BALSAMIC CHICKEN SALAD

This salad is so so good! and EASY! I can’t rave enough about it! With a little over 20 minutes prep work you can’t beat it. Balsamic sauce with fresh tomatoes, chicken and basil… yummm… I like to add goat cheese or feta for a little extra 😉 This recipe comes from Taste of Home.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 21 min. prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 9 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Large Skillet
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Mixing spoon

The Recipe

Time: ~21 min. prep

Servings: 4-6

Calories/serving (6): ~ 226

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each), cut into 3-inch strips
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (or grape)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups torn mixed salad greens

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté chicken in 1 tablespoon oil until no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from pan.
  2. In the same skillet, bring vinegar to a boil. Add the chicken, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and remaining oil; cook and stir until heated through. Divide salad greens among six plates; top with chicken mixture.

Pesto Chicken Pizza

I recreated this recipe from one of our favourite restaurants in the area – Kettle Drums. They have such good pizza! The pesto sauce is a nice twist from the usual tomato and the goat cheese and grape tomatoes are nice and refreshing! I hope you enjoy this recipe it’s one of our favourites 🙂

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 25 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 7 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can find at a grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Rolling pin
  • Pizza pan/round baking sheet
  • Flour
  • Spoon
  • Knife
  • Cheese grater
  • Cutting board

Time: 25 min. prep + 18 min. cook = 43 min. total

Servings: 8 slices

Calories/slice: ~ 305

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb pizza dough
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken or turkey
  • Slice red onion (as much as you like)
  • Sliced grape tomatoes (as many as you like)
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of basil pesto sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to pizza pan or baking sheet.
  3. Spread pesto sauce on top of pizza dough.
  4. Top with mozzarella, goat cheese, chicken, red onion, & grape tomatoes.
  5. Place in the oven and bake until edges begin to brown, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven to cool, slice and enjoy!

Coq Au Vin

I decided to try this recipe when my cousin selected the country of France for our culture night that week. I got the recipe from Half Baked Harvest’s cookbook and a similar recipe can be found HERE. She has many different versions of this recipe on her blog, one for the instant pot, one with meatballs, if you want to try a different version. However, this recipe was delicious and so heartwarming. Serve it with mashed potatoes or pasta and some fresh bread for dipping! I served it with a Beaujolais wine. Bon Appetit!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • ~1 hour prep time
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 16 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate – Difficult

Equipment Required:

  • Dutch oven
  • Mixing spoon
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Can opener (for tomato paste)
  • Wine opener (for wine)

Time: ~ 1 hour of prep & cooking

Servings: 8 servings

Calories/serving: ~ 304/serving (not including side such as mashed potatoes)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 small sweet potato or russet potato, peeled & cubed
  • 2 medium size carrots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken tenders or small chicken breasts
  • 2 cups button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups red wine, plus more if needed (I used Pinot Noir)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/3 – 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped (or 1 – 2 tbsp. dried)

Directions:

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crispy (about 5 min.). Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil, the onion, garlic, carrots and potato. Cook the veggies, stirring often until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and then scooch the veggies to the outside of the pan to make room for the chicken.
  2. Add the other 2 tbsp. of olive oil to the pan if needed. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the hot pan and sear on both sides until browned. About 4-8 minutes per side, depending on how thick your chicken is. Toss in the sliced mushrooms and cook another minute or two.
  3. Slowly pour in the red wine and chicken broth. Add the a bay leaves and thyme and season with salt + pepper. Gently stir everything to combine and then bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about 1/3.
  4. To serve, remove the bay leaves and thyme from the Coq au Vin. Plate the mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Serve the chicken on the side or on top of the mashed potatoes/noodles and then ladle the sauce + veggies over the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Stuffed Chicken Rolls

This recipe is sooo delicious! It’s a little higher on the prep time but the slow cooker does all the cooking for you and you have a delicious meal ready for you at dinner time. The chicken is literally fall apart combined with ham and cheesy goodness and a yummy sauce! Pair it with a garden salad or pasta or rice and you have yourself a meal! We will definitely be making this recipe again!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 42 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 11-12 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Meat mallet
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Can opener
  • Knife
  • Tooth picks
  • Bowl
  • Large skillet
  • Slow cooker

Time: 42 min. prep + 4-5 hours cook time

Servings: 6

Calories/serving: ~ 525

I got this recipe from Taste of Home. You can find the original HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (227 grams each)
  • 6 slices fully cooked ham (I used deli honey ham)
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 can (284 ml) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

Directions:

  1. Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness; top with ham and cheese. Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with toothpicks.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, cheese, sage, paprika and pepper; coat chicken on all sides. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine soup and broth; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove toothpicks. Garnish with parsley if desired.
    Freeze option: Cool chicken mixture. Freeze in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through slowly in a covered skillet, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165°.

