I love using the crockpot for meats and soups. It’s a great way to cook things without my having to attend to them every second. The meat that is cooked in the crockpot is tender, moist and delicious. Crockpots are my favorite way to cook up a chicken that I’m going to debone and then chop up and freeze. This fabulous beef taco recipe is another one that’s perfect in the crock pot. Sure, you can simmer it on the stove in the sauce for about 2 hours until it’s tender, but it’s so much easier to just stick it in the crockpot, turn it on and walk away. The meat turns out delicious and tender every time. Once you’re ready to eat, serve these with your favorite toppings. I love to pile on the veggies (especially since they’re zero points plus) and a dab of sour cream and cheese.
Wendy’s on a one dish kick right now (who can blame her, nobody likes dishes, and these are fabulous recipes), and I’m back to finding new recipes to use ripe bananas for. Since bananas are only eaten fresh in our house if they’re still green, sometimes we have an overabundance of bananas to use. These muffins hit the spot. It’s a very simple recipe, all you need is a blender or food processor to mix it in, and you’re ready to go. It doesn’t even require flour since it uses oats that are ground up while you’re mixing up the batter. The yogurt gives it protein and a delicious richness. These muffins are seriously fabulous. I’m going to have a hard time eating just one, I think my husband might have to hide the rest!
As it’s cooler now, the garden produce is pretty much done, although we’ve had a pretty warm fall. Thankfully, one of the things (or rather, two of the things) that are still keeping great since we brought them in are the pumpkins and squash. And with this hummus recipe, it’s perfect. Pureed pumpkin and squash combined with chickpeas and delicious seasonings to create a fall hummus. This hummus is wonderful on pita chips, but it’s also fabulous on carrots sticks as well. It’s a great snack and it holds well in the fridge for several days. Since it has chickpeas in it (also called garbanzo beans), it’s packed with fiber, which means it helps to keep you full longer. It’s definitely a little spicy with cayenne pepper and chili powder, but you can always season it to taste. If you’re baking pumpkin and squash, you can puree it before hand, or simply weight out 8 oz of chunks and puree them with the garbanzo beans. The reason why I recommend pureed pumpkin and squash is that is ensures a smooth texture, and that there won’t be any chunks in the hummus. Give this delicious fall hummus a try. It’ll give your day just the kick of flavor it needs!
Have I mentioned before how much I adore one pan meals? With 2 young kids, 3 cats, and a husband who acts like a teenager, they just make my life SO much easier. This One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe was a HUGE hit and I’m really excited to share it. I used extra lean ground beef in this, but you could easily substitute ground chicken or turkey if you prefer. The tender, perfectly seasoned meat is cooked in one skillet along with whole wheat macaroni noodles, and then it’s all topped with gooey, melty Mexican cheese. Try this recipe, and I’d be surprised if your family didn’t love it as much as mine.
Fall is a perfect time to enjoy rich and delicious soups and stews. This wild rice and chicken soup is hearty and creamy, it’s perfect to finish a cool fall day. I love creamy chicken and rice soups, they have such a rich and wholesome flavor. This one is no exception, the wild rice adds a wonderful color and texture to the soup that makes it’s a delightful meal. It’s an easy one to stick in the crockpot too. Just saute the veggies, thicken the broth and stick it all in the crockpot. Add the milk 20 to 30 minutes before serving. This warm soup is comforting, delicious, simple and beautiful. And the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day. [Read more…]
As much as I love cooking, there’s nothing more I hate than doing the dishes and cleanup afterwards. Most of my cooking tools and pots and pans need to be hand washed, so depending on the complexity of my recipe, that can lead to a LOT of post-cooking work. Which is why I have become a huge fan of one-pan/pot meals – they are super easy to cook, and require a lot less cleanup. This One Pan Quinoa Taco Skillet Recipe has become a recent favorite in our home. Made with quinoa instead of rice and lean ground turkey instead of ground beef, it’s a lot healthier and absolutely delicious. Top with shredded cheese, red onion, avocado, roasted corn, shredded lettuce – or whatever your taco-loving heart desires. Just make sure to count the extra Points Plus you may incur. Enjoy!
