Sunday, March 27, 2011

why did the chicken cross the road?

to give me three dinners out of one roasted bird!!
I had made some beef stew in the crockpot and didn't want extra dishes so i wiped it out and used it to roast said chicken. Placed breast-side up and sprinkled with paprika, garlic powder and some salt, it cooked in a couple hours on the high setting. Of course, you can do it quicker in the oven but always make sure to cook to 180 degrees in the thigh area.
After picking off the meat, I used the carcass to make some stock, which is currently bubbling away as the base for tortilla soup.
I used half dark meat and half white to add to a chicken alfredo last night, the rest of the dark meat in the tortilla soup for tonight and reserved the rest of the breast for use in a chicken caeser salad tomorrow- we like chicken so we don't mind in three nights in a row but of course you can freeze for later use in a soup or pasta, though i don't think i would use the previously frozen breasts for a cold salad just because the texture would be odd. so anyway- a cheap way to feed the fam this week! my bord only cost 3.60, which equals meat for just over a dollar a night!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today is one of those days where i KNOW i should be doing kitcheny things like freezing the carton of almost unusable strawberries that i bought cheap, cleaning and cutting some veggies for the week or cooking a chicken or something but i just. don't. want. to. usaually i am all about filling my down time with cooking but this last week has been different. my husband is never home before 7 anymore because we have hit baseball season, so when i make an exciting meal- he gets it reheated. my son has recently started to have good and bad eating days- blah! he was always such a good eater. so really, it is not that exciting or cost-effective to make a big meal so that i can eat it alone (not counting the baby who is screaming at you if you can't get the spoon in her mouth fast enough). looks like it might be a frozen pizza night- what a shame for a sunday

Friday, March 18, 2011

Egg-ceptional Baby Grub

Have I posted this before?? I think about posting it regularly so it seems like I have already written it :) Egg yolk is one of the most perfect foods for babies- they are full of protein and good fats and they are cheap and easy. I usually hard boil some eggs to keep in the fridge for easy finger foods but sometimes I forget.

Infants can't eat egg whites until they are over a year old because it is such a common allergen (one of the top 5 food allergies actually) and scrambling an egg yolk gives less than appetizing results. What I have found is that if you place an egg yolk in a dish with about a tablespoon of cottage cheese instead of milk, you get a much much better product. They are creamy and smooth, have an extra protein punch and my little lady loves them.

Round them out with tiny chunks of banana (try dusting them with rice cereal or oatmeal to make them easier for tiny fingers to pick up and swallow) and you have a great start to a busy day of cuteness!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Meatless Makeover

Another Ash Wednesday already- my baby girl was born on Easter last year so it seems unbelievable that we have reached Lent- time flies when you're not sleeping :/
It is a GREAT idea to have a meatless night of the week (even if you are not a Catholic during Lent like me) because it can save you an average of 5 bucks a week.... 20 a month and 240 per year! Plus there are really wonderful vegetarian dishes out there that are so good for you. Of course you can still have fish too but tonight I used leftovers to create meat-free burritos .

I had some leftover baked rice (maybe 2/3 cup), corn, black beans and half a can of diced tomatoes (drained) all from the previous few nights dinners. To fill in the protein, I added about a half cup of cooked lentils. To the mixture I added 1/2 a minced onion, a cup of shredded cheese and perhaps a 1/2 tsp each cumin, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and salt with a 1/4 tsp black pepper and a Tbsp taco sauce. You will mayube think it weird, but I also added about 2 Tbsp prepared ranch dressing- it makes it come together better with a little moisture. Then I just wrapped the mixture on 6 whole wheat tortillas, sprinkled with a bit more cheese, covered and baked for 20-30 minutes on 300 degrees. Served with salsa and sour cream, I did not miss the meat- but I did wish for some avacados.....

To reiterate ingredients:
2/3 cup chicken flavored rice
1/4 cup corn
1/2 can drained black beans
1/2 can drained diced tomatoes
1/2 onion- finely chopped/grated
1 cup shredded cheese (of your choice)
1/2 tsp each cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp taco sauce
1 Tbsp ranch dressing (Hidden Valley)
6 whole wheat tortillas
salsa and sour cream

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pancake Sunday

Last night as I was tucking my little man into bed he said "Momma- can we have some pancakes for breakfast?" For you Mr. Nolan, of course.
Pancakes are a staple in this house for versatility and (actually) healthy kickstarts to the day. They are the perfect vehicle for fruit and/or vegetable purees, are cheap and fillingand when topped with a bit of cream and fruit compote are delicious!! This morning I went for quick and easy because the troops were restless. All the good for you whole grain mixes come out a little dense so I have just been making our own  mix. Here is my favorite:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4  cup applesauce
2 egg yolks
1 and 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
Mix dry together. Mix wet together. Stir until just combined (don't overmix). Will be thick.
Heat griddle top. Spray with nonstick spray and drop 1/3 cup batter on griddle. Turn with bubbles stay open on the top. We served with butter and maple syrup.
Note: If you want to up the protein factor, blend cottage cheese in a food processor and replace 1/2 to 3/4 of the milk with it- it is really good and I frequently do this when I make batches of pancakes to freeze for the kiddos!!