Category Archives: Dinner

Healthy Creamy Creole Pasta with Chicken

I absolutely love pasta and the creamy goodness that comes along with it.  I however do not like the fat and how it sticks to my body from that creamy goodness.  Therefore, I set out on a quest to convert some of my pasta recipes that call for butter and a lot of heavy whipping cream.  For this recipe I substituted Greek yogurt and skim milk for the butter and heavy whipping cream. It came out perfectly!!

Creole Pasta

I must thank my friend from Bulgaria, Katie, for encouraging me to switch over to Greek yogurt in my cooking.  She told me about all the different dishes she makes using just Greek yogurt, and I became hooked and had to try it myself.  Thank you Katie!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz spaghetti or linguine pasta
  • 4-6 chicken breasts sliced or cubed into bite size pieces (depends on how much chicken you want in your dish)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 oz fresh sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 3 cloves of minced
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 c frozen sliced okra (optional)
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1 T flour
  • 12 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c skim milk
  • 2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning (you can add more if you want)
  • 1 tomato diced
  • sliced scallions
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add water to a large pot and boil pasta in it till it is al dente following the package directions.  In the mean time, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and sauté the chicken until completely cooked.  While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce for the pasta.  Combine the milk, flour, yogurt, and creole/Cajun seasoning.  Set sauce aside for later.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for later.  Add a little more olive oil to the pan and add bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms.  Sauté until the veggies are tender.  Add the frozen okra about half way through the veggies cooking.  Then, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Add the chicken broth and the sauce prepared earlier.  Allow sauce to reduce for 2-5 minutes while occasionally stirring.  Return the cooked chicken to the pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  In a large serving bowl add the cooked pasta.  Pour the chicken and veggie mixture with sauce.  Lightly toss to coat the pasta.  I have the diced tomato, scallions, and jalapeno in separate bowls so everyone can garnish their pasta to their liking.  Enjoy!!

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Add water to a large pot and boil pasta in it till it is al dente following the package directions. In the mean time, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and sauté the chicken until completely cooked.

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While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce for the pasta. Combine the milk, flour, yogurt, and creole/Cajun seasoning. Set sauce aside for later. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for later.

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Add a little more olive oil to the pan and add bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Sauté until the veggies are tender. Add the frozen okra about half way through the veggies cooking. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

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Add the chicken broth and the sauce prepared earlier. Allow sauce to reduce for 2-5 minutes while occasionally stirring.

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Pour the chicken and veggie mixture with sauce. Lightly toss to coat the pasta. I have the diced tomato, scallions, and jalapeno in separate bowls so everyone can garnish their pasta to their liking. Enjoy!!
Creole Pasta

Healthy Fiesta Stuffed Red Peppers

I normally call these “stuffed peppers” when I’m making them, but I figured they needed a better name if I was going to post the recipe.  So, I let my son come up with the name, and he came up with the “fiesta” part.  These peppers are protein packed and full of healthy nutrients, and I know you will love them!

This is a wonderful and healthy meal to make for your family, and it will make everyone happy too!  You will use ground turkey breasts instead of other ground meats.  Please make sure you get the “ground breast.”  Don’t get just ground turkey.  If you don’t get the breast you are just getting meat that is just as fatty as regular ground beef.

On a side note, sometimes I have a bit of “stuffing” left over from stuffing the peppers.  I will use it to make lettuce wraps for a healthy packed lunch.


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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 4 red or yellow peppers, halved and cleaned out
  • taco/fajita seasoning mix
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans
  • 2/3 c frozen corn
  • 1 c fresh salsa (jarred can work here too)
  • 1 1/2 c cooked rice
  • shredded cheese of your choice

Directions:

Cook the ground turkey breast over medium heat until thoroughly cooked.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the meat is cooking, halve and clean the peppers for stuffing.  Once the meat is done cooking combine the taco/fajita seasoning with 2/3 c water.  Add the seasoning and water mixture to the cooked meat. Reduce heat and let simmer until there really isn’t any liquid left in the pan.  In a large bowl add the cooked turkey, corn, beans, rice, and salsa. Gently mix to combine.  Stuff the peppers with the mixture. Add 1 cup of water to the baking dish. This will help to soften the pepper and keep them from sticking to the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45-50 minutes. About 10 minutes before the peppers are done, remove them from the oven, add the cheese to the tops and place back in the oven uncovered until the cheese melts.  I like to garnish my peppers with scallions and fat free sour cream. Enjoy!!

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While the meat is cooking, halve and clean the peppers for stuffing.

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Once the meat is done cooking combine the taco/fajita seasoning with 2/3 c water.

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Add the seasoning and water mixture to the cooked meat.  Reduce heat and let simmer until there really isn’t any liquid left in the pan.

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In a large bowl add the cooked turkey, corn, beans, rice, and salsa.  Gently mix to combine.

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Stuff the peppers with the mixture.  Add 1 cup of water to the baking dish.  This will help to soften the pepper and keep them from sticking to the baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45-50 minutes.  About 10 minutes before the peppers are done, remove them from the oven, add the cheese to the tops and place back in the oven uncovered.


