Healthier Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan-3599 on Whisk Together

Book:  I started reading “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarity.  Someone had posted it on my Facebook feed.  It is fiction, and it is hilarious!  The book is PERFECT for this time of year, too!  The moms are all at the school for the first day of kindergarten.  I’m not a huge fiction fan, but this is really funny.  Great beach book and great reviews on GoodReads.

In other news, here are the cookies I made for our Vacation Bible School party.  The theme was related to Mount Everest, so I made 48 of these mountain cookies!

Mountain Cookies on Whisk Together

Recipe: We love a lot of Italian style dishes and this is one that we made to be a little healthier.  Olive Garden’s Chicken Parmesan has 1,050 calories, 52 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat and 3000 mg of sodium!

This version well… doesn’t have all that.  🙂  This version has 251 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, and 31.5 grams of protein.

Feel free to make your own breadcrumbs from leftover bread.  I toast my bread in the oven, remove the crusts and throw it into the food processor.  Instant breadcrumbs!  Or purchase them.  Whole Wheat, panko or seasoned breadcrumbs will work.  If you use your own homemade breadcrumbs or panko crumbs, then be sure to add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the crumbs.

Chicken Parmesan-3596 on Whisk Together

 

Freezer Friendly?  You bet!  Simply dip the chicken in the breading and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet or in a foil 9×13 pan.  Once frozen – about 1 hour later – put into a plastic freezer bag or cover with foil and plastic wrap.  When you want dinner, pop into the oven from frozen or thawed out!

Healthier Chicken Parmesan
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise for 8 breasts
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (or as noted make your own and add 1 tsp. Italian seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup marinara or homemade sauce
  • fresh basil, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prep a rimmed cookie sheet or large bar pan with baking spray or parchment paper.
  3. In a shallow dish, mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together.
  4. Brush olive oil on both sides of chicken breast and dip into breadcrumbs.
  5. Bake 20 minutes.
  6. Flip chicken over and bake another 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Add 1 T of sauce (or more) and 1.5 T of mozzarella cheese to each chicken.
  8. Put back into the oven until cheese has melted – about 5 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with basil and serve over spaghetti, spaghetti squash, brown rice pasta or zoodles.
Notes
When dipping raw chicken or anything raw, I find it easiest to make sure to use my left hand (non-dominant) to handle the raw meat. This way my dominant hand (right hand) can go about sprinkling salt, turning on the oven, etc. Usually dipping or trimming meat requires dexterity in the dominant hand and I leave the other hand to handle the messy stuff.[br][br]Recipe from Skinnytaste

 

Pork Tenderloin and Beans: 30 Minute Meal

Pork Tenderloin and Black Bean Dinner on Whisk Together

Books:  Since I loved reading “The Water Castle” so much I thought I would try Megan Frazer Blakemore’s “The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill”.  The beginning is boring, but it was a boringbeginning in the last book.  So maybe it will get better.  ??

*Insert pithy comments here*  I think about stuff to write here ALL DAY.  Seriously, I need a secretary.  By the time 10pm rolls around, I can only think of my recipe and sleep and…. oh.  I’m awake.  What?  Oh yes.  Sleep.  And fresh strawberry pie.

Pork Tenderloin and Black Bean Dinner on Whisk Together-2776

Recipe:  
I liked this recipe because it is fast and tasty.  The entire meal includes two side dishes that are pretty healthy for you as well: beans, onions and peppers.  Our pork tenderloin comes from Costco at $3.99 per pound.  The other grocery stores also sell it at that price, but only when on sale.  So, $5 for the meat, 99 cents for the beans and $2 for the peppers and we feed 4 people for $8.  It isn’t the cheapest way to go… but still cheaper than dining out.  Could this be made with chicken?  Sure!

