Southwestern Chicken Burrito Bowls

Hey friends! As the weather is (finally) cooling off I have been cooking up some hot recipes to warm up. Today’s recipe is super easy to make for a quick weeknight meal that is healthy for the whole family! 

southwestern bowls

I have been addicted to my crockpot as a working mother. It is SO much harder to find time to cook when I get off work and have a million things to do upon arriving home so cooking gets put on the back burner. I have found getting everything into the crockpot in the morning makes having a healthy dinner a breeze. Just add chopped or frozen veggies, meat of choice, sauce and set it and FORGET IT! There’s my Billy Mayes impression, you’re welcome. 

gumbo1

Anyways, this recipe can be a bit spicy so if anybody in your family dislikes that it is very easy to adjust the recipe to remove the jalapenos. I make this weekly for dinner but love it even more the next day after the flavors have melded together overnight. 


Southwestern Chicken Burrito Bowls

Serves: 6-8

Cooking Time: 6-8 hours on low

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 14.5 oz can no-salt added black beans, drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced no-salt added tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can no-salt added corn
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, cheese, guacamole, salsa, diced green onions, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. Combine the chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, onions, peppers, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, salt, and cumin in the bowl of a 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Make sure the chicken is covered, and add additional stock if needed. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
  2.  

    Remove the lid and add the rice, black beans, corn, and the remaining chicken broth. Replace the lid and continue cooking on low for another 3 to 4 hours. Check the rice periodically in the last hour of cooking, stirring once or twice to make sure the rice cooks evenly and adding more chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Cooking is done when the rice is tender — if the rice is done while there is still liquid left in the slow cooker, remove the lid and cook on high to let the liquid evaporate.

    1. Modification: If you will not be home to add rice to slow cooker during this step you can modify this recipe by adding ingredients from this step 1 to slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8hrs. For the last 1/2 hr of cooking, add beans, corn and remaining broth and cook until warmed through. Cook the rice on the stovetop according to package instructions then serve with chicken mixture over rice.
  3. When cooking is done, remove chicken from slow cooker and use two forks to shred into bite size pieces. Transfer chicken back into bowl of slow cooker, mix well, and serve warm with desired toppings (cheese and salsa suggested!!).

Tomato-Basil Chicken Pasta

Happy New Year readers!! This year I vow to blog more per month. My life has gotten kind of insane in the past couple months but NO EXCUSES this new year. My new years resolutions are:

  1. Keep weight maintained as much as possible through healthy food choices (like this recipe here!!) and exercise.
  2. Check off more to-do’s weekly for updating our house.
  3. Focus more on growing my blog.

Hopefully you guys can help me with that last one :). If you love reading my posts and have liked the recipes you see here be sure to pass the link to this website on to friends and family! The more the merrier! I also encourage you all to comment so that, well, I know people actually read the crazy stuff I post, but mostly so I can get feedback on what you like or would like to see more of!

Caprese Pasta

I got inspiration for this fan-tab-ulous recipe by the close-to-expiry fresh basil I had in my fridge. I really could not stop raving (and patting myself on the back) to my husband about how EASY and utterly DELICIOUS this recipe was! It would have been a one pot meal had I not boiled the noodles in a separate pot. 

Caprese Pasta

You could make this caprese style by adding mozzarella, which I thoroughly considered, but decided on cheddar for more of a flavor punch.

8

I mean…how good does that look?! I wish I had made extra but that just means I have to make more soon. Totally adding this to my recipe arsenal.

Caprese PastaThe recipe mentions using a thyme-garlic compound butter which I made for Christmas and had some leftover to use. Everybody that tried it raved about it. I have used it on a 17 lb. turkey, rolls, and now in this recipe so I highly recommend. It is super easy to make and really, really delicious to add to meats, stews, and sauces for added flavor. You can find a recipe for it here.


 

 Tomato-Basil Chicken Pasta

Serves: 2

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
  • 3/4 pint fresh grape tomatoes
  • 1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp. thyme-garlic compound butter (regular butter is okay too)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 servings whole wheat (or quinoa/brown rice/edamame) pasta

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Pound chicken for faster, more even cooking or slice into strips. Season with salt and pepper and add to pot with oil. Cook 5-10 minutes per side or until no pink remains. Remove from pot,  set aside and let rest. If chicken is not cut into strips yet, cut after resting 5 minutes.
  3. Add in garlic, tomatoes, basil, and butter into pot chicken was in. Simmer for 5 minutes (while simmering, move to Step 4) until butter is melted and well incorporated.
  4. In separate pot, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Once water is boiling, add pasta to pot. Cook until tender, drain, rinse, and set aside.
  5. Add chicken back into pot with 1/2 cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine. Turn off heat, serve over pasta, top with remaining cheddar cheese.

 

Powered by Zedity

Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa

You may not find this on your standard take-out menu, but this Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa is every bit as scrumptious as your favorite take-out fried rice – only healthier! My husband is very picky about eating take-out Asian food because he doesn’t like the sauces that typically come drenched all over it . Not only that, but they are typically very high is sodium and he watches his sodium intake like a hawk (due to high blood pressure and general health reasons) so we usually don’t eat it often.

