BLT Chicken Salad

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Chicken salad, I’ve reached chicken salad status… To some this may seem like a stupid thing to consider a milestone, but entertain me for a second. I remember the days my mom was done with every single one of us kids because we were crazy. When it came time for dinner she had very little energy to put into making a big meal. One of her go to recipes was egg salad… Yes, it is as disgusting as it sounds. Hard-boiled eggs smothered with mayonnaise and some salt and pepper. I “yack” just thinking about it. It always made me wonder “how bad are we that she would actually feed this to us?” Nightmares still plague me about how she would sometimes send us off to school with an egg salad sandwich tucked into our lunchboxes. I made my own vow at a young age to never feed my future husband and child(ren) rotten-eggs-on-toast (egg salad). Chicken salad is a big deal for me because it is my go to “quick and easy” and it doesn’t suck. Sorry mom, kinda..

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found on http://www.thegarlicdiaries.com. If you get the chance, please check out their beautiful website. They do the 21 day fix so if you are looking for recipes to fit your diet plan for the 21 day fix you will want to head over there right away. What drew me to the recipe is the BLT part of its title. Why have standard chicken salad when you can have BLT chicken salad?!  Not only is the recipe easy and delicious but we have a few days worth of left overs.

Serves: 8    Calories: 156.4     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz pkg of bacon, I used center cut bacon
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 (5.3 oz) containers of plain greek yogurt
  • I head of romaine lettuce, chopped (yields approx 5.5 cups of lettuce)
  • OPTIONAL: Salt, pepper, dill to taste
  • OPTIONAL: toast, crackers, avocacos

Directions:

  1. Cook chicken and bacon.
  2. Chop up lettuce and tomatoes. Put chopped veggies into a large bowl with greek yogurt.
  3. Shred chicken and crumble the bacon.
  4. Add the meats and optional seasonings to the bowl and mix well.
  5. Scoop onto toast, crackers or like http://www.thegarlicdiaries.com suggested avocados! We grilled our avocados. If you wish to do the same just cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and rub them with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and put the on the grill “cut-side” down. Grill until you get the desired char (only a few minutes at medium heat).
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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

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Baked Jalapeño 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 jalapeño 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 jalapeños 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:

  • 4 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 jalapeños, drained and chopped finely
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas

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 jalapeños. 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!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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

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Firecracker Chicken Meatballs

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Give me a sticky sauce on anything and I’ll devour it. These meatballs were dripping in a wonderfully sticky and sweet sauce. I didn’t find these unbearably spicy but they do pack a delightful kick. The heat in these guys is more of an aftertaste then a knock you out kind of spicy. I paired it up with some crunchy veggies and rice. I do think it would taste great alongside some grilled veggies or even in a sandwich to switch it up for lunch. The process was very simple and straightforward making it a great weeknight recipe. There were plenty of left overs that kept really well. I will be making this one again and again! I found the original recipe at http://www.littlespicejar.com and have to tell anyone reading this how beautiful that blog is. They have so many yummy recipes over there and I definitely recommend that you give them a look.

Serves: 18-22 meatballs     Calories: 100 calories per meatball     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1.5 lbs of ground chicken
  •  6 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2  tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Adjust your oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the ingredients of the firecracker sauce over medium high heat. Bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, panko, paprika, and onion powder. Mix well but don’t over mix.
  4. Roll the mixture into 18-24 meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Remove the meatballs from the oven and brush them with a bit of the sauce. Place them back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  6. Remove and top with the remaining sauce and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from www.littlespicejar.com

 

Grilled Jerk Wings

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I tend to make major leaps after a small success. I pulled off a grilled romaine salad so I got cocky and took my grilling challenge to wings. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little terrified. Additionally I’ll be honest and admit that the emergency water bottle was used a handful of times to put out small rack fires.. However I pulled it off and these wings were yummy. Who knows what’s next in my grilling adventure. Tri-tip anyone?

These wings are spicy and tangy. The original recipe called for a Scotch Bonnet chile pepper which is reportedly much hotter then the habanero pepper I used. If you like really really hot wings then I suggest finding said pepper and using it in this recipe. Our grocery store does not carry it so I had to substitute. I also shared some wings with my neighbors who are connoisseurs of all things chicken wings and they suggested rounding out the sauce with something sweet such as honey. I will certainly heed this advice and cannot wait to make these again. As for the grilling process, this recipe is pretty easy to follow. You season the wings, grill them, and toss them in sauce. Done deal! These will be great for the upcoming Super Bowl and quickly approaching summer barbecues.

