Course: Main Course

Beef with Snow Peas

beef with snow peas

In case you don’t know, I’m a huge Pioneer Women fan. While her “down home” cooking is far from mine in terms of healthy, I love all of her recipes, love her cookbooks (they are beautiful!), love her photography and love her love of family. She makes the perfect cheat meal when I want to treat my family to something special. This meal is actually very healthy and made a perfect date night meal for me and my hubby. I added a few extra veggies to mine to make it even more healthy.

Easy and Healthy Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Caccitore

With an Italian husband, we eat a lot of “Italian inspired food.” However, as a FitChick, I stay clear of the pasta so I can stay free of unwanted calories. I love any and all chicken dishes because they are cheap, high in nutrients and family friendly. This recipe is a family favorite due to it’s easy preparation, “One Pot Wonder” power and awesome leftovers. I of course serve it with pasta because my hubby and kids can handle the pasta.

Crock Pot (Road Kill) Chicken

crock pot chicken

If you were to ask me what my favorite small  appliance is, I’d have to say a crock pot. In fact, I’ve  had my crock pot for almost 21 year (got it as a wedding present) and it has been used and abused and is still the best thing I own. Stained and splattered with a funky old “country” design that matches nothing I now own, I love it and use it all winter long.

With long work hours and endless obligations, there is nothing better than coming home to a house bursting with the smell of food that has been cooking all day long. It’s like a friendly welcome home from a good friend. While I have some of my tried and true crock pot favorites, I’m always looking for new recipes.

Because I’m a fugal cook, I base a lot of my menu on what is on sale to get my “biggest bang for my buck.” And since I’m a protein “junkie,” I’m especially excited when I find chicken and other lean meats on sale. When it comes to chicken, breast are my favorite due to their leanness and simplicity (no cutting etc.) However, I will not turn my nose up to a whole chicken if the price is right. I recently found beautiful whole chickens for .79 cents a pound so of course threw one in my basket.

The problem with whole chickens is if you roast them in the oven, a lot goes to waste unless you plan on using the carcass for soup (If you have that kind of time, power to you!) It is just so hard to get all that yummy meat off the bones. When you place a whole chicken in a crock pot, nothing goes to waste! Plus, it is moist (unlike the oven often) and falls off the bones so nothing goes to waste. My husband calls it “Road Kill” Chicken because when you take it out of the crock pot it collapses into a pile because it’s so moist.

Turkey Meatball Soup

P1050552

So winter to me means comfort food and there is nothing more comforting than a big pot of homemade soup. So put down those 100 calorie per servings cans of soup and fire up the stove! This is my favorite soup recipe because it stays true to my desire to be fit and healthy. It’s packed with protein and veggies, is hearty and one pot last me all week long.

Easy Turkey Meatballs

turkey meatballs

So this sudden and welcome rain has me craving some comfort food. While Pizza comes to mind, I know that I’ll thank myself later if I can come up with a saucy alternative that is a lot more healthy. Therefore, I’ve decided to throw on a family favorite, Turkey meatballs with red sauce. They are super easy, low maintenance and are perfect in cold weather. I eat them with veggies on the side, but my family likes them over pasta. Way more healthy then spaghetti and meatballs and packed with the protein that I love. You can do a quick stove top method or pop into a crock pot for the day so you have a meal waiting for you after a long day.

Boka Dushi (Dutch West Indian Chicken Kabobs)

chicken kabobs

There is something about meat on a stick that just makes me happy. Maybe it reminds me of all of my camping days trying to put anything and everything on a stick to cook or maybe it’s the simplicity of it, who knows! I love to grill indoor or out and this recipe is one of my favorites. I passed it onto my “Boot Campers” years ago and they love it too. My husband requests it frequently and my kids even like it because it has peanut butter in it. I love that I can marinate it a day in advance and then just throw it together at the last minute.

Smokey Pork Tenderloin

pork tenderloin

All of my meals center around protein. If you want to be lean, yours should too. Chicken and turkey can grow old after a while so I’m always looking for recipes that use other forms of protein. Tenderloin is a great option because it is super lean, easy to prepare and yummy! This simple marinade is fast, smokey and versatile. Better yet, you’ll have leftovers that will make a great pork stir fry a couple days later.

Chicken and Orzo Casserole

chikcen orzo casserole

We all have those “go to” recipes that we have been making for years and are always a hit. This is one of mine. I’ve made it for my own family hundreds of times and for others families countless times. It is the recipe that I prepare if someone needs a meal dropped off because they’ve just had a baby, are sick or just need a little helping hand.  It always gets rave reviews and I’m always asked for the recipe. These days, I just include the recipe when I drop it off. I like it because it’s super easy, healthy, family friendly, uses only one pot (A “one pot wonder”) and it taste even better the second time around. Enjoy!

Quick and Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

enchiladas

When I have a splurge meal, it’s Mexican all the way! After every single Figure competition I’ve ever done, I head straight to the best Mexican restaurant I can find and eat my heart out! I love everything about it, except the fat and calories. Mexican food is hearty, comfy, family friendly and makes for a great mid week meal because there is usually leftovers and it always taste better the second time around. Therefore, I’ll do anything to lighten it up and cut down on prep time. This recipe checks all those boxes.

Cracker Chicken Strips

cracker chicken strips
If you have kids like me, you've seen your share of chicken strips. My kids are teenagers and still like a good chicken strip from time to time. The problem is, more often than not, they are packed with crap! In fact, there is only one brand "Rocky Range" chicken, sold at Costco that I feel okay about giving my kids these days. It is sustainable, organic, antibiotic free and so on - love it! However, when I have time, I prefer to make my own. One of my youngest boys favorite meals I prepare for him is my own homemade Chicken strips made with Cracker crumbs. They are a healthy, kid friendly alternative to store bought chicken strips. My son loves them because they are crunchy, I love them because I made them and know what is in them. Can you say "win, win?!"