Curried Chicken Turnovers

This recipe is great if you have leftover chicken or shredded turkey in your freezer! The sweet and savoury filling inside pie pastry is so delicious! Pair with your favourite salad and you have yourself a meal! You can also freeze leftover turnovers and then just pop them in the oven or microwave to eat later.

Time: 45 min prep + Bake 20 min. = 1 hour 5 min.

Yield: 8 turnovers

Calories/Turnover: ~512

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pastry for double-crust pie (I used Pillsbury)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Divide dough into eight portions.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 5-in. circle. Place about 1/4 cup filling on one side. Moisten edges of pastry with water. Fold dough over filling; press edges with a fork to seal.
  3. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with egg. Cut 1/2-in. slits in top of each. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Equipment Required:

  • Bowl
  • Slap chop
  • Mixing spoons/cups
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Rolling pin
  • Brush

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 45 min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Fajita Pizza

This is one of our go to homemade pizza recipes! I got the recipe from LCBO Food & Drink. I also recommend making the Chipotle Tomato Sauce for the pizza. It makes enough sauce for 4 pizzas so it’s totally worth it! Chicken fajitas meet a pizza what’s not to love? I hope you guys give this recipe a try for your next pizza night! You won’t regret it!

Time: 30 – 45 min prep time (depends on whether or not you have precooked turkey or chicken on hand) + 20 min cooking time = 50 min. – 1 hour 5 min. (Note: Does not include prep time for tomato sauce)

Yield: 8 slices

Calories/Slice: ~459

Ingredients:

  • 1 store-bought or homemade pizza dough, about 1.5 lbs (750g), at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips*
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Chipotle Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/4/ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C).

2. On a lightly floured surface roll pizza dough out to fully cover a 12 x 17-inch (30 x 43-cm) baking sheet.

3. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil over medium high, add chicken, cumin, salt and pepper to taste and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Set chicken aside in a bowl.

4. In the same pan add the rest of the oil, add onions and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes and add garlic, continue cooking until onions are golden and peppers are tender, about 3 minutes more. Place chicken in pan and combine with peppers and onions, season to taste and set aside to cool slightly.

5. Evenly spread pizza dough with Chipotle Tomato Sauce.

6. Distribute chicken mixture over sauce and then sprinkle evenly with the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.

7. Bake in oven on the lower rack for 20 minutes or until both cheese and crust are golden, remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.

8. Let rest a few minutes before slicing. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.

Notes: *If you have precooked chicken or turkey in the freezer this saves about 10-15 minutes of prep time.

CHIPOTLE TOMATO SAUCE

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (796 ml) with juices
  • 3 chipotle peppers (I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • 1/2 cup smoky style barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water

1 In a medium pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add tomato paste, cumin and garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

2 Add tomatoes, chipotle peppers, barbecue sauce, oregano, salt and water.

3 Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, let cool slightly and purée.

Makes 4 cups (1 L)

Equipment Required for Pizza:

  • Rolling pin
  • Sauté pan
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cheese grater
  • Baking pan

Equipment Required for Tomato Sauce:

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Mixing spoons/cups
  • Can opener
  • Pot

Recipe Review (just for Pizza not including sauce):

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 8
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 30 – 45 min prep time (depends on whether or not you have precooked turkey or chicken on hand)
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 13 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie

I tried HBH Brown Sage-Butter Chicken Pot Pie (which you can see in my pictures) from the HBH Super Simple book but it just didn’t compare to my mom’s recipe. It is too good not to share her recipe instead so you are in for a treat! The HBH recipe was just so runny/soupy, while my mom’s is nice and rich and creamy! So below you will get the recipe for my mom’s Chicken Pot Pie. It is 100% foolproof and my absolutely favourite meal to eat during fall/winter. It also freezes very well so you can add this recipe to your list of freezer meals 🙂 I hope you guys enjoy!

