Sweet and Spicy Grilled Pork Chops

If you’re looking for a protein option that packs a ton of flavor and is made with all clean ingredients, this is it!

These sweet and spicy grilled pork chops have almost converted my husband into a pork chop fan (which is a big deal, because he has always hated them). The secret is in the sweet and spicy sauce that you baste the chops with while they cook to keep them from drying out. It also packs a ton of flavor, and the ingredients are all great.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Avocado oil (to grease the grill)

Instructions:

  • Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper and set aside
  • Heat your grill or griddle to 350 degrees (I use a Presto griddle like this one).
  • Coat the grill with some avocado oil to prevent sticking (avocado oil has a high smoking point, so it’s great for this).
  • In a small bowl, mix together the honey, apple juice, cinnamon, and chili powder. Which together until we’ll combined.
  • Use a silicone basting brush (I love this one) to coat one side of the pork chops with the apple juice and honey mixture.
  • Place pork chops on the grill with the side you just basted face down. Baste the other side of the pork chops while cooking. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Flip chops and add some more of the apple juice and honey mixture to the side that’s already been grilled. Baste a few times while cooking for another 5 to 6 minutes.
  • You should have a really good char on the outside of each chop (from the honey).
  • Make sure chips are done all the way through (they should be white inside, with no pink).
  • Remove chops from grill and let rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes.
  • Slice chops into thin strips and serve with whatever sides you like (we love roasted veggies like broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and potatoes).

This recipe is gluten free!

Chicken Pot Pie Noodle Bake

This recipe actually resulted from an accident. I planned on making a chicken pot pie for dinner and had already started making the filling when I realized that I didn’t have any pie crusts in the fridge. I added some egg noodles to my chicken mixture, planning to make chicken soup, but then my husband called and said he wanted something really hearty for dinner because he was starving. Soup does not fit into his definition of hearty, so I thickened it up, poured it into a casserole dish, topped it with crackers, stuck it in the oven and hoped for the best. It turned out really good and I’ve made it a few more times since then for an easy weeknight dinner.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 bag egg noodles
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 sleeves butter crackers
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place chicken breasts in water in a large pot with spices and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium heat, cover, and cook until chicken is done.
  • Remove chicken breasts and bay leaves from broth. Shred chicken breasts and return to the broth.
  • Add the bag of frozen vegetables and bring to a boil.
  • When the mixture is boiling, add half a bag of egg noodles.
  • Boil for 7-10 minutes (until the egg noodles are done).
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of milk with 1 cup of self-rising flour in a large measuring cup. Whisk well so there are no lumps.
  • Pour milk and flour mixture into the chicken and noodle mixture and stir well.
  • Cook on low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, until mixture starts to thicken.
  • Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with butter or margarine. Spoon in chicken and noodle mixture and spread evenly in the pan.
  • Melt 1/2 stick of butter in the microwave in a mixing bowl. Crush 2 sleeves of crackers into the melted butter and stir well.
  • Pour crackers over the noodle mixture and then sprinkle about a tablespoon of parsley on top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until cracker crust is golden brown.

What’s Cooking Wednesday – Shredded Beef Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Y’all… Jeff and I have decided that we are just going to put ALL THE THINGS in baked potatoes from now on! We had some amazing buffalo chicken stuffed baked potatoes last week (you can find that recipe here), and this week I decided to stuff some leftover Easy Slow Cooker Roast in our baked potatoes and it was the best idea I’ve had all week.

Also, you should know that this meal is NOT Whole30 approved. Our September Whole30 turned into a September Whole17. I woke up with a fever on Monday morning and did not feel like shopping or cooking, so we had takeout. After having a couple little slip ups, we decided that we are going to continue trying to eat healthy, but since we obviously were not mentally prepared for a real Whole30 this month, we’re going to just try again later (maybe January?). 

