Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes from McCormick mentioned in this post. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

Rich, creamy and bold chicken taco dip made easily in your slow cooker, topped with melty pepper jack. This dip is so full of flavor, you won’t be able to stay away!

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

I have a confession. I never make my own taco seasoning / pumpkin pie spice / tomato sauce seasonings / etc. I love to cook, but I am honestly all about convenience, and I’m a busy human who needs for things to be quick and easy when I’m cooking at home. Sometimes I feel like, because I have a food blog, I have to be one of those 100% from scratch type cooks. I just can’t live up to that. I mean, I guess I’m somewhere between that cookie dough that’s not just already made, but already cut for you and someone who churns their own butter.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Something that really surprised me when Steve found out he had a gluten intolerance was just how many things contained gluten. I mean, we’re both pretty lucky in the fact that we’re more gluten-get-grouchy than gluten intolerant (well, he is closer to intolerant, but does okay with cross contamination), but even still, so many of the seasonings that we’d used in the past contained flour–what is that about?? We learned to label check like crazy, even things you wouldn’t imagine, and it’s even more important for our friends with Celiac.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

We LOVE that McCormick has some of our favorite seasoning mixes that are certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and they contain no MSG, artificial colors or flavors. The flavors are bold and spot on, and they make it so easy to turn a boring dinner into a flavorful one! I also love that their gluten-free products are the same price as their regular products. Eating gluten-free can get soooo expensive (hellloooo $5 for a loaf of bread…), and it’s really refreshing to finally have a product that has the same cost.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

This dip couldn’t be easier–I just took some chicken breasts, a can of refried beans, a block of cream cheese and the McCormick gluten-free taco seasoning and threw ‘em in the crockpot. I added some Greek yogurt after they were done cooking then topped it with pepper jack cheese that I put in the oven on broil until it got all bubbly and dreamy. The taste and the texture were absolutely amazing. I couldn’t stop eating it, and ended up eating dip for dinner. Oh well, I guess there’s worse things. ;)

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: about 9-10 cups

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1 x 16 ounce can refried beans (I used fat free)
  • 3 cups salsa
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2-3 tablespoons McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced (optional for serving)
  • corn tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts at the bottom of your slow cooker. Cover with beans, salsa, cream cheese and taco seasoning. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, stirring once in between if possible.
  2. Remove chicken and shred. Take about a tablespoon of warm dip and mix into Greek yogurt to temper, then add Greek yogurt and stir to combine.Stir in shredded chicken. Transfer to an oven safe serving dish and top with shredded cheese. Cook on broil until cheese starts to brown and bubble, about 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  3. Top with sliced jalapeno and serve immediately with chips. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/crockpot-chicken-taco-dip/

Other gluten-free seasoning options include Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy, and Gluten-Free Brown Gravy. For more from McCormick,  you can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Rich, creamy, warm and comforting curry soup with sweet potatoes, chicken & kale is incredibly easy to make in your slow cooker with NO prep time! Healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale: NO prep time, healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free

Can we talk for a second about trying to make curry soup look pretty? I mean, it’s YELLOW and the sweet potatoes I used were yellow. Side note: I totally prefer the lighter colored sweet potatoes, you? The first time I used them I thought they were mislabeled because for most of my life I knew nothing about vegetables. Anyway, I love them, and I think they are sweeter and softer than the orange ones.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Oh, and ummm cooked kale? The ugliest. If this soup weren’t so freaking delicious, I would have said F it, called it quits, and just pouted while sadly eating straight from the crockpot. Seriously, it’s super fun to live with a food blogger who gets super grouchy when things don’t go her way. The other night I had a melt down because I took like 5 zillion pictures of steam coming off my mac & cheese only to realize the wine glass I had set in the background was still empty. Life is hard sometimes.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Anyway, this soup was totally worth it, pretty or not. With the bold curry flavor, the creamy coconut milk and my very favorite food (sweet potatoes, in case you’re new here), you really can’t go wrong. The chicken cooks up perfectly in the crockpot with extra work involved, and the kale adds a little nutrient + flavor bonus. I love kale. I’m such a cliche.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

This soup is perfect for the busy fall months when you want something delicious and warm waiting for you when you come home–it makes weeknight dinners a breeze, and it tastes way more indulgent than it actually is, so it’s a win-win!

