Pizza-Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups

At any given time during the year I have a pile of cookbooks from the library that I use for my weekly recipes.  When I have been through my current pile, made a few recipes from each, and am done with the books, I return them and pick out a few new ones.  Every once in a while, I fall so in love with a cookbook, and make so many recipes from it that are hugely successful, that I have to purchase the book…this is one of those cookbooks!  It is terrific!  The following recipe is from skinnytaste fast and slow by Gina Homolka, and my family LOVES this dish!

You can really get creative with this recipe and stuff and/or top the chicken with anything that suites your tastes.  Here, I am keeping it pretty simple and kid friendly with just cheese and pepperoni.  The recipe from the cookbook also adds mushrooms as a stuffing ingredient and tops the chicken with thinly sliced red onion and finely chopped green bell peppers in addition to the cheese and marinara sauce.  For my family, just cheese and pepperoni is most successful, but as you can see anything goes really!

Ingredients:

Few Tbsp olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 slices pepperoni of your choice
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup marinara sauce

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.  If using foil, spread a little oil on the foil so the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan.

Halve each chicken breast horizontally to create 2 thin cutlets.  Cover with a piece of foil/parchment paper/waxed paper and lightly pound to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Lay the chicken cutlets flat on your work surface and top each piece with 1 Tbsp mozzarella, 2 slices of pepperoni, and any other ingredients you choose to use for the stuffing.  Roll the chicken cutlets up and set seam side down.

In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.  In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and pepper to taste.  Dip a chicken roll in the oil mixture and then in the breadcrumb mixture and coat with the crumbs.  Place seam side down on prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with all chicken cutlets.

Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from oven and top each chicken roll with 1-2 Tbsp marinara and 1-2 Tbsp grated mozzarella cheese.  Return to oven and bake until the cheese is melted and marinara sauce is hot, about 5 minutes more.  Serve.  This dish is great with a side of spaghetti and a green salad.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bites

These are awesome, easy, healthy and a great item for school lunches, snacks for sporting events or anytime you need a quick protein pick me up.  The last batch I made was gone in less than 24 hours.  3 teenage boys will do that!  

Recipe from Cottercrunch.com

Ingredients:

1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup ground vanilla protein powder ***I have made these without the protein powder and they came out just as great.  I don’t always have that ingredient on hand.
1/4 – 1/3 cup maple syrup (can use honey)
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/4 cup nut butter (I use almond butter)
3/4 cup ground oats
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup ground almonds (I use roasted, salted almonds to give it a bit of saltiness and just ground them to form a powder in the blender)

Instructions:

Grind oats in blender until powder like in consistency, like flour.  Put in mixing bowl and add protein powder if using, almond meal/flour, cinnamon and nut butter.  Stir together.  Add maple syrup or honey, and vanilla and mix well.  Roll into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls and coat/roll in ground almonds.  Put on a plate or baking sheet lined w/ parchment paper and freeze for about 1/2 hours.  Transfer to container  (I use mason jars) and keep in refrigerator.  Can be kept in freezer for up to 6 weeks.

Santa Fe Turkey Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch Sauce

This is a great Mexican twist on the typically Asian Egg Roll.  You may be thinking, Egg Rolls…Ugh, that is too hard to make at home!  But this recipe is super simple and very easy.  The filling comes together in a snap and with the store bought egg roll wrappers, this recipe is definitely worth the few minutes it takes to assemble the egg rolls.  My family loved this recipe.  The next night after we had them, my son came into the kitchen and said, “I wish we could have Egg Rolls again tonight”.  To me that is a sure sign the dish was a success!
This is another wonderful recipe from a cookbook that I am loving right now, skinnytaste Fast and Slow, by best selling cookbook author, Gina Homolka.  I have loved every recipe I have tried from this cookbook, and after recently going back to work part time, the slow cooker recipes have been fabulous on work days.  There is nothing better than getting home from work and walking in the house knowing dinner is already prepared!  You could actually prepare these egg rolls ahead of time as well and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.  And speaking of bake, that is another awesome thing about these egg rolls…they are baked, not fried and therefor a much healthier version for you and your family!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Avacado Ranch Sauce

1 avacado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp dried basil
freshly ground black pepper
juice from wedge of lime

Egg Rolls

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp chopped red bell pepper
1 – 4.25 oz. can diced green chilis
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn kernals
1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 pkg. egg roll wrappers (in the produce section of my grocery store)
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients for the Avocado Ranch sauce and blend until smooth.  Transfer to a serving bowl.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Line a baking sheep with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat w/ olive oil.  Add ground turkey and salt.  Cook, breaking up meat into small pieces until cooked through.  Add bell pepper, stirring until tender, 2-3 minutes.  Add the green chilis, spinach, corn, black beans, cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring to combine and meld flavors, 3-4 minutes.

