Thursday, August 19, 2010

Freezer Meals

I recently posted on FB about making 30 freezer meals. These were not 30 different meals, but 6 different meals that made 30 meals for my family. It was a lot of work. But so worth it! I have LOVED having things to pull out of the freezer. The "meal" isn't really a complete meal, in fact, it is just the meat portion, because I serve fresh produce with each meal. But, having pre-marinated, or pre-made meats has been such a time saver.

I made:

Orange Thai Beef (I just threw marinade in with cut up beef, and I have made it as a stir-fry with the peppers and asparagus). This was absolutely fabulous. This blog- is amazing. Everything I have tried off there is wonderful!

I made mini turkey meatloaves

Two kinds of chicken, which I put rubs on that I purchased at Whole Foods (tequilla lime and italian herb)

The italian herb I have used in this (http:// pasta, and it was really good

The tequilla lime I plan to use in fajitas. I'll post my guac. recipe some time soon.

And mexican turkey burgers:

I froze all these in freezer bags, in portions for my family. This is something I will be doing on a regular basis. So I will keep updating with more freezer friendly meals.

(And just so you know, my posts have been less frequent because I have been doing a special health diet, and I promise you don't want to eat this way...)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Turkey Meatloaf

A good friend made a chicken meatloaf that was to die for. But, I cannot find ground chicken here, so I tried it with ground turkey and liked it just as well. This is a simple meatloaf that I kind of just eyeball, which is why I haven't written out the recipe before. So, you can use more or less of something to taste.

Turkey Meatloaf:

1 pound ground turkey
1.5-2 cups stove top chicken stuffing mix
shredded zucchini (I would say 1/4 cup or so)
shredded carrots (again 1/4 cup?)
2 eggs
milk (maybe 1/2-1 cup)
salt and pepper to taste


2/3 part Favorite jarred marinara sauce
to 1/3 part whole cream

Combine ingredients well and form into a loaf. Pour sauce over meatloaf. Bake until firm and cooked through at 350 degrees. (About an 1-1.5)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Favorite Marinade

This is my favorite marinade for pork chops or salmon, but I am sure it would be great on chicken as well.

1/3 part honey to
2/3 parts soy sauce
4 cloves minced garlic
ginger to taste

7-up Chicken Marinade

Easy marinade for grilled chicken.

1 can of 7-up or sprite
1/4 cup soy
4 cloves minced garlic

Marinate over night for best results.

Thai Peanut Noodles

We love Thai food at our house. This is a simple weeknight meal. It came together in 15 minutes. I love that!! It is reminiscent of Pad Thai, but doesn't have quite the same flavor. This is a perfect vegetarian meal, but is also great with chicken.

Thai Peanut Noodles

1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp. peanut butter
1-2 tsp. siracha sauce
3 tbs. soy sauce
1/2 tbs. honey (I used this to taste, and used a tbs. and a half I bet.)
1 1/2 tbs fresh grated ginger (I used a lot less than this, because I hate grating ginger and it was fine.)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
8 oz linguine pasta
2 chopped green onions
chopped peanuts
quartered limes

Boil noodles to al dente. While, boiling combine sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Combine sauce and noodles.

Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, and peanuts before serving.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Glazed Mini Meatloaves

I happen to LOVE meatloaf. Like it might even one of my favorite meals. It is the ultimate comfort food for me. My Mom’s meatloaf is super good, but I can never make it like hers. So, when I came across this recipe I had to try it. Seemed easy enough. These were fabulous! My husband even ate the leftovers for lunch the next day (this NEVER happens). I always serve meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas. They just “go” together. (This recipe is from My Kitchen Cafe blog)


Glazed Mini Meatloaves

Yields: 5-6 mini meatloaves
17-20 saltine crackers, crushed fine (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup minced FRESH parsley (flat-leaf)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (not too lean, or it will be too dry....I used 80/20.)
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cracker crumbs, milk, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, egg, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add ground meat and combine until uniform. Shape mixture into 5-6 oval loaves.
Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is slightly rippling. Add meatloaves and brown well on one side, 3-5 minutes. Carefully flip loaves over and tidy up edges using a spatula. Brown the other side for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix glaze ingredients together until smooth. Transfer mini meatloaves to a foil-lined 9x13 dish and spoon the glaze over the top of each meatloaf. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees or until center is no longer pink

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I have seen this recipe on 3 or 4 different food blogs over the past year or so. I have wanted to try it FOREVER. A good friend had us for dinner and served them instead :) They were fabulous!!! I ended up making them the next week. They came together quickly, and have so much flavor for so few ingredients. I would be generous with the sauce (I thought it looked like too much and ended up not using it all- so they were a little dry after being baked- use all the sauce).

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup lime juice (about 2-3 large limes)
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1.5 pounds, boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded (for shredded chicken I boil my chicken)

12-14 corn tortillas (fajita size)
3 cups mexican blend cheese
1 14oz can mild green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine honey (I had to heat mine in the microwave a few seconds), lime, chili powder, and garlic. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add chicken to marinate.