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Rich, creamy, warm and comforting curry soup with sweet potatoes, chicken & kale is incredibly easy to make in your slow cooker with NO prep time! Healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 big handfuls kale
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 x 13.5 ounce cans coconut milk
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry paste
  • pinch ground ginger
  • sliced green onions and Sriracha for topping, optional

Instructions

  1. Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork. Microwave for 2 minutes, (peel if desired, I didn't) then slice into 1" cubes.
  2. Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Stir all ingredients together and serve. Top with green onions and Sriracha if desired. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/crockpot-curry-soup-sweet-potato-chicken-kale/

Thai Chicken Tacos

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

The bold flavors of chicken pad Thai in a simple, easy, healthy and gluten-free weeknight meal that comes together in minutes.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Have I ever told you about the taco shop? I mean, I guess I should call it by it’s name now that taco shops are becoming a thing, and there’s a bunch of them popping up all over the place, but I still always call it the taco shop.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Anyway, they have tons of creative tacos and everything is served a la carte, so you can get a couple different tacos, all the same, tacos with Mexican street corn (OMG…), or even try out their many varieties of salsa. It is basically a dream come true for this Mexican-food-aholic.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

I actually can’t believe I have never posted tacos on here before. I mean, I guess it’s because I never actually make them. I make this all the time, and this needs to happen again because it was freaking awesome, but never just regular tacos, and ummm, that needs to change because I think this dinner took me all of 10 minutes, and it was awesome.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

In addition to Mexican food, I am also obsessed with Thai food. Okay, I’m actually obsessed with peanut sauce. I mean, there are many Thai dishes that I absolutely love, but it always comes back to that peanut sauce for me. Peanut butter + spicy + just slightly sweet? How can that be bad??

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Well, actually one time I made the mistake of using someone else’s pad Thai recipe that I found on the internet. It was loaded with soy sauce, and even using the lower salt soy sauce, the peanut sauce just tasted like a mouthful of salt. And I LOVE salt. One day in the middle of a long run I came back home to refill my water and ground some sea salt onto a plate and ate it. By itself. Perhaps I should add that to things I should be embarrassed to admit on the internet…

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Anyway, my peanut sauce does not taste like pure salt. It’s the spicy, peanutty, slightly sweet goodness I mentioned before. And for these tacos, all you do is throw some shredded chicken and chopped veggies onto some corn tortillas, drizzle your new favorite peanut sauce on top, and then if you want to get fancy (or if you just want the best possible flavor combo) squeeze on some lime, throw in some of my favorite food (cilantro), add some crushed peanuts, and a drizzle of sriracha. You’ll find yourself looking at a dinner that seems so complicated and wondering how you made it happen in just a few minutes. Then when you taste it, you’ll want to recreate it every night forever (and ever).

Thai Chicken Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 tacos

Serving Size: 2 tacos

Thai Chicken Tacos

The bold flavors of chicken pad Thai in a simple, easy, healthy and gluten-free weeknight meal that comes together in minutes.

Ingredients

    For the peanut sauce:
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sriracha + more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Water, as needed
  • For the tacos:
  • 8 small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 (8 oz) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
  • Handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp crushed peanuts

Instructions

  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, coconut aminos, lime juice, sriracha and honey with 2 tbsp water until well combined. Continue to add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce has reached desired consistency.
  2. To assemble tacos add chicken, red pepper, scallions, cilantro and peanuts to each warmed tortilla. Top with peanut sauce and drizzle with sriracha if desired. Serve immediately.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/thai-chicken-tacos/

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets -- Super easy, fast and healthy dinner the whole family can enjoy. Using gluten-free pretzels and paired with a creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

Super easy, fast and healthy gluten-free pretzel crusted chicken nuggets with a creamy nonfat Greek yogurt maple mustard dipping sauce. The perfect dinner to get your entire family eating healthy!

