Thai Red Curry Noodle Bowls

These curry noodles are cradled in a complex broth that features sweet, tangy, savory, spicy, and creamy notes to it. Top it off with some fresh onions, crunchy peanuts, spicy peppers, and awesomely seasoned chicken for an unrivaled eating experience. You will be filling your body with healthy food and you won’t even know it because you’ll be too busy being in heaven. Don’t try telling any of this to a toddler. They will just whine at you. Trust me, I tried.

Thai Red Curry Noodle Bowls


Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Noodle Bowls

  • 4 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 6 oz dry rice noodles
  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 16 oz broccoli slaw mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Garnish

  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • green onions, sliced
  • cilantro
  • chopped, roasted peanuts

Instructions

  1. Slice the chicken breast thinly across the grain. Add it to a bag or bowl with the marinade ingredients and toss to combine.

  2. Read the instructions for your rice noodles. If they need to be cooked get the water boiling. If they need to be soaked get a bowl of cold water. Prepare noodles according to package directions. 

  3. Add the dry ingredients to a small bowl (bullion through ginger). Slice the onion and bell pepper. Prepare your garnishes.

  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes. The medium heat will help prevent grease fires if your attention is diverted. Turn the heat up to high and watch it carefully for about a minute. 

  5. Once the oil is smoking the slightest bit, add the chicken. Spread the chicken in a thin layer in the bottom of your pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip. Cook an additional minute.

  6. Remove chicken from pot and add the last tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add onions and peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli slaw mix and cook an additional 1 minute.
  7. Add water to the pot and scrape the bottom to remove the delicious browned bits. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, lemon juice, peanut butter, and the dry ingredients. Stir to combine and then simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the noodles and chicken. Stir to combine. Serve immediately with desired garnishes.

I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that normally when I garnish I do it for the photo. Not the case with this dish. Do not skip the garnishes! The noodles and broth are delicious. But the contrast of the yummy broth with something fresh, something spicy, and something crunchy is too amazing to pass up.

Sometimes I wonder where people get their ingredients or what brands they use. For the noodles it doesn’t matter much. The first two times I made these noodles I used some brown rice noodles that I bought at an Asian food store probably 2 years ago. We didn’t really like the noodles the first time we tried them, so they sat in my pantry for forever. Fortunately, the broth for these curry noodles saved them from the trash can. I’ve also used the noodles below that you can find at most grocery stores, and they turned out great that way too. But I prefer slightly thicker rice noodles for this dish if you can find them.

For the curry paste, I used this one. You can find this stuff everywhere when you don’t live in the South. Since I do live in the South, I have to go to Publix. They have the fancy stuff.

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t she make a noodle dish with coleslaw mix recently?” Well this dish uses broccoli slaw, so it’s totally different! But I couldn’t find broccoli slaw when I photographed this, so the photos actually have cole slaw mix. I swear they are totally different! These noodle bowls will change your life in a good way. Try them today!

Enjoy!

That Red Curry Noodle Bowls – Get Hooked on Cooking – These curry noodles are cradled in a complex broth that features sweet, tangy, savory, spicy, and creamy notes to it. Top it off with some fresh onions, crunchy peanuts, spicy peppers, and awesomely seasoned chicken for an unrivaled eating experience. You will be filling your body with healthy food and you won’t even know it because you’ll be too busy being in heaven. Don’t try telling any of this to a toddler. They will just whine at you. Trust me, I tried.

World’s Best, Easiest, 5-Ingredient Mug Brownie

Okay, I know it’s been done to death, but this mug brownie is worth it. It’s fudgy and moist, and we share realistic tips on how to not get lumps. Only 5 ingredients! Perfect for a last minute Valentine’s treat!

World's Best, Easiest, 5-Ingredient Mug Brownie


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 ½ Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 2 Tbsp 2% milk

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl measure out sugar, flour, and cocoa powder.
  2. Add milk and butter to your mug and microwave 30 seconds. The butter should be almost completely melted.
  3. While the mug is in the microwave whisk the dry ingredients together. This will help break up lumps.
  4. Pour the milk and butter into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk until combined, 30-60 seconds.
  5. Pour the mixture back into the mug, making sure to scrape the bowl.

