Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category
Anyway even though I really couldn’t eat I had to feed Mr. Fantabulous. While I’m certain he could have fended for himself (I mean he does make a mean bowl of cereal and has little difficulty opening a yogurt container) he’s really not allowed to be in the kitchen let alone touch my kitchen stuff. LOL Since I had a few of those amazing Protein Packed Chicken Parmesan Florentine Meatballs left I wanted to make something simple and easy to accompany them. Now I could have gone for my old stand by – big ol plate of pasta but I wanted to do more (plus this by coming up with something else it’s opportunity for me to share it on here). As I rummaged through the fridge I spied a ginormous vat (like 64 ounce size) of Ricotta cheese. Thing is, I don’t remember buying it but after checking the date I apparently bought it recently as it had a while to go before it expired. I literally whipped this up on the fly sort of a cross between my Stuffed Shells and pasta with meatballs.
Now even though the very thought of putting tomato-anything in my mouth right now makes me cringe I did taste this. My GOD was this good! So cheesy and just luscious! The addition of the meatballs were perfect. I made some with meatballs cut up and mixed in and others with just the meatballs on top. Mr. Fantabulous has issues with meat in stuff like this. To him lasagna must never, ever, ever, EVER, like you will go to hell and die if you put meat in his lasagna. He’s he’s that against meat in lasagna. *shrugs*.
When this came out of the oven, the cheese was so ooey gooey, the sauce was bubbling and the meatballs were steaming.
He ate in silence.
This is a good thing.
No, this is a great thing!
Why? If you are wasting time talking instead of eating, then the dish is lacking. LOL All he cared about was getting that next bite in.
|Cheesy Baked Ziti|
- 8 ounces ziti, uncooked
- 2-3 cups Marinara Sauce, warmed
- 1 1/2 cups low fat Ricotta
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 egg
- 8-10 cooked Protein Packed Chicken Parmesan Florentine Meatballs, rough cut (if you want a piece in every bite), else leave whole
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a large pot, boil the ziti until al dente, ~8 minutes. *note: when the water starts to boil add a pinch of salt.
- In a separate bowl mix together the ricotta, parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, oregano, black pepper and meatball chunks.
- Set aside.
- Drain the noodles.
- In an 8×8 glass pan or 4 8 ounce ramekins, cover the bottom with a layer of sauce. It doesn’t have to be thick but you should not be able to see the bottom of the container.
- Add the drained noodles to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
- If making in an 8×8 pan, add half of the cheesy noodle mixture then a 1/2 -1 cup of sauce. If making in ramekins, divide the cheesy noodle mixture into 8 portions.
- Add the remaining noodle mixture and sauce. *Note: if leaving the meatball whole, add them on top of each ramekin or space on top of the 8×8 pan and then add the sauce.
- Take a piece of aluminum foil and light spray one side. *8 pieces of foil for the ramekins
- Place the sprayed side down on top of the sauce.
- Bake for 25 minutes for an 8×8 pan. Bake 15 minutes for 8 ramekins.
- Remove the foil and cover with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes just until the cheese has set.
To Freeze: If you want you can prep these and assemble them but NOT bake them! Simply put them together and then double wrap in plastic wrap, then foil. They freeze PERFECTLY for up to 3 months. To cook, simply put in a cold oven THEN put the temp to 350F. To bake add an additional 10-13 minutes longer in cooking time (as they are frozen).
Need help with what to make this weekend?
Here’s a full days of recipes to satisfy your cravings!
While I was preparing Mr. Fantabulous some Chicken Burritos I decided to steer these egg rolls in that direction. Now necessarily Mexican per se but more along the line the types of spices I used. I got to chopping and seasoning the bacon and chicken. OMG people the smell of cumin cooking on bacon… WOW! Like I so wanted to dab it behind my ears and wear it like perfume! LOL
Even though this egg roll had a creamy texture, I wanted something to dip it in. I’m a dippin’ kinda girl. Almost EVERYTHING I eat I have to dip. It’s so extreme that I love to dip cold pizza in milk. SHUSHHHHHHHHHH! Quit judging me! LOL
The evolution of this Chunky Avocado Taco Sauce was incredible! Like I seriously at it by the spoonful! Like we’re talking a spoon for the egg roll, a spoon for my mouth. LOL
So for Autumn, this is for you girlfriend! This was such an AMAZING and quick dinner! We fought over these! Since what, Tuesday, I’ve made these twice!
