Recipe: Crispy Onion Chicken

This is a delicious, easy recipe. And kids love it too!

Crispy Onion Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (your choice, I like breasts or thighs)
  • 2 cups French Fried Onions, crushed
  • 2 T. flour
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (You can use coconut oil or margarine if you are dairy free)

 

Directions:

  1. Place onions in a Ziploc bag and crush onions with a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine, whichever is handy)
  2. Pour crushed onions, flour, and pepper in a flat dish, mix thoroughly.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken in melted butter, and rolleach buttery piece in onion/flour mixture.
  4. Place each piece in a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked throughout.

I like to serve these with mashed potatoes, and a green salad (I really like this one).

 

Family Recipe: Chicken Fajitas Soup!

This Recipe is easy and tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 t. avocado oil
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced.
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (about 14.5 ounces)
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (about 14.5 ounces)
  • 1 packet fajitas seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 c. uncooked rice

Toppings: Crispy Jalepenos, cheddar cheese, avocado

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, saute onions in oil until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, stirring often. Cook until fragrant (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add in peppers, celery, carrots, and can of tomatoes. Cook over medium until celery is tender (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes, or until rice is cooked.

This recipes serves 8-10. It freezes well.

Substitutions/tips:

  • This can be made with beef instead using cooked chopped beef and beef stock in place of chicken.
  • Or make it vegetarian omitting meat and substituting veggie stock.
  • If you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes, substitute 5 tomatoes (peeled and chopped) in place of the can of tomatoes.

Dream Dinners: Coupon Code $99 off Your First Order!

Dream Dinners is hooking new clients up with an incredible offer! If you’ve never heard of Dream Dinners, check out my post here.

Right now, you can save $99 off your first month’s order when you use coupon Code “REFER99“.  When you check out, use Coupon Refer99 at check out and enter my name  (Abby Hewes) and email (akeen02037@gmail.com) in the how did you hear about us when creating your new profile.

This offer is only valid for new guests. This offer is good for a Standard order and can only be used one time per customer, per household.

A standard order is at least 12 small meals (feeds 2-3 people) or 6 large meals (feeds 4-6 people).

I love Dream Dinners because it’s a great way to save time and still serve the fam a tasty healthy meal. We order 12 small meals each month and serve 2-3 a week. Between Dream Dinners, and our CSA box, our grocery budget is under control, and we aren’t eating out multiple times per week. Because we’ve been home 24/7 for the past year, our grocery budget has gone up, but we are not eating out often. Whenever we get the urge to eat out, I grab a Dream Dinner meal from the freezer, and in less than an hour, we are eating gooood.

There are Dream Dinners locations in 22 states, find your closest location here.

Meal Prep and Menu Planning Made Easy With Dream Dinners!

My girl Brooke hooked me with Dream Dinners recently. Most of you know that I am a huge proponent of meal prep and menu planning. I also recognize that not everyone has the time to spare a few hours each week prepping veggies, marinating meats, preparing sauces and bagging it all up to cook later.

And when you don’t have time to shop or do prep work, you lean on fast food or take out. Once in a while, it’s ok, but any more than that and it’s not healthy or good for your pocketbook.

Enter Dream Dinners! For less than the price of take out or a drive-through visit for the fam, and in 30 minutes or less, you will have a tasty, hot, fresh homecooked meal! I’ve reviewed Meal Kits in the past, and there are a lot of inherent problems with fresh and frozen food being mailed to you. Frozen cucumbers, smashed produce… You don’t have these issues with Dream Dinners. This is one of the reasons that Dream Dinners is better.

A few other reasons Dream Dinners is superior:

Dream Dinners is less expensive than other Meal Kit Programs.  That’s a plus in my book!

With locations all over San Diego County (and nationwide), you order online and pick it up at your local Dream Dinner Location. Pop your trunk, and the lovely Dream Dinners employee will place your food in the trunk. You are all set to go!

Chicago style chicken with roasted red potatoes

Your meals are prepped locally in store just for you! No squished produce, accidentally frozen ingredients, or worse (and this was a big fear for me) having to rearrange your entire day so you are home when the Fed-ex guy delivers your meal kit box so the food doesn’t sit on your patio. Here in San Diego, it’s hot and sunny frequently, and that means food sitting out (even in a sealed box with dry ice) might go bad or be unsafe to eat.

Lasagna Soup & Garlic Bread

I’m hosting a Facebook Party to share my love of Dream Dinners. If you are interested in joining and taking advantage of some great deals, Message me on Facebook and I’ll add you.

If you don’t have Facebook, you can visit the Dream Dinners Website and you can take advantage of the great deal going on!

Right now when you use the coupon code 15OFF, you save $15 on the $99 Starter kit- It’s a great deal.

To take advantage of this deal, make sure to use the drop-down box and type in my email: akeen02037@gmail.com to take advantage of this sweet Deal!

And with locations all over San Diego and the US, you can order meals, pick them up and have one less thing to worry about! I plan on buying meals each month, so we are eating well on those nights when I would rather play legos or Playmobils with the kids, or go for a walk to the park.

Talk Back: Which Dream Dinners Entree has you interested? Menu for February is here

Today is National Cheese Day!

Pictures Untouched 006.jpgWhen I announced that today is National Cheese Day, my daughter said, “Really? Can we have cheese for dinner??” And who am I to say no? The kids will be having cheese slices with their dinner tonight, while the grown ups can top their Chicken Chili with shredded cheese, if they so desire.

If you are looking for a way to celebrate National Cheese Day, here are a few of our favorite cheesy recipes:

And if you need some Cheese related television, I recommend Wallace & Gromit. The Complete Collection is FREE to watch on Amazon Prime!

 

Talk Back: How are you celebrating National Cheese Day??

