Lighter Chicken Pot Pie #ComfortFood

January. The month when I’m torn between all the comfort food and trying to eat health. (Because, New Year’s resolutions and all that.) This dish is pretty much the ultimate compromise. And right now I’m all about compromise.

I, like 90% of the population, dream big on New Year’s. I’m going to eat better! I’m going to exercise every day! I’m going to be organized! And wash the curtains regularly! And floss! And sleep more! And then mid-January rolls around and I’m like, resolutions? What resolutions?!

This year I’m trying to be more gently with myself. I’ve washed the curtains once, and I’ll put it out of my mind until the summer. I’m definitely not exercising every day, but I am wearing my fitbit to try to be more aware of how much I’m moving (or not). And I’m trying to plan some more healthy meals so when something less than great sneaks on to the menu, I’m not sweating it.

This tastes just like your traditional pot pie, but the secret ingredient is almond milk! The almond milk makes the filling rich and creamy for only a fraction of the calories. It also uses only a top crust, but you won’t miss the usually-soggy bottom crust here. And using a dairy-free pie crust will make the whole thing dairy free! Such a win.

And if you’re looking for more comfort food, I’m linking up with some other bloggers today to bring you some great options.

Enjoy these great #ComfortFood ideas from #FestiveFoodies!

 

TurkeyPotPie

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie
(adapted from Well Plated)
Serves 4

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken or turkey breast
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 prepared pie crust
1 egg, lightly beaten, with 1 Tbsp. water for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9″ pie dish with nonstick spray.

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes, until carrots begin to soften.

Sprinkle the flour over and stir in, cook an additional 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the almond milk, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Bring to a boil and cook 3-5 minutes, until it thickens. Stir in the chicken, peas, onions, and thyme. Spoon the mixture into the pie dish.

Roll the pie dough out so it will cover your dish. Brush the edges of the dish with egg wash, then lay the pie crust over. Gently press the dough into the sides of the dish so it sticks and trim as needed. Cut Egg wash the top of the pie crust. 3-4 slits in the top to vent.

Bake about 25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

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Awesome At-Home Burgers

Note: Post contains affiliate links.

The beginning of the year always has me a bit reflective. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what the new year will bring, and what I want to take into it. One of the things I’m super pumped for this year is the travelling we have planned.

We already have a trip to Austin, Texas booked and ventures to Ocean City, Maryland and Lake George, New York are in the works too. We’re also debating a fall/winter trip and I’m hoping to make it up to Boston too. It should be a great year for travelling!

One of my little traveling traditions is to pick up a cookbook from everywhere we visit. I’ve amassed quite a little collection – and one of my goals for the year is to use them more. I picked up Spike Mehdelsohn’s The Good Stuff after a D.C. trip a few years ago. We had eaten as his restaurant We, The Pizza and loved it. The Good Stuff is pretty much a guidebook to turn your kitchen into a burger joint – never a bad thing!

There’s nothing terribly revolutionary here. No overly fancy ingredients – but the process makes such an awesome burger. Whip up an easy, special sauce, toast your buns, and wrap the burger in wax paper before serving and you’ll never be running for takeout burgers again!

BurgerPress4

Awesome At-Home Burgers
(from The Cook Stuff Cookbook)
Makes 6 Burgers

30 oz. ground sirloin
6 potato buns, cut in half
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
6 slices America cheese
6 leaves iceberg lettuce
6 tomato slices
6 red onion slices
12 pickle slices
Good Stuff Sauce
Wax paper

Make 6 burger patties from the ground sirloin and refrigerate. Prep your toppings and cut 6 sheets of wax paper. to wrap the burgers in.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high with just enough oil to cover the bottom. When the oil starts to smoke, reduce heat to medium and add patties. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, flip, cook for another minute. Add cheese slices to the top, cook for another minute and a half, then cover to melt the cheese.

Toast the buns.