Place an egg roll wrapper and your work surface with a corner facing you, like the shape of a diamond.  Spoon 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture towards the bottom corner of the wrapper and top with about 1 Tbsp of the shredded cheese.  Fold the bottom corner over the mixture so that it covers completely, and roll to the center of the wrapper.  Fold in both left and right corner into the center to form and envelope.  Roll the wrap upward one time, leaving the top corner open.  Dip your finger in a dish of water and moisten this top corner.  Fold the corner down and seal the roll.  Repeat until all the rolls are assembled and place on baking sheet.  Brush/coat each roll lightly with olive oil.  Bake until rolls are crisp and golden brown, about 6-8 minutes per side. (Flip rolls after 6-8 minutes and cook and additional 6-8 minutes on the other side)

Serve with the Avocado Ranch sauce on the side for dipping.

 

 

Toast for Dinner!

Toast toppers have gotten very popular and come in all flavors…sweet, savory and scrumptious!  The possibilities are endless and you can make these hearty enough to be a meal in itself.  Experiment with all kinds of different toppings, but here’s an idea to get you started!

Ingredients:

Yummy, sturdy loaf of bread…I used a loaf of Turano Italian Bread
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 lg tomato, sliced
1 avacado, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 package bacon, cooked
10 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Place slices of bread, enough for amount of people you’re serving, on a baking sheet.  Put under the broiler for a few minutes until starting to brown.  Remove from broiler, flip bread slices over and top each evenly with grated cheddar cheese.  Return to broiler for another few minutes until cheese is melted and bread is nice and crusty and browned.

Top each piece of cheese toast with bacon, tomato slices, avocado slices, hard boiled egg slices and salt and pepper according to your liking.

Serve & Enjoy!

So easy and a great dinner to get on the table in a hurry.  Cook the eggs ahead of time and store in refrigerator, and the bacon can be cooked ahead of time as well.   When it’s time for dinner, take out all ingredients, cook and assemble the toasts, and you have a hearty meal on the table in minutes!

Great Greek Grilled Chicken Tostadas

This is a great way to change up what is typically a Mexican dish and give it a Greek spin.  Easy, quick and so good!

  Recipe adapted from skinnytaste fast and slow by Gina Homolka…one of my new favorite cookbooks!

Serves 5

Ingredients:

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
1 tsp dried oregano
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 cucumber seeded, chopped
1/4 cup pitted, sliced kalamata olives
1 package tostada shells
6 oz. feta cheese

Directions:

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill either indoors or out until cooked through and internal temperature registers 165 degrees F.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

In a large bowl mix together the tomato, cucumber, olives, oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, 1/8 tsp salt, pepper to taste.  Toss well.

I like to warm the tostadas in the oven for a few minutes to get warm and nice and crispy.  You don’t have to do this step.  You can put them under the broiler for a few minutes, but watch carefully.

To serve, divide the chicken among the tostadas.  Top each with about 1/3 cup of the salad mixture and 1 ounce feta.  I usually get about 10-12 tostadas total from this recipe so my family of 5 gets 2 tostadas each.

Enjoy!

Marshmallow Popcorn Treats

Quick and easy, this is a great treat to whip up when you need something sweet fast!

Recipe from cookinglight.com

Ingredients:

10 cups salt and oil free popped popcorn
10 oz. marshmallows
1 tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or I use bittersweet chocolate chips…no chopping!

Spray 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray, if you don’t have cooking spray on hand use some oil on a paper towel and coat pan or use the paper from the stick of butter and grease the pan.

Combine marshmallows, butter and salt in a dutch over/pot and cook over medium heat, stirring often until smooth and melted.  Add popcorn and stir to coat.  Add to baking pan and press and spread flat.  I end up using my hands because it is too sticky to use utensils for this.

Melt chocolate in a microwave…usually about a minute or 2 until chocolate is melted and pourable.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture.  You can refrigerate for 5 minutes if you’re really in a hurry or let cool at room temperature and the chocolate will set and harden.

Cut into bars and enjoy!  My boys enjoy this for dessert in their school lunches.