Skinny Chicken Spaghetti!

Okay y’all it’s been a bit since my last blog post ( I will do better I promise…soon as finals is over) so here is one if my favorites to cook for my kiddos. Bryce loves this and asks for seconds(this is super rare) also it’s super easy and fewer calories than the version I originally found on pioneer
woman.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients
-3 oz. 100% whole wheat noodles
-1 10 oz. can of Rotel ( you can sub and use fresh tomatoes, peppers, blah blah- Rotel is quicker for me)
-1 10 oz. can of 98% fat free Cream of Mushroom
-1 10 oz. can of 98% fat free Cream of Chicken (yes, you can make your own Cream of Whatevers.. I’m lazy, and I don’t care that much)
-6 oz. frozen grilled chicken breast strips (you can use rotisserie chicken or any kind of chicken, this is what I had on hand)
-1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese (fat free cheese makes me want to poke my eyeballs out. sick)
-3 oz. whipped cream cheese (about 1/4 of the tub)
-pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grill the chicken breast strips. If by grill I mean put them in a frying pan and add some PAM and heat them up.
While you’re doing that, boil the wheat noodles. In water. Please don’t tell me I needed to clarify that.
When you’re done with the chicken, cut up the breasts into tiny bite size pieces. Like this

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Drain the noodles and add them and the chicken to a 9×13 pan.
Add in the cream of mushroom, Rotel, and cream of chicken.

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Then add in 1/2 cup of the reduced fat cheese and the whipped cream cheese and stir it all together.
It will not look very appeasing, trust me, IT IS.
Pepper to taste.
When it’s all mixed up sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Super easy.

Food prep!!!!!

Now I am a newbie nowhere near an expert or guru when it comes down to this fitness thing but I do have a few things I’ve learned about food prep so let’s share y’all!