  6. Microwave for 60 seconds. Center should look a bit molten, but when you tip the mug the brownie should not slide around. 

  7. If your brownie slides, microwave it in 5 second bursts until it stays still when tilted. Let it cool for about 2 minutes before eating.

Recipe Notes

  •  It may seem like a hassle to use a bowl for mixing, but you will get a much smoother brownie with no lumps. Trust me, you will spend more time trying to mix it in your tiny mug and you will end up frustrated and still have lumps. 
  • You do not need to sift your ingredients. Whisking them is enough to get a smooth batter.

I have tried a lot of mug brownies out there, and I decided there’s room for improvement. There has been way too much flour in every brownie recipe I tried; we’re not making a mug cake here, folks. Also, people use too many ingredients. You don’t need a pinch of salt when you use salted butter. You can’t taste a drop of vanilla so just leave it out. I don’t care for using part of an egg because I’m never going to remember to use up that partial egg in my fridge. The good news is leaving out the egg makes these even fudgier. We’ve broken it down to the basics. You’re welcome.

My husband is a brownie addict, so this recipe is dedicated to him. It’s such a fun treat and so easy to make. I just have to exercise self control to not make it too often.

The batter fills up about half of an 8 oz mug. It is the perfect size for one person with just enough room for ice cream or whipped cream if that’s your thing.

I had to double it up because I’m a food blogger and it looks pretty intense dripping down the sides like that. Not super realistic but definitely drool worthy.

And obviously you have to top it off with some ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a cherry. I would go for some caramel and nuts instead of that chocolate sauce. Just dreaming out loud.

We don’t normally keep ice cream in the house because then we eat ice cream every day. My husband told my daughter, “Thank mommy’s blog that we have ice cream.” To which she dutifully responded, “Thank you mommy’s blog.” My whole family loves you awesome readers! Thanks guys!

Enjoy!

World's Best, Easiest, 5 Ingredient Mug Brownie – Get Hooked on Cooking – Okay, I know it's been done to death, but this mug brownie is worth it. It's fudgy and moist, and we share realistic tips on how to not get lumps. Only 5 ingredients! Perfect for a last minute Valentine's treat!

Vegetable Lo Mein

I think of this as cheater lo mein because it’s filled with vegetables, but you just have to chop 1 onion and 1 bell pepper. It’s super easy and somewhat kid-friendly (can’t be perfect in that department). And it’s vegetarian while still being satisfying and filling.

Vegetable Lo Mein


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

Lo Mein

  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 lb tri color coleslaw mix
  • 7 oz lo mein noodles

Sauce

  • ½ cup oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Garnish

  • green onions or cilantro optional

Instructions

  1. Start a pot of water boiling for your noodles. Peel and slice onion. Seed and slice red bell pepper. In a small bowl whisk eggs until well-beaten. In another small bowl mix together the sauce ingredients.
  2. Add lo mein noodles to the boiling water. Cook according to directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While lo mein noodles are cooking, heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray and cook eggs until dry, not creamy. Remove eggs to a bowl. Wipe out pan if bits of egg remain.
  4. Heat non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the peppers and onions. Stir-fry the peppers and onions for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove peppers and onions to a plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add coleslaw and stir-fry 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted.
  6. Add lo mein noodles, sauce, peppers, and onions to the pan with the coleslaw. Toss to combine and top with green onions or cilantro if desired.

Recipe Notes

Tip: food prep is important when stir-frying so we have all the prep in the first step. Don’t try to prep in the middle!

We like to eat vegetarian on occasion to save money and to stay healthy. Neither of us care for tofu or tempeh, which can make it harder than just substituting our favorite meat dishes with a vegetarian protein. I’m not willing to sacrifice on flavor to eat vegetarian (shocker, right?). This veggie lo mein is super satisfying and packed with flavor.

