Easy Chicken Fajitas – in one pan!

 

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What’s for dinner?  Ugh, that dreaded question.  Even this home cook wants to prepare an easy weeknight dinner that doesn’t keep me in the kitchen after I’m already exhausted from work, the gym, errands…..you know what I’m saying.  In this busy world of fitting way too much into a day we need an easy, one pan meal that cooks for a mere 25 minutes and comes out absolutely delish!!  And to make it even more fantastic, it’s Mexican!  So get out the sombreros and set Pandora to Mariachi music, you’ll have the time with this speedy dinner!  Ole!

Easy Chicken Fajitas - in one pan!
 
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These delicious and flavorful fajitas come together in a snap in just one pan!
Author:
Recipe type: main course, chicken
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1- 1½ pounds of chicken breasts - sliced into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper - sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper - sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper - sliced thin
  • 1 yellow onion - sliced thin
  • 1 cup salsa ( I used an all natural salsa verde)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • corn, wheat or flour tortillas for serving
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In large bowl combine chicken, veggies, salsa, oil and spices.
  3. Toss so that all ingredients are covered with the spices.
  4. Spread chicken mixture evenly onto a sheet pan (cookie sheet) lined with foil.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender.
  6. Serve with tortillas and garnish with sour cream and cilantro if desired.

 

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Try serving them in whole wheat or corn (my favorite) tortillas.  I love them with my easy refried beans and/or Mexican rice for a complete meal.  Or for a fresh twist pair them with my guacamole salsa.

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Roasted Beet Hummus

 

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Hummus….one of my favorite foods to eat and make but I love to experiment with new flavors and new, unexpected ingredients in my hummus.  This one is not only stunningly beautiful with it’s bright purplish red color but it is an excellent combination of earthy and sweet.

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Roasting the beets makes all the difference.  Cooking them with this method brings out their natural sweetness and gives a great depth of flavor to the hummus.

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Roasted Beet Hummus
 
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Try adding this earthy, sweet and visually stunning hummus to your repertoire.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Dip, Spread, Vegetarian
Serves: 2½ cup
Ingredients
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • Juice of ½ of a small lemon (1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 beets
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water - start with 2 and add another if it is too thick
Instructions
  1. For roasted beets:
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stems off the beats and cut off the tip end so that you can lie the beet flat on the cutting board. Peel the beets with a veggie peeler. Dice the beet into medium chunks. I cut each beet into thirds, each third into a third again and then in half. Drizzle them with olive oil and blend them with your hands to distribute the oil evenly over the beets. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper. Roast for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven and the size of your dice. Check them and flip them around with a spatula after each 10 minute of cooking time. They’re done when a fork goes through them when pierced.
  3. Combine all ingredients except the water in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well blended. Add 2 tablespoons of the water and process again. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of water.

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Try using it as a spread to make these delicious and healthy little appetizers.  Perfect for Spring ‘eh?

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Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

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I’ve always felt like I’m missing out the pulled pork sandwich.  I don’t eat pork as I just don’t like it.  Well, except of course for bacon which seriously should be a food group in itself.  I mean one of our local restaurants serves bacon ice cream!  I’ve known self-proclaimed vegans, ok only one, who still sneaks a slice of bacon once in awhile.  Yes, the guilty party knows just who I’m talking about….

So here’s my answer to the pulled pork sandwich.  This pulled chicken has a real depth of flavor.  It is in a word fantastic.  It is slow cooked in the crock pot for 7 hours so it is super moist and so very flavorful.  And you will absolutely love how your house smells while it’s cooking.

This one’s a blue ribbon winner, winner chicken dinner for sure.  (Or lunch, or snack).

