Thanksgiving Meatballs

Here are all the fall flavors! These meatballs were so fun and I was so happy with them! I made this pork/pear/sage burger into meatballs for the annual pear-picking party my friends have and it got me thinking about how easy it is to make meatballs! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I stock frozen meatballs for super speedy dinners, but special occasion meatballs are really worth it!

My little family loved these Thanksgiving flavors of poultry, cranberries, sage, and stuffing! Our toddler isn’t always 100% into meat but he doesn’t pass on gravy (or anything that can be dipped), so these were a hit with him! I’m glad to have another serving in the freezer to repeat again. I served them over mashed potatoes with a little gravy. It may have been super warm the night I made these, but we loved them nonetheless.

Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite Rule

Thanksgiving Meatballs

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

1 cup stuffing (~1/3 of a box of stuffing)
1 pound ground chicken/pork/turkey
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
salt & pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Prepare the stuffing according to the package, or make your own. (It is a great use for leftovers since you only need about 1 cup prepared).
Mix up the ground meat, stuffing, eggs, stuffing, cranberries, sage, and salt & pepper.
Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite RuleHeat a large frying pan with vegetable oil to medium heat.
Form the mixture into balls and pan fry them. Gently turn them to brown on each side and then drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil. (I pan fried mine just to brown them since I was making them in advance and then finished them in the oven just before serving.)
Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite Rule
Enjoy!

These are the epitome of fall! I loved the balance of these flavors and the comfort of the format. Meatballs are suddenly seeming like my new favorite format for special occasion flavors. I’ll stick to pre-made for every-day meatballs I can zap and have dinner ready in no time. I’m very into them as ways to enjoy unique flavors. Whip these up after Thanksgiving to use up the last of your leftover stuffing, sage, and gravy when nobody wants to see another turkey meal! They could be a fun appetizer too for a holiday get together or a friendsgiving if you’re not making a whole turkey!
Thanksgiving Meatballs - The Three Bite Rule

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Turnovers

These little buggers are so cute and delicious. Crescent rolls are getting stuffed with, yup, you’ve guessed it, chicken, bacon, ranch, and cheddar. They became an instant dinner with the help of pre-cooked bacon and some rotisserie chicken. Serve these with some salad and they’re dinner like a hot sandwich, or on a big platter with ranch as an app! They are an ideal weeknight dinner or a fun one for kids to help assemble.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Turnovers

Ingredients:

1 can crescent rolls (8)
4 strips of cooked bacon
1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons ranch dressing
1 teaspoon ranch dressing powder mix

Directions:

Preheat the oven according to the crescent roll instructions, then shred the chicken and chop the bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers
Mix the chicken with the dressing.
Unroll the crescent dough into the perforated triangles. Top the wide part of the triangle with chicken, bacon, and cheddar. Then carefully roll towards the point.
Sprinkle ranch powder on top and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment, a baking mat, or sprayed generously with non-stick spray.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers
Bake 10-15 minutes, as directed by the crescent packaging.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers

These are a great use for leftover chicken if there isn’t a lot of it and they reheat well in the oven or toaster oven. Pop any leftovers into the freezer for another day’s  quick lunch or game-time snack….though, I don’t think you’ll have any leftovers!

Kielbasa Grain Bowls

Ohh you know I love a good grain/rice bowl! I wasn’t planning on blogging this one but it is too good not to add to the repertoire…and it is always helpful for me to remember my own ideas! I used turkey kielbasa with fresh pineapple, raw green bell peppers, and brown rice which were so great together with the easiest sauce drizzled over the top.
Kielbasa Grain Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
The rice went into the pressure cooker, because it does magical things to brown rice. The turkey kielbasa is already cooked, but just got a little caramelization in a cast-iron skillet when it was too hot to even turn on the grill. The sauce is just a few quick ingredients. The little one loved everything about this combo. He’d be glad to live on rice.

