Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Poppy Seed Chicken

Now that school's back in full swing and the ensuing craziness of schedules has begun, I love having meals on the menu that are simple.  But sometimes simple tastes simple.  But this easy dish is not one of those.  The sour cream, plain yogurt, and cream of chicken create a delicious base for the chicken but the extra wow is the crushed Ritz and poppyseeds.  I think I may even double the Ritz the next time I make it as it adds a nice saltiness to it.  

You cook this in a 9x13 pan and then serve over rice.  I'll write the recipe as written and then give my tips of how I make it a little healhier.  

Poppy Seed Chicken from Michelle S.

4 chicken breasts
1 small container of plain yogurt (about 8 oz)
1/2 bag Ritz crackers (approx 15 crackers)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cube of butter
poppy seeds

Boil chicken with 3-4 chicken bouillon cubes.  Cube chicken and put in a 9x13 casserole dish.  Mix soup, yogurt, and sour cream together and season well with salt and pepper.  Add a little milk to make it thinner if desired (I always do).  Pour over chicken.  Crush Ritz crackers and mix with 1/2 cube butter (1/4 C). Put on top of soup mixture.  Sprinkle generously with poppy seeds.  Heat 30-40 minutes.   Serve over rice.  

Tips:  Save the chicken stock after cooking the chicken and then use that in place of water when cooking the rice. I use plain greek yogurt.  I also reduce the butter to 1/4 a cube of butter.  I think I may try using the whole package of Ritz crackers next time as we loved the flavor when  you got a bite of it.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

These are seriously so FANTASTIC!  My friend brought these over to share during a lunch date.  I could not get over the flavor!  So I had to immediately make them for my family.  The chicken is tender and moist as it's been sitting in the crockpot slow-cooking all day long.  And the salsa combined with the brown sugar is just the perfect amount of sweet to offset the tang of the salsa.  I took these to my parents to share on Monday and they agreed that they were amazingly delicious.  This will definitely be a staple on our menu!   I think they taste best paired with the uncooked tortillas (like you get at Costco) that you cook at home.  And the black beans are an amazingly compliment to the flavor of the meat.  Oh, and did I mention how easy it is??? You know that gets extra marks at our house!

Don't mind that crazy black bean that escaped just as I was taking the photo
Crockpot Chicken Tacos from Fantastic Family Favorites 

3 lbs. frozen chicken breasts
1 24oz jar salsa
2 cups brown sugar

1. Place the frozen chicken breasts into the slow cooker. Pour half the jar of salsa over the chicken. Sprinkle 1 cup brown sugar on top. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.
2. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and discard the liquid. Shred chicken and place back in slow cooker.
3. Cover chicken with remaining salsa and brown sugar. Cook on low 1 hour, then stir the chicken to coat the meat. Cook on low for 1 more hour.

Top with your favorite taco toppings--cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, etc.

Tips:  When my friend made hers she just used equal parts salsa and brown sugar on hers.  She didn't do the draining part and adding more salsa and brown sugar.  I, however, followed this recipe without draining it.  The meat seemed dry after I shred it so I added more brown sugar and salsa.  However, it was a little too juicy (dripping all over your hands) when eating the taco.  So.....the moral is---follow it exactly or just cook in 1 C salsa and 1 C brown sugar , shred, and return to former juices.  Are you thoroughly confused??? If so, leave me a comment :).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baked Crunchy Ranch Chicken

I don't know about you--but the end of the school year always feels a little harried at our house.  So if you're looking for an amazingly simple recipe to throw together on one of those nights--look no further.  The breading of crushed corn flakes create a nice crunch while the parmesan and dry ranch dressing mixed with it create a punch of flavor.  The recipe calls for the chicken to be dipped in butter but I decided to go for a healthier variety and dipped it in egg whites this time.  I really noticed no difference--so try it either way.  I also like to use chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts as I think it makes the chicken more moist and tender.  Sometimes chicken breasts tend to dry out, in my opinion.  

Baked Crunchy Ranch Chicken adapted from Allrecipes

2 C crushed cornflakes
1 C grated Parmesan cheese
1 (1oz) pkg ranch salad dressing mix
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or 12 boneless/skinless tenders)
1/2 C butter, melted (or 3 egg whites)

In a shallow bowl, combined the cornflakes, Parmesan cheese and salad dressing mix.  Dip chicken in butter (or egg whites), then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.  Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. 

