Ragin’ Cajun Creamy Chicken n Shrimp Pasta

Ragin Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Pasta

Ragin Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Pasta

I’d been thinking of making some sort of Cajun pasta for a while, but I could never find a recipe that looked good and saucy AND didn’t have 800 calories per serving. The idea was all but forgotten until I was at the grocery store and saw cajun chicken sausage on super sale. I, of course, bought a couple of packs along with some Andouille flavored sausages as well. My cabinet is crammed with recently purchased cans of Jalapeno Diced Tomatoes for a chili. (Side note: I don’t know why more stores don’t carry these. We have plain diced tomatoes and 3 variations of Italian seasoning based tomatoes, but NOTHING with any spice. Walmart.com to the rescue.) I am checking out the fridge and my light bulb says yes! It’s spicy cajun pasta time!! I have the cajun sausage. I have the pasta. I have the spicy diced tomatoes. I have heavy cream! I have… wait, a large container of heavy cream. If I use a little bit for the pasta, then what am I going to do with the rest???* Then, my impulse shopping comes to the rescue. After reading a review on one of the junk food blogs I follow, and coming across a sale, I bought some Philadelphia Jalapeno Cheddar Dip. I was so excited, but the day after buying it, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it since eating it on a cracker did not sound appealing. And the Philadelphia website had zero thoughts on the matter. So, in the alignment of mishaps, it seemed that this would be the ingredient to throw in the pasta to make it creamy, cheesy(ish) and add even more spice.
*Side note: Am I the only one who hates having leftover heavy cream and feels compelled to use it all ASAP? Same with canned pumpkin. I hate when a recipe calls for 1 cup or less. My can is 15oz! Canned pumpkin does not last long in the fridge once opened!
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 12 oz package of Cajun style Chicken Sausage, sliced*
  • 1 14.5 oz can  Petite Cut Diced® Tomatoes with Zesty Jalapeños
  • 4 servings (8 Tbsp) Philadelphia Jalapeno Cheddar Dip
  • 4 servings (approx 3 cups) of whole grain penne pasta**
  • 1 Tbsp of cajun seasoning
  • 5oz fresh spinach
  • your favorite cooking spray
  1. Prepare the pasta.
  2. While the pasta is going, spray a skillet with cooking spray. Add the shrimp and cook until Very light pink. Add the chicken sausage and cook until warm.
  3. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes. Still in the cream cheese dip until blended. Add Cajun seasoning.
  4. Stir in in pasta.
  5. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
  6. Plate and serve!
*I used Nature’s Promise Cajun style Chicken Sausage
** you know, the high fiber stuff
*** I actually forgot to add in my spinach until after I had finished the pasta and started plating. I used the same skillet, a little more cooking spray and cooked the spinach until it became bright green and then added it to the dish. I prefer this if only because you get a prettier picture later.

Calories: 422
Carbs: 49
Fat: 11
Protein: 40
Fiber: 8
Serves 4

Pumpkin Chipotle Chicken Tortellini


Pumpkin Chipotle Chicken Tortellini

I can’t believe my poor blog has been neglected for an entire year. This is what happens when I don’t make blogging a new year’s resolution. Or when I don’t bother making any resolutions at all. Anyways, lately, I’ve been spending more time browsing the local Aldi. I keep reading articles about how Aldi is this nice Trader Joe’s alternative with award-winning, low priced whiskey, but the one in my area is not like that at all. It’s truly a dump. It looks like where grocery store leftovers have gone to die. And, some of the customers seem to be preparing for the end of their days on Earth as well. On the upside, it’s perfect for a post gym stop. I never feel self-conscious about how I am dressed, smell, or what my hair is doing. You can go from one judgment-free zone to another. Initially, your instincts will have you question whether or not you should even eat there. Then you figure, the dry food is okay. Warm up to the produce and some of the dairy. I have worked my way up to chicken sausage, but not full on fresh raw meat.

On a recent visit, I spied jars of pumpkin chipotle pasta sauce. Being a mil, I googled it to see what people thought and the verdict was it’s good, smoky, and not spicy. So inspired by someone’s rave reddit review, I bring you pumpkin chicken tortellini pasta. Made exclusively* with Aldi’s ingredients.


  • 1/2 24oz jar Aldi’s Pumpkin Chipotle pasta sauce
  • 1 9oz package Aldi’s Priano Three Cheese Tortellini
  • 3.5 servings Aldi Garlic and Herb Frozen Chicken Breasts**
  • 1T habanero seasoning***


  1. Cook chicken according to instructions.
  2. Cook pasta according to instructions.
  3. Once the chicken is done and has cooled slightly, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Warm the sauce, stir in the habanero seasoning.
  5. Add the chicken and pasta to the sauce and eat!

