Lightened Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

I am always looking for an amazing chicken salad at the grocery store or restaurants in town, but I typically have no luck find one that I absolutely love. I recently made these Lightened Up Chicken Salad Wraps with ingredients I had in my refrigerator. Instead of using bread, I served it on top of romaine lettuce leaves for a lunch last weekend, and my family loved it (they also said this was the best chicken salad they have had in so long). I used leftover grilled chicken, but a great shortcut is to purchase a rotisserie chicken and chop it for easy chicken salad. I used my favorite chicken salad ingredients–pecans, red grapes, nonfat Greek yogurt and dill. This will be a summer staple that I keep in the refrigerator this summer. Here are some of my other favorite chicken salad finds:

Pineapple-Pistachio-Quinoa-Salad-678x1024Pineapple Pistachio Chicken Quinoa Salad by Layers of Happiness 

Avocado Chicken Salad

Avocado Chicken Salad from Simply Recipes

 

bacon-scallion-chicken-salad-7Paleo Chicken Salad with Bacon and Scallions by The Paleo Running Mama

Chicken Burrito Bowl

chicken burrito bowl

My kids love Southwestern foods, and grain bowls are a new hit at our house. This Chicken Burrito Bowl is one of their favorites, filled with black beans, chicken, corn, brown rice, and chicken. It’s so easy to prepare–you can even make it ahead of time. Perfect for a summer or fall healthy dinner, add this easy, healthy recipe to your menu list!

 

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Buffulo Macaroni and Cheese

Now that my 3 kids are back in school, things are hectic with three teens’ schedules with their after school activities (daughter: competitive dance, youngest son: tennis and oldest son: working and high school senior responsibilities). My oldest sister and I were reflecting the other day about our childhood, and how different it was to how we live today. I was the youngest of 4 children, and we ate dinner every night as a family during weeknights. We discussed how that really was a blessing that none of us participated in as many after school activities as children do now. Also, my mom always had a well-balanced dinner including a protein, vegetables and a salad.  If we had dessert, it was usually fresh fruit or baked apples. Our dinners were always healthy (except for an occasional fried chicken from scratch), and we had such a strong family bond. Being a single mom of three is never easy and having a quality meal is so important to me (even though it doesn’t always happen with our busy schedules). When I think of what a quality meal means to me, I imagine all of us sitting around the table sharing about our day (or maybe what’s on our travel bucket list). Quality also means an easier, simpler meal with less cleanup (and one that is nutritious and all three kids like). This Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese recipe is something new and unique I made recently that the kids really enjoyed! I started with Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese, some cooked and chopped Tyson Chicken which is perfect for busy weeknights or game day get-togethers. Create a full meal and serve with frozen Alexia Artisan whole grain dinner rolls. Using frozen foods allows me to have a variety of options as well as shortcuts to make my life easier.

To celebrate back to school I am giving away a $100 Visa Giftcard. To enter, just answer  “What does a quality meal to you?” or “How do you define a quality meal?” Just leave a comment answering the question for a chance to win! One winner will be chose on Wednesday, September 17th! Good Luck!

Buffalo Mac and Cheese

For more recipes using frozen foods, see Easy Home Meals.

This giveaway is sponsored by Easy Home Meals but the recipe and all opinions are my own.

 

Taquito Layered Dip: Cinco De Mayo

Taquito Layered Dip

Happy May and Cinco De Mayo! I am finally back from Italy, and now is the time to spice it up for summer entertaining just in time for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, graduation, lake and beach parties. I made this Taquito Layered Dip today when I was having some friends over, and I saved a ton of time by using Chicken Taquito’s by Jose Ole. Feel free to use the chicken or steak varieties, and add your favorite southwestern toppings such as black olives, cilantro, avocado or jalapeños. You can also make your life simpler (and sometimes save money) using frozen foods to create fabulous appetizers, main dishes and even desserts. There are a huge variety of different cuisines represented in the freezer aisle, including options that cover snack-time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, entertaining and specialty food occasions. If you like southwestern food, the options of frozen food choices are endless. For more recipes such as these using frozen foods see Easy Home Meals.

This post is sponsored by Easy Home Meals, but all opinions are my own.

Chicken Apple Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese

April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and I can’t believe it has been 2 years since the release of my 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Cookbook published by Robert Rose. To celebrate, I am sharing my Chicken Apple Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese Sandwich. The roasted chicken pairs nicely with more info

the sweetness of the apple and smokiness of the Gouda cheese. Feel free to substitute turkey, pork, or shrimp for the chicken. If you are on a gluten-free diet, use your favorite gluten free bread or tortilla wraps. I use one deli-style rotisserie chicken. It yields the perfect amount and will save you time. Enjoy and happy April! To purchase copy of my book, click here.

