Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Spinach Spaghetti Bake……Huh?

Hey Peeps!

It’s Tasty Tuesday, and today was a hectic day indeed!

I had an IEP, last minute homework, laundry, and an interview to contend with. Along with all the normal stuff in between. No worries! Ya girl go this, and today was awesome! Ready for the dish? Let’s get into it!

My lovely cousin, Kendra, loves to post food recipes for days. Now most of the time, I like them, and keep reading, but this one caught my eye! It made my day getting this recipes, but you guys know me, I have to change something to make it my own……

The original recipe was called chicken spaghetti. It was perfect for today. You an make it up early, and cook later. It called for leftover chicken, but I didn’t have any, so I bought chicken breast cubed them, and used that. My recipes makes a huge casserole pan full. You can adjust how you want to lessen or double if needed.

Here’s my take on the recipe:

Chicken Spinach Spaghetti

2.5 pds of boneless skinless, cubed

2 jars four cheese Alfredo sauces

1 jar mushroom and green pepper spaghetti sauce

1 bag chopped spinach

1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese

2 boxes thin spaghetti

garlic pepper

1 Cucumber, peeled length wise

Cook spaghetti as directed, but break into smaller pieces. Drain and rinse.

In a pot, cook chicken cubes until they are white. Add spinach. Continue to cook in pot for ten minutes. Remove from heat. Add one jar of Alfredo sauce, half of the red sauce, and garlic pepper.

In a casserole dish, spray non stick spray into the pan. Place a layer of the spaghetti noodles, roughly half of what you cooked, into the dish. Then add you chicken mixture on top. Add the remaining layer of noodles.

On a cutting board, begin to peel the cucumber, length wise. Once you are to the seeds, take those long peels, and begin to layer them on top of the casserole. Lattice style. After you cover the dish, mix the remaining sauce and pour over the cucumbers. Top with the cheese. It should look like this:

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Real easy, prep is 20 minutes tops. You can freeze half, and eat the other. The crew loved it, and looks like I don’t have to cook one other night this week!

Until next week….enjoy!

~CSM

Halloween Party: Girl Scout Style

Being a Girl Scout Leader has challenged me in so many ways. Not really a bad thing. Actually a good thing. These girls keep me excited for Fridays, and on my toes.

This Friday was no different! For those who don’t know, Halloween is also Founder’s Day. Juilette Gordon Low was born on Halloween, so every year, depending on what level you are in Girl Scout, we celebrate her birthday in different ways. Since it fell on a Monday, we celebrated it on the Friday w had a meeting.

I have a multi age group (5-12) so this posed an interesting dilemma. It got my creative juices going on how do we celebrate both. Well oddly enough, the girls voted on “make up/special effects” for their ‘make your own badge’.

Now, you have to add on the diet restrictions in our troop too. I have two girls who are vegetarian, and four who are Jewish. Them having this party got you guys a blog!

 

We move to my zombie punch. Recreating my punch bowl from last year, I wanted to do have to same effect, but jazz up the punch. Problem: gummy worms are made from gelatin. Regular gelatin isn’t vegetarian or kosher. I racked my brain, and even posted on the facebook page about it. Then I see this at the store…..

Say Whaaaaa?????

A gelatin free dessert! I was having a “aaaaahhhhh” moment. You know the ones you see in cartoons with the light bulb. I never knew that was possible. I bought 4. 2 for the party, and 2 for my house!

The wheels were turning for sure. Of course I trolled the hell out of pinterest. I can’t take credit for everything! One idea that stuck with me was the snacks. Each snack I selected was made into monster body parts.

Jack o Lantern Quesadillas

These were easy to make. I called my coleader, and her friend over to help me prep. That hardest part was the cutting the shapes, which says a lot. Add cheese, broil for 8 minutes, and tada!

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Witches warts, Pumpkin Poo, Monster Scabs, and Spider Eggs

Peeps! This was the easiest part! Cups were filled with grapes(spider eggs), chocolate chips with cinnamon toast crunch(witch’s warts with monster scabs) and cheese puffs(pumpkin poo). 16 each, pre-made the night before.

