Archive | dinner RSS feed for this section

Back to School Baked Turkey Meatball Subs

4 Aug

Baked Meatball Subs from EatinontheCHeap.com

Last week, the kids and I spent a day gathering supplies for the fast approaching school year. I prefer to bypass the Tax-free Weekend craze and get through the painful act of spending a small fortune without throwing elbows over a pack of glue sticks (If I have learned anything over the last four years it’s that no discount is worth venturing into a Walmart on tax-free weekend ). The thing about filling the new backpacks with supplies is that the price-tag attached to that teacher list is deceptive. How expensive can 15 glue sticks, 10 packs of Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, 4 packs of cap erasers, a few folders and a pair of gym shoes be? Pretty expensive. The pencils alone cost me $25. I don’t want to even talk about what I coughed up for a pair of boys’ gym shoes (which won’t fit come Christmas).

But even with the expense, the start of a new school year is exciting. The kids are fantasizing about what 4th grade is really going to be like, while I try to remember how to program the coffee pot for a 6 AM start. The last playdates have been completed, bedtimes are now back to a reasonable hour, and the last days at the creek are upon us. Before long there will be early mornings and homework in the evenings, and getting back in the swing of things means that dinner will have to get to the table much faster. These meatball subs are a big hit with my crew and they come together in about 30 minutes and if you make the meatballs ahead of time, it will come together even faster.

 

Back to School Baked Turkey Meatball Subs

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 35o degrees. In a large bowl combine the turkey, Parmesan, bread crumbs, egg onion powder, Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon salt and mix thoroughly. Shape the meat mixture into 2 inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until meatballs reach 170 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium high heat, heat a teaspoon of olive oil and add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan. Cook until softened and stir in the balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Stir in the basil.
  3. Toast the hot dog buns in the hot oven until just starting to brown and place in a baking dish. Fill each bun with turkey meatballs, top with sauce and sprinkle each sandwich with shredded cheese. Turn the broiler on and place the dish of sandwiches 6 inches from the heat element. Broil just until cheese is melted and starts to brown, 2-3 minutes Serve and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2016/08/04/back-school-baked-turkey-meatball-subs/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Slow Cooker Short Rib Pasta

23 May

Short Rib Pasta for the Crockpot

 

A few months back, I received a request from a friend of mine. She was requesting a recipe of course, one that would solve all of her problems, one that would make her days easier and her meals more delicious, and of course it had to go in the Crock Pot. And it couldn’t be soup.

“And don’t make it too fancy,” she said. “If I have to go to the grocery store to get some spice, I ain’t gonna make it.”

“Yes ma’am,” I promised.

One does not argue with an Armstrong. Especially one who is trying to figure out how to work, mother a baby, feed herself and a picky-eater husband all while riding the waves of post-partum hormones. That’s how people get shot in rural America.

I am not a Crock-Pot disciple. It’s one of my many shortcomings. It’s not that I am against the idea of a convenient way to have dinner ready when you get home, it’s more that not many great meals come out of a crock-pot. If you wanted to make applesauce or chicken stock or spaghetti sauce in a crock-pot, that would be great! But to throw a perfectly good cut of meat in this mid-century vessel is to throw perfectly good money away. It often comes out dry, stringy, or mushy and definitely over-cooked. You know why? Because there are very few things in the world that can cook for 12 hours and come out on the good side of dinner. And don’t try to tell me you are only gone from home for 6 hours. In order for the crock pot to serve its purpose well, the recipe has to be able to cook all day. A tall order if you ask me.

So, for many weeks I have worked on just the right way to get a great meal out of a slow-cooker. I did it for the harried, stressed out, and over-whelmed mothers of the world, but mostly I did it for Hannah. I hope she likes it and if she doesn’t like it…I hope she doesn’t shoot me.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless short ribs
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • Hot, cooked pasta to serve

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle the short ribs with a ½ teaspoon salt and add to the skillet. Brown on both sides and then remove to a large crock pot. Add the onion, garlic and Italian seasoning to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the salt, red pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Cook and stir for another 1 minute then add the mixture to the crock pot with the beef. Add the tomatoes into the crock pot. Fill one of the tomato cans halfway with water and add that to the crockpot as well. Cover the crock and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 6 hours. Remove the short ribs from the sauce, shred with a fork and return to the sauce. Serve over hot cooked pasta with parmesan and crusty bread.

