Chicken and Okra Skillet

Chicken and Okra Skillet 1 685x1024 Chicken and Okra Skillet

Happy new year! It’s 2015 already y’all. Can you believe it? HOW are we already here?

I remember thinking that summer being over was weird. And now CHRISTMAS is over. SO weird.

I have fond memories of my great Aunt Joan always making pickled okra around the holidays. I’m pretty sure that she always made it, but we mostly saw her around the holidays so I just associated it that way. Who knew that a kid would love to dig into dig into a big old jar of homemade okra? 

My kids sure wouldn’t.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that I like lots of forms of okra. Fried, steamed, cut, you name it. It’s all good in the okra hood. My husband, not so much. Though for the new year, he is committing to eating better so he decided he would give it a chance. So I decided I would come up with something really tasty to get him on the okra train.

Chicken and Okra Skillet 4 685x1024 Chicken and Okra Skillet

So I made this! My own creation of a few flavors that I thought would go well together. I love what the okra adds to this dish. It’s a bit slimy and soft, but that makes this so good. Gives it a sort of stew texture.

My favorite part? It’s a one-pot meal! You can easily make this whole meal in your skillet. Thank you Jesus!

Chicken and Okra Skillet 2 685x1024 Chicken and Okra Skillet

My husband’s verdict was made apparent when he went back for seconds! I withheld a large smile inside as I watched him dole out the next helping. I told him at the beginning that I thought that he was going to be surprised and he said that he was.

All the ingredients are really simple. Many might be things you already have. This is so quick to whip up so it would make a nice weeknight meal.

Chicken and Okra Skillet 3 685x1024 Chicken and Okra Skillet
Chicken and Okra Skillet
Chicken and Okra Skillet 3 685x1024 Chicken and Okra Skillet
Tomatoes, Okra, and Chicken make a great combination in this easy recipe for a great weeknight meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 ribs celery, chopped
  3. 1 small onion, chopped
  4. 2 tsp minced garlic
  5. 1 lb fresh chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  6. 1 (12 oz) bag frozen cut okra
  7. 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  8. 1 tsp cumin
  9. 1 tsp beef bouillon
  10. Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In 1 tbsp olive oil, saute onion and celery over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and saute until browned. Add chicken pieces and cook until no more pink.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Make hole in chicken, celery and onion mixture. Add frozen okra to the middle. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes.
  4. Add can of diced tomatoes, beef bouillon, and cumin. Let simmer for about 5 minutes until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and serve!
Notes
  1. I use my kitchen sheers to cut up the chicken! Makes it quicker and easier than a knife.
Pennywise Cook http://pennywisecook.com/

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Cheesy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole

 Cheesy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole
Cheesy Chicken Cornbread Casserole Cheesy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole

What is it about the word casserole? What exactly is a casserole? Let me consult The Google: a kind of stew or side dish that is cooked slowly in an oven. Though these days, almost anything can be considered a casserole. It doesn’t even matter the ingredients, does it?

Have some tomatoes and potatoes? Throw them in a dish, bake and you have a tomato potato casserole! I think that’s why I like casseroles so much. They are so forgiving. Well, most of them anyways. I’ve had my share of casserole failures… I just love that they are so simple and quick. Throw together what you have on-hand and bake at 350 degrees and you’ve got dinner. Casseroles were made for weeknights when momma has to grow a 3rd arm to get everything done. Who am I kidding? I grow my 3rd arm around 8am each day at breakfast…

Especially now that school has started, dinner isn’t always first thing on my mind. School doesn’t just mean the start of classes. It can also mean sports, extra-curriculars, homework, Bible study, and anything else that you can possible occupy lots of time with. My girls are still young so I’m not always a chicken with my head cut off, but I do have to say that 1st grade homework is no joke! It may not be hard, but keeping my 1st grader focused can be a chore.

Enough to build up an appetite…

For a casserole maybe?

