One Pot Chicken Pot Pie Pasta

Can you believe it's September already? Although I am sad to see summer gone I am happy to see Fall make its appearance. Okay, let's be real, I'm in nursing school so I actually didn't see much of summer. A glimpse here and there when I looked up from my text book and glanced through the window. I would take Fall over any other time of year. I use to be a huge winter person. Being up here in the arctic, I mean Maine, there is so much to do in the winter. I use to ski and snowboard and all that jazz. But the older I get the more I have come to despise winter. Skiing and snowboarding will break the bank, the ice on my driveway will break a hip, and I loath dressing in 17 layers just to get to your destination and be sweating your gonads off.
Fall, oh Fall how I love everything about you. I love the crisp air, no humidity, changing leaves, scented candles, and I love most of all the delicious meals I can cook. Not just regular "I can eat all summer long meals" but those that are warm and comforting. Those that make amazing leftovers to bring to class to make all your classmates jealous. Yes, comfort food. 
So today, in early September, I bring to you a combination of two comfort foods all blended together in one pot! Yes one pot, not multiple dishes to wash, just one. This One Pot Chicken Pot Pie Pasta  has everything you want. It's creamy, meaty, and pasta-y. And it re-heats wonderfully. And one of the best parts about this dish is that you can hide veggies in it well. My two main men in the house don't particularly  like veggies, but with this dish I was able to get carrots and celery in there. Although they could see it, they were so covered in the creamy goodness that they couldn't taste it. Total win in my book! 

Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 30 Min

Ingredients:
1Lb Chicken breast cut into 1" pieces
1 Lbs fettuccine
1 Medium white onion - diced
3 Large carrots - cut in small round slices
3 Stalks celery - cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic - minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1/3 Cup flour
3 Cups milk (you can use lesser fat milk if you'd like)
4 Cups chicken broth
2 Tbs fresh parsley - chopped
Salt / Pepper to taste

How To Cook
1. Using a dutch oven, or a large pan, sauté chicken in the olive oil until not longer pink along with the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic on medium heat. 
2. Once chicken is cooked and vegetables are soft, thoroughly mix in the flour until evenly mixed. 
3. Add in milk, chicken broth, parsley, salt/pepper and add pasta and bring to a heavy simmer. Then reduce heat to a slow simmer
4. Stir every few minutes to keep pasta separated and from sticking to the bottom. 
5. If using a dutch oven, take off heat when pasta is slightly under cooked - as it will continue to cook in the Dutch oven. 

Serve Immediately 


Recipe adapted from Whole and Heavenly Oven

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup


Being that I am knee deep in nursing school, I need meals that are going to be easy with little clean-up. To be honest, I actually made this soup this past winter during break. I had this bright idea to make a ton of freezer meals at once so I would have them throughout the year. Well, to be honest, today was the first time I dug into them! But I am so glad I had them handy.

I have been swamped with pharmacology homework and this was the week I decided to potty train the worlds most stubborn child. Yeah, he knows how to use the toilet, but will hold it for 13+ hours instead. Insert eye roll. So I needed an easy meal that was quick but also didn't heat up the already hot house!

There are so many variations of this and so many other freezer type meals you can do. But this is one of my favorite. I am a sucker for anything chicken and tortilla. 


Ingredients
2lbs Chicken breast
2 Cups frozen corn
14oz can black beans 
28oz Diced tomatoes 
(you can add in some with green chilies if you like)
2tbs taco seasoning
salt/pepper

Greek yogurt, tortilla chips and cilantro to top

So here is the hard part.... you either dump it all in a freezer bag for later and freeze OR dump it all in a crockpot now and cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.

Shred chicken once it's cooked then top with the delicious toppings of your choice!




21 Day Fix
Serving1.5 cups (some will be broth/topping )
1/2 G
1Y (with tortilla chips)
1R (with greek yogurt)

One Pot American Chop Suey

So, if you're not from New England you would probably call this Goulash or American Goulash. Well up here in Maine its chop suey and man oh man is it good! If you're looking for a meal that you can throw all in one pot and have it ready in 20 minutes, this is it ladies and gents! 