* Well, the habanero seasoning salt I purchased somewhere else. But it’s a spice and it’s super generic, so that counts as basically being 100% Aldi right? I’m sure they sell spicy spices.
** That’s the goal. Sometimes the breasts stick together, and I didn’t want to break them apart. When I made this, it wound up being about 2 chicken breasts.
*** I find this adds a pleasant amount of spice. You could definitely get away with adding more.
**** You can top this with some Parmesan cheese too. The first time I made this, I did it and it was good. The second time I made it, I forgot all about it and to be honest, I didn’t miss it. Of course, I also eat the store brand grated Parmesan cheese from the tube which we now know has more wood pulp in it than cheese, so maybe that’s why?


Calories: 454
Carbs: 45
Fat: 14
Protein: 38

Serves 3

Cranberry Cornbread Greek Yogurt Skillet Cake

This recipe is based on my Roasted Cranberry Greek Yogurt loaf cake. Only this has the awesomeness of sweet cornbread flavor and the cool factor of being made in a cast iron skillet.


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla Greek yogurt*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • .5 cups yellow corn meal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt



  1. Heat oven to 400F.
  2. Over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Once the oil has melted, add the cranberries and 1 Tbsp of sugar and stir to coat the cranberries.
  4. Place the cranberries and the skillet into the oven and roast for approximately 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when they soften and your kitchen starts to have an amazing cranberry smell. While they roast, move on to the cake!
  5. Remove the cranberries from the oven and lower the temperature to 350F.


  1. In a bowl, beat the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and butter together.
  2. Add eggs, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract and blend.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until just blended.
  5. From the skillet, remove some of the roasted cranberries and stir them into the cake batter. Leave enough in the skillet so that you still have a nice cranberry layer on top.
  6. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool, then flip it out of the skillet onto a plate.
  8. Slice and serve!

* I used Dannon Oikos Triple Zero yogurt. It has fiber and is much sweeter than regular fat-free greek yogurt. If you didn’t use this, I recommend using a full cup of sugar and tasting the batter to make sure it’s sweet enough. And you’re welcome for giving you a legitimate reason to eat cake batter.

Calories: 282
Carbs: 45
Fat: 8
Protein: 8
Fiber: 5

Serves 8

Fall Fig and Pumpkin Pizza

Guys, fresh fig season. Why are you so short? Why are my usual New England grocery stores so slow to replace the stock?

I almost called this something like “Fabulous Fall Fig Salad”. Thankfully, I realized that was lame. At least for me. These can totally be meal prepped. I basically kept everything separate and then assembled the day of, keeping the cheese on the block. Freshly shredded cheese is everything!

This recipe gets bonus points for using the entire can of pumpkin. There’s nothing worse than making something that needs 1 cup of puree. The rest of the can goes into the fridge and chills there unused until it goes bad.

This recipe has a few parts. I listed the directions in order of approximately how long each piece takes. I actually made my caramelized onions last because I thought it would take about 5 minutes. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

  • 30oz Rotisserie Flavor Turkey Breast Tenderloins*
  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1.5 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • .5 Tbsp butter
  • fresh sage
  • salt
  • pepper
Turkey and Figs
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
  2. Bake turkey tenderloins for 50-60 min, or until the internal temperature is 165F.
  3. While the turkey cooks, slice the figs into quarters.
  4. After about 30 minutes have passed, put the figs in the oven along with the turkey and bake them until they are soft and start to caramelize.
  5. When the turkey is done, remove and slice into small pieces.
Caramelized Onions
  1. Slice the onion into skinny rings.
  2. Heat a skillet over low heat and add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the onions
  3. Stir the onions every few minutes until they caramelize.**
Prep the pumpkin sauce!
  1. Mince (or chop) a few leaves of sage.
  2. Combine the pumpkin, EVOO, honey and fish sauce in a pot over medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until evenly heated.
  4. Stir in your fresh sage.
Assemble the Pizza!
  1. Crank the oven up to 425. If using, put a pizza stone in the oven while it heats up.
  2. Once the oven is hot, add pizza crusts and cook 5-6 minutes until they start to get crispy.
  3. Remove the crusts.
  4. Assemble the pizzas: sauce, turkey, figs, and caramelized onions. Top with cheese and place back into the oven for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
  5. Remove the pizzas from the oven and garnish with some more fresh sage.



*Shout out to Shady Brook Farms for selling turkey tenderloins all year long
** This takes forever! Like at least half an hour. If you must, you can increase the heat a tad towards the end, but monitor the onions carefully. Increasing the heat too much will burn them.