Notes

If you can’t find boneless short ribs, substitute chuck roast. Just cut it into large chunks before browning. You could even use country style pork ribs if you wanted.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2016/05/23/slow-cooker-short-rib-pasta/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

“Life Changing” Harissa Chicken and White Beans

28 Apr

Harissa Chicken from EatinontheCheap.com

After 8 years of cooking and then writing about it, I have enough confidence in my skills to say that I am an above average home cook. I can, on a fairly consistent basis, put a meal on the table that doesn’t kill anyone. I have also been fortunate enough to produce some pretty amazing creations that have been met with rave reviews, but, until last week, I have never made anything “life changing”.

My daughter’s dislike of beans is legendary. In her 9 years on the planet no amount of begging, cajoling, or even bribing has convinced that child to eat beans and like them. That changed this past weekend when my daughter decided that, for her daddy’s birthday, she would give beans a try. They were lima beans. Maybe not the best bean to start with, but she ate them without complaint and declared that they were “ok”.

Ella

Feeling brave, I decided that maybe what she needed was a tastier bean and scrounged through cookbooks and online articles for the best strategy for the advancement of Project Bean Eater. What I came up with was a flavor packed dish with an aroma so mouth-watering that my red-headed angel came running to see what was cooking. Once on the table, the only noise I could here were the clinking of forks on plates and little moans of pleasure coming from every member of my family. My husband declared this dish “life changing” and I agreed when my daughter, bean-hater extraordinaire, asked for a second helping.

“Life Changing” Harissa Chicken and White Beans

Yield: 4-6 servings

“Life Changing” Harissa Chicken and White Beans

Harissa paste is a common Moroccan ingredient that you can find in some supermarkets and specialty stores. My version is a cheater version that anyone can easily put together. Make this paste ahead and keep it in the fridge. It’s great on potatoes, shrimp, or mixed in to your mayo!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up to 6 pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • ¼ cup harissa paste (recipe below)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2-15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • Chopped parsley and lemon wedges, to serve
  • Quick Harissa Paste
    Makes about 1 cup
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 2 t. coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 roasted bell pepper
  • 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon

Instructions

  1. For the Harissa Paste: Toast the coriander and caraway seeds in a dry skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Remove to a mortar and pestle and grind to a powder. Add the powder and the remaining ingredients to a food processor or a blender and blend until you have a smooth paste. Place in a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
  2. For the Chicken and Beans: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large ovenproof skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken and then place it skin side down in the pan. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes per side and then remove from the pan. Pour off all but a tablespoon of the fat and then add the onion and garlic to the skillet, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the onion begins to soften and then stir in the tomato paste. Cook for 1 more minute then stir in the chicken broth, harissa paste, beans, and the tomatoes (poke them with a knife before you put them in the pan). Nestle the chicken and the juices back into the pan and cook until a thermometer reaches 165 degrees, about 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges for squeezing over the dish.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2016/04/28/life-changing-harissa-chicken-white-beans/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Italian Braised Short Ribs

1 Feb

Italian Short Ribs from EatinontheCheap.com

My husband and I have been working on our own little project. It’s been going on for the last 6 or 7 months and was brought on by the rising cost of cheap cuts of beef. Cuts that, 5 years ago, most folks didn’t know existed. We have seen some of our favorites such as flank steak, skirt steak and beef shank go through the roof! I would have never imagined that it would be cheaper to cook a ribeye than a flank steak. Ever.

So, my husband and I have been playing with other, much cheaper, pieces of meat. Recently our shopping carts have been full of things like beef top round, beef bottom round, country style pork ribs, and even pig’s feet (I won’t lie, we couldn’t bring ourselves to cook those.) We have been challenging ourselves on figuring out how to make these ubiquitous, cheap cuts of meat not only palatable, but also versatile. While some of these parts have made it into our diet before, they have usually been a one-trick pony and we wanted to see if we could expand on their uses.

So far, the experiment has been a great success. We have discovered so many delicious ways to treat these lowly cuts of meat, but our favorite, by far, has been the boneless short rib. Full of great marbling, the boneless short rib has become our go-to meat for any kind of low and slow cooking. Pick up a couple of packages and cook these up for your next Sunday dinner!

