Category Archives: Main Dish

Broccoli Bites

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I recently got a job as a nanny to two ADORABLE two-year-olds.  They are just about the cutest twins you’ll ever see and sometimes I can’t believe I get to play with them all day.  It’s pretty much the best job ever. But every job has its challenges.  Mine is vegetables.  Getting toddlers to eat good stuff isn’t easy.

I’ve noticed that when I give them options, they eat all of the things they like, then leave the other stuff on the plate.  To fix this, I decided to start making food that is all mixed together so they can’t separate it.

I was telling my sister, Beth, about my dilemma over the phone and she mentioned broccoli bites!  I looked them up on Pinterest and google but didn’t find a recipe I liked.  So I came up with my own.  The concept is simple.  Take all the things you want a kid to eat, bind it together with eggs, make it taste yummy with cheese, then bake it like cookies!

I decided to use chicken, broccoli, carrots, and rice.  Next time I might try something like corn, chicken, mushrooms, and peppers.  Whatever direction you decide to go, your kids (and YOU) will love these easy-to-eat, hand-held, no-mess bites!

The process goes like this:  First, cook everything to mush.  Mash it up with an egg or two.  Then add breadcrumbs and cheese till it’s the right consistency.  Scoop.  Bake at 400.  EAT!

Enjoy!

Abby Hughes

Broccoli Bites
 
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These fun-to-eat bites will be sure to dazzle your kids while giving them the nutrition they need!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Head Broccoli (cooked soft, drained)
  • 2 Medium Carrots (cooked soft)
  • 1 Large Chicken Breast (cooked and shredded)
  • ½ Medium Onion, chopped (can be cooked with carrots or broccoli)
  • 1½ C. Cooked Rice
  • 1½ C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Smash with a fork to mix, then add salt and pepper to taste (garlic powder and herbs may be added as well).
  4. Stir in the eggs.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or bakers parchment.
  6. Using a cookie scoop, spoon the mixture onto the tray, being sure they don't touch. (they can be placed closely because they don't spread).
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the tops are golden brown.
Notes
Depending on the size of your eggs, chicken breast, head of broccoli, etc. You may find that the "dough" is too wet or too dry. If it's too wet and doesn't hold together, add a little whole wheat flour or bread crumbs to the mixture. If too dry, and an extra egg. 🙂

 

 

 

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

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Am I the only cook on the planet who hasn’t heard of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole?  Apparently, when it comes to church food Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole has been a hit for a long, long time!  My friend, Lila, made this casserole for a Community Bible Study fellowship lunch this spring.  At first, I thought I must have just been really, really, hungry because I couldn’t get enough of this creamy, crunchy, tasty casserole.  Other members of our class seemed equally hungry, because I noticed most of us had second helpings!

I couldn’t figure out all the ingredients my first time around, but by the second helping, I discovered a layer of Rice A Roni that seemed a lot more flavorful than I ever remembered for Rice A Roni.

If you are not familiar with Rice A Roni it is a pilaf-like boxed food mix that consists of rice, vermicelli pasta, and seasonings. To prepare, the rice and pasta are browned in butter, then water and seasonings are added and simmered until the water is absorbed.

“I’ve had this recipe for years,” Lila told our group as we ooh’d and aah’d quite appropriately!

Although lately, she has had trouble finding the exact rice called for in the recipe which is Rice-A-Roni Fried Rice with Almonds.  I couldn’t find that exact flavor and so I used a mixture of one box chicken and garlic and one box chicken and broccoli. Whew!  I highly recommend the chicken and garlic. The garlic creates a flavor layer that really adds to the overall taste of the casserole. The broccoli gave me that false sense that I was eating healthy! 😜

The Rice A Roni is made according to box directions and then becomes the bottom layer in a 9″x13″ baking dish.

I always start any chicken casserole with gently boiled chicken breast, trimmed to remove any fat or stringy pieces.  Then I shred it and the resulting chicken is so white, fresh, and ready for my casserole. (For speed and ease, canned chicken breast will work well in this recipe also.)

Mix the cooked chicken with soup and sour cream for the next layer.  Crushed Ritz crackers and poppy seeds top the chicken layer.  Lila’s recipe calls for a cup of melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers.  I omitted the butter and sprinkled the top with slivered almonds.  Oh my goodness!  Can you just taste it now?  

I know our vegetable should be about twice the amount of the main dish, but I promise, you can start with a smaller amount of casserole but you will be back for more before the broccoli cools off!

Thank you, Lila, for the outstanding recipe!  Keep ’em coming!

