Cheater, Cheater, Veggie Lasagna Eater

Black History Luncheon Tomorrow
I was going to make my meaty lasagna or baked ziti, but after seeing the crazy list of meat and bacon laden veggies, I thought I might at least bring a relatively healthy vegetarian dish. Here is the SUPER EASY recipe. I am also bringing some Crock Pot BBQ Pork(pork butt in the crock pot all day then mixed with sweet honey BBQ) and Asian Veggie Noodles (lo mein stir fried with broccoli, corn, green beans, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots).

Easy Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients

1 package no cook lasagna noodles
2 jars mushrooms, drained
1 large package shredded mozzarella cheese
6 slices Provolone Cheese
1 container of your favorite marinara sauce
1 can diced tomatoes

Directions

Preheat oven to 350
Spray lasagna pan with no stick spray
In a large bowl, mix jarred sauce, tomatoes, and mushrooms
Line bottom of pan with a thin layer of sauce mixture
Layer pasta, shredded mozzarella, and sauce until pasta runs out, about 4 layers
To the top layer, add sauce, the provolone and remaining mozzarella
Cook about 30 min. or until top is bubbling.
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Chicken and Gravy with Bacon and Mushroom Stuffing

This week has been a pretty wacko. We had a snow day yesterday that was supposed to be like 4-6 inches. Well, it turned out to be more of a really cold, then snow, then rainy slush day. Oh well. I got some groceries for the next week or so, so no real meal plan coming up. Just eating up leftovers and making meals out of what we bought this mid-week. I bought a fryer, so made up this meal this evening. We all enjoyed it!

Chicken and Gravy with Bacon and Mushroom Stuffing

Ingredients
1 fryer chicken (1 whole chicken already butchered for you)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary or any combination
1 large onion,chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
3-4 tablespoons olive oil/butter
1 glass white wine- I used pinot grigio
1- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium container
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

Heat a Dutch Oven or large skillet on med. high heat with a couple of tablespoons butter or olive oil
Season all the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown both sides of chicken. Work in batches or use 2 pans, about 8 minutes skin side down first. 3-4 minutes on opposite side. Take the chicken out. Add your onions to the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes and add your garlic. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add your flour. Mix well. It should come to the consistency of wet sand. Once it does that, add in your wine. Cook down for a couple of minutes then add in 3/4 of your chicken stock. Add in your chicken. Add more chicken stock if gravy gets too thick. Add in your fresh chopped herbs. Simmer on med.low for 45 min stirring occasionally until chicken is tender and cooked through.

Bacon and Mushroom Stuffing- This stuff was pretty simple- I followed the directions on one of those “Thanksgiving” Pepridge Farms bags of stuffing. I added sauteed mushrooms with cooked chopped bacon to the onion, celery, and herb mix. I made it in my cast iron. It turned out pretty yummy, and I have plenty of leftovers. Stuffing is one of those foods with so many leftover possibilities.

I served this with canned biscuits and Steam-fresh green beans. 016!

Creamy Chicken and Rice and Meal Plan for 2/22/15

Can you believe the weekend is almost over? Fun weekend with the family, time to myself, and an awesome yoga class this morning. It just goes by way too fast…

Here is what I made tonight-

Creamy Chicken and Rice

Ingredients

6-8 chicken Thighs (or 4 chicken breasts)
1 package Arborio Rice
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 small container sliced mushrooms
1 glass white wine
1 container low sodium chicken broth
1 handful of chopped herbs- sage, tarragon, and parsley
about 1/3 cup half and half (could use heavy cream and milk)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Warm up your box of chicken stock in a pan.
Brown up your chicken in a hot large dutch oven in a bit of olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken- take out and set aside
Turn down to med.heat. Add your chopped onions in the pan with a bit more olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes. Add in your garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir gently. Add in your wine. Stir and reduce about 5 minutes. Add in your rice. Stir well. Add in your chicken stock. Nestle your chicken in to the rice. Turn down to med-low heat and cook rice and chicken until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Rice should be soft and chicken should be falling apart when you stir the mixture at the end. Stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom. Add the herbs and half and half in at the end. Stir to combine and serve with crusty bread and a side salad or another veggie.

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Monday- Gorditas

https://funfoodiefamily.com/2013/07/23/homemade-taco-seasoning-mix/

Tuesday- Crockpot- BBQ Pork
https://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/07/28/back-to-the-basics-meal-planning-and-an-easy-crockpot-pork/

Wed- Leftovers/ Clean out the fridge night

Thursday- Chinese Night with Miss Mandy!

Friday- Family Night Out- Greek? Mexican? Indian?

Mom Night In!!!!

Hey guys! I had a pretty awesome day with the family. We all went to the circus. It was great and we all had fun together! Last night, I was supposed to go to dinner with a couple of friends, but it fell through. No worries, though. We will catch up soon. I had a quiet house to myself for a few hours, so I ordered Chinese take out; Shrimp and Broccoli, Sweet and Sour Tofu, and some yummy Spring Rolls. For the second night in a row, I find myself in a quiet house for a bit. I was in the mood for something vegetarian, so I ordered a veggie pizza, cheese bread, and Greek salad. Plenty of leftovers from both nights! Looks like I have lunch covered for the week! Now watching a marathon of The Americans. So awesome!

Looking forward to yoga in the morning. My dad’s b-day is tomorrow, so I’m going to make a yummy meal for him. That recipe and this week’s meal plan coming up tomorrow!

