Surprising Chicken Bake!

Why the title, you ask?  Because when I saw the original of this recipe and looked over the ingredient list, I thought…”this sounds really weird.  I never would have put those ingredients together.”  But the picture was so pretty.  So I had to try it…Feeding Mr. Rodgers style!  And so I planned a tweak here and a twist there, threw it all together (which seriously came together a lot faster than I ever would have guessed!)…and hoped for the best.

Pulled it out of the oven 40 minutes or so later and it was gorgeous!!  Dumped some on top of a steaming pile of quinoa, bit into it, and melted!  And get this!  I have tried to cook with zucchini before, usually grilled because my mamma raised me eating grilled zucchini and I love it!  Well Mr. Rodgers does not share that passion.  I figured that out pretty fast.  When it comes to cooked zucchini, he is NOT a fan!  Well after a few bites of this, a few approving “mmmm’s” and thoughtful moments…he said the words I never thought I would hear coming out of his mouth.  “I REALLY like the zucchini in this!”  HOLD THE PHONE!  This recipe must be something special if it made a believer out of him!  😛

So let’s get down to it!  Adapted from myfoodreligion.com!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and ends trimmed
  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half (like tenders)
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced into approximately 1 inch thick rounds
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, optional

And here’s how you do it:  (Really, it’s easy, but looks fancy.  If you know me, you know that is my favorite kind of meal!!)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Get everything prepped…sliced and minced and opened and such.
  3. Lay your cut chicken breasts in a single layer at the bottom of a 9 X 13 (or comparable) baking dish.  Crack fresh salt and pepper over the chicken.
  4. Take your zucchini rounds and lay them in a single layer on top of the chicken, then propped up around the sides if you have enough.  Confused?  Scroll down to my pictures.  Obviously you don’t have to do it exactly how I did…but it sure did turn out purdy!
  5. Take a large bowl and dump in your two cans (diced tomatoes and coconut milk).  Add dried herbs and minced garlic  and stir until combined.  It will be a faint pink color.
  6. Dump the mixture over the zucchini/chicken layers.
  7. Layer the asparagus on top in a single layer.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan if you so desire!  I did it on half to try it both ways…it was delicious both!!!
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked (if you want to make sure, you can probably stab a meat thermometer down until it pierces the chicken, and make sure it is at 165*), asparagus is tender, and the rest is bubbly, browned, and delicious looking.
  10. Serve on top of a pile of hot steaming quinoa and spoon some of the saucy deliciousness over top.  Now take a bite and be as amazed and surprised and Mr. Rodgers and I were!!  Yaaaaay healthy gorgeous one pan meal wonderfulness!

Peectures!

Chicken Bake 1.5Rinse and prep your veggies!  Pop the ends off of your asparagus, and slice your zucchini in about inch-thick rounds.

Chicken Bake 1Cut your chicken breasts in half, like tenders.  Lay them in a single layer across the bottom of your baking dish.  Crack fresh salt and pepper over the chicken.

Chicken Bake 2Lay a single layer of zucchini rounds on top of the chicken.  Make a border around the edge with the zucchini as well.

Chicken Bake 3Open your cans!!

Chicken Bake 5Dump them in a bowl with the herbs and spices.

Chicken Bake 6Stir until combined.

Chicken Bake 7Dump over top of the zucchini/chicken layers…

Chicken Bake 8Layer on the asparagus…sprinkle with parmesan if you are going that route.

Chicken Bake 9Slide into the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until chicken is cooked, edges are browned, and asparagus is tender….

Chicken Bake 10Doesn’t that look yummy?!

Chicken Bake 11I can’t believe how fantastic it turned out!!!

Chicken Bake 12Doesn’t that look tasty?!  It was.  😀  Try it!!  Let me know!!

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Savory Zucchini Bites

These were fun!  I liked them, and my husband REALLY liked them.  Seriously.  They were done before the rest of the meal and I had to keep swatting his hand to keep him from devouring them all before we sat down for dinner, haha.  Something about the saltiness of the parmesan, the sweet nature of the Zucchini, and the crunch of the sunflower seeds kept him chattering about these guys all night long.  The original recipe, which has been much adapted, called these little bites of deliciousness “Zucchini Tots.”  I decided to change the name because when I read “Zucchini Tots” I started thinking “Tater Tots” and that was what I had on my brain when I bit into them….what I found was more of a fun little mini quiche sort of effect.  Very delish.  But I didn’t want you to be surprised, expecting a tater tot like I was….so here you have it, let’s make some Savory Zucchini Bites!