Calories: 550
Carbs: 59
Fat: 17
Protein: 43
Fiber: 9

Serves 5

Chocolate Fig Protein Pancakes



  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 ounce water
  • 100g figs
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup


  1. Heat oven to 375F.
  2. Slice figs and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  3. Bake figs until juices start to release.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  6. Add in the egg and Greek yogurt. Mix until combined, then add in water. The batter should be slightly runny.
  7. Once the skillet is warm, spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Add about 2 spoonfuls of batter to the skillet.
  9. Let cook until the edges solidify and bubble.* This should take at least two minutes.
  10. Continue going with the pancakes until the batter is done.**
  11. Remove figs from the oven if you haven’t already.***
  12. Stack pancakes and layer a few fig slices and some syrup between them.
  13. Top the stack with a pile of figs and drizzle the remaining syrup on top.

* I inevitably don’t do this for the first pancake. Between not waiting long enough for the skillet to warm up and being super anxious about the pancake burning, my first pancake gets flipped too soon. And then I don’t let the other side cook long enough and my first pancake is kinda runny.
**If this is going slowly and the pancakes are cooling down too much while you cook, turn the oven down to 200F and place the pancakes in there. Perhaps your first under cooked pancake can finish up. If you haven’t eaten it already that is.
***If you did already remove the figs, I highly recommend chopping a few slices and stirrring them into the batter.

Calories: 514
Carbs: 68
Fat: 5
Protein: 51
Fiber: 5

Serves 1

Pretty Fabulous Fresh Fig Salad

Fresh figs are one of my favorite things. It’s a shame the season is so short and they have almost no shelf life. They are basically the gold fish of produce. One of my favorite things about this salad is how pretty it is. And it’s easy to make it look pretty. I wouldn’t make this as a meal prep salad jar salad, but fortunately, it’s pretty quick to throw together. (Although I did prep one in a tupperware as a lunch side, and it was pretty tasty once it warmed up to room temperature.)


  • 1 cup (42.5g) arugula/wild rocket salad
  • 50g blackberries (about 8)
  • 100g sliced fresh figs
  • 1/2oz (14g) goat cheese with honey
  • 1T (15G) honey mustard yogurt salad dressing*


  1. Heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Slice each fig into fours and bake in the oven 7-10 minutes.
  3. While the figs bake, spread arugula over a plate.
  4. Place blackberries and schmears of goat cheese on top of the leaves.
  5. Drizzle dressing over the salad.
  6. Remove figs from the oven and arrange on the plate.
  7. Serve, impress and eat!

*A Dijon mustard vinaigrette would also work here. I just happened to have the Bolthouse Farms honey mustard dressing at home.

Calories: 169
Carbs: 31
Fat: 4
Protein: 7
Fiber: 7

Serves 1

S’mores Pizookie! The Skillet Cookie


In honor of National S’mores Day, and with the encouragement of my awesome friend Lori, this happened.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of graham cracker flour*
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg**
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • Graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars to garnish.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Allow the butter to start to brown.
  3. Once the butter starts browning, lower the heat to medium-low and whisk in the suagrs until smooth.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat, and let the contents cool.
  5. While the skillet cools, beat the egg and add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add in the egg and vanilla extract mixture.
  7. Add in the flours, salt and baking soda until mixed. Fold in in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.****
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes until the cookie is golden brown and still a tiny bit gooey.
  9. Remove from the oven and add all the garnishes.
  10. Place the skillet back into the oven and cook another 5ish minutes until the marshmallows puff up and get soft. Maybe torch them if your kitchen is stocked like a boss.
  11. Remove the pizookie and cool for 10 minutes.
  12. Drop a few scoops of vanilla ice cream on top and enjoy!

* Graham cracker flour is just finely ground up graham crackers, duh. I suppose you can take some graham crackers (about 6-8 sheets), put them in a plastic bag and roll them until they form crumbs. I find this never works as advertised. My preferred method is to put them in my stand mixer and blend them for a few minutes. You can also just buy graham cracker crumbs in the grocery store. They’re usually near the graham cracker pie crusts.
** I actually didn’t have any eggs, so I used 3T of mayo! I was really worried about this substitution, but it worked out well!
*** If you ran out of eggs and are using mayo, whisk in the mayo until it disappears. This will take 1-2 minutes. I did this while the skillet was still hot.
**** Don’t ask how I know this, but if you DON’T fold it in and just mix it in, all the chocolate chips will immediately melt and not be as pretty, though still pretty tasty.