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30 Minute Balsamic Chicken

30 Minute One Pan Balsamic Chicken

The First Time I Made 30 Minute Balsamic Chicken

The first time I made this 30 Minute Balsamic Chicken recipe, it was late afternoon and my people (husband and 3 teen girls) would soon be coming home hungry. Inevitably, they would ask me the familiar question; “What’s for dinner?”

I had chicken breasts thawed but little inspiration as to what do with them.  I was sitting in my car outside my local health food store and googled “quick dinner chicken.”

I scrolled a bit and came upon a recipe from AllRecipes for Balsamic Chicken. I remembered I had a good quality balsamic vinegar at home and saw that the recipe was quick and easy.

I went inside and bought a couple of onions, green peppers, and some canned tomatoes (on sale!) and headed home excited to try a new recipe and get my people fed in less than 30 minutes!

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Meals/ Pressure Cooker/ RECIPES

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

I first tasted Indian Butter Chicken when visiting dear friends in California a couple of weeks ago. I could not believe the deliciousness I was tasting!

It was the first meal I made for my family once I got back home to the midwest and boy, it was a hit! The leftovers, which although hard to imagine, are even better than freshly made and my family fought over them the next day. This recipe will be going into our rotation for us to enjoy on a regular basis.

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30 Minute Creamy Chicken Alfredo


I am giddy about this recipe. There is so much about it that I love. I love that it is easy to make, was loved and well received by my family, and is much more healthy than your typical Chicken Alfredo recipe.

Todd and I have been married for 2o years. During our newlywed days, I would make a Chicken Alfredo recipe that I liked to call a “heart attack on a plate.” I remember dishing it out onto our plates, and grease would just ooze out from the pile of pasta. It had a whole stick of butter and a ton of cream and cheese.  I remember feeling so full, heavy and just ‘yuck’ after eating it, and I stopped making the recipe once we had children.

I recently stumbled upon this new recipe, a better-for-you version of the typical Chicken Alfredo. It comes from a cookbook called Chia, Quinoa & Kale Oh My! by Cassie Johnston. I immediately noticed it only had 1 tablespoon of butter, that it included a tablespoon of heart-healthy olive oil, and used just a 1/2 cup of whole yogurt instead of cream.


I knew that I could get wonderful organic greek yogurt from Trader Joes, and grabbed some while I was there along with their shaved parmesan cheese. You can use grated part cheese for this recipe, but I often buy this shaved parm (see photo above) to top my lunch salads, so that is what I used.

I make my own organic rotisserie chicken most weeks, and always use the bones to make my own mineral-filled chicken bone broth. I had both shredded chicken and bone broth in jars in the freezer, ready to use for this recipe. Talk about an easy meal!

All of these healthful ingredients make for a very healthful chicken alfredo recipe. I had high hopes as I made it, and let me tell you…I was not disappointed.


It is hard to tell from these photos, as they were taken the following day when I heated the chicken alfredo up for my lunch, but this alfredo was so very creamy! We did not miss all the extra butter, cream and cheese that most alfredo recipes use, and we felt full and satisfied instead of sick and heavy after eating it.

It was very well received by my family and I was asked to put this recipe into our regular rotation. My answer? “You bet…no problem!”

The original recipe calls for kale. I kept it plain with hopes to really win my teens over with this recipe, but next time I will add the kale. The process is so simple, you simply put the leaves in the colander before draining the pasta, and they wilt and steam as they are tossed back into the pan with the hot pasta. The book mentions that kale is great in the dish because it “retains some of its “”chew”” and adds a really interesting texture to the pasta.” You can also use fresh spinach for beautiful color and a nutritional boost.

Give this great recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments!


30 Minute Creamy Chicken Alfredo

13 oz pasta (your choice–whole wheat, gluten-free, or regular. I like this protein pasta brand)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 cup chicken broth (I use my own bone broth)

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt (I use organic)

2 cups cooked chicken (can use a rotisserie chicken, I make my own)

Kale or spinach leaves, optional


Cook the pasta according to package directions. If using kale or spinach, place the leaves in a colander and drain the pasta over the leaves. Return both leaves and pasta to the cooking pot off the heat, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water. The steam from the pasta will continue to wilt the greens. Set aside.

Meanwhile, while pasta is cooking, melt the butter and olive oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until tender and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch or arrowroot.  Add the mixture to the chicken broth, lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.  Turn off the heat, slide the pot over to a cool burner, and whisk in the 3/4 cup of shredded Parmesan until melted.  Let rest 5 minutes, then whisk in the Greek yogurt (if you do it before it’s cooled down a little, the yogurt will turn grainy). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pout the sauce into the pot of pasta and greens and toss to coat, adding in some of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too dry. Plate and top with the chopped chicken and additional shredded Parmesan.

