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An easy recipe for Baked Chicken Fajitas | alidaskitchen.com

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Tracking PixelThis easy recipe for Baked Chicken Fajitas is filled with juicy seasoned chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, all made quick and easy in the oven. Thanks to Hunt’s® tomatoes for sponsoring this post.

An easy recipe for Baked Chicken Fajitas | alidaskitchen.com

Chicken fajitas are one our favorite dishes ~ especially since discovering this easy recipe for Baked Chicken Fajitas. From the delicious seasoned chicken to the abundance of crisp-tender vegetables to the tasty toppings, chicken fajitas are one of those meals made with wholesome, real foods that are guaranteed to please the whole family. It’s a win-win!…

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Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake is an easy Italian-inspired casserole that the whole family will love, featuring Greek yogurt, chicken breast, and lots of cheese!

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake | alidaskitchen.com

This Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake was made inspired by the “Chopped at Home” challenge with Sargento® cheese.  For the challenge, at-home cooks are asked to get creative in the kitchen with your best dish, that must include the following ingredients: …

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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta #WeekdaySupper

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is a creamy pasta dish made lighter by using Greek yogurt.  This is a delicious way to eat your veggies plus it’s quick and easy for a weeknight!  {can be gluten free depending on pasta choice}

After making Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta, I was inspired to create more creamy vegetable-based pasta sauces with Greek yogurt.  Since we had some roasted red peppers in the pantry, and the rest of the ingredients on hand, Roasted Red Pepper Pasta was first on the list.  The smokey sweetness of the roasted red peppers combined with cheese, garlic and made creamy with Greek yogurt is so tasty.  The fact that it takes 15 minutes or less to make is even better!…

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Three Bean Vegetarian Chili from Alida's Kitchen

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili #WeekdaySupper

30 Minute Three Bean Vegetarian Chili from alidaskitchen.com Three Bean Vegetarian Chili is so good, carnivores will not miss the meat!  This healthy chili takes only 30 minutes to make, and leftovers reheat well. {vegan, gluten free}

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili, also known as “Veg Head” Chili, is one of our favorite recipes to make during the cooler months. This chili is hearty enough to satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians (and vegans!) alike…due to the addition of the third bean ~ refried beans!  The refried beans are an unexpected addition that thickens the chili perfectly and gives it a the nice hearty texture.  Combined with the other beans and all of the vegetables and spices, this chili has quickly become a family favorite….

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baked sweet and sour chicken with quinoa

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Quinoa

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is a healthy 30-minute meal made with chicken, lots of vegetables, and a light sweet and sour sauce.  It takes just minutes to prepare, making this Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken an ideal weeknight meal that is much healthier than its take-out counterpart.

Here the Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is served over the ever trendy super-seed, quinoa.  You can easily substitute brown rice, or another favorite grain, or eliminate it all together for a lower carb option.

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Quinoa
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick coins
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • nonstick cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk honey, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and 1 tablespoon water.
  3. Toss chicken in 3 tablespoons of honey mixture and place in prepared baking dish. Toss peppers, carrots and scallions in remaining honey mixture and pour evenly over chicken.
  4. Loosely cover baking dish with foil, leaving one end open to vent. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender.
  5. Meanwhile, put quinoa and broth in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover, reduce to a simmer (medium-low) for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
  6. Divide quinoa on plates and spoon chicken and vegetables over quinoa.
Notes
Slightly adapted from Family Circle, June 2013

If you enjoy this recipe, you may also enjoy:

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Lighter Sesame Chicken

 

chipotle macaroni and cheese

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious, cheesy, veggie-filled baked pasta with a Mexican twist.  It is made with three different cheeses (yum!) and lots of vegetables (yum!).  The chipotle chiles add a nice smokiness and spice which, along with the chili powder, balance nicely with the tomatoes and cheeses.  Black beans give a protein and fiber boost while adding a nice color contrast to the rest of the dish.  A traditional breadcrumb topping is sprinkled over the top before baking.

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese is very easy to prepare and the result is no ordinary mac ‘n cheese, that’s for sure. This recipe makes plenty, and the leftovers heat up nicely for lunches the next day.

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese
 
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (or other short pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 (14½ ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, including juices
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from can of chipotle chiles)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting fat and salt.
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chiles, onion, and bell pepper, and cook 4 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently.
  3. Sprinkle with flour and chili powder, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes, or until mixture is thickened.
  5. Add adobo sauce, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, milk, Parmesan and egg, stirring until combined and cheese is melted. Add cooked pasta and black beans, stirring until combined.
  6. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Pour pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Adapted from Cooking Light

healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta with evaporated milk

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta is a one-pot, easy recipe with a cajun twist made healthier!
  Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com
This Cajun Chicken Pasta is an easy, one-pot stovetop dinner made with lots of vegetables and spicy chicken in a creamy sauce.  The hands-on cooking time is around 20 minutes, which means with a little advance prep (chopping vegetables and chicken), this can easily be a weeknight dinner, or a quick dinner any time.  The recipe is also easily halved to make dinner for 2.
healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta
 I used this recipe from Southern Living for my inspiration, but made several modifications to lighten up the dish.  For the cream sauce, I used fat free evaporated milk instead of half-and-half, and the result was great.  It had a creamy texture without being heavy.  I also eliminated the butter in favor of cooking spray and a small amount of olive oil for the vegetables.   I reduced the amount of pasta and added more vegetables.  There is a lot of flexibility with the vegetables to add more or change it up to use up what you have on hand.  The result is a lighter version of Cajun Chicken Pasta that is simply delicious!

