Spinach, Red Pepper & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Whenever my sister and/or I go home, our parents always ask us what we’d like for a “special” meal. It’s not that I don’t cook nice meals on my own, it’s just that there’s something about cooking when I’m home (or having my parents cook for me) that makes a meal EXTRA good. Amiright?

Over Easter weekend, my sister and my parents (I sat at the kitchen table, drank wine and kept them company….) whipped up a delicious stuffed chicken meal and ever since then I’ve been thinking of different variations that I could make. I think the key to making stuffed chicken meals even more delicious is including cheese in them, right? Lately, I’ve been a big fan of using Laughing Cow Cheeses in my dishes (Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Chicken with a Laughing Cow Cheese Sauce and Creamy, Cheesy, Sauteed Veggies), so I decided to continue the streak and use them in my stuffed chicken recipe.

Spinach, Red Pepper & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients (serves 2-3 people, depending on how big your chicken breasts are)

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • thin slices of red pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2-3/4 cups marinara sauce


1. Pre-heat your oven to 350*. Cut up your red peppers and onion and gather your spinach.

2. Rinse the chicken and cut a big slit into each breast horizontally (just make sure not to cut them in half!) so that you can stuff it with your ingredients. Layer the spinach first, then cut each wedge into smaller pieces and place on top of the spinach. Lastly, place the red peppers on top. Close the chicken breast and put a toothpick on either end to hold everything together.


3. Heat a pan with a few tablespoons of EVOO. Once it is warm, place the chicken breasts in the pan as well as the onions. Let everything cook for 5-7 minutes.


Clearly I didn’t have toothpicks and had to cut up some extra long matches to do the trick. Hey- whatever works!

4. When the chicken has browned on the outside, spread a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and place the chicken breasts and onions on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink).


While this recipe did take some time to assemble (and requires touching raw chicken…), it was absolutely worth it in the end. I served my stuffed chicken along side a bowl of spaghetti squash, sauce and a bunch of wine-sautéed veggies. Ending my weekend on a healthy meal is the best way for me to get back on track for the week ahead. Anyone else do this?


I’ve loved enjoying these leftovers all week- having a healthy dinner ready to quickly reheat after a long day and tough workout is my life saver!

Questions for you: What are your favorite ingredients to stuff chicken with? Do you like to end your weekend with a healthy meal or do you prefer to start fresh on Monday morning?


Chicken Taco Salad

Since my sister’s bathroom was being renovated last week, she ended up staying with me all week. As much as I love living alone, it was really nice to have her with me for the week. I wouldn’t want a friend staying with me for the week (sorry, no offense!), but there’s something different about a sister staying with you… especially when you’ve lived together for a number of years.

As a thank you, she went shopping and got ingredients to make us taco salads. I ended up cooking since I was home from work a lot earlier than she was, but I appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to go out and buy the food!

We used ground chicken, sautéed veggies and I even made my own taco seasoning! I was talking to a coworker and she said she makes her own since the ingredients in those packets are less than stellar. And, you know what?! It was so easy and so good… and I liked that I knew exactly what I was putting into the seasoning. I adapted a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats and can now never go back to store bought seasoning packets.

To help cut back on calories and carbs, we decided to serve the meat and veggies atop spinach (with a little quinoa/rice mixture). But, let’s be honest, I only did this so I could justify having extra chips on the side 😉 Regardless, the “mix” that I came up with would be good atop a salad, in a wrap or even on it’s own. It was a quick and easy weeknight meal.

chicken taco salad


  • 1lb. ground chicken
  • 1-2 cups of cooked quinoa or rice (we used a bag of the Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice things)
  • 1/2-1 cups green pepper and red pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 cup black beans (rinsed)
  • Romaine lettuce/spinach
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt, pepper, other herbs/seasonings of your choice (and wine- I always sautee veggies in wine)

Seasoning Ingredients (from Iowa Girl Eats)

  • 2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprikaI didn’t have this so I skipped it
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powderI didn’t have this so I skipped it
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Cut up your peppers and onion. Heat a pan with 1-2 tbsp EVOO and add in the pepper and onion and minced garlic. Add in herbs/seasoning/wine as desired. Additionally, cook the quinoa or rice according to the package.


2. While the veggies are cooking, prepare the seasoning and set aside. Once the veggies are done, remove from the pan and brown the chicken. Once the chicken is almost fully browned, add in the seasoning mixture. Mix well and then add in the cooked peppers and onions, as well as the rinsed black beans and corn. Sautee until everything is warm.


3. Put a serving of quinoa or rice atop a bed of spinach and then place the taco mixture on top of that. You can also serve it in a wrap or taco if you wish. I topped mine with a little cheese because, well, cheese makes everything better 😉


We were so happy with the results of this quick and easy weeknight meal! It was so flavorful and healthy- a win, win (side note: I originally typed in “wine” instead of win… is that a problem?) in my book.

We both enjoyed leftovers throughout the week- she made a wrap for dinner and I ended up having another salad exactly like this!

Questions for you: Do you like to eat taco salads, wraps or plain ol’ tacos? Have you ever made your own taco seasoning?




Quinoa, Black Bean, Veggie & Spinach Stuffed Peppers

For me, Sunday mornings usually consist of getting up, having a relaxing breakfast while watching TV and then thinking about what I want to make for dinner. It’s easy to always think back to the same things, but I try to make something new each week because my list of things “to make” is, seemingly, never-ending. This past Sunday, though, I wasn’t in the mood for anything labor intensive, but I knew I wanted something healthy and “homey”. After a little brain searching, I decided I would make stuffed peppers! I’ve made stuffed peppers before, but since I never make the “stuffing” the same way, I figured it would be like trying a new recipe!