Tips:  We couldn't decide if the whole ranch packet was a little too much flavor--so I may try using 1/2-3/4 of the pkg next time.

Serves size: 1 tender (or 2 oz)

Calories: 108     Carbs: 8     Fat: 2     Protein: 16

**These nutrition facts are based on eliminating the butter and using egg whites

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spicy Honey Chicken

Wow!  Where has the last couple of weeks gone? Things have been busy around here--as I know you all can relate to.  We've had sick kids, lessons to be to, church assignments to be filled, doctors appointments, and the regular craziness--you know the drill. And to top it off--this time change is killer. 

Whew!  Anyways.  I couldn't put off posting this recipe any longer.  Oh how I love a good salty and sweet combination.  This recipe satisfies that craving perfectly.  There is a slight spice in the rub but also a good amount of saltiness.  I love the honey glaze as it pairs so well with the rub.  I also really like cooking with boneless, skinless chicken thighs lately.  I love how moist and flavorful the meat is.  This recipe will be a perfect addition to the regulars that you throw on the grill.  I wanted to do this on the BBQ but we had a horrible snow storm the day I made it.  But I think it would be even better grilled! 

Spicy Honey Chicken from "Our Best Bites" cookbook

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs; about 2 pounds
2 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 C honey
1 T cider vinegar

2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat or about 400 degree F.
2. Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Trim any visible fat off the chicken thighs, rinse, and pat dry with a paper towel.  Drizzle oil over chicken and rub it in with your hands.  Rub the spice rub into the chicken thighs. Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side.
4. For the glaze: while the chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  Whisk in vinegar.  Reserve 2 tablespoons glaze and brush the rest of the chicken in the final moments of cooking.  Remove chicken from the grill and allow to stand 3-5 minutes.  Drizzle reserved 2 tablespoons of glaze over the chicken while it's standing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crockpot Lemon Herb Chicken

This is one of those easy recipes that I find myself making when I need to go grocery shopping.  I always have the ingredients on hand and my family always gobbles it up.  Double win! You can literally dump it into the crock pot in the morning and have a nice, hot meal at dinnertime. I try to not cook very much with "cream of" anything--but this is one of  those old standby recipes that we still love.  The chicken gets really moist as it simmers in the crock pot with a subtle lemon flavor.  You can modify the lemon herb seasoning to make it be as weak or as strong as you like.  The sauce is then served over rice. Also--make sure you use the "McCormick" brand of lemon herb seasoning.  We've tried different brands and it just doesn't turn out the same.

Lemon Herb Chicken from Melissa Bowen

4 chicken breasts (I like to use chicken tenders--they're extra moist)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2- 3/4 Tablespoon "McCormick" lemon herb seasoning
1/4 C butter

Melt butter and add to soup and seasoning mix.  Pour half into crock pot.  Add chicken and pour over remaining soup mixture.  Cook 5 hours on LOW in crock pot.  Serve over rice.  

Tips: I use the 98% fat free cream of chicken with no difference in taste.  I've also eliminated the butter for a lower fat version and still had it turn out great.  It might make the chicken slightly less moist but not too noticeably, though.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chicken Fajita Marinade

This is a super easy, flavorful, tasty marinade that I've been using for years at our house.  I love the combination of the red wine vinegar, oregano, chili powder, and garlic powder.  The vegetable oil also makes the meat very tender and moist. And I also LOVE that the ingredients in it are something that I always have on hand.   The recipe says to marinate the meat for at least 4 hours--so I can easily throw it together in the afternoon and have a delicious dinner.  Oh, and did I already mention how easy it is?  Obviously that gets extra points around here.

Also, I recently had white corn tortillas with fajitas at one of my favorite mexican restaurants.  And I really, really loved the flavor, texture, and healthier option.  I usually use flour tortillas with this marinade--but the white corn tortillas were amazing, as well.