Italian Braised Short Ribs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

This recipe will work with any tough cut of beef, such as chuck roast. And if you have any dry red wine lying around, substitute it for half of the beef broth for an even richer flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 pounds boneless beef short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 – 1 inch strips of lemon peel
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the olive oil until almost smoking. Sprinkle both sides of the beef ribs with the salt and pepper and brown them in the hot oil on both sides. You will probably need to do this in 2 to 3 batches. Remove the browned beef to a plate.
  2. Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan and stir to pick up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the flour, tomato paste and Italian seasoning to the pot, and stir for 30 seconds. Whisk in the beef broth. Add the garlic, lemon peel and bay leaves to the stock and then return the beef and any collected juices to the pot. Bring the whole thing to a simmer and then cover with a tight fitting lid. Move the dish to the oven and cook for 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve over mashed potatoes, parmesan grits or wide noodles.
  3. Tip: Feel free to make this dish a day or two in advance. It only gets better with age!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2016/02/01/italian-braised-short-ribs/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Ham and Cabbage Soup

16 Oct

Ham and Cabbage Soup from EatinontheCheap.com

Whenever I see or smell cabbage soup, I think about a brief moment in time (late 80’s perhaps?) when my parents dove head first into the “Cabbage Soup Diet” phenomenon. They had successfully kicked the smoking habit and were now determined to lose a few pounds and declare themselves in optimum health and cabbage soup was going to get them there. For the span of what seemed like a forever, there was a bottomless pot of cabbage soup bubbling away on the stove. The smell permeated everything in the house, including my parents, and I decided then and there that I despised cooked cabbage of any sort. In hindsight, I’m sure that the fad diet didn’t sustain itself for very long in our house since my own father cannot eat the same meal twice in one week much less 3 or 4 times a day, but nevertheless, cooked cabbage did not cross my lips until I was nearly 30.

The catalyst that brought down my loathing of cooked cabbage was my husband’s ham and cabbage soup, a relic of his family that he brought into our marriage along with chicken tortilla casserole and Godfather meatloaf (the meal that stole my heart). The first time he made this soup I eyed it with suspicion, but it smelled delicious, so I steeled myself…and ate 2 bowls in one sitting.

Fast forward a few years, and I now search for a reason to cook a ham so that we can make a vat of this soup to sustain us for a good week. Maybe I’ll start my own “diet”, although I will keep the leftovers in the fridge.

Ham and Cabbage Soup

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 meaty hambone
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 whole carrot
  • ½ onion
  • 2 t. beef base
  • ½ T. chili powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • 1small head cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

Instructions

  1. In a stock pot, submerge the hambone, celery stalk, whole carrot and half onion in the water. Boil for 30 minutes or until the meat begins to easily fall off the hambone. Remove the hambone and vegetables from the broth. Discard veggies and shred the meat from the bone and set aside.
  2. Stir in the beef base, chili powder and salt and pepper to the ham broth and bring to a simmer. Add the diced onion, shredded carrot, bell pepper, cabbage and potatoes and simmer until the cabbage is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Stir the shredded ham back into the soup to reheat. Serve and enjoy!
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2015/10/16/ham-and-cabbage-soup/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

30 Minute Mini Meatloaves

24 Jul

30 Minute Mini Meatloaf from EatinontheCheap.com

 

 

To say that this Summer has been one of rest and relaxation would be a big, fat lie. So far, this particularly hot and muggy season has been nothing but exhausting; new job, new house, new projects, and new routines (if you can call anything in our life right now “routine”).  I’m not complaining (ok, maybe a little), everything that has happened has been needed, somewhat planned for, but it has wreaked havoc on daily life in our family.

Our kids, who are now almost 9 (!), have been staying with my parents quite a bit. My parents have become the babysitters I desperately needed when we lived a couple states away with two babies on my hip. We still desperately need them and I am thankful for their help. The biggest downside to all of this (besides trying to figure out when “family-time” is supposed to happen) has been figuring out meal time. There have been week-long stretches where my family hasn’t eaten a single meal at home. The amount of food that we have purchased from restaurants has gone through the roof and my poor children have eaten so many hamburgers that they are now firmly against hamburgers for any meal at any time in the near future. They are hungry for routine and a home-cooked meal…and so am I.

So, I have decided that no matter how late dinner is going to be, we will eat dinner at home as much as we can. This also means that quick and easy are absolutely necessary. With a little kid-friendliness and a splash of healthy stuff, these mini-meatloaves are a great way to return to routine and they come together in about 30 minutes.