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I like to garnish my peppers with scallions and fat free sour cream.  Enjoy!!

Easy Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Pulled Pork!!

This pulled pork recipe took a few years for me to put together.  Most of the seasonings I put together from basic southern pulled pork recipes (everyone in the south has their own).  However, Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives helped me out a bit too (never watch that show on an empty stomach, or at 10 pm).  The apple juice in the recipe came from my grandmother who used to make pork chops in her crock pot with apple juice.  I hope you enjoy this super easy pulled pork recipe.  You will want to make the rub and rub down the pork the night before.  This way it gets a chance to sit in the fridge overnight and work its magic!


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Ingredients

  • 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 2 T paprika
  • 1 1/2 T Kosher salt
  • 1 T fresh ground pepper
  • 1 T dried mustard powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder, 3-4 lbs (if you cannot find boneless it is okay…I make this a lot with bone-in)
  • 6-7 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 1/2 c apple juice
  • 1/2 c water

Directions

Add all the dry seasonings and brown sugar to a bowl.  Mix seasonings.  Cut slits into pork meat, and insert garlic cloves into the slits. If you have a fatty side to your pork shoulder, cut diagonal slices in the fat to create a diamond pattern.  Massage the dry seasoning rub all over every inch of the pork shoulder. Don’t be afraid to get in there and really rub as much on as you can get.  Place pork in a bag, container, or saran wrap. Then, place in fridge overnight.  The next morning, place pork in crock pot/slow cooker insert. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then bake in the insert uncovered for 1 hour.  Place crock pot/slow cooker insert back into the crock pot. Add water and apple juice to the pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.  Remove the pork from the crock pot. It will fall apart as you remove it and place it on the cutting board. You can use a fork or tongs to shred the pork…it is that tender! We save some of the cooking liquid from the pork to drizzle on top of the meat and add to the container of leftovers.  Enjoy!!!! My husband likes to eat his pulled pork sandwiches with bbq sauce and coleslaw (it is a southern thing).

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Add all the dry seasonings and brown sugar to a bowl

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Mix seasonings

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Cut slits into pork meat, and insert garlic cloves into the slits.  If you have a fatty side to your pork shoulder, cut diagonal slices in the fat to create a diamond pattern.

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Massage the dry seasoning rub all over every inch of the pork shoulder.  Don’t be afraid to get in there and really rub as much on as you can get.

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Place pork in a bag, container, or saran wrap.  Then, place in fridge overnight.

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Place pork in crock pot/slow cooker insert.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then bake in the insert uncovered for 1 hour.

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Place crock pot/slow cooker insert back into the crock pot.  Add water and apple juice to the pork.  Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

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Finished pulled pork!

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Remove the pork from the crock pot.  It will fall apart as you remove it and place it on the cutting board.  You can use a fork or tongs to shred the pork…it is that tender!  We save some of the cooking liquid from the pork to drizzle on top of the meat and add to the container of leftovers.

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Enjoy!!!!  My husband likes to eat his pulled pork sandwiches with bbq sauce and coleslaw (it is a southern thing).

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken

Have you ever had one of those nights where you look in your fridge and pantry and wonder what in the world you are going to make with the few items you have on hand.  Well, this happens to me more often than I would like to admit, but I have made-up some great recipes this way and this is one of them.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken


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Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 lbs of cooked chicken sliced or cubed
  2. 1 lb of cooked pasta (your choice, I tend to use penne)
  3. 2 Roasted Red Peppers or 12 oz jar of Roasted Red Peppers
  4. 1/3 cup pine nuts
  5. 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  6. 4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 8 oz Mascarpone Cheese
  8. 3/4 – 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  9. Salt and Pepper
  10. Reserved Pasta Water
  11. Fresh Basil

Directions

Add your garlic cloves (I use more than directed, because I’m a garlic fanatic) and pine nuts in your food processor (a blender should work too). Then add your olive oil.  Process until ingredients make a paste.  Add your roasted red peppers to the processor and puree.  Then add your Mascarpone Cheese and blend again.  Transfer to a bowl. Then, add your shredded Parmesan cheese. At this point I taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to suit our tastes.  When I cook pasta and make sauces I always save some of the starchy pasta water. This sauce is quite thick, so I add some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out a bit. Just add however much you want to get to the consistency you would like your sauce to be.  Add the sauce to your pasta and cooked chicken, and garnish with basil (The basil is a must! It really makes the dish). Enjoy!!

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Add your garlic cloves (I use more than directed, because I’m a garlic fanatic) and pine nuts in your food processor (a blender should work too).  Then add your olive oil.

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Process until ingredients make a paste

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Add your roasted red peppers to the processor and puree

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Then add your Mascarpone Cheese and blend again

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Transfer to a bowl.  Then, add your shredded Parmesan cheese.  At this point I taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to suit our tastes.

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When I cook pasta and make sauces I always save some of the starchy pasta water.  This sauce is quite thick, so I add some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out a bit.  Just add however much you want to get to the consistency you would like your sauce to be.

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Add the sauce to your pasta and cooked chicken, and garnish with basil (The basil is a must!  It really makes the dish).  Enjoy!!