Thursday, January 5, 2017

Broccoli Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet

I tried a new and rather different meal than we're used to over here yesterday and have to say, it turned out amazing! The original recipe can be found HERE but I altered it a bit when I found out the asparagus I bought the day prior was already bad. Also, of note, the recipe only serves 4 so if you're a bigger family you might want to increase it. It fed Andrew, Myself, and Ty with enough left over for almost a full lunch. But it was tasty as all get out, so well worth it!

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (I was out of minced so I used powder)
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 cup chicken broth (or water)
1/2 lb broccoli (steamed or thawed)
optional: red chili flakes, salt, pepper

1. Cut your chicken into pieces, season with salt and pepper if desired.
2. In a skillet on medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, and chicken. Saute the chicken 7-10 minutes or until cooked. Set chicken aside.
3. In the same skillet, add sweet potato and chicken broth.
4. Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked.
5. Add the broccoli and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
6. Season with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.

- Cut down prep time by freezing your chicken in pieces. They also thaw quickly that way.
- Keep the sodium down by using a broth with no sodium (meijer has it).
- I used a steam bag of broccoli for this recipe and steamed it. I only needed half for the recipe so I have the other half to go with dinner the next night.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey

So, in my hunt for a little flare to go with my large amount of ground turkey I found this recipe on pinterest. It's super quick and probably different than your typical weeknight dinners. Supper Yummy too. You can get the original here at WearyChef. You can also check out their really pretty picture there. Mine didn't turn out as pretty. lol.

1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup diced onion (or green onion)
2 cloves garlic
1 pound ground turkey
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 pound beans (I used frozen)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (I used regular and I'm not sure this is necessary anyway)
1 bag steam-able wild rice

Heat large skillet over high, add sesame oil, and saute onions and garlic for about 2 minutes.
Stir in ground turkey and saute 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked
Stir in chili sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger. Add green beans and soy sauce and stir to coat.
Continue cooking on high for 7-9 minutes, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.
Stir in rice vinegar and cook one minute longer.
Serve over rice

This meal went SUPER quick. You need time to brown the meat and get the beans tender and your good to go. I opted for the microwavable steam bagged rice so that I could put that in and forget about it vs having to make rice on the stove which could easily be done. As a note, this was a bit spicy but far within the mild category for level of spicy. Our 18 month old ate the beans without batting an eye so it couldn't have been too bad.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Zaycon Chicken & Ground Turkey

I don't have a recipe for you today but wanted to share my experience so far with getting meat through Zaycon Fresh. I recently started sourcing much of my meat through them and have fallen in love. I wanted better quality meat without trying to track down a butcher that had decent prices and deal with a whole cow or pig or what not.

My first order was 48 lbs of ground turkey. We LOVE ground beef but turkey? not so much! However, when I looked at what they were offering I noticed I  had just missed the cut off for the beef so on a whim (and with a coupon) we decided to try the ground turkey. Generally you order through their website by the case and then on the day it's available, you drive to the pick up location and they load it into your vehicle. Easy peasy. Our nearest location is only 10 minutes from the house which is fantastic. We tried the ground turkey and my hubby who is pretty particular about ground meat, thought it was REALLY good! I've been able to use it in almost all my ground beef dishes and they still taste great. And, at $2.08/lb thats a big discount from $6 beef prices at Meijer.

After having such good results with the ground turkey we decided to go ahead and buy a case of chicken breasts. Be forewarned, these are HUGE! You pick them up in a huge box (they load it into your car but you do have to bring it into your house.

For those a little nervous about processing all the chicken and freezing it, it went pretty easy and I was on my own with two littles running around. I set up my work space before hand with lots of wipes :) You never know when you have to run after a kiddo.

This is how they look pulled straight out of the box. I cut them in half and trimmed off a little of the fat. There are some recipes out there I guess using the trimmings to make gravy. I'm not that fancy and ended up throwing mine out before I had a chance to do anything with it. 

Once trimmed there are a few different things you can do with them.
#1 - you can make dump chicken bags. You put all the ingredients for a meal in a gallon freezer bag and throw the chicken in. This makes it super easy to have quick meals ready to throw in the oven or crock pot.
#2 - throw a few in the crockpot and shred the meat then store in gallon freezer bags. You can season it as well so you have chicken taco meat ready to go. 
#3 - Freeze them as is. This is the option I opted for because meal prep by myself while watching the kids was not going to happen. So, I wrapped each one individually and threw them all in gallon zip lock bags. This has made it easy to grab as many pieces as I need for a meal. Some of them must have sweat a little because they aren't the easiest to pull apart but freezing them individually before putting them in a ziplock bag together would fix that I would think. 

We've had quite a few meals using this chicken now and have really enjoyed the quality.We liked it so much, I just placed an order for another case that arrives in October. I think the prep of one case took me a few hours start to finish but it wasn't all that bad and now I have a ton of chicken ready to go. 