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Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
 
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This pulled chicken will make you forget about pulled pork! It is made in the slow cooker and is so moist with a great depth of flavor Try serving it on a pretzel roll with a nice cabbage slaw on top.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 1 onion (sweet) – thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or tomato puree, diced tomatoes do NOT work!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken and onion to the slow cooker.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the sauce and stir to cover all of the chicken and onion.
  4. Cook on low for 7 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and gently pull it apart using 2 forks.
  6. Add the pulled chicken back into the crock pot, stirring it into the sauce.
  7. *(recipe adapted from Pure Wow)

My favorite way to serve this sandwich in on a warmed or toasted pretzel roll with a nice vinaigrette cabbage slaw on top.  I’m obsessed with the pretzel roll actually.  I have a friend who serves them warmed with various types of mustard for dipping….yep, I’d be so happy to call that dinner.

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Chicken Kofta Burgers

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Sometimes you create a dish that is just so good that it makes you smile when you think about it; and crave tasting it.  Enter this chicken kofta burger.  As you read through the ingredients list you will seriously think that these spices could not mix into something tasty.  I assure you, they do and everyone I make this dish for absolutely raves about it!

This was inspired by my favorite neighborhood Mediterranean restaurant.  I love it, it is by far my favorite place to eat.  But…you all know I love to re-create restaurant dishes in my own kitchen.  I enjoy their chicken kofta so much that it inspired me to make my own.  It took a few attempts but here is the finished product.  Please try this one, your taste buds will be thrilled!!

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Try serving it with roasted sweet potatoes and my kale taboulli salad.

Chicken Kofta Burgers
 
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A delightful fresh dish with ground chicken, fresh herbs and array of spices. This one is a must try, your taste buds will love you!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, Chicken
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 6 burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup fresh parsley - chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh mint - chopped
  • ⅓ cup onion - diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands until well combined.
  2. Form the mixture into oval shaped patties.
  3. Cook on a stove-top grill pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  4. Or broil 5-6 inches from heat for 8-10 minutes, turning once.

 

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Kale Tabouli

kaletabouli1 Did you know that kale is such a nutritional rockstar that it has its own day?  Yep, October 7th is National Kale Day! Ok, it’s a bit crazy but hey, everything else seems to have its own “National Day” so why not kale? Kale is really amazing in the nutrition department boasting so many vitamins and antioxidants for your body that it just boggles the mind. Here’s my top 5 good for you facts about kale….

  1. It is only a mere 33 calories per cup.  You can chop it up and add it to your dishes for an almost calorie-free nutritional boost.
  2. It is loaded with antioxidants.  It contains a lot of beta carotene (Vitamin C) which is known to reduce oxidative damage in the body.  Oxidative damage is believed to lead to aging and many diseases including Cancer.
  3. Kale contains substances that bind bile acids to lower cholesterol levels. Steamed kale is particularly effective for this.
  4. It contains Vitamin K which is crucial for blood clotting.  This is good if you’re an accident-prone gal like myself (hello tree-trimming incident this Fall).  So, your cuts heal faster without as much blood loss.
  5. Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin.  People who have diets rich in these two nutrients have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two of the most common eye disorders as we age.

Kale is quite easy to add to your diet.  Try chopping it up small and adding it to your salads like the tabouli salad I’m sharing here.  It is also great in smoothies, its taste disappears and it adds tons of nutrition. chicken.kofta4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Kale Tabouli
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian main course, Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa or couscous - cook according to package directions
  • ½ of an English (seedless) cucumber - diced
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes - diced
  • ½ of a red onion - diced
  • 1 bunch of curly leaf parsley - chopped (flat leaf parsley works also)
  • ½ bunch of kale, stems removed - chopped (see notes below on stem removal)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. To de-stem the kale:
  2. Fold the kale leaf in half length-wise so that the stem runs along one side. Run your knife right next to the stem to remove it in one piece.
  3. Cook the quinoa or couscous according to package directions and place on a plate to cool.
  4. For the dressing:
  5. place the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined.
  6. For the salad:
  7. Mix all the remaining ingredients into a bowl along with the cooled quinoa/couscous.
  8. Add the dressing and toss it with the salad to combine.
  9. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

So you go kale…..I’m polishing your crown as we speak.

