Chicken with Pepperoni Marinara Sauce

Dear October,

Where did you go?

Y’all, seriously. I just looked at my calendar and freaked out a little. I have been a very very bad blogger! It has been absolute chaos (the fun kind!) in our house these past few weeks. Just a little overview:

  • Wrapped up Sept. with a church community service project and then drove to Oxford, MS for a cousin’s wedding and some family birthday celebrating.
  • Then finished our bathroom (woot woot!).
  • Rang in October by celebrating our 2nd anniversary which included a delicious meal cooked by my husband and one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in my life at a restaurant I’d been dying to try. I may have made reservations in July to make sure we got there.
  • Hosted a couple’s shower for some friends – I love throwing parties, but they leave me exhausted. At least we had leftovers to eat for 3 days before we packed up again!
  • Headed to Orlando for another wedding – this time one of my best friends from college. Spent a day with Mickey and the gang, ate our way around the world at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival (which was AMAZING), got some girl time with my besties (sadly minus my Punk – but gotta keep her baby safe!) and celebrated the marriage of two wonderful people.
  • And this past weekend we celebrated another wedding – one of the husband’s best friends from college. He was in the wedding – so a whole weekend of festivities.

So – all of that to say. Hi. I’m back. And happy to be back in my kitchen cooking meals for 2 people for a little while. In order to get back in the swing of things, I needed a super easy recipe with stuff I had on hand and I found this little gem on the Cooking Light website.

Chicken with Pepperoni Marinara Sauce (Serves 4 / 7 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

Original recipe found here.

4 (5 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I buy thin sliced or cut a big one in half)

1 tsp. olive oil

Garlic powder and pepper

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

16 slices Turkey pepperoni, chopped

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded

Heat a large saucepan to medium. Coat with nonstick spray and add olive oil.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with a little garlic powder and pepper on each side. Add to skillet and cook 3-5 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside.

Steps

Add garlic and chopped pepperoni to pan and cook about 2 minutes. Pour in marinara sauce and stir in Italian herb seasoning and garlic salt. You may want to add a little more salt or some pepper depending on the sauce you purchase – I like to cut the sweet a little.

Pour sauce over the chicken breasts and add 2 Tbsp. cheese on top of each piece. (To make this an easy one-pan meal – I pushed the sauce to one side and then added the chicken back in.) Cover for 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted.

Close Up

This was super easy and required ingredients I usually have on hand – so it worked out perfectly, I didn’t even have to make a run to the store! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Chicken Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce

Have a great weekend y’all!

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Hoisin Plum Chicken

So it has been interesting in my house for the past week.

Well, more like in the half bath and kitchen. You see, the husband and I decided to re-do our half bathroom downstairs right by the kitchen. So for the past few weeks, our kitchen table and counter tops have been covered with cabinets to be painted, hardware to be replaced and lots of other goodies like paint trays, brushes, and tape.

Last week, in order to finish priming, we took out the light fixture in the bathroom. Which just so happens to be on the same circuit as our kitchen light (not appliances, thank goodness). Know what that means? This food blogger has been trying to squeeze in all prep work upon arriving home now that it’s starting to get a little darker out earlier.

Cooking in the dark. Probably not as much fun as dancing in the dark. (All 80’s fans – particularly my Biffer – you are welcome for that awesome reference.) The name of my blog now feels like a web of lies…

Anyways, I have managed to whip up a few things with enough lighting to give the people what they want – delicious recipes!

Twice this week, I’ve had people comment on some of my recipes having lots of ingredients – which I know can be overwhelming. Guess what – this one is super easy and has minimal prep work and just 10 ingredients (including salt and pepper!). It’s a surprising combo of flavors – a little sweet BBQ flavor with some tart from the fruit, and the green onion brings it all home for me. Try this one out and let me know what you think!

Hoisin Plum Chicken (2 servings / 5 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

2 thin cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts, raw (4-5 oz. each)

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 medium scallions, chopped

1 small plum, diced

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

2 1/2 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce (found in the Asian section of your grocery store)

1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

1/2 lime, juiced

Begin by heating oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Add to skillet and cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

Saute and Sauce

Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, onion, plums and broth to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in hoisin sauce and stir. Cook 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened and stir in lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour sauce over chicken breasts.

