Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Slow cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Can you keep a secret? What am I saying, of course you can! I am having an affair. Yes, my husband knows all about it and he’s ok with it. In fact, we tag team occasionally. The object of my latest love affair? My slow cooker. It’s been cold and my husband and I both work full-time so we’ve been working together to get dinner on. I’ll get it prepped and he’ll assemble and turn it on. We make great partners! You’ve seen my many slow cooker recipes: beef stew, chicken and wild rice soup, chicken and dumplings, creamy Italian chicken, and those are only the ones I can think of right off. I’ve been sort of MIA lately, but I’m here to share with you another delish slow cooker soup recipe. It’s different, it’s healthy, and it’s very flavorful. You can spice it up or down, whatever you like. And the best part? It’s ridiculously easy. I mean really, can it get any better? Well, ok, if it would clean up after itself, that would be pretty amazing, but in the absence of that, I’ll be making this regularly!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can roasted tomatoes undrained
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can medium enchilada sauce
1 can corn with green & red peppers drained
1 onion chopped
2 C water
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 C chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
chopped cilantro (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)
cayenne pepper (optional)

1. place all ingredients except cilantro and tortilla chips in a 4qt slow cooker. Turn on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
2. remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and use two forks to shred meat.
3. Put chicken back into slow cooker and allow it to cook for an additional 15-30 minutes.
4. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro if desired. Sprinkle crushed tortilla chips on top if desired.
If you want spicier soup, add 1/2 tsp cayenne or you can use hot enchilada sauce, and increase the chili powder.
If you want a milder soup, you can use mild enchilada sauce and cut the chili powder in half.
This is just such a flavorful soup, with many different layers and textures.
And once again, no pics, sorry friends, it was just too good! (and I totally forgot ūüė¶ sorry!)

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A Swing and a Miss, Almost

Yes, a baseball reference. It’s nearly spring, time to break out the boys of summer talk, right? I suppose. I’m still in mourning over the end of college football season (I don’t do pro). I mentioned the torturing feeding of my younglings and how they love to protest. And protest they do. Loudly. And often. Especially when the meal involves vegetables, grilled fish/chicken, and no cheese. So imagine my surprise when they needed cheese to go with their whine tonite when dinner included onions, red & yellow peppers and, wait for it…..NO CHEESE.

I found an insane sale on red & yellow bell peppers last week at the grocery and scored as many as I could, knowing how well they freeze and how expensive they normally are. Here are these gorgeous winks of summer staring at me every time I open the fridge, so of course I had to find a way to use them. In my book, anything with peppers and onions has to be good!

Enter Smoked Turkey Sausage jambalaya. If you are in the mood for healthy Cajun, I got it, righcheer. Hooo boy, this some good eatin righcheer! (ok, I have no idea how to sound Cajun, just go with it!)

Yum yum yum! Torture kids on a plate!

Yum yum yum! Torture kids on a plate!

Smoked Turkey Sausage jambalaya

1 pkg jambalaya rice mix (I used Zatarains)
1 pkg smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced

1. prepare Jambalaya according to pkg instructions.
2. While rice is cooking, put sausage in large skillet and cook 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent burning.
3. Add onion & peppers to sausage and cook 5 to 10 minutes, or until peppers are soft.
4. When rice is done (some water in pan & rice is tender), add sausage/peppers/onion to rice mix, stir well and serve.
Eat alone or w/a green salad. It’s got a bit of a kick to it. And although my children didn’t like it much, my husband totally scarfed it up!

Enjoy!

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Quick & Easy Power Breakfast

Since I’ve been focusing on lifestyle changes, I haven’t shared many recipes, so I’m here today to share with you one of my favorite power breakfasts that is quick, easy,¬†low cal¬†and packed with protein. Do you remember the part about my love affair with bread? No? Well, just in case you missed it,¬†I would marry it if I could I love it so. Really, I would. I could live on bread alone, fresh warm bread. MMMM¬†with butter, without butter, I don’t care. Bagels are bread, so you can guess my feelings about them. The problem, bagels are high calorie. A single bagel¬†can be upwards of 350 calories. That’s equal to nearly 5 slices of bread! imagine¬†my joy when I found ‘bagel thins’. They’re fantastic because you get the essential parts of the bagel, it’s like they’ve cut the middle out and left the outside edges for our dining pleasure! We can totally fake out our brains, get a taste of the bagel for 1/3 the calories! I’m giddy!

You can pre-make the eggs and just nuke and assemble for a meal in a minute. I saw a great gadget at Bed Bath & Beyond, it was a non-stick ring w/a handle on it so you can make your eggs in a circle, kinda like they do at the fast food Mickey D’s. then you’ve got the eggs in the perfect size and shape. Which, in theory, would also allow you to make several at a time and refrigerate them for use in a day or two.