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Pasta Alfredo with Chicken, Bacon, and Peas

Tonight Becca had her 2nd grade performance…They were all super adorable! But since this is a public blog and I don’t want to post pics of random kids I don’t even know, I can’t post a pic in good faith. Basically there are pics of kids all looking at their moms making cheesy faces. It was awesome. We ate Jimmy John’s at 5:15. My favorite sandwich shop and you can’t persuade me otherwise. I came home and made this for lunch. I shared with 3 of my school friends.

Pasta Alfredo with Chicken, Bacon, and Peas

Ingredients

1 package of your favorite pasta
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
6 sliced of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 container of cooked or frozen peas
1-2 pieces chicken (I used my leftovers from this recipe
https://funfoodiefamily.com/2015/02/17/chicken-milanese/
1 container of Alfredo sauce or make your own- https://funfoodiefamily.com/2013/09/02/shrimp-and-broccoli-angel-hair-alfredo/
salt and pepper to taste
butter/olive oil add to your liking, a couple tablespoons

Directions

Heat a large skillet and cook your bacon. Once done, set aside and drain on a plate with paper towels to soak up oil.

Cook your pasta until 2 minutes less than the package.

Meanwhile, make your sauce. Add a tablespoon of butter to your bacon fat. Cook your chopped onion on med.-low heat until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add your garlic and cook about 3 minutes more. Make the Alfredo sauce in this pan or add your jarred sauce. Add your cooked meat and peas until warm through. Season to your preference. Add your pasta with a bit of the cooking starchy water. Mix well and let flavors combine and pasta finish cooking, about 2 minutes.

I made this pretty late, so the lighting was terrible. It tasted delicious, and we all enjoyed it!

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Pasta Salad with Chicken, Spinach, Feta, and Black Olives

What a crazy week! Presidents day, Ice Day/No School, and more snow today while we were at school. We are in Georgia, which is notorious for freaking out during cold weather. Now for all you out there who are used to snow and cold and want to make fun, I want to tell you to shut your high and mighty pie hole and listen up. I might have left out a few expletives, because this is a family blog, yo! We only have 2 months usually where we freak out. January and February, or as my BFF Bonita likes to call the dreaded JanFeb. JanFeb is no stranger to this site. I have discussed it fully before. You can read all about it here… https://funfoodiefamily.com/2015/01/06/throwback-thursday-crock-pot-beef-stroganoff/

It sucks…we don’t just get cold. You get your dry sunny pretty snow where you get to go skiing, sledding, and build snowman families? We get stinging cold wind and mushy, crunchy ice. Trees fall, roads ice over, electricity goes out, people are bitchy and get stuck on the roads longer than you might think normal for a civilized city.

We have no budget to ice our roads and no reason really to invest in year round ice tires. Our kids go crazy at the sign of snow. I had to tell my 6th graders (mostly 12 year old Hispanic kids) to “take it down a notch” and “chill out” and “I don’t want to hear anything else about the snow!” because they turned in to adorable psychopaths fixated on the snow.

I am actually kinda mad at myself for not letting them freak out a bit more, because, seriously, they have not had many interactions in the snow. If I thought I might not have gotten in trouble, I would have taken them out and let them catch snowflakes on their tongues. Any kind of recess for kids in middle school is frowned upon, so surely frivolous snow catching instead of reading a short story about a Chinese boy in San Francisco Chinatown is surely against the rules. I am sorry to say I followed the rules. If it snows again anymore this stupid cold winter, I will be a rebel and take the kids out to catch snowflakes!!!!

I was supposed to run with my middle school girls tonight, but due to the freaky and unpredictable snow weather, we cancelled practice. The hubby picked up buffalo wings on the way home. Wings and blue cheese is something I can always get behind.

On to the recipe…I made this for lunch tomorrow. I taste tested this and it is so yummy!!!!

Pasta Salad with Chicken, Spinach, Feta, and Black Olives

Ingredients
Suddenly Salad Traditional Box
3 tablespoons black olives
2 tablespoons feta cheese
3 large handfuls of spinach
1 thigh/breast shredded chicken, chopped or shredded- I used my leftovers from https://funfoodiefamily.com/2015/02/17/chicken-milanese/
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Olive oil- about 3/4 cup…eyeball to your liking

Directions
Cook pasta according to box
Add in spinach, wilt
Add olives and chicken
add cheeses and mix well

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Chicken Milanese- Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Milanese= fancy term for breaded chicken cutlets! These are super simple and so very delicious! Most recipes call for chicken breasts, but I used chicken thighs. I like to use thighs more because they are super juicy. Plus, I find them more affordable in the store. The key is pounding the chicken down super thin. It helps it cook more evenly and is more tender. I had my cute little sous chefs help me with this. We had some random sides leftover and I made some couscous. I also made a delicious little strawberry balsamic spinach salad for one of my sides.

Chicken Milanese

Ingredients
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Panko bread crumbs (or regular/Italian bread crumbs)-
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 4 chicken breasts), pounded down very thin- just be careful not to let them tear
olive oil- I used 2 pans, so I kinda eye-balled it. You are not deep frying these, but I would say add a few generous tablespoons of oil in each pan- more if necessary

Directions

Add oil to your pan/skillet
make 3 bowls for your dredging station- 1st flour, 2nd egg, and third breadcrumbs
In this order, coat all your chicken with each ingredient. I use a fork or this so I won’t get claw hands =)
Fry on each side for about 5 minutes (thighs longer than breasts). You know when they are done, because they are firm to the tough, not too soft or too hard.
Remove the chicken and place it on a paper-towel to absorb the oil.

You can do this in batches or just use 2 pans. Much faster that way.

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