Honestly I’ve never been Panera’s biggest fan. I like it well enough. I go there when it’s convenient and I want a sandwich or bowl of soup, but I would never go out of my way to eat there.
When I do end up there I always order the Frontega Chicken Panini and a cup of black bean soup.
Sandwiches aren’t tough to make at home, which might explain my lack of enthusiasm for Panera. After a huge stock up trip to Costco where I had picked up a rotisserie chicken these sandwiches were on the menu for the week.
What makes these better than Panera is you get to put as much of the yummy stuff in there as you want. I can’t tell you how many times my husband looks at his sandwich to find one tiny little piece of chicken. He complains he leaves hungry every time and his supposed to be hot sandwiches are always cold.
He was pretty happy with these sandwiches served along side Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup. I loaded his up with chicken, slathered on some extra spicy chipotle mayo and pressed them until piping hot on the panini grill.
I know I’ve been slacking on the blogging lately, and I fully expect it to continue for the foreseeable future. I’m thinking 1-2 new recipes a week is what you can realistically expect to see from me, unless you are interested in my daily lunch salad (aka whatever I find in the fridge).
For the last few weeks we have been planning a 3 year anniversary trip and also calling it our babymoon, our last long vacation before baby. Sure we have a few weekends around Florida planned, but nothing else that requires flying after this trip. While I was all set to go to Hawaii, Hagin was a little leery of me flying that far, eventually we settled on San Antonio and Austin, but not before strongly considering New Orleans.
My sole motivation for New Orleans was the spicy Cajun food, and maybe a beignet or two…
But alas I decided that would probably be a better trip once I’m no longer pregnant. So instead I just whipped up this easy red beans and rice.
And I’m talking easy. My job was going to keep me away from the house from 6am until 6pm so I knew this was the perfect day to make this red beans and rice. I chopped and prepped everything the night before and around 10am I had Hagin add the 7 cups of water and start cooking it. When I got home the only thing I had to do was cook up some rice.
FYI: Trader Joe’s makes some awesome frozen rice products. I always keep my freezer stocked with them because they are the easiest and best rice. Three minutes in the microwave and they are done. I like the brown rice and the jasmine, but on this last trip I also picked up a wild rice blend that I’m looking forward to trying. It doesn’t get any easier than these bags of rice.
This #SundaySupper we are celebrating Fat Sunday! No, not gluttonous Sunday, but sharing our favorite Cajun recipes for our take on Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras.
I love the hot and spicy flavors of Cajun food. I know I would be in foodie heaven after a long weekend in New Orleans.
So I knew I had to find a good recipe to share for this week’s Fat Sunday theme. I turned to the master of Cajun food, Emeril, for a good recipe. He sure delivered with this Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo.
Since it was my first time making gumbo I pretty much followed the recipe to a T, but added some clarification to it. While cooking I quickly realized this was going to make a ton of food. I started texting friends to see who was available to come help us eat this. Jenny was the lucky one who got to have dinner with us and I’m pretty sure she was happy to help us out, saying it was awesome.
Gumbo is definitely not a meal you are going to throw together quickly after work. It is the kind of dinner you start cooking after having a light lunch. Get it going in the dutch oven so there is plenty of simmer time.
There was a bit of heat to this dish, which we love, but it may not be for the spice adverse. Scoop a mound of white or brown rice into a deep bowl and top with lots of delicious gumbo. Kick it up a notch with your favorite hot sauce and enjoy!
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Chicken Parmesan is one of my husband’s favorite foods, but I don’t make it nearly enough. After scoring a major deal on hoagie rolls and trying to think of millions of ways to use them. I decided to whip up some chicken parmesan hoagies. Combining my love of sandwiches and my husbands love of chicken parm.
These sandwiches, although taking a little more time then your standard sandwich, came together pretty quickly. Making them a great weeknight dinner. Plus these are a crowd pleaser, who isn’t happy eating chicken parmesan on a soft hoagie roll.
Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise, to yield two cutlets. Pound them until thin.
Spread breadcrumbs in a wide bowl. Lightly coat each piece of chicken with olive oil. Then dip in the breadcrumbs to coat both sides.
Bake 7-10 minutes. Switch oven to broil.
Split hoagie rolls, spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of each, place a piece of chicken on top, another thin layer of marinara, then mozzarella cheese. Broil sandwiches to melt cheese for 2-3 minutes until browned and bubbly.
To say we are obsessed with Thai food might be a mild understatement. I purchased a whole tub of Thai green curry paste to make a few dishes and now I am always on the hunt for recipes using green curry.
Some of our friends called to invite us out to dinner after I had already prepared these meatballs. Knowing they are kind of picky, my husband tricked them into eating at our house by telling them I made turkey meatballs for dinner. He knew if he told them Thai Green Curry Meatballs they wouldn’t come over.
But they did come over and enjoy them and my overcooked brown rice.
When making turkey meatballs or burgers I always use lean turkey breast. If you just buy regular ground turkey and check out the fat and calories you will see it’s not all that different from lean ground beef. So yes, ground turkey breast is usually significantly more money than regular ground turkey, but I think it’s worth it.
In a large bowl combine eggs, oats, and milk. Mix together thoroughly and let stand 5 minutes. Add turkey, ginger, curry, fish sauce, sugar, cilantro, salt, garlic, and onion. Mix to combine.
Shape meatballs (I use a 1½ tablespoon +cookie scoop) and working in batches brown 1-2 minutes per side in a large skillet with coconut oil. Remove to plate and brown the rest of the meatballs. Once they are all browned, add coconut milk and green curry paste, mixing well. Add meatballs back to skillet and simmer 10 minutes, flipping once, until they are cooked through. Stir in lime juice.
You guys, it is horrible, I live with a man who does not like spaghetti squash!
I love the stuff and want to make it all the time, but then I feel a little bit guilty feeding him the one food he really can not stand.
Oddly enough my husband is a big fan of every other kind of squash. I think it’s the fact that it’s trying to be spaghetti that throws him off. Actually I’m not a huge fan of it trying to be spaghetti either. I’ve tried it with marinara once, and it’s not for me. But I do enjoy it in a slightly sweet dish like this, with just a simple wine sauce.
When I was checking out the chicken sausage offerings at the store I found a new brand that I was unfamiliar with, Holmes Smokehouse, offered a Chicken Sausage with Apple and Gouda. They had me at gouda. I checked out the label and it was lower calorie than the other apple sausage on the shelf. Sold.
But the best part of this whole dish, just over 200 calories per serving. Perfect for a low cal, healthy, filling dinner.
Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Chicken Apple Sausage
1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided
1 spaghetti squash
salt and pepper
3 links precooked chicken sausage with apple, sliced thin
1 bunch of kale, rinsed, destemmed, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bake for 45-60 mins until tender and shreds easily with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper immediately after removing from oven. Shred with fork after allowing to cool for a few minutes.
In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon of oil and saute chicken sausage until lightly browned. Remove and add an additional 1 teaspoon of oil if needed. Add garlic and kale and saute 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock and wine and cook 6-8 minutes until kale is wilted. Add chicken sausage, Parmesan cheese, and spaghetti squash. Toss to combine.
In honor of National Sandwich Day that was sometime earlier this week. I have a delicious sandwich that I whipped up not to long ago on the grill.
Yes, I decided to grill a sandwich because I already had veggies on. Plus look at the beautiful grill marks I got on my sandwich. My panini maker sure can’t do that (but feel free to make this on your panini press or indoor grill.)
This is about as complicated as the recipes I have been making are. Sandwiches, salads and wraps are pretty much what we are living on at this point. Although we are very, very close to having a functioning kitchen again and I have a million ideas swimming around in my head for when we do.
