Sunday, 22 December 2013

Buttermilk Pancakes

I am going to make a bold statement.

It isn't a pancake unless it has Buttermilk in it.

Well, that isn't necessarily true...I have had good pancakes without buttermilk... but they are not as fluffy and as tasty as pancakes that do have this wonderful ingredient in it.

These are my FAVOURITE pancakes. I added blueberries and it was perfect. The next time I made them, I substituted 1 cup of flour for 1 cup of whole wheat flour and though they were still good, but they were not great as the original recipe.

For all my wonderful friends who make boxed pancakes (GASP!) STOP RIGHT NOW AND MAKE THESE!!! You will never go back to boxed after these.


Buttermilk Pancakes (these make a lot of pancakes, I freeze the rest)

3 Cups of Flour
3 tbps of White Sugar
3 tsp of Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
3/4 tsp of Salt
3 cups of Buttermilk
1/2 cup of Milk
3 Eggs
1/3 cup of Butter, melted

Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce (Gluten Free)


This recipe was THE BOMB!!! 

We made this for my son's advent calendar activity that he earned that day. He was in heaven.

I made boxed fudge brownies, added vanilla bean ice cream and then topped it off with this fudge sauce. I thought my body was going to start vibrating from the sugar rush. I even made homemade whipped cream, but we were so eager to eat it, that I completely forgot to put it on top! 

This would be great idea for a birthday party if you wanted to do something different then a cake. One year, we had a Sunday bar for my son's birthday and I wish I had this recipe then. It is better then any store bought Hot Fudge Sauce.

NOTE: this recipe can last in the fridge for 2 weeks and you can just reheat it in the microwave in 30 sec intervals.



Homemade hot fudge gluten free

Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place the butter and chocolate squares in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring with a whisk, until they melt. Turn off heat.
  2. Whisk in the sugar and salt.
  3. Whisk in the evaporated milk and heat over medium heat. Cook at a gentle simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens enough to coat a spatula, about 12-15 minutes. AKA a freaking long time. It is important that it is a low heat, but it still needs to simmer or you will be whisking FOREVER without it thickening up.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Serve within an hour, or cover and place in refrigerator. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake and Whipped Cream

Well, better late then never!

I have been absent for a few months for one very important reason...I MOVED! 

I won't get into the boring details like the endless days of people coming to view my home, finding a renter and having for 4 days to move, moving in with my parents and then moving out of my parents...but none of that matters because I am finally in my dream home and in my dream neighborhood.

Since I had to spend all my time keeping my house clean for viewings (and they always wanted to view it at supper time) and then having to spend all my time packing....my meal plans went out the door. However, we are finally settled so I am hoping to get back on the wagon.

I am going to post 3 new great recipes and then in the next few days I am going to post my top 10 recipes from the past year.

This recipe for Pumpkin cheesecake is more of a thanksgiving/fall dessert, but I think it can be eaten any time of the year. This was my mothers request for her birthday dessert and we are all very happy with how it turned out. I also made homemade Whipped Cream to put on top.


Pumpkin Cheesecake (not a great picture but I didn't have much time while I was serving guests)


Ingredients

Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter


Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:

In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling:

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Meal Plan Oct 15 - 18

Meatless Monday - Homemade Crepes

Tuesday - Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

Wednesday - Maple Baked Chicken, thanks to the recommendation of my friend at Mixing up Meals

Thursday - Pad Thai

Friday - Make your own pizza night

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Creamy Dijon Chicken

Creamy Dijon Chicken

I have been in a Dijon mustard mood lately. I have made several recipes with this ingredient and I have been using Honey Dijon Dressing on my salads. Soooo yummy.

I loved this recipe and it was super fast and easy to make. I will definitely be making this again. I made it with a side of potatoes, but I think it would be good on some kind of Lemon/Garlic Parmesan Pasta.


