Category Archives: Dinner

Chicken Enchiladas

Before we get to the meat of today’s post, I would like to thank everyone for their positive thoughts, prayers, and hugs yesterday.  They all meant so much to me.  Needless to say, it was a stressful day, but I got through it with your thoughts and prayers, and now we play the waiting game to find out the results.  I should hear back today on the basic tests, and next week on my hormone levels.

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

This is my own personal chicken enchilada recipe.  I came up with it way back in the day when I was in high school and cooking for my father.  It was a hit from the beginning, and still is to this day.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do!

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, baked, and shredded
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilies
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 10 oz. and 4 oz. can Enchilada sauce (I use organic)
  • shredded Queso cheese
  • 8 tortillas

Directions:

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In a 350 degree oven, bake the chicken breasts until fully cooked.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle before shredding.  While the chicken is baking, add the olive oil to a sauté pan and sauté the diced onion until softened.  Then, add the chopped green chilies to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  After the chicken breasts have cooled enough, shred them.  In a medium bowl whisk together the cream cheese and the 4 oz. can of Enchilada sauce.  Add the chopped chili and onion mixture to the enchilada sauce mixture along with the shredded chicken and combine.  Time to assemble the enchiladas!  Coat the bottom of a 12×6 baking dish with enchilada sauce…This will keep the enchiladas from sticking to the dish while baking in the oven.  In the tortilla, first place a layer of shredded queso cheese, and then a layer of the chicken mixture.  Roll and place in the baking dish.  Continue until you have assembled all of the enchiladas.  Then coat the enchiladas with a 19 oz. can of enchilada sauce, and cover them with more shredded queso cheese (can you tell how much I love cheese? Smile).  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Enjoy!

The Blizzard

Yesterday did not work out at planned at all!  My plan was to go to town, run errands, workout, and get my camera with all the pictures from Rita’s Burpee Mile.  I know I told y’all I would have the story of Rita’s Burpee Mile today, since I forgot my camera at the gym last weekend. Sadly the blizzard prevented me from getting to the gym to retrieve my camera today, so I’m really hoping to get that story and pictures to you tomorrow.

Instead of a normal day, we woke up to the mother of all blizzards.  Actually, I woke up at 4am when the siren on my cell went off notifying me of the blizzard warning and the doom and peril it brings.  We got the call at 7am that school was cancelled, so I let my son sleep in, and today school won’t start till 10am.

Snow!

When it was finally light enough outside to see, I discovered at least 2 feet of snow in our driveway and 4 feet at the highest point.  Of course, more snow came down along with high winds, so the drifts got bigger, and bigger, and bigger.  I had to dig my way out our door to get to the walkway and driveway to start shoveling the whole mess!  Honestly, I swore these kind of snow storms only happened in the movies. 

Jamaica

Then, to make me feel better about all the snow, cold, and high winds we had, my dad sent me a picture from his front porch in Jamaica.  Along with this nice little line…”Glad, I mean REAL GLAD that I’m not in North Dakota. Wow! All new snow piled deeeeep. I’m loving Jamaica. Downed one Rum Runner, walking 24 steps to get another one. Had to count the steps, it’s so close.”  Isn’t he so thoughtful?  I shouldn’t complain, since I called him and bragged about all our great winters in Florida when he was stuck in the snow and cold up in Ohio.  Payback sucks!

Since we were snowed in, I did more chores that I was behind on.  The never ending pile of laundry got a lot smaller today, a lot of dusting got done, two loaves of bread baked, vacuumed, mopped, and I actually took some time to read.  I’m quite proud of my accomplishments.

Chicken tenders

I had a ton of time to make dinner, so I made the Parmigiano and Herb Chicken Breast Tenders that were on last weeks menu.  I didn’t get to them since we had a bunch of leftovers.  They are my son’s favorite, so I always double or triple the amount of chicken I use.  Last night I tripled the chicken as you can see from the mammoth pile of chicken.

How was your Monday?

Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp with Coconut Quinoa

Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp and Coconut Quinoa Yum

This has quickly become a household favorite!  I found a recipe on Pinterest for Pineapple and Shrimp Fried Quinoa, and I planned to make it the same week.  However, the more I looked at the recipe the more changes I made to it.  I knew my family wouldn’t go for some of the ingredients, and then I just got creative and changed the whole thing.  This really is a colorful and fun meal to make in the dead of winter.  It really brought some “summer” into our house when I made it.

Just a quick note…The first time I made this I only made half of the Coconut Quinoa recipe below.  My son inhaled half of the quinoa I made for the meal, and my husband and I ate the rest, which didn’t leave any to go with the leftover shrimp (very little shrimp was left).  I made another batch of the quinoa the next day and doubled it.  It came out perfect!

Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp with Coconut Quinoa

Hawaiian Shrimp

Coconut Quinoa:

  • 2c quinoa
  • 2 1/2c chicken broth
  • 1 1/2c coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 T honey
  • Pinch of saffron

Combine all the ingredients for the quinoa in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot, simmer, and cook until liquid is absorbed and quinoa if fluffy.

Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp:

  • 2 lbs of shrimp (You could use less shrimp if you want, or more. We just really like our shrimp)
  • 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced or shredded
  • 1 – 1 1/2 inches of minced or shredded fresh ginger
  • 5-7 mini sweet bell peppers
  • 1/2 pineapple cut into small pieces
  • 1 jalapeno diced (remove the pith and seeds…unless you want a spicier dish)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp curry paste (optional)

While the quinoa is cooking you can prepare the Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp.  Add all the ingredients except for the coconut milk and curry paste to the pan, and cook over medium heat until shrimp is done. Then, add the coconut milk and curry paste. Stir until curry paste and coconut milk are combined into the sauce. Serve over the Coconut Quinoa.

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Combine all the ingredients for the quinoa in a pan and bring to a boil.  I always leave a half cup of the “thicker” coconut milk for the shrimp dish.

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Reduce heat, cover pot, simmer, and cook until liquid is absorbed and quinoa if fluffy.

Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp and Coconut Quinoa

Prepare your pineapple, ginger, mini sweet bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice.

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Add all the ingredients except for the coconut milk and curry paste to the pan, and cook over medium heat until shrimp is done.

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Then, add the coconut milk and curry paste.

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Stir until curry paste and coconut milk are combined into the sauce
Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp and Coconut Quinoa Yum

Chicken Marsala Calzones with Caramelized Onions

We love making our own calzones and pizzas in our home.  I love it because I know there are no icky chemicals going into our food.  My son loves it, because he gets to create his own meal, and my husband loves it because, well, because he gets fed.  This recipe will make anywhere from 6 large calzones to 12 mini calzones.
Chicken Marsala Calzones with Caramelized Onions

I’m a big fan of chicken Marsala and caramelized onions, so one day a few years back I decided to turn it into a calzone.  It worked!!  I hope you enjoy these calzones as much as I do!

Before you see the step-by-step pictures I have posted to go along with the directions; I would like to take a moment to share something with you. I cannot roll out any type of dough into a circle. I’ve been making calzones, pizzas, and pies for more years than I would like to admit to, but I still cannot roll anything out into something that resembles a circular shape.  I really do not know why.  My sweet grandmother tried so many times to teach me when it came to rolling out pie crusts, but I could never roll my dough out into a circle.  I guess I’m an abstract artist when it comes to rolling out dough.

Chicken Marsala Calzones with Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:

  • 2 T Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms (regular mushrooms work just fine too)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 c Marsala wine
  • 2 chicken breasts baked and shredded
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Asiago cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • water to help seal calzones
  • 1 batch Pizza/Calzone dough

Directions:

Before you begin making the filling.  Make your calzone dough first.  It is a really easy and quick dough recipe to make.

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In a large sauté pan, add the extra virgin olive oil, sliced onions, sugar, and salt.  Allow onions to caramelize on medium-low heat.  This will take some time, so be patient.

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Once the onions have caramelized, add the mushrooms and cook until softened.  Then, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.  Once mushrooms are cooked, add the Marsala and cook until the wine is reduced and absorbed into the onions and mushrooms.

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When the wine has reduced, add the shredded chicken breasts to the pan, and combine with the mushrooms and onions.  At this point I like to add 1/4-1/2 cup more of Marsala (sometimes I just pour rather than measure).  I really like to taste the Marsala a bunch in this, but if you don’t leave out this last 1/4 cup.

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The filling for the calzones is finished, so remove the pan from the heat, and allow the filling mixture to cool a little bit while you get the dough that you prepared earlier.  You can make your calzones any size you want.  Just flour your working area and rolling pin, so that the dough does not stick.

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Take some of your dough, and roll it into something that resembles a circle (See what I mean about not being able to make a circle?)  Place some of your shredded Asiago  and Parmesan cheese in the center of the dough.

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Then place some of your Marsala chicken and caramelized onion filling on top of the cheeses.  Finally top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

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With a pastry brush, brush some water along the bottom half edge of the dough.  Taking the top half, gently stretch the dough and meet the top edge with the bottom edge, and press together to seal.

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Starting on the left side of your calzone, fold the left side up towards the top of the calzone.  It should look like the picture above.

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Then tuck the part of the dough you folded up, under the calzone.  Right now you are “really” sealing the dough, so that the inside cheese won’t leak out.

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Tuck and fold the dough all the way around the calzone to complete the seal.  I’m so sorry if I’m not explaining this in the best way.  I made these step-by-step pictures to help fill in where my directions/words are lacking.

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Once you have finished creating your calzones, place them on a cookie sheet, pizza pan, or cooking stone.  Make sure the area is either greased, or you can sprinkle some semolina flour onto the surface (this is what I do).

