Category: Product Review


I confess!  In the interest of saving money, I’ve been shopping at Lucky’s and other stores promising good quality organic boneless chicken at lower prices than Fresh Market.  This Little Big Meal offer called out to me, so I decided to splurge.  Guess what?  There really is a difference in the taste and texture.  I will start shopping the Tuesday sale again religiously in the interest of better tasting chicken!  This meal was super easy.  The website said to fry the chicken up in a skillet with a little oil.  Besides the fact that the thought of standing over a hot stove frying chicken didn’t appeal to me, it also sounded a bit greasy.  I opted for a baked method and the results were amazing.  I am on board every time they run this Little Big Meal deal.

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1 Little Big Meal – which includes:

4 large butterflied chicken breasts with light breading

1 jar sauce (the LBM deal was for a brand called Lucini, but they were out – I chose Cucina Artica fresh spinach cooking sauce – very good straight from the jar, but I always taste and doctor it up)

1 pack Fresh Market shredded Mozzarella cheese

My add ins:  sherry, butter, and jarred pesto sauce for sauce, bread, butter, oil, and pesto sauce mix for the garlic bread, and shredded 6 Italian cheese for on top.

1 box DeCecco pasta (I chose cavatappi)  FYI DeCecco won the blind taste test on America’s Test Kitchen as best tasting pasta.

1 package chop salad (again they were out of what it was supposed to be, so I got baby lettuce to make myself lunches for salad this week)

I also made some garlic bread from wonderful sourdough rolls I picked up at their bakery.

  1.  Line baking sheet with foil and brush with oil (I use a grapeseed sunflower blend).
  2. Place chicken pieces on sheet and drizzle with oil.  By the way, the picture is 1/2 of one of the chicken pieces, so it’s a lot of chicken.
  3. Bake at 400 F, setting the timer for 10 minutes to rotate pan and check for even cooking.
  4. Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and heat sauce in pan.  I doctored the sauce with a couple splashes of sherry.
  5. Chicken will be golden around the edges after about 25-30 minutes total cooking time.  Remove from oven and spoon sauce over the pieces, reserving the remaining sauce to mix with the cooked pasta.  After adding the pasta to the sauce, I added in 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. pesto.
  6. Top chicken pieces with shredded cheese.  I had a little 6 cheese Italian on hand, so I used that and some of the Mozzarella.
  7. Return to oven and allow cheese to melt.
  8. For the garlic bread, I mixed melted butter, oil, and Knorr creamy pesto mix and dipped the pieces of bread in it, and baked them first on the lower rack, and then switching out with the chicken towards the end.

The Little Big Meal sells for $20.00 and is supposed to feed four.  We have some leftovers, so the kids are happy!  It’s a lot of food.  I also opted not to make a salad to go with, opting to use it for my lunches instead.  I did purchase the rolls to make the garlic bread for an additional $4.00 investment in the meal.

All in all a success and a great reminder of why the Fresh Market chicken is worth spending a little more!

 

 

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I’m so glad my kids have decided to like quiche again.  So simple to make.  I can make it the night before and everyone helps themselves in the morning at their own pace.  Fresh broccoli for one.  Onions and peppers for the other.  I’m still loving the Immaculate brand pie crusts!  So much better than mine.

1 package broccoli florets

2 Tbsp. oil (I used sunflower grapeseed blend from Lucky’s)

1 Tbsp. mixed seasoning of choice (I used barbecue seasoning)

1 large sweet onion, diced

1/2 each yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, diced

1 Tbsp oil

Salt and pepper

1 box Immaculate pie crusts (2 crusts)

12 eggs

1/2 C. milk (I used unsweetened almond coconut)

2 C. shredded cheese

Goat cheese, crumbled

Bake the pie crust at 400 F until golden (about 10 minutes).  Set aside to cool.  Reduce oven heat to 325 F.

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Toss broccoli, oil, and seasoning.

Spread on large baking sheet lined with oil.

Toss onions and peppers with oil and salt in same bowl broccoli was in.  No sense wasting dishes.

Spread next to broccoli.

Bake at 400F until slightly charred (about 10-15 minutes)

Place broccoli in one crust and onions and peppers in the other.

Whisk eggs and milk together.