Chicken and Cornbread Casserole Cheesy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole

I’ve always been a fan of those casseroles where you top it with a bread of some sort. We always used to make the chili with the cornbread on top when we were newlyweds. I’m going to be honest here and admit that it was from a box, but don’t judge. Who hasn’t made a gourmet dinner from a box while they were a newlywed? I’m also going to admit that I use boxed meals here at least once a week. You can’t have a 2 year-old and not make a little mac and cheese from a box. You just can’t. Well I can’t anyways.

Cornbread Casserole with Chicken Cheesy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole

Casseroles! Yes, casseroles. This one was a result of throwing together a lot of things that we really enjoy and doing everything that I could to avoid putting in those “cream of” soups”. It seems like every casserole contains that ingredient.

Not this one! I used fresh chicken, but if you have leftover rotisserie chicken or perhaps some grilled chicken, this would be an awesome way to use it up. Otherwise whatever kinda chicken you can find on sale will work. I’m all about cheap. Though I’m not sure that the canned stuff…

You can find a ton of ideas for casseroles over at Country Crock. Some interesting facts about Country Crock:

  • Have 0g trans fat per serving
  • Contain no partially hydrogenated oils (Yipee!)
  • Have no cholesterol
  • Are 70% less fat than butter per serving (WOW)
  • Have 30% fewer calories than butter per serving

Casserole Cheesy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Chicken
Author: Pennywise Cook
Who doesn’t enjoy a simple and quick chicken casserole?
Ingredients
  • 3/4 lb Chicken Breast/Tenders, cut into bite-size pieces (about 3 breasts)
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream corn
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese + 1/4. c for topping (if desired)
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces for dotting the top (if desired)
  • cornbread mix created according to package
  • s & p to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to degree listed on cornbread mix. Spray a 9×13 dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in chicken, garlic, onion, and s&p. Cook until chicken is not longer pink.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cream corn, 1 c. cheddar cheese and sour cream until well mixed. Add in chicken. (Now would be a great time to create your cornbread batter!)
  4. Pour mixture into 9×13 dish and spread evenly. Top with cornbread batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the other 1/4 c. cheddar cheese and dot with butter.
  5. Place in oven and cook the time listed on your cornbread mix.
  6. Remove from oven, let cool, and serve!
Notes

You are more than welcome to make your own cornbread for the top, just be sure to have the ingredients necessary when you start you casserole!

I used a slightly smaller dish than a 9×13 for mine. I can’t tell you what size because I honestly have no idea, but I think that a 9×13 will be similar. If not, then a square dish might work. I have yet to try this in a different size dish.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup 2 Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today is my daughter’s last day of school. I can already hear the words “I’m booooooored mom”. You’d think that we live in a box without any toys, coloring books, or that all addicting boob tube contraption they call a TV. My goal is to do whatever I possibly can to try and keep those words from seaping out of my kiddo’s mouth.

So we’ll plan playdates, trips to the splash pad, fun at the Y, and anything and everything else that I can come up with to combat bordem.

Dinner sometimes plays second fiddle in the summer around here. The sun is out later and we’re outside enjoying our days which means either mom has to miss out on the fun to cook or mom has to get creative. So creative I’ll get! This recipe is one that I put together in a pinch and is super simple to make.

Who doesn’t like making dinner in the crockpot? Most of the ingredients in this recipe are from cans which also makes for easy prep. This reminds me of a 7 can soup with a little twist. One ingredient that I’ve always kinda been leary of, is canned chicken. I don’t use it that often because, well, it’s called canned chicken. It smells a lot like tuna to me in the can which most of the time turns me off. But every now and then I’ll place it in a recipe that makes the chicken transform with the other flavors. And sometimes it actually tastes great. Hey, don’t knock it ’til ya tried it! If you’re not too keen on the canned chicken idea, use leftover rotisserie chicken or something along those lines if you’d like.

I love the crunch of the crispy tortilla strips on top at the very end. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find some colorful ones like I did!

Chicken Tortilla Soup 1 Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

 It’s your turn: Do your kids get bored during the summer? Or do they enjoy the freedom?

