Saturday, January 30, 2016

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This is the time of year I absolutely CRAVE comfort food and my recipe for Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is about as comforting as it gets - not to mention spectacularly delicious!




















There are other Chicken Spaghetti recipes out there that I've tried and enjoyed, but none of them gave the exact flavour profile and creaminess I was looking for. I wanted something velvety, and cheesy, but I didn't want the recipe to be overloaded with fat, sodium, and calories.

So I took the to the Kitchen Witch test kitchen and today's yummy recipe was born!

The recipe is so good because I've combined the casserole classic, Cream of Mushroom soup with light cream cheese, and the marriage between the two is just incredible. 

Visit the printable recipe here: Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Or join me in the Casa de Kitchen Witch for a glass of wine and a chat as I show you how easy this is to make!




Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilies (optional)
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli florets
  • 1 cup no sodium added chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup light Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 tin low fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups Cracker Barrel reduced fat shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet misted with olive oil, saute the chicken, and mushrooms until the chicken is almost cooked through. 
  3. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and chiles and continue to saute another few minutes until the chicken is completely cooked. 
  4. De-glaze the pan with the chicken stock and then turn to low. Add the cream cheese, and mushroom soup, and then stir in the steamed broccoli.
  5. Cook the spaghetti for 5 minutes - just before it's al dente - and then mix enough of it together with everything else in the pan just until it still looks nice and creamy (about 3 generous handfuls of partially cooked spaghetti) 
  6. Place the mixture in a 9- by 13-inch casserole pan that's been treated with oil or cooking spray and top with the 2 cups of cheese. 
  7. Bake covered for 30 minutes and then remove the cover. Bake uncovered another 10-15 minutes until bubbly.
Nutritional Analysis

Calories per serving: 363
Total Fat 16.9 g
Saturated Fat 8.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 91 mg
Sodium 348 mg
Potassium 422 mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Protein 27.6 g
Vitamin A 15%     •     Vitamin C 36%
Calcium 21%     •     Iron 10%


Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Spicy Chicken with Ramen

There's a restaurant in town that specializes in Asian noodles and every so often I get a yen for one of their meals - the only problem being, the noodles often sound better than they actually taste. Not to mention the amount of sodium I'm certain goes into the dishes. So this week I got back into my Kitchen Witch test kitchen and created a noodle bowl of my own thats a little more healthy and a lot more tasty.

 It's super easy to make, economical, and really, really good!

So join me today in the Casa de Kitchen Witch and I`ll show you how I did it!




Spicy Chicken With Ramen
Visit the printable recipe HERE

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chicken tenders cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1⁄2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 2 stalks diced celery
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Siracha sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
  • 2 packages hot and spicy ramen noodles
Directions
  1. Whisk together the garlic, ginger, honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, Siracha and sesame oil. Set aside.
  2. Lightly sprinkle the chicken tenders with about 1 tsp of the spicy broth flavouring mix from one of the Ramen packages.
  3. In a large non-stick pan misted with olive oil or cooking spray, saute the chicken tenders until cooked through. Add the green onions, celery, and red pepper and continue to saute another minute or two until the veggies are beginning to soften.
  4. Put the rest of the opened flavouring package for the Ramen into a large pot of water and bring it to the boil. Add both packages of Ramen noodles and cook just until they begin to pull apart (about 1 minute max) and then immediately drain. (save the additional flavour packages to use in future soups)
  5. Place the noodles back into the wok and gently toss into the chicken, veggies and sauce (if the sauce has cooled bring the heat back up but don't bring to the boil because you don't want to over cook the noodles.
  6. Add the peanuts and cilantro and serve in large bowls.

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Lentil Stew with Sweet Italian Sausage and Apples

It's always interesting when people tell me they've never eaten lentils. This because lentils have been part of the human diet since neolithic times - but in the modern age of highly processed foods, legumes like lentils tend to get overlooked.

This is a shame because lentils are easy to prepare, tasty, and a great way to stretch your dollar budget. In fact, this is why I have so many lentil recipes on this blog - because I just love them. On their own in a vegetarian stew, slow roasted with salmon, or cooked with a protein like bacon, ham, or Italian sausage.

Which brings us to today's recipe for Lentil Stew with Sweet Italian Sausage and Apples.




















Filled to the brim with vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, turnip, new potatoes, and spinach, this dollar stretching meal is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day. And the addition of sweet Italian sausage, fresh thyme, and apple adds a depth of flavor to this stew that is so delicious it's almost surprising.

This is what I love about cooking - it gives me the opportunity to take real ingredients like nutrient rich vegetables, fiber filled lentils, iron rich greens, and turn them into a dish that could be served to your family on a busy weeknight, or at a dinner party with friends because it really is that impressive.


















Serve this with a crusty loaf of your favorite Italian or french bread and a crisp glass of cold, dry apple cider and, as always, let me know if you try this recipe.

































As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Lentil Stew with Sweet Italian Sausage and Apples

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Lentil Stew with Sweet Italian Sausage and Apples

Ingredients
  • 5 sweet Italian sausages, sliced and halved
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bundle of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup apple cider, apple juice, or apple wine
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and large diced
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and cubed
  • 6 baby potatoes, peels on and cubed
  • 1 apple, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
Directions
  1. Brown the sausage, celery, and onion in a large non stick pan until the onion begins to get soft (app. five minutes)
  2. Add the garlic, continue to saute another minute stirring constantly. Add the thyme bundle, the apple cider and the lentils. Stir until everything is incorporated and the liquid has been absorbed into the lentils.
  3. Add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then turn to med low. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots, turnip, potato and apple. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the chopped spinach and vinegar. Continue covered at a simmering boil over med low heat for 5 minutes until the spinach is cooked. 
  6. Remove pot from heat and let sit covered for 15 minutes before serving.

