Top 5 Favorite Dinner Recipes

Pinterest¬†is my cookbook. I have oodles of recipes from years past saved in binders and a fair amount of cookbooks {although I’ve donated several in my attempt to simplify and cut clutter}. Pinterest came around and it became this game-changing way to keep track of the things I love whether it be fashion ideas, home decor, organizing tips, ways to save money or of course, saving recipes! I have various boards for food ranging from easy – hard & healthy – sweet and everything in-between. Here are a few tried and true recipes that are in my rotation. In order to be added to my rotation of dinner recipes, it has to pass my quality control department aka my family. ūüôā

ravoli-2-682x1024Ravioli Bake by Budget Savvy Diva

Salsa-Verde-Honey-Lime-Pepper-Jack-Chicken-Enchiladas12-1-682x1024Salsa Verde Honey Lime Pepper Jack Chicken Enchiladas by Carlsbad Cravings

Green Chicken ChiliCrockpot Green Chili Chicken by Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Sheet-Pan-Shrimp-Fajitas_-6One Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas by No 2 Pencil

artichoke chicken bake

Tomato Basil Artichoke Baked Chicken by Julia’s Album

Do you have go-to meals or recipes to share? I’d love to hear them! I love reading comments from my readers.

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I love Fall and one of my most favorite parts of this season is the food. Pumpkin and apple everything? Yes please! I also love crock-pot meals for the convenience. Chef Mommy nailed it with this delicious soup. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure. With a little bit of prep you can have this yummy soup simmering for dinner. Serve with a fresh loaf of french bread and a side salad and viola, dinner is served!

SoupSource – Chef Mommy

 

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half (I used fat-free half and half)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup diced celery

Directions:

Combine broth, water, carrots, celery, chicken and rice (along with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Take out chicken and shred with two forks and then add back into slow cooker. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour mixture by tablespoon to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Stir cream mixture into slow cooker and then let cook on low for 15 more minutes.

Red Bean, Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

So crock-pot recipes, I’m a total fan!! I am working close to full time right now so it’s important to have a yummy dinner that requires less work. Viola — hello crock-pot! I found this recipe on BH&G. My personal food critic sister was a little worried at the addition of peanut butter. She said it sounded like the episode of Friends where Rachel made a trifle and it was awful {because the ingredients were totally mixed up!} I do love Friends but I did not pull a Rachel – nope, the recipe really called for PB!!

If you want a laugh, I’ve posted the link to the Friends video. In case you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about ūüėČ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx5Wpqf4-OM/

So the reviews for this recipe? It was awesome! I’d totally make it again. Another bonus, it was super filling and it’s considered a skinny recipe at 366 calories per person. WINNER! The peanut butter gave it a curry type flavor.

 

red bean chicken stew

 

Photo Source – BH&G

 

Red Bean, Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew – BH&G

Ingredients

  • 2¬†15¬†ounce¬†can¬†no-salt-added red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4¬†cups¬†peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 8¬†ounces¬†boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8¬†ounces¬†boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2¬†14 1/2¬†ounce¬†can¬†reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/2¬†cups¬†chopped green sweet peppers (2 large)
  • 1¬†14 1/2¬†ounce¬†can¬†no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1¬†10¬†ounce¬†can¬†tomatoes and chopped green chile’s, undrained
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†Cajun seasoning
  • 2¬†cloves¬†garlic, minced
  • 1/4¬†cup¬†creamy peanut butter
  • Snipped fresh cilantro
  • Chopped peanuts (optional)
Directions
1.¬†In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine beans, sweet potatoes, chicken, broth, sweet peppers, diced tomatoes, tomatoes and green chile’s, Cajun seasoning, and garlic.2.¬†Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

3. Remove 1 cup hot liquid from cooker. Whisk in peanut butter. Stir into mixture in cooker.

4. Serve topped with cilantro and, if desired, peanuts.

Of course as always, I changed a few things based on what I had. I used only chicken breasts and no thighs. I also used two cans diced tomatoes and neither had green chilies. I was also short a can of beans. Regardless of these changes Рit was a hearty, filling and very flavorful stew. I am looking forward to having it tomorrow at lunch.