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets -- Super easy, fast and healthy dinner the whole family can enjoy. Using gluten-free pretzels and paired with a creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

Happy New Year! I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really into New Years as a whole, but I do like that everyone seems to be more focused on health in general, and after way too many Christmas cookies, I have to say I am ready to have some healthy food back in my life.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets -- Super easy, fast and healthy dinner the whole family can enjoy. Using gluten-free pretzels and paired with a creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

I have to say, I probably lived off McDonald’s chicken nuggets (with ranch dressing of course) for a good portion of my life. In fact, the only time I would usually choose chicken was in the form of deep-fried nuggets.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets -- Super easy, fast and healthy dinner the whole family can enjoy. Using gluten-free pretzels and paired with a creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

I went on a group ride a couple of months ago and someone was telling me about how they had made chicken coated in crushed pretzels, and I was immediately intrigued. I decided to give it a try using my go-to chicken nugget recipe. Yes, I have a go-to chicken  nugget recipe, and you should too. If you ask me, it should be this one. ;)

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets -- Super easy, fast and healthy dinner the whole family can enjoy. Using gluten-free pretzels and paired with a creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

I have been a huge fan of Glutino’s pretzels since long before we started eating gluten-free (and no, this isn’t sponsored…pretty sure they have no idea I exist). They are so.much.better. than regular pretzels, and everyone I’ve offered them to at home agrees with me. They taste light and buttery, and have a perfect crunch that you can taste even when they’re baked onto this chicken.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets -- Super easy, fast and healthy dinner the whole family can enjoy. Using gluten-free pretzels and paired with a creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

I added a whole bunch of spices because we all know I like my food bold and flavorful, but they are more suggestions. Use whatever you like–add extra cayenne and make them spicy, or some rosemary and basil for an Italian feel. Dry herbs will work best, but have fun with it and come up with a flavor combo that you love most!

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Super easy, fast and healthy gluten-free pretzel crusted chicken nuggets with a creamy nonfat Greek yogurt maple mustard dipping sauce. The perfect dinner to get your entire family eating healthy!

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping cups pretzels (I used Glutino), crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp Spike seasoning (opt. or replace with seasoning of choice)
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1" cubes
  • 2 eggs (or 3 egg whites), lightly beaten
  • For the Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • 1 heaping cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mustard (I used a sweet and spicy honey mustard)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place wire rack inside of a large baking dish and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large shallow bowl, combine crushed pretzels, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Place beaten egg whites in a separate shallow bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in egg whites, then coat completely in pretzel mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet (on the rack so that the bottoms will cook evenly).
  3. Bake until golden and chicken juices run clean, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients for your dipping sauce. Chicken is best served immediately, but leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

All spices may be changed/altered to suit your tastes, and whatever you already have at home.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/pretzel-crusted-chicken-nuggets/

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Crockpot Enchilada Soup #glutenfree

Warm, bold, and flavorful enchilada soup made easily 100% in your crockpot. All the flavors you love about decadent chicken enchiladas in a simple, easy and healthy crockpot soup.

Crockpot Enchilada Soup #glutenfree

Is it just me, or does a long weekend make anyone else feel more tired? I feel like I spend the entire time trying to get more done, rather than taking it easy. I did have a super fun Saturday night, however. It included maple whiskey and cards against humanity. Obviously my kind of evening. ;)

Crockpot Enchilada Soup #glutenfree

I spend a lot of the weekend trying to meal plan/prep for the week, and grocery shopping. Ummm, grocery shopping takes me like 2 hours. It starts off like this wonderful, fun experience, then I realize I still have 3 more stores to go to in order to get all my favorite specialty items, and I am totally over the whole experience since I just slowly made my way through Sprouts for the last hour and a half.

Crockpot Enchilada Soup #glutenfree

Reason # 984058085 that I am in total, unconditional love with my crockpot. I can toss some ingredients in when I’m getting ready in the morning with little-no prep, and I come home to bold, delicious and flavorful chicken enchilada soup. The chicken comes out perfect every time–by the time you remove it to shred it, it is practically falling apart on it’s own.

Crockpot Enchilada Soup #glutenfree

This soup is so simple and easy, and it also provides that warm fall and winter comfort we all crave this time of year. Mexican food is kind of my go-to. It’s always full of flavor, and it never disappoints, and this soup is no exception!