I have done a successful Whole30 before, and I will tell you that it definitely requires you to be in the right mindset. We kind of rushed into our decision to try it this month and did not consider how hard it was going to be to shop and meal prep with a newborn (who still hasn’t had his shots, and therefore can’t go to the store with me). If you’re doing the Whole30 this month, keep it up! I hope you are more successful than we were this time. 

Now on to the fun stuff… the recipe for these awesome baked potatoes! 

Ingredients:

  • Large russet potatoes (one per person)
  • Easy Slow Cooker Roast (this is a great use for leftovers!)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Chives
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  • Wash the russet potatoes and pat them dry. Coat the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle the skins with salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 60-90 minutes (depending on the size of your potatoes – cook them until they are tender).
  • Heat up the leftover meat from the Easy Crock Pot Roast while the potatoes are cooking. Shred the meat and place it back in the cooking liquid to keep it moist.
  • When potatoes are done, slit them down the middle and squeeze them open so there’s plenty of room to stuff them. 
  • Scoop on a nice portion of the shredded roast and top with shredded cheese. Place back in the oven for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Top with a drizzle of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives. 

Easy Slow Cooker Roast

This recipe is a staple at our house. It’s easy to toss everything in my slow cooker before I go to work and it’s perfectly tender and has the house smelling amazing when we get home. It’s incredibly easy to do, requires almost no prep, and just does it’s thing in the slow cooker without me having to do anything. On a busy weekday, that’s definitely a win in my book!


Ingredients:

  • One 2-3 lb chuck roast
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 handfuls baby carrots
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • 1/4 cup beef broth

Instructions:

  • Place the chuck roast in the slow cooker. If you want it to cook faster, you can cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Season well with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Top with carrots, cubed potatoes, and sliced onion. 
  • Pour in 1/4 cup beef broth (or you can use water, but it won’t have as much flavor).
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours OR on high for 4-5 hours, until potatoes and carrots are fork tender and meat can be easily shredded with a fork.

This reheats really well, and I usually have a couple days worth of leftovers when I cook a roast this size. I use leftovers for an easy lunch or use them to make sandwiches or my Shredded Beef Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Baked Chicken Breasts with Zucchini Noodles in Spinach and Walnut Pesto

I made zucchini noodles today and now I am wondering why it took me so long to try them. They were amazing! I could replace spaghetti with zucchini noodles forever and not miss it one bit. Also, they were incredibly easy and cooked super fast. This meal came together so quickly that I barely felt like I had cooked, but it was really tasty and Jeff gave it his stamp of approval. That’s always a win. Check out the recipes below:

Simply the Best Baked Chicken

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this, but you could absolutely use bone-in chicken. You’d just need to adjust your cooking time. Usually bone-in chicken tends to take a little longer to cook. Just make sure that the juices are running clear when you puncture the chicken to be sure it is done.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 Tbsp avacado oil

Salt

Pepper

In a skillet, heat the avacado oil over medium high heat until warm. Make sure to swirl it around to coat the entire skillet. 

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place in the skillet seasoned side down. Season the other side with salt and pepper. 

Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until browned. Flip the chicken and cook on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. 

Transfer to a 400 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes. 

Browning the chicken in the skillet first makes such a huge difference in how flavorful this chicken is! Having that crispy, browned crust makes it so savory!

Spinach and Walnut Pesto

1 1/2 cups finely packed spinach

1/2 cup fresh basil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

Combine the spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. 

Put It All Together

Spiralize 3-4 large zucchini using a vegetable spirializer like this one. Sauté the noodles on medium high heat in avacado oil with a little salt and pepper for about 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add two tablespoons of pesto to the noodles and toss until coated.

Serve with sliced chicken breasts and toasted walnuts for garnish. 

Chicken Pot Pie

This is the ultimate comfort food recipe. When Jeff and I were dating, he asked me if I could make him a chicken pot pie. I flipped my hair and said, “of course!” even though I had never made one in my life. I was certain that it couldn’t really be that hard. I tried a few different recipes before I settled on this super easy creation.

Tonight, I added a little extra to my normal recipe by adding bacon to the pie. It’s totally optional, but who wouldn’t want bacon in their chicken pie???