I said this is somewhat kid-friendly because in theory kids like pasta, right? My toddler has been extra picky lately so the first time I made this, I used two of her favorite vegetables, broccoli and corn, and I patted myself on the back that I had made a dinner that she would eat. Well, not only did she refuse to try it but she told me she now hates broccoli and corn. So that’s fun. She did end up trying it (it was that or go hungry) and loving the noodles but she adamantly refused to eat the vegetables. I believe her specific opinion was, “Yummy, it’s sweet! I love sugar!” Then she requested it for dinner the next week so I patted myself on the back again. The next week she said she hated it. That’s real life with a toddler for you.

You will not regret making this quick lo mein. It is great on its own or you can serve it with your favorite asian meal.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Lo Mein – Get Hooked on Cooking – I think of this as cheater lo mein because it's filled with vegetables, but you just have to chop 1 onion and 1 bell pepper. It's super easy and somewhat kid-friendly (can't be perfect in that department). And it's vegetarian while still being satisfying and filling.

Breakfast Quesadillas

Breakfast quesadillas are my favorite quick breakfast. They are so simple but ridiculously satisfying and incredibly versatile. There’s nothing like a crispy corn tortilla paired with melty cheese and a rich egg. Instructions are included for a runny yolk and a firm, but creamy, yolk.

Breakfast Quesadillas


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 2 corn tortillas
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp grated cheddar cheese
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat a non-stick skillet for 5 minutes. Temperature depends on the desired doneness of your yolk. See notes below.
  2. Have all your ingredients right by the skillet so you can work quickly. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1 tortilla in the middle of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle ¼ cup cheddar in the middle of the tortilla. Spread the cheese out in a circle leaving about a 2 inch circle of empty tortilla in the middle.
  4. Crack the egg into the hole in the cheese. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese on top of the egg. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Top with second tortilla. Spray with cooking spray. Cook according to directions below depending on the desired doneness of your yolk.

For runny yolk:

  1. Turn your stove to medium heat. After assembling quesadilla cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Flip quesadilla and cook uncovered for 2 more minutes.

For firm and creamy yolk:

  1. Turn your stove in between medium and medium-low heat. After assembling quesadilla cover the pan and cook for 4 minutes. Flip quesadilla and cook uncovered for 3 more minutes.

These delightful little breakfast treats were first introduced to me years ago when my husband and I were white water rafting and we were served breakfast quesadillas. I’ve been making them ever since, mostly with leftover scrambled eggs. But I like the idea of having a whole egg in the middle and I finally got the method down.

My husband likes his yolks runny, which is hard to do in a breakfast quesadilla. The tricky thing is the egg can run out the side when you flip your quesadilla. But if you wait until the egg is set to flip it, the yolk cooks through while you’re crisping the second side. This is the beauty of the cheese ring. The cheese melts around the egg and holds it in place for the flip. So your egg is still runny but it doesn’t run out the sides. Then when you cut into it, you get golden lava perfection.

When I was a kid we only ate our eggs scrambled and we always cooked them until they were dry. I distinctly remember my first exposure to over easy eggs. I was 13 or 14 and I was at a sleepover and there was a huge platter of over easy eggs served with breakfast and I thought it was the strangest thing I had ever seen.

We didn’t watch much TV, and that was before I started browsing the Internet for recipes, but it still surprises me that I had no exposure to runny yolks before that. Now you can barely glance at your phone without seeing a sunny-side up egg on a piece of avocado toast.

I still don’t love my yolks runny, although I will eat eggs that way now instead of having some crazy identity crisis. My ideal breakfast quesadilla has a yolk that is set, but creamy.

Check out all that cheese!

Yum! I like to serve these plain with fruit on the side, but my husband likes to load his up with salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, etc. You could also add cooked sausage or veggies inside the quesadillas. Make these your own! But, most importantly, make them! Love them! Be happy, and eat cheese!

Enjoy!

Breakfast Quesadillas – Get Hooked on Cooking – Breakfast quesadillas are my favorite quick breakfast. They are so simple but ridiculously satisfyingly and incredibly versatile. There's nothing like a crispy corn tortilla paired with melty cheese and a rich egg. Instructions are included for a runny yolk and a firm, but creamy, yolk.

Cheesy Bean Dip

These beans are seriously addictive. I was tasting them to adjust the salt, and I couldn’t stop eating them. Don’t eat canned refried beans. They are the worst. You can make these with just 10 minutes of hands-on time! Even better, they are freezer friendly, so you can have amazingly delicious refried beans whenever you want!