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Zombie Punch

Now, we had a malfunction, because what party doesn’t? It was ok, we made it work. I made the hand out of the jello and froze it. The punch itself was green juice and lemon lime soda. I had another bowl house the dry ice. It give the spooky illusion of a witches brew. The girls loved it!

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Price is Right: Halloween Edition

We got this foam board to decorate. Cups were filled with candy, expect for four. Each one of those had $5 gc to jamba juice. If you remember the wall punch game from price as right, people won money from the wall after punching in the tissue paper. Same concept, but everyone won at least candy. Hot gluing the cups to the board, we filled the cups with candy and topped them with tissue paper. Once done, it formed a pumpkin. The girls loved the game!

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As we set up for the party, the most expensive things were the supplies for the make up craft. Now I know why the entertainment industry is rich! As for the food, you can get everything from the dollar store, walmart, and things around your home.

Another Halloween in the books! I apologize for this post being so late, I’ve been so busy, but things are winding down a bit, so enjoy the post coming in!

~CSM~

Harvest Stuffed Roast

It’s that time of the year!

Where you get the urge to cook, and eat until your heart is content!

Of course, around January, you decide ‘OMG, I need to get fit!’, but right now, we are eating!

For those who know me, I can wonder in grocery stores, and bookstores for hours. They give me motivation. As I wander, it’s the same formula “I wonder what x, y, and z tastes like? Will my crew like it? Will I be giving it to momhulk and her brood at her house?”

True thoughts to myself, but it never fails, 9 times out of 10, it’s a winner. Last Saturday was no different. I was out and about(which I shouldn’t have been, but that’s another story), I decided to venture into Sprouts. It’s like Trader Joe’s, but more expensive. Not as bad as whole foods, but not somewhere I frequent too often.

I made my way around the store, and got to the meat counter. I still needed dinner. Then I saw it. Harvest stuffed pork tenderloin. I hoped for a pork alternative, so it would be a food review, but no avail. Of course, you know what that meant……

CHALLENGE!

First, I thought, “crockpot?” No. I have been wearing mine out lately. No worries. Oven cooking it is! Then the most important part of this process, “what will I substitute for the pork?”

It took me a minute on that, because I don’t like repeating main dishes too often. That’s when it hit me…….Roast. Snapples! It was like a runaway train after that…..

My Harvest Stuffed Beef Roast

1 Boneless Beef Roast, trimmed of fat

1.5 cups dried cranberries

1 cup dried apricots

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups cran-apple juice

.5 cups brown sugar

garlic pepper

butcher’s twine

  1. Rinse off the roast, and pat dry. Make a cut in the middle. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix cranberries, walnuts, half of the brown sugar, and apricots. Put into the pocket of the roast.
  3. Proceed to tie the roast closed with the twine.
  4. Spray non stick spray into a baking dish. Place roast into dish. Then pore juice over roast. Season with reminder of sugar, and garlic pepper. If you have more cranberries or apricots, pour over roast.
  5. Bake at 350 for 45 mins to 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes.

It was a hit peeps! I made it with boiled sweet potatoes. This shall be a keeper for my winter dishes. Though I was a little on edge with the sweetness, it played well with the entire dish.

Let me know what you think! Try it out, and leave it in the comments!

~CSM~

 

 

Sweet Potato Chili

Hello. Hola. Any other way to say hello!……Peeps!

Graduation is over. Summer vacation has started. It also means, kids are home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Kids may think, “school’s out, sleep in, and crappy food! Score!”.

Nope. Not in this house. Still eating healthy on break. Now this recipe is kind ofย a take on my pumpkin chili recipe, but a little different. My goal for this was to not use white or brown sugar in the dish. To find better alternatives but still have a great dish. Bonus: there is enough for leftover Friday!

