Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

The first time I met the Fox family was at Mythbusters Live. I’ve lived in Kansas City for about 15 ½ years. I barely ever run into people I know out and about. But since I met Jeremiah, it seems like we run into people he knows everywhere – Sam’s Club, the grocery store, dinner, and yes, even at shows. I think we also ran into an old coworker of his at Mythbusters Live.

Travis is the brother of Kelly (mentioned in a previous post). Jeremiah has been friends with the Fox brother since they were little kids. It’s actually really cool because everyone seems to get together around the holidays to celebrate Layla’s (our own niece) birthday. Travis and Molly’s son Lex is pretty close in age to our nephew Aiden. It’s nice to see a second generation of kids playing together.

I’ve made chicken and dumplings before but this is my favorite recipe. It’s easy-peasy since you can cook it in the slow cooker.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings by Travis and Molly Fox
IMG_0179
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 T. butter
2 cans cream of chicken
1 can chicken broth
2 T. dried onion
1 T. parsley
4 Grands biscuits

Put chicken in Crockpot with butter. Add soups, broth, onion, and spices. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

After it’s cooked, shred chicken and add back to soup. Cut biscuits into 9 pieces. Stir into soup. Cover and cook on high for 1 more hour.

Notes:

  • I used 2 T. of Lipton’s dry onion soup mix.
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Tortilla Chicken

72b2b6a5-cc89-4230-bfe7-7021e7fe9d55On our honeymoon in San Antonio, Jeremiah and I took a day trip to Gruene. The locals call it Green because that’s what the German word means. We were surprised to learn about the rich German culture in the area. And without a doubt, Gruene was probably our favorite part excursion. This is little town is filled with wineries, restaurants, music performances, and adorable shops.

Our first stop was the Winery on the Gruene. Jeremiah and I always like to ask the locals where they like to eat. We were told people always go to Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar but we should checkout Gruene River Grill. The woman said the food was just as good (if not better), the wait would be shorter, and they have air conditioning. AC in Texas July – I was sold. Jeremiah ordered the Pan Seared Redfish and loved it. I ordered Queso Chicken. This dish was something I thought I might be able to recreate at home. The recipe below was Jeremiah and my attempt to recreate. I think we got close on the chicken but I can’t come anywhere close to the best black beans and rice I’ve ever eaten. We used Vigo Black Bean and Rice because they are pretty good.

Tortilla Chicken by Amber Bourek
IMG_0169.JPGBoneless skinless chicken breast
Salsa Verde
Crushed tortilla chips
Queso salsa

Marinade the chicken in Salsa Verde. Then, roll in crushed tortilla chips coating both sides. Place in a sprayed baking dish. Cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with queso and return to the oven for 5 additional minutes.

Notes:

  • You can make salsa verde from scratch. We used a jar.
  • The original recipe also had Monterey jack cheese on the chicken and topped with pico de gallo.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

A few ago weeks, I was going through my Pinterest account looking for some new recipes. This is a new one we tried and really liked. I hope you like it took.

Smothered Bacon Ranch Chicken Penne Pasta from Laugh with Us Blog
img_1185One package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. chicken breast
2 garlic cloves
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. penne pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 package ranch seasoning mix
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. water

In a large bowl, mix garlic, ranch seasoning, cream of chicken, sour cream, pepper, and water. Place chicken in Crockpot and cover in sauce. Cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high. About 30 minutes before it’s done, add cooked pasta and bacon.

Notes:

  • I used reduced sodium cream of chicken soup and light sour cream. 
  • I substituted a spiral pasta. 
  • Instead of mixing in the bacon, I cooked half a package and just sprinkled on top with parsley.

 

No Fuss Chicken Dinner

Who doesn’t love a simple four ingredient recipe? This Crockpot recipe only takes about 5 minutes of your time to make.

Lemon ChickenCrockpot Lemon Chicken from Pinterest
3-4 T. butter
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 package of Italian seasoning
lemon juice

Cube butter and place on the bottom of a Crockpot. Top with chicken breast. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Drizzle with lemon juice. Bake on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Heart Healthy Chicken Quesadilla

Recently, I spoke at Heritage United Methodist Church about hunger. For lent, they are doing a huge food drive for where I work. At the end of the presentation, they gave me a thank you gift that included a church cookbook. As you know, I love these cookbooks because people always share their best recipes. Here is the first one I tried.

