Crockpot Meal Alert! Who else loves the meals you get to throw into a big ol’ pot and leave to simmer until it’s dinner time? The easier the assembly on a busy week day, the better.
Burrito Bowls are pretty come and serve as you please. You can use other meats aside from chicken, add as many vegetables as you like and top with whatever else fits your pleasure. Because I’m watching what I eat more closely, I prepared this burrito bowl using ingredients that were healthy and that I could stand to eat consecutively for a few days.
Chicken Burrito Bowl in a Crockpot
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 3/4 cups of instant whole grain brown rice
- ½ cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon lite sour cream
- 1 tomato, diced
- Prep a large crockpot and set on low heat. Add chicken breasts.
- Pour low-sodium chicken broth overtop chicken breasts, followed by taco seasoning. Mix well.
- Cook on low for about 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken breasts from crockpot with a pair of tongs and place in a covered container to preserve heat.
- Add instant rice and black beans to crockpot and turn heat to high. Cook for 30 minutes, or until rice appears cooked thoroughly.
- Add chicken breasts to crockpot again, cook for an additional 20 minutes on high.
- Serve with additional healthy toppings.
Chicken Caesar Salad, or just a side caesar salad, has always been one of my go-to choices when I’m eating out or needing a quick throw together lunch for the week. But salads get tiring after so many and sandwiches are nice but let’s be honest; half of the time they’re not the healthiest choice you can make. Ugh, carbs.
So while trying to fix the solution, I scanned through the bread section at our local Market District and found this fantastic loaf of bread; Aunt Millie’s 35 Calorie Whole Grain. I’m still trying to limit my bread intake, but if I’m craving a sandwich now I know I can enjoy one that’s not to the roof in calories.
OK. So since salad is getting a break, now it’s time to give chicken a break. I’m sure it’s probably the one source of protein/meat that you eat most per week. Luckily, turkey is just as good (especially for a sandwich) simply because of the similarity and it can be bought with low sodium. You can keep the caesar dressing though. It’s extremely easy to make, uses a few ingredients you may already have on hand and tastes GREAT with turkey.
Now you have a sandwich that’s as close to a caesar salad as you’re gonna get. And it may infact be healthier. Cheers to that!
Turkey Caesar Sandwich
Give Chicken Caesar Salad a break. At least for one meal.
- 2 slices whole grain low-calorie bread
- 2 leaves of romaine lettuce
- 3 ounces low-sodium turkey, thinly sliced
- 1 slice of tomato
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- dash of Worcestershire sauce
- black pepper
- Combine Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, mixing well. Lightly sprinkle black pepper. Spread onto slices of bread.
- Add romaine lettuce leaves, turkey and tomato.
You’ve heard of a burrito bowl, chicken bowl, bowl of spaghetti. But who gets credit for thinking up a fantastic idea like a “teriyaki meatball bowl?” Maybe it’s more common than I think but this was my first time cooking one for dinner and boy, am I happy that I did. I love homemade meatballs! I’ve made them so many times that I could do it blindfolded. OK that’s a slight exaggeration, just know I know my way around the basic meatball mixture.
Teriyaki meatballs are mildly different from the meatballs you may make for your spaghetti dinner though. I found that the soy sauce added to the meatball mixture helped to create a more juicy flavor as opposed to an italian meatball. I imagine these meatballs would taste just as good over a plate of linguini noodles but we’re going to use whole grain rice to create a more “light” meal.
Teriyaki Meatball Bowl
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup planko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- black pepper
- 2 packages of white, or whole grain rice
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly greasing with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, green onions and black pepper into a large mixing bowl, using clean hands to fold and mix over until well combined.
- Roll meatball mixture into small balls, placing each on foil-covered cookie sheet. When you've finished rolling all meatballs, bake them for 35 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Boil and cook rice according to package directions over medium-high heat. When finished, drain water and fluff rice with a fork. Set aside.
- While meatballs and rice are cooking, combine all teriyaki glaze ingredients (EXCEPT for cornstarch) together in a small-medium size bowl. Whisk together well. Transfer to a medium size pot over med-high heat for a few minutes. Add cornstarch, mixing well constantly to help thicken glaze. Once it appears thickened, add sesame seeds.
- If/When meatballs are done, add to teriyaki glaze. Stir so that each meatball is well covered with glaze.
- In individual bowls, divide rice. Add 5 meatballs and drizzle extra teriyaki glaze overtop.
