Italian-Style Chicken Quinoa Bake


I got the original recipe for this on the Alida’s Kitchen blog, but I’ve made a few of my own tweaks. This is another great recipe to share with friends – I often take this to people who need a meal after having a baby, or surgery, or just an intense season of life! One of the things I love about it is that it can be made up and assembled in advance, and then the recipient (or you!) can just store it in the fridge until they’re ready to throw it in the oven and eat! You can even make it the night or the morning before…..can I get a hallelujah?! We like to serve this on a bed of fresh spinach for extra goodness and difference in texture. This recipe serves four to six, so I usually double it if I’m taking it to someone, that way we can eat some too! In fact, Chris took the leftovers on a climb the other day and said it was perfect for that kind of situation – providing plenty of protein and fuel for energy!


4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups quinoa, cooked

1 and 1/2 cups of pasta sauce (like a marinara…or I used Tomato Basil)

1 red bell pepper, chopped small

1/2 an onion, chopped small

A lug of olive oil

1 cup baby tomatoes, halved

A handful of fresh basil, chopped

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

– Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking dish (something like a 9×13 inch) In a pan, sautée the onions and red bell pepper in olive oil. After a few minutes, add the chicken. After the chicken is cooked, shred or chop it up. 

Combine the cooked quinoa, chicken, seasonings, pasta sauce, about half of the basil and 1 cup of the cheese. Put half of the quinoa mixture into your baking dish, and top with half of the tomatoes and half a cup of cheese. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture, the remaining cheese and tomatoes, and the rest of the basil. If you want you can add a little grated parmesan too. 

Cover with foil and bake for 15 mins, then uncover and cook for another 10 or so minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (I always put this last sentence on a note for the family I’m taking the meal to, so they know that they can eat it on their own schedule) Serve on a bed of fresh spinach if you wish and enjoy!


Italian-Style Chicken Quinoa Bake

Fiesta Rice Salad


This “salad” is my go-to at the moment to take and share at potluck type meals with friends. Every single time I make it I have people asking me for the recipe, so I figured it was time to put it on the blog! Not only is it something different, it’s also good for you and it contains one of Eleni’s all time favorite foods – chickpeas! I’ve had people tell me that they really thought they hated chickpeas until they ate this….so don’t knock it ’til you try it! I often double the recipe if we’re going somewhere with a big crowd, since it’s quite cheap to make too. At home we’ve had this with thick juicy steaks, chicken or burgers, but honestly it’s quite good by itself for lunch!


4 or so cups of cooked basmati rice (which is like 2 cups uncooked)

1 can whole kernel sweetcorn, drained

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 red onion, chopped very small

1 red bell pepper, chopped small

3 or 4 big handfuls of raw spinach, chopped

The juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

– Mix all together in a big bowl, and serve or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Easy peasy! If it seems sticky or too dry, add a drizzle or two of olive oil or an extra squeeze of lemon before serving.


Fiesta Rice Salad

HEALTHY Loaded Sweet Potatoes


I’m kind of in love with this recipe, because it’s easy, fresh, loaded with protein & other good stuff and obviously very yummy! Plus look at those amazing colors – anyone you serve this too will feel special, I guarantee it! This can stand alone or be a side dish – I’ve done it both ways.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 baked sweet potatoes

A handful of fresh spinach, chopped

Half a can of drained whole kernel sweetcorn

Half a can of drained black beans

Half a can of drained chickpeas

Half a red bell pepper, chopped

A squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

– Combine all the ingredients except for the sweet potatoes into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stuff your sweet potatoes with this mixture and you’re done….it’s that easy! You may have some leftover filling which is delicious on its own or good as a starter for a salad of leftovers the next day. Enjoy!

HEALTHY Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Spinach Stuffed Shells

I found this recipe on Amazing Pinterest World. Chris and I  really enjoyed this, even though I am not a fan of ricotta cheese (it’s a texture thing) and we had loads left over for lunch the next day!


24 Jumbo pasta shells

15oz container of ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella (I actually just bought a bag of pre-shredded italian cheeses which included mozzarella and parmesan)

1/2 cup shredded parmesan

10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (took me forever to find this as I only ever buy fresh spinach!)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

salt and pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning

pinch of ground nutmeg

26oz jar of spaghetti sauce

– Preheat oven to 375degrees F. Grease a 9X13in baking dish. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box, drain and set aside to cool. While pasta is cooking, mix ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, the parmesan, spinach, egg, s&p, Italian seasoning and nutmeg. Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over the bottom of the dish. 

Stuff your shells with the cheese/spinach mixture and arrange them in the dish. Spoon the rest of the spaghetti sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes, allowing the cheese to brown and bubble. Yummy!!!

photo (3)

Spinach Stuffed Shells

CrockPot Tuscan Chicken

I am on a quest to become BFFs with my CrockPot. Now that I have a little baby and most of my cooking is done one-handed, I have to get better at planning ahead! I found this recipe from Moms With CrockPots on Pinterest and was really excited because it’s a high-protein, low-carb meal. It was absolutely delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again soon.

CrockPotTuscan Chicken, serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen)

1 can white beans (I used Great Northern), drained and rinsed

1 can fire roasted tomatoes, undrained

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 tsp Italian seasoning (the original recipe calls for dried basil, but I figured I’d just use the seasoning I already had at home)

– Place the chicken (still frozen) on the bottom of your CrockPot. Layer the bell pepper on top of that, and top with the beans and tomatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. My CrockPot runs quite hot so I cooked it on low for about two hours and then switched the temperature to warm. You can serve this meal with pasta or another veggie side, but we didn’t feel the need to add to it.

CrockPot Tuscan Chicken