 

Breakfast to go

1 bagel thin  Р110Cal    6g protein
1 whole egg plus one egg white 70 cal-whole egg + 17 cal-egg white=87 cal    10g protein
4 slices deli ham Р60 cal   9g protein
1 slice swiss cheese Р60 cal  4g protein

TOTAL= 317 calories  29g protein

Scramble the egg/egg white in a skillet, salt to taste, or nuke pre-cooked egg. Toast the bagel while the eggs are cooking/nuking.

Layer ham, cheese, eggs on the bagel. If you put the ham on first, the cheese won’t melt and fall out the hole. Yep, found that one out the hard way!

If you don’t think you have time in the AM to do it all, with the¬†pre-cooked¬†eggs, you can just assemble it on your way out the door!

Not too shabby huh? It’s great, it’s filling, it will stick with you til lunch. If you want to shave a few calories off and make it under 300 cal, omit the cheese.

When you try it, let me know what you think!

 

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Lemony tuna salad

I know, sounds kinda strange, but shouldn’t sound too off, I mean how many people do you know who squeeze lemon on their fish? This is kind of like that, but came from my desire to change my eating habits this year and shake off some of these extra lbs that have managed to find me again. I mean I lost them once, a long time ago, I have no idea how the little buggers found me again!

Part of my changes will be making swaps. Swapping foods that are high in fat and/or calories for something that is better for me, but still tastes good. I know, it may not be possible all the way around, but I”m going to give it my best! Any time you can swap out mayo for a healthier alternative, I”m all for it.

Ok, here’s what I did:

1 can tuna in water, drained

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp lemon pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together in a bowl and eat with salad, whole wheat crackers, or on a 100 calorie thin sandwich bun for a healthy protein packed lunch.

Calories: 1 can tuna 5 oz = 100 calories  + 2 tbsp Greek yogurt 10 calories= 110 calories. Paired with fresh green salad and some baby carrots, and you have a great protein and fiber packed lunch that will get you through most of the afternoon!

 

 

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Healthy Blueberry Coffee Cake

Yum. I love healthy and delicious, have you noticed? I love trying new things and combinations. If you want something that is as delicious as it is healthy for a breakfast/brunch recipe, I’ve got you covered. But as is my MO of late, no pics, so sorry my friends. I promise I’ll do better!

Healthy Blueberry Coffee Cake

1-1/3 Cflour

3/4C oatmeal

1tbsp ground flax (optional)

2 tsp baking powder

1/3C sugar

1/2C fat free milk

1/4C applesauce

1/4C vanilla yogurt

1 egg

1C fresh or frozen blueberries

TOPPING:

1/4C oatmeal

3tbsp flour

3tbsp brown sugar

2tbsp cold butter

1tsp cinnamon

 

1. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, including sugar.

2. Beat egg, applesauce, yogurt and milk.

3. blend wet and dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in blueberries.

4. Pre-heat oven to 350F.

5. Pour batter into a greased 9″ pie dish.

6. for topping, using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut butter into dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs and sprinkle evenly over top of batter.

7. Bake for 25 to 30 min, or until knife inserted into middle comes out clean.

 

If you like more streusel topping on your coffee cake, you can easily double the quantity. this is delicious and moist, without being overly sweet. The topping makes it seem more decadent than it really is. Yum!

 

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Green Chicken Chili 2 Ways

I know, ‘green’ and ‘chili’ in the same sentence can be taken a few ways. But, if you like spicy, even just a little spice, I think you’ll like this recipe. I say ‘2 ways’ because it can be prepared stove top or in your slow cooker. Have I mentioned how much I ‚̧ my slow cooker? I had this on my menu and really wanted to watch my favorite football team & #W2B¬†play #OSUvsUT. The game was going to be over about dinner time, which would leave me scrambling to get dinner ready. Hmmm, I wonder if I can put this in the slow cooker. The answer? YES! Since you can do it either way, I’ll include instructions for both. Enjoy!

Green Chicken Chili 2 Ways

1 lb chicken cut into bite sized pieces

1 poblano pepper, membranes & seeds removed, and chopped

1/2 medium sized onion chopped

2 cloves garlic pressed or minced

1tsp cumin

2 cans chicken broth 14.5 oz each

2 cans pinto beans drained and rinsed 15oz each

1 bottle salsa verde, 16oz

4 corn tortillas grated w/cheese grater or food processor

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

1. saute onions, pepper and garlic just until softened.

2. place all ingredients into 4qt slow cooker.