Fajita Marinade from Betty Crocker's Cookbook

1/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a resealable plastic food-storage bag.  Add about 1 pound of boneless (you can also do 2-3 lbs bone-in beef or pork) chicken.  Seal bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours (turning meat occasionally)--but no longer than 24 hours. 
 I then add chopped onions and green pepper.  I finely chop the onions and peppers so my kid's seem to notice them less.  You can grill the meat and throw away the marinade (it must be boiled to be served as a sauce).  But, I like to put it all in a pan and cook it all with the marinade--as it creates a delicious, moist flavor. 
Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana

To say that I've been in a blogging funk would be an understatement.  And then in feeling so behind, I've let myself get overwhelmed by how many recipes I've documented (on my camera) and not posted. goes to just pushing past the backlog and posting something.  But this recipe is WAY more than just something. My family was raving about it.  We all kept saying over and over how delicious it was.  The chicken is breaded in an italian breadcumb and parmesan cheese mixture.  The filling of ricotta, mozzarella, and spinach is a fantastic combination.  I was worried that my family would balk at the spinach but it blends very well and definitely doesn't stand out in the flavors.  My kids never even noticed it!  Topped with my favorite marinara and mozzarella--it was a huge hit!  My husband could not stop talking about how delicious it was. 
Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana from Skinnytaste

8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
1/2 cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
6 tablespoons egg whites or egg beaters
5 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry of any liquid
6 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
6 oz part skim mozzarella
olive oil non-stick spray 
1 cup pomodoro sauce or your favorite marinara sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Washand dry cutlets, season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp grated cheese in one bowl and 1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites in another. Shred or finely chop1.5 oz of mozzarella cheese and combine with remaining grated cheese, spinach (make sure you squeeze it dry), 2 tbsp egg beaters, and ricotta cheese. Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of spinach-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray with olive oil.  Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven, top with sauce then cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 3 more minutes. Serve with additional sauce on the side and grated cheese.

Serves 8 (1 stuffed breast) WW Points: 4  WW Points+: 5

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Asian Cabbage Salad

I am always on the hunt for a good, filling, flavorful salad.  This salad is now in my top 3!  It is SO amazing!  And so flavorful!  And so filling!  My husband gave me a new cookbook for Mother's Day and while perusing through it I knew I had to try this salad.  The ingredients are so fresh and also very healthy--but don't have that "health food" taste.  I love the crunch that the coleslaw adds to it and the combo of textures from all the veggies and then toasted sesame seeds and sliced almonds is to die for.  I made it to go with another Asian type dish that I'll blog about later and we were dying over this salad.  And my favorite part was that it was STILL good the next day!  That pretty much never happens when you dress a salad.  It's usually soggy and gross the next day.  But not this one!  I will for sure be making this one a regular on our menu!

Asian Cabbage Salad from "Our Best Bites"

1 (14 oz) bag coleslaw mix
1 rib celery, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced (I omitted this...we're not fans)
About 20 sugar snap peas
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded, or diced chicken, optional (but I totally recommend it)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup toasted slivered or sliced almonds

2 T canola oil
2 T cider vinegar
1/4 C seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 T sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder, or one small garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1. Make dressing first.  Combine all ingredients in a sealed jar and shake extremely well.  Store in the fridge until ready to use.  This step can be done 2-3 days before serving the salad.
2. Place all salad ingredients, except sesame seeds and sliced almonds, in a bowl.  Toss with dressing at lesat 30 minutes before serving.  When you pour on the dressing, you might think it's not quite enough, but when it sits and marinates, it combines with the vegetables and draws out some of the liquid, so there will be plenty of dressing after it sits.
3. Refrigerate the salad for 30-60 minutes.
4. Right before serving, toss the salad with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds.

How to toast sesame seeds:
To toast seeds and nuts, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Stir constantly until golden brown. Let them cool before using.  It's important not to toast more than one type together because of size differences an differences in the amount of oil in each type.

Serves 12: Weight Watchers Points+: 3

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quick Chicken Cacciatore

When we were first married, I used to regularly go to cooking classes taught by our local grocery store.  My husband worked nights at the time while he was finishing up college and I was teaching first grade.  So I loved having something to do while he was gone and learned a lot of basics about cooking.   And beings that I was also very busy grading papers and writing lesson plans at night--I also loved gathering recipes that were quick and easy to make.  I was excited to try this recipe that was demonstated because it fit that description perfectly!   It really is so delicious and tastes a lot fancier than it is to make.  I especially like making it with fresh linguine (found in the refrigerator section).  Unless you're more talented than me and can make your own linguine.  But then that probably would change the title from Quick to Complicated, right?  The onion, green pepper, and fresh garlic simmer with the chicken and create a fantastic italian flavor.  The italian seasoned tomatoes also make this so easy.  You can play around with it and add more spices if you like.  And parmesan cheese on top of hot, bubbling cacciatore is a must!  You'll love this simple, easy, delicious meal!