{443 Calories, 31 grams of Protein, 6 Servings}


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GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole With Crunchy Buttery Herbed Cracker Topping –Gluten Free


There is nothing like a creamy, comforting chicken rice casserole with a butter crunchy cracker topping.  Back when Todd and I were first married, I made a recipe very similar to this one, but it has not made it into our recipe box in years because the ingredients were not what I would have considered healthy.

When I had the opportunity to come up with a healthy, gluten-free recipe for Breton crackers, a crunchy cracker topped casserole is what immediately came to mind.  I decided to do a little makeover on the recipe that I used to make when we were newlyweds and the results were amazing!

We are no longer newlyweds (we are now going on almost 20 years!) but the flavors of this casserole took me back to those sweet days, and it really made me smile that all 3 of my girls heartily approved of this recipe, too, especially since I don’t make creamy comforting casseroles very often around here!


I started by baking some organic chicken breasts.  I just sprinkled them with grill seasoning and throw them in the oven until done.  These were sliced pretty thin so they only took about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.


I wanted to keep this recipe gluten-free, as we try to limit gluten around here and I also have several extended family members who eat gluten- free.  I love having a few key recipes on hand that are easy to make and fully gluten- free.

The creamy base of this recipe is sour cream and cream of chicken soup.  I used organic sour cream and used Pacific brand cream of chicken soup as it is gluten- free and also free of ingredients that I would not want to feed my family.  I am pretty picky about pre-made cream soups and this brand make me very happy, and also tasted great!


I used brown rice for the base of the casserole for extra fiber and flavor. I used to make the rice separate from casserole, but not this time.  I loved throwing it all in one dish.


After mixing the shredded chicken, sour cream and cream of chicken soup together, simply spread out on top of the rice layer.


Here is where it gets good.  BRETON GLUTEN-FREE HERB & GARLIC CRACKERS.  I’ve done a lot of tasting of gluten-free crackers, and I have not found one with such tender-crisp texture as Breton crackers.  These crackers are so good,–bursting with herb and garlic flavor. They are made with arrowroot and green lentil flours, which make them quite good for you. They can be eaten alone or topped with delicious toppings for a nutritious snack your family will love.  We like to top them with some organic turkey and cheese for an easy protein-filled snack.

There are several flavors:





For this recipe, I crunched up the herb and garlic crackers and drizzled them with a bit of melted organic butter for the crunchy casserole topping.


I use a ziplock bag to keep mess to  minimum.  I crunched one sleeve of Breton Herb and Garlic crackers all up and then drizzled the butter right into the bag, then sealed and did a bit of a shimmy- shake to distribute it evenly.


The crunchy crackers are the last layer to the casserole.  It really is a breeze to throw together, especially if you have pre-cooked chicken and rice ready to go.


Here is the casserole all baked and ready to eat.  You have the chewiness of the brown rice, the creaminess of the chicken mixture, and the crunch of the cracker topping.  It is GOOD…and for me there is the bonus of being taken back to those newlywed days!



Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole With Crunchy Buttery Herbed Cracker Topping

2 cups chopped cooked seasoned chicken

1 10 oz-12oz  cream of chicken soup (Pacific in a box is gluten-free)

1 8 oz carton sour cream

1 1/2 cups Breton Gluten- Free Garlic & Herb crushed crackers ( I used one sleeve)

1/4 cup butter melted

2 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked


Combine chicken, soup, & sour cream. Put rice in 9×13 pan, add chicken mixture & spread out.  Combine crushed crackers and butter in a large ziplock bag.  Sprinkle over chicken mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Featured/ Meals/ RECIPES

Chicken Fried Rice


This recipe is a new staple at our house.  It tastes better than takeout and is much healthier, too.  You control the amount of oil and it uses brown rice for extra fiber.  It uses ingredients that most would already have on hand, and it is a recipe that the whole family loves and gets excited about.

It is super convenient to have a whole meal in one, as it contains protein from the meat, fiber from the brown rice, and even has your serving of vegetables. The recipe calls for uncooked chicken breast, but if you have leftover, already-cooked chicken, use that and make this meal SUPER easy!

For an extra special meal, try serving this with my Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls.


