30 Meal Challenge (Meals 18-21): Crust-Less Quiche, Italian Dishes & Chicken Tenders

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on January 26, 2015

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Kind of a mish mash of meals today. Let’s dig in…

Crust-less Quiche

I would love to find more ways to cook eggs other than breakfast. I’ve tried frittatas a few times and some are okay, but none have stuck. My husband is opposed to quiche because of memories of having to eat it during Christmas when he really wanted bacon and eggs. I knew I wanted to try this Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Crust-less Quiche on Budget Bites (my new fave food blog). But would the hubs go for it?

So I called it a “frittata” and asked him to try it for breakfast on my way out to take the kids to school.  When I returned he told me the ratio of veggies to eggs was too much. That’s okay, because that meant more for me at lunch that day. Great recipe, but I’ll probably play around more with it.

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Marinara Sauce with added Veggies

I think it’s good to have a versatile homemade red sauce to use in different meals. I have started adding some veggies to mine for more flavor and nutrition. Here’s what I did:

Sauté onion, red pepper, chopped carrot or two and chopped celery until softened. At the end, add about 5 cloves of minced garlic for about a minute.

marinarasauceveggie

If you don’t want chunks of veggies, blend the veggies with a can of tomato sauce until smooth (no tricking kids so show them or better yet, have them help!). Add this with the rest of the ingredients in slow cooker on high for about 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. You can also cook over the stove too. Adapted recipe is below.

Homemade Marinara with Veggies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 8
 

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot or two small, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14.5 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1½ teaspoons of sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions
  1. Saute veggies until softened and add garlic the last minute of cooking. Blend tomato sauce and veggies in a blender until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Add the veggie mix with the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir until combined. Heat on high for 3 hours or low 6-8 hours.
  3. Makes just over 2 jars pasta sauce. Freeze or use right away.

Chicken Tenders

I’ve made this tried and true recipe since writing Fearless Feeding a few years ago. Big A, who used to fight over the last piece with her dad, is no longer into these but will still eat them if hungry. But now me and the hubs like it. The key is the bread crumbs. I like the organic bread crumbs from Trader Joes because they have a nice flavor. Some people like to use panko bread crumbs. I make it with a honey mustard which is just equal parts plain yogurt or mayo, honey and Dijon mustard.

honeymustardsauce

Thin Crust Pizza

I have been on a mission to make a homemade, crispy thin crust pizza. I found this site that recommends using high gluten flour (I used King Arthur bread flour) and refrigerating the dough for 24 hours. I don’t have a standing mixer but I do have a bread machine that kneads the dough. I tried the dough recipe here but it turned out like this using my bread machine:

pizzadough1

So I stuck with the basic recipe that’s provided in the bread machine cookbook and it looked much better.

pizzadough2

I divided the dough in half and put the two dough balls in the fridge (in bowls covered with plastic wrap). I took it out the next day after about 26 hours and let it rest for over an hour.

pizzadough3

I saw a suggestion on you tube to spread the dough out over the back of cooking pans, so I sprayed two pans with cooking spray and tried it. Instead of a rolling pin, I slowly massaged the dough out with my hands. I was amazed how well this worked! Then I put these directly in a 450F oven for about 4-5 minutes to precook it to make it crispy. I took them out and then transferred the dough to a cutting board topped with some cornmeal and put on the toppings. Oh, and the whole time my pizza stone has been heating in the oven. If you look at the second picture below you can see it’s already crispy on the bottom.

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After the toppings were done, I slid the first pizza on the hot stone (kids) and it was done in 6 minutes.  The second pizza with more toppings took about 7 minutes.

After 6 years of trying for a crispy crust, I did it. My pizza Nazi (Big A) really liked it and so did the hubs. Little D always loves pizza.

I never gave up because I LOVE thin crust pizza. And in my book, there’s nothing better than pizza and a salad. Agree?

pizzacrispycrust3

 

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30 Meal Challenge (Meals 15-17): Shrimp Two Ways and Salmon Cakes

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on January 21, 2015

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This challenge is getting difficult but I’m more than halfway there! Today I’m highlighting two shrimp meals and my never-ending attempt at Salmon Cakes.

Baked Orange Shrimp

I like cooking with shrimp because it cooks fast and is easy to defrost.  I posted this baked shrimp and broccoli recipe awhile ago but I want something different. I tested it on my husband when he came home early for lunch Monday but wanted to wait before serving it to the kids.