Pumpkin Pancakes

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Ok, I’ll admit it, one of my very favorite parts about Fall is cooking with pumpkin.  I love pumpkin everything and love trying new pumpkin foods.  I will try adding pumpkin to just about everything.  Not only does it taste amazing but it gives the foods a beautiful orange color….perfect for the Fall season.  These pancakes are easy and are always a huge hit.  The mild pumpkin flavor is delightful.  They remind me of pumpkin pie and really, I ask you, who doesn’t want pumpkin pie for breakfast?  I typically serve these pancakes with butter and pure maple syrup.  I also serve them with apple butter or fresh whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon for something different.

But…..my absolute favorite topping for these pancakes and so many other things is cinnamon honey butter.  What?!  Yep, it’s as delicious as it sounds.  And it’s incredibly easy, here’s the method:

Mix 3/4 cup room temperature butter and 1/4 cup honey until smooth and creamy.  Mix in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of course sea salt or Kosher salt.  it’s that easy and it’s amazing on biscuits, bagels and toast.

Pumpkin Pancakes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Serves: 12, 4 inch pancakes
Ingredients
  •  1 ½ Cups Milk
  •  1 Cup Canned or Cooked Pumpkin
  •  1 Extra-Large Egg
  •  2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  •  2 TBSP Cider Vinegar
  •  2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  •  3 TBSP Brown Sugar
  •  2 tsp Baking Powder
  •  1 tsp Baking Soda
  •  2 ½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  •  ½ tsp Salt
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  3. Then stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. Do not over-mix!
  4. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake.
  6. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

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Buffalo-Style Turkey Meatballs

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Ok, it’s deep dark confession time.  Yes, I’m a healthy eater but I love boneless buffalo wings, they’re definitely my favorite bar food and something I reserve as a rare and very special treat to myself.  That being said, I have tried for quite awhile to come up with a healthy alternative to the boneless buffalo wing, one that is completely guilt-free.  Here’s the result….

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These meatballs are really delicious and definitely satisfy that craving for a buffalo wing.  The sauce can be hot or mild, your choice.  I will say though that I think a mild sauce allows for you to be able to actually taste the meatball itself and that’s important because this meatball is absolutely delicious.  It is a light, summer-friendly meatball and I highly recommend eating them on their own without the sauce as a variation to this dish.  You could also substitute beef for the turkey.

I typically serve these with my homemade blue cheese dressing as a dipping sauce.

Buffalo-Style Turkey Meatballs
 
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Author:
Recipe type: main course
Cuisine: Meat dish
Serves: 20 meatballs
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks - diced
  • ½ of an onion - diced (I used Vidalia onion)
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh sage - chopped (5 large leaves) or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg - lightly beaten (I used liquid egg white substitute)
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or ground chicken or ground beef)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup hot sauce ( use your desired heat level)
  • 1 cup Blue Cheese dressing (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the celery and onion, sage and oregano and cook until tender, approximately 3-4 minutes. Let them cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine the turkey, celery and onion mixture, egg and mustard. Combine the ingredients with your hands until well combined.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and mix them into the meat mixture with your hands.
  5. Form the mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes until browned.
  7. For the sauce:
  8. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
  9. Add the hot sauce and whisk to combine until smooth.
  10. Toss the sauce with the meatballs and serve warm.
  11. Serve with blue cheese dressing if desired.
  12. Note - the meatballs can e made up to 2 days ahead and gently reheated in a nonstick pan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Then add the sauce before serving.

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Very Berry Bruschetta

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Once I tell someone that I’m a food blogger and that I love to cook I’m inevitably asked “so, what’s your signature dish?”  This is definitely a valid question and I love that people are interested enough to ask it but, truth be known, I really don’t feel like I have one.  I mean, am I an expert at just one dish?  Do I have one particular dish that I love to make and go to time after time?  Hmmmmm, not really.  It’s honestly a question I dread and have really contemplated just making something up!