Serves: 4     Calories: 460 per serving     Time:25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken wings, we bought party wings already cut
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • *optional* any chicken rub you like, I used garlic powder, onion powder and a pinch of poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 large habanero pepper, minced (wear gloves when handling these hot peppers)
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • scallions, chopped for topping

Directions:

  1. Light your grill and heat to medium, approximately 350 degrees F
  2. Rub your wings with olive oil, salt, pepper and optional chicken rub.
  3. Put chicken on the grill and turn them occasionally cooking for 25-20 minutes. Times vary depending on the size of your chicken and how often you lift the lid of your grill to turn the wings. Do not open too much as it releases the heat and takes longer to cook your wings. You will know the chicken is done by cutting into one of the wings and finding that there is no redness near the bone.
  4. While your wings cook prepare the sauce by mixing together the vinegar, habanero, mustard and oregano in a large bowl.
  5. Once wings are done and have a nice char add them to the bowl with sauce and toss coating them evenly.
  6. Top the wings with chopped scallions and enjoy!

*photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from:

Schlesinger, Chris.  Willoughby, John. “Jerk Wings from Hell.”  Grill It!. Ed. Louise Abbott, Marek Walisiewicz, Kati Dye. New York: DK Publishing, 2008. 165. Print.

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

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It is not much of a secret that we love buffalo chicken. We’ve done soup, egg rolls, pizza and now we can check meatloaf off the list. My favorite thing about this loaf was not only how juicy it was but also how the tangy the top layer of sauce paired with the creamy and sharp Gorgonzola cheese. This is a rich loaf with TONS of flavor, and heat. It was super easy to throw together but bear in mind that it does take an hour to cook. It isn’t really a thirty minute meal, and that is because of cook time.

Serves: 8     Calories: 240 per serving     Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken (get 2 lbs and save half of a lb for tacos later in the week!)
  • 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 2/3 cup of celery, sliced
  • 1/3 cup Gorgonzola crumbles
  • 1 small white onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of milk, we used 1%
  • 1/2 cup of hot sauce, this is where you choose your adventure and tailor the heat to your tastes. We went with the hottest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp dried dill weed
  • Black pepper to taste

For the topping:

  • 3 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2+ tbsp Gorgonzola

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. We have a really cool pan that drips fat to the bottom. If you can get your hands on one I would definitely recommend it.
  3. In a large bowl mix ground chicken, bread crumbs, celery, Gorgonzola and onion.
  4. In a smaller bowl whisk milk, hot sauce, egg, salt, garlic powder, parsley, dill and pepper.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into chicken mixture and mix until combined. It will feel pretty “wet” but don’t worry because this is what makes it so juicy!
  6. Press mixture into a prepared pan.
  7. Brush with remaining 3 tbsp hot sauce and bake for 1 hour.
  8. Sprinkle with additional Gorgonzola cheese and continue to cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  9. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  10. Enjoy!

*Photo is original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.motherthyme.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 😉 )
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Noodle Soup

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With Football season upon us I think it is appropriate that I post a “game day buffalo chicken something” recipe. This is a great dish for game day because it doesn’t require a lot of fuss and will feed all your footballers. Be warned, that with everything else buffalo chicken, this soup is ADDICTING! It has a great spicy bite with tender shredded chicken and fill-your-belly veggies/egg noodles. This soup is so easy to throw together and such a pleasure to enjoy with family and friends! We love this recipe and cannot wait to make it again!

Serves: 10   Calories: 255 per serving    Prep time: approximately 30 minutes   Cook time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 12 oz buffalo sauce
  • 6 cups of chicken broth, I used reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Add carrots, celery, garlic, onion, chicken, buffalo sauce, and chicken broth to the crock pot. Cook on low for 3 1/2 hours.
  2. Add the egg noodles, raise the temperature to high, and cook for a half hour.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts, shred them and return them to the crock pot
  4. Turn off the crock pot and stir in the heavy cream.
  5. Serve hot and GO TEAM! 😉

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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