Cajun Chicken & Cheddar Zucchini Skillet

20160808_185910

There are so many resources out there to inspire delicious, homemade meals. Between the internet, social media, magazines and cookbooks,¬†I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to make all the things I want to. But man, I am going to try ūüôā

I can spend hours just looking at recipes and often get sucked in when I should be doing something that really needs my attention, like laundry. Life is short though, and laundry happens every day. So what if we don’t have socks,¬†isn’t that why they made sandals? I believe so!

While cruising along Pinterest one night, I stumbled across this recipe for White Cheddar Chicken and Zucchini, and immediately I knew I had to make it. Like all other recipes I find, I needed to make it and in doing so, make it my own. Hands down, I give all recognition for the inspiration of this dish to the original blogger, but I made some changes to better suit our tastes and current eating habits.

Which means, I added some spice, garlic and the almighty food that makes every recipe better- BACON! I also omitted the panko bread crumbs due to our low carb lifestyle.

20160808_183434

This dish has so much flavor, and is easy to make! I hope you try it!

Cajun Chicken & Cheddar Zucchini Skillet

20160808_185838

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 tbsp of Cajun seasoning {depending on taste}
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 ¬†tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, divided
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced into rounds
  • 4 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon, diced

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare zucchini and onions but cutting them first.

20160808_180126

In a bowl, season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Add Cajun seasoning to your liking, between 1-2 tablespoons.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.

Saute chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from skillet and place in a separate dish.

To the same skillet, add diced onions and sauté for 2 minutes until starting to soften. Add minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Then add zucchini and yellow squash to skillet, season with remaining salt, pepper and garlic powder. Combine zucchini and onions well. Place chicken on top of the zucchini and squash and place into the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is tender. Then top with shredded cheddar and bacon. Place back into the oven and broil on high until cheese is melted and bubbling.

20160808_185843

This is a meal full of amazing flavors and I highly recommend you try it!

20160808_185855

There is something spectacular to be said about dinners made entirely in one pan because who likes to wash dishes after dinner?! Nobody.

Happy Eating!!

Advertisements

Menu Plan Monday #2

Happy Monday!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! My weekend was spent working, but it was a good one and it passed by in a flash! Despite some long days, we still were able to enjoy a little excitement at a family party, and it’s just another reminder as to how grateful I am for this season in life.

I don’t know if it is my age, or where I ¬†currently am in life, but I just find such joy in little simple things. Friday morning I looked out the window and saw a sunbeam shining through my favorite willow tree. It made my heart so happy! I just had to take a picture!

20160805_060520

I’m also grateful that we are surrounded by such beautiful people who we love dearly, like these two! My momma and nephew ::swoon::

20160806_202842

I hope you feel the same, and if for some reason you don’t- always remember you can make changes, and find the ones who are meant to be in your lives!

With that said, I hope you also were able to enjoy some good eats last week! Our week was busy, so quick meals were on the menu.

menu-plan-monday

 

**Menu Plan Monday was inspired by my constant need to know what everyone is eating. Whether it be the blogs I love reading, or the people in my real life who I enjoy thoroughly.¬†¬†I try to make two new recipes a week while rotating the other days with our favorite go to meals, one leftover day and one free for all day. Free for all days could mean leftovers, a quick easy meal, or just eating whatever we fancy (breakfast foods always win for me). Here’s a look at last week….

Monday

Who doesn’t enjoy an easy meal that comes together with loads of flavor? For some reason, I had been craving Beef Stroganoff in a bad way, so we made it happen! Served over ¬†this¬†low carb pasta¬†that I have been enjoying from time to time, so I don’t detour from my own personal goals.

20160801_184659

Tuesday

Late work day, so leftovers of meal mentioned above were consumed

Wednesday

New recipe of the week, Bacon Ranch Chicken Рwe enjoyed this as a quick easy meal.