30 Minute Mini Meatloaves

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 7 mini loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef (chuck or round, preferably)
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • ½ t. garlic powder
  • ¼ t. dry mustard
  • ½ cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the oats in a blender and pulse until you have a fine powder. Add the beef, ground oats, carrot, onion, egg, cheese, and seasonings to a large bowl and combine with clean hands until everything is well incorporated.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Divide the meat into 7 even portions and shape each portion into a torpedo-like shape. Place each meatloaf onto the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees. Top each loaf with a spoonful of ketchup and return to the oven for an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2015/07/24/30-minute-mini-meatloaves/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Blue Cheese Butter

16 Jun

Steak with Blue Cheese Butter from EatinontheCheap.com

I would venture to say that most hard-working Dads out there don’t get all of the credit they deserve. I mean, they go to work every day to provide for their families only to be tackled by their children as soon as they walk through the door and commanded to then proceed to be the most entertaining toy in the room. My husband in particular must perform the duties of “the fun parent” at all times. The kids always want him to play with them, take them somewhere, do “guy stuff” with them. He is in charge of all swimming trips to the pool, fun trips “getting lost” and is the purveyor of all things junk food. This is no small task for a man. It’s easy to be the heavy, but to be the one the kids want to hang out with all of the time is exhausting.

Of course, the demands don’t stop with the children. We wives ask a lot of our husbands. It’s their job to mow the yard, take out the trash, fix that thing that broke, and (maybe most importantly) grill dinner. I’m not sure why men get slated for cooking dinner on the grill. We women are perfectly capable, but it is wonderful to be able to hand off the duties of putting together a meal to our better halves every now and then. My husband is especially talented at it. As a matter of fact this is his steak recipe, not mine. Don’t skip the blue cheese butter, that will show your favorite Dad that he’s extra special.

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Blue Cheese Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ribeye steaks, about ½ inch thick
  • 1 T plus 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 T plus 1 t. black pepper
  • ½ T sugar
  • ½ T chili powder
  • 1 t. dried onion flakes
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • ¼ t. cumin
  • Blue Cheese Butter:
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 t. dried dill
  • ¼ t. Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill for direct cooking. In a small bowl blend together the spices and set aside. In another small bowl blend together the ingredients for the blue cheese butter and set aside.
  2. Pat your steaks dry with a paper towel and then season both sides liberally with the seasoning.
  3. Cook your steaks over direct heat, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare, 5 minutes per side for medium to medium well, and 7-8 minutes per side for well done.
  4. Top each steak with a dollop of blue cheese butter and serve!
  5. Tip: A digital thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking steaks. Shoot for 130 degrees for medium rare, 140 degrees for medium well, and 155 degrees for well done.
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2015/06/16/grilled-ribeye-steaks-with-blue-cheese-butter/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Cabbage Strudel

2 Mar

CabbageStrudel From March 2014 Dickson Herald/Hickman County Times

There is a bag of dirt on my kitchen floor and little cups of seedlings in my window. My garden has been generously turned over and tilled by a neighbor. I have drawn out my plans for this year’s planting, hoping that this season will be better than last season. I have vowed to stay on top of the weeds and the squash bugs and construct a fence to keep the critters and the chickens out. It’s gardening time and I love it.
Now if someone would just tell the weather that it’s nearly time for Spring.
Everyone should grow something to eat during the Spring and Summer, I think. Whether it’s just a potted tomato plant on your front porch or a 1 acre garden in your back yard, growing your food is a really satisfying way to curtail your food budget and it can certainly make you appreciate the farmers that provide the entire country with food.
My first year with a big garden, I went a little crazy with the cabbage. I think I had about 30 heads in total. I had plans for a huge batch of sauerkraut that year and I started fermenting nearly 50 pounds of cabbage in our utility room. Long story short, it got a little too hot that Summer and the kraut ruined and it was a mess. These days, I still grow cabbage, but I leave the sauerkraut making to the professionals.
This is one of my very favorite cabbage recipes. Phyllo dough can be tricky to work with but the crispy, flaky layers that you get are worth all of the trouble.