 

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili

 

I posted that I was making this yesterday on Facebook and many of you asked for the recipe. I wanted to make sure that it was ‘share worthy’ and it is ūüėČ If you want a super simple meal and love using your crockpot then this is perfect!! I also love that her blog {Skinny Taste} is filled with delicious and good for you meals.

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 (15 oz cans) of white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
  • 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • fat free sour cream for topping (optional)
  • chopped cilantro and chives for topping (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat¬†a large heavy saute pan over high heat and lightly¬†spray¬†with oil.¬†Add¬†meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes.¬† Add¬†to crock pot.
  • Add¬†oil to the saute pan, then onions, garlic,¬†saut√©¬†about 3 – 4 minutes;¬†add¬†cumin and¬†saut√©¬†another minute.
  • Add¬†to crock pot.¬†Add¬†beans, pumpkin puree, green chilis, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves.¬†Cover¬†and¬†cook¬†on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • Remove¬†bay leaves and¬†adjust¬†seasoning to taste before serving. Enjoy!

I served this with tortilla chips as they are a MUST for chili in our household although I think you could do something more healthy like a salad. If you wanted to be good that is ūüėČ This coming from a girl that snacks on candy corns. Ha ha!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crockpot Chili Rubbed Pork and Homemade Mac n Cheese

I have a crockpot — ¬†I don’t use it enough. I do however know that I should.

Three reasons why we should all use our crockpots more.

1} It’s so easy.
2} It makes your house smell amazing
3} It’s ready at dinnertime without an excess of prep.

I really love #3 cause cooking dinner takes a lot of time and after a night of soccer practice, etc. I just don’t want to spend forever cooking.

Last week I assembled a lovely comfort foods meal. The pork was thrown in the crockpot the night before and I made the mac n cheese the day of. I might have also whipped up some homemade applesauce. Not to sound like an over achiever or anything!! ūüėČ We even had leftovers for lunch the next day.

Worlds Best Mac N Cheese from¬†Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s Pure Flavor Cookbook {as seen on Martha Stewart}

Ingredients

  • Butter or vegetable oil, for baking dish
  • 6 ounces penne
  • 2 cups¬†Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Sauce
  • 1 ounce cheddar cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or oil and 8-inch baking dish; set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook penne, according to package direction, for 2 minutes less than recommended on the package. Rinse pasta in cold water; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together cooked pasta and sauce gently but thoroughly. Pour pasta into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with cheeses and chile powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
This was a very yummy mac n cheese recipe but my favorite is still one I found in Sunset Magazine a few years ago. Click here for that recipe.
The pork recipe was very good. I made a few variations. I used a pork loin because I had one in the freezer. I have also noted a few other changes. It was a yummy dinner that everyone enjoyed.

Chili Rubbed Pork Roast

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 Dry¬† {Ancho} Chili Pods¬†{ You can find the chilies at Wall Mart or most supermarkets } * I used a couple tsp’s of ¬†Ancho Chili Pepper instead
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 2¬† Cubes of¬† Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon I used packets instead of cubes.
  • 1 tsp. sea salt.
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Directions

1. I n a pot boil the chilies for a few minutes until they become tender.

Remove the stems from the chilies and in a food processor blend together the garlic, cumin, the chicken bouillon,

the chilies and the oil. This will make a thick paste.

{If you don’t want any heat remove the seeds from the inside of the chilies}

2. Rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder.

3. Add to your crock pot 1 cup of water and a broken chicken bullion.

Put the pork roast inside of the crock pot and let it cook for about 4 hours on high and 2 more hours on low.

By the end it should be extremely tender and delicious.

OPTIONAL

I like to broil the top in the oven for just a few minutes before I serve it.

It makes the outside a little bit crispier.

Do you use a crockpot? Do you have a favorite go to recipe? Please share ūüėČ