Chipotle Chicken Chili {Secret Recipe Club}

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Chipotle Chicken Chili

I wish I had been able to post this recipe for your Superbowl festivities! Alas, you’ll have to pick a basketball game instead to watch while you shovel back spoonfuls of spicy, smoky, chicken chili.

After a short break for Christmas (and one oops-I-forgot-to-fill-out-the-form month), I’m back with another Secret Recipe Club reveal. Each month we are given a site and must choose one recipe to make from that site, while someone else is assigned my blog. It’s fun to see what people choose from here.

The last time I participated, in November, Mellissa from A Fit and Spicy Life made an OLD recipe from here, Rachael Ray’s Chili Sweet Potato Hashhere is her update with zucchini and black beans, which sounds awesome.

Ironically enough, A Fit and Spicy Life was my assigned blog for this month! As the title suggests, Mellissa blogs about food (she and her husband LOVE hot sauces!), exercise, wine, and travel with restaurant reviews. She is Minneapolis-based and has reviews for restaurants in Chicago, the Twin Cities, and a few other sites. (My Aunt Jennie will be glad to see those Chicago reviews, I think!)

Chicken Chili with Avocado

Since we’re having a chili cook-off tonight with the dorm kids in the student center, I decided on one of Mellissa’s many chili recipes. Together my husband and I picked out Smoky and Spicy Chicken Chili (although Summer Vegetable Chili will be making an appearance on our table in a few months). LAST MINUTE UPDATE WITH BREAKING NEWS: Apparently this chili WON the chili-cook-off in the student center “by a landslide,” they said. Take that, beef chilis! It sat in the fridge for two days, which always helps chili flavor, too. Boo-yah! Thanks, Mellissa, for helping me clench the victory here.

I cut back the amount of broth just a little to make a thicker chili. For my taste-testing, we went with 1/2 a teaspoon of chipotle chili powder. For me, this was so spicy all I could taste was HOT. (Which is what I expected. I am extremely sensitive to spicy things.) My husband said it was a nice, chili-spicy. My sister said it was more spicy than normal chili but she really liked it, especially with the chicken. So you’ll have to decide how spicy you can handle food and go from there. Mellissa used a whole teaspoon of chipotle chili powder which would probably kill me but my husband would love it.

Chipotle Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Chipotle Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 29 oz. fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles (or "salsa-ready tomatoes")
  • 29 oz. canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 c. chicken stock or broth
  • 1 T cumin
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder (this will be medium to VERY hot - can use a pinch to 1/4 tsp. for milder chili)
  • optional toppings: avocado slices, shredded cheese, sour cream

Instructions

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes, until onion is soft.

Add chicken and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in beans, broth, tomatoes, and add spices. Stir well.

Bring to a boil; reduce to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes uncovered.

Serve with toppings if desired.

Notes

Gluten free, dairy free

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Popsicles for Breakfast! My Favorite Fun-Mom Tip

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Popsicles for Breakfast

My very favorite fun-mom trick is this: make popsicles so healthy that you can give them to your kids for breakfast. They will seriously think you are the BEST PARENT EVER. (Or aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.)

How do you make healthy popsicles kids love? Well, first you need some good molds. Please don’t buy the ones from the dollar store. Trust me, I have tried those and they all broke the first time I tried to unlodge my beautiful ‘sicles.

The two molds I have and love are Monster Pop Molds and Rocket Pops. I adore the monster ones, but it only has four molds and most of the time I make more than that at one time. The rocket pop has six molds.

Then you need some ingredients. I like to start with frozen fruit and then add what I have. (You can also use fresh fruit, whatever, it’s going to freeze anyway!) Bags of frozen fruit are a good deal, usually, and the fruit is already prepped and ready to go for you.

Then you can customize depending on what you want nutritionally. Kids need more fiber? Add some ground flaxseed. Want them to eat their veggies? Mix in spinach or kale. Yogurt is good for creamy pops and has probiotics. Coconut milk is my favorite for kids who need more fat in their diet.

Here are some of my favorite combos!

  • Strawberry-Orange Pops
  • Strawberries, vanilla or plain yogurt, one ripe banana, a scoop of peanut butter (PB & J!)
  • Dark berries are good for covering up the green colors of spinach, kale, or other leafy greens – and the taste. Blend your greens with water first, then add other ingredients.
  • Tropical fruits go well with coconut milk, water, or oil – although I love blueberries and blackberries with coconut, too. (You can freeze this Blackberry Coconut Lime Smoothie into popsicles.)
  • The pictured popsicles above I made especially for my 3-year-old, who is sick with a fever. They are frozen mango, which has a ton of vitamin C, coconut oil, which is anti-bacterial, and vanilla yogurt for probiotics. Yum!
  • Creamy Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsices

Are you a popsicle maker? What’s your favorite kind?

Pasta with Feta Alfredo Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, and BACON! #BaconLove

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This post is sponsored content. All opinions are my own.

Words that couldn’t be more true: Everybody Loves Bacon. I’m sorry, but I don’t trust people who don’t like bacon or chocolate. HOW? How could that be possible??

Pasta with Feta Alfredo, Bacon, and Brussels Sprouts

BI-LO asked some bloggers to come up with bacon-y recipes to celebrate their “Everybody Loves Bacon” event, and I was glad to participate! I started with my basic Feta Pasta with Bacon and Peas recipe and decided to make it a little more grown-up. In lieu of just mixing the feta and pasta, I made alfredo sauce with feta instead of Parmesan. And rather than throwing in some frozen peas, I sauteed Brussels sprouts in the bacon fat, letting them soak in some goodness and get nice and brown in a cast-iron skillet.

