Lovely Leftovers- Chicken, Bacon, and Veggie Pasta

Hey all! This weekend was pretty good. Friday night a bunch of friends came over, and I cooked a ton of hamburgers. We ate chips and dip, macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, and creamed corn. We played a card game, and me and my wine buddy put down a good amount of wine =) Loads of fun!
Sat morn I spent time at my middle’s cheerleading game. Her team is the Bulldogs, and she just loves cheering for them! She even won the spirit stick this game! So proud of her!006

The rest of the weekend was mostly relaxing and eating out of the fridge. No stressing. Last night hubby went to the store and picked up sweet and spicy marinated chicken from the meat counter and a red pepper. I made this with yellow rice and steamed broccoli. Pretty yummy! This morning, I made eggs and bacon. Clean plates were made by all.

Tonight I made the girls leftover hamburgers. I just had a veggie burger for lunch, so I did not really want another burger. Instead, I created this spectacular pasta dish.

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Lovely Leftovers- Chicken, Bacon, and Veggie Pasta

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 jar mushrooms
1 cup creamed corn (approximate from leftovers)
5 pieces cooked bacon, chopped (approximate from leftovers)
1 cup chicken breasts and red peppers, cooked (approximate from leftovers)
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream in the pot
Pasta of your choice- I had a little orzo and whole wheat angel hair, so I used both
Extra pasta water, as needed.
Fresh herbs, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Boil water for pasta… make sure you heavily salt the water.
Cook your onions, celery, tomato, and garlic down on med low heat for a good 10 minutes.
Add your pasta to the water.
To your fresh veggie mix, add in all your leftover veggies, jarred mushrooms, bacon, and chicken. Mix well. Cook about 10 minutes, or until your pasta cooks.
Add in your pasta to the leftover mix. Add in cheese and heavy cream. Mix well. Add in starchy pasta water as needed. Taste- season as needed. I would have added some fresh herbs if I had them.

Amish Friendship Bread

A couple of weeks ago, my husband brought home this “mush” bag to make this bread in 10 days. Our starter bag sat on the counter for the 10 days until he remembered that it needed to be made. I was super tired after a long day, but I agreed to make it and am super glad I did. It makes 4 starter bags and 2 loafs of bread. I kept a starter for myself and gave the other 3 away. I have included the recipe for the starter as well.

Amish Friendship Bread

Do Not Refrigerate
Should Ferment
Do NOT use metal bowls or utensils for prep

Original starter:
1 package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Dissolve yeast in water, let stand 10 minutes.
Combine sifted flour and sugar together. Mix well so flour will not be lumpy.
Slowly stir in milk and yeast mixture. Mix well.
Put starter in a gallon Ziploc bag. (Do not refrigerate.) Watch the starter very closely at first and let the air out of the bag as needed. It will bubble and ferment a lot the first day. This is Day 1. Mark the date on your Ziploc bag and now you just follow the directions as you would if you received the starter from a friend.

Day 2-5 Mush Bag
Day 6- Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk to bag and mush
Day 7-9- Mush bag

Day 10- Follow instructions below

1. Pour entire contents of bag into a non-metal bowl and add:1 1/2 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix. Get four 1-gallon Ziplock bags and add one cup of batter to each of these bags. This will create 4 new starter bags to give to friends.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease 2 loaf pans.

3. To the remaining batter add:
3 eggs, 1 cup oil, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cups flour, 1 large box vanilla instant pudding mix

4. Mix an additional 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a bowl. Using half of the mixture, dust both greased loaf pans.

5. Spread batter evenly into both loaf pans. Use remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture to sprinkle to the top of the batter.

6. Bake 45 min-1 hour. Check with toothpick.

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Chicken and Brown Onion Gravy

This was a very successful dish. The girls and hubby had a second helping. It was super easy and only took under 45 minutes to make and plate.

Chicken and Brown Onion Gravy

Ingredients

6 chicken thighs (I used boneless and skinless)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine- I used Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons flour
fresh herbs, chopped- I used sage
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat your pan on high- cast iron or dutch oven. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.
Brown your chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes per side, in a couple tablespoons of butter
Take your chicken out and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in your onions and a bit more salt and cook down for about 5 minutes. Add in your wine and scrape all the chicken bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add in your flour and whisk until it thickens up a bit. Little by little, add in your stock. Whisk well. Add in your herbs. You should have a nice gravy consistency. Taste here and add more seasoning if needed. Then add your chicken back in and simmer until chicken is done, about 15 more minutes.

I served this with a side of cauliflower and couscous.