Spoon Sauce

Serve and devour. Told you it was easy!

Hoisin Plum Chicken

Have a great weekend y’all – I’ll be working in our bathroom and hopefully getting the lights back on soon!

Spicy Chicken with Peanut Noodles

I was shocked today to look at my calendar and find it was Friday.

I mean, that’s a rarity. Normally I’m on full-out countdown mode for the weekends. I guess being stuck at home with “the plague” for the past day and a half did me in.

For those of you who don’t know me – I have 2 irrational completely normal fears in life: needles and balloons. So a trip to the doctor’s office is always an anxiety-inducing experience, as I never know if they are going to have to jab me with something.

So after an hour in the waiting room on Wednesday, I was a little surprised to see that I had a child for a nurse. Seriously, I question if she is legally able to vote. After waiting for an hour to see if I was going to get jabbed, I find out – yes. As she’s wringing my hand to try to make it work – I feel a little dizzy. I am often embarrassed by my body’s reaction to needles, so I bashfully say “I’m feeling a little faint – I just have a thing with needles.”

“Oh no! Cause I’m gonna have to do it again” she said.

Needless to say, between being sick and being tortured by Nurse McTeen, I was exhausted. I feel like I’ve been a waste of life this week – so I’m so thankful that I’m feeling a little better and have some of my energy back!

So first order of business – share a yummy recipe with y’all! I mentioned previously that I’ve been on a “new” food kick, trying to venture out a little, and my husband reminded me of a recipe I haven’t made in a while that has a Thai-twist to it. Sorry to my readers with peanut allergies – this one is probably not up your alley! The ingredient list looks intimidating, but I assure you, it’s really simple to throw together and incredibly delicious.

Spicy Chicken with Peanut Noodles (Serves 2  / 11 WW points per serving)

Ingredients

For the chicken:

2 (4 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp. walnut oil

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

For the noodles:

2 oz. rice noodles

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter

1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 Tbsp. pickled ginger, minced

2 Tbsp. dried cilantro

1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha (this is a medium level of heat – gauge accordingly)

1 Tbsp. roasted, salted peanuts, chopped

In a shallow dish, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, walnut oil and kosher salt. Add chicken breasts and marinate at least 2 hours.

Remove chicken and cook through. I typically grill mine, but I just sautéed this time around and it was fine – about 4-5 minutes on each side over medium heat.

Cook Chicken

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add rice noodles. Cook according to directions. While the noodles are cooking, heat chicken broth to medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in peanut butter, brown sugar, vinegar, lime juice, ginger, cilantro and Sriracha until smooth.

Peanut Noodles

Drain rice noodles and add peanut sauce. Stir to coat and add to plates. Top with cooked chicken breast and add chopped peanuts.

Plated chicken

Then devour.

SpicyChickenwithPeanutNoodles

Hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

 

Chicken with Chorizo Confetti

So we’re going to discuss why today is awesome.

It’s awesome because today, my husband bridges the age gap. You see, there’s a glorious ridiculous 2-month period each year in which I am, number-wise, two years senior to my hubby. While he’s not entering his 30’s like the author of this blog did earlier this year, at least he’s in his final year of being a 20-something.

So this is a special blog dedicated to my hubby. Happy Birthday babe, I hope you have a wonderful day and I can’t wait to spend the rest of our birthdays together!

BirthdayBoy

The husband and I started dating about 4 1/2 years ago (wow!) and the beginning of our relationship involved quite a few phone conversations. We’d always try to come up with a few random questions to ask each other, from the deep and meaningful to the fun and trivial. One of the questions I remember was “If you had to eat anything every day for the rest of our life, what would it be?” His answer was “Pizza or Mexican food.”

People, I’ve mentioned before that there are certain foods I must have a craving for otherwise I’m almost repelled by it. Mexican food is one of those foods. So poor husband is often deprived of one of his favorites (notice I said one, as I do share his love for pizza).

