Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

Casseroles have been my boyfriend and I’s friend these past 2 weeks. They’re really easy to make and the outcome is almost always a pan full of deliciousness.

Last weekend we put soup Sunday’s on a hold & opted for a more comforting dish, like a casserole. At Thanksgiving I had this delicious broccoli casserole topped with Ritz crackers. It was heaven. I searched for a recipe similar to that but with chicken & rice. I wanted a chicken & rice casserole that reminded me of that amazing broccoli casserole with the salty Ritz crackers on top.

I found a recipe for a broccoli, rice & chicken casserole that I decided looked, one, amazing & two, possibly close to what I had at Thanksgiving. I decided to add cauliflower to the recipe because I love broccoli & cauliflower together & because why not?

It’s really quick to get together & cooks in around 45 minutes which makes it a great weeknight meal or any night really!

 

Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time:  40-45 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 Chicken Tenderloins, Cubed
  • 2 C Fresh Broccoli, Chopped

    20151206_174212
    Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole
  • 1 C Fresh Cauliflower, Chopped
  • 1 C White Rice
  • 2 C Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 C Cream of Broccoli
  • 2 1/2 C Low-Fat Milk
  • Salt/Pepper, Sprinkle of Both
  • 1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers, Smashed

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • While oven is preheating, cube chicken tenderloins & place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Chop 2 cups of broccoli & 1 cup of cauliflower into bite sized pieces & add to bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients to bowl with the exception of the crumbled ritz crackers. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour ingredients into a greased 9×13 baking pan & make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  • Top mixture with crumbled ritz crackers & place in the oven.
  • Cook at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until rice & chicken are cooked.
  • Eat immediately & enjoy!
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Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables

Crock-pots are a huge love of mine. I mean, how can you not love your crock-pot!? It works magic while you’re at work or bumming around. It’s one of the best darn inventions ever. This weekend was a lazy one, but needed. Time to unwind and relax, be it all weekend, or for a few hours, is very necessary. It’s time to find yourself again in this busy chaotic world.

Saturday the boy & I decided to sleep-in, hang out & play video games all day. What better time to whip out the crock-pot. We wanted something tasty, but not SUPER terrible for us. Both of us are “trying” to watch what we eat & by trying I mean not really, but we like the idea of it.

We found this recipe on pinterest from Skinny Mom called, Skinny Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken. The fact that it had “Skinny” in the recipe title sold us, although I don’t know how “skinny” it is for you, but hey, why not! We both were SO happy that we made this. It was legit so dang delicious. I had 2 servings which instantly makes it not skinny anymore, but seriously, it was that good! We added a bunch of vegetables into the recipe & I am so happy we did. It gave it a good crunch & change in texture. Loved it.

So if you’re looking for an easy recipe, something creamy, and oh so delicious, this is the recipe for you! Enjoy!


Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables

Prep Time:  15 Min          Cook Time:  4 Hours & 15 Min

Servings: Approximately 6

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 LBS Boneless Chicken Breasts

    Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables
    Crock-Pot Cream of Chicken & Vegetables
  • 1 Packet of Garlic & Herb Dry Dressing Mix, .75 OZ
  • 1 C Water
  • Salt & Pepper, to Taste
  • ½ Sweet Onion
  • 1 ¼ C Fresh Broccoli, Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
  • 1 ¼ C Fresh Cauliflower, Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
  • 1 C Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Can (10.5 OZ) Campbell’s Healthy Request Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 8 Ounces Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, Cubed

Directions:

  1. Trim any fat off of chicken breasts. Sprinkle a little salt/pepper onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
  2. Place into crock-pot.
  3. Combine 1 cup water & garlic & herb dressing mix into a small bowl until dissolved. Pour over chicken in crock-pot.
  4. Dice ½ sweet onion & place in crock-pot with chicken.
  5. Turn crock-pot on high. Allow chicken to cook for approximately 3-4 hours until chicken is tender & shreds easily.
  6. While chicken is cooking, begin prepping broccoli, cauliflower & carrots. Set in fridge until chicken is done.
  7. Once chicken easily shreds, add the cubed cream cheese & condensed cream of chicken soup to crock-pot stirring until combined.
  8. Add cut up vegetables & mix. Allow to cook for an additional 30-40 minutes on high until heated through. ENJOY!
  9. Serve atop a rice mixture or simply enjoy by itself!

