I hate broccoli!!

I have never liked broccoli, or cauliflower for that matter. I think broccoli smells like bad feet when it’s being steamed, or cooked. I can’t get over the texture either. I don’t care how much cheese or ranch you douse it with, I won’t eat it….until now. I found this recipe on facebook a couple weeks ago, and I thought to myself, “that actually sounds really good…broccoli and all!” So I figured I’d pin it, in case it still sounds good after I’ve already eaten and am no longer hungry. Turns out, this recipe is all I was thinking about!!! So I went to the store, bought myself some broccoli and the other ingredients I needed to buy and made this, Easy, Cheesy, Spicy, Creamy, Chicken, Bacon, Broccoli, and Rice. Now that’s a mouthful to say, and after you make it, it’ll be a mouthful of deliciousness!!! And even though this recipe calls for a lot of ingredients, and it may look like a bit of work, it’s actually quite easy to make!!! This dish also reheats really well! Funny story about that, lately B hasn’t been helping me eat leftovers, so I’m stuck with the same lunch for a week, ugh! But this dish, which I wouldn’t have minded for a few days, he reheated the next day and ate the last of it! I couldn’t believe it!! This also coming from another fellow broccoli hater! Let that be proof as to how good this recipe is!!!

Cheesy, Chicken, Bacon, Broccoli Rice

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of bacon, diced (I used Turkey bacon)
  • 12 oz of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C. Rice
  • 1 C. diced onion
  • 12 oz (about 4 cups) broccoli florets, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces (I used a little less than this)
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 (10 oz) cans Ro-Tell with green chiles
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 C. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Throw the diced bacon into a large skillet or dutch oven and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook the bacon until crispy, stirring occasionally. This took me about 6-ish minutes. I didn’t want it burnt, and since I used turkey bacon this process went pretty quickly and I think I ended up turning the heat down. Just pay attention to the bacon!
  2. While the bacon is cooking, season your cubed up chicken. When the bacon is done, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a plate. If you’re using light bacon, or turkey bacon, you’re not going to have much for grease in the pan, or if you’re like me and are trying to cut back on the calories, wipe out the pan and add the olive oil to it. Put the chicken in the pan and cook until down. This should take about 5-7 minutes, depending on how big or small you cubed your chicken. Remove the chicken and go ahead and add it to the plate with the bacon, they can become friends.
  3. After the chicken and bacon are done, start your rice in another pot. I used brown rice, you can use white, or any other kind of rice you happen to have on hand. Make the rice according to the box. When the rice is done, you can go ahead and just set it a side, we’ll be using that a little later.
  4. Meanwhile, throw in the onion and broccoli into the same skillet you cooked up the chicken and bacon in. I added a little olive oil again to this, but not much. Cook over medium-high heat until the broccoli is tender and the onions are caramelized, this shouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic, cook and stir constantly for about 30 seconds! There isn’t much worse than burnt garlic! Add in the cans of Ro-Tel, the chicken, bacon, and the rice. Stir it all together and then reduce the heat to low, just let it all sit there, mingling with each other.
  5. In a sauce pan, throw in the butter and let it melt. Whisk in the flour until just combined. Pour in the chicken broth and stir well, making sure to get rid of all of the buttery flour chunks. Turn the heat up to high and cook this concoction until it gets thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat once it’s reached that thick, sauce type consistency, and stir in the cheese, salt and pepper. Keep stirring until all of that cheese is melted! Once it’s melted, pour it over the chicken and broccoli mixture. Mix it all together and Voila!! You have an amazing, filling dinner!!! This makes 4-6 good sized servings!

I still can’t get over how delicious this was! And the tomatoes and broccoli added some nice colors too! I apologize for the picture I took, I forgot to take the picture before I ate dinner, and remembered that night while I was at work eating my lunch….so the presentation is not really the greatest! Oops!!! I’m wondering how this would taste with a few more veggies added in, like some bell peppers, maybe some matchstick carrots, mushrooms. If you try this, and add in anything else, let me know what and how it was!!!