1. Make your food taste good. In the beginning I would eat bland foods like chicken breast, broccoli and brown rice. While I still do that, I also have more variety in what I can choose from. I honestly can’t eat plain chicken breast anymore.
2. Prepare 3-4 days in advance. Sometimes if you cook more than you need to you end up wasting food.
3. For the vegetables and fruits that need to be cut and cooked daily put them in a place you can see daily. I have mine out on the counter.
4. You can pre-pack in tupperware containers to make it easier to grab and go. I usually like to choose what combinations I want to put into the tupperware daily so I don’t pre-package anymore.
5. I love eating raw, ‘live’ foods most – so don’t be intimidated by the preparation process. Some foods don’t require any cooking! Like salads, fruits and certain vegetables.
6. This will take time to master, especially if you are new to cooking in advance, but you will become more efficient as you continue to cook weekly.
Here is what I cooked this week:
1. BOILED EGGS: I try to each protein with each meal and have found boiled eggs to be the handiest thing to have when on the go. I can either eat them as is or mash it up and add pepper and some fat free mayo or avocado to give it some texture and taste. I don’t always eat all the yolks, most often its a 1 to 3 ratio.
2. AVOCADOS: I love this unsaturated, healthy fat. I always have fresh ones on hand to either make into guacamole for my husband or add to my sauteed egg whites in the morning. I believe avocado makes everything tastes better!
3. VEGAN COOKIES: My cookie jar is always stocked with either healthy muffins or cookies for my children. In fact, I don’t think they’ve ever tasted store bought cookies, except for at the occasional birthday party.
4. BAGGED VEGGIES/SALAD MIX: I bought string beans and pre-made salad mixes. Typically I only used 1/3 of the dressing provided in any of the packages to decrease the calories and sugar. I usually eat this at night when I serve my family something more starchy and I opt for a lighter menu.
5. FRESH FRUITS: I picked these miniature peaches from my friend’s yard today. My boys often eat 2-3 fruits a day. I will probably make these into muffins later on in the week as it gets more ripe.
6. APPLES/LEMONS/LIMES: Apples is my favorite fruit to eat for energy. They are low on the glycemic index and great pre or post workout. Our family favorite are pink ladies. I also have a bowl of lemons on our counter at all times as I squeeze lemon juice in all my waters to give it taste and help detox me.
7. BANANA MUFFINS: I bake banana muffins weekly. We always have a couple bananas that are too ripe to eat and my mother often gives me her ripe bananas to bake with. The boys love this simple and healthy recipe.
8. FROZEN BLUEBERRIES: I have to emphasis ‘frozen’ because that’s how we like to eat them in our household. I always wash them after buying and put the entire container in the freezer. It’s usually the first thing I eat in the morning followed by my egg whites 30 minutes after.
9. BROCCOLI SALAD: My girlfriend helped me make this dish today. I love broccoli salad! We used 3/4 cup of my smart beat mayo. 2tbs apple cider vinegar and 2 tbs honey for the dressing. I also used almonds instead of sunflower seeds (I wasn’t prepared to make this obviously) and didn’t add any raisins (to lower the sugar content).
10. SHREDDED CHICKEN: I like to keep cooked chicken in the fridge mostly because if I need to fix a quick dinner (like chicken enchiladas made with whole wheat tortillas and fat free cheese) I have it on hand. I can also add some smartbeat mayo and make a quick chicken salad.
11. CUCUMBERS: I don’t often have cucumbers on hand, but I was craving it at the store today and plan on making cucumber salad this week. Again, I’m all about the raw, ‘live’ foods.
12. TUNA SALAD: One of my absolute favorite things to eat. Canned tuna made with smartbeat mayo, red onion, avocado and pepper.
13. MANGO SALSA: This is a family favorite. I’ve never been a big fan of tomatoes but I can eat spoonfuls of this salsa. Just like avocado it seems like adding it to any dish makes everything better. This portion size usually lasts us just a couple days as my husband is a huge fan (and so is baby!)
14. ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH: I usually roast squash and sweet potatoes to prep my carbs for the week. I’ve been trying to be ‘more paleo’ and haven’t been intaking much oatmeal in the morning. Instead I either have my blueberries or squash with my egg whites. I can also eat this with any of my other protein choices. I love it because it’s sweet and savory. I add olive oil and salt and place it in a 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes (time depends if I cut it in halves or quarters).
15. STRAWBERRIES: This fruit is a constant in our household. The boys love it and so do I. Funny that when I was young, I used to dip them in sugar when I consumed it. I can’t believe I used to do that! It’s so sweet naturally on its own.
16. TURKEY MEATBALLS: Family Staple! Very easy to make and the boys love it! I’ve changed my original recipe somewhat to accommodate my wheat intolerance. I add garlic, onion, parsley, spinach, almond flour, egg, salt, a dash of worcestershire sauce and mix with lean ground turkey meat. I place in a 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes (if they are baking in miniature muffin tins).

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Situation Celebration: Madison’s 8th Birthday

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Kay so I’m about a week and a half late but here’s a bit of my princesses 8th birthday! Check out that tutu y’all! I made that for her after watching countless youtube vids and getting mad at the tutu prices on Etsy I decided to go for it and 3 hours later this marvelous creation is what happened.

Now I am all about DIY and saving money, especially being a single mom of two, and a good majority of this party was DIY from the tutu to the table decorations even the food(except for the cake)

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This is our goody bag/box table the girls really got a kick of the cute little boxes cooler than your usual gift bag, I purchased the boxes from my local Dollar Tree and 4 came in each package and I bought 3 packages

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We had a face painting and glitter tattoo station for all the girls these kits were purchased in the clearance section at target $6 for both!! Win and there is still enough left over for a future party.

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One of our 4 party games was a “mummy fashion show” with toilet paper! Cute huh??

I kept the menu pretty simple:
Birthday cake
Mini “monster burgers”
Graveyard pudding cups

All in all we had a wonderful celebration for my babies birthday, she enjoyed every minute of it.

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Oven baked tacos!!!!

A favorite meal of my children is tacos, they enjoy Taco Tuesdays and since tacos can be a bit messy with little ones I thought of this recipe with my 4 year old in mind. By baking them and allowing the cheese to melt in the shell helps to keep everything in the shell and minimizes the mess….enjoy!

