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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

{Easy Chicken Chili}

With Thanksgiving being next weekend (Gasp) I really should be focused on sharing Thanksgiving inspired dishes with you... but I am sometimes a procrastinator, and the weather has turned bitterly cold (well colder then it has been)... so I thought it would be best to share this delicious White Chicken Chili recipe with you!

I am guilty of making chili once a week in the winter time, so to me I can never have to many delicious recipes to circulate and choose from.

I love this recipe because big chunks of chicken are subbed in for ground turkey/chicken, and the beans help make the chili extra thick!  I add lots and lots of veggies for added bulk and amped up the spice with a  jalapeno, omit if you would like a milder chili!  This chili really does get better with time which means this chili makes perfect leftovers!  Round out the meal with a salad, crackers or crusty bread for dipping and shredded cheese for some melty goodness!  You could even serve this chili with your favorite whole grain tortilla chips!

Easy Chicken Chili
Brunch N'Cupcakes - Inspired by My Dad
Serves 6-8

4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth 
1 Large Onion Roughly Chopped
1 Red Pepper Chopped 
1 Jalapeno Seeded and Chopped 
1 Cup Frozen Corn 
5 Garlic Cloves - Minced
1 Cup Matchstick Carrots 
1 - 15 Oz. Can Fire Roasted
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder 
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika and Cumin 
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Cup Fresh Cilantro Minced 
About 2 Cups Shredded Cooked Chicken 
1 - 15 Oz Can Garbanzo Beans 
1-15 Oz Can Great Northern Beans 

1- In a large pot coated with cooking spray saute onion, pepper, jalapeno and carrots until tender (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic and cook until fragrant. 
2- Add chicken broth, fire roasted tomatoes, and spices to the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling add chicken and corn to the pot.  Reduce heat and let chili simmer for 20 minutes covered. 
3- Remove lid stir in garbanzo beans, great northern beans and cilantro.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  
Serve with Greek Yogurt, Tortilla Chips/Crackers/Bread, Cheese, Hot Sauce, and Avocado slices,

Check out these other great chili recipes from around the web! 
Cafe Latte Chicken Salsa Chili - Featured on Minneapolis Runner
Fast Chicken Chili - Cooking Light 
5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili - Gimme Some Oven 


Friday, November 13, 2015

{Parmesan and Ricotta One Pot Vegetable Pasta}

Thanksgiving is just two weeks away!  Can you believe it?!  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it is Mid November already, mainly because we have had some of the craziest weather here in Minnesota... I am talking 60+ degrees, that is just unheard of!

But now that the weather is beginning to be more "Fall/Winter" like I find myself craving warm delicious dinners that are both comforting and nutritious.

I am craving things like this ridiculously creamy Parmesan and Ricotta One Pot Vegetable Pasta.  This pasta dish is light and packed with vegetables.   But it will still satisfy your want or shall I see need for a delicious creamy pasta!  The best part about this dish... you only have to dirty one pot, and everything literally cooks together (well minus the cheese, you need to add that at the end)!  Feel free to toss in some chicken or white beans for a little protein!  I love serving big bowls of this pasta up with a simple spinach salad, makes for a perfect meal!

Parmesan and Ricotta One Pot Vegetable Pasta
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 6-8 

1 Large Onion Chopped 
2 Cups Broccoli Florets 
1 Cup Match Stick Carrots 
6 Garlic Cloves Minced 
1/3 Cup Frozen Peas 
1 - 14 Oz Box Whole Grain Penne (I use Barrilla)
4 Cups Chicken Broth 
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning 
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/3 Cup Fresh Basil - Roughly Chopped 
1/3 Cup Part Skim Ricotta Cheese 
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 

1- In a large pot combine vegetables, Penne Noodles, Chicken Broth and Italian Seasoning.  Bring to Boil. 
2- When mixture comes to a boil reduce heat and cover pot with a lid.  Let cook for 7-10 minutes (stiring occasionally so noodles don't stick) until the noodles and vegetables are tender, and broth is almost absorbed (you want a little left over to help make the sauce)
3- Stir in ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and basil.  Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and serve. 