Recipe taken from: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/cheesy-chicken-bacon-broccoli-and-rice.html

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American, Italian, and Thai….Oh my!

So last week I was on a cooking spree!!! I wanted to try every new recipe I came across, and according to Brandon, they were all a hit! We started off with a twist of 2 different classics. I combined Philly cheese steaks with stuffed peppers. It still makes me laugh how much I love stuffed peppers now. When I was little, I “hated” stuffed peppers. I would only eat the stuffing part and wouldn’t touch the peppers, because I said they were too spicy and I just didn’t like them. But now, I can’t get enough of them, and these are in the top 3 of stuffed pepper recipes I’ve tried.

Ingredients:

  • 3 red/orange bell peppers
  • 8 oz thinly sliced roast beef
  • 12 slices of Provolone
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 6 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Slice the peppers in half length wise. Remove the ribs and the seeds.
  2. Slice the onions and mushrooms. Saute over medium heat with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute them until the onions and mushrooms are caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Slice the roast beef into thin strips and add to the mushrooms and onions. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Line the inside of the peppers with a slice of provolone cheese. Fill each pepper with the roast beef mixture until the pepper is almost over flowing. Place another slice of provolone cheese over the pepper.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 or until the cheese on top is golden brown.

Seriously, these were to die for!!! You can use butter instead of olive oil if you’d like for sauteing the onions and mushrooms. But, I was trying to be a little healthier. It worked just as well. And any left over stuffing that you have works really well in pita pockets or as a sandwich. Just saying 🙂

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Recipe adapted from: http://peaceloveandlowcarb.blogspot.com

Chicken Sausage and Mushroom Pasta Casserole

This was a recipe I got off of the Weight Watchers website. I have 4 pounds I want to lose by March 30th. That’s when I go dress shopping for the first time, and I have a goal weight. So I’m trying really hard to work out more and eat even healthier than I have been. Brandon said this is one of the best pasta dishes we’ve ever had, so I’m thinking I’ll end up making this one again.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz uncooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 8 oz cooked chicken sausage, Italian, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
  2. Cook pasta according to the package. Drain, and return to the pot.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often until toasted, about 4 minutes. Remove breadcrumbs to a bowl, stir in parmesan and oregano and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet to a plate and drain fat from skillet.
  5. Add pepper and onion to skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until vegetables start to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add mushrooms and water to skillet; cook stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
  7. Add vegetables, sausage, and marinara sauce to pot with the pasta, toss to coat. Spoon into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until heated through and the cheese melts, about 25 minutes. Serves 8, about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

The only thing I changed with this recipe was I used turkey sausage instead of chicken sausage, but otherwise I followed this exactly and seriously it was so good! I will definitely be making this again. OH! And instead of whole wheat pasta, I used whole grain. Funny story, when Brandon and I were grocery shopping for these 3 recipes, we were looking for the pasta. We found a box, put it in the cart and carried on. After I threw the pasta in the oven I was finishing my clean up and noticed that the box of whole wheat pasta we grabbed was really just whole grain. Apparently our brains shut off after the word “whole.” But it did turn out great, so really I think you could use regular pasta too and it would be just fine.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

Again, this recipe is from the Weight Watchers website. Brandon loves oriental food! I’m not going to lie, I do enjoy some good Chinese food from time to time, and he’s even figured out how to make our favorites at home. But usually, Oriental food has WAY too much prep for this girl. As you can tell by a lot of my recipes, I like quick and easy recipes. Not a lot of steps, but a lot of flavor. So when I saw this recipe started with the words “Slow Cooker” I was excited! I’ll be honest, this recipe was okay but not my favorite. Not as much flavor as I was hoping, but still not horrible.