Quick Chicken Cacciatore from Pampered Chef

1 pkg breaded precooked chicken breast (6-8 patties)
1 small white or yellow onion
8 oz fresh linguine (in refrigerator section)
2 cans (14.5 oz) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
Fresh cloved garlic
1 medium green bell pepper (optional)

Cut chicken patties and bell peppers into strips.  Chop onion.  Cook linguine according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm.  Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium heat.  Lightly spray with olive oil.  Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes (stirring frequently).  Add tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and fresh garlic.  Bring to a boil; cover.  Reduce heat to simmer for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Serve over hot linguine.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Parmesan Chicken

This meal is a favorite at our house!  It is definitely one that makes a regular appearance on my menu. Crushed ritz crackers, parmesan cheese, and garlic salt create a fantastic, slighty crunchy outside to a really moist chicken.  The chicken is dipped in yogurt before it gets this tasty coating and the yogurt makes for a really tender, flavorful chicken.  My kids love helping make this one by crushing the crackers.  As you can little guy crushed these as I usually do them finely crushed.  But who's complaining when your 4 year old is busy and excited to help? 

I shook it up this time and tried to make it a little bit healthier as I'm on a quest to lose some of my baby weight and also make up for eating too many of those cookies I posted about earlier?!? I used whole wheat ritz and my fabulous neighbor (thanks Serene) lent me greek yogurt since I left the store without the yogurt and didn't want to go back.  I also omitted the butter and just used Pam spray on it.  I actually didn't taste a difference in any of the variations that make it more healthy.  The only difference would've been that the chicken might have been a teensy (not too noticeable, though) bit less moist without the butter.  Butter makes anything better, right?  So with or without the butter this chicken is SO fantastic!

Parmesan Chicken from "The Essential Mormon Cookbook"

2 C crushed Ritz crackers
3 T grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp garlic salt
8 boneless chicken breasts (I prefer boneless/skinless chicken tenders)
1 C plain yogurt
1/4 C butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs, parmesan cheese, and garlic salt.  Dip each piece of chicken in yogurt to coat and then in crumb mixture.  Arrange in greased 9x13-inch baking dish.  Drizzle with melted butter.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Serves 8.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets

I am always trying to find ways to get my son to eat protein.  He would be happy to live off of pancakes if given his way.  So you can imagine how happy I was when he and my daughter literally INHALED this dinner!  I was searching the web for some healthy dinners and I came across  Love it!  Gina has so many yummy looking dinners and she includes all the nutrtional information.  I pretty much used recipes from just her blog for my menu this week. 

I was excited to try this recipe. I knew my kids would love it.  What kid doesn't love chicken nuggets?  And I was not disappointed.  The breading on it was light and slightly crunchy and I love that they are baked--so they are definitely healthy.  I also loved the oh so subtle parmesan cheese flavor in it.  I had a cookie sheet full of nuggets and was worried that I had made too much.  But oh how mistaken I was. My kids were begging for the nuggets off my husband and I's plates.  So next time I will definitely make a lot more. 

She gave such a cute idea with this recipe to let your kids eat it with toothpicks.  So I hammed it up and told them we were having a really special dinner.  They were pretty excited about it.  And were even more thrilled when I told them the special part was that they could only use toothpicks as their utensil for dinner.  I made everything bite size and they probably have never eaten so much at dinner.  So I will definitely be using toothpicks again and definitely be making these again. 

Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets from skinnytaste

16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp panko
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
olive oil spray 

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken. Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 - 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked though.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th of nuggets • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts

Calories: 164.9 • Fat: 4.6 g • Protein: 22.1 g • Carb: 7.7 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugar: 0.1 g

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Teriyaki Cranberry Chicken

Where, you might ask, have I been?  Well....long story short is having a baby.  We welcomed a new little guy to our family on January 2nd.  So now we have three little amazing munchkins at our house. We named him Cole Harris.  The middle name Harris comes frome my amazing grandfather.  We are quite smitten by our new addition.

I was having contractions whenever I would stand or walk in the last trimester and was rather uncomfortable--so there wasn't a ton of grand cooking or baking happening at our house. And since his birth I've been busy doing baby, baby, and more baby.  He is so sweet and really, really, really likes being held all day and all night.  So it's made cooking a little difficult.  There.  I've put all my excuses out there and now on to the cooking that I've missed doing...

