What’s for dinner? Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake

It was another rainy day in the city today…

Something hearty and easy was in order for dinner tonight. Our daughter had some homework to get done afterschool, and I wanted to help her with it, so being in the kitchen a lot wasn’t gonna fly. I needed something that could cook unattended for awhile, so here’s what I made:

Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake

Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake

adapted from gimmesomeoven.com

Ingredients:

Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake Ingredients

350g short pasta

2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 2 small chicken breasts)

1 batch alfredo sauce (see below)

1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I didn’t have enough, so I added in some cheddar)

1 cup frozen peas

Handful of spinach (chopped)

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup low-fat milk (I used 1%)
3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the pasta al dente in a large stockpot of well-salted boiling according to package instructions. Drain. Return pasta to the stockpot and add chicken, alfredo sauce, peas and spinach. Gently toss to combine until the pasta is evenly coated.

Pour half of the pasta into a greased 11×7-inch or 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of cheese. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and just barely starts to turn golden. Remove and serve immediately, sprinkled with additional toppings if desired.

To make the Alfredo Sauce:

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour, and stir to combine. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.

Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

So this turned out to be awesome! No fighting with the kids to eat their dinner AND, Little Dude had 3, 3! helpings!!!

What’s for dinner? Garlic Dijon Baked Salmon

We all know that salmon is good for you!

Even our kids love the taste of salmon! Our daughter can’t get enough salmon sashimi on Sushi Night, but that’s an occasional treat.

Here’s what I made:

Garlic Dijon Baked Salmon

Garlic Dijon Baked Salmon

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs salmon fillets (I used wild coho)
2 Tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 cup light olive oil
2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
Lemon slices

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a small bowl, mix together: 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, 2-3 pressed cloves garlic, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp of pepper, ⅛ cup of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice.

Slice salmon into even portions. Lay them onto a lined baking dish with the skin-side-down.

Generously brush all sides of salmon with sauce and top with fresh slices of lemon.

Bake at 450°F for 12-15 min or until just cooked through and flaky. Don’t over-cook or it will be dry.

Serve with rice and your favourite veggies.

Another winner here! The kids wanted seconds!

What’s for dinner? Thin Crust Pizza with Creamy Garlic Sauce

We love pizza!

Who doesn’t?! It’s kid-friendly and you can put whatever toppings you like on them.

We wanted to switch things up a bit, so I tried out a new recipe for the pizza sauce.

Here’s what I made:

  
Thin Crust Pizza with Creamy Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:

4 x tortilla wraps (your choice of flavour)

2-3 Tbsp Creamy Garlic Sauce*

Toppings of your choice. We flash fried a couple of chicken breasts with some light seasoning and diced them up. Chopped mushrooms, spinach, and of course, black olives (the kids favourite).

1 cup grated cheese (non-dairy is perfect too)

For the White Garlic Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

  

For the White Garlic Sauce:
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until no lumps remain.
Gradually whisk in milk. Add salt, pepper, garlic and basil.
Mix in Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken as it stands.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the tortilla on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread creamy garlic sauce over the entire surface of the tortilla. Add your toppings all over. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Watch the edges of the tortilla so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Slice and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and/ or Sriracha sauce if you’d like to kick it up a notch!

The kids gobbled up a half a pizza each! I’m definitely making this again!

What’s for dinner? {Slow Cooker} Mississippi Roast

I made this last week as a trial run and it was pretty successful!

I had to make it again and share it with you!

Mississippi roast

{Slow Cooker} Mississippi Roast

Ingredients:

1 3lb chuck/ blade roast
1 1oz packet of dry ranch seasoning mix
1 1oz packet of dry au jus gravy mix
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup water

Directions:
Add ¼ cup of water into the insert of your slow cooker then place the chuck roast on top.
Sprinkle the dry ranch seasoning mix on top of the chuck roast, then sprinkle the dry au jus mix on top, then place 6 tbsp. of butter on top of the roast.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Shred and serve with gravy.

Serve up with a pile of creamy mashed potatoes and some veggies of your choice!
Mississippi roast

Mississippi roast

I was worried that the kiddos wouldn’t like this, but boy was I wrong! They had seconds and leftovers the next day!

What’s for dinner? Kid-friendly Loaded Nachos

Every week should have a taco night!

Perhaps something along those lines, at least. The kids requested nachos instead ’cause they’re easier to handle when you have little hands.

Here’s what I made:

Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Ingredients:

1lb of ground beef/turkey or chicken

Taco seasoning*

1 bag of Tortilla chips

Canned, sliced black olives

1 or 2 fresh jalapeños, sliced

3 green onions, chopped

1 tomato, seeded and diced

2 or 3 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar, marble, mozzarella or something fancy like jalapeño cheddar or Tillimook’s Garlic Chili Cheddar)

*Taco Seasoning Recipe (kid-friendly)

1 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

Combine all the ingredients.

Directions:

In a medium skillet over medium heat add your ground meat and cook until browned. Drain off excess grease. Return to heat and sprinkle the taco seasoning all over. Add 3/4 cup water and cook until all the water is absorbed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or pizza pan, place tortilla chips all over in a single layer. Sprinkle with tomatoes, olives, green onions, jalapeños and cheese.

Repeat this process two more times until you have three layers of goodness!

Place the nacho masterpiece in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, careful not to burn.

Remove from oven, serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole and dive in!

What’s for dinner? Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce.

It’s been awhile since I shared my weeknight meal ideas! Life has gotten busy, so our dinners get repeated quite a bit.

I discovered this super yummy looking recipe yesterday, so I thought I’d try it out…

It was a hit!!!

