White Chicken Chili – A Great Way to Stay Warm this Winter

White Chicken Chili is a regular in our winter menu, making its appearance on the weekends and for lunch during the week.   Living in the frigid north means finding those meals that fill the belly and give you that inner warmth.  This chili fits the bill!

White Chicken Chili

 Although my husband loves my red chili, my go to is the white.  As I strive to eat out less at lunch during the week, I’ve found that a crockpot full of White Chicken Chili made on the weekends helps me stay true to that goal.
 Out of curiosity, I’ve tried to find the origins of white chicken chili, but there was no information to be found.  Regular chili seems to have originated in Texas sometime in the 1700 or 1800’s.    It would appear that it was an inexpensive way to easily feed a bunch of cowboys on the range  My guess is somewhere along the line somebody probably tried to healthy it up.
This recipe originally came from Weight Watchers.  At the time (many, many years ago) a cup was worth one point.  Given the changes that the program has made over the years, I have no idea how it would fit into their plan now.  I just know that it’s reasonably healthy and tastes fantastic.
 I’ve shared the recipe as I originally received it, but I’ve made a few tweaks to it over time.  Instead of 2 cups of chicken broth, I like to use a tablespoon or so of chicken base and one cup of water.  It makes the chili a little richer and less watery.  I also use extra mozzarella cheese because, well, it’s cheese! Fresh baked bread or a garlic breadstick is a perfect accompaniment to this chili.
This chili freezes great so get some small freezer containers (personal sized are my favorite for easy meals) and stock up.  You’ll thank yourself when you’re looking for something tasty to eat on the go.

Steak Fajitas Recipe With Guacamole

We first tried this Steak Fajitas recipe about two years ago when it showed up in our Plated.com box.  It was one of those meals that were so fantastic; Mike wanted me to cook it the following week again.  Sadly, since that time I think I’ve only made it a couple of time.  Recently we were going through some of our old recipe cards, and we found this one.  It had been a while since we had made it, so I added it to our menu.  Yikes!  I forgot how much I loved it!  Since I liked it so much (and my original pictured totally sucked!), I decided to update the image and re-share the recipe with you.  This is one of those recipes that is super easy and taste awesome.  My favorite kind of recipe!

Steak Fajitas

The recipe as written below calls for adding some hot sauce into the guacamole but I left it out and put double the hot sauce in the marinade.  That was just a personal preference on my part as I don’t like hot and spicy guacamole.  I also made the guacamole, took out half for me and then added the jalapeno for Mike.  He likes the jalapenos much more than I do. One quick tip, if you want to save time go ahead and buy pre-made guacamole (you obviously won’t need the guacamole ingredients), it may not be as tasty but it will be easier and who can complain about that?

One other recommendation that I would have is to cut the steak into bite size pieces instead of strips.  In the interest of full disclosure, I was more worried about the picture of the steak fajitas versus the eating ability, so I left the steaks in strips. Cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces will simplify the eating process.

If you like fajitas (feel free to substitute chicken for the steak if you’d like), I would highly encourage you to try this recipe as it was one of the best ones that I’ve tried.  You can bet that we’ll be having this again sometime soon!

Mediterranean Chicken with Tzatziki

This Mediterranean Chicken recipe was recently included in one of our Plated.com boxes.  What I really liked about it was that it used a lot of fresh produce.  In fact, if you are looking to stretch this meal a little further you could add another ear or two of corn and another small zucchini to the recipe and you’d be able to serve another person or two.  A further way that this recipe could be modified would be to add whatever other fresh produce you have on hand.

Mediterranean Chicken

In addition to a lot of fresh produce, the recipe is basically a one-skillet recipe.  One-skillet recipes really help make kitchen clean-up after cooking a lot easier!

Maple-Soy Portobello Mushroom Burgers

One of my tricks for cooking at home more is to find recipes that are not only tasty, but incredibly easy.  These Portobello Mushroom Burgers check both of those boxes.

When the kids were younger, we used to cook these up fairly frequently.  Since those meals were met with groans and refusals to eat them, I ended up taking them out of the rotation.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Since it had been a while since I cooked them, I was pretty pleased when I received them in my Plated.com box.  Now that the kids aren’t around, I really don’t need to worry about their tastes 🙂 This is a little different than what I used to do with them, I didn’t use the maple syrup or the guacamole, but I find the to be quite tasty.

I’m not a big hamburger bun fan so I actually buy French rolls, warm them up in the oven and use those instead.

Thai Peanut Chicken Curry Recipe

Thai Peanut Chicken Curry

 

We’ve been using Plated.com for over a year.  This Thai Peanut Chicken Curry recipe was in one of our first few boxes and one of the first I tried on my own, you know, when I had to buy the ingredients and actually measure them out myself.  I absolutely LOVE the fact that Plated sends you all the ingredients pre-measured and all you have to do is unpack the box.  Since we had already tried this recipe and loved it,  I wasn’t apprehensive about buying all the ingredients to make it again.

Finding all the ingredients was another story.  Although my grocery story carries a wide selection of food, I could not find sticky rice or gochujang.  After stopping in at a local Oriental foods store I found out that gochujang is usually sold under the description of red pepper paste.  Oh well, I now have enough of red pepper paste and sticky rice to last me a lifetime 🙂

This Thai Peanut Chicken Curry recipe does have a bit of a bite.  While I’m not a complete lily lips, I don’t like overly spicy food.  This was border line for me in terms of spice.  If you don’t like spicy foods I would halve or leave out altogether the red pepper paste.

Now that I have the majority of the ingredients, I’ll be adding this into a somewhat regular rotation.  Now if I could just find someone to pre-measure all the ingredients……..

