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Posts Tagged ‘Main Dish’

I got this recipe from a friend, and it is oh so good!! I love beans, and as we all know, JW is a huge fan of rice. So this was a great meal for us, and easy and cheap too!

Red Beans and Rice

  • One package of smoked sausage (can use spicy)
  • One bag of red beans
  • One green pepper, diced
  • One red pepper, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 7 cups of water
  • 1 T of Cajun seasoning

Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on high for 7 hours. Serve over rice.

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Okay, remember that pesto pasta salad?

This one?

The only problem with it is that it only uses half a container of pesto. So you have a few options. You can:

A.) Double the recipe and have pesto pasta salad sitting in your fridge for weeks in that bowl you always want to use but can never find because it’s sitting in the fridge with pesto pasta salad in it

B.) Leave the half-used container of pesto in your fridge to “do something with,” forget about it, and find it two months later in an unusable state

C.) Make this pesto chicken

This was really good, really easy, and tasted awesome. JW commented several times how good it was. A huge thank you to Pinterest for this find (which if you are any sort of creative or foodie or fashion type and you are not on Pinterest, you are missing out on a whole world of new and exciting things), and of course, many thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the recipe.

Baked Pesto Chicken (This is how I made it, when I didn’t have the recipe in front of me. Here is the original if you want to compare.)

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 3)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
  • Half of a 7-8oz container of basil pesto
  • Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut chicken breasts into strips, or pieces. Whatever you prefer.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread pesto over the chicken. Stir it around a bit so the chicken is covered with the pesto.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. Don’t cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. (If your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out.) Kalyn’s note: After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

We had this over the same tri-colored curly pasta I had used for the pasta salad, and the juice from the chicken dish was delicious over the pasta. You could also use angel hair, or even rice.

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Split chicken breasts were on sale at the grocery this week, and I thought I’d make a yummy chicken pot pie with a latticed puff pastry crust, like I saw somewhere on Pinterest. Now… JW does not like chicken pot pie. I know this. But I thought maybe he’d like it with the puff pastry.

So I cook, debone, and shred the chicken, and as I start to get the rest of the ingredients out, JW comes around the corner.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Chicken pot pie.”

Silence.

He walks over to the pantry, opens the door, glances inside for a brief minute, then proceeds to pull out a box of spaghetti noodles and lay it on the counter in front of me.

Okay, I can take a hint.

So chicken spaghetti it is. Except I don’t have any rotel tomatoes. What I do have is green salsa, which I decide will have to do. I also added a bit of sour cream. And do you know… it was great! And Kathryn loved it too.

Now I have some puff pastry to use. Oh, the possibilities! Love me some puff pastry.

Chicken Spaghetti Remake

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Half of an 8-oz container sour cream
  • 1 7-oz can green salsa
  • Couple handfuls of cheese

Mix it all together and bake in a casserole dish until heated through and cheese is melted. Yum.

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We love making pizza at home. For the longest time I’ve been using the Olive Oil dough recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, which is good and easy to make. But this time around I decided to try Pioneer Woman’s pizza crust recipe, which she raves about, and when have I ever made anything of PW’s that’s been less than stellar? Answer: never.

So I got started and I wasn’t too far into the recipe when I realized it called for 1/3 cup of olive oil, and I had… none. There was no going back at this point, so I used regular ol’ vegetable oil. Did it make a difference? No idea. The crust was awesome. A definite winner over the crust I’ve been making. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. When has PW ever steered me wrong? Answer: never.

This was supposed to be a pepperoni and olive pizza. Unfortunately as I started to put the pepperoni on, I realized they’d been in the fridge a little too long and had mold on them. Sad ūüė¶ So we had olive pizza. And it was delicious! I really didn’t miss the pepperoni at all. You can use whatever toppings you like, of course. Even if it’s just olives.

Pioneer Woman’s Pizza Crust (from her cookbook)

  • 1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive (or vegetable) oil, plus more for drizzling

Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water.

