Trader Joe’s has come to town and, while there’s a LOT of stuff that that is not peanut/tree-nut/fish safe, there are many things that we’ve been able to find there. 10-minute bulgur and sunflower seeds being a couple. Now if only we could get them to be better about labeling! Unfortunately, there’s a bunch of stuff that has CYA labeling…salad greens with shared equipment warnings for all top 8 allergens??? And a lot of stuff that’s not labeled for may contains at all. But it’s a start…
I adapted this from this one on TasteOfHome.com: seemed like it needed some more veggies.
Chicken Bulgur Skillet with Spinach
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Tsps olive oil
- 2 Carrots diced
- 2/3 Cup Onion diced
- 1 bag 10 oz Fresh spinach leaves
- 3 Tbs Sunflower seeds
- 1/2 tsp Caraway seeds
- 1/4 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 1/2 Cups Bulgur
- 2 Cups Reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 Tbs Raisins
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Heat large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the oil and then the chicken.
Cook until meat is cooked through.
Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm.
Add the carrots and onions.
Add the sunflower seeds, caraway, and ground cumin.
Cook until the onions start to brown.
Stir in the bulgur
Add the broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat
Add the raisins, cinnamon and the cooked chicken.
Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the bulgar is tender.
Stir in the spinach leaves and serve.
Florida doesn’t have much in the way of winter, but there are a few weeks when a nice, hearty soup makes a great dinner. This was fast to throw together and everyone ate it up. I adapted this from SparklePeople. You could use hot Italian Sausage for a spicier version.
Italian Tortellini Soup
- 1 package Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage casings removed
- 1 onion chopped
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can 14-1/2 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 package cheese and meat tortellini
- 1 package 9 oz fresh baby spinach
- 2 tsp minced fresh basil or 3/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat
Add the onion.
Cook stirring now and then until meat is no longer pink.
Add garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes
Add the broth and tomatoes.
Bring to a boil.
Stir in tortellini; return to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-8 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the spinach, basil, peppers.
Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted.
Serve topped with Parmesan.
Frozen ravioli makes a nice start to a fast dinner. We had gotten tired of ravioli a while back since all we did was add some spaghetti sauce. This recipe is a relatively fast and easy dish that adds flavor, veggies and something different to the routine.
We used beef ravioli, though with cheese ravioli this could be a vegetarian dish. To make the cooking go a bit faster at meal time, you can dice the squash ahead of time and store in the fridge until your ready to go.
Ravioli with Sautéed Butternut Squash and Thyme
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium butternut squash about 1 lb, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 package ravioli
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the butternut squash.
Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is soft and starting to brown (10-15 min).
Meanwhile boil the water for the ravioli and prepare according to package directions.
When the squash is ready, add the garlic and thyme and cook uncovered for a couple of minutes.
Serve the ravioli, topping with the squash and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
This recipe came from DinnerALoveStory.com, one of my favorite blogs. Her site posts a stead stream of simple, healthy, yummy meals along with humorous stories about all kinds of things. Sometimes I’m in too much of a rush to read the stories, and head straight to the recipes, but I try to get back and read the stories when I’ve got a few minutes.
This recipe was simple and delicious, and our family devours sweet potato fries, so I added them as a nice side dish.
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries
A simple, fast recipe for pulled chicken sandwiches, served with sweet potato fries
For the sandwiches:
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 lbs Chicken Breasts about 4
- Potato Rolls
For the sweet potato fries
- ~3 sweet potatoes
- 2-3 Tbs Olive oil
For the sweet potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 450˚
Slice the potatoes into ¼ inch stops
Working in batches, place cut potatoes in a ziplock bag and add some oil
Close the bag, shake to coat the potatoes
Spread potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt
Bake for ~30 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned
For the sandwiches
While the fries are cooking, get a heavy pot
Add the bbq sauce, cider vinegar, onion, garlic, bay leaf to pot and mix
Add the chicken to the pot
Add 1-2 cups of water to cover the chicken
Add the bay leaf
Bring the chicken to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pot and turn up the heat a bit to cook the sauce down some more while you shred the chicken (10 minutes or so)
Shred the chicken with two forks and return to the sauce
Serve on the potato rolls with the sweet potato fries
It’s great to fire up the grill in the summer and when I ran across this recipe for Grilled Sweet Potatoes, I knew I had to try them. Wow, the lime-cilantro dressing on these was awesome! Paired with a burger topped with feta cheese and some lettuce, this was a great, easy meal.
Feta Burgers with Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Burgers topped with feta cheese, served with grilled sweet potatoes and a lime-cilantro dressing
For the potatoes:
- 2 lbs about 3 large Sweet Potatoes
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tsp Lime zest
- Juice of one lime
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- Pinch of salt
For the Burgers:
- 1 Lb of ground beef formed into patties
- 4 oz Feta cheese sliced into 4 slices
- Hamburger buns
Preheat the grill to medium-high, direct heat.
Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.
Coat the slices with olive oil.
Form the beef into patties.
Grill the potatoes and burgers, 3-6 minutes each side or until the burgers are cooked as you like and the sweet potatoes are softened and have some nice grill marks.
While things are grilling, mix the cilantro, lime zest and juice, oil and salt in a large bowl.
Add the sweet potatoes to the dressing and mix.
Place the burgers on a bun with a slice of feta and some lettuce.
