Stovetop Shredded Mexican Chicken is a simple and hearty filling for tacos without the use of sodium heavy salsa or taco seasoning! Perfect for nachos or enchiladas too!

I’ve been cranking out new recipes pretty frequently lately, but relying on my iPhone for photos!  The change of seasons usually brings out the desire to switch from simple eats like BLT’s and watermelon to something more hearty and warm.

Stovetop shredded mexican chicken isn’t exactly *new* but the method is. At least it was to me, that’s why I’m sharing it! If you’ve made tacos with shredded chicken before you most likely dumped a jar of salsa over top along with a packet of taco seasoning and waited to shred it and stuff it in a taco shell.

I’ve done that too.

This is better.

Lower in sodium.

And better.

 

mexican shredded chicken tacos

I love my new deep dish skillet from Costco.  Nothing sticks to this baby, not even eggs! I tested it with no spray when making our family favorite italian egg sandwiches.

The sauce starts with a green bell pepper and onion, finely diced. I also added a few jarred jalapeño slices (these aren’t that spicy but add a little zip, safe enough for the kiddos, i.e.;  sensitive ones) garlic and spices.

ranchero sauce

An entire can of crushed tomatoes goes in and simmers without the lid for about 20-30 minutes.  The sauce recipe, known as ranchero sauce, came from Iowa Girl Eats.  I’ve followed her for 3 years now and her photos never disappoint, much like her recipes.  She recommended a splatter screen (which I don’t own) or tilting the lid of your pot to let out a little steam as the sauce simmers.

This didn’t work for me.  The lid collected too much steam and didn’t allow my sauce to thicken even after 20 minutes.  I removed the lid and surprisingly it didn’t splatter everywhere like spaghetti sauce is known to do.

So…try it without the lid if you’re not getting results.

homemade ranchero sauce

Boom! Thick and beautiful sauce.

ranchero sauce

Shortcuts to any recipe are fabulous and my deep covered baker by Pampered Chef helped me achieve that.  It cooks chicken perfectly to shred in 12 minutes! No worries if you don’t have one, just poach the chicken in a pot over medium heat until it’s fork tender and can be shredded easily.

You can add some ranchero sauce before it’s thickened like I did, with some salt and pepper and juice from 1/2 lime when poaching.  Reserve some of the leftover liquid for later.

deep covered baker shredded chicken

Immediately toss the shredded chicken into the sauce so it can absorb some of the juices and stay tender.

shredded chicken

Toss in a handful of chopped cilantro…

stovetop mexican shredded chicken

Now you’ve got an amazing flavorful mexican shredded chicken to be stuffed in whatever vessel you choose! My preference is a baked corn tortilla sprinkled with salt and lime juice. Baking helps them crisp up a bit and hold their shape better.

shredded chicken tacos

I topped mine with a simple black bean spread, a good heaping of mexican shredded chicken, fresh avocado and topped with a mixture of greek yogurt and sriracha sauce and finished with a good squeeze of lime juice. Very filling and very very good.

shredded chicken taco

Stovetop Shredded Mexican Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, cut in half, poached then shredded
  • 15oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 5 jarred jalapeno slices (or fresh if you want heat!)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • handful of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth (1 carton)

Instructions

  1. Begin the sauce by adding a bit of olive oil to pan and toss in diced green pepper and onion. Simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes until softened. Add jarred jalapeños, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
  2. Carefully pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add juice from 1/2 a lime and 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  3. While sauce is cooking, begin to poach the chicken by slicing each breast in half and placing in a large pot. Add 2/3 cup mexican sauce, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring to a slow boil for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is white and a fork can began to shred the meat. Don't cook it too fast or it will be tough. Remove chicken from liquid and shred with two forks. Squeeze remaining lime juice over chicken and add to skillet incorporating with the sauce.
  4. Toss in cilantro and allow to simmer an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the chicken to soak up some of the flavor. Add a bit of reserved broth from cooking the chicken if needed.
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Chicken

4 Ingredient Pumpkin Turkey Meatloaf is undoubtedly effortless to throw together, but it’s also perfectly moist and flavorful it’s almost too good to be true.

pumpkin turkey meatloaf

I’m always looking for new protein rich meal ideas I can whip up to have on hand for lunches throughout the week.  My freezer has several bags full of extra grilled chicken, ginger beef, and turkey burgers at the ready.  But this pumpkin turkey meatloaf didn’t have a chance to be freezer bagged.