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Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the calzones turn golden brown.  As you can see, sometimes leaks can happen.  My son filled his with a bit too much cheese, but it still tastes great!
Chicken Marsala Calzones with Caramelized Onions

On the Menu

Here is the menu I came up with for us this week.  I’m trying 2 new recipes again this week!  Woohoo!  What is on your menu for this week?  Are you trying anything new?

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Monday:  I’m making my Creamy Crock Pot Potato Soup.  We are still in the middle of winter, and I love easy to make meals that will warm me up.

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Tuesday:  Spicy Black Bean and Rice Burritos by A Bitchin’ Kitchen.  I’m going to add some shredded chicken to our burritos in order to get some extra protein.  This is my new “pin” recipe to try this week!

Thursday:  My son is requesting grilled hamburgers, so we will have that with some sweet potato French fries and fruit.

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Friday or Saturday:  Parmigiano and Herb Chicken Breast Tenders.  This is my son’s favorite, and I always triple the amount of chicken I use, so that we can have leftovers.  Note:  Reheat leftover chicken tenders in the oven so they stay crispy!

Caramelized Onion Risotto

Sunday: Caramelized Onion Risotto by A Bitchin’ Kitchen.  I saw this recipe when I was linking up the the Spicy Black Bean and Rice Burritos on Bitchin’ Kitchen’s site.  I’m a lover of caramelized onions, so when I saw this recipe I had to put it on this weeks menu!   I’m guessing that we will have some grilled chicken and roasted asparagus to go with the risotto that night.

A Week in Review and A Menu for Next Week

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Well, this week flew by just like all the rest.  For me this is a good thing.  It means that winter is flying by, and with a high of –15 degrees today, summer needs to get here fast.  Right now the wind chill is hovering somewhere around –40 or –50 degrees!   It is just a little cold outside.

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This week was week 2 of Best Body Bootcamp.  I went up in some of the weights I used, and as always, Tina had me sweating and sore (in a good way) the next day.  I’m a big fan of seeing improvements, and I’m still seeing them each week with Tina’s workouts!

Sadly, Thursday I started to feel weak while teaching my Spinning classes, and that carried straight over into Friday.  I couldn’t even complete my workout with Rita on Friday, because I started getting dizzy.  This did not make me happy at all, and it made me sit down and think about what could be causing my weakness.  Sadly I found the cause when I reviewed what I ate for the past week.  Someone, namely me, was not getting enough protein or iron.  Therefore, my 2 new goals for this week are as follows:

  1. Keep a food journal documenting grams of protein.  This will help me to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients and protein I need.
  2. Drink a butt load of water everyday.  I need at least 90 oz on most days.

What are your goals for this week?

Today I’m just going to do a yoga DVD and put together our menu for the week.

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Tonight we are having my Healthy Fiesta Stuffed Peppers.

Here is what I think the rest of the week will look like:

Tuscan White Bean Soup:  I will post this recipe later in the week.  It is one that I have been working on.

Blackened Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa from Sarcastic Cooking…This is a new recipe I found on Pinterest.  It sounds delicious and is healthy too!

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken | Very Culinary

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken from  Very Culinary…My son requested this for dinner one night.  It is beyond easy to make too!  Note: I use organic ketchup, chicken breasts, and I don’t make a corn starch slurry.

Salsa Verde Turkey Burgers.  This is a burger recipe I came up with awhile back that my family loves.  I’ll take pictures this time and post the recipe for ya too!  Wow..That is 2 new recipes I need to post for you guys next week!  Stay tuned!!

What are you making this week?

Saturday Shares

I wanted to share some things I came across in during my internet traveling this week.  I hope you like them, enjoy them, are moved and motivated by them.

This little girl is beyond motivational and amazing.  It would be an honor to run with her.

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After Pearl was diagnosed with cancer at age 4, her family and friends pledged to run The Color Run™ in support of Pearl. By the time race day came Pearl had decided she would also be running The Happiest 5k On The Planet. With fairy wings shimmering, she powered through 3.1 miles of rainbows to her first 5k victory. http://303magazine.com/2012/05/54962/

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Get your plank on with Tina!!  She even has video examples.

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Get organized by keeping your menu and grocery list combined, with this printout from Life in Yellow!

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No bake chewy granola bars without all the strange ingredients at Back to the Cutting Board.

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Salmon Florentine with a Quinoa Pilaf With Pine Nuts recipe from Self.  I made both the salmon and the quinoa, and it was delicious!

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Surviving Winter Outdoor Workouts with The Go Fit Gals.  Great advice for how to layer and clothing.  Also, check out their Skinny Jean Challenge!

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises - Paperback

Don’t forget about the Giveaway I have going on along with your opportunity to post questions for Jill Conyers to answer in her guest post on January 7th!