3. cook on low for 6 to 8 hrs, or high for 4 hours.

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS

1. cook chicken in large pot in 1 tbsp oil approx 5 min.

2. remove chicken from pan and cook onion, peppers and garlic for 3 min.

3. add the rest of the ingredients, including grated tortillas, into the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips and fresh cilantro if desired. If you like it spicier, I suppose you could leave in the seeds from the pepper, I don’t know how spicy poblanos are, but w/o the seeds and the green salsa, it’s got a nice warmth to it w/o being painful. Yum! And it’s healthy to boot!

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The JUICIEST grilled chicken you will EVER have!

Do you love your grill in summer? I mean, really LOVE it? You have to check out this recipe then, because your grill will be loving you right back!

Grilled Balsamic Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:  2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4C balsamic vinegar

1. Mix marinade and place in a plastic storage bag.
2. Place chicken in the storage bag, close it and turn to coat chicken.
3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning once, turn more if refrigerating longer.
4. Heat grill to medium heat.
5. Grill chicken on covered grill for 5 to 7 minutes, then turn and grill another 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
6. Let chicken stand 5 minutes before cutting (Just like red meat, it will let the juices go back into the meat)
7. Serve with fresh veggies and a green salad and be amazed at how tender and juicy the chicken is!

Enjoy!

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Penne Beef Florentine

I love this dish! My children even love it, which makes me like it that much more! And once again, it’s a meal in a pan, but hey, who can complain about that? Less dishes to clean, right?¬† I must apologize, I didn’t get any pics, we were starving and ate it¬† before I could get my camera out!

Penne Beef Florentine

1lb ground beef

1 pkg whole wheat penne (12oz)

3 cloves garlic pressed

1 pkg fresh spinach (2oz) chopped

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

2 cans tomato sauce (8oz)

1 can beef broth

1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 C shredded mozzarella

What to do:

1. brown ground beef with garlic. drain.

2.cook pasta according to pkg directions in salted water. drain.

3. put tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, Worcestershire in with beef.

4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until sauce begins to thicken.

5. Add spinach and stir until spinach is wilted.

6. Toss beef/tomato mixture with pasta. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover until cheese is melted.

There you go, can’t get much easier than that! If you like your spinach pieces larger, you can just do a coarse chop, or even leave the pieces whole. We discovered last time that my son likes the spinach to be in tiny pieces. Ok with me! If that will help him eat it better, I’m all for it! Let me know what you think, it’s Italian-esque, without being typical Italian.

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Italian Flag One Pan Dinner

As per my norm, I saw this recipe and immediately altered it! You know me, I can’t seem to leave anything alone! This is really delicious, extremely simple and very healthy. It’s loaded with protein, fiber and, wait for it….TASTE! I promise, you will so love it!

Italian Flag One Pan Dinner

1lb chicken cut into 1″ pieces

1 can 18 oz cannelini/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans diced tomatoes-one plain and one Italian

16oz frozen chopped broccoli/broccoli florets thawed

1C orzo

1 tsp Italian seasoning

6 garlic cloves pressed (more or less, depending on what you like)

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain.

While orzo is cooking, in a large skillet, cook chicken in olive oil 5 to 6 min, or until no longer pink. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add garlic to remaining oil and cook about 1 minute. 

Put tomatoes, beans and italian seasoning into skillet and bring to a boil.

Add in broccoli and chicken, reduce heat stir to blend and allow all ingredients to com to the same temperature.

Put orzo in the chicken mixture and stir to blend.

Serve with a nice green salad and you are done, done, so done!

Calorie info: 1-1/2 C =approx 350 calories.

You can’t beat that! Enjoy and do tell me if you give this a try!¬† So sorry I have no pics to share, we dove in so fast, I didn’t have a chance to grab my camera!

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A New Day

Ok, today is Monday and I”m back on it! Spring break is over and I am on a mission!¬†I walked 2.7 miles last night with my neighbor/friend and today, I’ve got a new purpose! Breakfast was a bowl of Cheerios, coffee, and an egg sandwich. Good protein, you know. I’ve found something that thrills me! I’m easily entertained, so when I saw these at the store I had to suppress a small cheer! They are bagel thins! I love my bagels, but 340 calories is a bit much. These are wonderful, it’s like they’ve cut out the middle and they’re only 110 calories! So I can scramble¬† one whole egg and one egg white and I’ve got a nice breakfast for just over 200 calories! yay! I know, I know, big deal. But really, it is! I’m on a mission and I will not fail!

I’m getting ready to share a recipe I made last night that was fabulous! Low fat, high protein¬†and fiber¬†and very delicious at the same time! Check it out and wish me luck!

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