Easy to go, freezable, chicken burritos.

easy to go chicken burritos

Every week, coming up with an idea for my dearest husband to take to work and eat for lunch is a chore. He doesn’t ever have any ideas on what he wants, poor thing. He will spend hours thinking of something yummy, yet not your typical can of Chef Boyardee. Not that anything is wrong with some good ol’ Beefaroni, but it’s not the healthiest and not something you always want to eat everyday. Since I have stopped cooking while pregnant during the week- I can just now watch the Food Network again without wanting to run for the trash can, I’m glad he can take something home cooked to work with him at least. An hour during the weekend is much easier on my gagginess than standing in the kitchen everyday for a few hours. I have came around to cooking on the weekends now so often times we will try and cook his lunch while cooking dinner, two birds, one stone.

While it is always a chore coming up with lunch ideas for him, he always has 2 go to’s that he loves- burgers and burritos. If we can’t think of something, we go that route and sometimes he simply just wants the burgers. The thing about burgers and burritos though is that they aren’t always the healthiest. Yummy, dripping with grease, ground beef is always good, is it not? But terrible for your body. Dearest Husband has been trying to eat better after we lived off of take out and easy cook foods my first trimester and most of my second trimester. So I went to my usual drawing board, now that I can think of food again and found a way that he could still enjoy his burritos without the grease, chicken burritos! At first he wondered how good chicken burritos could really be…and my friends, even my picky little baby currently residing in me, loved them. So take my word for it when I say, they are yummy! They remind me a lot of the grilled stuffed burrtios from Taco Bell without all the guac and tomatoes.

They also double win for me too because they are SUPER EASY. The more time I can spend resting my tired eyes and extra plump body, the better it is for me these days!

Look at this list of ingredients guys, it makes 8-10 giant burrtios. I say 8-10 because I could have made 10 but I ran out of tortillas after 8 and had lots of leftover shredded chicken, so if be prepared with however many tortillas you want.

What you need:

  • 8-10 burrito sized flour tortillas
  • 1 12oz can of Refried Beans, I just used Kroger Brand.
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of shredded Cheddar or your favorite shredded cheese. 
  • 1 pack of taco seasoning.
  • 2 Tablespoons of Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce (you can buy this in the bottle at most grocery stores. I have seen it at Kroger and Walmart).
  • 1 bag of ready to cook rice, your favorite flavor. I used Knorr’s Mexican Rice. 
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (for rice, optional).

 

Super Easy Prep! :

  1. Boil your chicken breasts for about 15-20 minutes or until middle is no longer pink.
  2. Cook your rice according to directions on the package.
  3. Drain your chicken, pop them into a bowl, and take a hand mixer to them for about 20 seconds, just to get a good shred going.
  4. Sprinkle on your packet of taco seasoning and your fire Sauce.
  5. Continue to shred with your hand mixer until everything looks shredded evenly, about 30 seconds or so.
  6. Set up an assembly line, place your tortillas out on the table, your cooked rice in a bowl, your refried beans in a bowl (I recommend microwaving them a bit in order to smear easier), your cheese, and your chicken in it’s bowl.

Assembly:

  1. Take your burrito and place it out on the surface in front of you.
  2. Smear on some refried beans, I would guess about 1/4 cup- give or take depending on how much you like. We just need to be able to wrap the burrito up in the end 🙂
  3. Sprinkle on a big spoon full of rice, probably about 3-4 tablespoons.
  4. Sprinkle some cheese on top of your rice, don’t go crazy but just eye ball this amount to your satisfaction. I did about a tablespoon or so.
  5. Then a big spoon full of chicken! About 1/4 cup here, again, eye ball it to your liking, just be mindful of your room to fold.
  6. Fold your burrito. I tend to tuck in the sides, flip one side over, and then roll tightly. I understand my instructions are awful on how to fold a burrito but google can assist you in a good way 🙂 chicken burritos
  7. Roll in aluminum foil and put it into a freezer bag.
  8. Repeat until you are finished! freezer ready

 

When you are ready to eat one, pop it into the microwave for about 1 minute on each side (depending on your microwave). They are so easy to heat up and just as yummy. These burrito’s are really customizable to your liking, just be sure to use freezer friendly ingredients.