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Chicken and Noodles

Hey guys! Happy Saturday! Earlier in the week I made pan roasted chicken legs with mushrooms. They were very easy to make. I just browned them in a pan, took them out and added 1/2 an onion and mushrooms. I cooked them down for about 6 minutes, then added The chicken back in and a bit of stock. They cooked for about 45 minutes on the stove. I could have sworn I took a picture, but I cannot seem to find them. Oh, well! They were delicious, but we had a bunch of leftovers. My throat has been a bit scratchy the last couple of days, so I wanted to make something comforting. I decided to make this chicken and noodles dish. Not quite a soup, more of a thick stew. It is so good! Here is how I made it.

Ingredients
leftover chicken shredded, about 2 cups (you could add any shredded chicken you have…breasts, thighs, rotisserie etc.)
3 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 container sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon of thyme (dried, but fresh would be better)
handful of sage, sliced (you could add any herbs you like)
chicken broth/stock homemade or your favorite boxed variety
noodles of your choice- I used chinese noodles =)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of water
Splash of half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot, add the veggies in 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Then add the salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add your stock. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, add in the chicken and noodles. Make sure the noodles are covered with the stock. Stir occasionally.

Mix the flour with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Add it to the pot, then stir. Cook all together for another 10 minutes of so until it begins to thicken. Taste your delicious creation. If you need to add more salt and pepper, do so. If I had some parsley, I would have chopped some up and added to the top of this dish for some extra freshness. So comforting!

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Baked Enchilada Farro with Beans and Corn

Happy Tuesday, ya’ll! So the other day I made this.
http://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/08/30/enchilada-farro-with-beans-and-corn/

It is super healthy and delicious, but after a few servings, I needed to find a way to change it up. So, I made it into tacos. Yum. Then I made it into this cheesy bake. All I did was add a another small can of enchilada sauce and 1 jar of salsa to the mix. Then I spread it into a sprayed casserole dish and topped it with shredded cheese. I baked it at 350 until all the cheese was melted and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Freezing half of this for my future. 

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Enchilada Farro with Beans and Corn

Hey guys! I know that it has been awhile. It has been a pretty busy week and there has not been a lot of innovative cooking. Mostly old stand bys…BBQ chicken, pasta, and a few more quick dinners out and clean out the fridge nights than normal. This week there will probably be more of the same. 3 kids equals a lot of busy nights…

We have been trying to avoid going to the store and spending money, so I raided the pantry for this meal. It will serve as a quick lunch and dinner for the next week. Since I have a whole pot of it, I may try different things with it throughout the week; thinking of topping it with shredded cheese and bake it or even make it into veggie enchiladas. For tonight, I found it super satisfying the way it is. Look for more variations coming soon. I hope you give it a try!

Enchilada Farro with Beans and Corn

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can black beans
1 can cannellini beans
1 can corn
1 can chopped green chilies
1 can enchilada sauce
1 cup farro (or quinoa)
2 cups veggie stock (or water or chicken)

Directions

Using a large heavy pot, cook your onions down in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on med/low heat for about 5 minutes. Add in your garlic. Cook down for 3 more minutes. Add in your farro. Cook for a few minutes then add all your canned ingredients. Mix together well. Add in your stock and mix well. Cover and cook until farro is tender; about 25 minutes.

I can’t stop eating this. It is SO good! I have a whole pot to much on throughout the week!
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Corkscrew Pasta with Creamy Veggie Tomato Sauce

Leftovers for dinner tonight. Gotta eat up some food instead of wasting it. I still have to use us a bunch of veggies, so I decided to make this pasta for lunches and quick dinner if needed. Pretty quick vegetarian dinner. You could add some grilled chicken to this for a healthy protein if wanted. Very creamy but still uber healthy with all those nutrient rich veggies.

Corkscrew Pasta with Creamy Veggie Tomato Sauce

Ingredients
corkscrew pasta
a jar of creamy spinach tomato sauce (Classico brand- on sale)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 container of cherry tomatoes
1 container of mushrooms
1/2 stalk of chopped broccoli (florets)
1/2 chopped each of yellow and orange peppers
1/2 bag of snap peas
1 handful fresh herbs, chopped- basil, oregano, and marjoram
salt and pepper

Directions

Add all chopped veggies in to a large pot. Cook down for about 15 minutes. Add pasta sauce. Cook down further while you make your pasta. Add in your cooked pasta. If thick, add a bit of the starchy cooking water. I added a bit at a time and had about 1 cup leftover. Everyone in this house loves eating the leftover pasta right out of the pan. This was a great pantry raid dish.

