Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baked Chicken Bruschetta

Hey y'all!

This week has been all about planning our dinners down to the last vegetable. My boyfriend's dad came to town last weekend, and they brought us a mountain of groceries! I'm so so so thankful, we will be eating the meat they bought us for months! I've been trying to cook all the fresh vegetables before they go bad in our fridge :)

We had an abundance of tomatoes, so I decided to make a fresh bruschetta with dinner. This recipe was the perfect fit. It tastes light and fresh, and the leftover bruschetta makes great leftovers (I made a grilled cheese with bruschetta a few minutes ago, haha).

Here's what you need:

1 package of boneless chicken breasts (I used the thin sliced chicken breasts so they cook faster)
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup crushed croutons (I used a wooden spoon)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

For the bruschetta:
3 tomatoes, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or dried basil is fine too)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, then spray your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Now I have everything ready to batter the chicken:

I trimmed my chicken first, cutting the breasts in half. Dip the chicken into the beaten egg (I forgot to do that before taking the picture, oops) and then dip it into the flour.
Prepare a mixture of crushed croutons and parmesan cheese on another plate.

Arrange the chicken in your baking dish, then add the crushed crouton/parmesan mix over the top. I sprayed the top of my chicken one more time with cooking spray-this makes it crispy as it bakes!
Cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Your baking time depends on how thick your slices of chicken are. Mine were thin and small so they were finished in 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can make your fresh bruschetta! It only takes 5 steps:

(1) Dice up your tomatoes
(2) Mince your garlic
(3) Chop your basil
(4) Combine in a bowl
(5) Add olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix together well

Doesn't this just look wonderful?

Once your chicken is cooked through, uncover and spoon out your bruschetta over the top of each piece of chicken. Put the dish back in the oven for about 5-7 minutes to let the bruschetta get heated through. My roommates loved it served with macaroni and cheese.

Here's what it looked like when it was finished:

I know you and your family will love this one!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Toasted Ravioli

Today I made a hearty meal that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. After a long week of work and school, we ate toasted ravioli for dinner, along with broccoli and a no-bake frozen blueberry pie.

On a small side note, my roommate and I made the decision to adopt a tiny kitty from the local Humane Society this week. We have been considering adopting for several months now, and we found our perfect match. Her name is Juliet, and she is a calm and collected 1 year old. Although she is very petite, she has made a huge impact on our home already. Here is a picture of her lounging around (she already owns the place).

Anyway, I'll get back to the cooking! I just had to brag about how adorable she is!

I usually don't delve into fried food, but I absolutely love this recipe! Its very easy if you have someone to help you batter the ravioli. It only takes a few minutes to make, and I usually prepare a vegetable on the side to balance the meal. Here's how it's done:

You will need:
I package frozen jumbo ravioli (I like the cheese ravioli)
    1/2 cup milk
    Enough breadcrumbs to cover a paper plate (I use the italian seasoned kind)
    Canola or vegetable oil

Before you start battering, pour oil in a large frying pan until it is about 3/4 inch deep.

Battering them up:
To begin, take the ravioli out of the freezer (no need to thaw ahead of time). Pour milk onto a paper plate or into a bowl. Place the ravioli into the milk, covering both sides. Then, roll the ravioli in the breadcrumbs.

My boyfriend is helping me today :]

Once the oil is hot (place one ravioli in it, it should sizzle after a few seconds) you can load up your skillet.

Cook the ravioli for about 5 minutes per side, or until both sides are a dark golden brown. Remove them from the skillet and place them on paper towels until they are served. Look at these beauties!

We always plow through a whole bag of these things! The leftovers are especially good after they have been in the fridge for a while. We usually take them out a few hours after dinner and eat them cold!

I know you and your family will love this recipe! Thank you for stopping by!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Comforting Vegetable Lasagna (Crock Pot)

Hi again! I'm sorry for the lack of variety this week, school has been a doozy. Between two tests and two quizzes, the only thing I had time for in the kitchen was my crock pot. However, this recipe will knock your socks off! Today I made crock pot vegetable lasagna for dinner.

This recipe has a lot of wiggle room, so you can add or subtract whatever you want in your lasagna. I chose to make it with just vegetables this time, but it is also delicious with ground beef or turkey! If you wanted to add meat to the recipe, you would cook the meat and drain the fat before adding it to the crock pot. I personally would sauté an onion with olive oil, then add the meat and season it with salt and pepper. The same goes for the vegetables: I know some people don't like mushrooms, so you can put whatever you like best in this italian classic dish.

This is what I used today:

1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch slices, then slice those into halves
1 yellow squash, sliced the same way
1/2 Vidalia onion
1 package mini portobello mushrooms (the white mushrooms are perfect too)
1 package lasagna noodles (I only used about 10 noodles)
1 package ricotta cheese
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce*
(Cooks on low for 4-5 hours)

*You could easily buy a jar of marinara sauce in lieu of the canned tomatoes.

Take a look at all these beautiful sliced veggies!

