Tag Archives: dinner

Chicken and Chiles Stuffed Potatoes

23 Apr

This recipe is such an easy one. If you microwave your potatoes, you can have dinner on the table in under 20 minutes. That’s a keeper in my book! The chicken was delicious in the potatoes but I think I want to try using shrimp next time. Shrimp only takes 2-4 minutes to cook and the potato would support the delicate flavor of the shrimp.

But that’s for another day. Last night, I used chicken and it was great!

Chicken and Chiles Stuffed Potatoes

Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy
Servings: 2

2 large potatoes (I used 1 large and 3 small ones and adjusted the microwave time accordingly)
1 chicken breast, thawed and chopped into small bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small can chopped green chiles
1/3 c. sour cream
1/3 c. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425°. Wash and dry potatoes. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Place potatoes in the microwave for 6 minutes.  Check to see if they are tender. If they are still very hard, microwave in 1 minute increments until soft. Meanwhile, season chicken with chili powder and salt. In a greased pan over medium high heat, cook chicken until no longer pink, about 7-10 minutes. Cut cooked potatoes in half and hull out the soft insides, leaving the potato jacket intact.

In a bowl, mix potato insides, chopped chiles, and sour cream together. Fold in cooked chicken. Spoon mixture back into potato jackets. Top with shredded cheese.On a baking sheet, bake stuffed potatoes until cheese is melted and stuffing is heated through, about 5-7 minutes. Yum!

Tips
-Use shrimp instead of chicken.
-Use low fat or fat free sour cream.

South of the Border Burgers

20 Oct

We love tacos and burritos at our house! But, alas, I was completely out of tortillas when the craving hit us. I don’t know about you but around here, when a craving hits, there’s no getting rid of it… So the South of the Border Burger was born, as most things are, out of necessity. And now this burger will surely be a weeknight  staple! I hope you like it.


South of the Border Burgers

Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Level: Easy

2 servings of ground beef (I always pre-portion my meat once I buy it…)
1 tbsp. low sodium taco seasoning
2 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 tbsp. salsa
1 tbsp. sour cream
2 slices cheddar cheese
freshly sliced purple onions, optional
lettuce

Mix ground beef and taco seasoning. Form into 2 patties. Either outside on the grill or inside in a grill pan, grill burgers until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes on each side.

Spread salsa on one side of hamburger buns and spread sour cream on the other side. Top buns with burgers, cheddar cheese,  onions, and lettuce. Yum!

Shrimp and Bacon Alfredo

8 Aug

The night before a triathlon, my husband loves to have a big bowl of pasta. Hmm… a protein packed pasta dish the day before I HAD to go grocery shopping (I was down to eating pb&j’s for breakfast again) seemed impossible. In fact, I considered calling for take-out. Seriously. I had no chicken, no jarred spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce for making my own, and only 1/2 of a box of rigatoni pasta. Thank goodness it was whole wheat! I was… how do you say… in a pickle.

I dug to the back of the fridge and found two things that inspired this recipe. (I shouldn’t even call it that. A recipe? I don’t  even have measurements for the ingredients!) I found a jar of Alfredo sauce that had about 1/4-1/3 cup left and 1/3 of a container of low fat cottage cheese. The cottage cheese was leftover from a delicious veggie lasagna that I have yet to post… stay tuned for it. It’s really delicious!

The cottage cheese was a wild card but it worked out great. It melted into the Alfredo sauce and added the thickness and richness I was looking for, along with added protein!

Anyway, I basically just threw a bunch of ingredients together and tasted as I went along, adding a dash of this and that, until it was perfected. I you find yourself in a culinary pickle, don’t panic. Just throw some stuff together and see what happens. You might be surprised what you can come up with.

Shrimp and Bacon Alfredo

Servings: 2
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

Turkey bacon, cooked and crumbles
Shrimp, cooked and peeled
Frozen peas, thawed
Rigatoni pasta, cooked and drained
Cottage cheese
Alfredo pasta sauce
Italian seasoning
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Salt

Mix all ingredients together in a pot over medium heat until warmed throughout. Play with the ingredient amounts until you get the right consistency, texture, and taste you want. Yum!


 

Grilled Corn with French Onion “Butter”

12 Jul

Grilled corn on the cob is probably my favorite summertime veggie. When the husks burn on the outside of the corn, the kernels practically get a steam bath and become infused with a wonderful smoky flavor. When I grill corn on the cob, I make sure to grill a lot of it! Leftovers can be reinvented into so many delicious dishes… the options are truly endless.

You can cut off the perfectly charred kernels to throw into a salad, use them to make a cold corn soup, (whew… recipe for another day, pure deliciousness!) make a salsa or dip, or even just reheat them with a little salt and butter for an easy side dish on a busy night.

Grilling corn is super easy. There are a lot of theories on how to grill the perfect ear of corn but this one seems to work best for me. Sorry there aren’t any pictures…

First, with kitchen scissors, I trim the silk fibers that are poking out of the top of the ear. Then, I peel off the first entire layer of the husk. After that, I throw the ears on to the grill, set at medium-high heat, for 25-30 minutes, turning every once in a while. Once they come off of the grill, totally black and super messy, I peel back the husk and take off the silk fibers. I guess that’s called shucking?! Ahhhhh-mazing!

