Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hamburger Chowder

1 lb Ground Beef (3lb Package is what I use start for multiple meal prep.)
1 Chopped Onion (2-3 Medium Onions is what I use start for multiple meal prep.)
1 Can Corn
1 Can Green Beans
2 Cups Beef Broth
2-3 Tbs. Flour
4 Tbs. Butter
1 Cup Milk (or Lactaid or Milk Substitute)
1-2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt
Salt/Pepper to Taste
Worcestershire Sauce to Taste (About a table spoon)
Basil to Taste (About a teaspoon)
I like to do as much meal prep at the beginning of the week as possible, so, by mid week, I need to do very little.  I buy 3 lb packages of ground beef. I chop my onions. I brown the ground beef with the onions until all are fully cooked. Then, I drain off they extra grease.
Then, I take about a third of the browned meat and onion to do this recipe. The rest, I use for tacos, chili, spaghetti sauce, and other recipes. I store it in the fridge for the week or freeze it for later.

After my ground beef and onion are drained, I put them back in my pan. I drain my corn and green beans and add them to the beef and onion. Then, I add the butter to melt with it. I put in the flour. The average time flour takes to cook is about 10 minutes. I give it a 2 or 3 minute start. Then, I pour in the beef broth. I let it heat up to a simmer. I let it simmer for about 4-6 minutes, helping the flour cook through. While it's simmering, I add my garlic powder, to taste. I like A LOT of garlic. I also add a little bit of salt and a lot of pepper. Always feel free to experiment! I add things like basil (fresh or dried chopped), seasoned salt,  and Worcestershire says to it also to taste.
After it has simmered for 4-6 minutes, I add the milk. I let the come up to a simmer also.
These is a pretty easy meal for a week night, especially if the ground beef is already cooked.
My husband really likes this meal.
Other vegetables would really go well in this dish! Carrots, potatoes, and celery would also work in this dish.
I served this with Rye Bread and butter. It was delicious! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Chicken and Noodles: Comfort Food the way Mom makes it!

3 Boneless Chicken Breasts or Tenders (I used tenders.)
1 Package Reames Egg Noodles (Found in the Freezer Section of the Store)
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
1-2 Tbl Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 Cup Milk (I used Lactaid)
3 Tbl Unsalted Butter
3 Tbl Flour (I used White Wheat, but white and wheat flours work also.)
4 Chicken Boullion Cubes  
6 Cups Water 
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Prep and Cook Time: 45 Minutes 
*I also prepare mash potatoes to go with my noodles. I think it's a northern Indiana idea.
Fill a 7-8qt soup pot about half way with water and boil. This is about 6 cups.
While that is working towards boiling, add the Bouillon cubes and olive oil. 
When the water is boiling, add the chicken and the Worcestershire. I used frozen chicken tenders. I've also used frozen chicken breasts before. Boil those for about 10-15 minutes, then, remove and set aside. You don't want to over cook the chicken.
I usually leave the chicken on a cutting board. 
Put the Reames Egg Noodles (THE BEST KIND TO USE!!!) in the pan to start their 20-30 minute cooking process. It depends how tender/al dente you like your noodles.
*This is not a sponsored post for Reames!!! They are just my favorite noodles and have been since I was a child! They are what my mother used!
Make sure they come to a boil. This will take a few minutes, since the noodles are frozen! 
Cut up the chicken into bite size chunks while the noodles are cooking. 
After the noodles cook for 15-20 minutes, add the chicken back to the pot. 
Put the flour in a small bowl. 
Add the milk and some ground pepper. 
Whisk the flour and milk mixture together. 
Add the basil, butter, garlic, and salt and pepper to the noodles. Mix these together. 
Pour the flour mixture in with the chicken and noodle mixture and stir it in. 
Simmer on medium low heat while stirring occasionally for ten minutes to cook the flour. In this time, the broth will start to thicken.
While the chicken and noodles are simmering, I whip up some instant mash potatoes! I do make real mash potatoes often, but sometimes, I've just gotta do the instant! I add tons of butter to them and let it melt! 
As I was mentioning before, we put our Chicken and Noodles right on top of our mashed potatoes. It's awesome! This comfort food has been one of my favorites for a while! It took me a couple years to perfect it, because my mom never gave me an "official" recipe for it. She would just make it! I've done this using a whole chicken and boiling it for stock instead of the bouillon. There are lots of ways to change it up, and it will still taste amazing! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tomato Basil Pasta: A Quick "Dump" Meal for a Week Night

Dump Pasta Ingredients
Ingredients List
4 Servings Pasta (Any Kind You Like! I used Angel Hair)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Basil
1 Parmesan Cheese ("Shaky" or a Brick. I used both.)
1-3 tsp Garlic Powder to Taste
1-3 tsp Italian Seasoning to Taste
1/4-1tsp Basil to Taste
2-3 Tbl Olive Oil 
Salt and Ground Black Pepper to Taste
1 Can Artichoke Hearts (Or quartered hearts)*
1 Can Corn*
 *All vegetables are up to your discretion. Don't like corn? Don't put it in! Don't like artichoke? You're crazy!;-) But you can still skip it! I've also done canned mushrooms in this recipe. Feel free to experiment! I make this different almost every time based on the veggies I have in my pantry. 
Prep Time- 5 Minutes if that Long (Picking out your Veggies and opening the cans.)
Cook Time- 20-25 Minutes
Makes 4-6 Servings
I call this Dump Pasta, because I'm just dumping the ingredients into a single pan and warming them up. This recipe is so easy! Also, all seasoning is to taste. We like extremely strong seasoning in my family. We also don't use very much salt, because we both have low salt/no salt diets. On top of that, unless you are purchasing Low Sodium veggies, most canned veggies have a ton of salt in them! We don't like to add to that amount.

Pasta Cooking
First, boil the pasta per the instructions on the box. I pick Angel Hair a lot of the time, because it cooks in about 4 minutes. That's super quick! 
Drained Pasta
Drain your pasta into a strainer, and leave it there for a few minutes. It does not need rinsed for this recipe. 
Dumped Ingredients
Dump in the cans of tomatoes. Drain off the water on the can of artichokes and the corn. Dump them in. Put the seasoning on top of that. Also, about a table spoon of Parmesan cheese. I used the "Shaky" cheese for this. I add ground pepper in at this point. I like a lot of it. 
Stirred Ingredients
Bring the dumped ingredients to a simmer. 
Simmering and Steamy
Let all the ingredients simmer until heated through. This can be used right then, or you can let them simmer for a bit, 10-15 minutes, and let this reduce. I left this on to reduce around 15-20 minutes, and it didn't hurt it. 
Pasta Dumped in the Veggies
After the veggies have simmered for a bit, put the pasta in and mix them together. Let this simmer 3-5 more minutes. Be careful to not let this simmer to long if an al dente pasta is preferred. 
Tomato Basil Pasta Dish
When served, add some shredded Parmesan to the top. This side is also good with a Tomato Basil Morning Star Farms burger or a chicken breast. It can also be served with a side salad.
I make this easy pasta dish two or three times a month. It originally started when I started pulling random things out of the pantry and through them in the pot.
I hope you enjoy this easy meal!