Wednesday, February 2, 2011


This week I am all about quick, easy, and lets get some veggies in there. I included 3 recipes that I regularly rotate and save for really busy nights when I don't want to have to think about cooking; Tacos, Jambalaya (the cheaters version) and Spinach Alfredo Pizza. Chicken a la King is from my mothers treasure trove of recipes and is always great when company comes over but is easy enough to be a stress free meal. To make it easier, bake a bunch of chicken at the beginning of the week and then it will be ready for Chicken salad and Chicken a la King. And the Bumpy's Carrot Cake? Well, it is the best I have ever had (check out the picture!)

Our Dinner Menu

Monday - Tacos with Peaches & Cream Dessert Pizza for our family night treat
Tuesday - Chinese Chicken Salad with Cream Cheese Wontons
Wednesday - Cheater Jambalaya
Thursday - Layered Fiesta Casserole
Friday - Turkey Fried Rice & Salad, ICE CREAM SUNDAE NIGHT!
Saturday - Spinach Alfredo Pizza
Sunday - Chicken a la King, with Bumpy's Carrot Cake for dessert

Layered Fiesta Casserole – YUMMY, QUICK, EASY

Prep time: 20 min, Total time: 50 min

1 lb ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jar salsa (thick & chunky)
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn thawed
12 flour tortillas (6 inch)
1 ½ c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375. Brown meat and peppers stirring frequently. Drain, stir in salsa, tomatoes and corn, bring to a boil. Spoon 1 c. meat mixture onto bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with 6 tortillas overlapping as necessary. Spoon half of remaining mixture over tortillas and top with ¾ c. cheese. Top with 6 tortillas and meat mixture. Cover with foil. Bake 25 to 30 min or until heated through. Remove and uncover. Sprinkle with ¾ c. cheese and let stand 5 minutes until melted. Serve with sour cream.

Chicken a la King – YUMMY , IMPRESSIVE and EASY (Good with roasted asparagus)

Makes appx. 5 servings

¼ c. butter
1/3 c. flour
½ t. salt
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
2 c. diced cooked chicken or turkey
1 3oz. can drained sliced mushrooms (or use fresh)
¼ c. chopped canned pimiento (or red pepper)
Toast points or pastry shells (I like the Pepperidge farm pastry shells)

In saucepan melt butter. Blend in flour and salt. Add chicken broth and milk all at once. Cook, stirring constantly till sauce is thick and bubbly. Add chicken, mushrooms and pimientos. Heat through. Serve over toast points or pastry shells.

Chinese Chicken Salad - FAST, EASY, LOW-FAT

Fresh Spinach
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces and sautéed in olive oil with a little salt and pepper to taste
Mandarin orange wedges
Almond slices (lightly toasted)
Chow mein noodles
Parmesan or feta cheese
Light Sesame Asian salad dressing (or any Asian salad dressing of your choice)

Toss it all together before serving and garnish with chow mein noodles. I also like to serve this with fried cream cheese wontons (see week 1 recipe).

Turkey Fried Rice – FAST, EASY, YUMMY

1 T olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
½ lb ground turkey
2 green onions
3 cups cold, cooked rice
1 c. canned bean spouts
¼ c. minced fresh cilantro
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. chunky peanut butter
1 t. sugar
½ t. garlic powder
¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ t. ground ginger

In lrg skillet, heat oil over med high heat. Pour eggs into skillet. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. When eggs are completely cooked, remove to plate and set aside.

In same skillet, cook turkey and onions over med heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the rice, bean sprouts and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients until blended; stir into skillet. Chop egg into small pieces; stir into skillet and heat through.

Jambalaya – FAST, EASY, CHEAP

1 box of Zataran’s Jambalaya rice mix (I double this recipe for four adults and two children)
1 Jennie-O (or any brand you can find) kielbasa turkey sausage link

Slice up the sausage and throw it in with the rice (following the directions on the box).


1 Taco kit (I like taco bells with the hard shells)
1 lb ground beef
Garnishes: lettuce, shredded cheese, fresh chopped tomatoes, salsa, sour cream

Serve with prepared Spanish Rice (like rice-a-roni)

Spinach Alfredo Pizza – FAST, EASY, YUMMY

1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
1 container Alfredo sauce (I like the refrigerated kind for this)
1 bag spinach (4 c. chopped)
2 med tomatoes; chopped
2 c. Shredded Italian cheese blend (or shred your own mozza and add a little parm)

Spread pizza dough into pizza pan (use a round one or a small cookie sheet). Spread Alfredo over dough, add spinach and tomatoes and then sprinkle cheese over the top. Blake at 420 for 14 min or until crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.


Peaches & Cream Dessert Pizza – Yummy & Easy
1 tube (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
½ c. sugar
½ t. almond extract
1 can (21 oz. ) peach pie filling
½ c. all purpose flour
¼ c. packed brown sugar
3 T. cold butter
½ c. sliced almonds

Separate crescent dough into eight triangles. Press into greased 12 inch pizza pan. Seal seams. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Spread over crust. Top with pie filling. In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over peaches. Top with almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into wedges. Refrigerate (or you can serve it warm).

Bumpy's Carrot Cake

1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. lightly packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 t. salt
3 c. grated carrot
1 c. raisins (I think the next time I will reduce this to 3/4 c.)
2 c. cream cheese icing (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large bundt pan and set aside. In a lrg mixing bowl, beat together oil and sugars until well blended. Beat in 1 egg at a time, blending thoroughly after each. Mix dry ingredients together and add to wet, mixing well. Fold in carrots and raisins.

Pour batter into the greased bundt pan and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, with cake still in the pan, turn upside down on the rack to cool for about 1 hour. Remove from pan by gently running a butter knife around edges. When cake is completely cool, spread with cream cheese icing.

- Serves 12

Cream Cheese Icing

3/4 c. cream cheese (I just used a whole 8 oz brick which might be the same!), softened

6 T. salted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. icing sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.

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