Cheesy Bean Dip


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dried pinto beans
  • 12 cups water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4-5 cups diced onion 4 medium onions
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar optional

Instructions

  1. Sort through beans removing any rocks. Rinse beans if desired and add to a large pot with the water. Soaking beans is not necessary! Bring to a boil and set your stove at a temperature that barely maintains a boil when pot is covered. Boil 2 hours or until beans are very tender.
  2. Reserve 3 cups of bean broth. Drain remaining liquid and set drained beans aside.
  3. Add oil to pot and turn heat to medium. When oil is hot add onions and turn heat to high. (I don't heat the oil on high to avoid potential kitchen fires.) Cook onions until lightly browned and translucent.

  4. Add beans, salt, and 2 cups of broth to the pot. Simmer at least 10 minutes to allow the flavor of the onion and salt to incorporate into the beans.
  5. Add cream cheese and mozzarella. Puree using an immersion blender until the beans are your desired consistency. Add more bean broth if desired to reach a smoother texture. I like to have some whole beans in the mix so 2 cups was perfect for me. 

  6. Top with shredded cheddar if desired. To be more fancy, transfer to a baking dish, top with cheddar, and keep warm at 250 degrees until you are ready to serve.

Canned refried beans are fine, sorry I said they are the worst, but homemade are so much better that they don’t even fall in the same food category. My mom spoiled us and always made homemade refried beans. I didn’t know there was any other way to eat refried beans for years. I still make homemade refried beans all the time, and the key to their amazing flavor is onions cooked in oil and the right amount of salt. This recipe was born because I had an extra block of cream cheese I needed to use up. Homemade refried beans are amazing, adding some cheese makes them irresistible.

I’ve already tried this dip out on dinner guests, and that’s going to happen a lot in the future. It’s the perfect dish to serve a crowd.

The health benefits of subbing this bean dip for your typical nacho cheese are ridiculous! Pinto beans are high in protein, fiber, vitamins B1 and B6, iron, magnesium, and potassium among other things. They can lower cholesterol, lower your risk of a heart attack, and increase your digestive health! Yay for beans! When I say lean protein you probably picture oven-roasted chicken. Well, no more! Pinto beans for president!

It’s easy to top this bean dip with other powerhouse health foods like salsa, onions, avocado, hot sauce, and tomatoes! Although I wouldn’t say no to a nice dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Bean Dip – Get Hooked on Cooking – These beans are seriously addictive. I was tasting them to adjust the salt, and I couldn't stop eating them. Don't eat canned refried beans. They are the worst. You can make these with just 10 minutes of hands-on time! Even better, they are freezer friendly, so you can have amazingly delicious refried beans whenever you want!

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo

Chicken alfredo gets a healthy boost from spaghetti squash and broccoli without sacrificing flavor. It is a new family favorite around our house.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 lb spaghetti squash
  • vegetable oil for drizzling
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder for sprinkling
  • 2 broccoli crowns, chopped into florets
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan

Instructions

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Drizzle some oil inside the hollow of each spaghetti squash half. Use your fingers to spread the oil all over the inside of the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with salt, garlic, and pepper.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place both squash halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove squash from oven and add the broccoli florets to the baking sheet. Sprinkle broccoli with salt and spray broccoli with cooking spray. Return broccoli and squash to oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the chicken and sauce near the end of the roasting time. Place a non-stick frying pan on the stove on medium heat. Allow to heat for 5 minutes. While the pan is heating, cut chicken into ¾ inch cubes. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot pan. Allow the oil to heat about 2 minutes until hot.

  5. Add chicken to the hot pan. Turn stove heat up to high. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the chicken to coat it in seasoning and oil. Leave it in a single layer in the pan for 2 minutes to develop some color. Flip or stir the chicken and allow it to cook another 2 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
  6. Add cream to pan and allow to thicken stirring occasionally, 5-8 minutes. Add parmesan and stir for about 1 minute until parmesan is incorporated. Add chicken and cook until chicken is cooked through. The chicken may already be done from the previous step, if this is the case just stir to combine. Remove from heat and allow to thicken about 5 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is thickening use two forks to shred the spaghetti squash. Add squash and broccoli to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley and additional parmesan if desired.

