Fit Chicken, Broccoli and Noodle Casserole

Fit Chicken, Broccoli and Noodle Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Here’s another casserole idea for you!  This is more of a “classic” casserole.  More like the kind that I grew up on.  It’s got shredded chicken, broccoli, and noodles that are all covered in a slightly cheesy sauce.  It’s topped with bread crumbs for a little crunch and texture of which I think that crispy top layer is most definitely my favorite part.

Can I just say that I love the fact that this casserole isn’t made with canned soup?  The sauce somewhat resembles it, but the homemade version of the sauce is much tastier and it also yields better nutritional value.  Yay!  Plus it’s really not that hard to make.

I will say that this casserole isn’t going to “blow your socks off” with crazy flavor.  It’s more mild in flavor, but is still super delicious.  It’s great because it will please just about anyone since there isn’t anything weird or extreme in it.  It’s just a fabulous comfort casserole without all the extra calories.

Also, this came together SUPER fast because I had already slow-cooked and shredded a big batch of chicken the day before I made this.  I like to do this every-so-often so that I have shredded chicken on hand for fast dinners.  The shredded chicken freezes well too, so this is a HUGE time saver for me.

I also saved the chicken broth from the slow cooker when I made that big batch of chicken and then I used it in this recipe.  You totally do not have to do this, but I thought I would share this little tip because it’s obviously “free” broth and I think it tastes a little better than canned broth.

Here’s to making dinner easy, simple, healthy and fast . . . for all of those crazy days!

Fit Chicken, Broccoli & Noodle Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Fit Chicken, Broccoli and Noodle Casserole
Adapted from Skinny Taste

6 oz no-yolk noodles
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz fresh broccoli florets, chopped
1 tablespoons light butter (I used Smart Balance)
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1-3/4 cups fat free chicken broth
1 cup 1% milk
12 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
4 oz shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar
cooking spray
3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)

Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and a little salt, sauté and cover the broccoli for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the broccoli begins to soften. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a large pot, heat butter over medium-low heat, when melted add the shallot andcook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined over medium heat; whisk well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat and add reduced fat sharp cheddar and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese; mix well until the cheese melts.

Add the shredded chicken, noodles and broccoli to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated.

Pour into a casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Place the casserole under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp and golden (careful not to burn).

Serves 6 (Easily)

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  257.3
Protein:  13.5g
Carbs:  30.9g
Fat:  8g (3.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.2g
Sugars: 4g

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Every-so-often I am looking for a good and healthy casserole to make.  This gets tricky for a couple of reasons.  1 – Casseroles are usually not healthy.  2 – Casseroles usually use canned soup of which I am not the biggest fan.  So, I get kind of picky when it comes to making casseroles.  BUT, casseroles are so wonderful because they are great one-pan dishes that feed a crowd.  So, I never stop searching for tasty and healthy casserole dishes.

This is my current favorite casserole dish!  It’s loaded with traditional Mexican flavors and the texture is phenomenal thanks to the black beans and quinoa.  It is really easy to make and takes little effort.  The prep time takes about 20 minutes (that’s to chop up and sauté the veggies and cook the quinoa) and the bake time is 30 minutes.  So, I essentially had dinner ready in 20 minutes, and used the 30 minute bake time to make a green salad AND wash the dishes so I wouldn’t have to do much after dinner.  Pretty awesome!

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Whole) - Mimi's Fit Foods

I loved adding the fresh toppings to the cooked casserole.  The green onions, fresh cilantro, and avocado were oh-so-perfect.  It hyped up the freshness and intensified the Mexican flare.

This is also a meatless casserole.  That being said, the addition of shredded, cooked chicken would work SO well here (and stretch the servings).  I have NO doubt that I’ll be incorporating that on occasion to increase the protein content.

This is going to become a regular around our house!  Please make it at yours . . . and then bring me a plate.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups 99% fat free chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups red enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour – optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Add quinoa and broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add cheese and pour in the enchilada sauce and stir to combine.

Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Note-this recipe freezes well!

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  289.7
Protein:  15.9g
Carbs:  38.6g
Fat:  9g (2.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  9g
Sugars:  3.3g

Slow Cooker Thai Soup

Slow Cooker Thai Soup | Mimi's Fit Foods

I think I’ve professed both my love of Thai flavors and my love of the slow cooker.  So, I guess it’s no wonder that I love this recipe!  I mean, we’re talking very little work for a meal full of Thai-infused deliciousness?  Yes, please!

