Recipe: Roasted Chicken Alfredo and Fresh Salad

As I mentioned in the tacos post, I got a deal on a rotisserie chicken and this is how I used the 2nd portion of chicken.  I actually made this last night just so we could have tacos on Cinco de Mayo!

 

Roasted Chicken Alfredo & Fresh Salad

*1 deli rotisserie chicken (or roast your own!)

*head of lettuce

*2 jars of alfredo (Target brand today- they were on sale and I had a Cartwheel offer and a store coupon!)

*pasta (Barilla today- on sale for $1.00 and I had a $0.50 coupon that doubled so FREE)

*quarter of large onion

*minced garlic

*basil, salt, pepper

*lemon

Salad Ingredients

*head of lettuce

*shredded cheese

*basil

*baby carrots (I used about 10)

*roma tomatoes (I used 2)

*grated peel of one lemon

1. After the chicken cools down so you can pull the meat off without burning yourself (don’t wait too long or the skin will become a little hard to remove) I have found putting the whole chicken in a large, shallow serving tray helps keep this less mess.  Remove the skin- you won’t need it here.  I admit we just eat it…  Chicken skin is like my favorite part!  Bad for you I know but… eat it or throw it away (inconceivable!).  Start by ripping off the wings and legs and work the smaller pieces first.  Don’t really worry about the size of the chunks you just want to get as much meat as possible off the carcass.

2. Divide the meat into 2 equal portions (one for alfredo and one for tacos another night).  Take the head of lettuce and shred with a knife and do the same thing by dividing it in half and putting one half to the side (salad for with the alfredo).  Dice the onion.  I only had a half of an onion left so I diced it, used half and saved half.  Boil pasta per box instructions (I do the olive oil/salt method when making pasta for flavor and prevent sticking).

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3. Put in a skillet- chicken, onion, spoonful of garlic, salt, pepper, basil, grind of one lemon (I like using a plane grater), and lemon juice of that same lemon.

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4. Combine and cook until the chicken starts to turn golden on the outside and the onions are translucent.

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5. Add in sauce and combine well.  Drain pasta.  Divide into 2 portions (I am going to use some for a side dish of pasta salad later this week so not quite half and half but between a quarter and half) and put in 1-2 ladles of sauce just to coat the pasta.  Serve the pasta and top off with a ladle of the alfredo and chicken sauce.

6. For the salad just put all ingredients in the bowl and toss.  I put a small handful for croutons on top of the individual servings in the salad bowls.

7. Hawaiian King rolls were on sale and I had a coupon so I heated up a tray of those with dinner as well.  They were completely gone before everyone left the table!

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You also end up with a lot of prep work done for later in the week!  Bonus!

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Recipe: Happy Cinco de Mayo Tacos

Yes, I know Cinco de Mayo is kind of an inflated holiday most Latin people do not celebrate but I love tacos!  I have been a little MIA lately because I threw out my back a little over a week ago and been trying to nurse that injury.  On Friday when I went shopping I bought two 6- pack single serve Cokes (I use these when I have a headache or my blood sugar drops!) for $2.99 a piece and got $4 off a rotisserie chicken at the deli.  Here is my super quick and easy “make 2” dinners.  I was also able to prep for other meals by only using a portion of what I was prepping which helps when you are in a rush or not feeling well for those families on the go or who battle chronic conditions.

 

Pulled Chicken Tacos

*1 deli rotisserie chicken (or roast your own!)

*head of lettuce

*packet of Taco seasoning

*shell of choice (we have soft flour tortillas, crunchy tacos and tosada flats!)

*quarter of large onion

*salsa

*shredded cheese

*sour cream

*black beans

*canned corn

 

1. After the chicken cools down so you can pull the meat off without burning yourself (don’t wait too long or the skin will become a little hard to remove) I have found putting the whole chicken in a large, shallow serving tray helps keep this less mess.  Remove the skin- you won’t need it here.  I admit we just eat it…  Chicken skin is like my favorite part!  Bad for you I know but… eat it or throw it away (inconceivable!).  Start by ripping off the wings and legs and work the smaller pieces first.  Don’t really worry about the size of the chunks you just want to get as much meat as possible off the carcass.

2. Divide the meat into 2 equal portions (one for tacos and one for alfredo another night).  Take the head of lettuce and shred with a knife and do the same thing by dividing it in half and putting one half to the side (salad for with the alfredo).  Dice the onion.  I only had a half of an onion left so I diced it, used half and saved half.

3. Using 2 forks shredded the chicken into a “pulled meat” texture.  Add to a skillet.  Also add the onion and the taco seasoning as prepared on the package directions.  Cook at least until the onions are translucent.