I defrosted a pound of shrimp and tossed it with olive oil and salt and pepper. At 400F, I baked it in a dish for about 10 minutes (I usually add a veggie first but was short on time). While it was cooking I worked on the sauce which is 1 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp sugar  — boil and then stir until it gets syrupy (about 5-6 minutes).  I added 2 garlic cloves and 1/4 tsp. dried ginger to the sauce. The sauce never did get syrupy like the recipe stated.

bakedshrimp2

When the shrimp was done I moved it to a bowl and added sauce and chopped green onions. I liked the flavor a lot but my husband said it was “too tangy.” But he tried to get out of it later saying he meant it in a good way.  Hmmm. So I think I’m onto something but will mess around with the sauce and add some veggies. This can also work as a stir fry.

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Now I know the original recipe calls for coating and pan frying the shrimp but this feels high maintenance for a weeknight meal.

Shrimp Linguine

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I got this recipe from Weekly Bite. Estela is an awesome cook and hers is a great blog to follow for family friendly meals. I cut the recipe in half for our family and it turned out nice. I serve with a side of veggies or salad (or both) and fruit. It has become a tired and true.

Salmon Cakes

I’ve been wanting to try the salmon cake recipe from Sally’s Dinnertime Survival Guide book. I combined ideas from her recipe with my old one. And this came out pretty good. I’m still not satisfied with the sauce — and want to make one or two additions — but I’m almost there.  Not quite ready to post.

salmoncakes1salmoncakes

 

Are you making any new meals this month?  How is it going?

Previous Post: Meals 11-14: Simple Chicken Recipes

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30 Meal Challenge (Meals 11-14): Simple Chicken Recipes

January 16, 2015
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Okay, I can see that I cook with chicken a lot.  What I have been trying to do is to incorporate substitutions if I feel we are in chicken overload. For example, the chicken Alfredo and quesadilla recipes can easily work with shrimp.  Once I decide on a base recipe, it’s easy to switch out [...]




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This is The Feeding Diaries, an ongoing series about the feeding escapades in my house. We were at a family gathering where the kids had access to sweets (donuts) and lunch food (sandwiches, pasta salad etc). I helped them get food and sat them down. I went to get my food and when I returned, Big A [...]




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30 Meal Challenge (Meals 8-10): Vegetarian Dishes

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Everyone needs a good amount of tasty vegetarian meal options. Here I have a tried and true veggie lasagna along with two meals I’m trying to perfect. Let’s take a look: Black Bean Sliders I developed this recipe for Fearless Feeding and I remember really liking it.  So why don’t I make it? I think [...]




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30 Meal Challenge: (Meals 5-7) Two Type of Tacos and Chicken Enchiladas

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Maybe it’s because I grew up living so close to the border, but my favorite food is Mexican. I love salsa, beans, guacamole and tortilla chips. I really think when made right, it’s some of the most nutritious and satisfying food around. Here are the meals I’m focusing on today: Meal #5: Turkey Tacos I [...]




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30 Meal Challenge (Meal #4): Salmon Prepared 3 Ways

January 6, 2015
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The very first time I made salmon was when I lived in New York more than 10 years ago. I had a tiny kitchen, the kind you’d miss if you didn’t look left while walking into my 350 square feet apartment.  I decided to cook for real every Sunday night for my boyfriend (now husband). [...]




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30 Meal Challenge (Meals 2 & 3): Tuna Noodle Casserole & Turkey Chili

January 5, 2015
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For my next two meals I have both a “tried and true” and “want to make.”  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see post #2 in this series. First, the want to make… Meal #2: Tuna Noodle Casserole As I was brainstorming meals, tuna casserole came to mind. I didn’t grow up [...]




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30 Meal Challenge (Meal #1): Slow Cooker Chicken with White Beans

January 3, 2015
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I ran across my very first slow cooker cookbook while going through my cookbooks. It was included as a gift with my first (and current) slow cooker. I tried many recipes in this book but when faced with this book again all I could remember was one: Italian Chicken with White Beans. The kids ate [...]




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30 Meals in 30 Days: The Plan

January 1, 2015
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So to get started on my challenge, I have selected 30 meals to make. But before I get into my list, let me briefly touch on the considerations that went into these meals. Variety/Degree of Difficulty: I strive for a good variety of food, but too much overwhelms me. I’ve heard some food bloggers never [...]




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