Mondays are never easy, but rainy Mondays are even less. I had prepared this lunch dish last night in-between waiting for our pork tenderloins and twice baked potatoes to cook and it looked and smelled so delicious that I was looking forward to photographing it in some great natural light. I should have known better. I regularly look at the weather forecast and I knew rain was headed our way all day today. It’s OK. Considering that I am going to be eating this as my lunch for the next several days and we have sunshine the remainder of the week; I will have plenty of opportunity to take a better photograph and edit this post with it. And you after Monday readers will never know!
I’m trying to ease more dairy free recipes into our menu. This is officially my first, purposely at least, and can also be seen as Whole 30 and Paleo friendly as well. Everyone cheer!
I’m not sure if you already know this or not, but the secret to preparing a quick and tasteful chicken salad is rotisserie chicken. It doesn’t make a difference if you buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery or if you slow-cooker some chicken breasts for 4 hours with broth; chicken salads taste best with shredded, juicy chicken. You can also add and mix things as you go, accordingly to what flavors you like. I like my chicken salad quite often, so I am always trying to think of new ways to differ it up.
So why not add some ranch? There are so many great things you can do with a dry packet of ranch seasoning. I use it for a handful of recipes as it adds a nice little tangy taste that can or cannot be similiar to the ranch you use for salad dressing depending on just how much you use. If you’re leaning more towards creating your own ranch seasoning rather than buying one from the grocery, a great dairy-free recipe can be found here.
Ranch Chicken Salad
A new and tangy twist on your typical chicken salad recipe. Just as easy to make, even more delicious.
- 3 cups of rotisserie, or finely shredded chicken breast
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
- Combine shredded chicken, mayonnaise and ranch seasoning in a medium sized bowl. Mix well.
- Add celery, bell pepper and onion to chicken mixture. Combine well.
- Serves best after being chilled for a half hour in refrigerator.
Move over, plain buttery popcorn!
Popcorn is mostly associated with movies and sporting events, but can be an enjoyable light snack at anytime in the day depending on the kind of popcorn you have and the kind of toppings you add. Next time you’re in the mood for popcorn, try it one of these ways:
Healthier Popcorn Brands:
Smart Balance Light Butter
Newman’s Own Organics Pop’s Corn, Light Butter
Quinn Popcorn Olive Oil & Herbs
Jolly Time Healthy Pop Butter
Black Jewell Kettle
Optional Popcorn Toppings:
Dark 85% Chocolate: Simply place two squares of chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave for under a minute. Use a spoon to break up chocolate and drizzle overtop popcorn. Add nuts as well, if desired.
Cinnamon: It works on just about everything, including popcorn. Sprinkle a light helping overtop for some cinnamon flavor.
Cool Ranch: Those dry packets of dressing have so much more use to them other than just for salads. Ranch fan? Use half a tablespoon of dry ranch dressing to sprinkle over your popcorn to create a tangy taste.
Buffalo Sauce: Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce in a microwavable bowl, combining well. Microwave slightly and immediately drizzle overtop popcorn.
Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil: Adding a slight amount of olive oil and sprinkling paprika adds a little bit of kick to your popcorn.
I like granola. I like that it’s convenient for those week days when your morning is rushed and you don’t want to wait in the long line at Starbucks for a muffin. I also like that it doesn’t take a chef in the kitchen to make a batch of it. Infact, you really don’t need to have any kitchen skills; it’s pretty foolproof. You just need a few ingredients and an oven.
Some like it plain.
Granola is just like most other recipes; you can tweak the ingredients to your liking or to what you already have in the pantry. I like to add a little flavor to mine by using dried up fruit. Both cherries, cranberries, bananas and apple chips do wonders for a batch of granola. If you’re not the fruit-kind, simply sprinkle some cinnamon ontop to add a little more.
Some like it with a little extra sweet flavor
Homemade Maple Granola
Easy to make granola that goes great with a side of yogurt or as a mid-day snack.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup pecans, shopped
- ½ cup almonds, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ stick of unsalted butter
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- handful of dried cranberries
- handful of dried cherries, optional
- Heat oven to 300. Place parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
- Combine old-fashioned oats, pecans, almonds, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swoosh that pan around a bit, it helps the butter melt a little faster. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
- Pour butter mixture into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well until all dry ingredients are covered and layer thinly on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until granola is golden brown. Make sure you stir granola around every 10-15 minutes.
