Spinach Artichoke Pasta

I made this up as a mix between spinach artichoke dip and a pasta dish.  Yummy!

1 lb chicken (optional)
8 oz rigatoni
1/2 c chicken broth
1 c cream
2 c mozarella cheese
1/4 c parmeasean cheese
1 oz cream cheese
2 T cornstarch
2-3 c spinach
14 oz quartered artichoke hearts
salt & pepper
6 oz bacon

Cook chicken, then dice or shred as desired.  Cook bacon, pat, and chop.  Cook rigatoni per directions.  In a saucepan, add broth, cream, cornstarch, cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, salt & pepper, and half of both cheeses.  Cook slowly, stirring very very often.  Let boil and cook down.  Remove some of the liquid, add cornstarch and return to pot.  Keep cooking.  Add remaining cheese just before serving.  Once melted, pour sauce in a bowl over noodles and chicken.  Mix well and serve.  Add bacon on top on mix lightly.

Seafood Po Boys

Super yummy and works well with a couple different kinds of seafood.

1/4 lb seafood - diced shrimp, real or imitation lobster, real or imitation lump crab
1-2 t mayo
1-3 t spicy mayo
1/2 celery stock (optional)
1 chive
salt
pepper
dash dry mustard

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, adjusting mayo and spicy mayo to your preference.  Serve on a toasted bun.

Peppered Roast Sandwiches

Mark loves this, and it is so super easy.  Not exact measurements, so make it to gusto.  Freezes well for packable lunches, too.

2-3 lbs Chuch roast (or other beef cut - London broil, thick steaks, etc)
1 package dry Italian Seasoning
1 medium bottle sliced banana peppers, juice included

Place roast in a crockpot.  Pour seasoning on top, and dump in the entire bottle of peppers and juice.  Cover and cook low for 5-6 hrs, or until tender.  Shred and let it stay warm for another 1/2-1 hour.  Serve on buns with Provolone cheese.

Smothered Chicken Chimichangas

This one is super yummy and fairly easy to make.  While perhaps not exactly "healthy" it is a healthier version since it's baked and has a lighter sauce than traditionally.

Chicken Filling

2 lbs chicken
1/2 cup salsa
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 4 oz. can mild green chilies
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 T chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t garlic salt
1 t onion powder
1/2 t paprika
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t liquid smoke

The Rest

8 tortillas
cheddar cheese, to taste
oil, or Pam spray

Sauce

2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2-1 4 oz. can mild chopped green chilies, to taste
1/2-1 cup cheddar cheese, to taste

Combine all ingredients for chicken filling in a crock pot.  Cook on high for 3-4 hrs, or low for 5-6 hrs.  Remove chicken, shred, then return to the pot for another hour or so.  Remove filling and drain well (you don't want soggy tortillas!).  At this point, you could refrigerate it and use it within a day or two, or freeze it to use at a later date.

Fill tortillas with 1/8 of chicken filling and as much cheese and you'd prefer.  Fold up, folding in sides, then top and bottom.  Place on a wire rack over a jelly roll pan.  Repeat until all 8 have been made.  You could probably use a broiler pan as well.  Or just roll them and put them in a baking dish (but they won't get as crispy that way).

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Then switch on the broiler until lightly browned and crispy, turn over and crisp on the other side (just a couple minutes total).

While they are baking, in a sauce pan add oil, butter and flour.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat and add in broth slowly, then the seasonings.  Simmer for another 3-5 minutes, until thickened.  Turn off heat and add chilies and cheese.  Stir until cheese has melted.  Remove from heat and let cool for 1 minute.  Stir in sour cream.  Serve warm over the chimichangas.

Chick-Fil-A Nuggets (copycat)

Found a couple recipes online and mixed them together.  They are awesome!  I'm sure you could use a 1/2 breast pounded thin to make the sandwich, too, but the nuggets are easier and super yummy.

2 chicken breasts
1 c dill pickle juice
1/4 c milk

1/2 c milk
1 egg

1 c flour
1 1/2 t pepper
3 T powdered sugar
1/2 t paprika
2 t salt

oil for deep fryer

Dice chicken breasts into about 1 inch cubes.  In a ziploc bag, mix pickle juice, 1/4 c milk, and chicken.  Throw in the fridge for about 2 hours to brine, turning over once or twice if you can.

In a bowl, mix egg and remaining milk well.  Drain liquid from chicken.  Replace with egg mixture.

In another ziploc bag, mix all dry ingredients.  Add a handful of chicken pieces at a time into the dry ingredient bag.  Shake like shake-n-bake.  Heat oil to about 350/365.  Deep fry in small batches for about 2-4 mintues, until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.