Serving Suggestions: 
Serve with additional shredded Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, or a simple spinach salad. 


Check out these other great one pot dishes from around the web:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

{Spicy Brown Rice Enchilada Bake}

This Spicy Brown Rice Enchilada bake is seriously delicious, I have made it twice this month (within the same week even), and I am making it again this weekend for Halloween!  Yes, I am obsessed with this one pot wonder meal, and I think you will be too!   

This enchilada bake is ooey, gooey and cheesy!  Packed with tons of flavor and veggies.  But the best part about this dish is you can assemble it the night before, and then toss it in the oven the next night for 15-20 minutes and voila, you have dinner!  Oh, and there is no stuffing tortillas with filling either, that's pretty great too! 

I adapted this recipe from Damn Delicious’ Enchilada Quinoa Bake.  Since Derek is not a huge quinoa fan I decided to use brown rice in place of the quinoa.  I added sautéed onion, pepper, and jalapeno to up the veggie factor and added some salsa into the mix for extra heat!  Yummo!  I served up this enchilada bake with my favorite Southwest Chop Salad, Greek Yogurt, Extra Salsa, Avocado, and Tortilla Chips!  So yummy, it would even make a great Taco filling.

Spicy Brown Rice Enchilada Bake  
Brunch N'Cupcakes - Inspired by Damn Delicious 
Serves 6-8

1 Cup Brown Rice (Dry)
1 Red or Yellow Pepper
1/2 Large Onion Chopped
1 Jalapeno Chopped
1 Cup Corn
1 Cup Black Beans
1 - 10 Oz Can Enchilada Sauce
1 can Mild Green Chilies
1/3 Cup Favorite Salsa
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
3/4 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Chopped Tomatoes, Greek Yogurt, Avocado Slices, Salsa and Sriracha for serving

1- Cook rice according to package directions.
2- While rice cooks saute chopped onion, jalapeno, pepper and garlic until tender.
3- Once rice is cooked and veggies are tender combine together in a large bowl with corn, black beans, enchilada sauce, green chilies, salsa, spices, mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese(reserve the remaining cheddar to sprinkle over the top). 
4- Stir until everything is well mixed together. 
5- Pour the rice mixture into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese (1/2 Cup) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

Serve immediately with additional salsa, sour cream/Greek Yogurt, avocado slices, tomatoes and tortilla chips.

Check out these other delicious enchilada recipes from around the web:

Chicken Enchilada Casserole - Cooking Light 
Sweet Potato Enchilada Skillet - Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake - Two Peas and Their Pod 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

{Cheesy Broccoli and Spinach Strata}

Hi Friends, I am going to be honest with you for a moment… 
There are weeks (they are rare though) when I simply do not want to go to the grocery store, and the sheer thought of meal prepping makes my head hurt!  There I said it!  But it is during those very rare weeks that I make it my mission to use up all the random leftover we have in our fridge and cabinets to make our weekly meals (I kinda like the challenge)!  

This comforting Cheesy Broccoli and Spinach Strata was the outcome of one of those rare I don’t want to go to the grocery store type weeks!  And you know what, I am completely OK with that, because this Strata is the bomb!  

Is there anything better then thick bread that has been piled high with veggies and cheese before finally being baked to bubbly cheese perfection?  Well, cupcakes and peanut butter might bet better but this strata rates right up there with both (I am a carb lover by nature)!  This delicious pan of cheesy baked goodness is so simple to prepare.  Throw everything together the night before, let the strata sit overnight in the fridge and then bake it up for dinner (or brunch) the next day.  Simple and delicious.  Oh and did I mention that this dish is healthy?  Because it is! 

