If you’re anything like me..the cold weather and the holiday season lead to comfort food cravings, which then leads to excessive eating.. ok lets be real, carb loading..Maybe its that were cold and we want to fill our belly with mashed potatoes, Maybe its that we know we can throw on an over sized sweater and hide our tater handles.., whatever the reason is I wanted to share with you some of my guilt free “Go to,” “Comfort foods!”
Super easy, Filling, Simple and flavorful. You can start it on a stove top and throw it into a crockpot or simply just cook on your stove top and serve. Serve with a side of bread or a small salad.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
1 lb hot Italian sausage
1 lb pasta, any shape will work
1 quart diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 cups roughly chopped spinach
Optional: fresh mozzarella cheese or parmasan
Heat olive oil in a large pan.
Slice italian sausage and brown in the olive oil.
When the sausage is almost brown add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth and water.
Stir well and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the sausage off.
Heat to a boil and add the pasta, spinach and garlic.
Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally.
Cook for around 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
Optional: top with fresh mozzarella cheese.
This is the basic recipe with a few modifications-
I double the meat, so I use 10-12 oz and i use a turkey italian sausage and a HOT italian sausage
I use whole grain pasta, barely cooked, add it in last or noodles will get soggy
I add more veggies, like 1/2-1 cup more then recipe calls for
Soup is best started on the stove top then moved into a crockpot but still tastes good if just made on stove top
I always throw in zucchini, roughly 2 cups towards the end because I don’t like it soggy
Teriyaki crockpot meatballs and roasted brussel sprouts
The great thing about turkey teriyaki meatballs is that it can be an entree or an appetizer! I often cook up about 2-3 packs of trader joes pre cooked turkey meatballs and store them in tupperwear for a quick grab and go lunch or dinner. If you’re hosting a party they’re A HIT to serve with toothpicks!
1 – 4 pound bag of pre-made, pre-cooked 1/2 ounce meatballs (If you decide to make your own, you’ll need around 130 meatballs)
1 bottle of Soy Vay Teriyaki sauce (if you can’t find this, use another teriyaki sauce you love)
2 cans of pineapple chunks
1 can of pineapple juice (you’ll need this, as the cans of pineapple chunks don’t quite provide enough juice)
1 large sweet onion, sliced into rings
Turn crockpot to high
Layer sliced onions on the bottom of crockpot
Add pre-cooked meatballs (if making your own, I recommend you brown them first)
Shake Soy Vay Teriyaki sauce (bottle tends to settle), pour entire bottle over meatballs I buy at trader joes.
Add 2 cans of pineapple chunks with juice
Add additional pineapple juice until about an inch below the top of the meatballs
Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours (the longer the better). If you don’t have a crockpot, cook in a pot and bring to a low simmer. Cover and let cook for 2 hours, making sure to check often
Set oven to 350. Lay foil on cookie sheet,Rinse, Slice in half, coat with coconut oil ( you can heat coco-oil in microwave to make it easier to spread) try a spoon full and go from there. Season with salt & pepper. Bake for 12-15 min, Broil on high for 2-4 mins. Checking on them!
Turkey stuffed peppers
1 lb 99% lean ground turkey .5-1 cup brown rice or quinoa
1 1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 hot pickled Serrano pepper, chopped (or jalapeno) more to taste
2 large diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small chopped onion
4 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp cumin
kosher salt to taste
( you can also use a taco seasoning packet for a more simple method of seasoning)
6 red bell peppers
2/3 cup reduced sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Sargento Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp chopped scallions, for garnish
In skillet, brown the turkey and season with salt. When browned, add onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, Serrano pepper, diced tomatoes, cumin, oregano, brown rice or quinoa and chili flakes. Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean out the peppers, removing seeds and stem. Cut a small amount of the bottom of the pepper so that it will stand straight on baking sheet. Fill each pepper with turkey mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish. Cover tight with foil.
Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the peppers become soft. Remove foil, top each with 1 1/2 tsp of cheese and bake uncovered for 5 minutes.
The Serving Size is for if you were to cut the peppers in half. We left them whole because this was our full meal with no extra sides. Serving Size: 1/2 pepper, Calories: 160, Fat: 3 g, Carbs: 19 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 15.5 g, Sugar: 1 g, Sodium: 119 (without salt).
1⁄2cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size strips
1(8 ounce) packagesliced fresh mushrooms
1(8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup broccoli
1 pepper diced
1/2 yellow onion diced
2 scallions, sliced thin (white part plus 2 inches of the green part)
In a small bowl, whisk together teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and vinegar. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 Tbsp water and stir into the sauce mixture; set aside.
In wok or large skillet over high heat, heat oil and stir-fry chicken 2 minutes.
Add vegetables and cook about 2 more minutes until chicken loses its pink color and vegetables soften.
Add sauce to skillet and cook, stirring, until heated through and sauce is thickened.
Serve over brown rice, white rice or whole wheat noodles!
Chili is the ultimate fall and winter comfort food. Who can say no to a bowl of warm, thick chili that’s loaded with tender chicken and hearty cannellini beans.
It’s some of the best chili I’ve ever had and will be on rotation all winter
It’s so easy and ready in 30 minutes. No need to stand over a simmering pot for hours. Many ingredients get tossed into the pot all at once and in no time this hearty, healthy, and comforting chili is ready. Like all chili it tastes better the day or two after you make it and the flavors marry.
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
7 to 8 ounces canned green chilis, don’t drain (I used mild heat)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see step 4 below about blending 1 cup of the beans with a splash of chicken broth or water)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
tortilla strips, chips, crackers, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream; all are optional for garnishing
To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
Add the onion, jalapeno, green chilis, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
Add the chicken broth, chicken, cannellini beans including whole beans and blended bean mixture (take 1 cup of the beans, add to a food processor or blender, add a splash of chicken broth or water and blend until smooth; mixture should be thick. Add the blended bean mixture along with the whole beans to pot), lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 7 to 10 minutes. It’s unlikely, but if at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your chili to be thinner, add 1 cup of water or as desired; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end. For thicker chili, allow mixture to boil longer and reduce until desired thickness is reached.
Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
Taste chili and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, etc.).
Ladle chili into bowls, and optionally garnish with tortilla strips, chips, crackers, avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I’m pretty sure you too are going to love these! What’s not to love? You get part of your daily veggie intake in pizza form and they are incredibly easy to make (especially when you use a store-bought marinara sauce) – we are talking like 15 minutes prep. Then, they only take about 15 to bake so you’ve got an amazing 30 minute meal right here. Busy days just got a whole lot better.
6 small zucchini (2 1/2 lbs)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce (I used Prego merlot marinara)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1.4 oz)
1/2 cup mini pepperoni slices
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, set aside.
Cut each zucchini into halves through the length (if they don’t lie flat trim a thin portion from bottoms so that they will lie mostly flat. I only had to do this with one of them). Pat insides dry with paper towels (cut portion). Align on prepared baking sheet. In a bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic then brush lightly over tops of zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste then brush a slightly heaping 1 Tbsp marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated. Sprinkle tops evenly with mozzarella cheese then with parmesan cheese. Top with pepperoni slices (placing them more near centers as the cheese will melt and spread). Bake in preheated oven 12 – 18 minutes (bake time will vary depending on how thick your zucchinis are and how crisp/tender you want them).
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh oregano. Serve warm.
Don’t let the cold weather and holiday season set you back! Stay on track while eating delicious, warm foods! Turn going out, to staying in! Invite friends over for a warm guilt free meal. Comment, or tag me in your food pics, if you try any recipes! IG-Breemaielf Facebook- Breanna Marie!