Friday, August 20, 2010

Simple Cucumber Salad

I'm sure we all have a recipe like this somewhere, but, just in case you don't, here's one you should try! I was blessed with a neighbor who needed me to pick her garden while she was on vacation for a week - little did I know the kind of produce I would be getting! Needless to say, we've had a lot of this stuff around our house the past week and we are not complaining one bit!

Simple Cucumber Salad
  • 3 large cucumbers - skinned if you want and sliced thin
  • 1 smallish onion - sliced thin
  • 1/2 vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
--Put the sliced cucumbers and onion in a bowl (I usually add dill to this, but I didn't have any on hand - bummer!)
--Mix vinegar and sugar together and pour over top
--Stick in the fridge for an hour or so and enjoy the freshness!

NOTE: Great if you add tomatoes to it, too!

Zesty Chicken and Rice

I love crock-pot meals. Especially on Mondays when I devote the day to cleaning. The last thing I want to do Monday night is cook or clean dirtied kitchen. So I every Monday morning, I run to my crockpot with open arms! This past week I made a new dish and tweaked it a little according to what I had on hand, and it was great! I served it with a veggie and I was good to go! I also will tone down the spice next time I make this (and there will be a next time, let me assure you), but it must not have been too spicy because Evan it just fine. I'm just a wimp when it comes to spice.

Zesty Chicken and Rice

Serves:4 (Large Men)
  • 2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 small and quite a few tenderloins I had)
  • 2 large bell peppers, coarsely chopped (I did mine in strips, but will shop next time)
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes - undrained
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pkg dry Taco seasoning (I actually used Enchilada seasoning because it's what I had and it was wonderful!)
  • 1 t ground red pepper
  • 1 t cinnamon (I added this and loved it with the enchilada seasonings, but I wouldn't add it with the taco I don't think)
  • S&P to taste
  • Shredded cheese for the top (optional)
--Mix it all (except the cheese, of course) up and set on High for 4 hours! Top with the cheese

NOTE: I put everything in frozen. The chicken and the bell peppers at least (I had planned on making this a while back but didn't, so I was forced to cut the peppers and freeze them, but it worked out great!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This is called Greek Lasagna, although why it has that name, I have no idea. Scot and I were trying to figure out what makes this Greek and we haven't a clue. No feta, no spinach, no olives or sun dried tomatoes. Shows our limited food knowledge of a place we've only ever dreamed of visiting. All that aside, it was delicious! The cinnamon complimented the other herbs perfectly and the light and fluffy topping was a wonderful surprise. I got the recipe from a friend and have been anxious to try it for quite a few weeks and last night was the night. It was so worth the wait! I served it with fresh-from-the-garden green beans that had my favorite "Greek Dressing" on them - YUM!

  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • one 8 oz. can tomato sauce (I used 1 cup traditional spaghetti sauce and just used 1 T Parsley)
  • 2 tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used my favorite Italian Shredded combo and upped the cheese to a cup)
  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni or other short pasta like Rotini (cook according to package instructions)
--In a large skillet, brown meat with the onion and garlic.
--Add the tomato sauce and spices. Let simmer 5 minutes and then add one beaten egg.
--In a small sauce pan, melt butter and stir in flour. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk (reserve the other 1/4 cup in a small mixing bowl) and stir until slightly thick. Add two beaten eggs and 1/2 the cheese. Stir til thick.
--In the small mixing bowl, whisk together the one last egg, the 1/4 cup milk, and the other half of the cheese. Mix in the cooked pasta.
--Now to assemble in a greased 8x8x2 pan: 1/2 the pasta on the bottom, all the meat, the other half of the pasta, and then the sauce on top. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top if desired (and you should desire).
--Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

So Chicken Parmesan was one of those meal that I always wanted to make, but never had a really good recipe for. Well, no longer. This is healthy and easy and ooooh so tasty. Originally a Sisters Cafe recipe, I use their "healthy" version. The sauce is what sets this Chicken Parmesan apart from other recipes. It's chunky and slightly sweet and absolutely bursting with the flavors of all the herbs! Even if you have a go-to Chicken Parmesan recipe, I hope you'll give this one a try!

Chicken Parmesan

For the sauce:
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (approx 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 cans Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
For the chicken:
  • 1-2 lbs chicken breasts
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese (Or I just get the bag of Italian shredded cheese - it's Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano all together)
--For the sauce: Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are tender and transparent. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 10 minutes.
--Meanwhile: Place the chicken in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the cheese on to your desired taste. Pour the sauce over, cover, and bake for 40 minutes at 350.
--Top with shredded Parmesan (not pictured because I forgot to do it until after I took a few bites!)