Sprinkle the broccoli with one cup of the shredded cheese and half of the goat cheese.  Do likewise with the onions and peppers.

Pour equal amounts of the egg mixture into each.

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes until knife in the center comes out clean.

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2 lb. fresh chicken apple sausage

1 bag Dole chop salad (save the dressing and toppings for another time)

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil

1 can garbanzo or other white bean

1 1/2 c. quinoa

1 c. Thai ginger chicken broth

2 c. water

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in large dutch oven.
  2. Cut sausage into small pieces and place in hot oil.
  3. Meanwhile, put quinoa, broth, and water into rice cooker and cook.
  4. Stir sausage around until golden, and add in chop salad and onion.
  5. Cook about 5-10 minutes more.
  6. Add in garbanzo beans.
  7. Simmer until quinoa is done.
  8. Stir quinoa into sausage and veggies.
  9. Serve topped with Kimchi.

We tried Wildbrine Korean Kimchi for the first time and loved it.  Spicy and delicious!

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I found a good price at Target on the Lundberg rices that I love so much.  They even had a Black Pearl variety I’ve never had before.  I made curry chicken and cooked this Rice Melange in the rice cooker.  Yummy.

KIMG0080

2 1/2 c. Lundberg Jasmine Brown Rice

1/2 c. Lundberg Black Pearl Rice

5 1/4 c. water

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. crushed garlic

1 can black beans, drained

Combine ingredients in rice cooker.  It will take 40-45 minutes to cook, perfect when you are baking boneless breasts since they have the same cooking time.

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1 pouch Imagine Thai Coconut Curry Sauce (OMG Yummy!!)

2 lb. fresh sausage (I used turkey kielbasa)

2 Tbsp. olive oil blend

1 can garbanzo beans

Leftover veggies (red pepper, zucchini, kale) for color and texture

1. Cut sausage into small slices using kitchen shears.

2.  Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat in the olive oil blend until cooked through.

3.  Add in remaining ingredients until heated through.

4.  Transfer to crockpot to keep warm until everyone is ready to eat.

Serve over rice.  (I used a brown and red rice mixture of Lundberg rice I had on hand)

We loved this!  The Thai Coconut Curry Sauce is one of our favorites.  I buy it in bulk (6 at a time) online.  Same with the Lundberg rice that we love!

 

coconut curry

 

I cooked a bunch of chicken the other night that I had marinated in Frontera Key Lime Shrimp Taco Sauce (Frontera is Rick Bayless’ brand – the best!) along with yellow rice and black beans.  Less folks for dinner, so a boatload of leftovers – enter meal two – Burritos!

Burrito and Salad

4 c. leftover chicken breasts – baked in Frontera Key Lime Shrimp Taco sauce for 45 minutes at 350 F

frontera key lime shrimp sauce

3 c. cooked leftover yellow rice

1 c. leftover black beans

2 c. Mexican shredded cheese

20 flour tortillas

Oil for brushing

2 prepared large baking sheets – covered in foil and sprayed with coconut oil.

Preheat oven to 350F

1.  Put leftover cubed chicken in food processor and process until finely shredded.  Add a little salsa, if too dry.

2.  Mix chicken, rice, beans, and cheese using your hands like you’re making a meatloaf.

Leftover chicken and rice for burritos

3.  Place 1/2 to 3/4 c. mixture onto each tortilla, and fold envelope style.

4.  Place on prepared baking sheets.

5.  Brush with oil.

6.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until golden.

So good, the kids said to make the same meal over again specifically to have leftovers to recreate the burritos!!

I served the burritos with salad.

I kept the lettuce and watercress separate from the tomatoes and cucumbers and let everyone assemble their own salads, to save salad stuff for tonight’s dinner consisting of chicken marinated and cooked in papaya poppy seed dressing, cooked at 350F for 40-45 minutes.  Another yummy, healthy dinner.