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
 
Recipe Type: Soup, Main Dish, Crockpot
Author: Pennywise Cook

A few cans and seasonings and you’re on your way to a tasty Chicken Tortilla Soup!
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth- could also use chicken
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (12.5 oz) can chunk chicken breast, drained
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10 oz) can rotel
  • 1 rotel can of water
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 c. tortilla strips for topping
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into crockpot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
 
Notes

– The first time I made this, I sauted my onion and garlic before placing it in the crockpot. You can do this first if you are going to be cooking your soup for less time. If not, they should soften up enough while cooking.
– If you would rather, you can use chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth
– If you have leftover chicken, you can use that in place of the canned chicken
– Finally, if you prefer, you can use more broth in place of the water in the rotel can. I found it tastes just as good with the water.

 


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Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Crockpot Chicken Tacos 6 Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Well hello there! Long time no….er….blog?

As I was preparing the pictures for this post, even my husband made the comment about my lack of my snapping of photos of our dinners. Yes, I am usually known as the papparazi of food around here, but for the past couple of months there have been some awesome things happening around here and needless to say, I’ve been just a bit preoccupied.

But have no fear! I have a recipe today. One that even the least of cooks can throw together in minutes and makes for a family pleasing meal. Crockpot Chicken Tacos only take 3 ingredients and one of them is water. Your HUSBAND could make these.

He might get a big head afterwards. Just tell him that he did fabulous on dinner and that you adore his culinary skills. You didn’t realize that Crockpot Chicken Tacos could help you stroke your husband’s ego did you?

Crockpot Chicken Tacos 1 Crockpot Chicken Tacos

The most important ingredient in this one is, well, chicken! You need about a pound to a pound and 1/2. I used fresh because I got some on clearance, but frozen will also work. You’ll just need to adjust your crockpot setting depending on how fast you’d like it to cook.

Use tenderloins, breasts, thighs, whatever you’d like. It’s going to get tender and you’ll shred it anyways.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos 2 Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Brace yourself, this is where it gets a little tough. You must open a packet of taco seasoning and sprinkle over the chicken. I know, I know. How could I ask you to do such a laborious thing? Well suck it up. You’ll live.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos 3 Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Here’s the last step. Add the amount of water listed on your taco seasoning packet to the crockpot.

Place the top on your crockpot and walk away. Go update your status. Take out the trash. Clip your toenails (you know who you are). Hey look, now you have time to make a dessert! Might I suggest Salted Caramel Brownies

Crockpot Chicken Tacos 5 Crockpot Chicken Tacos

I usually let it cook for about 6 hours on low when I’m using fresh chicken. Towards the end of the cooking, I usually add just a tad bit more water and then shred up the chicken. It’s so tender that just stirring it usually shreds it without hassle.

Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos 4 Crockpot Chicken Tacos

We’ve started having what we’re calling Taco Tuesday. Some form of taco will be made on Tuesdays. Whether casserole, soup, or plain tacos, that’s our theme. And beef is good, but sometimes chicken feels a bit healthier. Plus, it’s a nice change.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
 
Recipe Type: Main, Crockpot
Author: Pennywise Cook

With only 3 ingredients (one of which is water) and a crockpot, you can have chicken tacos for dinner tonight!
Ingredients
  • 1- 1.5 pounds fresh or frozen chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs (your choice)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • Water listed on taco seasoning packet + a bit more
  • Toppings of your choice
Instructions
  1. Place fresh or frozen chicken into crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle with taco seasoning.
  3. Add the amount of water listed on the seasoning packet.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours (fresh chicken) or medium/high for 6 hours (frozen).
  5. Add a little water, about 1/4 cup towards the end. Let absorb then stir and shred.
  6. Serve with tortillas or shells and add your favorite toppings!
 

 


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Simple Baked Risotto

Simple Baked Risotto 1 Simple Baked Risotto

Please excuse the incredibly horrible picture. Once again, it was another night pic with horrible lighting. We’re going to have to start eating dinner at lunchtime!

Rewind back a few years. I’m sitting in my living room watching (a favorite of our’s) Hell’s Kitchen. Like most episodes, all I hear is screaming about the risotto. But in my head, I’m thinking what in the heck is risotto? Maybe I’m just a bit sheltered or perhaps it’s not common, but I had never ever heard of it before. To me, it seemed like a bunch of rice.