Pork Tenderloin and Beans: 30 Minute Meal
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 Tb. lime juice (fresh or bottled), divided
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
  • salt
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver skim
  • 2 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 3 orange or red peppers (green will work too), cut into strips
  • 1 – 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix half the onion, 2 Tb. lime juice, 1/2 tsp. cumin and pinch of salt.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tb. olive oil on medium high. Brown the pork for 8 minutes. Put the pork into a roasting pan, cookie sheet or casserole dish. and cook about 15 minutes or until 145 degrees.
  4. Now, into that empty skillet on the stove add the rest of the olive oil. Add the peppers. Cook a few minutes until a little soft. Add 1/2 cup water and some salt. Let sizzle and cook off for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the onion/lime juice mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the beans, other half of the onion, honey and cilantro with 1 Tb. lime juice. Put this in the microwave for about 45 seconds if you want the beans slightly warmed.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

 

Tortellini with Italian Sausage

Tortellini with Red Sauce on Whisk Together 2-3078

 

I purchased a rash guard last summer for swimming and it was the BEST investment I ever made, so I thought I would share it here.  Since they went on sale, I purchased another one so that I have one for swimming and one for just hanging out at the pool or if I know we will be outside a long time.  I know they are $31 or so (normally they are $50), but I find this cheaper than skin cancer and/or 5 bottles of sunscreen.  With a UPF of 50, you don’t have to worry about your chest or shoulders getting burned.  I wash mine in the washing machine on gentle.  They dry super quickly and the new designs this year are super cute.

 

rashguard

Recipe:  The entire family LOVED this meal.  The kids even asked for seconds!!  Super simple and delicious, I cannot wait to add this to the binder of all things pot luck and serving crowds.

Tortellini with Red Sauce on Whisk Together-3097

Why we loved this recipe:

1.  Easy and every day ingredients.
2.  Fast!
3.  Different ways to cook it so I can change the cooking method based on time I have.
4.  Freezer friendly
5.  Delicious

Tortellini with Red Sauce on Whisk Together-3099

 

Tortellini with Red Sauce on Whisk Together-3078

Tortellini with Italian Sausage
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
A delicious tomato based pasta dish with an Italian sausage base and topped with creamy cheese.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage (no casings)
  • 18 oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 9 oz. cheese tortellini (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. For the stovetop: cook ground beef and Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain if necessary.
  2. Add marinara sauce and diced tomatoes. Heat through.
  3. Add cheese tortellini. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until tortellini is cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle mozzerella cheese on top. Allow to melt (about 5 minutes). Serve with Parmesan cheese, sprinkle with parsley, or serve as is.
  5. For slow cooker: cook ground beef and Italian sausage in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat until brown. Drain.
  6. Add meat to slow cooker. Add marinara sauce and diced tomatoes. Cook on low 4-8 hours. Add cheese tortellini and cover. Cook 15 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Let melt for about 5 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese or parsley or as is.
Notes
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

 

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken on Pinterest Whisk Together

 

Book Update:  I finished Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” and really enjoyed it.  A fast, quick read that has a lot of nuggets of wisdom and funny biographical stories.  The chapters are very short and can be read in order or out of order.  Many professors give a “last lecture” of sorts to summarize all they have learned.  However, this was REALLY Randy’s last lecture since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died leaving 3 small children (youngest was 18 months old) and a wife.

Some of my favorites points were:

1.  Never Give Up
2.  Know Where You Are
3.  No Job is Beneath You
4.  The Lost Art of Thank You Notes
5.  Pouring Soda into the Back Seat (of his brand new convertible)
6.  Don’t Obsess over What People Think

Some interesting quotes:

-“The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ”
-“People are more important than things.”
-“One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose.”
-“Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
-“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted .”
-“There are more ways than one to measure profits and losses.”
-“If you want something bad enough, never give up (and take a boost when offered).”

Oven BBQ Chicken-1949 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  On that note, let’s make some BBQ!!!!  We love BBQ and sometimes in the spring the Midwest is known for its storms.  Those storms that make the tornado sirens wail or the windows rattle with the wind and rain.  I know the weather is warm, but I just don’t like grilling in that kind of weather.  So, instead we BBQ our meat inside.  The key I think to getting that smokey flavor quickly and inside the house is a golden grail called “Liquid Smoke”.  You can find it in the BBQ sauce section of the grocery store.  It is natural, it is tasty and it is inexpensive.  A $2 bottle lasts me about a year.

So here is a way to make BBQ chicken from scratch in the house.  Add 1 tsp. of liquid smoke (I like the hickory one) for that smoky flavor.  You could also make this in a plastic freezer bag – maybe even triple the recipe? – and always have a quick chicken meal ready to go for your family or another family in need.

If you like the idea of making your own BBQ sauce, check out my homemade no-cook BBQ sauce.  Everyone that has tried this homemade sauce LOVES it.  I stash a jar full in the fridge and have it on hand at all times.

*Note:  The original recipe, which is from America’s Test Kitchen, calls for broiling the chicken for 5- 10 minutes after baking it at 325 degrees for 10-14 minutes.  Most of my skillets are not broiler safe, so I developed a different way of cooking.

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tb. finely grated onion (on a grater, or use small food processor)
  • 2 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tb. Dijon mustard (I use 1 Tb. because I don’t like mustard)
  • 3 Tb. molasses
  • 2 Tb. maple syrup
  • 3 Tb. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne (omit for kids or really sensitive adults)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tb. olive, vegetable or grapeseed oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk together everything from ketchup to cayenne.
  3. In a large, oven safe nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add chicken and brown on both sides – about 4 minutes total.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet. Add sauce and cook about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan, cover with foil (or parchment tucked around the inside) and place it all into the oven for about 20-30 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and register 165 degrees.
  6. Serve while warm.
Notes
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

 

Maddox’s Favorite Chili

Maddox's Chili-1690 - on Whisk Together

Greetings everyone!  I’m so happy we have some new readers from Money Saving Mom and from Blogelina with us.  Today I would like to share with you the new friends we have in our backyard.  They like our bird feeder quite a lot!  There are normally about 8 of them together, but here is a close up of the three amigos.  The kids and I have named the squirrels: pecan, almond, peanut and cashew.  We haven’t named the deer yet.

**Can you spot deer #4?  He’s hiding!**

Deer-1813 on Whisk Together

 

Here is a preview of our next craft project how-to.  I love how if fills up a large wall, is customizable to your color scheme and inexpensive.  I found the idea in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog with picture frames and adapted it to a lower cost solution:

Butterfly wall-1700 on Whisk Together

Book update:  I am still plowing through “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doer.  The writing is excellent…. trying to follow to different characters with two different voices flip flopping between time periods is a little difficult to follow.  The setting is World War II Germary and Paris.

Maddox's Chili-1698 - on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I know I know…. it’s getting warmer outside.  But we still love a big bowl of chili here at the Riley household.  🙂  It’s fast, easy, the kids like it, the adults devour it and we’re all happy.  Or pin this recipe for later!  We have had our tummies full of almost every chili recipe imaginable that uses every day ingredients.  Once you get into the big leagues, they start making their own chili powder from scratch and purchase a lot of specialized ingredients for their prize winning chili.

Maddox's Chili-1693 - on Whisk Together

Instead, here is a chili recipe that my son at age 8 can make himself.  This is his favorite chili recipe ever and he has had his share of chili recipes such as:

Chicken Chili,
White Chili,
Texas Chili,
Venison Chili,
Taco Chili,
Chili Mac,
Turkey Pumpkin,
Three Bean Chili,
Plain Ol’ Chili
and Chili Corn Dog Casserole.

But out of all of these, Maddox likes my mom’s recipe the best.  And so here it is and I hope it becomes a favorite of yours as well.

Maddox's Favorite Chili-1553 on Whisk Together

Maddox’s Favorite Chili
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground venison
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can Chili Magic, mild
  • 1 can Chili Magic, medium
  • 1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven, cook onion and ground beef over medium heat until brown.
  2. Drain meat onto paper towels if needed.
  3. Return meat to pot and add contents of the two Chili Magic cans and crushed tomatoes.
  4. Stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Turn down heat to medium low and simmer about 45 minutes. Feel free to cover and keep warm up to another hour.

Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry_1 on Whisk Together

Book:  I finished “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” by Maria Semple!  It is quite funny.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars because the writing is funny, the plot moves just enough to keep you interested, but the ending was kind of a let down.

Some of my favorite quotes:
-“That’s right,’ she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.”
-“You know what it’s like when you go to IKEA and you can’t believe how cheap everything is, and even though you may not need a hundred tea lights, my God, they’re only ninety-nine cents for the whole bag? Or: Sure the throw are filled with a squishy ball of no-doubt toxic whatnot, but they’re so bright and three-for-five-dollars that before you know it you’ve dropped five hundred bucks, not because you needed any of this crap, but because it was so damn cheap?”

Recipe:  Ooh, I haven’t made some yummy stir fry in YEARS.  I guess I never think to make it with the kids.  The kids love steak, so they ate this right up.  My husband and I drooling over finally getting some yummy stir fry chock full of bell peppers, onions and soy sauce.

If you like take out food and steak, make this recipe!!  We usually play around and increase the recipe with more steak and veggies so that we have leftovers.

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry on Whisk Together

Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry
  • serves 4
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tb. cornstarch
  • 1 Tb. olive oil or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 large steak (16 oz)- sirloin or flank steak would be good here, cut into 1/2" strips
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 onion, large chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, strips (feel free to add more peppers as we did)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (we love garlic and used 4)
  • 1 tsp. ginger root, grated (or ground ginger if you don't have any fresh)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth or water

Instructions

  1. To marinade the steak: mix soy sauce, cornstarch and 1 tsp. olive oil. Add steak. Marinade a few hours in the fridge. Or ...
  2. Simply add the soy sauce, corn starch and 1 tsp. oil into a large skillet or wok. Heat over medium high and add steak. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Take out of the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the rest of the olive oil to the skillet, turn down to medium heat and add the vegetables. Cook about 10 minutes and stir often to avoid sticking. If needed add water if sticking continues. Once cooked, add the steak and broth. Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Serve with extra soy sauce or Trader Joe's Island Soyaki.
  4. Recipe from Pampered Chef
http://www.whisktogether.com/2015/02/08/steak-and-broccoli-stir-fry/

Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry
serves 4

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tb. cornstarch
1 Tb. olive oil or coconut oil, divided
1 large steak (16 oz)- sirloin or flank steak would be good here, cut into 1/2″ strips
3 cups broccoli florets
1 onion, large chunks
1 red bell pepper, strips (feel free to add more peppers as we did)
2 garlic cloves, minced (we love garlic and used 4)
1 tsp. ginger root, grated (or ground ginger if you don’t have any fresh)
1/2 cup beef broth or water

To marinade the steak:  mix soy sauce, cornstarch and 1 tsp. olive oil.  Add steak.  Marinade a few hours in the fridge.  Or …
Simply add the soy sauce, corn starch and 1 tsp. oil into a large skillet or wok.  Heat over medium high and add steak.  Cook until the meat is no longer pink.  Take out of the skillet and set aside.
Add the rest of the olive oil to the skillet, turn down to medium heat and add the vegetables.  Cook about 10 minutes and stir often to avoid sticking.  If needed add water if sticking continues.  Once cooked, add the steak and broth.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.  Serve with extra soy sauce or Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki.

 

Recipe from Pampered Chef

Hoisin Sauce Pork Tenderlon

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin_4 on Whisk Together

Soooo… I’m thinking of starting an Etsy shop!  I will post some fun things soon.  I usually post my crafts on my personal Facebook page, but I wanted to start a shop which would make it easier for me to handle sales taxes.  “Whisk Together” is very high on Google searches and I’m trying to decide whether I should use this blog to point to the shop or not.  The products won’t be food but custom vinyl items.  St. Charles county government prevents me from selling to the public anything I cook or bake 🙁

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin_3 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  We love pork tenderloin around here for its relatively low price, easy to cook and ability to take on many flavors like chicken does.  This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen’s “Slow Cooker Revolution 2”.  I like this book for 2 reasons:  America’s Test Kitchen treats the slow cooker as another cooking device and tries to get the best dish from the slow cooker.  Many slow cooker recipes leave a recipe dried out or burned.  Or like this book’s predecessor, the recipe takes an hour to prep when what you really wanted to do was save time in the first place.

Tired of the same old BBQ, we cooked this with hoisin sauce and toasted sesame oil.  They are very common Asian food products in most grocery stores under “Mexican/Asian” section.

Note:  If you don’t want to make this in the crockpot because of the time frame, please don’t abandon hope (all ye who enter here  ha ha)!  Simply oil your skillet (cast iron works GREAT) and sear the sides of the meat.  Throw it into the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until it reaches 140 degrees internally.  We used the same method on our lemon rosemary tenderloin as well!

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin_1 on Whisk Together

Hoisin Sauce Pork Tenderlon

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 (14-16 oz.) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 tsp sriracha Asian chili (we omitted so it would not be spicy hot)
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Instructions

  1. In the slow cooker, dump the chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of the ginger. Stir around
  2. Add the pork tenderloin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on LOW for 1-2 hours.
  3. Remove tenderloin and tent under some foil.
  4. In the slow cooker or microwave, heat the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and sriracha until hot.
  5. Drizzle the sauce onto the pork. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2015/01/13/hoisin-sauce-pork-tenderlon/

Slow Cooker Hoisin Sauce Pork Tenderloin
serves 4-6

1/4 cup chicken broth
4 tsp grated ginger
2 (14-16 oz.) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 T toasted sesame oil
1-2 tsp sriracha Asian chili (we omitted so it would not be spicy hot)
2 scallions, chopped

In the slow cooker, dump the chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of the ginger.  Stir around
Add the pork tenderloin and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook on LOW for 1-2 hours.
Remove tenderloin and tent under some foil.
In the slow cooker or microwave, heat the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and sriracha until hot.
Drizzle the sauce onto the pork.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen “Slow Cooker Revolution 2”.

Smothered Pork and Cheesy Grits

Smothered Pork Chops and Cheesy Grits_3 on Whisk Together

I found an interesting book entitled “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter:  What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch” by Jennifer Reese.  It’s very charming, funny and witty.  It is like reading exactly what goes on inside my head… which is kind of scary and comforting at the same time.  I also enjoy the fact that she goes through each recipe and tells it like it is.  She comes often to the same conclusions I have about baking your own biscuits from scratch (yes, please for the love of everything please do!), if making your own yogurt is worth the cost, and if you can really make your own mascarpone cheese.  Here is an excerpt and example of what I mean:

“Owen needs cupcakes for school and look, here they are, ready to go, packed in clamshells.  Nutritionally irredeemable — but made.  Sixteen dollars for twenty-four supermarket trans-fat packed cupcakes?  Good grief.  I’ll bake.  That means I need eggs and the eggs here sure are cheap.  But I can’t buy them here because these eggs are laid by debeaked chickens living in cages the size of Tic Tac boxes.  If only I’d gone to the farmers’ market on Sunday and bought eggs there…But how do I know that guy treats his chickens well just because the eggs are blue?  And honestly, do I even really care about chickens.  I can’t believe I’m spending three dollars per pound for these crunchy tomaoes.  I shoould grow them, just like Barbara Kingsolver.  How does she find the time to make her own cheese and breed her own heritage turkeys and write books?  I need to work harder, sleep less, never watch TV again.  Wait, there’s high fructose corn syrup in Campbell’s vegetable soup?  Isn’t that supposed to be a deal breaker?”

Source: page 2 of “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter” by Jennifer Reese

Smothered Pork Chops and Cheesy Grits on Whisk Together

**RECIPE**

This recipe was published in Food Network Magazine last month.  The reviews also give it 5 stars.  Yippee!

The recipe was fast and easy to make.  I really did complete it well under 30 minutes.  It was something fun and different.  We don’t have grits very often and not sure why… they were quite tasty.  I’m sure the restaurants add more cheese.  The kids were not given the onions on top (which is fine – more for me!) and ate the pork right up, although they did not care for grits…. or my side of kale and apples which is another recipe post 🙂

Photo of making the gravy.  Because everything tastes good with gravy!

Smothered Pork Chops and Cheesy Grits on Whisk Together_4

 

Smothered Pork and Cheesy Grits

Ingredients

  • 2 tsps. olive, grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 4 - 3/4" thick boneless pork chops (about 1.5 lbs is about right)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large red onion or 2 small/medium red onions, sliced thin
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • fresh or dried parsley (optional, but keeps the dish from looking bland)

Instructions

  1. On stovetop, heat a nonstick pan over medium to medium-high heat with the oil. My 13" pan was plenty big.
  2. Salt and pepper the pork chops. Cook on one side until browned - about 3-4 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Now, add the onions and cook 3 minutes or so. They should be a little brown.
  4. Bring down the heat to medium-low and add flour. Stir 2 minutes.
  5. Add broth and bay leaf. Cook 3 minutes or slightly thickened.
  6. Add back the pork chops and cook them through (145 degrees).
  7. While the pork is cooking, in a medium or large pot boil 2 and 1/4 cups water. Add grits, 1/2 tsp. salt. Heat for 5 minutes. Stir once in a while and they should become thicker. Now, stir in the cheese. Reduce heat and keep warm until serving.
  8. Plate grits. Then the pork and top everything with the onions and gravy. Toss a little parsley on top so the pork and grits don't look so sad.
  9. Enjoy!
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/05/22/smothered-pork-and-cheesy-grits/

Tuscan Luau Chicken

Tuscan Luau Chicken on Whisk Together

 

 

Tuscan Luau Chicken!  This is a fancy name for a simple pineapple dish that all of us loved.  It is a Wildtree recipe that is part of the “Savory Selections Workshop”.  I used my Costco 9×13″ pans, so all I had to do was thaw the pan in the fridge, pop it in the oven and throw it away.  Before recommending them, I wanted to make sure these pans worked.  30 half size pans are $5.69.

Freezer Chicken Meals_1

Tuscan Luau Chicken_1 on Whisk Together

Tuscan Luau Chicken
serves 4-6

2 lbs. chicken breasts, 1″ pieces
1 and 1/2 Tb. Wildtree red bell pepper and garlic blend (substitute: chopped bell pepper, coriander and garlic powder)
2 Tb. Wildtree European Dipping Oil- Tuscan (substitute olive oil)
2 tsp. Wildtree Lemon Pepper blend (substitute lemon pepper)
1 cup pineapple chunks (canned in juice), reserve juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice (from the can mentioned above)
1 cup uncooked long grain rice*
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth

*If your kids are like mine and like things separate, then you can make this with the rice cooked on the stovetop in 2 cups of water and simply eliminate the broth from the recipe.

1.  In a freezer bag, foil tray or in a sprayed baking pan, combine the chicken, red bell pepper blend, oil and lemon pepper.
2.  Add the pineapple, pineapple juice and rice and broth if using.  Freeze or cook immediately.
3.  To cook:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Put the meal into a 9×13″ pan if you have not done so already.  Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Remove foil and check to make sure rice is cooked.  Serve with a side of veggies.  This was yummy with low-sodium soy sauce.

Recipe from Wildtree Freezer Meal Workshops

 

 

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