Kielbasa Grain Bowls (for 4)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups brown rice
13 oz turkey kielbasa (or Polish sausage or chicken sausage)
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup fresh pineapple
3 tablespoons bbq sauce
1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions:

Prepare the rice and set aside.
Slice the kielbasa into 1/2 inch disks and sear in a medium skillet with a drizzle of oil, over medium heat, until warmed through and it begins to caramelize around the edges a bit.
While the kielbasa cooks, chop the pepper and pineapple.
Whisk (or shake in a jar) the bbq sauce, teriyaki sauce, and maple syrup.
Assemble the bowls with rice, kielbasa, pepper, and pineapple. Then drizzle the sauce over the top.
Enjoy!
Kielbasa Grain Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Kielbasa isn’t an ingredient we have all the time but it was fun for something different and I loved the flavor. It already being fully cooked was also a perk! The little guy is not always into meat lately but he ate a bit of this. I want him to keep being exposed to everything and we’ll see what happens.

I thought of mixing a little dijon into the rice just after finishing eating. You do it and tell me how it is!

What I Ate: Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowls

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I love a build-your-own rice bowl and have adapted many times. The little one can eat his weight in brown rice so this one came together easily in the spirit of a weeknight dinner to be prepped in advance. Those mad rushes between daycare pick up, arriving home with a sweet request for playtime outside, and dogs who have missed humans mean that once 6ish strikes dinner neeeeeds to be well underway.
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Bowls

I made the brown rice in the pressure cooker that morning, roasted the broccoli most of the way that morning, AND cooked the ground turkey the night before. #winning Photowise, I wish I had tons more add ins, but this was quick & easy so it won’t win an instagram prize, but it is real-life!

Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowls (for 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice (& liquid as rice instructs)
3/4 pound ground turkey (or sub ground chicken/pork/beef)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 small heads of broccoli
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions:

Cook the rice according to the package. (If cooking it in advance, add a splash of water when reheating.)
Brown the ground turkey in a large pan. When it has cooked for about 3-5 minutes, drain off any moisture. Then add in half of the teriyaki sauce (1 tablespoon) and the garlic to cook another 3-5 minutes. (If prepping in advance, cook less and ensure to cook through before serving.)
Roast the broccoli with a drizzle of oil, salt, and pepper for ~10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Whisk together the remaining teriyaki sauce (1 tablespoon) with sesame oil and rice vinegar.
Assemble with rice on the bottom, broccoli, ground turkey, a small drizzle of sauce (careful, it is strong flavored), and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Enjoy!

I loved this. It was super flavorful and a nice balance. I would also love other add ins, like: edemame; lightly sauteed purple cabbage; and bean sprouts.
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Bowls

I tend to grab ground chicken since it is 99% of the time priced lower than ground turkey but this time the turkey was on sale. These bowls would be an easy use for any leftovers, or could be reduced for a single serving. The little one was most into the rice and the crunchies (sesame seeds).

Chicken Parmesan Turnovers

This could also be called, how else to not serve pasta for every meal. I’d be totally ok with nightly pasta but I really truly strive for variation. My little one would gladly eat pasta daily but I love to feel the surprise when it is choice-night/”anything goes” night and I offer 2 choices of easy things (pasta/quesadilla/eggs/etc). If he picks anything besides pasta I’m shocked! I guess I do appreciate being kept on my toes! This was a fun way and super easy way to eat some of the flavors I was thinking about, in another format.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule

I whipped up these chicken parm turnovers on a weekend in preparation for a mid-week dinner. What’s better than scooting something into the oven on a busy night and just waiting for the oven timer ding? Answer: not much! These are perfect to make ahead of time and par-bake, or make & freeze, or as a use for leftover ricotta or a seemingly small amount of chicken strips/popcorn chicken! I didn’t have a plan for the rest of the block of mozzarella so I shredded it and popped it into the freezer for a future pizza or calzone.