All that being said I do think that one of my favorite things to make, if not my most favorite is bruchettas or crostinis.  I have become quite known for them and I serve a different one at each gathering I host.  I don’t believe there’s a more versatile or popular appetizer.  It falls into my #1 guideline that an appetizer has to be a “finger food” and it is probably the most versatile and creative appetizer you can serve.  The ingredients are endless and you can fit those ingredients beautifully into any season or holiday.

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I made this berry bruschetta for a Fourth of July party and I have to say, it was a major hit!  So much so that I’ve been asked to make it regularly this summer.  It came to me because of the colors (red, white and blue) and the fresh in season ingredients (strawberries, blueberries and fresh mint).

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Very Berry Bruschetta
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 French baguette loaf - sliced into rounds (approximately ½" thick)
  • 1 tub of honey nut flavored cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (or coconut sugar which is what I use)
  • 1 quart of strawberries - chopped
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • bunch of fresh mint - chopped
  • honey for drizzling
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the bread rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the bread rounds and sprinkle them with Kosher salt.
  4. Bake the bread rounds in the oven for approximately 6-7 minutes until slightly browned and a bit hardened.
  5. Let the bread cool slightly until cool enough to handle.
  6. Mix the berries and the sugar together in a medium bowl. Allow them to sit for a few minutes.
  7. Spread each bread round with the cream cheese.
  8. Spoon the berry mixture onto the bread rounds.
  9. Drizzle the honey over the tops of the bread rounds.
  10. Sprinkle the chopped mint over the tops of the bread rounds for garnish.

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

 

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Boneless Buffalo wings, one of the best bar snacks ever invented.  I loved them in my 20’s but sadly I no longer have the metabolism of a 20 year old and not to mention it’s bikini season.  So…. I get my buffalo chicken fix with this delicious and nutritious pasta salad.  There is all of that delicious buffalo chicken flavor but without the breading, the frying and the guilt.  And, wait for it…..there’s even fresh crumbled blue cheese!  Yep, I’ve covered all the bases with this one.  You could pack it for a poolside lunch where you can wear and rock your two-piece bathing suit.

I was able to find a bottle of all natural ranch dressing made with yogurt which was good for this recipe.  You can also use my homemade Buttermilk ranch dressing.

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta
 
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Author:
Recipe type: pasta salad, side dish, main dish
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dry whole wheat Rotini or Penne pasta
  • 2 cups of rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breast - shredded
  • 3 stalks of celery - diced
  • 4 green onions (white and green parts) - diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 8-10 ounces of all natural bottled Ranch Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce (or more)
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta to al dente, rinse and set aside to cool thoroughly.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ranch dressing, blue cheese and buffalo sauce.
  3. Test the spiciness of the dressing and add more hot sauce to your liking.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta, chicken, celery, onion and carrot together.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir with a spatula until evenly coated.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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Chopped Veggie Salad with a Thai Peanut Dressing

 

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This chopped vegetable salad is crunchy, colorful and really delicious.  There is just something about Asian inspired flavors that remind me of Spring and eating light.  This Thai Peanut Dressing is creamy and has a bit of a bite to it with the chili sauce.

I have made this salad many times and sometimes I really spend a lot of time chopping all the veggies to the same size matchsticks and other times I just chop it all up different sizes.  It’s all in the presentation I guess but either way it tastes the same…..Yummy!  I tend to serve this salad with fish, the flavors work perfectly.

This dressing is also great over rice noodles with some bean sprouts and chopped snap peas or as a sauce for pasta with shredded chicken and green onions.

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Chopped Veggie Salad with a Thai Peanut Dressing
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • Salad
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
  • 3 cups snow peas, thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced or shredded
  • ¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
  • ½ English cucumber, cut into strips
  • ½ cup peanuts, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
  • ¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
  • Note: I served mine over a bed of chopped kale, stems removed (optional)
  • Dressing
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • ½ cup seasoned rice-wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until the dressing is smooth in texture.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss with tongs to coat.
  4. To serve, pile a helping of salad onto a plate over the kale (if using) and garnish generously with more cilantro and peanuts. The salad gets better as it sits and will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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