Place each burger patty on a toasted bun and top with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and Good Stuff Sauce. Wrap each burger in wax paper and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

Eggplant and Garlic Pizza

You know those recipes you have pinned forever and when you finally make them you’re like, why did I wait so long?! This was one of those.

My kids love pizza of all kinds – and I loved the idea of the eggplant – so this was a win all around for us. It was gobbled up in record time.

It is, admittedly, a bit more time consuming than the pizzas I normally make, but it was totally worth the extra effort. The eggplant and garlic combo on pizza is amazing. I can’t wait to make this with fresh-from-the-garden eggplant this summer!

EggplantGarlicPizza

Eggplant and Garlic Pizza
(slightly adapted from A Family Feast)
Makes 1 12″ pie

1/2 lb. pizza dough at room temp
1/2 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt + additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
Enough vegetable oil to fill a skillet 1/2″
1/3 cup pizza sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
3 cloves minced garlice
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
Olive oil, for drizzle

Lay eggplant slices in a single layer and salt liberally. Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper. Coat each eggplant slice in the flour, shaking off excess.

Heat the vegetable oil in skillet. Fry the eggplant slices for three minutes, flipping once. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll dough out into a 12-14″ circle.

Spread the sauce over the dough and top with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Sprinkle the garlic, basil and oregano over, then lay the eggplant slices on top. Top with remaining cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for about 7 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is browned.

EggplantGarlicPizza

Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Creamy Mustard Sauce #Tresomega #OrganicsForLife

MustardSaucePasta1.jpgDisclosure: This post is part of the Tresomega Nutrition Blogger Recipe Challenge. I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

My last  Tresomega for the week is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s also healthy! This mustard sauce is a great way to add a lot of flavor without adding a lot of calories. My kids (and us adults) gobbled it up!

Again, I was super impressed with Tresomega’s pasta. It’s gluten free, but we honestly wouldn’t be able to tell if we didn’t already know!

For more recipe inspiration, you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase Tresomega products at: Tresomega.com. Sams.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

 

Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Creamy Mustard Sauce
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 4

1 box Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. chicken apple sausage, coin sliced
2 green peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Prepare the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add in sausage, peppers, and onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in the mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the pasta and serve.

MustardSaucePasta2

One Bite Spaghetti and Meatballs #Tresomega #OrganicsForLife

Disclosure: This post is part of the Tresomega Nutrition Blogger Recipe Challenge. I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

I have a plan for Christmas this year. Instead of doing the big ham dinner that involves being in the kitchen for hours, we’re just going to make a bunch of appetizers and spend the day hanging out. It sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

This is one of the dishes I’m planning to make. It’s filling enough that it could count as a meal, but it’s also something we can eat while lounging around the Christmas tree. It’s pretty much the prefect holiday bite: spaghetti smothered in a to-die-for alfredo sauce, topped off with a miniature meatball and some homemade tomato sauce. And some more cheese just for good measure. Are you drooling yet?

This recipe features Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti. We have a few gluten-free family members so we’ve tried a bunch of gluten-free pastas and I can say that this is hands down the best one I’ve tried. My husband – who grew up in a very Italian family – admitted he wouldn’t have know it was gluten-free pasta if I hadn’t told him. Win!

For more recipe inspiration, you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase Tresomega products at: Tresomega.com. Sams.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

OneBiteSpaghettiMeatballs1

One Bite Spaghetti and Meatballs
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 3 dozen

1 box Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti
1/2 cup butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 oz. cream cheese
5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tsp. garlic power
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 tsp.  salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
36 small meatballs – homemade or frozen
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese, for topping

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, whipping cream and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat – stirring frequently until all melted together. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves, the garlic powder, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook, whisking frequently, until smooth. Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes more.

Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.

Using a fork, twirl up some sauce-coated spaghetti and place in the well of a mini-muffin tin to form a little next of spaghetti. Press down slightly to pack and add more spaghetti if necessary. Repeat until all wells are filled.

