crock-pot split pea soup

Yes, yes – another crock-pot recipe.

c/o Whole Foods

c/o Whole Foods

Y’all, I honestly just can’t help myself!…we’re in the throes of winter, the sun is barely out, it’s gloomy and I JUST.WANT.TO.EAT.ALL.THE.SOUP. Forever and always.

Well maybe not for that long, but as long as this weather continues to be dreary, I find myself craving rich and hearty dishes. The kind that warm you from the inside out, and stick to your ribs so you don’t succumb to winter’s chill. Sure, I’ll give into the rich and luxurious dishes that winter is so well known for {like this and this and this}, but sometimes…sometimes, a girl wants that warm and fuzzy feeling without feeling weighed down, too!

So that’s where my split pea soup comes in. I would be lying if I said that this wasn’t one of the easiest dishes on the planet to prepare. It literally takes 10 minutes; from the time you pull out your crock-pot until you’re layering in the ingredients, this is a meal you could find the time to make, even if you slept through your alarm. And man oh man, is it worth it! Chock full of winter vegetable goodness, it’s easy on the wallet, too! One delicious bite in, and your taste buds will be in split pea heaven. Truth.

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Crock-Pot Split Pea Soup {recipe adapted, minimally, from Whole Foods}

Requiring no prep work other than layering all ingredients in the crock pot, this soup is an ideal weeknight meal. Low-fat and full of vitamins, why not do your future self a favor and make a double batch? It freezes beautifully!

Ingredients:

1 {16-ounce} package dried green split peas, rinsed

1 package of ham ribs {you can also use a ham bone, 2 ham hocks or 2 cups of diced ham}

1 cup sliced baby carrots

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

8 cups low-sodium chicken stock

salt & pepper, to taste

optional: 2 ribs celery plus leaves, chopped

To Prepare:

Layer ingredients in your slow cooker, in the precise order given. Add in the stock last.

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Cover and cook on high {4-5 hours} or low {8-10 hours} until peas are very soft and the ham is falling off the bone. Serve with toasted baguettes.

greek-inspired roast chicken

Oh, the whole roasting chicken. Super simple and basic, but bursting with possibilities.

Not to mention flavor – I was feeling inspired, and also craving one, several weeks back. It was particularly gloomy Sunday, and I keep reminiscing how my mom used to make the best whole roasted chickens when we were growing up. Deciding to act on those memories, I began drawing up ideas for how to make it my own. The hubs LOVES oregano, so I thought was would be a way to incorporate that? I settled on the notion of “going Greek!”

Hands down, this is the best roast chicken that I have yet to make. It requires minimal prep work and comes together in just a few minutes. We’re filling it with briny capers, fresh vegetables, and of course – lots of oregano! A generous pour of good white wine in the bottom of the roasting pan creates a culinary perfume that envelopes the bird while it cooks, resulting in a bright, fresh flavor. Served alongside my smashed cauliflower, it was the perfect meal.

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Without trying to state the obvious, you’ll most likely end up with leftovers, as this recipe will easily feed a small army. Once the chicken is broken down, it freezes beautifully and can be used in a plethora of dishes. Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Noodle Casserole, and Chicken Pot Pie come to mind – but don’t be surprised if you see me making chicken salad of out it and stuffing it into a pita.

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Greek-Inspired Roast Chicken {recipe adapted from Lemon & Olives}

The perfect Sunday dinner for a chilly winter evening, this flavorful roast will leave you feeling supremely satisfied. Plus – it comes together in no time! 