 

 

 

 

Mushroom Thyme Chicken

MTC bannerGrowing up, I grew up on a variety of foods. I don’t mean a little Italian here, a little Mexican there. I mean my dad hunted and often times, we enjoyed what he brought home. My favorite dish he ever made from venison (deer) was a variation of hand breaded, fried venison smothered in delicious cream of mushroom soup. It seems so basic, so simple, but my goodness it was full of flavor and just….amazingness. Now, my husband doesn’t hunt and I obviously don’t- the thought of killing something (even bugs sometimes) makes me sad. So I rarely enjoy venison, but one day last week I found myself craving my dad’s special dish so I went to the drawing board and came up with something similar that did more than just the trick, it set my taste buds over the moon. And it was a lot healthier than fried venison since it uses chicken and it is smothered in a delicious, creamy, peppery, mushroom gravy of sorts and it’s to die for so I knew I had to share it with you guys. The pictures are making me want it again so I think I may need to put it on next week’s meal plan. Take a look for yourself so you can get the stuff to make it for yourself. It’s so simple but so amazing. Don’t deprive your taste buds from this one.

What you need:

  • Fresh Chicken Tenders 1 pound
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup + Equivalent Milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Ground Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Black Pepper and Kosher Salt (to taste)
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms (or your favorite), cut up into pieces. 

Throwing it all together:

  1. Mix together your oil and thyme and then brush the chicken with it.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over your chicken tenders.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Just enough to lightly coat the pan. Your chicken already has oil so really we just want to prevent a little extra stickage. I used a cast iron so if you have a non-stick skillet, it may not be needed. Use your best judgment depending on how your skillet does.
  4. On medium high heat, cook your chicken tenders. When they are about 3/4 of the way finished throw in your mushrooms and let them cook until the chicken is fully done. About 3-4 minutes total on each side.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together your milk and soup mixture and then throw it in the pan when the chicken is done.
  6. Add in some more fresh pepper and then let it bubble up for about 10 minutes.
  7. ENJOY!

See how easy it is? And I swear it tastes so mind blowingly amazing for what little it has in it. With the added mushrooms and fresh pepper it really takes it beyond just a simple cream of mushroom soup and thyme really livens up the chicken. Mmm, I need some STAT!

MTC in a pan

MTC Close Up

Look closer! :9

French’s “Fried” Onion Chicken

French's Fried Onion Chicken

Lately, I have been on a salad kick. I had went forever without eating a salad and then I found a yummy mixture for one containing French’s Fried Onions and knew I just had to give it a go, especially because we have been wanting to incorporate more veggies into our diet. The salad was quite the hit. It was so good I found myself eating a mini version everyday for dinner (we eat big dinners for lunch, and then lunch sized things for dinner since my husband is on 2nd shift). I mean everyday. But last week I had one and found that it had lost its oomph. Which is eventual with any food you eat over and over again but I still had a giant thing of French Fried Onions that I find can go stale quicker than most pantry items. So in an effort not to waste, I went to the drawing board and ended up creating the most wonderful piece of chicken I have cooked to date. Not even kidding. I didn’t even need sauce. You heard me, no need for sauce. It was THAT flavorful. My picture for this post totally suffered because I dug in immediately and then thought of the blog and how I just HAD to share it. So I took it after I had a bite but, ohhhhh well.

So I am here today to share this totally awesome recipe with you. It’s simple and it is bursting with flavor! It has a similar texture of fried chicken BUT it’s baked so it isn’t going to attack you with guilt. Not that you should ever feel guilty, because food is awesome, but, you know what I mean.

What you need:

  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 3-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or whatever you prefer), pounded just enough to get it tender and not so chicken breasty.
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup of French’s French Fried Onions
  • 1 whisked egg
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for brushing.

Whipping it together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Set out 3 shallow baking dishes and get ready to make an assembly line of goodness. Then place a greased baking sheet at the end ready to catch your chicken.
  3. In your first dish, mix up your flour and 1/4 of the packet of ranch.
  4. In your second, your egg.
  5. In your third, mix up your breadcrumbs, french fried onions, and the rest of the ranch packet. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Start assembling by dipping your chicken into your flour, then into your egg, and then into your breadcrumb mixture. Being sure to press down to make the breadcrumbs stick. Make sure everything is evenly coated.
  7. When you have all of your chicken breasts on the pan, brush or drizzle some extra virgin olive oil all over the tops to insure a little extra crisp.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until done in the middle.

Enjoy! Guys, I promise you. You will want to indulge in this and make some for your hubby….or just yourself 😉 I won’t tell.

