below} – tastes delicious and is much better for you!)

Directions

  • Spray grill grates with grill spray and set to medium (about 50%) heat.
  • When hot, place chicken on the grill. Grill for approximately 7 minutes, then flip, cook for another 7 minutes.  May need to flip one more time and grill an additional 2-3 minutes – just make sure the inner temperature is at least 165F.
  • When chicken is fully cooked, remove from grill and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then cut into 1” slices.
  • Place desired amount of romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion in your bowl/plate (whatever you’re using). Feel free to be generous with your servings – you really can’t go wrong with veggies!
  • Next add chicken and sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese (keep it to 2Tbsp or less) over your salad.
  • Drizzle with dressing (again, 2Tbsp or less) and enjoy! May crack some black pepper over the top as well.

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This dressing is AMAZING and SO much healthier for you!!

This recipe is so delicious, and there’s absolutely no need for croutons.  You won’t even miss them!  Be sure to comment if you try it out! 😉

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Chicken Fajitas in the Oven

This is such an easy, weeknight meal that doesn’t require many ingredients and ends up SUPER tasty!  I love it!  Husband approved, too – he always goes back for seconds!  Reheating this for leftovers is quite yummy, as well.

Chicken Fajitas in the Oven

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1-2 Tbsp Taco seasoning mix (the link is to the one I use from Trader Joe’s; you can purchase in a Trader Joe’s store or on Amazon)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ – ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I actually ran out and tried mozzarella cheese on one of the chicken breasts pictured – still tasted great!)
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • ½ avocado, sliced (optional)
  • Salsa or hot sauce for topping (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Spray oven safe cooking pan (I usually use a glass container) with olive oil spray
  • Season both sides of each piece of chicken with taco seasoning mix (spread out the 1-2 Tbsp evenly)
  • Place sliced onions, bell peppers, and jalapeno (if using) over chickenIMG_20171203_181913
  • Place in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (until at least 165F internal temp)
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle cheddar cheese evenly on each chicken breast. Return to oven for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted
  • Top with avocado, salsa, or sriracha sauce to taste! Enjoy!  May also serve this over brown rice, but I’ve found that we’re often stuffed without the added rice!

As I noted in the ingredients, I ran out of sharp cheddar cheese so I placed mozzarella on another piece of chicken – still tasted great.  Or you have the option of no cheese, if dairy doesn’t sit well with you!  Very versatile!IMG_20171203_190015

This recipe is so convenient – it takes hardly any time to chop up the veggies and season the chicken while the oven is pre-heating. Then pop it in and just wait!  With a mix of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, it serves as a healthy AND tasty dish

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Oven Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

I have been wanting to try a “one pan” or “sheet pan” roasted chicken and vegetables recipe forever, so I finally took a few recipe ideas and created my own!  I used the veggies that I had on hand, but you could certainly swap some of them out/use whatever you have.  It’s a pretty flexible recipe, and so easy – I’ll definitely be using it again.  It would also be great for meal prepping!

Oven Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed if frozen), cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 zucchini, chopped/sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped (I chopped them into larger chunks, like we do for grilling)
  • 3-5 baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp paprika

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Line oven safe cooking pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray foil with olive oil spray
  • Place chicken (already cut) in a bowl and mix with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp ground pepper, ½ tsp sea salt, and ¼ tsp paprika
  • In another bowl, combine chopped zucchini, red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, and jalapeno. Mix with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp ground pepper, ½ tsp sea salt, and ¼ tsp paprika
  • Place chicken on aluminum foil covered pan/cookie sheet, followed by the vegetables20171110083158
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (165F internal temp or no longer pink in the center)
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

20171110083509A lot of the recipes I looked at say that the vegetables should char – mine did not, but they were cooked through and had great texture and flavor, so I didn’t worry about it.

I enjoyed mine over riced cauliflower, my hubby opted for a side of brown rice.  I also added some sriracha sauce to mine.  It was quite tasty!!  Hope you enjoy!!heart

Sundried tomato, goat cheese, & spinach stuffed chicken

This sundried tomato, goat cheese, and spinach stuffed chicken was another winner in our house recently!! Adding in the sundried tomatoes makes for a nice change, and who doesn’t love goat cheese?!  So yummy!! Hope you enjoy it – I know I’ll be making it again, soon!

Sundried tomato, goat cheese, & spinach stuffed chicken

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed if frozen)
  • 3oz package sun dried tomato halves
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ -1 cup spinach
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Toothpicks

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Spray oven safe cooking pan with olive oil spray
  • In a bowl, combine sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, spinach, and olive oil. Mix all together well and set aside.
  • Using a knife, cut a pocket into each chicken breast, being sure not to cut all the way through
  • Stuff chicken with sundried tomato, cheese, and spinach mixture. Stuff each as much as you can, then seal with toothpicks (I used 2 toothpicks per chicken breast, but you can use 3 if you’d like!)IMG_20170830_185955
  • Sprinkle garlic powder and ground black pepper on chicken breasts, place in pan, cook for 30-35 minutes or until internal temp is 165°
  • When fully cooked, remove chicken from oven and enjoy! Be sure to remove the toothpicks before you dig in!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!!  Serving it over brown rice is optional, but I would suggest at least having a vegetable side – we had steamed broccoli with ours.