INGREDIENTS:
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (Left whole, cubed or flattened)2 garlic cloves, crushed
250ml cream
2tsp Dijon mustard
1tsp wholegrain mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
fresh Parsley to serve
olive oil for frying
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken **I seasoned the chicken with some dry parsley, basil, salt, pepper and lemon pepper** until cooked through and browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Sautee the garlic until fragrant and softened.
  • Add the cream and mustards and allow to simmer and reduce for 3 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and place the chicken back into the sauce.
  • Season to taste and serve with the starch of your choice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.


Meal Plan Oct 7 - 11

Monday - Chili



Meatless Tuesday - Huevos Rancheros

Wednesday - Creamy Dijon Chicken, roasted potatoes and raw veggies

Thursday - Mac and Cheese with leftover chili in it

Friday - Went out to Ryan Duffy's for my Father in Law's 60th birthday

Saturday - Pumpkin Cheesecake for my parents Thanksgiving dinner

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Vegetable and Barley Soup

This is my second recipe I am blogging about this week. I could blog about the recipe to the frozen meat pie....but once it had thawed, I realized it was APPLE pie. Good thing I had back up! We ended up eating Friday nights planned meal instead....plus yummy dessert!

So, this soup was another BIG keeper. It is almost identical to my tortellini soup, all I had to do was make a few adjustments. I added celery and barley and I replaced the chicken broth with vegetable broth. I made this the night before and I just added the spinach before serving. This would be a fantastic freezer meal.



Ingredients:

2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups of chopped onion
4 Garlic cloves, minced
12 cups/3 L of Vegetable Stock (I used Organic)
14 oz can of Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cup of chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped Zucchini with peel
1 cup of chopped peppers (I used red, yellow and orange)

1 cup of chopped celery
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp of Dried Rosemary
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 - 1 cup of Barley (I used 1/2 cup origianlly and it wasn't enought to my liking)
3 cups of fresh Spinach leaves

Instructions:

1. Heat cooking oil in Dutch Oven or large pot on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 5- 10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is softened.

2. Add Barley, veggies, broth and spices. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook until Barley is fully cooked. I cooked mine for almost an hour. 
3. Add Spinach, stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Discard Bay leaves.

Chicken Pizzaiola - Only 6 ingredients!!

Chicken Pizzaiola (original recipe)

This supper was great! It used the bare minimum ingredients and I had them all on hand already. It would be great to make after you have made pizza so you can use the leftover ingredients in your fridge. It was also very fast to make and we will be making this again for sure.

The only adjustments I made was that I added some seasoning to the chicken before I cooked it.


INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
  • 2 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Chicken: Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread tomato sauce into a 9×13 baking dish. Spread Parmesan in a shallow dish. Trim chicken pat dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper *I added some dry  Italian seasoning, Parsley, Paprika and basil* and coat with Parmesan. Lay chicken on top of tomato sauce. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Chicken: Sprinkle Mozzarella and pepperoni over the chicken. Increase oven temperature to 475 and continue to bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
  3. Spaghetti: Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain and return to pot.
  4. Spoon some sauce from the baking dish into the pasta and toss to combine. Add reserved cooking water as needed. Serve with chicken and remaining sauce.


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Meal Plan Sept 30 to Oct 4

Monday - Chicken Pizzaiola (Only 6 Ingredients!!!)

Meatless Tuesday - Vegetable and Barley Soup (healthy and soooo good!)

Wednesday - Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet (a family favourite and bursting in flavour)

Thursday - Meat pie (homemade frozen pie)

Friday - Steak, potatoes and fresh veggies

Vegetable Lo Mein

Vegetable lo mein

This was an okay recipe. It was easy and quick, but it was not bursting in flavour and didn't taste much different then most Asian noodle dishes I have made. It was still good, so I am going to blog about it because it is a good meatless recipe and it would be a great side dish with other Asian dishes. It also was a great lunch the next day at work.

I halved the recipe because it was just me and my man eating it. I also added some red pepper flakes for heat.


