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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The recipe calls for four chicken breasts; 
I only used two but kept the majority of the other ingredient amounts the same.  
Modifications noted below.  Enjoy!

1/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped basil (I used one tablespoon.)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (I used two tablespoons.)
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil (I reduced this to a half tablespoon between two chicken breasts.)
8 prosciutto slices (I used four.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl, mash the ricotta with the Parmesan, herbs, and lemon zest.  Season well with salt and pepper.

Take the chicken breasts and cut a pocket into the thickest side; be sure not to slice completely through.  Stuff each one with an equal amount of ricotta mixture, then rub with a small drizzle of olive oil.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  

Lay two prosciutto slices on a flat surface, overlapping slightly.  Place the chicken on top and carefully wrap the prosciutto around the breasts, making sure that it meets at the top.  If needed, use a toothpick to secure in place.

Flip the chicken over and place seam-side down on a baking sheet.  Cook for 20-25 minutes, dependent on the thickness of your chicken, and until golden brown.  When pressed with a finger, the meat should bounce back.  Remove toothpicks, if used, before serving.

*The Gluten-Free Cookbook

Monday, November 16, 2015

{One Skillet} Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls

leftovers for days!  a must-make!
  • 1 pound (heaping 2 cups) sweet potatoes, (one large or two small sweet potatoes) diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • (I added 1/2 cup diced onion, about half of an onion.)
  • 1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers (I used miniature assorted red, yellow, and orange.)
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (about one large clove)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • optional toppings: sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped avocado or guacamole

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and diced onion.  Add a good pinch of salt and pepper the mixture.  If you don't like any amount of crunch to your sweet peppers, add them after the sweet potatoes and onions have been cooking for about 6-8 minutes. If you like a crunch, add them in with step four.
  2. Saute the sweet potatoes and onions (and peppers if added) for a total of 8-10 minutes or until pretty tender. Add in remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the rice.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes at medium heat.
  4. Add in the undrained diced tomatoes, black beans, frozen corn, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and vegetable/chicken broth. (Add peppers if you haven't added them yet.)  Give everything a really good stir, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a little bit above low, but not quite to medium heat.
  5. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all the liquid is drained and the rice is cooked through.
  6. Remove the lid and stir in the lime juice (optional). Top with the shredded cheddar cheese and then cover the pot with the skillet for 1-2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
  7. Top your burrito bowls with sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped avocado, or guacamole.

(I served with this chicken.  You could even dice the chicken and add it on top of your bowl!)  

*Adapted from

Monday, November 9, 2015

Easy 30-Minute Homemade White Chicken Chili


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/1 large onion)
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; include or discard them based on preference) (I used my mini food processor to finely chop half of the onion and the whole jalapeño.  Processing the onion created a wet/liquidy mixture.)
  • 7 to 8 ounces canned green chilis, don't drain (I used mild heat.)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use one whole store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time.) (One whole rotisserie chicken gave me about 2.5 cups chicken.  It was plenty and I liked that my soup had more liquid than the picture shown.)
  • 2  15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see step 4 below about blending 1 cup of the beans with a splash of chicken broth or water.) (Do this step before starting to cook the soup.)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced (I only used a few tablespoons, but this ingredient is not optional!  A must!!)
  • tortilla strips, chips, crackers, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream; all are optional for garnishing


  1. To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  2. Add the onion, jalapeno, green chilis, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  4. Add the chicken broth, chicken, and cannellini beans/bean puree.   (Take 1 cup of the beans, add to a food processor or blender, and add a splash of chicken broth or water.  Blend until smooth; mixture should be thick.)  Add lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, {optional} cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 7 to 10 minutes. It's unlikely, but if at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your chili to be thinner, add 1 cup of water or as desired; adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end. For thicker chili, allow mixture to boil longer and reduce until desired thickness is reached.
  5. Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
  6. Taste chili and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, etc.).
  7. Ladle chili into bowls, and optionally garnish with tortilla strips, chips, crackers, avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Baked Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches


3/4 cup melted butter
1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1.5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon diced minced onion
24 mini sandwich rolls
1 pound thinly sliced cooked deli ham
1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

2.  In a bowl, mix together butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and dried onion. Separate the tops from bottoms of the rolls, and place the bottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer about half the ham onto the rolls. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham, and top with remaining ham slices in a layer. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Pour the mustard mixture evenly over the rolls.

3.  Bake in the preheated oven until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Slice into individual rolls through the ham and cheese layers to serve.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hassleback Sweet Potatoes

4 medium (6 ounce) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (garlic flavor recommended!)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chilies)
Juice of 1/2 of a lime
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Carefully cut each potato into 1/8″ slices, cutting almost to the bottom but not quite through (leave about 1/4  of an inch on the bottom.) Mix the oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper and rub all over the potatoes, getting into the cuts as much as possible.
Place the potatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until tender inside and crispy on the outside.
While the potatoes are baking, whisk together the Greek yogurt, adobo sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper. When the potatoes are done, drizzle the sauce evenly over the potatoes and serve immediately. Makes 4 potatoes.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

if i haven't hit the millionth reason as to why you should have a Vitamix, please let this be it.
amazing on apples, toast, or just on your spoon. :)


2 cups raw, unsalted sliced almonds
1 teaspoon sea salt (I only used a pinch, so start small and gradually increase to taste.)
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate (I finely chopped dark chocolate chips.)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spread out the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Toast in the oven until LIGHT brown, about 15 minutes, shaking the sheet every 5.  Let cool.

3. Add the almonds to a food processor (or Vitamix!) and process for a few minutes (up to five), scraping down the sides as needed.  (The almonds should begin to clump together.)  Continue to process for another couple of minutes and add the honey (or syrup) and pinch of salt, and process until combined.  Add the chocolate (in two batches if needed), processing until smooth.  Transfer to a sealed container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

*Recipe from Haylie Duff's show, "Real Girl's Kitchen"

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • 1/2 tsp. extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. peeled, minced ginger (NECESSARY!!)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Chicken
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch pieces (I used closer to 1 .75 pounds.)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Salt and white or black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Veggie mixture
  • 2 tsp. extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers of your choice, diced into 3/4-inch pieces (I used one large red  pepper.)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced into 3/4-inch pieces  (I diced mine a bit smaller.)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • For the sauce:
  • Heat 1/2 tsp. oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 Tbsp. chicken broth with 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, and pour into sauce mixture. Return to heat and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and allow to boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
(Start cooking rice at this point if serving with white rice.  If serving with brown, start cooking at the very beginning before beginning any of the previous steps.)

  • For the chicken:
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch, egg whites, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper until well blended and slightly frothy. Add in chicken and toss to evenly coat. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken (work to space evenly apart) and cook, turning pieces occasionally, until cooked through and outsides are golden brown, about 7 minutes (reduce heat slightly to medium heat as needed). Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat process with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and chicken.
  • For the veggie mixture:
  • While the chicken is cooking, in a large skillet heat 2 tsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onions and saute until tender, about 6 - 8 minutes, adding in pineapple during last minute.  (For more tender veggies, cook a few minutes longer.)
  • Add cooked chicken and reserved sauce to skillet with cooked veggies.  Toss to evenly coat. Serve warm over white or brown rice. 
  • *