Butternut Squash Noodles with Chicken Sausage & Kale

Every time I make something outside of the box, my husband gives me a snarl. Then, he tries it and 9 out of 10 times goes back for seconds and thirds. This was one of those. We literally ate the entire pot and my 1-year-old ate the chicken sausage like it was Apple Flavored Puffs (her favorite).

I wanted to venture away from zucchini with my Vegetti and when I saw butternut squash at our local produce stand, I knew I had to experiment! Thus, this new little dish was created and will be duplicated!

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Butternut Squash Noodles with Chicken Sausage & Kale

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1lb chicken sausage (could use pork or turkey)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 chopped sweet onion
8 oz. of baby kale
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chicken broth
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground fennel
2 dashes of nutmeg
2 tsp ground sage

Remove the sausage casings if using links – I just squish it out of the ends. Heat a large wide and deep pan over medium heat. Add the oil, then brown and crumble the sausage, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chopped onion and cook until the onions soften and become translucent.

Add the kale, and stir until it is wilted. It will look like it won’t fit in the pan, but it will shrink!

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, and spices. Stir and cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes to reduce a bit of the liquid.

Add the “noodles” to the pan and toss until will mixed.Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

Oh my ya’ll, I just love this one! Whenever I break out my Veggetti, I get weird looks from my hubby, but then he always gobbles up whatever I put on the table. This is just another one of those recipes. While I do use my Veggetti to make sweet potato noodles, you could just dice the sweet potatoes if you don’t have a spiralizer. By using sweet potatoes in place of the normal tortillas or pasta, the amount of calories, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats that are typically found in casseroles is significantly reduced. I would say that gives you every right to have 2 servings! 🙂IMG_3023 (2)

Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

1 lb  chicken breasts, cooked and shredded*
2 cups red enchilada sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
salt and pepper, to taste
2 medium sweet potatoes, spiralized
6 oz Mexican cheese blend, shredded
Optional garnishes: avocado, sour cream, green onions, salsa

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Add the shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, and corn to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with coconut oil. Add the sweet potatoes. Then, pour the shredded chicken mixture over the sweet potatoes and top with shredded cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil (this is important to keep cheese from burning like mine in the picture!!).

Bake for 50 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the sweet potatoes are cooked through. Allow the casserole to rest a few minutes before serving.

*I just boil my chicken, then shred with a fork.

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Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

I’m so excited to share this recipe! It’s gloomy and rainy here, so it seems like the perfect time to share. We love Thai food in all forms in our household – I would even go as far to say that it would be “my last meal” request if I ever had to make that decision. Let’s hope I don’t! Ha. When I found this recipe that combined two of my favorite things – the slow cooker and Thai food – I knew I had to give it a try and put my twist on it.

Some of the ingredients may sound foreign to you, but you can actually find them all in any grocery stores international/oriental section. So, get on that!

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soupthai chicken soup

2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 (12 ounce) cans of coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1½ pounds chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups cooked rice or quinoa

Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, and peanut butter in slow cooker. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove chicken breast and shred. Return to slow cooker.

Add in the peas and cook for ½ hour longer. Stir in lime juice. Serve over rice or quinoa – you can also just add the rice or quinoa to the soup and mix it in the slow cooker.

 

Made-Over Sloppy Joe’s

IMG_0939Sloppy Joe’s are somewhat of an American past time and often forgot about when trying to eat healthy. Forget about opening up a can of Manwich, adding it to some ground beef, and slopping it on a bun. Hank and I have been making this made-over Sloppy Joe recipe and topping a baked sweet potato with the mixture. We can’t get enough! What’s even better is that it is cheap and easy to make AND you probably have all of the ingredients on hand!

One thing that discredits the typical Sloppy Joe is the sugar content. While a lot of recipes add brown sugar to the recipe, I leave it out and use ketchup. Ketchup has enough sugar in it to make it sweet and I add a squirt of honey. I do try to use an organic or natural version of sugar – whatever you do, make sure it is free of high fructose corn syrup.

Made-Over Sloppy Joe’s

1lb lean ground beef
1/2 green pepper, diced thin
1/2 onion, diced thin
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Honey
Salt & Pepper
2 large sweet potatoes

1) Preheat your oven to 450 and bake sweet potatoes for 45 minutes.
2) In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with onions and peppers seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Drain and add back to skillet.
3) Add the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, and cider vinegar and mix well until heated through.

Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli

I’m not sure what inspired me to cook beef & broccoli, but I’m sure glad I tried it! After throwing this in the slow cooker, our house started smelling like this dish immediately and I must say that it was hard not to continuously peak into the slow cooker in hopes that it was ready for a little taste. It was worth the wait!

We served this over quinoa, but you could serve it over brown rice or just eat it plain.

Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli beef and broccoli

Ingredients:
1 lb. stew beef
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
1 bag frozen broccoli florets (about 3-4 cups)

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the beef broth, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.

Lay the beef in the slow cooker and pour the sauce over, tossing the strips to coat.

Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for about 6 hours. Be sure to check it at the 4 hour mark, as you don’t want the beef to get overdone.

When it is just about done, take 4 Tbsp of the sauce and whisk it in a small bowl with the cornstarch.  Slowly stir this into the slow cooker.  Add the broccoli and cook for about 30 more minutes.

Serve over quinoa or rice and enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

In an attempt to lose the baby weight, I’m trying so very hard to stop eating the way I did when I was pregnant – pasta, bread, ice cream…basically anything I wanted. This was the demise that my doctor used as the reason Baby D was such a big baby weighing in a 9.2 lbs. Giving up the deliciousness that is pasta and Italian food makes me sad, but there are always equally delicious alternatives! Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite alternatives to pasta. I’ve yet to try using zucchini noodles, but that is coming soon. This week I took to creating a “lasagna” out of spaghetti squash. It was fantastic and will probably be added to the rotation in our household. Hank and I ate the whole pan – yikes! It’s just some veggies, meat and cheese, no worries! Ha!