Recipe Notes

When heating the pan, we use medium heat because that gets the pan hot enough without damaging the nonstick surface. Once we add the chicken we turn the heat up because non-stick pans don't retain heat well.

Pasta is not my favorite meal, but the rest of the family goes gaga for it, so we end up eating pasta pretty often. I need a lot of cheese and cream if I’m going to get excited about pasta. Enter chicken alfredo. I don’t make it often (newsflash: it’s not super healthy). But with this many vegetables I can justify it every once in a while without batting an eye.

Roasting the broccoli gives it an extra flavor boost. You can put it right on the baking sheet with the spaghetti squash after the first 30 minutes.

We would love to hear about your favorite pasta dishes. Let us know in the comments!

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo – Get Hooked on Cooking – Chicken alfredo gets a healthy boost from spaghetti squash and broccoli without sacrificing flavor. It is a new family favorite around our house.

Doritos® Taco Salad

Yes, you should eat this salad. It has Doritos® in it, but weren’t you looking for an excuse to eat Doritos® guilt-free anyway? A delicious combination of crisp, healthy ingredients and indulgent delights.

Doritos® Taco Salad


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 dinner salads

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained
  • cup taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup mild Pace salsa
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 romaine hearts
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos® regular or party-sized, depending on how naughty you feel
  • sour cream optional

Instructions

  1. Add lean ground meat to a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat until done. Add water, beans, taco seasoning, cumin, and garlic. Cook until beans are hot and sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Wash your lettuce and chop lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Dice your tomato. Slice your cucumber length-wise into quarters and then slice the other way into ⅛ inch slices.

  3. Add vegetables to a large salad bowl. Top with meat-bean mixture. Add ranch, salsa, and crushed Doritos®. Toss to combine and serve immediately. Top with sour cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

I normally make this salad ⅓ at a time and put the remaining meat-bean mixture in the fridge for later. ⅓ of this salad will make a filling meal for 2 hungry adults. 

I was talking to my Mom over a year ago, and she told me, “Jen made me the best taco salad while I was visiting her. You have to get the recipe.” Well, I can’t pass up the opportunity for a good recipe, and I have been making it ever since.

Jen’s original recipe called for cheddar, but I did an experiment on my cheese-obsessed husband. The first time I made it with cheese, the second time I left it out. He didn’t notice any difference so I decided to nix the cheese. I’m going to be in serious trouble if he ever finds out he missed a potential cheese consuming opportunity.

You may be thinking, “Doritos®? In a nice healthy salad? What are you trying to do to me?” But I promise you, it’s worth it. To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to live in a world where I can never eat chips. We have a fairly strict chip policy in our house. Neither my husband nor I have any self-control, so we only buy them if they are part of a meal. Or if my husband coerces me. Whichever comes first. So now you’re thinking, “Are you using salad as an excuse to eat chips?” Yes, yes I am.

But seriously, there are some nice healthy aspects to the salad. The original recipe has lettuce as the only vegetable because that reduces chopping. I kept it simple by only adding cucumber and tomatoes. I highly recommend the cucumber if that’s your thing. It complements the heavier flavors of the salad beautifully, and it is so quick to chop a cucumber. But make it your own by removing ingredients or adding avocado, corn, cheese, cilantro, or anything that makes you happy. Although, Jen will be upset if you leave out the ranch dressing, salsa, or chips. So let’s not upset Jen and make some delicious Doritos® Taco Salad!

Enjoy!

Doritos® Taco Salad – Get Hooked on Cooking – Yes, you should eat this salad. It has Doritos® in it, but weren’t you looking for an excuse to eat Doritos® guilt-free anyway? A delicious combination of crisp, healthy ingredients and indulgent delights.