Crockpot Enchilada Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Crockpot Enchilada Soup

Warm, bold, and flavorful enchilada soup made easily 100% in your crockpot. All the flavors you love about decadent chicken enchiladas in a simple, easy and healthy crockpot soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 32 oz enchilada sauce (make sure it's gf if necessary)
  • 2 orange or red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 16 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (ribs are optional and will lead to a spicier soup)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • For serving:
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Freshly shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped green onions

Instructions

  1. Place chicken, enchilada sauce, veggies, beans and seasonings into your crockpot. Be sure liquid is covering your chicken. If chicken is revealed, add more sauce. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken and shred. Return to crockpot and stir back into soup. Serve topped with Greek yogurt, cilantro, green onions and shredded cheese. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/crockpot-chicken-enchilada-soup/

Easiest Crockpot Curry Chicken

Easy Crockpot Curry Chicken #glutenfree

Bold, flavorful curried chicken in your crockpot has never been so easy–the perfect weeknight meal that anyone can put together.

Easy Crockpot Curry Chicken #glutenfree

Most of the time I truly enjoy cooking. I love being creative in the kitchen, and putting together a bunch of things that make my husband make that face where he raises an eyebrow and the rest of his face gets all scrunchy, only to end up admitting his unfounded skepticism when he tastes the deliciousness that ensues.

Easy Crockpot Curry Chicken #glutenfree

But sometimes getting in the kitchen after a long day sounds like the worst thing everrrrr. This is when I love my crockpot. And even more, I love crockpot recipes that literally require zero effort on my part. If I have to brown meat first, it usually never even ends up happening because that means I actually have to remember to cook at 7am.

Easy Crockpot Curry Chicken #glutenfree

This is the easiest recipe you will ever make. And you want to know a secret? Usually when I make it, I use a bag of broccoli that steams in the microwave and boil-in-a-bag rice. Sometimes I remember to set up my rice cooker which is also super hands off, but I like the option of being 100% lazy.

Easy Crockpot Curry Chicken #glutenfree

As easy and simple as this recipe is, it doesn’t taste like it! The flavors are bold, and it’s one of those dishes where you look forward to eating the leftovers all week long. In fact, sometimes Steve and I even fight about who gets to take them to lunch. ;)

Easy Crockpot Curry Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Easy Crockpot Curry Chicken

Bold, flavorful curried chicken in your crockpot has never been so easy--the perfect weeknight meal that anyone can put together.

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 3 cups green curry sauce (use gluten-free and/or dairy-free sauces is desired)*
  • Brown rice and steamed broccoli for serving**

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in slow cooker. Cover with curry sauce. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Return to sauce. Serve with brown rice and steamed broccoli.

Notes

*Curry sauce needs to cover chicken. Depending on the size of your slow cooker and chicken breasts, you may need more or less sauce. **I serve about half a chicken breast with 1/2 cup brown rice and 1 cup broccoli. Feel free to alter as desired, or serve with something totally different.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/crockpot-curry-chicken/

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad #glutenfree

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad #glutenfree

Hi friends! Did you guys have a good 3 day weekend? I had to work a little bit this evening, but I had most of the day off, and we had a great time on Sunday having friends and family over, grilling, eating tons of food, and later on playing Cards Against Humanity. It was my first time ever playing, and now I’m pretty much in love with the game. Everyone had a great time, and I got lots of compliments on the 5 new recipes I created for our get together.

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad #glutenfree

But now I have to go back to real life, and it’s almost Tuesday, and Tuesday after a 3 day weekend is even worse than a regular Monday. But at least it’s a short week. And I do actually really enjoy my job, but I also really enjoy lounging around the house getting caught up on How I Met Your Mother.

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad #glutenfree

So, let’s talk about this salad. Whenever people ask me what my tips are for staying healthy, one thing I always say is to make lunch over the weekend that you can take to work 4 out of the 5 days of your work week. Pick a day and go out to lunch because it’s fun, and it will help you from getting sick of eating the same thing, but I find that just making a lunch for the week keeps me on track–I know exactly what I’m going to eat, and I create something healthy and delicious that I’m excited to eat multiple days in a row.

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad #glutenfree

That could not be more true about this salad. Sweet and spicy slow-cooked bbq chicken with plenty of veggies, creamy Greek yogurt, and bold cilantro make this salad absolutely irresistible. In fact, I found myself trying to eat it for lunch, dinner, and once even breakfast! It’s got tons of lean protein and healthy, whole grain carbs, with a good amount of veggies thrown in there too (and you can always add even more veggies!). You won’t even want to go rogue and hit up Subway if you have this stuff around!

