Weeknight Dinners

Creamy Chicken-Tomato Skillet

Costco had a ton of those cute little cherry tomatoes on sale today – so we have to use them up. This recipe is from the May 2018 Cooking Light Magazine and is 20 minutes to make + super comforting. If you’re looking to spice up your weeknight meal plan, this is it!

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1# skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (about 30 grinds on your pepper mill)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced white onion
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 package brown rice
  • 3 cups packed fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium hi heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper. Add chicken to hot skillet. cook until chicken browns about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes (chop tomatoes if you have small kids), onion, garlic and rosemary. Cook + stir occasionally, about 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk together chicken stock and flour in a bowl. add to chicken mixture in pan. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bring the pan to a boil. Cook + stir often until sauce is thick = 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Heat your rice up according to the package (if you’re not using instant rice, brown rice takes about 45 min. so plan this ahead then).
  5. Place hot rice in a bowl. Add spinach, lemon zest, sprinkle of salt and pepper, toss to coat.
  6. Divide the rice mix over 4 plates. Top evenly with chicken mixture.

Enjoy!

Yield is 4. This is on our menu for the week. Everything else will be “winging it” since May is probably our craziest month yet!

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We made time to enjoy this weather! Our recent auction win provided us with some bubbles! What a fun time 🙂 Kids loved it.

Have a great weekend!

xo

Weeknight Dinners

Zoodles & Marinara Sauce

Healthy pasta is my kind of pasta. Zoodles. Zucchini Noodles. Have you heard about these vegetarian noodles made from green herbs and vegetables?

Well Ronzoni noodles are not exactly fresh Zoodles because that would require me to use an attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer that I do not have (or have time to do tonight); however, these noodles are very similar and have zucchini in them.

Actually, it’s a great combo of spinach, zucchini, broccoli, parsley and kale. This product is 100% nut free. And not made in a facility with other nuts.

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At first, we were not sure about green pasta. I mean, green is my favorite color, but for pasta?! Certainly this pasta looks and sounds healthy AND for sure then they would taste bad. Right?!

Wrong. The good news is that this pasta tastes 100% like regular pasta, only you’re getting some sweet nutrients along with it.  Three servings of vegetables to be exact. That’s A LOT!

And, if your kiddos are picky eaters when it comes to fruits and vegetables, this is a great way to substitute some key nutrients while still eating something familiar, pasta!

We paired this with classic Campbell’s Prego Marinara sauce and some Parmesan with watermelon balls and strawberries on the side. It was a quick night tonight since we had double pick up from school, scholastic book order sorting and dance rehearsal.

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Not a pretty picture, but we did have clean bowl club all around! Kids loved it for sure. We’ll be buying this brand again.

If you check out the Ronzoni website, they have a TON of great recipes for how to use these noodles with cold salads, too. Perfect for summer time picnics and parties 🙂

 

Mom Things, Weeknight Dinners

Menu Board 10/30-11/3

How is it Sunday night already?

This weekend was so nice –  had some girl time with my Mom and we saw Guys and Dolls at the theater and it was amazing – if you have a chance to see this performance, I highly recommend it. The singing was incredible, as was the acting and dancing. It made for a really fun night out.

As a family today, we closed up our garden, and turned the soil over/played in mud, put outside toys away, raked leaves/rolled in them, got laundry going, packed nap mat bags, lunches for the week, showers, and lastly, menu planning + groceries. We’ve got a full week, so I’ve already ordered our groceries online from Metcalfes Sentry and they’ll be delivered tomorrow between 4 and 5 since most of tomorrow is full of meetings and drop offs. I’ve also placed my Target order for pick-up in two hours for the bulk items that I don’t want to get from the regular grocery store!  Maybe some of these recipes will save you some time this week – or not. I’ve got some quick stand-by items in here since this week is super busy.

Sunday Night: Pot Roast Pioneer Woman’s Recipe

Monday: Left over pot roast with roasted broccoli 

Tuesday: Mushroom Ravioli with white sauce + green onion

Wednesday: Burrito Bowls with brown rice

Thursday: Spaghetti and meatballs (freezer section meatballs + barilla pasta + prego sauce)

Friday: California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza

Saturday: Hamburger Helper mix for Gigi

Sunday: Panera

 

I’ve also ordered the following items for breakfast // lunch // snack time, too!

Breakfast:

  • Cold cereal – Red Berries and Frosted Flakes
  • Toast (Angelic Bakery) with sun butter
  • banana oatmeal – quaker is safe

Lunch:

  • Organic Girl mixed green salads with strawberries, parmesan, carrots, cucumbers, balsamic vinaigrette
  • Sun butter and Jelly sandwiches
  • Kraft macaroni and cheese
  • Dino nuggets from Target

Snacks:

  • Sunbutter and honeycrisp apples
  • boom chicka pop popcorn
  • hummus (Athenos) and raw veggie sticks
  • yogurt + banana
  • smoothies
  • toast with avocado
  • Strawberries + cream cheese + graham crackers

I hope you have a great week! Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Weeknight Dinners

Slowcooker BBQ Pork Sammies

It’s Sunday Funday! This morning we had some fun family time mini golfing at Vitense Golfland. Truly, this place is made for kids who want to mini-golf but still have a ton of energy to “do-stuff-besides-golf.” It’s been ranked nationally, and is the number one place in Wisconsin to mini golf.