He managed to pull me out to various Mexican restaurants in that first year, which is when he introduced me to one of his favorites. Chorizo. It’s a Mexican sausage that is basically pork seasoned with Paprika and salt. It’s delicious. It’s also incredibly cheap to buy at your local grocery store. We actually bought some at a not-so-local grocery store while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – so on the 4th of July in 2010, I made us goat cheese and chorizo omelets as we blasted patriotic music. One of my favorite memories.

Well, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a recipe in my Cooking Light magazine that had chorizo in it, so obviously I had to make it for the hubby. It did not disappoint. So, in honor of the birthday boy, I get to share a favorite food of his! This recipe is seriously easy – under 30 minutes including prep time!

Chicken with Chorizo Confetti (Serves 2 / 7 WW pts. per serving) Slightly modified from original recipe, found here.

Ingredients

2 (4oz.) pieces raw, boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

2 oz. ground pork chorizo

2 Tbsp. onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. carrot, chopped

2 Tbsp. red bell pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp. yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp. green bell pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp. chicken broth

1 tsp. cilantro

Season both sides of chicken with smoked paprika and garlic salt. Allow to rest with seasoning at least 30 minutes.

While chicken is soaking up the goodness, chop your veggies and set aside until ready to use. Keep onion and carrot together and the bell peppers together.

Heat a medium skillet to medium heat and add non-stick spray. Add chicken and cook 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Chicken

When the chicken is cooking, heat a small skillet to medium heat. Add chorizo and cook 3-4 minutes, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks. Chorizo has a lot of grease, so you don’t need to worry about oil. Once the chorizo has cooked for a few minutes, add the onion and carrots. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add bell peppers, cooking another 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and add chicken broth, stirring to incorporate. Basically keep this warm until the chicken is done.

ChorizoConfetti

Once the chicken is cooked through, add to a plate and top with the chorizo confetti.

PlatedChicken

So now we can enjoy chorizo in a healthy way, mixed with vegetables and chicken!

ChickenwithChorizoConfetti

Hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful weekend – I know we have some celebrating to do in our household!

Chicken Picatta

It is March 1st. What is up with that?

I feel like I was just crying about celebrating the big birthday weekend, new hairstyle and all, but now you’re telling me it’s March?

I don’t even want to think about the fact that the weather will be warming up and the fact that bathing suits are hanging up in stores. *Shudder*

I’m not sure about y’all, but I definitely took a swan dive off the proverbial wagon and have some serious work to do before I’m bathing-suit ready. So back to hard work and discipline I go! Honestly, it’s just been pure laziness in my planning. If I don’t know what I’m making for dinner when I leave work, it’s easy to decide on take-out  – and I lack self-discipline when it comes to eating out!

If you’re in the same boat but still have a love for food, then I hope you enjoy some of the guilt-free recipes I have to share with you, such as what I think is my absolute favorite recipe, lightened up! (Side note – I love capers, olives, peperoncinis and can eat them out of the jar at any given time – so I usually hog the capers in this dish!)

Lightened Up Chicken Picatta  (serves 2 / 7 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

8 oz. chicken breast (I buy the thin cut ones, about 4 oz. each)

2 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 cup dry white wine (chardonnay is my personal preference)

1/2 – 3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

1 Tbsp. capers, drained

1 Tbsp. Blue Bonnet light (using a different reduced-calorie margarine may affect points)

1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 slices lemon

Begin by heating olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.

While oil is heating, sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Coat in flour, shaking off any excess.

Flour

Add chicken to pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Set chicken aside on a plate and reduce heat to medium-low.

Saute

Now add white wine and garlic to the pan to de-glaze, scraping up any of the delicious browned pieces. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add broth, lemon juice and capers and stir. Return chicken to pan and cook 2 minutes one each side.

GarlicCapers

Add chicken to plates. Then add margarine to the sauce and stir until melted. Pour sauce over chicken and serve…

Close Up Chicken Picatta

Seriously my favorite, my mouth is watering right now…

Chicken Picatta

 

Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!