Ingredients:

whole roasting chicken {mine was just over 6 lbs.}

1 lemon, cut into large wedges

2 onions, cut into wedges

1.5 cups baby carrots, left whole

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

1 heaping tbsp. capers, drained

1 tbsp. dried oregano {plus more for seasoning the chicken}

3/4 cup good white wine {I used a Pinot Grigo}

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

olive oil, for drizzling

salt and pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

Remove the chicken from its wrapping and rinse well, making sure to get the inner cavity. Dry thoroughly, and rub with olive oil. Liberally season the inside and outside with salt, pepper, and oregano. To the inner cavity add in half the amount of onions, half the baby carrots, half the lemon, one garlic clove, and the capers. Set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In the bottom of a large roasting pan, add  in the white white and chicken stock, mixing to incorporate. Place the remaining vegetables plus the 1 tbsp. oregano into the liquid mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you have a V-shaped roasting rack, set the chicken atop it {if not, do what I did – lay a cooling rack atop the roasting pan and carefully place the chicken on top of it}. Roast the chicken according to the package directions. Baste occassionally, using the drippings from the bottom of the pan.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven and set aside. Cover with foil and let it sit 15 minutes, so the juices can redistribute. Carve the chicken and serve with pan drippings and vegetables. Enjoy!

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superbowl snacks!

Are you ready for some football??

I must say, I am super excited! It took me quite some time to develop my love for the sport, but ever since college {go hokies!} I’ve been rather fanatical. On any given Sunday during the season, you’ll find the hubs and I curled up on the couch flipping between the games. I absolutely love it. And let’s not forget – the football food! Snacks galore, y’all.

As always, I try to balance the unhealthy with the healthy. So that means enjoying dips with crunchy vegetables instead of chips; spritzers and wine instead of the {oh-so} delicious dark beers that we love in our house; lightened up sweet versions. So with all that being said, I thought it would be fun to do a recipe round-up of what to prepare for the game!

Appetizers & Snacks:

Entrees:

Drinks:

Desserts:

 

Happy SuperBowl Sunday, y’all!!

butternut squash mac & cheese

Vegetables never cease to amaze me. Did you ever imagine that something so simple can be elevated into, quite possibly, one of the smoothest and creamiest sauces you’ve ever tasted?

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I had no idea, before tasting this dish, that butternut squash could be easily whipped up into the base for creamy mac and cheese. In fact, to say I was surprised is an understatement. But I think that that is what makes cooking so fun! You can find new and unusual uses for items that would traditionally not work. This recipe proves that butternut squash can go above and beyond simply being roasted as a side dish; it becomes the star.

We’re taking a tried and true mac and cheese recipe today and elevating it not only flavor-wise, but packing it full of healthy goodness. The use of pureed squash replaces several cups of cheddar cheese typically found in such a dish. Tangy, rich blue cheese {in a much less amount} will pack in flavor and just the right amount of fat, making it perfectly balanced. Cubed pieces of roasted squash and halved tomatoes are folded into the casserole, letting us reduce the amount of pasta {and carbs} that would normally be used. A hefty dose of spices – sage, chili flake, pepper – satisfies our taste buds. This is a perfectly balanced dish, and comes together in no time. Grab your fork and let’s dive in, shall we?

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese {recipe adpated, minimally, from Daily Unadventures in Cooking}

An unusually healthy twist on a classic dish, this mac and cheese recipe is sure to please even the most old-fashioned palate. Butternut squash puree makes up the body of the cheese sauce, with creamy blue cheese elevating its flavor to an even higher level. Additionally, folding in more vegetables reduces the amount of pasta needed, making this a dish you can enjoy without all the guilt. 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. dried sage

1/2 tsp. chili flakes

1 tbsp. flour

2-1/4 cups milk {I used 1%}

2 cups butternut squash puree

2 cups roasted butternut squash, diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

6 ounces blue cheese

salt and pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

Put a big pot of water on to boil, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In the meantime, start your sauce.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the onions, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Sweat out over low heat until sweet and tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic, sage and chili flakes and continue sweating until garlic is softened, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle the flour on top of the garlic and onion mixture and stir it in. Cook the mixture over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk 1/4 cup at a time, waiting until it starts simmering before stirring in the next back. Whisk in the squash, then lastly, fold in the blue cheese. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, undercooking slightly. Drain. Fold the pasta together with the sauce, and add in the halved tomatoes and cubed butternut squash. Transfer to a greased casserole dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Serve hot, atop a bed of fresh greens.

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chicken & dumplings

Cold and dark winter evenings beg for comfort dishes to be prepared for dinner.

