Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

OH. MY. GOODNESS. If you have an Instant pot, you need to make this meal IMMEDIATELY. Especially if you’re starved for a good pasta dish – never fear!  My husband didn’t think this sounded that great, but after he tasted it he had one huge bowl and went back for seconds.  Having celiac disease for so long (and not having great options for gluten free pasta when I was diagnosed – there are MUCH better options now!) I have gotten away from pasta dishes – but no more!  If this is any indication of the deliciousness that I can have – I’m all for it!

Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes (about 1 inch in size or so)
  • 1 red onion, chopped/diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (I used 5 tsp of minced garlic from the store)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp fajita or taco seasoning, divided in half (I use Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and diced (any color – I used 1 red and 1 green)
  • 5 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added!) – DO NOT DRAIN
  • 4oz can diced green chiles (see photo below for which one I used), optional (this adds a kick – and we loved it!)
  • 8oz dry, gluten free penne pasta (see photo below for the brand I used)
  • Red pepper flakes, optional, to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional, for topping)
  • Avocado slices (optional, for topping)
  • Hot sauce (optional, for topping)

Directions

  • Add olive oil (2 Tbsp) to instant pot, set to “Suate”, and allow to oil to heat. Once hot, add chicken and ½ taco seasoning (1.5 Tbsp).  Stir well to coat, and cook until chicken is white
  • Add onions, garlic, bell peppers, and the rest of the seasoning (1.5 Tbsp). Stir well to coat, and continue stirring drequently until vegetables are slightly tender – about 2-3 minutes
  • Add tomatoes (WITH juices – DO NOT DRAIN), chicken broth, diced green chiles, and dry pasta to the pot. Stir to mix well, place cover on instant pot, lock in place, and select Manual (or pressure cook) option for 6 minutes. Make sure valve is set to SEAL.
  • Once finished, quick release the pressure and remove cover (once all pressure is relieved). The juices should be mostly absorbed.  Stir to mix, then serve!  Add any of the optional additions to top it off, and enjoy!

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I think this is going to become a frequent meal in our house – we both thought it was so good!  And soooo easy – did I mention how much I love my instant pot?!

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Enjoy! And as always, let me know what you think when you try it!

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Chicken and Artichokes

Alright, you all know I’m in love with my instant pot, but this recipe is an easy peasy STOVETOP one that I will never give up!  I make it SO often, I barely need to measure the ingredients anymore.  My husband requests it frequently – so it’s definitely a winner in our book. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have (and continue to!)

Chicken and Artichokes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes (about 1 inch in size or so)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (I used 5 tsp of minced garlic from the store)
  • Olive oil spray (may want to add about 1 Tbsp olive oil as well, that’s optional)
  • 1 jar/can artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Handful spinach (optional)

 

**Ideally for this recipe, you will want a skillet/pan that has a cover**

 

Directions

  • Spray skillet with olive oil spray and place on stove, heat to medium. Add chicken and cook, approximately 4 minutes on each side.
  • Remove chicken and set aside
  • Spray pan with olive oil spray (or add in 1Tbsp olive oil), and add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent, stirring as needed. Add artichokes, chicken broth, maple syrup or honey (maple syrup tends to give it a little thicker texture, which I enjoy), sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper.  Simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add chicken back in and mix to stir. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once cooked, add in spinach (if using).  Let stand 5-10 minutes and serve! We serve over brown rice (or sometimes riced cauliflower)

 

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Yum yum!! This is a recipe that I make at least once every 2 weeks – it’s so easy, and it ends up being so tasty!! My husband loves it as well.  We have topped it with various things over the several times we’ve enjoyed it – including gluten free soy sauce or liquid aminos, red pepper flakes, and even sriracha sauce!  Just depends what you’re in the mood for!blogsig

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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Espresso Shakeology Balls

Shakeology isn’t just for drinking – check out these espresso balls!  They’re packed with flavor and serve as a healthy snack when you’re craving something yummy.

Espresso Shakeology Balls

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 scoop/packet vegan café latte or café latte shakeology
  • ¾ cup gluten free rolled oat
  • ¾ cup all natural creamy/smooth almond butter (I like to get some from Trader Joe’s that has no salt added)
  • ¼ cup honey (raw, natural)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds (raw)

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well
  • Roll mixture into 24 walnut sized balls and place in a well-sealed container
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before enjoying

espressoshakeoHope you enjoy this yummy recipe!!  They’re addicting, so keep in mind 1 serving = 2 espresso balls!