If you aren’t sure how to cook a spaghetti squash, it’s easy! Follow these easy steps:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Place spaghetti squash in a microwave safe dish, pierce it a couple of times with a knife, then microwave for 5-8 minutes to soften.
3) Cut squash lengthwise and place face down in an oven safe dish with 1/4 cup water. Bake for 30 minutes.

I didn’t get a great picture of the inside of it, but here’s a shot of the dish before we devoured it.

Spaghetti Squash LasagnaIMG_1760[1]

1lb Italian turkey sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cooked spaghetti squash (about 2lbs)
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 and b

2.Brown the turkey sausage until no longer pink

3. While turkey is cooking, discard seeds from the squash and remove your “spaghetti” using a fork (similar to how you’d shred chicken with a fork)

4. Spoon a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish then layer squash + sausage + a little more sauce + 1/3 cup mozzarella + cottage cheese + remaining sauce + remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle with a little Italian seasoning and garlic powder if you wish. And, as always, feel free to add more sauce and cheese if you like things a little more saucy and cheesy!

5. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly – probably about 15 mins.

Pollo Fundido

My husband loves Mexican food…who doesn’t?! His favorite meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant is Pollo Fundido. I decided to try to replicate this meal and make it a smidge healthier than what you can get in a restaurant. I like to serve this with quinoa or brown rice, Amy’s Refried Black Beans, and chips with salsa and guacamole. Disclaimer: The picture looks a little gross, but it’s hard to make cheese and beans look appetizing! Here ya go, ole’!pollofundido

 

Pollo Fundido

1 lb chicken boneless, skinless chicken breast (beat until thin)

1 onion, finely chopped

Mexican cheese dip (I use Newman’s Own white queso dip)

Chili Salt (Mix together in small bowl: 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/8 tsp oregano)

Saute the onions and then set them aside in a bowl.
Rub the chicken with the chili salt on both sides so the seasoning really sets in.
Over medium heat, cook chicken in large skillet until cooked through (about 6 minutes per side).
After the chicken has been cooked on both sides, add the onion on top of the chicken.
Pour the cheese dip on the chicken and onions and cook until well melted and heated.
Serve over rice.

Roasted Veggies & Sausage

As my pregnancy is in it’s last month, I’m starting to think how hard it is to lose this pregnancy weight if I don’t start eating more whole foods. While I typically do a good job, I’ve had my fair share of pasta and bread during this pregnancy. I know I can’t keep this up after the pregnancy, so I’m trying to go more towards more protein and veggie based meals. This one is so simple and delicious.

Roasted Veggies & Sausagesweet potatoes

1lb of chicken or turkey sausage (andouille style) cut into 1-inch slices
2 sweet potatoes cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large carrots, chopped into small rounds
1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
1/2 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tsp garlic powder (or 3 cloves)
2 tbs of olive oil
1 1/2 tbs of Italian seasoning
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, add all sliced veggies and cut sausage links.
Next, add olive oil, seasonings, and toss to coat.
Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil and spread out the veggies and sausage.
Place uncovered in oven and bake 35-45 minutes turning once during cooking.
Bake a total of 35 to 45 minutes, turning veggies and sausage twice during cooking.

Chicken Pot Pie

The arctic chill is moving in here in Charlotte and chicken pot pie seemed to be the perfect comfort food to warm us up! I have never made scratch out chicken pot pie, so this was an adventure to be had in my tiny kitchen. I have to preface this recipe article by saying that you could totally make this a vegetarian (not vegan) dish by using potatoes in place of chicken…and I believe it would be just as delicious!

A while back I had picked up a can of Dancing Deer Baking Company‘s Pie Crust Mix – it was on the discount rack at work, so I had to snag it and all along I had the intention of using it to make chicken pot pie.When I turned the can of pie crust mix over to read the directions, I saw that I needed 2 sticks of butter….YOWZA! I decided to use 1 stick and 2 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil. It turned out beautifully delicious! You can definitely use a pre-made pie crust and it would cut the prep time in half! So, let’s begin.

chicken pot pie1

Chicken Pot Pie

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cubedchicken pot pie1 cup diced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch unbaked pie crusts)

Start by slicing and dicing your veggies. Then, cube your chicken.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add enough water to cover the chicken and veggies and boil for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, drain and set aside. In the same saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery seed. SLOWLY stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust and seal edges with your fingers. Brush with an egg wash for a flaky crush.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Vegetarian Chili

If I were to make this chili for my husband he would say, “where’s the meat?” It is rare that I get to enjoy a meal made solely of vegetables until he isn’t around for dinner. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather have him here for dinner, but I do love when I get to make vegetarian dishes. I love it even more when I get to whip out my beautiful blue dutch oven!

This chili is so flavorful and filling! I will no doubt make it for my man piece…but I will add some ground beef just for him.

chili 4

Vegetarian Chili
(Serves 2 – make double for leftovers!)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1 (14oz)can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

In a dutch oven or a large pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Transfer squash to a bowl and set-aside.

chili 1

In the same dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in chili powder and garlic.

chili 3

Add tomatoes, jalapenos, broth, honey, and salt; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Add beans and squash, stir and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes until squash is tender.

chili 5

Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, and enjoy! I topped mine with goat cheese and cayenne pepper – such amazing flavor!