Nothing can beat an ear of grilled corn slathered in melted butter and dusted with salt. But for the sake of not boring my family with the same ole’ side dish, just because I love it so much, I started doing some experimenting.

Normally I don’t have French onion dip in the fridge. Chip dip is just something I never buy. I’d rather use Greek yogurt and sour cream to make my own. I like controlling my own flavors and nutritional content when it comes to things like that. But, alas, the 4th of July left us with a tub and I figured I could use it. What was born was truly delicious and I hope you enjoy it.

Grilled Corn with French Onion “Butter”

Servings: 2
Time: 2 minutes
Level: Easy

2 ears of corn, grilled and shucked
2 tbsp. French onion dip (I used Dean’s brand)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more…)
1/2 tsp. lime or lemon juice

Mix dip, cayenne, and juice together. Spread over all sides of the corn. Yum!

Tips
– I bet you could use any dip flavor… dill, ranch, etc.

Carolina Salad

11 Jul

Ooh, the Carolina. My husband requests this salad at least once every two weeks, especially in the hot hot summer. Did you know that it hit over 100° today? Ridiculous. Factor in the sticky humidity that constantly blankets us and you’ve got yourself a sweat box. Good skin? Yes, the dewiest, most gorgeous skin.  But an enjoyable afternoon spent reading outside? I don’t think so.

Hot weather welcomes dinner salads and this one is legit. I made Pretzel and Pecan Encrusted Tilapia not too long ago and I made extra breading for a night just like tonight! The breading saves beautifully in an airtight container. For the recipe, click here.

Dinner salads are an excuse to clean out your produce drawer. Pretty much anything goes… and goes VERY well, so play around!!

Carolina Salad

Servings: 2
Time: 10 minutes
Level: Easy

1 chicken breast
1/3 – 1/2 c. pretzel and pecan breading
1 tbsp. coconut oil (canola or vegetable oil would also work… coconut is just better for you and pan fries wonderfully)
The following list is what I used in my salad tonight. You can use whatever you have!
lettuce
spinach leaves
radishes
carrots
purple onion
grapes (strawberries or nectarines work well, too)
broccoli
cashews
cheese, shredded
bacon, cooked and crumbled
croutons
salad dressing of your choice

Dry chicken breast and dice into bite sized pieces. In a shallow dish or plate, pour breading and press chicken pieces into the breading to coat.

In a pan over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Once melted and heated to temperature, add chicken and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until no longer pink in the middle.

Fill large bowls or deep plates with lettuce and other ingredients. Top with chicken. Yum!

Tips
– Make your own croutons… Slice a piece of bread into cubes, top with a little butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Yum!
– No egg bath is needed to coat the chicken. The breading will stick to the bare chicken and holds up nicely in the pan since it is fried for such a short period of time. Why add the calories if they aren’t really needed?

Grilled Apple Pork Burgers with a Maple Mustard Glaze

30 Jun

Tonight was an adventure. I wasn’t really sure where this dinner was taking me but I knew I needed to use up the ground pork I had in my freezer. Pork chops and apple sauce is a classic combination so I figured ground pork and chopped apples would have a similar flavor. Everyone loves a good burger… so I went for it.

What became of this burger was nothing short of delicious. An interesting combination of flavors, to say the least, but it was both savory and sweet and very well balanced.

Grilled Apple Pork Burgers with a Maple Mustard Glaze

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Medium

1/3 – 1/2 lb. ground pork
1 small apple, peeled and diced into small pieces
curry powder, a good sprinkle
garlic powder, a good sprinkle
ground cinnamon or nutmeg, a good sprinkle
ground ginger, a good sprinkle
paprika, a good sprinkle
1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Mix pork, apple, and spices together.

Form meat mixture into two patties.

Either on the grill or in a grill pan, grill burgers for 4-6 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, mix together mustard and syrup. Baste burgers while cooking with mustard glaze.

Yum!

Tips
– Serve alone or on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Perfectly Roasted Chicken – Comfort Food At It’s Best!

29 Jun

Whew. What a looong weekend/week. After everything we’ve all been through, I thought we deserved a little R&R and a deliciously comforting meal. This roasted chicken takes about 10 minutes to prepare so it’s in the oven in no time. It also makes your entire house smell like a cozy diner on a winter’s day.

While it roasted away in the oven, I got in a load of laundry, took the dogs on a w-a-l-k, (can’t say it in front of them, ya know) and took a much deserved bath. This is my go-to recipe for roasted chicken and it delivers time after time. I hope you like it.

The two of us can typically get about 4-5 meals out of one chicken so buy them when they’re on sale and keep them in your freezer to roast later. You can also freeze the cooked meat. That’s what I did tonight. We ate the chicken legs for dinner and I froze a bag of the breasts and two bags of shredded meat. That will come in handy later on when I’m in a hurry and need to make a quesadilla or a quick casserole.