Cabbage Strudel

Ingredients

  • 8 T (one stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 small head (2 pounds) cabbage shredded
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 T fresh dill, minced
  • ½ t. caraway seed
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 14 sheets phyllo (fillo) dough
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet, set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt 2 T of butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the cabbage and carrots and a teaspoon of salt and cook until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the feta, herbs and spices. Set aside to cool.
  3. Melt the remaining butter. Open the phyllo package and cover with wax paper and a damp towel so that the phyllo dough doesn’t dry out. On a flat surface, place one sheet of dough and then brush with butter. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Repeat with 6 more sheets of dough.
  4. Spoon half of the cooled cabbage mixture onto the prepared dough leaving a 2 inch border all the way around. Fold in the short sides, brush the edges with butter then gently roll up the long side of the dough over the cabbage mixture. Transfer the roll to the prepared baking sheet, brush the top with butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaing phyllo and cabbage mixture to make a second roll.
  5. Bake the strudel for 25-35 minutes or until it is golden brown. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
  6. Tip: Can’t find Phyllo dough? Puff Pastry works great or pie crust in a pinch.
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2015/03/02/cabbage-strudel/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Chicken Stew

18 Feb

chicken stew

 

Hello, Winter…you are late.

We have been waiting for you since December. We would have been very appreciative of your wintery precipitation during the Christmas holiday but this February delivery of ice and snow is unwelcome. Take it back, and next time, deliver it in a timely fashion.

The icemaggedon that has hit our home leaves me home-bound with two eight year olds whose boredom is guaranteed to reach new heights. My own boredom is also reaching something of a fevered pitch and to top it all off, we all seem to have a head cold.

Lovely.

The only consolation is that we have a fridge full of food and plenty of time to cook a few delicious meals to keep us warm during this stretch of winter weather.

A nice chicken stew is a wonderful way to combat a case of the winter blahs. It’s a hearty and filling dish that will warm the cockles of your heart ( What is a “cockle” anyway?) and hopefully keep us satisfied until the first signs of Spring finally reach us.

Feel free to top this stew with a few hearty dumplings for an extra filling meal.

Chicken Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds, boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. dried rosemary
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Toss the chicken pieces in salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of flour. In two batches, cook the chicken pices until nicely browned on each side, about 8 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken to a bowl. Add the remaining oil and add the onion and celery to the pan and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for one minute. Add in the flour and cook for another minute. Whisk in the chicken broth making sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add in the carrots, reserved chicken and its collected juices, and bay leaves. Bring the stew to a boil, cover and place the pot in the oven for 50 minutes or until chicken is very tender. Remove from oven and take out the bay leaves and rosemary sprig. Stir in the frozen peas. Serve with crusty bread.
  3. Tip: This stew is a great make ahead meal. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2015/02/18/chicken-stew/

 

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Buffalo Salad with Shoestring Fried Onions

4 Jan

BuffaloSaladweb

I have to ease into the healthy eating of January. Even though the guilt and the elastic in my waistband is reminding me of all of the pie that I had for Christmas, I can’t just dive headfirst into a menu of green smoothies and power bars.

After all it is the middle of Winter.It’s cold. It’s dreary and all my stubborn body seems to want to crave is comfort food. Why, oh, why can’t I crave quinoa and lettuce?!

They say you should visualize your goal to reach it, but every time I begin to visualize my goal my craving for the day seems to get in the way. Today’s craving – hot wings.

I’m a sucker for a plate of hot wings. Lightly breaded, fried , tossed in some flaming wing sauce and paired up with cool ranch or blue cheese dressing with a stack of celery sticks. They are messy and sloppy and there is no way to eat hot wings and look attractive at the same time.

But this is January and there are parts jiggling on me that were never designed to move, therefore, my craving will have to come in some slightly healthy form. Nothing crazy, but a few tweeks here and there and I can make my hot wing craving one that won’t add another notch in my belt.

The dressing on this is made with nonfat yogurt and light mayo so you can pour on a healthy amount. And the chicken is breaded and baked instead of fried. The onions are fried, but I couldn’t help myself.

Thanks to Half Baked Harvest for the inspiration for this salad.