Heart Healthy Chicken Quesadilla Heart Healthy Chicken Quesadilla by Gina Gile
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
2 c. chopped cooked chicken breast
¾ c. reduced fat Mexican style shredded cheese
¾ c. no fat sour cream
8-10 fat free tortillas or whole wheat tortillas

Mix first four ingredients in a bowl. Spread ¼ c. in a tortilla and fold over. Cook in a frying pan or George Foreman Grill. Top with salsa or guacamole.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe.
  • I’m not a huge fan of Mexican cheese so I used 2% cheddar cheese.
  • I add some cilantro to the mix. Another option might be some veggie bacon.

Chicken Strogenoff

A great crockpot recipe for a day you don’t really feel like cooking.

Chicken StrogenoffChicken Strogenoff from Pinterest
4 frozen chicken breast
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 brick of cream cheese
3/4 c. sour cream
8 oz. cooked pasta

Place chicken in crockpot. Cover with soup and cubed cream cheese. Cook on low for 8 hours. Stir 2-3 times throughout the day. About twenty minutes before it is finished, add sour cream. On the stove, cook pasta and drain. Add pasta to crockpot and serve.

Notes:

  • I used reduced fat cream of mushroom soup and cream cheese.
  • I used fat free sour cream.
  • The orginal recipe called for egg noodles. I used penne pasta.

Doritos Crusted Chicken Fingers

I like to buy Doritos occasionally when they are on sale to bake new recipes. This one is a great alternative to fried chicken. Quick, delicious, and healthier.

Doritos chicken stripsDoritos Crusted Chicken Fingers from Pinterest
4 chicken breast, cut into slices
1 bag of Doritos
2 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
4 eggs

Place chicken in a gallon sized baggie and add buttermilk. Refrigerate for two hours. Food process Doritos. Place crushed Doritos in a shallow dish. In another dish, whisk eggs. In a third dish, pour flour and cayenne pepper. Line up dishes in this order: chicken, flour, eggs, and Doritos. Take chicken through each dish coating both sides. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Note:

  • I halved the recipe. I used probably about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bag of Doritos. It was just perfect for five chicken tenderloins.
  • I didn’t have time to coat the chicken after work so I put it in the bag of buttermilk to soak while I was at work. Great time saver.
  • I cooked for 20 minutes.
  • Cut calories by using egg substitute. Not sure how it would cook with Baked Doritos but I bet it would work too.

National Soup Month

When I think of Beer Cheese Soup, the first thing that pops into my mind is Lazlo’s Brewery. It’s a restaurant in Lincoln, NE. The original location is located in the Haymarket District. When I was in college, my friends and I used to walk down there to eat a lot. To this day, I could still tell you what everyone would order. Dan would get the Lazlo Burger and an Empyrean Amber Ale (made in Lazlo’s owner’s brewery). Rob wasn’t a drinker. He always got the French Dip but added Swiss Cheese and sautéed onions. He also ordered a side of ranch dipping sauce for his fries. Lazlo’s makes these great fries. They are crinkle fries with seasoning salt. And Ben always ordered a cup of Beer Cheese Soup. Ironic because Ben was the baby of the group – just 17 years old his first few months attending college.

After college graduations and break-ups, I ended up working for the owners of Lazlo’s. I worked in their neighboring restaurant entitled Jabrisco’s. It was an unusual Italian restaurant named after the owners Jay, Brian, and Scott. (They also had a financial partner who was a dentist but I can’t remember his name.) They had things on the menu like a PB&J wood-fired pizza, homemade spinach pasta, and this to die for chocolate dessert. We also had this amazing patio where I would sell coffee during the weekly Farmer’s Market. I worked there for about eight months as a host/head host. I could sell the bar area better than most on a busy Friday night or Saturday home football game. Following my college graduation, I left to pursue AmeriCorps full-time. But during the time I worked at Jabrisco’s, I learned some great customer service skills, importance to details, and a lot about the hospitality industry.

Today, Lazlo’s has doubled in size and now occupies the space that was once Jabrisco’s. The food is still delicious, reasonably priced, and the service is top notch. The Haymarket has also turned into this major entertainment district.

Although this recipe is very different then Lazlo’s Beer Cheese Soup, it did make me think back to some pretty cool people and an experience that greatly impacted my life.

Beer Cheese SoupBacon Beer Cheese Soup with Chicken from Pinterest
6 slices of bacon
1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 c. beer
1 c. chicken broth
2 c. half and half
8 oz. mild cheese
1 tsp. Worchester sauce
chives
croutons

Cook bacon and chicken. In a large sauce pan, cook butter, flour, and spices. Add beer, broth, and half and half. Whisk to combine and bring to a bubble. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Add Worchester sauce, chicken, and bacon. Allow to simmer. Garnish with chives and croutons.