I went back through all my old pictures of food that I have yet to blog about.  And I couldn't believe that I'd never posted this recipe.  It is so delicious!  And so easy!  What could be better than that? I like doing it with boneless/skinless chicken thighs as it makes for a really moist and flavorful dish.  My kids literally devoured this the first time I made it and requested it be made again...soon.  I kind of have dinner A.D.D and rarely make a dish more than once in a month.  Often I will go months before repeating a recipe.  I just like to try new things and rotate through all the ones we love (which there are quite a few of).  However, I made this recipe again within a couple of weeks of making it because we liked it so much.  It really is very flavorful with the teriyaki and then the cranberry adding just the right amount of sweetness.  Don't be fooled by the small amount of ingredients--it is delicious!

Teriyaki-Cranberry Chicken from Debbie Nydegger

4-6 chicken breasts (I use 6-8 chicken thighs)
1 (16oz) can cranberry sauce
1 C. teriyaki sauce (Yoshida's brand works great)

Place chicken in lightly greased 9x13inch pan.  Mix cranberry sauce and teriyaki sauce together and pour over chicken.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour.  Serve with rice.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crispy Chicken Breasts

I don't know about where you live--but fall is in the air in my neck of the woods.  School is fully back in swing and the last week has been seasonably cooler and the air has that autumn crispness.   I love it!  Now, if only fall would just stay for months and never turn into winter.  Things have been kind of crazy this summer at our house and so I'm ready for more routine.  For one thing--I'm pregnant and have been sick, sick, sick and am finally getting over that and so I'm ready to get back in the kitchen and cooking and sharing recipes.   I sent my oldest to first grade this year and my baby just started preschool this morning.  And so hopefully that will give me more time to blog now!

Now on to the food... This recipe is comfort food at it's best.  And I crave comfort food as the weather gets cooler.  I've seen a few different variations of this recipe floating around the internet.  But this is the one that came many, many years ago in a church cookbook that my mom had.  It is amazing!  The chicken is ooey, gooey (how's that for a description) with the melted Swiss cheese and it melds perfectly with the stuffing and chicken flavors.   And I love that it's served over Rice Pilaf because it adds a great texture and delicious flavor.  And it's one of those meals that is so easy because you just throw it together and then throw it in the oven and let it do it's thing. 

Crispy Chicken Breasts from Erin S.

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use chicken tenderloins--they stay more moist)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (6 oz) box Stove Top Stuffing
1 lb. swiss cheese
1 stick butter (I use 1/2 stick)

Arrange chicken in a 9x13 pan.  Slice swiss cheese and layer over chicken.  Mix soup with 1 can milk and pour over chicken.  Sprinkle with dressing.  Melt butter and drizzle over top.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Can remove foil at end of baking to make stuffing a little crispy.  Serve over rice pilaf.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna


When I started this blog a couple of years ago, I was posting recipes and no pics. So I've tried to go back and update those recipes with pictures. This is one of those that I posted way back when that deserves a picture. When my husband and I got married this was the first meal I made him! I laugh now at how incredibly long it took me to make it because I hadn't quite figured out the art of timing and getting everything on the table at the same time. Nonetheless, this meal was a hit and continues to be a favorite around our house. It might sound a bit unusual, but the flavors meld together perfectly and make for one yummy, cheesy, delicious variation on lasagna.

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna from Barbs (my mom)

2 cans (12 oz) evaporated milk (not fat-free)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) lasagna noodles, cooked
1 1/2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, grated

Cook the chicken and noodles first at the same time. Once noodles are done--rinse in cold water and set aside (it keeps them from sticking together). Combine evaporated milk (don't use fat-free version) and Ranch dressing in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Stir in chicken and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes (don't do any less), stirring frequently. Layer half of lasagna noodles, poultry sauce, and cheese in well-buttered 9x13 pan. Repeat layers again. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Tips: When rinsing the needles, I also like to straighten them out in the colander so that as they sit there it makes it easier to layer them without the noodles all bent (if that makes sense). For extra cheesiness, increase both cheese by 1/2 cup.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pineapple, Shrimp, and Chicken Fried Rice


My mother-in-law and I were able to go to some amazing cooking classes taught by a woman from our church who is from Vietnam and has married a Chinese man. They used to also own a Chinese restaurant a few years ago--so it was quite a treat to have her teach us how to make authentic, delicious Chinese food. I will be the first to admit (much to my husband's chagrin) that I am not always a huge fan of Chinese food. I'm rather picky about it and can't do the whole buffet or fast-food Chinese food genre. I only like it when it is fresh and high-quality (I know, I know...I'm probably crazy)--which usually translates to an expensive Chinese restaurant and so we don't do it very frequently. I also have to add the disclaimer that fried rice is probably my least favorite...