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

It’s been on of those weeks where you over think everything & nothing seems to go how you imagined it would go.  I sometimes, well I shouldn’t say sometimes, I a lot of the time over think situations. I’m a planner & a thinker. I expect things to be one way because of how I was raised, but i’m learning that things aren’t always as black & white as they may seem. Not everyone feels the same way you about things & that is ok. People move at different paces & that’s ok too. I need to accept that how I picture/want things isn’t how they will always be & THAT’S OK. The planet will continue to spin & the sun will continue to shine. This is probably a lesson people learn in their teens and not in their 20’s but ya know what, not all of us learn things when we should.

So I made this AMAZING chicken salad recipe last weekend and a number of months ago. Every time I eat it I fall in love all over again with chicken salad. It’s not your traditional chicken salad and that’s probably why I love it so much. It’s heaven in a bowl if there was ever such a thing.

I’ve been trying to get my boyfriend to experience new flavors and new foods. We’re both trying to eat healthier and watch what we’re consuming when we’re together & apart. It’s not easy, but we’re trying. He was never really much of a food person, by that I mean, before we started dating he was basically living off of banana & peanut butter sammies. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some banana & peanut butter from time to time, but not multiple times a week! Just no. So when I told him I was going to whip up some Greek yogurt chicken salad for lunch before he went riding, he was a little hesitant to try it. He also was a little nervous about the whole idea of grapes & apples being in chicken salad. I told him to just trust me on this one, I knew he was going to love it. And guess what – he loved it. He took one bite and couldn’t stop complimenting how good it was. I had to pat myself on the back! Lol!

So without further ado – here’s my slightly adapted version of the Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich recipe on the Damn Delicious blog.


Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 30 Minutes         Servings:  4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs Chicken Breasts, Cooked & Shredded
  • Olive Oil or Non-Stick Cooking Spray

    Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
    Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
  • Pepper to Taste
  • Onion Salt to Taste
  • 1/2 C Diced Red Onion
  • 1/2 C Diced Granny Smith Apple
  • 2/3 C Quartered Red Grapes
  • 1/3 C Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 C Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Serving Plain Greek Yogurt (5.3 Ounces)
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While oven is preheating line a baking dish with tin foil & lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil.
  2. I used 2 large chicken breasts in my chicken salad.. I think they weighed around 1.3 lbs for the both of them. I would use at least 1 lb of chicken, but 1.5 or slightly less will be just as perfect! Trim the fat off of your chicken breasts and discard. Sprinkle each side with a little bit of onion salt & pepper.
  3. Place chicken in baking dish. Once oven is preheated place baking dish with chicken inside of oven and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes on each side depending on how thick your chicken is. Since we are simply shredding the chicken for this recipe feel free to cut it in half to make sure the chicken is cooked through & no pink remains.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, begin slicing grapes into quarters, dicing the red onion & dicing the granny smith apple. Place in a large bowl along with the dried cranberries, sliced almonds, plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice garlic powder & salt. Mix until everything is covered evenly.
  5. Once chicken is cooked let it cool slightly before you begin shredding with a knife & fork. Add to the yogurt mixture and allow to cool, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  6. For a slightly healthy sandwich, serve with sandwich thins or atop of a bed of lettuce. The chicken salad is so good you’ll probably eat it straight from the bowl like me!

Crock-Pot Pineapple Chicken

Two posts within 24 hours – you lucky ducks!

This past Sunday was a relaxing day. I spent it with my favorite boy cleaning his apartment, cooking lunch, dinner & even dessert! We went thrifting on Saturday and I scored this cute little cookbook called “101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker” by Janet Eyring & Stephanie Ashcraft for $1.00. Schwing! The recipes are all super simple which I like because it leaves a lot of room for adding my own little spin on them. Plus, who doesn’t love a delicious crock-pot recipe?! Crazy people, that’s who.

The recipe i’m going to share with you all is called Pineapple Chicken – simple enough. It’s delicious with some oriental vegetables & brown rice. I opted for a frozen vegetable mix with water chestnuts, snap peas, green beans, carrots, red peppers & onions. The pineapple chicken alone would probably taste delicious on some Hawaiian bread, or potato bread even – something a little sweeter!


Crock-Pot Pineapple Chicken

Serves: 4-6         Prep Time: 10 Min          Cook Time: 6-7 Hours Low

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 LB Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used 1 package of chicken breasts, which had 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 TSP Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
  • 1/8 TSP Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy
  • 1/4 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1 Can Pineapple Tidbits (20 OZ), Juice Included
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 3-4 TBSP Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 TSP Minced Garlic

Directions:

  1. Grease a 3.5 to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Combine spices & sprinkle over chicken breasts. Place chicken into crock-pot, low setting turned on.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the pineapple tidbits, juice from the tidbits, dijon mustard, low sodium soy sauce & garlic. Pour over chicken & cover.
  4. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is easy to shred.