Here’s what you need for my super easy Bacon Chicken Pot Pie:


2 chicken breasts

4 slices of bacon

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can chicken broth

Small bag mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, and peas)

2 refrigerated pie crusts

Salt and pepper to taste

Start by boiling the chicken breasts. When they are done, shred and set aside.

Dice the bacon into small pieces. Spray a medium sized pot (I love my enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven for this!) with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until done. 


When the bacon is done, remove and drain on a paper towel. Turn the heat down to low. Deglaze the pot with a splash of chicken broth. Add the cream of chicken soup and about half the can of chicken broth. Stir until well mixed. Stir in the frozen mixed vegetables. Cover and let cook on low for about 10 minutes. 


Next, add the shredded chicken and bacon to the mixture. 


Stir until mixed well. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.


Cover this mixture and remove from heat.

Roll out one pre-made pie crust into the bottom of a pie pan. 


Poke the crust with a fork to allow it to vent. Pour the chicken mixture into the bottom crust. 


Roll out the second pie crust and place on top of the pie. Use a fork to press the edges together. 

Cut vent slits in the top of the pie. I usually cut three large ones in the middle and a few tiny ones around the edges. 


You can bake it just like this, OR if you want a really pretty, crispy crust, coat the top of the pie with an egg wash (one egg and some water whisked together and brushed onto the dough). This will give you a beautiful, golden brown crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Watch the crust carefully. You may need to cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent them from burning (the edges cook faster than the rest of the pie). 


Allow the pie about 10 minutes to rest/cool before serving.


Jeff has been raving about this pie all night. He said it is my best one ever. I think the bacon is definitely here to stay. 


If you want a happy tummy and a happy husband, go make this. You won’t regret it. 

Chicken Noodle Soup

I am so ready for fall! The pumpkins and decorations in all the stores around here are just teasing me, because it still feels like summer in Alabama.

This afternoon, when I got home, I turned on the fan, put a fall fragrance in my Scentsy warmer, and started a big pot of my favorite chicken soup. I’m just going to pretend it’s fall until the cool weather gets here.

Here’s what you need to make my chicken noodle soup:

2 large chicken breasts (or 6 boneless, skinless chicken tenders)

Salt to taste

10 peppercorns

3 bay leaves

1/2 medium onion, quartered

1 tsp. cilantro

1 tbsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

1 tsp. parsley flakes 

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

1/2 box pasta (I used farfalle tonight, but you can use any kind you like. Egg noodles work really well.) 


Place chicken, onion, and spices in a large stock pot and cover with water until pot is almost full. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 30 minutes.


Remove chicken from the broth and shred. Strain broth to remove onions, peppercorns, and bay leaves.


Taste broth and add more salt and pepper if needed. Put shredded chicken back into the broth and add 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables. 


Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes.


Add noodles and bring mixture to a boil. Boil as long as needed to cook noodles (follow directions on box). 

When noodles are cooked, reduce to low heat. Taste broth and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with saltine crackers or toast.

Spicy Pork Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice

It’s Taco Tuesday! We just had some spicy pork tacos, and they were SO good!

Here’s what you need:

2 pork chops

Fajita Seasoning (recipe below)

Flour tortillas

Lettuce

Onion

Shredded cheese

1 cup Minute Rice

1 cup water

Garlic powder

Cilantro

Salt
Fajita Seasoning

1 TBSP salt

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. cilantro
Start by mixing together your fajita seasoning. This makes enough for two or three uses, so just store the extra in a jar to use next time.

Next, cook the Minite Rice. Stir in a sprinkle of salt, garlic powder, and cilantro. Set aside.

Slice the pork chops into strips. Place in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with fajita seasoning (about 2 teaspoons). Toss the pork so all pieces are covered.


Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook the pork strips until done (about 3 to 4 minutes on each side).

Heat the flour tortillas according to package directions. Fill a tortilla with some rice, a few strips of pork, shredded lettuce, diced onion, and cheese.