That being said--the food she taught us to make was amazing! I'll have to also post her homemade potstickers on here, too. They will blow you away! This rice is so, so, so good! And coming from me--that is saying a lot (as I just described). It doesn't have the overwhelming soy sauce and eggy taste that fried rice characteristically (at least to me) has. It has the perfect amount of sweet and salty with the pineapple and raisins and subtle Chinese flavors. I know it sounds really strange probably. But trust me when I say that it is awesome! I also loved the crunch of the cashews. The flavors meld together perfectly and make for one memorable fried rice. It was also surprisingly easy to put together--so don't be discouraged by the long list of ingredients.

Pineapple, Shrimp, Chicken Fried Rice from Na Chao

6 shelled shrimp (we omitted daughter's allergic)
1 C chicken breast
2 C cooked rice
1/2 C fresh or canned pineapple pieces
1/4 C cashew nuts (we used more)
1 T chopped green onions
1/2 C frozen peas and carrots (we just used shredded carrots)
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 T raisins

*We also added about 3/4 C chopped celery

1 T soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp sugar
dash of pepper

1/4 tsp sugar
a dash of garlic salt powder
1/4 tsp sesame oil

1/4 tsp chicken bouillon powder (I just broke apart a bouillon cube)
1 T soy sauce
dash of black pepper

2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
dash of black pepper


-Peel off the shrimp shell. Then devein the shrimp and rinse and drain. Mix and B and marinate for 1/2 hour before frying.

-Cut the chicken breast into small bite size pieces and mix with A.

-Heat 2 T oil and 1 tsp garlic then stir-fry the chicken until no longer pink. Then set aside.

-Heat 2 T oil and stir fry the shrimp until the color changes. Add rice, pineapple, green peas and carrots, and D. Stir fry until slightly solid. Then add C. Stir fry to mix. Serve.

Tips: We did 3 chicken breasts since we had omitted the shrimp and it tasted great. You could get creative and add other vegetables that you might like. But the combo of the vegetables she has in this recipe are fantastic.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Southwest Egg Rolls

As mentioned in a previous post, we are in the process of selling our house and moving across the country. In fact, my husband is already in another state at his new job and I'm here selling the house. And so our menu at night mainly consists of McDs, Wendys, Chick-Fil-A, Burger get the picture. I'm not proud to admit how much I haven't been cooking in the last six weeks. The extent of my "baking" has been making waffles and pancakes for dinner?!?

So I thought I'd post a recipe that I made awhile back that we really, really loved. I love the southwest egg rolls at Chili's and these were a very, very close rendition. The Chili's here is about thirty minutes away and so I was craving these one weekend and decided to check Allrecipes to see if they had a recipe close to it. These are REALLY close and so delicious. (And in all my craziness, the picture even comes from Allrecipes).

Southwest Egg Rolls
from Allrecipes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
5 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 quart oil for deep frying

1. Rub 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over chicken breast. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.
3. Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
4. Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable.
5. Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.
6. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.

To make a healthier version, I sprayed the tortillas generously with Pam spray and then browned them in a frying pan and then baked them at 450 for ten minutes. They were still really yummy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

 I was a little bit leery that a tortilla soup that was literally made by throwing six cans of ingredients together could be good. But oh how wrong I was! Not only is this the easiest meal I've made in a long time (a huge, huge plus in my book) but it was also awesome! I only doctored it up a little bit by adding a couple of spices. It was also really filling. The flavors are even better on the second day when they have had a chance to marry better (like a lot of mexican meals). And might I also add that I'm also usually not a huge fan of canned chicken but I added it to stick with the "easy" theme. It honestly tasted so good in it! I used the Costco Kirkland brand--which seems to be really high quality. I'm off to eat the leftovers--yum! This is one soup that you could play around with and change to your own liking by adding more ingredients, too.

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup adapted from Allrecipes

1 (15oz) can whole kernal corn, drained
1 (14.5oz) can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (10oz) can chunk chicken
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
1 tsp lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder

1. Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, cream of chicken, chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Add spices and lime juice. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Top with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla strips or chips.

**I just cut some corn tortillas into strips and cooked then for about 10 minutes in the oven and made my own tortilla strips. They tasted awesome with it!