20160803_201517

Thursday

Creamy Salsa Chicken – I made mine into a very ugly “bowl” but hey, this is real life, right? We also never eat corn but had leftovers so it’s what got thrown in! No waste household over here ūüôā

20160804_184442

Friday

Free for All- the mister had leftover Creamy Salsa Chicken and I had a Low Carb Cheese Quesadilla for a quick treat after work

Saturday

Family party

Sunday

Summer comfort right here. Hotdogs, and low carb onion rings made by my mister. He does love me, haha. I sent him this recipe, and he made it happen! They were tasty!

20160807_195820

Life is all about moderation and sometimes I do plan easy meals that we can just throw together in minutes, because it’s better than going out to eat when you are busy! Meal planning allows me to always figure out what is best for us, for a particular week.

I’m thinking this next week needs to include a better variety of vegetables, and I have it all planned out! Until next week..

Happy Eating!

Menu Plan Monday

menu-plan-monday

If there is one thing I love reading in the blogs I enjoy, it’s their weekly meal plans. Call me a creeper for finding pleasure in knowing what others are eating, but I just do! I often find myself asking everyone I care about this very¬†important question, “What’s for dinner?”

I know that one of the ways I show my husband that I care for him, as well as everyone I care for, is by cooking them good food that entices their palettes! Part of me needs to know that they are feeding their bodies with delicious food and the other part is just plain nosey! I admit it. I won’t stop though.

So to jump on a bandwagon that was started a long time ago, I’m excited to share what we eat during the week!

I have been meal planning for four years now and I rotate depending on my mood, between planning for 2 weeks or 4 weeks at a time. I know that four weeks seems like a lot, but it works for me. It does not make me the meal planning goddess (although I wouldn’t mind a crack at the title!) I just enjoy planning out the month between work schedules, parties, holidays, date nights, etc. It’s something that makes me happy, and we all should stick to doing just that, making ourselves happy!

20160727_123729

I have tried to make two new recipes a week while rotating the other days with our favorite go to meals, one leftover day and one free for all day. Free for all days could mean leftovers, a quick easy meal, or just eating whatever we fancy (breakfast foods always win for me).

Now that I’ve taken entirely too much of your time, I’ll just get to the good stuff. This is a recap of our meals last week. Typically, we have a more diverse selection of protein but I was trying to use what I had in the freezer and refridgerator so chicken is what we had!

Meal Plan Monday #1

Monday- Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon & Salad

20160713_185505

Tuesday- Leftovers

Wednesday- Chicken & Vegetable Stir-fry

20160725_181842

Thursday- Roasted Chicken Thighs with Vegetables and Parmesan Garlic Cream Sauce

20160718_183306

Friday- Date Night after work

thumb_600

Texas Roadhouse¬†was the answer to a few individuals that had no desire to cook after the work week was done! This is my favorite salad of theirs, Chicken Critter Salad. I eat half & save half for another meal, like Saturday free for all night! It’s a cheat meal that I’m not afraid of eating, if that makes sense.

Saturday- Free for All Night

Sunday- Grilled Chicken, Corn on the Cob & Salad

20160731_180936

The mister will only eat corn on the cob with these little trays and holders. I don’t buy corn often as our vegetable side, but it screams summer!

Until next time, when hopefully I’ve added some beef, fish or pork into the mix!

Happy Eating all!

Baked Pepperoni & Bacon Pizza Chicken

Life lately has been full of some wonderful but busy moments. We laugh quite often how just a few months ago we were talking about how bored we were. That is certainly not the case now.

Much hard work, fun, good eats and happiness have been going on around these parts, and I hope you all are enjoying this current season in your lives, just as much.

I thought I’d share some random things today, that have made my heart happy. This life is short, so no matter what it is, do what you enjoy!

Recent Eats

20160523_183611

Doggie approved treats! Made with whole wheat flour, carrots, applesauce, peanut butter and coconut oil. Healthy fats for my little pups!

20160523_184933

Those ears! Be still my beating heart. Now on to some people food!