Adapted from http://www.emilybites.com.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 C Zucchini, Shredded
  • 1/2 Red Onion, minced
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C Oatmeal
  • 1/4 C Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/3 C Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drain as much moisture as possible from the shredded zucchini.  Place on top of a paper towel and squish it with another paper towel to get more of the moisture out.  You’ll be amazed at how much just keeps coming!
  3. Mix together all the ingredients!
  4. Spoon into a greased MINI muffin pan.
  5. Bake until beautifully golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove from the pan using a butter knife or some such tool…and enjoy!!  Fun!!!

 

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Zucchini Bites 1Drain as much moisture as possible from the shredded zucchini.  Place on top of a paper towel and squish it with another paper towel to get more of the moisture out.  You’ll be amazed at how much just keeps coming!

Zucchini Bites 2

 

 

Put all the ingredients in a bowl…

Zucchini Bites 3

 

And mix!Zucchini Bites 4Spoon into a greased MINI muffin pan.

Zucchini Bites 5

 

And bake until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.Zucchini Bites 7

Carefully remove from the pan.  I used a butter knife to loosen around the outside and it worked well.

Zucchini Bites 8

 

Now serve along side a yummy protein!  Though really…these have plenty of protein too, since there are two eggs in here!!

Zucchini Bites 11

 

Here they are along side our Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers!  It was the perfect side 🙂

Zucchini Bites 9

Quinoa Mint Zucchini Boats

Mint.  I’ve decided you love it or you hate it.  I really do like it.  My husband really doesn’t.  Usually I use his reaction as a gauge as to whether or not I should blog about a meal.  The day I made these, I broke that mold.  I wasn’t going to share this recipe with you all, because he so desperately did not like them.  But then I realized something.  Just because my husband doesn’t like mint, does NOT mean that everyone else in the world hates it too.  In fact, a lot of my followers are foodies with fancy tastes (go you!), and they love fresh herbs and more “grown up” tastes, so they would probably love this!  Yes, I consider goat cheese and mint to be grown up food.  Says the girl that used to eat a box of corn dogs a week.   😐  Don’t judge me!  Praise the Lord my husband inspired me to start eating healthy or I’d probably have had a heart attack by now!!

Anyways!  Back to my boats 😉  I thought these were tasty!  I made them as a side dish for a roasted chicken I made…but between the protein packed quinoa and lentils, they were hearty enough for me to warm one up for lunch the next day!

So.  If you love mint.  And goat cheese.  And quinoa.  And PARMESAAAAAN. (I love parmesan).  Then this recipe is for you my friend!  Read on!  And make this for your friends and they’ll think you’re all fancy pants!!!  😉

Adapted from greatist.com

Here’s what you need: (To make 4 boats)

  • 2 Medium to Large Zucchini
  • 2 C Cooked Quinoa
  • 3-4 Handfuls Spinach, Roughly Chopped
  • 6-8 oz Goat Cheese, Chopped/Crumbled
  • 1 C Cooked Lentils
  • 1/2 C Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Do your prep!  Make sure you have your quinoa and lentils cooked.  Chop your spinach and mint, and make sure your goat cheese is in small pieces!
  3. Wash your zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds so you have “boats.”
  4. Heat up a grill pan.  Brush zucchini with some oil.
  5. Grill zucchini, preferrably covered, until you have nice grill lines and they are starting to get tender.
  6. While zucchini is grilling, mix all other ingredients except for Parmesan in a large bowl.
  7. Remove zucchini from grill and place on a baking sheet.  Fill generously with the quinoa/lentil mixture.
  8. Top with Parmesan, put in the oven, and cook until it is warmed through and the Parmesan is melty and browned!
  9. Take out.  Serve.  Look fancy.  🙂

 

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure you have cooked quinoa and lentils.  Chop  everything.  Wash your zucchini and cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  It should look kind of like this!

 

Mint Zucchini Boats 1Mix together everything else EXCEPT the shredded cheese.

Mint Zucchini Boats 3Yum!  Now grill your zucchinis!  You can do this on an outdoor grill too, I just didn’t have one yet when I made these 🙂  You’re just looking for them to be starting to get tender, but still able to hold together.

Mint Zucchini Boats 2Place them on a cookie sheet…

Mint Zucchini Boats 4Grill lines, yeah baby!  Fill generously with the stuffings…

Mint Zucchini Boats 5Top with Parmesan to your tastes….

Mint Zucchini Boats 7Bake until everything is heated through and the Parmesan is getting melty and browned.  Serve along side a protein, or just eat them for a snack or even lunch!

