Saturday, January 28, 2017

Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili

Everyone NEEDS to make this on Sunday. Buy the ingredients, throw them in your crockpot, run errands/go to the gym/go to brunch/etc., then come home to a delicious meal you can eat all week. This chili is a little spicy, a little creamy, and absolutely delicious!


This recipe is only slightly modified from Pinch of Yum:

Crock Pot Queso Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 cups salsa, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bell peppers, minced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces fat free cream cheese
4 ounces lite cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese
Cilantro for topping

Directions:

1. Place the chicken breasts, 1 1/2 cups salsa, water, cumin, chili powder, and salt in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours. When the chicken is done, shred the meat directly in the crockpot using two forks.

2. Pat the minced peppers dry with a paper towel. Place the bell peppers in a large nonstick skillet high heat WITHOUT oil. This creates the browned, roasted look on the outside of the peppers. Stir once and repeat until the peppers are nice and browned.

3. After the chicken has been shredded, add the peppers, corn, black beans, remaining salsa and cream cheese to the crockpot. Stir and replace cover, allowing the cream cheese to the crockpot. Let the soup simmer for another 15-20 minutes until everything is smooth and melted. Just before serving, stir in the cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese.

Serves 6

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 354 calories, 6 grams fat, 40 g carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 35 grams protein

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Slow Cooker Bluberry Muffin Oats

Hi I've never really prepped a few days worth of breakfast before- if I needed something to grab and go, I'd just throw together some overnight oats like this or this. But, as my schedule has gotten busier and busier I decided it would be really convenient to just have everything ready to go.

I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. It uses a mixture of steel coat oats and quinoa which adds some protein and omega-3 fatty acids to an otherwise carbohydrate based meal.

If you've never bought steel cut oats, you can find them right near the regular oatmeal. Both rolled oats and steel cut oats start as oat groats. The groats are roasted and can then be further processed and rolled into flakes (rolled oats) or cut into several pieces (steel cut oats). For this reason, steel cut oats take longer to cook, but provide a chewier texture and nuttier taste. As far as nutrition, they are pretty much identical.

The end result? Really delicious (and makes your kitchen smell amazing)! This is a really nourishing, filling breakfast that you can further customize with various toppings. I've topped mine with yogurt (for extra protein) and peanut butter (to add healthy fat).

You can find the original recipe here!

Slow Cooker Blueberry Muffin Oats 

Serves 6

Recipe by Jamie

Ingredients: 

1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
5 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1-2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3-4 tablespoons stevia (or pure maple syrup or honey)
3/4-1 cup cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used 3/4 cup frozen)

Directions:

1. Spray the inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients and stir. Cook for 7-8 hours on low (overnight if you'd like).

2. Spoon oats into a bowl and add a splash of milk (optional) and other desired toppings. Store in the fridge.

*To reheat a serving, add 1/3 cup milk or water and cook for 1 minute on high in the microwave. Stir, then cook again another minute or so or until hot. It's also good cold- stir in some yogurt and it's just like overnight oats!

Nutrition Information per serving:  206 calories, 6 grams Fat, 32 g Carbs, 6 grams Protein



Sunday, January 1, 2017

Crock Pot Lentil Soup with Kale and Potatoes

Lentils represent luck and prosperity in the New Year, so today is the perfect day to share this easy recipe!

Lentils are a great source of fiber, magnesium, iron, folate and protein. This is a warm, nutritious, hearty soup for a cold winter day!

You can add ground turkey, chicken, sirloin or vegetarian crumbles (I like Beyond Meat) to increase the protein of this meal.  I like to round it out with a salad as well.



Crock Pot Lentil Soup with Kale and Potatoes

Ingredients: 

2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup lentils
6 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons olive oil 
3 cups kale, roughly chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped


Directions:

1. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, garlic, lentils, vegetable broth and spices in your Crock Pot. Cook on high for 5 hours.

2. Remove 4 cups of soup from the Crock Pot and place in a blender along with the oil. Blend, then add back to the Crock Pot. Turn off the heat. Stir in the kale and parsley. Wait until the kale has wilted then serve!

Serves 6

Nutrition Information (1/6 of the recipe): 199 Calories, 7 grams Fat, 27 g Carbs, 6 grams Protein

Saturday, December 31, 2016

3 Ingredient HEALTHY Chocolate Frosting

I'm a sucker for no-fuss recipes with as little ingredients as possible. I was skeptical of this recipe, but the flavor and texture is SPOT ON.


Ingredients are simple: honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, and milk of choice. Mix it up and your ready to slather it on cupcakes, brownies, cakes, donuts - anything really!

This frosting is perfect for getting that chocolate fix. Even my chocolate loving friend approves!

 I was looking for a frosting for my Beet Chocolate Brownies (Yes, beets. I will post the recipe when it's finalized! 


Need another reason to eat chocolate? Cocoa beans contain antioxidant-rich flavonoids. A high intake of flavonoids has been associated with reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, processing and adding sugar to chocolate decreases these benefits. Stick to unsweetened cocoa powder or small pieces of dark chocolate (at least 85%!).

Ok, now the frosting!! I only slightly modified Amy's recipe which you can find here.

3 Ingredient Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons pure honey
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Mix these ingredients together until thoroughly combined!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken Thighs

This is a skillet meal that tastes rich, but is light and healthy! It's pretty much like eating chicken thighs cooked in the infamous artichoke dip that is at every party.

Found this recipe on Instagram from @cafedelites - here is the link to her website!

Note: I don't have a skillet that is oven safe so instead of placing the pan in the oven, I transferred the chicken to a baking pan coated with tin foil (I folded up the sides a little so the sauce wouldn't escape). Anyone have an oven proof skillet that they would recommend? Help a girl out!



Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken Thighs 

Serves 6

Ingredients: 

Cooking oil spray
6 skinless boneless chicken thighs (the original recipe calls for bone-in)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (9 oz) container of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup chicken stock
2 (9 oz) boxes of frozen artichokes, defrosted and roughly chopped*
4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Spray a large oven-proof skillet with cooking spray to coat; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken, flesh-side down, and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain any excess fat.

3. Stir garlic through and fry until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add in cream cheese and occasionally stir it until it begins to melt down and become thinner in consistency. Pour in the chicken broth and add the parmesan cheese.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Stir in artichokes and spinach; simmer until the spinach has just started to wilt.

5. Place the skillet into the preheated oven and continue to roast for 15-20 minutes (or until completely cooked through).

Serve over wild rice or whole wheat pasta!

*Original recipe called for 1 (14 oz) can of artichoke hearts in brine/water, drained and roughly chopped.