Xoxo
Dee

2 lbs ground beef (or turkey/chicken)
1 small onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies
1 recipe for Homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can low sodium tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can fat free refried beans
2 cups shredded reduced fat Colby-jack cheese
18-20 hard taco shells {if gluten free, be sure they are}

Optional Condiments-
Lettuce (shredded)
Tomato (diced)
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Olives, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Return to pan, add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes if mixture seems runny.

Spoon the taco meat mixture into the taco shells and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (OR check out The Taco Rack), standing up. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the taco meat in each shell. Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
Remove from the oven and top with any optional condiments for serving.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all together. Store in an airtight container.
I used all of this on 2 lbs of ground meat with a little water mixed in.

The Best Damn Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

Okay, so since I’ve been getting great responses from my previous food post I’m adding another to the collection for y’all to try! Now I’m such an enchilada fan, I looooooooove the sour cream sauce at Gringo’s for the longest I’ve been tweaking my sauce recipe and I’veImage finally perfected it, now time to share with the masses. I made a big batch on Tuesday (18) and the pan was cleared by kids and nieces and nephew;i hope all of you love it as much as they did.

 

xoxo

Dee

 

3 Tbl. unsalted butter

 

3 Tbl. flour

 

1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth

 

1 c. sour cream

 

1/4 – 1/2 c. green salsa, depending on how spicy you want it

 

    or 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles

 

 

 

rotisserie chicken, shredded

 

    or season a few chicken breasts with taco seasoning

 

    and bake until done, then shred

 

2-3 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8-10 corn or flour tortillas

 

chopped cilantro, onions

 

 

For the enchilada sauce: melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.  Whisk in the flour, one Tablespoon at a time, to prevent lumps from forming.  Cook a minute or two to cook off the flour taste, stirring occasionally.  Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and whisk until smooth.  Continue cooking until thickened, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once it reaches desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and green salsa; set aside.  Heat tortillas for 10-15 seconds in the microwave until pliable.  Divide shredded chicken between tortillas, top each with a little bit of cheese and cilantro.  Roll up and place seam-side down in a 9×13-inch  pan.  Cover with the enchilada sauce and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Broil for a minute or two at the end if you want the cheese to brown. 

 

If you don’t have a taco seasoning pack on hand use salt, pepper, chili powder and fresh garlic.

Breakfast! Green Chile Egg Casserole

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This awesome concoction was created by me this morning and my kids loved it! I thought I’d share with all of you…enjoy!

Xoxo

Dee

Here’s the recipe:

-6 eggs

-1/2 small container of sour cream (we used the Light kind)

-1 small can of diced green chiles

-1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I had raw organic cheddar on hand so I threw that in there)

-garlic powder, salt and pepper

1. Spray a small casserole dish with nonstick spray and preheat the oven 350*.

2. Beat eggs in a bowl and mix in the sour cream mixture

3. Evenly spread out the green chiles on the dish and then top with the cheese. Pour egg and cheese mixture on top.

4. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned.

Vegan Pancakes!!

So my kids are pancake addicts; however whatever that can be put in a pancake will be put in that batter for them. Not long ago I found this recipe and they loved it! I gave them vegan pancakes and they didn’t even know it (insert Rick Ross grunt lol).  Whether you’re a long-time vegan or just someone looking to cut a few calories, this genius recipe for vegan pancakes has you covered. Kids with gluten allergies can eat these, too, since you can choose whatever kind of flour you like. Courtesy of Food.com.

Ingredients
1 cup flour (whichever kind you prefer)
1 tablespoon sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup soymilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions
1. Set out all your ingredients.
2. Set a stove element with a pan to medium heat.
3. Combine the 4 dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder — two Tablespoons, not two Teaspoons as some have suggested, salt) in a bowl.
4. Add the soy milk and vegetable oil to your mixture.
5. Mix until smooth.
6. Now the pan should be ready for your batter, so spoon one pancakes’ worth of the mixture into the pan.
7. Flip [carefully] when you see bubbles in the middle of the pancake, or if the edges are looking stiffened.
8. Repeat until the batter is gone, and try not to eat them all while you’re cooking them.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Dee

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