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Shrimp and Chicken Stir- Fry

Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! They always just go by way too fast! So tonight I was trying to figure out a way to use up some shrimp. When I was at the grocery store, I overhead a dad ask his son to find some snap peas for the stir-fry. Great idea! I saw some chicken tenders on sale, so I bought those for the stir-fry as well.

There is really nothing easier than stir-fry. All you need is a wok or large round pan, fresh ingredients, and you are set! What are your favorite combinations?

Shrimp and Chicken Stir- Fry

Ingredients

cubed chicken tenders and shrimp, peeled and deveined (could also use steak, tofu, pork, or just go pure veggie).
1 chopped sweet onion
sliced sweet peppers- 1/2 yellow and 1/2 orange
1/2 stalk of the broccoli florets
1 container of sliced mushrooms
handful of snap peas
1 can of water chestnuts, baby corn, and bamboo shoots
hosin- a few tablespoons was all I had left in my jar
sesame oil- a few shakes- a little goes a long way
teriyaki sauce- I used up the rest of my bottle, which was about 3 tablespoons
a few shakes of fish sauce and oyster sauce- I would have added soy sauce as well, but I was all out.
1 package of Chinese Noodles (Mein- you can find on the ethnic food aisle- you could also use angel hair pasta if you have it)

Directions

Add in your fresh veggies and bamboo shoots first. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Then add your chicken, baby corn, and water chestnuts. Mix in all your sauces. Cook until chicken is done, about 10-15 minutes. Add your shrimp in right at the end. Mine was already cooked, so I tossed it off the flames so it would not overcook. If you have raw shrimp, those should still go in at the end and cook until they curl and turn pink, about 4 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, boil some water. Salt the water. Cook your pasta according to the package. Drain and mix with stir-fry (I actually left mine unmixed, because in this case, my girls like the pasta without sauce. This picture does not do this dish justice. Just enough leftovers for my husband and I to take to work for lunch. 

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Pasta Frittata and a quick meal plan

Evening everyone! I know this week I have been a little AWOL. It has been crazy busy! It has been one of those weeks that seems like it is taking forever to end, yet it seems like you can’t keep up and everything is moving too fast! You know what I mean? Anyways, on to the food…We ate most all of my meal plan from last week, minus the hotdogs and shrimp alfredo. Instead we had leftover night Wed, random pasta night Thursday (hence the pasta frittata), and Friday was Marco Pizza (thin crust hawaiian and one 1/2 cheese 1/2 black olive and mushroom). Tonight, the girls ate leftover pizza and a bowl of cereal. Random! I choose to make the most of my leftover pasta and veggie tomato sauce by making this leftover pasta frittata.

This coming week looks to be extremely challenging…school functions, cheerleading, gymnastics, and lots of early mornings. Meal plan is going to be using what we already have; Sunday- something with shrimp (maybe with some yellow rice?) Monday- Grandpa is taking cooking duty making tuna noodle casserole. Tuesday- Hotdog and baked beans night Wed- Fish and mac and cheese TH- Ummm…clean out the fridge Friday- Mexican Please???? Margaritas????? PHEW! Nothing too exciting unless I come up with something better…

Pasta Frittata

Ingredients

Cooked pasta (I had whole wheat spaghetti), sauce (I made a sauce that consisted of onion, garlic, halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 each of yellow and red pepper chopped, sliced black olives, broccoli florets, 1 can diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste).

8 eggs- whisked

cheese- I used some shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and parm, enough to cover the top, maybe 1 cup in total.

Directions

In a large cast iron skillet or oven safe dish, start warming your pasta and sauce. Whisk your eggs with some salt and pepper. Add them to the pasta. Stir around. Top with cheese. Let cook for 5 minutes or so. Put the pan in a 375 oven and bake for 25 minutes or until your cheese turns golden brown. Set out of the oven and cool a bit. Great way to have pasta leftovers!
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Fridge Raid- Pasta Salad

Evening guys! I was thinking of a way to use up some leftover pasta from the other night. It was plain rotini pasta, so I thought of making a cold pasta salad I could take for lunch tomorrow. I came up with this concoction. It is so pretty that I couldn’t help but take a bite. Delish!

With every fridge/pantry raid- sub in what you have and use your imagination!

Fridge Raid Pasta Salad- This is about 1 large or 2 small servings

rotini pasta
kalamata olives
sun-dried tomatoes
cherry tomatoes sliced in half
blue cheese crumbles
olive oil- 2 tablespoons

I mixed everything all together in a large bowl with a small bit of pepper. The olives are super salty, so no need for salt.

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