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Spicy Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

This is such a flavor-packed recipe – it’s gluten free and vegan!  I know I don’t have many vegetarian or vegan recipes on the blog, so I’m trying to remedy that.  If you love a filling, spicy dish, this is for you!  Plus you can alter how spicy or mild it is to suit your taste.  It’s delish! I originally found this recipe from Baker by Nature, but I altered it to suit my tastes.

**This recipe makes about 8-10 servings, so I typically freeze about half of it.  However, if you don’t think you’ll use it/don’t want to freeze it, you may want to cut the recipe in half!**

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Spicy Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 ½-3 cups butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce (cut this in half if you want it less spicy)
  • 2 cups raw kale (thick ribs removed),chopped
  • 2 cans low sodium black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 can low sodium pinto beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2 ½-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt (optional)
  • Avocado slices, for serving (optional)

Directions

  • Spray large pot with olive oil spray (or heat olive oil) over medium heat.
  • Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute or so.
  • Add squash, stir, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in chili powder and cumin, stir; cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in sriracha, kale, beans, broth, tomatoes, and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Ladle chili into bowls, top with avocado (if using) and serve.

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Hope you enjoy this yummy recipe!!

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Chicken Enchilada Soup

Here’s a yummy soup to warm you up in the cold winter months!  Chicken Enchilada Soup – easy, tasty, and the best part is…it’s made with a crockpot/slow cooker!!

Enjoy the recipe!

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And there you go! For those of us who need to be gluten free, make sure you check the ingredients on the enchilada sauce that you purchase!

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Santa Fe Chicken Chili

Hey all!! Sorry I’ve been MIA – SO much has happened and I can’t wait to write some posts to fill you all in.  However, this post is about…dun dun dun… A RECIPE!

A very, very yummy recipe, at that.  I will say – BE SURE TO HALF THE RECIPE IF YOU DON’T WANT LEFTOVERS…it makes A LOT.

I love this recipe because you can make it as mild or as spicy (spicy spicy spicy for us!!!) as you’d like.  Throw it all in the crockpot (perfect for FALL!) and leave it all day.  Come home to a DELICIOUS smelling home and a NOM NOM NOM worthy meal.

Enjoy 🙂

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If you try it out, please let me know how you like it!

Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

This was a great, great recipe!  My husband loved it, and it was easier than I had anticipated.  Kudos to the original recipe found at http://www.dananicolefitness.com/recipe/cheddar-and-broccoli-stuffed-chicken/ – I only made a couple of changes.

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thin (pound thin with mallet, if needed)
  • 75-1 cup Colby jack cheese
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli, frozen
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Touch of sea salt
  • 12 toothpicks
  • Pam olive oil cooking spray

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat chicken with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika
  • Sprinkle Colby jack cheese on chicken breasts, evenly. Save a bit to add to the top of each chicken breast after you fold and toothpick them together
  • Spread chopped broccoli evenly on top of each chicken breast.
  • Fold each chicken breast in half, containing all of the broccoli and cheese you can, and insert about 2-3 toothpicks each to secure it20160816_192857
  • Lightly spray the top of each chicken breast – I actually added a touch of garlic, pepper, and paprika to the top of each20160816_192904
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and cook for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked
  • Remove aluminum foil, and sprinkle with remaining cheese
  • Bake uncovered for an addition 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted

I served this with some brown rice.  Next time, I’d like to add spinach to the innards of the chicken “roll”, and see how that turns out.  For now, I hope you like it!

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Caprese Salad Bites

We took these out on a beach day for snacks, and they were a HIT.  Now, they are “healthy” as long as you don’t eat…like…10 of them (which is harder than it seems).  However, this recipe is SUPER easy, full of flavor, and packed with fresh ingredients.

Caprese salad bites

  • Servings: However many you’d like!
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Mozzarella, fresh (I used the Trader Joe’s mozzarella balls)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil leaves (we used fresh from the garden, but you could buy them as well)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Toothpicks

Directions

  • Wash all cherry tomatoes and basil leaves
  • Place mozzarella ball, cherry, and basil on toothpick; this is one caprese “bite”
  • Repeat until you have made the desired number of caprese “bites”
  • Once finished, drizzle small amount of extra virgin olive oil on each bite, followed by a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar

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Enjoy!  These are soooo delicious.  Do keep in mind it’s important to keep moderation in mind – but these are great for a dinner party or any sort of get together!

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