Saturday, September 27, 2014

Chicken Fajita Bake

I’ve been exploring new ways of prepping meals. Whether it involves the slow cooker, a frozen casserole dish, or simply a one-pot meal that you can pop together.  My husband doesn’t mind cooking but loves this prepped meals that he can simply pop into the oven with directions or add the bag of ingredients to the slow cooker.  This takes a little time and effort but I’ve learned if I prep these meals before work, whomever gets home first can help to make dinner easily.
Today’s post is on Chicken Fajita Bake.  Chicken Fajitas are a beloved meal at our home.  Mostly because anything that is that delicious and can be wrapped in a tortilla is a staple for mealtime.  I made a big portion so we would both have lunches to take with us during the week and extra chicken to add to salads for another meal.  You can certainly half or quarter this recipe easily.  Also one serving for this meal, is one fajita.  Most of the time I indulge in two or three depending on how hungry I am. This post comes in two parts, the first part is the taco seasoning that I added for the fajitas.  This recipe for the taco seasoning is about two servings for. 

Taco Seasoning

2 servings
2 minutes to prep

·       1 tsp Garlic Powder
·       ½ tsp Pepper
·       1 tsp Salt
·       ½ tsp Cumin
·       1 tsp Paprika

Mix all ingredients together, sprinkle on whatever recipe it’s called for.

Chicken Fajita Bake

14 servings
30 minutes to prep
45 minutes to cook

·       1 Vidalia Onion
·       2 Sweet Peppers
·       4 Chicken Breasts
·       2 Large Zucchini
·       Taco Seasoning
·       3 Tsp. Vegetable Oil
·       10-14 Tortillas
·       2 cups Shredded Cheese
·       1 Tomato diced
·       2 cups of Lettuce
·       Sour Cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Ready a large baking dish.  Chop peppers and onions into strips.  Chop Chicken into small pieces.  Chop Zucchini into small pieces.  

Begin to layer dish, adding a layer of onions and peppers on the bottom first.  Add Zucchini to one side.  Then begin to add chicken on top of peppers and onions.

Drizzle pan with oil and sprinkle with taco seasoning.  Use a spoon to mix up the chopped vegetables and chicken with the seasoning so it’s evenly applied.  Put in oven for 45 minutes or so.  You may want to take it out to stir up vegetables and chicken part way through so it cooks evenly.

After dish is in oven, begin to ready sides (lettuce, tomato, cheese) into small dishes for dinner.  Allow tortillas to come to room temperature if they were refrigerated.
Pull out baking dish and allow cooling for about 5-10 minutes.  Then set out small dishes of toppings and tortillas and serve.

Friday, September 19, 2014

No Bake Cheesecake with Kiwi Berry

If you haven’t been able to tell, I am a HUGE fan of dessert. I’ll try pretty much anything and am constantly experimenting with new flavors for a new combination.  Recently we were given Kiwi Berries in our CSA delivery.  I wasn’t really sure what they would taste like and what they could be cooked in.  After a little bit of research, I determined that mostly Kiwi Berry is a fruit that’s made into jam or eaten raw when ripe.  I’m not a fan of jam and after trying one of them, I looked for a new way of incorporating them into dinner.  I considered slow roasting them with meat, but frankly just wanted dessert that night.  You can certainly substitute a different kind of berries or fruit to go with this.

No-Bake Cheesecake w/Kiwi Berry

4 servings
30 minutes to prep

·       1 cup of Kiwi Berry
·       ½ granulated Sugar
·       1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar (divided)
·       1 pint Heavy Cream (about 2 cups, divided)
·       3/4 cup of water
·       1 package of Cream Cheese (8 oz.)
·       2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract (divided)
·       3 Graham Crackers (crumbled)
·       2 Tsp. Butter (melted)

Add the Kiwi Berries, water, and granulated sugar to a small pan and gently heat up on the stove top.  You’ll need to mash them as they cook.  Allow it to cook down, about 10 minutes or so.  Set aside to cool.

While that is cooling begin the cheesecake filling.  Whip together ½ cup of Confectioner’s Sugar, Cream Cheese, 1 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract, and ½ of the pint of Heavy Cream in a large bowl.  It should create heavy fluffy mounds of awesomeness.

Melt butter in a small bowl and add graham cracker crumbles to it.  Mix until thoroughly combined.   

Empty rest of Heavy Cream into a bowl and add 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract and ½ cup of Confectioner’s Sugar.  Whip together until firm peaks form.  Pull out 4 small bowls or containers.  Begin to layer dessert.  Graham cracker crumbles on the bottom, a layer of cheesecake, a layer of berries, a layer of cheesecake, and lastly a layer of whipped cream on top.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

This time of year, it’s easy to have a hodge podge of ingredients in your refrigerator.  This is an easy soup recipe to break them all down into a quick meal.  I made this for lunches and it turned out great.  If you don’t have the exact veggies that I featured, feel free to throw in ones that you may have lying around.  Like extra spinach, mushrooms, wax beans, or patty pan squash.  Just maybe stay away from starchy veggies.  

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

6 servings
10 minutes to prep
4 hours to cook on high

·       1 14 oz can of tomato sauce
·       6 Cups of Water
·       1 cup of fresh corn (about 2 ears worth)
·       3 fresh tomatoes (diced)
·       ½ cup of fresh basil (chopped
·       1 cup of green beans (chopped)
·       2 cups of Spinach or Kale
·       1 teaspoon of Salt
·       3 cloves of garlic (minced
·       1 cup of Zucchini (chopped
·       1 large Red Onion (chopped
·       1 cup of small Pasta (macaroni or small shells)

Chop all vegetables and herbs.

Add all ingredients except for pasta to a slow cooker.  Set slow cooker on high and allow cooking for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, add pasta.  Cook for 20 minutes, test pasta for doneness and serve.  
I put the soups in little microwavable bowls for work.  It made an easy meal for me to eat at work or heat up at home if I was far too tired to cook.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rosemary Peach Chicken

I know, I know, two chicken recipes right in a row, but both are super yummy! 
I love peaches, but we’ve received a lot of peaches from our weekly CSA deliveries.  After 5 bags of peaches in less than a month, I’ve now started vigorously searching for recipes to use up our peaches.  I came across this one, which sounded great but the initial recipe called for apricots and roasting in the oven.  Since I was making this on a day when I didn’t have a great deal of time and I needed to use up all of these peaches, I made a few substitutions. I utilized a slow cooker instead of roasting the items in the oven and added carrots as another vegetable to the bottom of the slow cooker.  Because you always to want to add as many veggies to a dish as possible.  The dish turned out great with a side of sauteed zucchini. 

Rosemary Peach Chicken in Slow Cooker


4 servings
20 minutes to prep
7 hours to cook on low heat
4 hours to cook on high heat

·       2 cups of carrots chopped
·       1 Red Onion sliced
·       4-5 Chicken thighs
·       2 Tsps of Olive Oil
·       3 Peaches, skinned and chopped
·       3-4 sprigs of Rosemary, chopped
·       3 Tsps of White Balsamic
·       2 Tsps of regular Balsamic
·       1 teaspoon of Salt
Layer the carrots and onions as the two bottom layers in the slow cooker.

Brown the chicken thighs in Olive Oil on the stovetop.

Layer the chicken thighs on top of the veggies, then layer diced peaches and sprinkle rosemary on top. Drizzle both Balsamic Vinegars on top.

Cook on low for 7 hours or so.