Queso Smothered Chicken Breast

queso chickenThis might be the best chicken I’ve ever had. I was worried that my kids would think the food was spicy, but they both asked for seconds (my three year old included).

My ten year old son has started cooking dinner one night a week, and this was simple enough for him to do. He was SO proud of himself in the end because it turned out so fantastic.

Start by putting the chicken breasts in a container (we used a large Ziploc) and covering it with the Lawry’s Marinade. We ended up filling the bottle half full with water and adding that to the bag as well, because we were marinating quite a bit of chicken. Let that set for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have the time.
bag chicken
While the chicken is marinating, get your grill ready to fire up. I would recommend grilling the chicken on a charcoal grill, because it adds a great flavor to the chicken.
We allotted an hour for marinating.

Once the chicken is done soaking in the marinade, go ahead and put them on the grill. We grilled the chicken for about 30 minutes total at 300 degrees. My husband left his on a little longer because he likes it very charred, it’s best to use an internal thermometer to ensure the chicken has reached at least 170 degrees.
grilled chicken
While the chicken is cooking, melt 1 T. Butter in a pan that has a tight fitting lid. Add 1 C. White rice and sauté for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add 2 T. tomato paste, 2 T. Chili powder, and 2 ¼ C. Chicken broth, reduce to a simmer, cover with tight fitting lid, and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat for another 5 minutes (leave covered). Then remove lid and fluff with a fork before serving.

While rice is cooking, in a small pot on low heat, add 8 oz. diced velveeta cheese, ½ C. Milk, and 1 can of Rotel (mild). Stir frequently to avoid burning, for about 5-7 minutes, until cheese is fully melted. Keep on very low heat to keep cheese melted until serving.

Assemble with Rice on bottom, a chicken breast, and smother with queso.
queso chicken

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Eggs in Hell

My husband was watching a morning show (which is SO not like him, but he has the day off) and saw a recipe he just had to have. Of course it’s new years day, and all the great stores were closed. So this is not EXACTLY how it should have been done, but it was AMAZING :) So make this, and enjoy!

Heat a 12 inch skillet to medium heat, drizzle 1-2 T. olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 thinly sliced red onion and 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced to the skillet. Sautee about 1 minute. onion & jalapen

Add 15 oz. can plain tomato sauce and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.

Add 1/2 tsp. garlic salt and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Crack 4 eggs, keeping the eggs whole, so they don’t touch each other in the tomato sauce.

eggs

Cover and let cook (do not stir) about 7 minutes, or until the whites have cooked completely. Then top with a dash of salt & pepper, and sprinkle with about an ounce of crumbled goat cheese. I also sliced up about five manzanilla olives and added to the top.

Eggs In Hell Done

I served this with a side of bacon, sliced a baguette and toasted in the pan I cooked the bacon in. :) However, the bacon was absolutely not needed. This is a great dish just as is!

1-2 T Olive Oil
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, thinly sliced
15 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
4 eggs
1 oz. crumbled goat cheese
salt & pepper
hard bread (baguette) to serve with

Eggs in Hell

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/eggs-hell-recipe-mario-batali-21370990

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Pasta Salad (Fed 4 for $5.81)

Pasta SaladRecently, I went to a friends house and she served this AMAZING pasta salad. She included fried tofu in hers, but I left it out because I didn’t have time to press the tofu before serving. I like this salad because it’s served cold, so I make a batch and leave it in my fridge to grab when I don’t feel like cooking lunch :)

Boil 8 oz. pasta using directions on package. I used spiral pasta because it’s easy for little hands to pick up.

While the pasta is cooking, dice one roma tomato and put in a large bowl. I used a large roma, you could use two tomatoes if you want. Dice and add one cucumber, you could take the seeds out, I left them in because I don’t mind them so much. Rinse, drain and add one 15 oz. can of black beans, I use seasoned Bush’s black beans. I had 3 leftover ears of corn from last night’s dinner. I cut the kernels off the cob and added those in for some color. You could use about 8 oz. frozen corn (cooked, using directions on bag) also. Now for the top secret ingredient… On the dressing aisle, look for Bragg Organic Ginger & Sesame Salad Dressing, it’s SO yummy and is the only thing you will need for this salad… no salt, no nothing, just this. Shake and add about 1/3 of the bottle to the bowl and toss.

Once the pasta is done cooking, IMMEDIATELY drain and rinse in cold water. Rinse until the pasta is cold to the touch, this stops the cooking process and will keep your pasta from getting over-done. Once the pasta is cold, add to the veggies and toss. If needed, add more dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8 oz. pasta $.75
1 large roma tomato, diced $.56
1 cucumber, diced $.48
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained $1.19
3 ears of corn, kernels removed $1.00
1 C. Bragg Organic Ginger & Sesame Salad Dressing $1.83

***This dressing contains honey. If you are a vegan that eats honey, this is a vegan recipe. If not, this is NOT a vegan recipe. That is why I am posting this as a vegetarian meal instead of a vegan meal.***

I also want to say that you could do SO much to this recipe, onions, olives, capers… the list goes on and on… pepperoni… feta…

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Pizza Puff-ups (Fed 4 for about $5.40)

Tonight, dinner was a huge hit. I told my two year old that we were having pizza, and I was worried that when it came out of the oven, and didn’t look like “normal” pizza, I would have a fit on my hands. However, he REALLY enjoyed it and asked for more! This was a super easy meal, which is good, because I do not feel rested at all after this busy weekend. I did all the mixing in my stand mixer, the only effort was cooking the sausage.

