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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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.

Oven Fajitas

I’ve now fixed these 2 weeks in a row. I can’t get enough! These fajitas are maybe the best I’ve ever fixed and by far the easiest. You can stick them in the oven and do something else while they’re cooking instead of standing over a skillet.

I can’t take all the credit for this recipe because I got the original recipe from Budget Bytes. She has some really great recipes that help make cooking easy for those of us that are trying to stick to a budget. They’re easy to tweak to make a little bit healthier or adaptable to whatever diet you’re trying to stick to.

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Oven Fajitas

Seasoning Mix
1 Tbsp chili powder
½ Tbsp paprika
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cumin
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt

Fajitas
1 large onion, cut into thin strips
2 bell peppers (any color), cut into thin strips
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp butter, melted
Honey, to drizzle
1 lime
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Ideal toppings: salsa, cilantro, sour cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the fajita seasoning  and set aside.

Place the onions and peppers in a large 9×13 inch casserole dish. Add the chicken to the veggies. Sprinkle the seasoning over the meat and vegetables. Drizzle the melted butter over everything and then use your hands to toss the ingredients until all is well coated in butter and seasoning. Drizzle honey over the mixture (about 2 tbsp).

Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring once half way through. Squeeze the lime over the mix once it comes out of the oven. Scoop a small amount of fajita mix into the center of each tortilla**.

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**I’ve discovered that heating the tortillas on the stovetop is the BEST way. I just heat up a pan (do not grease it), cook tortilla for 10 seconds then flip and cook the other side for 10 seconds. DONE!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

There are so many ways you can jazz up a boneless, skinless chicken breast. It can be one of the leanest proteins out there, but it has a tendency to get old fast. This recipe is so easy, but makes it look like you spent hours in the kitchen. So, sike your husband out and make this tonight!

As a side note, this chicken calls for bread crumbs. When I pulled out my jar of store bought bread crumbs that I’ve had for quite awhile, I turned it over to read the ingredients. There was a long list of probably 100 ingredients, so I immediately said “NOPE!” to the bread crumb idea. I pulled out some organic, gluten-free crackers and crunched them up and they worked as a great alternative! Target has a new line of organic products called “Simply Balanced.” The products are affordable and tastey!

Parmesan Crusted Chickenchicken collage

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon crushed gluten-free crackers (or whatever alternative you choose)
1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a baking pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.

2) In a shallow bowl, whisk egg.

3) On a flat plat, mix spices, cheese, and crumbs.

4) Dip the chicken in the egg, then roll your chicken until well coated in the spice mixture, then place chicken on baking pan.

5) Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes.

Crockpot Coconut Chicken Curry

I loooooove Indian food. Actually, I just love ethnic food. All of it. I love the spice and the flavor that ethnic food embodies. With some leftover coconut milk from my last recipe, I thought “I could possible use this in chicken curry.” I was right. Last night, I threw a bunch of ingredients in my crockpot in about 10 minutes as I was running out the door for an appointment and when I came home I thought I had just walked into Sitar (my favorite Indian restaurant in TN). It was so quick and easy to throw together…the only thing missing was a big piece of Naan….sweet, sweet, carb-o-licious Naan.

Crockpots and Slow Cookers (essentially the same thing) are great for making healthy meals in a flash! I always recommend using one if time is a barrier to cooking. My parents have always used them to make dinners and almost any recipe can be made into a crockpot recipe.

Coconut Chicken Currycurry
(Serves 2…because we eat a lot!)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts , chopped into cubes
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced well
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup canned, full-fat coconut milk
1 package frozen peas & carrots
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Directions:
Toss chicken, onion, garlic, spices, and salt. Cover & cook on low for 3 hours, until chicken is cooked through.

Stir in coconut milk and peas & carrots until heated through (about 30-60 minutes).

I served this over quinoa instead of the typically Basmati rice. I sprinkled cinnamon in the quinoa as it was cooking to get a little sweet flavor going!

Baked Creamy Chicken Breasts

Growing up, a staple dinner in our home was boneless, skinless chicken breasts topped with cream of chicken soup. It was easy and convenient, plus it tasted pretty darn good! Now that eating real food is a staple in my own home, I have come to realize how bad the “cream of…” soups are for us. You can see from the label that the soup is preserved with monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions include headaches, sweating, facial pressure, numbness and tingling, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea, and weakness.  The other ingredients aren’t anything to be happy about either, but MSG is my main concern.

I wanted to recreate an old-time favorite, but with REAL ingredients. I did just that in my Baked Creamy Chicken Breasts. It is easy and so delicious!

Baked Creamy Chicken Breastschicken

4 Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup Full-Fat canned Coconut Milk
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & Pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and place in glass baking dish.

Heat olive oil in medium saute pan and add onions. Saute until onions are translucent.

Whisk in chicken broth, coconut milk, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and paprika (add black pepper if you desire). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and reduce slightly.

Pour mixture over chicken and bake for 40 minutes.