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Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

My husband and I have decided to start eating a bit healthier... we have been both lacking energy, and too often we turn to sugar for quick fuel. Which gives us energy for a short period, but then CRASH! We looked into doing the Whole 30 plan, but I'm not sure I can completely give up all grains, dairy, and sugar! So, our solution is simply this - incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods into our diet on a daily basis, and get rid of as much processed stuff as we can. I stumbled upon a recipe for Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos, and decided to give it a try. Sweet potato rounds are roasted until crispy, then topped with all your favorite nacho toppings. We kept it meatless, and went with black beans, cheese, avocado, green onions, and cilantro. IMG_0616 I'm not going to lie, I was pretty hesitant. We both figured we'd be looking for a bowl of cereal or a grilled cheese after this meal. But it was a hit! The sweet potatoes are seasoned with Mexican spices, and while they don't get as crispy as regular tortilla chips, they're pretty darn close! If you like sweet potato fries, you'll love this version of nachos. Start with your sweet potatoes. Slice them as thin as you can, and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Spread them into a single layer on a baking sheet or two. [caption id="attachment_4602" align="aligncenter" width="331"]Before roasting Before roasting[/caption] Roast them at 400*F for 20 minutes; then flip and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, until the potato rounds are crispy. [caption id="attachment_4603" align="aligncenter" width="310"]IMG_0614 After roasting[/caption] Top with the cheese and black beans, and roast another 5-7 minutes until the cheese melts. (Seasoned ground beef or pulled chicken would also be really good here.) [caption id="attachment_4604" align="aligncenter" width="288"]Lots of cheese please! Lots of cheese please![/caption] Top with green onions, cilantro, and avocado. Serve with salsa and sour cream! [caption id="attachment_4606" align="aligncenter" width="360"]IMG_0618 Salsa & sour cream[/caption]

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

Yield: 2-3 main dish servings

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½-1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½-1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1½-2 cups freshly grated cheese, (cheddar, mozzarella, or monterey jack)
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 2-3 green onions, diced
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • sour cream, for serving
  • salsa, for serving

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and seasonings. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet (or two). Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Flip; roast an additional 10-15 minutes until crispy.

2. Combine all sweet potato rounds onto one baking sheet. Top with black beans and cheese; roast another 5-7 minutes until cheese melts.

3. Remove from oven, and top with avocado, green onions, and cilantro. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

 Source: adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

 

Colossal Stuffed Burger

Summer is right around the corner, and that means it's time to bust out the grill! My husband and I went for a nice walk  around the neighborhood and it seemed like EVERYONE was grilling something... steak, burgers, hot dogs, etc. You name it, we smelled it! IMG_0510 We christened our grill for the season last week with this Colossal Stuffed Burger. This is a fun twist on a traditional burger - it's actually a giant 2-pound burger designed to feed everyone. (Well, around 4-6 people.) What a fun way to entertain! IMG_0514 It's got a bit of Italian flavor, as it's stuffed with caramelized mushrooms and mozzarella cheese and served up on a giant loaf of sweet bread. I wouldn't normally think to pair Italian with a burger, but it really worked, and we "mmmm'd" through the whole meal. Start with your mushrooms. Simply sauté a package of sliced mushrooms in some butter until golden brown. While your mushrooms are cooking, prepare the beef mixture. Just a mix of ground beef, grated Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and soy sauce. Divide it in two, and then shape each into a jumbo patty. It should be 8-10 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. To assemble the giant burger, spread a bit of tomato paste over one patty. Top with the mushrooms and some grated mozzarella. Then, cover with the remaining patty and pinch the edges to seal. PicMonkey Collage Very carefully, slide the patty onto a grill preheated to medium. Cook 25-35 minutes, until the meat is done to your liking. (I used a meat thermometer and pulled it off once it hit 155-160*F.) IMG_0503 IMG_0507 Let it rest for a few minutes, then serve it up on a split round loaf of sweet bread with some mixed greens. Cut into wedges and serve. IMG_0509 Check out that cheese! YUM! IMG_0516

Colossal Stuffed Burger

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 8-oz package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 round loaf Hawaiian sweet bread
  • torn mixed greens

Method

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and salt; cook 5-10 minutes until golden brown and caramelized.

2. Meanwhile, combine beef with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and soy sauce in a bowl. Mix until combined. Divide into two equal portions. Pat each into an 8-10 inch jumbo burger patty about 1-inch thick.

3. Place one of the burger patties on a plate. Spread tomato sauce over center of patty, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with sautéed mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. Cover with remaining burger patty, pinching edges to seal.