Blessings and Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

P.S.  Can you taste poppy seeds? My Chief Casserole Eater husband says he couldn’t taste the poppy seeds.  I don’t think they are meant to be tasted as much as they add texture and color.  What do you think?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
 
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Love it! Packed with flavor, very versatile and especially easy to make.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish, Casserole
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 lb. chicken breast, cooked, chopped or shredded
  • 16 oz. light sour cream
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup butter, melted *Optional
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 boxes Rice-A-Roni (Fried Rice with Almonds or any favorite flavor)
  • Slivered Almonds *Optional
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to the package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 350⁰. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Spread rice in bottom of 9"x13" baking dish.
  4. Combine chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spread on top of rice mixture.
  5. Mix melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers. Layer over chicken.
  6. Top with poppy seeds and slivered almonds.
  7. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, uncovered.
Notes
1 lb. of chicken works fine, originally recipe calls for 2 lbs.
Any flavor of Rice A Roni will work well.
May use canned or fresh chicken breast.
Poppy seeds and almonds optional.
Melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers optional.

 

 

 

Cabbage Roll Casserole

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Do you make cabbage rolls?  You know, the cabbage leaf stuffed with cooked meat, rice, onions, and seasonings?   Cabbage “rolls” are popular among Europeans and traditionally served among the Jewish on  Simchat Torah. I’ve read that stuffed cabbage is said to have entered Jewish cooking some 2,000 years ago.  Recipes vary depending on region; Romanians and northern Poles prefer a savory sauce, while Galicia and Ukraine favor sweet-and-sour.  Unfortunately, that is all the description that I can honestly give because I have never made cabbage rolls.  Knowing this, why in the world would a recipe headline “Cabbage Roll Casserole” catch my attention?

Maybe it was this picture from the Taste of Home website.

Or,  most likely it was the head of cabbage I had in the refrigerator and the looming dinner hour that was fast approaching!

A quick check of ingredients and I was good to go.  I swapped out ground turkey for the ground hamburger, and I used a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes for part of the tomato sauce.  I knew my Chief Casserole Eater would appreciate the flavor kicked up a notch.  I “hoped” my Sous-Chef Dish-washing mom could tolerate the heat.  It turned out great!  Spicy enough to please The Chief and mild enough to keep mama happy! 😜  By using ground turkey I skipped the “drain the cooked meat” stage.  I also added more bacon.  The Taste of Home recipe called for 4 strips of bacon.  Come on, really?  Four strips of bacon only wet our taste for bacon.  We could smell it cooking but couldn’t find it in the casserole.  I suggest 8 strips of bacon or even better yet, “bacon to taste!”

This recipe makes a BIG 9″x13″ casserole.  Some recipes call for a 9″x13″ pan but it isn’t really “full.”  This isn’t one of those recipes.  This will fill your pan and easily make 12 to 16 hearty servings.

We absolutely love this casserole.  It is hearty, fragrant, and loaded with flavor.  Tomato based recipes often times improve with age and this one definitely does.  The first night we had it right out of the oven it was delicious.  The second time we had it “warmed up” the flavors had melded and improved.  But the third time we had it for a lunch meal, oh my goodness, we all agreed “this just keeps getting better and better!”  I put one-fourth of it in the freezer and anticipate yet another outstanding meal in the future.

This casserole “layers” beginning with cabbage, topped with the meat sauce, another layer of cabbage, meat sauce and ending with cabbage.  A bit of the sauce is held out from the meat mixture and finishes the top.  Add the cheese the last 10 minutes of baking.

Oh yum!  I want some now.  It is a little bit past lunchtime and seriously my mouth is watering! I used a medium head of cabbage (about 2 pounds) chopped up.  However, pre-packaged coleslaw mix will work just as well and save you some time. If you and your family can take a little heat don’t skip the Ro*Tel – I think it absolutely made this casserole outstanding.

Speaking of heat, it is spring in Tennessee.  It was almost 80 degrees yesterday and The Chief and I got out on the golf course.   Our peach trees have bloomed and just yesterday winter gave way to this beautiful iris.

Having said that, it is cold today and we have a freeze warning tonight!  Such is the personality of Mother Nature in the spring.  Wherever you are I pray you are having a good day and a blessed week!