Chicken Parmesan Turnovers

Ingredients: (for 4 servings)

4 crispy chicken strips
1 roll of crescent rolls (mine had 8 crescent triangles)
1/2 cup ricotta (optional)
1/4 cup tomato sauce (of course I used my fav Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes)
1/2 cup mozzarella/parmesan/provalone

Directions:

Preheat the oven and prepare frozen chicken strips according to the package. Mine are fully cooked ones I keep around so I just warmed them through. Then chop into bite-size pieces.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule
Unroll the crescent rolls into squares, so keep the 2 triangles connected (or make tiny tiny ones using 1 triangle to make as appetizers!). Use a fork to press the seam together and use your hands to flatten the whole square out a little, keeping it even in thickness.
Assemble on one triangle end with a smear of ricotta on the bottom, chicken, a teaspoon of tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of mozzarella or Parmesan.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule
Gently fold the opposite triangle over the filled side and press to close. A few of mine busted open but I closed the seams as best as possible.
Move to a baking sheet and use the fork to make a few holes in the top of each one.
Bake according to the crescent roll package instructions. (If serving later: My package of crescent rolls had baking instructions of 12-15 minutes so I did about 10 minutes, let them cool, and refrigerated. When serving, I baked for 10 minutes with a sprinkle of shredded cheese & sprinkle of Italian seasoning on top.)
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite RuleEnjoy!

Crescent rolls are cheap, delicious, and easy to work with but puff pastry sheets might be even easier without any seams, or pizza dough would work too. I often have ricotta so that was a no-brainer for me, but skip it if you don’t have a use for the rest.
Chicken Parmesan Turnover - The Three Bite Rule

You could lighten this up using other chicken or breaded eggplant, forming the dough into a muffin tin to only use 1 crescent roll, adding a veggie in there, but I wasn’t making these for health. The crescent rolls have such a great buttery flavor and were a fun change from our norm. I used a pretty small amount of chicken per serving.

Insert soapbox here: Jarred tomato sauce has lots of sugar and salt added. I stand by our fav Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes (#notsponsored). I served some on the side for dipping and my toddler, no lie, spooned it up. The rest of the can of tomatoes went into tomato soup the next night.

These Chicken Parm Pockets may not be healthy, but they are definitely a crowd pleaser, definitely a use for what might not be enough chicken in another setting, and definitely an easy meal to prep in advance. Win, win, win!

Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowl

I can’t stopppp! I love these bowls with a few elements tied together with a quick drizzle of sauce for a balanced, speedy, and fun dinner. I appreciate these qualities most during my busy time of year at work and with meals the toddler can eat before/after us. Next time this one could use more texture, but it was tasty and added some good variety to the week.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls

Chicken & Sweet Potato Grain Bowl with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients (for 3-4 bowls):

1 cup cracked wheat (or any grain of your choosing: rice/lentils/farro/couscous/quinoa/etc)
1 1/2 cups water
3 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
1 -2 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
touch of Sriracha sauce
1 avocado (or 1 cup edamame)

Directions:

Marinate the chicken overnight, or for 3+ hours in Italian dressing & some soy or teriyaki sauce. Then heat up the grill.
Cook the grain: I used cracked wheat + 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, then covers and cooks over low for 20-ish minutes.
Micro the sweet potato(es) for about 5 minutes. Flip them once and poke holes with a fork.
Grill the chicken until cooked through.
Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, lime juice, and hot sauce to a bowl.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls
Whisk together, and add in a splash of water. Whisk again, and add more water if needed. (I started with about a tablespoon and added another teaspoon). It should be drippy enough to drizzle over the top of your bowls.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls
Once the chicken has sat for a few minutes, slice into strips. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice in half, then scoop from the skin with a spoon and slice into bite-sized pieces.
Assemble the bowls with 1/4 of the grain in the base of each bowl, then add chicken, sweet potato, and avocado. Drizzle the peanut sauce on top.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls
I loved the peanut sauce being creamy from the pb and salty from the soy sauce and a little wake up from the ginger and sriracha sauce. I cooked the sweet potato the night before so these were even speedier than they seemed! I thought I had edamame int he freezer – that would be a better texture to each bite than the soft avocado with soft sweet potato.

What’s my next bowl? I need a new theme!

Teriyaki Rice Bowl

The rice-bowl obsession continues! This one was so good and a hit for all of us! I looooved the pineapple and edamame. I whipped this up on an indoor grill pan but would be great outside too. We needed a flavorful and fresh break from a couple of very cold days. It makes tasty leftovers too!

