Monday, February 17, 2014

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is one of my favorite comfort foods and this recipe is so easy you will wonder why you ever ate those frozen pot pies in a box.  This recipe is my mother’s recipe and my husband loves when I make this dish.  

I learned how to cook by watching my mom and helping her in the kitchen.   I remember looking forward to Sunday dinner, when we all sat down together and had a great home-cooked meal…….usually pot roast, roasted chicken, or homemade fried chicken with wonderful mashed potatoes and gravy.  Thanks mom!  J

This recipe is so easy and full of down-home goodness!  I like to serve it with a side of corn and plenty of fresh ground black pepper on top.  If you want to lighten this dish up, just use the low fat or fat free versions of cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup.  It tastes just as delicious!

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (or 1 large can chunk chicken breast, drained)
1 large can Veg-all mixed vegetables, drained
2 refrigerated pie crusts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place one pie crust in the bottom of an 8x8 square baking dish.   In a medium bowl, mix together the cans of soup, vegetables and chicken, stirring thoroughly to combine.   

Spoon the mixture into the baking dish on top of the crust, spreading mixture out evenly.  Place remaining pie crust on top and crimp edges with your fingers to seal.  Poke a few holes in the top crust to allow steam to vent during cooking.   

Place in oven and cook for 40 minutes, until top crust is golden brown and the inside is bubbling with deliciousness.  Enjoy! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicken Taco Soup

I love recipes that combine delicious Southwestern flavors and healthy vegetables too!  This recipe is one that I adapted from a South Beach recipe cookbook.  I just added more vegetables and some Cholula, of course!  

This soup goes great with some low-fat shredded cheese on top and the soup is also great over brown rice if you want something a bit more hearty.  I hope you like it as much as I do!


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1/2 red or green bell pepper chopped and seeded
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp Taco seasoning (I use McCormick Hot Taco seasoning)
5-6 dashes of Cholula hot sauce - or more if you like spicy
1 can (14oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 small zucchini sliced thin
2 stalks celery chopped

  Dissolve the seasoning and garlic powder into the chicken broth, then combine remaining ingredients in the crockpot. Make sure that the chicken breasts are covered with liquid- add a bit more liquid if necessary.  The liquid only needs to just cover the meat.

Cook on Low for 8-10 hours. Chicken will shred apart when done.  Serve as a soup or over rice.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Skinny Pork Chops and Eggs

I’m eating healthy these days and loving it!  Now, if I could just get back into a workout routine.  This week will be the week for sure!  I go through periods of unhealthy eating……lots of rich foods, pasta, bread, and yes…….I have my share of fast food/junk food during my relapses. LOL  

Inevitably, I wake up and come to my senses, start eating healthy again and then realize how “real” food tastes so much better than processed, fattening stuff.  I hope you enjoy this clean eating dish!

4 boneless center cut pork loin chops, pounded thin
4 large eggs
1-2 avocados, sliced
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil

Lay out the pork chops and pound slightly with a meat mallet until they are about ½ inch thin, or you can just buy pork chops that are already thin.  Dry each chop with a paper towel to remove moisture.  

Drizzle a little olive oil over each chop on both sides and rub the oil over each chop.  Sprinkle each chop on both sides with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. 

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Coat the skillet with one teaspoon of olive oil.  When the pan is hot, place the chops in the skillet and cook about 3 minutes per side, or until the chops are cooked through.  Let the chops rest for about 5-10 minutes while you cook the eggs.  Cook each egg to over-medium (runny yokes but no runny whites). 

Top each chop with a layer of sliced avocados, and then a layer of sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the tomato and avocado. Place an over-medium egg on top of the avocado and tomatoes. Garnish with more avocado and tomatoes and top with more salt and pepper.  Enjoy!  Cheers!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Healthy Slowcooker Vegetable Soup

This slowcooker vegetable soup is so hearty and delicious that you will forget you are eating healthy.  A bowl of this is a little slice of heaven on a cold winter’s day!

I like my meat, don’t get me wrong, but I am ready to get serious about eating healthy so I’m starting by eating more meatless meals and more vegetables every day.  That four letter word called a “diet” is not in my vocabulary.  I am eating delicious real food that is packed with natural flavor and nutrients…….not the processed crap.

I modified this recipe from a recipe I found on my favorite new healthy recipe website,   Click here for a link to the original recipe, called Savory Superfood Soup.  I hope you try it and enjoy it!  Cheers!


2 cups sliced carrots
1 large russet potato, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it more spicy)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Kosher or sea salt to taste
2 cups vegetable juice (I used R.W. Knudsen, Organic Very Veggie Juice, no sugar added)
2 cups chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker, and cook on low 6-8 hours, or until veggies are tender.  Spoon into a bowl and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. 