4. Grill over medium heat, 25-35 minutes until meat is done (cooked to 160*F). Remove from grill.

5. Meanwhile, split Hawaiian loaf in half and broil until lightly toasted. Assemble burger, topping with mixed greens. Cut into wedges to serve.

Source: adapted from Better Homes & Garden 'Our Best Recipes'

Italian Chopped Salad

Happy late Mother's Day to all the moms and mom-like figures out there... hope you enjoyed your day! I celebrated my 1st Mother's Day with my little family. My hubby got my favorite breakfast (chocolate sprinkle donuts!) and we spent a lot of time outside in the gorgeous weather. I'll admit, it was almost a bit hot outside, though I won't complain. (I complained so much during the cold winter that I told myself I'm not allowed to complain about any amount of heat. Bring it on!) IMG_0382 Salads are a nice refreshing meal when it's warmer outside... something about the crisp veggies and tangy dressing is perfect when the temps start to climb. Italian Chopped Salad takes your favorite Italian ingredients and flavors - cheese, salami, roasted peppers - and combines them all in a crisp salad tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. There are a few elements to the salad, but once you have them all prepped, it's a really quick meal. Here's a run-down of the prep work.
  • Prep the chickpeas. (Toss with oil, lemon juice, oregano, and red pepper flakes.)
  • Shred the cheese. (Gouda is an excellent choice here.)
  • Slice/dice the red onion, peppers, and salami.
  • Make the dressing.
Then just toss the dressing with the lettuce, and top with the fun stuff! IMG_0379 Perfect served with a loaf of crusty bread. (Because eating a salad justifies eating a whole loaf of bread, in my opinion...) IMG_0380

Italian Chopped Salad

Yield: 2-3 servings as a main dish; 4-6 servings as a side dish

  • For the chickpeas:
    • 14-oz can chickpeas
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • ½ teaspoon oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • For the dressing:
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • For the salad:
    • 4-5 cups baby spinach
    • 4-5 cups chopped romaine
    • ½ cup diced red onion
    • 1 jar roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
    • 1-2 cups freshly grated smoked gouda cheese
    • 4-5 oz Italian salami, thinly sliced and/or diced
    • seasoned chickpeas (from above)
    • dressing (from above)

Method

1. For chickpeas, combine chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, red pepper, and salt & pepper. Toss to combine.

2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small container or jar and shake until smooth.

3.

For the salad, mix together spinach and romaine in large bowl. Toss with dressing. Top with red onion, peppers, gouda, salami, and chickpeas.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats

Spring Veggie Lasagna Skillet

Mmmmmm, lasagna. One of the world's best comfort foods. Carbs, cheese, need I say more? From a self-proclaimed carb-a-holic, this is my type of meal! Last week, I ran my 5th marathon, first one since having my baby boy. (Yes, I might be crazy. There's something about training for a distance event that keeps me coming back for more and more.) Marathon training requires lots of carbs - and this lasagna definitely fit the bill last week when I was loading up for the big race. IMG_0341 Spring Veggie Lasagna Skillet is a shortcut lasagna - no need to make all the layers. The veggies are all cooked in one skillet, then tossed with a creamy sauce and broken up lasagna noodles. The whole thing is covered in grated cheese and baked for just a short while. (Not the usual 60-90 minutes that lasagna requires.) Bonus? It's packed with LOADS of veggies! Asparagus, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. Even my mushroom-hating husband gobbled this meal. Start by par-boiling your lasagna noodles. You want to cook them a couple minutes shy of al dente, because they will continue cooking in the oven. Then work on your veggies. Pour some olive oil in an oven-safe skillet, and add your onion and mushrooms. Cook about 10 minutes or so, then add the garlic and spinach. It seems like a TON of spinach, but it cooks down. At the end, add your asparagus. PicMonkey Collage Meanwhile, make your white sauce. It's just a simple white sauce made of milk thickened with a roux of butter & flour, and a little Parmesan cheese. (I somehow missed a picture of this. Picture a slightly thickened white sauce.) Pour the sauce over the veggies, add the noodles, and toss everything together to coat. Top it with ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. Pop the skillet into the oven and let it bake 15-20 minutes at 425*F until golden & toasty. IMG_0338 For the ultimate carb-feast, serve it up with some toasty garlic bread! ---

Spring Veggie Lasagna Skillet

Yield: 3-4 servings

  • 6-8 lasagna noodles, broken into 3-4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 8-oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • tablespoons minced garlic
  • 6-oz bag baby spinach
  • 10-12 asparagus spears, ends removed & cut into 1-inchpieces
  • salt & fresh ground pepper pepper, to taste
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • cups milk
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1-2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Method

1. Preheat oven to 425. Cook pasta according to package directions, shaving 2-3 minutes off cooking time. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes until onions are softened. Add garlic and spinach, stirring well. Cook until spinach is wilted and cooked down. Add asparagus, stirring well. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

3. For the sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until it turns golden brown & nutty. Whisk in milk and whisk continuously until mixture is thickened. (It won’t get super thick.) Stir in Parmesan cheese. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg.

4. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the skillet and turn off the heat. Add in the partially cooked lasagna noodles, and toss to distribute evenly. Cover with dollops of ricotta cheese and cover with grated mozzarella.

5. Place skillet in 425*F oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is golden & bubbly and noodles are tender. Remove and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from How Sweet It Is

Blackberry & Havarti Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Have you ever tried Havarti cheese? If not, make sure you put it on your grocery list ASAP! It's so creamy and smooth, with a mild buttery taste. We love to eat it with crackers, on sandwiches, or simply by the slice. It pairs really well with fruit, so when I saw a recipe for a chicken sandwich using blackberries & Brie cheese, I thought I'd switch it up using my favorite Havarti. Blackberry & Havarti Grilled Chicken Sandwiches layer freshly grilled chicken breasts with a fresh blackberry compote and Havarti cheese all on a toasted Ciabatta bun. It's a quick 30-minute meal that is fresh and flavorful. IMG_0092 First off, get your chicken going on the grill. I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts because they are quick and easy (and healthy.) I just season mine with a bit of salt & pepper. IMG_0090 While the chicken is cooking, make the blackberry compote. Mash a container of fresh blackberries (which are SO good this time of year!) with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and fresh thyme. IMG_0086 Once the chicken is done, get the buns ready. I found some delicious Ciabatta buns in the bakery section of my Chief, but you can use your favorite type of bun. Layer the bottom of each bun with a few slices of Havarti cheese, and place them under the broiler until the bread is toasted and the cheese melts. IMG_0091 Now, it's just assembly time! Layer up the chicken, blackberry compote, and some fresh spinach leaves. Serve up with some potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, or go the easy route with a bag of chips. ;) IMG_0097

Blackberry & Havarti Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Yield: 4 sandwiches

  • 6-oz package fresh blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt & fresh ground pepper pepper, to taste
  • 1-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 ciabatta buns
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 4-6 oz Havarti cheese, sliced

Method

1. In a small bowl, combine blackberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt & pepper; mash to combine.

2. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, or butterfly to make thinner. Season with salt & pepper. Grill over medium heat 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through.

3. Preheat oven to broil. To assemble sandwiches, cut rolls in half and place on a baking sheet. Cover the bottom half with sliced Havarti cheese. Broil 2-5 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted. Place a piece of grilled chicken on the bottom of each bun; top with blackberry mixture and baby spinach. Top with remaining bun and serve.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats 

Strawberry Nutella Bruschetta

When it comes to cooking, I love to work with seasonal ingredients. Fresh fruits are one of my favorites, but it's hard to get through the winter with just citrus fruit! Now that spring is here, I'm going crazy with berries, especially strawberries. IMG_0109   Strawberry Nutella Bruschetta is a tasty little bite perfect for a Mother's Day brunch, afternoon tea, or baby or bridal shower. Crusty bread is brushed with melted butter and toasted, then topped with a creamy Nutella mixture, fresh strawberries, and fresh mint. Get started with your bread. I picked up a loaf of crusty French bread from the Chief bakery, but you can grab whatever strikes your fancy! Cut it into small rounds, and brush with some melted butter. Pop it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. IMG_0103 While the bread is toasting, mix up your Nutella mixture. Just equal parts whipped cream cheese and Nutella. IMG_0102 To assemble the bruschetta, spread each toasted bread slice with a spoonful of the Nutella mixture, and then top with finely diced strawberries and fresh mint. Mmmm, such a great contrast of textures. The Nutella gets a little melty on the warm bread, and the mint adds a nice touch of freshness.   IMG_0107  

Strawberry Nutella Bruschetta

Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup whipped cream cheese
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 1 pint strawberries, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, roughly chopped

Method

1. Preheat oven to broil. Place bread slices on baking sheet; brush with melted butter. Toast 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

2. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and Nutella. Spread over each toasted bread slice. Top with diced strawberries and chopped mint.