Recipe: Chicken Meatball Skillet

FullSizeRender(256).jpgThis recipe came to me, as I was staring into the fridge wondering what the hell I was going to do with all spinach my friend gave me.

I used a package of Aidell’s Chicken caramelized onion meatballs, but feel free to use whatever kind of meatballs you like (or make your own!).

Mix it up with whatever veggies you have on hand! Peppers or kale would be great in this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package chicken meatballs (about a dozen, if making from scratch)
  • 1/2 purple onion, diced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (about 1 package)
  • 3-4 c. fresh spinach
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 T. Thyme
  • 1 T. Rosemary
  • 1 T. air-dried shallots
  • 1 package pasta (I like ziti) cooked per package instructions
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, and cook on medium/low until fragrant.
  3. Add meatballs, tomatoes, and herbs. Cook on medium/low, until meatballs are heated thoroughly.
  4. stir in lemon juice and zest. Scrape pan to remove any browned bits.
  5. Toss in spinach, turn to low, and cover with the lid. Allow spinach to cook down by about half- this takes only a few minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in cooked pasta and cheese.
  7. Season with salt and pepper as needed,  and serve ASAP.

 

This is a great 1 dish meal! It’s very filling, but the acid from the lemon and the chicken meatballs keeps the meal feeling very light.

To make this dish Gluten-free: Use GF pasta and make sure your meatballs are GF.

To make this dish Vegetarian: Use meat-free “meatballs”

Family Recipe: Easy Chicken Parm Meatloaf!

046I found a cache of yummy, frugal family recipes, so I’ll be posting them over the next few weeks.

Most of these were formulated by my relatives to feed a hungry, hard-working family with kids. Everyone in my family is frugal, so these recipes won’t contain any expensive or strange ingredients in small quantities- There is nothing worse than trying a new recipe only to find you only need 2 Tablespoons of an ingredient that you’ve never used before, or worse yet, only comes in a HUGE container/package.

I will try to include the sides that we’ve traditionally served with the main dish to round out the meal.

Chicken Parm Meatloaf (serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use Italian seasoned)
  • 1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh white mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 t. Salt and pepper (each)
  • 1/2 c. Your favorite red pasta sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a loaf pan
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except for pasta sauce.  Mix well until all ingredients are well combined and mixture resembles a meaty paste (about 3-5 minutes of mixing)
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan, shape into a tidy loaf.
  5. Pour pasta sauce over the top of the loaf.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until meat is cooked through. If you are using a meat thermometer, it should read 165 Degrees. I use this one.

I serve this dish with a green salad and Riced Caulifower with Italian Cheese.

 

Hot Weather Recipe Round Up!

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I mentioned in the Weekly Meal Plan post yesterday that it’s going to be a hot one this week. Ugh.

That means lots of time swimming and lots of time at the YMCA enjoying their AC and doing fun activities- Big Kid just did the fitness orientation and he is excited to start exercising. Mostly he wants to take boxing classes with me on Saturdays.

All that activity requires good, healthy fuel, and I do not want to fire up the stove or oven when it’s over 90 outside.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes to serve when it’s hot outside!

As you can tell there are a lot of dessert recipes. Because, really, who doesn’t like dessert?

 

Talk Back: What do you cook when it’s hot?

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Pesto Chicken Bake

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That’s Basil, the key ingredient in Pesto

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a couple weeks, but with summer vacation and the kids needing to see me, talk to me, touch me every.moment.of.the.day….. I’ve been a little behind.

This is so easy, so tasty, and so cheesy. And it works with almost every dietary restriction:

If you are vegetarian but omit the chicken.

If you are Gluten-free, substitute GF pasta for what’s the recipe.

If you are vegan, use your favorite vegan “cheese”. And remember to check the pesto- sometimes commercially made pesto contains cheese!

Pesto Chicken Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Pesto (I Like Costco’s Pesto) If you want to make it yourself, I like this recipe.
  • 1 Box Farfalle Pasta. I like Banza– It’s made with chickpea flour and is high in protein.
  • 1 T. Butter or Olive Oil
  • 2 C. chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces. You can also use rotisserie chicken.
  • 2 c. cheese, divided- I like Italian Blend

 

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking dish with spray release and set aside.
  3. Cook pasta per box directions, drain pasta and toss with butter/oil.
  4. Mix Pesto, pasta, cooked chicken and 1 cup of cheese together.
  5. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  6. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is bubbly and browned (approximately 20 minutes).
  8. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving with crusty bread and a green salad.

Serves 6-8 as a main dish or 8-10 as a side. This is a great dish for potlucks!

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Yum! 

Recipe: Chicken Tortellini Soup

00169.jpgAs promised last week, here is our new family favorite soup recipe. This soup came about after a shopping trip to Grocery Outlet. I discovered a bunch of cool looking ingredients I’ve not seen before. Notably, This Parmesan Brodo broth. It’s OMG so amazing. It adds what foodies call “Depth of Flavor”.

This soup is super quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 c. onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1.5 c. celery, chopped (if you are like me and wonder why celery is so expensive, here’s the answer)
  • 1.5 c. carrots, chopped
  • 2 cartons Swansons Parmesan Brodo broth
  • 1 package Chicken and Mozzarella Tortellini
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, washed
  • 2 T. parsley (I used dehydrated, but if you’ve got it fresh, use it)
  • 1 T. Rosemary

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, melt butter, and add onions, celery, and carrots. Saute on low until onions are clear and soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and continue to cook on low, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add broth and herbs. Cook on low/medium for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add tortellini, and cook per package directions.
  5. Turn off the heat and toss in the spinach. It cooks super quick
  6. Serve soup with garlic bread.

Note: This soup isn’t vegetarian or gluten-free. If you need a gluten-free option, there is GF tortellini available.