Sweet Potato Chili

4-5 Sweet Potatoes, boiled with skin

2 pounds ground turkey

4 chicken breasts, diced

1 can sweet corn drained

1 can black beans drained

1 half butternut squash, diced

3 cups beef broth

1 cup red peppers

2 cups green peppers

Garlic Salt

Seasoned Pepper

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Onion Powder

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup agave syrup

In a large pot, boil sweet potatoes until soft. Remove from heat, and let cool.

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Dice chicken, peel and dice butternut squash. Set aside.

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Side Note: You may want to bake your squash a little bit on 350 degrees, since it’s hard to cut.

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Now, this is where you can go two ways with this recipe. Crock pot, my favorite, or stove top. I’m going to give you the stovetop option, since my crock pot was too small for the amounts I used. I double cook in the summer, so we can use our time for other things, like tv bingeing on cutthroat kitchen or bowling(new obsession).

Once you have cooled sweet potatoes, peel, with your hands. The skin should slide right off. Add potatoes, seasonings, honey, syrup, and broth to a blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. If too think add water or more broth.

Combine all ingredients into a large pot, cook down until meat is cooked thoroughly and squash is cooked. Occasionally stir so it doesn’t stick to the pot.

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This is a light chili, that can be cooked in the summer or fall. I paired it with my honey zucchini cornbread(next post), and topped with sour cream and cheese. Kids tore it up! I loved it, because it was full of protein, veggies, and low sugar. They couldn’t tell the difference.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

~CSM~

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Chili Spaghetti

A FB friend of mine gave me and idea for this when we were talking about weird combinations of foods.

I heard of the tradition in Cincinnati, but never tried it. At first, it sounded like it would be gross, but then I thought about making this my own way. Then, the challenge was on.

I’m always trying to make food that is fun, healthy, and new. It’s been established on this blog, that the crew LOVES my pumpkin turkey chili. Leftovers are not an issue when making this dish. Knowing this, I decided to make this chili for that part, and add some new ingredients to make it chunky.

That left the pasta. As I’m getting back into working out, I’m really trying to cut the carbs down. Not out, just down.

Key point from the doctor: Don’t cut out foods, cut back. You needs different foods for different things.

Then this pasta caught my eye. Spinach and Zucchini Pasta. It’s green, obviously, but more veggies than flour. Sold. I bought two boxes, and made my way home to get the job done.

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Pumpkin Turkey Chili Spaghetti

2.5 oz Ground Turkey
1 can 100% pumpkin puree or 1/2 pumpkin, baked and pureed
1 bag butternut squash, cubed
1 can vegetarian baked beans
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup green peppers, chopped
1 cup yellow peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped white onions
1 can fired roasted corn mix
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
white pepper
chili powder
garlic salt
cinnamon
2 boxes spinach/zucchini spaghetti
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese

in a pot, combine butter and peppers. Sautee until soft, then add meat and spices. Cook until meat is brown.

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Meanwhile, in a blender, combine pumpkin, stock, brown sugar, and flour. Blend until smooth and thick. Pour the mix in the pot, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until sauce is thicken. During this time, stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Also taste to adjust seasonings if needed.

I added my butternut squash toward the end. I wanted it to cook, but not turn into mush.

Make pasta as directed. I broke mine in half to make more. Garnish with cheese and sour cream when serving.

These kids loved it! I got my kids to eat two different squashes, peppers, onions, corn, spinach, and zucchini, without any compliants. This was going on the permenant rotation. No leftovers. Took 30 minutes to throw together, and this dish can be made the night before in a crockpot, if you are pressed for time.

Leave a review, and let me know what you think!

~CSM~

Tasty Tuesday!

Peeps!

Happy Anniversary you sexy beasts you!

No seriously, it’s been awesome to make it two years, and I hope it continues. I have so many ideas I want to try and share with you. I want to say thank you, for if it wasn’t you guys, this page wouldn’t still be here. This last year was an interesting one, but nothing is stopping this movement right?

With that said, here’s my creation this week!