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Chicken and dumplings is the perfect dish to whip up on days like that. Easy to prepare and made, essentially, in one bowl. It’s an ideal entree that can be made even on the busiest of weeknights. Who doesn’t want to sit down after a long day of work to a dinner like this? Steaming hot and chock full of warm goodness, even the pickiest of eaters would be hard pressed to not enjoy this. Shredded chicken provides a boost of protein, vegetables pack in copious amounts of vitamins  and the dumplings, well, they steal the show. Fluffy and moist, so tender that they practically melt in your mouth.

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You can find me on the couch enjoying this dinner, wrapped up in my coziest blanket. Because the chilly evening has nothing that this dish can’t make better.

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Chicken & Dumplings {recipe adapted from The Gracious Pantry}

You can’t mess with a classic like this dish. Perfectly wonderful served piping hot, right off the stove top. 

Ingredients:

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 garlic clove, minced

2 to 4 chicken breasts, precooked and shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced

Dumpling Ingredients:

2 cups flour {I used gluten-free}

1 tablespoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 butter {I used a Greek yogurt and butter blend}

1 cup buttermilk

pepper, to taste

Stew Directions:

In a large sauce pot over medium heat, add in the olive oil. Once hot, add in the onion and carrot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano and thyme. Pour in the stock and raise heat to bring to a boil. Fold in the shredded chicken.

Prepare the dumplings while waiting for the stock mixture to boil – in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and then add in the butter, buttermilk and pepper.

Once the stock mixture is boiling, drop the dumpling dough in using two large spoons {like making drop cookies}. Boil until the dumplings are cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Ladle into large soup bowls and enjoy!

apple-bbq pulled pork

This is not your average pulled pork. I am by no means putting down such a wonderful dish; in fact, there’s almost nothing I enjoy more than a tart, vinegar-based pulled pork sandwich, especially during the summer {does anyone remember this dish from earlier in the year?}. But sometimes your taste buds crave something new and exciting. And usually, it takes only a few slight modifications to transform a classic dish into something totally new and exciting. Enter this new pulled pork recipe.

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We’re transforming pulled pork with apples, BBQ sauce, applesauce, and Mexican spices. It may sound like an interesting combination of ingredients but let me assure you – this is a dish so full of flavor and texture, your mouth will not know what hit it upon the first bite! The apples impart sweet notes into the meat; the BBQ sauce adds notes of smoke and richness, and the applesauce helps yield a sauce that was made for drizzling over a heaping bowl.

Aside from making one killer sandwich {I dressed mine with a bit of arugula}, I could easily see this getting folded into Macaroni and Cheese {with spicy cheese and jalepenos}, atop a pizza, or stirred into Alfredo sauce. The possibilities are endless. And it is, without a doubt, a crowd pleaser.

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Apple-BBQ Pulled Pork {recipe adapted from The Slender Kitchen}

A fun twist on the classic pulled pork dish. This meal is bursting with flavors and textures – the apples and BBQ sauce meld flavors seamlessly to create the perfect sandwich. 

Ingredients:

pork loin, about 3-4 lbs., trimmed of any excess fat

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 sliced apples {I used one red and one green}

2 sliced onions

2 minced garlic cloves

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup BBQ sauce

1/2 cup water

To Prepare:

Add half of the onions and apples to the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle half of the minced garlic on top. Season with salt and pepper.

Rest the pork loin atop the base layer. Top with remaining apples, onions and garlic.

In a small bowl, mix the BBQ sauce, cumin, chili powder, applesauce, and water together. Pour on top of the pork loin and other ingredients.

Cook on low for up to 8 hours. Once ready to serve, shred the meat with two forks. Make sure to incorporate the apples and onions; they will add a delicious note of flavor!

Serve with toasted buns and a side of your favorite BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

chicken parmesan meatballs

I absolutely adore a good Chicken Parmesan. I have such fond memories of enjoying them throughout my childhood when out to special dinners with my family; my mom would often make it at home; I’ve even come up with my own twist on it!

