My new fav dinner are these grain bowls! I made Falafel Bowls and was chomping at the bit to make another! I am obsessed with the toppings, how filling they are, and having a bite of this, with a bite of that! Roasted veggies with raw veggies with cheese and meatballs. Yes. Yes. Yes.
My base was cracked wheat, but risotto/rice/orzo would all be good. I topped them with roasted asparagus, chopped tomato, fresh mozzarella, and meatballs with a drizzle of pesto. Seriously, I could eat this weekly. The little guy loved it too!
1 cup cracked wheat
1 1/2 cup water/broth
1 bunch asparagus or a large zucchini
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons Parmesan
3 tablespoons pesto or marinara
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
In a medium pot, bring cracked wheat & broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Trim the asparagus and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Roast for about 15 minutes.
Heat the meatballs (mine were frozen turkey meatballs).
Slice the tomato and asparagus.
Assemble the bowls with cracked wheat, tomatoes, mozzarella, meatballs, and asparagus. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Drizzle with pesto and enjoy!
This is suchhh a fast and hands-off dinner. It’d be a great use for leftovers. Add in whatever you like: roasted peppers; olives; zucchini; eggplant; mushrooms; etc. You could swap the pesto for alfredo or marinara.
I used these brussels sprouts as a slaw with apples, to go on a wrap with crispy chicken and buttermilk ranch. It was delightfully autumn-inspired for an unseasonably warm weekday that I wanted a speedy dinner that was a bit more unusual than the norm.
We tend to have big tortillas around because believe it or not, the almost-2 year old will eat a whole one as a quesadilla. The chicken was living a happy life in the freezer and only the apple and brussels were fresh. Voila! Dinner!
Ingredients: (for 2 wraps)
2 crispy chicken tenders
~6 brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 burrito-sized tortillas
3 tablespoons buttermilk ranch dressing
Cook the chicken according to the package…some are raw and need to get fully cooked, others come fully cooked and just need to be heated and warmed through.
In a bowl, whisk together mustard, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Slice the bottoms of the brussels sprouts, then finely chop them into slivers and add to the dressing. Slice the apple and add that in as well.
Let the slaw sit in the dressing, stirred occasionally, for 10 minutes while everything else preps.
Slice the chicken and let cool just a bit.
Lay the wrap out, then top with slaw, chicken, and a drizzle of ranch.
Fold the “ends” in, then start to wrap with the end closest to you folding over the filling. slowly roll it and tuck the “ends” into the middle to keep everything inside.
Add two toothpicks, slice between them, and enjoy!
The apple is awesome in there. I was interested to try the brussels sprouts raw. I’m not sure how I felt about it. It was pretty good. I did really love the mustard-y slaw dressing with the apple and then the crispy chicken. Overall it was a win in my book!
My crockpot got more of a workout in a few days than it has in a while. Mr. J made a cashew chicken that was great, though needs a tweak for next time. Stay tuned. I saw a chicken and golden mushroom recipe and thought I could lighten it the tiniest bit without sacrificing anything. Here it is, I loved it! It was good as leftovers and the babe liked it a lot.
Have you used golden mushroom soup? It is more like a thicker broth than a cream of mushroom. It can be hard to find. Find some. Stock up. Freeze some and use it the next time you need veggie broth.
Lightened up & adapted from Slow-Cooker Golden Mushroom Chicken
1 pound baby portabella mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
6 chicken tenders
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/4 cup cream cheese with chives
1 packet Italian Dressing mix
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 cups baby arugula
In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and mushrooms to cook for about 5 minutes. Stir well to golden brown and until the liquid all evaporates.
Cut the chicken into cubes.
In a large bowl, mix together the broth, water, golden mushroom soup, cream cheese, Italian Dressing, and cracked pepper.
Spray a slow cooker with non-stick spray then add in the chicken, the mushrooms, and the sauce.
Turn to low for 4-5 hours.
To serve, boil salted water for the pasta. Add the arugula into the crockpot and stir over low/warming for about 5 minutes to wilt.
Cook the pasta to al dente.
Serve the chicken, mushrooms, & sauce over the pasta. Enjoy!