Chicken Fried Rice

3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice (preferable leftover rice)

3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 3/4 inch pieces

1 Tbsp sesame oil, divided

1 Tbsp canola oil (or coconut oil) divided

1 1/3 cups frozen peas and carrots blend

3 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs

3 Tbsp low- sodium soy sauce

Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper


In a large non-stick wok or skillet, heat 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 1/2 tsp of canola/coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add chicken pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper and salute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Return skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/12 tsp canola or coconut oil.  Add peas and carrots blend and green onions and salute 1 minute, then add garlic and salute 1 minute longer. Push veggies to edges of pan, add eggs in center and cook and scramble.  Return chicken to skillet along with rice.  Add in soy sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Gluten Free Pesto Chicken

Gluten Free Pesto Chicken

by Meghan Newsom
Health & Gluten Free Recipes

This month’s dish is going to be super easy and super delicious. For those of you with dairy allergies, the pesto is 100% vegan, and this dish is naturally gluten free! It tastes great paired with some cooked greens, sweet potato fries, or roasted vegetables. Any way you pair it, this chicken is a dish that will keep your family coming back for seconds!!

Gluten Free Pesto Chicken
Serves 4

 Chicken ingredients: 
– 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
– 1 TBS olive oil

 Pesto ingredients: 
– generous 3/4 cup, chopped sun dried tomatoes
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed – 6 TBS sunflower seeds
– 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
To make the red pesto, put the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, 4 TBS sunflower seeds and oil into a food processor and process into a coarse paste.

 2. Arrange the chicken in a large, ovenproof dish or roasting pan. Brush each breast with the oil, then place a heaping TBS of red pesto over each breast. (The pesto recipe will make more than you will need for the chicken, so you will have some left over!)

3. Roast the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the tender and the juices run clear when skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

Meghan Newsom
Meghan Newsom
Health & Gluten Free Contributor
Meghan’s site: make.
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Coconut And Chicken (Or Beef) Curry With Noodles

{photo does not show it, but this recipe makes a lot of delicious, creamy sauce for the noodles}
Wow-sa! This recipe was good! I loved that it was a recipe that my whole family liked.  My daughters do not like coconut, but that was no problem because this does not have a strong coconut flavor. It has coconut milk in it, which gives it a slightly sweet flavor and makes it creamy!  They also do not like red peppers, but they are necessary in this recipe for flavor, color and health! I made them each eat one pepper strip, and this had to be done before they could dig into the rest of their meal.  It is amazing how this simple rule can make eating certain veggies that are not their favorite, a fast and simple process.
When cooking dinner, I try to pull at least on of my girls into the kitchen with me.  I want them all to be comfortable with cooking, and I love the quality time I get with each of them while doing it.  I rarely pull my oldest in, because she frets and complains about it.  She does not like to cook.  I made sure I had all the ingredients out and everything set before bringing my grumpy girl into the kitchen, and I was determined not to let her grump get to me:)

Didn’t she do a lovely job of slicing the red pepper?  She grumped about a cut on her finger that the pepper juice stung, but she got through it!

I cut up the raw chicken and the onion–I know to pick my battles wisely. I knew she would not come close to the raw chicken, but she did she did squeeze the lime and saute’ the chicken.  She also seasoned the chicken, made the noodles, opened the coconut milk, sauteed the veggies and did all the stirring.  
I was a proud mama.

Her frown eventually turned upside down.  
Funny how the smell of goodness cooking,
 and a mom who chooses to remain lighthearted can do just that.  
I give us both a pat on the back. 🙂
This recipe came from Everyday Food:Fresh Flavor Fast.  I am really loving this cookbook.  Every recipe has a full page photo, all of which are simple gorgeous.  The recipes are healthy, fresh and simple.
This recipe is actually Coconut And Beef Curry With Noodles in the book, but I had chicken on hand so that is what we used.
Coconut and Chicken (or Beef) Curry With Noodles

Salt & Pepper
8 Ounces vermicelli (rice noodles) or angel-hair pasta (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
1 pound of chicken, cut into 2 inch strips (or beef sirloin)
1 red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup water
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (I only used about 1/3 cup-all I had)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a generous amount of salt.  Cook noodles until tender according to package instructions; drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high.  Season chicken or beef with salt and pepper; add to skillet.  Cook, until chicken is no longer pink, or beef is to desired doneness.  Transfer to a plate.

3. Add onion, bell peppers, and the water to skillet; season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes.  Add curry paste; cook, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet, until fragrant and combined, about 1 minute.

4. Return chicken or beef and any accumulated juices to skillet; add coconut milk.  Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in basil and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.  

Serve meat mixture over noodles.