Enjoy with whatever you can come up with for chick-fil-a sauce, or ketchup, etc.

Oatmeal Bread Rolls

Yummy and a great way to use up some oatmeal.

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats, traditional
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup butter
2½ teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
5½ cups flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, brown sugar, honey, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Let cool to about 120-130 degrees.

Add the yeast and let proof a few minutes, then add flour, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and satiny.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a 12 rolls.  Cover again and let rise.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, removing when golden brown.

Crab Stuffed Salmon

Super yummy!!

5 salmon filets (1.25 lbs)
dash garlic salt
dash Italian seasoning
dash salt

1 6 oz can crabmeat
1/4-1/3 c mayo
1 1/2 T breadcrumbs
4 T Parmesan cheese
1/3 c shredded cheese (colby jack is good)
salt & pepper

2 T butter, melted

Spray a large baking pan and set aside.  Put salmon into the pan and cut them down the middle half-way through the filet.  Sprinkle garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and salt over the filets.  In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients except for butter.  Spoon and press the crab mixture into the cuts in the salmon, piling it on top as well.  Cover dish with foil.  Bake at 365 for 15 mintues while covered.  Remove cover and cook another 10-15 minutes (don't overcook the salmon).  Then broil for a few minutes to get a nice light browning of the crabmeat.  Remove from the oven and pour melted butter over the top.  Serve.

Coffeecake

This is actually coffee cake.  And it's delicious.  Would love to try it with a layer of jam in the middle.

Strusel for Middle

3 T butter
1/4 c flour
3 T brown sugar
3 T sugar
1 t cinnamon


Strusel for Top

3 T butter
1/3 c flour
3 T brown sugar
3 T sugar
1 t cinnamon

Cake

3/4 c whole milk
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c cake flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt

Cut strusel toppings in two different bowls until fully incorporated.  Set aside

In a bowl, melt butter into the milk and mix.  In another bowl, Whisk eggs, sugar, and vanilla.  In a third bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients and milk into the egg mixture in alternating pattern, (3 dry, 2 wet) and thoroughly mix between each addition.

In a 9x13 pan, either lined with parchment or sprayed, pour half of the cake batter.  Then spread the middle strusel evenly.  Pour remaining batter on top, and finish with the top strusel.

Bake at 350 for 30-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  (I had to change the pan size so I'm still guessing on the cook time).  Serve cold, with a basic milk and powdered sugar drizzle.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Not as good as rolling and stuffing, but WAY easier!

4 chicken breasts
pepper
seasoned salt
onion powder
4 oz ham deli meat
4 slices swiss cheese
1/4-1/2 c breadcrumbs

Sauce:
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 c milk
1 t garlic powder
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 T dijon mustard
1 t worcestershire sauce
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
dash paprika

Cook chicken breasts with pepper, seasoned salt, and onion powder.  Chop into small bite-sized pieces and place into a bowl.  Chop ham and swiss into similar sized pieces and add to bowl.  Mix together and transfer to a sprayed 9x9 baking dish.

In a saucepan, melt butter, then add in flour and whisk until thick.  Slowly add in the milk, and then add in the garlic powder, bouillon, dijon, and worcestershire sauce.  Stir on medium high until it begins to thicken.  Remove from heat, and add in cheese and paprika.  Stir until fully incorporated.  You can return to the heat if you need to to melt the cheese.

Pour sauce over chicken/ham/swiss mixture.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until it's all melty and top is slightly browned.  Feel free to broil it at the end to add more crunch.  

Chicken Fajita Soup

Found this recipe but added some more flavor and took it out of the crockpot (yuck) and onto the stovetop.  Make sure to have a good amount of taco toppings, too.

1 lb chicken
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 green onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c salsa
1 T cumin
taco seasoning
salt and pepper
1/2 c water
1 c cheese, cheddar or pepperjack, or your preference

toppings:
sour cream
avocado
tomato
shredded cheese
tortilla chips

Cook chicken, then shred.  Add to a pan with taco seasoning, and a bit of water, to cook it like taco meat.  Could also replace with cumin, chili powder, and salt.  Once it's mostly cooked, add beans, green onion, and corn.  Cook well, not letting it stick.  Dump all contents into a soup pot.  Add salsa, chicken soup, cumin, salt and pepper, and water (if needed).  Cook until combined, hot, and cooked down to a good consistency (per preference).  Add cheese and mix to melt, then serve immediately.  Top with favorite toppings, and a side of tortilla chips.  Make about 5-6 bowls.