Papaya Poppy Chicken

 

 

 

I made quiche about a week ago because I had a few frozen pie crusts on hand, and wanted to make the kids breakfast.  It was a huge hit compared to the last time I remember making it.  Maybe their tastebuds are grown up, or maybe I’ve gotten better at it.  Then, I bought Immaculate pie crust the other day to make a lemon pie for Uncle Bob (with a recipe from Molly the Baker which I will post, even though I failed to take a picture of mine)  I had one pie crust left, so I decided to make another quiche this morning.  The Immaculate crust is soooooo good, I don’t think I’ll ever make my own pie crust again or use any other brand!

quiche

1 ready-to-bake pie crust (I used Immaculate and will NEVER use the others again!)

immaculate pie crust

7 eggs

1/4 c. sour cream

1 lb. sausage, crumbled, cooked, drained (I used Jimmy Dean  fully cooked turkey crumbles)

turkey sausage

1 c. shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

  1.  Bake crust at 400 F for 5 minutes or so, just until slightly golden.  Remember to either pierce it with a fork or use pie weights, so it doesn’t lift up.  When you pull  the crust out of the oven, immediately turn oven temp down to 300 F.
  2. Meanwhile, mix eggs and sour cream until well blended.  I didn’t even add salt or pepper, which you could, of course, but I figured the sausage would bring the salt to the party (it did).
  3. Stir in sausage crumbles and cheese.
  4. Bake quiche at 300 F for 50-55 minutes, until set.  (check for doneness by inserting a sharp knife in the center – it should come out clean

This can easily be made ahead, and keeps well for a few days!  Add in onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, other meats.  Switching up the cheese will really change things too.  I’m thinking of trying a brie and apple version next week.

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8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 bottle S & F Caribbean Mango marinade

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I’m hooked on the S & F Chef Sauce line they carry at my local market.  So many great flavors.  Sometimes I doctor them up by adding in fresh ingredients.  Sometimes not.  Straight from the bottle, with no doctoring, we loved this one!  I marinate and freeze the chicken in the sauce, and then defrost in the fridge and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  The dijon mustard and cayenne in this sauce give it a nice kick.

Naan Pizza

Stonefire Naan Bread – I used whole wheat bought on sale (can be frozen for future use)

Sauce of Choice (I had leftover from spaghetti night that I froze for future use)

Italian bread crumbs (to thicken the sauce)

Meat of Choice (I cooked Italian sausage and froze it when it was on sale)

Pesto (to stretch what turned out to be not quite enough leftover sauce!)

Peppers (chopped and frozen when on sale)

Shredded cheese (Italian six cheese – you guessed it – bought on sale – also freezes well)

Naan pizza is a great way to use up leftovers!  It’s also a great way to throw together stuff that you can easily keep in the freezer.  Quick weeknights were made for dinners like this!

  1.  Spray large sheet pan with coconut oil.
  2. Place naan bread on pan and spray tops with coconut oil. Obviously olive oil spray would also work well.  I didn’t have any on hand.
  3. Separate leftover sauce over all of the breads to make sure you have enough.  My sauce was a little watery, so I mixed in some Italian style bread crumbs to thicken it.  I’m glad I did this, because I realized I was a little short, and added a little pesto to each before spreading.  I then took some of the fat from the sausage that came out while it was defrosting and shook it in the pesto jar and spread that around the edge of each of the breads.
  4. Grind up sausage in chopper until crumbly, or cut it by hand if you like bigger pieces.
  5. Spread sausage evenly over all the breads.
  6. Top with defrosted peppers – or any other veggies you have on hand!  I can’t wait to try this with broccoli, cauliflower, beets, mushrooms, whatever!
  7. Sprinkle cheese evenly over toppings.
  8. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.
  9. ENJOY!  I’m running to the store while the naan is still on sale and stocking my freezer for future experiments.

 

 

 

3 lb. ground turkey

1 package Chop Salad (any kind – keep the dressing and toppings for another time)

1 package frozen seasoning vegetables (onions, peppers, celery, and parsley)

1 can black beans

1 can white corn

2 pouches Frontera Lime Cilantro sauce – this is our favorite Rick Bayless sauce – all natural ingredients you can pronounce!

2 pouches Minute Multi-grain medley (uncooked)

Optional toppings:  Lettuce, tomato, avocado, red pepper, shredded cheese, black bean dip, etc.!

Brown meat.  Add veggies chop salad and seasoning and cook until softened.  Add sauce and cook in the crock pot 6-8 hours on low.  About 30 minutes before serving, turn crock pot to high and add in multi-grain.  It will absorb the extra liquid.  Heat tortillas and let everyone make their own burritos!

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