12 Days of Christmas: Healthy Cold-Weather Recipes

It’s that time of year again. It’s cold, and we all want everything warm, right?! Well good news for ya’ll, I’m making a list and checking it twice for ya’ll.

One of the things we talked about yesterday, is meal planning. You don’t have to go all ham on meal planning, spending all of Sunday meal prepping to meal plan. You can if you want to, but I won’t judge you if you don’t.

What I do, is open a Google Doc and make a table of the month I’m planning for. A Word Doc would do just fine as well for this. From there, I see what I want to make, what I have, and what’s on sale or what coupons I have.

Anyway, you’re probably not here for that, you’re just here for ideas, right?! Right. Well go visit my Pinterest board, of Fall and Winter Healthy Recipes, and Cold weather comfort foods to start! Don’t be ashamed to even look at some of my other boards and pins either!

Some of my go-to’s are anything made in the crock pot or insta pot. I love Chili and tacos this time of year. I’m also really getting into warm dips this year too.

One I can’t wait to try is this BBQ Ranch Chicken dip! This apple butter pork tenderloin is amazing, and it’s great with a beef roast as well!

What are some of your go-to’s in the cold months? Are you going to try any from my list of ’em? Let me know!

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Foodie FriYAY: Crockpot Lasagna (gone slightly wrong)

So earlier this week, I attempted a lasagna roll recipe that would cook in the crock pot. It didn’t go as planned, but I did make instead just a lasagna bake in a crock pot. Here’s the journey.

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This is 100% the last time you’ll see this pot. It went up in flames not too long after this picture. But anyway, boil some water, add some seasoning and oil, break your lasagna in half (both in how much is in the 1 lb box, and in length, like you might do for spaghetti and kids), and cook to the box’s demands.

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While you have your lasagna noodles cooking, chop up any veggies (I KNOW TOMATO IS A FRUIT….DRINK KETCHUP THEN AS A SMOOTHIE THEN. DO IT.) and cook your protein of choice (or not…I’m not in charge of you).

While you’re at it, pour a drink. Because this is where it went ALL WRONG FOR ME, so it may do the same for you. If it goes wrong, you have a drink. If it goes right, you have a drink.

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I don’t like broadcasting failures, so here’s what happened after things went wrong, and I just went f*ck it and changed it into a casserole dish before I burned the whole place down with the pot that caught fire (YES I KNOW HALF OF IT WAS MY FAULT, FOR CATCHING ON FIRE lol, don’t judge me haha).

I took the lasagna noodles, layered it, put riocotta cheese, then my veggies, then my meat, and repeated the process until I ran out of it all. It became like 3 good layers. Oh, add sauce as you wish as well.

After it looks something like this, finish the sauce and add shredded cheese. I took a 3 cheese Italian blend. Make it look like this:

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Then, for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how your crock pot handles the high setting, and how crispy you like that top layer of cheese), cook it on high.

Serve like you would regular lasagna, and save the rest (if you have any).

This can serve 2 people for 2-5 meals, depending on hunger levels, and what it’s paired with (salad, dessert, other sides), so take that as you will.

Have you tried a crock pot lasagna dish? How did you like it? Did you do anything different than I did? Share with me, so I can try it as well!

If you have any tips to do the little rolls, TELL ME YOUR WAYS below.

Make it Monday (Well, ReMake it Monday): Tomato, Spinach, and Parmesan Chicken

As a part of my make it Mondays program, which I’m recreating some dishes that I know, love, and have tweaked over time to personal liking (which the man approves nearly all of the time), I’m making the dish that got Dave into spinach: the tomato, spinach, and cheese baked chicken.

Now you can pair this dish with nearly any side, like mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, green beans, or carrots and peas, or over noodles (I’d add a not-too-sweet red sauce, but not too much to overpower the taste from the chicken). It’s a very nice stand alone dish as well, supplying that you give your men (and boys) enough chicken. I would suggest 1 good sized chicken breast for every adult, or growing kid about pre-teen age and older. If needed, they can have 2. Only you know your family’s needs, so judge for yourselves here!

Let’s get to the cooking, am I right?!