Apple Cider Pork Chops with Butternut Squash Polenta

Apple Cider Pork Chops

Pork chops are not typically a favorite in the WWIN household.  Before making these Apple Cider Pork Chops, my experience has been mostly with the Shake and Bake variety.  I can count on one hand how may times I’ve eaten pork chops on one hand.

Considering our somewhat negative feeling towards pork chops, you may be surprised that I chose this recipe from one of our Plated.com box.  I know, me too.  However, the whole purpose of getting the Plated.com boxes (besides making my life easier) was to step outside of our comfort zone when it came to food.

I would have to say that although not a favorite (and we won’t be adding it into our regular rotation) these Apple Cider Pork Chops really weren’t bad.  I know, not a rousing recommendation to try a new recipe. But you know what they say, different strokes for different folks.  If you like pork chops I’d definitely give this recipe a try.

Apple Cider Pork Chops

  • 1 cup butternut squash cubes
  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 packets butter, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 8-ounce container chicken stock
  • 1 cup polenta

Place squash in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until very soft, about 8 minutes.

While squash boils, peel shallot and thinly slice. Heat 1 packet butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Rinse pork and pat dry with paper towel. Season all over with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, add pork and sear until browned on outside and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

When squash is tender, immediately drain, transfer to a medium bowl, and add ½ of milk. Using a potato masher or fork, mash until smooth. Set aside.

Add shallot to pan from pork over medium heat and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add apple cider, tarragon, and apple cider vinegar and simmer, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by ½, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

While pan sauce simmers, add chicken stock and 1½ cups water to pot from squash over high heat. Bring to a boil, then slowly add polenta, whisking continuously. Reduce heat to low and cook until tender, 1-2 minutes (see Recipe Tip). Whisk in mashed squash, remaining butter, and remaining milk. Remove pot from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve pork over a bed of polenta and spoon pan sauce over everything.

I hope you enjoy these Apple Cider Pork Chops!

 

Chicken Tostadas – An Easy Dinner

Chicken Tostadas

Mexican food is a favorite in our household, even though chicken tostadas haven’t been on our radar.  There’s a local restaurant that we go to so frequently that they know what we want as soon as we walk in the door.  I love that kind of service!

However, when it comes to making Mexican at home our go to is usually our taco buffet.  Not overly exciting, it is?  Belle does like quesadilla’s but she keeps it pretty generic with just cheese and the shell.  Our Homemade Guacamole is as wild as we get here 🙂

Since we love Mexican cuisine so much, I was pretty excited to get this Chicken Tostadas recipe in a Plated.com box we received a while ago.  Fortunately it wasn’t a recipe that disappointed, we’ll definitely be makiAng this one again!

Chicken Tostadas

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 12 ounces ground chicken
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco

Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel onion and quarter. Rinse tomato and quarter lengthwise. Rinse jalapeño and thinly slice into rings, discarding stem. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. On a baking sheet, toss tomato and ½ of onion with 1 tablespoon canola oil, ½ of cumin, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Save remaining onion for another use, as desired.

While vegetables roast, heat ½ tablespoon canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and remaining cumin. Season with salt and pepper and cook, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

While chicken cooks, halve avocado and discard pit. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out flesh and discard skin. Halve lime. In a medium bowl, combine avocado, juice of 1 lime, Greek yogurt, and 3 tablespoons warm water. Whisk until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

Wipe pan from chicken clean and add 3 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add tortillas in a single layer, working in batches if necessary, and cook until golden and crisp, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Wipe pan from tostadas clean and add refried beans over medium heat. Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop roasted onion and tomato. Stir together in a medium bowl to make salsa.

Divide tostadas evenly between 2 plates. Top each with a layer of refried beans, then spoon over chicken, salsa, shredded cabbage, and jalapeño. Drizzle over yogurt-avocado sauce and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco. Serve.

Enjoy your chicken tostadas!

2 servings – 770 calories per serving

Brown Sugar & Pineapple Ham

Pineapple Ham

With Easter around the corner I thought that I would repost my Pineapple Ham recipe.  It’s a winner!

Growing up my mom’s Brown Sugar & Pineapple Ham was one of my favorites.  When cooking, she would always add a maraschino in the center of the pineapple to give it a little extra pizzazz.  I made my first pineapple ham when I was 19.

For my first foray into cooking the ham, I chose not to add the maraschino cherries because I don’t like cherries.  Everything was going really well until I went to baste it and found my ham “bleeding”.  Of course I was quite upset because I never noticed my mom’s ham bleeding and wasn’t sure what I needed to do at that point.

Cue to my mom and dad rolling on the floor laughing.  They decided to add just the maraschino juice to my pineapple ham to give it an extra flavor and thought I wouldn’t notice if they didn’t include the actual cherries.  What I mistook for blood was the juice.  Suffice it to say I wasn’t very happy.

Creamy Chicken Casserole – Dinner Idea

Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe

Guest post from my friend Jenny

Quick and easy casseroles are one of my favorites  Those recipes that are simple and have only a few ingredients, most of which are cupboard staples are the best.  This Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe usually falls into that category! When making different recipes using cubed or shredded chicken, I usually cook up extra and then put it in 3-4 cup portions and put in the freezer for later.  This creamy chicken casserole is a good option for a weeknight, and if you have chicken already cooked off and cut up you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour.  Add a tossed salad and some fresh vegetables and you have a great family meal.

Chicken Wings Recipe – An Easy Dinner

Chicken Wings
I always enjoy it when the kids are back home from college. It is always a good feeling to have them back in their beds! Whenever they’re home I like to make chicken wings which everyone enjoys.

My son loves his wings with ranch so decided to incorporate a little ranch seasoning right on the wings.  If your family isn’t a huge fan of ranch, just leave it out.

I hope your family enjoys these as much as my family does!