January 31, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup

I know I am WAY behind on the quinoa train, but it has honestly never appealed to me. I'm good with rice. I love rice and have it at least once a week so I figured I didn't need another grain to try. 

Then I saw this recipe and thought I'd give it a go. I'm trying to eat a little healthier this year so I thought it couldn't hurt. Especially mixed into a soup.
Let's just say the quinoa was great and I'm definitely going to try it again, but this soup was incredible! My husband said it was his new favorite soup and I have to agree with him. The chicken was amazing and there is SO much flavor.
The toppings made it even better and I can't wait to make it again. Do yourself a favor and make this soup!

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup
Adapted from Cooking Classy
3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) can mild red enchilada sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
1-2 large chicken breasts
1/2 Tbsp. onion flakes
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips

1. To a 6-quart slow cooker add chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in chicken, onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or until chicken has cooked through and is tender, adding in quinoa during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Remove chicken and shred.
2. Add corn and black beans to soup and heat through. Return chicken to soup and stir in cilantro. Serve warm with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

January 24, 2017

Crispy Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs and Simple Marinara Sauce

If you're planning on staying home for Valentine's Day this year, I've got the perfect meal for you. Something that both you and your significant other will love. 

Because who doesn't love anything stuffed with cheese?
These meatballs are decadent and totally worth the extra bit of time they take to make. We were over the moon for these babies and the marinara sauce is my new go-to.
I served these flavorful meatballs alongside some parmesan pasta that was simply some cooked spaghetti, pasta water, butter, parmesan and pepper thrown together in a pan. It was all incredible and I felt like it was restaurant worthy.
If you want something to wow your family or friends this year, this is the perfect dish to do just that! 

Crispy Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs and Simple Marinara Sauce
Adapted from The Cozy Apron
Makes about 30 meatballs
1 cup breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp. milk or half & half
1 lb. ground beef (85/15 ratio)
1 egg
3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried parsley 
2 mozzarella string cheeses, chopped into 30 small pieces
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
canola oil
Simple Marinara (recipe below)

1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the breadcrumbs and milk (or half & half) and stir until moist; next, add in the ground beef, egg, 1/2 cup parmesan, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley.
2. Using your hands or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients until well mixed. Next, using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop, measure out 30 portions.
3. Take each portion of beef and flatten them out in the palm of your hand (like a mini burger patty), laying one piece of the pea-sized mozzarella in the center and fold the meat over the mozzarella piece. Gently roll between your palms to create a round ball.
4. Chill the meatballs for about 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
5. While your meatballs chill, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Once the meatballs are chilled, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan with the panko breadcrumbs and roll each meatball in the mixture.
7. Place a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in a little oil; working in batches, add some of the meatballs into the pan and allow them to brown, turning them on all sides, for about 2-3 minutes. Place the browned meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and repeat the process with the rest of the meatballs.
8. Once browned and on the baking sheet, bake the meatballs for 10 minutes until gooey and cooked through.
9. Serve warm with simple marinara sauce.

Simple Marinara Sauce
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1. In a small saucepan, add all of the ingredients and whisk to combine.
2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and once the sauce begins to simmer, reduce to low and allow it to gently simmer, uncovered and undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
3. Serve while warm, or allow to cool and keep covered in fridge.

January 19, 2017

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Strips

If you want a really easy and tasty meal idea, these chicken strips are it! I love the crunchy exterior with the moist chicken. These take no time at all to throw together and have so much flavor!
Feel free to dip them into whatever sauce you love, but I loved them sans sauce. One thing that would be amazing with them are some garlic mashed potatoes! Yum.
Easy, family-friendly and delicious! What more could you ask for?

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Strips
Adapted from The Recipe Critic
2 large chicken breasts, cut into large strips
½ cup white flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. paprika
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Set out three bowls. Fill one with the white flour, pepper and salt. Stir. Fill the next bowl with olive oil or butter and minced garlic. Stir. Place the basil, paprika, panko, and parmesan cheese in the last bowl and stir to combine.
3. Place the strips in the flour mixture, then the garlic oil, then the panko mixture making sure to evenly and thoroughly coat each piece.
4. Place the strips on the sheet and place them in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes and then flip the tenders and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

January 17, 2017

Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels

Ever since I made these Cranberry Feta Pinwheels during the holiday season, I've been dying to try other varieties. I'd had these turkey cranberry pinwheels saved on my Pinterest for a while now and I decided to finally try them out.
I'm so glad I did because they were so good and would not only make a great appetizer, but an easy, delicious lunch as well!
Only 5 ingredients and you have yourself a winner! The flavors pair so nicely together and I love the soft, chewy texture of these. You've got to try them out!

Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels
Adapted from I Wash You Dry
4 large (10") soft flour tortillas (La Banderita are some of my favorite)
1 (8 oz.) container chive and onion cream cheese
12 deli slices of turkey
1 cup spinach
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Spread 2-3 Tbsp. of the chive and onion cream cheese over one tortilla. Lay 3 slices of turkey, 1/4 cup of spinach and 1/4 cup of dried cranberries on top. Tightly roll up the tortilla into a tube. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Slice into 1-inch pieces when ready to serve.

January 11, 2017

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry Soup

If you have followed me for a while now, you know that I love all things curry, especially coconut curry. Add some chicken, veggies and tons of other fresh ingredients and you've got one of my favorite meals.

This soup is SO flavorful, comforting and totally hits the spot. I love how it is not only tasty, but good for you as well. This is the perfect "feel better" soup and is a definite crowd pleaser.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry Soup
Adapted from Cooking Classy
6 oz. pad thai rice noodles or linguine
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. red curry paste
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 red bell pepper, sliced into small, thin strips
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (13.5 oz.) can regular or light coconut milk
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
2 Tbsp. packed light-brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
5 oz. fresh spinach (4 packed cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, add noodles and boil according to directions on package. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes, then add another 1/2 Tbsp oil, garlic, curry powder, curry paste, turmeric, and coriander. Sauté 1 minute, then add last 1/2 Tbsp oil and bell pepper and sauté 1 minute more.
3. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in coconut milk, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, brown sugar and soy sauce. Season with salt to taste and cook 2 minutes.
4. Stir in spinach, cilantro and lime juice and cook until spinach wilts. Toss in noodles. Serve warm.

January 9, 2017

Eggnog Brulee Pie

I know, I know...Christmas is over and so are all things eggnog, but I HAD to post this recipe before I completely forgot about it. We had this after Christmas Eve dinner and it was amazing!

I love anything to do with eggnog so this pie was a dream. It had a creamy custard filling and an awesome crunchy cinnamon/sugar brûlée topping that you broiled in the oven. I didn't even know you could do that without a torch!
All in all, this was a perfect way to celebrate the holidays and I think a Christmas Eve pie might become a tradition.

Eggnog Brûlée Crust
Slightly Adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
9-inch pie crust, baked and cooled (I used a store-bought one)
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup white sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 1/2 cups eggnog
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and sugar. Whisk in the 4 tablespoons melted butter, eggnog and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is the consistency of a thick pudding. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
2. Preheat oven broiler to high. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
Pour mixture into pie crust and spread evenly. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top. Place under the broiler until the butter and sugar begin to bubble all over the surface--keep a close eye because it doesn't take long.

3. Let pie cool to room temperature, then chill several hours before serving.