Have you ever had Tom Kha Gai soup?  This soup is kind of like that.  It’s not exactly, but it resembles several of the same flavor notes that you’ll find in Tom Kha Gai.  The good news about this recipe is that I’ve cleaned it up so that it’s not over 400 calories a serving, yet it still contains all those delicious Tahi flavors.  Yay!

I served this with a scoop of Soft & Fluffy Baked Brown Rice.  Again, not a lot of work to get the rice ready for dinner.  I think this meal is going to make the “regular” list around my house!

Recipe Note:  You’ll see that I used PB2 in the recipe.  It’s a powdered peanut butter that has a lot less calories than regular peanut butter.  If you don’t have PB2, you can easily just substitute regular peanut butter (but your calories per serving will increase a little bit).

Slow Cooker Thai Soup
Adapted from Foodie Crush

2 tablespoons red curry paste
3 cups light coconut milk (2 cans)
2 cups 99% fat free chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons PB2
2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (I used orange)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lime juice
cilantro for garnish
cooked brown rice

Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Add in the peas and cook for 1/2 hour longer. Stir in lime juice and serve with cilantro and brown rice.

Serves 12.

Nutritional Information Without Rice (Per Serving = Approx. 1 Cup)
Calories:  147
Protein:  17.2
Carbs:  7.7g
Fat:  5.1g (3.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.1g
Sugars:  4.8g

Orange Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry

Orange Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry - Mimi's Fit Foods

Stir-Fry is one of my go-to dinners.  It comes together in a flash, it’s healthy, and I love that it’s loaded with lots of veggies!  This time I decided to give it a nice orange flavor and it was so, so yummy!  I cut the calories down by using Tropicana 50.  It only has 50 calories per cup so I felt totally okay about doubling the sauce.  The sauce has a strong orange flavor and the sweetness is balanced with other popular Asian flavors such as garlic and ginger (orange and ginger were just meant to go together if you ask me).

To cut down on time, I bought pre-cut veggies.  So, all I had to do was cut up my chicken and I was good-to-go.  This comes together so super quick which is so nice when I have an adorable toddler pulling on my leg while I cook.  Oh, and it made a ton!  We’ve been eating leftovers and the hubby has enjoyed having a hot lunch at work the past few days.

Orange Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry
Adapted from the Daydream Kitchen

For the Sauce:
1 cup Tropicana 50 Orange Juice
zest from one orange
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon honey

For the Stir-Fry
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
6 cups chopped fresh veggies (broccoli, peas, mushrooms, bell peppers)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Put all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Whisk together.  Over medium-high heat, bring the sauce to a boil.  Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper (on both sides).  Put chicken and onions in warmed skillet and cook until onions are softened and chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken and onions from skillet and set aside (I usually put the chicken on a plate).

Put the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet.  Throw in the chopped veggies and stir-fry for about 2-4 minutes.  You want the veggies to be crisp-tender when done.  (I usually decide they are done with the broccoli turns a bright, vibrant green.)  Add chicken, onions, and sauce to the veggies and stir until warm, about one minute.

Serve over brown rice.

Serves 6 (quite generously), but can easily stretch this out to 8-10 servings.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving Without Rice)
Calories:  217.2
Protein:  26.7g
Carbs:  16.8g
Fat:  6g (0.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.2g
Sugars:  7.4g

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos - Mimi's Fit Foods

Here’s another fabulous meatless meal!  We get some nice protein from those healthy black beans and lots of other good nutrients from the sweet potatoes.  Black beans and sweet potatoes are such a lovely combination.  Mix them with some Mexican spices, throw in some fresh cilantro . . . and, we’ve got ourselves a winner!

I love how fast this recipe comes together.  And, a HUGE bonus is that you can leave the leftover filling in your fridge to whip up a burrito whenever your heart desires.  This has come in handy for lunches as well as lazy and/or busy nights when dinner is pretty much not gonna happen!

I wasn’t so sure that my little person would eat this in burrito form, so I mashed a portion of the filling and made a quesadilla for her.  I threw it in the oven with the burritos, cooked it for the same amount of time, and that worked like a charm.  She found her little quesadilla to be quite yummy.