In reality, that’s really all that it is. Just a really creamy and rich Italian rice that has to be stirred a lot. Creamy you say? Yes, creamy because of cheese and broth. Are you listening yet?

Corn Exchange Simple Baked Risotto

It wasn’t until I took a trip to England that I got to actually enjoy a bowl of creamy risotto. It was at this glorious place that I got to try it. This is the Piazza inside the Corn Exchange in Leeds. It is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever stepped foot inside. Starting in the 1800’s as a place for the trading of corn, it’s now a popular shopping center with a fine dining restaurant down below.

Smoked Salmon Risotto Simple Baked Risotto

This is a picture of the Smoked Salmon Risotto with Chargrilled Asparagus that I had when we ate there. Doesn’t it look divine? My risotto didn’t look quite as amazing, but it did make me reminisce a bit about my trip.

Buckinham Palace Simple Baked Risotto

Here we were watching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. One of the coolest experiences that I may ever have! I even messed with a few of the fuzzy-headed guards while we were there. In case you were wondering…..no. They did not move a muscle.

If I could, I’d be back in England in a heartbeat. So much history and interesting places to see. Oh yeah, and the food was incredible too!

Risotto is generally cooked in large skillet and tended to for a while. I just don’t have the patience, so I took the easy way out…..in the oven. The entire family loved it! I was complimented not once, but twice for this one (it’s a big deal at our house). The version that I made ended up being the main course since I put chicken in it. Though for many, it might just be a side dish. I did take a very big shortcut with this. I used Tyson grilled chicken cubes from the refrigerated section of the store. You could also use a rotisserie chicken if you want to pull it off the bone. Or perhaps just cook up your own chicken breast. Either way, chicken adds a meaty touch.

I don’t consider myself to be an expert at risotto (or anything dish at that, well maybe pb&j). I’ve got some perfecting to accomplish on this one for sure. But it sure is tasty work!

Recipe adapted from My Recipes.

Simple Baked Risotto
Recipe Type: Side, Main Dish
Forget stirring, whip up creamy risotto by utilizing the oven instead of your elbow!
Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 c. Arborio Rice (or other short grain rice)
  • 2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 c. White Wine
  • 2 and 1/2 c. Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. Mozzarella Cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a large high-sided skillet or dutch oven, melt butter. Place rice, garlic, and onion into pot and saute for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the wine, chicken broth, salt & pepper, italian seasoning and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from oven.
  4. Stir in the chicken and cheese until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Notes

The texture should be creamy with a little liquid. Though mine ended up a bit sticky. Gonna work on it a bit more.

Have YOU ever made risotto, be it baked or the traditional way? I’d love to hear how it turned out!


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Easy Mandarin Chicken

Mandarin Chicken 11 Easy Mandarin Chicken

My girls have recently discovered mandarin oranges. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved fruit in any form. Even canned fruit strikes my fancy every now and then. I picked up a few cans of mandarin oranges the other day to see if my girls would enjoy it as much as I used to. I think ended up rekindling my love for the fruit myself. And as expected, they absolutely loved them. I really need to find myself a good sale to stock up on them.

In keeping with their latest obsession, I decided to make something that showcased two things that I know they’ll both like. Chicken and the new-found love, mandarin oranges.

Mandarin Chicken 1 Easy Mandarin Chicken

To my utmost surprise, my ENTIRE family (including my incredibly picky husband and 5-year old) loved this meal! The 1-year old even cleaned her plate.  I cleaned mine and an entire 2nd plate as well. Hubby was really concerned about the sweet oranges being used with savory chicken, but when he was done he told me that he thought it worked really well together. SCORE!

I used edemame to kick up the nutrition and hid mushrooms with the onions. The mushrooms were quite stealth and the kiddos loved the edemame! In fact, Addie asked me at one point what kinda beans they were. I told her edemame and she replied “I really like edemame!”.

Those are words that I never expected to come out of my 5-year old’s mouth…

Mandarin Chicken 3 Easy Mandarin Chicken

By the time dinner was over, I was floored. This was a meal that the whole family loved and it was actually healthy and good for them. That only happens in my dreams and on commercials doesn’t it?

