Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simple Shredded Chicken

It doesn't get any easier than this tasty Mexican style shredded chicken!  On a hot day there's nothing better than coming home to a dinner that it practically done.  Hot, delicious & no need to turn on the oven!  How so?  The crockpot!  Most of the time we tend to only pull out the crock pot during the cold winter months... but warm days are perfect for your slow cooker, since it doesn't heat up the kitchen.  And with the beautiful weather outside, anything that minimizes the time spent in the kitchen preparing dinner is a friend of mine!

I threw all the ingredients in at lunch time & came home to a house that smelled great!  A few quick steps at that point and dinner was on the table in 15 min.

Simple Shredded Chicken
This can easily be doubled - this amount fed 2 of us with PLENTY of leftovers!

3 chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
1 jar of salsa
about 3/4 of a beer
2 cups of chicken broth
desired seasonings

Combine all ingredients in crock pot.  I chose a medium heat southwest salsa that had black beans and corn in it.  For the seasonings I went with a couple tsp of taco seasoning, fresh ground pepper & garlic.  The lid went on & I set it to high for 6 hours, since that's when I would be returning home.

When I got home, I removed the chicken from the crock pot and dropped them into my Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mixed for a few seconds and had perfectly shredded chicken.  

Return chicken to crock pot and prepare what ever it is you'd like to use this yummy filler for!  We had chicken tacos & tostadas.  Warmed some tortillas, shredded some cabbage and whipped up some smashed black beans.  Served with desired toppings and we had a fantastic meal!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Simple Roasted Artichokes

I typically go with the standard boiled, or steamed artichoke.  This time I wanted to try something a little different.  Simple Roasted Artichokes!  I think the great thing about this method, is you aren't limited to how many you can prepare based on the size of your pots.  No need for 2 or more pots on the stove just to seam your 'chokes.  This would be the perfect method for feeding a crowd.  (And with artichokes on sale here for .99 each, who could resist!)  Just wash & trim your artichokes - I always cut the tops with a serrated knife, cut the stem, and then trim the individual leaves with kitchen shears.  Then lay each artichoke on a large section of foil, drizzle with olive oil (I used this lemon olive oil & it was tasty!), and season to your taste.  If you are in the mood, you can shove a whole, peeled garlic clove in the top.  Then just wrap the whole artichoke up and repeat with the next.  Place into a preheated 425 degree oven, on the rack, and cook for an hour.  Carefully remove from oven and let set for 5 or so minutes.  Unwrap and Enjoy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sunflower Cupcakes

Made these little cuties for a friend's bridal shower this weekend.  The sunflower centers are Oreo cookies (the regular and mini varieties).  Super simple, just a little tiresome on the wrist.  The petals were done using a leaf tip.  If you wanna know for, let me know... I'd be happy to give you more detailed instructions. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Easy Cheesy Skillet Lasagna

I saw this recipe on Pinterest from The Realistic Nutritionist and thought it was a little too good to be true!  "Easy Skinny Skillet Lasagna - 275 calories & 3 fat grams per cup, 7 WW points"??? Well I love cheese & I love lasagna.  With a short list of ingredients and an even shorter prep/cook time, I was sold.  Glad I gave this one a try!  It was too simple to taste that good!  The great part, you could add all sorts of goodies if you so desire.  I think next time I'll add sliced zucchini and fresh spinach.  Give this one a try, everyone at your table will be glad you did!  Enjoy! 

Easy Cheesy Skillet Lasagna
Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers One Pot cookbook

1 1/2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
3 Tbls Parmesan cheese
About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked
2 tsp parsley (dried or fresh)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes and let reduce slightly about 2 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.

Add noodles to skillet and stir into the mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley. Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick.

Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.

Nutritional information per 1 cup:
Calories: 275
Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 42 grams
Fiber: 9 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Weight Watchers Points Plus Points: 7