I got the basic idea for this creamy delight from Sparkpeople.com and tweaked it to what I had in my house. It’s like beef stroganoff, just healthier because you use boneless skinless chicken breast. And it’s made in a slow cooker, which is frankly the greatest kitchen invention ever, because you just add all the ingredients, leave it go all day, and come home to a hot-and-ready meal.
Step 1: Dice the chicken into cubes. Mix the soups and cream cheese in a crock pot, add the chicken. Cook on high 2 hours or low for 4.
Step 2: Add the vegetables and cook another half hour. It really is that simple! Served it over tri-color pasta for myself, and poured over some leftover biscuits from KFC. Both great options.
Chicken stroganoff over pasta.
Chicken stroganoff over biscuits.
The fish was lemony and peppery, white and flaky. The vegetables were a good mixture of tastes and textures, and the beans add extra fiber and protein. Little to no fat overall.
Well, as December is chock-full of holidays and I spend half of it at home, I did not do much cooking past the 20th. It’s nice to be at home where someone else cooks for me and does the dishes. Like a restaurant, but with more love and fighting.
Anyhow, it’s 2012 now, time for some more creative kitchen adventures. I’m sure I will have plenty of old standbys like tacos and ramen noodles, but there are also some recipes on my mind I’d like to try soon. Plus, I’ve resolved to eat healthier and exercise more because the holiday weight gain really snuck up on me this year. So hopefully you will see lots of salads, soups and veggies.
Since I have not yet made anything spectacular, today I will post the last meal of 2011 that I made, goat cheese lasagna! This stuff is amazingly delicious, and terribly detrimental to the health of anyone kidney-stone-prone. But I had goat cheese and I love the stuff, so I went ahead and made it anyways as an end-of-the-year treat.
Ricotta or cottage cheese
Step 1: Boil a large pot of water. Add the noodles once fully boiling and boil for 7-9 minutes. Once al dente, drain.
Step 2: While water is boiling, brown about 1 pound ground beef and drain excess grease. If you want, you can combine the meat and sauce in a bowl.
Step 3: Mix the cheeses together well in a separate bowl.
Step 4: In a baking pan or crock pot, layer the noodles, cheese, sauce and meat. Bake at 375 for 1 hour, or on high for 4-5 hours. You can also sprinkle some mozarella on top.
Then just sit back and enjoy! The salty tang of the goat cheese is phenomenal. I’d recommend adding a layer of spinach in there to healthify it and add extra nutrients.
As I was browsing some old cooking magazines one slow day at work, I came across a recipe for wedding soup that sounded absolutely wonderful. Seeing as I had most of the ingredients (though the list is super short anyways) I decided to try it out. Here is my version of it.
- 3 carrots
- 1 head of escarole
- 1 package frozen spinach
- 8 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 can cooked chicken
- 1/2 bag frozen Italian style meatballs (ok, so I took a bit of a shortcut here)
- black pepper to taste
Step 3: Spray the inside of the crock pot so hopefully there will be no burnt-on mess later. Put down a layer or 2 of tortillas. Then a layer of meat. Then the cheese mixture. Over the topmost layer of beef, I added some slices of pepper jack to give it an extra little kick.
12 red bell peppers (ok, 2 were yellow)
~1.5 pounds ground beef
~2 cups rice
2 cups chicken broth or 2 bouillon cubes
1 packet onion soup mix
1 large can (24 oz?) tomato sauce or 3-4 smaller ones
|They also reheat great for lunch or dinner the next day!|
Between fighting a persistent cough all week, taking the GRE, two jobs, a birthday party and a baby shower, this week and weekend were bound to be hectic. I knew I wanted to make chicken soup to boost my immune system and as comfort food. But for the times when I was not home, I also needed something which traveled and reheated well with minimum expense and fuss.
With the holidays just around the corner, the belt-tightening has intensified in anticipation of gift buying (as well as graduate school application fees!). Therefore, the most logical choice seemed to be pasta. As cheap, tasty and comforting as it gets. So midweek I prepared one large batch of each.
Chicken soup for one: to ward off a cold in a week or less.
2 medium potatoes
2-3 stalks celery
1 medium onion
6-10 cups chicken stock or water plus bouillon cubes
1-3 pieces chicken (I used 1 leg quarter)
If you have them or desire them, add sliced fresh mushrooms as well
Optional seasonings: salt, pepper, italian seasons, bay leaf
Dice up the potato and carrot, leave the celery and onion whole. Throw all the ingredients into a crock pot on high for at least 5 hours (to ensure chicken is thoroughly cooked). Spoon solids into a colander. Remove the onion, celery, and any bay leaves if added and throw away.
Separate the chicken from the skin, fat and bones and add meat back to the pot. Add carrots and potatoes back to pot. Boil pasta noodles of your choice to serve with the soup. Enjoy the warm, homey taste and smell.
The next day I made a large batch of pasta so that I can pack it in tupperware to take to work. This will last quite a while for me, and may allow a frozen meal or two.
Wheat linguini noodles
1 bag frozen Italian style veggies
1 large can sauce (I used mushroom, which I bought on sale a few weeks ago for 50 cents a can!)
Boil a huge pot of water with a bit of oil and salt added. Toss in the pasta once it is at a rolling boil. Cook the pasta for 8-12 minutes (because wheat needs cooked longer than non-wheat) or until al dente. Add the veggies during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and veggies and return to the pot. Open the sauce and pour over, mix well. Enjoy!
These both were made with things I had lying about in my cupboards and the freezer. Total, it cost me approximately $2.50 for the pasta, and maybe $2.50 for the soup. So for around $5, I have a full crock pot of healthy homemade chicken soup and a fridge full of about 10 pasta lunches. Not too bad.
This is in my top 5 favorite meals of all time!
A Hungarian (or maybe Slovak?) recipe handed down from my grandmother and mother. It is simple to make, just a few ingredients. It does take a bit of time and some labor-intensive steps, however the end product is so worth it!
The noodles can of course be bought, but making your own noodles is well worth the effort. They taste so much better than any store bought noodles ever could.
- Sour cream
- Salt & pepper
Slow cookers are a godsend to any busy cook, I myself often throw ingredients in it early in the day in order to come home after a long day of teaching, research, attending classes and work. But they can also add joy and flavor to a lazy Sunday. As the weather cools, warm and filling foods fill my imagination. This led to inspiration for some slow cooked BBQ pork.
1 pork loin
5-6 garlic cloves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 medium onion
1/2 cup vinegar
2-4 cups BBQ sauce of your choice
Step 1: Cut shallow grooves in the loin and insert garlic cloves. Place in the slow cooker with the vinegar, and the onion cut into chunks. Rub the top of it with the brown sugar, and put on high for 4-6 hours.
This is what it looks like after about 4 hours on high. I cut it into 4 chunks to shred it easier. Drain off the excess liquid and throw out the onion and garlic. Using two forks, shred the pork and return it to the slow cooker. Cover the meat with BBQ sauce and mix well.
This is the first way to eat the pork, on a bun with some extra BBQ sauce. I had steamed broccoli and baked beans as side dishes.
However, you usually have plenty of meat left over. Therefore, this post includes a special bonus dish. With the leftovers, a great snack or even full meal is BBQ pork over tortilla chips. Just sprinkle on the pork, add cheese and heat in the microwave. Then add sour cream and enjoy!