Bake for 15 minutes.

While the spaghetti bakes, combine the remaining ingredients, except parmesan cheese, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

When the spaghetti is done, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then use a spoon to scoop out the spaghetti bundles and place on a serving platter. Top each bundle with a meatball, 1-2 tsp. of sauce, and parmesan cheese, to taste.

OneBiteSpaghettiMeatballs2

 

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza #ThanksgivingLeftovers

Leftover turkey + leftover cranberry sauce = pizza night, of course.

I’ve always preferred to reimagine my turkey leftovers into non-Thanksgiving fare – like Turkey Cranchiladas or Turkey and Chorizo Hash – and this pizza fits right in. The cranberry sauce gives you a slightly sweet, slightly tart edge to your barbecue sauce – and it pairs awesome with the turkey and cheese.

This is a great dish to make at the end of the weekend when your turkey and stuffing sandwiches are getting tired!

CranberryBBQPizza

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza
(slightly adapted from Recipe Runner)
Makes 1 12″ Pizza

1/2 lb. pizza dough
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 cup turkey, shredded
1 1/2 cups mozzarella
2 Tbsp. red onion, thinly sliced
Chopped cilantro, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Roll out the pizza dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together the cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce and spread over the crust. Top with turkey, cheese, and red onion.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Top with cilantro and serve.

Looking for more leftover ideas? I’ve teamed up with a bunch of great bloggers today to share lots of great ways to use up your leftovers:

Cranberry-Orange Brie Bites by Books n’ Cooks

Cranberry-Topped Baked Brie by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza by Kate’s Recipe Box

Prosciutto & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Spicy Turkey Quesadillas by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas by The Redhead Baker

Turkey Croquettes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Turkey Gumbo by Palatable Pastime

Turkey Pot Pie by Making Miracles

(Leftover) Turkey Banh Mi

Are you up to your ears in Thanksgiving recipes and planning? For the first time in a long time, I’m not. We’re having a scaled-back Thanksgiving this year because we have a busy week – and we’ve ordered the food. Yup. I’m a food blogger who will be doing no cooking on Thanksgiving.

I was super conflicted about it at first. I love the whole event of planning and cooking a big meal. But, we were a smaller crowd this year and I couldn’t figure out when to fit in the cooking with all the other stuff we have going on – so outsourcing the food prep was the obvious choice.

What sealed the deal, though, was hosting a little Friendsgiving a few weeks ago. I got the chance to cook all of my favorites without the time crunch – and I got plenty of leftovers to rework.

This sandwich is a super quick an easy to make your leftover turkey not feel like just another turkey sandwich. Big, bold flavors take center stage and the result is delicious!

TurkeyBanhMi

(Leftover) Turkey Banh Mi
(adapted slightly from Oprah)
Serves 4

1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
1 pound cooked turkey pieces
4 club rolls
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. sriracha sauce
Cilantro, optional, to taste

Whisk together the sugar, salt, and vinegar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Combine the carrots and cucumber in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot vinegar over. Let sit for at least an hour.

In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and 5-spice powder. Add in turkey and toss to coat.

In a third bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sriracha. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to cook, heat a grill pan over medium heat and place turkey pieces on the grill until warm and just starting to caramelize.

Split the rolls and toast them under the broiler until warmed and slightly brown. Spread one side of the roll with sriracha mayonnaise, top with turkey and then the cucumber mixture. Add cilantro, to taste, if desired.

 

Freezer-Friendly Chicken Fried Rice

I love a good freezer recipe – and I love that this one isn’t your typical casserole or soup. Now, don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of casseroles and soups in my freezer – but this is a great choice for nights when you just want something different.

I generally make these in batches of 4-5 dinners. You can swap out the protein, too – pork, beef, and shrimp all work well here! It’s also a great one to get the kids to help with. Jake can help with the measuring and dumping; Julie helps shake all the ingredients up!

