Not exactly cooking, but…..

….so simple and delicious!

I have been pretty lazy lately about going to the grocery store. For some reason, I have lacked the motivation. Which is unusual because typically I love going grocery shopping!! So, needless to say, I am down to bare bones with what to cook.

Again, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw with barely a clue of what I was going to make. When I came home from work I scoured my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I could come up. I found some steam-ready green beans and a jar of Alfredo sauce, and this is what I created!

Weeknight Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

2 cups short cut whole grain pasta, uncooked (like penne or rotini)
1 jar light Alfredo sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pkg frozen steam-ready green beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in sauté pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 7-8 minutes until cooked through. Halfway through, add minced garlic.

Cook green beans according package directions. Add to sauté pan. Stir to combine. Pour half of the Alfredo sauce into sauce pan. Stir.

Drain pasta and add to chicken and green beans. Add remaining sauce. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

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ENJOY!! 🙂

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Lemon Broccoli Chicken

Typical of me, before I left for work this morning, I laid some chicken breasts out to thaw while I was at work without a clue of what I was going to do them. So, I took to one of my favorite simple recipe site, Kraft, to find something that my family would enjoy. I also needed it to be quick, easy, and required few ingredients. I made a few changes from the original recipe to suit my family. For example, I substituted whole grain pasta for rice.

Lemon Broccoli Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

2 cups whole grain pasta, uncooked (I used Penne)
2 cups chicken stock
1tbsp oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme
16 oz frozen broccoli florets, thawed
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, combine 4 cups water and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, likely about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, garlic and pepper. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is done, stirring frequently.

Add cooking creme and broccoli. Cook and stir 2 min.

Once pasta is cooked, add to chicken mixture. Stir to combine. Add lemon zest and stir.

**Recipe Inspiration: Kraft Recipes

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This was a quick and easy recipe! Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Too much cabbage!

Over the weekend when I was at the grocery store to buy ingredients for the fish tacos, I had purchased an entire head of green cabbage, not really even thinking that I would only need about a quarter of it.

Now…..I was in need of a use for the rest of it! I really did not want it to go to waste. Initially, I looked on Pinterest, but I did not find anything that intrigued me. Next, I headed to Food Network, and simply used the search term “cabbage”. About 10 recipes in I found the perfect one (mostly because I knew my husband would like it 🙂 ).

Hot Asian Slaw

Ingredients:

2 tsp canola oil
1 green cabbage (I used about 3/4 since that what I had left), shredded in food processor
2 medium carrots, shredded in food processor
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Sesame seeds, to taste

Directions:

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and carrots. Cook until just starting to wilt, about 2 minutes.

In a small combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Add half to the cabbage and mix to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Stir in desired amount of red pepper flakes to remaining half of soy mixture. Add to pan.

Stir well and cook just until cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds.

**Recipe developed from: Food Network

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Along with the Hot Asian Slaw, I served some chicken pieces that I marinaded in a store bough teriyaki marinade. Actually, in my fridge, I had half a bottle each of a honey teriyaki and plain teriyaki. So the chicken was marinaded in the honey teriyaki for 2 hours. Then the other marinade was reduced with a tablespoon of honey, 1/3 cup chicken stock, and sliced onions to use as a sauce, just as I had done previously.

The spicy slaw was a perfect with the sweet teriyaki marinade!

ENJOY!! 🙂

I couldn’t resist!!!

Tonight’s dinner is a repeat from a previous post. I honestly think the two recipes in this post are the best recipes I have ever made. That’s why, when we were in Trader Joe’s, amongst what seemed like the entire Tampa Bay area, I just had to buy the fresh Brussels sprouts I spotted!!! Do you remember the recipes I’m referring to???

Click here to find out!

I did do two variations from the original post. First, I decided to roast (at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through) the Brussels sprouts instead of sautéing them, and I also omitted the garlic (but that was an accident).