Next to grilling, I like baking chicken the best. It’s a great way to keep it moist and tender, not to mention easy. I like having my main dish baking, since I can get the rest of dinner finished while my main dish is baking. This honey Dijon chicken is fabulous. The glaze is just enough to give some flavor to the chicken and it helps to keep the juices in the breasts while baking them. The red pepper flakes are really optional, but add a delicious spice to the chicken. It’s a great main dish to serve with a side of brown rice pilaf filled with vegetables. If you’re not a big fan of spicy foods, just leave the red pepper flakes out, or use less. It’ll still be delicious, but it won’t be spicy. You can also grill the chicken, just spread the glaze on chicken once it’s been grilled. We’ll sometimes grill extra chicken breast, just to have it on hand (and because grill marks on chicken are pretty to photograph). Then all I have to do is add the glaze and pop it in the oven, covered, until it’s hot through. It’s a great way to have lean protein on hand that I can just chop up and add to a salad for lunch. This delicious chicken breast is perfect for a weeknight, since it takes less than 30 minutes to have tender, juicy and flavorful chicken ready to eat.
One of the gifts that we got for our wedding was a Bundt pan, along with a recipe book with Bundt pan recipes. Several years later, I’ve used it for the first time and this recipe is a keeper. Ginger is a delicious spice – that sweet and spicy flavor is just fabulous. Combined with the rich brewed coffee and crunchy walnuts, it’s a delicious combination. I tweaked the recipe a bit, since the original called for a cup of canola oil – which I thought was overkill. I substituted applesauce for it, and it worked perfectly. It was moist and delicious. Top it with a dollop of whip cream or a little frozen yogurt or ice cream and it’s a perfect dessert. If you don’t have cake flour, you can use all purpose flour. I used cake flour because its lighter and more finely ground that all purpose flour, but either one will work. This cake is a delicious fall dessert that is a perfect end to a meal with grilled chicken breast, salad and baked potatoes. In fact, it’s so delicious, it’s the perfect end to any meal.
My husband and I recently went tuna fishing with his parents. It wasn’t the best fishing trip. I don’t have the patience for fishing (it’s so boring), and the seas were a bit rough, so half of us got seasick. We also didn’t catch anything. What it did do, was give me the desire to have some grilled tuna. The first recipe I wanted to try was this one with mango salsa. Fish and fruit go well together since the fish is usually mild and the sweet and juicy fruit sets it off nicely. This is really wonderful and so simple to make. Just make sure you don’t over cook the tuna. It’s easy to do, and it’ll turn out really dry. The center of the tuna should be a little pink still. Give this tuna and mango salsa a try. It’s perfect for a date night with your significant other – add some grilled vegetables and you’ve got an elegant and delicious meal.
While I am someone who typically loves meat, sometimes I like to do some vegetarian options. It’s a great way to expand my culinary horizons as well as being a great way to help the food budget. So, we try to do things like “Meatless Mondays”. Some meals are much easier to make a vegetarian option, and chili is one of those meals. Traditional tomato based chili is great, but sometimes, it’s nice to have a little variety in chili. This white chili is a variation on the common (and very tasty) white chicken chili, but without the chicken. Great northern beans make a great base for this delicious chili, and the corn adds flavor, texture and sweetness. The jalapeno pepper can be hot, but if you remove the seeds and membranes it’ll be much less spicy. Pablano peppers are mild chili peppers, so this chili is spicy, but not too hot. If it ends up being a little too hot for you, just add a little cheese or sour cream when you serve it. While the recipe is for cooking it on the stove, you can also saute the peppers, onions and garlic then stick everything in the crockpot. It’s easy to have for supper as these fall days get cool.
I love salads, but I like variety in my salads. As a result, I’m always looking for delicious new salad recipes. This one definitely fits the bill. Roasted beets, carrots, alfalfa sprouts and tuna fish – it’s a great combination, packed with nutrients and beautiful to eat as well. The dressing is simple and easy to make up. It’s one of the dressings that you can stick in a half pint jar to mix it (just screw on the lid and shake) and any leftover dressing, leave in the fridge for the next round. You’re welcome to use canned beets instead of roasting your own, just make sure you drain them well and pat them dry before slicing them. You can typically find alfalfa sprouts in the produce section of your grocery store, or you can get a kit to make your own sprouts. Sprouts are great in salads and sandwiches as well, so it’s not a bad thing to have on hand. Toss this salad together and enjoy it for lunch or dinner!
Stuffed peppers are something that I really enjoy, especially when I make them with pepper jack cheese. The spicy cheese adds a little spice and makes them delicious. The downside of my original stuffed pepper recipe is that it’s not healthy, not with all the meat and cheese in it. So, I went about trying to make a healthier, vegetarian version of these peppers. Well, it’s not exactly the same, but they’re delicious all the same. I used couscous, since it’s a light and fluffy way to fill these, and since my husband doesn’t like quinoa. The lemon juice, olive oil and parsley provide additional flavor in these peppers. And once you’ve got them in the oven, you can take the time to finish the rest of dinner, not to mention the leftovers are perfect for lunch.