Bacon-Cheddar Chicken Tenders

Bacon-Cheddar Chicken Tenders

Bacon-Cheddar Chicken Tenders

Kids love chicken nuggets or chicken tenders, but how about adults?  Do you love them, too?  I know I do, yet I hardly ever think to make them.   With the laid-back holiday weekend just past, I wasn’t doing any heavy-duty cooking.   I just wanted to eat foods that were easy, and able to lend themselves to a picnic on the back porch.   No fancy serving dishes, or china plates with this meal.

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So with a package of boneless chicken breasts on hand,  I cut them into “fingers” and came up with this way of cooking them in the oven that resulted in crispy cheesy chicken dippers that were so easy to make and seriously delicious to eat.  These are friendly to kids and adults alike.  They can be used for snacking or as the basis for a whole meal, as I did here.  They were served with my mashed potato salad, celery and carrot sticks and ranch dressing to dip them in.  Mr. D. thought they were wonderful, and claimed the left-overs for his lunch this week.   What was the perfect dessert with this meal?   Brownie sundaes, of course 🙂

BACON-CHEDDAR CHICKEN TENDERS

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients:

Line up pans in the order chicken will be dipped.

Line up pans in the order chicken will be dipped.

  • non-stick pan spray
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese, about 2 oz.
  • 1 (3-0z.) jar cooked real bacon bits
  • 1 pkg. uncooked chicken tenders, or skinless, boneless breasts, cut into strips
  • Ranch dressing for dipping, or make a chive and sour cream sauce, or
  • For sauce with a kick to it, try equal amounts mayo and sour cream plus add some sriracha sauce to it.

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 400*F.  Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2.  In a shallow foil pan or bowl, place the flour;  in another similar pan or bowl, place the egg.  With a wire whisk, lightly beat the egg with 1-2 teaspoons of water.

3.  In another deeper container, place the panko crumbs, cheese and bacon bits.

Panko, bacon, cheese mixure.

Panko, bacon, cheese mixure.

Dip the chicken first into the flour to coat, then the egg, and then into the crumb mixture, turning to cover all sides.  Place chicken on the cookie sheet.

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4.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and bread crumbs are golden brown.  Serve with dipping sauce.

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SOURCE:  A major adaptation of a recipe from Pillsbury

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Do you like to buy olives from the olive bar in the supermarket?  I love them, and frequently buy an assortment to have on hand.  I like to include olives in a mixed green salad, or add them to the salads I prepare for our lunches.  As luck would have it,  I had just returned from my grocery shopping on the very day that I came across this recipe for Greek-Style Chicken that called for kalamata olives.  With the olives on hand I knew I had everything necessary to prepare this fantastic entree.

Grilled Chicken goes Greek!

Grilled Chicken goes Greek!

Besides being very tasty, this meal can be prepared in just about 30 minutes.  The recipe as it was printed contained a recipe for herbed potatoes, and when I cooked the chicken, I prepared the herbed potatoes as well.  So I’m including them here for you also.  This meal goes together so easily and is really good.  I would not hesitate to serve this to guests, who would think you spent longer on its preparation than you actually did.  Many of you may be grilling now that summer has officially arrived, and the chicken would be lovely cooked out on the grill, then topped with the onion-tomato-olive mixture.

GREEK-STYLE CHICKEN BREASTS

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:IMG_7168

  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  3/4 cups vertically sliced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 12 – 14 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano  (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
Tomatoes and olives ready for the pan.

Tomatoes and olives ready for the pan.

Directions:

1.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Grilling the chicken

Grilling the chicken

2.  Heat a large skillet per medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and garlic, sauté 4 minutes.

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Add olives and tomatoes;  cook 3 minutes or until tomato begins to break down, stirring occasionally.

 

This smells fantastic!!

This smells fantastic!!

Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley, oregano and lemon juice.  Top chicken with tomato and olive mixture; sprinkle feta evenly over chicken.

Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with feta cheese.

 

HERBED POTATOES

Place  1 1/4 pounds baby gold potatoes – or medium yukon gold potatoes, quartered – in a large saucepan.  Cover with water and cook 14 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.

Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl, storing with a whisk.  Add potatoes and toss to coat.  Garnish with parsley or oregano leaves, if desired.

If you have extra time you can roast rather than boil the potatoes.  Toss them in the vinaigrette mixture, and bake at 400*F for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.  This is what I did to get the version you see below.