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

Ingredients

    For the bbq chicken:
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 lb low sugar bbq sauce
  • For the salad:
  • 2 cups dry whole grain penne (brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, etc.)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Place chicken and bbq sauce in a slow cooker. Cook over low heat for 5 hours.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse.
  3. Remove chicken from slow cooker and use to forks to shred. It will come apart very easily.
  4. Place shredded chicken, cooked pasta and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If desired, spoon in a little extra bbq sauce from your slow cooker. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

You may use rotisserie chicken or any cooked chicken breast and approx 1/3 cup bbq sauce if you don't want to use a slow cooker.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/bbq-chicken-pasta-salad/

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Hello from Oregon! I know, I know, I just got back from Oregon like 3 weeks ago, but I can’t stay away. I actually contemplated staying the 3 weeks in between for a hot minute, but I came right back to starting a new job and there was no way I could just take the first 3 weeks off, so I sucked it up, spent the last 3 weeks hating everything about Phoenix in the summer, and bought a plane ticket back to my favorite place.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

I’ve actually been pretty quiet about the fact that I am running Hood to Coast. Mostly because I had no idea how my training would go. I started running again in May beginning with literally 1 mile at a time. Actually, that’s a lie. I was allowed to run (shuffle) for 10 minutes, and I was so out of running shape that I believe my first time I only got to .87. It’s been a very slow build up in mileage from there with plenty of obstacles along the way, but it is happening. This weekend I will run/walk/crawl my total of *gulp* 20 miles over 3 legs from the top of Mount Hood to the gorgeous Oregon coast. I can’t think of a more beautiful location to run. Not to mention I get to be with an amazing group of people.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Okay, so let’s talk about chicken. We eat a lot of chicken in my house. My husband is definitely a “meat guy”. When I try to tell him a portobello mushroom can be a burger, he raises an eyebrow in judgement. He likes his dinners to be meat with a side of meat, and since chicken is an easy, healthy option, we eat a lot of it.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

I actually, can’t even really take credit for this recipe. While I was gone in Oregon the last time, I’m pretty sure Steve lived off grilled chicken, pork chops and Chipotle. When he came up to visit at the end of my time in Portland, we were grilling with friends, and he couldn’t wait to share his latest marinade secret.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Ummm, it was AWESOME. Way to show up my cooking skills. Thanks, Steve. But really, it was. It’s so simple with only 3 ingredients, but it just works, and it creates the most flavorful, juicy chicken you will ever taste. We didn’t do a thing with the chicken in these photos other than grill and marinate, and they were absolute perfection. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than tossing some chicken on the grill and cooking up some veggies to go along side. You will love how this simple marinade transforms chicken from a boring dinner to something you will want to make again and again!

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1 6-8oz chicken breast

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Ingredients

  • 2 6-8 oz chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups low sugar barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Sriracha (use less if you don't like a lot of spice)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag. Seal and lightly shake to coat.Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  2. Grill chicken over medium heat until cooked throughout, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/spicy-bbq-chicken-marinade/

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Is there anything more fun than food on a stick? I mean, sure, eating it can be tricky and you run the risk of stabbing your husband while playing swords with your food (because that’s a totally normal and acceptable thing to do, yes?), but really, how many foods can you make into a sword anyway?

Thai Chicken Kabobs

I’ve actually never made kabobs before this one, and let me tell you, I am in love. I loved having my chicken on my veggies all on one stick. I loved how fun they were to eat and dip in the peanut sauce, and I also loved how food on a stick meant there were next to no dishes to clean up. Seriously, I hate cleaning almost as much as I love cooking.

Thai Chicken Kabobs

The chicken marinates in the peanut sauce to soak up all that delicious Thai peanut flavor, then gets grilled up with your veggies and dunked in lots more peanut-y deliciousness as you eat. You end up eating a lot less of the calorie-dense peanut sauce than if you were to eat traditional Pad Thai. Not to mention getting rid of the noodles and adding a bunch of veggies gives you all the flavors of classic Pad Thai with a fraction of the calories, and sticking it all on kabob skewers to grill up gives them an awesome summery touch!

