Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

How has this recipe been lingering on my Pinterest board, untouched, for at least a year? The ingredient list is pretty short and basically all things we usually have on hand. My kid loves chicken nuggets and pretzels, so why wouldn’t he love these? (Spoiler alert: he did!) And as I discovered once I put them in the oven and finished reading the recipe post- you can make these and freeze them for 2-3 months! Y’all know I love me a good freezer recipe. These were a hit with everyone in our house – the ones who eat solid food, anyway. 😜 Don’t be like me and wait; make these ASAP! With some honey mustard or cheese dip, yuuummmm…

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pretzels, crushed 
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet with foil or cooking spray. Get yourself three shallow bowls lined up. In the first, mix combine your flour, salt, and pepper. The 2nd, beat together the 2 eggs. Finally, put your crushed pretzels in the third. Line them up assembly line style to make your life easier!

  

Next, dice your chicken into 1-1.5 inch cubes (pound them down til they’re about 1 inch thick if using chicken breasts). Full disclosure- I don’t think I’d ever used my meat tenderizer for its intended purpose until today. For shame!

    

Next comes the fun part! Dip your chicken chunks into the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Coat with the egg, then dunk in the crushed pretzels. 
 

Once you’ve got all your chicken coated, give the pieces a shot of cooking spray to help seal all that delicious coating in place. Bake for 8 minutes, give the pieces a turn, then bake for another 6-8 minutes. Let cool then serve! We had ours with mashed potatoes and roasted brocolli, which made for a filling and satisfying meal. Hope your family enjoys this one as much as ours did! 

    

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
 

Apple Harvest Salad

The air is getting a bit crisp around here, and our tendency to gravitate toward heartier fare isn’t far behind. This is a great lunch or dinner option when you want to fill up but don’t necessarily want to feel like you’re indulging in some unnecessary calories. 😉 I just love the crunch of the apples alongside the tenderness of the chicken in this salad, plus it’s packed with add ins to keep your tummy happy but not stuffed. I even really enjoy the dressing and I’m not a fan of balsamic vinegar on a normal basis! It’s also just a really beautiful dish full of fall colors and flavors… Can’t beat it. Give this a try next time you need a quick, satisfying meal. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 cups salad greens of your choice
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained, and cooked 
  • 1-2 medium apples, cut into chunks 
  • 1 tbsp pepitas or sunflower seed kernels (whichever you have on hand) 
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped 
  • Sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Herbs de Provence 

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions:

Season your chicken breast with the salt, pepper, and Herbs de Provence. Inhale those herbs, because mmmmm…  

 

Then dice into cubes. Add a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter to a medium skillet over medium-high heat, then add chicken to the pan. Cook until well-browned, then remove to a plate and set aside to cool slightly. 

While your chicken is cooking, rinse your lettuce and chop your shallot, apples, and walnuts. Now would also be a good time to throw your quinoa in the microwave (according to package directions) if you haven’t cooked it already.  

 

Be on the lookout for small children swiping your produce mid-prep… Cute little stinker.  

 
Combine dressing ingredients in a squirt bottle and shake well. Add greens to salad bowl or individual plates, then top with quinoa, apples, chicken, nuts, and cheese. Top with a spray of dressing and enjoy!  

 
Adapted slightly from Life Made Simple.

Once a Month Breakfast Burritos

Some mornings, I just can’t. Even. Especially since becoming preggo with kiddo #2, the sheer exertion of getting out of bed is enough to wipe me out. The last thing I feel like doing is making breakfast, and even less so without coffee on board first (c’mon baby girl, you’re killin me with that one!). Enter- these breakfast delights. All it takes is 20 minutes one afternoon, and you’ve got breakfast for the next 10-20 days depending on how many you eat. Heck, double the batch and you’re really set for the month. Y’all know that a) I love anything I can make ahead and b) I love dishes that are customizable. I hope you try these and love them too! 

Ingredients:

*The eggs, cheese, and tortillas are the only items needed for the base. Anything else listed is what I had on hand and chose to use… You can use whatever strikes your fancy!

  • 12 large eggs 
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (again, your choice- I used Colby Jack this time) 
  • 20 (6) inch sized tortillas
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage crumbles
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup jalapeños, diced

Directions: 

Begin by cooking and draining the sausage.  

 

In another large skillet over medium heat, scramble the eggs and whatever veggies you might be using. Cool as much liquid out as you can so when reheated, your tortillas don’t get mushy!  

 
Once your eggs/veggies are thoroughly cooked, add the drained sausage and all that cheesy deliciousness to the skillet and mix until combined and the cheese is all melted.  

 
Warm your tortillas with a damp paper towel in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, or until pliable. Scoop some filling (about 1/3 cup) into a tortilla…

 
Roll, and repeat. Place seam side down on a foil or wax paper covered baking sheet, then transfer to the freezer to freeze for about 30 minutes.  Once stiff, transfer to Tupperware or large freezer bags and freeze until ready to use.

 
To heat and eat your burritos, you can either microwave or bake them. To microwave, simply wrap a burrito in a paper towel and microwave until heated through, or about 2 minutes. To bake, first thaw desired number of burritos, then bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Serve with salsa if you wish. That’s it! 😃 Happy breaking-the-fast!  

 Recipe adapted from Food.com.

*The original recipe calls for adding the salsa to the original mixture; I have found the mixture too damp and therefore the tortillas too mushy upon reheating. Try at your own risk!

