Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Recipes!

One of my prayers is that I will glorify God in how I care for my home - how I take care of my family. One way that I love to do that is cooking for them. So we all noticed when I got in a rut cooking. Every week, I could only think of the same things over and over. It had been my policy previously to try one or two new recipes a month. I had some winners - La Madeliene's Tomato Soup and Chicken Yum Yum (don't mock the title! It's accurate!) and some losers. California Sushi Rolls didn't go over big with Nate or Suzy, but I believe Vanilla Butternut Squash Soup was the biggest bomb I ever made. But I had gotten so into a recipe rut that I hadn't even thought of looking for new recipes.
I mentioned it to Nate, and he agreed that it was getting a little boring eating the same thing week after week.
I flipped through my cookbooks, but nothing struck my fancy. I googled "recipes", "frugal recipes", "easy recipes", and "quick recipes." It gave me information overload! Millions-billions- of recipes...I couldn't even think, my eyes just glazed over. Finally I googled something like "in a recipe rut!" And a blog came up that was just what I was looking for - Breaking The Recipe Rut!
I very quickly found two do-able, affordable recipes. I made them last week, and they were both winners with the family!
I thought I'd share them here.
The first is a lowfat marinera sauce. I added a bag of frozen meatballs to it. The first night we had meatball subs, and another night we had spaghetti with meatballs. And I froze about half of the meatballs for later meals, so it ends up being super frugal.
Main Event Marinara Sauce
Olive Oil Spray
1 cup minced yellow or white onion
2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons no salt added tomato paste
2 teaspoons honey (I substituted 2 teaspoons sugar because I was out of honey)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt, to taste (optional)

Spray a medium nonstick saucepan with olive oil spray and place over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just becoming tender (they should not brown), 4-6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and with a wooden spoon stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, honey, oregano, basil, and pepper flakes until well combined. (I add the frozen meatballs at this point.) Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least one hour. Season with salt if needed.
This was a huge hit with Nate, so we will definitely have it again.

The second recipe is a white chili. It's actually a Racheal Ray recipe.
White Bean Chicken Chili
1 32-ounce box chicken stock
3 cans white beans, left undrained
5 cups cooked chicken, rotisserie or boiled (I used canned chicken)
1 16-ounce jar salsa
1 8-ounce block pepper jack cheese, grated
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used a teaspoon of garlic powder because I didnb't have time to chop the garlic!)
Black or white pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely crushed corn chips
Sour cream, for garnish

Place all ingredients except the corn chips in a crockpot. Cook on high until the cheese is melted (about 1 - 1 1/2 hours).
Chili may also be cooked on the stovetop over medium-high heat until cheese is melted.
When the chili is ready, add the crushed corn chips, if using, and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Garnish with more chips, cheese and/or sour cream and serve.
This made an enormous pot of chili! I should have immediately frozen half of it instead of letting it languish in the fridge.
Here's another recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds pretty ingenious, so I intend to. SInce I know most of you, like me, usually have frozen chicken breasts in the freezer, I thought I'd share it before I tested it. If you make it and it's good, let me know!
Easiest, Yummiest Chicken EVER!
When you are in a pinch and dinner is an hour away and all you have on hand is frozen chicken breasts, which are still as hard as a rock since you didn't even think to thaw them, this is the recipe for you! You'll fool everyone with the flavor and they'll all think you slaved away.

Here it is:

Frozen chicken breast
Mayonaise (we use Best Foods Lite)
Season Salt

That is it for ingredients, and we can't even count two of those items as ingredients! Wouldn't season salt be...a seasoning? Anyway...

Take a nice big square of foil, slap the frozen chicken breast down in the middle (do this for as many as you need to make). After the chicken is laying stiff as a board and cold as ice on the foil, take a tablespoon and drop a plop of mayo on each breast, being careful not to actually touch the spoon to the chicken. When all mayo is plopped, use the spoon to spread it across the frozen breast, then sprinkle each with a healthy dash of season salt.

Bring the corners of the foil up and pinch them together, forming an airtight tent around the chicken, but leaving air around the chicken itself. Place each bundle on a jelly roll pan and bake at around 350 or 375 for an hour or so (check for pinkness before serving. If I'm in a hurry, I'll bake at 400). Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes, then de-tent the chicken and place on a platter. Be sure and save the juices in the foil and pour those over the chicken.
Sounds easy, doesn't it?


  1. thanks for sharing!!


  2. So, I made the chicken mayo last night, with low fat mayo & about half of what it calls for... yeah, still enough fat to throw me into a gallbladder attack this morning- thankfully I had a pain killer on hand, or I would not have made it to church this morning! It was tasty though! Not going to have it again, but Dylan loves it- I suppose I will make it for her again. Should have known better than to try a recipe whose main ingredient is mayo... durrr!! I will try the white bean chili next- minus the cheese and sour cream- I know, what's the point, right?! Thanks for sharing!