Sunday, July 21, 2013

Herb-Crusted Chicken and Parsley Orzo

One more for today and that's all you get!!  So this meal was something I was able to make with what I had lying around the house and it was SOOOOOOO delicious!  My hubs said the chicken was cooked perfectly!  Yay!!
So I originally got this recipe from the Cooking Light website.  So first thing's first: I cooked my orzo in boiling water for about 10 minutes.  Make sure not to put salt in the water as it comes later!!  While it was cooking, I took 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts and sprinkled them with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and the recipe called for 4 teaspoons of dried fine herbs.  I wasn't entirely too sure what that was, so I just used dried basil and it worked great!
In a nonstick skillet I put 4 teaspoons of butter and allowed it to melt over medium heat.  Then I added 1 tablespoon of olive oil and swirled to coat.  Then I added the chicken breasts and allowed them to start cooking.
While the chickens were cooking, I removed the orzo and drained it (good luck if you've never cooked and tried to drain orzo, it's a pain in the katookus!  I had to have my hubs find the smallest strainer we had so we didn't lose anymore pasta!), and then added 2 teaspoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/5 teaspoon black pepper and 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley that I had previously chopped.  I put that back onto the stove on low to keep it warm until my chicken was done cooking.  Make sure to cook it for about 5 minutes on the first side and about 7 on the other.
Once that was done I served the orzo onto the plates and topped it with the chicken and voila!!  Dinner was served!  The chicken was so moist and juicy and the flavors were delicious!  The meal made 4 servings at $1.39/serving and was only 342 calories per serving!  Whoa!
Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup cooked orzo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons dried fine herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Happy cooking everyone!!

Slow Cooker Hoisin Pork Wraps

Hello friends and welcome back!!  I would welcome myself back, but that seems weird and redundant.  :)  Anyway, this meal I originally got from the Pillsbury site and it was soooooo flavorful!  It was a slow cooker meal (obviously) and I've posted a photo above of the cutest gift my hubs just got me.  He knows how much I love the color green and when we decided to paint our house he made sure to make my kitchen green for me!  Ever since then he has made it his mission to try and find items to match for my kitchen (he really is a romantic guy and I'm so very lucky).  Just last night we had stopped at the store to grab some dessert and he saw a small slow cooker that, as you can see, matches my kitchen identically!  I told him it was unnecessary to buy it as we already had one, but he insisted!  Cutest thing ever, so now I have two slow cookers, which should definitely come in handy when we have company!
So back to this meal!  I made this last week and I always tend to be a bit weary when my savory meals involve fruit, but this one pleasantly  surprised myself and all of my boys.
So first thing's first: I placed a 2 pound boneless pork roast into my slow cooker (this was my larger one, not pictured!) and then, in a separate bowl, I mixed 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce (one of my hubs' favorite sauces!), 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root, , 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (one of MY favorite spices), and 2 cloves of garlic that I had previously minced.  You can certainly used the jarred ones, however, I tend to like to use fresh herbs, but whatever is easiest for you!  Once that was mixed I spread it over the pork and let it cook on low for about 8 hours.
Now on the recipe it stated 15 minutes before the meat was cooked to heat the tortillas in foil in the oven.  Upon inspecting my drawer I realized I had no foil!  I know, GASP right?  Anyway, so I just heat it up in the microwave like I normally do and it worked fine.  Perhaps next time I'll try that and see if it changes the flavor or anything!  :)
I took the pork out of the crock pot during the time the tortillas were heating and shred it with two forks.  Before putting the meat back into the crock pot I placed another tablespoon of hoisin sauce into the sauce and then mixed everything together.
After that I put 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into each tortilla and then topped them with lettuce, green onions and mandarin orange segments and rolled them up (my my super awesome burrito rolling skills).  I served it with a side of rice and voila!!  Dinner was served!  This meal was surprisingly filling as I expected all of us to go back for seconds but we were all stuffed!  It was 395 calories per wrap and, even with the rice, was only a total of 453 calories!  Whoop!!  It was also only $0.68/serving and it made 10 servings!!  WHAT?!?!  I know!!
Here's the recipe!!

