Christmas Morning Wife Saver

I usually only make this at Christmas but I decided in this time that we are home during this pandemic…we are having breakfast for dinner! I’m sure most of you have had this recipe before. It is from the very popular cookbook series The Best of Bridge.

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I precook the bacon before I add it to the dish since I find it doesn’t cook well if you do not. I also cut my bacon up as it helps when cutting out servings. Since I made this for dinner, I made this in the morning around 10am and let it sit all day and popped it in the oven when it was time for dinner…which just adds more time to binge more Netflix. 🙂 I also used red pepper instead of green pepper. I have used turkey bacon in the past with good results, just make sure you pre-cook it. I use Special K as the cereal on top since we will eat it as cereal, no one will eat corn flakes.

16 slices white bread, crusts removed (use square sandwich bread)
Slices of Canadian back bacon or ham
Slices of sharp cheddar cheese (I use the Cracker Barrel cheddar slices)
6 eggs
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper (I used red pepper)
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cups milk
Dash Tabasco
1/4 lb butter
Special “K” or crushed cornflakes

1. Put 8 pieces of bread in a 9×13 buttered glass baking dish. Add pieces to cover dish entirely.
2. Cover bread with thinly sliced bacon. Top with slices of cheddar cheese. Cover with slices of bread.
3. In a bowl, beat eggs and pepper. Add mustard, onion, green pepper, Worcestershire, milk and tabasco.
4. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. In the morning, melt butter and pour over top. Cover with crushed Special “K” or cornflakes.
6. Bake at 350F (180C) uncovered for 1 hour. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh fruit.

Goulash

I know I have said this before but I love one dish meals. This one is easy peasy too, plus it makes a lot for leftovers. This recipe reminds me of Hamburger Helper but better. I found this recipe in Pinterest which took me to the website balancingmotherhood.com.

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I do not eat red meat so I just used 2 packages of ground turkey.  Instead of using 2 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, I used one 29 ounce can. Canned tomatoes are hard to find during this pandemic, so do your best in finding what you can.

2 lbs ground beef lean
1 lb ground turkey
2 onions
3 cups of water
1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups elbow macaroni

1. In large stock pot, saute the ground beef and turkey over medium high heat, breaking up meat as it cooks. Cook until no pink remains.
2. Spoon off excess grease.
3. Chop onions and place in pot with meat. Cook 5 minutes or until onions are cooked.
4. Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, soy sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir. Add bay leaves and stir.
5. Place lid on pot and cook for 20-25 minutes until goulash is heated through.
6. Add elbow macaroni and stir. Place lid on pot and simmer for additional 20 minutes.
7. Turn off heat and remove bay leaves. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

I really like one dish easy meals and this one is a winner. Leftovers are even better the next day.  I found this recipe on Pinterest which took me to the website gimmiesomeoven.com.  If anyone in your family does not like broccoli it’s easy to pick out or swap it for another vegetable.

I used regular white pasta but please feel free to use whole wheat or gluten-free. You can also use a rotisserie chicken in this recipe to make it even easier.

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8 ounces uncooked pasta (I used rotini)
1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
8 ounces baby Bella (cremini) mushrooms, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups diced (or shredded) cooked chicken

1. Heat oven to 400F
2. Cook pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted boiling water until it is al dente. However, about 1 minute before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the boiling pasta water and stir until combined. Drain both the pasta and broccoli, and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat the butter (or oil) in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
4. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the onion mixture and stir until combined. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add in the stock, and stir everything together until most of the clumps are gone. Add in the milk, Dijon, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Continue cooking the sauce until it reaches a simmer. Then remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese until it is combined. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
5. In a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish, combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, mushroom sauce and chicken. Toss until combined. Smooth the casserole out into an even layer.
6. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then remove pan from the oven, sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese evenly on top of the casserole and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.
7. Serve warm, garnish with extra black pepper and or fresh herbs, if desired.

Potstickers Soup

Who buys Siwin Asian Potstickers from Costco? We do ALL the time. We never however noticed the recipe for Potstickers soup on the back of the bag. My mother-in-law was the eagle eye who found it and made it first and then highly recommended that we try it too! I’m glad we did since this makes a great quick and easy recipe which we all happily enjoyed.