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Oven Roasted Potatoes

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Rotisserie chickens are so useful when you want to cook a dish requiring cooked chicken.  Whenever I buy a rotisserie chicken we always have the first meal from it as you would any roast chicken with appropriate side dishes and/or salad.  But the amount of cooked chicken that is left is a sizable quantity–I can usually get two more meals from it.  (Remember there are just two of us here.)  So that gives me plenty of opportunity to search out recipes that use cooked chicken in them.

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Besides making good use of the rotisserie chicken, this recipe also includes gnocchi, those little Italian potato dumplings that I’ve already introduced you to here.  It also includes fresh baby spinach and mushrooms in a very light cream sauce. The casserole is baked and then briefly run under the broiler, so the Parmesan cheese on top gets browned and crusty. As you can see by what’s left, we loved it!

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BAKED GNOCCHI AND CHICKEN

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Chicken, gnocchi, spinach and mushrooms in a light cream sauce with cheese.

Chicken, gnocchi, spinach and mushrooms in a light cream sauce with cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 cups whole milk ( I used 2% milk.  The added fat in the milk helps to thicken the sauce.)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1  (16-oz) package potato gnocchi
  • 1  1/2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)

Directions:

1.  Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425*F.

2.  Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate, and reuse the skillet.

Browning the mushrooms.

Browning the mushrooms.

3.  Melt the butter in the skillet over low heat; add the flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and chicken broth until smooth; simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg.

Making the sauce .

Making the sauce .

4.  Add the chicken, mushrooms, gnocchi and spinach to the sauce and stir until coated and the spinach wilts.

Add chicken and gnocchi.

Add chicken and gnocchi.

Stir in the spinach.

Stir in the spinach.

Sprinkle with the parmesan, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Turn on the broiler; broil until lightly browned on top, about 3 more minutes.

The cheese topping gets browned and crispy,

The cheese topping gets browned and crispy,

Make a salad to go with it and you've got a meal.

Make a salad to go with it and you’ve got a meal.

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine

Grilled Steak and Vegetables with Lemon-Herb Butter

Grilled Steak with Vegetables and Lemon Herb Butter

Grilled Steak with Vegetables and Lemon Herb Butter

 

Spring bulbs are blooming, and flowering trees are showing their vivid display.  This is my favorite month of the year.  We can hope for a beautiful weekend for Mother’s Day.  Maybe some of you have taken the grille out of winter storage and are getting ready to use it or maybe you never but it away–like us.  We just cover it for the winter.  Or maybe you live where the grill is in use year round.  In any situation….this recipe will make you want to get grilling.  If that is not a possibility, you can make it totally indoors on the stove. Either way, it will be delicious.IMG_7199

This is a meal that takes only a short time to make it, but is really big on flavor.  It involves making a spicy sauce that bathes the vegetables and steak, then cooking them quickly on fairly high heat so that a browned exterior forms.  The final touch is the lemon-herb butter on the steak.  The recipe recommends using a beef sirloin steak, but what I used were boneless chuck steaks, that were well marbled with fat, so they were extremely tender.  Cooking it to medium-rare also kept it tender, so that it didn’t dry out.  This is definitely  a meal that men will love, even though I’m suggesting it for Mother’s Day, it would also be great for Father’s Day.    Any guy who loves to grill can easily handle making this dish.

GRILLED STEAK AND VEGETABLES WITH LEMON-HERB BUTTER

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

Have everything ready in advance.

Have everything ready in advance.

 

  • 1  1/2 pounds sirloin steak, about 1-inch thick (or other tender steak of your choice)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 2 large zucchini or yellow squash, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Slice the zucchini on the diagonal for larger slices.

Slice the zucchini on the diagonal for larger slices.

Slice the onion in thick rounds.

Slice the onion in thick rounds.

Directions:

1.  Preheat a grill (or grill pan) to medium high.  Combine the barbecue sauce, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add steak and vegetables;  toss to coat.  Let stand 5 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, mash the butter with the parsley, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a small bowl;  set aside.

Get the herb butter ready.

Get the herb butter ready.

3.  Transfer the vegetables to the grill and cook until crisp tender and slightly charred in spots, about 8 minutes.  Set aside to keep warm.   Add the steak to the grill and cook 4 – 5 minutes per side for medium rare; remove to a cutting board and let rest.

Steaks looking wonderful on the grill.

Steaks looking wonderful on the grill.

4.  Cut the steak into 4 pieces.  Top each piece with some of the lemon-herb butter.  Serve with the grilled vegetables.

An outstanding meal; one your family will love.

An outstanding meal; one your family will love.