20160529_191759

Memorial Day weekend was spent sweating and doing manual labor with an outdoor project, so easy meals was the plan. A glimpse into our weekend of food- Grilled chicken and steak with a delicious, simple vegetable side. Red onions, red bell peppers and zucchini always taste amazing with some garlic and italian seasonings. Not pictured was the other days of hotdogs, hamburgers, antipasto salad, BBQ pulled pork and spaghetti squash au gratin. So good!

20160606_194330

Oh sunny days, how we all love thee. More grilling goodness = less mess in the kitchen! I needed some Mexican flavors in our lives so this dish completely satisfied my mister. Grilled Carne Asada with Spicy Pico de Gallo, Cheesy Green Chile Cauliflower Rice and Roasted Onions, Peppers and Corn. Oh my, was this delicious.

20160604_190945

Last week, I was craving pizza in a big way. Pizza doesn’t agree with me though. I always feel like I have eaten the whole thing, even if it’s only been two slices. So this low carb alternative was made and it was a huge hit with the family!

This recipe is so versatile, I am hesitant to even write out a real recipe so this is what I did.

I marinated chicken breasts in 1/4 cup italian dressing, olive oil, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and italian seasonings for about four hours.

Then I took two shallow dishes, added two beaten eggs to one and grated parmesan cheese to the other. Dip the chicken in egg, then in parmesan cheese to coat. When all chicken was coated, I heated olive oil in a large sauté pan and sautéed for about 4-5 minutes on each side just so the coating was a crisp golden brown. Place chicken into baking dish.

You can use your favorite homemade or jar sauce for this dish. If you have some leftover from a previous meal, even better!

I love sauce mixed with onions and peppers, so I sautéed some up and added a tomato basil flavored marinara that was low in carbs. I topped each parmesan chicken breast with about 1/2 cup sauce mixture.

Then I layered with a mix of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese. I ended my creativity with pepperoni and bacon.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until internal temperature of chicken is 160 degrees. Broil on high to add some nice bubbling color to the top.

The things you could do with this dish- different vegetables, cheese, meats, and sauces. I look forward to experimenting with different ingredients!

Made Me Smile

20160604_095804

My new friends. I just love animals and we talk about moving to the woods with a lot of land all the time. Just watching them enjoying their day, munching and hanging in the water, really made my day.

My new health journal. I am always on a mission to better myself. I always want to be the best version of myself and I love reflecting on each day. It makes me think of all the wonderful things I am grateful for, allows me to be positive towards myself and inspires me to keep motivated toward my goals!

20160606_130722

I will end this very long post with these beautiful yellow flowers I am loving! I can’t wait for all the flowers to open up! Fresh flowers are a must in my house! They seem to brighten up every day!

Wishing happy, sunny and beautiful days to you all!

The Best Turkey Sloppy Joes

These past few weeks have just flown by! They were full of wonderful moments, people and love. This gal turned another year older too! Hello to the new 21 plus some *wink wink*

20160423_124940

There have been birthday celebrations, dining out, dinners made for me and basically no actual cooking by me for the past two weeks! The break was amazing but I did miss the kitchen.

I was spoiled beyond words with beautiful messages, time spent with my favorite people and the most amazing gifts (that were not necessary but completely appreciated!)

A burger bar seemed to be a hit at my sister’s and my birthday bash, I just wish I had some photos to show. Maybe next time!

Later in the week, my sister, momma and I went to Cure for a mother-daughter lunch and it did not disappoint!

20160428_150353

20160428_142823

The whole experience of the restaurant is rustic, beautiful and centered around farm-fresh ingredients. The menu offers a variety of delicious choices from amazing appetizers, their own varieties of smoked bacon, unique sandwiches and main dishes, to tasty desserts and cocktails.

20160428_131940

We started with a birthday drink and this Sangria was amazing! It had just the right amount of rose wine and peach flavors. I should have these more!

20160428_132437

Our waiter was the cutest boy there ever was!

20160428_132131

We shared calamari as our appetizer, made with banana peppers, lemon and a wonderful sweet chili sauce.

20160428_134004

I wasn’t feeling like being fancy for our birthday lunch so the burger with BBQ seasoned fries sounded tasty. It was a celebratory occasion so there was no guilt with the fries! They were worth it!

