Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yummy Surprise Burgers!

A good friend brought us venison but you could do this with beef or ground turkey if you wanted!

First I chopped half an onion and 3 mushrooms. Saute until cooked through and set aside. Add a handful of cheddar cheese!

I seasoned the meat in a bowl with garlic, onion, salt, and cumin. Just a general sprinkle of each and then mix well (I used my hands).

Form into a patty and set on a clean surface (I put down aluminum foil to keep my counter clean) Do this for as many people as you are serving (I used 2lbs of meat for 4 people...but these are HUGE burgers so you could easily share) Use half of the meat for this step.

Put a spoonful of the veggie mix in the center of the patties. Take what meat is left and form a patty and place it on TOP of the patty with the mixture so the mix is inside. Press to seal the edges.

Cook in a hot pan! I found that putting a lid on helped it cook a bit more evenly. You'll want to cook over lower heat because these are THICK and take longer to cook through.

I did cheese on top as well. :)

This can also be GLUTEN FREE!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Saving Time

How do I save TIME?

Let me tell you that if a meal takes more than 20-30min of effort on my part I consider it complicated.

After a long day of parenting the last thing I want to do is slave over a stove for an hour!

I use shortcuts, I use canned veggies, and we're happier for it.

Sometimes I make things from scratch but those are saved for weekends when my husband is home to help with the ankle-biters. :)

 I'm a big fan of kitchen appliances. I use my food processor to chop veggies. I fire up my crockpot to cook meats all day (like chicken breast). I heat things up in the *gasp* microwave.

I also prep things in advance whenever I can. I'll chop a ton of veg in the food processor and it's ready for the week. Or I'll throw the ingredients for chili in a bag and freeze it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

I made this recipe almost exactly (I didn't do celery because celery is gross) http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/buffalo_chicken_casserole.html

This was one where I told my husband "I'm trying this!" and he looked at me unsure. Ha! He was pleasantly surprised that this was AWESOME.

12 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
2 tablespoons oil
3 medium carrots, sliced (I used a handful of shredded carrots)
3 medium stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 cups low-fat milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons hot sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces) (I may have used more than this)

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Bring a Dutch oven of water to a boil. (I used a plain pot...)
Cook noodles until barely tender, about 2 minutes less than package directions.
 Drain, rinse and set aside.
Heat oil in the pot over medium heat.
Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes.
Whisk cornstarch and milk in a medium bowl; add to the pot along with salt.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce.
Spread the noodles in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish.
Top with the chicken mixture; sprinkle with blue cheese.
Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. (Mine did not take this long! Check after 15)
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tip: In Step 2, cook the noodles 4 minutes less than package directions. Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate for 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake at 400°F for 45 minutes.

It was a huge hit around here! I'll bet you could make this Gluten Free if you used the right noodles!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shrimp Veracruzana Kas Style

This is the recipe I used as a jumping off point for my meal: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/shrimp_veracruzana.html

I bought the shrimp on sale AND I bought it will shells ON. Several times I've had to devein it myself but it's worth it when the price difference is $5/lb or something.

So anyway, the recipe calls for onion, garlic, jalapeno, and tomato. I saved time and just dumped a drained can of rotel tomato in it! (Yes, canned...I rarely used canned anything except tomato products anymore) I picked the store brand with chipotle spices.

I served it over quinoa! Super yummy and lots of protein. I do believe that this recipe is gluten free as well! You can make it as spicy as you want by adding more jalapeno or leaving it out all together.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Saving Money

Saving MONEY: Sales sales sales. S

ome of these recipes won't work for you right away because I bought things on SALE. For example, I love using red bell pepper. They're sweet and add great color to a dish. But the stupid things run like $2 EACH normally. Sometimes, however, my store puts them at 98 cents EACH. When that happens I buy 4-5 of them, run them through the food processor, and freeze in plastic bags. Then all I have to do is run a baggie under hot water and I have instant, prechopped, red pepper.

Chicken Breast is expensive. My store runs a deal where breasts are on sale for $1 per pound. These are skin on and bone in! (Don't go buy boneless skinless breasts and then write me that my recipes are too expensive!) Most of the time I'll put a pack (about 3 breasts) in the crock pot and cook on low all day...which gives me easy to shred meat at the end of the day. If I don't mind adding an extra step I'll skin and debone them myself and use the cutlets. It just depends on the dish.

So use each recipe at your own discretion. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days Intro

In previous years I've seen Nesting Place host the 31 Days party and think "Crap, I missed out again! Next year!" Annnnd the next year would roll around and I'd see these great posts pop up in October and go through it all again.

This year I'm jumping in!

Welcome to 31 Days of Easy, Affordable, and (mostly) Healthy!

I did a poll on my Facebook Page and the top reasons you gave for not eating healthy were MONEY, TIME, and EFFORT. I'm here to show you that it can be done! Will they be super healthy meals like you see in magazines? Nope, but that's what makes it great.

So this month you'll get posts on saving time, money, and effort. You'll get a few meals here and there as well. I'm SO excited to offer this to you!

So sit back, be ready to PIN IT (you know you love Pinterest), and enjoy the next month in my kitchen!


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