Ingredients:

  • 13 1/2 fl. oz light coconut milk
  • 7 tsp Thai red curry paste, divided (more or less to taste)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound uncooked potatoes,  cut into chunks
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 medium scallions, sliced
  • 1 medium lime, sliced into 6 wedges
  • 2 Tbsp salted peanuts, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a 4-6 qt slow cooker, whisk together coconut milk, 4 tsp curry paste and salt until well blended. Add onions, potatoes, peppers, carrots, toss to coat.
  2. Rub 2 tsp of curry paste on the chicken breasts. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 5 to 6 hours until the chicken is cooked completely through and the vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove the chicken to a cutting board, either cut into chunks or shred, whichever you prefer.
  4. Stir peanut butter and remaining curry paste into slow cooker until well blended. Add chicken back into the slow cooker with cilantro and scallions, gently stir to coat. Spoon onto plates or into bowls. Serve with a lime wedge and sprinkle with crushed peanuts. 6 servings at 1 1/2 cups a serving.

Some of the reviews say to add some sriracha sauce for more of a kick, I would strongly suggest it! This dish didn’t have any kick to it. Also, instead of the onion it says to use cauliflower, well I don’t like cauliflower, but if you do, please feel free to add some in! The recipe says 1/2 of a head cut into small florets. Other than those things, this dish is very filled, and the serving is really large. It has good flavor, just no kick to it. And I forgot until just now, that I forgot to serve it with the lime wedge, so I currently have a lime in my fridge I need to use…hmmm…

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Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Spicy Mustard Cheese Sauce

Every sporting event I go to, I need a soft pretzel with cheese. Every time I walk past the Pretzel Maker in the mall, I have the urge to buy a soft pretzel with cheese, I don’t always give in, but I do have to fight really hard to just walk away. See the trend? I love pretzels with cheese! So with my logic, chicken covered in crushed pretzels with a spicy mustard cheese sauce sounded amazing!!! And I was right…I tweaked the recipe slightly, so I’ll type it up how it is written, and then I’ll add what I changed at the bottom.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 oz crushed pretzels
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbls butter
  • 1 Tbls flour
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Tbls spicy mustard
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Completely butterfly the chicken breasts so you end up with 4 thinner breasts. One at a time, put the chicken between some wax paper and flatten it slightly with a mallet.
  2. Put the pretzels into a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Put the crumbs into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs.
  3. In a large saute pan,over medium high heat, heat up the oil. Make sure there is about an 1/8″ of oil on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Dip each chicken breast into the pretzels, then into the eggs, and back into the pretzels. Make sure they are covered well. Place the chicken into the hot oil in the pan and cook until the pretzels are browned and the chicken is cooked. It should only take about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Add the milk and the mustard and cook until just slightly thickened. Stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve the chicken with the sauce over it. Serves 4.

Seriously, this could have been easier had I listened to all of the instructions. I didn’t butterfly my chicken breasts, big mistake. DO NOT SKIP THIS! I thought I’d take a short cut…I didn’t. I browned the pretzels, and then realized, that because frozen chicken breasts are always massive (seriously, where are these huge chickens they are coming from?!) the chicken wasn’t cooking. So I just browned the chicken and then baked them at 400 for about 25 minutes. It still worked just fine, chicken was juicy and it was good, but I seriously need to learn how to follow directions. Also, I didn’t flatten the breasts at all, again, don’t skip this step!! I don’t have a meat tenderizer, not a good excuse, but it’s all I have.

Also, I didn’t use 6 ounces of pretzels, it was about 4 and I still had some left over. I didn’t add more salt to the salted pretzels, because that just seemed redundant, but I do wish I would have seasoned the chicken more than I did. I served this dish with mashed potatoes, and used the cheese sauce over those too, also
delicious! When reheating though, just like everything that’s breaded, the breading gets a little soggy, but its still really good!!! Happy cooking!!!

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Next week I believe I’m going to be trying a Crock Pot recipe, Cranberry Chicken, or possibly Crock Pot Lasagna Soup….not sure which one yet. Anyone think one sounds better than the other?

 

Recipe Adapted From: http://jujugoodnews.com