 

To start off, you’ll need these ingredients:

-A chicken breast for every person you’re feeding (I only need 2, so I picked up some clearanced Perdue Chicken breasts, with no added hormones, and no antibiotics for $4-$5 at WalMart)

-Tomato(es). You’ll need 2 slices per chicken breast, and you can cut them however thin or thick you like…I would recommend the larger tomatoes instead of the salad/snack ones,

-shredded cheese of choice (parmesan and mozzarella are a good match…I switch it up, or use a mix of the two)

-Spinach (I just get the ones in a bag, for salads)

-salt and pepper to taste (or not. I like using hymilaan pink salt, but for this recipie I used regular salt because I was running low)

 

Now here comes the prep-work. Past this, it’s easy breezy Covergirl (literally just baking).

-If using a regular oven, preheat oven to 350 (sometimes I use the toaster oven, which I just heat up after putting it in, since it’s tinier than the “big oven”

-Take your chicken breast and cut it in half, then cut it down that new middle on each half, stopping just before you cut it entirely (you’ll want it like a book, so you can put the top layer of chicken back over. It’s okay if you cut it all the way through, just lay it on top)

-put chicken on baking sheet/pan. Grease with whatever you want to (pam/spray, butter/margarine, or not)

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-Salt and pepper to taste each chicken breast.

-Slice your tomatoes, and put on each chicken breast. I like to slice, then cut that slice in half. It just works better for me for some reason, while eating.

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-grab a little handful of spinach, and put on top of tomatoes.

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-Fold over chicken top (or put the “top” on)

-put cheese on top, to desire.

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-bake about 45 minutes, until the chicken is white and cooked through, and the cheese is browned.

-cook up whatever sides you want, let cool, and eat up!

I recommend potatoes and rolls as a side, and for adults, a crisp/medium bodied white wine (or just your go-to wine). Don’t go for a super sweet white wine though, just a little juicier.
Original Recipe Pinterest board

Re-Make it Mondays: Bourbon Maple Glazed Wings

As a part of my make it Mondays program, which I’m recreating some dishes that I know, love, and have tweaked over time to personal liking (which the man approves nearly all of the time), I’m making bourbon maple glazed wings. Now, per recommendation, I suggest making sure you get ample meat on your chicken wings, or opt for some sort of bite size chicken. I also recommend to try on any other style of chicken, such as thighs or breasts. This glaze is so delicious, that you’ll want to just eat it as is!

This would go good with any BBQ side dish (grilled pineapple would be good!), and maybe just by itself. I did land up tweaking the original recipe, by using Jack Daniels instead of a bourbon, but using the sour mash flavoring of Jack worked out wonderfully. Plus Dave and I love Jack Daniels to drink on occasion, so we’re always sure to have some on hand – never mind the medical uses.

Anyway, enough with the teasing. Let’s get to what you wanted to see and make: these bourbon maple glazed wings! Now keep in mind, I’m scaling this for 2 adults, so adjust accordingly.

To start off, you will need:

-3 pounds of chicken wings (if serving with side dishes, go for 2 pounds) (I’d go boneless chicken, to make it even easier to eat)

-butter to taste, at least 2 Tblsp (depending on how smooth you like things, and how much you like butter)

-½ cup bourbon

-¾ cup maple syrup (I suggest pure maple syrup, not the artificial flavored syrup)

-2 tblsp tomato paste, or half a small can

-a good bit of rosemary (I eyeballed it, it called for 1 tsp)

-salt and pepper to taste

-grated onion to taste (use a small hole grater, like on a cheese grater)

To make:

-melt butter in a saucepan, and add onion. Let it cook for a moment, and add everything but the chicken, and bring to a nice low simmer

-Preheat oven to 350

-pour a little over half over the chicken, and return the rest of the marinade to the stove, for a little more simmering time.

-place chicken on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, flip over and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until browned.

-make whatever side dishes during this time, for time efficiency.

-during the last 10-15 minutes, simmer the rest of the marinade, and make sure it will coat a spoon nicely.

-let the chicken cool slightly, and spread the rest of the marinade on the chicken, making it a nice glaze.

-Plate it all up and enjoy the amazing flavors!

Original recipe Pinterest board