Thai Chicken Kabobs

They are topped off with fresh cilantro (my favorite food–I don’t care if you say it’s an “herb”, it’s still my favorite) and drizzles with sriracha for an extra spicy kick. Of course, those are option if you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t like spicy food, or worse, you have that genetic “mutation” where you don’t like cilantro. Have you heard about that? Apparently it’s a genetic thing where to some people it tastes like soap. So glad I pulled the long straw on that one. ;)

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 9 kabobs

Serving Size: 3 kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha + extra for drizzling
  • approx 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
  • approx 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1" chunks
  • fresh cilantro, optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, coconut aminos, sriracha and 1/4 cup water. Remove half the mixture (eyeball it), cover and set aside.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water to remaining mixture. Whisk to combine. Continue to slowly add water until it has reached the consistency of a marinade. I used about 1/4-1/3 cup. Place chicken and marinade in a large freezer bag or medium tupperware and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour (alternately, feel free to do this step up to 24 hours ahead of time).
  3. If using wooden skewers, soak skewers for 30 minutes before cooking (if you use metal, this is not necessary). Alternately place chicken, bell pepper, onion, and snap peas onto your skewers (you will most likely have room for about 2 of each) close together, but not crowding.
  4. Grill on medium-high heat until chicken is cooked throughout, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and drizzle with srirach. Serve immediately with remaining peanut dipping sauce.

Notes

You may wish to heat the peanut sauce before serving. It can get quite thick while it sits, so microwaving for about 15 seconds and adding a tablespoon of water should get it back to your ideal consistency.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/thai-chicken-kabobs/

Guacamole Chicken Salad

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

My name is Ari, and I have a chicken salad problem.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

There, I admit it. I just…I get on these kicks, and I have to make something every way humanly possible until I decide I’m bored, then I move on to the next best thing. Right now, I enjoy about 3 meals. Burgers, hot dogs (just you wait…so many are coming), and chicken salad (duh). At least my tastes seem to be seasonal?

http://arismenu.com/curried-chicken-salad/

So I actually realized I’ve been holding out on you guys. I’ve never actually posted my guacamole recipe. That’s probably because, until now, I had absolutely no idea what it was. I always just messed with a few key ingredients until it tasted the way I wanted. That’s the best part about guacamole–mess it up? Oh, just add more of something else, and it’s sure to even out eventually.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

So for the first time in my life, I measured out every single ingredient for my guacamole. Because I didn’t think using instructions like “Add salt until it’s salty enough” really counted as “quality content”. And I don’t mean to brag, but my guacamole is AWESOME! Spicy, fresh and creamy–it gets requested all.the.time.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

So I made it, then I added a rotisserie chicken, some tomatoes, and after all the photography was done, I had the brilliant idea to add dried cranberries. Oh Em Gee. ADD THE DRIED CRANBERRIES!!! I’m sorry they’re not in the picture. Add them anyway. You’re welcome.

This is legit the best chicken salad I have EVER tasted. It lasted about 3 days, and Steve and I were fighting each other for it. It’s perfect for all you dairy-free folk, and anyone who loves guacamole, or chicken, or food in general.

Guacamole Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Guacamole Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large (or 3 small) avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 lime, zest & juice
  • small handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (remove stems and heat for less heat)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional, but recommended)
  • 10-12 oz cooked and shredded chicken (I used one rotisserie)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine avocado, lime (zest and juice), cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Blend for less time if you like a thick and chunky consistency.
  2. Stir in onion, tomatoes, cranberries and chicken. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container with half a lime (this prevent browning) for up to 5 days.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/guacamole-chicken-salad/

Want more chicken salad options? I have lots (and none of them have mayo)!

Curried Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I don’t know about you guys, but I am living in a haze of my post-long-weekend-fun. Did you guys do anything exciting for memorial day? I helped my brother move into his first apartment, celebrated my mom’s birthday, and had an awesome day at Lake Pleasant with Nicole. Oh, and then I spent actual Memorial Day creating recipes, meal planning, grocery shopping, and attempting productivity. Now? I just want to lay around and be lazy.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

It’s always those lazy nights that I feel like throwing in the towel and hitting up Chipotle (honestly, does Chipotle EVER not sound good?) that I end up coming up with some of my favorite recipes. A quick survey of the fridge and pantry, throw a few things together in about 5 minutes, stick it in the oven and hope for the best.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I know you guys love recipes like that too. Who wants to cook healthy food if it means spending your entire life in the kitchen? Umm, I love cooking, and that sounds awful even to me! This chicken is breaded and crispy and filled with cheese and jalapeno creating the unmistakable flavor of a jalapeno popper (one of my favorite bar food appetizers) in a healthy, simple dinner. I fell in love with it at first bite, and you better believe it will become one of my I-don’t-feel-like-cooking staples.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1 x 6oz chicken breast

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Crispy, breaded chicken breast stuffed with roasted jalapeno and cheese. It tastes like a jalapeno popper for dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs (brown rice, whole wheat, etc.)
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 x 6 oz chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 1 oz goat cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place a cooling rack inside of a cookie sheet and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, cayenne, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place jalapeno and garlic on a small piece of tin foil. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Broil until softened, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. Roughly chop jalapeno, and finely chop garlic.
  4. Divide cheese, jalapeno and garlic between the center of the two chicken breasts. Fold chicken back over on top of the fillings. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place beaten egg whites in a large shallow bowl. Drench chicken in egg whites, then coat completely in bread crumb mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  6. Bake until cooked throughout and juices run clear, about 30 minutes.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/jalapeno-popper-chicken/

Drink & Dish: Chicken Enchilada Dip {with video!}

Chicken Enchilada Dip #glutenfree via arismenu.com

Chicken Enchilada Dip #glutenfree via arismenu.com

I think the happiest day of my life was the day Chipotle started serving brown rice. Maybe you think that makes me a total freak? But if that’s true, you clearly don’t understand my love for Mexican food. I mean, I live in Phoenix. Mexican food is more common than hamburgers.

Chicken Enchilada Dip #glutenfree via arismenu.com

I’ve always been all about the cheese enchiladas. And quesedillas. Pretty much anything with cheese is sure to be a winner in my book. Did I ever tell you about how when I was younger I would “snack” on blocks of cheddar cheese? In fact, just this morning, I told Steve that cheese was my favorite food group.

Chicken Enchilada Dip #glutenfree via arismenu.com

I’m pretty sure the abundance of cheese is what fuels my love for Mexican food, which is why it’s often difficult for me to find healthy options. No matter what I say, I cannot convince myself that 11 servings of cheese is “healthy”. It’s really sad. If you can help convince me, I would greatly appreciate it. ;)

Chicken Enchilada Dip #glutenfree via arismenu.com

Luckily, this dip has the perfect amount of cheesy goodness, but with a lighter touch. Most of the creaminess comes from nonfat plain Greek yogurt and the avocado–the avocado is like my secret weapon. I put it in on a whim, and it ended up totally making the dish! It’s like if you took an enchilada and stuffed it with guacamole–I mean, HOW COULD THAT BE BAD???

Chicken Enchilada Dip #glutenfree via arismenu.com

This dip is super simple with only a handful of ingredients, and it comes together in minutes. It’s perfect for any party or get together, and the bold flavors and creamy texture are sure to be a hit with whoever you’re serving!

Chicken Enchilada Dip #glutenfree via www.arismenu.com

Do you guys do anything to celebrate Cinco De Mayo? My plan usually includes eating Mexican food, drinking margaritas, and apparently, wearing a mustache. You’ll have to check out the video to understand that one. Nicole and I were in a rare form of ridiculousness this episode.

Make sure to check out Nicole’s perfect margarita recipe too!

Chicken Enchilada Dip

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Chicken Enchilada Dip

Green chile enchilada dip with creamy avocado, goat cheese and Greek yogurt. Perfectly creamy and cheesy, with a lighter twist.

Ingredients

  • 10-12 oz cooked chicken, shredded (I used the meat from 1 rotisserie chicken)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 pint enchilada sauce
  • 1 avocado, pitted and skin removed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese for topping*
  • Black olives and green onion for garnish, optional
  • Baked corn chips for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine chicken, goat cheese, yogurt, enchilada sauce and avocado in a medium pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted and combined.
  2. Transfer to your serving dish (make sure it's oven safe) and top with cheddar cheese (I used about 1/3 cup). Broil until cheese is browned and bubbly.
  3. Top with olives and onion if desired. Serve with chips or veggies.

Notes

*I usually use a reduced fat cheddar cheese, but it doesn't melt quite the same. For photos, I used full fat. If you're concerned about appearance, I would encourage a full fat cheese, but if you're purely concerned with taste, reduced fat will still taste great!

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-chicken-enchilada-dip/