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1-1/2 cups white wine or chicken broth
2 teaspoons dry thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup milk or cream

Directions:
If using breasts, halve them and pound into 1/4-inch thick cutlets. If using thighs, just leave as is. Add flour to a large shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

In a large skillet set to medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil. Once hot, add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. (Chicken does not need to be completely cooked, as you will continue cooking later in the recipe.) Remove from pan; set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until mushrooms are slightly limp. Add white wine and thyme, scraping up browned bits in bottom of pan. Return chicken to pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan (Yes, one more time!). Stir in Parmesan, Dijon and milk until well blended. Return chicken to pan. Serve chicken with creamy mushroom sauce spooned over top.

I cooked up some fusilli pasta to go with the chicken, but it would be just as delicious with rice or potatoes. Don’t forget to add some veggies to the side!

Enjoy!

What’s for dinner? Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

It’s raining today! 

We’ve needed this rain desperately! And it’s a nice, refreshingly excuse to stay in and eat some comfort food.

I had a hankering for Mexican tonight, so here’s what I made:

  
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

adapted from myrecipes.com

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (I pulled a couple of frozen ones out of the freezer and poached them for about 20 minutes)

2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheese (I used medium cheese, but you could use a Tex-Mex blend)

1-2/3 cups 0% fat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup 

1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles, drained

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1 tablespoon canola oil

Cooking spray

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat medium cheddar cheese (you could use sharp, as well)

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Remove 1 cup chicken mixture; set mixture aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, brush oil over both sides of tortilla. Add tortilla to pan; cook 5 seconds on each side or until toasted and soft. 

Remove from pan; arrange 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of tortilla. 

Roll jelly-roll style; place filled tortilla, seam side down, in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. 

Repeat procedure with remaining 7 tortillas, remaining oil, and remaining chicken mixture. 

Spread reserved 1 cup chicken mixture evenly over enchiladas. 

Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. 

Uncover; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese and green onions; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
I chopped up some iceberg lettuce and halved some grape tomatoes and served them along side with a dollop each of salsa and guacamole.

This was a mega hit with everyone! Two thumbs up all around!


What’s for dinner? Easy Pad Thai and Stir-Fried Bok Choy

The weather has been pretty hot for the past couple of weeks, so spending time in a hot kitchen is not first place on the list of things I’d like to do.

I just wanted to make a quick dish that we’d all enjoy!

Here’s what I made:

  
Shrimp Pad Thai

adapted from myrecipes.com

Ingredients:

8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles (pad Thai noodles)

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha or chili garlic sauce

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup (2-inch) green onion pieces

8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil.

Total: 25 Minutes

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

2. While water comes to a boil, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done. Add cooked noodles; toss to combine. Stir in sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine. Arrange about 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 2 teaspoons basil.

*you could top with 1/4 cup of bean sprouts and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts if you’d like as well, I didn’t have any on hand, but the added crunch is fantastic!

I sautéed some baby bok choy in sesame oil and chilli garlic sauce and served it up along side. The kids really liked this dish! Even the slightly spicy bok choy 😊

What’s for dinner? Loaded Baked Gnocchi

The other day while grocery shopping in the pasta isle with our daughter, she picked up a package of gnocchi and asked me what it was.

I explained that it was potato pasta that was dumpling-like. She immediately gagged and put it back.

She’s a potato snob and wretches at everything potatoes. Even french fries and hash browns.

I sneak them in where I can.

When she walked away, I put a package on gnocchi in the basket.

I made this tonight:

Loaded Baked Gnocchi

Loaded Baked Gnocchi

adapted from two peas & their pod

Ingredients:

1 (1-pound) package of Potato Gnocchi

2 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used marble), divided

Salt and black pepper, to taste

2 green onions, chopped

4 strips bacon, chopped and cooked

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9″ x 9″ baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Boil a pot of water and cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain and arrange in a single layer at the bottom of the prepared dish.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in garlic and cook until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until mixture thickens. Add the milk and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup of the cheese. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour sauce over gnocchi. Sprinkle remaining cheese, green onions, and bacon over the gnocchi.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubble and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Note-to make this dish vegetarian, leave out the bacon! It is still good:)

Loaded Baked Gnocchi

Oh my goodness! This was AMAZING, and our daughter even had seconds!

What’s for dinner? Baked Chicken and Orzo

We headed out this past weekend for a much needed camping trip with our friends, so when we returned home, there wasn’t much time to get in a grocery shop.

I dug around in the freezer and the pantry and came up with this for dinner:

Baked Chicken and Orzo
Baked Chicken and Orzo

adapted from Lemons for Lulu

Ingredients:

1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp butter

4 chicken breasts

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped

450g uncooked orzo

4 cups (1 box) low sodium chicken broth

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of butter. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and add to butter in batches. Brown chicken for 3 minutes, turn and brown the second side for 1 minute. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

In a large stockpot, melt ¼ cup butter. Add onion and garlic to butter, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and sage. Cook until the mushrooms just begin to soften. Add orzo. Stir and cook until orzo is lightly toasted and fragrant.

Pour orzo into a 9×13 baking dish. Top with chicken breast. Pour chicken stock over orzo and chicken. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees and liquid has been absorbed.

I served this with a side of Brown Sugar Glazed Beets and Carrots!

Brown Sugar Glazed Beets and Carrots

adapted from Eatingwell.com

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp orange juice ( I used the juice from 1/2 of a fresh slice of orange)

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

3 cups steamed cubed beets (1/2- to 1-inch cubes) and 2″ pieces of chopped carrot or baby carrots

Directions:

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and carrots and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the veggies are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.