INGREDIENTS:


1 lb Chinese Noodles *or any other kind of noodle*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 organic red pepper, chopped
1 organic yellow pepper, chopped
1 organic green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 cup fresh Thai Basil, optional
Bean Sprouts
SAUCE
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock
4 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, with a wisk, mix the sauce ingredient and set aside.
Cook noodles according to package instructions. On the mean time, in a skillet, over medium to high heat, add the oil and stir-fry the peppers, ginger and onions for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
Add the noodles and scallions, then add the sauce (I added red pepper flakes to the sauce) and heat for 1-2 minutes or until sauce as thickened. Add the basil if using and serve immediately.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Meal Plan Sept 23 - 27

Monday - Chicken Nachos....a favourite!

Meatless Tuesday - Vegetable Lo Mein and egg rolls from China Wok


Wednesday - Chicken Spiedini


Thursday - I need to use up my leftover Tortellini, so I am making Cheesy Sausage Tortellini


Friday - I am on vacation with my girls!!!!


Vegetable Tortellini Soup

Now for my favourite recipe of the week by far. Actually, probably one of my favourite recipes in  a long time. My mother in law made this for lunch a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it. I got the recipe and I could not wait to try it out. I literally shoveled it into my mouth. I really couldn't get it in my pie hole fast enough. It is VERY YUMMY and even better....very healthy!!! Everyone loved it but my kids...I think they has texture issues with the cheese tortellini, but my son said he would have loved just having the vegetables by themselves. I also shared it with a friend at lunch and she loved it as well. It is her turn to make me soup next time ;)

I made the broth the night before to help reduce time when I got home from work the next day. I am SO glad I did that and I would highly recommend it. I think I will make the broth without the Tortellini and spinach and freeze it for a quick meal. I also think I may change the type of pasta I use so my kids can enjoy it as well.

You really should make this recipe this week! Maybe you should make it tomorrow and then share it with me.


Vegetable Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups of chopped onion
4 Garlic cloves, minced
12 cups/3 L of Chicken Stock (I used Organic)
14 oz can of Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cup of grated carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped Zucchini with peel
1 cup of chopped peppers (I used red, yellow and orange)
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp of Dried Rosemary
1/4 tsp Salt
350 g (1 package) of Tortellini (I used Cheese to make it Meatless)
3 cups of fresh Spinach leaves

Instructions:

1. Heat cooking oil in Dutch Oven or large pot on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 5- 10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is softened.

2. Add next 8 ingredients, Stir and bring to a boil. (This is where I stopped when I made the broth the night before)

3. Add Tortellini, stir and reduce heat to medium. Boil gently, uncovered for 8 minutes. Cook until Tortellini is tender, but firm.

4. Add Spinach, stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Discard Bay leaves.

Yes, it was that easy!!! Enjoy!!! Make it this week!!

Lemon Angel Hair with Chicken

This week was a good week for recipes. This was another hit...though it took longer then I had liked and it dirtied A LOT of dishes. I think this dish could go quicker the more I make it and if I leave out the bacon next time. Bacon was not part of the original recipe, but I thought...hey...bacon goes great with everything. Actually, in this dish, it got lost in the lemon flavour of the dish and it was almost a waste of bacon....GASP!

I would definitely make this again and I think I even liked it more the next day. The chicken was to die for and I will definitely be making the chicken again to add to any casserole or salad. My man ate his plate clean, but it was too spicy for my toddler and my son was sick, so he ate toast that night instead.

I sadly didn't have time to take a picture because I was starving by the time the dish finished, haha!

Lemon Angel Hair with Chicken (click for original recipe)

Make the Chicken first, you can make the rest of the dish while it bakes in the oven.

Perfect Chicken

2-4 boneless chicken breasts with or without rib meat
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. paprika
2-3 T. olive oil

Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Coat the chicken breasts in the seasoning, rubbing in to coat. 

Pour olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven, and heat to med-high. When nice and hot, add chicken to the pan (in batches if necessary). Cook 2-3 min per side. 