Some nights I just want a hot home cooked meal without all the extra dishes and without having to run to the store to grab obscure ingredients. I know I always have the fixings to make this right in my pantry and I'm willing to bet you do too....just go check!


You literally throw this in the pot and cook! It's a guaranteed family approved meal!



Ingredients
Okay this is where it gets fun! You can throw any veggies you want in here! Mix it up or keep it simple!

1 Lbs Elbow pasta (or any sort of short pasta)
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 Cups water
1 Lbs Ground beef
1 Green pepper
1 Onion
1 Glove garlic
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
salt/pepper to taste
Chives for presentation 

How to Cook
Take a pot such as a dutch oven or a deep sauce pan and place on high heat and brown the meat.

Once the meat is about half done throw in the onions, green pepper and garlic and cook until the meat has finished browning, then throw in the seasoning.

Add in tomatoes, pasta, and water.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pasta for 20 minutes or until the pasta is done to your liking. Stir occasionally so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot!

Enjoy!


Fresh and Easy Guacamole

I woke up this morning with a hankering for some guacamole. Or perhaps I just wanted chips and I needed and excuse to eat them. Either way, I had some ripe avocado on the counter so I just quickly whipped this up!

A few years back I would have never tried to make guacamole because I thought it was so hard! That was until I visited Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in Cozumel. They make it to order right in front of you! So I intently watched them make it table side while I was slugging back my third margarita and realized I could do it at home. A few ingredients and BAM it's like you're own little Mexican fiesta in your mouth. 
And if you're like me and don't eat guacamole with anything but chips, try making your own oven baked chips!

Ingredients
3 Ripe Avocado's
1 Shallot (or 1/2 red onion) chopped
10 Cherry tomatoes (quartered) OR one large tomato
1 Clove of garlic
1/2 Lime juiced
1/2 tbs chopped cilantro
Salt/Pepper to taste


Mix it up!
This is the easy part! Just scoop out the avocado add it to the bowl. Chop up tomatoes and shallot, mince garlic, juice the lime, sprinkle salt/pepper and cilantro and mix it all up! If you like it chunky then don't mash up the avocado as much. If you like it creamy then keep smashing them until you get to the consistency you like!

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chicken

I think I've been on a chicken kick lately. Probably because I'm busy, or perhaps lazy, and it's just so versatile and easy to make. Whatever the case may be, this is one of the easiest, customizable and delicious ways to make chicken. And what's even better? You will have chicken for dayyyys!


So for you meal preppers, I know who you  tupperwaring, baggie filling, fridge packing are.... this is the perfect recipe for you. One night you can have roasted chicken with potatoes the next it can be chopped and made into chicken salad or stuffed between two tortillas with loads of cheese for a chicken quesadilla! 

All you need is a skillet that can go from stovetop to oven (cast iron or stainless should be just fine), a whole roasting chicken and whatever herbs and spices you like. Oh and an oven. That would come in handy too. 


Rosemary Garlic Roasted Chicken
1 Roasting Chicken (pictured was 6.8lbs)
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs Dried rosemary
1 Tbs Thyme 
4 Cloves garlic
salt/pepper to taste

Let's Get Cookin'
Preheat the oven to 375º and place the skillet on the stove and drizzle with  2 tbs of oil on high heat

Pat dry the chicken and use the remaining oil to rub over the chicken then cover both sides with herbs, placing the garlic inside the chicken

Place chicken, breast side up, in the hot skillet for 3-4 minutes. It will sizzle and thats good!

Place the skillet with the chicken in it, into the oven on the middle rack. Let it cook for 1 hour.

Once the hour is up, turn the oven off and leave the chicken in to finish cooking! 

(If you have a self-cooling oven like mine, turn the heat down to 300º, otherwise it will suck all the hot air out and the chicken won't finish cooking.)

Once the chicken has reached an temperature of 165º, take it out and enjoy! 