In college we had panini day, which was pretty much the best day ever. Our chef would make turkey and cheese paninis with a magical cranberry mayo. We used to request extra cranberry mayo for dipping. It was so good. Although I’m about 99% sure he didn’t use lite mayo.
Finally I decided to try it on my own. I whipped up a small batch of cranberry mayo, which is ridiculously easy, and assembled a yummy, filling sandwich.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I don’t like Chicken Noodle Soup. I know it’s probably Un-American of me to announce, but I’ve just never been a fan. Add a Thai twist and lots of spice and I can get behind that kind of Chicken Noodle.
Since the kitchen renovation is still ongoing (but inching closer to completion everyday) I am cooking up easy recipes with minimal cleanup that are still delicious. I’m working with the range and a large wooden cutting board. And that’s it.
I wanted to lighten the typical Chicken Noodle and that is accomplished with the use of bean noodles, found in the Ethnic/Asian aisle. The whole bag I picked up was only 280 calories and made for 6 servings with this soup. Add in lots of fresh veggies and use homemade stock to control the sodium and you are looking at a pretty healthy, nutrient rich soup.
The jalapeno adds quite a kick, leave in the seeds and membrane if you like it hot or discard them for a milder flavor. Use only half a jalapeno for just a little heat.
I couldn’t have made this soup at a better time, just yesterday we experienced our first taste of fall down here in Florida. I enjoyed this leftover soup out on the patio for lunch.
Happy Friday, we are ending the week on a spicy note (and more disposable plates). I’ll just pretend that I planned the purple plate for some contrast.
Both the husband and I were pleasantly surprised by this dish. We were kind of iffy going into it. Not knowing how it would turn out. It was spicy with great depth of flavor. It is a very vegetable heavy dish with a little bit of chicken thrown in there for the carnivores.
Dishes like this are a great way to cut down your meat consumption. Load that bag full with all your favorite veggies and then just one chicken breast for 4 people.
In the recipe below I recommend only using green bell peppers because they held up much better than the other peppers.
Add all ingredients to a large ziploc bag, except peas and cilantro. Freeze until ready to use.
Let thaw in fridge overnight before cooking. Dump contents of bag into crockpot and cook 5-6 hours on low. Add cilantro and peas 10 minutes before serving. Stir to combine. Remove lemongrass pieces before eating.
This past week we packed up everything in our house and kitchen. Movers came yesterday to move it all to storage while we have our floors refinished. We took the opportunity to escape to my in laws house in the Georgia mountains. We can’t wait to get back and see our shiny new floors, but one thing we won’t be heading back to is a kitchen.
Before starting the floors we removed the kitchen cabinets since we would be changing the floor plan of the kitchen. We plan on installing new IKEA cabinets, keeping the appliances, and we still haven’t decided on whether we will be going with granite counters or the high definition laminate. I’m just thrilled to not have a 45 year old kitchen anymore.
Hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to share a finished product, but until then we will be eating a lot of takeout and there probably won’t be to many recipes around these parts
Today I have one of the last meals I made in the old kitchen, a Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo. I’ve never really been one for alfredo, maybe it’s the massive amount of butter and cream. I would always pick a tomato sauce over a white sauce. But I decided to give this recipe a try for a change of pace.
I liked it this dish for the lightness, unlike the traditional alfredo where you don’t want to eat for weeks. Adding a lot of broccoli fills you up so you don’t need as much pasta
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large ziploc bag add chicken and marinate 30 minutes.
Melt butter in skillet. Saute garlic and 1 teaspoon lemon zest over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add flour and stir. Cook until lightly browned. Whisk in milk and pinch of salt. Cook, whisking constantly until it begins to thicken. Add cream cheese and parmesan cheese and whisk until melted.
Grill chicken over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness (more for larger chicken breasts).
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook according to package directions. Add broccoli in the last minute to cook. Drain the pasta and broccoli, but reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
Add sauce to pasta and broccoli, add ½ cup of water and toss to combine. Add more water as needed.
Slice chicken breasts. Top each bowl with sliced chicken and parsley.