Place uncovered Dutch oven in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Let sit on a plate 5-10 minutes before cutting, shredding, or eating.

Lemon Angel Hair with Chicken and Spinach

1/2 lb angel hair pasta (I used fresh)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 t. crushed red pepper (use less if you want less spicy)
Perfect Chicken, cut into chunks
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3/4 c. half-and-half (I used half 2% milk and half heavy whipping cream)
1 c. Parmesan, grated (or shredded)
1 c. baby spinach, stems removed
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 - 1 cup of pasta water
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water well, and add pasta. Drain pasta - DO NOT RINSE.

Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Cook until the oil sizzles.

Add lemon juice, half-and-half, and a ladle of the pasta water to the garlic oil mixture. Raise the heat to med-low to med heat until the sauce begins to bubble. 

Add the pasta, zest, and 1/2 c. Parmesan to the cream sauce. Toss for a minute or two. Add chicken and spinach, and toss until well distributed. Top with remaining cheese. 

Homemade Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I can't even count on my fingers how many have asked me for this recipe. Well you are all in luck! Because it is easy, quick and delicious!

I individually wrapped each bar so it could be brought for lunches at school and work. They hold up very well and even my 19 month old approved.



Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola bars (click for original recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of quick cooking oats
1 cup of crispy rice cereal (I used Organic)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey (I used local organic honey from the Kingston Peninsula)
4 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. 
Add the brown sugar, honey, and butter to a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a simmer then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Mix the oats and rice cereal together in a bowl until well combined. Pour the melted butter mixture over the oats & rice then stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. All of the dry ingredients should be moistened. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread in an even layer and press hard to make sure the mixture is compact so the bars don't turn out crumbly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture and lightly press down on them with the spatula so they stick to the granola mixture.
Allow to set for at least 2 hours or place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to speed things up. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Meal Plan and Honey Dijon Chicken

I have been a very bad bad blogger. I had to take a break from meal planning and blogging. The last month has been crazy at work and at home. We are selling our house ourselves and we were trying to get all the little things done to launch our listing. This is the first time I am selling a house and I am doing it privately...what am I thinking?! Actually, I am thinking I like to hold on to my $, rather then fork it over to a real estate agent... we will see how this roller coaster goes.

So, since I stopped meal planning, I have been blowing our food budget and not eating as healthy as I would like. It is time to get us back on track!

Here is the meal plan this week and a bonus recipe that I made last week and it was a hit!

Meatless Monday - Vegetable Tortellini Soup (my Mother in law made this and it is sooooo good. I can't wait to share it with you!)

Tuesday - Buttermilk Waffles (my man is making this)

Wednesday - Lemon Angel hair with chicken and spinach



Thursday - English muffin pizza



Friday - Leaving it open for now since it will just be me and my littles

Now for the reciepe!! It has bacon and ooey gooey Mozza!

This recipe is so easy and most importantly, yummy! It has few ingredients and steps, so it comes together quickly.

HONEY DIJON CHICKEN

4 boneless chicken breast
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
lemon pepper to taste
4 Tbsp bacon, cooked and chopped (I used Oscar Meyer bacon bits in the yellow bag)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Season chicken breasts with lemon pepper.  Place in 9x13 baking dish. 

Combine honey, mustard, lemon juice and paprika.  Pour over chicken.  Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Top each chicken breast with 1 Tablespoon of bacon and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.  Continue to bake until cheese is starting to brown (about 10 minutes).

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Meal Plan Aug 14 - 16

Meatless Tuesday - black bean Quesidillas, this will me my own recipe....hope it turns out!

Wednesday - Cajun BBQ Pork Tenderloin medallions and Skinny Texas Cheese fries



Friday - Tacos!


Blackened chicken and cilantro lime Quinoa

Blackened chicken and cilantro lime Quinoa

So, I was hesitant about this recipe because I did not love Quinoa when I made it in the form of "Quinoa Mac and Cheese". Honestly, I think if you are going to make Mac and Cheese....don't mess with it. Nothing can replace or be as good as a traditional homemade Mac and Cheese.