In a medium bowl combine enchilada sauce and heavy cream. Spread about half the mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.

In a large nonstick skillet heat tortillas.

Working one tortilla at a time, place a spoonful of chicken mixture in the center. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up, place in pan seam side down. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.

Top with remaining cheeses and sauce. (Add any remaing marinade to the sauce) Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes- or until brown and bubbly.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Pair this salad with grilled chicken, you have THE perfect meal! Maybe throw in a baked sweet potato too :)

chopped romaine lettuce or spinach
sliced strawberries
toasted slivered almonds (I toast mine in a dry skillet)
shredded mozarella cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

I have always loved the soup, salad, and breadsticks at Olive Garden. But, we don't seem to go there very often.... I was thrilled when I began seeing this recipe pop up on several of the food blogs I frequent. I finally tried it a few weeks ago. I think it tastes just like Olive Garden's- and I had actually been there earlier that week :)

Zuppa Toscana

6 to 8 servings

1 pound ground spicy italian sausage (I used more- like nearly 2 pounds)
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (I omitted this, because the sausage was HOT)
1 large diced white onions
4 tbsp. bacon pieces (I used 4 slices of bacon chopped finely)
2 tsp. minced garlic
10 cups chicken broth (I added 2 tbsp. better than bullion)
1/2- 1 cup heavy cream (I used a half)
4 russet potatoes (I only used 2, 4 was a lot)
4 cups kale

In a large pot:
1. cook sausage until well browned, remove from pot
2. cook bacon until crisp, remove from pot.
3. cook onions and garlic until soft (I cooked it in the bacon grease, but you can drain that add oil)
4. return bacon to the pot, and add chicken broth. Cook until boiling.
5. Add potatoes, cook until soft- about 30 minutes.
6. Add cream and sausage, heat, but do not boil.
7. Add kale right before serving.

Enjoy with freshly grated parm. cheese!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Apricot Chicken

You MUST try this. Really, it is GOOD!!! And honestly the easiest thing I have ever made (well at least lately). My daughter said this chicken was, "full of flavor and the best I have ever made, because of the sauce." The best part, I had all the ingredients on hand! Try it, you won't be disappointed. I served this with garlic green beans and brown rice, if you want enough sauce for the rice you will need to double the sauce ingredients.

3 Chicken Breasts
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup apricot preserves
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. water
(I added 1/4 tsp. better than bullion)

Sprinkle chicken breasts with curry powder and pepper on both sides. Brown chicken in skillet until cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm. Put apricot preserves, lemon juice, water and bullion if using. into pan (this will deglaze the pan), and stir until smooth. Pour sauce over chicken. (I returned my chicken to the pan and coated with the sauce and allowed it to simmer in the sauce for awhile)

BBQ Chicken

I made this last week for the first time. It was a hit! I loved it- easy, really flavorful. I served it with brown rice, and green beans. One thing- I think you could easily half the sauce amount and still have tons. It made a lot of sauce!! Found on SisterStuff Blog.

Chicken (I used 12 tenders, equivelent to 4 breasts?)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar (I used white, but think apple cider would have worked well also)
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mustard (I am out of yellow, so I used Dijon)
1 tbsp. corn starch (possibly more- I used a heaping tbsp.)

Brown chicken, combine sauce ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover with tin foil, and bake at 300 for an hour and half. (I baked mine at 350 for 30 minutes or so, because tenders take less time to cook).

I want to know....

YOUR favorite recipes. I am in a cooking rut, I feel like I have been making the same things a lot lately, and I would love to try a few of my readers (there are people reading this, right!?) favorite recipes. Post them in the comments or e-mail me a few- taylarson at gmail dot com
I cannot wait to try some!!

Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad. Chances are if you have eaten lunch at my house, you have had my chicken salad. I have been making this for years, and I don't use exact measurements. So, make this to taste. And don't let the french dressing scare you! This will be a pretty orange color :)

Rotisserie Chicken- pulled off the bone and chopped/shredded
1/3 part mayo
to 2/3 part french dressing
(or try half and half if first and add more dressing...)
quartered grapes
chopped pecans
Salt and Pepper to taste

Serve on Croissants or a good quality whole grain bread.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Southwest Chicken

This recipe has been floating around for awhile now. I have seen it on several blogs, and a few friends have given me versions as well. I finally tried it. SO glad I did. I love recipes like this, where I have all the ingredients, all the time. Throw this in the crockpot on a busy day!

Southwest Chicken

1 pound frozen chicken (I used tenders)
1 1/2 cups salsa
2 cups frozen corn (I just dumped some in til it looked right)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Cook on high 4-6 hours.

Serve with tortilla chips, lettuce, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, black olives, limes.... Whatever you have on hand. I know some people just serve it over rice as well.

Pesto Chicken Calzones

Another Triana recipe. Again Fabulous! Again no recipe, so this is just the general idea.