The main downside of this recipe, adapted from TheKitchn, is that the kids devoured it and there were no leftovers for lunch! I was savoring my second piece, thinking that the kids surely would be happy with one and thinking of the yummy lunch I’d be having the next day, when they both asked for seconds. This is a quick and delicious meal, the puff pastry might not qualify it as supper healthy, but yum!
Chicken Pesto Tart
A delicious, quick chicken pizza on frozen puff pastry
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed
- 1 head garlic peeled
- 1-2 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup Fresh basil leaves chopped
- 3-4 chicken breast 1lb, cooked and diced
- 1 cup mozzarella shredded
- 2 Tbs Parmesan grated
Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.
While the oven is heating, thaw the puff pastry and peel the garlic. Put the garlic on a baking sheet and bake until soften and golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unfold the puff pastry onto the lined sheets and stretch it out a bit. Prick all over with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising too much.
Brush the olive oil onto the pastry, then top with the chopped basil.
Top with the diced chicken and then the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
Bake for 15-20 minutes--until the cheese is melted and nicely browned.
These wraps from FoodandStyle.com were easy to make and delicious. This is a great weeknight recipe as everything comes together quite quickly. We used spinach tortillas which, surprisingly enough, were a hit with the kids.
Portobello mushroom wraps
Portobello Mushroom Wraps with Mozzarella, Peppers and Spiced Mayonnaise
For the mushrooms:
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 4 large Portobello mushrooms – stems trimmed caps brushed clean
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
For the wraps:
- 4 to rtillas we used spinach tortillas
- 3 Tbs Mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 8 oz jar roasted bell peppers sliced
- 12 oz mozzarella sliced kind of thick
- 1-2 handfuls baby spinach
Preheat oven to 500°F.
Cut the mushrooms in 1/4” slices.
Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
Spread the mushroom slices onto the sheet in a single layer.
Brush with the rest of the olive oil and grind some pepper over them. Bake for 6 minutes.
Turn the mushroom slices over and continue baking for another 6 to 8 minutes until the slices are golden-brown at the edges.
While the mushrooms are cooking, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice and paprika.
Arrange the mushrooms in a row across the bottom third of the tortillas.
Spread the mayonnaise on top of the mushrooms (about 2 tsp of mayonnaise for each tortilla).
Top with the mozzarella slices and sprinkle pepper to taste.
Top with peppers and the baby spinach leaves.
Roll each tortilla, cut in half and serve.
We’ve started a pot herb garden with mint, basil and cilantro. So far, the mint has been going gangbusters, so there’s an abundance of fresh mint for recipes. Googling around for a good way to use mint in a main dish led me to this recipe from the Miami Herold. It was a nice change from standard burger, but very easy to make. We made some bread to serve it on and served with sweet potato fries.
Burger with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Mint
Adapted from Linda Bladholm’s A Fork on the Road (reprinted here)
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 8 slices good bread
- 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
- 4 oz crumbled feta
- 1 Tomato sliced
- Fresh mint leaves
Form beef into patties, season with salt and pepper if desired. Cook on bbq grill.
While burgers are cooking, mix yogurt and feta. Toast or grill the bread.
Assemble burger with a dollop of sauce, slice of tomato and fresh mint leaves.
These Asian Lettuce Wraps were excellent! The kids loved them and the parents were only disappointed that there weren’t any leftovers for lunch. They were so good in fact, we brought them back for a second week in a row! I left out the chile and red pepper flakes and added sriracha sauce for the adults.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Our Family Eats
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small Poblano pepper, diced (we skipped this)
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 pound ground turkey
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (skipped this too)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- cilantro for garnish
Bang the stem of the lettuce head on counter to remove the core and gently separate leaves. Set leaves aside. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and carrots to skillet and saute for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add ground turkey to skillet and cook until no longer pink. Add garlic and ginger and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chili powder and cumin and saute about 1 minute. Pour in soy sauce and continue cooking about 3-4 more minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Place one or two lettuce leaves on a plate and spoon about 1/2 cup of the turkey mixture into them. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.
Dinner a Love Story is one of my favorite sites for meal ideas. The recipes tend to be good, family friendly and relatively easy to make. The site also features stories of their lives, meals, readings, etc. This particular recipe caught my eye, not only because it looked yummy, but because it started with a note from one of the kids about the pains of being a child of a food blogger and having to wait another fiiiive hours for mom to finish taking photos of dinner before they could eat! As you may have gathered looking around my blog, I generally snap a quick shot or two before digging into a meal…Anyway it was yummy and fairly quick to make. I made a few substitutions based on what was on hand.
Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce
Adapted from Dinner A Love Story
- 1 1/3 pounds skinless chicken thighs
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 chopped tomato
- 1 can artichokes (drained), cut in half
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup cream
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- chopped parsley or thyme
In a large skillet, brown chicken pieces in olive oil over medium-high heat, about 2-3 minutes a side. (They do not have to cook through.) Remove, decrease heat to medium, and add onion. Cook a minute or two, scraping brown bits leftover from chicken. Add tomatoes, artichokes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Nestle chicken thighs in the vegetables then add wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook another 10 – 12 minutes.
While it’s simmering, whisk together cream and mustard. Remove skillet from heat and stir in creamy mustard mixture.
Garnish with parsley or thyme and serve with a good crusty bread to soak up all the sauce.