**If you’re cooking with frozen vegetables I added them into the crock-pot for 10 minutes once the chicken was done. Make sure to mix them well so that they all get a little of the liquid on them!

Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken

It’s been ages since my last post. AGES. I’ve been meaning to post, but my life has been a bit hectic these past couple of weeks. Mostly a good kind of hectic, but this past week a friend of mine passed away suddenly in a long boarding accident. It makes you think about life & how precious & fragile it really is. Just like that it can be taken away from you. Cherish every single moment you have with the ones you love. Tell them you love them. Don’t hold anything back. Life is way too short to hold anything back. Do what you love & what makes you happy, because you just never know.. Don’t waste any time being unhappy.

I’m trying to focus on all the good he gave this world, but am having trouble accepting how unfair life really can be. Good people don’t deserve bad things. Good people don’t deserve to die. I mean, no one really deserves to die, but good people definitely don’t deserve to die. Really all that I can do is remember the good times we shared with our beautiful Park City family.

We all moved out there for a little taste of our own freedom, on our own, out of our comfort zones. We all found it while finding each other. Some of us stayed, some of us left, but we’ll all always share that amazing bond we created those years we spent together, laughing, crying, drinking, skiing & riding. Mountain towns do something to the people that live there. They bring out the best & the worst in you. They make you find yourself & who you are. There will always be a special place in my heart for the mountains & the people I met while out there.

I’ve decided to focus on doing what I love. I spent enough time in my life being unhappy, and sure, it’s dumb of me to think I won’t ever be unhappy again, but I’m hopeful for endless amounts of happiness in my future. There are so many good people in my life right now, some close in distance, some far. I trust them & I love them.

So here we are. Finally, a new recipe. I’ve eaten this three times in the past week that’s how much I love it. The original recipe came from Nutmegnany. My roommate actually stumbled upon this recipe and made it for dinner one night. I had a few bites & knew that I was going to make this for my boyfriend the next time I got to see him. Now the original recipe is quite spicy. I do not enjoy a lot of heat in my food. I start to focus on how much my mouth burns rather than what the food tastes like. My adapted version of the recipe omits the crushed red pepper that Nutmegnanny calls for in her recipe for Honey Spiced Glazed Chicken. If you like heat, add some crushed red pepper to your spice mix! It’s delicious with or without it, I personally just prefer not to sweat when I’m eating my dinner. 🙂

This dish goes great with a sprouted rice & quinoa blend. I found this delicious blend by truRoots at BJ’s & have fallen in love with it. It’s a great blend of grains packed with all sorts of good stuff.  A brown rice or white rice would work just as good though! We enjoyed it with a side of acorn squash since I had one laying around that needed to be used. Any vegetable would work as a side to make it a well rounded dish.


Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken

Serves 3-4           Prep Time: 10 Min          Cook Time: 15-20 Min

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package Chicken Tenderloins (1-1.5 LB)

    Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken
    Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken
  • 2 TSP Smoked Paprika or Regular Paprika
  • 2 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1 TSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 C Honey
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine spices in a small bowl (paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, chili powder, onion powder & crushed red pepper if using)
  2. Set oven to broil on low & line a sheet pan with tin foil (easier cleanup).
  3. Season each side of each chicken tenderloin with spice mixture & place on sheet pan.
  4. Place sheet pan with chicken in over for approximately 5-7 minutes for each side (5-7 minutes on one side, flip & 5-7 minutes on the other side).
  5. While chicken is cooking combine 1/2 cup of honey & 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar, mixing well.
  6. After chicken is done cooking pour the honey mixture over the cooked chicken making sure to cover all of the chicken. Place the sheet pan back in the oven and allow the glaze to thicken for about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken from oven and serve immediately.  ENJOY!

Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup w/ Chicken

It’s been WAY too long since my last post. I have been cooking up a storm, but just can’t seem to find the time to sit down and get all of my thoughts on what I’ve been cooking together. Sometimes life just gets in the way!

I have had many people ask me for this recipe so before doing anything tonight I wanted to get this up for everyone to start making their very own Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup w/ Chicken. It’s such a simple soup, but so refreshing & light. It’s the perfect soup for a spring & summer. The lemon juice and fresh vegetables give it such a lovely taste.