This is such a simple dish to make that works perfectly as a main dish, as an appetizer or movie night snack! OH OH OH! These would be PERFECT for your next game day or say poker with the boys or bunko with the ladies!
What I love most about these is that they bake up super crispy but without all the extra fat calories you get when you deep fry.
|Chicken Spiced Bacon Avocado Baked Egg Rolls||
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/4” strips
- 4 slices, thick cut bacon cut in half
- 8 slices avocado (1/4” thick)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp Chicken Taco Seasoning
- 8 Egg roll wrappers
- Cooking Spray
Chunky Avocado Sauce
- 1 cup fat free sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
- 3/4 tsp Chicken Taco Seasoning
- 1/2 avocado, smashed but not smooth
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Take the chicken strips and add the 1 1/2 taco seasoning and gently mix to coat the chicken. Set aside.
- Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- Take the ½ tsp cumin and sprinkle that over the bacon.
- Using your fingers, gently rub in.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, add in the bacon and cook until crispy, ~5-7 minutes each side.
- When the bacon is done, remove and place on a plate to cool.
- Place the chicken in the pan and cook 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through (~165F).
- Next lay an egg roll wrapper down to where it is in a diamond shape and lightly brush both sides with water. These are often a bit dry so if you do not moisten it, they will crack when you try to roll them.
- Lay down a slice of avocado not quite in the middle of the wrapper.
- Next top with a slice of bacon and then a strip of chicken.
- Begin rolling by taking the bottom and ‘tucking’ under the mixture.
- Bring in the sides and then continue rolling. I tend to take a dab more water to ‘seal’ the edges when I get to the end.
- Set aside and repeat for the remaining wrappers.
- Lightly spray the entire egg roll with cooking spray and set on the cooling rack.
- Bake for 8 minutes, flip, spray again and bake for another 5-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. I sometimes will broil them for a minute to get that extra crunch.
- To make the dipping sauce simply combine all ingredients in a bowl.
N’at is pretty much defined as “in other words”. Here we would say “Yunz going dahnthan n’at?” If you said that to any Pittsburgher they would know exactly what you said.
Well another thing that is iconic to Pittsburgh is Primanti Bros. who put themselves on the map for their simplistic, but delicious creations of taking 2 thick cut pieces of bread, your choice of meat (with optional fried egg), cheese, vinegary slaw, tomato slices, fresh cut fries and calling it a sandwich. This sandwich I swear tasted the best at 2am, after the bars closed and you were with your friends ‘dahnthan’. It was just magical.
Sadly, even though I still live in the Pittsburgh it’s a hike for me to get to that original store in the Strip so I needed to come up with my own version when that craving struck. It took me quite a while actually to perfect my version of it. The breads, meats, egg, fries, so forth were simple. It was that slaw that threw me for a loop. See most people, when they think of slaw think of a creamy mayo based one (kind of like KFC which I LOVE which is odd considering I despise mayo!). But here that wouldn’t work on this sammich as it would make the bread soggy as well as the fries and that is just horrible! Kind of like if you grew up poor your family couldn’t afford real hamburger buns and you had to eat that greasy hamburger between 2 slices of white bread that inevitably fell apart because the grease and ketchup ate through it! LOL
FINALLY the other day I felt that I finally perfected the Pittsburgh Slaw thus the sammich. And what perfect timing! I mean it’s National Grilled Cheese month so I had to put a spin on this dish and turn it into a grilled cheese adaption! Brilliant, right?!
This was so just.. perfect! If you’re from Pittsburgh or have had one of those famous sammiches you are going to FALL IN LOVE with this! Whether you an hour from the ‘Burgh or 4,000 miles this will Bring You Home!
This sammich is Pittsburgh!
|Pittsburgh Style Grilled Cheese n’at|
- 1 pound eye of round steak, partially frozen
- 3 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups Pittsburgh Slaw
- 8 thick slices of Provolone Cheese or Jarlsberg Cheese
- 8 1” thick slices of hearty bread (Italian or Olive Oil bread works great)
- 8 ounces of fresh cut fries, fried, lightly salted and hot (you want roughly 8-12 fries per sandwich, 12-18 if you’re fry fanatic!)
- 8 slices of fresh tomato
- 4 fried eggs *optional
- 4 Tbl butter
- Using a very sharp knife, slice the meat against the grain in 1/4” slices. Having it partially frozen will make it easier to cut.
- Place the strips of beef on a plate and season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with 1 Tbl olive oil and gently toss to combine.
- Allow to sit out for at least 30 minutes or until the beef is room temperature.