Cheesy Broccoli and Spinach Strata 
Brunch N'Cupcakes Inspired by Cooking Light 
Serves 8 

8 Cups Sour Dough Bread cut into 1 inch cubes ( I used week old Great Harvest Sour Dough) 
2 Cups Spinach 
1 Onion Diced 
2 Cups Broccoli 
1 1/2 Cup Egg Substitute or Liquid Egg Whites 
1 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk 
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese 
3/4 Cup Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese 
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning 
2 Teaspoons Garlic 
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 
Cooking Spray

1 - in a large bowl toss bread crumbs with 1/2 tablespoon of the Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon garlic powder.  Then evenly spread seasoned bread crumbs in the bottom of a well greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
2- In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Saute onions until translucent add broccoli to skillet and cook until tender 7-8 minutes.  Add spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted.  Evenly spread the vegetable mixture over the cubed bread.  
3- Sprinkle top of veggies evenly with Parmesan and cheddar cheese. 
4- Whisk together almond milk, egg whites, remaining Italian seasoning, remaining garlic, salt and pepper.  Carefully and evenly pour milk and egg mixture over veggies and bread.  Cover strata and place in refrigerator for 8 hours. 

To bake: 
1- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
2- Bake strata uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until bubbly and cooked through.  

Serve with simple salad or fruit for a complete meal!  Perfect for an easy meatless Monday meal or delicious as apart of a beautiful brunch spread! 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

{Classic Two Bean Turkey Chili}

If you follow me on Instagram you know that yesterday I was excited about two things.  1- When workout clothes can double as work clothes, and 2- that Mother Nature finally got the memo that it is supposed to be Fall and finally sent some cooler weather to Minnesota!  Hallelujah!

Although in my little world it has been Fall for the past few weeks, despite the 80 degree weather we have been having.  Yup, I have been enjoying all things pumpkin, gotten the itch to decorate our house for Fall/Halloween, have been swooning over my new Fall clothing just waiting for cooler weather, and munching on this delicious Classic Two Bean Turkey Chili (while pretending it was cool outside)! 

Speaking of this chili... it is hands down delicious!  You can never have to many chili recipes in my opinion.  I think I could honestly eat chili all winter here in MN and be completely happy.  I love whipping up a big batch on the weekend and enjoying the leftovers all week.  Makes for easy week night meals, and great work lunches.  Plus the longer chili sits the more the flavors develop and come together.  What I love about this recipe is how classic and comforting it is!  Two types of beans combined with lean ground turkey make for a comforting Fall meal.  I amped up the veggies in this chili by adding peppers and matchstick carrots!  Cocoa powder and cinnamon give this chili great depth and a little agave lends sweetness to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.  Derek thought this might be his favorite chili that I have whipped up... you know what that means... it must be good!  Serve this chili up with your favorite chili toppings (I like Greek Yogurt, sriracha, and jalapenos), and your favorite bread or cornbread!  Enjoy!

Classic Two Bean Turkey Chili 
Brunch N'Cupcakes - Inspired by Cooking Light 
Serves 6-8 

1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey 
1-15 Oz. Can Red Kidney Beans - Rinsed and Drained 
1-15 Oz Can Pinto Beans - Rinsed and Drain 
4 Cups Chicken Broth 
2 - 15 Oz. Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes 
1 Medium Onion Chopped 
1 Jalapeno Pepper Seeded and Chopped 
1 Red Pepper Chopped 
1 Cup Matchstick Carrots 
4 Cloves Garlic Minced 
1 Tablespoon Agave 
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 
1 Tablespoon Cumin and Chili Powder 
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon 

1- In a large stock pot coated with cooking spray saute onion, pepper, carrots and jalapeno pepper until tender.  
2- Add ground turkey to the pot, along with chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cinnamon.  Cook until turkey is cooked through.  
3- Once turkey is cooked add fire roasted tomatoes, agave, chicken broth, and cocoa powder to pot.  Bring to boil.  Once chili is boiling reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  
4- Stir in beans cook an additional 5 minutes and serve! 


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

{Loaded Veggie Baguette Pizza with Feta and Mozzarella}

This past weekend was a great one, one for the books!  My dear friend and Sorority sister (Go, Tri Delta) Kate came into town to visit Derek and I, and we had an absolute blast showing Kate around Stillwater (the city we call home), Hudson and Minneapolis!   We chatted, laughed, shopped, laughed some more, ate great food, enjoyed the perfect MN weather (most beautiful Fall weekend we have had), and just enjoyed life!  