Both the chicken and Brussels sprouts were just as delicious, if not more delicious, than the first time!!!

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I also have to confess……

I think this is the fourth time I have made these Brussels sprouts since I first posted the recipe. They are THAT GOOD!!!!! If you haven’t made them yet, it is worth giving a try!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Can you guess the hidden vegetables??

Looking at the picture below, can you guess what 3 vegetables went into making this??

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I ask this not because I try to find ways to convince my son to eat and try new things, but because I need to convince my….HUSBAND!!!

A few days ago, I was rather unsuccessful fooling him into thinking he liked crab meat. Tonight I was attempting to change his mind on a vegetable that he does not like.

I am sure you are wondering what this vegetable is…….CAULIFLOWER! I happen to love cauliflower, and I would probably eat it every day. I even like it just very simply steamed with a little salt and pepper. No cheese sauce. No butter.

Below is a recipe I developed with a little help from some online scavenging.

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Smash

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, washed, and cut into florets
3 to 4 small to medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the carrots and cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil (about 2 tbsp), enough to coat vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.

Sauté onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and herbs. Cook until onion is translucent. Be sure not to burn the garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place roasted cauliflower and carrots into a food processor. Add the sauteed onion, garlic, herbs, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Process until smooth.

**Recipe inspiration: Multiply Delicious

I served this with a combination of chicken thighs and drumsticks that I marinaded in a store bought balsamic marinade for a couple hours and baked at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. I reserved some of the marinade to make a sauce.

Balsamic Onion Sauce

Ingredients:

1/3 cup balsamic marinade (I used Ken’s brand)
1/3 cup chicken stock
Half a large onion, sliced

Directions: In a small saucepan, I combined the reserved marinade, chicken stock, and sliced onion. Heated to a boil, then reduced to simmer about 5-10, until the onions are cooked.

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This time was a success!!! My husband really liked the carrot and cauliflower smash!!!

ENJOY!!

Ode to my father!

This past weekend when we were in Charlotte, actually before we even got there, my dad was already requesting to eat at a particular restaurant. He kept raving about their Brussels sprouts! He said he was going to get 7 orders! Haha…WHAT?!?! I knew they had to be fantastic for him to say that.

I have to admit, I was not too excited about these Brussels sprouts. My mind immediately reverts back to my childhood when my parents would serve them for dinner and make us eat them. And that terrible smell!!! Well, after eating them this weekend, I was certainly proven wrong. I could not get enough of them.

Below are the recipes for what we had for dinner. Both the chicken and Brussels sprouts use lemon and garlic. So, I thought they would be a great pairing.

Garlic-Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. lemon zest (for me, this was about 3 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (also 3 lemons)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. pepper
2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (I used 6 drumsticks and 4 thighs)
Cooking spray

Directions:
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag.

Seal the bag and shake well to blend.

Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, removing any excess air. Refrigerate and let marinate for 1 hour (The original recipe recommended marinating for 2 hours. Unfortunately, I just did not have that much time).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in a lightly greased baking dish. Reserve the leftover marinade. Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray (to help it brown and get crispy).

Bake uncovered about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and pour the reserved marinade over the chicken.

Bake another 25 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and cover with foil. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

**Recipe inspiration: Annie’s Eats

Lemon-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

2 lb Brussels Sprouts
4 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tbsp asiago cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Clean the Brussels sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling the outer layer of the sprout off. Cut each one in half.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once heated, add the halved brussel sprouts to the pan and saute for about 7 minutes on each side until the outer part is a caramelized and the inside is tender.

Add the garlic half way through the cooking.

Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Top with cheese just before serving.

**Recipe credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

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After I took this picture, I sent it to my dad via text. I knew he would appreciate it! He first replied, “I think you missed your calling!” He then said, “Can I move in?” I guess on my parents next visit in a few months I will be making this for them. But….I have a feeling, we will be having these delicious recipes for dinner several times before my parents get here!

ENJOY!