The original had 2x as much soup, 4x as much creamed cheese, 3x as much chicken, and no greens. Mine still had plenty of flavor, creaminess, and tender chicken. The arugula is peppery and adds a nicer crunch than parsley would be.
Polenta is the ingredient I always forget will provide the variety to a weeknight meal we all need. Rice takes forever. Pasta seems overdone. Polenta? Yeah polenta cooks in just a few minutes. I like it soupy to be spoon-able. I used pre-cooked turkey meatballs, zucchini and a really quick sauce. Poof! Dinner!
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup dried polenta
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded or chopped
1/2 cup milk
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the zucchini and tomato paste to cook for about 4 minutes.
Add in the meatballs, 1 cup of the broth, and salt & pepper. Bring to a low boil and cook for about 8 minutes until broth reduces a bit.
In a medium pot, add the polenta, butter, 1 cup of broth, 1 cup water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the milk and cheese.
Spoon polenta in to the bowls, then top with meatballs, zucchini, and the sauce.
BBQ Chicken Pizza isn’t new or different BUT barbecue sauce in the tomato sauce woke this up! It was so flavorful with a sense of mystery. Where’s all that smokey sweetness coming from? Boom! I’ve made barbecue chicken pizza before but this new one is better!
2 chicken thighs
1 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar
1/4 red onion
Preheat the oven (and pizza stone, if using one) to 400-degrees and grill the chicken.
Roll out the dough and stretch it onto the pizza stone (or pan sprayed with non-stick spray) and slice a few slits to prevent bubbles. Bake for 15-minutes until lightly browned.
Warm tomato sauce with most of the BBQ sauce, reserving about 3 tablespoons for the topping. Stir well.
Over medium heat, saute red onion for about 3 minutes to soften slightly but maintain a slight crunch.
Spoon the sauce onto the dough and top with shredded cheese.
Slice the chicken and add on top of the pizza with the onion.
Bake for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese and finish crisping the crust.
Swirl the remaining BBQ sauce over the top.
Slice and enjoy!
It is definitely a sweet one from the BBQ sauce but with a nice smokey flavor from the sauce and the grilled chicken. I especially like these flavors as prime grilling season sort of wraps up. Plus the leftovers are so good.
I know what you’re thinking. Whatttt? On pizza? Yes. Do it! So good! All the exclamation points!!
Mr. J and I watched The Revenant and afterwards I needed something calming to clear my eyeballs from the graphic voilence before attempting to sleep. Enter: Diner Drive Ins & Dives going to Phoenix, Arizona to Sal’s Gilbert Pizza for Chicken Marsala Pizza. Perfect night-cap.
4 chicken tenders
1/2 white onion (or 2 shallots)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Marsala wine
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400-degrees.
In a large saute pan, cook the chicken over medium heat, sprinkled with salt & pepper. Flip and cook for about ~5 on each side until cooked through.
Meanwhile, dice the onion. Remove the chicken from the pan when cooked, and add the onion into the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes until getting translucent. Add the mushrooms.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and butter over a low simmer to thicken. Cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and while the sauce thickens a bit, chop the chicken into pieces and add it back into the pan.
Stretch the dough out and lay onto the pizza stone or pan. Cut a few slits into the dough. Bake for ~10 minutes until starting to brown and puff.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle onto the crust. Crack pepper over the top.
Spoon the sauce, chicken, mushroom, and onion mixture over the cheese.
Sprinkle with thyme. Bake for 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the crust crisps.
Slice and enjoy!
I really loved this one. I liked that the sauce was so rich but the crust was crisp and the cheese was gooey. It was such a delightful combo. The cheese really served to “waterproof” the dough from the sauce. I think it’d get to soggy if the sauce was under the cheese. I think there’d be a few ways to assemble the pizza but I was glad for the way I did it.
Tomatoes were sort of a bust this year…we had a culprit nabbing them and the latest ones aren’t getting ripe. Herbs on the other hand…are going like GANG-BUSTERS. I wanted to highlight a few so they became part of my marinade. We grilled the chicken and I served it over some pretty basic orzo…like butter/tomatoes/basil/salt & pepper. The babe loved both the “chick-ken” and was thrilled to have his own bowl of orzo. It kind of was all over him, but Orzo-man was worth it.
