A POWERHOUSE lunch that tastes good too!

I always feel healthy after yoga and so for at least a good hour and a half I try to eat clean.¬† ūüôā¬† Today I decided to make a Kale and Quinoa salad.¬† This salad is filling, good for you and tastes great too. Kale and Quinoa Salad 1 Bunch of Kale (cleaned and de stemmed) 1 cup Quinoa¬†(cooked and cooled) I used Gluten free 1/4 avocado 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Organic) 2 T Fresh lemon juice 1 t Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove diced salt and pepper to taste Clean and de stem Kale.¬† Roll Kale leaves and chiffon chop them.¬† Place chopped kale and about 1/2 cup quinoa in a bowl. In a small bowl mix E.V.O.O., Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.¬† Mix well.¬† Put about 1 T of the dressing on the kale and quinoa mixture.¬† Top with avocado and chow! I save the extra kale, quinoa, avocado and dressing in separate left over dishes.¬† I plan on eating this for lunch everyday this week. ENJOY!¬† Your body will thank you. quin 2

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice SNOW DAY Soup

IMG_0138

Finally! The first snow day of 2015. . . and the kids had the day off school anyway! Oh well, slows life down a bit and makes me want to snuggle under a blanket in front of the fireplace. Also makes me eat my way through hibernation and NEED this soup. I found the recipe on Lauren’s Latest and will link to her at bottom of post. In my house, this recipe must be doubled (or the last guy to the pot won’t get any!). Happy Hibernating!

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

4 ribs celery, chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and cubed

6 cups good quality chicken broth

3/4 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed

1-6 oz. box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/3 cup all purpose flour

plenty of salt and pepper

Directions:

In large pot, heat butter and olive oil. Saute onions, celery and carrots on medium low heat for 10 minutes to soften. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Pour in chicken broth and cubed raw chicken. Raise temperature to medium high heat to poach chicken in cooking liquid. Once chicken has cooked and become opaque, pour in rice and seasoning packet that came with the rice. Cover and reduce heat to simmer lightly for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In small bowl, whisk cold half and half with flour until smooth. Pour into soup pot and reduce heat completely to low. Cook 10 minutes or until rice is softened completely and soup has thickened slightly. Taste and season accordingly. Serve hot.

http://www.laurenslatest.com/creamy-chicken-and-wild-rice-soup/

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Stew

chicken stew

Sometimes I want a hot dinner ready even though I have a busy day and/or evening. I am pretty picky about what I’ll dump in the Crockpot, though. No Campbell’s soups, no ground beef. Kristin sent me this one that fits the bill. It’s just like the ever-popular slow cooker taco soups, but no ground beef! Perfect for a Monday!

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped

1 15-16 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-16 oz. can of kidney beans

1 15-16 oz. can of corn (drained), some like Mexicorn. I used a cup or 2 of frozen corn bc that’s what I had on hand.

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes w/ chiles (can use plain diced tomatoes if you are avoiding spicy foods)

1 1.25 oz. packet taco seasoning (had to measure my homemade seasoning with a shot glass!)

1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – I used 3.

Instructions:

Mix everything together in a slow cooker except chicken. Lay chicken over top and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3/4 hours. 30 min. before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Can top with cheese, sour cream, or tortilla chips.

Number of servings: 14.

Orig. found on SparkRecipes.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

IMG_5262

(not my best photo ever!)

This easy chicken soup is made with a light and refreshing lemon broth, orzo pasta, and vegetables. It is healthy and perfect for a cold day!

I found it at Two Peas & Their Pod, but I prepared the chicken a bit differently because I had boneless, skinless thighs in the refrigerator. Lately my husband is loving the flavor and moisture natural to chicken thighs vs. the way breasts tend to become dry so easily.

So, first I rinsed, salted and peppered the thighs and then cooked them in a bit of olive oil right in my deep soup pot. They didn’t take long. I removed them to cool and started sauteing the vegetables without even cleaning the pot. However, if you picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery, shredding that meat would work well, too!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil (1 for chicken, 1 for vegetables)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced (you know I use jarred garlic!)

2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1-2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

8 cups chicken broth

zest of 2 lemons

juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 cups orzo pasta

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat (cook chicken if needed). Saute onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add the cooked, shredded chicken and heat for about 5 minutes.

3. Remove the pot from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.

Healthy chicken tacos

I am a die hard Mexican food lover, but it’s just not always the healthiest of choices.¬† Nevertheless, I need my Mexican fix weekly.¬† This week I decided to make a healthier version of my favorite food.¬† I had a million places to be on Monday night so I needed something quick and healthy.¬† This recipe is easy and was the best chicken taco I have ever had.¬† I think the salsa is the key.¬† I used a Frontera Salsa…

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Jar Roasted Habenaro (HOT) salsa – Yes salsa matters!

1 head of green cabbage (thinly shredded)

1 package corn tortillas

Low fat sour cream

Fresh Cilantro

In crockpot combine chicken breasts with entire jar of salsa.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

1/2 hour before chicken is done, shred chicken breasts and place back in crockpot.

Assemble

Take 2 corn tortillas and heat in microwave for 20 seconds. (If you want crispy shells you can place the corn tortillas in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes.)  Spread a dollop of sour cream on the top tortilla shell.  Place shredded chicken on top of shell.  Top with shredded cabbage and cilantro.  Pick up and chow!

photo 2

The two corn tortilla shells are key!¬† Otherwise¬† you can’t pick them up to eat…..they will just fall apart:(

photo 3

This recipe is a keeper!¬† I am telling you…..soooooo good!

No More Jarred Spaghetti Sauce

I used to make pretty good weeknight spaghetti using Prego as a base and adding sauteed onions and ground beef. I would also doctor it up a bit with some Italian seasoning, garlic, a dash of cloves, and a bay leaf or two. But now that I’ve greatly reduced the amount of ground beef we eat and am trying to eliminate processed foods, no more Prego/jarred sauce! I needed a quick red sauce for those weeknights when I crave pasta. Sometimes I have a good sauce¬†in the freezer from a weekend “all day in the pot” adventure, but not always. Last night I tried this easy variation, and Tim pronounced it “the best sauce you’ve ever made.” He might have just been really hungry. Anyway, here it is. If you Italians have a better one, I’d love to try it (30 min. or less, please!).¬†

1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes

15 oz tomato sauce (I try to buy this in the carton as the cans can leach yucky stuff into the tomatoes.)

6 oz tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons sugar (adjust to your taste)

1/2 teaspoon basil 

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I always use too much; it was spicy!) Adjust to your taste. 

Can substitute a teaspoon of Italian seasoning for herbs. 

Simmer in a pot for 20-30 minutes. Season again to taste.