You will note in my photos that I also served a twice-baked potato with this meal. This was made by first baking the potatoes, then scooping out most of the insides and mashing the potato with some precooked broccoli, a little non-fat Greek yogurt, a drizzle of milk and some cheddar cheese.  Replace all that back into the potato shell and bake again until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Scoop out most of the potato, leaving a shell.

Scoop out most of the potato, leaving a shell.

Mix potato with cooked broccoli, greek yogurt, milk and cheese.

Mix potato with cooked broccoli, greek yogurt, milk and cheese.

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Cheese Ravioli with Zucchini

Cheese Ravioli with Zucchini (and peppers)

Cheese Ravioli with Zucchini (and peppers)

Often my cravings dictate what I cook more than what’s available in the produce department of the supermarket.  However today’s meal is not one of them.  At the market this week bell peppers in all colors were specially priced, there was a load of zucchini, medium sized and tender and in the frozen foods section cheese ravioli in all shapes and sizes were being featured.  All that spoke to me, no, shouted at me, ” hey, don’t you think we belong together?”   Embarrassed by all that shouting, I quietly gathered them up and put them into my grocery cart, while thoughts of sugarplums, casseroles, danced in my head.

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Somewhere in the farthest corner of my brain I remembered seeing a recipe that used cheese ravioli and zucchini together. At the time I thought it seemed rather bland, but after I searched it out, and thought about how I could tweak it, I used it as a basis for this version that turned out to be rather fabulous.  Mr. D. said he thinks he likes it better than vegetable lasagna.  The ravioli and vegetables are surrounded by a creamy, not-too-thick cheese sauce, giving the whole lots of flavor.   This was so satisfying, all it needed for completion was a green salad.  This is definitely  a make-again meal.

A bonus to this meal is that it takes very little time to prepare making it a good week night meal, and its meatless too!

 

CHEESE RAVIOLI WITH ZUCCHINI

Yield:    Servings,  4IMG_7048

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 package ( 9-ounces) cheese ravioli
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/teaspoon dried parsley

Directions:

1.  Cook the ravioli as its package directs.

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2.  Combine cream and chicken broth in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.

3.  Melt butter in a large skillet, sauté the onion until translucent.  Add the pepper strips and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in the zucchini, salt and garlic powder.  Cook 1 – 2 minutes until tender.

Sautéing the vegetables.

Sautéing the vegetables.

4.  Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and parsley to the cream sauce.   Drain the ravioli and add to the cream sauce.  Add the skillet vegetables.   Toss to coat.

Veggies and cream sauce mixed together.

Veggies and cream sauce mixed together.

5.  Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top before serving.

Ready for serving.  Makes a colorful presentation.

Ready for serving. Makes a colorful presentation.

This is so good. :)

This is so good. 🙂

 

SOURCE:   I made major modifications to a recipe from Taste of Home.

30-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

This version of the well loved dish, chicken enchiladas, may be quick to make, but is no less delicious than its lengthy and more calorie laden name sake.  Some traditional chicken enchilada recipes can have more than 1000 calories per serving, while this one comes in at under 400 calories per serving.  Yikes!

The points of this recipe that I particularly liked include using part of a rotisserie chicken, instead of cooking chicken breasts for the filling.  You also make your own tomato-based enchilada sauce, so you can control the salt content, and the spiciness, and eliminate all other unnecessary ingredients.  If, like me, you have someone who loves extra spicy and someone who likes it mild, you can serve chopped jalapeños on the side, or some hot sauce.

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This recipe serves 6 with a serving size being two enchiladas and 1 tablespoon of sour cream weighing in at only 374 calories.  That seems like a great bargin to me.  I made half the recipe for two of us and got seven enchiladas.  The only change I made was to use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas as we like them better,  and I sprinkled on dried cilantro since I couldn’t get fresh cilantro.

30-MINUTE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

Yield:   Serves 6

Ingredients:

Have all ingredients laid out before starting to put it all together.

Have all ingredients laid out before starting to put it all together.

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1  (15-ounce) can unsalted tomato sauce
  • 3 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1  (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 ( 6-inch) corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • 3 ounces shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 Tablespoons sour cream

Directions:

1.   Preheat broiler to high.  Coat a 13 x 9″ baking pan with cooking spray.

2.  Combine the first 9 ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk.

Beginning to make the sauce.

Beginning to make the sauce.

Bring to a boil over high heat; cook 2 minutes or until thickened.  reserve 1  1/2 cups sauce mixture.  Add chicken and beans to pan; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.

