Sunday, July 31, 2011

Easy Meatloaf

2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. chicken stuffing mix
1 c. water
2 eggs
1/2 c. barbecue sauce

Mix meat, stuffing mix, water, eggs, and 1/4 cup barbecue sauce.  Press into loaf pan. Top with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until done (160 degrees internal temperature).

Notes: We really enjoyed this, especially our 2 year old. She kept asking for more. The recipe comes from the Prairie 4th Ward cook book.

Barbecue Chicken Burritos

1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in to 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 c. julienned green peppers
1 c. chopped onion
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
1 1/2 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
4 flour tortillas, warmed
optional: lime wedges, sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chicken, green peppers and onion in 2 tablespoons oil for 6-8 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.  Stir in barbecue sauce.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle cheese down the center of each tortilla; top with the chicken mixture.  Fold sides and ends over the filling and roll up.  In a large skillet over medium heat, brown burritos in remaining oil on all sides.  Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes if desired.  Yield: 4 servings.

Notes: This recipe comes from the Prairie 4th Ward Recipes and Remembrances cook book.  We are in an extended stay hotel for the next few weeks and are trying out several recipes that don't require too many ingredients or pots and pans, since we are limited on both.  The outcome of this recipe is really dependent on the barbecue sauce used, as that gives the burrito the majority of its flavor.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chicken Penne Casserole

1 1/2 c. uncooked penne pasta
1 lb. chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 c. each chopped onion, green pepper, sweet red pepper
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. each dried basil, oregano, parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Romano cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large saucepan, saute the chicken, onion, peppers, garlic, and seasonings in oil until chicken is no longer pink.  In a blender, combine tomatoes and tomato paste; cover and process until blended. Add to chicken mixture. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture. Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 11x7x2 in. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and Romano. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through.

Notes: Although not too complicated, this isn't the quickest meal to make.  I think it took Brittany at least 90 minutes from start to finish.  But it was really tasty, and good enough that I'd like to have it again.  If it were a bit quicker to make I think it would become one of our regulars.  The recipe is from the Prairie 4th Ward Recipes and Remembrances cook book.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


3 lb pork roast
1 lb dry pinto beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano
2 T chili powder
1 T salt
4 oz can diced green chilies


Cover beans with water and soak overnight.  In the morning, put roast in slow cooker.  Add in beans and other ingredients.  Fill with water to cover all ingredients (this can include the water that the beans soaked in but doesn't have to).  Cook for 1 hour on high then 6 hours on low, or, if the roast is frozen, you can likely leave it on high all day.  Take meat out and shred.  Place back in slow cooker and let cook for 1 hour on high or until ready to eat.  Can be served over a bed of lettuce topped with cheese and onions and tomatoes, or any other way you want.  

Notes: We got this recipe from Brittany's sister, Kim. I am not sure where Kim got it. We've had it in a burrito, on a sandwich, and on top of rice.  All were tasty.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches

1 2.5-3 lb. beef roast
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-oz. packages dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth
6-8 large buns
Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and rub roast with salt and pepper.

When very hot, carefully place roast in pan and sear on all sides. You’re not cooking the meat, you’re just browning it quickly on all sides to add flavor and seal in the juices.

Place in crockpot and sprinkle with onions soup mix. Pour water and beef broth over roast.

Cook 8-10 hours on low or cook 4-5 hours on high and another 3-4 hours on low. Basically, the longer it cooks, the more tender it will be. You know it’s done when you pop a fork in it and the meat just falls apart. When meat is ready, shred with a fork.

Place meat in crusty rolls. Top with cheese and broil open-faced in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes, until bread is golden and cheese is melty.  Watch carefully while in broiler as sandwich can burn quickly.

Ladle juices into small cups for dipping and enjoy.

Notes: It is another tasty recipe from Our Best Bites.

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

3 whole Red Bell Peppers
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts (optional)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Minced
Fresh Parmesan, Shaved Or Grated
1/2 pound (to 1 Pound) Pasta: Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli, Etc.

Roast red peppers, and then place in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat. Peel the charred skins from the peppers, then removed seeds. Set aside.

Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.  Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.  Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty of salt.

Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, and then stir together.

Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley and plenty of shaved Parmesan.

Notes: This recipe, which comes from Pioneer Woman, was quite tasty, but it felt to me like more of a side dish than a main dish.  If you click on the link and read the post, you will see that Pioneer Woman prefers her pasta without meat, but I think mixing in some spicy sausage or chicken would have made it better.  Also, I'm not convinced that the shell pasta we used was the best fit considering the consistency of the sauce.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers

12 chicken tenders
1-2 eggs
1/2 C flour
1 C sweetened coconut flakes
1 C panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Give coconut a rough chop so it’s about the same size as the panko pieces.  Combine it with Panko and spices in a shallow dish. Mix well to distribute all of the spices.
2. Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg in another. Give the egg a quick beating. 
3. Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge in flour, then dip in egg, and then finally coat in the coconut Panko mixture. Press in with your fingers to make sure the entire thing is well coated.
4. Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Optional: drizzle a bit of olive oil on top to help them crisp nicely.
5. Bake in your 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.  Smaller tenders require less time.  When done, the coconut will be nice and golden and the panko crisp, but light in color still.

Notes: This is another Our Best Bites recipe.  Click on the link for step by step photos of the directions.  We liked the chicken fingers, but we would recommend using less salt than the recipe calls for.  They came off a little too salty for us.

Taco Lasagna

1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 can diced chilies
1 can stewed tomatoes (or use Ro-Tel)
1 pkg. medium size flour or corn tortillas
1 c. sour cream
1 c. guacamole (optional)
grated cheese

Add taco seasoning to browned ground beef.  Add chilies and tomatoes.  Spray a 9x13 pan.  Layer bottom of pan with a few spoonfuls of meat mixture, cover with tortillas, then sour cream, guacamole, and end with cheese.  Repeat layers one or two more times.  Cover with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Notes: This recipe is from the Prairie 4th Ward Recipes and Remembrances 2nd Edition cook book.  We thought it was tasty.