Buffalo Salad with Shoestring Fried Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal, divided
  • ½ cup buffalo wing sauce ( I like Moore’s)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cups chopped mixed lettuces ( such as romaine, spinach, etc.)
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
  • Dressing:
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 T light mayo
  • 2 T buttermilk
  • 1 T fresh parsley
  • ½ t. dill weed
  • ½ t. onion powder
  • ½ t. garlic powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • 1 t. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the chicken breast into 4 strips. Submerge the chicken in the buttermilk, making sure to coat. In a shallow dish, mix together ¼ cup of the cornmeal and the panko bread crumbs and season with 1 t. salt and ¼ t. pepper. Coat each chicken strip in the bread crumb mixture and place them onto a greased baking sheet. Spray the strips liberally with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish mix together the remaining cornmeal, flour and ½ t. salt and ¼ t. pepper. Toss the onion slices in the flour mixture, making sure to separate the rings as you toss. Heat about ½ an inch of vegetable oil in a skillet until the oil shimmers. Add the onions to the oil and fry until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processer and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. In two large bowls, divide the lettuce mix, top with tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella cheese. Place 2 chicken strips on top of lettuce bed and top each with fried onions. Serve with dressing on top!
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2015/01/04/buffalo-salad-with-shoestring-fried-onions/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Southwest Rice Bowls

1 Jan

SWRiceBowl

Some would say that lunch is my life. Ok, maybe no one would say that, but sometimes I certainly think it. For the last year and a half I have been catering lunch to the fine folks of my small town and this has really forced me to explore the possibilities of the midday meal (it has also made me develop an unhealthy obsession with take-out containers that only someone who delivers lunch to people on a regular basis could understand). In this year and a half, I have made hundreds (maybe thousands) of salads, sandwiches and soups. I have tried my best to think outside the box by putting lunch in a box fit for adult appetites. Let me tell you, a creative lunch is harder than you think.
I realize that the majority of people in the world are perfectly happy eating the same lunch every day with no change in routine. It takes the guess work out of it; simplicity is the “happy place” of a busy life. But I love to try different things and a fresh and exciting lunch break is sometimes exactly the change of pace I need.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about “gluten-free”. Not because I particularly want to follow a gluten-free lifestyle, but because there are so many people out there that have to and I think that they are probably ready for something different to eat that isn’t just a salad or some strange medley of lunchmeat and hard-boiled eggs. This thinking led me to rice and what I could put on top of it. Let me tell you that there are a million possibilities and I am eager to explore each one. This one is a crazy-delicious start that I hope you give a try.

Southwest Rice Bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 limes
  • ¼-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 t. honey
  • ½ t. chili powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen kernel corn
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • ½ c. light sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 cups hot, cooked brown rice
  • Shredded romaine lettuce, to serve
  • Diced avocado, to serve
  • Sliced jalapeno, to serve
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add the juice of both limes, ¼ cup olive oil, cilantro, honey, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and whisk until emulsified. Taste to see if more oil is needed. Add half of the vinaigrette to the shredded chicken and toss to combine. Heat the chicken for 1 minute on HIGH in the microwave, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the beans, corn, tomato and green chilies and toss with the remaining vinaigrette. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes until the corn is hot. Toss again and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, a squeeze of lime juice ( you should be able to get a little more from those used limes) and the chipotles. Stir well and set aside.
  4. To assemble: Spoon 1 cup of hot rice into a shallow bowl. Arrange ½ cup shredded romaine on top of the rice. Top with ½ cup of the black bean salad and top with ½ cup of shredded chicken. Add diced avocado and a couple of spoonfuls of the chipotle cream and enjoy!
  5. Tip: Substitute cooked quinoa for the brown rice for a little extra protein!
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2015/01/01/southwest-rice-bowls/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Mini Chicken Gyros

30 Dec

MiniChixGyros

My first encounter with Greek food was in Chicago during a trip that seems like forever ago now. My friend, Renee, had been living there for a few years and I flew my pregnant self to Chicago for a “last-hoorah” kind of girls’ weekend. We went all over the place, but my favorite place was this little Greek restaurant around the corner from her apartment. We dodged angry drivers and suicidal bicyclists to cross the street and enjoy the most wonderful and authentic Greek food of my life. The place was covered in the patriotic blue and white of Greece. All the people in the kitchen were yelling at each other in what I assume was also Greek. The flatbreads were fresh, the smell of roasted lamb filled the air while the tang of copious amounts of yogurt wafted off of each diner’s plate. I, of course, ordered a gyro (pronounced year-o) and quickly dove into what would be a craving that I would have for the rest of my life.
A traditional gyro is a sandwich (actually, more of a wrap) that is filled with thinly sliced lamb “meatloaf” (for lack of a better word) that is cut from a twirling vertical spit, tzatziki sauce (which is made from yogurt and cucumber mostly) with tomato and red onion. The best word to describe it is unctuous. It is by far my favorite way to eat lamb and it is a refreshing meal in the middle of the day.
Of course procuring lamb at a reasonable price in the South is impossible. There aren’t a lot of lamb eaters south of the Mason-Dixon. And there aren’t a lot of Greek restaurants down here either, so fulfilling my craving for those traditional Greek flavors falls in my own lap.
These mini gyros are a great party appetizer, but could also easily be turned into a fantastic lunch. It is a refreshing bite to ring in the New Year!

