A steaming bowl of macaroni and cheese is pure comfort food. Mix in some cooked chicken and broccoli, and you have a complete meal. These Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken are creamy, cheesy pasta at its best.
Macaroni and Cheese. The ultimate comfort food. When it's cold outside, there's nothing better than sitting down to a bowl full of warm, cheesy pasta. The only problem is that on it's own, mac and cheese doesn't make much of a balanced meal. Sure, you can roast some broccoli or make a salad to go alongside, but how about instead boosting the nutrition of the mac and cheese itself?
Enter these Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken. Here we have four food groups all ... [Continue Reading]
With a ginger, sesame, and lime dressing, this colorful salad is packed with flavor! Enjoy it for an easy dinner or lunch.
As I type this, it's Thursday night, and can I just say how glad I am that tomorrow's Friday? As you read this, it will be Friday, so happy almost weekend to you! I don't know about you, but I am t.i.r.e.d. by the end of the week. My Friday night routine these days consists of (1) an easy dinner, (2) bathe the kids, read stories, and put them to bed, and (3) relax on the couch with the latest episode of Parenthood and a bowl of ice cream. (If I wasn't pregnant, there would be wine. Ice cream works for now, though!) Then I'm off to bed by about 9:30, which ... [Continue Reading]
This Chicken Tortilla Casserole is a one-dish skillet meal that you can have on your dinner table in no time. It's a little spicy, a lot cheesy, and full of crushed tortilla chips!
I know I'm stating the obvious here, but just about everyone (those with young children, at least) is busy adjusting to the back to school routine. That means your mind is likely on early bedtimes and early wake-ups, packing lunches, homework, and keeping schedules straight. What you're probably not too interested in at the moment are complicated dinner recipes. I know I'm not.
I've got your dinner needs covered with this Chicken Tortilla Casserole. You can have this skillet casserole on your table ... [Continue Reading]
This BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad is full of black beans, corn, tomato, avocado, and grilled chicken. It's tossed in a tangy cilantro-lime dressing and drizzled with BBQ sauce. Shredded cheese and crumbled tortilla chips are a perfect finishing touch!
Hi, Friends! I hope you enjoyed the 4th of July weekend! We did some swimming, some relaxing, and lots of visiting with family. Now it's time to gear up for another week...
One thing that helps me feel prepared heading into the week is a menu plan. I always plan my meals on the weekend, do the grocery shopping, and then there's (usually) never the question of what's for dinner.
This BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad is the perfect thing ... [Continue Reading]
Grilled chicken tacos with a refreshing and flavorful cucumber-avocado salsa.
This recipe is one of the very first that I shared after starting this blog- over four years ago now. It had gotten lost in the archives and desperately needed a little updating and a new photo. This is one of our favorite meals to make during grilling season, and a friend recently found the recipe on my site and reminded me of it. While we used to make these tacos all the time, I had forgotten about them. Well, now that I've been reminded, we've made these three times in the span of two weeks.
There is so much to love about this recipe. The marinade for the chicken is simple, just lime juice, garlic, and ... [Continue Reading]
This Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole is a perfect dinner to make on a busy weeknight.
Most nights when I come home from work, cooking anything but the simplest dinner is hard to manage. Please don't let the fact that I write a food blog lead you to believe that I make a gourmet meal every night. Just like everyone else, I'm doing my best to balance my kids and family, work, household chores, and taking care of myself (by exercising or reading, for example). On my days off from teaching I have a little more time to devote to the kitchen, but the days I work it's go, go, go from the minute I wake up until bedtime.
I'm lucky in that I only teach part time right now, so there are ... [Continue Reading]
This baked pasta is full of yumminess. There's artichoke hearts, spinach, cheese, chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes. And pasta, of course. I used whole-wheat, because it's my favorite, and good for you too.
Do you need a meal to bring to a new neighbor or a friend with a new baby? This pasta bake is the perfect meal for gifting. After William was born, a good friend brought us a big dish of this and it fed us for days. It was wonderful. The leftovers reheat well, and it's full of protein, carbs, and veggies, which is just what you need when you're putting all of your energy into taking care of a newborn. ... [Continue Reading]
One of my family's favorite cusines is Mexican food, and we really enjoy a good enchilada. The corn tortillas, the spicy sauce, the melty cheese... what's not to love? Well, sometimes it's the assembly of the enchiladas that I'd like to pass on. Most of the time I don't mind it, but if I'm in a hurry I surely don't want to fuss with dipping, filling, and rolling tortillas. That's where these stacked chicken enchiladas come in. To make these, I simply layer the ingredients in a baking dish, bake, and serve. Easy peasy!
Now I know it may sound like I'm contradicting myself here, since I just wrote about how these stacked enchiladas save you time and effort, but I'm going to highly ... [Continue Reading]
At first glance, I wasn't too sure about this recipe. But then I realized this is a burger... with cheese inside of it. Melty cheese throughout a chicken burger patty, plus guacamole? That was enough to convince me to give these a try, and I'm so glad I did. I made these chicken burgers twice in just over two weeks, because I couldn't wait to eat them a second time. Besides the cheddar, the burger patties are seasoned with lots of other great things- including onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice.
