Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Matballs

I had this really yummy lunch at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and haven't been able to get it out of my head.  So I finally decided to try and recreate it!  It was turkey meatballs, mashed potatoes, and these really great roasted veggies that I'll share a recipe for soon.  Complete comfort food and oh so yummy!  I decided to try making the meatballs in the crock pot and found a few recipes online to base them off of.  These were amazing, so so tasty and the sauce was really flavorful after the meatballs cooked in it all day!

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs
based off of Skinny Taste
mine yielded 14 meatballs (I would totally double this recipe if I were you!)

1 lb ground turkey breast 93% lean
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup fresh italian parsley, finely chopped
1 egg
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp kosher salt + fresh pepper
28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, egg, and seasonings.  Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients and form small meatballs without packing them too tight so they stay tender.  I got 14 meatballs.

Pour crushed tomatoes into the crock pot with garlic, onion, parsley, and salt & pepper.  Drop meatballs into the sauce, cover and set crock pot to low, 4 to 6 hours.  (Mine were perfect after 4 hours.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Brie Soup

I told you I had lots of soups coming!  This soup was great, but it honestly turned out really different than I was anticipating it!  I thought it would be really creamy and smooth and just taste like brie.  However, brie doesn't really melt like I thought.  It more stayed in chunks and you just got pieces of it in each bite.  It was delicious, very light and flavorful! 

Creamy Chicken and Brie Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3 cups raw spinach, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half
8 ounces brie cheese, torn/chopped into small pieces

Heat a large pot on medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and peppers with a sprinkle of salt and saute until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in spinach and garlic. Add butter, and once it melts whisk in flour to create a roux. Make sure you whisk all ingredients together.

Add chicken to the pot, along with milk and chicken stock. Allow soup to come to a simmer, then add brie and continue stirring until it all melts – about 5 minutes. Stir in half and half. Turn heat up high and let soup come to a boil, stirring every few minutes so cheese does not stick to the bottom. At this point, you may see some separate of stock/milk, but with a few stirs and time to simmer, the soup will come together.

Once soup boils, turn it down to a simmer and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

I knew these would be a great little one handed snack to have in the fridge and they were really yummy!  They really tasted more like dessert than something healthy!  Two of them held me over when I was a little hungry between meals and gave me some energy.  I would totally recommend doubling this recipe because these went way too quick.

last three left!

No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites
via How Sweet Eats
yields 15 bites

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup sliced almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons chia seeds (didn't have so I left these out)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup ground peanuts or ground almonds, to roll the balls in


Combine oats, almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir.

Melt peanut butter and allow it to cool slightly (I melted mine in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stirred), then stir in honey and vanilla extract until it's combined. Once peanut butter has cooled a bit, pour it over the oat mixture and mix well with a spoon then bring together with your hands. Once mixture is sticking together, fold in chocolate chips.

Roll dough into golf-ball sized (or slightly smaller) balls, then roll in ground peanuts or ground almonds. These can be eaten at room temp but we really like them stored in the fridge!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tortellini Spinach Bake w Creamy Lemon Sauce

This was amazing!  Every bite I kept saying mmmm, we loved it!  I later made it for a friend who just had a baby and also for my bible study group's freezer meal swap (it froze and reheated well I think!).  The lemon was such a bright surprise.  I added mushrooms in ours as well, but you can definitely leave that out if you wish.

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce
via Our Best Bites

12 oz bag Cheese Tortellini (I used frozen)
4 strips bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
¾ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy)
1 medium lemon
2 C loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped (I used 8 oz frozen, dethawed and squeezed water out)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
¾ C grated mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ C grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.  Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.

Place bacon and mushrooms in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat.  Cook until bacon is crisp.  Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.  Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest.  Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute.  Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth.  Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.

While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon.  Then cut lemon in half and remove juice.  Add 2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sauce.  (Note:  I really love lemon so I added this to my tastes.  If you don’t want as strong of a lemon flavor, I suggest cutting it down to 1 teaspoon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice) .  Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot.  Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture.  Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Add sauce and gently stir to combine.  Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout.  Remove from oven and serve!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

Ok, I can't claim that I found this recipe.  This was a freezer meal courtesy of my friend Sarah but it was too good not to share the recipe.  And since I made it twice in two weeks I figured I should post it!  These were incredible!  Can't believe how easy they were to throw together!  The chicken is so tender and flavorful!

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
via Sarah

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 jar salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 onion
soft tacos/tortillas
shredded cheese, optional
sour cream, optional

Slice peppers and onion.  Add chicken, veggies, salsa, and taco seasoning to crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.  Serve in tortillas with cheese and sour cream if desired.  Amazing!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spicy Roasted Corn Soup

I was eating lunch at Whole Foods with my friend Emily today and they had a corn and pablano chowder on their hot bar.  I had to try some because it reminded me of this soup I made a few weeks which was awesome!  (Guess I need to catch up on my blog posts!)  I had it pinned for a long time, but kept looking over it for some reason.  I'm so glad I finally made it because it was so so good.  Its a creamy soup, but not too thick at all.  It just had such great flavor.  The roasting of the corn really made the soup sweet with just a touch of spice from the jalopeno.  Yum!