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3.  Stack tortillas; wrap stack in  damp paper towels and microwave at HIGH for 25 seconds.  Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up.  Arrange tortillas, seam sides down, in bottom of prepared baking dish.  Top with reserved sauce and cheese.

Rolling up the tortillas with filling.

Rolling up the tortillas with filling.

4.  Broil 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and sauce is bubbly.  Top with tomato and cilantro.  Serve with sour cream.

Cheese topping gets nicely browned under the broiler.

Cheese topping gets nicely browned under the broiler.

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Top with chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

Top with chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

These are really good!

These are really good!

SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

If you are looking to make a quick baked dish that is lasagna-like in its layering of ingredients this could very well be it. This is not lasagna in its truest form. This dish uses convenience items like ready-made pesto, jarred Alfredo sauce and frozen cheese-filled ravioli along with a bag of fresh baby spinach.  This makes a very nice meatless meal that is filling and great tasting.

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For added flavor, or to incorporate some meat you could add pieces of cooked chicken, sausage or ground beef.  I thought this was a a great put-together meal for times when you want to have a meatless meal.  We really liked it. and for me, it was another way that I could eat spinach, and not be too aware of what I was eating.  (I am always looking for ways to overcome my aversion to spinach.)  The pesto adds a lot of flavor to this dish.  I used my homemade pesto, but any commercial variety will do nicely.

As I frequently do, I made only half of this recipe for two of us.

SPINACH RAVIOLI LASAGNA

Yield:  Makes 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients:IMG_6827

  • 1 (6-oz) bag fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
  • 1/3 cup refrigerated pesto sauce ( I used my homemade pesto)
  • 1 (15–0z.) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 (25-oz.) package frozen cheese-filled ravioli (do not thaw)
  • 1 cup (4-oz.) shredded Italian six-cheese blend
  • Garnishes:  chopped fresh basil, paprika

Preparation:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Chop spinach, and toss with pesto in a medium bowl.

Chopping spinach.

Chopping spinach.

Mixing spinach with pesto.

Mixing spinach with pesto.

2.  Combine Alfredo sauce and vegetable broth.

Mixing Alfredo sauce with broth.

Mixing Alfredo sauce with broth.

Spoon one-third of alfredo sauce mixture (about 1/2 cup) in a lightly greased 2 qt. or 11 x 7-inch baking dish.  Top with half of spinach mixture.

Layering the spinach on top of sauce.

Layering the spinach on top of sauce.

Arrange half of ravioli in a single layer over spinach mixture.

Cover with half the ravioli.

Cover with half the ravioli.

Repeat layers once more.  Top with remaining Alfredo sauce.

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3.  Bake at 375*F for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Bake 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Garnish, if desired.

Super easy to make and so very good.

Super easy to make and so very good.

SOURCE:  Southern Living, 2008

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

Did you ever think you would be eating bacon and eggs with spaghetti?  Carbonara means with bacon in a light egg sauce.  So today we have an entree that includes both bacon and eggs.  Paired up with spaghetti, this is a simple peasant-type meal;  add asparagus for its added nutritional value, green color of spring (you can tell I’m waiting here), and textural crunch.  What results is a dish that is so well balanced with flavor, texture and “dish appeal” that you’ll want to taste it right off this page if you could.

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You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry to make this meal, except the asparagus.  If they are available where you live, I urge you not to waste any time in getting some and making this delectable dish.  You won’t be sorry.

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA WITH ASPARAGUS

Yield:    Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Just a few ingredients.

Just a few ingredients.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 1 bunch asparagus, , ends trimmed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese.

Mixing the eggs and cheese together.

Mixing the eggs and cheese together.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, adding the asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

2.  Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Add the hot pasta and asparagus to the egg mixture;  toss to coat.

3.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp; stir in the garlic.

Cooking up the bacon.

Cooking up the bacon.

Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.  Stir the bacon mixture into the pasta, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to moisten; season with salt and pepper.

This is delectable!

This is delectable!

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Serve with more grated cheese at the table to sprinkle on top.  A tossed green salad completes this meal.

SOURCE:   Everyday with Rachael Ray

Huevos Rancheros Salad

Huevos Rancheros Salad

Huevos Rancheros Salad

Bacon and eggs.  These two words just seem to go together; they were meant for each other.  So this week on the blog I will be featuring bacon and eggs, separately and together.   So….let’s get crackin’.   😀

First up is this salad that is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.  Especially welcome as we experience another Polar Vortex here in my area of the country.  BTW, has that become the new buzz word for 2014?  I seem to be hearing it a lot on weather news, so I’m just going to start dropping it into my conversations like I really know what I’m talking about.  This is what I know for sure:  Polar Vortex = COLD.   And that’s all I need to know about it.  Enough already,  go away.

