Slow Cooker Asian Beef Stew with Bok Choy and Carrots

Dinner | February 4, 2016 | By

stewI’m on a little bit of a slow cooker kick lately. We had some pork tenderloin in it the other night, then I cooked up this Asian Beef Stew with Bok Choy and Carrots. It’s delicious and hearty, without being super thick and gravy-like. 

I actually made this the day before, cooled it down a bit then stored it in the fridge overnight. Sometimes slow cooker stews and soups are much better the second day, which I think this was. I adapted this Asian Beef Stew from a short ribs recipe I found in Real Simple magazine. My version uses regular stew meat instead of beef short ribs (which have been really hit or miss for me at our grocery store – way too much fat!). 

A quick note on this recipe: Do not add any additional salt! The soy sauce and beef broth are salty enough so you certainly don’t need any additional salt in this recipe. I even bought low-sodium broth (which I highly recommend for all recipes) and it was plenty salty. 

Read on for the recipe and stay tuned for a great Super Bowl slow cooker recipe coming tomorrow! 

(more…)

Stuffed Shells with Spinach and Pancetta

Dinner | September 28, 2015 | By

DSCN0638Ever have those weeks where cooking dinners after work just seem really hard? That was me last week. I never got into a groove and we ended up eating a lot of random, hodge podge kind of meals.

So, with this week’s meal plan, I’ve resolved to try some new recipes, focusing on make-ahead meals. These stuffed shells were perfect for dinner. I prepped them the night before, and pre-heated the oven when I got home from work. While the oven was coming to temperature, I mixed up the cream sauce and poured it over the shells. It was easy and on the table in just about 30 minutes. (bonus points because most of that was just baking time in the oven) 

Read on for the recipe.

(more…)

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Dinner, Pasta | August 11, 2015 | By

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Hey there and happy Tuesday! I’m catching up on some recipes I made last week and really liked so I wanted to share this Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes pasta dish. It’s not to be confused with a pasta dish with a similar name that I’ve already blogged about. I still make that one quite a bit, but this particular recipe caught my eye because it had sun dried tomatoes, which I really like.

I found this via Pinterest on Julia’s Album, which is a super cute blog so you should go check out. I’m in awe of how much she has in her recipe index. Lots of new ideas there to check out!

Anyways, this is just another great rock star chicken and pasta dish. It’s friendly on the budget and was just something to really switch it up. We have pasta once a week in our house, and I hate eating the same thing twice so trying new dishes like this really keeps it fresh. Also, I used some Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta (because I got a really good deal on some at ShopRite), but you can use whatever you have around. 

Also, I had just come into a bunch of basil (thanks, Dupee family!) so it went right into dinner that night. Our basil has kind of crapped out for the year (its just making those flowers now which makes the basil really bitter) so I was excited to get some really tender, sweet basil. 

Has anyone had a ton of luck growing basil in their backyard? I LOVE having it around, but it seems to just go so bitter so fast. Any tips you guys want to share? 

Read on for the recipe. 

(more…)

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Dinner, Featured | July 21, 2015 | By

DSCN0584This meal is just summer to me. Some great steak fajitas, tortilla chips, lots of guacamole and a cold beer (bonus points if that cold beer has a lime in it!). Does it get any better? 

We had one of those super humid weekends and I couldn’t fathom doing a whole lot for dinner. This was super simple and cooking the steak out on the grill keeps most of the heat out of the kitchen. 

The girls and I went to Healthy Living Market Saturday morning since they were doing a produce sale. No matter what is on my list when we’re at Healthy Living, I always get two things – Uncommon Grounds bagels and a big ol’ tub of their house made guacamole. Seriously, the stuff is just highly addictive – like let’s sit here and eat this whole tub addictive. Seriously. So. Good. Like, I think I’m drooling right now thinking about it and I might have to make a side trip on the way home tonight. Like I said, its an addiction.

DSCN0578So anyways, with a big tub of guac and some veggies from the Healthy Living produce sale, it was definitely time for fajitas. You can put any combination of spices on the meat that you want. DO NOT run out and a buy a whole thing of spice mix for 1 teaspoon of it only for the rest of it to go bad in your cupboard (or just shop the bulk section at Healthy Living when you go buy some guacamole – do I sound like a broken record?!??!). Seriously, put the steak in some lime, salt, pepper and some spice with a kick and you’ll have a home run. Summer is all about fun, laid back cooking. Don’t over think it. 

DSCN0571Some notes on this recipe: Use a flank or skirt steak; anything else will be hard to chew in the fajitas. Also, allow your meat to marinate for quite a while. Over time, the lime juice will tenderize the meat and make it super delicious. You can use any toppings you want, but I listed below what we had. Enjoy! 

Read on for the recipe! 

 

(more…)

Parmesan Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

Dinner, Pasta | March 18, 2015 | By

Parmesan Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli This recipe originally was considered “lowfat” but I think I’ve taken all the health right out of this. I think it’s best to say that this is a quick and easy, alfredo-type dish.

Instead, this is one of my go-to pantry, weeknight dinners. I love it, and its something that I get zero complaints from the kids. Hadley has her moments of picky eating so when I don’t feel like fighting that battle, then I go for this. These days, I always have an extra package of chicken breast and some broccoli on hand, but if you don’t you can easily swap in some frozen shrimp or peas for a green vegetable. 

And yes, you can even use the parmesan cheese in the green can. I know that would make some foodies’ stomachs turn, but for us moms on a budget, sometimes you gotta buy the cheap cheese! 

(more…)

Pretzel Chicken Bites

Dinner | December 12, 2014 | By

Pretzel Chicken Bites We fight the battle every night. I cook a dinner, dish it out for the four of us, then wait for the fight. Hadley, my four year-old, is a picky eater. She fights me on most meals, and we have to bargain to get her to try new things. 

These Pretzel Chicken Bites were a happy accident for me. She ate them with zero fuss. Yes, its a jazzed up chicken finger, but still, it’s improvement. We’re slowly walking our way towards getting her to try more. 

Notes on this recipe: I used pretzel chips, which made the tenders nice and crunchy. For a little extra kick, I’d definitely add a few dashes of hot sauce to the egg mixture. That will give this a little extra zip. Since I was feeding little ones, I just left it out this time. 

(more…)

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta header Right now in this moment, Sausage and Broccoli Pasta is my favorite pasta dish. It’s got some good veggies, a little zip from the sausage and crushed red pepper flake, and its not too heavy. It strikes a good balance of being a cheat food (hello, pasta), but not going way over the deep end (yes, you, mac and cheese). 

From start-to-finish, this pasta dish (adapted from this Real Simple recipe) is on the table in less than 30 minutes which makes it a home run for weeknight cooking. This is also one of the meals where I get very little whining from my little picky eater so I tend to make it quite a bit. 

Read on for the recipe!

(more…)