Essential Oil Allergy Buster

Oh the joys of spring time. Runny nose, itchy eyes, itchy ears, and sneezing. Seasonal allergies are no joke and finding a something that doesn't either make you sick, drowsy, actually works, and won't break the bank is hard to do! 


I have tried over the counter meds and prescription meds to no avail. Nothing worked. That's when I turned to essential oils. Mixing three simple oils together and rolling them on or diffusing them in the house or car has changed my world! Since using them I no longer have ANY symptoms! I was that girl in town with the red eyes and always sneezing. Now I can sip my wine at the wine bar not having to worry about having a plethora of tissues or sneezing so hard I spill my glass. 

3 simply essential oils is all it takes to be symptom free!

Oils:
Peppermint
Lavender
Lemon
Equal parts of each


Carrier Oil:
If you were to just add the oils straight to your skin, it might be a little much. So you want to have a carrier oil to dilute it. I use either grape seed oil or sunflower oil. You can use olive oil if you'd like or if it's all you have. 

For my 10ml bottle that I carry in my purse I do 3 drops of each then fill the remaining space with the carrier oil. Apply 2x a day (or more if necessary) to your temples, wrists, and behind your ears.

If using my diffuser I do one drop of each.

Not only are these three oils great for allergies, they are amazing to have on hand for bee strings (place lavender on the sting and there won't be any swelling or pain), lemon for your water, and peppermint for nausea. There are so many ways to use essential oils that the list is endless!



Interested in trying essential oils? Contact me or visit Young Living! Sign up and become a member and receive 24% off each and every order.



 

Sweet & Smoky Dry Rub

With grilling season ramping right up, one thing that you should always have in your cupboard is a good dry rub. Nothing is better then covering your meat a few hours before grilling with a great rub then placing it on the sizzling grill. And you can also add this to your side dish like I will be! Cut some red potatoes up, sprinkle this delicious rub on them, and roast 'em!


This recipe is so easy, and I bet if you were to look right now, you'd have most if not all of these ingredients just waiting to be used!


Ingredients:

1/3 Cup Brown sugar
1/4 Cup Granulated sugar
1/4 Cup Kosher salt
1 Tbs Course ground black pepper
1 Tbs Paprika 
1 Tbs Chili powder
1 Tbs Onion powder
1 Tbs Garlic powder
1 Tsp Cumin



Now just add it to a jar and shake to mix! This can be used on beef, pork, chicken, and even pasta! It's super yummy and a grilling staple!

Sweet Ranch Chicken & Veggies

Most of you, well probably none except about four of my readers, know that I went 12 years without eating chicken. I should go further to say I wouldn't even touch it. There was this one time when I was living at home with my mom and I opened the freezer and a whole chicken came flying out at me. I left it on the floor for 6 hours until my mom got home because I refused to touch it. Okay, lets call a spade a spade and just say I had a decent sized phobia of chicken.



Now that I've outed myself, lets skip ahead another 12 years to now. I LOVE chicken! It's so versatile with all the different parts, inexpensive (even when you buy locally at the farm like I do), and rather flavorless so you can add so many different ingredients to it!


Being in nursing school, a mom of a three year old and a wife of a lobsterman who has crazy hours, I need something I can throw together when I get the nightly text "just docked the boat," which means crap I have 30 minutes to throw my hair up and make dinner! This recipe is that recipe that can be tossed together on ONE pan and on the table in 25 minutes! And with a little added sweetness running through the dish, it is a crowd pleaser for all types of eaters!


Ingredients
2lbs chicken breast (skin or no skin - doesn't matter)
20 tiny red potatoes, halved
Green Beans 
1 Clove garlic - minced
1 packet dry ranch mix
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs brown sugar
salt/pepper to taste

How To Cook
1. Pre-heat oven to 400º 
2. Cut potatoes in half
3. Coat a baking sheet with either olive oil or spray
4. Place chicken (skin up if using chicken with skin) in the middle of the pan forming a line and green beans on both sides.
5. Add the potatoes on top of the green beans, cut side down.
6. Divide equally and sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the chicken, pressing down to make it stick
7. Sprinkle the minced garlic over chicken, potatoes, and green beans
8. Sprinkle lightly the ranch mix - I did not use an entire packet - but do it to taste. 
9. Drizzle olive oil over entire pan
10. Cook on middle rack for 20-30 minutes (until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165º)

Serve immediately!



