Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easy-Peasy Meal Number 1 - Taco Dip

Sometimes I don't really feel like cooking, but we don't need a night of fast food. Or, we are broke but want something yummy and not ramen noodle related. That's when I turn to one of my easy-peasy meals for din din or weekend lunch. Little effort and cheap!

The first one I introduce to you started as a taco dip ages ago for a party and adapted to a dip for 2 (and a half) people as the years went by. It's PERFECT for sitting in front of the tv watching a Parks and Rec Netflix marathon or a sporting event.

I use Chili's chips and salsa for this, It's $2.99 for a good portion of chips and salsa. Cheaper than buying the  jarred stuff and a bag of tostitos. But you can use whatever you want. You can also use a fresh Hass avocado if you can catch them on sale or use 2 100 calorie Wholly Guac packs.

Easy-Peasy Taco Dip 
1 can refried beans
1 to 2 cups salsa
1 cup sour cream
1 ripe Hass avocado smashed or 2 100 calorie Wholly Guacamole packs
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheese
2 chopped plum tomatoes

Heat refried beans and stir in salsa. Mix avocado or guacamole with sour cream. Layer it all in a casserole dish or divide into bowls. Serve with chips.

Dig in!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nacho Cheese Noodle Bake

Can you believe it's going to be Thanksgiving in 2 days? And it's almost 2013, whoa! This all dawned on me the other day....where has the year gone? 

I have been attempting to get our house ready for the weekend, my brother and his girlfriend are flying in and will see our house for the first time. It's a wreck. Do you ever sit back, look around and wonder when a tornado touched down in your living room? I do. Almost. Every. Day. Coop was in the hospital last week. He has asthma and when he gets a cold, it's a doozy. It makes his little lungs go haywire and we end up in the ER. He was admitted this time and spent 4 days there. He's all better now but our house isn't. Blah, housework, blah....

Not that this really has anything to do with the recipe I share with you today or anything. Today, I am sharing a yummy, easy-peasy-extra cheesy, Nacho Cheese Noodle Bake. I was flipping a Taste of Home magazine and saw the original recipe. I have altered it slightly..leaving out olives and substituting a few other things. 

Brown ground chicken a drain. Mix in a can of fire roasted Tex-Mex style tomatoes, corn an nacho cheese condensed soup. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook and drain half a bag of egg noodles.

Mix it all together and pour into a greased casserole dish or baking pan. Sprinkle 2 cups of cheese over the top and bake until bubbly.

Nacho Cheese Noodle Bake

3 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 pound ground chicken
1 can fire roasted Tex Mex tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
2 cups shredded Fiesta Blend cheese
Ranch dressing
Shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream. tortilla strips

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown ground chicken an drain. Stir in tomatoes, corn and soup. Heat to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook egg noodles and drain. Stir into chicken mix. 

Pour into greased baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and baking for 15 minutes until bubbly.

Spoon into bowls and drizzle with ranch. Garnish with shredded lettuce, tomato, sour cream and tortilla strips. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chicken Fajita Chowder in the Slow Cooker

We've had cooler...cold for Florida in the over the last month and it's been an excellent time for soup! I could eat soup almost every day, it's so comforting, so satisfying. My husband isn't a big fan of soup on a regular basis, but my little boy agrees with me....he likes soup! Or, poup as he calls it...his name is Cooper...which he pronounces when he says Cooper likes Soup!, it makes me giggle.

This soup is SUPER yummy. Very comforting, good for you and makes excellent leftovers. It does thicken up while in the fridge, so reheat on the stove with a little chicken broth to thin it out a bit. It can also be made on the stove top.

Chicken Fajita Chowder

Dice onion and 3 sweet bell peppers. You can use any variety of peppers green, red, yellow, or orange. 

Saute with a little olive oil until tender.

Meanwhile, brown ground chicken and drain. 
Transfer chicken and peppers to slow cooker. Combine with enchilada sauce, green chilies, rice, broth and salt. 

Cook on low for 3 to 5 hours, until rice is tender. Stir in sour cream and cheese. Serve hot with a little more sour cream cheese and tortilla chips. 

Chicken Fajita Chowder
1 pound ground chicken
3 medium green or sweet peppers, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups chicken broth, water or combination. I used a combination
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 small can diced green chilies, I used about 1/4 cup but it's up to you how much you want to add
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 cup sour cream

 Brown ground chicken, drain and set aside.

Saute onions and peppers in a tablespoon of olive oil until tender.

Transfer peppers and chicken to slow cooker. Mix in broth, corn, rice, enchilada sauce, chilies and salt. 

Cook on low 3 to 5 hours, until rice is tender. Stir in sour cream and cheese until melted.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Dig in!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Italian Puff Pastry Tart

Long time no post, I know..I know. Slacker. After about a million attempts at trying to find a new and awesome recipe to put up, I finally succeeded! Ever have a string of boo-boos in the kitchen? That's me lately. I forget to turn on the crockpot, only to discover it HOURS later, when I am ready to eat what's in the crockpot and it's no where near done...OR..I attempt to broil something, only to realize my oven doesn't have a broiler element...sigh.

WELL....there was definitely success with this delicious little dish below. I had a girl's lunch a few weeks ago and made awesome broccoli pot pies from Oh My Veggies!. It called for a puff pastry sheet, and only used one. Kevin isn't a fan of broccoli, so I needed to think of something else to do with the remaining sheet..besides apple turnovers. I can't even remember what else I made for dinner that night, but felt we needed a 'bread'. That's when inspiration struck! It was delicious, it was magic, it was all gone before we knew it....

Italian Puff Pastry Tart

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed if frozen
Olive oil for drizzling
Grated Parmesan
Extra-thin slices of tomato
Italian Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425.

Lay out sheet of puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press together any cracks to reseal. Sprinkle puff pastry with a handful of parmesan. Lay slices of tomatoes in rows to top of cheese and top with another handful of so of cheese. Drizzle with olive oil (a little bit goes a long way!) and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puff pastry is browned and cheese is melted. Start checking after 15 minutes. 

Slice into squares and Dig in!!