Source: adapted from Floating Kitchen

Asparagus, Goat Cheese, & Pancetta Flatbread

Spring is FINALLY HERE! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the grass is turning green again. I love all the season changes of the year, but the transition to spring has to be my favorite. It's like the whole world comes to life again. I love to cook with fresh & light flavors in the spring time, and this Asparagus, Goat Cheese, & Pancetta Flatbread has it all. Asparagus, chives, and lemon bring bright notes to a cheesy flatbread that's perfect as a main dish or appetizer. IMG_0114 The recipe's not too involved... the hardest part is mixing up the goat cheese mixture! You can find this great local goat cheese from Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery in Wauseon, Ohio. Look in your Chief store's specialty cheese section. It's so good! Mix it up with a little lemon zest and some chopped chives, and it's ready for topping the flatbread. IMG_0105 For the flatbread, I used a simple naan bread found in my Chief store's deli/bakery section. You could also pick up a bag of pita bread or large tortillas. To assemble the flatbread, simply layer up all the ingredients - mozzarella, the goat cheese mixture, crisp pancetta (or bacon), and shaved asparagus pieces. The asparagus almost melts into the flatbread as it bakes, and adds a great layer of flavor. IMG_0111 When you take it out of the oven, add a few chopped pistachios for garnish, and slice it up. Pour yourself a glass of white wine, and you've got the perfect date night or girls' night meal.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese, & Pancetta Flatbread

Servings/Yield: 2 servings

  • 2 large pieces naan bread or flatbread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 5-6 large asparagus spears, shaved into thin pieces
  • 3-oz pancetta, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 3-4 tablespoon chopped pistachios

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400*F. In a small bowl, combine goat cheese with chives and lemon zest; mix until smooth.

2. Drizzle naan bread with olive oil. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place dollops of goat cheese mixture over mozzarella cheese. Top with shaved asparagus and pancetta pieces. Season with salt & pepper.

3. Bake directly on oven racks for 10-12 minutes until naan is crisp and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with pistachios. Cut into wedges and serve.

Source: adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

Avocado Egg Salad

Did you have a great Easter weekend? My husband, baby James, & I spent the weekend visiting family over in central Illinois, soaking up the beautiful sunshine! Of course, baby James has loved the extra cuddles with all his grandparents. Who can resist this cutie in his baby fedora?! IMG_0171 It always seems like we have an overabundance of hard-boiled eggs the week after Easter. I've got a great way for you to use up those eggs - Avocado Egg Salad! I've recently become obsessed with avocados... avocado on turkey sandwiches, avocado in wraps, avocado BLT's, fresh avocado with a spoon. When I saw this recipe for Avocado Egg Salad, I knew it would be a winner. IMG_0046 I whipped it up in about 5 minutes after church, and my hubby & I enjoyed it for lunch. It's packed with avocado flavor, the addition of lemon juice and green onions make it light and refreshing. It's delicious served between two slices of bread, on mini croissants, or scooped up with crackers. IMG_0040 It's a cinch to make - mash your avocado, then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, and then season with salt & pepper. That's it! The hardest part is boiling the eggs, haha. ;) IMG_0048 Enjoy!

Avocado Egg Salad

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled egg whites, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, ripe
  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, (or sour cream)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • ½-1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce
  • salt & fresh ground pepper pepper, to taste

Method

In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Add the hard-boiled eggs and egg whites, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, green onion, and sriracha chili sauce. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on sliced bread, croissants, or with crackers for dipping.

Almond Croissants

I've got quite the decadent breakfast treat for you today - Almond Croissants. (No, we are not making croissants from scratch... I'm not that crazy! Though homemade croissants are on my baking bucket list.) IMG_0029 These would make a great Easter morning breakfast or a nice addition to an Easter brunch buffet. Heck, they'd make a great dessert topped with some vanilla bean or salted caramel ice cream! Day-old bakery croissants are soaked in a vanilla simple syrup, then filled with a toasted almond cream, and baked until golden and toasty brown. They are buttery and just slightly sweet... perfect when served warm from the oven. Start by making the vanilla simple syrup. Just combine some water, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl, and microwave until the sugar dissolves. IMG_0022 For the almond cream, combine some almonds with sugar in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. Then add some softened butter and pulse until smooth. Finally, add a few eggs and pulse until creamy and fluffy. almond cream Now for the assembly. Slice your day-old croissants (they need to be a little dry) in half; then dip each half quickly into the simple syrup. Dollop a bit of the almond cream onto each bottom half and cover with the top half. Spread with a bit more almond cream, and top with a few sliced almonds. IMG_0021 IMG_0023 Bake at 350*F for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and toasted. A little bit of powdered sugar, and they're ready to be devoured!

