Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

I got the idea for this recipe from a SkinnyTaste recipe. I just happen to prefer green chile enchilada sauce to the red sauce. So, in that spirt, I adapted my regular enchilada recipe to a lower calorie option where the zucchini takes the place of those carb laden tortillas (don’t get me wrong, I adore tortillas). Enjoy!

Makes four servings (two boats each): 325 calories | 18g carbs | 34g protein | 14g fat

Here’s what you need!

4  whole zucchini

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese

1 can (one of those small ones) diced green chiles

1/4 cup diced onion

1 can of green chile enchilada sauce

1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese- mexican blend

cilantro and green onion for garnish

Here’s what you do!

1. Slice the zucchini in half length wise and scoop out the middle so you have about 1/4 inch left the whole way around. Pop the zucchini into boiling water for about a minute, drain, and set aside.

2. Cut your chicken into itty bitty pieces and cook until almost completely done. Add the onion and green chiles. Then add the cream cheese and cook until nice and creamy (no cream cheese chunks!). At this point if you want to you could add what you scooped out of the zucchini, but I find that this watered down the flavor (even after trying to get as much water out of the zucchini as possible)… you’d be better off saving it for zucchini cupcakes.

3. Fill your zucchini boats equally with the filling. Top with your enchilada sauce and cheese. Add cilantro and scallions as you wish.

4. Bake in a 350˚ oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly.

Happy noshing!!!

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Spicy Honey Chicken

You’ll begin to notice, as I add more recipes, that I cook a lot of chicken. There are three reasons for this: 1) It’s inexpensive  2) It’s versatile; 3) It tastes damn good. Chances are, many of my recipes would work well with other proteins, but I always have chicken on hand, and I like it, and so the end result is a plethora of things to do with chicken. This is a very simple, yet tasty, recipe that I can’t seem to get enough of. I adore the combination and sweet and spicy. For the chicken haters, this might also be tasty on pork or shrimp, though I can not attest to that certainty.

Click here for a printable recipe!

Makes 4 servings: 168 calories | 15g carbs | 26g protein | 1g fat

Here’s what you need!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (I use tenderloins… just because)

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper, ground (if possible… I use my coffee grinder)

3 tbsp honey

Here’s what you do!

1. Mix your spices. Gently sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of your chicken breasts. Feel free to rub it in.

2. Grill or bake your chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165˚. I usually grill mine, unless I’m being too lazy to go outside and subsequently clean my grill plates (I take my indoor grill outdoors because of overly sensitive smoke alarms).

3. Evenly disperse the honey over the cooked chicken. A pastry or basting brush would work great for this. Allow the chicken to remain on the heat just a little longer to let the honey do its thing.

Happy noshing!

Chicken Sausage and Pepper Skewers

Most of the time the world doesn’t allow for elaborate dinner planning and tons of prep work. Some of the time the world barely allows enough time for you to order take out. This is a recipe for those times in between: you might not have a lot of time to cook, but you want to make something that’s a little more special than frozen Marie Callender’s. This is a simple meal, with simple ingredients, that tastes greats. Tossing peppers and onions in olive oil and italian season adds a wonderful depth of flavor whether you do it hours ahead of time or minutes before you plan to eat!

Click here for a printable version!

Makes 4 servings: 176 calories | 7g carbs | 16g protein |10g fat

Here’s what you need!

4 links of your favorite chicken sausage (I used Casual Gourmet’s Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach… the calorie content reflects that)

2 bell peppers (I used green and orange) cut into 16 squares

1/2 of a red onion, cut into 16 squares

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp italian season

4-8 skewers (depending on their size… if you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking)

Here’s what you do!

1. After cutting your peppers and onions into pieces as close to the same size as you care to get them, combine in a bowl with the olive oil and italian seasoning.

2. Slice sausage links into even, bite-sized pieces (I cut mine into eighths)

3. Assemble your skewers by alternating the peppers, onion and sausage. Each serving will consist of 4 slices of each pepper, 4 pieces of onion and one sausage link.

4. Grill or broil your skewers until it looks pretty and peppers and onion start to get tender. Since chicken sausage is usually (maybe always?) pre-cooked, this doesn’t take long, making it a quick meal that still looks and tastes pretty awesome!

Happy noshing!

Roasted Red Pepper and Chicken Quesadilla

For the longest time I could not, for the life of me figure out how to make a quesadilla without either burning the tortilla or making a complete mess. I eventually figured out the not burning the tortilla part worked and realized that the mess does not matter! This quesadilla, featuring roasted red pepper, is sure to not disappoint… in both messiness and tastiness!

Nutritional Breakdown

Makes 2 servings: 350 calories | 31g carbs | 37g protein | 9g fat

Here’s what you need:

1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 small red pepper, or 1/2 large red pepper

1/4 c diced red onion

1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to taste

1/2 c shredded mexican cheese blend (I use a 2% reduced fat blend)

2 medium flour tortillas

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To roast your red pepper:

1. You can do this on an open flame, the grill or in a broiler.. whichever you have. In a nutshell, apply heat to the pepper until the skin is super charred.

2. Place the pepper into an airtight container and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. Generally, I roast my peppers well ahead of time and then forget about them. Eventually I say “oh yea.. I have a pepper in there” and then I take care of it. This is for the best, because otherwise I’d be too excited about the pepper, try to handle it too soon and burn my fingers.

3. Peel the charred skin off of your pepper. This should be pretty east to accomplish. Cut the pepper open and remove all the innards (seeds and whatnot). It will be a juicy mess. Enjoy it.

4. Dice your wonderful tasty red pepper!

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Making your filling:

1. Cut your chicken breast into teeny tiny pieces. Alternatively, you could cook the chicken whole and cut it after, but it cooks faster in tiny bits.

2. Cook chicken in a pan over medium(ish) heat. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

3. Combine chicken, red pepper, red onion and cilantro in bowl

4. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flake to taste (I like things a little spicy)

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1. Heat a pan to medium low heat. The pan should be large enough that the tortilla will lay flat. You could also use a griddle.

2. Spray a little cooking spray on the pan and lay one tortilla down. Spread half of the cheese (1/4 c) over the tortilla.

3. When the cheese begins to melt, place half of the chicken/ red pepper mixture on one half of the tortilla. Carefully fold the empty side of the tortilla over the mixture.

4. Continue to cook the quesadilla until slightly brown. Gently flip it over and allow the other side to brown. It’s totally ok if some of the feeling spills out…just pile it back on the plate to eat on the side! Repeat for second quesadilla

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, your favorite salsa, or whatever your beautiful heart desires!

This filling also tastes great in a taco salad! Simply combine some salad lettuce, the filling, cheese, and maybe some tortilla chips. I use salsa as dressing for the salad. Absolutely amazing!

Happy noshing!!