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 🙂

 

Weeknight Dinners

Menu Board Inspiration 11/13 – 11/17

We had a fantastic nut free breakfast at the Knick this morning. They make their own pancake mix in-house, so we know it’s nut-free. They are great about handling allergies. We’ve been dining there with family for the past 7 years, and luckily, haven’t had a single issue. From quick date nights, to baptisms, mother’s day, father’s day, post-fireworks cocktails and more, this restaurant holds some of our greatest family memories. We’re grateful to have such a great place so close.

This week is crazy – I’m sensing a theme here – so the menu is quite boring, but hey, I’m not a restaurant. Here’s what we’ve got, nut-free and fast.

Monday – Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday using Ortega (nut-free) Taco kit with Conscious Carnivore, organic + locally sourced taco meat.

Wednesday – Dino Nuggets from Target, mashed potatoes (aka volcanoes + gravy) with trees (broccoli). Go ahead and buy that big bag of potatoes since you’ll use them next week for Thanksgiving!

Thursday – Spaghetti (Barilla) and meatballs to use up the extra sauce (Prego) we have here from last weeks meal.

Friday – Jack’s pizza night (clearing out the fridge and freezer as we gear up for Thanksgiving). We have a whole nut-free + GF + vegetarian menu we are planning! I’ll post this weekend after we take a visit to the Pabst Theater!

Have a great week – I’ve got wall-to-wall meetings this week and final preparations for this coming weekend, so groceries were just ordered online. If you haven’t used Metcalfe’s online grocery ordering, you’re missing out. It’s so easy my 6 year old just did it!

Treats for Mom + Dad this week include a few new friends from Dry Creek Valley:

And for the kiddos, they are still munching away on the snacks from #fablogcon

Weeknight Dinners

Quick Green Chicken Chili

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One of the best parts of traveling is trying new food. And then taking that idea home with you and recreating it in your kitchen. I haven’t always been adventurous with creating delicious food. And I’m probably even more cautious now with a nut-allergic child. However, I still try to sample things I normally would not.

Like Green Chicken Chili.

I had a spicy version of this when we were in Chicago a few weeks ago. Technically, I consider myself a chili connoisseur. If a restaurant has chili, I try it. It’s a quest to find the BEST CHILI EVER!

After we got back from vacation, I was flipping through this months Cooking Light Magazine for meal inspiration that would work well for our family. The recipe below comes pretty darn close to what I had in Chicago. And after talking to the chef, it’s also 100% nut-free!

This recipe makes 6 servings. It’s good for dinner + easy lunches. It’s super fast because it uses tasty rotisserie chicken (I swear, my little guy could eat an entire rotisserie chicken all by himself!) Hy-Vee and Metcalfes are my favorite in Madison.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided (I like Rachael Ray, her salt level is perfection)
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted Great Northern beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 (4-oz.) cans mild chopped green chiles, drained (or if you have them in your garden, fresh is OK, too. Just seed them first)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sliced radishes
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup brown rice

Directions

  1. You’ll need to get out your dutch oven, or large kettle, and a small sauce pan for your rice.
  2. First, make your rice in your small sauce pan. I like jasmine rice or brown rice. They are made the same way – just follow your package instructions. 2.5 cups of water + 2 tbsp evoo and a pinch of salt over high heat. Add the rice, bring to a boil. Boil for about 3-4 minutes until the water line is just below the rice. Cover the pot and don’t touch it for 15 minutes.
  3. Next heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in cumin and chiles; cook 1 minute. Add beans and chicken stock, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and salt; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes. Stir in juice.
  5. Remove your rice from the heat and fluff – using an ice cream scooper, plop the rice into your bowls.
  6. Divide chili among 4 bowls; top with radishes, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Weeknight Homemade Chicken Soup

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You don’t have to be sick to enjoy a good bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. I’ve been craving this soup for a while. I made a version of it last week for a friend and I just couldn’t help myself today. I had to make it.

Ingredients:

  • One Rotisserie Chicken, you can find this at your grocers deli counter. Cube your chicken pieces and set aside.
  • 8 cups / two boxes of salted chicken stock (Rachael Ray is safe)
  • 1 carrot, peeled + thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs of celery, halved + thinly sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced small (can also use 1 palm/tbsp powdered onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced ( can also use 1 palm full/tbsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary – dry works too (Penzey’s Spices are safe)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 2-3 handfuls of flat egg noodles

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch Oven, drizzle the two tbsp of evoo over medium high heat.
  2. Add carrots, celery and soften, about 8-10 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and onion and all the herbs, heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes
  4. Add all the chicken stock
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Simmer
  7. Stir stir stir
  8. Add cubed chicken + your choice of pasta
  9. Simmer for 15-20 minutes + make sure your pasta is cooked through
  10. Enjoy! Yield: 8

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If you don’t want the pasta to get mushy, I would cook the pasta separately. This way, if you know you’ll have leftovers, you can save it for later in the week and have pre-made, non-mushy pasta each time! Nothing worse than soggy noodles.

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Mom Things, Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Quick Meals

Hey there – it’s been a Monday! Today was full of crazy, but I’ve found the silver lining. I was able to talk to not one, but two of my cousins today. It’s been a while since I’ve talked to them and it was nice to catch up, connect. It’s nice to know family always has your back. Even if it’s been a while since the last time you talked, it’s family, and family is #1.

This week I’m behind.

Of course.

My usual weekend planning didn’t happen since we were out of town so here’s what I’ve come up with for quick meals in the past 15 minutes while I ordered my groceries online. Hy-Vee allows me to do aisles online and pick up the next day for no fee! It’s amazing. I use this service a lot in winter when it’s super cold. But this week is just nuts busy, so I’m using it so that my kids and I are at home having more fun, rather than stomping thru a grocery store wandering aimlessly. Plus, I’m sick of the car cart already! Can school start yet?!

Monday – Today we had Benvenutos. I love this place because THEY DELIVER! and they are cautious about being nut-free for my daughter. Plus, they use all organic, non-hormone based chicken, and we eat a lot of chicken.

Tuesday – Fajitas. We had some chicken thawed and found a Lawry’s Fajita season packet in our spice cabinet + we had some tortillas left over.

Wednesday – One Pot Pasta. I’ll be blogging about this one. It’s a first-time recipe for me, and it uses gobs of fresh basil, which I have on my porch, and Italian sausage, onion and spaghetti. These are those pretty pictures you see on Pinterest where the pasta, and all the ingredients look so nice all in one Le Creuset!

Thursday – Cilantro Lime Chicken Nachos. This is a make ahead, slow-cooker meal. I’m so happy I found it on my favorite blog, Damn Delicious. I’ll post this recipe and pic too.

Friday – Doug’s Birthday! WOOT. I think we’re going out to dinner. Family fun night.

Saturday – Date night, pizza for the kiddies + Gigi.

Sunday – My little guys birthday – dinner will be Mushroom Ravioli (pre-made, store bought) with Classico Alfredo (totally nut-free) sauce and roasted broccoli.

Here is the food bloggers conference I was talking about a few weeks ago: fablogcon

Thinking about checking out the forum for new food allergy information and samples of non nut-based butters. Some great speakers on the panel this year for sure. We shall see!

Have a great week – and enjoy the sunshine!