Friday, December 2, 2016

Simple Lentil Chili

There isn't anything that I don't just love about this recipe. 30 minutes to make, all pantry ingredients, you can cook it once and then reuse the chili in everything! Plus lentils simply could not be any better for you. And my family members that aren't huge fans of beans, they actually like lentils. 

Lentils for the Win! 


8 cups broth, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 (16-ounce) package brown lentils (about 2 1/4 cups lentils)
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes


Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables brown and begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, about 6 minutes. 

Stir in 3 tablespoons of the broth and continue to cook, stirring, until onion is soft and lightly browned. 

Stir in garlic and chili powder and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

Add lentils, tomatoes and remaining broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. 

Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Perfectly Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes

While roasting potatoes in the oven is one of the most simple ways to cook them. You can actually follow these simple steps to make truly awesome and dare I say Perfect! oven roasted potatoes. 

If you boil the potatoes first and then toss them with oil and seasonings and roast them in the oven, you can roast them at a higher temperature and get a super crispy outside while the inside gets fluffy and airy. 

I can get a little bit passionate about my potatoes, but it is really because they are just So Freaking Delicious!!


2 pounds waxy or all-purpose potatoes, like red skinned or Yukon Golds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Scrub your potatoes clean (or peel them) and cut them into your desired shape. Place them in a sauce pan with a tablespoon of kosher salt and cover them with about an inch of cold water. Bring this to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook 4-5 minutes, just until the edges are softened but the centers are still hard.

Drain the potatoes and put them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle them with one teaspoon of kosher salt. Place a dinner plate over the bowl, and holding it tight like a lid, give the potatoes a few good shakes to roughen up the sides and edges.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer over a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping the potatoes every 15 minutes until they're evenly browned and crispy. Allow to cool slightly and serve immediately.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken

This is one of the most popular recipes on Pinterest - ever. 

Of course, over there it is called Crack Chicken. Because anything with bacon and a package of ranch mix has to be called Crack.  I don't like it, but here I am saying it anyway.  Don't be afraid to try this recipe because you want to be different than everyone else (I was), or feel like you are promoting addiction (I HAD to change the name). This chicken really actually is very very good. It is insane how easy it is. And if you don't want to eat it on sandwiches, you can use inside enchiladas, on chicken salad, for tacos, on top of rice...  the list is almost impossibly long. 


2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
2 (1 oz) packets dry Ranch seasoning
8 oz bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

In a slow cooker combine place chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until chicken shreds easily.

Once chicken shreds stir with a large fork or spoon, so the chicken shreds and all the ingredients combine.

Add in crumbled bacon and stir to incorporate.

Serve warm.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Healthy Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Have you nearly exhausted yourself with all the holiday hassle, and the shopping and the family together-ness?  Do you know what you need?  This Chocolate Cake. 

You need at least two slices, and it is healthy, so you can probably have three. 


 1 cup all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 
1 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup nonfat buttermilk 
1 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree 
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed 
1 large egg, at room temperature 
1 large egg white, at room temperature 
1/4 cup canola oil 
1/4 cup light corn syrup 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

1/2 cup packed confectioners' sugar 
1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk 


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. 

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. 

Blend 1 cup buttermilk, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in whole egg and egg white. Stir in oil, corn syrup and vanilla. 

Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. 

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack, about 2 hours. 

To glaze the cake: Combine confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon buttermilk in a small bowl, stirring until completely smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the top.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Easy and Healthy Apple Crisp

I love apple crisp. I love it plain just like this, and I love it when you make it all fancy with caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. What's not to love?

Another reason that I love apple crisp, is that I can use apples that were less than ideal for eating. You know, those apples that start rolling around in the bottom of the fridge and start to look a little bit like they are part of the raisin family. You can totally use those apples. - Otherwise, what are you going to do with them? 


For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, diced into small chunks

For the Apple filling:
3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium size bowl combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.

For the Apple Filling: In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. 

Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat. Pour apple mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. 

Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.