4. Heat up the black beans and corn.

5.  Assemble your pulled chicken tacos!  Serve with margaritas.  Or if you are like me you don’t keep that stuff on hand and just have some cheap Sutter Homes Cranberry Lime Twist wine.  Whatever works for you!

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Recipe: Potato and Cheese Soup

My mom used to make a version of this soup when I was growing up but one of my sister didn’t like cheese soups (yea, I don’t know what is wrong with her either!) and my mom rarely made it with cheese.  Over the years I have crafted my own version and I think I might like it better.  Don’t tell her that though!  I used the 2nd portion of leftover Easter ham in this recipe.

 

Potato and Cheese Soup

*half a bag of frozen diced potatoes (or cut up several golden potatoes or whatever you have on hand- cutting veggies and such is hard for me with my RA so I pick pre-cut over having to cut them myself a lot of the time)

*half a bag of baby carrots chopped

*4-5 ribs of celery diced

*half an onion diced

*package of diced ham (or leftovers)

*water or stock/broth- about 3-4 cups

*equal parts flour and butter to make the cheese sauce (known in the culinary world as making a roux- pronounced “roo”)

*small brick of Velveta cheese cut into cubes (or store brand if you happen to find one- if they small brick isn’t available just use half of the large one)

*milk

*diced garlic, salt and pepper to taste

 

1. In a large soup or stock pot combine the first 6 ingredients and start a low boil.

2. In another pan (I use my large skillet for this) put in about 4 tablespoons of butter.  One spoon at a time add the flour and KEEP STIRRING.  Add the cheese cubes in a handful at a time while stirring.  You want it to start to look like a creamy cheese sauce (for the culinary inclined think bechamel sauce).  The roux and the cheese will start to become cakey and kind of pasty as some point- when this happens add in some milk.  Usually about 1/3 – 1/2 cup is enough to get things smoothed out again.  Keep adding cheese and milk like this.  KEEP STIRRING.  Once all the cheese is added and the sauce is smooth instead of lumpy pour into the pot with the rest of the ingredients.  Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Either serve immediately or freeze.  I like to freeze any leftovers for a quick lunch or dinner on another night!  The leftovers taste just as good, if not better.

 

I don’t have a video of me making the soup since my hands are way too busy with that cheese sauce so I looked up some roux videos on YouTube.  Sounds intimidating but is super easy- I promise!

 

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Recipe: Crock Pot Ham and Beans

I bought a ham big enough for more than one meal when they were on sale for Easter (6 pound ham for $7!).  I cooked the ham for Easter, of course, then cut up the leftovers into 2 equal portions.  I used 1 portion for Cheese and Potato Soup and the other last night for this.  I will post the soup recipe next.  It’s my favorite comfort food!

Ham & Beans
*packaged of diced ham (or leftovers to save money!)
*bag of dry white northern beans
*minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste
*half an onion chopped
*I had half a bag of baby carrots I chopped up and added to use them up but totally optional

1. Add all ingredients into a standard size crock pot.  Turn on low and cook for 8 hours.
2. Serve with cornbread!

 

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Recipe: Lasagna Rolls

Last night was a little hectic but I was able to squeeze in making these inexpensive, quick lasagna rolls.

LASAGNA ROLLS
*box of lasagna noodle (Barilla is my favorite brand but only if it’s on sale- otherwise store brand is just fine too)
*2 jars of pasta sauce (I used what I had left in the pantry which was 1 jar of chunky vegetable and 1 jar of traditional)
*container of cottage cheese (ricotta is traditionally used but also expensive so I only buy ricotta if on sale and/or I have a good coupon)
*1 pound of ground turkey (cheaper and healthier than beef)
*spoonful of prepackaged minced garlic
*olive oil
*salt, pepper and basil
*shredded Italian cheese (I buy when it’s 3/$6 and freeze it!)

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In large pot boil water for pasta with olive oil and salt sprinkled in for flavor and to prevent sticking.  Prepare pasta per package instuction. Strain.
3. Brown ground turkey. Toward the end of cooking add garlic, salt, pepper and basil to taste.
4. Add in container of cottage cheese and chunky pasta sauce (or whatever your sauce preference is). Stir well and set aside.
5. If pasta is still hot just rinse with cold water till you can handle it without burning your fingers. In a bake dish lay out one lasagna long ways.  Spoon on meat mixture along most of the noodle in a thin layer.  Start at one end and roll up the noodle like a pinwheel.  Continue until pan is full.
6. Pour a thin layer of sauce over lasagna rolls and top with shredded cheese.
7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Looks fancy, easy to make and delicious!

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