- Add dried cranberries after removing granola from oven and letting cool off slightly. Package when granola is completely cooled off.
There’s something about buffalo chicken and sports events. Most of the time when I do a search for a new and delicious snack or appetizer to enjoy during some sort of tournament game, buffalo chicken is the top pick. We’ve done Buffalo Chicken Dip for years and it’s never disappointed, but it was time to try an alternative way of using buffalo chicken. Coincidentally enough while going through my inbox this weekend, I came across Two Peas and Their Pod’s weekly meal plan that I subscribe to and they had a buffalo chicken recipe I’ve never tried nor seen before. The ingredients were mostly staple items I already had in the fridge and it was a quick bake; always a favorite on the weekend!
You really can’t go wrong with Franks Hot Sauce and blue cheese dressing, so there’s really no way of messing this appetizer up. The original recipe suggested using Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, but my husband isn’t too keen on those and if I bought both a bag of those and a bag of regular corn tortilla chips, I may get myself in trouble later with the blue chips. That tends to happen if there’s shredded cheese, chips, and me in a room)
And because the NCAA National Championship game happens shortly after tonight’s games, I definitely get to make these again. No complaints about that here.
You can get the recipe here.
This past November we purchased our first home, a cute little capecod that needed some updating as well as additional square-feet added. Because we live in an area where there seem to be a lot of remodels, gut-jobs and new home builds currently happening, we know firsthand just how inconvenient the noise (and mess) can be sometimes.
So I thought up a peace offering; a bag of cookies just to say we’re sorry for our construction that has been happening and will happen for the next few months ahead. It’s also a nice little way of introducing yourself to your new neighbors as well. Plus, it helps that they turned out cute!
To make some of your own – Download here
I had been sick the duration of this past weekend. During what was the nicest weather weekend that we’ve had in months, at that. So while I sat in my dark, dreary bedroom; lonesome with my magazines and my HGTV, I also didn’t cook. Understandably, no one wanted my germs. I didn’t want my germs either but I didn’t get to vote on that one. So when I started to actually feel like I could leave my room without chancing the possibility of spreading my cold plague, I planned out the food menu for the week and happily headed to the grocery store.
Most people find peace on the ocean, in the library, or in the bathtub. I find peace in the grocery store. I’m a little strange like that. I was also a little cheery that I had planned to bake a Lasagna for dinner this evening. We haven’t had Lasagna in quite some time. The sin!
There’s a reason why Lasagna is a family favorite. Be it that it’s because anyone can make it or that it’s a quick recipe; Lasagnas are the kind of meal that you can prepare mid-day and foil up in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. That’s perfect for 99% of parents whose schedule revolves around their children’s’ schedules or work.
And while there are a lot of ways you can prepare and dress your Lasagna, the good ole Meaty Lasagna way never actually gets old.
Meaty Lasagna Casserole
- 1lb ground turkey
- package of Lasagna noodles
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1½ cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 egg
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, boil water. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package.
- Spray a large skillet with no-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey until brown, draining excess juices. Return to stove and add marinara jar, allowing to simmer.
- In a medium size bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg and parmesan cheese. Mix well and set aside.
- Add ½ cup meat sauce to the bottom of a 9x9 casserole pan. Layer lasagna noodles length-wise, letting them slightly overlap. Next add cheese mix followed by lasagna noodles. Top with meat-sauce. Repeat layers once more.
- Sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese onto, if desired. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.
Need to increase your energy? Leafy greens to the rescue! The quickest way to help get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables without eating a salad, or side of grapefruit is by drinking an 8-ounce (at least!) glass of green juice.
By digesting raw vegetables, you’re able to fully absorb all their nutrients verses getting bits and pieces broken down when vegetables are steamed, grilled or broiled. For starters, greens contain loads of calcium, potassium and iron; all important must-haves for a healthy body. But that’s not all – you can also get an abundance amount of vitamin B, C, E and K from them as well.
So what can you expect in a green juice? Most recipes call for a base: (Spinach. Kale. Chard. Collards) with additional ingredients to help build a flavor: (Banana. Pineapple. Apple. Celery. Carrots. Beets)
- 1 medium banana
- ½ cup pineapple
- ½ teaspoon chia seeds
- handful of baby spinach
- 1 cup coconut water
- Add all ingredients into a blender. Enjoy chilled.