Recipe adapted from 366 Low-Fat Brand-Name Recipes in Minutes Cookbook.

Easy Mandarin Chicken
Recipe Type: Main Dish
In just minutes, you’ll have a mouth-watering Asian meal with little effort!
Ingredients
  • 1 11 oz Can Mandarin Oranges
  • 2 & 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut into Bite-size Pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 & 1/2 c. Frozen Edemame
  • 8 Baby Bella Mushrooms, Sliced
Instructions
  1. Drain oranges, reserving 3 tbsp of the liquid. Mix together the reserved liquid with the soy sauce and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook chicken in the oil over medium-high heat until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet. Add in the onions, edemame and mushrooms. Cook until onions are tender.
  3. Add the chicken back in along with the soy sauce mixture. Cook and stir to heat all of it through.
  4. Gently stir in the mandarin oranges right before serving.
  5. Goes well over rice!
Notes

If your group is not a fan of edemame, you can always use frozen snap peas in their place.

Teriyaki sauce can also be substituted in soy sauce’s place.

The addition of a couple drop of sesame oil would also make a nice addition.

Be prepared for a quick meal! This one takes no time at all to whip up!


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Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 9 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

We’re going to go low budget today. We’re talking way low budget. Like Ramen Noodle budget low. You know what I’m talking about…the magical noodles that come in handy when money is tight or you just don’t want to cook. I got this idea from my step brother who was low on ingredients for a chimichanga and came up with this concoction. He shared one with me and I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy they were.

I have to admit that the thought of Ramen noodles in a chimichanga didn’t exactly sound that amazing to me. But once I tried, I was actually excited to make my own. Even if you’re not too keen on putting Ramen noodles in your chimichanga, you can at least see below from instructions on how to fold a chimichanga. But I think you’ll want to give these a chance y’all. They are surely worth it!

Price breakdown:

4 Flour Tortillas $.40
4 Fresh Chicken Tenders $.80
1 Package Chicken Ramen Noodles $.18
2 Cups Shredded Cheese $1.79
Total= $.79 per chimichanga

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 1 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

It all starts with those college-esq Ramen noodles. Which by the way, are quite tasty! I haven’t made them in so long and when these came out of my microwave, I seriously had to stop myself from eating them all. Cook them up according to the package including the seasoning. Easy and cheap way to get that great flavor inside the chimi.

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 2 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

On each tortilla, you place some of those Ramen noodles along with some seasoned grilled chicken and shredded cheese. YUM!

Then it’s time to roooooooooll them up for baking.

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 3 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

Lay your tortilla flat. Fold the sides in towards the middle.

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 4 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

Then fold the bottom towards the top, but only halfway. Fold the edge towards the inside and begin to roll.

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 5 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

…like so.

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 6 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

Once you get the rolling down, it will look like this. Place them seam side down on your baking sheet.

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 7 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

Spray them with a little cooking spray to help them brown and get a little crunchy.

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas 8 Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas

Serve with your favorite fix-in’s like more cheese or sour cream on top and viola. So easy, cheap, and great for freezing too!

Ramen Noodle Chicken Chimichangas
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Pennywise Cook
Serves: 4
Using a low budget ingredient, Ramen noodles make a great addition to chicken chimichangas!
Ingredients
  • 4 Flour Tortillas
  • 4 Fresh Chicken Tenders, Cut into Bite-Size Pieces
  • 1 Pkg Chicken Flavored Ramen Noodles
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 8 Tbsp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Cooking Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook Ramen Noodles according to the package directions. Drain all liquid from the noodles and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet heated to medium-high cook chicken in olive oil along with the minced garlic and chili powder until no longer pink.
  4. On each tortilla place 1/4 of the Ramen noodles, 1/4 of the to chicken, and 2 tbsp shredded cheese.
  5. Roll up into chimichangas and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Spray tops with cooking spray and bake for 10-15 minutes until browned and crunchy.
Notes

If you like spicy things, you can use jalapeno cheese like my step brother to add a little kick!


