Spicy Shrimp Salad

I knew it was going to be a late night and I wanted something simple I could pick up from the grocery store and throw together at home.  I used the spicy mixture from here and grilled the shrimp on the same grill pan I always use.
SSS_Shrimp

I put some spinach, romaine lettuce, peppers, onions, carrots, celery and cucumbers in a bowl.  And made some for lunch at the same time.  See, this is why I don’t believe the people that “just don’t have time” to make lunch.  It doesn’t take much more time than making just one (admittedly, I did add some more spinach to the one for tomorrow)
SSS_TwoForOne

I hope you all don’t need an actual recipe for salads, but I know that I need some ideas at times to keep it interesting.  First, I added some slivered almonds
SSS_Almond

Then some Chow Mein noodles
SSS_ChowMein

And topped it with Sweet Balsamic dressing
SSS_Done

I was trying to go for an Asian feel, but I could find a dressing that sounded good to me.  I really wanted something like the Oriental Chicken Salad at Applebee’s but without all the crap they put in it 🙂  I liked this combo, but I added a bit too much dressing.  It was almost too sweet and the shrimp wasn’t as hot as the chicken was when I first made it.  It was still really good, though

Tomorrow, lunch is going to be the same thing, but instead of the Asian theme, I am going with the good old bacon bits, croutons and ranch topping……can I eat lunch now?

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Chicken Parmish Type Casserole

I REALLY wanted to like this recipe.  I love Chicken Parmesan and this seemed like an easy way to get the same taste  with less calories.  There are 3 different recipes that are pinned to my board on Pinterest, but they are all basically the same.  This is the one I followed the closest.

Ingredients
CPC_Ingredients

Cut up the chicken into pieces and put in the bottom of the casserole.  Top with sauce.
CPC_Sauce

Top THAT with mozzarella cheese
CPC_Cheese

I took the croutons, added some parm cheese and garlic and crushed them up
CPC_Croutons

Topped the casserole with them
CPC_Crust

Baked for 35 minutes at 350ish
CPC_Baked

It looks good, right?  It was surprisingly bland.  It was definitely missing something.  I had an inkling to put pasta in the bottom of the dish, but I didn’t.  Bad move.  It was really watery .  That would have been absorbed by the pasta if it was cooked to just under al dente.  Even the topping ended up getting wet after I took it out of the oven.  No one likes wet croutons unless they are freshly dressed on a salad

This was really disappointing.  It definitely didn’t have enough seasoning.  Even the Italian Seasoning that I added wasn’t included in any of the original recipes didn’t help.  I don’t think I will be making this again.  If I do, there’s gonna be a lot more seasoning added directly to the sauce before topping the chicken AND there will be pasta on the bottom.

Meatless burger….yea

I have been looking for a quick burger option that I can replace fast food burgers with.  The only thing is that they are high in calories and fat and uber expensive.  Seriously, these things come in a dozen or so.  If you hate them, you are stuck eating them for a LONG time.  I looked into the fake meat ones, but I always worried about the taste and texture.  I decided to jump and got MorningStar Farms Grillers Prime for my dinner.

The box! (Exciting right?)
MSR_Box

 

The burger still frozen.  There are only 4 in the box and they are wrapped in pairs, because you have to cook more than one at a time.
MSR_Frozen

 

I’m a rebel!  I only cooked one!  Muahaha!  *Ahem*
This is after cooking 7.5 minutes.  See, I read the box wrong and didn’t realize you had to flip it over halfway through.  This IS the cooked side, though.  I did notice one thing about the burger.  It was very greasy.  Apparently meat-like = greasy.
MSR_Cooked

 

All dressed up for my mouth.  I also had onions and ketchup under the lettuce there.  Ritz sour cream and onion cracker chips on the side
MSR_Plated

The taste itself was actually not bad.  I knew it wasn’t a real burger, but didn’t care.  It did, kind of, get lost in the bun and toppings though.  I could detect a slight crunchiness to the patty when I bit in at first.  The further in I got, the less crunchy it was.  I could definitely tell from the texture that it wasn’t a burger.  It is a recognizable texture that I used to get form the spicy chicken patties they no longer make (or that was Boca, I can’t remember).  I have 4 more burgers to eat and I am going to try cooking them in the Griddler and toaster oven, too.  But, based on this experience, I don’t think I would buy them again

Title Forgotten….almost

Potatoes, chicken, cheese and bacon – what’s not to love??  I was gonna make just potatoes, then I realized that this recipe had chicken in it, too.  It is a bit spicy, so Ranch is not a suggestion here, it’s a requirement.  It wasn’t a difficult recipe, but it did require a lot of attention.