Brussels Sprouts

This dish is full of strong flavors, and I adored it. If your family doesn’t like Brussels, you can substitute broccoli, peas, kale, or fresh green beans (or just omit the vegetable altogether and serve alongside a big salad).

Pasta with Feta Alfredo Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, and Bacon

Yield: 4-6 servings

Pasta with Feta Alfredo Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, and Bacon

Unlike many of my other recipes, this recipe is a little time- and labor-intensive. It took me a solid hour in the kitchen without distraction and constantly stirring and sauteeing! But it's a wonderful weekend or special occasion meal when you have the time.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. pasta, cooked and drained (I used penne)
  • 12 oz. bacon
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed and halved*
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

*To prep Brussels sprouts, rinse them and pat dry with a towel. Trim off some of the bottom and remove the tougher outer leaves. Then halve the sprouts, or quarter if they are larger ones.

Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces with kitchen shears. In a large skillet (if you have one that is not nonstick, that is best), cook bacon pieces until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a towel.

Pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. (Reserve the rest, of course. Because BACON.)

Over medium heat, add Brussels sprouts to the bacon grease. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are fork-tender but not mushy. They should get some yummy brown caramelization on them. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted, add heavy cream and garlic. Cook, whisking often, for 5 minutes. After that, remove from heat and add cheese and a little black pepper. Stir well until uniform. (All of the feta won't melt, but some will.)

(Also a note here - I used half-and-half because I couldn't find any heavy cream without carrageenan, which I try to avoid. It worked fine, but heavy cream would make for a thicker sauce to coat your pasta.)

Toss pasta with sauce, Brussels sprouts, and cooked bacon pieces in a large bowl. Serve hot. This pasta is best if served right away; leftovers will mostly taste like Brussels sprouts.

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Is this something your family would enjoy – or just you? I think it lends itself to a lot of great variations and I’d love to hear your idea for one.

This post was created in partnership with Bi-Lo. All opinions are my own.

Added to Mouthwatering Monday.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins with Coconut Flour

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banana nut coconut flour muffins

While our family doesn’t eat gluten-free, I enjoy experimenting in gluten-free cooking, especially because my sister doesn’t eat gluten. I do also try not to overdo it on wheat flours – despite the fact that my kids would live on pancakes, sandwiches, muffins, and cookies sometimes.

Coconut flour is high in fiber and a good source of protein. You only need small amounts to bake a whole batch of goodies – although you need a lot of eggs to work with it. It’s a very “thirsty” flour!

Instead of a more traditional walnut, I went with pecans for these muffins, which I like a lot more. I decided this makes me truly Southern while I was baking these. Even if no other family of mine has ever lived in the South, we do and intend to stay. And dang it, I love some pecans. Walnuts are for the birds.

{Unless they’re candied. On a salad with dried cranberries. Yummm.}

I made these without nuts for my kids, but they really need the nuts for texture, since the muffins are less fluffy than those made with wheat flour.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins with Coconut Flour

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Adapted from The Missy

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 6 T brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 T water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. pecan pieces

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners (mine are silicone cups from Pantry Elements).

In a mixing bowl, mash together banana and melted butter. Add milk, eggs, brown sugar, water and vanilla.

Whisk together salt, coconut flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients and stir until uniform. Fold in pecan pieces.

Scoop into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. Let cool.

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Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips

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ginmuffins

These muffins are a tasty treat to add to your holiday repertoire! All the goodness of gingerbread without having to cut out little men and decorate them. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

These tasty muffins feel like Christmas, a cross between gingerbread and molasses cookies with a sprinkling of white chocolate chips.

Adapted from Simple Girl.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cooking oil (coconut, olive blend) or melted butter
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, molasses, milk, and eggs, until uniform (this may take some arm work with the molasses!).

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips.

Line muffin tins with baking cups or spray with cooking spray. (I actually recommend using muffin papers, because these are pretty moist and may fall apart if you don't.) Divide batter into 12 muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Easy Pineapple Chicken

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Easy Pineapple-Soy Chicken

When I was a kid my mom rotated through a few meals that we ate often: beef and barley soup in the crockpot, meatloaf, baked spaghetti, and pineapple chicken.

Her pineapple chicken was baked in the oven with a soy sauce and pineapple chunks and was almost always (sorry Mom) unbearably dry. I don’t know if more went into it than soy sauce and pineapple, but I’ve always appreciated that Asian-y sweet-salty thing going on.

I was trying to come up with something that (a) would not require me to grocery shop; (b) my kids might actually eat; and (c) I could make quickly before Mr. V and I left for a date night a few weeks ago. I had thought about using my slow cooker, but it was too late in the day – and I worried chicken tenders would become terribly overcooked in the crockpot, anyway. (Dry chicken FEAR!) So I adapted Jillee’s pineapple teriyaki chicken to a skillet meal.

Cooking down the sauce allows for a deeper flavor – but if you’re really pressed for time, it’s not necessary.

This was very tasty and my 5-year-old daughter loved it. The poached chicken tenders are soft and flavorful, and the sauce is so good you might just eat it by itself for dessert.

Easy Pineapple Chicken

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders (or sub other chicken parts)

Instructions

In a large skillet, combine pineapple, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer.

Add chicken. Cover. Cook on medium-low until chicken is done, about 15 minutes for tenders, flipping chicken every 5 minutes or so.

Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Turn heat to medium-high and boil sauce down until reduced by about half. It should be a coffee brown.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice.

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