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

This is one of my most requested recipes so it’s about time I got it up on the blog. Parmesan ranch chicken is perfect if you are feeding picky people. It’s amazing if you are tired and you need a quick meal. It’s a secret weapon for unexpected guests. It’s delicious enough for special dinners and celebrations. It comes together with just a few minutes of prep and only takes 10 minutes to bake!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large, boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Remove all fat from outside of chicken breast. Slice against the grain into ½ inch thick slices.
  3. Add chicken to a large bowl. Pour on half the ranch and toss to coat. Add additional ranch as needed to coat chicken.
  4. Spread chicken out on the bottom and up the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle with about half of the parmesan, breadcrumbs, and garlic. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with more parmesan, breadcrumbs, and garlic and toss again.
  5. Spray an aluminum foil-lined cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in a single layer on baking sheet. Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray (this helps the chicken crisp up).

  6. Bake on the bottom rack of your oven for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Check chicken by slicing the thickest piece and looking for any pink color.

When I was a kid we used to have parmesan chicken bites for dinner all the time and they were gone so quickly you had to fight for your share. I have two older brothers and two younger sisters and when my brothers and I were all teenagers at the same time the amount of calories consumed rivaled feeding an NBA basketball team. Ranch dressing takes my childhood favorite to a whole new level. Use caution if feeding ravenous teenagers.

We don’t eat a lot of meat in our family so this is a four serving recipe for us. If you normally eat a large meat course expect this to only feed two of your family members. I normally double it to have leftovers. I’m not the type to eat parmesan chicken just once. Did I eat the leftovers for breakfast straight out of the fridge? Yes, and I don’t feel ashamed.

I love to serve lots of veggies with this, since it is not my lightest meal. Roasted potatoes and broccoli are my go-to sides, but it was delicious with hummus and veggies that I already had on hand. Can you tell I was trying to get photos taken before my daylight was gone? What’s with the sun setting before 5:30? Doesn’t it know I’m trying to food blog over here?

Enjoy!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken – Get Hooked on Cooking – This is one of my most requested recipes so it’s about time I got it up on the blog. Parmesan ranch chicken is perfect if you are feeding picky people. It’s amazing if you are tired and you need a quick meal. It’s a secret weapon for unexpected guests. It’s delicious enough for special dinners and celebrations. It comes together with just a few minutes of prep and only takes 10 minutes to bake!

 

Our Healthiest Recipes of 2017

Happy New Year everybody! Are you all working on your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re an anything like us, you enjoy finding easy ways to improve your health. We love healthy, simple recipes so we thought we would share our 16 healthiest recipes of 2017!

Taco Quinoa

This is on of our favorite quinoa recipes. It is quick to throw together, it has the comfort of cheesy Hamburger Helper, and it is loaded with healthy ingredients.

Taco Quinoa

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus for Beginners

We love hummus as a quick and healthy snack at our house. What we don’t like is the price tag on store bought hummus. This recipe is super easy and delicious.

Sweet & Tangy Peanut Stir Fry

There’s something about an amazing peanut sauce, and this one hits the spot. Pair it with your favorite stir fry ingredients for an unbelievably delicious meal.

Indian Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower

This yummy dish is so warm and comforting, perfect for a cold winter night. Best of all, you can make it in your slow cooker!

Creamy Mushroom Quinoa

My personal favorite quinoa recipe. It reminds me of Thanksgiving stuffing but brings some healthy ingredients to the mix to make this a great comfort food to start off your new year!

Orange Sunrise Smoothie

The perfect vitamin C burst to help you hit your fruit quota for the day!

Greek Quinoa

This is a great main dish or pairs perfectly with some grilled chicken or hummus for a flavorful and veggie-packed meal!

Cheesy Beef & Black Bean Casserole

I pretty much can’t say no when it’s time for a nice, hot Mexican casserole. Yum, yum, yum!

Indian-Fusion Tacos

I could eat these tacos every day for weeks without getting tired of them. Latin and Indian ingredients combine to make these tacos explode with flavor!

Korean Veggie Pancakes

Shredded vegetables never tasted so good. With a food processor these come together in a snap. With a crispy exterior and a delicious dipping sauce, your waist and your taste buds will thank you.

Roasted Mexican Cauliflower

Mexican seasoning plus roasting bring out amazing flavor in a vegetable that is chock full of vitamins. Don’t delay, make this for your next taco night!