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Brussel Sprouts

If you shop at Trader Joe’s, I’m sure you notice they offer about 38629592 different kinds of chicken sausage these days. We’ve used the spicy Italian variety several times to make skillet lasagna, among other things, so I perused Pinterest to try and find others dishes to utilize the sausage. This one piqued my interest because it incorporates brussel sprouts, so somewhat healthy, and pesto. We LOVE us some pesto around this house. 😊 It’s quick, filling, and perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb Brussel sprouts, outer leaves removed and chopped in half 
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 package of chicken sausage, sliced into coins  (we used spicy Italian, but I think the fontina, spinach, and garlic variety would work well too!)
  • 1 lb pasta of your choice
  • 2 1/2 tsp minced garlic 
  • 1/3 cup of pesto sauce 
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling 

Directions:

Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lining a large baking sheet with foil. Also, put your pasta water on to start boiling. Place brussel sprouts halves on sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper onto the sprouts, then use your hands to mix the sprouts into the oil until evenly coated.  

 

Pop into the oven for about 15 minutes, until the outsides are crispy and insides are tender. This may take 5-10 minutes longer, depending on the size of your sprouts. 

While your sprouts are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add your pasta to your boiling water at this point as well. Add the chicken sausage to the skillet and brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, just until fragrant. Remove from heat. Drain your pasta. In a large bowl, combine your pasta, sausage/garlic combo, pesto, and brussel  sprouts.  I decided to go ahead and throw some cheese in the mix because, well, it’s me and I love me some cheese! 

 

Give that big bowl of fragrant deliciousness a good stir. Serve warm with a little extra sprinkling of Parm if you please!  

 

Recipe adapted slightly from Gimme Some Oven.

Strawberry Banana Scones

Remember those chocolate chip scones I blogged a while back? I won’t pretend I like these better, as chocolate will always win in my book. However, these are a lovely little breakfast treat that you don’t have to feel too guilty about enjoying. A scone by definition is not especially sweet, so the bananas themselves lend the majority of the sweetness to these, and fresh chopped strawberries deliver a nice fruity punch. I love to make big batches of scones and freeze them individually; wake up, throw a few on a cookie sheet, and voila! Warm, delicious breakfast bread. A little too easy…

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsps cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 cups fresh, chopped strawberries

Directions:

Begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper (skip this step if making ahead). In a liquid measuring cup, combine the egg and heavy cream. Add the bananas and mash with a fork until well combined.  

 

Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, add butter cubes and work into dry ingredients until a pebbly dough forms. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. 
  
Finally, fold your strawberries into the dough with a spatula, just a few gentle turns.  

 

At this point, you can use a dough scoop to form your scones and wrap in plastic wrap to freeze…  

 

Or you can pop them onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until golden.  Enjoy with a cup of joe! 😊☀️☕️

 Recipe from What’s Cookin Chicago?

White Chicken Chili

We just loooove chili in our house. I mean, is there really a more perfect meal when the weather gets chilly? As much as I love a chili that takes the whole day to simmer, I love this recipe for it’s simplicity and quick cooking time. Perfect for one of those “MAN I do NOT feel like cooking tonight, but we can’t eat out again this week” nights. I’d be willing to bet you’ve got the staples for this chili in your pantry as well, so don’t wait to try it!

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chicken stock
2 small cans diced green chiles
1 cup plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
½ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Fresh cilantro and paprika, for garnish

Directions:
In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon of your olive oil over high heat. Add your diced up chicken to the pot…
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And sauté until no longer pink. Remove to a plate and set aside.
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Add additional tablespoon of oil if necessary, then the onion. Cook until translucent and soft, then add this yummy looking and smelling array of spices! Cook just another 30-60 seconds, or until fragrant.
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I wish you could smell this. Smell’onet, coming to a computer near you!
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Return chicken to pot along with chicken stock, green chiles, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.
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When done simmering, turn off heat. Stir in yogurt and heavy cream. Mmmmm.
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Taste and season as needed. Ladle up a bowl and garnish with cilantro and paprika. This would be lovely with some smoked Gouda as well I think!
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Recipe from Annie’s Eats.

Black Bean and Chorizo Tortas with Tomatillo Salsa

So if you’re thinking this sounds super complicated and not an ideal candidate for a quick, weeknight meal… Get ready to have your mind BLOWN. You can easily get these amazing little sammies from your pan to table in 20 minutes as there is practically no prep and very few ingredients. You can fancy this up by making your own tomatillo salsa of course, by in the name of keeping this quick and easy we used bottled. Still super delicious and a meal we’ll be recreating soon!
Ingredients:
1/2 lb chorizo, casing removed
1-3 tbsps olive oil
2 15 oz cans black beans, with juices
Salt
For finishing:
Tomatillo salsa
Queso fresco, sliced
4 6-inch rolls, sliced and toasted

Directions:
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chorizo to skillet, breaking up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
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Cookout throughout, then add olive oil to the pan (more if your chorizo didn’t render much fat). Add black beans to the pan and bring to a simmer.
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As the mixture is cooking, mash the beans into a paste- use a potato masher, a couple of forks, the back of a spoon, whatever you’ve got handy. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture reaches a mashed-potatoey (it’s a word… Now) consistency. Taste and season with salt as needed.
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Lay slices of cheese on your bread/rolls (we actually used a sliced loaf of Jimmy John’s bread – highly recommend this!) and spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the cheese. Top with salsa and serve. These were yummy with some sliced avocado on top as well, but I failed to get a photo of one with avocado.

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See, how easy was that?! I hope these find their way onto your menu soon. 😊

Recipe from Annie’s Eats