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Easy Bruschetta Chicken

I’m no gourmet chef, but I did really like this easy bruschetta chicken that I threw together the other night! Few ingredients & simple recipe, but ended up quite tasty!

Easy Bruschetta Chicken

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed if frozen)
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes (I used petite diced)
  • ⅓-½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil, chopped, or 1-2 tsp dried basil

 

Miscellaneous

  • Aluminum foil
  • Olive oil cooking spray

 

Directions

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F

 

  • Spray oven safe cooking pan with olive oil spray
  • Sprinkle garlic powder and grind black pepper on chicken breasts, place in pan, cover, cook for 35 minutes or until internal temp is 165°
  • Drain canned tomatoes and place in bowl. In the same bowl, combine extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and basil. Mix all together, place in refrigerator until chicken is ready
  • Remove chicken from oven when cooled through and divide shredded mozzarella cheese over them evenly. Place back in over for 3-4 minutes, till cheese is melted
  • Remove chicken from oven, remove tomato mixture from refrigerator. Spoon tomato mixture evenly over chicken & serve!

Hope you enjoy this yummy recipe!!  We enjoyed it over brown rice with a side of steamed broccoli. May drizzle a little more balsamic vinegar over, if needed!IMG_20170826_220601_358-01heart

Baked Tilapia

Tilapia is such a nice, light fish and I love cooking it!  This husband-approved healthy recipe was tasty, easy, and a nice change from the proteins we typically stick to.  It’s customizable, so use this recipe as an outline/start, but feel free to change up the sides or adjust it to suit you!  Obviously you can double or triple the recipe if you’re entertaining guests, and it’s still quite easy and quick!

Baked Tilapia

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tilapia fillets, approximate 4-6 oz each, fresh (thawed if bought frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • Vegetable for side – we typically used asparagus, steamed broccoli, or a veggie medley I made on the stove (if using asparagus, there is an option to cook it with the fish – keep reading!)

Miscellaneous

  • Aluminum foil
  • Cookie sheet
  • Cooking spray (we use Olive oil spray)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Pour 1 Tbsp of lemon juice evenly over each tilapia fillet
  • Sprinkle each fillet with garlic powder and ground black pepper to your liking
  • Rip 2 pieces of aluminum foil, large enough to fold over and seal each fillet
  • Spray each piece of foil with cooking spray to avoid sticking
  • Place one tilapia fillet on each piece of foil. **If using asparagus, you can place asparagus spears on foil first and put tilapia fillet on the asparagus spears**
  • Wrap fish tightly in foil, making sure it is well sealedIMG_20170804_190007
  • Place on cookie sheets and put in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes, until fish is cooked through – should be white and flake easily with fork (may take a little longer if cooking with asparagus)IMG_20170804_190041
  • Remove from oven, unwrap foil, and enjoy with a side vegetable you’d like!

This recipe is super easy; the fish comes out nicely cooked and flaky, but not dry!  We haven’t tried this on the grill, but I bet that would be a tasty alternative to the oven.  While we just enjoyed this with vegetables on the side, you could also use a side of brown rice.  Ours was tasty enough that we didn’t need any sauce/dip, but you could use cocktail sauce if needed.  Enjoy!!

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Healthy Snack Ideas!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time deciding on a snack.  I want to be healthy, but those tortilla chips are sooooo tempting…& who wants to have to “think” about a snack?

That’s why I came up with this healthy snack list – snacks I’ve tried and LOVED, but won’t give you any guilt!  Enjoy the list, and if there’s a favorite healthy snack that you love – let me know that it needs to be added!

Enjoy!!

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Chicken, Beet, and Goat Cheese Salad

I’ve been ordering this salad at restaurants all summer, and I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that I could just make it at home!  It’s easy, delicious, and great for summertime!!

I set the time to 10 minutes assuming you already have the chicken and beets prepped – if not, you’ll need a bit more time.  But it will definitely be worth it!  Hope you enjoy this delish recipe!saladingredients

Chicken, Beet, and Goat Cheese Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4oz cooked chicken (I typically use boneless, skinless chicken breasts – I put garlic powder and pepper, place on a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and cook at 375F for about 20 minutes or until inner temperature is at least 165F)
  • 1-2 medium beets, cooked (Not sure how to cook beets?  See my easy recipe here: Oven Roasted Beets)
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • Spinach
  • Dressing of your choice (I’ve used a yummy herb dressing that is avocado oil based – but you could use any healthy dressing like balsamic or another vinaigrette)

Directions

  • Place 1 cup spinach in a bowl
  • Warm chicken (if not already warm) and place chicken and beets on top of spinach
  • Add 2 Tbsp goat cheese
  • Drizzle dressing over everything and enjoy!

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This is such an easy recipe but it is SO delicious!  If you’re following the 21 day fix portion control container plan, here is what this recipe equals:

1.5 green (2 if you use 2 medium beets), 1 red, ½ blue, and 1 orange

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