Tagged: Dinner

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.

Feeding My Addiction

Let me tell you a little something about myself. It’s something some of you may already know about me. Some of you may not. Some people think it’s an addiction, though many of you may even share this addiction and not even know it. I’ve known some folks that have it much worse than I do. I’ve known people who couldn’t even leave the house without having some sort of backup on hand.

I’m talking… about FRANKS RED HOT!!

Seriously…what else would I be talking about?

I LOVE this stuff. I’ll put it on eggs. I’ll put it on pizza. And I cannot say no to anything with “Buffalo Chicken” in the name!

Sadly, though, most “Buffalo Chicken” recipes – dips, pastas, and pizzas – are LOADED with fat and calories that my thighs and I just don’t feel like dealing with. Loads of butter and blue cheese (Note: I NEVER use blue cheese…or ranch…with my buffalo anything.  I want to experience the heat – I don’t want to tame it with yucky, fatty dressing. Also note…I hate blue cheese. It helps. ) or globs of ranch dressing just aren’t appealing to me.

So what’s a girl to do??

Healthify it! (Obviously.)

I recently stumbled across what appears to be a spectacularly popular food blog you may or may not have heard of – Iowa Girl Eats. Kristin’s philosophy is fantastic “Eat Well, Run Often, Travel Far.” That’s something I can totally relate to. I can also totally relate to her post – Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Mac and Cheese. And by relate to her post – I mean use it for inspiration and make my own deliciously, outstandingly, amazingly, life changing recipe you will find below.

Anyone out there never have quinoa before? It’s really quite delightful. Contrary to what some may say, quinoa is not “technically” a grain. It’s actually a seed! Whodathunkit?! It’s also the only “whole grain” that is a complete protein – which means it has all 9 essential amino acids the human body cannot produce but needs to function. *KNOWLEDGE* It has a subtle, nutty flavor when it’s plain but it’s super versatile! You can cook it up just like rice (if you’re like me that means really carefully while staring at the covered pot praying it doesn’t stick to the bottom…hopefully you’re not like me) and use it in recipes from breakfast, to salad, to THIS:

Buffalo Chicken Mac Quinoa and Cheese

·         1 ½ cups dry, uncooked quinoa
·         2 cups water or chicken stock
·         2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
·         2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces
·         2 tablespoons flour (or gf flour of your choice)
·         2 tablespoons granulated garlic
·         Salt and Pepper to taste
·         4 tablespoons Franks Red Hot
·         ¼ cup nonfat milk
·         ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
·         2-3 scallions, chopped
Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.
(This is what ever other basic quinoa preparation recipes  says – I don’t have a fine mesh strainer, so I lined my pasta strainer with a few paper towels so the quinoa wouldn’t fall through and rinsed it that way. )
Add  1 teaspoon of olive oil to a small pot and add the quinoa. Sauté over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes until the quinoa becomes fragrant.  Add your water or chicken stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about  10 minute with the lid on before fluffing with a fork.
While your quinoa is cooking, season your chicken with garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss with flour (or gf flour) to coat. Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and cook on medium high heat until the chicken is golden brown on all sides.  Reduce the heat to low and add the hot sauce. Stir to coat and add the milk to the pan. Stir everything well to combine and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. (If you boil the nonfat milk, it may start to separate. It may even look a little funky when you first add it to the pan but it’ll all smooth out once you mix in the cheese.) Add ½ cup shredded cheese and half of the scallions to the pan. Stir everything to combine. Add  the cooked quinoa and stir everything  until the quinoa is incorporated.
Transfer to a greased oven safe baking dish (or if you’re lucky like I am and have an oven safe skillet ignore that statement completely) top with remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheese and scallions. Pop the pan under the broiler until the cheese is melted and brown.
IN THEORY this recipe makes four substantial dinner portions…unless you’re like me and hover over the pan with a fork before it’s even cool enough to eat and shovel half of it down your throat immediately. (Note – this will be hot and you will burn your mouth if you use this technique!)

Serve and rejoice in cheesy,  HEALTHY, buffalo chicken glory!

buffalo chicken quinoa

 

It’s Over!

“But Jen, to what could you possibly be referring??”
I’m so glad you asked!
Winter.

Winter is over and Spring has finally arrived!!

Now that it’s official, I have decided to share with you the things that I like the least about Winter.

  1. The cold. I’m always freezing and when it’s freezing outside, too, there is no hope for a warm Jen.
  2. The snow. Pennsylvania drivers in the snow. Because they stink. Period.
  3. Shivering under three comforters at night. Basements get super cold, ya know.
  4. Wearing socks every day.

I. Hate. Wearing. Socks.

^^^ Sockless Comic Book Jen ^^^

I guess it’s only fair to also share what I’m going to miss most about Winter, right? Sooooo…..

  1. Using “being cold” as an excuse to drink excessive amounts of hot chocolate.
  2. Watching Quincy in the snow for the first time. First he was scared of it…and then he ate it.
  3. Making soup for dinner. (because I am the only person on the planet who would be perfectly content eating soup every night forever)
  4. Making fun of people in marshmallow jackets – because they look silly.

[I would LOVE to hear what you will and won’t be missing about the winter, too! leave comments!]

Now that I’ve said my formal farewell to Winter, I am so super excited that Spring is finally here!! Today, I decided to celebrate it’s arrival with a light, simple springy dinner. Now that I’ve shared with you my bare feet, I’m certain you’re starving!

Simple Chicken Cutlets

& Deconstructed Pesto Pasta

For the Chicken Cutlets:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • 1 lemon (use the zest for the pasta)

For the Deconstructed Pesto Pasta:

  • 1 box whole wheat linguine  (or whatever you enjoy)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula, chopped
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Start with the chicken. It’s best for chicken cutlets to have a nice, thin piece of chicken. If your chicken is on the thick side, you’ll want to place your chicken on a cutting board and top with a piece of parchment paper. Whack it mercilessly with a heavy object – like a small frying pan – until each breast is about 1/4 inch thick, like so. (NOTE: Good to make after a bad day 🙂 )

*WHACK*  *POW* *THWAP* *ZONK*

(sorry, comic book Jen got a liiiiitttle carried away. back to your regularly scheduled recipe.)

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

Combine the flour, parmesan, pepper, and garlic in a shallow dish. Combine the egg and the water in a separate dish. Dredge the chicken breasts first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, then back in the flour mixture. Gently fry the chicken in small batches (two at a time is good) on each side until golden brown. Place chicken onto an ungreased sheetpan and place into your preheated oven while you finish cooking the rest of them.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta to package directions. Before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside.

Once pasta is drained, leave it in your colander (drainer, strainer, whatever ya call it),  and heat olive oil, garlic and lemon zest  right in the pasta pot. Return drained pasta to the pot. Toss in the basil, arugula and walnuts. If it seems stiff, add the reserved pasta water. Add the parmesan immediately before serving.

Remove chicken from the oven and squeeze half of the lemon over top.
Serve immediately… with lemon slices if you’re feeling fancy!

Me, I’m always feeling fancy. 🙂