Cajun Spinach Quinoa

With tons of veggies and quinoa you may be questioning whether this is a delicious dish. Well, I tried it out on a bunch of comfort food-loving southerners and it got rave reviews!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

It’s not too late to take part in pumpkin season. These bars taste like pumpkin pie, but they are a satisfying and filling breakfast!

Easy Brussels Sprouts Salad

If you’re not a fan of cooked sprouts, this is a great way to add this superfood to your diet! Raw Brussels sprouts are very mild, and a food processor takes care of your chopping for you.

Chipotle Pot Roast Chili

Sweet, smoky, spicy, warm, and delicious! This chili is the perfect accompaniment for a winter night by the fire.

Tortilla Soup

Nothing chases the winter blues away like a nice hot soup. Ring in the new year with this beautiful bowl of goodness! You won’t regret it.

Our Healthiest Recipes of 2017 – Get Hooked on Cooking – Happy New Year everybody! Are you all working on your New Year's resolutions? If you're an anything like us, you enjoy finding easy ways to improve your health. We love healthy, simple recipes so we thought we would share our 16 healthiest recipes of 2017!

Tortilla Soup

This soup is so easy, healthy, and delicious! The base is fresh and flavorful, and there are so many amazing toppings mixed in that each spoonful is a treat. There’s nothing like the combination of creamy queso fresco, rich avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, and lean chicken. If you are looking to eat healthier this year, why not start with this yummy hot soup? It is packed with tomatoes, avocado, onions, garlic, and chicken. How can you say no to superfoods and lean protein?

Tortilla Soup


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1-2 cups yellow onion, diced (1 medium-large onion)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes
  • salt to taste

Toppings

  • 2 avocados
  • 10 oz queso fresco
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 6 corn tortillas cut into strips
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat until hot, 3-5 minutes. Add oil and heat until hot, 30-60 seconds. Add onion, cook 1 minute stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute stirring occasionally.
  2. Add whole tomatoes. You do not need to cut the stems off the tomatoes! You do not need to dice them! But go ahead and do those things if you want. This is a low effort soup but I’m not going to fight you about how much effort you want to put in. That would make it high effort for me.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are very tender.
  4. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or traditional blender until it is very smooth. Return soup to pot and season to taste with salt. I measured how much salt I put in so I could tell you guys, but then I promptly forgot how much I used. ½ a teaspoon sounds like a good starting place though.

  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, dice or crumble the queso fresco, prep your cooked chicken, and dice your avocado.

  6. Add 1 inch of oil to a separate small pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it crackles when a drop of water is added. Slice the tortillas thinly and fry them 1-2 minutes until crisp.
  7. Serve soup hot with generous amounts of the toppings.

Recipe Notes

Tip: Queso fresco is easy to find at your local grocery store. Look for it in the cheese section.

I had an amazing roommate in college who shared my love of cooking. I still have some meals I make that she taught me and this is one of them. I had never heard of queso fresco before but, once I tried it, I was hooked. Don’t be intimidated by queso fresco; it is easy to find at your local grocery store in the refrigerated cheese section.

I love memories of eating this in our run-down college apartment. Cooking with someone else who loves to cook is a real treat for me. It’s so fun to share ideas and food.

It’s hard to find words to describe this soup because it’s so good and at the same time so unique. The ingredients are simple and they don’t hide behind a large list of seasonings. I don’t want to say “delicious” too many times but it’s hard not to. Stupendous! Fabulous! Fantastic! Too much?

The queso fresco is definitely one of the stars of this dish. It melts slightly when you add it to the hot soup, but doesn’t disappear into the soup like many cheeses would. The fried tortilla strips are the perfect complement to the other flavors and textures.

This soup is so easy there’s no reason to not try it! Bring some healthy deliciousness to your New Year!

Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup – Get Hooked on Cooking – This soup is so easy, healthy, and delicious! The base is fresh and flavorful, and there are so many amazing toppings mixed in that each spoonful is a treat. There's nothing like the combination of creamy queso fresco, rich avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, and lean chicken. If you are looking to eat healthier this year why not start with this yummy hot soup? It is packed with tomatoes, avocado, onions, garlic, and chicken. How can you say no to superfoods and lean protein?