{Tex Mex Bake}

This is an incredibly easy, delicious, and filling dinner that is great for busy nights when you don’t really feel like cooking. My kids love this one!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

FOR THE CORNBREAD TOPPING:

½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9X13 inch pan and set aside.

In a large 12-inch skillet, brown the ground beef and onion, adding the salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Stir in the corn, salsa, and beans. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared 9X13 inch baking pan and set aside.

For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beaten eggs and milk. Whisk together until just moistened and no dry spots remain.

Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture and pour the cornbread batter over the cheese and beef mixture. Gently spread the cornbread to the edges of the pan, evening it out over the top of the casserole.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Adapted slightly from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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{Thai Sesame Noodles}

This is the perfect recipe, if you’re craving Thai takeout style noodles. Super easy and quick to through together with delicious flavors.

Ingredients:

3/4 pound dried rice noodles (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus a splash to loosen noodles
2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini (I used Tahini sauce)
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Chili-garlic paste, to taste
1/2 pound cucumber, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
A handful of chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

Cook noodles according to package directions and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Drizzle with a tiny splash of toasted sesame oil to keep them from sticking until dressed.

Meanwhile, whisk sesame paste and peanut butter in the bottom of a small bowl, then whisk in soy sauce, rice vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic and Chile-garlic paste to taste until smooth. Adjust flavors to taste.

Toss sauce with cold noodles. Add garnishes and enjoy!

 

 

Recipe Source: Smitten Kitchen

{Mexican Style Beef with Rice} Slow Cooker

I love any good Crock Pot meal. They are great for this busy mama, and this is a great one. It has a lot of flavor and the round steak gets so tender. Its definitely a family favorite!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound round steak cut into bite size pieces
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs prepared mustard just in your fridge
1 chopped onion
1 beef bouillon cube
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans drained

Directions:

Cut up the uncooked meat and place it in the crock pot. Mix with garlic salt, pepper, chili powder and mustard. Cover with onion, bouillon cube, and tomatoes. Top with beans. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over white rice. I usually always serve with Jasmine Rice cause its my favorite!

{Tuscan Sausage and White Bean Soup}

Wonder soup with amazing flavor. You can adjust this how you like, and make it more of a vegetarian style minestrone soup and it would still be great!

Ingredients: 

1 pound mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce each) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern or Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked shell pasta
9 ounces spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large pot, cook the sausage over medium heat (remove the sausage from the casings, if needed) until browned, 3-4 minutes, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. If your sausage is really lean, you may need to use a teaspoon or so of oil so it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Add the carrots, onion, and garlic, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the sausage is cooked through, 5-10 minutes. At this point, if there is excess grease, drain it before proceeding.

Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, basil, salt and pepper.

Bring the soup to a boil. Add the shell pasta, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking.

Stir in the spinach and simmer for another minute until the spinach is wilted. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

 

 

Recipe adapted slightly from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

{Instant Pot Mac and Cheese}

This has become a favorite around here. Super quick to whip up and I love the garlic flavor it has.

Ingredients:

1 pound large or small macaroni
4 Tbs butter
2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups water
4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 cup whole milk
16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Bread Crumb Topping:

2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian parsley, chopped (you can use fresh or dried)

Directions:
Add the macaroni, butter, water, ground mustard, salt and pepper into the bowl of the Instant Pot. Place the lid on and set the vent to “sealing”

Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then manually release the pressure.

Open the lid and add the cubed cream cheese, stirring until smooth

Add the milk and shredded cheese and continue to stir until all the cheese is melted and smooth. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumb topping.

Bread Crumb Topping Directions:

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Toss the bread crumbs in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.

 

Recipe adapted from: Kelsey Nixon

{Chicken Coconut Curry}

 

This is the most Authentic tasting curry dish that I have ever made from home. It was great! My new favorite curry dish. It was really simple, and turned out to be a huge hit with my whole family.

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks or strips
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2-3 Tbsp. curry powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne (I did a 1/4 and it had a little kick)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 golden potatoes, cut into chunks
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
Jasmine rice, cooked (I add Turmeric powder to it while its cooking, to give it that yellow color)

Directions:
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat oil, curry powder, and cayenne in a large skillet over medium-high heat for five minutes. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 10 minutes more or until onions are very clear. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear. Add potatoes, then add coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chopped cilantro, and sugar into the pan, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve with Jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro.

Adapted from: Favorite Family Recipes

{Homemade Pizza Rolls}

 

These pizza rolls are so very yummy and easy to make. They’re a great dinner idea for both kids and adults. You can make them with any preferred pizza toppings that you like or have on hand.

 

For the Dough:

1 1/4 cups warm water

2 packages active dry yeast

1 Tbs honey

3 Tbs good quality olive oil

4 cups all purpose flour + extra for kneading

2 tsp kosher salt

Mix the dough: Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

Knead by hand: When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

Let it rise: Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Making the Rolls:

Tear off small sections of the dough and stretch each one out to about the size of your palm. Put in a small amount of mozzarella cheese, 1-2 slices pepperoni or whatever pizza toppings you like. Fold the dough and pinch the bottom to make a pocket. Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with a little garlic powder and place on a lightly greased sheet pan bake at 500 degrees for 6-7 minutes.

Dip in your favorite pizza sauce/marinara sauce. I have used both homemade or jarred and both are great.

 

Recipe Source: Ashley Ray

{Chicken Enchilada Pasta}

This meal was really simple to throw together and it was a good mix up from regular pasta dishes. The Mexican flavors were really creamy and delicious.

 

Ingredients: 

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 {4 oz.} can diced green chiles
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 {10 oz.} cans green chili enchilada sauce
2/3 cups red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheese {I used colby & monterrey jack}
1 cup sour cream
Penne pasta
Optional toppings
Avocado
Green Onions
Black Olives
Tomatoes
Sour Cream
Directions:
Cook chicken, drain, and shred.  Meanwhile boil pasta according to package and chop the veggies. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet and cook onions for about 3 mintures. Add garlic and red pepper and cook another 3 minutes.
Add cooked chicken, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, salt and enchilada sauces. Let sauce simmer for about 10 minutes. Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and heated through. Now toss in the 1 cup of sour cream, DO NOT bring to a boil otherwise it will curdle. Stir until the sour cream is well mixed and heated through. Drain the pasta and return to pot. Pour sauce and mix well. Serve and garnish with option toppings.
Recipe Source: Pintrest

{Cooking Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot}

My Instant Pot has been a huge life saver for me. The biggest reason is because of this super fast frozen chicken method. It turns out fork tender every single time!

Ingredients: 

2 lbs frozen chicken

1/2 chicken broth (or water if you don’t have it on hand)

Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

Spray the Instant Pot insert with cooking oil.

Place the chicken in the pot, season generously with salt and pepper

Pour 1/2 cup chicken broth (or water) around the sides of the chicken in the pot.

Place the lid on the pot and set to the lock or seal position.

Turn the Instant Pot to the manual setting for 12 minutes. If the chicken is not frozen, 8 minutes will work.

Press the manual button to start the cooking process.

When the timer goes off and the chicken is cooked, the pressure may be released manually by carefully turning the valve on top of the Instant Pot to the venting position, or what I do is allow the pressure to naturally release for about 10-15 minutes before removing lid.

Remove chicken from the pot, shred or chop and use as needed.

 

Recipe Source: A Bountiful Kitchen