I don’t have a name for it, but it kinda just came to me in the store. You see, my kids love macaroni and cheese, or tuna casserole. Both they have burnt me out on. It’s how this blog was made, I wanted to create new things, and began to build a menu for my restaurant ideas, among other things.

As I joke with friends, some are addicted to shoes. Some are addicted to clothes. I’m addicted to creating new dishes and cocktails. Yesterday was no exception. As I walked through the store, I was thinking tuna casserole, but figured I’d have a frozen dinner, until I saw them.

Chicken Apple Sausages.

Now, for those of you who have been around, you know I have cooked with these before. Just not in the way I did last night. Taking the recipe I learned from family to make tuna casserole, I took the tuna out, and subsituted the chicken apple sausage.

Now, this may sound gross, but wait! I’m not done……

Chicken Apple Sausage Casserole

3 packages Chicken Apple Sausage, chopped

I package frozen broccoli pieces

3 cans cream of mushroom

1 can chicken broth

2-3 bags shredded cheese(I used 4 cheese mexican), divided

1-2 boxes tri-flavor penne

Garlic Salt

Pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Make pasta as directed. Strain, and put back into pot. Mix in ingredients, with one half of the cheese. Spray casserole dish with non stick spray. Pour mixture into pan. Then top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

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The top should have a crispiness to it.

It was a hit! My kids loved it, and I loved it. I shared some with my mom and younger brothers. It was gone by this morning. Took me maybe 30 minutes to prep. Another 30 minutes to cook. If you are in a hurry, you could make it up early, which I did since I had errands to still run. Option 2 could be sautee the sausages before mixing them on and just make this a stove top dish.

Enjoy!

New Dinner Recipe: Cucumber HoneyLime Chicken

As time as moves forward, and changes are taking over, I’m getting organized, and back on track. I missed regularly talking to you guys, writing for you guys, and joking with everyone. It’s slowly coming together.

Getting back to cooking was a joy, and now I have my mondays back(since my girl scouts night changed), you guys have the new recipe night back, and crockpot night is saturdays. With that said…

LETS GET INTO IT!

I wanted to start making my own marinades. I know we touched on it, but I thought about using foods we haven’t had in marinade form. I’m not too much into lime, unless with seafood, but if I tell my kids to try new things, I need to as well.

One thing I think anyone who cooks on a regular basis knows, chicken and turkey are bland meats. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s actually a good thing. It means you can make just about anything with these meats. What that also means is the possibilities are endless!

To really show we are embracing our new digs and new area. One awesome thing about being in California now is that it’s rare you can’t find produce. If you are willing to drive, you can find just about anything. In this case, I went to my local store that rocks on prices for produce, Jons.

Cucumbers normally you think go into just into salads, or a snack with dip/salad dressing. Not this time…..

I was very eager to use my food processor and put her to work! I cut up chicken breast into cubes, washed the off, and into a ziploc bag. Next I added 2 chopped cucumbers, juices from 2 limes, salt, pepper, olive oil, honey and a little water to my food processor and let it go!

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Pouring the mix over the chicken, it marinaded in the refrigerator overnight Now, I made this on my stovetop. I’m thinking this would be an excellent mix for the grill too. Give me time…..LOL

While sauteing the chicken, I decided on a bean/rice/corn mix for a side. Black beans, cream corn, and jasmine rice. After since I introduced my kids to jasmine or basmati rice, that’s the only rice they will eat now. No more regular white rice. Either those two or in some dishes brown rice.

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Adding water to my saucepan, I drained the black beans, and added them to the rice, and the cream corn as is. I wanted the rice to take on the flavors of the beans and corn.

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We heated some tortillas, and 30 minutes later we were ready for dinner. I may tweak this in the future. since the kids thought the lime was overbearing, but I shared this with my extended crew(my hulk fam bam), and they loved it as is. I loved it since it was tangy and sweet. The rice mix was fabulous on the side, and since it marinaded over night, only took 30 minutes to throw together.

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Try it out and give me some feedback!

Until next Monday: Carribean Jerk Steak…..

~CSM~