Category: Semi-Homemade Ingredient


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’ve been craving Mexican food, so this really hit the spot.  Easy as can be using frozen chicken tenders and salsa.  This is a great recipe for weeknight quick dinners, and it utilizes pantry staples I usually have on hand.  Frozen chicken tenders, salsa, shredded cheese, rice, and beans.

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1 package Tyson Crispy Chicken Tenders

1 Jar salsa (I used verde, but it looks prettier with more colorful salsa)

1 pack shredded Mexican cheese

  1.  Pour salsa into 13×9 baking dish.
  2. Arrange chicken tenders in salsa.
  3. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  4. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and put back in the oven to allow cheese to completely melt.
  6. Serve with rice and beans.

I used Minute Rice Multigrain Medley and Lucky’s organic canned black beans.  The rice and beans cook while the tenders are in the oven.

This is yummy topped with sour cream too!

Experimenting with our meatless options!  A friend told me to try tempeh.  I searched the internet and found a recipe to bake it Buffalo style.  I adapted this from forkandbeans.com’s recipe.   I served it with veggie tots, celery and ranch, and a chop salad.  Healthy and yummy.  I missed the part about steaming the tempeh first.  I’ll definitely try to remember next time, as I am sure it would improve the texture and taste.

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2 packs tempeh, sliced

1 pouch buffalo wing sauce

Rice chex, crushed

Marinade tempeh in the wing sauce at least 30 minutes.  Coat with crushed rice checks and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until crispy.

 

It’s been a while since I made these.  They were just as good as I remembered!  The hardest part is planning ahead, since they have to be refrigerated overnight prior to cooking.  Definitely a week-end type project in my life.  I used some dressing I had on hand instead of soy sauce and some seasonings the original recipe called for.  We topped them with the leftover pickled onions and cucumbers. Yummy!

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3 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 cup packed oatmeal

1/2 cup black beans

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 cups diced onions

3 ounces canned beets

1/2 cup julienned carrots

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup diced red bell peppers

1/4 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices

1 tablespoon garlic

2 tablespoons Old Cape Cod Toasted Sesame Soy Ginger dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.

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Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.

Portion into 8-ounce patties.  Place burgers on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with coconut, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. These keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)

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Bake at 375-400 F for about 25 minutes.  Top with cheese before serving.

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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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20170930_2111261 package salad mix

1 container mixed mini heirloom tomatoes

2 blocks tofu, pressed to remove liquid

1 sweet onion, sliced thinly

3 mini cucumbers, sliced thinly

1/3 c. sweet Thai chili sauce

1/3 c. balsamic vinegar

1/6 c. oil (I used sunflower, grapeseed blend)

1/2 c. Old Cape Cod Toasted Sesame, Soy, and Ginger dressing

Old Cape Cod Sesame Soy

1 box Minute multigrain medley, cooked with Thai ginger chicken broth

1/4 c. crushed cashews

Press tofu to remove liquid.  Slice thickly and pour dressing over tofu.  Refrigerate.

Meanwhile, mix cucumbers, onion, chili sauce, vinegar, and oil.  Toss and refrigerate.

Bake tofu at 400 for about 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.

To serve, line plate with lettuce, and place cut up tomatoes around edge of plate.  Top with multigrain medley.  Top that with cucumber, onion salad and crunchy tofu.  Sprinkle with crushed cashews.

I even had enough to make a lunch for tomorrow.  Yum!

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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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1 pork shoulder roast

1 packet fajita seasoning mix

There’s nothing easier than pulled pork in the crock pot!  I wanted to season it with a Mexican flair as I planned to serve it over rice with tostones (I had some in the freezer that I’ve been meaning to cook up).

Rub roast with seasoning mix.

Place in crockpot and cook on low 8-10 hours.   Shred.  Add in seasoned bread crumbs to thicken juices, if needed.

 

I love stuffed chicken!  I used to shy away from making it because the filling tends to leak out.  Turns out, it’s yummy and pretty anyhow.

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2 1/2 lb. Boneless Chicken Breasts (Cut into 8 cutlets and pounded thin)

1 pouch Sesame Stir Fry Sauce (any sauce will do!)

4 oz. goat cheese

1/2 package broccoli florets, steamed

3 packages Pereg Coucous with Pumpkin Seeds

1 Can garbanzo beans

Preheat oven to 350F.  Top each cutlet with goat cheese and broccoli.

Put a little sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.

Roll up cutlets and place seam side down in baking dish.

Top with remaining sauce.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make Couscous according to package directions.  Add in broccoli and garbanzo beans before serving.

My son, Donnie, loves Cheesesteak, but is eating healthier nowadays and limiting his cheese intake.  A sale at the local market on deli roast beef inspired a healthier take on Cheesesteak!

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1 1/2 lb. deli roast beef, mine was sliced a little thicker than usual.

8 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 sweet onion, sliced or chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1/4 c. champagne vinaigrette dressing

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, onions, and yellow pepper.

Add roast beef, cut into thin strips.

Combine dressing, oil and balsamic glaze.

Toss with steak and veggies.

Spread out on a foil lined sheet pan, with the meat piled up in the center, surrounded by a single layer of the veggies.

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Bake at 400F until veggies are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

You could at this point, top it with cheese for sandwiches, or have a sandwich without cheese.  The really healthy way is to eat this atop brown rice or other healthy grain.  It also works well atop a salad.

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