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the oil until just incorporated. Or, you can use a spoon. Which is what I did.

In a separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture, and drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture. Mix until the dough forms a ball. You can use your hands if you like, which I did here, until the dough comes together.

Drizzle a little oil into a clean bowl, or mist with cooking spray. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.

Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

To prepare the pizza, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Divide the dough in half. Lightly drizzle olive oil on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Or use parchment paper and no oil.

Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape. Spread sauce and/or desired toppings over the dough and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown.

The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.

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Sincerest apologies for the terrible photo – but I figured a phone photo would be better than no photo at all.

This was SO good. I love muenster, and I have Annie of Annie’s Eats to thank for turning it into a scrumptious mac & cheese. Plus its near-ridiculous simplicity just made it that much better. It isn’t diet food by any means, with a cup of heavy cream, 8 oz of muenster cheese, and a buttery Ritz cracker topping, but it sure is worth the calorie splurge!

Muenster Macaroni and Cheese (Original recipe here)

  • 16 oz macaroni pasta
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz Muenster cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Important – salt is hugely important in mac & cheese!)
  • ¬ľ cup Ritz cracker crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400ňö F. ¬†In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.

Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl.  Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave.  Cover to keep warm.

Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well.  Stir in the warm cream and the Muenster until the cheese starts to melt.  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish (or in my case, a regular ol’ 9×13). ¬†In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. ¬†Mix in the cracker crumbs. ¬†Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter. ¬†Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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It’s officially chili weather! It’s taking a while for the cool weather to set in here, but we’re definitely enjoying lower temperatures.

I’ve made a few chili recipes in the past, but we always end up coming back to this one – it’s one we made up a while back, and it’s also ridiculously easy. You can easily double or triple it, freeze it if you need to, whatever.

I think I may make a BIG batch of this pre-baby to keep in the freezer, so we have it to eat later!

Favorite Chili

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can chili-ready tomatoes
  • 1 can Bush’s chili beans [or regular pinto beans]
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • Water or broth as desired, to thin

Brown and drain ground beef. Add all other ingredients, stir well, and simmer 30 minutes. If a thinner consistency is desired, add water or broth (I use broth if I’m using regular pinto beans – but water if I’m using chili beans).

Great with cornbread, cheese, Fritos, sour cream… etc.

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I am SO ready for fall! Temperatures are still high, but hey – no reason I can’t start making beef stew and pumpkin bread, right?

What I loved about this stew was that it was all mixed together and baked in the oven for 3 hours. You could make it in a slow cooker too, if you wanted a little longer cook time. The flavor was great and everything was perfectly cooked. I couldn’t have asked for an easier recipe to usher in the fall season!

The other plus to beef stew, and especially this one which uses a good amount of V-8 juice, is the amount of vegetables. I am NOT good at eating vegetables, so anything that gets them into me (preferably in a delicious way) gets extra points in my book.

We had this with some of the leftover focaccia bread from the other night, and it was scrumptious. Many thanks to Our Best Bites for another hit!

Oven (or Slow Cooker) Beef Stew (Recipe found here)

  • 1 1/2-2 lb. lean stew beef, cut into even smaller bite-sized pieces (just pull out a pair of kitchen shears and cut anything that looks like you’d need to use a knife and fork on) – or cut up a chuck roast, which is what I did.
  • 4-5 medium red potatoes, chopped
  • 4-5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 12-oz. cans or 3 c. vegetable juice cocktail (V8)
  • 1 10-oz. can condensed tomato soup
  • 10 oz. water (just use the can from the tomato soup to measure)
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes (or 2 tsp. beef base)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients in a large oven-safe pot that comes with an oven-safe lid. Cook in heated oven for 3 hours. Remove from oven and serve.

You can also cook this in your slow cooker on low for 9-10 hours (or until vegetables and meat are tender) or on high for 5-6.

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