Each slice, and I like them rather thick, yields : 177 calories- 22.3p, 7.9f, 6.1c

The idea to use pumpkin in a meatloaf came from a friend of a friend through Instagram.  Social media is awesome like that. Many times I stumble upon images without a clear recipe and this is one of those cases so I rolled with it…

 A little pumpkin, 1 1/2 pounds turkey, some seasoning, oh toss in an egg cause that’s what you do with meatloaf…and bake it.

bacon jam meatloaf

You’re probably used to a meatloaf recipe with a ketchup based glaze poured over top.  If you don’t have one, my version is listed in the recipe.  However, I chose to keep it simple and try this new bacon jam from Trader Joe’s.  

It’s about as heavenly as you would expect it to be.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby I bet you could achieve something with similar greatness by adding some crumbled bacon to the glaze recipe I have listed below.

But having said all that, this pumpkin meatloaf truly is amazing as is. I’ve warmed it up for breakfast and it stayed just as moist as it was fresh from the oven.

easy pumpkin meatloaf

Still trying to get my mojo back to taking “professional” food photos again, but I’ve been cranking out so many new and delicious recipes I don’t want to wait to share them!

4 Ingredient Pumpkin Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup regular oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • few light dashes of cinnamon
  • few light dashes of chili powder
  • Ketchup Glaze (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tb brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tb. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried mustard
  • dash of chili powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients by hand until just combined. Don't over mix.
  3. Dump mixture into a bread pan lightly coated with non-stick spray and form gently into a loaf.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 50-60 minutes.
  5. *If using glaze, whisk all ingredients and pour over meatloaf during the last 30 minutes of bake time.
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Turkey

This alfredo chicken and broccoli biscuit bake is such a winning and versatile recipe you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. Well, maybe I speak for myself but slap the word alfredo on anything and my head turns.  Amen? Amen.

(iPhone photo alert! Can’t bring myself to bust out the professional equipment lately)

chicken alfredo and broccoli

Alfredo Chicken and Broccoli baked on top of biscuits is too dang easy and outrageously delicious I’m ashamed I didn’t come up with this recipe myself.  The credit for this delicious creation goes to the lovely Kate from Drizzle Me Skinny.  And once you try this recipe for alfredo chicken and broccoli “bubble up” as she calls it…you’ll see why she keeps cranking out more variations.  IT’S THAT EASY AND GOOD!!

School is back in session which can only mean one thing. That’s a lie it means LOTS of things, but we’re going to focus on two…

1- waking up at 6am is not as bad as I thought it would be.  However, once my feet hit the floor and I manage to fully open my eyes my belly screaming for food.  I love having simple leftovers like this alfredo chicken biscuit bake to pop in the microwave and hold me over until I can make a ruckus with skillets and eggs cracking.  Ya feel me?

AND 2-easy dinners to throw together are my jam! (Especially ones that can serve as lunch,breakfast, or after school snack).

chicken and broccoli alfredo

There’s an old recipe I’ve had for years that calls for chicken, broccoli, mayo, cheddar cheese, red onion, and red pepper that gets spooned between crescent rolls and baked.  This is so stinking similar yet, un-hotpocketed.  < not a real word, but it is now in my kitchen.  I’m getting better about not slapping the word “healthy” onto any recipe because it’s such an arbitrary term but these are lower in fat and calories than my previously mentioned version.

