Salsa Fresca Chicken

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Salsa Fresca is good on almost anything… Any day of the week ūüėČ This recipe features colorful veggies, fragrant spices, and cheesy chicken. If that doesn’t sound good, you’re probably not going to enjoy this recipe, or this blog in its entirety if I’m honest. Recipe inspired by and adapted from Eatwell101.

 Serves: approx. 6   Time: approx. 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced. I used grape tomatoes.
  • 1/2 of a large red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 medium jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ňöF
  2. Prep the chicken and vegetables.
  3. Combine the tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in a large bowl.
  4. Lay your chicken at the bottom of a large baking dish. Season the chicken with cumin, adobo, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Toss the chicken to make sure it is evenly coated with the seasoning.
  5. Top the chicken with the salsa Fresca
  6. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the entire dish.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle.
  8. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

 

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Grilled and Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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This egg-free/not fried spin on Chiles Rellenos is perfect for summer grilling. These peppers have bold flavor with spicy chorizo, smoky corn, and creamy bubbling cheese. This recipe does take a considerable amount of prep as you must start with roasting the corn and peppers before cooking up the filling and then returning the stuffed peppers to the grill. Trust me when I say the extra steps are so worth it. This recipe pairs beautifully with chile-lime seasoned edamame.

Serves: 6      Time: approximately 45 minutes to an hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 6 large poblano peppers
  • 1-ish cups of breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup (8oz) of chorizo
  • 1.5 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • optional: cilantro, pico de gallo, sour cream¬†

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to high and brush your corn and poblano peppers with 1 tsp of oil. Grill corn and poblanos until they begin to brown, turning occasionally. Continue roasting for about 10 minutes until the corn and poblanos are fairly blackened/browned. We are looking for scorch marks here, on the surface, not compete burning.
  2. Remove corn and poblanos from the grill, placing the poblanos in a bowl and covering them to steam.
  3. Cut the roasted corn from the cob and set it aside.
  4. Cook the chorizo in a large pan. Once cooked through add breadcrumbs until most of the excess oil is sopped up. Add the roasted corn and 1 cup of the Monterey jack cheese (reserve 1/2 cup of the cheese for topping).
  5. Return to the poblano peppers and peel the skin. This is the clear-ish bits that should be flaking off, not the actual green fleshy parts. Don’t look for perfection here just get as much off as you can. Slice each pepper and remove the ribs/seeds.
  6. Create foil pockets and place a pepper on each one.
  7. Fill each pepper with the chorizo and corn mixture. Top with a bit of extra Monterey jack cheese (you should have 1/2 cup reserved). wrap each pepper up along the side but keep the top open so that your cheese isn’t pulled off.
  8. Place the peppers back on your grill for a few moments to get the cheese bubbly on top.
  9. Plate and enjoy!

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*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine (July 2018, p. 86)

Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

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I do this thing where I scroll through pinterest and find a bunch of recipes that look AMAZING. That seems pretty normal, but I don’t stop there. I often cannot decide between recipes for the week’s menu so I take elements from a bunch of recipes and mash them together. That said, I took the heat and cheese from jalapeno popper recipe, and the sausage crumbles from a breakfast stuffed pepper recipe. Sometimes these recipe risks are epic fails, but other times they turn out so good that they make it to the blog. This is one of those times. These peppers are super savory and spicy, and the creamy cheese adds balance to bigger flavors. This is definitely going to be a frequent item on our dinner menu this summer.

Makes: 24 peppers          Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 large jalapenos
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook up sausage and crumble it with your spatula as it browns.
  3. Slice jalapenos in half and remove ribs and seeds.
  4. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder and garlic powder. Once this mixture is combined well, fold in the cooked sausage.
  5. Scoop some of the sausage mixture into each sliced jalapeno.
  6. Set the filled jalapenos on a foil lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and peppers are tender.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

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I know I am not alone when I say that it is a huge annoyance when I click on a Pinterest recipe only to receive a 20-page annotated essay. For the sake of everyone’s nerves, I’ll keep this short. This enchilada recipe is incredibly simple, with few ingredients and no need for a ton of elbow grease. For me, this dish feels like “comforts of home.” You’ve got a thick flavorful sauce, stringy cheese, and a bit of protein wrapped up in a corn tortilla… What more can you ask for? I suggest that you make this at the start of the week and have left-over lunch or dinner for a few days (depending on the size of your family.). Credit goes to Kristyn from Lil Luna. It was her recipe that inspired me to cook these babies up!