- When you’re ready to cook the beef, place the oil in a large stainless steel skillet and heat over medium-high.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and gently roll the pan around to cover the entire bottom with oil.
- Add the steak into the pan and allow to cook for 1 minute without touching it.
- Using tongs, gently move the steak around cooking on all sides or until just cooked through. ~2 minutes.
- Remove the steak from the pan and set aside.
- While the steak is resting, heat a grill pan over medium-low heat.
- Butter both sides of the bread.
- Place the inside buttered sides down on the pan.
- Grill for 3-6 minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip the bread over and place 1 slice of cheese on each side.
- For each sandwich, top one side with 8-12 fries
- On the other half of the sandwich, top with 4 ounces of cooked steak, 1 fried egg, 2 slices of tomato and 1/2 cup of Pittsburgh slaw.
- Grill for 4-6 minutes or until the side against the pan is golden brown.
- Carefully flip the French fry side on top of the steak-egg-tomato-slaw side.
- Plate and allow to cool just for 30 seconds before cutting.
If you didn’t want steak, you could easily substitute in chicken, portabella mushrooms, grilled eggplant or zucchini.
For deli-meats leave just grill slightly (minus the salt pepper). Capicola, Salami, Ham & Turkey, Roast Beef – all fantabulous!
My 2nd personal favorite – Fried egg and tons of BACON! SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!
What I’ve come up is PERFECT for an appetizer, main meal, on a buffet table during the game or for upcoming graduation parties and summer picnics. These meatballs were absolutely FANTASTIC! They are packed with protein from the chicken, cheese and egg (or egg whites) on it’s own. But with the addition of Nectar™ Medical – Whey Protein Isolate, it POWER BOOSTS THE PROTEIN in these delicious meatballs!
I’m taking Protein Powder beyond the shake!
Whether you hit the gym during your lunch or right after work, you can pack these with you and eat on the go. Just heat ‘em up for 30 seconds to a minute and you have a FANTASTIC meal!
Just look how yummy these meatballs look!
I mean seriously.. meatballs that are GOOD FOR YOU!!! Genius, I KNOW! Marrying into an Italian family, having an amazing meatball is law. While I love traditional meatballs (trust me, my Italian meatballs are SUPREME) but I also love a variety. One thing that is essential as well in my house is Chicken Parmesan. Normally you egg wash-flour dredge-breadcrumb dip then pan fry. I’ll still do that from time to time but having all that extra carbs is not conducive to my thighs *wink*. With this recipe I wanted to replicate that awesome flavor of traditional chicken parmesan into a healthier style. Of course I can always bake the traditional chicken parmesan *hint hint! Keep an eye out on the site for that soon but Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!* but that’s later on.
Now to add even more good-for-you-stuff in these, I added spinach which is packed with antioxidants.
When working with these meatballs there is something VERY important to know.
- You don’t roll these in your hands like traditional meatballs. Why? Ground chicken, without ‘fillers’ (bread) in them is rather sticky. HOWEVER if you lightly wet your hands before you scoop some of the mixture up and almost toss them from hand to hand in a twisting motion to form the ball. I re-wet may hands after every 3-4 meatballs.
I baked these 100% in the oven (meaning I didn’t pan-sear them first) though if you prefer that meatball caramelization feel free to. I have directions on how to do that below.
As you can see, these babies cooked up nice and brown. Now I’ll admit, I ate a nekkid one and WOW they were so good! So full of flavor. The spinach was a fantastic addition! These were so tender and moist.
I had some Marinara Sauce warming so I put some on top of each meatball, followed by some fresh mozzarella cheese and then broiled for a few minutes to melt the cheese. People the SMELL that emanated from my oven when I took these out was incredible! The cheese was all bubbly, the sauce was steaming and you could hear that ‘sizzle’!
Just look how scrumptious these look! Now you could easily serve these as appetizers, on top of some wheat pasta, in lettuce cups (I had that actually for lunch – TO DIE FOR!!!), as a slider an so forth!
These were so juicy that after you finished the first one, your stomach BEGGED you for another.
Now I couldn’t eat a third one as these are really filling BUT what I loved the most is that they, while truly decadent, they were GUILTLESS!
So after I made these, and ate 2, Mr. Fantabulous came out into the kitchen sniffing - which means the aroma hit him. I got the puzzled look as he looked at them, then at me and said “Hey, those are your normal meatballs, are they? And can I have one?”
As he was eating it I was watching intensely. One ‘ting I’ve learned from this Italian man is that they take meatballs pretty seriously. Trust me, it took me a few years to master mine. As he put the fork down and took a drink he said “Hmmm, let me try another one. I’m not sure honey.” Now normally when he says that it means he’s on the fence. He’s my biggest critic so I trust him, obviously. As he inhaled the 2nd… and 3rd one I caught on! That man was soooooooooo playing me! He LOVED them and my tricking me into thinking he was on the fence he got to stuff his beautiful face! LOL
He then said “Hey it’s weird. They taste like chicken parmesan but it’s not. What is it?” I said “Um, Chicken Parmesan Meatballs”. I then told him that I put protein powder in it and he was in heaven! He said “Whoa wait! You mean these are healthy AND after we work out tonight I can eat these???” LOL He’s so pretty Love that man!
Plus check out these great nutritional benefits!
The Syntrax Nectar Medical Unflavored Protein Powder:
♥ Mixes instantly and completely with a spoon
♥ Has Promina™ Whey Isolate
♥ 100% Natural Ingredients
♥ Mixes with Foods or Beverages
♥ 10 grams of protein per serving
♥ Lactose and Gluten Free
♥ Aspartame Free
Nectar Medical is a 100% natural protein formula designed to exceed even the most stringent and demanding requirements of the medical community. It is designed around Promina, a pharmaceutical-grade whey protein isolate that is known for its utmost purity, unwavering consistency and pleasant taste. Whey protein isolate is considered by most experts to be the single highest quality source of protein for human nutrition. Its bioavailability is without compare and its amino acids are utilized more efficiently than any other source of protein.*
Because Nectar Medical has a bland taste and is instantly soluble and dispersible, it can be mixed unnoticeable and easily into nearly any beverage or food item, such as milk, tea, juice, flavored water, cereal, soup pudding or mashed potatoes. Likewise, Nectar Medical is an ideal product to be used in tube-feeding applications due to its ease of use and health-promoting benefits.
Nectar Medical is specifically formulated to be used as a medical food for renal (dialysis) patients. Meeting the distinctive needs of these individuals, Nectar Medical provides a superior protein source with low levels of potassium and phosphorous.*
Nectar Medical is specifically formulated to be used as a medical food for bariatric surgery patients. Meeting the distinctive needs of these individuals, Nectar Medical provides a easily digestible, superior protein source with low levels of fat, sugar and total carbohydrates.
Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to make dinner and these are calling my name in a BIG way!
|Protein Packed Chicken Parmesan Florentine Meatballs|
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 3/4 cup ground rolled oats (like breadcrumb texture) *I ground mine to a coarse mixture. Do not grind to a flour. To make gluten free, use gluten free oats
- 1/4 cup Syntrax Medical Unflavored Protein Powder
- 2 Tbl sweet yellow onions, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp basil (dried) or 1 tsp fresh, chopped
- 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1 large whole egg (or 3 Tbl egg whites)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves, pulsed in the food processor (should render almost 3/4-1 cup)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 3/4 tsp coarse salt
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you don’t want the powdery stuff. You want it either grated or even pulsed to little chunks. You want texture.)
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups Marinara Sauce, divided
- 10-20 fresh mozzarella slices (it depends on how big your slices are. They should be 1”wide by 1-2” long)
- Olive Oil for misting
- Preheat oven to 400F, setting rack to upper third part of oven.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl, add the chicken, oats, protein powder, onion, oregano, steak seasoning, egg, Worcestershire, salt, black pepper, parmesan and 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup marinara sauce.
- Shape into 2” round meatballs (can make 1” for appetizers). I find it’s best to lightly wet my hands to shape these and you don’t really ‘roll’ them but rather toss them from hand to hand in a twisting motion to form the ball. The mixture is wet and very tender.
- Spray the foil pan with cooking spray.*note: you can pan-sear these first in a sprayed non-stick skillet for ~3 minutes per side to get that browned sealed exterior.
- Place the meatballs about 1” apart (they don’t really spread) on the pan.
- Spray/mist each meatball with extra virgin olive oil. It’ll help them ‘brown’ and get that great pan-seared exterior.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temp is 160 (yes I know they aren’t up to temp yet). *Note: if you pan seared them then only bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and turn on your broiler.
- Top each meatball with 1 Tbl of sauce.
- Top with a slice of cheese and place back in the oven.
- Broil for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.
- Heat remaining sauce in a small saucepan and serve on the side.
If you make these as appetizers, make the meatballs 1″ round.
You can make these as sliders for parties.
I personally love these in lettuce cups and then use the lettuce as the ‘bun’.