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta
 
Author:
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole wheat linguine or fettucine
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (divided), adjust to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat free evaporated milk
  • chopped green onions, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and salt.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and heat oven medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute for 5 to 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken to a plate, tented with foil.
  4. In the same saute pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add red onion, peppers, mushrooms and garlic to pan and saute for 9 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates.
  5. Return chicken to skillet and mix with vegetables. Add evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Add linquine, toss to coat
  6. Garnish with green onions, as desired, and serve immediately.

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

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Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta

When I was flipping through a recent magazine for the second time, I was a little surprised to see that I flagged something called ‘Stovetop Chili Mac.’  It’s not something that I would typically make, based on title alone.  After a quick glance, I could definitely see the potential in this dish – increase the veggies, give it some kick,…and we find ourselves with the delicious Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta.

The beef and zucchini sauce was a spicy and flavorful topping on top of pasta, which is a nice change from your every day bolognese.  The preparation of this sauce reminds me of my go-to taco recipe though.  This recipe makes plenty, so enjoy pasta for dinner and then tacos for lunch the next day.  That’s what we did!

Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta
Yields 4 servings

3/4 pound (12 oz) short pasta, such as rotini or rigatoni
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 green and/or red bell peppers, chopped
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with chiles, including juices
2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, for topping

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium.  Add onion, peppers and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and peppers are soft (about 5 minutes).
  3. Increase heat to medium high, add beef and break it up with a wooden spoon.  Cook until no longer pink.  Add chili powder and cumin, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add zucchini and cook until tender.  Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until mixture is thickened and heated through. 
  5. Divide pasta among 4 bowls, top with meat sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.

Adapted from Everyday Food

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Mustard-Rosemary Chicken Skewers


Happy Summer!  ‘Tis the season for visits to the beach, bike rides, and of course, grilling.  I have several favorite recipes exclusive to the grill, so my anticipation of grilling season rivals that of Christmas.  While I enjoy the reliable stand bys, it is always fun to find new and healthy recipes to add to the favorites.  


So in the spirit of summer, when I saw this recipe for Mustard-Rosemary Chicken Skewers, I could not wait to fire up the grill!   Skewers are such a convenient way to serve your meat and veggies, all threaded on a handy little stick.  Plus there is something fun about having dinner on a stick.    

These tasty skewers did not disappoint.  The rosemary, mustard and balsamic vinegar are an incredible flavor combination with the chicken and veggies.  From the original recipe, I reduced the oil, used chicken breast instead of legs, and increased the balsamic vinegar, scallions, and garlic (can never have enough garlic!).  I have written the recipe below according to these changes. 

These skewers are perfect for entertaining at your next summer celebration and have landed a spot on the grilling favorites list in this house.

Have a great weekend!

Mustard-Rosemary Chicken Skewers
Yields 4 servings

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill (or use cooking spray on grill)
1 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

Note: if using wooden skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling…perfect to do while the chicken and vegetables are marinating.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Slowly whisk in the oil.
  2. Place chicken, bell pepper and scallions in a Ziploc bag.  Add the marinade, making sure to coat chicken and vegetables. Refrigerate at least 40 minutes.
  3. Heat the grill to medium high and brush with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray).  Thread chicken, peppers and green onions on skewers.  Transfer to grill and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is charred and no longer pink (approx 8 minutes). 

Adapted from Fitness Magazine

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Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

It is not very often that a new recipe immediately leaps way to the top of the list.  But when I saw a tasty recipe in Experience Life magazine, I think my heart skipped a beat with excitement.  I got that ‘I just found a recipe that will change your life’ feeling.  Cheese, black beans, green onions, garlic and spices, all nestled in a tasty little jalapeno?  Seriously?  Time to fire up the grill!

In fact, I was tempted to simply grab a spoon and eat the filling straight from the bowl.

I resisted and instead stuffed these beautiful jalapenos.  The result is a delightful, healthy twist on a jalapeno popper.

This heavenly dish makes for a perfect appetizer at any summer gathering, yet is easy enough to whip together for a light weeknight dinner.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
Yields 8 (appetizer) or 4 (dinner) servings

16 jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the peppers.
  2. Make a lengthwise slit down each pepper, leaving the stem intact; carefully remove ribs and seeds.  (Tip: a quick rinse helps remove the seeds from the inside, lessening the heat)
  3. Distribute filling evenly among peppers (about 1 tablespoon per pepper).
  4. Heat grill to medium heat.  Place stuffed peppers on a sheet of foil on the grill.  Cover and cook until cheese mixture has melted and peppers are softened, about 10-15 minutes.

Adapted from Experience Life