I also ran my third half marathon this past weekend, the City of Lakes Half around beautiful Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Kate, Derek, Miranda (my sister) and my parents were the best cheerleaders a girl could ask for!  They had cow bells, signs and cheered louder than anyone I know, you guys rock  and helped me achieve an unbelievable PR.  I ended up beating my last half time by 6 whole minutes which left me in shock!  I ran my third half in 1:40 and it honestly still blows my mind, hard work, dedication and lots of training def. paid off!  Such a great weekend!

Wanna know another highlight of the weekend?  This fantastic veggie loaded baguette pizza!  Super yummy, easy to make and a great light dinner (or app).  I was inspired by ­­­Espresso and Cream after she posted a picture on Instagram.   I topped my baguette pizza with tons of veggies, a little mozzarella, feta and fresh basil!  End results, delicious pizza that takes no time to make! 

Loaded Veggie Baguette Pizza with Feta and Mozzarella
Brunch N'Cupcakes - Inspired by this Recipe 
Serves 6-8 (smaller portions) 

1- Baguette cut in half width wise
1/2 a Medium Zucchini Cut in half and thinly sliced 
1/2 Cup Chopped Red or Yellow Pepper 
1/3 Cup Onion Chopped 
4 Garlic Cloves Minced 
1/3 Cup Part Skim Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbles 
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
1 Teaspoon Pepper 
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil 
1/2-1 Cup Favorite Marinara Sauce 

1- In a medium bowl toss veggies with minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. 
2- Spread each baguette half (cut side up) with equal amounts of marinara sauce. 
3- Pile veggies on top of each baguette half and cook in a 375 degree oven for 12 minutes. 
4- Pull pizza from oven, top each baguette half with mozzarella and feta cheese and return pizza to oven.  Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.  Once cheese has melted broil on high for 2 minutes or just until cheese begins to brown but not burn.  Top finished pizza with fresh basil and serve! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

{Coconut Curry Lentil Soup}

There must be a little switch within me that triggers my senses to crave everything Fall once September hits! 

September is here and I am already looking forward to cooler days where I can bundle up in sweaters and boot.  The thought of going to the apple orchard for fresh Honey Crisp apples makes me giddy, and I want everything pumpkin.  I am dying to see the leaves changes colors and I long for crisp Autumn evenings that are just cool enough to sit outside on the patio with a big blanket, cup of tea and good magazine.  Yes, to say I am over this hot summer weather is an understatement… give me Fall!

September in my mind also kicks off soup making season!  There is nothing better then a warm bowl of soup on a chilly Minnesota Fall evening!  So despite the fact that we have had days where we experience 80 degree temps I have been whipping up soup over here like winter is coming!  This Coconut Curry Lentil soup is full of flavor and just what you need on a crisp fall day.  This soup is thick and hearty thanks to the lentils and sweet potato, and the curry adds a nice warming effect!  I snuck in some kale to up green factor, and you know what Derek didn't mind!  Serve with crackers or your favorite hearty bread to make it a meal.   

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 8 

2 - 15 Oz. Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes 
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste 
1 - 15 Oz. Can Light Coconut Milk - I used Trader Joe's 
1 Cup Chicken Broth 
1 Cup Green Lentils 
1 Medium Carrot Chopped 
1/2 Large Onion Chopped 
1 Medium Sweet Potato Peeled and CHopped 
1 Large Zucchini Roughly Chopped 
2 Garlic Gloves Minced 
2 Cups Roughly Chopped Kale 
1/2 Tablespoon Curry Powder 
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin and Chili Powder 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 
1 Tablespoon Agave 

1- In a large stock pot coated with cooking spray saute veggies until tender - about 7 minutes. 
2- Add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, spices, agave and lentils to stock pot.  Bring to boil. 
3- Once soup is boiling reduce heat and cover pot with a lid.  Allow soup to simmer on stove for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender. 
4- Gently stir in coconut milk and kale and cook until kale has wilted.  Serve with crackers or your favorite bread! 

Other great soups from around the web: