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Easy Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sandwiches

Football season is over this weekend. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all my extra time. What am I going to eat now that game foods are out? I’m assuming that eating spinach artichoke dip for lunch isn’t acceptable unless you’re watching football. On second thought, it’s probably not acceptable during football season either.

Once in a while, I will eat real food during a football game. You know, something that isn’t 99% cheese. Like this super easy slow cooker Italian chicken sandwich. Holy bucket of yum, I tell ya. If you don’t have your Superbowl menu set yet (shame on you!), make sure you get this delicious sandwich on there! Your friends and family will thank you.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sandwiches |doughseedough.net

Easy Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sandwiches

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 envelope Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix
8 ounces pepperoncini slices, drained + 2 tablespoons liquid
8 ounces hot giardiniera, drained
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

for serving
whole wheat buns
provolone cheese slices
giardiniera
pepperoncini

  1. Place chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker and sprinkle with dressing mix. Top with pepperoncini, giardiniera, and chicken broth. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Alternatively, place the chicken into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Beat on low for 30 or so seconds or until chicken is shredded. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker for 5 minutes.
  3. Scoop chicken onto buns and top with provolone cheese, giardiniera, and pepperoncini. Serve immediately.
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Lightened-Up Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

When I hear the word casserole, images of cheesy, fatty, not-so-great-for-you comfort food comes to mind. What if I told you that you could have all the comfort food flavor without all the bad stuff? This dish is loaded to the top with veggies and whole grains. It’s a dish you can feel great about eating.

Lightened Up Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

Lightened-Up Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

3 cups cooked brown rice
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed (about 4 cups)
10.75 ounce can fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons light mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread cooked rice in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken from pan to a separate bowl.
  3. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and jalapeno to pan. Cook until vegetables just begin to soften. Stir in soup, broth, mayo, and mustard until well combined. Mix in broccoli, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the cooked chicken. Scoop mixture on top of rice in baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.


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SNAP Challenge Day 6 (+ chicken taco soup)

SNAP Challenge Day 6 | doughseedough.net

Mike and I were out running errands today and ended up at the mall around lunch time. We had been out all morning running from store to store looking at flooring. By the time we got to the mall to look at some clothes for Mike, we were hungry and tired. Mostly hungry. As we walked around, the smells from the food court, the samples from the pretzel shops and coffee shops tempted us.

It was so hard to walk past everything. I was speed walking as fast as I could manage to get away from whatever tempting food was lurking in the area. The chicken taco soup we had for lunch was so good after spending two hours in that Sbarro-Panda Express-Auntie Anne’s haze.

For the soup, I used farmers’ market sweet corn and just barely cooked it so that it still retained its delicious crunch. If you don’t have any fresh corn on hand, 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn will work just fine. But nothing will ever beat good ol’ Wisconsin sweet corn!

Today we ate:

Breakfast: oatmeal with egg (me), oatmeal with agave (Mike)
Lunch: chicken taco soup
Snack: peanut butter toast
Dinner: spaghetti with zucchini and tomatoes in a creamy lemon-yogurt sauce (check back Monday for the recipe!)
Snack: peanut butter toast with banana

Chicken Taco Soup | doughseedough.net

Chicken Taco Soup

3 chicken breasts
olive oil spray
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 –  2 jalapenos, minced
2 bell peppers, chopped
8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 – 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 – 14.5 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
5 cups chicken broth
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed
garnishes (optional): shredded cheddar, nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), cilantro, jalapeno slices, diced avocados, tortilla chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking pan with olive oil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little bit of the mixture of the chicken breasts and set the rest of the spice mixture aside. Bake chicken in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until cooked through. Shred chicken with two forks.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium heat and spray with olive oil. Add in onions, garlic, and jalapenos. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining spice mixture and stir to evenly distribute. Stir in tomato sauce, bell pepper, diced tomatoes, and beans. Stir in chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and corn and cook for an additional 2 minutes to heat chicken through.
  4. Serve soup hot with desired toppings.

 

recipe slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman


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SNAP Challenge 2014: Day 2 (+ a recipe!)

SNAP Challenge Day 2 | doughseedough.net

 

Day two is done. For me, it was just as weird as the first day. I wasn’t feeling 100% like myself due to the obnoxious cold I get hit with. Here’s what I ended up eating:

 

Breakfast: oatmeal with raisins
Lunch: peanut noodles with shredded chicken and veggies
Snack: cottage cheese
Dinner: peanut noodles with shredded chicken and veggies
Snack: apple
To drink: crazy amounts of peppermint tea sweetened with a bit of agave, water with lemon

 

So let’s move on to what I’ve been eating the past few days: peanut butter noodles with chicken and veggies!

 

This dish was crazy easy and it’s super customizable. I used bell pepper and carrots as my veg in this dish, but just about anything you have on hand will work. Feel free add more soy sauce, if desired. I only used 2 teaspoons because I ran out and didn’t budget for it in my SNAP Challenge budget. The most time-consuming part was cutting all the dang carrots up. I didn’t have my mandoline or grater  with me, but I highly suggest you use one to make prep a little easier. Alternately, just chop the carrots up. A little less pretty, but just as tasty.

 

Another bonus? The noodles taste stellar hot or cold. I opted to eat mine mostly hot since it made my throat feel better, but you just follow your heart (stomach? taste buds?) and do as you wish!

 

Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Veggies | doughseedough.net

Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken and Vegetables

1 – 13.25 ounce package of whole grain spaghetti
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
3 carrots, julienned
2/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sriracha, more or less to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  1. Place chicken in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until no longer pink in the middle and internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 12 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred with two forks.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 2/3 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic, and ginger. Whisk in 2/3 cup of hot pasta water to thin sauce. Taste, and add more soy sauce and sriracha if desired.
  4. Toss pasta, bell peppers, and carrots with peanut sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

 


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One Pan Sausage Skillet Dinner

It’s been quite a few days and I still smell campfire everywhere I go. I finally realized that it wasn’t my skin, hair, or clothing. The smell has somehow permeated into my glasses. I’ve soaked and scrubbed them, but to no avail. I love campfires, but this is a little much! I guess from now on I’ll have to camp sans-glasses. Essentially blind. I may end up just falling into the campfire…

When you’re camping, the fewer dishes to wash, the better. Seriously. Mike and I are so determined to keep our dirty dishes to a minimum that we ate straight out of the pan instead of dirtying two plates 🙂 This one-pan meal takes minutes to throw together and minutes to clean up. If you don’t have a fire to cook over, try baking this in the oven!

One Pan Sausage Skillet Dinner | doughseedough.net

(Please forgive me for the photo – turns out that Me + Camera – Light – Tripod = Disaster)

One Pan Sausage Skillet Dinner 

serves 4 – 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 large red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound baby carrots
1/2 pound mushrooms, halved (quartered if large)
12 ounce package of chicken sausage (I used Johnsonville’s Chipotle & Jack sausage)
4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, chicken broth, or water
shredded cheddar cheese, optional

  1. Coat a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Arrange potatoes on bottom in an even layer. Spread onions, garlic, carrots and mushrooms evenly on top. Arrange sausage over the vegetables.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together beef bouillon, onion powder, garlic powder, dried minced onion, and black pepper. Sprinkle spices and soy sauce over the sausage and vegetables. Cover the skillet tightly with heavy-duty foil and cook over a fire for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until potatoes and carrots or tender and sausage is cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese, cover and return to fire for an additional 1 – 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.


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Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

So, remember that amazing (and easy!!) pineapple salsa I posted a couple weeks ago? It’s not only good on chips, with pretzel thins, or plain by the spoonful… it’s delicious on marinated chicken, too! I’m loving all the pineapple that’s on sale right now and this dish is super easy to prepare. Prep and marinate the chicken the night before and then you have dinner on the table in 30 minutes the next day!

Pineapple Chicken with Fresh Pineapple Salsa and Cilantro Rice | doughseedough.net Pineapple Chicken

1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
cooking spray
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups fresh pineapple salsa

  1. Whisk together pineapple juice, ketchup, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade. Place chicken in a shallow dish and pour the remaining marinade over it. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, turning halfway through.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray. Discard marinade and place chicken into prepared baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake chicken for 30 – 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. Pour reserved 1/4 cup marinade over chicken.
  4. Combine brown rice and cilantro in a bowl. Serve chicken with brown rice and pineapple salsa.

 

adapted from Cooking Light

 


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Hoisin-Lime Chicken with Zucchini

This recipe involves a little bit of planning since you have to prepare a marinade, let it cool, and then marinate the chicken for a few hours, but the results are worth it. Once the marinade is prepared, and the chicken is in the fridge, the rest is easy – grill and enjoy!

Hoisin-Lime Chicken with Zucchini | doughseedough.net

Hoisin-Lime Chicken with Zucchini

2 1/4 cups hoisin-lime sauce, divided (recipe below)
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups of hoisin-lime sauce and sambal oelek in a large non-reactive container or bowl. Add the chicken and scallions and toss well. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 2 – 24 hours. Turn the chicken at least one time. Thirty minutes before cooking, add the zucchini and toss to coat.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 8 – 12 minutes.
  3. Remove zucchini from the marinade and cook, tuning once, until brown, about 8 minutes. Discard the marinade.
  4. While chicken and zucchini are being grilled, pour marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened.
  5. Slice the zucchini and chicken diagonally and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with reserved 3/4 cup marinade and garnish with additional sliced green onions, if desired.

 

Hoisin-Lime Sauce

1/4 cup canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 cups hoisin sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in lime juice.
  2. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend, drizzling in remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil and the 1/4 cup chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely before using.

 

recipes from Ming Tsai