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Cauliflower Chicken Fried “Rice”

We have this little Chinese buffet right around the corner from where I live that is all you can eat for $5.98. We’re talking lo mein, shrimp, wontons, those amazing Chinese donuts, and we mustn’t forget- chicken fried rice. That’s why I love those buffets, on occasion of course. Where else can you stuff your face until it’s time to unbutton your pants for just $5.98?

Or take it from me, just wear elastic pants next time…

Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice 1 Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

Since I don’t go into the gut-busting buffets too often, I sometimes just make my favorite Chinese dishes at home. One of the easiest is chicken fried rice. I mean come on, it’s the perfect way to use up leftover rice and chicken. It makes one of those double duty meals that starts as one thing and turns into another. That’s a smart or shall I say, pennywise move.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables. Not only for it’s affordability, but for it’s taste and ability to pretty much adapt itself to any dish. Take for instance the Doughless Pizza Crust. Whodathunk that you could turn cauliflower into pizza and make it taste good?

Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice 4 Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

When you make up the “riced” cauliflower for the pizza crust, this is what it looks like. It’s basically very finely ground. It reminded me of rice. Hey! I wonder if that’s where the term “riced” came from? Ah yes, we are learning together here folks!

This brought me to  thinking about fried rice and how you could easily just throw some grilled chicken into the cauliflower and add some seasonings and such to make a mock chicken fried rice.

Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice 3 Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

Voila! It totally worked! I did not even COOK the cauliflower before putting it in. I had originally planned to microwave it like you do with the pizza crust, but I got to thinking that might make the cauliflower too soft. I then decided to place it in the fridge for a little while to get it cold. I made the rest of the veggies and chicken and then added the cauliflower very last.

I tend to think in terms of calories. Weighing out the calories for the difference in rice and cauliflower, you’ll save about 168 calories per cup using cauliflower. And if you’re a carb person, the difference is a whopping 39 carbs less in a cup of cauliflower! So needless to say, it’s a healthier choice.

Don’t expect it to taste exactly like rice. That would require a magic wand, but this does come close if you ask me. Definitely as satisfying and scrumptious.

If you try this, PLEASE tell me what you think! I’d love to hear your thoughts as I just whipped this together the other night.

Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice 2 Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice

Cauliflower Chicken Fried “Rice”
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Side Dish
Author: Pennywise Cook
A healthier alternative to starchy rice, try this cauliflower chicken fried “rice” instead! You won’t miss the rice!
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups, Riced Cauliflower
  • 1 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Can Mixed Vegetables (or Frozen and thawed), drained
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 1/2 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Green Onions, Chopped
Instructions
  1. “Rice” your cauliflower by placing in the food processor or blender and making it finely ground. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. In the oil, pan sear the chicken breast along with the garlic. Add pepper. Push to one side of skillet and cook the egg.
  3. Add in the cauliflower, veggies, soy sauce, teriyaki, and sesame oil. Cook over medium heat until heated through.
  4. Top with green onions and serve!
Notes

I used canned veggies and it turned out ok. Frozen would be even better since they have more variations on the veggie combinations.

The colder that your cauliflower is, the better.

This would also be great even without the chicken!


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Easy Chicken Tortilla Casserole

We went on a bike ride last night with the girls. I love riding during the sunset. I feel all nostalgic and corny riding off into the sunset like a cowboy.

Don’t you always get that feeling when you ride your bike in the evening? No? Just me? I digress…

Chicken Tortilla Casserole 12 Easy Chicken Tortilla Casserole

You know that saying:

I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

There are many days when I feel like just saying that to folks. Especially my picky eaters. It’s not always easy pleasing those who don’t like green or even red things on their plate. It’s a matter of trial and error and you just try different things until you find something they like! And sometimes you just say eat it or starve! 😉

Luckily most children grow out of their I don’t like that stage as their taste buds mature. Even I remember tons of things I never used to like that I love now. For instance of all things, onion bagels. I remember my momma forcing me to eat an onion bagel one morning and it was traumatizing to say the least. I mean come on, why else would I remember this? But now I love them. That is if I can find them in the store. Where are those things anyways? Have they stopped making them?

Today’s recipe is one that most every person will love. Simple enough for those who hate to cook, but fancy enough to make if you have company coming. It’s quite tasty too!