1 - 2 pound boneless pork roast
5 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon of grated ginger root
1 teaspoon of Chinese five-spice powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 - 10 inch flour tortillas
3 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 - 15 ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained

Happy cooking everyone!!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Impossibly Easy Chicken Taco Pie

Hello again!  So this meal was one I made a while ago now, but it definitely was, as the recipe name states, impossibly easy!  I got the original recipe from Betty Crocker and made the usual changes, which will be discussed!
So, first thing's first: the recipe called for 2 cups of 'cooked' chicken but didn't discuss how to cook it, so make sure you cook yours!  I threw my chicken breasts into the oven (that already needed to be preheated to 400 degrees) and allowed that to bake until cooked.  Once it was, I removed the chicken and diced them and set it aside while I continued with the rest of the items.
I sprayed a pie plate with cooking spray and then set it aside.  Then I mixed the previously cooked and diced chicken, 1/2 cup of chopped onion and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (I use my own but you can use the pre-made kind, whichever works for you!).  Once that was mixed, I poured it into the pie plate and set it aside.  Then, in a separate bowl, I mixed 1 cup of Bisquick, 1 cup of milk (I used almond milk for my youngest and his allergies) and two eggs with a fork until blended.  When it was blended, I poured it over the chicken mixture and baked it for about 35 minutes, until it was cooked.  Once that was done, I sprinkled it with 1 cup of shredded cheese (the usual GO! Veggie veggie shreds brand I use for the dairy free cheese) and then baked it for an additional 2 minutes and voila!  Dinner was served!
This meal made 8 servings and was only 215 calories/serving, so everyone had two servings!  Yum!  It was also only $1.61/serving (this is based on having two servings, each serving at 8 servings is only $0.80!).  Woo!
Here's the recipe!!

2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 cup Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Happy cooking everyone!!!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig with Cabbage

Hello my fine-feathered friends!!!  I realize I've been gone for nearly month and let me tell you...what a busy month it has been!  Our oldest son just turned 13 (yikes, I know), a friend passed away, we had family come into town, we went out of town, we've gone out ON the town, etc.  A very busy/happy/sad/crazy month this has been.  However, I'm back and will get some yummies your way!
So this meal was one I made when our family was in town.  They're on my husband's side and I thought it would be a great idea to let them try something from my side, and they loved it!  The even went back home and made it immediately afterwards!
So, first thing's first: get a three pound pork shoulder or pork butt roast (for this time I used a pork shoulder), place it into a slow cooker and add one tablespoon of sea salt.  You can also use the red Hawaiian salt (that's what my dad uses) however, at the time I made this I didn't have access to that kind of salt!
Once that's done, make sure to add enough water to cover the roast, and then add 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke per pound (so in this case it was three tablespoons).  My dad said that if you choose to use the red salt that the liquid smoke is unnecessary but he still uses it!  :)
After that, make sure to set your slow cooker to the low setting and allow the pork to cook for 8-10 hours.  Once it cooked for about 9 hours (the times will vary for your slow cooker, so make sure to keep an eye on it at that eight hour mark), remove the roast and shred it with two forks.
Once that's completed, take one head of cabbage and slice it, adding it to the water, and then adding the shredded pork to it, as well.  Cover and continue to cook on low until the cabbage is cooked.  For me, it was about another hour as everyone agreed they liked their cabbage a little crunchy still.  If you want the cabbage softer, cook it for longer, checking every once in a while to see when it reaches the desired way you want it cooked.
Then voila!!  Dinner was served!!!!  This meal was a hit with the family and brought back fond memories of my childhood.  The best part?  It was only 178 calories per serving, making six servings!  It was also only $1.44/serving!  Yay!!
Here's the recipe!!

3 pounds pork shoulder/butt roast
1 tablespoon sea salt or Hawaiian red salt
1 tablespoon liquid smoke per pound of the roast
1 head cabbage

Happy cooking everyone!!