Chicken Tortilla Chili

Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite comfort foods! Chicken breasts, corn, beans, and other delicious ingredients are simmered in a tomato base. Top this delicious soup with crispy homemade tortilla strips, avocado, lime, and cilantro for the perfect Mexican-inspired soup!

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of your favorite Chicken Broth, I used reduced sodium
  • Can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
  • 1 lb of cooked chicken, shredded or chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes

Directions:

  • In a blender or a food processor, combine 2 cups chicken broth with one can of cannellini beans. Blend until smooth.
  • In a large pot, over medium heat, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add onion, pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add reserved chicken broth mix, remaining chicken broth, beans, cooked chicken, spices and tomatoes.
  • Bring in a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Top with your favorite toppings; cilantro, sliced green onion, sour cream and shredded cheese.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini Brownies are rich, chocolaty, and a favorite dessert! You will never know they are made with zucchini! 

I love baking with zucchini. You start with a green vegetable and end with a decadent dessert. Zucchini really is a magic ingredient. Zucchini makes these brownies extra special.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini don’t squeeze out the moisture
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips divided

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, combine sugar, oil, and flour, combine until mixture resembles wet sand. It will be dry looking and that is ok. While mixing, on low, add cocoa, shredded zucchini, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined. The mixture will moisten once the zucchini is added. Stir in one cup of the chocolate chips.
  • Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the brownies are set.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut brownies into squares and serve.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars are a simple & delicious ripe banana recipe that’s even better than banana bread! Great for breakfast, lunch, snack time and even dessert!

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bars is my favorite banana recipe ever. They are delicious, filling, and your whole family will love them. I like to bake a batch, cut them into squares and freeze them individually for when we’re on-the-go! They’re chock full of bananas and I use whole wheat flour to make them more filling. I know the addition of cinnamon may seem a little different, but I encourage you to try it. It adds just a nice pop of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 5 very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil any type- I use coconut
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 15×10.5? pan with non-stick spray.
  • Peel bananas and mash well. Stir in brown sugar, oil, milk and eggs until combined. Add in dry ingredients and stir. Fold in 1/2 the chocolate chips.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake 18-22 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Juicy Baked Pork Chops. . . .

. . . . with a Super Simple Marinade!

These baked pork chops are the best oven baked pork chops ever! They are so easy to make, super juicy, and flavorful. Rub them with a few pantry staple spices and pop them into the oven for 20 minutes and dinner will be ready!

The biggest ‘trick’ to making oven baked pork chops is to not overcook them. Since pork chops are lean meat, they will dry out if you leave them in the oven for too long.

Here’s an easy way to know exactly how long you should cook your chops:

In a 400 degree oven, boneless pork chops need to cook for 7 minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness. If you are using bone-in pork chops, add an extra minute for each 1/2 inch. The best way to tell if they are fully cooked is using a instant read meat thermometer. I use this one, to make sure I don’t overcook any meat that I am cooking. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp EACH: onion powder & garlic powder
  • 1 tsp EACH: salt, pepper, and oregano
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 4 – boneless pork chops

Directions:

  • Turn your oven to 400 degrees
  • In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano.
  • Drizzle the 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over both sides of the pork chops. Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over both sides of the pork chops and place them in a baking dish.
  • Bake the pork chops for 20 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you remove them from the oven, let them rest in the pan for 5 minutes before serving. Pair with your favorite sides!

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Lasagna Soup

This quick and healthy lasagna soup recipe has all the comforting flavors of classic lasagna with plenty of tomatoes, Italian turkey sausage and lasagna noodles broken into bite-size bits. A dollop of mozzarella and Parmesan adds a creamy finishing touch. Serve this soup with a green salad and crusty bread to sop up what’s left in the bowl for an easy healthy dinner that’s ready in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion 
  • 6 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can no-salt added crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups water 
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ½ lasagna noodles (about 6 ounces), preferably whole-wheat, broken into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Push onions to one side of the pot and add sausage to the other side. Cook, breaking up the sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste is heated through, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, broth, sugar and salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Add lasagna noodles and stir to separate. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just cooked through but not completely soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
  • Meanwhile, combine ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Top each serving with a dollop of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with basil.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Chicken Pot Pie with Tater Tots