I cut up some additional cilantro and sprinkled it on top of mine because I just love cilantro!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

So I have been kind of obsessed with making homemade egg noodles lately.  One of my favorite uses for egg noodles made from scratch…….a delicious homemade chicken noodle soup.  I recently made this soup for some coworkers and my principal.  My principal actually said that the soup and the noodles were better than his grandmother’s!  High praise if you ask me!  

You can make this soup with leftover holiday turkey or already cooked chicken…….or you can start with a whole raw chicken and boil it for an hour with the vegetables to make the broth. 
If you decide to make this soup with your leftover holiday turkey, all you have to do is put three quarts of water in a big pot and then add your leftover turkey…….bones and all!  The bones will make a great stock for your soup.  Add 8 teaspoons chicken Bouillon seasoning granules to the water and then follow the directions below for making the broth (I do this instead of using canned chicken broth).  So you will just add the green onions, celery, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, salt and peppers to the broth and turkey mixture……then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. 

Broth Ingredients:  
3 quarts water (or enough to just cover the chicken)
1 whole chicken – (about 4-5 pounds is good)
3-4 teaspoons chicken bouillon seasoning
6 large green onions – white parts only, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preparation of the broth:
Combine all ingredients above and bring to a boil in a large pot.  Simmer for 50-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the pot, and allow to cool for deboning.  Skim off the fat and foam from the broth and discard.  

Pour the broth over a colander into a bowl, strain out the vegetables and discard the vegetables.  Pour the reserved broth back into the large pot and get ready to prepare the soup.  Yum!

Soup Ingredients:
Shredded and deboned chicken from the chicken used to make the broth
1 tsp olive oil
6 green onion tops (green tops from the green onions used above)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 rib celery, sliced lengthwise and chopped
1 large carrot, diced
¼ tsp dried Thyme
Additional chicken broth, if needed
1 batch homemade egg noodles (get the recipe) or 1 large package store bought egg noodles

Final soup preparation:
Sauté the celery, green onion tops and garlic in the olive oil until soft.  Add the remaining ingredients, except for the noodles, adding more chicken broth or water and chicken bouillon if needed.  Just make sure you have enough broth according to how much soup you want to make.  

If you make the soup using the homemade egg noodles (recipe below), bring the soup ingredients to a boil and add the egg noodles.  Simmer the egg noodles for 15-20 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.  The homemade version of the egg noodles will thicken up the soup a bit as they cook.  
If you are using store bought noodles, bring the soup to a boil, add the noodles and cook according to package directions.  Serve with some salty crackers or warm crusty bread.  Cheers!

Homemade Egg Noodles
I have tried a few recipes for egg noodles and this is the best one I have found.  After finding this recipe, I realized that the egg noodle dough must be kneaded for 10 minutes in order to achieve that lovely texture that you want in an egg noodle.  These noodles are not doughy and dense like others I have made…..they have just the right amount of “springy” texture when you bite into them.  Just make you sure that you knead the dough for 10 minutes.  I hope you like these as much as I do…….they really are easy!  Thank you to KindCook at for sharing this egg noodle recipe!  

2 cups all purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 tsp salt
¼ to ½ cup water

Measure the flour into a bowl and make a well in the center of the flour.  Add the egg yolks, whole egg and salt into the well in the center of the flour.   With a fork, slightly beat the eggs while still keeping them in the flour well.  Using your hands, gradually bring the flour into the eggs and mix until eggs are incorporated into the flour.

Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Add only enough water to form the dough into a ball.  Place the dough on a well-floured board, knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into four equal parts.  Roll out dough, one part at a time, into a paper-thin rectangle.  Keep remaining dough covered.  I don’t roll out my dough exactly paper thin because I like them a bit thick.  Roll rectangle around rolling pin, slip out rolling pin…….you should now have a “tube” of dough folded over onto itself.  Doing this makes it easier to cut the dough into uniform sized noodles. 

Cut the dough cross-wise into 1/8 inch strips for narrow noodles and ¼ inch strips for wide noodles. 

Shake out the strips and place on a towel or paper towels to dry.  The recipe calls for the noodles to be dried for 2 hours, but I usually just let them sit for about 20-30 minutes and I have even thrown them into the soup without drying them out at all………..either way they come out great! 

When you are ready to boil the noodles, break the strips into smaller pieces.  Cook in 3 quarts boiling salted water or chicken broth for 12-15 minutes or until tender……….or add them to Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup! 

I really love these noodles and they are so easy…… long as you don’t mind the kneading part!  Cheers!