The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Rice Bowl

Chicken Teriyaki Rice Bowls (for 4)

Ingredients:

2 cups rice
4 chicken thighs, or tenders, or breasts
1 cup teriyaki marinade
2 cups pineapple, sliced into chunks
1 1/2 cup edamame

Directions:

Marinate the chicken in most of the teriyaki marinade, reserving a few tablespoons for topping.
Cook the rice. I used 10-minute brown rice.
Heat a grill pan to medium heat and grill the pineapple a few minutes on each side.
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Rice Bowl
Grill the chicken on each side. Using a meat thermometer, make sure the chicken cooks through. Keep warm in the oven while prepping everything else.
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Rice Bowl
Cook the edamame. Mine was frozen out of the shells and just microwaved a few minutes.
Slice a piece of chicken for each bowl.
Spoon the rice into each bowl, add edamame, pineapple, and chicken. The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Rice Bowl
Drizzle with remaining &unused teriyaki marinade. (Not any marinade the raw chicken was in.) Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Rice Bowl
The marinade is pretty strong, so use just a touch. I liked the sweet pineapple with a little char flavor against the teriyaki.

If you like this one, here are my other fav bowls:
Honey mustard Chicken, Bacon & Avocado & Orzo
Italian Grain bowl with Meatballs, Asparagus, Tomato & Cracked Wheat
Falafel Bowl with Couscous

I like the formula aspect of these: grain + protein + veggies + sauce = delicious. I’m not sure of my next one, but there will more, I’m sure of it.

Chicken Caesar Pasta

I needed a win in the kitchen, and this was it! I was SO HAPPY with this chicken caesar pasta! I made a few things recently that I just wasn’t thrilled with. One was a sandwich which was pretty good and I prob will still blog it. The other. Ugg. It just wasn’t great and I plan to remake it for you. It just had such porky potential!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Caesar Pasta

This Chicken Caesar Pasta was perfect! I love watching the little one eat spaghetti and he was very into the chicken. It was freezing, otherwise we might have grilled the chicken. It was quick (or could largely be made in advance) and is a crowd pleaser for sure. Win. Win. Win! Caesar begs for anchovy paste…don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. That is absolutely what gives that Caesar flavor…plus the pepper and Parmesan don’t hurt either.

Chicken Caesar Pasta (serves 4)

Ingredients:

~3 chicken thighs/tenders/breasts (I used thighs, of course)
1/4 cup salad dressing for marinade (I used creamy Caesar)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups Parmesan
cracked black pepper
tiny dab (1/8 of a teaspoon, 1/4 inch squirt from the tube) Anchovy Paste
2 cups greens (I used a spinach/baby kale mix that go into my smoothies)
1/2 pound spaghetti

Directions:

Heat all the things: a large pot of salted water to a boil (for the pasta), preheat the oven to 350 (to keep the chicken warm), heat a large pan to medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil (for the chicken).
In a medium pot, add in the heavy cream and grate or mince the clove of garlic. Heat over medium for about 10 minutes.
While the cream and garlic are cooking together, use the large pan with oil to pan sear the chicken.  Brown it on each side, then pop into the oven to keep it warm or finish cooking it.
Add the pasta into the boiling water.
Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Caesar Pasta
Add the cheese, pepper, and anchovy paste to the cream sauce stirring well. Cook for about 5-10 minutes.
Chop the greens.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Caesar Pasta
Drain the pasta and return it to the large pot. Add in the greens & cream sauce (ladle the sauce in and stir so you can add what you like).
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Caesar Pasta
Add in the chicken and toss to coat everything.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Caesar Pasta
Enjoy!

The sauce was a trick from Sunny Anderson’s Instagram: 123 sauce – 1 garlic clove, 2 cups heavy cream, 3 cups cheese. I took a little liberty on the ratios since I knew I didn’t need too much. Love it.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Caesar Pasta

In a hurry? Use leftover grilled chicken and doctor up a jar of alfredo with the Parm & anchovy paste. Add in any greens you have (spinach will cook enough from the hot pasta, or saute any you have on hand). Boom. Dinner = done. Next time I might top it with some toasted panko/parmesan/drizzle of caesar & butter for a super crunchy topping!

