Pinterest Pantry - Second Edition

I'm visiting my folks this week - so have spent the last few days eating all of my favorite comfort foods. Which means I won't be able to fit in to my pants next week. ;)  So in the second edition of Pinterest Pantry I'm sharing a few recipes that still have that cozy warm comfort food vibe but are a lot better for you! And...two things that were a failure. Hey. They can't all be green chicken enchilada cauliflower casserole!

GREEN CHICKEN ENCHILADA CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE

Sweet Mother of relatively healthy comfort food!! We made this casserole from I Breathe I'm Hungry because we had a bunch of frozen cauliflower in the freezer and all the other ingredients already - all I needed was a rotisserie chicken (because I was too lazy to cook a couple of chicken breasts) and HELLO!!!!! I plan to make this 769 times in the next month because it is AMAZING and surprisingly healthy! SUCH a great substitution for those rich pasta or rice casseroles...I promise you won't miss a thing.

GRADE: A+++
HOW HEALTHY: At first glance it doesn't seem super healthy - but is only 311 calories per serving and is low carb and gluten free.
DIFFICULTY: VERY easy and took less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
RECIPE CHANGES:  We used rotisserie chicken out of sheer laziness, and the only thing we did different from the recipe was we chopped the cauliflower up a bit after we microwaved it so it would be in smaller pieces.
 

SLOW COOKER KIELBASA AND WHITE BEAN CASSOULET

Another winner! I first found this recipe from Real Simple in their magazine. We make this at least twice a month because it is easy, doesn't require a bunch of special ingredients and it is perfect for leftovers for lunch. 

GRADE: A+
HOW HEALTHY: We think it is relatively healthy...it is dairy free, gluten free, no added oils/butter, and we used turkey kielbasa to cut back on the calories. See our recipe changes - we skipped the bread altogether and didn't miss it one bit!
DIFFICULTY: SUPER easy - just cut up the kielbasa, dump everything in to the slow cooker and come home to a delicious meal (and a great smelling house)!
RECIPE CHANGES:  We skipped the bread - cut back on the carbs, made the meal a bit healthier, and was one less step to get the meal on the table. We also used minced garlic and dried thyme to make it even easier!
 

WALNUT AND ROSEMARY OVEN FRIED CHICKEN

We haven't had fried chicken in a hundred years, and we are pretty leery of recipes that claim that oven baked is just as good...but this one from The Recipe Critic was pretty darn close! The toasted panko and crushed nuts make a nice crispy crust with tons of taste.

GRADE: A
HOW HEALTHY: Another one that doesn't seem super healthy at first glance - but it is under 300 calories per serving so if you combine it with a simple salad it is a nice light healthy meal and has tons of protein!
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy - the hardest part was making sure the panko didn't burn when we cooked it on the stove. :) We put our chicken on a rack, so if you do that trust us when we say to ALSO line the pan with foil or parchment paper prior to cooking - otherwise clean up is a pain!
RECIPE CHANGES:  We used dried rosemary instead of fresh.

BRAISED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH MUSTARD AND THYME

First of all...am I the only person in the world who did not know the correct name for this vegetable is brussels sprouts - not brussel sprouts? Clearly I need to get out more. Secondly - Don and I like our brussels sprouts roasted and a little "drier", this recipe from Cooking Light was too mushy for our taste. If you love mushier vegetables you might love this one!

GRADE: C
HOW HEALTHY: Pretty damn healthy. You only add 1T butter for the entire recipe.
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy - the whole thing only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
RECIPE CHANGES:  None.

BACON AND EGG BREAKFAST CHILI

It is funny - I forgot that this recipe from health-bent.com is called bacon and egg chili because 95% of the time we skip the bacon and eggs and just eat the chili plain! This is our go-to recipe for weekday breakfasts. We cook up a batch (it makes a TON) on Sunday afternoons and then eat it throughout the week - it is hearty, healthy, and easy to make! If you DO add the bacon, egg and avocado it ratchets this up to an A++ - it is SOOOOOOO good!

GRADE: A
HOW HEALTHY: VERY - it is paleo, gluten free, dairy free, and you can use ground turkey or turkey sausage if you prefer.
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy - the whole thing only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
RECIPE CHANGES:  As I mentioned - 95% of the time we skip the bacon, egg and avocado, just to save time. Be sure you dice the sweet potatoes VERY small, and be ready to let the chili simmer for an hour or so. Those sweet potatoes take a while to get soft!

CREAMY CARROT AND CAULIFLOWER SOUP

I LOVE soup - and I am forever on the search for a rich creamy soup that is still good for you. This recipe from Cooking with Curls is VERY healthy, and if I was on a very strict diet I would eat it (it tastes fine), but otherwise it isn't a recipe we'll make again.

GRADE: C
HOW HEALTHY: VERY. Dairy free, gluten free, low calorie, chock full of veggies.
DIFFICULTY: VERY easy - hardest part is chopping all of the vegetables.
RECIPE CHANGES:  We used minced garlic.

If you've got a relatively healthy Pinterest recipe that you make over and over again - I'd love to see it! We are always on the lookout for easy, healthy, delicious food! Looking for more recipes that we've put in to our bellies? The first edition of Pinterest Pantry has some favorites!