Roasted red pepper hummus chicken

roasted red pepper hummus chickenWho would have thought that hummus + chicken in a very hot oven would result in an AMAZINGLY tasty dinner idea? Not me, but I promise it’s true! We love snacking on veggies and hummus so we always have it in the house, and I always stock up on chicken, so this was the perfect “pantry clean-out” recipe. As soon as I saw this brilliant idea on Pinterest, I knew this recipe was a definite must-try, plus it’s super healthy, completely dairy-free, gluten-free and ready in 30 minutes!

This is cooking at its easiest! Just line a baking sheet, season chicken with salt and pepper, then place a few dollops of hummus on top. I used roasted red pepper hummus but any flavor would work! The hummus creates a delicious crust on the chicken as it slightly hardens in the oven and really pumps up the flavor. No more boring, bland chicken dishes around here! I like to serve this with extra hummus on the side for dipping, and my side dish of choice was balsamic marinated tomatoes. Whip up some rice or quinoa to round out the meal or check out the original recipe which includes baked veggies.

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20-Minute chicken & asparagus stir-fry

20-minute chicken and asparagus stir fryI’ve been on a roll the past few weeks cooking up quick-and-easy dinner recipes and I have another one to share! This one is IT – the absolute PERFECT weeknight meal. Not only is it ready in 20 minutes, but this one recipe combines both protein and veggies, so it’s a complete meal by itself…there’s no side-dish required (it’s great over rice, but that’s completely optional)! I’ve made this stir-fry recipe several times and changed up the ingredients ever so slightly based on what I had in my pantry. Gluten-free? No problem! Just use gluten-free (Tamari-style) soy sauce!

I used about ¾ of a pound of chicken breast tenderloins and cut them up into bite-sized pieces, which totally speeds up the cooking time. Since I always have frozen asparagus in my freezer, I defrosted a bunch. This recipe would also be great with any frozen veggies you have on hand. Since I didn’t have a few of the ingredients handy, I just left them out and the flavor from the sauce was still fantastic! It’s a tasty combination of sweet and salty and an overall deliciously quick and healthy meal!
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BBQ Chicken Pizza

bbq chicken pizza

I was first introduced to “fancy” pizzas when I started working full-time right out of college. There happened to be a fantastic pizza place down the road with what seemed like an endless display of CRAZY delicious pizzas — everything from buffalo chicken ranch pizza to penne a la vodka pizza to Caesar salad pizza — how could I ever choose?! I was in pizza heaven. I could never imagine going back to plain old cheese pizza and luckily, when the hubby and I first started dating, there was another fancy pizza place a block from his apartment! Once we moved in together, we started making pizza at home as a quick (and healthier) solution to ordering out. When the hubby began cutting back on dairy in his diet, I came up with some pizza ideas that didn’t revolve around cheese. This BBQ chicken pizza is the recipe that I keep going back to — it’s quick, easy, and delicious!

The toppings on this pizza really impart so much flavor that you’ll never miss the cheese if you’re dairy-free or looking to cut more calories. Recently, I’ve been making the recipe half-and-half…that’s half with cheese and half without (my way of ensuring that I get my cheesy leftovers!). The tang of the BBQ sauce, the sweetness and bite of the red onion, and the heartiness of the chicken make for a satisfying weeknight meal. Just serve with a big side salad and you’re good to go.

bbq chicken pizza

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‘Chicken Club’-style Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce

chicken club style chicken with creamy pesto sauceWhen the hubby and I come home from work, I usually ask him two questions:
1. “How was your day?” — generic, I know, and the answer is usually “busy”
2. “What did you have for lunch?” — this one gets a mixed response, ranging from egg salad to pulled pork sandwich to chicken and rice bowl.

Oh, the luxury of eating lunch in New York City every day. It’s something I’ve never experienced since I’ve been bringing lunch to my suburban office, well, forever. I’m not sure I would know what to do with all those food options! I realized that I really only order decadent lunches when I’m on vacation, and a chicken club sandwich is always at the top of my list. Maybe it’s the REAL bacon or the REAL mayo they use in the Caribbean, but that sandwich always tastes better when it’s ordered at the swim-up pool bar!