First, spray your crock pot with non-stick spray. You don't want your lasagna to stick to the sides!
Then add a layer of crushed tomatoes and sauce so it covers the bottom of the pot.
Next, break the dry (You don't have to cook the noodles, yay!) lasagna noodles in pieces to cover the sauce. Here's what mine looked like:

Spoon out ricotta cheese to place on top of the noodles. I loveeee ricotta, so I went overboard in this dish! Check that yummy stuff out!

Then, add your vegetables as you wish! I seasoned the veggies with oregano and basil!

Add another layer of noodles, then tomato sauce and cheese. Repeat these layers, alternating between veggies and the cheese/sauce mixture until you reach about an inch from the top of your crock pot (it expands a little as it cooks).

Once I reached the top, I added sauce on top of my noodles, then a layer of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese. I then added a little cracked black pepper on top.

This is the lovely outcome of about 15 minutes of preparation. Doesn't that look amazing? My boyfriend is so spoiled, he has no idea.

This dish is a little messy to spoon out, and tastes infinitely better than a store-bought lasagna! Go for it y'all, its really easy and totally worth it!

I made some garlic toast to go on the side. Buon Appetito!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Lazy Labor Day Dinner: The Super Easy Chicken Pot Pie

 If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner, cooking in your Crock Pot is the way to go. I love using my Crock Pot in the winter to make hearty soups after a long and busy day. There's no better feeling than walking in your door to the aroma of an already prepared dinner. Although it doesn't usually get very cold in Georgia, some of my favorite recipes for wintertime are Crock Pot chicken pot pie, french onion soup, chicken wild rice soup, and chili. I can't wait to share all of these recipes with y'all once it cools down around here. Even though its still ninety degrees, I decided to make chicken pot pie today for dinner!

I spent the day at my grandparents' house, so this was a perfect recipe for today! I adapted this recipe from Thegirlwhoateeverything.

Here's what you need:

2 cans cream of chicken soup (I opted for a healthier reduced-sodium version)
2 cans mixed vegetables *see note below*
2 chicken breasts
1 Vidalia onion (or a regular yellow onion will do, I just don't like to cry when I chop them!)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 container frozen or canned biscuits

Serves 4-5.
Cooks on low for 5 hours.

*You could use fresh or frozen vegetables for this recipe if you wish. The original recipe called for frozen peas, fresh celery, and fresh carrots. I just chose the canned mixed vegetables because they're super cheap at Aldi (around 50 cents a can!). The Aldi mixed vegetables have carrots, peas, green beans and potatoes.

If you're on a tight budget, this recipe as listed costs under five dollars to make, and serves 4-5 people. That's cheaper than fast food, and much more satisfying don't you think?

My Ingredients:

First, peel and chop up that Vidalia onion. I do a rough chop because I like to bite into the larger crunchy pieces of onion in my pot pie! If you want you can do a finer chop or opt out of using the onion entirely.

Next, throw the chopped onion into the Crock Pot.

Then, add the two cans of cream of chicken soup. Cut the two chicken breasts into medium sized pieces (I usually just cut a breast into fourths). Add it into the pot.

Finally, add the teaspoon of black pepper. I love to keep a pepper grinder around because I love the taste of fresh pepper on my food, so I just gave it two or three twists right on top of the mix.

Turn the Crock Pot on low and leave it for four hours. This is perfect for days when you have to be in and out of the house and don't want to stand by the stove and cook dinner!

After four hours, open up the canned vegetables, drain them, and add them in. I forgot to take a picture of this, sorry guys!

After you add the vegetables, let them cook for an additional 30 minutes. In that time, you can bake your biscuits. I also pull the chicken out with a fork and shred it on a paper plate. Nobody wants a giant piece of chicken in their pie!

Once the pot pie is ready, you can serve it in a bowl with two biscuits on top.

This is what the pot pie looked like when it was done. Deelicious! It's going to be great for lunch tomorrow too!

I didn't get a picture with the biscuits on top this time (I'm new at this y'all), but I promise I'll get pictures of everything next time.

Thanks so much for reading about this recipe! I hope you enjoy making it for yourself and your loved ones!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

A New Beginning.

Hi everyone,

This blog is about exploring the tastes of new food without breaking the bank or slaving away in the kitchen. I have always found that food can help a hurting heart, bring people together, and make you feel wonderful inside and out. As I explore new recipes and build up my culinary expertise, I hope that I can inspire other cooks out there, whether they are amateurs or adept chefs. I firmly believe that even those who barely make scrambled eggs without catastrophe can learn the joys of cooking.

Time Commitment:

I'm a college student, I'm currently trying to get into medical school, and I have a job. I understand that all of us are busy and overworked. The recipes I will post almost always can be completed start to finish in under an hour. When you consider the time it takes to go out to eat or pick up food, this is a small time commitment with fabulous results. Even though we're all busy, we deserve to give our bodies the healthy, nutritious food it craves.


I will almost never post a recipe that costs more than $10-15. My recipes will feed between 3-5 people, depending on if you're feeding your tiny roommate (like mine) or your starving boyfriend/dad/brother.

The food I create is a joy to eat, good for your body, and easily affordable and approachable.

Thank you so much for checking this out, I hope you love the recipes. Give them a try!