Curry chicken fried rice
Sorry the pictures aren’t the best…I was too hungry to take many before devouring!

 

SO, what was a wife to do? Not eat Asian food ever again? Yeah right! I decided, like any caring wife would, to make him like the foods I like so we could enjoy them together! =) It took a little persuasion to try this but guess what? HE LOVED IT! We will definitely be making this recipe again in the future! It was super easy to make which was a plus on a busy weeknight for us. Give it a try and let me know how you like it in the comments!

This Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa could be either a main entrée or side dish depending if you choose to add in meat. The quinoa would pair well with pork, beef, or chicken – so feel free to experiment with your favorites!


 

 

Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 (4 oz. each) boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts, shredded or cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. red pepper (cayenne) powder
  • 1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 Tbsp. siracha (optional for topping)

Directions:

  1. In a wok, or large skillet, heat 1 tsp. of canola oil over medium beat.Add in onion and garlic and cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Remove onions and garlic and set aside.
  2. In medium bowl combine chicken, curry powder, onion powder, and red pepper (cayenne) powder and 1 Tbsp canola oil. Toss chicken in heated skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. Remove and set aside
  3. Add remaining canola oil into same heated wok, or skillet, and stir in mixed frozen vegetables. Stir frequently until heated through.
  4. Once vegetables are warmed through, create a circle in the middle of the pan by pushing vegetables out towards edges of pan. Add in 2 egg whites and stir until cooked through.
  5. Toss the chicken, soy sauce, and quinoa in with the vegetable mixture.
  6. Serve with drizzle of siracha or more soy sauce on top and enjoy!!

 

Powered by Zedity

 

Chicken Lentil Stew

cs2If you are new to receiving my blog’s emails – Welcome!! Remember to sign up for the NUTRIBULLET contest by midnight tonight in order to be entered to win!! If you don’t know what I’m talking about simply click here to view more information on how to be entered to win. cs5

Alright, back to the food. I was inspired by a vegetarian magazine I was reading on the treadmill the other day at the gym (because who doesn’t read about food while working out?) to make this savory chicken lentil stew. Obviously, I added chicken therefore making the vegetarian part of the dish null and void but you could just as easily omit it if desired.

cs1

This stew smelled so amazing cooking in my crock pot all day. It was really hard to resist tasting…because I definitely didn’t do any of that. None at all. Seriously, give this dish a try. I had never had lentils before but they are very yummy! They offer lots of protein and fiber but aren’t a complete amino acid so I added chicken in order to round out the ingredients and add a lot more protein.

cs3

NOTE: I used 2 1/2 chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand that was defrosted. Please feel free to add more chicken as desired…3 chicken breasts would be a good amount to start with.

Chicken Lentil Stew cs4

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 chicken breasts
  • 32oz (1 container) low-sodium Pacifico Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapenos (may substitute with green chiles if desired) 
  • 2 cans no-salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, add all ingredients, stir to make sure to cover all vegetables and chicken with the broth.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 hours or high-heat setting for 5 hours.
  3. Serve topped with cheese, avocado, or greek yogurt as desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition: 1 serving (~2 1/2 cups) has 376 calories, 3.7g fat, 722mg sodium,  42.8 carbs, 9.2g fiber, 10.9g sugar, and 43g protein.

 

One Pot Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry

sesame chickenHi there! I was super busy yesterday working overtime and went to the gym after work (because it was snowing in the morning here!) SO I didn’t feel like cooking much for dinner. Luckily I had some chicken in the fridge and some frozen broccoli to save the day!

I was loving this a lot last night because it only used ONE POT. That’s it. Clean-up was a breeze! I got finished cooking dinner and doing the dishes in more than enough time to watch one of my favorite shows – that’s a pretty great night to me!

This is a great way to use up leftover chicken breasts you might have lying around along with any extra veggies you have on hand. Stir-fry is a great weeknight recipe because it is so fast and easy to throw together. It is very nutritious with the wide variety of vegetables you can use in it as well as lean protein. Don’t be afraid to try it – you will love it!

For this recipe I marinated the chicken in soy sauce, honey, pepper, salt, cumin, a little bit of hot sauce, and garlic powder to give it a lot of the asian style flavor I was craving. I let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes prior to cooking for maximum flavor. It was delicious!!

sesame chicken2

TIP: If only cooking for two simply reduce the amount of chicken to 2 chicken breasts. That is what we ended up cooking but I increased the amounts to serve a family vs. two people so you would have leftovers 🙂 !

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skin-less chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 in. cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. organic honey
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 Tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 (16oz.) package frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch rounds

Directions:

  1. Combine first 7 ingredients (only 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1/2 Tbsp. honey) into plastic bag or bowl, seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In large saucepan over medium heat, add chicken, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1/2 Tbsp. honey. Stir very little (to allow the liquid to caramelize onto chicken to create a crisper outer layer) until cooked through. Remove from pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and set aside.
  3. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, and carrots to same pan, cover, and cook just until tender. Add chicken back into pan to bring to temperature then remove from heat and serve over brown rice or quinoa with additional soy sauce and/or hot sauce. Enjoy!