Ingredients
BCP_Ingredients

Mixing the potatoes up
BCP_PotatoMixed

Ready to bake the potatoes
BCP_PotatoToBake

Baked!  Look how quick that was – not really though.  it took about 45 minutes with turning every 15 minutes
BCP_PotatoesBaked

I added the chicken and topped the chicken with cheese, bacon and green onions.  I don’t have the full amount of the onions, just enough.  I chopped until it felt weird, you know?  Like, why am I still chopping?  This thing is hollow and mushing in my hands.
BCP_FinalBaking

After baking.  You can’t see, but it wasn’t baked enough for the chicken to be completely cooked.  But, the topping (as you can see) was done.
BCP_Done

I cut up the chicken and nuked it until the chicken was completely cooked.
BCP_Plated

This was only HALF the recipe and it is plenty to feed me for the week.  I am thinking of calling a friend to help out, too.  It was good, but I am going to be cutting down on the hot sauce the next time I make it.  I want to combine this recipe with one for ranch potatoes and leave the chicken with the Buffalo seasoning.  I think it would be more balanced and I probably wouldn’t need the ranch on the side.  I wonder how it would taste with BBQ chicken on top.  This would be a great dish to make in the winter since it is baked at a high temperature.  I recommend it if you like hot sauce.

Cooky Pleasing Chicken

Some people just slay me.  This is a very popular recipe on Pinterest.  I pinned it because it looked really good.  I went to the site and started to read through the comments and did so many facepalms that I think I broke my nose.  People complaining because they don’t like mustard and syrup, but still made the recipe – look at the MAIN two ingredients!?!  Seriously???  Ugh.  Someone else complained because it was called “Man-Pleasing Chicken”.  OMG – just be thankful she posted the recipe in the first place!!

Ok, rant over.

I am not the biggest fan of mustard and syrup, but I do have a few recipes that use dijon mustard and I really like them.  I figured I would give it a try.  I don’t eat thighs, so I used breasts.

Ingredients.  Seriously, this is it.  Plus your chicken
MPC_Ingredients

Mix it up (forgot to take a picture mixed)
MPC_Measured

Pour it over your chicken
MPC_ReadytoBake

and Bake!  That’s it!  Pretty simple.
MPC_Baked

Seriously, though, why do my finished dishes NEVER look like the ones posted??  *SIGH*

I think I could add another chicken breast to this and still be fine.  That middle space?  Empty.  I cooked it for about 45 minutes because I was trying to get the yummy brown bits on the original picture.  No such luck.  I over cooked a bit, but that was my fault.  It would be fine probably at 30 or 40 minutes.

Regardless, it still tasted really good.  It smelled strongly of mustard, but didn’t taste only of that.  It was a bit tangy and a bit sweet.  I forgot to use some sauce on the plated dinner, but I stored the cooked chicken in it for leftovers.  It was so simple that I would definitely make this again.  I think would would also be good as a marinade for grilling.  Marinade over night, then grill and baste.

Dinner all plated.  Pilaf from Near East and a small Caesar salad.  Looking forward to lunch tomorrow 🙂
MPC_Dinner

Vacation Mode

See this space?

 

 

 

 

This is where I was supposed to write a post about lasagna cups.  The problem?  I am still in vacation mode and haven’t actually cooked anything since last week.  GASP!  I know!  I will be cooking this weekend…..a lot.  In the meantime, enjoy this picture of a Monkey.
Monkey

Not Your Normal Mac and Cheese

Always on the look out for some new way to pair cheese with some kind of pasta, I was excited to make Gnocchi Mac and Cheese.  I was nervous about the cheeses included.  They are cheeses (besides parm) that I have never had before.  I don’t like strong cheeses, really, but the picture looked sooooo good!

Ingredients.  I didn’t have milk, so I used half and half (who doesn’t have milk?!?)
GMC_Ingredients

Gnocchi prepared for the saucing
GMC_ReadyForSauce

Sauce ready.  The recipe says medium heat, but that was way too hot for my pans.  I should have gone medium low.  See those black marks?  That’s the garlic.  A moment of silence for the poor garlic.  I also forgot to add the salt and pepper.  I don’t think the salt was missed, but the pepper might have been a nice touch.
GMC_SauceDone

First layer on the gnocchi
GMC_FirstSauce

I didn’t add a whole 1/3 cup of parm like the original recipe.  I think it would have been way too much with all the other strong cheese in the dish
GMC_SecondLayer

All baked up
GMC_Baked

….it doesn’t look like the picture I saw.  This may be because I added too much cheese.  Possibly because of the half and half?  I don’t know, but it was really oily.  Did I eat it still?  You betcha!

GMC_Plated

Another view
GMC_FinalPLate

I ate it with the Spicy Chicken from the last post.  It was REALLY rich, but good.  I think I will have to be more careful about the cheese next time.  I will probably also pair one of the stronger cheeses with mozzarella or another mild cheese.  I will tell you, if you don’t have a place that will cut the cheese (HA!) into smaller chunks, this recipe WILL be pricey.  I don’t know if it is worth it.  It is good, I will give you that, but what do I do with the rest of the expensive cheeses I bought?  It is a really good idea, though.  And I want to make it again, just in a more affordable way.