I went ahead and tried Quinoa again and I am glad that I did. I messed up on the recipe because I used less Quinoa and I didn't adjust the lime, so it was very "limy". However, I  still liked all the flavour combinations when the Quinoa, Chicken and Avocado sauce were eaten together. The chicken was my favourite part of the dish. I was full of flavour and it was spicy, but the avocado sauce helped balance the heat.

I found this recipe easy to follow and it came together pretty quickly. I will be making this again!



Ingredients:

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup of Quinoa
Juice and Zest from Two Limes
A Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped
2 Avocados
½ Small carton of Greek yogurt
Teeny bit of milk to thicken sauce to desired consistency
Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast. 
Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.
Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.
After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.
Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.
Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado cream sauce to cool it down.
 Avocado Sauce -  combine avocado, greek yogurt, teaspoon of lemon juice and a little cilantro in a mini-food processor. Add milk to obtain desired consistency. **I didn't use a mini food processor, I just mashed it all up and then used a hand blender to mix it up.**

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Meal Plan Aug 5 - 9

Monday - homemade frozen pasta sauce with spaghetti

Meatless Tuesday - a favourite recipe from my own blog Rustic Tomato Pizza


Wednesday - left over pizza since I will be by my lonesome

Thursday - going to my parents




Salad Dressing

We are big fans of salads in our house, especially in the summer. It is a perfect side dish with BBQ. We mostly make our own salad dressing and this is one of our favourite dressings to make. It is SO easy. We got it from The Best of Chef at Home by Michael Smith. It is one of the "most used" cook books that my man uses when he cooks.

He made this beautiful salad with all local organic ingredients from our new favourite Farmer's Market called Kredl's.



Salad Dressing: (we actually halved this recipe, but I will give you the original one)

1 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of honey
1 heaping tbsp of dijon mustard
1 heaping tbsp of fresh herbs (we used parsley)
sprinkle or 2 of ground salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake it up. It can last a few weeks in your fridge.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Meal Plan July 29 - Aug 2

Monday - Steak, Asparagus with butter and parmesan cheese and Honey dijon roasted potatoes

Tuesday - Honey Garlic Sausages from Kredl's (with fried onions and peppers) and a salad

Meatless Wednesday - My man is making a Mac and Cheese recipe, I will post it if it is good.

Thursday - The Chicken Gyros that I didn't get to make last week

Friday - I am leaving this day open as a surprise or cause we may not eat at home this night, haha!

Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake

This dish was a hit! 

I made it on the night my son had his first film premier "The Last Laugh". He attended a 2 week long "Movie Maker Camp" and all the kids helped write and act in the movie about a clown apocalypse.....he did amazing and he learned so much. I was so glad to find this camp for him. Movie making is his passion and I hope someday he will earn an Oscar :)

Now back to the dish. I made it for my mom and my in laws and they all enjoyed it. My man loved it after his first bite and has since, told me how much he loves while eating the left overs. My mother just called to tell me to hurry up and post this recipe so she can make it for my dad so he can try it. This speaks for itself.

I would recommend doing some prep the night before, especially cooking the rice. However, if you can't, then I would suggest to just use jasmine rice instead of the brown rice to reduce cooking time.

I tweaked the original recipe A LOT, so I will consider this my own recipe.



INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts *could use already cooked roast chicken to speed things up*
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 servings of Brown Rice (this rice takes longer to cook unless you buy the boxed stuff)
  • 2 servings of Jasmine Rice
  • 3/4 cups Frozen Corn (my mother hates corn, so I substituted with onions and red peppers)
  • 15 ounces, fluid Can Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 4 ounces, fluid Can Green Chilis
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of Salsa
  • 1 cup Low-fat Cheddar Cheese, Plus More For Topping
  • Cilantro For Garnish
  • Tomatoes, chopped and seeded for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
2. Cook the rice and put in a large mixing bowl.
3. Put the chili powder, garlic powder and cumin in a small bowl and mix well.
4.  Cut up the chicken into chunks. Add oil to a skillet and then add the minced the garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, then add chicken. Sprinkle about half of the spice mixture on the chicken.  *At this point I added the onions and peppers, skip this if you want to just stick with the corn* Cook until the chicken is cooked through.  Add the cooked chicken in with the rice.
5. in a medium sized bowl, add the yogurt, sour cream, salsa and the rest of the spice mixture. Stir well and then add it to the rice.
6. Combine the rest ingredients except for cilantro and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure the yogurt and cheese are stirred in throughout the entire bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with extra cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. 
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and tomatoes.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Meal Plan July 22 - 26

Monday - I had a busy weekend with my son and his friends, so I never got to meal plan on Sunday, so I had to wing it with some Bacon wrapped Sirloins, potatoes and raw veggies before me son's baseball game.

Tuesday - going to my parent's for supper, so no cooking for me!

Wednesday - Our Meatless day! Classic Pad Thai So, this is a new Pad Thai recipe then my usual. I just feel like trying a new one....could be a mistake....we will see!

EDIT: Tried it and it wasn't as good as my other recipe. I found it was as "saucy". I did like the heat though, so I will add some chili paste to my original recipe.



Thursday - Cheesy Chicken and rice bake



Friday - Chicken Gyros



Thursday, 18 July 2013

Huevos Rancheros

So, I have been a little AWOL lately. No exotic tales regarding my absence......just life.

We went on a family vacation for a week and rented a cottage on the ocean. It was a week full of family, beautiful weather, lots of laughs and most importantly....RELAXATION. I needed a break from my every day routine and it allowed me to come back home refreshed and rejuvenated.

My other excuses as to why I have been quiet on my blog is the simple fact that I have not been meal planning for the last 2 weeks. My man is away most of this week and ...... last week...... I think my brain was still on vacation.

It was nice to not have to take the time to plan our meals, however, it lead to less healthy meals and more $ being spent. I am eager to get back onto my routine and I will have a meal plan for next week.

Here is a recipe from the last week that I did a meal plan. We have made this twice since, so it is a definite keeper and a great Meatless Monday option!

I have never eaten Huevos Rancheros before, but my man raved about one that he ate in California, so I had to try this. He LOVED this recipe, as did I. I combined 2 recipes that I found online because I didn't like how the original recipe made their beans. The 2nd time I made them, I found a a different way to prepare them and they turned out MUCH better.



HUEVOS RANCHEROS

For the Beans: (this makes enough beans for 6-8 servings of Huevos Rancheros)

  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbs. mild olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle/chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the beans, olive oil, onion and garlic powders, chipotle, oregano, and 1/4 cup water. 
  • 2. Cook, mashing with a potato masher, until the beans are hot, well mashed, and thickened to a spreadable consistency, about 3 minutes. 
  • 3. Season to taste with salt. Put aside for later.
 For the rest of the recipe: (I will give you the process for 1 serving of Huevos Rancheros)

* Oil for frying
* 6 inch tortillas
* 2 Tbs. salsa (I used Costco salsa, it is soooo good)
* 2 eggs
* Cheese, grated (your favorite kind)
*  Sour cream, fresh cilantro and pepper for garnish
* 2 Tbs of the bean mixture
1. Put a small skillet over the heated burner and add the tiniest bit of oil. Lightly fry (it’s almost toasting really) a tortilla until slightly browned and bubbly. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add a tsp of oil (or a little more) to the skillet and crack your eggs in it. Continue to fry the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. I added some grated cheese so it melts on top.
3. In the meantime, spread the bean mixture over each tortilla, followed by the salsa. Then top each with the eggs. Dollop with a little more salsa, sour cream fresh cilantro sprigs and a good grind of black pepper.
Enjoy!