Pizza Puffs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown 8 oz. sausage, I used regular breakfast sausage.

While the sausage is cooking, mix together 1 1/4 C. flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/4 C. cold butter. Mix until it looks like cornmeal, it might take cleaning the butter out of the paddle a couple times. (Or you could cut the butter in using a food processor, I just didn’t want to dirty dishes) Then add in 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, 4 oz. grated mozzarella cheese, 2 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese, 6 T. milk. Add in cooked sausage and 4 oz. pepperoni (I cut each pepperoni into quarters).

Shape the dough into balls just like you would “drop biscuits” and put on greased cookie sheet. I made mine about an inch thick and two inches wide. Cook in preheated oven for about 14-16 minutes or until browned on top. These are going to turn out fluffy and cheesy and delicious.

Serve with marinara for dipping.

Yield: About 10 Pizza puff-ups

8 oz. breakfast sausage $1.99
1 1/4 C. flour $.16
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. cold butter $.37
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
4 oz. grated mozzarella cheese $1.25
2 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese $.63
6 T. milk
4 oz. pepperoni slices $1.00
Marinara for dipping

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Creamy Garlic Pizza Sauce

Creamy garlic sauce

I like pizza, I just really don’t like tomato sauce on my pizza.  I’m guilty of buying “take-and-bake” pizzas from a local pizza place because I love their creamy garlic sauce.  It’s amazing, and I just found out, it’s super easy to make.  I made it ahead of time so it would have some time to cool off and thicken up before putting it on the pizza.  You’ve gotta try it!  In a saucepan, melt 2 T. butter.  Add in 3 T. flour and whisk, then add 1 1/4 C. milk, keep whisking.  Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 T. fresh chopped basil, and 1/2 C. shredded parmesan cheese.  The sauce shouldn’t boil, just stir it until the cheese melts and it will thicken up.  Keep in mind, it will thicken after it cools off more.  Then use this for your favorite pizza!  Ah-MAZE-ing!!

2 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 1/4 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 C. shredded parmesan cheese

I got this recipe from a great site:

http://natashaskitchen.com/2011/05/29/chicken-pizza-with-creamy-garlic-sauce/#comment-78797

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Black Bean Quinoa Burgers (Fed 5 for $3.38)

IMG_9572These are quite possibly the best black bean burgers you have ever had. No seriously, they are delicious. I used to make black bean burgers all the time, but this was before I discovered quinoa. Adding the quinoa to the burger makes the consistency so much better!

Boil 1 C. water. When it’s boiling, add 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 C. quinoa, 1 T. cilantro (I use freeze dried). Cover, and simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Once it’s finished, remove from heat and set aside.

In a pan, heat up 4 T. oil (I use cottonseed oil) for frying patties.

While the quinoa is cooking, in a food processor, add 3/4 of a 15 oz. can of drained black beans (you’ll add the rest back in later), 2 green onions, 1 egg, 1 tsp. roasted garlic salt, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cilantro, 1 tsp. sriracha sauce and mix until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl and add in the already cooked quinoa, the rest of the can of beans, and 1/2 C. bread crumbs. Mix with hands until combined, and form patties, should make 5. Put patties in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, so it crisps nicely. Drain on paper towels and serve on a bun, as you would a “burger.” I topped mine with homemade pimento cheese, it was AMAZING!
IMG_9570
For Quinoa:
1 C. water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. quinoa $.38
1 T. cilantro

4 T. oil for frying

15 oz. can of black beans $1.19
2 green onions, diced $.40
1 egg $.16
1 tsp. roasted garlic salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cilantro
1 tsp. sriracha sauce
1/2 C. bread crumbs $.25

Buns for burgers $1.00

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Tropical Chia Pudding (Fed 2 for $3.03)

Trying to eat less meat and think of different things for breakfast other than the usual bacon and eggs. This pudding is fresh and delicious. You could substitute different fruits, whatever is in season. It’s best if you can let it set overnight before serving.

Mix together 2 T. chia seeds, 1/2 C. fresh champagne mango, diced, 1 C. fresh pineapple, diced, 1/2 C. soy milk (coconut would be best). Put in the fridge to set overnight.

In the morning, put 1 sliced banana and 1/8 C. soy milk in the food processor and blend, then add to the chia pudding. If you leave the banana in overnight, it’s not so yummy in the morning. You want to add the banana fresh, right before you are going to eat it.

Chia Pudding

2 T. chia seeds $.90
1/2 C. champagne mango, diced $.25
1 C. pineapple, diced $.75
1/2 C. soy milk (coconut) $.75

1 banana $.20
1/8 C. soy milk $.18

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