Pesto Chicken Calzones

1 can artichoke hearts
jarred pesto
Rhodes rolls or pizza dough
mozzarella cheese

Pizza sauce
Pesto Cream Sauce (pesto mixed with heavy cream and heated)
for dipping

If you are using rolls, let rolls rise, I used two per calzone- (they were not huge, but a good individual serving size, my husband could have eaten two, had he not just been on a diet.) Meanwhile, drain artichoke hearts and quarter them. Brown chicken in a skillet (I use olive oil and garlic), cut chicken into small peices, combine with jarred pesto to taste, (I used a couple spoonfuls I think.) and artichoke hearts.
Flatten rolls using your finger, place chicken mixture along with shredded cheese onto one roll, and top with another flattened roll. Pinch close.
Brush with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
Serve with your choice of dipping sauce.

Triana's Penne with Bacon

Oh my gosh! This might be my new favorite food. My good friend Triana had us over for dinner the other night and made this. I made it again the next night! You know it is good when I have something twice in one week. This is surprisingly easy, and so yummy! Try it, you will not be disappointed. Again, bacon and cream!
(I don't have an actual recipe, I watched her make it, and then called her to ask questions when I was making it again.)

Penne with Bacon (except I used bowties...)

1 can diced tomatoes
1 small onion diced
1/2 pound bacon, chopped bite-sized
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 box/bag pasta (she used bowties, so did I, but she calls it Penne, so whatever you have would work, I think.)
Parmesan cheese to taste

Boil pasta to al dente. Pre-heat non-stick skillet over med-high heat, then cook bacon until crispy (you want it crispy). Drain bacon grease, leaving about a tbs. or so in the skillet. Saute onions until well browned in bacon grease, then add the can off tomatoes, juice and all. Cook the tomatoes until almost all the juice evaporates, and the tomatoes reduce (about 10 minutes?), add cream, you can use up to a cup, then add parm. cheese to taste (I used about a cup.). Add pasta to skillet and combine with sauce. Serve immediately. (AND eat it all that night, cause the leftovers are not nearly as good.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Peanut-Broccoli Stirfry

My husband requests this more than anything else I make. I am surprised I waited this long to put it up!? I use chicken instead of tofu, as well as chicken broth. So skip the tofu steps, and just place the chopped chicken in the sauce for 10 minutes. Good and good for you :)

1 (16-oz.) package firm tofu
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup carrot sticks
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
Garnish: lime wedges
1. Place tofu between 2 flat plates. Weight the top with a heavy can. (Sides of tofu should be bulging slightly but not cracking.) Let stand 45 minutes; discard liquid. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
2. Prepare rice according to package directions, adding 1/2 tsp. salt.
3. Meanwhile, combine vegetable broth and next 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Add tofu, and toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove tofu from marinade, reserving marinade.
4. Heat oils in a nonstick skillet or wok over high heat 1 minute. Add tofu, and stir-fry 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Remove tofu. Add broccoli and carrot sticks; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add reserved marinade, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened; stir in cooked tofu. Serve over hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Garnish, if desired.

Creole Fried Rice

I just remembered this recipe that I tried about a year ago, and was so excited I was able to find it again. It is really good, and something different than most things I make. It is a tad spicy, so keep that in mind if you are serving it to children.

1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 pound skinned and boned chicken thighs (I used chicken tenders- of course)
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound andouille or smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup frozen sliced okra, thawed
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 green onions, sliced (green part only)
1. Cook rice according to package directions, substituting chicken broth for water. Spread cooked rice in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Let cool 30 minutes or until completely cool.
2. Cut chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces, and toss with 1 tsp. Creole seasoning.
3. Cook chicken in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 3 minutes; add sausage, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in okra and remaining 1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning. Increase heat to high; add rice, and cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in tomatoes. Sprinkle with sliced green onions, and serve immediately.

Ginger-Peanut Chicken-Salad Wraps

The hubby has been doing a diet where he ate practically nothing, so I have not been cooking. Now that the hardest part of the diet is over (and he lost 35 pounds) I have returned to cooking, with "light" meals. This is from the cooking light website, and surprisingly good. Plus, they were SO easy! I love that. I was lazy today, but would typically serve with a side of fruit to make a more well rounded meal. And, shockingly I didn't make any alterations to this besides adding some chopped green onions, because if you know me you know I love onions....

Ginger-Peanut Chicken-Salad Wraps

1 teaspoon olive oil (I used sesame oil for a little more flavor)
6 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove the chicken from pan; cool. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Place chicken, cucumber, and bell pepper in a large bowl; set aside.
Place sugar and the next 6 ingredients (sugar through garlic) in a blender, and process until smooth. Add peanut butter and water; process until smooth, scraping sides. Add peanut butter mixture to chicken mixture; stir well. Add cilantro, and toss well. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla; top each serving with 1/2 cup lettuce, and roll up.