I used slightly different ingredients than the original recipe yielding: 6 servings each at 246 calories- 10.5 protein,9.6 fat, 28.1 carbs

alfredo chicken and broccoli biscuits

Great way to use up some leftover rotisserie chicken too!  Happy Friday…

Alfredo Chicken and Broccoli Biscuit Bake

Ingredients

  • 6-Reduced Fat Buttermilk Biscuits (I used Trader Joes brand)
  • *each biscuit is 7g fat 170 calories for reference
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup fettucini alfredo sauce (Trader Joes brand again)
  • 6 oz. cooked chicken, diced (Trader Joe's just grilled chicken strips)
  • dash of pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Remove biscuits from package and cut into small chunks. Layer along bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Some space between them is ok.
  3. Microwave broccoli 2-3 minutes until crisp tender. Add to mixing bowl.
  4. Add cubed cooked chicken and alfredo sauce to bowl with broccoli. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour mixture over top biscuits and spread to evenly cover.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until biscuits are slightly brown around the edges.
  7. Allow to cool 5 minutes then cut into 6 large squares!
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Chicken

The idea to become a certified personal trainer certainly didn’t happen overnight.  In fact it’s been over two years the idea has been circulating in my thoughts.  Then as sweat gathered in puddles around my bike during a recent spin class, an equal amount of joy and inspiration hit me.  It was crystal clear my time to act was now.

THIS is what I want to do…

ACE study guide

While still reaping the blessings of being a stay at home mom, I’m only 1 school-year away from them both being full time students. Say whaaaat?!?

A bittersweet thought.

Being a personal trainer is more than cheerleading someone through a routine of tough workouts.  While that’s an important component, truly understanding our bodies and how to effectively and safely train clients requires hours of studying (which is why I’m starting now).

Since high school I’ve been an on-again-off-again gym and cardio machine rat, dedicated countless weeks at a time to various kinds of aerobics classes, and completed my fair share of at home workout DVD’s.  That’s not to say I’m an expert, but I’m no stranger to the fitness/gym world!

However, it wasn’t until 2 years ago that fitness became a lifestyle; a daily focus to become the best version of me! Building a foundation for longterm success has been pivotal in my journey thus far and something I want to bring to my clients.     personal trainer

There’s a deep desire to learn from my (future) clients what drives them to succeed, what limits their capabilities, their past or current struggles, and ultimately the goals they want to reach.

I want to be the driving force that helps them- or YOU- concur goals in the gym (and kitchen).

Being a personal trainer does not make me a nutrition specialist!  However, outside the “gym” my passion overflows into cooking and meal planning doing my best to make healthy eating approachable and easy.  I’m continually learning and trying new things, swapping one ingredient out for another, and adapting recipes to meet my needs without forcing it upon my family (more on that topic later).

eat this not that

No matter your goals, from losing weight to building muscle, I firmly believe in a simple formula:

Eat Right + Exercise = Results

Nothing ground breaking, just an honest equation. Yet, so many people just don’t know where to start or they hit a plateau and give up!

Now, eating right is a vague term, I know.  It’s different for everyone based on their starting point, dietary restrictions, macro needs etc.

Learning to create balance in your diet, without crazy restrictions, is fundamental to making it a lifestyle NOT a diet! Hence my birthday bowl of heavenly lemon cake and raspberry ice-cream…bowl #2.  (It WAS my birthday after all.)

iffym

My plan going forward is to build small accountability groups to coach and mentor-online and local.  

These groups will consist of ONLY women with a STRONG desire to commit themselves to a healthier lifestyle.  My desire is to encourage, motivate and inspire you to make the commitment to your DAILY life NOT search for any sort of quick-fix remedy.  We’ll work together through various workouts and evaluate individual macro needs, crossing off attainable goals every step of the way!

Subscribe today if you’re not already so you won’t miss upcoming recipes, menu plans, workouts and accountability group sign-ups!

Until next time here’s a little glimpse of a Tabata style arm workout I did in the gym (first shared on Instagram) while on a recent mini vacation.  20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest for a total of 4 rounds (equivalent to 16 minutes).  Use heavier or lighter weights if needed!

12lb. bicep curls to shoulder press~~30lb. sumo squat with upright row~~tricep dips~~12lb. hammer curls finished with 3 sets of bosu ball ab work. 

Fitness Friday