20160428_135904

We ended our lunch with the best dessert ever- frozen yogurt! I will never say no to that. Ever.

20160428_160525
We are a silly family ūüôā

I feel so blessed with how the past two weeks have gone and look forward to whatever this next year of life brings my way!

20160428_160723

After living in a birthday bubble, it was time to get back into my normal role and I couldn’t think of a better meal to start with than my Turkey Sloppy Joes. This is an easy, flavorful dish that you can serve on your favorite roll, on top of zucchini noodles, pasta or enjoy with a side salad. I’ve eaten it in a bowl with a spoon before, it’s that delicious.¬†Don’t judge.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

20160502_152840

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 jalape√Īos, diced (ribs and seeds removed)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp spicy montreal steak seasoning (or regular montreal steak seasoning for less spicy)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar**
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper

** I will use truvia brown sugar blend to reduce my sugar intake. If using, only use 1/4 cup due to the increased sweetness.

Directions

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, red and jalape√Īo peppers to pan and saut√© for about 5 minutes until slightly tender.

20160502_154501

When vegetables tender, add ground turkey and season with montreal steak seasoning (spicy or regular). Sauce turkey until browned and cooked thoroughly.

20160502_160520

Next, add all remaining seasonings to ground turkey including chili powder, ground mustard, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Mix well.

Then add worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste and season with black pepper.

20160502_162809

Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes for flavors to combine and sauce to thicken.

20160502_173730

Then serve whichever way you like! The mister can’t seem to live without his carbs. It may not be the prettiest meal, but you won’t deny how amazing this tastes!

20160502_174006

20160502_174115

Happy eating!

Paprika Pork and Mushrooms

There is nothing better than coming home to the aromas of a hot meal simmering away on the stove top. Well, that’s what I assume since I seem to be the one always doing the cooking and the mister is the one reaping the benefits of that! We win some, we lose some.

Do you want to know a secret though? There just might be a better scenario that brings a smile to this girl’s face, a delicious meal that is ready in just 20-30 minutes! The kind of meal that comes together so easily, but tastes like you have been in the kitchen all day.

There are days where we will gladly spend all day in the kitchen preparing an enormous amount of love for our families, through food. Holidays, birthdays, special occasions or a  family Sunday dinner, are some of the days that stand out in my life.

On other days, the monotony of work and responsibilities, sometimes leaves little desire to cook a meal that leaves your palate craving more. These are the days that we should all pull out our tried and true recipes that are easy, yet amazing.

This paprika pork and mushrooms, is one of ours. I hope you enjoy it!

IMG_20160331_193600

Paprika Pork and Mushrooms (with or without sour cream) 

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork loin, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8-12 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tsp of minced garlic
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup sour cream or see * in directions

Instructions

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large sauce pan over medium high heat. Trim visible fat from pork loin and cut pork into 1″ cubes. Season pork with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and 1 tbsp of smoked paprika. Saut√© over medium high heat, turning pork several times to brown all sides, then remove from pan into another dish.

Heat the additional tbsp of olive oil into sauté pan and add mushrooms. Allow mushrooms to cook for 5 minutes until soft and remove from pan. Place mushrooms into the dish with pork.

If needed, add a little more olive oil into sauté pan and add onions. Sauté onions until translucent. Then add minced garlic, 1 tbsp of smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp dried thyme. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Next add diced tomatoes with green chiles and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to allow to simmer for 5 minutes until flavors are combined.

Add the pork and mushrooms back into sauté pan, covering with a lid. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

(At this point, I personally believe that we all have different tastes. So adding additional salt and pepper for your preferences would be acceptable)

*If you like sour cream and will be using all servings, add sour cream at the end, stirring into dish until well combined. If you will have leftovers, simply place 1-2 tbsp of sour cream over your serving and combine. The dish tastes delicious when sour cream is also omitted.

Serve over pasta, rice, or potatoes. We like to eat ours with vegetables!

Happy eating!