Chicken Tortilla Casserole 2 Easy Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This Chicken Tortilla Casserole is brimming with juicy chicken breast, spicy rotel, and corn tortillas are what this whole dish is all about.

One word of warning. Use MILD rotel if your family doesn’t like things hot. We used original and it was way too spicy for us. I will be using mild next time.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole Easy Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Recipe adapted from Homemaking Challenged.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Simple ingredients lead to a pleasing chicken meal even for the pickiest of eaters!
Ingredients
  • 2 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut into Bite-size Pieces
  • 1 (10 oz) Can Rotel
  • 2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 12 (6 in) Corn Tortillas, Cut into bite-size pieces.
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Garlic, Minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet brown chicken pieces in oil with chili powder and garlic. Remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix 2 cans cream of chicken with 1 can rotel.
  4. In bottom of a greased 8×8 baking dish, place 1/3 tortilla pieces. Place half of chicken on top evenly. Place 1/2 the cream of chicken mixture over top.
  5. Repeat layers ending with tortilla pieces. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Place shredded cheese on top and bake an additional 5 minutes once cheese melts.
Notes

This might even be possible with canned chicken in a pinch.

You could also make this ahead the night before and then bake when ready to serve! It could freeze well too.

If you want to get fancy like me and add cilantro on top you can. I won’t hold you back…

 


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Strawberry Salsa Chicken

Strawberry Salsa Chicken 2 Strawberry Salsa Chicken

Take me or leave me, but I like weird things to eat. Well, what some might call weird anyways. I was making a hot dog the other night and was so excited while I prepared my ingredients. My husband watched as I drug out the relish, mustard, and ketchup. Then I decided that it wasn’t complete without chopped onions. Almost in awe of my condiment concoction, he asked “Did you chop that entire onion just for a little for your hot dog?”. Why yes, I in fact had chopped a very small amount of onion just for my hot dog. That’s how me and my dogs roll you know. He thinks I’m a bit odd, but I know there are others out there like me.

Like someone else who might like strawberry salsa? That’s another weird thing that might be perplexing to some. We’re talking replacing your tomatoes with juicy and summery strawberries instead. It’s absolutely divine I tell you. I had no idea that it would be so incredible.

And then I ate it with chicken.

Just imagine me kissing my fingers like the Italians do. It’s that marvelous.

Strawberry Salsa Chicken 3 Strawberry Salsa Chicken

Complete with cool and crisp cucumbers, lime juice, brown sugar and even jalapeno, I can almost guarantee that you will like this. Oh and if you don’t like hot salsa, don’t worry. The one jalapeno that is in this will not be hot. It’s really the one thing that makes this a “salsa”.

I’ve also learned a fancy smancy teqnique for making oven baked chicken PERFECT. The key is to brown it in a skillet a few minutes on each side. Not enough to cook it through, but just enough to get it browned a bit. Then finish it off in the oven. Works everytime to get the most perfectly cooked chicken ever.

AND I also highly recommend pounding your meat first. Yes, it seems like a lot of work but trust me. You will not only enjoy the task, but you’ll also enjoy the chicken a lot more than going without. I told my mom about this recently and she always beats her chicken first now! Just do it next time and you’ll see.

Ready for the most perfect summer chicken recipe ever? See below!

Strawberry Salsa Chicken

Strawberry Salsa Chicken 1 Strawberry Salsa Chicken

Celebrate summer with this baked chicken with strawberry salsa!

Ingredients

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 and 1/2 c. Strawberries, Chopped
  • 1/2 c. Cucumber, Chopped
  • 2 Green Onions, Chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro, Chopped
  • The Juice of 1 Lime
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium high heat in oil for a few moments on each side. Just until browned, no need to cook through. Bake 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix all salsa ingredients and combine well. Place in refrigerator until chicken is done.
  3. Remove chicken from oven. Serve salsa over chicken!

Notes

There's no much to it! Simple as pie.

The salsa would be divine with tortilla chips too!

Enjoy!

http://pennywisecook.com/strawberry-salsa-chicken/

Question of the day: What do you like on your hot dogs?


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