This next month and a half are insane for our family. So we are going to be keeping it pretty simple around here–but still yummy! My husband is smoking chickens this weekend, so when I talk about leftover smoked chicken, that’s what I am referring to. And, if you’ve never had smoked chicken–you are missing out!! Our dear friends got us HOOKED on it. Oh, so yummy….
Monday March 21 – Greek Salad with leftover smoked chicken
Tuesday March 22 – Ground turkey tacos/taco salads – This one is a no brainer 🙂
Wednesday March 23 – REAL chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and a veggie
Thursday March 24 – Baked chicken, broccoli salad and orange maple glazed sweet potatoes (My girlfriend told me about this chicken recipe, so we are trying it this week! So, if you try it too we are in the same boat! Hoping it is delish!)
Friday March 25 – Leftover night/Pizza di Spaghetti
Hope you all have a great weekend and week ahead!!
REAL Chicken Nuggets
The last time my kids ate Tyson’s chicken nuggets, Bethany took a bite and then said, “Look at that big bite Momma!”—and then I looked at this thing that was supposed to be chicken and I was completely grossed out. I just cannot do it anymore. I cannot feed my children this garbage. Again, no judgment here—Lord knows we’ve been eating these nuggets for years, but I cannot do it anymore. But my kids LOVE chicken nuggets!! What is a Mom to do!?! Make homemade ones, that’s what. This recipe is super easy, and the best part is; I make a double or triple batch and freeze them. This way I have an emergency stash if I need a quick meal if we are having one of “those” days. I wish I knew where I found this recipe, but I don’t–somewhere from the online world.
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan (we use Pecorino-Romano)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 T. dried basil
½ cup butter (melted)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice chicken into bite sized pieces. In a bowl, mix together bread crumbs, cheese, salt, thyme, and basil. Mix until blended. Place melted butter in a separate bowl. Dip chicken in butter, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Eat right then or pop them into the freezer on the tray for an hour or so. Then place them into a Ziploc baggie for long-term storage.
When ready, grab out as many as you’d like and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until heated thoroughly.
Tomato Mac and Cheese
I LOVE this recipe from Paula Deen. I just cannot fix powdered mac and cheese for my kids anymore, because what is in that powder?? No judgment here if you do—heaven knows it is delicious! We are just striving to go home-made as much as we can. And, if we are pinched for time, I just skip the tomato part and make it plain. But if you have the time, do the tomatoes—soooooo GOOD!
4 T. butter, plus more for baking dish
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 T. minced onion
4 T. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
¾ T. dry mustard
¼ tsp. paprika
2 cups milk
3 cups shredded Cheddar, divided
2 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and cut into ½-inch thick slices
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2 inch baking dish.
Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until tender. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, and paprika; mix well. Stir in the milk and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Toss in the macaroni and pour into the prepared dish. Cover the macaroni with tomato slices and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
The last few minutes, top with remaining cheese and return to the oven until the cheese melts. Serve hot. Yummmmmm….
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen via the Food Network
Though nothing compares to my husband’s hometown restaurant Mr. Souvlaki’s Greek Salad in Tarpon Springs, FL—this is pretty fantastic. Leave it to Ina to create such a delish dressing. We heart Greek food!!
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, sliced in half rounds
½ pound feta, ½ inch diced or crumbled
½ cup calamata olives, pitted
For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ cup good olive oil
Place the cucumber, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetable. Add the feta and olives and toss lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten via the Food Network
Pizza di Spaghetti
So many times I make spaghetti and I don’t cook enough or I have too much leftover. And I hate half boxes of pasta. I have a lot of mouths to feed, so I cook the whole box—always. But what do I do with the leftover spaghetti? THIS is awesome. Be sure to follow the measurements with your pasta, or it won’t “set” as well. (Speaking from a girl who tried to use too much pasta a time or two…). My kids LOVE this…and so does Momma.
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnishing (again, we use Pecorino-Romano)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups leftover spaghetti
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Your favorite homemade or store bought tomato sauce
In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Add leftover spaghetti and combine well.
In a large 10-inch skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add spaghetti and egg mixture, spreading evenly and pressing down in pan. Cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Carefully invert onto a plate, add a little more oil to the pan, and slide mixture back into skillet and cook the other side for 6 minutes. Turn out onto serving platter and cut into “pizza” wedges and serve hot. Ladle sauce on top and top with grated Parmesan (or Pecorino-Romano) cheese and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Giada di Laurentiis via The Food Network
Orange Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
juice of 1 large orange, zest reserved
2 T. brown sugar (optional, as I think it is sweet enough to omit this)
1 T. pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes on large baking shee, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once. Mix orange juice, sugar and syrup in a small bowl and drizzle over potatoes. Return to oven for another 10 minutes. Remove to serving dish and garnish with fresh orange zest.
Recipe courtesy of The Fresh Market Magazine
My kids LOVE this salad—especially my Samuel. I go very light on the red onions when making this for everyone, as my kids don’t love them as much as us. Still super delish with out. Also, I am going to make the dressing with honey instead of sugar this time…hoping it is just as yummy! If it is, I will come back and change the recipe.
2 bunches of broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces
½ red onion, chopped (optional)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 T. white vinegar
Combine first 4 ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk the mayo, sugar and vinegar together and toss into the salad. Yum and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of my Momma, Susan Lombard