Mint Zucchini Boats 6Pretty!  I hope you enjoy this!!!  Let me know if you try it, and what alterations you make!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Roasted Veggies

I loooooove me some roasted veggies.  It works with pretty much any vegetable, and I do believe it is one of the tastiest ways to eat them.  All you need is to know how hot to heat your oven, and inspiration on what veggies to try.  I loved this recipe because it was a whole bunch of different veggies, and things I wouldn’t have thought to try roasted in the oven!  Like tomatoes…who woulda thought I’d actually kind of like them roasted, haha?!  So please…when you don’t know what to serve along side your main course, and you wanna get some good nutrients in your kiddos…try this bad boy!!!  I could eat warm, comforting, and tasty roasted veggies with every meal 🙂  Plus, there are so many benefits to using the mixed veggie route…all the different colors are pretty…all the yummy flavors compliment each other…and I’m no nutrition genius, but I’m guessing that each veggie has its own vitamins and nutrients so you are getting a menagerie of health 🙂 Yay!!!

Roasted Veggies 5Gooooooorgeous!!!

Sooooo, here’s what you need!!!

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 red onion, sliced into large chunks
  • 2 large bell peppers, your favorite color, sliced into chunks
  • 2 zucchini, quartered then sliced in half
  • 2 yellow squash, quartered then sliced in half
  • 3-5 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

And here’s how you do it 🙂

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  2. As soon as your veggies are sliced and chunked…..place them on a large cookie sheet.   Drizzle with the olive oil and toss so all the veggies are coated.
  3. Season generously with salt (or herbamare seasoning) and pepper.
  4. Place in the oven and roast until the veggies have reached your desired degree of tenderness…about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve along some protein, and en-freaking-joy

Everything peeled, chopped, chunked, and sliced…awaiting seasoning and roasting.  But already so colorful and inviting!

Roasted Veggies 2

Salted, Peppered…

Roasted Veggies 4

Place on a plate to complete a yummy meal!!!
Roasted Veggies 6

Easy Veggie Saute

There’s nothing quite like the classic flavor of simple sauteed veggies!!!  And nothing quite like the knowledge that you aren’t just making your taste buds happy….you’re also making your body feel better one good choice at a time 🙂  The most labor-intensive part of this is chopping the veggies, haha!  I hope you enjoy, I sure did!!!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz package of your favorite mushrooms.  Or you can use two different types 🙂
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 Medium Yellow Squash
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 C Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Amino Acids, or Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep! Chop your veggies and mince your garlic!
  2. Get a big pan for sauteeing…a wok would probably work too since its a lot of veggies!!  Add your coconut oil and heat to medium high.
  3. Saute your garlic for about one minute.
  4. Add your other veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the liquids and oregano, stir so its all coated, and saute for about 4 more minutes.
  6. Enjoy!!!

Want some pictures?! Yeaaaah!

Veggies, chopped…

Simple Sauteed Veggies

Veggies, cooked and DELICIOUS!

Simple Sauteed Veggies 2

 

Thanks again perfectweightamerica.com 🙂

Spicy Miso Veggies

I love grilled vegetables! Really! Especially when it includes zucchini and summer squash.

Miso Vegetables 6

My mouth is watering! Call me a newbie…but I didn’t even know that Miso was something more than a kind of soup at SushiLand.  Ha!  Apparently it’s something you can buy! And it’s yummy! This is another little gem that we got from perfectweightamerica.com.  It’s allowed on our cleanse! YEAH!  This recipe requires a little marinating, so give yourself an extra 30 minute jump start at least 😉  And just a repeat note…because of the cleanse we are doing, everything is supposed to be organic.   If you’re not into that, it works perfectly well with non-organic veggies 🙂 Oh, and its a big batch…so if you don’t want leftovers, or to feed quite a few…I’d halve it 😉

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 4 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce or Braggs Amino Acids
  • 4 Zucchini, organic
  • 4 Yellow Squash, organic
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, organic
  • 2 Tbsp Miso
  • 3 Tbsp Tomato Sauce, organic
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 Medium Red Onion

Side note….I JUST realized that I forgot the onion.  I love grilled onion.  My heart just cracked a little… Whelp, no biggie… I’ll just have to make this recipe again!!  YES!!!

Here’s how you do it 🙂

  1. Slice your veggies and put them in a bowl, or a big Ziploc if they fit.  
  2. Combine the Coconut Oil, Soy Sauce/Amino Acids, Vinegar, Miso, Tomato Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Chili Flakes.
  3. Pour the mixture over your veggies, toss so they’re all coated, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.  The longer they sit, the spicier they will be 🙂
  4. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium heat.  Grill veggies about 5 minutes per side.  Remove them.  Eat them.  Be surprised.  Eat some more.  Sigh.  Be happy!

Wanna See it in pictures?

Miso Vegetables 1

VEGGIES!!!

Miso Vegetables 2Special sauce being poured over said veggies…

Miso Vegetables 3Veggies stirred up and marinating…look at those pretty colors!

Miso Vegetables 4Grill them, 5 minutes per side! I LOVE GRILL LINES! Like seriously.  I love them.  So pretty…

Miso Vegetables 5Giant pile o’veggies!!!

Miso Vegetables 6Yummmmy!