Tag Archive | tomato sauce

Crockpot mexican chicken stuffed pepper medley

Well, that recipe name is a mouthful…sheesh. Sorry about that. I really don’t know what to call it, but I promise you this was a delicious (and nutritious) meal . Since Brandon graciously bought me a crock-pot upon my arrival, I’ve been trying to use it once a week for two reasons: 1) because it’s so darn easy, and 2) so that he can’t say I don’t use it! Hahaha just kidding kind-of..not really.

Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed using a crock-pot for no-fuss dinners, but it’s particularly coming in  handy here in Australia due to the god-awful humidity we’re experiencing.  As much as I love cooking and baking, I can’t say I thoroughly enjoy it in 90 degree+ temperatures, so my crock-pot is coming to the rescue!

This week, chicken breasts were on sale (Amen), so I knew I wanted to make something that incorporated this source of protein. After searching Pintrest for inspiration, I stumbled across a “skinny chicken taco” recipe that I just couldn’t pass-up. After making a few tweaks of my own, and deciding that I’d incorporate it into "stuffed peppers” for dinner,  here’s what I assembled. 

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Keep in mind, you can make your own tweaks to this recipe; crock-pots are so versatile, that’s one of my favorite parts about them. If you don’t have kidney beans, use black beans. If you don’t have chicken, use beef, etc. Use what’s in your cupboard! This helps make it a budget-friendly and a waist-friendly meal.

Crockpot Mexican Chicken Stuffed Pepper Medley
Ingredients
-2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
-1/2 onion, chopped
-1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or your bean of choice)
-1 10 oz can salt-reduced diced tomatoes
-1 jar salsa (I used mild, but spicy would work too!)
-1/2 jar tomato sauce ( you can use the whole jar, but this is all I had)
-1 10 oz. bag frozen corn
-1 packet reduced-salt taco seasoning
-3-4 chicken breasts
-about 1/2 cup reduced-salt chicken broth (use enough to cover the chicken)
-1 TBSP of chile powder (optional—this is if you want it spicy!)
-Peppers for stuffing (optional)-I bought 3 large green and 1 large red
-Brown rice (optional)
-Part-skim shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions
1) Spray crock-pot with cooking spray, and turn it on (I forgot to turn mine on for 20 minutes, this is why I’m reminding you!) Chop sweet potato and onion.  Then add these, along with remaining ingredients through the taco seasoning, to the pot. Mix to combine.
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2) Clean your chicken breasts, then add them to the top of the pot (just mesh them in with everything else).  Then, add the chicken broth so that the chicken breasts are mostly covered with liquid.
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3) Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 10 hours, stirring every hour or so, until chicken is cooked and fork-tender. Side-note: our crock-pot is new and ridiculously fast, so mine was done in 4.5 hours. Depending on your crock-pot, you may need 6+ hours, just judge the time based on the chicken.  Once tender, remove chicken and place in a bowl. Shred with two forks, then place back in crock-pot and stir-in. Turn off crockpot, and if you’re ready to eat now, dig in! This would be great as-is topped with low-fat cheese, and stuffed into a wrap, on a salad, or by itself. I wanted to stuff green and red peppers with the medley, so I’ll outline that next.
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4) Turn your oven to 400 degrees (about 204 degrees Celsius). Wash your peppers, then cut tops off and remove cores from inside. Assemble on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
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5) I had brown rice on hand that I needed to use up, so I added a small layer (about 2-3 tablespoons) of that to each pepper as a base. Then I filled each to the top with the crock-pot Mexican chicken medley, and topped each with part-skim shredded cheddar cheese (or your cheese of choice). Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.

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6) Let them cool for a few minutes, and then enjoy! We ate ours with a side of steamed cauliflower and a garden salad. Healthy, nutritious, deeeelicious. The best part about this meal is the amount of leftovers you’ll have…perfect for lunch or dinner.  Hope you like it as much as we did!
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Summer-Inspired Veggie Pizza

I know it’s not technically summer yet, but I just have to share this recipe with you. Have you ever had corn on pizza? I hadn’t…and now I never want pizza without it!

As a vegetable-lover, if I make pizza at home, 9 times out of 10, I’ll make a veggie topped pie. And if I order pizza at a restaurant…9 times out of 10, you guessed it, I order veggie. So I didn’t think much of it when I was scouring an old issue of Cooking Light  for pizza recipes, and stumbled across a veggie pizza. However, the addition of corn in this recipe had me intrigued. So I went for it. I bought corn on the cob (already shucked was the only available…shameful, I know!), red peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and onion…and this summer-inspired pizza was born.

The hardest part of this recipe is chopping the vegetables. After that, it’s a piece of cake. Make this, you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

-8 ounces store-bought pizza dough ( I used whole wheat)
-Cooking spray
-Store bought tomato sauce (I used fire-roasted tomato, Classico brand)
-Olive oil to coat pan
-2 garlic cloves, crushed ( I used a Tbsp. of minced garlic)
-1 cup sliced onion
-1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
-1 cup chopped summer squash
-1 cup chopped zucchini
-2 ears corn
-1 tablespoon cornmeal
-3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese ( I combined this with 3-cheese Italian)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 425° (or temperature your dough specifies). Chop all vegetables.

2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray. Add 2-3 teaspoons olive oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan. Then add onion, squash, zucchini, and bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. (I always add I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray, too). Add salt and pepper to taste while sautéing. Cut corn from cob; add corn to vegetable mixture.

3. Scatter cornmeal over a lightly floured surface; roll dough into a circle on prepared surface. Transfer dough to a baking sheet; top with layer of tomato sauce ( I used about ¾ cup). Sprinkle with cheese, then top with vegetable mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cut into 8 slices.

Unfortunately, this was such a hit, there were no leftovers. So what did I do? I made it again less than a week later. It is so so addicting.  If you don’t feel like pizza, just make the vegetable sauté. I made it as a topping for my lunch salads last week, and it was fantastic!

What’s your favorite pizza recipe?