Grain Bowl: Honey Mustard, Chicken, Bacon & Avocado

You know how I’m obsesssssed with grain bowls? This one was on my list for awhile and we all loved it. In the words of Joey Tribiani: what’s not to love? chicken? good! rice pilaf? good! avocado? good! bacon? goooood!

My other favs: Italian Grain Bowls with cracked wheat & Falafel Grain Bowls with couscous. The little one likes the challenge of eating rice. This would also be a good way to use any leftover grilled chicken and it is an easy way to stretch chicken since you wouldn’t need much at all here. We used our fav: chicken thighs.

The Three Bite Rule - Rice Pilaf & Honey Mustard Grain Bowl

Ingredients:

Marinaded & grilled chicken
Rice Pilaf
3 strips of bacon
1 avocado
cucumber
tomatoes
honey mustard dressing

Directions:

Marinade the chicken in salad dressing or your fav marinade for 4+ hours, or all day. Then grill the chicken to cook through.
Cook the rice pilaf according to the package and fluff with a fork.
Chop the bacon and then pan fry until the bite-sized pieces are crisp. Then remove and drain on paper towel.
Slice the avocado, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Slice the chicken.
Assemble and drizzle with honey mustard.

The Three Bite Rule - Rice Pilaf & Honey Mustard Grain Bowl
This was a hit. It worked out perfectly to grill on an unseasonably warm night. I liked this twist since I’d been thinking more Mediterranean/Thai. This was comforting and felt casually fun. Bring on all the grain bowls! Plus, it is so amusing to see the determination of a toddler scooping and then spooning rice into his mouth!

Coq au Vin

We had a date night to a super delicious French restaurant the other night. I believe duck on a menu cannot be bypassed. I saw coq au vin on the specials and while I didn’t order it, it reminded me to make it. I also wanted to simplify it. It is a traditional and a peasant dish for the French. Any meat cooked until really tender in wine is the perfect comfort for a cool or rainy day.
The Three Bite Rule - Coq Au Vin
I made it in the pressure cooker (in 10 minutes), but it’d be good on the stove if you have a little more time (~40 minutes).

Ingredients:

4 slices of bacon, chopped
4 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into 6 pieces
3 carrots, pealed & chopped
2 cups pearl onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 red wine
1 pint of portabella mushrooms (& tablespoon of butter)
2/3 cup marsala wine or cooking sherry
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour

Directions:

Pan fry the bacon in a large skillet or dutch oven until crisp. Then spoon onto a paper towel and leave the bacon drippings in the pan.
Then brown the chicken on each side.
The Three Bite Rule - Coq Au Vin
Then add the chicken, bacon, carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, chicken broth, and wine into a pressure cooker (or crockpot, or into the dutch oven).
The Three Bite Rule - Coq Au Vin
In a pressure cooker, cook on high for 10 minutes.
In a crockpot, cook for 2 hours on high.
In a dutch oven, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, saute the mushrooms in a little butter to brown.
The Three Bite Rule - Coq Au Vin
Then add in the marsala/sherry to deglaze, scraping off the brown bits at the bottom.
Mash together the 2 tablespoons of butter with the 2 tablespoons of flour & add to the mushrooms. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Coq Au Vin
Add the chicken/onion/carrot mixture into the mushrooms and a few spoonfuls of the wine/broth. Cook for 5 minutes over a low simmer.
Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
The Three Bite Rule - Coq Au Vin
I loved it. The chicken got purple-y from the wine. I don’t know how the pros avoid that, but there was so much flavor in this, I was happy to look past it. My mom makes it with white wine, which is delicious too.

Make this…just don’t use chicken breast. Don’t do it. If you do, you’ll be sad when the chicken is stringy and isn’t juicy. This is also a great use if you have old-ish wine open, or a wine you don’t love. The sauce is delightfully flavored and I liked the mushrooms to thicken the sauce just a tiny bit. Voila!