Category: Lunch & Dinner

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It pains me to admit that I so rarely fiddle around with new recipes in the kitchen. When you’ve got a handful of quick recipes that make everyone happy it’s very easy to fall into a routine of just making the same things over and over again. I was feeling creative last night and with only six ingredients – ingredients that I always have on hand, but have never combined this way – I made a fabulous, healthy, and gorgeous dinner in 30 minutes. Seriously.

Pesto Pepper 2

Now I’m not going to lie to you. I have never had “traditional” stuffed peppers. I love peppers, don’t get me wrong, but I just never found the concept of mushy peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice all that appealing. Sounds pretty bland if you ask me.  This recipe is far from bland and packed with flavor! I also don’t cook the peppers to mush – I like them to have a little texture left to them. But if you like your stuffed peppers that way …

 Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced it in half
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  •  2 tablespoons of good quality, store bought pesto (if you have homemade, even better!)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the peppers, open side up,  and place in the oven. Let cook for about 10 ten minutes.

While the peppers are cooking, cook the chicken breasts in a nonstick skillet sprayed with a little nonstick spray over medium high heat until cooked through – about 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to wilt. Add the cooked quinoa and pesto to the pan. Stir well to combine.

Remove the peppers from the oven and carefully spoon the chicken and quinoa mixture into each pepper cavity. Top each pepper with 1/4 cup the mozzarella. Return to the oven and let cook ten minutes more until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.

Let cool about 5 minutes before serving!

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

 

 

Chipotle Chicken Chili

First of all…the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to post TWO DAYS IN A ROW…is madness. Complete and utter MADNESS!! I love my baby girl, but boooooooooy do I love nap time. Muhuhahahaha.

Not only am I sharing another NEW recipe today, but this is another super simple crock pot recipe! Just in time for fall, amiright? I have never loved my crock pot as much as I do now that I am a mom. The faster I can get something done, the more likely I am to eat it without having a baby on my boob! Though, I can’t lie, I’ve gotten pretty great at doing things with one hand because I have a baby in the other…or balancing her perfectly on the Boppy while I eat OVER her. I prefer to avoid that if I can, though, heh.

Anywho, the Falcons were playing last night (What a game! I’m not sure I’d really even call that a game…poor Bucs.), so I wanted to make something appropriate for football viewing. Chili was the obvious choice. But without having any beef on hand I decided to go for a chicken version.

BEST. CHOICE. EVER.

I posted a photo of the finished product on Instagram last night and had a few requests for the recipe. So here it is, my friends.

Words cannot describe how easy this chili is to make. You literally just stir everything together in the crock pot, add the chicken breasts, pop on the lid and BAM. You are a mere 5 hours from delicious!

Chipotle Chicken Chili

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced
    (add more or less … depending on your spice tolerance. 1 gives it a nice kick, but you won’t be sweating)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • salt to taste

In the base of your crock pot, add the can of tomatoes. Fill the empty can halfway with water and add it to the crock pot. Add the beans, peppers, onions, and spices. Stir well to combine. Nestle the chicken breasts into the tomato mixture. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken shreds easily with two forks. Shred up the chicken and serve your chili with cheese, avocado, and whatever else you fancy…just make sure you have plenty of tortilla chips for scooping!chipotle chicken chili

Also, because I can’t keep this cuteness all to myself…check out my little happy bear!! EEEEEEEEEEEE. I just can’t.

Real Food Recipe Roundup #3 – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!

Lolz.

I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.

Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!

If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    (or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
    (you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese.  Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.

Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.

Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!

For the Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
    (Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.

Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!

chicken pesto meatballs with baked spaghetti squash

Real Food Recipe Roundup #2 – Shrimp Scampi

It’s Thursday, ya’ll!! That means it’s thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss close to the weekend!! I’m particularly excited for a pretty chill weekend. I’ve got yoga on Saturday morning and I’m meeting some of my favorite gals for coffee on Sunday. Otherwise, I plan to read, clean, cook, and eat….and that’s about it! Does that make me lame? I don’t really care! It brings me joy…just like shrimp do!! (I am a fantastic transitioner – obvi!)

I was cravvvvvvvvvvvving shrimp for weeks. I still wish I could eat my weight in them. But alas, they cost monies. These particular shrimp were free, though, thanks to Kyle and Melinda!! (Woot! You guys rock!!) So when ya got shrimp, ya make shrimp scampi!

This recipe is sooooooooooooooo simple. The ingredient list is pretty short, too, which makes it even better in my book! And they’re all just real, tasty, albeit not the most healthy, but if you’d like you can go ahead and substitute whole grain pasta if you’d like. My hubby doesn’t love it, so this time around I stuck to plain old pasta. I also use a combination of real butter and olive oil here…the butter is important so I wouldn’t recommend omitting it completely, but if you’re more comfortable using more oil than butter I’d say go for it! Here’s the recipe!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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shrimp scampi Shrimp Scampi

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish

Bring a large, salted pot of water to boil. Prepare the spaghetti to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt the two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes until fragrant.

Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until pink. Add the wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce reduces just a bit. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and toss in the parsley.

Serve immediately over spaghetti!

shrimp scampi close up

Do you have a Real Food Recipe you’d like to share?! Share your Real Food Recipes with other folks like you and me who love to cook and eat!! No judgement. Nothing fake. Just the real deal!!

Real Food Recipe Roundup #1 – Tilapia Tacos & Southwest Slaw

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!!!

Thursday is finally here!!

I’m soooooooooooooo excited to share my very first Real Food Recipe for my Real Food Recipe Roundup. Today I’m sharing a recipe that is tried and true in my home. I hope you love this recipe as much as Johnny and I do (though he’d prefer more tacos and less slaw)! I make this over and over again because it’s so quick and easy to throw together, lite and healthy after a workout, and freaking delicious. If you plan to link up below, and I sure hope you do, be sure to grab my button and pop it into your post so folks know where they can find other Real Food Recipes, too!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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tilapia tacos with southwest slaw

Tilapia Tacos & Southwest Slaw

serves 2 

For the Southwest Slaw

  • 1 bag of preshredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup of Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Yogurt Southwest Ranch Salad Dressing (You need to take some shortcuts somewhere, folks. Check out the ingredients! I’m never guilty when I use this dressing!)

Combine all of the ingredients in a big bowl!! Toss well with dressing to coat!

For the Tilapia Tacos

  • 3 (4 oz) pieces of tilapia
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • The juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons H2O
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Avocado for garnish

Spray a medium skillet with some nonstick spray and place over medium high heat. Season the tilapia fillets with the spices and add to the skillet. Let the fillets cook for about 5 minutes before you try and flip them (It’s okay if they break apart a little, because you’ll flake the fish apart before serving! Am I smart or what?!) Once you’ve flipped the fish, add half of the lime juice, all of the lime zest, and the water and cover with a lid. Let cook about 3 minutes more or until the fish is cooked through. Remove from heat and flake the fish apart with a fork.

Warm your tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel for about 30 seconds.

To server, portion out the flaked fish in the warm tortillas. Top with avocado and remaining lime juice.

Serve with salad on the side OR you can get really fancy and put some of it INSIDE of the tacos, too!! Crazy!!

southwest slaw and tilapia tacos

Now don’t be shy!! Heck, even if your post isn’t brand new and you’ve got a real food recipe to share let’s see it!! Happy cooking and eating to all!!

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