Now, hear me out…….who doesn’t love a good meal that uses up leftover cooked chicken or turkey and throwing some crispy baked tater tots right on top?? This hearty, stew-like soup is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken or turkey–and a perfect excuse to indulge in crispy, puffy tater tots. This is a super easy dinner recipe that doesn’t take much time from start to finish and is sure to be a hit with the whole family. It is a hearty, wholesome, and a delicious winter-time meal.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups frozen potato tots
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery 
  • ½ cup chopped onion 
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place potato tots on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in broth, chicken (or turkey), garlic powder, onion powder. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in peas and half-and-half.
  • Arrange the potato tots over the surface of the soup. Serve topped with parsley.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Banana Breakfast ‘Cookie’ Bar

Banana Breakfast Cookie Bar is a wholesome, yummy breakfast on-the-go…plus they’re naturally sweetened, gluten-free, and perfect for using up those ripe bananas!

I mean, who doesn’t want a ‘COOKIE’ for Breakfast?!?!…….I’ll wait.

These oatmeal banana cookie bars are loaded with chopped nuts, peanut butter, and sweetened with a touch of honey and cinnamon. They’re easy to make, healthy, and downright addictive.

This is a great recipe for your ‘how-am-I-going-to-use-up-all-of-these-ripe-bananas‘ file. AND – I’m the only one who eats bananas in my household so I’m always looking for different ways to use those extra overripe bananas I have.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana, from approximately 2 large or 3 medium overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, or your favorite nut or non-nut butter, like almond butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, or your favorite nut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins, optional

Directions:

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Measure oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; whisk to combine. Stir in mashed banana, peanut butter, honey, vanilla, pecans, and chocolate chips. Spread dough into a shallow cake pan. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Allow ‘cookies’ to cool completely on baking sheet before storing in an airtight container.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Pumpkin Pie English Muffin Bake

Brunch is arguably the best meal of week… wait, no, the best meal of the day! But if you’re having brunch every day, you are doing life right. This festive brunch dish will fill your kitchen with delicious scents of spices and pumpkin while it’s baking. No need to light your favorite seasonal candle. This dish is perfect for when you have to feed a crowd and want to get some of the preparation out of the way the night before.

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole-wheat English muffins, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 firm apples, I used Honey Crisp
  • 3/4 cup raisins, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups low-fat or almond milk
  • 1 15 oz can unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray
  • Place English muffins pieces on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted.
  • Combine apples, raisins and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the English muffin pieces and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, spreading into a single layer.
  • Whisk eggs, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour over bread mixture until all ingredients are submerged. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  • Bake casserole at 350 degrees until browned and a little crispy around the edges – 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Simply Creamy Chicken Risotto

This cheesy skillet rice dish doesn’t require hours standing over the stove, constantly stirring, the way traditional Italian recipes do, but the result is just as rich, satisfying but most of all – delicious. Adding tender chunks of white meat chicken and asparagus make it a balanced meal that’s ready in under one hour and only uses a single pan, so you won’t waste time on cleanup. Mushroom and roasted garlic flavors enhance the savory Parmesan cream sauce that coats every grain of rice in this Simple Creamy Chicken Risotto, and a sprinkling of fresh basil on top makes the meal really pop.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 can Condensed Cream of Mushroom
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat half the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until well browned and done.  Remove the chicken from the skillet, cover and keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the remaining butter and heat until melted.  Add the rice and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until the rice is lightly browned.
  • Stir in the soup and broth and heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cover and cook for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir in the asparagus, 2 tablespoons basil and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is hot, stirring often.  Season to taste.  Sprinkle with the remaining basil and cheese before serving.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!

Graveyard Chicken Dip

This is a great meal for a Halloween party or get-together. It’s spooky, funny, and delicious at the same time. Made with melty Monterey Jack Cheese and spicy enchilada sauce, it’s definitely addictive.

Grab your chips and get to dippin’!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 oz can green chiles
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine pepper jack, enchilada sauce, rotisserie chicken, cream cheese, green chilis, and taco seasoning.
  • Transfer dip to a cast-iron skillet and bake until warmed through and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make tortilla graves: Cut tortillas into grave shapes and place on a baking sheet. Bake until sturdy, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Top dip with shredded lettuce and insert graves. Serve with tortilla chips.

Enjoy – see you in the Kitchen!