One Pot Jambalaya

I’ll be the first to admit that my husband is the New Orleans food cook in the house.  His family is from New Orleans and he takes pride in his traditional New Orleans dishes.  He has been making Jambalaya for a while now, usually with fresh shrimp.

Jambalaya Video:

Today my husband made Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, my favorite.  I always think it is like gumbo, a meal that takes a ton of time to cook, but that is far from true.  Jambalaya is easy to prepare and ready in under an hour.  My kind of meal.
 
To start Jambalaya, chop your bell peppers, celery and onions, and sauté the veggies until they’re nice and soft.  Next, add meat.  My husband went with chicken and andouille sausage for this meal but you can use any protein. You can even use the meat from those grocery store roasted chickens. You save so much time with pre-roasted meat.
 
The last step is to pour in crushed tomatoes, broth, seasonings, and rice, and give it a good stir.  Once mixed, cover the Jambalaya and let it simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes. Then VOILA, a one pot meal.

Jambalaya Ingredients:

* 1 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
* 10 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
* 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
* 1 onion, diced
* 3 garlic cloves
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 small green bell pepper, diced
* 2 stalks celery, diced
* 1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 1 tsp salt and pepper
* 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
* 1 1/4 cups uncooked white rice
* 2 1/2 cups chicken broth

 

Jambalaya Directions:

1. Cut onions, bell peppers and celery. Set aside.

2. Cut chicken and andouille. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy cast iron pot over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Saute until browned. Remove with wooden spoon, and set aside. Leave drippings.

4. In the same cast iron pot, saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves and celery until tender. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and season with pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in chicken and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in the rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

6. When rice is done, spoon jambalaya into a dish.

7. Flavor the jambalaya with additional seasonings to get the right taste/spice/heat level.

8. Enjoy the jambalaya!

Saint Patrick’s Day Chicken and Waffles

Today my good friend and I were chatting while hungry (very dangerous). We were discussing the best food trucks in town. I told her about this barbecue truck I liked and she told me about a new chicken and waffle food truck she liked. She described the most heavenly chicken and red velvet walnut waffles. I was really hungry by the end of our conversation so I asked her where I could find this truck. She said the truck posted its whereabouts on instagram. I am so bad at technology and directions that I decided it was better to make my own at home. Definitely faster than looking for the truck. Instead of making red velvet, I thought it would be cool to make them green in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

First I got my party wings and tossed them in a flour, salt and pepper ziplock bag. Next, I laid the wings on a lightly greased baking pan and sprayed them with some olive oil. I put the wings in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. I turned them and let them cook another 20 minutes. I waited until they were brown and crispy.

While the wings were cooking, I made the waffles. I didn’t have a lot of green food coloring so I hoped what I had would be enough.

After the waffles were done, I pulled the wings out of the oven and put the two items together. They were perfect. My family loved the festive meal. My daughter thought we were doing a Seuss themed dinner and wanted green eggs to go with her waffles.

Waffle Ingredients:

• 2 cups flour

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

• 1 tbsp cocoa powder

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1 3/4 cups milk

• 1/3 cup butter melted

• 2 large eggs

• 2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

• 2 tbsp green food coloring

Waffle Directions:

1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, honey, food coloring and vinegar. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the milk mixture in. Wisk until barely smooth.

2. Heat your waffle iron according to the manufacturers instructions. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and then pour batter into the center of the waffle iron. Let it cook until crispy and GREEN.

Wings Ingredients:

• 1-2 lbs of chicken wings

• 1 cup flour

• salt and pepper

• olive oil cooking spray

Wings Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. After cleaning wings, dry them well with paper towels. Dryer wings are more crispy.

3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. When thoroughly mixed, add wings. Shake well.

4. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil just slightly.

5. Add wings to the pan and spray with olive oil cooking spray.

6. Bake for 25 minutes and turn.

7. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy and done.

Watch this quick video for more:

Foil Baked Chicken Caprese

My last foil bake for the week was chicken caprese.  If I see caprese on an appetizer menu, I usually select it.  If you are not familiar with caprese, it is a salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and sometimes a vinegar.  It is really good.  Usually the fresher the mozzarella, the better.  I decided to try caprese in a foil bake.

 I think it came out great.  It was another quick meal without fuss.  I could have cooked the chicken on the skillet a bit to give it a nice golden color but that would have been an extra step.  I did add some pasta and sauce because I wanted to make it more of a meal but it is totally optional.  My kids loved the pasta.  As soon as I set the food down, noodles and sauce started flying.

Ingredients:

– 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
– 8 oz sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
– 1 cup diced tomatoes
– 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 onion, sliced
– 1 bell pepper, sliced
– 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
– 1 tbs butter
– 1 tbs olive oil
– 1/4 cup of fresh basil
– angel hair pasta and sauce, optional

Directions:

1. Pre-Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  

2. In a bowl, combine the butter, olive oil, Italian seasonings and salt and pepper.  When thoroughly combined, add the chicken, onions, tomatoes and peppers. Mix until everything is coated with the butter/olive oil/seasoning mixture.

3.  Lay out (4) 16-inch long pieces of foil and divide the ingredients evenly in the center of the foil.  Wrap the foil tightly so there are no holes.  If you have to, add another piece of foil on top to ensure the moisture remains in the packet.