Spicy Roasted Corn Soup

1 lb bag frozen white corn
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 lime
small bunch fresh chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to broiler.  Spread corn out on a baking sheet and also place jalopeno on pan.  Broil until golden, watching closely.  You will need to toss corn and also turn jalopeno.  The jalopeno might need more time after corn is golden.  I cooked the jalopeno until it was blackened on all sides. 
Next saute onion and celery in stockpot until softened in a touch of olive oil.  Add butter and flour and whisk until combined for about one minute.  Whisk in milk until combined.  Add in chicken stock, corn, and jalopeno.  Heat through.
Slowly add lime juice and stir so it won’t curdle.  Mix in cilantro, taste, and season if needed.
Garnish with avocado and serve with tortilla chips!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mini Spinach & Bacon Quiches

Another quick and easy one handed breakfast!  I saw a similar pin on pinterest, but when I clicked on the link it was a bad link, so I couldn't find the recipe!  I just based these off the recipe I used for these souffles.  These were great, really delicious.  They were so easy to throw together on Sunday and keep in the fridge to reheat quickly each morning.   You can add whatever you would like to make different combinations.  You could also use pie crust instead of crescent or even just make them crustless.

Mini Spinach & Bacon Quiches

1 package Cresent Rolls
5 Eggs
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
4 oz chopped Spinach (I used frozen, dethawed)
1/4 chopped Onion
1/4 chopped Red Pepper
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Milk or Half & Half
4 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray muffin tin with non stick cooking spray.  Unroll crescent rolls and tear them apart to fit the bottoms and sides of the 12 muffin tins (there are 8 in a package).  Mix remaining ingredients and pour them equally into the 12 muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Smoky White Bean Chicken Chili

I have been making a lot of soups and chilis lately so get ready for lots of good fall recipes!  I love making new things and mixing up classics and this recipe caught my eye immediately.  It sounded so warm and different.  It definitely was!  It was smokey and sweet and had a little bit of a kick.  Don't worry, if you don't like spicy, this one isn't really too spicy, so if you do, you may want to add more green chilis and spices!  

Smoky White Bean Chicken Chili
via Tasty Kitchen (from How Sweet Eats)

4 slices Bacon, Chopped
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 whole Rotisserie Chicken, Shredded Or Diced (or 4 chicken breasts like I used)
1 teaspoon Smoky Paprika
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Onion Powder Or Granulated Onion
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder Or Granulated Garlic
½ teaspoons Chipotle Chile Powder, Or To Taste
6 cups Chicken Stock Or Broth
1 can (28-ounce Size) Roasted, Diced Tomatoes
4 cans (14.5 Ounce Size) White Beans, Cannelini Or Great Northern
2 cans (4 Ounce Size) Diced Green Chiles
Salt And Pepper, to taste
½ cups Grated Cotija Cheese, Optional For Topping
¼ cups Chopped Fresh Cilantro, Optional For Topping

In a hot Dutch oven, cook bacon for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken, smoky paprika, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and chipotle to the pot and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes (covered) so that the chicken gets infused with the aromatics and the spices.

Stir in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, white beans, and green chiles. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a slow boil and cook, uncovered, stirring as needed until the liquid has reduced to your level of preference.

Add cotija cheese and chopped cilantro for topping if desired.

This is great with cornbread or a crusty bread and a salad.

Note: a can of the white beans can be reserved, pureed or well mashed, and then added to chili for thickening at the same time as the other beans are added to the chili.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

It seems like most of the time now a days I find myself only having one hand free and the other arm holding a sweet baby.  One handed pre-prepared breakfasts are great to have for mornings.  It makes life so much easier since I wake up starving and either have to eat quickly before feeding baby, or sometimes during, or right away after.  Its also super easy to grab for Corey as he is running out the door.  I've been making some muffins and even bagels, but needed some new ideas!  These were perfect because they couldn't have taken me more than 30 minutes to throw together and only take 2 minutes to heat up in the morning!  Just take them out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave.  I'm not going to lie, I think fresh eggs are definitely better than frozen ones, but these did the job and Corey said he didn't even notice a difference.

Freezer Bacon Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burritos
via Iowa Girl Eats
yields 8

6 strips bacon
12 eggs
salt & pepper
hot sauce, to taste
8 large (8″) flour tortillas
1/2 – 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup salsa

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, then chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Crack eggs into a large bowl, then season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Whisk until well beaten. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then spray generously with non-stick spray (or just use a drizzle of olive oil like I do).  Pour in eggs and scramble until set, but are still glossy. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Lay tortillas on a clean, dry surface. Divide eggs and bacon between the tortillas, then top with salsa and cheese. Fold over the top of each tortilla, then fold in the sides, and continue rolling to form a burrito. Wrap individually in plastic wrap, then freeze in a large freezer bag.

To reheat: unwrap and discard plastic wrap, then wrap burrito in a paper towel. Microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until hot.