21 Day Fix
Serving being 1R, 1Y, 1G, 1Tbs

Caprese Skewer Appetizer

       When you're in a rush to attend a party or gathering, the last thing you want to do is make a labor intensive appetizer. Sure anyone can go on Pinterest and find the most outlandish dish and spend four hours and $50 putting it together. But seriously, who wants too?  



       Since we are talking about fast and easy dishes, this post will be fast....since we are literally heading out the door with the exact dish in the photos! This mouth watering plate took me less than 10 minutes and cost under $10. Win win! You just need a few fresh ingredients and you are on your way to bringing a nice refreshing dish to set aside the bucket of chips and smattering of dips. 

Caprese Skewer Appetizer


Whats In It:
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella balls (if they're the big ones, just cut them like I did)
Fresh basil leaves
Olive Oil 
Salt/pepper
Toothpicks

How To Assemble:
For each skewer you'll need a cheery tomato topped with a basil leaf then topped with a hunk of cheese

To finish just drizzle some olive oil and dash with salt/pepper

You can make these the night before or right before you head out the door!
If you're making them the night before, just make sure you don't add the oil until you're about to leave...it can tend to make the cheese a little soggy



Enjoy!

Skinny Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

Now that the weather is getting cooler and the grill has seen it's last meal, its time to break out the comfort foods. One of my all time favorite meals is fettuccine Alfredo. I love going out to dinner on a cold night to the local Italian restaurant and ordering up some chicken fettuccine Alfredo and a glass of wine and just indulge. But let's be realistic. One meal out can run upwards of 1,200 calories! All that heavy cream, sizzling butter, and melting cheese can really take a chunk out of your daily calorie allowance.


The other night when I was having a massive craving for that that creamy goodness, I decided to make it myself. Now let me tell you, I have never even attempted to make Alfredo before the other night. For some reason it intimidated me. But being that I had such a strong craving, I figured why the heck not! and I made it.


To mine and my husbands disbelief it was actually better than our local Italian place and Olive Garden! It was so thick and creamy and buttery. But heres the kicker, it's a fraction of the calories! Which means I can eat more, which is always a plus. 

For this recipe I added chicken, because I feel a meal like this needs some sort of protein. You can add chicken, shrimp, scallops, lobster, the list is endless! And this recipe takes longer to cook the pasta then to make the sauce. 


Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total: 20 min
Serves:

Ingredients
8oz Fettuccine pasta
1 lb of meat (chicken, shrimp, scallops, ect)
3 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all-pourpose flour
1 1/2 cup of 1% milk
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 Cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
3oz light/fat free cream cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley (or dried) minced
1/2 tbs garlic powder
Salt/Pepper to taste

How To Cook:
1. Start the pasta water going and add the pasta when it's boiling - this will take the longest amount of time during this process.

2. In a large pot (I love my dutch oven for this kind of cooking) add a tablespoon of butter on Med heat. When it's melted, add your protein and cook until cooked through. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

3. In the same pan, on med/low heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once butter has melted add the 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until it's completely combined.

4. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk constantly until combined.

5. Whisk in the cream and garlic powder.

6. Whisk in the cream cheese and grated parmesan cheese. You will want to whisk for 1-2 minutes constantly for the cheeses to melt.

** at this point you may be thinking that the sauce its extremely too thin. Have no fear, it will thicken!

7.Once it has started to thicken, add the protein back in to the sauce and stir in the parsley (leaving a pinch for decoration is desired).

8. Add salt/pepper to taste.

9. When the pasta is done, before straining, take some pasta straight out of the water and place in the sauce. The water on the pasta will help thin the sauce a little (since it will be very thick). Then strain the rest of the pasta and mix it in with the sauce.
Enjoy!