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Slow Cooked Chicken Enchilada Casserole

September 20, 2016

As fall kicks off, who else is reminded of all the deliciousness you can make with your crockpot? I am starting my transition back to work full time after 5 glorious months of maternity leave, and my husband and I plan to put our slow cooker to good use. After all, what beats extra cuddle time earned by having dinner ready to go when you get home from work?

This is an enchilada-inspired casserole that is a hearty dinner option. It is chock full of chicken, black beans and mushrooms, but you could swap or add other veggies to suit your fancy.

You will need:

  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14 oz) low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 32 oz enchilada sauce
  • 12-16 soft corn tortillas, cut into 4 strips each
  • 4 c shredded cheese (recommended: Mexican blend, cheddar, or Monterey Jack)
  • 2 c sour cream

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute the chicken breast  until cooked through and golden, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  4. Shred with two forks and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss with the cumin.
  5. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the onion and mushrooms to the skillet. Saute until the mushrooms give off their liquids and start to turn golden.
  7. Stir in the scallions and black beans. Remove from heat.
  8. Pour enough enchilada sauce in the crockpot to lightly cover the bottom (~ 1/2 cup).
  9. Layer 1/4 of the tortilla strips, the remaining sauce, and the sour cream.
  10. Layer 1/3 of the veggie mixture and the chicken.
  11. Layer 1/4 of the shredded cheese.
  12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 two more times.
  13. Then repeat step 9 one final time to finish the casserole.
  14. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
  15. Serve by scooping down to get some of all the layers. Recommend having some extra sour cream and salsa on the side for those who want it!

20160907 Enchilada 01.JPG

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Parmesan Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

September 14, 2016

20160903 Parmesan Pasta 03

This quadruple “p” dinner is a luscious comfort dish: the Parmesan adds creaminess, the prosciutto adds a yummy saltiness, the peas add a hint of sunshine and spring, and pasta is a favorite of D’s.

You will need:

  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 4-6 oz prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 T fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 T fresh basil, chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, grated

Then you will…

  1. Salt a large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions, stopping 1-2 minutes shy of al dente. Save 1 cup of the cooking water when you drain the pasta.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium low heat.
  3. Add the prosciutto and onion and saute until starting to turn golden and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the frozen peas and allow to saute another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream, mint, basil, and red pepper.
  6. Mix in the cooked pasta.
  7. Stir in the lemon zest and season with the pepper.
  8. Mix in the Parmesan, thinning the sauce with some of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed.
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Baked Ricotta Parmesan Dip

September 6, 2016

This is an easy to pull together appetizer or party snack. It is deliciously cheesy, and the lemon and herbs help lighten it as a dish. We served it with some grilled bread, but it would just as good with some crackers. Be creative!

You will need:

  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c grated Parmesan
  • 2 T fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 t fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Spread into a small baking dish, ideally about 9-inches wide.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
  5. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

20160817 Ricotta 01

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Santorini Shrimp

August 31, 2016

20160814 Shrimp 01

This shrimp dish is inspired from a memorable vacation my mom and I took to Greece. We island hopping and feasted on fish fresh from the sea. This recipe pulls from the deliciousness of feta and other Mediterranean flavors and goes well with couscous or some fresh crusty bread and a crisp green salad.

You will need:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 T capers, chopped
  • 2 t oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (feel free to leave the tails on if you want)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c feta, crumbled

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, capers, oregano and red pepper flakes. Saute another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the feta. Cook until the shrimp are pink and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes on each side.
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Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

August 25, 2016

Growing up in New England, my family frequently went blueberry picking. Fresh blueberries, hot from the sun, are delicious. This overnight oatmeal recipe is chock full of blueberries for a refreshing breakfast. While the below recipe is dairy-free, you can always substitute regular yogurt and milk if you wanted. This makes roughly 4 generous portions.

You can also test out the banana nut, chocolate coconut, chocolate peanut butter, or tropical summer versions!

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 10 oz coconut milk yogurt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 4 T honey
  • 2 1/2 c soy milk
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 c chopped pecans, toasted

Then you will…

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except for the nuts.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Stir and serve topped with nuts.
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Maple Dijon Pork Roast with Apples and Sweet Potato

August 17, 2016

20160725 Pork 04

This is a great dinner, in part because your side dish cooks with it! It fills your house with the smells of maple, mustard, and roasting veggies and pork. Once you pop everything in the oven, there is very little work left to do. This means you can enjoy a glass of wine with friends before breaking bread with them.

You will need:

  • 2-3 lb pork roast
  • 5 T Dijon mustard
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 c olive oil, divided
  • 1 t ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 t salt, divided
  • 3 granny smith apples, cored and quartered
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/4 t chili powder

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Pat the pork dry.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, maple syrup, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/4 t salt.
  4. Coat the outside of the pork with about 3/4 of the sauce. Reserve the extra sauce.
  5. Place the pork on a roasting rack in a large baking dish.
  6. Bake the pork roast for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, toss the apples, sweet potato and onion with the remaining 1/4 c olive oil, 1/2 t pepper, 1/4 t salt, paprika, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, and chili powder.
  8. Remove the roasting rack from the pan and return the pork roast to the baking dish.
  9. Spread the apple and sweet potato mixture around the pork.
  10. Reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  11. Return the baking dish to the oven.
  12. Roast for another 20-30 minutes, stirring the apples and sweet potato mixture at least once and brushing the pork with the extra sauce with 10-15 minutes left on the baking time. Pork should reach 120-130 degrees before you take it out of the oven.
  13. Remove from the oven. Allow the pork to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
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Tropical Summer Overnight Oats

August 9, 2016

I love the summer. All the sun is a perfect match for pineapple, coconut and the beach. This is a no-cook overnight oatmeal that has all the fun flavors of summer. The below recipe is dairy-free. However you could substitute regular yogurt and milk if you wanted. This makes roughly 4 generous portions. Pineapple or coconut not your thing? Check out the banana nut, chocolate coconut, or chocolate peanut butter versions!

20160723 Pineapple Oats

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 10 oz coconut milk yogurt
  • 4 T honey
  • 1 pineapple, cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can (14 oz) lite coconut milk
  • 1 c soy milk
  • 1 c sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
  • 1/2 c chopped macadamia nuts

Then you will…

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except for the nuts.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Stir and serve topped with nuts.
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