Zaycon has a lot of other meat options too. Right now (at least by me) they have steaks, chicken breasts, pork loin, salmon, hot dogs, chuck roasts, shrimp, ground turkey, kielbasa, lobster and turkey breast roast. The ones that I've read up on seem to be fairly natural without many additives and from what we've tasted, it's superior to what I've been getting in the grocery store. I encourage you to go on over and take a look at what they have and see if any of it works for your family. If you haven't signed up yet you can do so here. There is no cost to you unless you buy a case.

Feel free to comment with any questions you might have for me. Happy Cooking!

Monday, August 1, 2016

August Meal Plan - Part 1

So, first up, I can't even apologize anymore about the lack of updates. Since I've started working form home the balance act of getting my meals up here, entertainment, and work along with my first job of being wife and mom.... well lets just say multitasking can only go so far. BUT, I do have some new stuff ready to go and hope to make a few posts this week and try to catch up with some of them. Of note, I'll have a post about my recent decision to start getting meat from Zaycon Fresh as well as some freezer meals I've done recently.

But, for now, here is our meal plan for the next week or two. I'm pretty sure it will be closer to 2 weeks. I don't always know what we're having which days but having a list of meals I have the ingredients for is very helpful when trying to get meals on the table in a timely manner.

Tacos (Ground Beef)
Brats (Never Any Pork Sausage Links)
Ranch Chicken (Chicken) - recipe
Roadside Chicken (Chicken) - recipe
Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole (Chicken) - recipe
Biscuits & Gravy

Lunch Options:
Sandwich Wraps - tomato wraps, ham, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing
PB & J or Ham Sandwiches (kids)

Sausage & Egg Scramble - Eggs, ground sausage. Debating adding onion/green pepper
Breakfast Bagel Sandwiches - Egg, ham, cheese

I also have lots of fruits and some veggies to go with everything.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cheesy Ham & Taters

So, I apparently am really bad at updating this while pregnant lol. I finally managed to make a new recipe and have time to write about it over a year later. This dish turned out fantastic tonight.

1 bag, diced frozen potatoes
1 package of diced ham
1 bag of frozen California blend vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots)
1 can Cream of Chicken
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayo
Minced Onion
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and preheat the oven to 350.
Layer the frozen diced potatoes on the bottom.
Add the vegetables over top of that.
Add the ham on top of those.
Sprinkle minced onion over the top to your taste.
Grab a bowl and mix the cream of chicken soup, milk, and mayo together.
Pour mixture over everything in the pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top
Bake for another 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

Here is how it looks done. You can also easily substitute chicken for the ham and possibly even kielbasa. You could also play around with different cheeses, types of potatoes and vegetable combinations.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Taco Salad

This taco salad recipe has been in my kitchen quite a few times but I've never highlighted it on here yet so here we go

Salad Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 can kidney beans
1 packet of taco seasoning (check recipe for it here)
1 can diced tomatoes

8 oz Thousand Island Dressing
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp taco seasoning (reserved)

Other Ingredients:
1 Head of lettuce (chopped)
Doritos or Tortilla Chips
Shredded cheese (cheddar, sharp, taco, etc)

Brown the meat and drain fat
Add taco seasoning (reserving 1 tbsp for dressing)
Add beans & tomatoes
Mix the dressing ingredients together then add to meat and stir

Optional Step: 
Mix the lettuce and cheese into the meat mixture. We don't do this step because it makes leftovers funky when the lettuce gets all soggy. We store it separately and mix it together on our plates. You can crush chips overtop or dip chips.

This is definitely a favorite of ours. There are lots of ways to adjust the recipe too. To save calories just don't add in the cheese and chips.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frugal Meal Options Vol1

I was recently tasked with coming up with a bunch of frugal meal options. I haven't been doing many new recipes lately but I figured I'd share what meals I do have that can help save money. Some will be healthy/natural, others will have some canned/processed foods in them.

The person that requested some meal ideas was looking to keep it under $10 per meal so here is what I came up with. FYI, pricing listed is without it being on sale unless I mark it with an * Prices marked are based on my knowledge and not guaranteed especially if you reside anywhere other than west michigan. Many of these meals make leftovers as well so keep that in mind when looking at the pricing.
 You could also substitute ground chicken/turkey/pork to save from buying beef. My beef price is also for grass fed lean beef. I know you can find 85% lean in a frozen tube at aldi for under $3 which would save you another $2 on the beef meals.

Caribbean Jerk Grilled Chicken
Chicken cost: $5.17 for 10 ish pieces, extras add $2.20 or less.
Bag of Chicken ($4.50*), 1/3 bottle of Lawry's Caribbean Jerk Marinade ($.67). Serve with steamed veggie ($1) and Pineapple ($1.20)
Notes: you can also use bbq sauce or italian dressing for less than a marinade.

$7.70 without extras
Ground Beef ($5), Taco Seasoning (maybe $.25, see below), tortilla shells ($1), Cheese ($1), Salsa ($.45)
Optional Items: Sour Cream, Lettuce, etc.