ChickenFriedRice

Freezer-Friendly Chicken Fried Rice
(A Kate’s Recipe Box Original)
Serves 4

5 cups cooked rice
1 ½ cups peas and carrots
½ cup diced onions
2 cups chicken– cooked and diced
2 Tbsp. fried rice seasoning

2 Tbsp. oil
4 eggs
6 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 dashes pepper

In a gallon zipper bag, toss together the rice, peas and carrots, onions, chicken, and seasoning. Shake well to combine. Seal, label, and freeze.

Thaw in refrigerator overnight.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet. Dump rice mixture into the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat, breaking up any chunks of rice, until hot – about five minutes. Push rice mixture to the side of the skillet. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to the empty side of the skillet and add eggs. Cook and stir until eggs are thickened but still moist. Combine eggs with the rice mixture. Turn off the heat. Stir in soy sauce and pepper. Serve.

Fried Rice Seasoning

¼ cup garlic powder
4 tsp. ginger powder
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper

Whisk together and stir in an airtight container.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders with Dill Pickle Slaw #Crocktober

Fall always seems like the perfect time for slow cooker recipes. It seems like we’re squeezing more and more into these shortening days, and being able to have a warm meal minutes within walking through the door is both convenient and comforting.

Today, I’m linking up with a few other bloggers for #Crocktober! You can check out their perfect-for-fall meals here:

 

BBQ chicken in the slow cooker is nothing new – but a few extra steps and this makes a really special meal. After you pull the chicken, it gets added to slider rolls, covered in glaze, and baked. A quick pickle slaw tops it off.

My pickle-loving crew loved this – a perfect little meal for a busy night or a perfect tailgate dish!

DillPickleSliders

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders with Dill Pickle Slaw
(slightly adapted from Southern Bite)
Makes 12 sliders

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup barbecue sauce
12 sweet Hawaiian rolls
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. barbecue seasoning
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped dill pickles
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. pickle juice
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Add the chicken to the slow cooker and cover with barbecue sauce. Turn to coat. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred.

Preheat the oven for 350 and spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

Leaving the rolls together, cut in half. Place the bottom half in the greased pan. Top with chicken. Add the top half of the rolls.

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, barbecue seasoning, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and yellow mustard. Brush evenly over all of the sliders.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, pickle juice, sugar, salt, and garlic powder.

Toss the cabbage and chopped dill pickle with enough of the dressing to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

When the sliders are done, serve with the dill pickle slaw.

Chicken Ranchiladas

Mark and I love Tex-Mex. I used to cook it at home a lot, but then kids happened. We’re lucky that neither of ours are overly-picky eaters, but they’re not into spicy and that nixes a lot of my go-to Tex-Mex.

These were a great in-between. They’re spiced enough that Mark and I enjoyed them, but the kids didn’t find them spicy. (And, served with extra ranch for dipping, they were a huge hit.)

I sped up the prep time by using cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie works great!), but you could also cook chicken breasts in a pot or slow cooker with the broth and seasoning and shred once cooked.

ChickenRanchiladas

Chicken Ranchiladas
(A Kate’s Recipe Box Original)
Serves 4-6

5 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. taco-ranch seasoning
3/4 cup salsa
3/4 cup ranch dressing + additional for topping
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
10 tortillas
Shredded lettuce, for serving, optional
Chopped tomato, for serving, optional

Taco-ranch seasoning:
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix

Mix all seasonings together and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×11″ pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large pot, add chicken, broth and 2 Tbsp. taco-ranch seasoning and heat over low heat until well combined. Remove from heat.

Stir together the salsa and ranch dressing. Pour 1/2 cup into the bottom of the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Mix the remaining salsa-ranch mixture into the chicken, along with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Stir to combine evenly.

Divide chicken mixture between tortillas and wrap up tightly. Place in the pan seam-side down. Top with additional cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Top with lettuce and tomatoes before serving.