The best part of the recipe? It was so easy! As I was making it, I actually thought to myself “wow. Not a lot of chopping or simmering or dishes. Awesome”.


Quinoa, Black Bean, Veggie & Spinach Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients (my recipe makes 2 stuffed peppers)

  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4-1/2 black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • Big handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese (1/4-1/2 cup… or as much or as little as you want!)



1. Preheat oven to 350*. Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds. Place on a tray and set aside. (Tip: I cut up the tops of the peppers and use that for the stuffing, too.)


2. Cook the quinoa according to the package (1/2 cup quinoa, 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and let boil for about 12-14 mins or until the water has been absorbed). Cut up your onion and pepper tops and sauté with 1tbsp minced garlic and 1tbsp EVOO. I also added a few dashes of white wine… because, well, wine why not?


3. Rinse your beans and add those, the corn, diced tomatoes (drained) and spinach. Sauté until the spinach has wilted.

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(Note: I made way more stuffing than needed… I could’ve made 4+ peppers. whoops. The amounts above should be good for 2 peppers)

4. Add 1/2-1 cup of the cooked quinoa to 1/2-1 cup of the veggie and spinach mixture. Mix together with 1/2 cup marinara sauce and a small sprinkling of cheese (1/8-1/4 cup to keep everything together).


5. Stuff the peppers and top with additional cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. I also broiled mine for 2 minutes to get extra browning 😉

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Mmm. Now doesn’t THAT look delicious! What I love about stuffed peppers is that they are a complete meal on their own. Veggies, protein, dairy… Love it!


I had lots of stuffing mixture leftover and have been adding it to salads all week. I also see myself making a quesadilla with it!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite stuffed pepper stuffing? What’s your favorite meal that has all the food groups in it? When do you meal plan?

Spinach & Goat Cheese Chicken Meatballs

Hi! I’m not sure about you, but getting up on the first Monday after the “spring ahead” daylight savings is just not that fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love the extra daylight at the end of the day, but the first couple of mornings are always hard to adjust to.

Last night I made a delicious dinner, but before I get to that, I have to share how stinkin’ cute my parents are.  It cracks me up because they are SO into my blog, and even though I laugh when they talk about it, it really means the world to me that they take time every day to check it out and that they support me in this. Anyway! My sister was home (so jealous) and I knew my parents were going to cook a favorite meal of hers. As I started on my own dinner, I got the following texts

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I asked for the recipe, but mom said “no no no. This is not a healthy meal for your blog”, so I just have to go by pictures… Looks pretty freaking good to me! Like I’ve said before, mom really does make the best chicken parm!

family meal family meal 2

Onto my dinner…

I was looking through my phone the other day and I saw a picture of a chicken meatball dinner that I made a while back.  As soon as I saw that picture, I knew that I was in the mood to make a similar meal tonight.  I have to admit something to you, though… I totally suck at creating recipes. I hate measuring things out when I am making the recipe up as I go along (heck, I don’t even like to measure when I bake, but I know that I have to), so I tried to eyeball and estimate how much of everything I was putting into the meal. Hopefully you’re a similar “ad-lib” cooker!

Spinach & Goat Cheese Chicken Meatballs (served atop spaghetti squash & sautéed veggies)


For the meatballs-

  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken (my sister is making chicken burgers tomorrow, so I saved her 1/2 of the package)
  • 1 egg white
  • 2-3 tbsp. bread crumbs
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup wilted spinach
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • dash of salt & pepper
  • 1 small spaghetti squash

For the sautéed veggies-

  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced green pepper
  • 1/8 cup summer squash
  • salt, pepper & garlic
  • 1 tsp EVOO


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400*. Cut open, de-seed and boil spaghetti squash. Same way that I explained before. This one was so small that it only took about 10-12 minutes to cook.

0252. Mix Meatball ingredients together in a small bowl and use your hands to form small, golf ball sized meatballs. Place on a greased pan (or pizza stone, in my case) and bake for about 20ish minutes (or until they are fully cooked).



3. While the meatballs are in the oven and the spaghetti squash is cooking, cut up your veggies and saute them until everything else is cooked. I cut mine extra thin tonight so that helped to speed up the cooking process.


Once the squash is finished, remove from the water and shred some of it into a bowl. Top with veggies, sauce, and meatballs.


Mmmm! I will say that the meatballs needed a little extra seasoning from what I originally did, so I accounted for that when I was estimating amounts above. The flavor with the goat cheese and spinach, though, was on point! I liked adding the sautéed veggies as they helped to beef up the spaghetti squash.

It’s worth noting that I baked some butternut squash to have on the side as well (holy veggie filled meal!). Nothing fancy, I just cut it up, used some spray Pam, salt & pepper and garlic seasoning and baked at 400* for about 30 minutes.

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I used BBQ sauce as my “dipping” sauce of choice (I LOVE sauces. If I could have a meal with 10 different accompanying sauces, I’d be so happy)… wasn’t sure how that would work out, but I actually loved the combo!

Questions for you: Are you a sauce person? Fan of spaghetti squash and chicken meatballs? Takes a little getting used to, but I’m totally hooked now!