But sometimes, there are those days after work…those days where you’d rather slide onto the couch in your most comfortable pair of yoga pants than stand in the kitchen, dredging chicken breasts, frying them, then finishing them off in the oven. THEN preparing the pasta. THEN melting the {oh so glorious} mozzarella under the broiler. All that…before dinner is ready. It’s ok! We all have those days. These meatballs are going to make you feel better.

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With these beauties, you get all of that wonderful flavor of the Chicken Parmesan, but made easy because we’re doing them meatball style! They pack a flavor punch bigger than their size lets on, that’s for sure. They’re loaded up with herbs, tomato paste, bread crumbs….everything that makes the classic dish, but it’s all done in one bowl! Tell me it doesn’t get any better than that, I dare ya. BUT WAIT.

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…did I neglect to mention that these are significantly more healthy than the original dish? I’m all about a big ol’ plate of pasta and chicken, smothered in cheese and sauce, but it doesn’t always feel so great after the fact. We’re baking these in the oven, which provides that wonderful crunch on the outside without the use of frying. They can be sprinkled with cheese at the end, fear not!

Not only are these easy to whip up on a moment’s notice, but they are great to make ahead and freeze for future use! Simply prepare them, roll them out, and transfer to the freezer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, they can be stored in a zip top bag and finished off in no time. You’ll be so thankful you did.

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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs {recipe adapted from Bake Your Day}

All the flavors of our favorite Italian classic, packed in to one easy-to-eat dish! You won’t be able to get enough.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chicken

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 heaping tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. dried thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

your favorite Marinara Sauce for serving

To Prepare:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and top it with a cooling rack. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix all of the above ingredients {less Marinara Sauce} in a large bowl until well combined. The mixture will be fairly moist, but should hold together when formed into a ball.

Scoop the mixture out and roll into balls {I opted to make 9 large ones} and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. For my large meatballs, this took about 30ish minutes.

Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce, and top it all off with cheese. Enjoy!

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butternut squash enchilada casserole

This is a rainbow of colors, flavors, and deliciousness…all layered up into one glorious casserole.

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For me, it’s simply impossible to not get excited about a dish when it has so many colors, flavors and textures. I happened upon a large stash of butternut squash not too long ago, and rather than going my usual course of roasting {for a side dish} or pureeing {soup style}, I knew I had to try something different. In the past, I’ve had great success incorporating it into mac-&-cheese recipes, but it just didn’t feel right. With unseasonably warm weather, I was craving something hearty but not heavy, light but full of flavor.

I set about searching for the perfect casserole, and when I stumbled upon the recipe for what I’m sharing today, I knew I had found a winner. This casserole is the perfect one to start for your season of autumnal flavors – you’re still using fresh produce {corn, tomatoes, peppers, and onions} but starting to introduce the flavors of fall; creamy beans, luscious squash and bolder spices.

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This dish is more or less a one-pot wonder; very little preparation is required, too! I like to roast the squash ahead of time {say, the night before I plan on making it} so that it is ready and waiting for me and not the other way around. Simply prep, assemble, bake and voila! – dinner is served.

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Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole {recipe adapted from Making Thyme for Health}

An unusual but delicious option to use up an overabundance of butternut squash, this casserole is a dream for any lover of Mexican-style cuisine! Not to mention, it’s a great way to pack in a vegetable punch.

Ingredients:

1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 onion, sliced

1/2 a large red pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small can of diced green chilis

1 {15-ounce} can of black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups of corn

2 cups salsa

6 large tortillas, quartered

1-1/2 cups shredded cheese {optional}

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. cumin powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

salt and pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the diced butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin until evenly distributed. Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until squash is tender. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 350 degrees.

In a large non-stick skillet, drizzle in olive oil. Add in onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add in the corn and red pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, or until slightly tender. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder and oregano. Transfer to bowl and set aside, allowing to cool slightly.

Into the same bowl as your sauteed vegetables, add in the diced green chilis, drained black beans, and one cup of the salsa. Toss gently to combine.

Spray a glass baking dish, and begin to assemble the casserole. Spread 1/3 cup of the remaining salsa along the bottom, then cover with a layer of tortillas. Tops with 1/3 of the roasted vegetables and then 1/2 cup of cheese.