Notes:

  • This recipe is good but spicy. One bowl had me drinking three glasses of water, blowing my nose, and dotting my watering eyes. My recommendation is to cut the spice at least to half or maybe a third of the recipe listed above. That’s my plan for the next time I cook it.
  • I didn’t have chicken stock so I used water and put in about 2 oz. more of beer. Veggie stock is also an option.
  • When I make a soup like this I know I am sharing with vegetarian friends, I make meat more of a topping. Canned chicken is another option. I used about a ½ lb. chicken and pre-cooked bacon.
  • I used fat free half and half. I think our Nutrition Manager at work also said that Fat Free Evaporated Milk is another substitute option to make a creamy soup healthier.
  • I used light beer.
  • I used Velveeta cheese.
  • I added parsley instead of chives.

On the second day, I picked up some chicken stock and frozen hash browns. I added about 1 cup of hash browns and ¾ c. chicken stock. I also added homemade croutons. It decreased the water consumption.

Fried Rice Tuesday

One of the things I love most about working at my hotel is Fried Rice Tuesdays. Once a month, the kitchen will cook up the fried rice they serve our restaurant Nikko for associates to eat. If you haven’t been to Nikko Japanese Steakhouse, you have to go. Not only is the experience entertaining but the fried rice is phenomenal. It’s the best fried rice I have ever eaten. No excuse, buy a Groupon or call the hotel today to book your reservations.

Since I am off work today, I thought I would give a recipe I pinned on my “Skinny Mini” Pinterest board a try. One of the reasons I liked it because it doesn’t taste really salty. Plus, this recipe rings in at 10 Weight Watchers points instead of 34 Weight Watchers points you would have to count for eating out at a traditional Chinese restaurant. The recipe is also pretty quick and easy to make.

Skinny Chicken Fried Rice by Rachel Schultz (via the Skinny Mom Blog pin on Pinterest)
Skinny Chicken Fried Rice4 c. prepared rice
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled
2 c. frozen carrots and peas
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 T. sesame oil
1/4 c. lite soy sauce

While rice is cooking and chicken is grilling, start sautéing veggies in oil. When onion appears cooked, add to scrambled eggs to the pan. Once eggs are cooked, add chicken, rice, and soy sauce to the pan. Cook for a few minutes and serve. This recipe makes six servings.

Nutritional Facts: 385 calories, 11 g. fat, 53 carbs, 3 g. fiber, 17 g. protein, and 1 g. sugar.

Notes:

  • I used Minute Rice. You could probably make it a little healthier by using a whole grain rice.
  • I hate peas. I just bought frozen carrots and cooked one cup of them. I could only find julienne style carrots so I had to cut them up with my spatula.
  • I though sesame oil was too expensive so I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I think it worked just fine. I used only 2 T. though.
  • I love to use Ready to Use Chopped Garlic. It comes in a jar and can be found by the fresh fruit and veggies in your grocery store.
  • I used one frozen chicken breast – probably about 1/4 lb. I thought the recipe still tasted fine with less chicken.
  • I used 3 T. (1/8 c. and 1/16 c.) of lite soy sauce. Soy sauce is loaded with sodium. Even using the lite version you are dumping 530 mg of sodium per tablespoon into your recipe. Cutting out just one tablespoon is hardly noticeable to the pallet but much better for your body.
  • I used regular eggs but you could use egg substitute to make this a little healthier.

Cantaloupe Chicken Salad

It’s hot! Who wants to cook? Here is a simple summer salad recipe. It won 1st Place in a Taste of Home Healthy Cooking recipe contest. I thought it was OK but I much perfected this Poppy Seed Chicken Salad recipe.

Cantaloupe Chicken SaladCantaloupe Chicken Salad with Yogurt Chive Dressing by Elizabeth King
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. reduced fat mayo
1 T. minced chives
1 T. lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken breast
5 c. cubed cubed cantaloupe
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 c. green grapes

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and toss gentle. Chill until serving.

Nutrition Facts: (makes five servings) 2 cups equals 290 calories, 11 g. fat (2 g. saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 380 mg. sodium, 24 g. carbs, 2 g. fiber, 24 g. protein.

Notes:

  • omitted the cucumber. However, one of the chefs at my hotel swears cantaloupe and cucumber have similar taste.
  • I also used fat free mayo.