Weeknight Dinners

White Chicken Chili

Baby it’s cold outside! We were not ready for the 18* Wisconsin weather this morning. Well, let me re-phrase that. I was not ready for this bitter cold. My kids on the other hand, all they can think about is, “MOM IS IT GOING TO SNOW? WE LOVE SNOW!”

This chicken chili recipe will warm you up in no time. And if it happens to snow, you’ll be prepared for 3 nights of dinner, easy. That means you can snow blow your driveway and not worry about your tummy. This recipe makes a lot. So with that, we have thought of how we might recycle the leftovers.

  1. Chicken Chili over Jasmine Rice.
  2. Chicken Chili, minus the liquid, in a soft flour tortilla to make a burrito
  3. Chicken Chili as just chicken chili

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Ingredients

  • 1.5# of chicken
  • 4 cups of low sodium or no sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cans of white beans (great white northern) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of green chiles (I used the super small cans)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (or 3 palm fulls of garlic powder)
  • 1 palm full of onion powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano + 1 more tsp after it’s done cooking
  • salt and pepper + 1 heaping tbsp when it’s done cooking if you did no sodium chicken stock
  • cayanne pepper if you like a sprinkle
  • sliced limes for garnish
  • avocado for garnish
  • shredded cheese for garnish
  • cilantro for garnish (yuck)
  • diced ancho chiles for garnish – if you want to substitute topping with scallions instead, kids would be more likely to eat it. The ancho chile is about the equivelent of a medium spicy salsa. Both my kids tried this pepper, but did not want it. To make it less hot, you could remove the seeds, slice it, and sautee or roast it, then serve it.  I liked it crunchy and raw, it was perfect for me, so I ate it!

Directions

  1. spray the inside of your crock pot with Pam non stick spray.
  2. Turn your crock pot on low
  3. Place the chicken in the crock pot and all ingredients over the top of the chicken (listed above until you get to “garnishes”)
  4. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. use a fork to pull apart your chicken, stir around, add the extra salt, oregano and garlic. Taste it. You might need 1 more tbsp of salt depending on the type of chicken stock you used.
  6. Serve with garnishes.

Dunking!

  • Joseph Campione in the freezer section makes wonderful garlic bread and bread sticks. The kids LOVE them and they are nut free. I also like that they are made in my hometown, the OC! They warm up fast, too.

 

The garnishes really made this meal. Also, if you have picky eaters, you may want to conisder cubing the chicken first before you just put the whole chicken breast in. Cubed chicken is sometimes more appealing and easy to eat for kids. The shredded chicken can be funky to eat sometimes, but it is good for burriotos and tacos! You decide! Enjoy!

 

 

Weeknight Dinners

Slow Cooker Chili

Chili is one of the best winter comfort foods – and it’s super easy to make and very flavorful. We also love how verstaile chili is, and if you have some nice tupperware, it’s very freezer friedly. So go ahead and make a double batch. For those busy winter nights after school, you’ll thank yourself for an easy meal.

My kids are spice sensitive. Many kiddos don’t like spicy foods, so this recipe is amazingly family friendly. It’s a very flavorful recipe without a ton of heat. If you want extra heat, you can always add more seasoning to your individual portion. Or cool it down with some sour cream.

Easy Slow Cooker Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onoin – diced
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used ketchup since we didn’t have paste)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper* -optional, we did not use, but feel free to add this and green chiles to spice up your individual serving if you like it HOT!
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into a crock pot and turn on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Enjoy! Yield is about 8
  3. Mix it up with toppings
    1. Avocado
    2. Sour Cream
    3. Bacon
    4. Pour it over potato wedges / baked potato
    5. Chives
    6. Frito Lay chips
    7. Raw onion
    8. Cheddar cheese
    9. Pour it over a hot dog!
    10. Add 50% chili with 50% melted cheese to make a chili cheese dip for your next football party!
Weeknight Dinners

10 Minute Baked Potato

What?! Did you even know this was such a thing?

We were in a hurry the other day, yet we were all craving a good, hearty meal. We had potatoes, steak, mushrooms and a bunch of herbs and shallots in the fridge.

With less that 20 minutes to get dinner on the table, we googled this potato recipe, and now it’s a game change for us.

All you need is a baked potato or 4. Rinse well, poke with a fork all over. Pop into your microwave for 5 minutes. Check on it, flip it, put it back in for 5 more minutes.

I’ve made potatoes this way 2 times this week because I am in such awe! The potato turns out PERFECT. Fluffy and hot, cooked all the way through. Top with your favorite things

  • bacon
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • scallions
  • sour cream
  • salt + pepper
  • chili

We had these giant “petite” filets from Metcalfes. After speaking with the butcher this week, he said there are no nuts in the meat prep area, and if there were, it would be on a marinated item, which he could not even think of a possible cross contact scneario. Of course he gave the disclaimer that they could not 100% guarantee, but speaking with him gave me peace of mind. Now for the steak….

potatoes beside stainless steel cooking pot
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Ingredients

  • 2 (6 or 8oz) petite filets
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • fry pan
  • baking sheet lined with foil
  • meat thermometer

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 and place your lined baking sheet inside.
  2. Let your meat come to room temperature over 30 minutes; just hanging out on the kitchen counter. If you don’t have time to do this, 10 minutes will be fine.
  3. Salt and pepper the ends of your steak to you liking, set aside on a plate.
  4. Melt the butter in the frying pan over high heat, about 2 minutes.
  5. Once your pan is super hot, sear the ends of the steak in the frying pan, about 2 minuets on each side.
  6. Then quickly place your steaks in the oven on the baking sheet.
  7. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your steak. Our steaks were huge. So it took about 12 minutes to get the internal temperature to 130, mediuim.
lunch meal steak meat
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Enjoy!