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Layer two more tortillas on top of the vegetables, then top with 1/3 cup of salsa, then another 1/3 of the roasted vegetables, then 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.

Lastly, layer two more tortillas, the last 1/3 cup of salsa and the last 1/3 of the vegetables on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut into squares and serve. Top with sliced avocado, plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream. Enjoy!

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**don’t feel limited to the ingredients listed out here – use what you have on hand! It doesn’t get much easier than that. I also think that, should it fancy you, a bit of seasoned taco meat {be it chicken, beef, bison, etc.} would make a wonderful addition**

homemade wonton soup

I have long strove to find and make a wonton soup worthy of sharing. And today, y’all, I’ve finally done it!

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Wonton soup and I go way back. As in, I can still remember the first time that I had it – the hubs and I had spent the weekend camping with friends, and after coming home cold, wet and famished, there was simply no time to cook dinner {gasp!}.We had to eat, and we had to eat NOW. I let him pick, and after settling on Chinese delivery, the doorbell rang not five minutes later with the traditional box full of goodness. When he passed me a tupperware of soup, I looked at it curiously. We didn’t do Chinese much when I was a child, but it was a cuisine that I enjoyed. So I ladled myself a bowl and dug it. And, y’all, I demolished the.entire.bowl. I couldn’t help myself; it was so good!

I look back on this memory fondly, but now that I’ve got more experience with cooking {and recipe developing} I realize that this was probably not all as comforting as it could have been. As much as we all love it, a lot of delivery food is oftentimes high in sodium and other ingredients we may not want to enjoy. I’m in no means knocking it, because we still looooove a good Chinese takeout, but this recipe for wonton soup is going to knock your socks off. It’s unbelievably delicious, for real.

I kept the ingredients super simple, and used what I had on hand. Traditionally, wontons are filled with a mixture of pork and shrimp, but I personally like to use ground chicken instead. It’s super lean, so there’s less of a risk of fat/grease leaking out when you boil them. Paired with the minced shrimp, they make the perfect canvas for the spices we will be adding in. Low-sodium chicken stock lets us control the amount of salt we add in, making it easy for anyone to customize according to their taste. Ad the add-ins once the wontons are complete totally take this dish to the next level.

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Yes, preparing wontons at home is a bit of a process, but I promise you, it’s totally worth it. I like to make double or triple for what I need when making this soup, because they freeze beautifully. Simply prepare them as followed, them placed them on a sheet tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes. After that, transfer them to a baggie and they will last until you next need them! That way, whenever you have a hankering for wonton soup, you’ll be one step ahead of the game. Enjoy!

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Homemade Wonton Soup {recipe adapted from The Little Kitchen}

Deliciously warm and comforting, with the perfect amount of spice, this wonton soup is absolute perfection. 

Ingredients: Wonton Filling

1 lb. ground chicken

1 lb. shrimp {peeled, deveined and washed, finely diced}

1 cup of your favorite greens, finely shredded

3 green onions, finely diced

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

wonton wrappers

salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients: Broth/Soup Base 

8 to 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 large onion, peeled and sliced in half

1 lime, washed and sliced in half

1 large clove of garlic, peeled

1 head baby broccoli, washed and cut into florets

sliced green onions

optional add-ins/toppings: soy sauce, sriracha, soft-boiled egg, sesame oil, kale, arugula

To Prepare:

Add wonton filling ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix together, being sure to incorporate well. Everything should be smooth and well combined.

Add water to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.

In another {larger} pot, add chicken broth, onion, lime and garlic. Turn onto low heat.

To make the wontons: Add 1/2 Tbsp. filling into the middle of a wonton wrapper, and fold it so that forms a triangle. Flatten out to ensure that there are no air bubbles when boiling. Using your fingers and thumb, pinch the wrapper shut. I find it helpful to lay out an entire baking sheet, brush all edges with a big of egg white, and make an assembly line of sorts…scoop all filling out, then go back and triangle, then go back and pinch shut.

Boil wontons 6 to 8 at a time for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to platter.