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chopped carrots. I did carrots and celery. My mother-in-law used broccoli and cauliflower. Add what you have on-hand.  My mother-in-law also added shrimp in the last few minutes of cooking.

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1. Use a medium size pot and add: 4 cups water, 2 cups of broth – chicken(recommended) or beef, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1/4 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 cup of chopped carrots or favorite vegetable, bring to a boil.

2. Add 20 Potstickers and return to a boil, gently stirring from time to time to prevent sticking, boil for 3 minutes. Add 2 tsp chopped green onion and serve.

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Burritos

We all have that one night when we are driving our kids here and there and sometimes the best option for dinner is take out.  It doesn’t have to be however, with some good planning and a great recipe.

I have been making this burrito recipe for a while now. The whole family loves it and it’s super filling and makes for great leftovers for lunches. The recipe is from The Best of Bridge.

I have two major reasons for loving this recipe. Firstly, I can make it ahead of time and stick it in the fridge to be cooked later. Secondly, I can change it up by adding ground chicken, ground turkey or ground beef.

I timed myself making this dish, just prep, no cooking time was added. I started frying up my ground chicken at 3:45pm and had the burritos all assembled by 4:08pm. not too bad….just over 20 minutes. I did small things in between as the chicken cooked so it wasn’t all just kitchen time. If you are really in a rush some nights, you could pre-make the meat in the morning and then assemble the tacos just before dinner.

My daughter and I were off for swimming lessons at 4:30pm. My husband came home and put the burritos in the oven. He and my son ate at 6:00pm and then they were both off to my son’s activity. My daughter and I came home just a few minutes later to a nice hot meal ready to go! Easy peasy!

I would suggest adding 10 minutes more of cooking time if the burritos have been cold in the fridge.

burritos

2 Lbs lean ground beef (turkey or chicken)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp taco seasoning (1 pkg)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I add only if I have some)
1 cup sour cream (fat-free is fine)
2 Lbs Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 cup medium taco sauce
10 flour tortilla shells

1. In a large frying pan, brown ground beef and onions.
2. Add taco seasoning, pepper, oregano, parsley and sour cream.
3. Add 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 the taco sauce, mixing well.
4. Place 2 Tbsp (30 ml)or more of beef mixture on each tortilla shell and roll up.
5. Place seam side down in 9×13″ casserole dish.
6. Top with remaining cheese and taco sauce.
7. Bake at 350F (180C) for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts and is heated through.

TIP: If you want to make individual burritos, use all the cheese and taco sauce in the mixture, then wrap each burrito in plastic and freeze.

Mac and Cheese

Throw out your recipe for mac and cheese and replace it with this one….like seriously….do it! I have made this recipe several times. I’m not sure why I haven’t shared it on my blog. I wish I had because I panicked that I had lost it. I look through so many recipes and it is becoming very hard to remember what websites I’ve been on. Thankfully I found it again! This gem was found on throughherlookingglass.com.

The only change I made was to use more elbow macaroni. I used 10 ounces of dry macaroni instead of 8. If you are using a bigger pasta…I would add just 8 ounces.

For the fresh bread crumbs, I used brioche buns that I had leftover from a previous dinner.

This recipe is EASY! The only time spent was grating the cheese, which took no time at all. This makes a great weekday meal and leftovers make great lunches for the kids.

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8 ounces dried macaroni (elbow or spiral)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated, sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup coarsely grated Swiss-style Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Jack cheese (can use Monterey Jack if you can’t find the dry Jack)

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Grease a 1 1/2 quart souffle baking dish. Set aside. (I use a 9×13 glass dish)
3. Boil a large pot of water to cook macaroni according to package directions. Stop cooking about two minutes early (Pasta should be slightly underdone)
4. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water and set aside.
5. In large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter.
6. Add fresh breadcrumbs and stir until thoroughly coated. Set aside.
7. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat milk until very hot but not scalded.
8. Meanwhile, in the pan you used for the breadcrumbs, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add flour and stir until cooked, about 1 minute.
9. Slowly whisk in hot milk, whisking continuously until all milk is incorporated and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
10. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, black pepper, cayenne, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar, 3/4 cup of Gruyere and all the dry Jack cheese.
11. Mix well until all the cheese has melted.
12. Add cooled macaroni to the cheese sauce and pour mixture into the buttered casserole dish.
13. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, then top with buttered bread crumbs.
14. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and casserole is bubbling.
15. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