Perfectly Roasted Chicken

Servings: 8
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes total
Level: Medium

1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs.), thawed
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
1 Tbsp. margarine
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chicken seasoning (such as Weber’s Kick’n Chicken)

Preheat oven to 400°. Remove innards from chicken. Dry off chicken, inside and out, with paper towels. Fill cavity with garlic, onions, celery, and margarine.

Rub outside of chicken with oil. Sprinkle seasonings all over. Tuck wings and tie legs together with kitchen twine, if desired.  Place any leftover onion or celery pieces in the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Place chicken on top.

Roast in the oven, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 180° when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Remove from oven, let rest for at least 15 minutes, and serve. Yum!

Tips
– If you don’t have kitchen twine, you can use unwaxed and unflavored dental floss or upholstery thread.
– Instead of using chicken seasoning, use your favorite fresh herbs, like rosemary or thyme.

In Honor of the First Day of Summer: A Delicious Chicken and Veggie Marinade for the Grill

21 Jun

It has felt like summer for a month now. But today marks the summer solstice and the official first day of summer. To honor the longest day of the year we’d better fire up the grill!

This marinade is one of my favorites. It is so simple… just two ingredients! And it packs a serious punch after marinating for only 20 minutes. It simply can’t be beat.

Grilled Chicken and Vegetables Marinade

Time: 5 minutes to make, at least 20 minutes to marinade.
Servings: I marinated 2 big chicken breast and about 3 c. of chopped veggies.
Level: Easy

2/3 c. Zesty Italian dressing (you can use lite or fat free)
almost 1 Tbs. Weber Grill Kick’n Chicken seasoning

Mix ingredients together in a large zip-loc bag. Add whole chicken breasts and various chopped veggies. Seal bag and rub marinade all through chicken and veggies. Lay bag flat on the counter and let marinade sit for at least 20 minutes, turning bag a few times.

Grill over medium heat for 15- 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts. Yum!

Tips
– I had leftover red and green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and white button mushrooms from my Steak and Veggie Kabobs. I used those veggies plus a roughly chopped onion.
– I grilled my veggies in a grilling basket.

Chili Cheese Turkey Dogs

20 Jun

These are some serious knife and fork dogs. The spicy chili and grilled hot dog combo is a classic that simply can’t be beat.

I NEVER order these when I’m out because chili can be unpredictable and VERY VERY fatty. You never know what the consistency is going to be like and you can never tell what cut of meat has been used. I like my chili chunky. I want to be able to see the meat, beans, and tomatoes and taste them all individually if I wanted to. I know, I know… I’m such a weirdo.

This chili is not just good on hot dogs. It is also delicious when served alone, on top of Fritos or tortilla chips, topped with sour cream and cheese, or any combination of the three. An added bonus?! This chili recipe is quick and easy and only takes 15 minutes to make!

Speedy Spicy Chili

Servings: 4
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
1 can chili ready tomatoes
1 can chili beans
1/4 c. jalapeños
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

In a deep sauté  pan over medium-high heat, cook onions and garlic in a little oil until they become fragrant. Add meat and cook until no longer pink. Add remaining ingredients and continue to cook, stirring often, until chili reduces and becomes thick. Yum!

Grill hot dogs, place in warmed hot dog buns, and top with chili and shredded cheese. Yum!

Tips
– My dad likes to add mustard to the top of his chili dogs.
– Jason likes to add sour cream.
– You can use regular hot dogs instead of turkey dogs.
– You can also leave the meat out of the chili and use vegetarian hot dogs.

You Hate Leftovers? No Way… and Big Boy Burritos

18 Jun

I recently had an interesting conversation with a guy about leftovers. I am leftover obsessed and he was telling how much he absolutely HATES them. After talking  about soggy casseroles, spoonfuls of peas, and one bite of this and that thrown back on a plate and stuck in the microwave, I almost agreed with him. GAAARRRROSSS.

It occurred to me that whenever I use leftovers, I rarely ever eat them in exactly the same way. I always turn them in to something completely different, so instead of boringly eating the same meal, I just have half of the leg work done for me when beginning my next meal.

Case in point: Last night’s burritos. I call them Big Boy Burritos because they are almost too stuffed to fit into a tortilla. Good news? You don’t need any sides. All of your veggies and protein are wrapped up into one filling bundle. Yum!

The day before I  made Steak and Veggie Kabobs and had a lot leftover. I made leftovers on purpose so I could have steak, veggies, and rice already done for a quick meal later. If you think ahead, you can make weeknight dinners a breeze for nights when you’re in a hurry.

Big Boy Burritos

Servings: However much you have leftover.
Time: 10 minutes, max
Level: Easy

Steak or chicken, cooked
Veggies, cooked
Salsa
Rice
Black Beans
Tortillas
Sour cream
Cheese, shredded

Slice meat and veggies into bite sized pieces.

In a skillet over medium heat, heat meat, veggies, a few spoonfuls of salsa, rice, and black beans until warmed throughout.

Microwave tortillas for 15 seconds to help them become more pliable. Top tortillas with desired amounts of salsa and sour cream. Top with warmed meat mixture and a little cheese. Wrap it up and you’re good to go! Yum!

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