While cooking the wontons, increase the heat of the broth to high and allow to boil for about 5 minutes. 1 to 2 minutes before you are ready to serve, add in the baby broccoli florets and green onions.

To serve: place desired amount of wontons into a large soup bowl, and ladle broth over. Garnish with additional toppings.

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individual chicken pot pies

Who wouldn’t want to dive right into a bowl brimming with warm, savory filling and topped off with a flaky pie crust?

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We’re in full-blown, top-of-the-line, let’s-get-a-little-bit crazy comfort food mode her on K.K. As soon as the leaves start changing, my heart {and my tummy} crave rich, savory casseroles and dishes that may or may not require a bit of a nap afterward.

Enter this chicken pot pie. It fits the bill perfectly – a luscious white sauce, piping hot with steam when you puncture the top, and full of chicken and vegetable goodness. But it’s a bit sneaky, y’all! As you’re well aware by now, just because it’s comfort food doesn’t mean it needs to make you feel UNCOMFORTABLE after you’re done eating it. That’s right…I’ve put a bit of a twist on this traditional {and traditionally unhealthy} dish.

I combed through a good amount of recipes until I settled on one to use as my base. By making some minor substitutions, we’re able to capitalize on this dish and enjoy it without the guilt! We’re making individual servings to help with portion control, and only using a top and bottom crust – no sides here! You can make the top crust larger to hang over the dish, or a bit smaller so that the filling bubbles over; it’s whatever you like. And you can skip the bottom crust, but I would recommend leaving it : ) We are also swapping out the whole milk for 1% {if you are a 2% drinker, go ahead and use that!}. The amount of butter we’ll be using to thicken the sauce is just the right amount, and won’t overpower the taste of the chicken and vegetables/herbs. It’s perfectly velvety and smooth, the perfect backdrop for the gorgeous filling.

And don’t feel as though you have to follow the recipe down to a ‘T’! The vegetables I’ve listed out are, honestly, what I had on hand at the time. Sometimes, a girl just doesn’t want to run to the store for one or two things, am I right? So feel free to swap anything out – I could see this being absolutely magical made with an assortment of mushroom and chicken, or do a combination of root vegetables {sweet potato/parsnips/beets} with the chicken, or you could even go meatless! This is truly a dish that’s adaptable to any pantry.

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The best part about this recipe? It will make enough filling for a least 4 individual servings; perfect to serve up as two for now, and then freeze the rest for an easy weeknight meal!

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Individual Chicken Pot Pies {recipe adapted from Food Network}

makes enough for at least 4 individual servings, in bowls with about a 4″ diameter

Steaming, full of warm and hearty goodness, these will be sure to put a smile on your face. Your stomach, and soul, will thank you after enjoying one of these!

Ingredients:

1 box prepared pie crust {I like Pillsbury because it gives two 9″ rounds, enough for a top and bottom crust}

4-1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock

large handful of baby carrots {or 5 medium ones}, evenly diced

1 to 2 tsp. dried thyme

2 tsp. dried oregano

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely diced

4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/3 cup 1% milk

3 stalks celery, evenly diced

3 cups shredded chicken, skin removed

1 bag {about 2 to 3 cups} fresh broccoli

salt and pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

On a floured surface, lay out both pie crusts and cut out 4 circles. Two will be the same size as the bottom of your individual bowls, and the other two will be slightly larger {to fold over the top and seal in the filling}.

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Spray the dishes with non-stick cooking spray, and lay down the smaller ones in each of the bowls. Prick with a fork and bake in the oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly golden and the edges begin to pull away from the bowl. Set aside.

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Bring the chicken stock, carrots, thyme and oregano to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add in the milk and the warm broth mixture and simmer until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chicken, celery, and broccoli. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer filling into each of the baking dishes, and top with the remaining two pieces of dough – these are larger, so they will drape nicely over the rims, helping to seal in the filling. Make sure to press it tightly against the sides of the dishes!

Place on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving – the filling will be very hot!

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Let’s Discuss: did you ever have the frozen individual pot pies as a kid? What other vegetables do you like to put inside yours?