When I say it’s made for kids, I mean every other hole has a slide (for big kids, too), or an activity of some sort; rocking motorcycles, zip lines, light house climbing tower, giant Giraffe, climbing walls, bridges, you name it. Oh, and having your ball roll into the water, don’t worry, it’s meant to. Who doesn’t LOVE splashing in the water to fetch the ball?

My kids love to mini golf, but their attention span is about 1 putt, then on to something else. Vitense nails family mini golfing.

If it’s cold, don’t worry, the indoor mini golf is even more impressive than the outdoor. It’s a full on replica of Madison landmarks; UW Campus, State Street, Governors Mansion, State Capitol, lakes, Men’s basketball, the Dance County Airport, Wiener mobile (that you can sit in and drive), hot dog slide and a few kids games with tokens.

I bet you didn’t think I was going to fill your head with thoughts of mini golf, did ya?

On to the recipe for your “Meaty Monday” — this IS WISCONSIN, after all.

Crockpot BBQ Pork

Ingredients

  • 2 – 2.5 lbs. boneless pork loin
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 16 oz. bottle BBQ sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on medium for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
  3. Shred and enjoy!

Nut-free buns for this would be anything made by Kings Hawaiian. After speaking with them last year, their stuff is made in a dedicated nut-free facility. And they’re pretty good tasting. Not the lowest calorie count for a bun, but it’s a bun.

Sides for tomorrow, I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to do yet. I’ll probably do something easy like a Steamfresh bag of green beans or peas seasoned with Season Salt and a little butter and a quick coleslaw (pre-chopped bag) with dressing.

Hope you have a great week – I’ll post a pic of this meal once I make it tomorrow. The rest of the week’s meals can be found on my Instagram at:

nutfreemomblog

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Sunday night.

***And yes, Milwaukee area friends, this attraction is worth the drive. You could spend a day here at Vitense between the indoor restaurants, big kid games, mini golf, arcade and heated driving range, you’ll be set for a minimum of 4 hours. Did I mention there’s also a movie theater down the road from this place? Nice little get-away, especially for cooler weather months.

Weeknight Dinners

Roasted Root Vegetables + Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage

Are you in your back to school routines yet? Going crazy? Drinking too much coffee? I’ve got a time saver recipe for your weeknight eats that will have everyone clearing their plates….if they are OK with roasted vegetables. Which, if you haven’t roasted your veggies before, you SHOULD. They taste SO MUCH BETTER. This recipe is Kid approved!

20170906_170337.jpgIf you have random almost expired vegetables in your fridge, this is a good way to use them all up and make a fairly healthy meal at the same time. I love roasted root vegetable night. Usually I choose 3-4 different vegetables, one whole onion, and a sausage of some sort. The recipe below is one that I just made up tonight and we had clean plates all around. It’s very easy and fast, perfect for weeknight cooking.

Roasted Root Vegetables + Sweet Turkey Italian Sausage

  • 1/2 cauliflower cut into small pieces
  • 1 bag mini carrots
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and cut approx. same size as your carrots
    • parsnips are friends of the carrot – if you haven’t had them, you’re in for a real treat. They literally roast up to taste like sweet candy. Literal candy. Not lying. they are gobbled up every. single. time. Do it. Buy them + roast them.
  • 1 package / pound of sweet turkey Italian sausage, sliced into mini rounds
    • I chose Applegate turkey/chicken sausage in the cold case section, and they tasted amazing + they are NUT-FREE! You can find them at Whole Foods, and most other grocers organic/healthy eating sections.
    • Brats also work for this if you have them on hand, so do hot-dogs. Really, any type of sausage works. And it can be fresh/raw. It roasts for so long, it doesn’t matter.
  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt + pepper
  • non-stick spray

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425*
  2. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with non-stick spray
  3. Arrange your vegetables how you like them on the trays
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, check on your stuff, flip around and roast for approx 15-30 more minutes, depending on how crispy you like it.
  5. Tonight I left mine in for a full hour since I like it a tad crunchy.

I had a giant pot of spaghetti noddles left over from the other night, too. So we had that as a side. I warmed up the following:

  • Plain noodles
  • 1/4 cup of Kim Crawford
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil,
  • Salt, pepper,
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • a few grates of Parmesan.

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Rice also works as a side. Other things that you could roast include:

  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Brussel Sprouts (slice in half)
  • White onion
  • Mini potatoes
  • Red potatoes
  • Turnip
  • Kohlrabi

The key with roasting is you want to make sure the stuff is approximately the same size and density. For example, tonight I had bigger stuff on one tray and smaller stuff on another because I knew the cooking times would vary slightly on each of those. Just like cooking Dino Nuggets and Tater Tots, the Dino Nuggets always finish first, so different baking sheet.

The bummer part of roasting is that everything generally looks the same color. If you don’t care about plate presentation, this is not a big deal. I felt “off” with having a lot of brown/white stuff on my plate, so I added a green salad and red tomatoes. Made me feel a little better. Crazy lady, I know.

Have a great week – I’ve got a busy little Thursday and Friday at the kid’s schools and hopefully a fun weekend with a move and mini-golf! New recipes next week and I’ll post menu board inspo to Instagram, nutfreemomblog.

Cheers!