Since chicken seems to be our dinner protein of choice more often than not, I’m always trying to come up with creative chicken recipes. This time, I decided to bring the “chicken club sandwich” to our chicken dinner, thanks to fresh avocado, sweet tomato, smoky turkey bacon and creamy pesto drizzle. It tastes just like the real thing, minus the bread!

I baked the chicken, but you could easily throw it on the grill or grill pan. Roughly chop the topping ingredients, whip up the sauce, and you’ve got a light and easy weeknight meal that’s incredibly tasty!

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Crockpot Shredded Salsa Chicken

crockpot shredded salsa chicken

I’ve been on a two-ingredient kick lately (i.e. for dessert), but a dinner recipe that’s only two ingredients AND cooked in the slow-cooker…am I dreaming?! I promise, this is the easiest recipe you’ll ever throw together for dinner and it’s incredibly versatile. Plus, I heard that salsa is one of the healthiest condiments out there, so this recipe is a win-win for sure! Place chicken in the slow cooker and top with the salsa of your choice, let it cook, then shred the chicken and mix it with the leftover salsa — that’s all there is to it! Due to the short cooking time (for a crockpot recipe), I like to whip up a batch over the weekend and keep it in the fridge to use for quick lunches and dinners throughout the week. I LOVE the shredded salsa chicken as a filling for tacos and I ate the leftovers in a salad the next day. Try a fruit-flavored salsa for a sweeter dish (my favorite is Trader Joe’s spicy, smoky peach salsa) or salsa verde. The shredded salsa chicken can be used as a base for a ton of different meals:

Salsa + chicken + tacos + toppings = Taco Tuesday

Salsa + chicken + iceberg lettuce + toppings = Mexican lettuce wraps

Salsa + chicken + romaine/spinach + toppings = Mexican chicken salad

Salsa + chicken + avocado + tomato + whole wheat wrap = Mexican chicken wraps

Salsa + chicken + mac and cheese = Mexican mac and cheese

Salsa + chicken + tortillas + cheese = salsa chicken quesadillas

No matter how you eat it, the salsa infuses the chicken with a ton of flavor and the little crispy burnt pieces are the best! The hubby even proclaimed that this was the best chicken I’ve ever made. Should I be insulted that I only used two ingredients and there was no real “cooking” involved? I think not…I’ll take what I can get 🙂
crockpot shredded salsa chicken

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Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas

2014-03-07 13.26.06

I admit it, I typically skip over recipes with a laundry list of ingredients (both for my sanity and my wallet), but this one intrigued me for a few reasons:
Reason #1 –The hubby and I are going to Disney World for a mini vacation — yay!  It just so happens that this trip falls on our 6-month anniversary, which is that much more fun!  When the time came to think about reservations, I insisted that we MUST eat at the Moroccan restaurant in Epcot (based on past experience).  This recipe definitely psyched us up for the trip.
Reason #2 — I have the best memories of eating Moroccan food with my family growing up, but I never really attempted to make it myself.  It was definitely a special occasion to go out for Moroccan (not quite as accessible as, say, Chinese food), but there was just something magical about the restaurant, the food, and the decor…it was truly an experience!
Reason #3 — This recipe is like the ‘older, more mature sister’ of my absolute favorite Moroccan dish, Chicken Bastilla.  Essentially, Bastilla is chicken in puff pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar.  My sister and I were in heaven when our parents actually suggested that we order the sugary chicken for dinner (I promise, it’s more delicious than it sounds)!  I figured this recipe is a more responsible, adult, and skinnier version with similar flavors (minus the powdered sugar).  However, I will definitely be ordering the Bastilla in Disney.  Just saying…

Okay, back to the recipe.  The spices are the key to this dish being chock full of flavor — sweet, smoky, spicy, you name it, it’s in there.  The cinnamon brings a bit of sweetness that’s so unique to Moroccan cuisine…so delicious!  Packed with protein and veggies, this is a hearty, well-balanced dish.  I served this with a side of whole-grain Cous Cous, but it would also pair well with a side salad or roasted veggies.

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