Posts Tagged ‘main dishes’

Oh, hey, I remembered I have a blog!

Nah, I’ve just been really busy–kid #1 is homeschooled, kid #2 is 20 months old, kid #3 is due next spring,  and I work part time.  I don’t have time to get bored.

Anyway, now that we’re going to be a family of 5, frugal yet nutrient-dense meals are more important than ever.  Despite my busyness, I try to repeat meals very infrequently because I just like variety.  However, I love soups of all kinds and one that has begun to grace our table more frequently is vichyssoise.



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I have to admit that I used “naughty” hot dogs for this recipe.  It was the last package in my freezer from last fall, purchased shortly before my food “conversion.”  Ideally, as the recipe says, you should avoid commercial hot dogs, which are full of high fructose corn syrup, nitrates/nitrites, MSG, and all sorts of other nasty stuff.  I’ll never buy those again and will purchase any future hot dogs from Dolly Rock Farm; theirs are made from pastured beef with no chemicals.

Frankly, this recipe was delicious

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We ate this for dinner last night and I was very pleased with how it turned out.  I combined the most common ingredients I usually see paired with salmon: dill, mustard, lemon, spinach–hence the “everything.”  My son was fascinated by the big slab of salmon laying on the baking sheet and kept coming back to look at it while I waited for the oven to preheat.  “I wanna see da fish again!”

I have to admit that I usually find salmon (and most fish dishes, for that matter) completely repulsive when leftover, but this recipe made for a great lunch today as well!

Continue for recipe

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This recipe requires two crockpots. I actually own five: a 2 1/2-quart, two 3 quarts, a 6 quart, and a 7 quart. To really take advantage of all crockpot cooking has to offer, it really helps to have a variety of sizes.

I have lately discovered the joys of making mashed potatoes in the crockpot and will never go back to the stovetop method again.  Here they are, first cut up and covered with water in my 2 1/2 quart crockpot:

I washed the potatoes and cut them in half while the onions were cooking:

Continue for creamy beefy goodness

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I adapted this recipe from this one at the Newman’s Own website, and it’s coincidentally by Jenny at Nourished Kitchen, one of my favorite sites.  When we first ate it for dinner, the sauce was very strong and almost too sweet (as I expected it to be), but improved a lot the next day for lunch leftovers.  It’s not always a bad thing that noodles suck up a sauce and mellow its flavor.  I just used butter to saute the onions and it didn’t occur to me that I could have added a lump of reserved bacon fat from the fridge and let it melt, but that’s what I’ll do in the future for this dish.

Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta

5 to 6 servings

  • 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon and 2 tablespoons reserved bacon grease (or you can cook the bacon fresh and use the grease as directed in the original recipe)
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked noodles of choice (homemade is best, but whole wheat, brown rice, or buckwheat noodles are okay)
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 3/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, if not using bacon grease
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 apple, cored, sliced, and quartered
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, sliced or chopped if desired (I cut mine into strips to increase the chances my son would eat them, but you could leave whole if you’d like)
Melt butter or bacon grease over medium heat in saucepan. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes. It’s okay to cook longer; just stir occasionally and check for burning. Turn down heat if they begin to brown too much.

Meanwhile, whisk honey, mustard and milk together in a small bowl. Set aside. Add the quartered apple slices to the pan with the onions. Cook 2 minutes or so, then add chicken, spinach, and noodles. Stir well until spinach begins to wilt. Add sauce, stir well, and let cook a few more minutes or until warmed through.

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This recipe was one of convenience for me.  I already had a bag of frozen cooked rice, some frozen green onions (I’ve discovered I don’t even have to slice them before freezing–they still slice easily when frozen), frozen homemade bread crumbs, and frozen cooked bacon to help throw this together quickly.  I’ve discovered that my son will eat almost anything when it’s fried in patty or stick form, so I’ve been making a lot of these types of recipes lately.  These were pretty good while fresh, but unlike most fried foods, they became absolutely delicious when leftover!  The bacon flavor really comes through more strongly.  For the best flavor, reheat in the oven or in a toaster oven.  (I use a toaster oven because it’s quicker and saves more energy than heating up the big oven.)

For the bacon, I really like to fry up two packages of bacon at a time.  As soon as they’re done cooking, I strain the grease through some cheesecloth into a small jar that I keep in the fridge.  Once the bacon slices have completely cooled, I crumble them into a freezer bag and store in the freezer.  Bacon reheats so quickly that I don’t even have to thaw it before using.


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