 

Chicken Veggie Burgers

Since February was American Heart Month and March is National Nutrition Month, I wanted to share another healthy, and delicious recipe. My kids love these Chicken Veggie Burgers from Chef Anthony Stewart from the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami, Florida. They have hidden vegetbales in them including onion, carrot, celery and a hint of jalapeno. Serve them on pita bread with slaw or on a bed of  slaw or mixed greens on a weekend or weeknight.

Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa is a 650-acre fully renovated private wellness spa and weight loss health program. Complete with exceptional fitness trainers, award winning chefs, nutritionists and renowned spa treatments. The center boosts tons of experts from health to nutrition and fitness to spa and wellness. People from all over the world travel to Pritikin to get their health back on track and get their bodies back in shape.

Chef Anthony Stewart has won accolades worldwide, including five gold medals in top culinary competitions, for his masterful use of foodstuffs like fresh seafood and tropical fruit from his native Jamaica. When not in the kitchen, he’s in the classroom, and has inspired thousands of Pritikin guests “to have some fun!”

Fast and Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Fast and Easy Chicken and Dumplings? Is that really possible? It is with this recipe. My friend Rick made this for my dad recently, and he and my 3 kids loved it! This is comfort food at its best. I love that this recipe uses rotisserie chicken, Bisquick Heart Smart and frozen vegetables. This speeds up the prep and cooking process but doesn’t sacrifice taste or quality. This makes a great weeknight or Sunday night main dish. You’ll keep this recipe on hand for years to come! See more recipes using frozen foods at Easy Home Meals.

 

Chicken Caprese: Spring is in the Air

Spring is around the corner, so it’s time for my favorite ingredients: tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella. This recipe for Chicken Caprese is a 30 minute twist on your typical “Caprese” salad. Feel free to sauté the chicken if you don’t have time to grill (or if it’s still to chilly outside). My 3 kids really loved this one! My youngest son, Zachary, loves fresh mozzarella, and it’s a a great way to get him to eat fresh tomatoes and basil.  My best tip is to buy the highest quality mozzarella you can find. Enjoy this during spring and summer as a simple weeknight or weekend chicken main dish.

Easy Peach Pie: Summerfest

My daughter, Leigh, has been begging me to make a Peach Pie with her, so we used store-bought pie crusts to make this Easy Peach Pie. She even made this lattice crust for the pie by herself, and I was impressed what a great job she did. We are so fortunate to live in Alabama where we get to savor Chilton County Peaches. These are some of the best southern peaches you can buy, and and they have been sold and grown since 1976. I grew up eating these fabulous summer fruits, a true summer southern tradition. This Easy Peach Pie is as good as it is simple so enjoy while peaches are at their peak. For more fabulous peach recipes see the following wonderful blogs for this week’s Summerfest via The Food Network.

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Peach Blackberry Arugula Salad
Cooking With Elise: Streusel Topped Peach Muffins With Peach Butter
Heather Christo Cooks: Peach Coconut Pancakes
Ingredients, Inc: Easy Peach Pie
From My Corner of Saratoga: Grilled Peaches With Caramel-Ginger Sauce and Pound Cake
Dishin & Dishes: Peach Lacquered Chicken Salad
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Easy Peach Limeade
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Fresh Peach and Coconut Cake
Daily*Dishin: Caramelized Grilled Peaches
Delicious Lean: Smokey Peach Chipotle Grilled Chicken
Thursday Night Dinner: Peach Shortbread
Sweet Life Bake: Jicama Tortilla Salad With Peach Dressing
I Am Baker: Cilantro Peach Salsa
Zaika Zabardast: Donut Peach Quesadilla
And Love It Too: Peachy Coconut Streusel Muffins
Daydreamer Desserts: White Peach Margaritas
Cooking Channel: 4 Savory Uses for Peaches
Healthy Eats: What to do With Overripe Peaches
FN Dish: Peaches Move to the Big Kids’ Table

 

Spicy Cumin Chicken with Strawberry Coulis

Yay, it’s strawberry season! Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits and so versatile in so many recipes such as this Spicy Chicken with Strawberry Coulis recipe from Driscoll’s Strawberries. The Strawberry Coulis is a chunky sauce made with strawberries, green onions and cilantro. It pairs so nicely with the coriander and cumin spiced chicken. This recipe can be made in only 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.