4.  Place the foil packets on a foil lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
5.  Open the packets and add the cheese.  Add the packet back to the stove for an additional minute to melt the cheese.
6.  When the cheese is melted garnish with basil and vinegar.
7.  You can complete the meal with pasta and sauce as an option.
Watch this quick video!

Dinner Strategies Meal Plan 3: Italian Sausage Dinners

Today I am sharing last weeks meal plan if anyone is interested. I have three great dinner ideas! I hope these posts make it easier for you to get dinner on the table! And don’t feel like you have to make every single recipe…usually their is plenty left over for the next day. These meal plans are meant to be a guide! Feel free to change the plans up to meet your needs!

The meal theme for this week is Italian Sausage.  I made the following:

Italian Sausage and Feta Calzone

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Just click the link to see view the ingredients and directions.

Here is the grocery list.  I tried to pick three very different recipes with similar ingredients to cut down on waste.  I also use a lot of cabinet staples to cut down on the grocery bill.  Let me know what you think.

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Dinner Strategies Meal Plan 2: Chicken Dinners

 

Today I am sharing last weeks meal plan if anyone is interested. I have three great dinner ideas! I hope these posts make it easier for you to get dinner on the table! And don’t feel like you have to make every single recipe…usually their is plenty left over for the next day. These meal plans are meant to be a guide! Feel free to change the plans up to meet your needs!

The meal theme for this week is chicken.  I made the following:

Slow Cooker Chicken and Avocado Soup

Chicken Corn Chowder with Corn Bread Waffles

Pineapple Chicken and Rice

Just click the link to see view the ingredients and directions.

 

Here is the grocery list.  I tried to pick three very different recipes with similar ingredients to cut down on waste.  I also use a lot of cabinet staples to cut down on the grocery bill.  Let me know what you think.

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Pineapple Chicken and Rice

This is my last chicken meal for the week and also my favorite.  It was my favorite because it was the quickest.  I make this meal often but I try to add new elements to make it better each time.  This time I was in the grocery store and found some cool things in the asian food section of Harris Teeter.  I found fortune cookies and black sesame seeds.  These two things made this meal extra fun.  At the end of dinner, everyone opened their cookies and got great fortunes, except for me.  Mine said “pick another cookie.”  Go figure.

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To start, I loosely chopped my pineapple, onion and bell peppers because I wanted them chunky and used my rice cooker to make my rice sticky.

 

When I was done cooking the meat and veggies, I mixed in an easy, sweet pineapple sauce while everything was still in the skillet.  When the chicken and sauce was well blended, I scooped it out of the skillet and put it on top of a bed of rice.  I garnished the meal with black sesame seeds and a fortune cookie for a fun twist.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz can diced pineapple, reserve 1/3 cup juice
  • 1/3cuplow sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3cuplow sodium chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame seed oil
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • fortune cookies (optional)
  • rice, for serving
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice, honey, soy sauce, chicken stock and cornstarch. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the mixture is the consistency of syrup. Set the sauce aside.

2.  Add the toasted sesame seed oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper and cook until softened, 1-3 minutes.  Add the chicken to the pan and season it with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and stir until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add the sauce to the pan and stir until combined with chicken. Add the pineapple and cook for an additional minute.

4.  Serve the chicken atop a bed of rice.  Garnish with sesame seeds and a fortune cookie.
Check out this easy video for more!

Chicken Corn Chowder with Corn Bread Waffles

Hi everyone!  Tonight I am making another crock pot master piece.  If you are wondering why I am using my crock pot so much, it’s because my stove is broken.  It just went out, not sure why, but it happens.  I should get another one this week, so until then, I am having fun with some of my lesser used kitchen gadgets.  I decided to do a chowder because I used to make this for office potlucks.  I would cook off the chicken and dump everything in the crockpot and let it cook until the potluck started.  And to top it off, I would make some honey cornbread in the oven to go with it.  It was always a hit.

This time with no stove, I had to get creative with my cornbread.  I decided to make it in a waffle maker.  I thought it be a fun twist.  The kids were bummed, however, when they found out they were having corn bread with dinner instead of waffles.  They ate it any way.

INGREDIENTS:

Chowder:

1 lb chicken, cubed

1⁄2 onion chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 red potatoes, cubed

2 (15 ounce) can corn (regular and creamed), drained

2 cups chicken broth

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper, to taste

Cornbread:

3/4 cup milk

1/4 melted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey

cooking spray

DIRECTIONS:

Place carrots, potatoes, onion and corn in crock pot. Put chicken pieces on top. Add chicken broth. Add salt and pepper.

Turn crock pot to low and cook 4 to 6 hours. During last 10 minutes of cooking add evaporated milk and cheese. Stir.

To make Corn Bread: In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the milk, butter, oil, honey and eggs; stir to combine until moistened. Batter should be the consistency of pancake batter, so you may need to add a little more milk. Heat cooking spray in waffle maker. When hot, scoop a dollop of mixture in the waffle maker and cook cornbread in accordance with waffle maker instructions. When golden brown, remove from the waffle maker and serve with chowder.  Enjoy!

Check out this easy how to video!