These burgers are jazzed up with tons of flavor, but the meal still comes together easily. If you have time, bake some homemade buns to serve these on. A great burger is made even better ... [Continue Reading]
Grilled chicken is one of those meals that can be easily added to the weekly meal plan when you're feeling stuck in indecisiveness about what's for dinner. Most of the time, I really enjoy planning out our weekly menu. Sometimes, though, meal planning can become overwhelming- there are just so many recipes from so many different sources that I don't know where to start. There is my cookbook collection, recipes I've torn out from magazines, plus those that I've saved to my Pinterest boards. (You can follow me here if you like!) When all of this is a little much, I remind myself to keep things simple and go back to old favorites. This blog is a handy little recipe collection that I often turn ... [Continue Reading]
I've mentioned before that we make pizza at home about every other week. It's much healthier (especially with whole wheat crust) and more budget-friendly than ordering out. We've gotten pretty good at putting together a homemade pizza around here, and it really doesn't take long at all. Last time, I happened to have some BBQ sauce and Gouda cheese in the fridge that needed using up, as well as leftover grilled chicken from the previous night's dinner. While I hadn't had it on the meal plan, I think this BBQ chicken pizza was meant to be!
If you haven't tried making your own pizza crust yet, don't be intimidated by the thought of it. It is so easy! I use my stand mixer and the dough comes ... [Continue Reading]
Looking for healthy lunch ideas that will also keep your tastebuds happy? Quinoa Salad with Grapes, Celery, and Chicken is a great option. I made this for dinner one night and the leftovers were perfect to pack and take with me for lunches at work over the next few days. I added chicken to the salad to make it more substantial since I planned on serving it as a main dish. You can leave it out if you prefer a vegetarian meal. The quinoa itself is high in protein, which helps to fill you up and keep your energy level going strong for the next few hours.
I love how this salad keeps it simple. There aren't too many ingredients or complicated steps, so that the flavors of each component can ... [Continue Reading]
A few weekends ago we enjoyed a lazy Sunday afternoon at home. The kids took their naps, then we played and I spent some time in the kitchen making this chicken pot pie. It can be hard to find the time to cook more involved recipes like this one, but sometimes on the weekend it's worth the time and effort to make a special meal that will provide plenty of leftovers for the coming week.
This chicken pot pie is a warm, comforting dish that will warm you up on a cold evening. The biscuit crumble topping has a little kick from cayenne and black pepper, and it adds a great spice to go with the chicken and vegetable filling. I've made a few different versions of chicken pot pie, and this is most ... [Continue Reading]
The busy holiday season is beginning, and it's sure to bring plenty of fun activities as well as extra long to do lists. At this time of year, I want to spend my kitchen time baking holiday cookies, rather than cooking involved dinners. Using my slow cooker helps me to do just that. I can spend a few minutes prepping dinner earlier in the day, and then my evening cooking is so much easier.
I've made this honey sesame chicken twice now, and adapted it a bit the second time around to achieve even better results. The first time I used chicken thighs, and the second chicken breasts. It worked out both ways, but do be sure to trim off any fat that may be on the chicken thighs before ... [Continue Reading]
One of the best parts about summer is being able to cook dinner on the grill. Summer salads like this one are great for warm days when you don't want to turn on your stove or oven, or eat a big, hot meal. Spend a few minutes indoors mixing up a quick vinaigrette to season the chicken and vegetables, and then head outside to enjoy some fresh air and relaxing family time while the meat and squash are grilling. Then chop and toss it all together, and it's time to enjoy dinner, preferably outdoors!
We really, really enjoyed this salad. The summer squash is the star of the meal, and the vinaigrette plus grilling add delicious flavor to both the vegetables and chicken. Peppery arugula works ... [Continue Reading]
It had been a while since I'd made homemade pita bread, so when my sister, Karen, told me about this recipe for a Mediterranean spice rubbed chicken, and mentioned how she served the chicken in pitas, I knew I wanted to try it for myself soon. We enjoyed the meal so much, I put it on the menu for Father's Day the next weekend.
We had a relaxing Father's Day get together with family at our house yesterday. I made whole wheat pitas and Brad grilled this Mediterranean chicken. We set up a make-your-own pita station on our kitchen island, so that everyone could choose how to fill their own pita. The options included the chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, kalamata olives, avocado, and Greek yogurt. I ... [Continue Reading]
Here's another main dish salad that's full of flavor, as well as filling protein and fiber. With a little kick of spice and a hint of sweetness, I thought this salad had a really nice balance of flavors. I added some baby arugula to the lettuce, to give a little peppery bite to the salad. The recipe calls for cherry or grape tomatoes, but I didn't have any on hand. I added some corn kernels to the black bean salsa instead, and next time would love to try using both corn and tomatoes for the most color and flavor.
We made this salad for dinner just two nights ago, and I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't wait to post it. I'm already thinking that it needs to be on the menu again next ... [Continue Reading]
Ever since I first made this recipe a little over a month ago, it's appeared on our weekly menu pretty much every week. There is so much to love about this dish, that I think you'll understand why. First, there are the roasted vegetables. I know I've said it before, but roasting vegetables really does bring out the best of their flavors. Second, there is the goat cheese, one of my favorite ingredients these days. Third, we have grilled chicken and whole wheat pasta for some healthy protein and whole grains. Fourth, it is pretty simple to put together, especially if you have a husband who will grill the chicken for you. ;)
The first time I made this, I stayed with the recipe below and used ... [Continue Reading]