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Chicken Parmesan Casserole

September 22, 2016

Simple ingredients, minimal work, big flavor results – that’s my kind of recipe.





Chicken parmesan is such a delicious dish, but it also requires a bit of work. Looking to speed up the process, I decided to use the same flavorful ingredients and simply layer them in a casserole – it all goes to the same place, right? See the video above for a quick tutorial.

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Layers of juicy chicken, bright spinach, robust marinara, and sharp parmesan are topped with crispy bread crumbs to create a delicious, healthy, and easy dish that is sure to please even your pickiest eaters.
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What are serving for dinner tonight? Let me know or link up below!

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. pre-cooked chicken, chopped
  • 2 generous handfuls of spinach
  • 16 oz. marinara sauce (2 cups)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray (I use my misto).
  3. In a small bowl, mix together parmesan, panko, and parsley.
  4. Layer ingredients into dish in the following order: chicken, spinach, marinara, mozzarella, crumb mixture. (See the video above for a quick tutorial.)
  5. Drizzle the top with olive oil or spray (I use my misto).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden and cheese has melted.
  7. Enjoy!




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Pizza Stuffed Peppers – The Works

September 18, 2016

Pizza…without a crust…can it be true? (Can it be good?) Let me answer with an anecdote. After his first bite, my pizza-loving, health-food-hating husband declared, “this is delicious!” and proceeded to get seconds. Score one for the pizza stuffed peppers!



 

Filled with the works, these little pizzas are loaded with ground turkey (or beef), pepperoni, mushrooms, gooey cheese, and – of course- peppers. With so much flavor packed in each serving, you won’t think twice about the missing crust. A gluten free dream!

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What’s more, these peppers are completely versatile. Fill them with your favorite toppings and you’re on your way to a delicious crust-free pizza that’s bursting with flavor.




What are you favorite pizza toppings? Let me know below!

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Pizza Stuffed Peppers

Yields: 2-4 servings (2 in this house)

Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers, cut in half with ribs and seeds removed
  • 5-6 large button mushrooms, diced
  • 8 oz. ground turkey or beef (I use 93% lean ground turkey)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (or pizza sauce)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 8 turkey (or regular) pepperonis

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice bell peppers in half and clean out ribs and seeds. Place peppers in a microwave safe dish, skin-side up. Put a tablespoon of water in the dish, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes. (This softens the peppers a bit and speeds up cooking time in the oven.) Drain any excess liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, brown turkey in a large skillet over medium high heat. Set aside.
  4. Put mushrooms in the same skillet. Cook until most of the mushrooms’ liquid is released. Add ground turkey back to skillet and combine. Turn off heat.
  5. Add garlic powder and marinara sauce to the meat mixture. Stir until fully combined.
  6. Put peppers in a baking dish. Divide meat mixture evenly between the four pepper halves.
  7. Top peppers with cheese and pepperonis.
  8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the peppers reach your desired texture.
  9. Enjoy!

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Coconut Macaroons

September 14, 2016

Ever since I was little and received Mounds candy in my trick-or-treat bag on Halloween, I have hated coconut. As a highly knowledgeable (read: know it all) 5-year-old, I boldly declared that coconut was gross and should not be included in candy of any kind. (In adult speak gross means I didn’t like the taste or the dry texture.)




Flash forward to 2016 and until last week I still avoided the stuff. I simply had no desire to give that food another shot. Ever. Well…until I made these coconut macaroons for my sister that is. Now I can’t seem to get enough. Go figure.




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Perfectly sweet and with a lovely texture, these little cookies are both delicious AND gluten free. So wherever you are on the love-hate spectrum with coconut, give these gems a try. You won’t regret it.

Coconut – do you love it or hate it? Let me know below!

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Coconut Macaroons

Yield: 16

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, coconut, and salt.
  3. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until fully blended.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about the size of a golf ball.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until coconut is toasted. Let cool.

Chocolate Dip:

  • Microwave chocolate chips at 30 second intervals, stirring each time. It should take between 60-90 seconds to fully melt the chocolate.
  • Dip bottoms of macaroons in chocolate and place on parchment paper. Allow chocolate to harden.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.

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Simple Overnight Oats

September 8, 2016

This past weekend I had my first inklings of fall. The nights were cool enough to sleep with the windows open, and the morning air was crisp and refreshing.

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While I haven’t felt the need to dive head first into all things pumpkin and apple cinnamon – yet – I have changed my breakfast routine a bit.

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All summer I’ve been hooked on some variation of Greek yogurt and granola, but the slight shift in temperature combined with the returned need of easy grab-and-go breakfasts has renewed my love of overnight oats.

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Today’s recipe is barebones basic: oats, plain Greek yogurt, berries, and almonds. This way you can try it plain first, and then play with the flavors should you be so inclined. In the coming weeks, stay tuned for some new twists on this simple favorite.

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Do your favorite foods change with the season? Let me know below!

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Simple Overnight Oats

Serves: 1

Time: Overnight

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbls. slivered almonds, toasted if desired
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I like Silk cashew milk)
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats, gluten free if required
  • 1/2 tbls. honey (or more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together milk, yogurt, oats, honey, and vanilla. Transfer to a “grab-and-go” container, if necessary. Otherwise you can keep in the same bowl.
  2. Top with berries and almonds.
  3. Cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight.

Paula’s Tips: Feel free to double or triple this recipe, it will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator!

Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy Cookbook

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Bean, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

September 5, 2016

Some days when I sit down to share a new recipe with you, I draw a complete blank regarding what to write. I lack any funny anecdotes or fond distant memories to share; instead I stare blankly at my blinking cursor.

 

Today is one of those days.



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So rather than ramble about nothing, I’ll cut straight to the point. This salad is awesome. Simple ingredients, little time investment, big flavor results. Enjoy it for lunch, as a dip for tortilla chips, or even wrapped up in a soft taco shell.

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How was your Labor Day weekend? Let me know below!

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Bean, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Serves: 4

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed (~2 cups)
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 2 tbls. cilantro OR parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste (this will vary on whether you have salted or unsalted beans)

Directions:

  1. Combine first eight ingredients in a large bowl (beans through cilantro).
  2. Mix thoroughly
  3. Salt and pepper, to taste
  4. Enjoy!

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