Mini Chicken Gyros

Ingredients

    For the chicken:
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 t. dried oregano or 1 T fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Tzatziki sauce:
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek is best)
  • ½ a cucumber, peeled , seeded and grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press
  • 2 t. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 T freshly minced parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cucumber Salad:
  • ½ cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • To assemble
  • Pita or flatbread
  • Spinach leaves
  • Feta cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. In a medium bowl, mix together the Tzatziki sauce ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. In a medium bowl, mix together the cucumber salad ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To assemble: Cut the pita or flatbread into wedges and place on a serving tray. Top each with a spinach leaf, then a spoonful of chicken, then the cucumber salad, tzatziki sauce and sprinkle with feta cheese.
  3. Serve and enjoy.
  4. Tip: The sauce, salad and chicken can all be made a couple days in advance and then assembled just before serving.
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2014/12/30/mini-chicken-gyros/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Lemon Dill Shrimp Salad

7 Jul

Shrimp Roll 021

I feel like we are on the cusp of something here and the excitement (and certain amount of fear) that new opportunities bring is not exactly a situation that I am used to. The last time I felt that we were on the cusp of something, that something was bankruptcy. This something is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  While the uncertainty of the future is always daunting, I have to admit that if all goes as planned the lives of my entire family will be better. Busier…but better. What is that something? Well, I don’t want to jinx it but lets just say that there is a place not far from us that is the home of a country music icon and her family wants to partner up with our family and make a whole lot of wine. Very exciting indeed!

In other news, Summer is truckin’ right along here. The usual heat and humidity of the South has recently been replaced by an unseasonably cool Summer. While a day at the creek is never something that the kids will turn down, it’s hard to do much swimming when it’s 79 degrees, but the kids are giving it their best shot.

The garden is a bit of a bust this year. So far, I am successfully growing a lot of weeds and stink bugs. I have had quite a bit of success with the broccoli, potatoes, and strawberries this year. It’s a great year for cool weather crops, but the tomatoes are struggling with a mole, stink bugs and what I think is a late blight. Can’t do anything for critters and fungus. On the up side my four artichoke plants are doing really well and I will harvest at least one artichoke this year! Fingers crossed  I can overwinter those babies and be swimming in artichokes next year!

As far as cooking goes, I’ve been pretty lazy about it this Summer. A full schedule and a lack of motivation to get real creative has kept me from experimenting much. We did get a delivery from our Seafood Santa (a family friend who brings us fresh seafood from the Gulf) and we treated ourselves to a fantastic shrimp boil not long ago. The leftovers were turned into this refreshing shrimp salad with homemade mayo. I’m a fan of homemade mayo especially when you splurge on expensive meats like wild caught shrimp. It makes all the difference.

Lemon Dill Shrimp Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shrimp, cooked
  • ½ cup chopped celery (I like the heart with the leaves)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ - 3/4 cup dill mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dill Mayonnaise
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill or 1 T dried
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ t. kosher salt
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

  1. Chop shrimp into small chunks (about ½ an inch) and combine in a large bowl with the celery, onion and lemon zest. In a food processor or blender, pulse together the egg yolk, vinegar, dill, cayenne and salt. While the blender is running, slowly pour in the oil until the mayo is thick and creamy. Taste for seasoning. Fold ½ cup of the mayo into the shrimp salad and stir to combine. Add more mayo if desired. Add in the juice of the lemon and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a salad, crackers or a crusty loaf of bread and enjoy! Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2013/07/07/lemon-dill-shrimp-salad/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno Slaw

28 Apr

shrimp tacos 015

Right now, in my mind, I am on vacation. I am not actually on vacation, I am somewhere towards the beginning of what will eventually turn into the busiest, most stressful, and exhausting month of my life.

The month of May has now been dubbed Hell Month.

Do you ever have one of those months? Where you just stare at your calendar in disbelief and wonder how all of this got so out of control?

