Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

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One Pot Mac n Cheese

October 4, 2018

20180908 One Pot Mac

Easy, cheesy and perfectly comforting. This simple mac n cheese comes together in one pot on your stovetop. If you want a cheesier taste, you could omit the pureed veg.

You will need:

  • 1 lb elbow or pipette noodles
  • 5 c milk
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 8 oz pureed carrot baby food
  • 4 oz pureed pumpkin baby food
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 4 c freshly shredded cheddar
  • Optional: crispy fried onions, roughly chopped (like you put on a green bean casserole)

Then you will…

  1. In a large saucepan, combine pasta with the milk, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring to a light boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Allow to cook until the pasta is just tender, another 5-6 minutes.
  4. Stir in the butter, carrot and pumpkin purees, mustard and cheddar until everything is mixed well and the cheese is melted.
  5. Serve hot with crispy fried onions sprinkled on top!
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Pizza Pockets

August 28, 2018

20180721 Pizza Pockets 02

These are definitely not a fancy treat, but they are quick and easy and perfect for helping toddler hands to put together.

You will need:

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) crescent rolls
  • 1/2 c pizza sauce
  • 8 mozzarella cheese sticks, cut into two shorter halves
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t oregano

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Unroll the crescents.
  3. Spread a spoonful of pizza sauce on the wide end of the crescent.
  4. Place one half piece of cheese on each spoonful of sauce.
  5. Wrap the dough around the sauce and cheese.
  6. Place each dough bundle, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Put the butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl.
  8. Melt by heating in the microwave, roughly 30 seconds.
  9. Mix in the garlic powder and oregano.
  10. Brush the seasoned butter on top of the dough bundles.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed up and golden.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving with extra dipping pizza sauce.

20180721 Pizza Pockets 01

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Deep Dish Pizza

March 18, 2016

20160311 Deep Dish 01

Not everyone likes deep dish pizza, but if you have a taste for it, try this one out. It’s full of yummy crust, sauce and cheese plus whatever your favorite toppings are.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 1 1/4 t yeast
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomato
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 c mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 c Parmesan, shredded
  • Any desired toppings (we used some sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions)

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water with the yeast. Allow to proof for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and olive oil.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Grease a large mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn until oiled on all sides.
  6. Cover with a warm damp cloth or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, roughly 1 1/2 hours.
  7. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  8. Add the garlic and onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes, until they start to soften.
  9. Stir in red pepper flakes, basil and oregano. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  10. Stir in the crushed tomato. Allow to simmer and reduce by a third, roughly 20-25 minutes.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Preheat your oven to 475.
  13. Press the dough into a well seasoned skillet that is 10 to 12 inches wide. Press the dough 1 1/5 to 2 inches up the side.
  14. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and 3/4 c of the Parmesan on the dough.
  16. Add any toppings you want.
  17. Spread with sauce and top with remaining cheese.
  18. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the dough is golden and cheese is golden and bubbly.
  19. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving to friends and family.

20160311 Deep Dish 03

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Slow Cooker White Bean and Sausage Cassoulet

January 25, 2016

This is a simple and hearty winter dish that takes very little time to prep. You can make it in a slow cooker or bake it at 300 in a dutch oven; once you get it started, you just need to sit back and relax for about 6 hours until your meal is ready! Perfect for a quiet afternoon with family or your favorite book.

Note: if you have ever wondered “what do I do with the Parmesan rind after I use all the yummy cheese,” you can add it to soup stock. It adds a lot of nutty deliciousness to soups and dishes like this one.

20160107 Cassoulet

You will need:

  • 1 lb sausage, uncased (I used mild Italian)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 c (~ 8 oz) dried white beans (I used Great Northern)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with their juices (I used some seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano)
  • 3 c low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 t fresh thyme, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet (or your Dutch oven if using), brown the sausage with the onion and garlic over medium heat. Stir frequently to break up the sausage.
  2. Remove from heat and transfer to your slow cooker (or leave in the Dutch oven).
  3. Mix in the white beans, diced tomato, chicken stock and thyme.
  4. Add the Parmesan rind if using.
  5. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 5. The beans should be soft and plump.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with crusty bread and your favorite salad.
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Parmesan Chicken Tenders

July 9, 2015

I LOVE CHICKEN TENDERS. I admit it. They are one of my favorite meals and can always turn my day around for the better. These are quick to put together and then are baked. The end result is a crispy meal that will make you smile.

You will need:

  • 2 c buttermilk
  • 1/4 c hot sauce
  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 3/4 t pepper, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 c shredded Parmesan

Then you will…

  1. In a large ziplock bag, combine the buttermilk with the hot sauce.
  2. Add the chicken into the marinade.
  3. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.
  4. On a large plate, combine the flour with the paprika, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.
  5. On a large plate, beat the eggs until the whites and yolks are combined.
  6. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, the salt and the Parmesan.
  7. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. For each piece of chicken, allow the excess buttermilk to shake off. Then dredge in the flour mixture. Coat with egg and then dredge in the Parmesan mixture.
  9. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Flip the chicken over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.

20150621 Parm Chicken Tender 02

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Buffalo Chicken Salad Sandwiches

October 30, 2013

If you haven’t guessed it yet, I have a weak spot for buffalo chicken. So spicy and awesome, I almost always want to have some. It reminds me of when I usually ordered chicken caesar salad when I went out to eat during high school. This is a relatively healthy version of chicken salad using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Hope you like it!

20131004 Buffalo Chicken Salad

You will need:

  • 6 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c hot sauce, scant
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t cracked pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 ribs of celery, finely chopped (leaves included)
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cooked and chopped/shredded
  • 1/3 c blue cheese, finely crumbled

Then you will…

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the hot sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Stir in the celery, chicken and blue cheese.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This step could be skipped, but it allows all the flavors to meld).
  4. Serve on warm toasted bread for the best result.
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Dijon Potato Salad

July 29, 2013

This is a fun alternative to traditional potato salad. It has a lot of flavor and can be made in advance, plus there is no mayonnaise. This means you are much less likely to make your friends sick at the next summer barbeque!  This is one of my new favorite summer sides.

You will need:

  • 3 lb red-skinned potatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c dry white wine
  • 1/3 c white wine vinegar
  • 3 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 5 T fresh chives, chopped

20130704 Dijon Potato Salad

Then you will…

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Season with salt.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork (about 8-10 minutes).
  3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the cooking pot.
  4. Toss with the chicken stock and white wine. Let sit 5 minutes, tossing once in the middle.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Toss with the potatoes. Stir in the chives.
  7. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, although two hours is even better. If chilling for more than 30 minutes, feel free to refrigerate the potato salad while doing so.
  8. Stir occasionally to ensure all the delicious liquids are soaked up.
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