Montreal Chicken Noodle Soup

Montreal Chicken Noodle Soup

My husband is like any other man, he’s all about meat for dinner. But I like to have 1 or 2 meals a week if I can swing it, be meatless. When I make something meatless, it has to be full of flavor and have a nice meaty punch to it regardless of the lack of meat. This actually isn’t a hard thing to accomplish at all. I don’t miss meat and I have yet to hear my husband complain about missing it every single night, in fact- he said last night after taking a bite out of some burritos I made him for him to take to work that he would actually enjoy them meatless with 2 different kinds of beans  instead of beef. I had a little celebration in my head that he has embraced this whole meatless every one in awhile thing. I thought it would be super difficult almost impossible for him, I really did.

Before he snacked on a burrito, as I was prepping them he looked in the pantry for some chicken noodle soup. He said he had been having a craving for it. I can’t remember the last time I bought canned chicken noodle soup. Homemade is a gazillion (that’s right, gazillion) times better and is MUCH more cost effective- if you were looking for a cherry on top for making it at home. So tonight right before he came home I whipped up some yummy homemade “chicken” noodle soup but with my own twists and tricks to make it extra flavorful. There is no chicken in this soup but you don’t miss it for even a second. My house smells a little like heaven right now as I type this because not only does it taste amazing, but it smells innnnncredible. Did I mention I literally had everything in the pot within 2 minutes? Mhm, mhm. 2 minutes. I’m pretty proud of that time frame, I’m all about quick meals now that I have about 3-4 hours between waking up and my husband going to work to cook. So let’s dig in!

What you need:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tubs of Knorr Chicken Homestyle Stock 
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons of Parsley
  • 4 Teaspoons of Onion Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 2 Cups of Egg Noodles
  • 1 thinly cut carrot
  • Salt to taste

Throw it all together:

  • Bring your water to a boil and when boiling is reached, add in your chicken stock and stir until fully dissolved.
  • Once everything is dissolved, add in the rest of your ingredients, and give it a good stir.
  • Cover and simmer on medium-low for 30-45 minutes.

Now all that’s left is to enjoy! 🙂 How easy was that? What goodies have you transformed into a meatless meal? Share in the comments below!

Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets

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I am thankful for my husband for many reasons- not only does he love me, but he goes above and beyond for our family, he makes me laugh every. single. day, and he prays for our marriage just as much as I do, are among many of them. One more reason I am thankful for him is that he works really hard to make a life for us. Almost 1 year ago we decided that I would be a homemaker and he would go out and earn money after I got laid off right before our wedding and he started a new job. 

One thing we have struggled with is finding something really filling that reheated well for his dinner at work. He works 2nd shift, so he needs something that will fill his stomach that is used to having dinner around 7:30pm but something that works with a lunch box. It’s not hard finding a few things but who wants to eat the same thing, every day, every week?

We have had a few successes with things but this week we have created one that makes the favorites list! Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets. My husband has always loved pizza hot pockets but they are expensive when you have to buy more than 1 box and has added preservatives, so this homemade version is better for you and much cheaper. And on the plus side, if you have kiddos- they will go crazy for this too.

IMG_0525Pile it all on. A little pile of goodness!

IMG_0526Pinch it all together. What a cute little pocket!

IMG_0527Get it ready to bake! I love me some oregano.

What you need:

  • 1 Store Bought Pizza Crust (or your own recipe)
  • 1 jar of Pizza Sauce
  • 2 cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or whatever your favorite cheese is)
  • Mini Pepperonis.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oregano (optional)

Throwing it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. While your oven is preheating, roll out your Pizza Dough to a medium thickness. About how much you would stretch it out if you were making a regular pizza.
  3. Take a pizza cutter and cut your crust into little rectangles, cutting horizontal and vertical. It will make about 8 rectangles.
  4. Take each rectangle and spread on a little sauce to one side of the rectangle, then pile on a small amount of cheese, then layer on some pepperoni, and then top it off with more cheese to seal it all in.
  5. Next, fold the untouched side of your pizza dough over the side with the toppings and then pinch it closed with a fork or your fingers. I used a fork tonight but I honestly think your fingers work a little better, and it’s easier! 🙂
  6. Plop them on a greased cookie sheet and then brush on some extra virgin olive oil all over the pizza pocket. If you like oregano, mix a small amount into your oil before brushing on for a little Italian taste!
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust becomes golden brown. My husband likes his a little extra crispy so I broiled the tops for 2-3 minutes at the end.