I can’t complain too much. I will be busy making money, which is good. I have goals for crying out loud! And we are about to hit one of those goals this week! The hubby and I have been doing Dave Ramsey since about August, and although we fell off the wagon in December (poor planning on our part) and couldn’t hop back on until last month ( tornadoes and thefts will do that to you), we have managed to (nearly) complete Baby Step #3 of the Total Money Makeover! That is 3 months of salary worth of savings for those of you not familiar. WooHoo! Go us!

But anyway, back to vacation.

So, this month (I mean May) I will be running the crap out of my new catering business with no less than 3 special events,  4 weekly deliveries, 1 dessert buffet, and a couple of new on-site events that I am pretty excited about. Besides the catering, the winery’s new wine club is due for it’s second shipment and I cannot believe the astounding success we have had so far! As of today, I will be putting together nearly 60 shipments for our loyal customers! With the winery, there is also of course our Summer Events that are starting up; movie night, happy hour, Blues & Wine music series and a county wide tour called Hickman County Arts & Ag Tour that is now in it’s second year. And as if that wasn’t enough, one of the newspapers I write for has asked me to do 4 extra articles on top of the weekly column that I already write for them and that is all due by May 10th.

Oh! And our 9th wedding anniversary is May 29th (Happy Anniversary babe!).

And then…vacation.

I have never longed for a condo in Hot Springs, Arkansas so badly in all of my life. Thanks to my mother-in-law for allowing us to tag along all of these years. I have pretty much decided that vacation is less about where you go and all about who is there to help you watch the kids. Vacation is also about quick and easy dinners and, if you are close to the water, seafood.

Shrimp is a favorite of mine and I have totally been on this shrimp/fish taco kick lately. I can’t seem to get enough. So I whipped up this simple recipe and imagined that I was sitting on a balcony, overlooking the water with a cocktail in one hand and a shrimp taco in the other.

June can’t get here soon enough.

shrimp tacos 022

Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 t. cumin
  • ½ lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 T butter
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • avocado for serving
  • Jalapeno slaw (recipe follows)
  • Jalapeno Slaw
  • ½ green or red cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 T chopped green chilies
  • ½ t. dry dill
  • 1 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 t. grated onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 t. cumin
  • ½ t. cayenne
  • 1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine shrimp, cumin, juice of lemon, and salt and toss to combine. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the shrimp to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the shrimp and pink and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a bowl to keep warm. Wipe the skillet clean, and warm each tortilla in the skillet according to package directions.
  2. For slaw: In a large bowl, place the shredded cabbage and set aside. In a blender, blend together the remaining ingredients. Pour half of the dressing over the cabbage and mix well. Add more if needed or set aside the remaining dressing for extra sauce. Refrigerate for up to one week.
  3. To serve, place a spoonful of slaw into each tortilla and top with 3-4 shrimp and a slice of avocado.
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2013/04/28/shrimp-tacos-with-jalapeno-slaw/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

24 Mar

yogurtchicken

The first day of Spring has already passed but I can’t say that Mother Nature got the memo. It has been cold and wet and windy for what seems like forever. I’m sure that the rest of the country is with me when I say that I am more than ready for warm weather. I no longer want to see snow in the forecast. I live in the South for crying out loud! It’s supposed to be beautiful right now!

pear

The weather today is…drizzly. It’s not cold but it is damp and foggy. The only thing that breaks up the gray are the little white flowers that are blooming on whats left of my Bradford pears and the sea of purple clover underneath my clothesline. I will say that weather like this makes colors seem so much more vibrant. And the mist and fog that are hanging around today cover the mangled treeline and hide most of the damage that still haunts us every time we walk out the door. I am thankful for that.

cloverdip

So, even though the weather is still stuck in the middle of February, my food is looking forward to Spring. We have been eating a lot more green stuff and yogurt and a lighter in general menu. Chicken thighs are my favorite and the Greek yogurt marinade makes them even more tender and delicious. The kids nearly licked their plate after this meal and I am always happy to see that.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. pepper

Instructions

  1. Place chicken thighs in a zip top bag, set aside. In a small bowl mix together remaining ingredients and then pour over chicken. Marinate in the fridge for two hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Shaking off excess marinade, place half of the chicken thighs into the pan and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to a foil lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining half of thighs. Bake the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Let rest a couple of minutes, then serve.
http://eatinonthecheap.com/2013/03/24/yogurt-marinated-chicken/

Did you like this? Tell everyone you know!! Share it:
Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »