Stuffed Peppers

I’ve tried a few different stuffed peppers recipes and this one is probably my favorite.

Here are some adjustments I made to this recipe:

  • I added a couple cloves of chopped garlic
  • I used turkey sausage. When I used two sausage links I felt like it needed more “meat to veggie” ratio so I ended up using 4 links, instead of 2. This actually made enough extra stuffing for 2 or 3 more peppers.

A couple notes**

Using instant rice is a MUST so that the rice cooks all the way through.

If you have extra stuffing and not enough peppers, just stick the rest of the stuffing in the dish and bake it. The stuffing is delicious enough to eat it on it’s own!

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STUFFED PEPPERS

Ingredients:

  • 4 peppers (I used a variety of colors)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • The tops of the 4 peppers, diced
  • 3/4 cup instant rice
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 3 Italian sausages
  • 1 tsp steak spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • About 3/4 cup shredded cheese
Instructions:
  • Cut the top off of the 4 peppers, clean out the innards, and place into a dish that will hold them all tightly.
  • Into a frying pan, squeeze out the sausage from the casing, and saute with the onions, diced peppers and carrots until well cooked (I didnt add garlic, and after eating them I might add a clove or two next time).
  • Add the can of tomatoes, rice and spices and mix to combine all ingredients.
  • Scoop into the peppers, press well and fill to the top.
  • Cover in tinfoil, bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
  • Remove foil, top with cheese and cook for another 15 min.

Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Jalapeño Popper Chicken?? I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. It is in the oven as speak and I cannot wait to consume it!! Here’s some things you should know about this recipe:
1. The amount of heat is controllable by how many of the Jalapeño seeds you leave in.
2. I’ve posted a picture of Kraft Fresh Take in case you’ve never heard of it before. I think the Cheddar Jack with Bacon and Four Cheese would work best.
3. The recipe can be made on a baking sheet without the metal rack (that’s what I did). The reason why this person used a metal rack was because she figured out that it helped to keep the bottom part crispy instead of getting soggy.
final ingredients

JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN

Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Pckg of Kraft Fresh Take
  • 4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 4 oz Kraft Shredded Cheddar
  • 3 Jalapeños
Instructions 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Dice jalapeños – the more seeds you keep, the spicier it will be
  3. Mix jalapeños with cream cheese and shredded cheddar
  4. Butterfly the chicken and stuff with equal portions of jalapeño mixture
  5. Coat with Kraft Fresh Take
  6. Place chicken on a metal rack over a baking sheet
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until thickest part of chicken is no longer pink

Pizzadilla

What the heck is Pizzadilla?? Well, it’s a cross between a pizza and a quesadilla! I love this dish because it is much healthier than regular pizza. The recipe is shown in pictures because I think it’s pretty self explanatory (and easy!). The great thing is, you can add whatever you like! I used Mission’s Whole Wheat Carb Balance tortillas and turkey pepperoni. For the marinara sauce, I just bought sauce that was pre-made. I made this for dinner tonight but I was also thinking it would be good to make ahead of time for lunch to take to work. So does it taste more like pizza? Or more like a quesadilla? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

*Click on image to see it larger

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Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

I guess I have been deprived most my life because I didn’t know that tater tot casserole existed until my husband and I went to dinner at a friends house. It was love at first bite. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Not only did the picture make me drool, but I love the fact that it is cooked in the slow cooker-you know me! In an attempt to make it a little bit healthier, I used turkey bacon and 1% milk. Green beans also served as a perfect side. Enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole 2 (thecountrycook.net)

CHEESY CHICKEN TATER TOT CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

1 (32 oz.) bag frozen tater tots
1 (3 oz.)bag bacon pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Layer half of the frozen tater tots on the bottom of the slow cooker.
Sprinkle with 1/3 of the bacon pieces.
Now top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
Add diced chicken on top.
Season with salt & pepper.
Now add 1/3 of the bacon pieces and another 1/3 of shredded cheese.
Put the rest of the frozen tater tots on top.
Finish with the remaining 1/3 cheddar cheese and remaining 1/3 of bacon pieces.
Pour 3/4 cup milk all over the top.

Cover and cook on low about 4-6 hours.
Please note: Some slow cookers run at different temperatures. If you are using an older slow cooker (older than about 6 years old), your cooking time may take longer. Newer models run a bit hotter so keep an eye on this around the 4 hour mark.  You want to make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly (to 165F degrees).

Penne with Chicken and Pistachio Pesto

I feel like things have been getting busier and busier as the months roll on. I’m volunteering in two programs on top of working. Fortunately by the time Tyler gets home, the school district I work for will be on summer break so hopefully life won’t get too crazy.

All this just gives me even more reason to continue seeking out dinners that are easy to make, like this recipe I’m about to share. I love pesto sauce. I think it’s something that is light and healthy but still full of flavor. I enjoy this particular recipe because instead of traditional pine nuts, pistachios are used. This pesto has a nice creamy and nutty balance that really compliments the chicken and pasta.

**Note: I don’t own a food processor, I just combined all the pesto ingredients into my Magic Bullet and it came out great! Secondly, take into consideration that the recipe assumes you have pre-cooked chicken. With that in mind, if you don’t have any pre-cooked chicken make sure to cook some chopped chicken up before you start putting everything together. I flavor it simply with salt and pepper.

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PENNE WITH CHICKEN AND PISTACHIO PESTO

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves (I pack mine tightly)
  • About ½ cup olive oil (I like to stir in up to ¼ cup more after the pesto has been processed)
  • ½ cup pistachios, toasted in a dry pan for 2 – 3 minutes on medium heat until fragrant. Cool slightly before processing with basil leaves
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt to taste
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Juice of about half a lemon
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 cooked chicken breast halves, diced
  • Radish sprouts or fresh arugula for garnish (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Put all basil, garlic and pistachios in a food processor and process until the basil and pistachios are in small bits but not too fine, just a few seconds. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and add salt, to taste. I like to add more olive oil at this stage. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. To prepare the dish, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente (a few minutes sooner than indicated on the package). Drain and toss with the diced chicken and pesto sauce (you may not need all of the pesto). Top with radish sprouts if you wish.

 

Chicken Fajita Pizza

I know I have been slacking on this. In fact, I guiltily admit that I have mostly been living off of Subway. But now my school district is on spring break for two weeks so I thought this would be a good time to catch up on my cooking!

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it sounded and looked scrumptious. I like pizza, but my husband LOVES pizza. If he could eat one food for the rest of his life, it would probably be pizza. He knows that pizza isn’t my favorite choice for dinner, so when we do eat it, it is usually to curb his craving. However, this recipe looked so good that I had to try it. This pizza was DELICIOUS! Probably one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. Salsa in place of marinara sauce?? Brilliant! I also love that this pizza is not greasy but rather fresh and full of flavor! This is one recipe that I suggest you try STAT!!

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CHICKEN FAJITA PIZZA

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. (2) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 (12-inch) prepared pizza crust

2 cups chunky-style salsa

2 cups (8 oz.) 4 Cheese Mexican Blend

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained

1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices

2 Tbsp. sliced green onion or minced cilantro

Instructions:

Combine lime juice, oil, garlic and spices in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate 15 minutes, or up to one day, covered in the refrigerator.

Cook chicken in large preheated skillet over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, or until no longer pink; drain if necessary.

Place crust on baking sheet or pizza pan. Spread salsa over crust; top with chicken, cheese, bell pepper, black beans and red onion. Bake in preheated 400°F oven 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with green onions or cilantro. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Enjoy!

Bisquick Chicken Tenders

It’s hard to believe that we are just about 2 months into this deployment! The busier things get around here, the more I look for quick and easy fixes for dinner. This is a super easy recipe that is a lot healthier than chicken tenders that are deep fried. Yes, you use Bisquick! Remember when I said it’s used for more than just pancakes? Voila! Another savory Bisquick dish. Use wing sauce, BBQ sauce, ranch or whatever you like for dipping! This would also be good served with a salad or maybe some mashed potatoes 🙂

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BISQUICK CHICKEN TENDERS

Ingredients: 

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (cut into 1/2 inch strips)
2/3 cup Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine, melted

Instructions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

In a plastic resealable bag, mix Bisquick mix, cheese, garlic, and paprika.

Dip half the chicken strips in egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag and shake to coat.

Place chicken on cookie sheet.

Repeat using remaining chicken.

Drizzle butter over chicken.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning halfway through bake time