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe adapted from Lil Luna

Sloppy Joe Casserole

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If you look at my pinterest search history you will find that 90% of my recipe search terms are “casserole.” I love the convenience of throwing a bunch of tasty things into a baking dish and letting magic happen in the oven. This recipe is especially wonderful as it takes the flavor of a Sloppy Joe and maximizes it with a cornbread base. Talk about savory sweet, this dish is packed with flavor! I chop up a bunch of extra vegetables to add a bit of crunch (and nutrients too I guess) and it is a slam dunk. I adapted this recipe from http://www.bunsinmyoven.com

Serves:  10    Calories: 462.4 per serving     Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8.5 oz) box of cornbread mix
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup of milk, I used 2%
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (14 3/4 oz) can of cream corn
  • 2 (16 oz) cans of sloppy joe sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 baking dish
  2. Mix together the cornbread mix, 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, milk, egg, and cream corn.
  3. Pour this mixture into your baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes.
  4. While cornbread is baking melt the butter in a large pan.
  5. Sauté the onion and peppers for 3 minutes
  6. Add the ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink.
  7. Drain the fat from the pan. This is important because you don’t want this mixture to be too liquid-y.
  8. Add all but 1/2 cup of the sloppy joe sauce to the beef mixture and stir it all in.
  9. By now your cornbread should be done baking. Check for readiness with a toothpick (basically stab the cornbread with a toothpick once and if it comes out clean the bread is done).
  10. Puncture the cornbread with a fork to create little holes. Spread 1/2 cup of the sloppy joe sauce over the cornbread.
  11. Pour the beef mixture over the cornbread and spread evenly. Top with the rest of the cheddar cheese and return the baking dish to the oven for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven, let cool for a minute or two, top with green onions and serve.
  13. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.bunsinmyoven.com

Baked Jalape√Īo Popper Rolled Tacos

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I snagged this recipe from the Land o Lakes website. That’s right people I actually found a decent recipe off of a commercial brand’s website. I am willing to try my hand at anything inspired by jalape√Īo poppers. How could a recipe involving creamy, cheesy, spicy goodness go wrong?

These rolled tacos are amazing. There is really no other way to describe them. Their crispy baked shell add the perfect texture to a creamy filling. I went crazy with the jalape√Īos because we like spicy food so if you are not a big fan of heat I suggest using half of what this recipe calls for. These tacos are perfect for weeknights when time is tight as it doesn’t take very long to make. We finished with quite a few left overs, but keep in mind that only two of us were eating these. That said, if you have a larger family with older children you may want to double the recipe and stock your freezer with left overs. These are large rolled tacos, not your small 6 inch rolled street tacos. One of these with a side dish is more than enough to fill you up for dinner.

Makes: 10 rolled tacos     Calories: 295 per rolled taco    Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of milk, I used 2%
  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
  • 1 (12oz) jar jalape√Īos, drained and chopped finely
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add cooked chicken, milk, cream cheese and¬†jalape√Īos. Mix together until the cream cheese is soft and all ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Turn off heat and stir in cheddar cheese.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the chicken mixture over one half of each tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place each rolled taco on a baking sheet with the seam side down.
  5. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and brush a little over each taco.
  6. Bake for 7 minutes and remove from the oven to flip the tacos. Bake for an additional 7 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two before serving.
  8. Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!

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*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.landolakes.com

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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I have seen these recipes floating around on pintrest for a while but I’ve been too skeptical to give them a try. Our neighbors, Ryan and Laura, are fellow foodies and we often share samples of what we are cooking. They gave us a sample of their zucchini boats a few weeks ago and it totally fueled this recipe. I was blown away by the flavor and heartiness of their boats. A bit later I bucked up and gave this taco variation a try. This is a safe place to start in the world of zucchini boats because you can add toppings and customize it to your tastes. We floated some Ghost Scream Hot Sauce (a gift from Ryan) that really kicked these babies up a notch. The recipe in general isn’t overwhelmingly “squash-y.” Instead it is a fresh addition to the classic taco flavor. I’m very excited to experiment with these and am looking to try out a sausage or lentil zucchini boat recipe in the near future. Massive thanks to Ryan and Laura for giving me the confidence to try this recipe! I also want to note that this recipe is adapted from http://www.willcookforsmiles.com