That’s it! And they are soooo yummy. Who doesn’t love little portable pizza’s? My husband likes to dip is into more pizza sauce on the side, so that’s also worth a try if you like things a little extra saucey :p Next week, we plan to try cheeseburger homemade hot pockets. Stay tuned to see how those turn out.

The Ultimate Meat & Potatoes Dinner

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My first ever blog post revolved around a delicious meat and potato dinner. It is amazing and has always been a favorite meal of mine. Not just because it’s easy either, but because it is one of the meals that even when you are stuffed full you really want to continue eating it. Since my very first post, I have revamped the recipe and make it THAT much better and a little bit more healthy for you. Don’t be fooled by the healthy addition though, it is even better now. Trust me!

What you need:

  • 1 entire link of Polish Sausage
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 4-5 red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt

Throwing it all together:

  1. First thing’s first, let’s get to chopping! Chop everything up. Cut your link into small slices, slice up your peppers into slivers, and chop your onion up into big chunks! Make sure and cut your potatoes into even slices so they all get cooked through. You don’t want some potatoes that are burnt, some that are still stiff, and then some that are done. Just pay attention while you slice and keep them as uniformed as possible.
  2. While you are slicing, heat up your oil in a large skillet on medium high heat and have your oven preheating on 400 degrees. Then throw the meat and veggies into the skillet.
  3. Cook everything in the skillet just long enough to get a nice little sear on the sausage, so about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove everything from the skillet and place it into a 9×13 baking dish once the sausage gets a nice dark color on the outside. Then take your salt and evenly distribute it over the yummy goodness.
  5. Cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until the potatoes are nice and tender, about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven.
  6. DEVOUR.

Just talking about this recipe makes me want some, and I JUST had it yesterday. This recipe never gets old and my husband requests it ALL the time. I know you and yours will love it just as much 🙂 Enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Pork Chops

Have you ever been in a food rut? Not too long ago the only thing my husband and I ate was some sort of chicken breast. Chicken, Chicken, Chicken. Everyday. You kind of get to the point where you are like, if I eat another piece of chicken I am going to turn into a chicken. You totally burn yourself out on something when you eat it constantly, even if it takes a few months, the burn out comes. Unless it’s chocolate, I can seriously eat that everyday.

So how does one avoid turning into a chicken burning out on something? You mix it up! As you guys know, I love to cook so usually mixing it up is what I do best when it comes to menu planning, but when I first began to want to lose weight I some how got the idea in my head that all we should eat was chicken. Now, I have gotten educated about losing weight and realized that portion controlling is the way to go. Say no to deprivation! Eating chicken everyday seriously chased me away from dieting after I ate so much of it. I was tired of just eating chicken. But now I have ventured into the world of different meats, and I have began to start cooking a meat that was often served to me as a child- pork chops. Delicious, tender pork chops.

This past weekend I bought a pack of these delicious pieces of meat and created a scrumptious sauce to serve on top to make it that much butter. After cleaning my plate, I knew I had to share it with you guys! Between the deliciousness of the sauce and the crispiness of the pork chops, your taste buds will be fully satisfied.

Ingredients

For the chops:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3-4 pork chops

For the sauce:

  • 14 ounces of Coke
  • 1/3 cup of Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of Water
  • Mushrooms (optional)

Throwing it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together your eggs. In a medium shallow pan, mix together your flour, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Dip your pork chops in the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture. This will make it extra crispy.
  4. Take your coated pork chops and pan fry in vegetable oil for about 1 minute per side. You are just wanting to get it a little crispy.
  5. Put your pork chops into a 9×13 pan and finish baking in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the middle is done. Depending on the thickness of your chops, it may take a little longer. I suggest using thinner chops for this recipe.
  6. While you’re baking the chops, it’s time to make sauce! Take 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sautee your mushrooms on medium heat until brown. I used baby bellas but you can use your favorite mushroom, if any! 🙂 Remove the mushrooms from the pan and sit them aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk your coke, brown sugar, and ketchup until well combined. Then pour the mixture into the same pan you sauteed the mushrooms in.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-high and allow the sauce to reduce just a tad. About 1/4 of an inch.
  9. While the sauce is reducing, combine your cornstarch and water in a bowl and then slowly begin to add it into the sauce, whisking the entire time.
  10. Once the cornstarch is well combined, allow the sauce to thicken (about 3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Then, is using, add if the mushrooms back into the sauce.
  11. Now, all that’s left is to spoon the sauce over those delicious pork chops and enjoy!

Have you ever been in a food rut?