Greek Skillet Dinner *Link*
$10.11 for large pot (lots of leftovers)
Penne Pasta ($.99), Beef ($5), onion minced, oregano,  cinnamon, garlic powder, beef broth ($.20 when made with cube), diced tomatoes ($.79), tomato paste ($.75), frozen spinach ($.99), Shredded Cheese ($1.39)
Side options: bread & butter (staple),  garlic bread ($.99)

Tater Tot Casserole *LINK*
$8.48 for 9x13 casserole
Cream of Mushroom ($.59), Tater Tots ($.189), Ground Beef ($5.00), Mixed Veggies ($1.00), 1/4 can (use soup can) of milk (staple), Worcestershire Sauce (staple)
Side Options: apples (or another fruit) ($.25-.35/person)

Texas Beef Stew *LINK*
$9.44 for 5qt (lots of leftovers)
Beef tips ($6), tomatoes ($.79), Beef broth ($.20), Salsa ($9), Frozen Corn ($.95), Baby Carrots 2/3 bag ($.50). Staples used are Minced Onion, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Water, Flour
Note: I get the meijer organics salsa when it's 10 for $10 + 11th free

"Spicy" Sausage Supper *LINK*
$5.75 for pot (could easily double the pasta amount too, to make it go further)
Kielbasa ($2.50), minced onion, minced garlic, water, rotel ($.75), 1/2 cup cream or milk, 8oz pasta ($.50), 2 cups cheese ($2)

Chicken Tacos *LINK*
$7.68 (fills a 5 qt slow cooker)
Bag of chicken ($4.50*), 1 jar salsa ($.90), 1/2 bag frozen corn ($.50), 1 can black beans ($.79), Tortilla Shells ($.99)
Sides: Tortilla Chips ($.99-2.50 extra), side salad ($1)
Optional: Can also serve with sour cream, lettuce, cheese, etc.

Beef Burritos *LINK*
Ground Beef ($5.00), minced onion, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, taco sauce ($.50 see below for recipe link), refried beans ($.75), tortilla shells ($1).
Serve with sour cream, salsa and cheese on the side
Side Options: tortilla chips ($1-2.50), side salad ($.75 + dressing)
Note: these freeze well for lunches too.

Corn Chowder *LINK*
$7.70 for 5 qt croc pot
6-8 potatoes ($2), cream corn ($.50), regular corn ($.50), chicken brown ($.20), diced ham $2.50), minced onion, butter, half & half ($2)

Homemade Chili Mac *LINK*
$7.80 for large skillet
Ground Beef ($5), Elbow Macaroni ($.75), water, milk, rotel ($.75), Kidney Beans ($.80), 1/2 c cheese ($.50). Corn Starch, Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Salt, Sugar.

Corn Bread Taco Pizza *LINK*
$8.10 up to $10.60 with optional items
Corn muffin mix ($.50), 1 egg ($.10*), ground beef ($5), taco seasoning (see below), 2 c cheese ($2), lettuce ($.75 & opt), diced tomatoes ($.75 & opt), Taco Sauce ($.50 see below), Sour Cream ($1 & opt)

Egg Free Pancakes *LINK*
$2-$6 with sides
2 c Flour, 1/3 c Sugar, Baking Soda, 2 c Milk, Butter, white vinegar, vanilla Extract ($9.99 for large bottle at GFS on sale*).
These are all staples in my kitchen so I'm not entirely sure how much each cost.
Sides: breakfast sausage ($2.99), Syrup, Diced/hash brown potatoes ($1.79).. Scrambled eggs (for those without allergies) $1.19* Diced Ham ($2.50) adds to the potatoes or eggs well.

Egg "McMuffins" *LINK*
$7.41 for 12 ($.62 each)
Dozen Eggs ($1.19*), Sliced Ham ($2.99 nitrate free), English Muffins ($2), Sliced Cheese (1.23 for 12)
Sides: Yogurt ($.39 each), fresh fruit $.25-.35 each)

Broccoli Quiche *LINK*
$3.18 not counting staples, makes 9" pie
2 can mushrooms ($1.18), minced onion, 1/2 bag frozen broccoli ($.50), 5 eggs ($.50*), 1/3 c miracle whip, 1/3 cup milk, 1 cup shredded cheese ($1), 1 c flour, salt, veg shortening, water.

From Scratch Kitchen
Taco Sauce *LINK*
$.50 up to a $1 once you add staples
Tomato Sauce ($.50), Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, oregano, worcestershire sauce.

Taco Seasoning *LINK*
1 part each of chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. A packet would be 1/2 tbsp of each (totalling 2 tbsp).
Aldi has large jars of each of these spices for $.99

Inexpensive Side Options
Yogurt - $.39 each
Peach/Plum/etc - $.35 each
Apples - $.25 each
Oranges - $20 each (mandarin)
Bread & Butter $.05/slice of bread + cost of butter
Garlic Bread $1/loaf
Frozen Steamable Vegetables ($1/bag)
Baked Potatoes w/ butter ($.15 each)