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter,
day and night, 
shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:22

Cabbage Roll Casserole
 
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Many European and Polish descendants will know Cabbage Rolls as a holiday favorite. But how about making them into a casserole? This is easier than making the rolls but the end result will thrill the family all the same!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish Casserole
Serves: 12-16
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 can Ro*Tel Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (Or bacon to taste)
  • 1 medium head cabbage (2 pounds), chopped or shredded
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet, cook beef (or turkey) and onion over medium heat, crumbling until the meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain if using beef. Stir in one can of tomato sauce, Ro*Tel tomatoes, and next five seasoning ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Stir in cooked rice and cooked and crumbled bacon; remove from heat.
  2. Layer a third of the cabbage in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  3. Top with half of the meat mixture. Repeat layers; top with remaining cabbage. Pour remaining tomato sauce over top.
  4. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Yield: 12 servings.
Notes
Minimize mess by using 90% lean ground beef or ground turkey (so you can skip the draining step) and use coleslaw mix (so you don't have to chop cabbage).

 

 

Two Easy Grilling Recipes For Beginners

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Today we are happy to have Monica Henin from Addonkitchen as our guest blogger.
Thank you, Monica!

Having an in-house grill is always great because it allows a person to cook scrumptious food at will. Moreover, grilling is fun, especially for those who have an immense love for cooking. Placing a juicy piece of meat on the grill and brushing some oil all over the meat gives the feeling that something nice is going to get ready in a few minutes. But, grilling is not that easy, so one shouldn’t just start grilling game meats because a small mistake made while cooking the food can ruin it all. A person who is just making his/her way into the world of grilling should begin with chicken or shrimps, as these are easy to grill and will help build the confidence for the future.

Today we will be discussing two grilling recipes, which are quite easy to prepare and doesn’t take much time as well. Let us start with the first one.

The first recipe that I’ve selected is ‘Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken’. If you love the taste of mustard, then this recipe will definitely make your mouth filled with water.

Ingredients:

  1.   4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  2.   1 tsp steak sauce
  3.   1/4 cup honey
  4.   1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  5.   2 Tbsp mayonnaise

Total Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

Two Glazed Chicken Quarter On The Hot BBQ Charcoal Flaming Grill Close-up.

Method:

  1. Preheat the grill on medium heat. I hope you have bought a branded grill such as Traeger Renegade, as it ensures uniform and safe cooking. You can check more about this brand by going through Traeger Renegade Elite reviews.
  2. Take a large bowl now and add mayonnaise, honey, steak sauce and mustard. Mix all the ingredients well, and you will get the honey mustard sauce. Save some sauce for basting and use the remaining for marinating the chicken.
  3. Dip chicken pieces into the honey mustard sauce. Make sure that each and every corner of the chicken is coated in the sauce.
  4. Brush some oil on the grill grate followed by placing the chicken pieces on the grill, but make sure that no direct heat is given to the chicken. Cook the chicken in the indirect heat for 18-20 minutes and keep flipping the sides occasionally. Use the reserved sauce to baste the chicken in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  5. Keep a close eye on the grill because you don’t want chicken getting burnt.

That was all about ‘Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken’, so let’s discuss the second recipe, which involves shrimp!

The name of the recipe is ‘Grilled Shrimp Scampi’ and it is great for those who love the flavors of garlic, lemon, and parsley. You can use this dish as an appetizer or main dish. This dish is light on the stomach, but will definitely excite your taste buds. You can replace shrimps with scallops if you want, but let’s just discuss the one with shrimps.

Ingredients:

  1.   1 ½ lbs. medium shrimp, deveined and peeled
  2.   1 tbsp. minced garlic
  3.   ¼ cup lemon juice
  4.   3 tbsps. parsley, chopped
  5.   ¼ cup olive oil
  6.   Red pepper flakes
  7.   Ground black pepper

Total Cooking Time: 36 minutes

Servings: 6

Method:

  1. Take a large bowl and add garlic, lemon juice, black pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Mix all the ingredients well and then, add crushed red pepper on top of the mix.
  2. Add shrimps to the mixture and make sure that the shrimps are properly immersed in the mixture. Marinate the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  3. Now, it’s time to preheat grill on high heat. Take skewers and thread shrimp onto those. You will have to pierce each shrimp once near the head and once near the tail.
  4. Brush the grill grate with some oil and place the skewers on the grill. Grill each side for 2-3 minutes and then, flip the side over. The shrimp will become opaque when fully cooked.

You can now enjoy grilled shrimp with mayonnaise. The taste will be simply amazing, plus it is not bad for your health, so you don’t have to restrain yourself from eating this super-delicious dish.

Happy Grilling!

Author Bio: Monica Henin is the author of this blog post. She is an expert in the field of cooking, especially when it comes to providing cooking tips. She also writes on healthy recipes because she wants her readers not to eat just delicious food, but healthy food as well.

Find more about her work on Addonkitchen.com.