These have easily jumped high up on my list for go-to dinners and will easily make the dinner/lunch rotation often.  These would also be great with the addition of cooked chicken and there’s no doubt that I’ll be adding it from time-to-time.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos
Adapted slightly from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed small (about 3-4 cups)
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 small red onion, diced small (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (depending on your taste)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1/2 cup part-skim Mozzarella, shredded
8 burrito-size whole wheat tortillas (100 calories each)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, jalapeño, red pepper and red onion with the olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Dump the coated veggies onto a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 18-20 minutes, tossing halfway through. The vegetables should be tender but not mushy at the end of cooking time.

Let the vegetable mixture cool. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and toss with the black beans, cilantro and lime juice. Taste the mixture and add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Refrigerate the mixture until ready to assemble the burritos or use immediately.

Place 3-4 tortillas on a microwave-safe plat and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 15-20 seconds until the tortillas are pliable. Place 2/3 cup or so of the vegetable mixture in the center of the tortilla and top with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Fold in the sides of the tortilla and roll up. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas until you have all the burritos you need (the filling can be refrigerated and used for 3-4 days).

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 10-15 minutes, until heated through and the top of the tortilla is golden brown. Adjust the baking time as needed depending on if the filling has been refrigerated or not. For a softer tortilla, wrap each burrito in tin foil and heat through. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Burrito)
Calories:  229
Protein:  15.6g
Carbs:  40.6g
Fat:  6.8g (1.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  18.5g
Sugars:  1g

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Sandwiches - Mimi's Fit Foods

The cold weather and sick season attacked our home this past week.  We’ve been down-and-out.  We’ve been living off of soup and protein smoothies around here.

However, there was one day this week when I actually found the energy to throw this meal in the slow cooker.  I’m so glad I did too!  It was super duper easy and the results were quite tasty!  I love using my slow cooker on days when I feel lazy or tired or busy.  I can basically get my meal made in the morning and there are little-to-no dishes when dinner time rolls around.  (That, to me, is the TRUE bonus of slow cooking!)

The flavor of these is definitely Asian-inspired (thus, the recipe name, LOL).  What really makes them taste Asian is the lime, cabbage, and cilantro.  The ginger in the sauce helps too.  The chicken/sauce is very mild and all the toppings bring it to a nice, fresh level.

This is a great weeknight meal.  If I can pull it off while on my sick bed, I’m pretty sure anyone can pull it off!  This is a slow-cooker keeper for sure!

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Sandwiches
Adapted from Get Crocked

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice, divided
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
fresh cilantro, chopped
6 whole wheat thin buns, for serving

Add chicken to slow cooker.  Combine onion, ginger, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

When chicken is done, remove from sauce, shred, and return to sauce.  Change slow cooker to warm setting.

When ready to serve, place chicken on thin bun and top with cabbage, red onion, fresh cilantro, and a splash of fresh lime juice.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Sandwich)
Calories:  297.8
Protein:  29g
Carbs:  44.3g
Fat:  2.7g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  6.4g
Sugars:  19.7g

Chicken, Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stew

Chicken, Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stew - Mimi's Fit Foods

Yuuuuuummmmm.  This was soooooo tasty!  When I first read about this stew and the blogger said she would give it a 15 out of 10, I was sold!  And, I’m gonna have to totally agree with the rating.  It’s so hearty and I loved the flavor combination of the chicken, butternut squash and quinoa.  I thought the Kalamata olives were a weird addition, but I was too curious to not throw them in.  I’m glad I kept them in the recipe because they give a nice salty and distinct bite to the stew.  The herbs are perfect in here.  There’s a nice dominate oregano flavor and the fresh parsley gives it that perfect finish.

It’s gotten really cold around these parts and this stew was perfect on a cold night.  I can’t WAIT to eat the leftovers.  This is for sure jumping to the top of my list of cold-weather favorites!

Chicken, Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stew
Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth (99% Fat Free)
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.

Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.

In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.  Add chicken breasts, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.

Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the salt, minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.

To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.

Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.

Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.

Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley and serve.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approx. 2 Cups)
Calories:  295.2
Protein:  28.7g
Carbs:  36.4g
Fat:  5g
Fiber:  7g
Sugars:  4.2g