I kept the yogurt-ness going with a tzatiki-like sauce to go with it. I don’t have any dill and I wasn’t about to buy more fresh herbs right now so I improvised with mint & oregano. Yay for all. the. herbs. Let’s count ‘em: basil, oregano, mint, & lemon thyme.
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Greek or Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons each: oregano & thyme
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon each: mint & basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic
1/4 cucumber, with the seeds removed, diced or shredded
1/2 pound of orzo
1 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon butter
Mix together the 3/4 of the yogurt, milk, oregano, thyme, and add the chicken to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Mine marinated for ~2.5 hours.
Meanwhile, mix together the cucumber, yogurt, mint, oregano, lemon juice, and garlic. Then refrigerate until serving.
Grill the chicken until cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, boil water for the orzo and cook according to the package (probably 8-10 minutes).
Toss together the orzo, butter, tomato and once it cools a bit, add the basil.
Serve the chicken over a bed of orzo, topped with the cucumber yogurt sauce.
Theeeese a a few of my favorite things…
I found some frozen roasted chicken in the freezer and decided it would fare best if cooked and would be perfect in a calzone. Add my fav flavors, and thus, a meal is born. I used roasted chicken, crispy bacon, chopped tomato, alfredo sauce, ranch seasoning, and mozzarella. I felt like a rockstar to prep this 75% of the way the night before and just finish it before serving. Boo-yah.
2 cups roasted chicken
3 strips of bacon
1 1/2 cups mozzarella (mine was a mix of fresh & shredded)
3 tbs dried ranch seasoning
1 cup alfredo sauce
1 small tomato, diced
Preheat the oven & pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Pan fry the bacon until crispy.
Warm the chicken in a medium pan over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of the ranch seasoning.
Lay the dough onto the pan or pizza stone, off center, for the filling to go on the bottom and for the rest to fold over.
Add chicken, tomatoes, cheese, alfredo, and ranch seasoning.
Then repeat the layers making sure to get the filling all the way to the ends & edges.
Fold the rest of the dough over the filling and pinch to close. Press down slightly to push the filling throughout the inside. Cut a few slits into the top to vent.
Bake 30 minutes until browned and crisped.
Serve and enjoy!
I knew we’d love this. What’s not to love? It was a perfect use for some leftover roasted chicken from the freezer (also the dough and bacon came from the freezer too). It was equally perfect that I prepped it the night before when I didn’t have to rush. I cooked it for about 20 minutes that night and just 15 minutes to serve. Dinner time is such a race against the clock and it was really nice to have this pretty ready. #winning
Pressure cooker success, again! Jump on board the pressure-cooker train, or really, just cook the chicken as you wish, this sauce was so good. I served it over polenta but rice, pasta, or couscous would be good too. Polenta cooks for about 5 minutes, so that’s definitely a selling point for that one.
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Marsala wine
2 tbs butter
1 cup instant polenta
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 grated Parmesan
~5 basil leaves
Roast the tomatoes in a 400-degree oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until they blister and pop.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on each side. Sear the chicken on both sides in the pressure cooker or in a skillet. Then either add to the pressure cooker with 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, high pressure for 10 minutes, or roast in the oven at 375-degrees for 30 minutes.
In a medium pot, bring 1 cup of the chicken broth to a boil. Add in garlic, Marsala wine, and butter and return to a boil for about 5 minutes.
Chop the zucchini and roasted tomatoes. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes, covered. Then reduce heat until ready to serve.
For the polenta, add polenta to the water & milk and stir while cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add in Parmesan and stir well.
Serve with a base of polenta, then chicken, then veggie sauce and sprinkle with basil.
I was really happy with this dinner feeling a bit different, very flavorful, and pretty quick! Polenta is such a great break from pasta or grains. I love the parmesan in there for some salt and flavor. The sauce was soooo flavorful. I liked that the zucchini was lightly cooked. I used some leftover roasted tomatoes that I used, but roasting them would be easy while prepping everything else. I think the marsala cooking wine and broth really kept it from being like marinara.