Serves: 8 ; Weight Watchers Points+: 4

Calories: 133   Carbs: 19   Fat: 2   Protein: 12

Monday, November 17, 2008

7-Up Chicken Marinade

Last week I was putting off grocery shopping as long as possible. I hate grocery shopping with a passion--I like to cook but hate the means by which that food gets into my pantry and fridge. So when I came across this marinade from Melanie at The Sisters' Cafe I was so grateful to have put off grocery shopping for one more day! I had a leftover liter of Sprite from when we were sick the week before and so I used it for the marinade. My whole entire family devoured this chicken! It is amazing! The Sprite or 7-Up gives it a little bit of sweetness and there is just the right amount of soy sauce to not overpower it. And the best part was that it was SO simple and really moist. Beings that it's winter here, I just broiled the chicken and it came out perfectly tender, moist, and delicious!

7 up Chicken Marinade from Melanie at The Sisters' Cafe

1 can 7up (or sprite)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tb horseradish sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders)

Blend all ingredients and add chicken. ( I usually do this in a big zip loc bag) Let marinate over night or at least 6 hours, in your fridge. You can also marinate chicken then slice it into strips. Fry with onions and sweet peppers for fajitas.

Serves: 6 (breasts); Weight Watchers Points+: 4

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken and Broccoli Braid

This is one of my favorite meals to make and eat! It looks so fancy and like you've taken a lot of time--but it's SO simple. My neighbor brought this to me after I'd had my baby a couple of years ago. I had never had anything like it before and I pretty much ate the whole thing. I had been home from the hospital for a couple of days and had just begun the whole nursing thing and will never forget how HUNGRY I was that day. It tasted like the best thing I'd ever eaten--especially since I'm sick for seven of the nine months of pregnancy. I still find it crazy that I remember this one particular meal from all the other meals I've eaten. Yes, it's that memorable. It is the perfect meal to take to friends or have at a party. It's also great to just make for your family--my kid's love it! It looks so nice displayed, too. This braid has the perfect combination of flavors. The slight taste of dill combined with the chicken, cheese, and red bell pepper is such an awesome combination. And then you add the flakiness of the crescent and it is phenomenal.

Chicken & Broccoli Wrap from The Pampered Chef "All The Best"

2 (8oz) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 C coarsely chopped cooked chicken (I usually used canned chicken and you can't taste the difference in this recipe)
1 1/2 C coarsely chopped broccoli
1/2 C diced red bell pepper
1/3 C mayonnaise
2 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 C slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, combine chicken, broccoli, cheese, bell pepper, mayonnaise, dill, salt and garlic. Mix well.

2. Scoop filling over crescent rolls (see below). When finished making wrap, brush with egg white. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

*I always use the reduced fat crescent rolls, fat free mayo, and fat free cheese and I can never taste a difference from the full fat version.

How to make the wrap
Lay the crescent rolls on a cookie sheet (or pampered chef rectangle stone). Don't separate. Push the seams together with fingers or small rolling pin. Cut the sides of the dough into eight strips on each side (leave about 4 inches uncut in the middle). The middle will be for the filling.
Scoop the filling into the middle of the dough (can you see the slits in the dough on either side of the filling?)
Starting at the end opposite you, lift one strip of dough and then the alternating strip to make the braid

Sometimes I just lay the dough flat and braid it that way. Other times (depending on my mood), I twist the dough one turn and lay over the filling. Either way looks good.

Continue repeating until you finish the braid.

All done. Brush the egg white over it and sprinkle almonds on top. Fold the bottom edges up at the ends of the braid. This is sooooo good!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Italian Crockpot Chicken

 I've been in the mood to cook with the crockpot this week. I love the crockpot because it's so easy and you basically just have to dump everything in and let it do it's thing all day long. What can be bad about that? Especially during a particularly sluggish week. This is an old, delicious standby that I'm sure many of you know of--but it's always a good one.

Italian Crockpot Chicken

8 oz cream cheese
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cube of butter (I used 1/2 a cube)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package of dry Italian dressing mix
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the chicken breasts in a crockpot. Add the butter and the italian dressing mix. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, then cut up chicken breasts into small pieces. Add cream cheese (cut into cubes to melt faster). Also add the cream of chicken soup. Cook an additional half hour. Serve over rice or noodles.

**I usually dilute the sauce a little bit by adding milk--especially when serving over noodles.