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Moroccan Style Chickpea and Quinoa Power Salad

I’m super into trying new quinoa salads lately.  They are super easy to make and super flavorful, nutritious and filling.

I found this amazing recipe on Pinterest which brought me to the website http://www.littlespicejar.com.

The best part of making a quinoa salad is that you can substitute out or add anything in.You could even try making it with brown rice instead of the quinoa. If you do not like pistachios, add another nut you like. Add cilantro, dried apricots…make it your own! I added in yummy sunflower sprouts to the top of mine for some added crunch. If you are looking to purchase some, they are grown locally at 3 Guys Greens. (Five Health Reasons to Eat Sunflower Seeds and Sprouts)

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POWER SALAD:
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup matchstick carrots
4 scallions thinly sliced
1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup dates
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

HONEY-LEMON DRESSING
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey (maple syrup or brown sugar for vegans)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1. POWER SALAD: Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Allow the quinoa to cool completely before tossing with the salad ingredients. Toss ingredients together.
2. HONEY-LEMON DRESSING: Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small mason jar and give it a few good shakes until the dressing mixes through. Drizzle the dressing into the salad and toss the salad to combine. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for later!

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Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad

I just found my new favorite salad! You have to make this…..seriously! You will not be disappointed. I was looking for a new quinoa salad on Pinterest. I found this winner which led me to the website ambitiouskitchen.com.

I went to Bulk Barn to buy my quinoa and my all natural peanut butter.

While I made the quinoa, I chopped up the veggies and made the dressing. It took no time at all to toss it all together.

This salad is vegan and gluten-free. (As long as you use gluten-free soy sauce)

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3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/2 cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
OPTIONAL: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

DRESSING:
1/4 cup all natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 tablespoon honey (use agave or pure maple syrup if vegan)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil or more sesame oil
Water to thin, if necessary

1. To cook quinoa: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
2. To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste. Alternatively, you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first.
4. Fold in the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges, if desired.
(Comments in the recipe are from ambitiouskitchen.com)

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Bell Pepper Nacho Boats

Bell pepper nacho boats make a great appetizer or dinner. I served mine with avocado slices.

To make appetizer boats, make sure you pick peppers that have 4 bumps. It will make for smaller servings.

This recipe is great for a make ahead meal too. I pre-cooked my turkey and added the spices and salsa. I put the turkey mixture into the fridge until ready to assemble.

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1 pound lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup salsa, no sugar added
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced fat
3 bell peppers

1. Remove seeds, core, and membrane from bell peppers then slice each one into six vertical pieces where they dip down. Set sliced bell peppers aside.
2. Cook ground turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks. Cook until the turkey loses it’s pink colour and is cooked through. Drain off any fat.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Combine cooked turkey with spices and salsa. Evenly distribute mixture into the bell peppers boats, top with cheese.
5. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are hot. Optional ingredients: sliced jalapeño peppers, diced avocado, fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream, or sliced green onions.

Broccoli Apple Salad

This salad is sooooo good! I found it on Pinterest which lead me to the website therecipecritic.com.

I halved this recipe since I am the only broccoli lover in the house. I served it with dinner and had the leftovers for lunch. I highly recommend leaving out the pecans as they get soft the next day. If you like that added crunch then I would suggest adding the pecans to your salad when you serve it. Also, the apples did not brown, so you could make this as a make ahead dish.

For the dressing, I did use half mayo and half greek yogurt. Next time I would use just greek yogurt.

broccoli salad

4 cups fresh broccoli florets, (about 2 medium heads)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 large apples, finely chopped (I used gala apples)
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans and dried cranberries.
2. To make the dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.