We also did some sauteed mushrooms with rosemary, thyme and shallots. Just a large frying pan with 2 tbsp butter, and the herbs and mushrooms on medium heat for 15 minutes or so. It was so , so good!

food wood kitchen cutting board
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Holiday Favorites, Weeknight Dinners

Chicken Enchilada Melt Subs

Happy Fall! It’s October 1st and we couldn’t be more excited about this month’s upcoming festivities; orchards, pumpkins, lattes, leaf piles, leaf peeping, camp fires, parties and trick-or-treat! Halloween is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate.

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As the kids get older, and our time to make meals becomes less and less due to their involvement at school + activities, my blog posts containing elaborate meals is diminishing by the day! I’m peeking back at prior posts thinking, “how the heck did I have TIME to make all that food?!” And the reality is, I didn’t.

Opportunity Cost {A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else}

This is the biggest take away from my studies as an MBA student, and the time that I was spending making fancy meals was time away from things I could be doing with the kids. I’ve really tried to curb my food prep time in order to maximize human contact time. Why else are we here? Not to live in a cave alone.

The kids have had an awesome time pouring through new food recipe material with me. between activities or in the car on the go. We have two books open right now. One is called “Eat at Home Tonight” and the other is the latest Food Network Magazine. The cookbook was given to me by my brother, THANK YOU JOEY! And is organized by TIME. What a concept. The Mom who wrote this is a genious. The first chapter is “I only have 15 minutes to cook dinner” —Let me tell you, WE LOVE THIS BOOK. And she doesn’t use nuts, yet, so it’s easy converstions for us, like finding the right, safe breads to use.

Here is what we made last night. Kids gave it kind of a thumbs up, but they cleared their plates. I thought it was good!!!

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Chicken Enchilada Melt Subs

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie works great, Metcalfes is the best)
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt + pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 sub rolls – Pretzilla is your go-to nut free option! And so tasty!
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine chicken, chiles, tomato, and garlic powder. Season with S+P. Microwave 2 min. Add some cheese to the mixture and microwave for 30 seconds until melted.
  2. Split your sub rolls. We use Pretzilla since they are PN + TN free. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spay with Pam non-stick. Put your rolls face side up and load up your subs. Sprinkle with cheesse.
  3. Put them under the broiler until cheese is melted.

We made a green vegetable and had some apple slices to get all food groups in! This was ready in 15 mintues. To save even more time, prep that shredded chicken on the weekend, that way you hvae it ready for your week night meals!

Have a great week everyone. And remember, the point of a meal together is just that, being together. So save some time in the kitchen and focus up on the people that you’re surrounded with, engage in some good conversation and enjoy being in the moment.

Nut Free Cookies Below….Metcalfes carries Lofthouse Bakery cookies – perfect for your Halloween Parties at school or home 🙂

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Mom Things, Weeknight Dinners

2 Week Summer Slimdown Challenge

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I love Cara Clark Nutrition’s healthy eating plans. Occasionally, I get into a cooking / healthy eating rut. Lazy, I don’t want to plan my own menu or search for new recipes. I also need a gentle reminder to keep my body moving every single day.

scenic view of beach
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Cara Clark’s plan fits my lifestyle so well. There are no games, counting, or crazy diets to follow. This is all real food – stuff you normally get at your local grocery store with some guided work outs and easy to make healthy snacks. The part that I love the most is the team of people I get to work with to help me stay on track with eating well and staying active ala Facebook groups and Instagram.

This summer, I’m full time with my two kids (and their friends, of course!) and they won’t necessarily keep me thinking about quinoa for dinner and smoothies for breakfast, this is why I joined the Summer Slimdown with Cara.

vegetarian juice on table
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For me, this plan is 100% worth it. I see results each time, and every time I do a challenge with her (this is my 3rd one), I take away something new + gain a ton of new recipes. Summer Slimdown 2018 includes :

  1. meals-at-a-glance menu
  2. daily menu plans
  3. extra smoothie recipes
  4. weekly recipes
  5. complete pre-printed grocery lists.
  6. workout options (no gym needed)
  7. step-by-step guidance

It takes effort though, MEAL PREP! If you don’t meal prep, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and “behind” in your healthy life stlye. No pressure 🙂

I can already tell you my favorite items coming up that I WILL be blogging about since I’ll need to make some nut free substitutions.

bowl of vegetable salad and fruits
Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com
  • Cherry Rhubarb overnight oats
  • Summer Lovin Crunch Salad with jicama
  • Blackbean Tahini Dip with Sunbutter

I’m so pumped about this challenge!!! The recipes are amazing, she also includes healthy adult beverage options, and antioxidant flavored fruit water recipes (perfect for a day outside with friends + kiddos).

If you think this sounds cool – and want to join me, you still have time! The two-week summer slimdown starts on June 11. That’s next Monday. So click on over to her website and join with me. Sometimes her instagram has discount codes so check that first, caraclarknutrition.

Have a great day, and enjoy my peonies 🙂

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