I got my inspiration from The Cozy Apron’s Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup w/ Quinoa & Fresh Basil. I haven’t quite figured out how to make things from complete scratch so I always need a little inspiration to help me get started. I like to use other recipes as like an outline. Soups are a great way to add your own little spin on things. It’s so hard to mess up a soup! Feel free to get creative.

If there are other veggies you want to add, go for it! I think a little spinach or kale would go great with everything in this soup & might just have to add it next time I make this, which will be soon.

Without further ado, I give you my Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup w/ Chicken recipe below. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I sure did!

Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup with Chicken

Serves About 5-7

Ingredients:

Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup with Chicken
Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup with Chicken
  • 1 Lb Chicken Breast, Baked
  • 2 Shallots, Sliced
  • 1 Lemon, Zested (set aside) & Sliced
  • Dash Lemon Pepper (Sprinkled over Chicken)
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 5 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Half Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 5 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Zucchini, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Yellow Squash, Chopped
  • 1 Can Chickpeas, Drained & Rinsed
  • 2-3 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 4 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken in a baking dish, sprinkle both sides of chicken with Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning. Layer sliced lemon slices on top of chicken. Spread sliced shallots around chicken breasts. Fold parchment paper onto top of chicken loosely in baking dish (keeps moisture inside & chicken juicy). Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. Once chicken is fully cooked remove from over & cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside until ready to add to soup.
  2. Cook 1 Cup quinoa according to directions on box & set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter & oil in large soup pot at medium heat. Once melted add carrots, diced onion & garlic. Let simmer until slightly translucent & garlic becomes aromatic. Sprinkle w/ Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning & stir to combine.
  4. Add chicken broth, cover & bring to a simmer, medium/low heat worked best for me. While chicken broth is heating up, begin slicing up your vegetables & adding them to the pot along with the chickpeas. Let simmer for approximately 25 minutes before adding the peas, chicken & cooked quinoa to soup.
  5. Once peas, diced chicken & quinoa is added to the soup add the lemon zest & juice. Stir. Taste to see if any salt/pepper needs to be added. Add accordingly until you reach your preferred taste. Cover & simmer for another 5-10 minutes until everything is at an even temperature. Scoop from the bottom to be sure your getting a little bit of everything & ENJOY!

Yogurt Baked Chicken with Garlic & Thyme

Last night I cooked what tasted like the most incredible chicken I have one ever made & two have ever tasted in my life. I found this Garlic-Yogurt Baked Chicken recipe the other day on http://www.diethood.com and thought I would give it a whirl.

I haven’t cooked in a little time so I wanted to make something delicious for dinner on Sunday. Life throws you twists & turns and sometimes your hobbies have take a backseat to life. I’m lucky enough to have some amazing twists & turns going on in my life & I couldn’t be happier about everything. This chicken just made me that much happier. True story. SO GOOD.

I like to always have a positive outlook on life. I mean really though, who has time to be negative. We’re given this one life so why not make the best of it? I try to always find a positive spin for everything, even things that don’t seem so positive. So I look at it as I haven’t had the opportunity to cook in a week or so, which is sad, but because of that week long wait I was able to find my new favorite chicken recipe to drool over for a long time.

If you get an opportunity to make this recipe, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Yogurt Baked Chicken with Garlic & Thyme

Serves 4-5

Yogurt Baked Chicken w/ Garlic & Thyme
Yogurt Baked Chicken w/ Garlic & Thyme

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Chicken Breasts
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 10 OZ Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Plain Bread Crumbs 1-2 Cups
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Red Onion

Directions:

  • Season each chicken breast with salt/pepper, front & back. Place in a baking pan & set aside.
  • Combine yogurt, garlic & thyme in a mixing bowl until well combined.
  • Smear the yogurt mixture over each chicken breast, front & back, making sure that every piece of chicken is covered.
  • Cover the baking pan with yogurt covered chicken with plastic wrap. Place the pan into the refrigerator for 4 hours.
  • After chicken is done marinating in the yogurt mixture remove from the fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grab a clean baking dish to place the chicken in. Remove any extra yogurt mixture from the chicken by gently shaking each chicken breast. Clumps should fall off. You want the chicken to remain covered but just lightly coated. Discard any leftover yogurt mixture.
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs lightly over both sides of chicken.
  • Slice up lemon & place 1 to 2 slices onto each chicken breast.
  • Slice up the 1/2 onion into quarters & position around chicken.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until chicken is done. Serve immediately.
  • ENJOY!