Makes: 8 boats     Calories: 350     Time: 5o minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Zucchini
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 large jalapeno, chopped (if you like it hot include the seeds)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 packet of reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • (optional toppings we used) rotel tomatoes, hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. To keep stability of the zucchini boat on your baking pan cut a little sliver out of the green flesh on the bottom side so that the zucchini will lay flat. With a spoon scoop out the seeded middle part. Set the boats aside.
  3. In a large pan heat oil and saute the onion, tomato and jalapeno for about a minute
  4. Add the ground beef and crumble as you cook. When it is about half way done add the taco seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Stuff each zucchini boat with this beef mixture and place them on a greased baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and top with pepper jack cheese. Continue to bake them until cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from the oven once more and top with your favorite toppings.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.willcookforsmiles.com

Spinach and Mozzarella Meatloaf

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This is not you mother’s ketchup and brown sugar topped meatloaf. This is a flavor packed cheesy meatloaf. I’ve had fails with meatloaf before that left me with a brick of dry beef but this recipe made such a juicy loaf that I doubt I’ll ever use a different one again. It is really hard to describe just how good this meatloaf was! I was able to prepare this ahead of time which was great as I had a busy afternoon planned with the kids. We got home in the late afternoon and all I needed to do was preheat the oven and cook this baby up. It does take an hour and 15 minutes to bake so be sure to allow yourself that time.

Serves: 1 loaf about 8 slices     Calories: approximately 444/ slice     Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups of finely chopped spinach
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl mix together ground beef, spinach, bread crumbs, 1.5 cups of the mozzarella cheese, onion, garlic, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well but do not over-mix as you run the chances of drying it out.
  3. Transfer this mixture to a loaf pan.
  4. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the top of the loaf.
  5. Make a tent over the pan with foil. Don’t let the foil touch the cheese on top of the loaf because it will just stick to the foil and peel off.
  6. Bake for 1 hour
  7. Remove loaf from the oven and take off foil.
  8. Place loaf back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Digital Recipe Card:

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.simplifylivelove.com

Mozzarella Filled Meatballs with Pesto

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Not only are these extremely easy to execute but they are also wildly delicious. This recipe has a lot of different flavors that range from bold to simple. They all work really well together. The pesto is very fresh and robust, whereas the gooey mozzarella adds an amazing creaminess. The chicken meatball “shell” ties it all together with crunchy garlic bits and a bread-y base. I wouldn’t recommend serving these with anything too heavy because they are really the star of the show. I served them with steamed vegetables and found them to be the perfect “supporting actors.” By some miracle, we did not eat all of these in one night and were able to get two dinners out of them. They reheat really nicely. This will be a repeat recipe and I can’t wait to get creative with what we serve alongside them.

Serves: 5     Calories: 385.4 per serving   Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh or store bought pesto, (My Fresh Pesto Recipe )
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella or 1/4 of a roll of mozzarella cheese, to roll into small balls
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mozzarella is a pretty melt-y cheese so if you are using shredded cheese mold the cheese into about 20 small/medium balls. If you’re using a block of mozzarella, cube about 1/4 of the block and roll into 20 small/medium ball shapes. Put these into the refrigerator while you mix up the meatball ingredients. This shouldn’t be too difficult as the warmth of your hands should make the cheese pliable enough.
  3. Mix together the ground chicken, panko, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and 2-3 tbsp of the pesto.
  4. Form a small/medium sized meatball and press one mozzarella ball into the center. Roll the filled meatball in your hands to make sure the mozzarella is completely covered by the chicken mixture. If you don’t do this well enough the mozzarella will just ooze out in the oven. Repeat until meatball mixture is all used up.
  5. Bake for 13 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked.
  6. You can either toss the meatballs all together with the pesto or you can spoon a bit over each meatball. I chose to spoon a bit over each because I love pesto that I didn’t want any to go to waste. I ended up with quite a bit left over (scrambled eggs anyone ūüėČ )
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com

Crispy Oven Fried Green Beans

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This is a really fun and delicious way to dress up green beans. I absolutely loved the tender crisp result. Let’s be honest, you cannot really go wrong with Parmesan crusted anything! The only problem is that these were so good that we had none left over. The recipe is super easy and took very little time to prepare so I’ve got a feeling this will be my standard weeknight side dish. Delicious!

Serves: 4-6     Calories:130 per serving     Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp¬†cooking oil, preferably extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp¬†garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine oil, garlic, egg, garlic salt and pepper.
  3. Toss green beans into the mixture, coating them well.
  4. Add Parmesan cheese and continue to toss gently until coated.
  5. Lay the green beans out evenly on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Broil for an additional 2 minutes or until crispy.
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.sugarfreemom.com