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

 


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Healthy(er) Tuna Noodle Casserole

Early in my marriage my husband and I ate a lot of tuna. Not because we loved it, but because we was po. Not poor, not economically challenged, but po. Cambpell's mushroom soup on macaroni noodles and calling it alfredo po - and if you added canned tuna to the mix, people, that stuff was good!

But as my husband and I paid off our student loans and moved forward into gainful employment, tuna noodle casserole slowly became a thing of the past. And you know how it is with memories, the more time passes, the sweeter everything becomes. At least, that's how it is with tuna (and reminiscing about grandpa passed out under the Christmas tree).

So in a bout of nostalgia, I made a tuna casserole this year over the Christmas holidays and hoping to invoke warm feelings from the past, I used a recipe from a church cook book that included cream of mushroom soup, powdered french onion soup, tuna, peas, cheddar cheese, egg noodles, and crushed potato chips on top - and people, I won't lie to you, it was tasty. Except I felt like I'd sucked on a salt lick about 15 minutes after dinner. Not to mention the bloating.

Not to be daunted, I decided tuna noodle casserole would be the perfect Kitchen Witch recipe to make healthy(er) in the New Year. So I set to lightening it up, increasing the nutrients, upping the fiber, and lowering the fat and sodium - and what resulted was this:




















A delicious, flavour filled, old fashioned casserole with crunch, texture, and unctuous creaminess in every bite!

So if you're a hibernating bear like me and like the comfort of old fashioned food in the winter (but don't want to get your ass stuck in the cave door on the way out come spring) give this recipe a try because it really is Just. That. Fabulous.

































If you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Healthy(er) Tuna Noodle Casserole
Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!

Healthy(er) Tuna Noodle Casserole

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 8 sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 diced white onion 
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced 
  • 1 stalk diced celery
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 bundle of mixed herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups no sodium added chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 tins chunk albacore tuna packed in water
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup light parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 cups whole wheat egg noodles 
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  1. Saute the mushrooms, peppers, celery and onions in a non stick pan misted with olive oil or cooking spray until the onions grow soft and the mushrooms release their water and begin to brown. 
  2. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and continue to saute for an additional minute stirring frequently. 
  3. Add the chicken stock, herb bundle, lemon zest, lemon juice, spinach and peas. Bring to the boil, cover, and let simmer 10 minutes until the peas are cooked through. Stir in the tuna, sour cream, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  4.  Cook the egg noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes (just until al dente), and drain
  5. Mix everything but the breadcrumbs together in a 3 quart casserole treated with cooking spray, top with the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbling.
  6. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 
  7. Serve with a tossed green salad.  
Nutritional Information per 294 gram serving

Calories: 232 per serving
Total Fat: 5.4 grams
Cholesterol: 37 mg
Sodium: 218 mg
Potassium: 203 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 35.4 grams
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 grams
Sugars: 2.4 grams
Protein: 11.9 grams
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
     

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

    Baked Chicken Taquitos

    Happy New Year everyone!! After a fabulous Christmas (and lots of incredible meals) I'm ready to jump feet first back into my life and back into the world of cooking, writing, and making videos - all the while having to navigate everything with a full time career, husband, and an attention seeking dog.

    That said, I'll be continuing on my path toward making delicious dishes healthy(er) while I embrace my inner Ninja in and out of the kitchen. To get things started for the New Year I've resurrected a tried and true, super easy recipe from the past for Baked Chicken Taquitos.


    I didn't come up with this one myself - in fact, I don't remember where I first saw this recipe - but I've added some of my own flair to it by poaching the chicken in Siracha and spices and oh! What a difference this little Kitchen Ninja move makes!!

    These are super crunchy and crispy with flavour galore and because they're baked, not fried, you can go ahead and eat them knowing you're doing something nice for yourself and for your family. Serve with a a side salad and sparkling water and if you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

    As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

    Visit the printable recipe here: Baked Chicken Taquitos

    Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




    Baked Chicken Taquitos
    Wonderful as a meal or an appetizer!


    Ingredients
    • 1/3 c. (3 oz) light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    • 1/4 c. salsa
    • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional)
    • 2 Tbsp. sliced green onions
    • 2 c. shredded cooked chicken (I poach mine in water with a drizzle of Siracha Sauce, 1 tsp of minced garlic, 1/8 tsp of cumin, and a little salt for this recipe)
    • 1 shredded cheese
    • 8 Flour Tortillas (soft taco size)
    • Coarse Sea Salt
    • Extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray.
    2. Stir the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic to combine, then add the cilantro and green onions.
    3. Add the chicken and cheese and combine well. You can prepare up to this step ahead of time, just store the mixture in the fridge
    4. Lay all the tortillas out and equally distribute the chicken mixture among them on the lower 1/3 of the tortilla, about 1/2 in. from the edge.
    5. Roll it up tightly. You can also cut these into smaller segments to make into appetizers. Lay all the taquitos seam side down and make sure they are not touching each other. Cover tightly, label and freeze at this point if doing as a make ahead. Thaw on counter before baking.
    6. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or brush the tops lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
    7. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes turning once at the halfway point or until crisp and the edges start to get golden brown.
    8. Dip them in salsa, sour cream, or guacamole. 


    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.