Time: 30 min – 1 hour to prep + 15 – 20 min cook time

Yield: 6 servings

Calories/Serving: 304 – 354 (depends on your crust topping of choice)

potpie4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth*
  • 3 cups cooked cubed chicken or turkey**
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (depends how much veg you like)
  • Bisquick biscuits or puff pastry or pie crust***

Directions:

  1. Cook onions in butter until tender (not brown).
  2. Blend in flour and salt. Stir in broth. Cook & stir until thickened and bubbling.
  3. Add cooked chicken or turkey and veggies. Heat until bubbling.
  4. Pour into a casserole dish and top with biscuits, puff pastry, or pie pastry.
  5. Bake at 450F for 15 – 20 min until topping is cooked/brown.

Notes:

*I usually use chicken Bovril to make broth which you can find here.

**I cannot emphasize how invaluable having cooked shredded turkey in your freezer is. We always buy turkeys, cook, shred them and then divide them into bags for the freezer to have later for meals exactly like this. It will help cut down on prep time. If you have to cook and cut up the chicken it will increase prep time.

*** This is entirely personal preference. I prefer puff pastry because it doesn’t take as long to cook and cuts down on prep time. Biscuits will take time to prepare and when I use pie pastry I find it hard to get it to fully cooked underneath because it’s touching the wet pie.

Freeze option: If you plan on freezing this meal put the pot pie in a casserole dish. If using puff pastry or pie pastry you can put the topping on the chicken mixture and cover and freeze it. If you are making biscuits I would wait until actually cooking the chicken pie. When ready to eat pull out chicken pie to thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter. Cook at 450F for 20-30 min until bubbling. Then I would put on the biscuits and bake for another 15 min. until the biscuits look done. For the pie and puff pastry I would do a similar time of 35 – 45 min total but watching to see when the crust browns.

Equipment Required:

  • Deep frying pan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Casserole dish

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30 min – 1 hour of prep (1 hour if you have to cook the chicken, only 30 minutes if you already have cooked turkey or chicken on hand)
    • Rating: Easy – Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 8 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Cheesy Oregano Chicken & Broccoli Pesto Panini

This panini is cheesy, savoury, deliciousness, chock full of greens! I got it from the Half Baked Harvest cookbook. The broccoli, Greek yogurt and arugula gives it a healthy, fresh taste and makes me feel less guilty about eating it 😉 Now I will say these paninis are a bit more time consuming than I would like. It is a special treat and something I would be more apt to make on a weekend. I hardly ever use my panini press so it has inspired me to try more panini recipes!

Time: 38 min prep + 15-20 min in the panini press

Servings: 4

Calories/Panini: 754

Ingredients:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded*
  • Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • Broccoli, cut into florets and coarsely chopped
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Shredded fontina cheese**
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil pesto
  • Ciabatta rolls or loaf
  • Fresh arugula***
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Notes:

*I had shredded turkey on hand. One of my favourite things to do is cook a whole turkey, shred the meat and put 1 cup bags in the freezer. It is so handy for casseroles or recipes where they ask for shredded chicken or turkey. When turkey is on sale its more affordable than buying a rotisserie chicken from the deli.

**I couldn’t find fontina so I used provolone slices as a substitute.

***I had spinach on hand so I used that instead.

If you want detailed quantities or instructions on how to make it you can purchase the cookbook here. Or view her video here. Otherwise, I’m sure you get the idea with the ingredients listed above.

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Cheese grater
  • Panini press or cast-iron skillet & grill pan

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 38 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 12 ingredients
    • Most ingredients are normal but I was unable to find fontina cheese
    • Rating: Moderate

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I made this recipe from a cookbook Half Baked Harvest Super Simple Cookbook. You can purchase it on Amazon. I am cooking my way through it and loving it so far!

This recipe is sooooo gooood! If you love mushrooms, garlic and parmesan then you’ll be in heaven. It is so savoury and comforting. But be warned it’s enough to feed a village so you better like leftovers 😉

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Yield: 16 cups

Calories/Serving: 190/cup

Ingredients: 20

Equipment Required:

  • Instant pot, slow cooker or stovetop
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Food processor (optional for chopping vegetables)
  • Cheese grater
  • Forks
  • Skillet

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour 45 minutes of prep
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 20 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate – Difficult