Anyway, back to the salad.    A bright, sunny-side-up fried egg steals the show on this Southwestern salad topped with queso fresco (cheese), cilantro and a citrusy black bean and tomato salsa. When served, this salad is bright and attractive on the plate.  You can add some toasted tortillas to help scoop up the salsa, and the runny egg yolk.   This meal made a nice change from what we’ve been eating, and Mr. D. and I enjoyed it immensely.

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HUEVOS RANCHEROS SALAD

Yield:   Makes 6 servings  To make less, adjust amounts accordingly.

Ingredients:IMG_6647

  • 1  (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large plum tomatoes seeded and chopped ( about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped ( about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cups mixed spring greens (about 8 ounces)
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 6 large eggs
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (about 3 oz.)

Directions:

1.  In a medium bowl, gently stir black beans, tomatoes, onion,  olive oil, lime juice, cilantro,  hot sauce, and salt to combine to create a fresh salsa.  Set aside.  Divide greens among 6 dinner plates and set aside.

2.  With a little olive oil, lightly brush all 6 tortillas and sprinkle lightly with salt to taste.  Toast tortillas directly under broiler or over an open flame, 1 minute per side.  Cut tortillas into quarters and wrap in foil to keep warm.

Crispy tortillas stay warm wrapped in foil.

Crispy tortillas stay warm wrapped in foil.

3.  Evenly divide all but 1/2 cup of the salsa among the plated greens.  Divide remaining oil between 2 large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat.  Crack 3 eggs into each pan and reduce heat to medium.  Season eggs with salt and pepper to taste, and cook lightly splashing tops of eggs with pan oil, until whites are opaque and yolks are deep golden, about 3 minutes.  Transfer 1 egg onto each plate.  Sprinkle eggs with queso fresco and remaining salsa;  garnish with cilantro.  Serve salads immediately with reserved tortillas.

All the flavors and textures meld together to make a very pleasant meal.

All the flavors and textures meld together to make a very pleasant meal.

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SOURCE:    Cooking Light

Italian Crescent Casserole

Italian Crescent Casserole.

Italian Crescent Casserole.

By the time Friday rolls around I usually want something fast and easy for dinner, but it still must taste good and be (relatively) healthy.  Frequently it’s pizza that turns up, because I can vary the toppings so we don’t get bored with the same old same old.

Looks like a deep dish pizza.

Looks like a deep dish pizza.

Last Friday I came up with this baked dish that resembles a deep-dish pizza pie.  It uses a package of refrigerated crescent rolls for a crust and is filled with grated cheeses and a ground beef and tomato sauce mixture that tastes like pizza.  The top gets nicely browned and flaky with a sprinkling of cheese and dried basil.  It makes a 9-inch “pie” that can feed 4, but we loved it so much, just two of us ate three quarters of it.  The rest made a quick lunch the next day by rewarming in the oven on low.  This dish served with a tossed green salad is all you need for a complete and satisfying meal.

Add a salad, it's a great meal.

Add a salad, it’s a great meal.

ITALIAN CRESCENT CASSEROLE

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup garlic-tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1  1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 375*F.  In a large skillet, cook ground beef till nicely browned.  Drain off fat drippings.   Add pasta sauce.  Heat oven medium heat to warm through.

2.  Separate dough into triangles.  Place in an ungreased 9-inch pie plate with narrow ends extending out over the edge of the pie plate about 3 inches.

Line a pie plate with crescent dough triangles and grate cheese.

Line a pie plate with crescent dough triangles and grate cheese.

3.  Use fingers to press dough together to form a crust.  Sprinkle  1 cup of cheese over the dough.

Put 1 cup cheese in bottom of pie dish.

Put 1 cup cheese in bottom of pie dish.

4.  Spoon meat mixture over the cheese in the pie plate.

Layer cooked beef and sauce on top of cheese.

Layer cooked beef and sauce on top of cheese.

5.  Bring tips of dough over the filling towards the center.

Bring tips of triangles up over meat filling,

Bring tips of triangles up over meat filling,

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the dried basil.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and basil on top of crust.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and basil on top of crust.

6.  Bake at 375*F.  for 15 – 20 minutes

When it comes out of the oven it looks like this.  YUM!

When it comes out of the oven it looks like this. YUM!

We loved this,  Can't wait to make it again,

We loved this, Can’t wait to make it again,

SOURCE:   Real Mom’s Kitchen