IMG_0024

Almond Croissants

Yield: 12-15 croissants

  • 12-15 small day-old croissants
  • cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • powdered sugar, for garnish
  • For the syrup
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the almond cream
    • cup sliced almonds, toasted
    • ½ cup sugar
    • pinch salt
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 large eggs

Method

1. For the syrup, combine 2 tablespoons sugar, water, and vanilla extract in a small microwaveable dish. Microwave on high 1 minute until sugar dissolves. Stir, and set aside.

2. For the almond cream filling, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2/3 cup almonds, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Add the softened butter, and mix again until well-blended. Add the eggs; pulse on high speed until creamy and fluffy.

3. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.

4. Slice each croissant in half sandwich style. Dip each half of the croissant quickly in the syrup, just a light coating. Place on baking sheet. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the almond cream on the bottom half of the croissant; place top half onto bottom half. Spread another tablespoon of almond cream on top. Repeat with remaining croissants.

5. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top of all the croissant sandwiches. Bake at 350*F for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and toasted. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Source: adapted from Natasha's Kitchen

Crunchy Chicken Bites with Celery-Carrot Slaw

I was first introduced to Pampered Chef about 6 years ago, while I was still in college. One of my friends had a Pampered Chef party, and since I enjoy cooking, I attended and had a blast. I came away from the party with my first clay baking stone - and I'm still using it today! At the party, I also purchased a cookbook, 29 Minutes to Dinner. Who needs 30 minutes to cook dinner, when you can do it in just 29?! ;) It was my go-to cookbook throughout my senior year of college... easy, simple recipes that were easy to prepare and pretty nutritious. I recently re-discovered the cookbook, and decided to share one of my favorite meals. Crunchy Chicken Bites are bite-size pieces of chicken breast, coated in a crunchy whole grain chip coating, and baked until golden brown and crispy. They are served with a side of celery-carrot slaw and a homemade ranch dipping sauce. IMG_9941 First, make the dipping sauce by combining some sour cream, mayonnaise, and a tablespoon of ranch seasoning powder. This actually doubles as the dressing for the slaw as well. Set aside. To prep the chicken, cut it into bite-size pieces, about 1-inch cubes. In a medium bowl, beat an egg white together with another tablespoon of the ranch seasoning powder. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. In a gallon-size zipper bag, combine 6 cups of whole grain chips (Sun Chips!) with the rest of the ranch seasoning powder and a bit of paprika. Crush the chips to smithereens and shake to combine everything. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, and shake to coat evenly. IMG_9930 Place the chicken pieces onto a baking stone or large baking sheet. Bake at 400*F for 14-16 minutes until golden brown and chicken juices run clear. IMG_9936 While chicken is baking, prepare the rest of the slaw. Combine thinly sliced celery and carrot with about half the dipping sauce from earlier. Add a bit of gorgonzola cheese and mix to combine. IMG_9932 Such a quick & easy meal! The chicken stays nice & juicy, while the Sun Chips give them a bit of a crunch. The carrot-celery slaw adds a nice contrast on the side. I am thinking they'd be even better with the cheesy Sun Chips! Yum! IMG_9943

Crunchy Whole Grain Chicken Bites

Yield: 3-4 servings

  • For the dressing & slaw:
    • ½ cup reduced fat sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
    • 1-oz package powdered ranch seasoning, divided
    • 5 stalks celery, thinly sliced
    • 10-12 baby carrots, thinly sliced
    • ¼ cup gorgonzola cheese
  • For the chicken bites:
    • 1-lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 egg white
    • 6 cups whole-grain chips, such as Sun Chips
    • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400*F. For dressing, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix. Set aside.

2. Whisk together egg white with 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix in a medium bowl. Add chicken pieces, and mix to combine.

3. Add chips to large gallon-size freezer bag with remaining ranch seasoning mix and paprika. Crush chips and mix to combine. Add chicken pieces to bag and shake to coat evenly.

4. Place coated chicken pieces on baking stone or baking sheet. Bake at 400*F for 14-16 minutes until golden brown and chicken juices run clear.

5. Prepare slaw by combine about half the dressing with celery, carrots, and gorgonzola cheese. Serve chicken bites with remaining dressing (to dip) and slaw.

Source: adapted from Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner