In my crazy life when I can make dinner quick and easy it is always a plus. When I can make dinner that is quick and easy and clean up is a breeze that is winning. While my kids are older and fully capable of cleaning up after dinner like I had to as a kid I have one issue. I can be a bit OCD with how things should be cleaned up. My cleaning OCD is bad. I am the person that re-cleans what someone else has just cleaned so it is done “right”. Yep, that is me. Although after making Backyard Barbecue Chicken I may let my family help clean up a little more because clean up is so easy.
A few years back, when my oldest and youngest still ran USATF track I was introduced to a pasta dish at a team dinner that I fell in love with, Spicy Chicken Rigatoni. I came up with my own version and my family loved it. Then when I gave gluten the boot I stopped making it. Truth is there really aren’t a ton of different gluten free pasta shapes. There is penne though and it is similar to rigatoni. Well, it is close enough for me. Spicy Chicken Penne is now something that has been added back into my families meal plans and is a meal my kids would eat weekly if I would let them.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TysonMovieOffer #CollectiveBias
One of the many traditions my family has is our Friday night, Family Fun Night. On Friday nights we watch a movie and eat fun food. We do a lot of pizza but not far behind is corn dogs and chicken nuggets. I am pretty sure it is my kids favorite night of the week. This week i’m excited because i’m setting the DVR up to record a halloween classic, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, so we can watch on Friday. I just turned 38 last week and I can say that I have watched it every single year. How can you not watch this 1966 classic?!?! Heck in 1981 I even dressed up as Sally for Halloween.
I love the entire Peanuts gang and I have happily have passed this love onto my kid’s. One of things we are all looking forward to is The Peanuts Movie. I seriously cannot wait for it to come out! Being a family of 6 going to the movies is expensive though but I have found a great way to save on tickets. Right now if you go to Walmart and buy ANY TWO (2) specially marked packages of Tyson® Chicken Products or State Fair® Corn Dogs and you can up to $9.00 toward one child admission to see The Peanuts Movie Only in Theaters. How awesome is that! Yes, please!
Tyson® Chicken Nuggets and State Fair® Corn Dogs are family fun night favorites around here so, I picked up some of both for some protein powered snacking! The movie offer is such an awesome bonus.
When eating corn dogs and chicken nuggets my kids do not ever eat them plain. You have to have a dip. Dipping sauces are like cheese and make things even better. Favorite dips in our house are usually honey mustard,ranch and spicy ranch and there is always plenty of back in forth among themselves about what dip they want to use. So I started thinking what if I came up with a spicy honey mustard? So pulled out my food processor and got to work and created a Chipotle Honey Mustard. It is my kid’s new favorite when it comes to dipping sauces. Chipotle Honey Mustard is both sweet and spicy and makes your tastebuds want more!
Creating the sauce was simple. It has 6 basic ingredients, Mayo, Yellow Mustard, Dijon Mustard, Honey, Garlic and Chipotle Peppers.
Step One: Add all your ingredients to a food processor or blender. During this part you can decide how spicy you want things. I added one pepper to our sauce and it turned out perfect for us.
Step 2: Blend until well combined
Step 3: Place in a jar or bottle and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using. During this step your sauce will thicken up.
Step 5: Make your favorite Tyson® Chicken Products or State Fair® Corn Dogs for some protein powered snacking and start dipping!
My kids are all set now with some great family fun night snacks and their new favorite Chipotle Honey Mustard to dip everything in. Then I’m over here smiling because I get a ticket for them to go see The Peanuts Movie. Can you say win-win? I can’t wait to surprise my kiddos with a special treat by going to see the movie in the theater!
Do you have a house full of Chicken Nugget and Corn Dog monsters like I do? What is their favorite dip? Check out Tyson® for more meal ideas and recipes.
School is back in session here in North Carolina and we have survived the first week! Woohoo! After a couple months off for summer break we are getting back on track with our school days schedule. We are back to the after school bus schedule, homework and cross country practice. The evenings get a little crazy sometimes especially on those nights when my oldest son’s cross country practice runs late. Don’t they know I need to get dinner on the table? To combat the craziness of our weekday schedule I try to have a variety of easy dinners on my meal plan for during the week. One of our new favorites is Santa Fe Chicken and Rice.
I discovered Santa Fe Chicken and Rice thanks to Allrecipes and this month’s sponsor activity with Swanson Chicken Broth for Allrecipes Allstars. After trying their unsalted chicken broth and having success making their Parmesan Garlic Cauliflower Mash I decided to try some more of the Swanson recipes on Allrecipes.com and I am happy that I did! Santa Fe Chicken Breast and Rice is an easy to make, family favorite that is made in one pan! I love complete meals that I can make in one pan. That means fewer dishes and that means more time to do other things. Talk about a win-win!
The entire meal took around 30 minutes to make and my family inhaled it! I did double the recipe since we are a family of 6 but there were no leftovers because my kids and husbands all went back for seconds. It has been added to our meal planning meal list rotation. It the perfect for those busy weekdays meals! Plus, clean up is a cinch since you only have to worry about cleaning one pot not a handful. What are you waiting for try it today!
What are some of your favorite quick and easy, one pot meals?
1¾ cups Swanson® Chicken Broth or Swanson® Chicken Stock or Swanson® Unsalted Chicken Stock
1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
½ cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese - I chose cheddar jack)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
Reduce the heat to medium. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the rice and cook and stir until it's golden. Stir in the broth, picante sauce and cumin and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir in the beans and corn. Return the chicken to the skillet. Top the chicken with the cheese. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Country Girl Gourmet. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Country Girl Gourmet.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessMeals #CollectiveBias
Being a mom of kids involved in sports can mean life can be crazy at times. When school starts that schedule gets even crazier. Life becomes a balance of school, sports and family. It seems that dinnertime often becomes a victim of the crazy schedule. Years ago I committed to not allowing my family to fall victims to the fast food rut that sometimes happens when life get’s crazy. My kids need to be able to fuel their bodies with good food so they can be the best that they can be. Fueling up on junk isn’t going to help them set personal records. I’m far from Wonder Woman and sometimes I need a little help with dinner.
When I pick up my oldest from practice one of the first things he asks me is if we need to go to Walmart. It is right on the way home which makes it an easy stop to pick up milk, bread and/or things we need for dinner. Sometimes it is to pick up dinner on my not so Wonder Woman days. Effortless Meals at Walmart have helped save our dinner time more than a couple times. Rotisserie Chicken, one of their 2lb sides (potato salad, macaroni salad or coleslaw) and for a special treat a 2 liter of your favorite Coca Cola product are perfect fixings for an easy, effortless meal.
Rotisserie Chicken is a favorite of mine because it can be used so many different ways! Here are some of my favorite ways:
Honestly the ways to use Rotisserie Chicken are endless. It is great way to make a semi homemade meal in next to no time. Like my families new favorite tacos, Carolina Pulled Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Coleslaw. The inspiration for these tacos came from one of our favorite meals, barbecue. To be more specific Eastern North Carolina Barbecue. Here in NC we take our BBQ very seriously, it is pulled pork and the state is divided into 2 styles. You either like the tomato based Lexington style or tomato free Eastern NC BBQ. Eastern NC style is topped with a vinegar and pepper based BBQ sauce. The pulled pork is served with coleslaw as well as other sides such as hush puppies and potato salad.
The Eastern NC BBQ sauce is great on chicken and helps turn these into must try tacos. Another big plus is that you can pick up everything that you need at Walmart and throw these tacos together in no time at all with the help of a rotisserie chicken and premade coleslaw.
To get this dinner started we start with the Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce. Here in North Carolina the sauce can be found in the grocery store. Living outside of North Carolina I had to learn how to make the BBQ sauce myself. I always have a jar in my fridge, it is a staple in our house. This is best made up at least a day in advance so all the ingredients can get happy and meld well together.
All you do is place all your ingredients in a jar and shake it up. It is easy peasy!
When preparing this dinner I like to start with the jalapeño coleslaw first.
I add the already made coleslaw to a bowl and add the diced red onion, diced jalapeño, and the juice of half a lime.
I know cilantro is something people love or hate so leave it out if you must. We like it so in it goes! Mix it up, cover, and refrigerate while you prepare the chicken.
Preparing the chicken is completely effortless. All you need is your BBQ sauce and rotisserie chicken.
Remove your chicken from the bone. I remove the skin as well.
Once the chicken is removed from the bone you can either shred it or chop it. Carolina pulled pork is served both ways. I went with chopped today.
All that is left to do is is drizzle and toss with BBQ sauce
Now you are ready to put your tacos together! Grab your favorite tortillas (we prefer corn), warm them up, and begin creating your tacos. Add your chicken and then top with the jalapeño coleslaw and a sprinkle of cheese,cilantro and fresh jalapeños if desired.
There you go easy, effortless Carolina Pulled Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Coleslaw. If desired round out your tacos with some potato salad and your favorite Coca Cola beverage. My family absolutely loves this meal. It is one of our favorite meals reinvented!
Really who doesn’t love tacos? Make these for your next Taco Tuesday!
Walmart makes a busy mom’s life a little bit easier when it comes to meal time. No need for fast food when there is a Walmart nearby! Their effortless meals signs in the Deli area or where the rotisserie chickens are conveniently located by the front registers help you quickly find your way to a fresh, healthy meal option for your family so you can get in and out of the store. I think I was in and out in under 15 minutes! You can pick up one of their rotisserie chickens and make a meal out of it, to one of their delicious Marketside pizzas. There is something for everyone, even your pickiest eater! So what are you waiting for? Check out Walmart’s Marketside products for Effortless Meals today!
¼-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add desired amount)
2pounds prepared coleslaw
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
½ cup diced red onion
juice of ½ a lime (approx. 2 tablespoons)
¼ cup cilantro
1 rotisserie chicken
¼ cup Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce
Corn or flour tortillas
optional- monterey jack cheese, cilantro,fresh jalapeño slices, lime wedges
For Eastern NC BBQ Sauce-Combine the white vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce,red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for a day before using so that the flavors will blend. Shake occasionally, and store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
For Jalapeno Coleslaw- Mix prepared coleslaw mix. diced red onion, diced jalepeno, juice of half of a lime and cilantro and combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For Pulled BBQ Chicken- Remove chicken from the rotisserie chicken. Either shred chicken meat or chop. Drizzle with BBQ sauce and toss.
To assemble tacos, arrange about 2-3 tablespoons of chicken on a tortilla; follow with 2-3 tablespoons of coleslaw. If desired sprinkle with monterey jack cheese, fresh jalapeño slices, lime juice and/or cilantro
One of my favorite things to use in my kitchen is my crockpot, yes my crockpot. Crockpots are perfect for almost every situation. You need to keep food warm, use your crockpot. Kids have practice after school and you want to make sure you can have dinner on the table and avoid the fast food rut, use your crockpot. It is hot outside and you don’t want to heat up your kitchen, use your crockpot. I can’t even begin to tell you how many meals my crockpot has cooked. There was a time when my kids were in track and cross country that I used it every single night. Needless to say, I am always looking for new recipes to use in my crockpot.
The newest addition to my collection of recipes for the crockpot is Sesame Chicken. We love Chinese food around here and I make it myself since our last experience with a Chinese buffet ended up with my husband and myself having food poisoning… on Christmas. Not to mention you really aren’t going to find gluten free Chinese dishes. Did you know Soy Sauce is not gluten free? I am thankful for gluten free soy sauce, Tamari is my friend! We eat some sort of Chinese food probably once a week so it is a must have.
Back to the Sesame Chicken though. I have always been a fan of sesame chicken when we use to go out for Chinese. I haven’t had it since I became gluten free so when I found the recipe I was intrigued. I made it for my family one night when I had a dinnertime board meeting for Team RWB and I came home to nothing. They devoured it and didn’t same me anything at all. How rude! On the bright side though that is how I knew the recipe was a winner. That and my kiddos constantly asking me if I can make it again. Needless to say it has been added in to our regular rotation.
If you are looking for a fake out take out winner try this sesame chicken! Plus it gets extra points for being made in the crock pot so I can put it together and forget about it and do what I need to do. Talk about Win-Win! When will you be trying it out?
If I had to pick one type of food to eat the rest of my life I could pretty easily say, Mexican food. Living in El Paso really spoiled me when it comes to Mexican Food. I am a Mexican Food snob. Yes, I know there are different styles from the different regions and I am good with that, well, as long as the food is tasty. I would even be tempted to go back to eating gluten for the fresh made tortillas from Vista Market. Heck, just give me some of their tamales and a strawberry Jarritos and i’m good. Seriously, it is one of the only soda’s I will drink.
I live in North Carolina now though and we have tried several Mexican restaurants and while we have found a couple that were ok nothing has really wowed us. Thankfully I can make some pretty good Mexican dishes and I am always keeping my eye out for new dishes. One of the recipes I tried recently was for Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos.
The recipe had me at Slow Cooker. My crock pot is one of my favorite time savers for busy nights. When my kids were in track we ate crock pot meals on a nightly basis. In my opinion it is so much better to put something in the crockpot for dinner than to stop and get fast food on the way home.
This recipe had an interesting twist to the “normal” crock pot recipes. It was roasting a whole chicken in the crockpot while resting on top of aluminum foil balls. I had cooked whole chicken in the crockpot before but never using the foil ball method. I was intrigued with how it would turn out. So I stuffed the cavity with limes and simply seasoned with seasoned salt and fresh garlic. The original recipe called for wine also but I skipped that part. Chicken broth is often substituted for wine and I knew that cooking in a slow cooker would produce enough juices that extra liquid wouldn’t be needed, and it wasn’t. The end result was a juicy falling apart chicken. The chicken skin was just missing the typical roasted crispness but I was ok with that. I wasn’t cooking it for the skin but the chicken meat to make a family favorite,tacos! All that was left for me to do was shred the chicken and serve. I kept the cilantro on the side instead of mixing in just in case some of my family members decided to be on team no cilantro. I know some people love cilantro while others hate it. Cilantro love and hate is something that has been studied for years like in this article. My family usually loves it but kids can be picky for no reason.
With lime wedges on the side my family ate their chicken tacos and loved them and asked me to make them again the next night. If I do say so myself they were pretty tasty and will be a welcome addition to our dinner rotation.
What type of food is your favorite?
Do you use your crock pot? What do you use it for?
Put aluminum foil balls in the bottom of a slow cooker crock.
Season chicken with seasoned salt. Rub half the garlic on the inside surfaces of the chicken's cavity and leave them inside. Squeeze 8 lime quarters into the cavity; drop the squeezed quarters into the cavity. Place the chicken atop the foil balls. Squeeze 8 more lime quarters over the outside of the chicken; drop squeezed lime quarters into the bottom of the crock. Rub remaining garlic over the outside of the chicken and put garlic in the bottom of the crock. Pour white wine into the crock.
Cook on Low until the chicken meat pulls apart easily, 5 to 6 hours.
Remove chicken to a cutting board. Remove meat from bones and shred completely. Serve chicken on warmed tortillas with cilantro for topping and lime wedge.
Hello March! Well I think it is March. It was all nice and spring like but then something happened. In less than an hour yesterday our temperature went from a beautiful and warm 70 to a windy, chilly and rainy 40. Those chilly and rainy days leave me wanting to make soup. Some people buy bread and milk when under a winter storm advisory but I buy the stuff to make soup and well, hot chocolate. Who wants a milk sandwich when you can have a hearty bowl of soup or a mug of hot chocolate when you come in from the cold?
Slow cooker taco soup is one of my families absolute favorite soups and I make on a semi regular basis during the cooler months. It is also one of the easiest soups to make in my opinion. You take several canned ingredients, chicken breast, an onion, taco seasoning and basically just throw them in the crockpot and let it cook all day and then voila you have taco soup.
For those of you saying eww canned stuff, let me say that not all canned foods are bad. I have a few staples in my house. Mainly canned tomatoes and canned beans, green chiles and sometimes I will buy canned corn too. This recipe uses all of those canned items plus pre-made chicken broth. The sodium is a bit higher for those of you who are watching your sodium but it is still lower than what you would find in a can of premade soup. This recipe is very flexible and if you want to use homemade chicken broth feel free to sub it, I know I have. Just as I have used thawed, frozen corn in place of canned and homemade taco seasoning in place of packaged taco seasoning. You can really customize it to your personal taste and still end up with an awesome soup.
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips
Place the onion, pinto/chili beans, black beans,green chiles, corn, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and crushed tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled and shred chicken breast (I like to use my kitchen aid). Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.
I live in the south, I grew up in the south, I have lived in the south all but 5 years of my life, I consider myself a southerner and as if there was any question my family loves southern food. The problem with southern food is so many foods I grew up with and love are either not the healthiest or they are full of gluten that I can no longer eat. Well I can, I will just get pretty sick. So what’s a girl to do when craving her favorite foods or when her kid’s are begging for their favorites? I was tired of cooking 2 different meals so I started figuring out how to make versions of the foods that I could eat also.
My kids love fried chicken, breaded chicken strips along with good ole chicken nuggets. They ask for it on a regular basis. Fried chicken is one of the many foods of the south. Right down the road from my house there is not just one but 4 fast food restaurants that sell fried chicken. I knew I needed to figure out how to make it and that I had my work cut out for me. Through some trail and error I created my spicy almond crusted chicken. It is an oven fried chicken and works in a pinch as a replacement for breaded chicken. I know my family loves it! What is even better about this recipe is it is not just gluten free but it is completely grain free making it paleo. So this recipes gets double points for not only being gluten free but being grain free and using almond meal makes it heart healthy. Hooray for making classic southern food even better! Try it for yourself and see just how good it is!
I love to eat Mexican food and for the longest time I was afraid to make Enchiladas. Then one day I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com and tried it out. True to form, not entirely following the recipe. I had to add my own little touches. The enchilada’s I made were awesome and became a regular in our house. Every time I made the enchiladas I would do something different and now they are almost completely from scratch.
2lbs (approx.3 boneless skinless chicken breast) cooked and shredded
1 small onion,diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno’s (seeded if desired to control the heat)
1 red pepper,diced
1 can diced green chili’s
8oz pepperjack cheese, diced
2 cups milk
10 tortillas (I used whole wheat)
cilantro (optional for the cilantro haters out there)
black pepper, fresh ground to taste
2 cups of cheddar or Mexican cheese, shredded (optional)
For the chicken you can use rotisserie chicken from the store or bake it or grill it. I prefer to boil it as follows:
2lbs chicken breast
8 cups water
1t red pepper flakes
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
boil chicken until done/no longer pink inside. Set aside chicken and onions to cool, to shred for later.
in frying pan melt 2TB butter and add onion, garlic, red pepper,green chili’s, and jalepenos. Cook until Onions are transluscent and pepper’s are soft.
Add milk and flour (I use a tupperware quick shake) and diced pepperjack cheese. This will make a creamy cheese sauce. Add cilantro if desired and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
Take shredded chicken and mix with 1 cup of sauce mixture and mix well. Place 1/4-1/2cup mixture in middle of tortilla and roll .
Once all tortilla’s are rolled pour creamy cheese and veggie sauce over tortilla’s. If desired cover with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
Voila there you go almost completely scratch made enchiladas… You could go that extra mile and make your own homemade tortilla’s and use fresh green chili’s but that is up to you. With 4 kids i’ll stick to the premade tortilla’s and my Hatch green chili’s